"Fumbling Toward Ecstasy"

Monica thought about what Rachel had said to her. She thought about it for a week. But she couldn't seem to work up enough courage to visit Chandler. She was still afraid that one, or both of them, would wind up hurt again. As much as her heart wanted to give in, her head kept reminding her that she made her bed--she was going to have to sleep in it.


Chandler was laying on the sofa, a book in his hands, his eyes trying desperately to focus on the page in front of him. But he could not longer fight his mind and body, so he dropped his book onto the coffee table and began to doze off.
He was halfway between consciousness and unconsciousness when the front door swung open, and Joey, Ross and Phoebe walked in, chattering about...something. Chandler sighed and sat up, blinking his weary eyes back into focus.

"What's up, guys?"

"Hey, Chandler, we ordered pizza, and we rented two movies," Phoebe said proudly.

"Oh. Okay. Where's Rachel?"

"Hanging out with Mon-er-uh...with her mom," Ross stumbled.

"With Monica? It's okay Ross, I'm not going to break down and cry at the mention of her name," Chandler laughed.

"I just thought maybe you'd had, like, a relapse or something," Ross muttered.

"Why, because I saw her in the market two weeks ago?"

"Well, yeah. And, uh, no offense, man, but you look like hell."

"Thanks," Chandler quipped sarcastically.

"I said no offense," Ross replied.

"Whatever. I just haven't been sleeping well lately. I think it's just this weird change in the weather."

"We can watch these over at Joey's if you want," Phoebe suggested.

"No, it's alright," Chandler said, standing up and stretching, "What'd you rent?"

"Die Hard!" Joey and Ross yelled simultaniously, as Phoebe rolled her eyes.



The next morning, Chandler wasn't feeling much better, but had to go into work for a meeting. He sat in his office, trying to gather his strength. It had taken everything he had to come into the office at all. He layed his weary head on his desk, and silently cursed himself for using the last of his sick days last month. Served him right, he supposed, for calling in all those times when he wasn't really sick.

"Bing!" Doug's booming voice shook Chandler awake, and he pulled up his head, and tried to focus on what Doug was saying.

"You coming to the meeting Bing? Or are you gonna sleep on the job?" Doug laughed, and walked out of Chandler's office. Chandler sighed and stood up to follow, but his legs felt weak and wobbly. He steadied himself, using his desk for support, and then slowly made his way toward the conference room.

The conference room was located at the eastern corner of the building. Under normal circumstances, it took Chandler all of about two minutes to make his way over there from his office, and that was when he was taking his sweet time getting there. But five minutes had passed since Doug had barged into his office, and Chandler had barely made it down the main corridor. The walls around him seemed to be swaying, and he couldn't seem to focus on the relatively simple task of putting one foot in front of the other. Was he drunk? He couldn't remember drinking anything, and besides, alcohol had a tendency to make him even more hyperactive than he usually was. His head felt heavy, like someone was sitting on it, and his entire body ached. Maybe he should have just stayed home after all. As he passed the elevators, he felt the room start to spin. Voices around him seemed to be echoing, and then everything went black.


Doug tapped his pencil impatiently on his folder, as he glared at the empty chair across the conference table. He sighed heavily, and made his way out of the conference room. As he approached the elevator lobby, he saw a group of people hovering over something on the floor. Pushing temps and assistants aside, he saw Chandler sprawled across the ground, unconscious.

"I found it!" Helen, Chandler's assistant, came running down the corridor, with a file folder in her hands. She began to thumb through the folder. "He's not allergic to anything...Betty, did you call an ambulance?"

"They're on the way."

"Okay, well, this is his emergency contact card. Try to get a hold of these people," Helen handed the blue index card to Betty, who rushed to the phone. She turned over the card, and dialled the first number on it.

"Alessandro's," a voice on the other end answered.

"Hi, may I please speak to Monica Geller?"


Monica could not get to the hospital fast enough. She was glad that Chandler had never taken her off of his emergency contact list, though she knew that he probably just forgot to. Even after all that they had been through, she still felt a need to protect him somehow. She made her way into the hospital, and looked around frantically. She spotted Rachel, standing near the ER waiting area.

"Rach, what happened...is he okay?" Monica's eyes were full of panic.

"Mon, calm down, he's fine. He passed out at work, and they are just doing some tests--"

"Tests? What kind of tests? Can I see him? Where are the others? Have you seen him?"

"Monica! Stop it, okay? The doctor will be out here in a minute, and the others are coming. I got here first because I work near here. I haven't seen him yet, but the nurse assured me he'll be fine."

Monica finally took a breath, and sank down into a green plastic chair.

"I just...I got the call at work, and all they said was that the ambulance was taking him...I..." Monica shook her head. She knew that she was being irrational and melodramatic. But her emotions had been on edge for days, and this little incident just sent them careening over the edge.

"Mon, it's okay. He'll be okay," Rachel sat down next to her friend, and took her hand.

"I just...I was so scared that he'd never know how much I love him," Monica whispered.

"I know, sweetie. I know."

"Where is he? Is he okay?" Ross, Joey and Phoebe came running into the waiting area.

"I think so. The doctor should be here soon," Rachel said.

"What happened?" Joey repeated.

"Are you Chandler Bing's family?" a short, curly haired doctor appeared next to Ross.

"Yes," the group answered in unison.

"I'm Dr. Rosenbaum. Please have a seat," the doctor addressed the three standing friends.

Once Ross, Pheobe and Joey were seated, Dr. Rosenbaum looked at the group intently.

"Mr. Bing is suffering from exhaustion and a mild case of pneumonia," the doctor stated flatly.

The group sighed a collective sigh of relief, happy that Chandler was going to be okay.

"Can we see him?" Monica asked.

"In a little while," the doctor replied. "We are running a few more tests."

"Why?" Ross asked, his evident concern concerned Monica.

"Just precautions," the doctor said vaguely, then walked away from the group when a nurse approached him.


Three hours later, the group was sitting restlessly in the third floor waiting room, near where Chandler had been transferred. They had yet to see him, and Ross could see that Monica was growing more and more anxious. When Dr. Rosenbaum finally re-appeared, Monica was so tense she practially jumped down his throat.

"He's awake, if any of you would like to see him. Two at a time, please."

Monica turned to the group, and they all nodded, knowing that she wanted to see him alone. She followed the doctor down the pale green corridor, and into Chandler's room. The doctor left Monica alone, closing the door as he left.

Chandler was laying on a bed in the middle of the room, surrounded by beeping monitors and bags of fluid. He had tubes coming out of his arms, and an oxygen tube in his nose. Otherwise, he looked like he was sleeping. Monica took a deep breath and approached the bed slowly. As she sat down in the large armchair next to the bed, it skidded on the floor, making an awful noise. Chandler opened his eyes and turned toward the source of the noise. He looked at Monica, and smiled wearily.

"Hey you," Monica whispered softly.

"Hi," Chandler replied.

"How are you feeling?"


"You know, you scared me to death," Monica said softly, as her fingers ran nervously over Chandler's blanket.


"Yeah. They called me at work and said that you were unconscious, and that they were rushing you to the emergency room..." the memory of the call shook Monica up more than she realized. Her eyes began to water. In those moments following the call, Monica had had an epiphany. She'd realized that she could not lose Chandler, and that she needed him much more than she ever realized. Rachel had been right--Monica needed to fight for him--for them.

"Mon, you don't have to stay...if you feel uncomfortable here. I'll be okay."

"I want to be here, Chandler. I need to be here. Chandler...I don't know what happened to us last year. I don't know how to fix all of the pain I've caused you. I...I love you, so much," Monica wiped her teary eyes with the back of her hand.

"Monica, I...I love you too. But--"

"No buts, Chandler. Not tonight. I know that you don't trust me. I know you're scared. I am too. But I am not afraid to love you anymore. I'm not afraid to be loved. And I can prove it to you. I will. If it takes me the rest of my life, I will prove it to you. Please."

All the fear has left me now
I'm not frightened anymore.
It's my heart that pounds beneath my flesh.
it's my mouth that pushes out this breath

and if I shed a tear I won't cage it.
I won't fear love
and if I feel a rage I won't deny it.
I won't fear love.

"I can't decide this tonight. I need time to think, Mon, and tonight I don't have the energy," Chandler looked at Monica somberly.

"I'll wait. I'll wait for as long as I need to."

Companion to our demons
they will dance and we will play.
With chairs candles and clothes
making darkness in the day.
It will be easy to look in or out
upstream or down
without a thought

and if I shed a tear I won't cage it.
I won't fear love
and if I feel a rage I won't deny it.
I won't fear love.


Chandler was released from the hospital four days later, but was instructed to stay home from work for another week. He was more than happy to follow doctor's order's.

"Hey," Monica made her way into the apartment she used to share with Chandler. It was her first time back since she'd left, and she was surprised to see how clean it was.

"Hey Mon," Chandler said, looking up from his book as she entered the room.

"How are you today?"

"Better. I can hold an entire conversation with Ross without dozing off."

"Wow, I can't even do that when I'm healthy," Monica quipped. She relaxed slightly when Chandler chuckled.

"Mon, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what you said. Thinking about what happened."


"Yeah. I, uh..." Chandler closed his book and sat up straight, and leaned against the arm of the sofa. "I do love you. But...I...I don't know how much I can trust you."

Monica nodded slowly, and tried not to cry until Chandler was finished. She had a feeling that he would reject her, but she didn't want to believe that he would.

"All those things you said to me before...I mean, I was in a hospital bed, ya know? I just wonder if this hadn't happened...did you...did you really mean those things?"

"Of course. Chandler, my life has been miserable without you. I made a horrible mistake."

"How can I be sure? Monica, if I lose you again...if I tell you that I want to marry you, and you turn me down again...it will kill me. I can't...do...this--unless I am sure. Absolutely sure."

"I can't give you guarantees."

"Then I can't do this."

"Okay," Monica turned to leave. As she opened the door, she looked back at Chandler. He was watching her, his eyes betraying the determination that was in his voice. She locked onto his gaze, and said,
"All I have is my heart Chandler. And it's yours. It's broken, but it's yours." She turned to leave again.


Monica turned, her heart racing. She fought to hide her smile.

"Can you get me some water before you leave?"

Monica's eyes widened. She could not believe he could be so cruel. She had just poured out her heart, and he was shrugging it off as though she had just given him the weather report. Remarkably, she held her composure, and fumbled for a water glass. She filled it and tried to control her trembling, as she handed Chandler the glass. He took the glass with one hand, and grabbed her wrist with the other.

"I don't want you to leave," he whispered softly.

Peace in the struggle to find peace.
Comfort on the way to comfort

and if I shed a tear I won't cage it.
I won't fear love
and if I feel a rage I won't deny it
I won't fear love.
I won't fear love.
I won't fear love...


okay, that's it. i'm bored with this one now.
"Fumbling Toward Ecstasy" by Sarah McLachlan. See, I listen to other people too.