AN: I am just going to warn you now, and this is the only one you get (OMG, I am starting to sound like my mother!)
This fic starts off pretty light, but it IS a drama. Well, it will be, about halfway through. It's supposed to be all ironic and...crap. So, okay, there ya go.


~*~The Waiting Game~*~

Wednesday, 10.15 pm, EST.

"I just think we should have been pregnant by now," Monica whined, as her husband rolled his eyes and closed his book for the third time that night.

"Mon, we are doing *everything* we can. I just think we need to be a little more patient, okay?"

"But Rachel had a one night stand with Ross, and she got pregnant--with a condom! We stopped using all that stuff months ago. And nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero."

"Okay, but Ross and Rach were a fluke, okay? Look, I know that you want to get pregnant, but really, stressing out about it is not going to make it any easier--on either of us."

"Fine." Monica pouted dramatically, as Chandler shook his head, and went back to his book. The bedroom was silent for approximately three and a half minutes.

"I think we should go to the doctor and get checked out."

"Monica! I thought we were dropping this!"

"I wanna talk about it, Chandler! What if there's something wrong with you!"

"WHY would there be something wrong with me?"

"Because I KNOW that there's nothing wrong with me. It has to be you!"

"Gee, thanks, sweetheart, darling, love of my life," Chandler replied sarcastically.

"Please? Please get checked out, for me?"

"Fine, but can we please drop it now? I'd like to finish this book before I start collecting social security."

"Yes, okay. Goodnight!"

"Yeah, yeah," Chandler mumbled, as Monica switched off her lamp.

Why did she always get to win?

**

Thursday, 2.45 pm

"Chandler, it's been a while...at least three years, huh?" Dr. Morrison peered over his glasses at Chandler, and spoke in a very patronizing tone.

"Yeah, well, I use all my sick days and stuff for Knicks games, so that means I can't ever actually get sick."

"I see," Dr. Morrison said slowly, making it quite clear that he was not amused.

"Anyway, my wife seems to think that I'm to blame for her not getting pregnant," Chandler shrugged.

"How long have you been trying?"

"About three months. See, our friends Ross and Rachel had a daughter about--well, about three months ago, and Monica is getting a bit anxious."

"Thanks for sharing all of that, the doctor said flatly, "But having children just because another couple had them--"

"Oh, no, we both want this. Oh, and Ross and Rachel aren't a couple. They just had a baby together. Actually they used to date--well, they were married for almost a year, only Rachel didn't know about it--but they had a "bonus night" about a month before Monica and I got married."

"What?"

"Never mind," Chandler said quietly.

*

Forty-five minutes later, Chandler had had a full workup, and awaited the results of his tests. He finished dressing, discarding the backless medical robe into the properly marked bin. A minute later, a nurse came in, and picked up a file folder.

"Hey...Gretchen. I have a question," Chandler said, peering at the nurse's name tag.

"Should I get Dr. Morrison?"

"No, I think you can handle this one. Can you tell me why they make those robes backless? I mean, why do you people find it necissary to force people to walk around with their asses hanging out?"

"I--really don't know. The doctor will be back in a moment," Gretchen practially ran from the room, and Chandler simply shrugged.

"Mr. Bing," Dr. Morrison said, in a voice that made Chandler feel just a little anxious.

"Yeah?"

"Have a seat. We need to go over a few test results here."

Chandler was suddenly having flashbacks to seventh grade, and cranky Mrs. Hammerstein, who used to berade Chandler daily on his "poor test scores" in her class. Chandler was generally a straight A student, but had a tendency to fall asleep during Mrs. Hammerstein's Life Science class. Hence the B's on his tests.

"Mr. Bing! Sit down and be quiet!" she used to say, in a way that would make Chandler feel about three inches tall.

"Mr. Bing? Are you okay?" Chandler blinked, and realized that Dr. Morrison was looking at him funny.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Sorry. What were you going to tell me?"

"Well, I'm happy to say that you are more than capable of having lots of children."

"I knew it! HAHA!"

"But--"

"What? There's a but? Is it a big but?" Chandler asked, concerned. Then, upon hearing his last sentence in his own head, began to giggle goofily.

"We found a mass--a small one--in your throat. I'd like to do a biopsy, so that we can figure out what it is."

"Oh, okay," Chandler sobered quickly at the word "mass". He was more than aware of what that word could mean.

"Now it could be any number of things, okay? But there is a possiblity that it could be Cancer."

"Okay. Um, when will we know?"

"Well, it's pretty late in the day. We'll do the biopsy tonight, and we should be able to call you with the results by noon tomorrow."

"That-that's a long time to wait," Chandler croaked. His throat was suddenly very dry.

"Mr. Bing, try not to worry too much. Let's do this biopsy, and make sure we know what we're dealing with, okay?"

Chandler nodded silently, and closed his eyes. He wondered how he would tell Monica.

***

Thursday, 6.27 pm

"Honey, how was the doctor?" Monica asked later that night, as Chandler walked into the apartment. Chandler had not gone back to work after his appointment. Instead, he wandered the streets of downtown Manhattan, trying to come up with a good way to explain this to Monica, without freaking her out. Once he had gathered his strength, he'd headed back to the apartment.

"Uh, it was okay. The doctor says I should have no problems getting my wife pregnant," Chandler managed a smile.

"So nothing's wrong with you?"

Chandler paused, and pondered Monica's choice of words. Nothing is wrong...yet. Maybe nothing's wrong....Something may be wrong. No matter how he said it, it made him anxious. He wasn't sure he could look Monica in the eye and tell her that maybe...everything was about to change.

"Chandler?" Monica's voice flittered into Chandler's thoughts, and he blinked back to reality.

"Yeah, baby, everything's fine."

"You seem upset," Monica moved closer to Chandler, and rubbed his arm reassuredly.

"No, I--it was a long day at work is all," Chandler smiled, and kissed Monica on the forehead, before ducking into their bedroom to change out of his suit and tie.

Monica watched Chandler disappear into their bedroom, and sighed heavily. Something was definitely wrong with Chandler. She just knew it. She knew Chandler better than anyone...perhaps better than he knew himself. She was determined to get to the bottom of this.

He couldn't believe he hadn't told her. Why hadn't he told her? She wanted to know if something was wrong. And they told each other everything, right? Well, almost everything. And she suspected something. She looked at him with those big blue eyes, and he knew that she knew he was lying. He didn't want her to worry needlessly. After all, it could be nothing. It was probably nothing. Why make her worry about something that was going to turn out to be nothing?

When Chandler re-emerged from the bedroom, his mood was remarkably lighter, and this raised Monica's suspicions. He was covering his true feelings, that she was sure of.

"Chandler, please tell me what's going on," Monica looked at Chandler pleadingly.

"Okay," Chandler relented, "but promise me you will not freak out, okay, because it's nothing."

"Okay..." Monica agreed warily, as Chandler led them to the sofa.

"Okay, um...look, Mon, it's nothing, really, it's just a stupid test--"

"Test? What kind of test?"

"Dr. Morrison seems to think that there is some kind of...mass...in my throat," Chandler said slowly, gauging Monica's facial expressions as he spoke.

"Well, uh, wh-what did he say it was?"

"He's not sure. They did a biopsy, and we'll know more tomorrow. But there is a chance--"

"What?"

"There is a chance that it is Cancer. A small, small chance," Chandler's last sentence was spoken almost too quickly.

"Cancer?" Monica yelled, jumping back and away from Chandler.

"Monica, you promised you wouldn't freak out," Chandler said.

"But--Cancer?" Monica sat back down on the sofa, and looked at Chandler helplessly.

"Mon, it's probably nothing. There's no reason to get upset until there's something to get upset about, okay?"

"Chandler, I--I don't want to lose you," Monica fought back her tears for as long as she could, but images of a life without Chandler slowly began creeping into her head. Eventually, she lost the battle, and tears fell freely down her face.

Chandler wrapped his arms around his crying wife protectively, and fought back his own tears. At that moment, he was more upset that Monica was upset, than anything else.

"Shh, Mon, it'll be okay. I'll be okay."

***

Thursday, 9.37 pm

It had been three hours. Three hours since Chandler told Monica about the test. Both Monica and Chandler had cried for each other, and for a now uncertain future. Now they sat together on the sofa, wrapped in each other's arms, revelling in the moment of peace and quiet that was rare for them, what with their hectic lives and ever-present friends. The others had gone out to dinner, blissfully unaware of the dark cloud their friends were living under. No matter what happened, Chandler knew that this was one those moments, those pure, wonderfully perfect moments, that he would remember forever. Neither party felt compelled to move, or to speak. Their meal was all but forgotten, and their promise to meet their friends at Central Perk a distant memory. This moment was their's and their's alone, and they sunk into it with everything they had, because they both knew that tomorrow could change everything.

***

Friday, 2.15 am

Monica awoke when she realized that it was cold. She pulled her covers up around her shoulders, and reached out to her husband. When her arm fell onto an empty bed, she opened her eyes, and scanned the room nervously. A million thoughts raced through her head, from worst-case-scenarios to the just-plain-ridiculous. The most prevelant thought was that Chandler was too ill to sleep. The idea that she could lose him, the idea that he could get so sick, it had not left her mind. The thoughts were there up until the moment she had drifted off into an uncomfortable slumber, in the safety of Chandler's arms, about two hours earlier. And The Thoughts had haunted her dreams as she slept. Now, waking up to an empty bed, an empty room...it was something that Monica was not prepared to spend the rest of her life doing. She pulled herself out of bed, and pulled on her robe, before heading out into the living room.

Chandler was sitting in front of the large picture window, absently turning a steaming mug of tea in his hands, as he stared out into the night sky. He had listened, as Monica cried herself to sleep, and for the next two hours, he had tried to will sleep to come to him. But the attempt proved futile, and Chandler decided that he would be getting no sleep tonight.

"Chandler? Are you alright?" Monica's sleepy voice pulled Chandler from his revelrie.

"Yeah, I'm okay Mon. Did I wake you up?"

"I can't sleep without you next to me," Monica smiled, though they both felt the enormous gravity of her seemingly simple statement.

"Do you want me to come back to bed?" Chandler said, as he swivelled off of the seat and stood up.

"No, honey, no. You can stay out here. Do you want some company?"

"Always." Chandler draped his arm lazily around Monica's shoulders, and led her back to the sofa.

"What were you thinking about over at the window?"

"I was thinking about how I swore to you that I would never hurt you. And how Ross is gonna 'hunt me down and kick my ass' if I--"

"Well, he'll have to get through me. And besides, it's like you said--it's probably nothing."

"Yeah," Chandler said thoughtfully. He was silent for a moment, before turning to Monica. "What if it's not?"

"What?"

"What if it's not nothing?"

"I thought we weren't thinking about that," Monica said, as her stomach started doing flips.

"Well, we weren't talking about it...but I just keep thinking that my prophecy is going to come true."

"Your what?"

"You know, my self-fufilling prophecy. Ever since you and I got together, I convinced myself that I would let you down somehow. That you would figure out that you could do so much better. I mean, I did manage to screw up a lot..." Chandler laughed sadly.

"Chandler, there's no such thing as a self-fufilling prophecy. And even if there was, you are not going to let me down. No matter what happens, you will always be my prince, my best friend, and my soulmate*."

*(AN: She said "soulmate" in the wedding vows, right? But didn't she say she didn't believe in soulmates a few weeks ago? Man, those writer's need to get their act's together, LOL...)

"But what about kids? What if this...I mean, if I have to get treated, I might not be able to..."

"So, we'll adopt. You are not going to let me down, okay?"

Chandler nodded, but kept his eyes toward the floor. He knew that he was being irrational, especially since they didn't know anything concrete as yet. But he still felt like, no matter what Monica said, in her heart it would hurt her not to be able to have children of her own. He felt the back off Monica's hand caress his cheek, and he looked up at her, and kissed her hand tenderly.

"How can I help you," Monica whispered, "how can I make it hurt less?"

Chandler shrugged, and pulled Monica toward him, once again relishing the quiet intimacy of the moment. He felt her sigh, and he pulled her up so that he could look her in the eyes. He sat up and kissed her, allowing all of his fear and anxiety to release itself into the kiss itself. Monica took the hint, and began pulling at Chandler's clothes. Chandler fumbled with Monica's robe, and pulled it off, as he maneuvered himself on top of her.

***

Friday, 6.28 am

They made love three times, then fell asleep in each others arms. Something in her heart told Monica that this time, it would work, and she would become pregnant, and if, God forbid, something did happen to her husband, she would always have their child. That was the way it was supposed to work, right? Monica had watched Chandler intently as they made love, and knew that he was thinking the same thing. After their third, rather intense session, Chandler had cried, and Monica did not ask why. She didn't need to. When he finally fell asleep, she cried for him.

***

Friday, 8.47 am

"Hey Mon, what's for breakfast?" Joey came trapsing into the apartment, to find Monica at the stove cooking, and Chandler at the kitchen table, reading the paper.

"French toast," Monica said, as Joey plopped down onto the chair across from Chandler.

"What's going on?" Joey said to his best friend.

"In general, or do you just want the headlines?"

"Huh? No, I mean what's new with you? We missed you last night, man!"

"Aw, well, Monica and I wanted some alone time."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. You wanna go to a Knicks game tonight?"

"Um, maybe," Chandler saw Monica turn around at Joey's question, and he shot her a knowing look.

"Maybe?"

"We'll see, okay?"

Before Joey could reply, Ross, Rachel and the baby came in, and Monica dropped what she was doing to coo over her neice. Chandler, relieved that he could get away from Joey's interrogation, stood up and took over cooking duties.

"So, Chandler, you going to the game tonight?" Ross accosted Chandler while he was at the stove.

"I'm not sure yet."

"What? But they're playing the Lakers!"

"Ross, I don't know, okay!" Chandler snapped, causing Ross to jump back and everyone else to look up at him.

"I'm sorry, Ross, I just...I didn't get a lot of sleep last night," Chandler mumbled.

"That's alright, man, you don't have to go to the game," Ross shrugged and backed away.

Chandler closed his eyes, and tried to center himself. He felt like his emotions were getting the better of him, and that it might be best if he stay away from everyone until he heard from Dr. Morrison.

Monica watched as Chandler silently turned off the stove, and placed the finished toast on the table, before walking into their bedroom. She could see that he was unhappy, so she quickly gave the baby back to Rachel and followed him.

"What's going on with those two?" Joey asked, as he dug into a helping of food.

Neither Ross or Rachel said anything, they simply looked at each other and shrugged. The baby's crying broke the strange silence, and Rachel went about breast feeding, while Ross and Joey ate breakfast. Phoebe came in ten minutes later, and soon after, Rachel put the baby down and joined her friends at the table. They ate in silence until Monica re-emerged from the bedroom. Ross watched her walk toward the kitchen, and noted that she had been crying.

"You okay, Mon?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," Monica smiled, and grabbed a glass of orange juice.

"You're aura is all...floopy."

"I'm fine, Pheebs"

"Where's Chandler?"

"He's laying down. He really didn't sleep much last night, and it's catching up with him."

The other four nodded, but they could all sense that there was something that Monica wasn't telling them. The shrill ringing of the phone caused everyone to jump. Monica raced toward the phone, but it stopped ringing before she got to it.

"Who the hell would be calling you at 9.30 in the morning?" Ross asked.

Monica was so wrapped up in her own thoughts that she didn't even hear the question. She stood up nervously, then sat back down, then stood up again, before heading for the bedroom to see if Chandler had picked up the phone.

Chandler hung up the phone and closed his eyes. It was a strange, surreal feeling, and he was so overwhelmed that he wasn't sure he could stand up. Eventually, he did stand, and he regained his balance, before opening the bedroom door. Monica was walking toward him as he entered the living room, a look of pure terror on her face.

Monica stopped in her tracks, as soon as she saw Chandler emerge. She walked toward him, and waited for him to say something. His expression was indecypherable, but his stance was wavering, and that made her nervous. Temporarily forgetting that their curious friends were watching them, Chandler took Monica's hands in his, and gave them a reassuring squeeze. She looked up at him, her eyes welling up with tears of frusteration and anticipation. He smiled, and that was all she needed. But just to be sure, he pulled her toward him, and whispered softly,

"I told you it was nothing."

***

Two Months Later

"I'm just saying, that we should maybe see a specialist," Monica layed next to her husband, and listened to him groan in frusteration.

"Mon, if they give you those fertility drugs, you are gonna end up having, like, seven kids at once. And there is NO WAY we are having seven kids--especially all at once!"

"But I want a baby!"

Chandler sighed and looked at Monica knowingly. "Mon, just be patient. Everything happens for a reason."

Monica looked into Chandler's calm blue eyes and smiled. "Fine, I'll wait. But I'm not happy about it."