A/N: This was such a fun chapter to write! Hope you like the two little surprises in this chapter, and part two will be coming soon. :) As always, read and review!
The One in London Part I
"But why are we going to London again? It was only about a month ago that we were there undercover at that school!" Monica pointed out as she clipped her seatbelt together.
"Well, I just thought we should take a holiday. A proper holiday. Not like last time we were in London. No aliens this time. And, I suppose, it's going back to where it all started. Me and you. Ross' wedding…" Chandler trailed off, smiling slightly at the memory.
Monica smiled, reaching for her boyfriend's hand, squeezing it in her own. They were currently sat on a jumbo jet waiting to set off for a few days in London. Monica had no idea what to expect once there, but she hoped Chandler had booked them in to a clean hotel. Still a little suspicious about Chandler's behaviour over the past few years, Monica was beginning to wonder why he'd announced this surprise holiday so close to the day they were going. Shrugging it off, Monica settled back in the seat.
"Chandler, this is wonderful!" Monica exclaimed as she took in their hotel room.
As it turned out, Chandler had booked them into the same hotel they'd stayed in for Ross' and Emily's wedding. Monica was growing more suspicious now as to why he was being so romantic, but all confused thoughts as she saw Chandler grinning at her.
"So you like it, then?" he asked, a hint of uncertainty coming through.
"I love it." Monica assured him, crossing the room to kiss him deeply.
However, they were interrupted by a knock on the door. Frowning, Chandler pulled away and went to open the door.
"Guys!" he exclaimed, glaring as his smiling friends spilled into the room.
"Hiya, guys!" Monica greeted their friends eagerly "How did you get here?"
"Came in the TARDIS." Ross explained, kissing his sister on the forehead.
"So, let's see your hand!" Rachel announced delightedly, grabbing Monica's left hand.
"Why?" Monica asked in confusion, as Chandler frantically cleared his throat in the background.
"Nail polish!" Rose yelled quickly, wide-eyed "We were discussing nail polish earlier!"
Rachel and Phoebe looked at Rose in confusion for a few moments, before glancing at Chandler and realising that he hadn't yet proposed.
"I'm not wearing nail polish." Monica told them, frowning.
"Exactly!" Phoebe announced "And we have to fix that!"
Meanwhile, Chandler had dragged the guys outside into the hallway.
"What are you doing here?!" he demanded, glaring at his friends.
"We wanted to see you propose to Monica!" Joey told his friend, frowning.
"Well, how am I meant to ask with you guys following me everywhere?! I have it all planned! We're due at the London Eye in…" Chandler looked at his watch "two hours!"
Jack let out a low whistle.
"You really do have this all planned out, don't you?" he commented, earning him a glare from Chandler.
"We can leave if you want, Chandler," the Doctor offered, tugging his ear nervously.
The last thing they wanted was to muck up Chandler's proposal.
"No, no. You might as well stay." Chandler told them, sighing "I don't even know if I'll have the confidence to ask her."
"You'll be fine, mate," Ross told his friend reassuringly.
"Yeah, and if you need tips, just ask Ross. He's an expert!" Jack added cheekily.
Two hours later, it was seven in the evening, London time. Chandler and Monica had eaten at the hotel before setting off to the London Eye, and Monica was left shocked when she found that Chandler had booked them a private capsule. As they boarded the capsule, they noticed the Doctor and Rose waiting in the queue. Ross and Joey were also on the London eye, but their capsule had already gone part-way up. Choosing to opt out of the London Eye, Phoebe, Rachel and Jack had headed down to Oxford street to go shopping instead, and were going to head back to the TARDIS when they were finished.
"Chandler, how did you afford this?" Monica asked in shock as she stepped into the private capsule.
There was champagne on ice, as well as a box of expensive chocolates.
"Doesn't matter. As long as you like it." Chandler replied, smiling.
Monica was growing confused now; there was something going on with Chandler, and for a while on the plane she'd entertained the idea that he was proposing to her, but that was daft, he was Chandler. Right? Monica didn't have much more time to think as their capsule began to ascend.
"Great," the Doctor complained, running a hand through his wild hair as he paced up and down "the whole of London and I get to see the tourist information centre!"
"Doctor, just calm down. They'll get it sorted in a bit." Rose told him calmly, and the Doctor stopped his pacing to stare at her.
The London Eye had ground to a halt. Quite literally. It wouldn't move. For some bizarre health and safety reason, they couldn't let anyone out of the capsules until the fault had been fixed, even though the capsule the Doctor and Rose were in hadn't even left the ground yet. The pod only had a few people in, and they were mostly tourists due to the fact it was evening, but they were all getting disgruntled. In fact, there was one very loud ginger woman who was going so far as to bang on the glass.
"Let. Us. Out!" she bellowed at the unfortunate repair man outside the capsule.
She punctuated each word with a bang to the glass, and although the glass was reinforced, the repair man was looking rather scared. An older, blonde woman rolled her eyes at the woman.
"Stop it! Just let the man get on with his job!" she told the ginger woman angrily.
The ginger woman glared at the other woman, and the pair seemed oblivious that Rose was watching them in amusement. The tourists were distractedly taking photos of each other in the capsule, and didn't seem at all aware of the angry ginger woman.
"Mum! They might as well let us out!" the ginger woman growled.
As the ginger woman and the blonde woman- her Mum- began arguing, an old man sighed and sat down on the bench beside Rose.
"I can only apologise for my daughter and granddaughter," he told Rose apologetically.
"Oh, don't worry. I'm with the annoying pacing man." Rose replied, nodding over to the Doctor, who had resumed his pacing.
The old man chuckled and held out his hand to Rose.
"I'm Wilfred Mott, by the way. But you can call me Wilf." Wilf told Rose, smiling.
"I'm Rose. Rose Tyler," Rose replied, shaking Wilf's hand.
"Ross, I'm scared!" Joey complained.
Joey and Ross were unfortunate enough to be stuck in the capsule right up the top of the London Eye. Of course, it gave them a great view of London, but quite frankly, Joey wanted to be back on the pavement.
"Joey, we'll be fine!" Ross reassured his friend, although he was beginning to worry himself "I'm sure we'll be down soon."
"I heard that if even one bolt accidentally comes out of the London Eye, the entire thing will topple into the Thames." A teenager chipped in , grinning wickedly at a terrified Joey.
Joey swallowed hard, wide-eyed.
"I shoulda gone shopping with Rach and Phoebs!" he muttered.
Meanwhile, Chandler and Monica were stuck at about halfway up the London Eye. However, unlike their friends, they didn't really mind; they were soaking up the view as the evening drew darker and the buildings all along the Thames began to light up. Chandler took a deep breath and fingered the ring box in his jacket pocket.
"This is beautiful," Monica piped up suddenly, her voice soft as she stared out across the river.
"Yeah," Chandler agreed, beginning to draw the ring box out of his pocket.
This was his chance. The most romantic proposal he could have hoped for. Their own private capsule on the London Eye, the Thames lit up in the deep blue of the night sky… It was everything Monica deserved. This was it. Chandler pulled the ring box out of his pocket…
The ginger woman- Donna, Rose had learned from Wilf, her Granddad- was still banging on the glass. Sylvia, her Mother was still telling her to stop, and the pair kept arguing. Wilf was evidently used to these Mother-daughter spats, as he merely rolled his eyes.
"So," Wilf asked Rose conversationally "what are you doing on the London Eye? Anniversary?"
He nodded at the Doctor as he said the last word. Rose smiled, but shook her head.
"No. We live in America now, and one of our friends from there came over with his girlfriend to propose to her. He booked a private capsule for her and everything. The rest of us came over for a bit of a holiday and to see how the proposal went." Rose explained.
"Ah," Wilf nodded "so your friends are American, then?"
"Yeah, but when they first got together, they were here in London. Hence why he's proposing in London." Rose replied "Why are you here?"
"It's meant to be my birthday treat." Wilf replied, a wry smile on his face "although that's if these two actually stop arguing." He nodded at his daughter and granddaughter "I like stargazing, and they thought it would be nice to do this in the evening as the stars come out."
"It does look nice," Rose admitted, gazing out the window at the London skyline.
Wilf hummed in agreement, smiling softly. Suddenly, the Doctor let out a comically loud sigh as he slumped to the ground. Rose rolled her eyes while Wilf just stared at him.
"Rose, I'm bored!" the Doctor complained "We've been here almost an hour and we've seen nothing but the tourist information centre!"
"I can't do anything about that, Doctor!" Rose pointed out.
"Doctor?" Sylvia and Donna both echoed, seemingly only just noticing that they weren't alone.
"Yes?" the Doctor asked, frowning slightly at them.
"Well, what kind of Doctor are you?" Sylvia asked, frowning at the strange man.
"I….Dabble." the Doctor answered evasively.
"So basically you've got one of those pointless doctorates in something really bizarre?" she asked him.
"Oh, like you're any better!" Sylvia muttered to her daughter "I told you to take that job at Jival Chowdry's, but no! You wanted to work at posh HC Clements. And now the temp job's finished you're out of work again!"
The Doctor rolled his eyes as Donna and Sylvia began arguing again. In the fifty-seven minutes he'd been trapped in this capsule, he'd decided that, no matter how jealous he was of this Donna's hair, she reminded him entirely too much of Jackie Tyler. She was loud, stubborn and- although the Doctor really didn't want to find out- could probably slap pretty hard too.
Ok, here we go, Chandler thought to himself. Ring box in hand (although carefully concealed in his hand so Monica wouldn't notice it), he tugged at his trousers uncomfortably before clearing his throat. Monica tore her gaze from the view outside the capsule, to look at Chandler, smiling softly. Smiling back self-consciously, Chandler took a deep breath and began to speak.
"Monica, you have no idea what you mean to me," he began, voice cracking slightly. He cleared his throat and continued "and I wanted to do something to show you just how much I love you."
Monica was gaping now, and Chandler took her silence as a sign to carry on. He quickly knelt down on one knee, looking up at Monica.
"Monica Geller-" he began, preparing to open the ring box.
"Oh. My. God!"
Both Monica and Chandler froze. Then, as one, they looked up at the roof of the capsule. They were stood right in the curve of the capsule, so some of the glass stretched up above their heads. And, through the gloom of the evening, they could just make out a face pressed to the floor of the capsule above theirs. A very familiar face. They heard a nasally laugh.
Monica and Chandler both gaped, before lowering their gazes to look at one another again.
"Janice." They chorused.