AN: Ugh!! I am so annoyed! I had this all done, then somehow it got corrupted, so I have to re-write it, and now it's gonna be crappy. Ah well.

Descent Into Darkness

Conclusion: A Killer Revealed

"Hey, listen, Joey, I know that this is a bad time, but, can you take a look at this photo for me, and tell me if you recognize the man in it?" Greg pulled out the photo he had been studying earlier.

Joey took the photo, and looked at it silently. His expression changed immediately, and Greg knew, at that moment, that he had his suspect.

***

He sat in his apartment, gnawing on his fingernails nervously. The police had nothing yet, so far as he could tell. But Chandler was still alive, and that wasn't good. He had to find a way into Chandler's room somehow. He grabbed his jacket, and walked out of his apartment. As he peered down the stairwell, he saw several uniformed police officers ascending the staircase. Biting his lip, he turned and headed back into his apartment, out the window, down the fire escape and into the night.

***

Monica sat in the far corner of the waiting room, trying desperately to block out the image of Chandler in the other room. She closed her eyes, and let out a shaky breath, and ignored the tears that rolled down her cheeks.

"Mon, maybe you should get something to eat."

Monica opened her eyes, and peered up at her brother. Ross looked sad, and exhausted, but he also looked concerned. Concerned more for her than for Chandler at the moment.

"I'm fine, Ross. I-I can't eat right now."

"But-"

Ross' argument was cut off when Joey came back into the waiting room, his face slightly flushed.

"Hey, any news?" Joey asked breathlessly.

"Not yet." Ross asked.

Joey nodded and paced around the room, biting his nails. He looked up and began to speak, but was interrupted when Dr. Silveren came into the room.

"Monica?" the Doctor looked stressed.

"Is he okay?"

"He's.stable. But I have to be honest, it doesn't look good. We've really done all we can for him. I'm sorry." The doctor then began relaying their options, and wanted to know if any of them had spoken with Chandler's parents.

Monica's mind began to drift. This wasn't supposed to happen. She couldn't even remember her adult life without Chandler, they'd known each other for so long. And the six of them were a unit. The unit didn't work without its parts. They couldn't lose Chandler. They couldn't.

Monica wandered back into the conversation when Dr. Silveren mentioned a "living will". Her shoulders suddenly straightened, and for the first time in days, she spoke above a muted whisper.

"Chandler is going to be fine. He's strong, and he'll get through this."

"But Mon, the doctor thinks that-"

"I don't care what the doctor thinks Ross. He doesn't know Chandler like we do." With that, Monica rushed out of the room.

"I'm sorry, she's just-she's upset." Ross said.

"Believe me, this isn't the worst reaction I've experienced," Dr. Silveren laughed sadly and left the room.

***

Monica walked into Chandler's room slowly, and fumbled toward his bed. The room seemed much darker, somehow. She took Chandler's hand in hers and bit her lip. How was she going to live without him? She closed her eyes, and did something she hadn't done in a very long time.

She began to pray.

She stopped when she heard a squeaky skid behind her-a tennis shoe dragging along the linoleum floor. She turned in time to see a large figure lunge toward her. She let out a scream and ducked away from the attacker. She ran toward the door, but was tripped by the attacker, as he grabbed her leg and pulled her back toward him. Monica elbowed the man in the stomach, and as he yelped in pain, she realized that the voice sounded strangely familiar. She tried to turn, but the man flung her into the wall. As she fell, Monica's leg yanked out several tubes and wires on Chandler's machines, setting off an array of alarms. Monica scrambled for the door, as Chandler's vital signs dropped rapidly. The attacker moved in on Monica, but before he reached her, the door swung open, flooding the room with florescent light. Several doctors and ran toward the attacker, and others tried to attend to Monica. But she shook them off, urging them to help Chandler. She looked at the now-silent monitors, and realized that it was too late.

***

~Three Days Later~

"Did they ever figure out how he got into the room? I mean, only Monica was ever allowed in," Rachel sat in the window sill, swinging her leg casually.

"He said he was Chandler's brother. I mean, you'd think with his attacker on the loose, they would have at least checked." Monica shook her head.

"Yes, but then they would have found out that you weren't his fiancé," Ross pointed out.

"Yeah, are you trying to tell me something?" Chandler asked from his hospital bed.

Monica walked over to Chandler's bed, and sat down next to him.

"Don't worry, babe, there's no pressure," she laughed, and kissed him tenderly.

"Well, I am going home. See you tomorrow, Chandler," Ross said, obviously still disturbed by the image of her sister and best friend kissing.

"I'm with you," Rachel said, as she hopped off the ledge. "Joey and Phoebe will be here in about an hour."

"Okay, see you guys tomorrow," Chandler said to Ross and Rachel's retreating figures.

Monica sighed as the door to the room closed. She looked down at Chandler, who was looking at her strangely.

"What?"

"I'm just happy you're here," Chandler smiled.

"I'm happy YOU are here," Monica said softly. "I thought I'd killed you when I fell on your machines."

"The doctor seems to think that the sudden shock was what pulled me out of the coma. Weird, huh?"

"And ironic. Eddie was here to kill you, and yet he inadvertently saved you."

"Yeah," Chandler nodded distantly. "I keep thinking about that day. Before he attacked me, he told me that my girlfriend was dead. I have never felt a worse pain than when he said that to me."

"Why did he think you were dating Tilly?"

"Ugh, long story. She returned a fish tank one night."

"What?"

"Yeah, I know."

Monica shook her head, and lay down next to Chandler.

"I'll tell you one thing. Joey is NOT moving out again."