AN: This is just a short story I thought up when I heard this song again. It's a great song, and a bad fic. LOL.

The setup: Ross & Monica are brother and sister, and Rachel is Monica's best friend. Ross and Chandler were never roommates in college, and so they never met. Joey is Chandler's best friend, and Phoebe is Monica's roommate. Yeah, you don't really need to keep track, it's a Chandler/Monica fic.

~I Wish You Love~

February, 2002

I suppose it was inevitable. From the moment I met her, I knew that my life would never be the same. She has a way about her, you know? Maybe it's the way her eyes light up when she's talking about something that she's passionate for. Or perhaps it's the way that she needs everything to be "just so". Whatever it was, it drew me to her.

I remember the day I met her. It was January, and it was bitterly cold in New York. I was in a hurry, because I was running late for a meeting. I ran into a corner shop to buy a pack of cigarettes, and there she was.

~*~

January, 1995

"Look, the tag says $2.99! You charged me $3.50!"

"Lady, it's just FIFTY cents!"

"Exactly!"

"I'm sorry, do you mind if I just buy these cigarettes while you argue?" Chandler smiled at the pretty dark-haired woman standing before him.

"Those things'll kill you, ya know," the woman snapped, and gave Chandler a once over, before glaring back at the man behind the counter.

"What kind do you want?" the man asked Chandler.

"Eh, ya know, I was thinking about quitting anyway," Chandler said, and winked at the woman as she looked back at him strangely. He walked out of the shop, and smiled to himself, as he made his way back to the office he was "temping" at.

*

Chandler went back to the shop, every day, for a week. But the mystery woman never came back. He finally relented to the fact that he'd lost his chance.

Fate had other plans, though.

He ran into her two weeks later, at a party. It was his friend Joey's birthday. As was typically the case, Joey had an apartment full of gorgeous girls. Chandler saw her as soon as he walked through the front door. He swallowed hard, took off his coat, and made his way over to her.

"Did you get your fifty cents back?" Chandler smiled.

"What?"

"At the market.the, uh, $2.99 cookies?"

"Oh! You're the, uh, smoker-guy!"

"Yeah," Chandler laughed, "but I've been good for over two weeks!"

"You really quit?"

"Yeah. I think I should at least know your name. You were, after all, my inspiration," Chandler grinned.

The woman laughed, and reddened slightly.

"Monica. Monica Geller."

"Chandler Bing, nice to meet you."

"Bing?"

"Yes, yes. Anyway, Monica, Thank You for your inspiration."

"Okay, Chandler Bing, tell me something. HOW, exactly, did I inspire you to quit?"

"You told me it would kill me."

"You didn't know that smoking kills?" Monica asked incredulously.

"Well, no one has ever put it quite as convincingly."

"All I said was---"

"It wasn't *what* you said, it was *how* you said it."

Monica shook her head and laughed. "I need a drink."

~*~

Okay, so it wasn't my most charming pick-up line. And, as it turned out, Monica had a boyfriend---some giant tree named Richard. We became good friends, however, because my best friend Joey was dating her best friend, Rachel. But the closer we became as friends, the more difficult it was for me to contain my feelings for her. She was everything I'd ever wanted, but she was happy in love with Richard. I hated him, because *he* was everything that she wanted. He was everything I would never be.

Then he broke her heart.

~*~

September, 1998

"My God, Monica, what happened?" Chandler walked into Monica's apartment, intent on venting his troubles at work to her---she listened better than anyone---but his problems dissolved the second he saw Monica, sobbing uncontrollably, on the living room sofa.

"He---he said he doesn't want more children---ever." Monica sunk into the sofa and sobbed harder.

"Oh, Mon," Chandler immediately embraced her, and rocked her until she calmed down again.

"I'm sorry," she whispered after a short silence.

"Why? You have nothing to be sorry for. If Richard is too stupid to see that he let go of the best thing that ever happened in his really really REALLY long life, that's his problem. You are too good for him anyway." Chandler smiled and kissed Monica's nose.

Monica sniffled, and smiled up at Chandler. Her smile faded as she stared into his eyes. She leaned in, and kissed him quickly, sending shockwaves through his now-trembling body. He closed his eyes, and took in her smell, her taste, and he imagined, just for a moment, that she could love someone like him. But reality hit him, and he pulled away, knowing in his head that it was the right thing to do--- even if his heart was breaking into millions of pieces.

"Monica, you're in pain, and you're vulnerable, and I love you too much to take advantage of that," Chandler smiled.

Monica nodded numbly, seemingly oblivious to what had just happened. Chandler sighed sadly, and wrapped his arms around her, allowing her to fall into a fitful sleep.

~*~

I nursed her through one heartbreak after another, all the while wondering why I was too chicken-shit to make a move. Then Rachel and Joey got married, and everything seemed to change. She was determined to marry her latest flame---a millionaire named Pete, and for a short while, she thought he felt the same. Then he decided he'd rather be the Ultimate Fighting Champion, and once again, Monica's heart was broken. A few months passed, and Monica didn't date at all. I finally worked up some nerve, after a few beers and a pep talk from Joey.

~*~

October, 2001

"Hey, Chandler, I was just talking about you," Monica smiled as Chandler came in.

"Uh oh."

"No, it was good. I was telling this woman I work with how great you are. I think you two would really hit it off."

"Oh. Uh, I'm---I mean---I doubt she's my type."

"What? You don't even know her!"

"Yeah well, ya know I just doubt she is what I'm looking for," Chandler shrugged.

"Are you sure you're not gay?" Monica smiled.

"Yes, I'm sure! Look Mon, I just---I wanted to tell you that I really um--- "

"What? Chandler, are you okay? You look kind of pale."

"I wanted to tell you that...that I know that your friend isn't my type because, well, because my type is more like, uh, more like you."

"Oh. Well, then you wouldn't like Kathy, she's nothing like me," Monica laughed.

Chandler nodded numbly, and waited to see if what he had just said to Monica would ever sink in. When it became clear that she didn't understand what he was trying to say, he tried a different approach.

"I---the thing is Mon, I think that---I mean, I just---um, do you wanna have dinner?"

"Sure. I can cook something, or---"

"No. I mean, can I take you to dinner?"

"Oh," Monica's eyes lit up, as Chandler's proposal finally registered.

Chandler bit his lip, and shoved his hands into his pocket, as he awaited her reply.

"Sure."

~*~

So, we went out. Twice, in fact. The second time, I could tell by the look on Monica's face that she was ready to take it to the next level. I wanted to tell her I loved her, and that I wanted to give her everything she ever wanted. But I never got the chance. Halfway through the main course, Monica's past walked through the door.

And everything changed.

Richard came back into her life, and he told her he would give her everything. And she said she needed time to think, but I know, I know in my heart, that she wants him. He was the Great Love That Got Away, and now that he's back, I don't stand a chance.

So here I stand, bags in hand, and my hand poised to knock on her door. It's the only thing I can do, and I'm doing it, because she is *my* great love. She deserves happiness, with the man of her dreams. And I know that I don't fit her ideals.

I knock. And she opens the door, and looks at me sadly. And I know she's made her choice. She sees my bags, and she gives me a confused look. I smile sadly, and try not to cry.

"I wish you love," is all I can utter, before I turn to walk away.

And I know, in my heart, she will not follow.

~*~

Goodbye, no use leading with our chins

This is where our story ends

Never lovers, ever friends

Goodbye, let our hearts call it a day

But before you walk away

I sincerely want to say

I wish you bluebirds in the spring to give your heart a song to sing

And then a kiss but more than this

I wish you love

And in July a lemonade to cool you in some leafy glade

I wish you health and more than wealth

I wish you love

My breaking heart and I agree that you and I could never be

So with my best, my very best, I set you free

I wish you shelter from the storm

A cozy fire to keep you warm

But most of all when snowflakes fall

I wish you love

My breaking heart and I agree that you and I could never be

So with my best, my very best, I set you free

I wish you shelter from the storm

A cozy fire to keep you warm

But most of all when snowflakes fall

I wish you love

("I Wish You Love", Andy Williams Music by Charles Trenet & English Lyrics by Albert A. Beach)