(i didn't have a specific episode in mind when i wrote this one, but it's pre-1x12 for sure)

Chandler likes to take control when he's in bed with Joey, because he gets to watch the way Joey parts his lips in wonder when Chandler straddles his hips and sinks down, gets to see Joey's brow crease and his eyes squeeze shut as they move together. When Chandler controls the pace, he can angle his hips to make himself last longer and to make Joey come apart. The drag of Joey's nails over his thighs always makes him come, because he can't stop grinding his hips down against the hilt of Joey's dick.

Chandler weaves his fingers into the spaces between Joey's own, and they move in tandem until they're both spent and sated. Joey gazes up at Chandler in pure adoration, his hair splayed in every direction across the pillow beneath his head. "You're amazing," he breathes out, like a psalm from his lips. "Where'd you learn to do all this stuff?"

"I didn't have my first kiss 'til I was nineteen," Chandler says. "I watched a lot of porn." It's a lie Joey won't argue with, and he doesn't, chuckling and squeezing Chandler's hands. Chandler folds at the waist to kiss Joey's open, eager mouth.

The first time they had sex, Chandler shoved Joey against the front door of their apartment and kissed him hard, his mouth venturing lower and lower until Joey's hands knotted in Chandler's hair and his lips sang praises. Chandler faked a novice's touch, his mouth focusing on the head of Joey's cock instead of deep-throating him like he'd wanted to. But Joey came hard and fast and never teased him about his skills—or lack thereof—so Chandler maintained the unpracticed charade. When their sexual activities began requiring lube, Chandler took the lead, and Joey never raised complaint.

But it's only been a week. Joey's eventually going to want to top. Chandler can't keep this up forever.

"Don't you have to work today?" Joey asks around the kiss, gliding his hands over Chandler's thighs in a lazy caress.

Chandler's knees shift in the bedsheets as he groans. "Thanks for reminding me."

Joey hovers unhelpfully while Chandler gets dressed for work, occasionally sticking his hands inside Chandler's shirt and tweaking his nipples. Chandler hums a moan, and Joey pulls his body close and latches his mouth to the angle of Chandler's neck. "Y'know what we should do later?" Joey murmurs, nuzzling his nose in the fluff of Chandler's hair.

"I'm only one man, Joseph," Chandler retorts. "A man cursed by biology to require a refractory period."

Joey chuckles at his ear, even though Chandler's fairly sure Joey understood nothing in that sentence save for his own name. "We should tell them, y'know, about us."

Chandler sighs, lays a hand over Joey's to still his incessant teasing. He turns to face him, catching a glimpse of beauty and optimism in Joey's eyes before it fades. "I don't—I don't think that's such a good idea right now."

The hopeful curve of Joey's mouth turns downward. "Why not?"

"It's only been a couple of weeks," Chandler says, his hands resting over Joey's chest.

"So? Monica tells us whenever she starts datin' somebody."

"That's different." Monica's dates aren't people the group already knows and cares for. Except that one time with Kip. Chandler frowns at the memory.

Joey lifts a curious eyebrow, pokes a finger at Chandler's expression. "What's wrong?"

Chandler shakes his head. "I just...think we should wait a little bit before we tell them, okay? I wanna.." He swallows back the lump forming in his throat. "I wanna wait until all this"—Chandler gestures between them in a way that's supposed to mean something—"evens out before we make some big announcement."

All traces of joy crumble from Joey's face; no one should be allowed to look this sad. "You think we're gonna break up, huh?"

"No, no! I—I hope not! But..." His fingers trace over the perfect muscles of Joey's chest. "You know how relationships are all passion at first, then it dies out and sometimes there's nothing left?" Joey nods grimly like he understands. "I don't want that to happen to us."

"It's not gonna happen," Joey says, with feeling. He cups his palm around Chandler's cheek, and Chandler cherishes the warmth there.

"That's what they always say," Chandler mumbles, too low for Joey to hear. At Joey's perplexed expression, Chandler adds, "I promise we'll tell them, okay? Just not now."

Joey nods, the corner of his mouth fighting a smile, and gives Chandler a quick peck on the lips. Chandler kisses him back, feeling wretched and wrong for the affection.


They're all lounging at Monica's apartment later that evening, munching on pizza and watching some shlocky horror movie on CBS. Chandler's maintaining a friendly distance from Joey, but Phoebe and Rachel are squished onto the couch alongside them, so Chandler's sort of shoved up against Joey's shoulder. He doesn't mind, because Joey's body is solid muscle with just enough soft padding to snuggle into—which Chandler absolutely does, though he tries to stay conspicuous about it.

During a commercial break, Phoebe leans across Chandler's lap to talk to Joey. "Joey, there's a new girl at my work who you might be interested in."

"Really?" Chandler glares at him, because there's a faint trace of intrigue in his voice there.

"Yeah, her name's Willow, and she's super into astrology. She asked me if I knew any cute guys, and I said yes."

Joey smiles at the compliment.

"What about me?" Chandler protests, because even though he's secretly dating Joey he'd at least like to be considered here. "I'm cute!"

Phoebe pulls back, gives him a once-over. "I don't think you're her type."

Chandler frowns at her.

"Chandler!" Monica gasps, sounding scandalized. "Are you getting the wandering eye already?"

"What are you talking about?"

"I know you've been seeing someone," Monica teases, taking her empty glass into the kitchen. "For the past week or two, you've had the look."

Chandler's heart does a flail of panic in his chest. "What look?"

"You know, the look. The look everybody gets when they're at the beginning of a relationship, when it's all passion and spontaneous making out," Monica explains. Rachel nods in agreement. Monica pulls open the fridge door, searching for something. "Oh darn, we're out of soda."

Joey lifts his eyebrows at Chandler, who scowls at him. "Maybe that's just how my face looks?" Chandler protests.

"You haven't had the look since you were—"

"Did you need more soda?" Chandler cuts her off, his voice climbing in panic. "I think we've got some Coke left over, right, Joe?"

Joey looks immeasurably confused. "Y—yeah?"

"Let me go get that for you, Mon!" Chandler practically leaps off of the couch and jumps over Joey's feet propped up on the coffee table.

He's looking through the fridge in their apartment, safe from the threat of an awkward conversation, when Joey strolls through the front door. "That was real subtle," he says, leaning on the open refrigerator door. "When was the last time you had the look?"

"Is that a half a meatball sub in here?" Chandler asks, pretending to dig through the contents of the fridge.

Joey frowns. "I'm not fallin' for that again." He moves behind Chandler and shuts the fridge, links his arms around Chandler's waist. "C'mon, tell me."

"I don't want to," Chandler says, sounding all of five years old.

"I could just go across the hall and ask Monica," Joey threatens, taking Chandler's hips in his hands.

"You won't."

"Yeah, you're right, I won't. But if somethin's botherin' you, I wanna know. Maybe I can help."

"Okay, okay, I'll tell you." Chandler disentangles from the embrace and moves to sit in the nearest chair. "Just—promise me you won't think of me any differently, okay?"

"Y—yeah, of course." Joey shoves the clutter on the coffee table aside so he can sit on the edge. He reaches for one of Chandler's hands, and Chandler lets him take it.

Chandler decides the only way he's going to get this out is to just say it: "The last time I had the look was with Kip."

"Who's Kip?"

"My old roommate," he mumbles, scratching his neck with his free hand.

Joey looks confused. "What's so bad about that?"

"I was an idiot," Chandler grates out, sort of squeezing Joey's fingers. "I thought he actually..." He shakes his head and abandons that train of thought. "He started going out with Monica when he first moved in. Then she broke up with him. Then we..." He trails off, figuring that Joey's following where he's going with this. Apparently not; Joey's still staring at him with a bewildered expression. "We had a relationship," Chandler clarifies. "I told everybody, and they were happy for us, but..."

"But what?"

"We bought a hibachi together, then he ran off and got married," Chandler admits in a low voice, like he's worried that someone other than Joey will hear it.

Joey watches him with a tragic expression. "And it wasn't to you?"

Chandler laughs humorlessly. "Do you see a ring on my finger?" Joey doesn't share in his bitter mirth. Chandler shrugs, looks away. "It shouldn't have mattered so much, I just... I really liked the guy. But I guess to him it was just sex."

Joey's quiet for a moment before speaking again. "Is that why you don't wanna tell anybody about us? 'Cause you think I'll run off with somebody else?"

Chandler winces, because it sounds awful said out loud like that. "Well, yeah..." He pauses, gestures helplessly with his free hand. "I mean, after I started talking about it, it stopped happening. And after Kip left, it was like living in a funeral; everybody's always consoling you and saying 'sorry for your loss' and all the useless platitudes. The amount of pity in the room was tangible. And I could have avoided all that if I'd just kept my stupid mouth shut."

Joey slides his hand up Chandler's arm. The warmth there is both a comfort and a hindrance. "You're awfully sure we're gonna break up."

"There seems to be a pattern."

Joey's brow furrows. "I'm not a scientist, but I don't think you can't base a pattern off'a one thing. Just 'cause Kip was a jerk doesn't mean I'm gonna be."

"You know what is a pattern? Me dating my roommates! I don't want our friends thinking I'm just the weird guy across the hall with homosexual hair who dates his roommates! I cannot let that be my thing!"

Joey lifts an eyebrow. "Your thing?"

"Yeah, you know: 'Monica's a neat freak, Joey likes food, Ross is crazy about dinosaurs, and Chandler sleeps with the guys he lives with!'"

Joey chuckles and pats his arm. "That's not gonna be your thing, Chandler. Your thing is gonna be 'cause people see us and think, 'I wanna fall in love with my best friend too.'"

Chandler's eyes go wide, his lips parted in shock. "You're in love with me?" he asks faintly, his mouth pulled into a small smirk.

Joey immediately looks away, withdrawing his hand from Chandler's and rubbing the back of his neck; it's the most self-conscious movement Chandler's ever seen him make. "It's hard not to be."

Chandler drops his gaze, because his face feels like it's about ten different shades of red, and none of them are flattering. He chuckles to himself. "Kip never...said anything like that."

Joey gives him a hopeful look and tugs him closer so he can press his mouth over Chandler's. "'Cause I'm the guy who loves you." Chandler smiles despite himself; it's a full-body thrill hearing it out loud like that.

"And I'm the guy who's gonna give you the best sex you've ever had tonight," Chandler murmurs around the kiss.

"So, you're not gonna do anything different?" Joey asks as Chandler moves over to the fridge and grabs the half-full bottle of Coke.

Chandler turns, gives him a grin. "Well, I was planning on going in there and telling them about the thing." He opens the front door and steps out.

Joey lays a hand between Chandler's shoulder blades. "Maybe we could show 'em too?"

Chandler pauses at the door to Monica's apartment. "You are still talking about our relationship, aren't you?"

"Yeah. Why, what're you talkin' about?"

Chandler just rolls his eyes with a smile and swings the door open.