A/N: So, I'm terribly sorry for the lack of updates, but I've been pretty busy over the past month: with studying mostly, after which I got into health-troubles, so I haven't really been up to my usual game. I'm all better now, though, which means I'll start updating regularly again. Thanks again to everyone still reading, following, reviewing... :D You people are fantastic! Anyhow: I hope you all enjoy the following:
With a weak, final thud to Phoebe's front door, Chandler finally signaled that he'd officially given up the fight, a fight which had been pointless to begin with, as he turned around almost mechanically and sunk back against it, like a big, useless sack of flour. After he'd took the time, to sit down more comfortably, he allowed a heartfelt groan to pass his lips and then proceeded to bang his head into the strong, unmoving wood, repeatedly, for some time. After physically learning about how much pain such an action could cause, however, he quickly put an end to his uninhibited motions.
' Oh and now my head hurts… not that it really matters, since it kind of fits in with everything else sucking like you wouldn't believe,' he pondered to himself, meanwhile returning his head to its previous position, as he urgently needed to rest it somewhere. He was only too grateful, when the constant, dull pounding gradually faded and ultimately ceased to exist, so he didn't have to worry about something else, brought forth by his own endless pools of stupidity, at least.
" Awh, awh… she's playing music to drown me out, ain't that just dainty?" he then muttered to himself, a humorless smile displaying itself on his face, once he'd picked up on the radio playing some random rock and roll-tune, with the volume cranked up to the highest notch. He hadn't really perceived that before, since he'd been pretty busy attacking that dumb door, a strong rush of adrenaline pumping through his veins, while his hands made it pour rash blows, over and over.
' My hands… that's right… they hurt like holy hell too,' a brand-new alarming thought struck him, while he reluctantly lowered his gaze to said body-parts, which were currently still balled up into two firm fists, in a fixed gesture of extreme frustration and anger. He was actually surprised, that they hadn't fallen off, with the rate he'd just been going about, like some kind of completely berserk mad-man. His knuckles did have faint traces of blood on them, though, seeing as they were chafed, much to his growing dismay.
" Well… there we go again with the knuckles and the blood… Bet you're just lovin' this, aren't cha?" he ultimately stated defiantly, as he directed a significant scowl up to the ceiling, hereby addressing himself to God… or whoever the hell else was in charge, up there. Whoever they were, were sure doing an incredibly shitty job, right now. He subsequently was about to get up and call it a day, when the melody to ' I will survive,' started to chime joyfully, hereby announcing an incoming call, which he really didn't feel like taking, at this point in time.
" Noo! No songs from the Las Gaygas-revue for me today, thanks. God… I loathe myself so bad, for loving a song, which will be forever accompanied, with the vision of my dad performing it in a dress, with the help of other over-the-top made-up drag queens," he mumbled, while he mercilessly made the sickly happy tune reach its final chords, with a simple push of a button.
" Owe… goddamnit," he then cursed silently, getting subjected to a sharp ache in his knuckles, once they brushed against the inside of his jean-pocket, as he was putting his phone back in place.
What he didn't know, however, was that Phoebe had just been watching him, through the tiny peep-hole in the door, still trying to establish how he was doing, despite quite a few inner objections.
She then took in a deep breath of much-needed air and closed her eyes, before she walked over to her counter, where the hi-fi set stood, blaring loudly, switched off the music, which was annoying the crap out of her, if she were to be totally honest and then, ever so cautiously, proceeded to knock on her own door.
" What?" her former boyfriend snapped, succeeding in throwing out the myriad of his cranked and wounded feelings, in that one word.
" Can I come out? I wanna… I wanna help you," the blonde admitted hesitantly, briefly putting aside her pride, as part of her unconditionally cared for his wellbeing, regardless of the ordeal he'd put her through.
" Can I come… ha! You know, if all of this wasn't so damn fucked-up, I'd actually find that funny. But: no, you don't have to come out alright, not anymore. You've had your chance and you blew it and frankly: I don't give a rat's ass anymore. You just… you used me," he retorted bitterly, while he determinedly rose to flip around and directly address her, in order to make the message very clear indeed.
His words really did seem to have had the right impact, as a cold silence momentarily loomed in the air between them. Just then, when Chandler was about getting ready to go, the response on the other side finally sprang to life, in the shape of a certain accusatory sentence, which really only made matters worse:
" I could say the same thing about you."
" Ahw… well, you know what? That's it: I'm leaving. Have a nice life, Phoebe," the 'transponster' announced in death- seriousness, while he flipped around and got ready, to turn his back to her for good.
Once she'd picked up on his retreating footsteps, Phoebe experienced a change of heart, as she slowly creaked her door open and followed behind him.
" Chandler, no… wait, please… I'm sorry," she blurted out, while insecurely placing one hesitant hand on the upper half of his arm.
Chandler looked down at it, for a minute, his eyes once again drifting to her damaged wrist. He couldn't help but wince internally, each time he caught sight of it. Gazing at it more intensely, he gradually moved his own hand over hers, lightly plucked it loose from his sleeve and then proceeded to gently caress the darkened bruises, with the tips of his fingers.
In reaction to said fingers gliding over her skin almost lovingly, combined with the lively, considerate look alighting Chandler's dreamy blue orbs ( he certainly had his eye-color going for him, she had to say that much.), Phoebe could no longer control a tingly shudder. As the matter of fact, the sensation proved to be so good, she had to bite her lower-lip, in order to repress a satisfied, yet at the same time- considering the circumstances- highly embarrassing moan.
When Chandler accordingly caught sight of her relaxed face, he was close to losing it, as he saw just how much she was relishing in a simple touch from him.
' Why was she still trying to fight it? When their kissing-session earlier felt so amazing and right, just like when they'd shared a lingering kiss back in the bath-tub, yesterday morning, when everything had been peaches and cream and there hadn't been any sign of dark skies, threatening to cloud their formerly peaceful days?'
" Stop," Phoebe subsequently got out, in a tone which was meant to be threatening, but missed its effect dramatically, as it came nearer to a mere whisper, than anything else. She actually had to compel herself to avert her gaze from him, once more, so she wouldn't be temped to grab onto his boyishly handsome face and roughly make out with him, exactly as they used to like… two days ago.
After all, the guy in front of her had betrayed her trust and that was that. No need to give him any sort of reward for it. As much as she still cherished him in her heart and it secretly pained her to see him all broken and sad, she did possess definite principles, which weren't anything to be messed with, ever. SHE had a reputation of 'ultimate badass from the streets' to hold up, for crying out loud!
And on that note: ' what the hell was freaking happening here?' She wasn't one of those brain-dead chicks, who permitted any member of the phallic folk, to treat them like trash and still be all over them afterwards. Yet, at this very second, she was clearly playing a very convincing part of one, as she appeared to bow to his will, more or less automatically, leaning in closer and closer to his body, with all of her common sense temporarily headed off on a holiday, as she inhaled the scent of his comforting cologne and meanwhile listened to his ragged breaths.
With these musings progressively getting through to the misty contours of her brain, she finally managed to get her act together, as she exasperatedly yelled the following: " I said: stop it! I thought I already told you how I didn't want you to touch me like that, multiple times! It's over between us, Chandler! Done… finished! Accept that! Go… go find some other naïve bitch to string along!" while unforgivingly breaking all contact, with a resolute jerk of the arm.
" Oh, is that what you want?" her ex-boyfriend posed the indignant question, still not quite sure if he'd heard her right.
" It sure is," the icy reply sprang forth from the feisty blonde's lips, as she glumly crossed her arms and kept directing a spiteful glare, to the carpet beneath her.
" Well, alright then: maybe I will go out looking for some hot babes, pick 'em up at some bar, sleep with them once, then dump 'em, you know: Joey-style… yeah. How does that sound? Does that seem like a good idea?! Would you like that, huh?!" Chandler then spat rancorously, truly only aiming to rile her up, as he hadn't even the slightest intention, nor aspiration to lure some strangers into his bed, no matter how sexy they were.
He only wanted Phoebe, for one, which unavoidably entailed that he'd probably end up comparing the girl to her and picturing her in his mind, instead, which would make the whole thing awkward beyond limits.
Plus, when he'd done it once or twice before, at some of the frat-parties in his early twenties, it had been more due to peer-pressure and substance-abuse, than out of his own free will. Occupying himself with such an act now, definitely didn't fit his lifestyle anymore. He couldn't possibly be like his best friend, in that way. To him, one-night-stands with girls you couldn't remember the name of, had always been equal to feelings of great dissatisfaction and frustration, as he was most often the one waiting for the: ' call you tomorrow', which never came of course.
No: he definitely was a one-woman type of guy, a fact which he had become aware of, through his relationships with Monica and Phoebe both.
" Fine! I'd like to see you try! And oh… here's something that's funny: there's this pretty hot guy , living in your building, you know, like an absolute DREAMBOAT. Yeah, you see: he keeps asking me out on a date and up to this point, I've always blown him off, because we were… together, whatever that even stood for. But now… now I think I'm going to take him up on his offer. Uhu, that's right. You know, I'd like to think I deserve some fun, for a change, since things were right out boring with you!" Phoebe bit back in revenge, while blinking back a stray tear, while she did her very best, to block out the nauseating image of him having sex, with someone else and enjoying it.
" Well… good to know where you're standing. It's kind of quaint to see how you keep changing with the wind, though. I mean: not even twenty minutes ago, I seem to recall you telling me how you loved me, right before you stuck your tongue down my throat."
" I did not stick… you… you… you started that, you sneaky… like… shifty… like… syco…phant. And as long as we're on the subject: I seem to recall you being the one almost suffocating me, by sandwiching me in between yourself and the door, like some barbarian," the blonde defended herself, finally raising up her head, in order to present him with a cut-eyed, hateful glower.
" Yeah, I didn't hear you complaining about any of that before. It takes two to tango, Phoebe! And you were joyfully tangoing right along, so don't try to pin this all on me!"
" Yeees! … alright: I admit it, okay? You're right! It was my fault, just as bad as it was yours! But whichever way we keep discussing this, will never change the simple truth of it being a mistake! So, will you just please… for the love of god… gooo. awaaay?!" the blonde bellowed, only too glad that most of her neighbors were out, at this time of day, as they were causing quite the scene.
" A mistake… riiight. Well, okay: I get it, I'll go. Just keep in mind, that I would've left way sooner if you hadn't followed me around like some puppy, practically begging me to stay.
" Begged you?! Ha! I'd never beg you for anything, Chandler Bing! You wanna know why? Because YOU are a snooty little prick, with your head up your ass, that's why!"
" Awh, sure, yeah: you didn't beg: " Chandler, oh Chandler, wait, please, I'm sorry." Jeez, I cannot believe I actually fell for that lame act," Chandler mocked her, in a falsetto-voice, effectively causing an already fuming Phoebe, to get even more furious.
" Shut up! Just shut the fuck up!" the masseuse subsequently roared, the blood currently rising to her cheeks, while, in the spur of the moment, she reached out, in order to vehemently shove him away, the impact of the powerful push, successfully sending him flying straight into the far wall.
What she hadn't quite foreseen, however, was the severe consequence such a stunt could have, as she watched virtually in slow-motion, how Chandler toppled to the floor and then… stayed there.
" Oh my god… oh my god: what did I just doo?!" the blonde contemplated in great anxiety, her heartbeat speeding up to its very maximum rate, looking on in complete horror, how her former boyfriend now lay perfectly still upon the carpet, a small stain of blood caking part of the cement wall, situated directly behind his motionless head. Not hesitating for even a millisecond longer, she raced over to him, falling to her knees by his side, before clutching onto his body, in a state of utter panic and desperation. Meanwhile, a sinking feel was rapidly spreading itself throughout her gut, as this almost seemed too cruel for words: heck, it was like finding him in that bathroom all over again.
" Oh dear god… Chandler! Chandler, I'm sorry! Oh god, I'm so sorry! Wake up, please just wake up!" she kept echoing, over and over, only just avoiding going into hysterics, while fiercely slapping his jaw and shaking him back and forth, hoping to god he'd ever open his eyes again.