The One Where Someone Is Lying
--Monica made a quick trip to Central Perk to grab some coffee to go. She wasn’t necessarily expecting to run into her friends… but she did…
"Monica!" Rachel greeted her enthusiastically upon spotting her… "You're back! How was it?"
Monica smiled as she joined her friends on the couch, the center spot of the small, bustling coffeehouse… "Oh my God, it was SO great!"
"I could tell by your smile." Phoebe informed proudly, sipping her coffee.
"So…" Rachel asked eagerly… "Tell us!"
"Well, it was so beautiful… of course, we didn't see much beyond the hotel room…"
Rachel smirked knowingly… "Mmmm-hmmm…"
"And Chandler…" Monica clasped her hands over her heart… "Was so romantic…"
Phoebe and Rachel cooed in unison… "Awww…"
"I never thought I could be so happy." Monica's grin faded to a sentimental smile, her thoughts floating back to Chandler… the first night of their honeymoon… her in his arms… "Chandler makes me so happy…"
Her friends were truly and sincerely happy for her… and for Chandler, and they looked at each other with mindful expressions, waiting for Monica to come back to the present.
When Monica finally drifted back, an embarrassed shade of red crossed her cheeks at the realization that she had left her friends momentarily to reminisce over her time with Chandler in her own mind… "Sorry…" she chuckled…
"It's ok… we understa--" Phoebe was interrupted before she could finish…
"Oh. My. Gawd!" came the shrill voice they knew immediately, without even turning to see the person it belonged to… "Long time no see!" And then came the braying laugh…
They all turned and looked at her, smiling politely…
"Hello Janice." They all greeted her in turn, looking somewhat uncomfortable…
"So…" Janice started as she sat with the 3 of them… "What's new?"
Phoebe sat up a little taller… "Well, Monica got married!"
Janice bleated her laugh, while Monica and Rachel glared at Phoebe…
Janice stopped laughing, looking at Phoebe for a moment before turning to Monica… "Who did you get married to?"
Monica shifted uncomfortably before answering… "Ummm… Chandler…"
"Chandler? As in Chandler Bing?"
"Do we know more than one Chandler?" Rachel asked sarcastically, only to be ignored…
"Yes…" Monica replied… "Chandler Bing."
"You mean, he actually went through with it? Mr. 'Fear-of-Commitment' actually got married?"
Monica was becoming uneasy at the tone Janice was starting to use… "Uh-huh…"
"I know you said you were engaged and all… but I never thought he’d go through with it!" she looked away, then looked back… "But, I guess that makes sense. I mean, he only said a HUNDRED times he wasn't interested in marriage! He only broke up with me how many times?! Cause he was oh-so afraid of commitment! Guess he was only afraid of being committed to me!"
"Speaking of committed…" Rachel whispered under her breath…
"Well then, I guess there's nothing left to say." She stood to leave… "Goodbye. And I hope you 2 will be happy together." The comment was nice enough, but the tone in her voice told another story…
"Thank you." Monica managed to say, shocked by Janice's behavior.
--"Whoa! Such negative energy!" Phoebe stated after Janice left, grabbing at the air to ‘cleanse’ the room…
Rachel just shook her head… "I didn't know she still had a thing for Chandler…"
Monica shook her head… "I didn't either…"
"Well… she had her chance. She went back to her husband and left Chandler sad and miserable."
"That's right. They SO obviously were NOT meant to be!" Phoebe added, rejoining her friends after ridding the room of ‘negative energy’…
"Who wasn't meant to be?" Joey asked as he entered Central Perk, overhearing only part of their conversation…
"Janice and Chandler." Phoebe replied.
Joey physically recoiled at the mention of her name… "Ugh! No, they weren't meant to be together! She's… she's…" he tried to think of an adjective that accurately described her… "What's the word? What's the word?" he asked, his brows furrowed in thought… "Annoying!" he announced with a snap of his fingers.
"Who's annoying?" Ross asked as he too entered the coffeehouse, just minutes after Joey…
"Janice." They all responded in unison.
"Well… yeah!" Ross agreed emphatically as he joined the group by sitting in the chair by the couch… "And why are we talking about Janice?"
"She was here earlier…" Monica informed her brother… "And the thing is…" she added… "I got the definite impression that she is not over Chandler."
The girls all nodded…
"Huh." Ross seemed perplexed… "Didn't she, like, go back to her husband?"
"Well, she did, but I don’t think it worked out. She was dating for a while…" Monica was showing signs of concern, and Rachel picked up on it…
"Now, hun, don't go worrying about this. She had her chance. Chandler is with you now. He loves YOU, ok?"
"Yeah… I know. I'm just being silly, right?" Monica chuckled as she tried to convince herself… "I mean, it's HER who likes HIM. He's over HER… right?"
"Absolutely." "Of course he is." "You bet he is." Came the various replies…
Monica seemed to relax some… "Yeah. He loves me…"
--"Hey Mon…" Chandler greeted his wife as she walked into their apartment… "I unpacked!" he announced proudly… "See?" he gestured to his empty suitcase…
Monica smiled weakly when she looked at him, her mind still preoccupied with Janice… "That's great."
"So, where’s the coffee?"
It was only then that Monica realized she had forgotten the purpose of going to the coffeehouse in the first place… "I guess I forgot it…" she admitted… "I ran into…" she hesitated, not sure if she should tell him about Janice… "Everyone. And we got to talking…"
"Is something wrong?" he asked, sensing something was…
She shook her head… "No." She didn't want to seem silly or insecure by asking him about his feelings towards Janice. Rachel was probably right… there was nothing to worry about. She tried to wipe her doubts away… and the question in his eyes… "I love you." she told him, wrapping her arms around his neck…
"I love you too." He brushed her hair back from her face and kissed her, pulling her close, his hands sensually moving across the small of her back.
With that kiss all her doubts disappeared, and she broke away, taking his hand and leading him to the bedroom.
--"Can't get enough of the 'Chan-Chan-Man', huh?" he teased, unbuttoning her blouse…
Monica wrinkled her nose… "Can you NOT call yourself that please?" she asked of him, irritated ever so slightly… "I feel like I'm about to make love to 'Pee-Wee Herman' when you call yourself that."
He smiled, kissing the skin that undoing the first 3 buttons exposed to him… "You got it, love." Two more buttons… more exposed skin to kiss… "Anything you say." he whispered. One more button, then another… then another… till there were none. "No more buttons…" he told her softly, running his hands up under her shirt, pushing it off her shoulders and down her arms.
Monica just hummed… too intoxicated by desire to speak. How did he do it? How could he make every touch feel like the first? Causing that sweep of adrenaline and emotions… that stirring of desire she knew she could never grow tired of.
Chandler smiled, seeing the affect he was having on her… knowing his touch brought her such pleasure gave him equal pleasure.
She studied his face, watching as his expression changed from quirky and comical to sexy and seductive. She loved that transformation, knowing that it was a side of him that was reserved just for her. His soft stare, his warm smile, his gentle touch… all hers. The thought of anyone else having him… seeing that side of him, made her shudder… and Chandler noticed…
"You're cold…" he whispered as he kissed her shoulder… "I'll warm you up, don't worry…" He reached around her and unhooked her bra, gently removing it, dropping the garment to the floor.
Monica smiled, Janice now far from her mind… "You need to catch up…" she informed him, reaching for the buttons on his casual, button-up cotton shirt.
Each button she undid was like a slow, sweet torture, causing Chandler to fidget as he watched her. Everything about her turned him on. The way she talked, the way she walked, the way she could touch him and make him feel whole. He fought with himself, desperately trying to resist the urge to grab the shirt and rip it from his body… she was taking so long. So long. It seemed like forever…
"Mon… the shirt…"
"I'm getting there…"
"Get there faster."
She let out a soft chuckle at his impetuousness, finishing the last of the buttons and removing the shirt as she ran her hands across his chest and arms. He grabbed her and kissed her passionately, heading blindly towards the bed. They made fast work of removing the rest of their clothes, kissing and touching hungrily as they made love for the first time in their bed as husband and wife.
--When Chandler got the call at work from Janice, asking to meet with him, he considered not going. But she sounded really upset, so reluctantly, he agreed.
"Listen, Monica, I'm gonna be a bit late tonight. I have to… have to… to… work late. I just wanted to let you know… so, so… you didn't worry." He told the answering machine… "I love you. Bye."
He hated lying to her, but he didn't want to upset her. Janice was an old girlfriend, him seeing her would upset Monica, and he knew that. He was beyond upset when Monica had seen Richard, her old boyfriend, right before their trip to Vegas. But, this was different. He was never as serious about Janice as Monica was about Richard. And her lunch with Richard was more of a 'catching up', and not a 'helping a distraught friend'.
*Very different scenarios.* he thought nervously, trying to convince himself that he was doing nothing wrong.
--Chandler sat, nervously fidgeting as he waited for Janice. What if Monica came by while he was talking to her? Or any of their mutual friends that might run home and tell her? Guilt gnawed at him, and he gathered his stuff, changing his mind and wanting to leave, but before he could, there she was.
--He stood politely as she approached, and she greeted him warmly, hugging him…
He took a step away from her, conveying unavailability… "Janice." He responded neutrally… "What's up?"
"Oh, well, nothing… except my life is falling apart." She dropped onto the couch melodramatically, waving gently at her face to dry the tears that started to fall.
Chandler, being a sensitive man, started becoming concerned… "Why? What's wrong?"
"My husband left."
"Oh, wow. I'm so sorry-- wait… I thought you guys separated a while ago."
"Well, yeah… I mean, the marriage hadn't been working for a long time, but… he just up and left. Completely."
"You mean… like… 'without a forwarding address' kind of left?"
"Don’t you have a kid together?"
She nodded again…
"Oh, man, Janice, I am so, so sorry."
"Thank you, Chandler. You always were kind and compassionate."
Chandler scoffed. He had broken up with Janice more times than he could count. Sometimes, for ridiculous reasons. He didn't regret breaking up with her, if they had remained a couple he might not have ever gotten together with Monica… but he did regret how, and how many times he had ended his relationships with Janice. And to have her call him kind and compassionate… well, it was laughable.
"Makes me wish I had chosen you and not him all those years ago." She added, looking up at him longingly.
His eyes grew wide as he recognized the look on her face… "Ummm… Janice? I'm married now. Happily." He quickly informed her, but the look didn't fade. In fact, it grew a sly smile to go with it…
"I know." She admitted… "I ran into some of your little gang the other day."
--Phoebe and Rachel were heading into Central Perk when Phoebe stopped abruptly, pulling Rachel towards the window, peeking in…
"Oh no." she said as Rachel questioned her friend's actions…
"Phoebe! What are you doing?"
She pointed through the window, right at Chandler and Janice, and when Rachel saw what Phoebe saw, she gasped…
"Oh my God! What are they doing together? Alone!"
Phoebe didn't answer the somewhat rhetorical question as they both continued to watch through the window.
--"I don't know if we should tell her." Phoebe agonized over her and Rachel’s dilemma over coffee the day after they saw Chandler with Janice…
"We have to! She has the right to know!" Rachel argued…
"But, what if Chandler is going to tell her himself? It would be better coming from him!"
"Ok, ok. We will give him a chance to tell her. But if he doesn't, WE tell her!"
"What's good?" Monica asked, entering Central Perk.
"The coffee!" Phoebe exclaimed… "Very good today!"
Monica smiled as she joined them… "Ok…" She turned to the waitress and pointed at Phoebe… "I'll have what she's having."
"So… Mon…" Rachel started… "Anything going on?"
"No, not really…"
"Really? No… interesting conversations with anyone?"
"Like, who?" Monica asked, confused…
"Oh, I don't know… Ross. Joey. Chandler?"
"No. Unless you would call the 15 minute conversation I had with Joey about wonder bras interesting."
"You got off easy…" Phoebe interjected… "He talked my ear off about that particular subject for 45 minutes last week!"
Rachel shook her head… "Yeah, no, but… did you… talk to Chandler?"
"Yeah, of course I talked to him. I talk to him every day. Are you trying to tell me something?"
"No." Rachel assured her… "Was just wondering if Chandler told you anything of particular interest."
"Why? Should he have?"
"No. I don't know… maybe. Just, ask him what's new."
--"I just had the weirdest conversation with Phoebe and Rachel…" Monica told Chandler as she entered the apartment…
"Well, that’s not surprising with Phoebe…" he quipped… "What about?"
"You got me!"
"Huh. That IS weird… to have a conversation with no subject…"
"I think Rachel is under the impression that you have something to tell me."
Chandler looked at her worriedly, but tried to wipe the expression from his face… "Why? Why would I have something--? What did she--? What did she say?"
"She just kept asking me if I'd had any interesting conversations, and told me to talk to you. What's going on?"
"I have no idea." Chandler lied… "I'll go ask her…"
--Chandler saw Rachel immediately upon entering the coffeehouse… "Hey, Rach!"
"Hi Chandler." She greeted him hesitantly…
"Monica says you were acting all weird. Telling her to talk to me about stuff…" he sat on the chair near her… "What's THAT all about?"
"I think you know."
"Know? Know what?"
"Phoebe and I saw you yesterday…"
Chandler just shrugged, questioning her point…
"Here." Rachel added… "With Janice."
"Oh God. You didn't--? You didn't tell Monica, did you?"
"No. But YOU should!" She snapped… "How could you?"
"How could I what? Nothing happened!"
"I know what I saw!"
"What? What is it you THINK you saw?"
Rachel just glared… "It's not a good idea to keep this from her. Remember how much you hated it when Monica saw Richard and didn't tell you?"
"I know, I know. I thought about that. Look, Rach, I just don't think it's a good idea to tell her. It would only upset her. And absolutely NOTHING happened!"
Rachel shook her head as if to say she wasn’t happy with his decision…
"Look, Rachel, please… please don't tell her, ok? Please. I'm never seeing Janice again… she means nothing to me… and I don't want to hurt Monica…"
Reluctantly, Rachel agreed.
--Monica stormed into her apartment, somewhere between mad and hysterical. She marched swiftly into the kitchen and started throwing her and Chandler's wedding china into the trash with a loud crash as each one broke. Within minutes, Phoebe and Rachel walked in…
"Monica? What are you doing?" Rachel asked as she and Phoebe rushed to her, stopping her from breaking yet another plate…
"I saw--" Monica sobbed… "I saw-- I saw--"
"You saw?" Phoebe encouraged her to continue…
"Chandler… Janice… kissing…" The words leapt from Monica's mouth, shocking her friends…
"What?" "You what?" they asked, needing clarification…
"I was walking by the coffeehouse on my way up and I looked in the window and I saw Chandler talking with Janice! Then, she kissed him!"
"Did he kiss back?" Phoebe asked…
"I don't know! I didn't stay long enough to find out!" She started throwing the china in the trashcan again, but Rachel stopped her…
"Ok, hun, slow down. Sit down…" she led her to the couch and the 3 of them sat down, Rachel and Monica on the couch, Phoebe on the coffee table in front of the couch… "Ok, now, tell us what happened."
"They were on the couch…" Monica started… "No, she was in the chair, he was on the couch. That's why I stopped… I was gonna go in and sit with him… but that's when I saw HER. I didn't recognize her at first cause I only saw the back of her head… but then she moved to the couch and sat beside him. I was… I was too shocked to move! To do anything! Then, she reached her hand over and put it on his hand…" she took a deep breath before continuing… "Then, she leaned in and kissed him! That's when I ran here…"
Rachel sighed, putting her hand on Monica's… "Hun, I wasn't going to tell you this--"
"Rachel!" Phoebe scolded in a whisper, but Rachel ignored her and continued…
"We saw Chandler talking with Janice a few days ago."
Monica nearly leapt off the couch… "What?"
Rachel nodded… "We were heading in to the coffeehouse when we spotted them, so we watched from outside." She closed her eyes, pained to be telling this to her dearest friend… "They talked for a bit, then he stood when she stood. They hugged… and she ran her fingers through his hair."
"Oh my God…" was all Monica could say, and that was barely above a whisper.
--Chandler walked in, unaware of what Monica had seen, and of what Rachel had just told her…
"Hey guys. What's up?"
Immediately a china dinner plate went whizzing by Chandler's head, narrowly missing him and breaking into pieces as it hit the door.
Rachel and Phoebe quickly moved away, back towards the large windows as Monica approached Chandler.
"I know about you and Janice!" Monica screamed, tears falling freely.
He tried to hold her, but she pushed him away…
"Don't touch me! And don't try to deny it either!"
"Ok, ok, ok, ok… Monica, Monica… calm down…"
"Calm down?! Tell me Chandler, just how am I supposed to calm down?!"
"Just… let me explain. Please."
Monica stopped her flurried movements and stared icily at Chandler… "Ok. Explain."
"Ok. Thank you. Ok…" he gathered his thoughts before continuing… "She called me a few days ago… at work… and asked to see me. I told her 'no'. I tried to get out of it, but she seemed really upset, so I agreed to meet her at the coffeehouse. NOTHING happened, I swear. She told me that her husband left her, and that she was sorry she ever chose him over me. I immediately told her I was HAPPILY married. I told her that I was sorry for what had happened, but that it was inappropriate to see her any more. She thought I still had feelings for her… cause of what we said to her before we were married. Remember? To get her to leave and not come to the wedding? I told her if I ever felt that way, I don’t anymore. She hugged me… and, and… ran her hands through my hair, but I stopped her. I said ‘goodbye’ and I walked out. Today… was an accident. I went into the coffeehouse and she was there. I turned to leave, but she stopped me. We talked for a few minutes, and I told her that she should NOT be hanging out, hoping to see me… hoping to seduce me. She kissed me…"
Monica looked away as Chandler hurried on…
"She kissed me, but I pulled away. I stopped her Monica. I told her no more. That I love you and only you."
"The other day…" Monica said, still choked up… "We saw Janice… at the coffeehouse… and I told her we were married. She kinda got… weird."
"I don't think she's over you."
Chandler laughed… "Yeah, I don't think she is either."
"I'm sorry Chandler, I should've told you--"
"Oh, no, Mon… it's ok…"
"No, no… if I had told you, you could've avoided her."
"Still, you didn't know she would do this. But, I handled it… ok? I love YOU, Monica. Only you."
Monica smiled, wiping her tears… "I'm so sorry I threw a plate at you."
"That's ok…" He reached out and pulled her to him… "You missed."
"So, I wouldn’t have been forgiven if I hadn’t missed?"
He smiled… "No, I still would’ve forgiven you… I just would’ve done so from a hospital bed."
--"Hey Monica!" Ross greeted his sister, noticing she was alone… "What’s up?"
"Not much." She replied… "What’s up with you?"
"Well, I get Ben today!"
"Yep. Gonna take him to the zoo."
"Yep. So, how’s married life?"
"That’s great…" Ross’ expression grew a touch sad… "I wish I were married."
"You’ll meet someone Ross."
He shrugged… "Yeah, maybe."
"You want me to set you up?"
"No… that’s alright." He refused ardently, the idea of a blind date NOT appealing… "So, where is everybody?"
"Don’t know. I figure they’re bound to show up eventually."
"Well, I can’t wait around. I gotta go pick up Ben."
"Ok… give him a kiss from me!"
"I will." He kissed his sister goodbye… "See ya later."
"Yeah, see ya." Monica continued drinking her coffee after her brother left, deep in thought, unaware that her good mood was about to turn sour…
"Monica! Ummm… hi." Janice’s screechy voice cut into Monica’s thoughts…
"Why are you here?"
"I… I don’t know if I should say…" Janice stated, joining her on the couch… "I mean, I would like to get it off my chest. I’ve been feeling so guilty…"
"What are you talking about?" Monica asked worriedly…
"Chandler." Janice whispered… "I’ve been meeting with Chandler… I’m so sorry Monica! I know how it feels to have a spouse cheat on you. I just… I just guess I still love him…"
Monica’s mouth dropped in shock, total disbelief written all over her face… "What?" was all she could say…
"I’m sorry, Monica. I don’t know why Chandler married you, cause I think he loves me as much as I love him"
She shook off the shock at Janice’s admission and sprinted from the coffeehouse…
--"I’m looking at the WEENUS, and I’m not at all happy. I need this corrected by close of business." Chandler said firmly, then hung up the phone, almost immediately, the intercom buzzed…
"Mr. Bing…" the voice on the speaker addressed him… "Your wife is here."
Before Chandler could say ‘Send her in.’, Monica was in his office, her face wet from tears…
"Monica? What’s wrong?" he asked as he approached her, concerned…
"I saw Janice today." She stated, backing away from him…
He looked confused… "Why?"
"She came into Central Perk."
"And she is why you are upset?"
"What did she say?"
"She said you two have been seeing each other for weeks…"
Chandler’s eyes grew wide… "What?!"
"She said you guys love each other…"
"I can’t believe this…" he shook his head… "Monica, she’s lying!"
"Well, someone’s lying…"
"You think I’M lying?!"
"I don’t know what to think! I don’t like this!" she broke down, sobbing… "I don’t like any of this!"
Chandler had had enough. He grumbled something incoherent as he headed for the phone… "Helen?" he said into the intercom… "I need you to get ahold of Janice for me and ask her to meet with me at Central Perk in an hour please."
"Yes, Mr. Bing."
"And I’m going to be leaving early."
"Yes, Mr. Bing."
Chandler grabbed his coat and took Monica by the hand… "C’mon, we’re settling this once and for all."
--When Janice entered Central Perk and saw Chandler sitting on the couch, she approached with confidence… but then, she saw Monica. She started to turn to leave, but Chandler called to her…
She looked at him for a minute, as if debating over whether or not to run away… "Hello Chandler." She greeted him distantly… then took a seat on the chair nearest the couch.
"Why Janice?" Chandler asked…
"Why did you tell Monica that we have been seeing each other?"
"Bing-a-ling…" she started to cry… "We were meant to be together. When she told me that you still had feelings for me all those months ago… I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I thought, if Monica left you… you’d come back to me. Where you belong."
"Janice, listen to me… WE will never be. We were NOT meant to be… Monica and I are meant to be. I love her." He sounded stern, but his tone quickly softened… "I’m sorry for what you are going through Janice, but it is NOT ok for you to try to ruin my marriage! It’s not ok for you to upset Monica."
"But, what about your feelings--?"
"Janice… we lied. We wanted you to leave our apartment… and, and… not come to the wedding. Look, it probably wasn’t the best thing to say… but truth is… it WAS a lie."
She seemed shocked, and appalled… "You lied to me? That… that wasn’t very nice!"
Chandler reprehended her… "You tried to destroy my marriage! That’s nice?!"
Janice wiped the tears from her face and took a deep breath… "You’re right. I’m sorry." She turned to Monica… "I’m sorry."
Monica just nodded.
"I’m just… I’m gonna go now…" Janice stammered, then stood… "Goodbye."
Chandler’s expression remained stern… "Goodbye Janice."
After she left, Monica turned to Chandler… "I’m sorry…" she apologized, on the verge of tears… "She sounded so believable…"
"It’s ok, Monica, but I have to ask you… why did you marry me?"
She seemed shocked by the question… "Cause I love you."
"And with that love, is there trust?"
Monica didn’t answer, she just hung her head solemnly…
"I love you Mon. I would never cheat on you… ever. Ok?"
"You have to trust me." He added… "Can you trust me?"
"Yes, I can trust you. Can you forgive me?"
"Yeah. I can forgive you." He kissed her softly, running his hands through her long dark hair… "Let’s go home."
Thanks for reading!