Tite: The One With the Randler
Pairing: Rachel/Chandler, future Joey/Phoebe, Monica/Richard
Spoilers: Just season one
Summary: Started before the series, now it's around the first few eps of season one. Chandler wants to get back together with Rachel.
Chapter Two: It's Been So Long
Two weeks after Rachel had moved in with Monica and there was still no progress on the Chandler getting Rachel back front. He and Joey were just sitting down to lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Chandler was still thinking about how he could get Rachel to admit she still loved him. He knew that she did. He caught her looking at him all the time. He just hadn't worked up the nerve to say anything to her about it. He was trying to find the right words. Joey had fixed spaghetti, and he was just combining the sauce and the noodles. Chandler was getting out the plates and setting them on the table, and some glasses for their soda.
Joey stirred the sauce and the noodles together in the pot. He asked, "So did you decide how you're going to try and get Rachel back?" He placed the pot of spaghetti on the pot holder that Chandler had put on the table.
Chandler shrugged. "I don't know, Joey, I wish I did. I am still trying to figure it out. I want to make it so that she can't possibly say no. I know that she still loves me. I just have to decide what I am going to say to her." He poured the soda in the glasses.
Joey could tell Rachel still loved him too. He could just tell. She hadn't confirmed anything for Joey but he still knew it was true. He said, "Just go simple with it. Just tell her that you love her. I am sure it'll work." Joey dished out spaghetti.
Rachel was the only woman Chandler had ever loved. He had to make sure that she knew that. In the correct way. He didn't want to lose her again. He said, "I don't want to mess it up again, Joey. I've got to say just the right thing."
Joey sat down at the table. He picked up his fork and began twirling some spaghetti on his fork. "Well, why did you break up to begin with?" He had known, but forgot. That was Joey for you.
Chandler sighed. He didn't like to talk about it a lot. He started mixing up his spaghetti. He said, "Her father told her he was going to cut her off if she didn't break up with me. She chose her father. She also said that she wasn't ready for the seriousness of the relationship. We had been together for four years. I was totally devastated." He said, taking a bite of spaghetti.
Joey mulled that over in his head for a second as he ate the spaghetti. "Well, she's already been cut off because she left that guy at the altar. So that won't be a problem anymore." He mused.
Chandler was surprised that Joey was right. He was also getting ready to tell Joey something that he hadn't told anyone. "Yeah, I was getting ready to ask her to marry me the night I went over to her house. And she was ready to break up with me." He was actually a little angry that Rachel had just left some guy at the altar. He had thought that she wasn't ready for a serious relationship. Apparently, she had been. Maybe she just hadn't wanted Chandler.
There was a knock at the door. Chandler got up to get it. It was Rachel. She was looking beautiful and nervous. She was wearing jeans and a white tee shirt. She said, "Good, Chan, I wanted to talk to you." She ran a hand through her brown hair.
Chandler said, "We just sat down to lunch, Rach. Do you want to join us?" He asked, stepping back to let her in and closing the door behind her. He wondered what she wanted.
Rachel was wringing her hands nervously. She said, "Joey, do you mind giving us a minute?" She knew that Joey wasn't going to want to give them a minute. He was eating. She hoped he would though. She really wanted to talk to Chandler. She wanted to try and work out some things.
Chandler gave Joey a look, who picked up his plate and headed for his bedroom. He turned to look at Rachel. "So what do you want, Rach?" He asked. He wondered what she had to say.
Rachel was still nervous. She said, "I want to apologize for breaking up with you the way I did. I have missed you every day since. I think I was wrong. I still love you, Chandler. That is why I left Barry at the altar. I was still in love with you. Can we talk about getting back together?" Tears had filled her eyes.
Chandler thought he would wait forever to hear those words. He just wasn't sure what to say. It had taken her father cutting her off to realize that. "So you had to wait until your father cut you off to realize that?" He asked. He wanted to kick himself. He thought that that had needed to be asked, but he loved her. He was fine with never knowing the answer.
Rachel felt a tear fall down her face. She wasn't sure what to say. She thought he had a valid point. She just didn't know how to defend herself. She said, "I'm sorry. I know I hurt you. I can understand if you're still upset about it." She tucked a piece of hair behind her ear.
He was still upset but he wasn't sure it was her fault. It was two years ago. He should have gotten over it. He guessed he could understand why she had done it. It was hard to pick someone you loved over your parents. And Rachel had never known anything different. It made sense. He wished it didn't. "No, I'm not still upset, really. I mean, I am, but I get it." He said, wishing he could put his arms around her and stop her tears.
Rachel nodded. "Yeah, but I should have stuck up for you. I should have told him I wasn't going to leave you. That I loved you. I was just scared. We'd gotten so serious. I just wasn't sure that I was ready. I am ready now." She said, stepping closer to him. She reached out and took his hand.
Chandler looked at their hands, all entangled together. He then turned to look into her eyes. He got lost in them for a second. He knew he was going to give in. "You just got out of a relationship, Rachel. I don't want to be the rebound guy. If we're going to get back together I want it to be for keeps." He very slowly let go of Rachel's hand.
Rachel's eyes filled with tears. She watched as her fingers fell from Chandler's. She felt a small part of her heart die as his hand fell away and hit his leg. She said, "Chandler, I was only with Barry because I thought that's what my father wanted. I was still in love with you." She found herself saying desperately. She felt Chandler, the best boyfriend she had ever had, slipping away.
Chandler watched her tears falling and wanted to make them stop. He found himself putting his arms around her. She gratefully put her head on his chest, and he cradled her there. It felt like old times and he felt his heart melting. He said, "I do love you, Rachel." He held her tighter. He wanted to give her another chance. "I do want to get back together. I still love you, Rachel." He said.
Rachel's hands were pressed to his chest, and she rubbed his chest a little. She said, "I love you, too. Please, can we just forget the last two years happened?" She asked.
He ran his hand through her hair and then stepped back. He took both of her hands in his. "I love you, Rachel. I would love to forget those two years, too." He said, as he lowered his mouth to hers. The kiss was bittersweet and one of the best they'd ever had.
Two weeks later:
They had all gathered at Rachel and Monica's. Rachel and Chandler had been together since that day, and it was nauseating to everyone else. They were all getting ready to eat dinner. Monica was making fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob, all from scratch. She was in the kitchen, dipping the chicken in the batter. Everyone else was in the living room. Chandler and Rachel were a tangle of limbs on the arm chair, Joey and Phoebe were sitting on the couch, and Ross was on the green automan on the side of the coffee table. He kept sending glares at Chandler and Rachel. He still wasn't happy that this was going on.
Rachel called towards the kitchen from Chandler's lap, "Do you need any help?" she inclined her head towards Monica. She hoped she didn't, the lap of her boyfriend was the best place to be.
Monica replied, "No, stay with Chandler." She muttered under her breath, "It's where you really want to be anyway." She was a little jealous of Rachel and Chandler. She had been jealous when they'd first hooked up. She had hated Chandler at the time. She loved him now. She had been harboring a crush on him for a few months now. Now that Rachel had come back, it was all over. Chandler had not stopped loving Rachel. He and Ross had fixed their frienship, but things were bound to be a little more stressed now that Chandler and Rachel were back together. Monica was working on trying to be friends with Rachel, it wasn't her fault that Monica had a crush on Chandler. And that she had never gotten up the courage to say anything because she had known that Chandler had still been Rachel's.
Phoebe got up and went into the kitchen. She didn't eat chicken, but she didn't mind helping fix dinner. She began peeling potatoes. She asked, "You OK, Monica?" Her voice was lowered, so no one in the living room could hear her. She had an idea it was something that Monica didn't want anyone else to know.
Monica shrugged. "I'm OK. I swear, Pheebs." She said, tossing pieces of chicken in the oil on the stove.
Phoebe looked at her inbetween peels. "Yeah, I don't believe you. What is wrong, Monica?" She asked. She thought Monica had been acting off since Rachel had moved in. She wondered if Monica didn't like her anymore or something.
Her friend sat down next to her and started peeling potatoes. She peeled hers over the trash can. She replied, "Nothing is wrong, Pheebs. How was your date with that guy you met?" She changed the subject.
Phoebe said, "It went great. We had an awesoeme time last night. He is amazing in bed." She put down a finished potato and picked up another. "Have you met any guys since Paul the Wine guy?" She asked.
Monica shook her head. "No. But it's OK. I'll be fine." She had a tone in her voice, that Phoebe did catch, but chose not to say anything. She knew that Monica didn't want to talk about it.
Ross came into the kitchen. He didn't want to stare at Rachel and Chandler anymore. He sat down at the kitchen table and picked up a potato. He started peeling it. He said, "I can't believe this." He kept his voice low. He was totally annoyed. He was still reminding himself that it was pointless to be angry at Chandler and Rachel because Rachel was in love with Chandler and he was in love with Rachel. If he really loved Rachel he had to be happy for her. Especially since she had never shown any interest in him whatsoever.
Monica found herself saying to Ross something that she was going to have to remember for herself. She said, "Ross, if you really are their friend, you have to be happy for them."
Ross looked at his sister. He knew Monica was right. He was just having a hard time with it. He was going to have to work on it. He nodded. "I know that you're right. It's just hard." He agreed, as he concentrated on peeling the potato.
Phoebe patted his arm. "It's OK Ross. I know it's hard that you have to see them together but if you want to be friends with them, then you have to get used to it. It'll be fine. You'll meet someone new." She told him.
Chandler's arms were wrapped tightly around Rachel, and her arms lay on top of his. They were watching reruns of Cheers. Rachel had her head leaned against Chandler's chest, and their legs hung off the side of the chair. They were both very happy. Chandler was holding Rachel as tightly as he ever had. He was so glad that he had her back. He'd been miserable without her. He hugged her tighter. He loved her so much. He had to keep telling himself that they had been apart for two years, they shouldn't rush things too much. He was already wanting to get his ring out that he had gotten to propose to her.
Rachel was wondering how she had made it through two years without him. As she lay in his arms, relishing the feel of his arms around her. She was loving every minute of this. She had to work early at Central Perk the next day, and was not looking forward to it. She wanted to sleep in and stay with Chandler. It had been so long. She looked up as she heard Phoebe asking her a question. "What, Pheebs?" She asked. She had been too busy enjoying cuddling with Chandler.
Phoebe had rejoined them in the living room. The potatoes were in a pot on the stove, cooking. Then Monica was going to mash them with her potato masher. She was wondering how Rachel was liking working at Central Perk, why she hadn't been trying harder to get a job in fashion.
Before she could ask her, there was a knock on the apartment door. Monica got it, she was the closest. It was Barry Farber. He was Rachel's ex. He was looking for her. "Is Rachel here?" He asked. "Her dad told me where to find her." He added.
Rachel looked up from Chandler's lap in shock. She got up, reluctantly. She didn't step any closer to him, though. She stayed right by the armchair. She didn't want him to think he was getting anywhere. "What do you want, Barry?" She asked.
Barry stood nervously by the couch. He said, "I want you back, Rachel." Everyone looked at Rachel as she gasped.