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Keeping Score

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Chandler finally staggers out of bed around noon while Joey’s cooking breakfast. Joey gives him a cordial smile and flips some eggs onto a plate that he pushes toward Chandler. “Mornin’, Chandler!”

Chandler grumbles something Joey assumes is supposed to be a greeting and sits at the foosball table. His mouth is all pouty and frowny in a way that would be cute if he hadn’t been mopey all week after breaking up with Kathy.

“I, uh, I made your favorite...” Joey says, hoping to spark some sort of conversation. “Y’know, with the hole in the middle...”

Chandler glances down at the plate in front of him. A twitch of a smile forms at the corner of his mouth. “Thanks, Joe.”

“You want a pancake?” Chandler doesn’t answer, but Joey decides to give him one anyway, because who doesn’t want pancakes? Joey flips Chandler a pancake that soars over the table and slaps him in the face. “Oops. I’m gettin’ closer, though!” Chandler lets it fall onto his plate, a frown still etched onto his mouth.

But Joey’s prepared for Chandler’s angry silence. “So, hey,” he starts, “I called your work and told ‘em you were sick today.”


“‘Cause I got plans for us!” He’s grinning as he fixes himself a plate and sits across from Chandler. Chandler’s still stuck on scowling mode, but there’s a hint of confusion to it that wasn’t there before.

“What kind of plans?”

“Anything you want! We can see a movie, or go to a game, or just sit around here and watch TV or somethin’. Whatever you wanna do.”

Chandler sighs. “Why can’t I just be sad, Joe?”

“‘Cause I don’t like seein’ you sad. I mean, it’s been, what, a week? How much longer are you gonna be sad before you start livin’ again like a normal person?”

Chandler rolls his eyes and bites his lips together in that way of his when he knows he’s wrong but still wants to argue anyway. Joey offers up a hopeful smile that melts some of Chandler’s pessimism. “Alright, fine,” he drags out. “We can do something. But I’m not gonna be happy about it.”

Chandler’s refusal to change out of his sweatpants keeps them inside the apartment, so Joey writes “do not disturb” on the Magna-Doodle and sticks it on the other side of the front door. He doesn’t mind the others stopping by, but this is his day to do something nice for Chandler, and he wants to be a little selfish here and take all the credit for himself.

He pulls out Chandler’s collection of Star Trek tapes and tries not to ask too many questions about the hot alien chicks and why Spock has pointy ears. Chandler seems to warm to his curiousity though, and doesn’t act too huffy and exasperated when he has to explain something. Over the course of the afternoon, Joey sees Chandler’s mood begin to lift, and his mouth’s quirked into a small smile that evening as Joey’s heating up some soup on the stove.

“We can watch something else, y’know,” Chandler says, spinning his chair around to face Joey.

Joey shrugs. “If you want.”

Chandler waits a moment, as if thinking it over, before he starts flipping channels in hopes of finding something. Joey doesn’t pay much attention until Chandler’s saying, “Hey, Joe, look! It’s your favorite movie!”

Joey has to look, and he grins in recognition of the flick. “Aw, yeah, The Shining!”

Chandler does an excited little head-bob thing before he tips his chair back as he settles in. Joey fixes each of them a bowl of soup and takes his seat beside Chandler. Joey wouldn’t call this his favorite movie by any means, but he likes that Chandler thought about something Joey might be interested in; Chandler’s always been thoughtful like that, even when he doesn’t have to be.

“Good soup,” Chandler says with his mouth full.

“Thanks. I opened the can all by myself.”

“Well, you did a great job of it.” He swallows another spoonful before he asks, “How come you’re being so nice? I’ve never seen you cook twice in one day.”

Joey thinks about telling him now, but he’d rather wait until Chandler doesn’t have the option of throwing hot soup in his face. “I’ll tell ya later.”

Chandler looks bemused but doesn’t press the topic further.

After dinner, the movie’s over, and Chandler’s wrapped in a blanket to shield himself from the chill he claims is in the apartment at night. Joey doesn’t feel anything except a nervous squeeze in his gut. This is the stupidest thing he’s ever going to do in his entire life. But he has to say it, because he’ll hate himself forever if he keeps this bottled up. “So, uh, Chandler?”


“The reason I was bein’ so nice today is, well, ‘cause I wanted to try and cheer you up, but...” He shifts in his chair, fidgeting uncomfortably. Chandler just watches him like he’s staring into his soul. “I also did it ‘cause...well, I’m sick of seein’ you get dumped, y’know? I mean, you’re so great. I don’t get why somebody wouldn’t wanna be with you.”

Chandler blinks, his mouth pulled into a little frown of surprise. “Really?”

“And I thought maybe if you—if you met the right person, maybe you wouldn’t have to feel this sad again.”

Chandler gives that some thought. “I hope so. I just—I thought Kathy was that person, y’know?”

Joey nods. “Well, maybe you already met ‘em.”

“And screwed it up like I always do?” He gives a humorless smile.

Joey hates that he has to spell this out. For a smart person, Chandler’s really shitty at taking a hint. “Well, no, I mean, what if the right person was one of your friends? Somebody you got along really great with, liked the same stuff, wanted the same things... Would you ever think about”—he shrugs, trying casual—“goin’ out with ‘em?”

“Did someone tell you something?” Chandler scoots closer, and Joey has to sit up a little so he can think straight, because Chandler is way too close for Joey to form a coherent thought here.

Joey swallows thickly. “No...” He hates himself for doing this now, for putting this offer on the table when Chandler’s desperate and low enough to actually consider it. But Chandler’s so sexually repressed that Joey doesn’t think he’s going to get another chance like this for a while. So he pushes back the anxiety and says, “It’s me.”

Joey immediately winces and braces himself for Chandler to yell at him or throw things, but Chandler is surprisingly silent. Joey risks opening an eye to take in his expression; Chandler’s eyes are wide, his lips uncoupled in disbelief. “You?” he asks, like he doesn’t believe it, like Joey’s cruel enough to make this a joke at Chandler’s expense.

“Yeah, me.” Joey hangs his head, looks away. “I think you’re amazing, and I’d love to go on a date with you sometime, if you wanted.”

Chandler just looks more distraught; Joey didn’t think that was even possible. Chandler doesn’t say anything for a few moments, and Joey wishes he knew the thoughts in Chandler’s head so he could dissuade them.

“I wanted to tell you sooner, but—”

“How long have you felt this way?” Chandler asks, abruptly. Joey thought Chandler was beyond noticing anything here.

“I dunno, maybe a year”—Chandler’s jaw drops—“or two...or three—Look, it doesn’t matter, okay?”

“And you never told me?”

“It never seemed like the right time.” Joey sighs and pushes a hand through his hair. This is not going well. Chandler’s stuck in the incredulous stage, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to make it out. “And I didn’t wanna freak you out, so I just didn’t say anything...” He shrugs, still staring at the rug beneath his feet. He can’t bring himself to look at Chandler, because every one of Chandler’s expressions just devastates him even more and makes him regret opening his big, fat, dumb mouth.

Chandler gets up from his chair, and for a moment Joey fears that he’s going to storm out in a particularly dramatic fashion. Instead, Chandler just starts pacing and flailing his arms. “You—want to date me? actual, real date? Like, Ross-and-Rachel date or Monica-and-Richard date?”

“Well, not the breaking-up part, but yeah.”

Chandler’s whole body goes through some sort of conniption. Joey wishes he could take all the stupid words back he’s said tonight. But if he was dumb enough to say them, he deserves all of the emotions Chandler’s throwing at him. “You want to be my...boyfriend?” The word comes out like he’s choking down cold medicine, and Joey doesn’t know why that hurts, but it does.

“Only if you want to.” Chandler doesn’t offer anything to counter that, so Joey keeps talking. “I don’t think it’d be that different than what we already do. I mean, tonight was sorta a date—”

“You tricked me into a date?”

“I didn’t trick you,” Joey argues back. “And I’m not sayin’ this was a date, I’m—”

“Good, because you’re not allowed to do that! You can’t just say something’s a date when it’s not! Both people have to know it’s a date otherwise the date isn’t a date!”

“Chandler, stop sayin’ date.”

Chandler breathes out an exhausted sigh and slumps into his chair again. Joey wants to punch himself in the face, because clearly he’s screwed up in a way that’s embarrassing for everyone involved. “Are you just saying all this because you feel sorry for me?” Chandler asks, his voice low.

Joey feels his stomach knot. “No way, that’s—I would never do that.” He hates that Chandler even thinks that’s a possibility, that Joey’s feelings could be borne out of pity. Chandler still looks stunned and terrified. “Okay, look, Chandler, I shouldn’t have said anything. I’m sorry. Just—forget about it, alright?” He stands up, tries to escape to his room, but Chandler stops him.

“Wait, Joe...we should talk about this, right?”

“What’s to talk about? It’s nothin’.” He gives a dismissive hand wave. “No big deal. I’m gonna go to bed and we can just act like this never happened, okay?”

“But Joey, it’s only—”

Joey shuts the door to his bedroom before he can hear the rest of Chandler’s sentence.


Chandler’s great at giving Joey space when he’s upset, so Joey doesn’t see him until the next morning after he wakes up. Chandler’s casually eating breakfast at the table when Joey emerges from his bedroom. “Hey, Joe.”

Joey makes a begrudging sound of acknowledgement as he pours himself a bowl. The air still feels awkward between them, like Joey’s confession has manifested into a physical form. He wonders when things will feel normal again.

“So I thought about what you said last night—”

Joey groans. “Chandler, c’mon, I told you to forget about it.”

“Even if I—if I said I wanted to go on a date with you?”

Joey drops the cereal box he’s holding into the sink. Then he realizes the intent behind the words. “Ha-ha, very funny.”

Chandler’s got a pouty, confused look going on here. “I’m not joking. C’mon, Joe, I’ve been on the other side of that. It sucks. I wouldn’t do that to anyone, especially you.”

“So really wanna date me?” Joey can’t help but smile stupidly at the thought.

“I don’t see why we couldn’t try it,” Chandler says with a shrug. There’s a tic of panic in his eyes and the corner of his lips, but he seems genuine. Pushing back against years of repression and denial must be hard, Joey thinks. “We don’t have to make a big deal out of it or anything. Just one date, and if it goes well, we can do more.”

Joey feels his smile spreading. “You really wanna date me?”

“It’s a preliminary date,” Chandler corrects him. “So don’t tell anybody or make it some big thing.”

Joey’s okay with this; it’s still a date. “Alright! Gimme a time and place, and I’m there.”

“How about tonight after work?” Joey nods. “And the place...well, why don’t you surprise me?” Chandler gives him a smile that Joey swears is flirty before turning back to his breakfast.


Joey gets dressed in his best casual-formal clothes while Chandler’s in the shower. He doesn’t want to look too dressy, but he wants Chandler to see that he’s making an effort to appear presentable, because Chandler notices things like that. Joey’s never worried about what to wear on a date before. He wonders if this is just one of the many different things he’ll be concerned about now that he’s dating Chandler—or at least granted the honor of a preliminary date.

Joey really wants a second date. He needs to make a good impression.

He goes across the hall to Monica and Rachel’s; Joey’s still not used to seeing his old apartment decorated all girly. Monica’s next to the door flipping a light switch. “Joey, what does this light switch do?”

“Oh, nothin’.”

“Didn’t it drive you crazy to have a switch and not know what it did?”

“I know what it did: nothin’!”

Monica flails her arms in a way that reminds him of Chandler. “They wouldn’t have put it there if it didn’t do something! How can you not care?”

“Like this.” Joey shrugs, demonstrative.

Rachel comes out of her room and smiles at him. “Ooh, where are you going all dressed up?”

Joey’s about to answer when he remembers Chandler’s request not to say anything about the date. He shuffles his feet. “Oh, nowhere. Hey, you guys got any flowers?”

“Yeah, why—”

Joey spots a bouquet of red and white flowers—tulips, maybe?—on the coffee table. He rushes over and grabs them out of their vase.

“Joey!” Monica scolds, wiping up the water dripping from the stems. “What are you doing?”

“I need flowers!”

“Well, just take one.” Monica stuffs them back into the vase and plucks out a single tulip for him. “You’re not taking our centerpiece!”

“Are you going on a date?” Rachel asks.

“N—no,” Joey stammers, tucking the flower into the inner pocket of his blazer. “I just thought I’d make the place look nice.”

Monica and Rachel share a look.

“Hey, c’mon, just ‘cause I’m a guy doesn’t mean I can’t decorate.” Joey feels very judged right now. He turns around to leave. “Look, I gotta go do...somethin’, okay? See ya.” Joey rushes out and shuts the door behind him. That could have gone better. He thinks this is a fleeting glimpse at what it’s like to be Chandler.

Joey lets himself into his apartment and looks for Chandler. The bathroom’s empty, the door swung wide open. Chandler’s bedroom door is shut, so Joey decides to be a gentleman and knock first. He takes the flower out of his blazer and hides it behind his back before Chandler answers the door.

“What do you need, Joe? I’m—” Chandler stops talking when he gets a good look at him. “You’re, uh, dressed up. Where’re we going, the Academy Awards?”

Joey scowls at him. “Don’t even joke about that.” Chandler’s hair is still damp from the shower, which distracts Joey from being too upset with him. He presents the tulip from behind his back. “I, uh, brought you something.”

“Did you eat the rest of the bouquet?” Chandler asks, probably examining the flower for bite marks.

“What kind of date would I be if I didn’t bring flowers?” Joey says, noticing Chandler’s confused expression.

“You never really struck me as a flower type of guy. Do you do this with all your dates?”

“No”—Joey feels his face flush—“well, sometimes, yeah.”

Chandler opens his mouth like he’s going to say something snarky, but decides against it and smiles warmly. “Thanks, Joe.”

They don’t have any proper vases, so Chandler fills an empty beer bottle with some water and plops the flower into the neck. He grins, proud of his accomplishment, and displays the vase on the coffee table. Joey beams at the gesture.

“Should I change?” Chandler asks, tugging at his clothes. “I’d like to not be humiliated if we’re going somewhere that doesn’t allow jeans.”

“Nah, what you got on is fine.” Chandler nods, seeming to accept this, before rushing into his room and grabbing an equally fancy blazer.

“So, where are we going?” Chandler asks as they’re walking out into the crisp night air. Joey strolls alongside him, maybe a little too close, but Chandler doesn’t seem to mind.

“Well, uh, there’s this theater that’s showing the Star Wars movies, and they’ve got, like, real food there instead of just popcorn and stuff. I figured, y’know, you might...” Joey trails off uselessly, feeling like he’s failed here, because why would Chandler want to watch movies he’s already seen on a date? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Chandler smiles at him in a way that twists Joey’s insides into knots. “That’s awesome!” Joey can’t help but smile back; it’s sort of a reflex when Chandler’s looking at him like that.


When they get into the theater, Joey pays more attention to Chandler than the movies, because he’s seen the Star Wars trilogy more times than he’d really care to admit, and Chandler’s expressions are downright adorable. They trade whispered commentary through each flick; sometimes Joey will say something that actually makes Chandler laugh, and Joey loves the way Chandler’s mouth wraps around the sound, like he’s trying to keep it inside. Chandler’s an absolute vision, sprawled low in his seat, his feet braced against the empty chair in front of him. One of his legs is jackhammering with nervous energy; Joey really wants to reach over and grab his thigh to stop the vibration, but he doesn’t know where the line is; he doesn’t know if Chandler would let him drape his arm over the back of his chair. He’s never been on a date that hasn’t had a mutual attraction behind it, and Joey knows the idea of Chandler being attracted to him is almost farcical.

Which is a goddamn shame, because Joey’s never met anyone that makes his heart soar and sing the way Chandler does.

Joey orders more food halfway through The Empire Strikes Back, and he lets Chandler sneak a few fries off of his plate as if he didn’t notice. Chandler’s leg starts twitching again, and Joey lays a hand over his offending thigh to get him to stop. Chandler makes a quiet little gasping noise and snaps his head in Joey’s direction.

“It’s distracting!” Joey hisses, because Chandler’s giving him a “what the fuck are you doing” look that needs to be addressed. “I can’t pay attention when you’re movin’ around like that.”

“You’ve seen this movie, like, five times,” Chandler shoots back, shifting his legs to slide Joey’s hand off of his thigh.

Joey can’t exactly argue, because it’s true: he has. So he just stays quiet and tries not to think about how he could feel the heat of Chandler’s skin through his jeans or how he wants to run his mouth over those thighs. Nope. Not thinking about that at all.

They leave the theater around midnight, and Joey wants to wrap his arm around Chandler’s waist, or at least hold his hand, because it’s cold out and Chandler would probably appreciate the warmth. But Joey wants a second date even more; Chandler’s not giving him any signs, so he’s not going to push here.

“So, did you, uh, did you have a good time?” Joey asks when they’re standing out front of their apartment. Chandler’s fumbling for his keys in his pocket.

“Y—yeah, I did!” Chandler manages to find the right key but has considerable trouble fitting it into the keyhole; Joey wonders if that’s a metaphor for Chandler’s sex life and, goddamn it, he is not happy with the direction his brain is taking this train of thought. “You picked out something you thought I’d like. You get points for that.”

“Points? Aw, man, I didn’t know I was supposed to be scorin’ points!” Joey whines as Chandler finally lets them inside.

“You’re used to an entirely different type of scoring, aren’t you?”

“Yeah!” Joey grins, wonders if that’s an invitation or not. “Uh, how many points am I supposed to have?”

Chandler blinks. “For what?”

“Maybe a second date?” Joey asks with a casual shrug, like he’s not going to be completely fucking heartbroken if Chandler turns him down.

“I think you’ve earned enough for that.” Chandler smiles in a way that reaches his eyes, his cheeks pinked with chagrin, and Joey thinks his heart might actually burst out of his chest.

He steps a little closer, and Chandler doesn’t move away; Chandler’s gaze seems to be fixated on Joey’s mouth. “Really?”

“Yeah, why not?” Chandler shrugs, his lips pulled into a cute little half smile.

Joey waits a moment, because it looks as if Chandler might be about to make a move here. Or maybe staring at Joey’s mouth is all Chandler knows how to do; Joey’s not going to judge his dating prowess too harshly, so he just moves in and presses his mouth over Chandler’s.

Chandler spazzes, flailing his arms and pulling away like Joey tried to slip him poison. “Du—ude! What the hell was that?”

Joey can’t think of how else to answer that: “A kiss?”

Chandler looks at him in horror. “Why?”

“I thought—I thought you wanted me to. I mean, that’s sorta what happens at the end of a date, y’know?” Chandler’s just gaping at him; Joey’s never been rejected this harshly before. “You don’t know?”

Chandler pushes a hand through his hair and takes a few steps back. “Okay, this is... This is not what I was expecting.”

“C’mon, Chandler. You didn’t think since I wanna date you that I might wanna kiss you too?”

Chandler puts his hands up like he’s fending off Joey’s words. “Okay, Joe, you can’t—we can’t...”

Joey looks away, trying to hide the disappointment in his eyes. How did he manage to fuck up a date before it even happened? “I’m sorry,” he blurts out. “Please don’t take away my points!”

Whatever Chandler sees there on Joey’s face stops him, because his expression softens to something a little less horrified and settles into an endearing half smile. “I’m not, kissing next time, alright?”

Joey nods. He can’t help but be ridiculously elated that he’s been granted a “next time” with Chandler.


The second date is nothing like the first, because it doesn’t actually happen. Rachel shows up and insists they host a party for Emily that’s actually for Rachel so she can attempt to seduce Joshua. It’s all very Three’s Company, and Joey can’t help but wonder what Chandler had planned for tonight, since he’s all pouty and frowny like someone stomped on his sandcastle.

He gets a moment alone with Chandler on the balcony while Rachel’s making an ass of herself in her cheerleading uniform. “I had to get out of there,” Chandler says when he hears Joey step outside. “The second-hand embarrassment was giving me flashbacks to high school.”

Joey huffs a laugh. “Yeah, it’s pretty bad.” He notes the irony in his own behavior; he’s done some pretty silly, over-the-top things to get Chandler to realize how he felt without actually having to say it: the New Year’s kiss, the barcaloungers, the bracelet, the chick... Joey recalls some old saying about stones and glass houses.

He moves next to Chandler and leans on the railing. “So, uh, what were you gonna do tonight?” he asks. “I mean, if we went on our date.”

“It wasn’t anything special,” Chandler says casually. “Just dinner.”


“Wherever you wanted.” He smiles despite himself. “Then maybe we’d take a walk, grab a coffee, sit in the park and find dirty pictures in the stars.”

Joey laughs. “Aw, man, that would’a been great. But, y’know, we can still do that sometime, when you’re not busy.” He gazes up at the sky. “And we can look at the stars right now! That kinda looks like a pair of boobs, doesn’t it?” He points to a particularly, uh, suggestive constellation, and Chandler chuckles.

“If it wasn’t too late to order a pizza, we could have our date here.”

“Hey, the night ain’t over yet,” Joey says hopefully. He’ll take a date with Chandler any way he can get it. “We could make some popcorn and watch a movie later when we’re alone.”

“I think I’ll be asleep by then, Joe, but thanks anyway.” Chandler gives him a friendly pat on the shoulder. “We’ll just have to do it some other time.”

Joey smiles and nods, ecstatic that Chandler still wants to date him.

The party ends about an hour later, and it takes another hour for Monica to finish helping them clean up the apartment before Joey’s finally alone with Chandler. Chandler’s collapsed in of the barcaloungers, twirling the neck of an empty beer bottle between his fingers. Joey wonders what those fingers might feel like gripped in his hair, wrapped around his thighs, pushing and stroking inside of him. He shakes off the thought, because Chandler doesn’t even want to kiss him yet, let alone do any of that stuff.

“You sure got lucky at Spin the Bottle tonight, huh?” Chandler asks around a laugh.

Joey grins. “Yeah!” He’d managed to kiss Emily three times before Rachel made him stop, though he’d be a damned liar if he didn’t feel a twinge of regret that the bottle didn’t land on Chandler. Sure, Chandler had freaked out last week, but maybe he wouldn’t have this time.

Chandler looks over at him, his eyes wide. “You, uh, you wanna play again? Just you and me?”

Joey’s mouth drops open. “I—I thought you said no kissing!”

“Yeah, well, that was before you earned enough points for a kiss,” Chandler says. Even in the moonlight, Joey can still see the way Chandler’s face heats up at the admission.

“How? What am I doin’ that’s scorin’ points with you?” Joey’s kind of frustrated about this, because how is he supposed to win the game if he doesn’t even know the rules?

“You tried to help Rachel, even if she did end up humiliating herself. That wasn’t your fault.” Chandler smiles, looks away. “And you swore off meat so Phoebe could eat your share ‘til the baby’s born. You’re a great guy, Joey.” He plucks at the label on the bottle. “You’re so much more than just a pretty face; you’ve got a good heart. I wish more people could see that.”

Joey has no idea how to feel about this. His heart’s doing a weird flighty thing in his chest. “Oh man, now you’re earnin’ points!”

Chandler smirks and holds up the bottle. “You get one spin.” Joey nods in agreement, and they sit on the living room floor, the bottle placed between them. He swallows back panic in his throat. He’s going to hate himself forever if he fucks this up. Will he get another chance later? Do his points reset after each “transaction,” or does he accumulate them? These are questions he ought to be asking Chandler, but he stays silent, opting to flick his wrist and spin the bottle.

Joey’s fairly sure his heart stops as the bottle twirls around and around. He thinks his lungs quit working too. Maybe all of his bodily functions freeze up, because he feels hot and cold all at once, his head swirling dizzily like he’s going to pass out.

The bottle finally stops, pointing at the wall to his left. In no mistakeable proximity to Chandler.

Joey feels something reach into his chest and squeeze his heart.

He lets out a frail little chuckle. “Better luck next time, I guess, huh?” He kind of wants to cry right now; he’d trade all three kisses he’d shared tonight with Emily for just one chaste press of mouth with Chandler.

Chandler reaches for the bottle, and his hand rotates the neck until it’s pointing right at Joey. Joey lifts his eyes to Chandler’s face, and Chandler’s gazing at him with a cute, coy half-smile, his cheeks pinked and rounded in shyness. Joey just stares; he can’t process anything about this in a way that makes him actually do something. Chandler watches him, then—as if realizing Joey’s lost in thought—crawls forward, leaning in and tilting his head so he can cover Joey’s mouth with his own.

His heart stutters in his chest. Joey wants to reach up and drag him in, crush their mouths together, but he knows this is a first for Chandler, so he’s not going to push too hard or too fast. He lets Chandler control the pace with soft little movements that make him crazy with want. Then it’s over, almost as quickly as it happened.

Joey licks his lips, misses Chandler’s presence there already. Chandler stares at Joey as if trying to gauge his reaction. His lips are parted in a way that makes Joey want to slip his tongue between them. “Was that—was that okay?” Chandler murmurs.

“Y—yeah, wow, you’re a great kisser!”

“Really?” Chandler smiles, flattered by the compliment. “You sure you’re not just a little biased?”

Joey shrugs. “Maybe I am, but so what? Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it.” Chandler glances away like he usually does when emotion has overwhelmed him. “How many points do I have, by the way?”

Chandler does the math in his head. “Eighteen.”

“Is everything just one point, or do I get a bunch’a points for certain stuff?”

“Don’t try to cheat the system, Joe,” Chandler scolds him. “If you start acting a certain way just to earn points, how am I supposed to know it’s really you?”

Joey thinks that’s fair, because if the situation were reversed he wouldn’t want Chandler acting differently in hopes of scoring points with him. Some of Joey’s favorite things about Chandler are his clumsiness, the way he emphasizes words when he talks, his often dorky interests and sense of style. But Joey has a feeling those would be the first things Chandler would change about himself to fit his misconceptions of what Joey wants in a partner.

“Alright, then all you’re gonna see from now on is a hundred percent Joey,” he says with a grin.

Chandler smiles back and crawls over to him again. “Good.” He kisses Joey harder this time, and Joey kisses back, completely unafraid of rejection here. Chandler’s mouth is soft and pliant, letting Joey suck and nip at his lips without shoving away from him. Joey sucks a kiss at the corner of Chandler’s mouth, kisses over the little raised freckle on his cheek. Chandler makes a soft little whimpering noise, and Joey knows he’s hooked him.

They spend the next couple of minutes there propped against the barcalounger while their mouths break apart and reconvene, slow and unhurried. Joey keeps his hands above Chandler’s shoulders, fingers threading through his hair and skimming over the curve of his neck. He wants to do so much more, like slide his hands under Chandler’s shirt and feel the heat of his skin, or reach down the front of his jeans and jerk him off right here, but moving slowly has served them well so far. And Joey doesn’t want Chandler thinking he’s only interested in sex. So he keeps his hormones in check and sticks to kissing.

Joey doesn’t know how much time has passed before Chandler slowly breaks away from his mouth and just watches him like he’s trying to memorize every tiny detail on Joey’s face. Joey thinks that’s a look of fondness there, but it could be amused derision; sometimes it’s hard to tell with Chandler. “Does this mean I get to kiss you whenever I want?” Joey asks.

Chandler smiles, and, that’s it, that’s genuine fondness. “Yeah, I think that’s something we can do now.”


They have their postponed second date after the free porn on their television is no longer free. Joey’s in the mood for pizza, and Chandler takes him to a ritzy, high-end Italian restaurant where even the appetizers are out of Joey’s price range. But Chandler’s footing the bill, so Joey feels uncomfortable ordering anything beyond a pizza for them to share. Really uncomfortable.

“Joey,” Chandler says with a sigh as Joey’s reaching over to Chandler’s side of the table for his glass of Coke, “you know you can get your own drink, right? We don’t have to share that too.”

“I know,” Joey mumbles around the straw. “I’m just not that thirsty.”

“It’s almost empty.”

“You drank some too,” Joey shoots back a little too defensively.

“I had one sip!”

“Must’a been a big sip.”

Chandler grabs his glass back and places it away from Joey’s reach. “What’s going on, Joe? You usually order two pizzas.”

“Well, yeah, when each one’s, like, ten bucks.”

“This is my treat. I asked you out, I pay. That’s the rule.”

Joey nods and squirms a little in his chair. “I know, but...I don’t want you to have to spend a lot of money on me, ‘cause I can’t really do the same for you...”

Half of Chandler’s mouth does some weird smile thing. He reaches over and pats Joey’s hand. “I don’t mind. I want to. I’m not going out with you for some sort of financial gain. I just like spending time with you, okay?” Joey nods; Chandler has no reason to lie about this. “So go ahead and order that brownie thing you were ogling on the dessert menu. And, for God’s sake, get your own drink.”

It’s too cold out to comfortably take a walk in the park after dinner, so they head straight home. Joey showers first so he can heat up some cocoa while Chandler’s rinsing off. He’d like to at least attempt to show his appreciation for Chandler’s generous dinner date tonight; Joey really doesn’t want to come across like he’s taking advantage of Chandler’s pocketbook.

They spend the rest of the night curled up on the couch together, drinking hot chocolate and watching late night TV. Joey’s sprawled out as much as he can, one foot trailing the floor, and Chandler’s almost lying on top of him. He’s got his head on Joey’s chest, legs in the spaces between Joey’s own. Joey thinks he could get used to this. He doesn’t need much to be happy, just someone to come home to and share his life with. Chandler could be that person—has been that person—for the past four years. If cuddling, chaste kisses, and hand-holding is the extent of their physical intimacy, well, maybe they can work something out; Joey’s never needed to be in love to have sex—he could survive on sex with strippers and all the mushy, chick-flick stuff with Chandler.

Chandler hasn’t said anything in a while, which concerns Joey, because Chandler’s made comments throughout the night at whatever they’re watching. Joey tilts his head to see that Chandler has his eyes closed. He can’t help but grin at the sight; Chandler looks too precious when he’s asleep. His mouth still has a frowny sort of pout to it, like he’s displeased with whatever he’s dreaming about. Joey buries his nose in the still-damp fluff of Chandler’s hair. He always smells good, like the air after a rainstorm. Joey closes his eyes and breathes him in, and it only takes a couple of minutes before he’s sound asleep too.


When Joey wakes up, Chandler’s already in the kitchen scrounging around for breakfast. Joey sidles up behind him, arms linking lazily around Chandler’s waist. Chandler flinches as if Joey’s just stabbed him, and Joey breathes laughter over the back of his neck. “What’cha lookin’ for?”

“Something to eat that isn’t just boring toast.”

“We got cereal,” Joey supplies.

“You used all the milk last night.”

“Oops.” Joey hops up onto the counter while Chandler continues his search. “So,” he starts, dragging the word out, “I guess you could say we slept together last night, huh?”

Chandler groans out loud. “Ugh, don’t say it like that. That makes it sound gay.”

“Chandler, I dunno if you know this, but you’re datin’ a dude. That’s pretty gay.” Chandler just scowls at him. “What’s the big deal? Is this about your dad?”

Joey get a pretty vicious, “are you fucking stupid?” look from Chandler that softens into something lost and childlike. “I can’t—I don’t wanna be like him, Joe.”

“You got half his genes. I think that makes you a lot like him.” Chandler’s eyes go wide in confusion, and Joey’s a little insulted that Chandler immediately questions how Joey knows this. “What? Sometimes I listen when Ross says stuff.” Chandler’s mask of fury twitches into a smile. Joey’s first instinct is to go over to him and offer some form of physical comfort, but he doesn’t know if Chandler would reject the gesture. “Look, I think you hate your dad for the wrong reason. I mean, your parents didn’t split up ‘cause your dad liked guys, right? It was ‘cause he cheated. They would’a divorced if he cheated with a woman.”

Chandler looks as if he’s considering Joey’s words, but he doesn’t look happy about it.

“Whatever we’re doin’ here, whatever you might be feelin’ for doesn’t make you like him.” Joey slides off of the counter and moves over to Chandler, because he looks lost in ways that actually pain Joey’s heart. He takes Chandler’s hands in his own, and Chandler doesn’t pull away. “When you were with Janice, you wanted to commit, but you were scared you’d screw it up.” Chandler nods absently. “But that fear of screwin’ up is what’s gonna keep you from screwin’ up!”

“I think I’ve been living with you too long—that actually makes sense,” Chandler says with a quiet laugh.

Joey smiles at the encouragement. “Yeah! And when you find the person you wanna spend your life with, you can use that fear to get better, y’know?”

Chandler looks at him for a long moment, and Joey feels a surge of panic that he might have said the wrong thing. But Chandler scoffs and shakes his head with a smile. “You and your stupid points.” Then he’s kissing Joey, hands twisted in his shirt. It’s a soft, appreciative press of mouth, and Joey’s grateful for it.

Chandler’s blushing and glancing away when they break apart, so Joey decides not to push him any further and says, “Why don’t we see what Monica’s got to eat?”


“You don’t really think my name is stupid, do you?” Chandler asks that night while they’re watching a movie on the couch again.

“No way, man! I’m sorry I said that. I just really want Phoebe to name one of the babies after me.” Joey loves how Chandler fits perfectly in the crook of his arm, like he was molded for Joey’s embrace.

“Because you two are so close?”

“Well, yeah, but it’s not like I got my own kid to name whatever I want, y’know?”

Chandler snorts a laugh. “With the number of women you’ve slept with, I really doubt that.” Joey frowns; Chandler notices Joey’s expression and playfully nudges his stomach. “Oh, c’mon, Joe, you’ll get your chance to ruin your child’s life by naming him The Hulk.”

“You really think so?”

“Yeah, of course. Don’t you remember how I told you how great you are?”

“Yeah, but I didn’t think”—Joey yelps and sort of hides behind Chandler when the giant alien’s on-screen again—“Man, that thing is scary!”

Chandler’s laughing at him, which really adds insult to injury. “How can anything with a head that looks like a giant dildo be scary?”

“‘Cause it’s got teeth!” Joey whines, prying open an eye just in time to see the alien brutally devour a guy—or at least as brutally as cable allows.

Chandler winces. “Okay, I see your point. But it still looks really silly. Just imagine him doing something really mundane, like reading a newspaper or buying groceries.”

Joey laughs, because, holy shit, those are hilarious mental images that need to be shared; he’s imagining the alien’s giant penis-head knocking things over on store shelves. “I’d watch that movie.”

“‘Alien 4: Alien Needs Glasses.’” Chandler gives a little half-smirk at Joey’s laughter. “Hey, it could happen. I mean, they had Jason Voorhees hijack a cruise ship and come to New York, so clearly nothing’s too stupid for a horror movie setting.”

Joey thinks for a moment. “Wait, how could the alien need glasses if he doesn’t have eyes?”

“Okay, so he gets braces instead. Whatever. Or a haircut.” Joey takes a sip of beer, wonders how that last one works if the alien’s bald and slimy. Chandler sighs. “That was a circumcision joke, Joe, and it flew right by you.”

Joey punches Chandler in the arm, albeit affectionately, because snorting beer through his nose is the exact opposite of pleasant. He makes some very unattractive hacking-gasping noises, and Chandler looks like he’s trying not to laugh at Joey’s misfortune. When Joey can speak again, he croaks out, “You just earned and lost a point.”

Chandler smiles in a way that communicates he is absolutely okay with this.

About an hour or two later, Joey’s lying awake in his bed completely terrified by every little noise he hears. The sounds of the city below are exceptionally loud tonight, probably because Joey’s tuned in particularly well to each minute noise. He doesn’t remember it always being this loud.

Stupid scary movies. Chandler has a knee-jerk startle reflex, sure, but he can think his way out of being actually scared of something. Joey’s just the opposite, in fact, he seems to think his way into be scared of things on occasion. His brain is stupid, and he hates it.

Joey’s brain remembers that he has a sort-of boyfriend now, and that if Chandler were afraid of something he would let him take refuge in his bed. Chandler isn’t a heartless jerk, so Joey thinks Chandler might not begrudge him this simple favor. He kicks his way out of the blankets and pads out into the living room, twisting the knob to Chandler’s bedroom door and peering in. “Chandler?” he whispers.

Chandler makes a long, exasperated grunting sound. Joey can’t see his face, since Chandler’s back is facing him. “What?”

“I can’t sleep. Can I get in there with you?”

“You’re just gonna toss and turn in here and wake me up,” Chandler grumbles.

This isn’t his proudest moment, but, whatever, Joey’s just going to go with it. “Okay, I can’t sleep ‘cause I’m scared.”

Chandler lets out a sleepy sigh. “You want me to read you a bedtime story too?”

Joey frowns. “How can you be sarcastic when you’re half-asleep?”

“Just get in here and shut up.”

Joey crawls into bed alongside Chandler, tugging the blankets snugly around them. He cuddles closer so Chandler’s back is pressed against his chest. Chandler wiggles into the embrace, and Joey holds him tighter, nuzzling his head into the slope of Chandler’s shoulder: a perfect fit. The sweet scent of Chandler’s hair and aftershave floods Joey’s nose as he slips into sleep.


Joey wakes up the next morning with his limbs still wrapped around Chandler. Chandler doesn’t seem to be awake yet, so Joey takes the opportunity to bask in the reality that he’s in Chandler’s bed. His hair’s got a golden glow from the sunrise leaking through the blinds. The collar of Chandler’s oversized t-shirt has slipped to reveal a little freckle on the back of his neck; Joey presses his lips over it, making Chandler stir in his sleep. He squirms, slides his legs in the sheets, makes a soft sound in his throat. Joey skims a hand over the angle of Chandler’s hip and pushes his way under his shirt. Chandler wriggles, his ass pushing back against Joey’s dick. Joey sucks in a breath and tightens his fingers wherever they’re gripped.

“G’morning,” Chandler mumbles. He places a hand over Joey’s, lets it slide along the length of his arm. Joey feels the heat of his palm, and it makes a chill run up his spine. He kisses Chandler below the ear; Chandler glides his hand over Joey’s arm and around to his back. He seems to freeze in place. “Uh, Joe?” His hand moves over Joey’s back, down to his ass, then zips up to his back again. “Are—are you naked?”


Chandler scoots away so quickly he falls off of the side of the bed. He hits the floor with a thud, but manages to right himself so he’s facing Joey. “Why?”

“I always sleep naked,” Joey says with a shrug. “I thought you knew that.”

“You didn’t think to put clothes on before you came in here?”

“You’re my boyfriend, Chandler; why would I be afraid of you seein’ me naked?”

“Because I’m afraid of seeing you naked!” Chandler shouts back, like it’s obvious.

Joey grins and moves closer, lying on his side in what he hopes is a seductive pose. The blankets slide down his thighs to display his cock. “Afraid of seein’ somethin’ you like?”

Chandler does a double-take before rushing over to Joey, grabbing the sheets and covering up his flagrant display of dick. Joey tries pushing the blankets away, but Chandler sits on top of him with his knees on either side of Joey’s hips to pin the sheets to the bed. Joey gazes up at the sight of Chandler straddling him. “Whoa, good mornin’ to you too!”

Chandler frowns and—perhaps against his better judgement—lays his hands over Joey’s bare chest. Joey watches Chandler’s mouth go through some complicated expressions. Chandler pushes his fingers into the muscle, squeezes a nipple between his thumb and forefinger. Joey makes a soft whimpering sound and arches his spine to give himself over to Chandler’s hands. He rolls his hips, grinding against Chandler’s own, and Chandler gasps and pulls his hands away.

“It’s okay,” Joey whispers, because he wants Chandler to know it’s okay to want this, to want him.

But Chandler’s crawling off of him and distancing himself from Joey’s arousal. “I—I can’t, I’m sorry, Joe.”

Joey sits up, makes sure he’s, uh, covered up. “Hey, it’s cool. You know I won’t push you to do anything you don’t want to, right?”

Chandler nods weakly before practically fleeing from the room.


“Chandler, c’mon, please?”

“No, Joey, we’ve had this discussion, like, three times today!” Chandler moves to turn away, but Joey stops him and makes Chandler meet his eyes. “Okay, I guess we’re having it again.”

“Look, I know you like this apartment, but these are season Knicks tickets!” Joey has no idea how Chandler can not be persuaded by this.

“This place is worth so much more—”

“Why? What was wrong with our old place? I mean, sure, it’s smaller, but it feels more like home. This place feels like we’re on vacation somewhere, y’know?”

Chandler frowns. “Joe...”

Joey takes Chandler’s hands in his own. “If we had these tickets, I could afford to take you out on really nice dates,” he says quietly, as if he worries someone might overhear even though they’re alone.

Chandler makes a face. “You know I don’t care about that. I mean, I’m fine with hanging out here, ordering a pizza and watching TV. We don’t need anything fancy or expensive.”

“I know, but...” Joey can’t think of the right way to articulate the whirlwind of emotions in his head. “I wish I could do this for you, Chandler. I kinda miss our old place anyway.”

Chandler’s frowny expression falls away and rearranges into something more contemplative. “This really means a lot to you, huh?” Joey nods. “Alright, I’ll think about it.”


“Isn’t it great to be back home?” Joey asks as he and Chandler sit in their barcaloungers in front of the TV in apartment nineteen.

“Don’t thank me; thank Rachel and Monica for doing all the moving for us,” Chandler says with a chuckle. “I guess it was a nice couple of weeks living over there.” He checks his watch, hops up from his chair. “Laundry should be done. Would you give me a hand when I get back?”

After Chandler’s dumped the freshly dried clothes onto his bed, Joey sneaks up behind him and snakes his arms around Chandler’s waist. Chandler jumps a little but sort of snuggles into the affection. Joey kisses the back of his neck, holds him tighter. He sneaks a hand underneath Chandler’s shirt and skims his fingers over his stomach. Chandler gasps, rolls his hips back into Joey’s. Joey takes a nipple between his fingers, and Chandler tips his head back and groans. Joey’s other hand snakes down the front of Chandler’s pants. Chandler pushes his hips forward, as if trying to fit Joey’s hand around his dick.

Joey grins, gets Chandler turned around, and they fall against the bed together, with Joey pressing soft kisses to Chandler’s mouth. Chandler’s hands push through Joey’s hair, and Joey grinds his hips eagerly between Chandler’s legs. Chandler seems to have lost all sense of shyness, kissing Joey greedily and pulling at his clothes and hair. Joey pushes Chandler’s shirt up and kisses a line down his body, kneeling at the foot of the bed when he reaches the button of Chandler’s pants. Chandler just twists his hands in Joey’s hair, so Joey plucks the button open and shoves his pants and underwear down to his thighs in one smooth motion. Chandler kicks his way out of his clothes so his legs are free. Joey trails his mouth along the line of Chandler’s inner thigh, and Chandler bites back a moan.

Joey panics a little, because he’s never done this before. He doesn’t think it will be too difficult, but he really doesn’t want Chandler to laugh at him or judge him; for all of Joey’s sexual prowess, this is one area in which he’s fairly unpracticed. But he has a dick, one he’s intimately acquainted with. It’s not like he doesn’t know how they work.

He’s about to open his mouth to ask if this is okay, if Chandler will grant him this privilege, but Chandler hooks his legs over Joey’s shoulders and slides his heels down the length of his back, so Joey figures he’s got the go-ahead here. Joey touches him, wraps his fingers around Chandler’s cock and drags his thumb over the head. Chandler shudders, his mouth making a soft, needy sound that Joey’s never heard before. He takes a moment to bask in it, let it sink into his bones, before he opens his mouth around the head of Chandler’s cock.

Chandler moans another wonderful sound; his knees draw back a little, and his heels slide over Joey’s spine. He swells further in Joey’s mouth, and Joey sucks him, lets his tongue trace curves around the head. Chandler’s squirming and whimpering and tugging Joey’s hair in his fingers. He breathes out soft praises occasionally cut through with Joey’s name. Joey lets the praise spur him on; he takes Chandler in a little deeper, sucking him slowly and diligently. Chandler sighs a shaky breath, and Joey feels the slide of his legs over his skin. Joey hooks his arms around the soft curve of Chandler’s thighs, holding his hips in place. His mouth works in slow, wet pushes and pulses that make Chandler lift his hips up, trying to engulf more of his cock into Joey’s mouth.

“Joe, Joe, oh God...” He’s breathless already, but there’s an edge of need in his voice that gives Joey chills. Chandler struggles to prop himself up on his elbows. “I’m gonna...”

Joey can feel that he’s close. He slides Chandler’s dick out to focus on the head, and his eyes open to gaze up at him, because he wants to see this, wants to see Chandler fall over the edge because of him. Chandler bites his lip, tilts his head back, then he’s thick and salty in Joey’s mouth, his lips wrapped around a moan of stunned bliss. His nails drag over Joey’s scalp, and Joey drinks him down, licks him clean. He thinks he could get used to the taste.

“Joe,” Chandler sighs out, and it’s honest and light and happy as his fingers push through Joey’s hair.

Joey rises up on his knees so he can get a better view of Chandler’s face. “Was that—was that okay?” If Chandler’s not into this, he doesn’t want to push.

Chandler smiles. “Yeah.” He reaches for Joey’s hands, lacing their fingers together and pulling him down so he can kiss Joey’s mouth. “It was great.”

Joey grins against his lips, ecstatic that Chandler’s not responding to his touch with immediate panic. “So you’re okay with this? Like, us havin’ sex...with each other?”

Chandler’s face flushes a new shade of pink. “W—well, it might take some time before we do, y’know, that, but this is good.” Joey nods, understanding, but Chandler must see something there that Joey didn’t intend, because he takes Joey’s face in his hands and says, “Please don’t think I don’t want you, okay? Because I do. I just...have some things to work through so I can make this good for us.”

Joey kisses him again, skims a hand along his thigh. “Take as much time as you need.”

“You still have to help me fold up the clothes, Joe,” Chandler reminds him around the kiss.

“Damn it.”


Joey wakes up with a jolt at the prod of Chandler’s fingers between his ribs.

“Joe, you’re snoring again.”

“Sorry,” Joey mumbles sleepily, rolling onto his side so he can hold Chandler to his chest. He links his arms lazily around Chandler’s waist. Chandler snuggles into his embrace, but Joey can just feel the glare he’s getting right now.

“I can’t believe you only snore on your back,” Chandler grumbles. “This feels like a cheap ploy to press your dick against my ass.”

Joey closes his eyes, sighs deeply into Chandler’s hair. “Just be glad I’m wearin’ underwear.”

“Although if you turn the other way, I could have my dick pressed against your ass, and, whoa, could I be more turned on by that?” Chandler gives that a moment of thought before shifting in Joey’s arms, turning so he’s lying on his back. Apparently he’d rather have Joey’s dick hard against his thigh. “Are you just—do you always have an erection?” Chandler feels the need to ask.

“Mhmm,” Joey groans. He stopped paying attention long ago; maybe if he gives enough monosyllabic answers, Chandler will get bored and finally go to sleep.

There’s a moment of silence, then: “You could have said something like, ‘No, Chandler, that’s just the effect you have on me.’”

“Sorry,” Joey drags out. Again. “I’ll stroke your ego or whatever you want in the mornin’. I’m tired.” He thinks Chandler says something bitchy about that, but he’s falling asleep almost immediately.


Phoebe spends next Friday evening with Joey and Chandler, eating pizza and playing foosball. Joey invited her because he felt bad that she can’t attend Ross’ wedding in London, and since they’re going to be gone too he doesn’t want her feeling shut out from the group. He really hopes Chandler isn’t put out about tonight’s date being slightly postponed.

They get the apartment to themselves around eleven after Phoebe leaves. Joey’s playing a little solo foosball when he feels the heat of Chandler standing behind him. “Get on the other side if you wanna play,” Joey says. Chandler just huffs a laugh and lays his hands over Joey’s own.

“Nah, I don’t think you need any more points tonight.” Chandler pulls Joey into his arms, kisses the back of his neck.

“Yeah, I do! I’m probably at, like, negative three hundred now!”


“‘Cause we didn’t get to have our date.”

Chandler scoffs and slides his hands under Joey’s shirt. Joey sort of jumps at the feel of his fingers over his skin. “I think our date is just starting. And inviting Phoebe over so she wouldn’t feel left out? You earned points for that.”

“Really?” Joey wishes he knew about this arbitrary points system, but he doesn’t seem to be losing points, so it’s pretty great so far.

“Joe, if I gave you points for every nice thing you did, I’d run out of numbers.”

Joey knows that’s legit, because Chandler is awesome with numbers. He turns around in Chandler’s arms to kiss his mouth. Chandler holds him tighter, returns the kiss with a fierce edge that Joey’s never felt before with him. Joey drags in a breath and gets his hands full of Chandler’s shirt. He can feel Chandler’s fingers pushing at the edge of his jeans, and Joey wants him to touch his dick so badly he can feel it in his soul. He brings his hands up to Chandler’s face to pull him in, and he feels Chandler’s pulse tripping in his throat.

Chandler’s lips are parted in shocked arousal, so Joey takes the opportunity to kiss them, slip his tongue between them for a brief moment. Chandler hums around the kiss, and Joey wraps his hands around Chandler’s head and pushes his fingers through his hair. Chandler’s hands linger at Joey’s hips, and Joey nudges forward, slides Chandler’s thigh between his legs to subtly introduce his erection. Chandler makes a little gasping noise and pulls back—just a little—before his fingers grab at the hem of Joey’s shirt.

“You’re—you’re hard,” Chandler says, barely audible.

“Yeah, that’ll happen when you’re kissin’ me.”

Chandler’s eyes go wide. “Really?”

Joey just gives him a look, because he swears they’ve had this conversation before. He kisses Chandler again, soft and gentle, and Chandler’s hands drift into Joey’s jeans and pop the button open. It’s Joey’s turn to gasp now. Chandler’s fingers trail heat along his skin, tripping over the length of his cock and tugging the denim down over his hips. Joey gulps and struggles valiantly with the urge to grind into Chandler’s thigh.

Chandler glances down for half a second before pressing his mouth over Joey’s, letting his hand slide along Joey’s dick. All Joey can feel is heat and pressure and Chandler, and he stumbles a bit backwards against the edge of the foosball table. Chandler closes in, keeps his hand wrapped around him, kissing frantically at Joey’s mouth, neck, and the curve of his jaw.
Joey moans, overwhelmed and needy, because Chandler’s thumb strokes over the tip of his cock, and, oh God, that’s good. He tries to clamp down on the sound, hoping Chandler won’t bolt, but Chandler just kisses him harder and bites at his bottom lip. Joey grinds into Chandler’s thigh, feels the flare of arousal bloom outward from his groin. He can’t help but groan a breathless, throaty sound against the air at the friction.

Joey thinks he’s losing his mind. He wants Chandler to pick him up and shove into him, fuck him until he can’t make words anymore. “God, Chandler, please, just—” Joey pushes into Chandler’s thigh and hand, chokes back a desperate noise as Chandler jerks him off, slow and easy. Chandler braces himself against the table with his free hand, moving in to kiss the hollow of Joey’s throat as his wrist twists and strokes the length of Joey’s cock. Joey tips his head back, keeps shoving his hips forward into Chandler’s hand and thigh, and then he’s coming hard over his stomach and Chandler’s fingers. Chandler freezes for a moment, slides his hand in the mess and pinches the tip of Joey’s dick between his thumb and forefinger. Joey shudders and lets out a weak, pathetic moan, his hips pulsing with the aftershocks.

His life is fucking awesome.

Chandler’s pressing gentle kisses to the line of Joey’s jaw, and his fingers are tight around his dick and in his shirt. Joey can feel that Chandler is totally into this. Something tugs hard in his gut at the thought of making Chandler orgasm. “Do you...want me to return the favor?” Joey asks, reaching a hand out to tug at a vacant beltloop on Chandler’s jeans.

Chandler wets his lips, glances down at Joey’s hand. “If you want to.”

Joey doesn’t even think about refusing that.


Joey’s eating breakfast in the kitchen when Chandler emerges from his bedroom. Chandler’s never a beacon of sunshine in the morning, but he’s looking particularly frowny today. Joey fixes him a plate of waffles and slides it across the counter as Chandler sits at the bar. “Good morning!”

“Maybe for you,” Chandler grumbles, grabbing the syrup bottle to drown the waffles in delicious, sticky goodness.

“Why are you such a grouch in the morning?”

Chandler’s face scrunches in response.

Joey thinks he gets it now. “Oh, are you still mad ‘cause Ross picked me as his best man?” Chandler just rolls his eyes and stabs his fork into his waffles. “C’mon, Chandler, you already got to do it once! I’ve never done it before. Ross is my friend too, y’know.”

Chandler frowns at his plate like it’s disappointed him, but Joey knows Chandler’s disappointment lies with something he’s done—or didn’t do.

“When you get married, if you wanna pick Ross as your best man over me, I won’t be mad,” Joey adds unhelpfully.

Chandler sighs in a particularly dramatic way, complete with posture slumping. “Where is she?”

Joey blinks. “Who?”

“The stripper. Is she still in your room? Is that why you made breakfast?”

Joey doesn’t think he’ll ever understand what goes on in Chandler’s brain. “What? No, I made it for you—for us.”

“You didn’t sleep with her?” Chandler asks with way too much disbelief in his voice.

“No, man, why would I cheat on you?”

Chandler pauses, fork lifted halfway to his mouth. He stares at Joey in what can only be described as horror. “You—what?”

Joey doesn’t know what part of that sentence Chandler can’t grasp. He figures it’s worth restating, because Chandler can occasionally be a little slow on the uptake. “I wouldn’t cheat on you, Chandler. That’s not me.”

Chandler’s sputtering out fragments of words in confused shock, gesturing in a way Joey assumes is supposed to communicate something. “You—you think this is an actual relationship?”

Joey feels a cold hand reach into his chest and squeeze his heart. “You...don’t?”

Chandler gazes at him in awe, as if Joey’s just performed some sort of black magic. “Oh my God. We’re actually dating. This is real.”

“Why wouldn’t it be?” Joey’s heart does a jittery gallop in his chest. Is Chandler second-guessing this whole thing? Does he not want to date Joey?

“I just...didn’t think it was real for you,” Chandler admits, his voice impossibly low. “I mean, you’, and I’m me, and—it just doesn’t make sense.”

“You don’t think I like bein’ with you?”

Chandler makes a face. “No!” he says, like it should be obvious. “I thought you’d get bored by now!”

Joey laughs. “Chandler, you’re anything but boring. I love datin’ you! We don’t have to impress each other, or spend a bunch of money tryin’ to be somethin’ we’re not... It’s great. And I’m really happy we’re together.”

Chandler’s mouth does that pinching little smile thing that reaches his eyes. His face flushes, and he looks down at his plate to hide the emotion. “Thanks, Joe. I’m glad you’re as happy as I am.”


They spend the first two days in London taking in the sights. Monica’s been roped into the drama surrounding Ross and Emily’s wedding, leaving Chandler and Joey to pass the time by themselves. They end up ordering room service and watching movies in their hotel room after the rehearsal dinner. Chandler’s lying beside Joey on the bed, his head lolled on Joey’s shoulder. Joey’s got an arm curled around him. Chandler hasn’t said anything in a while. Joey wonders if he’s fallen asleep.

“Chandler?” he whispers.


“You notice we’re just doin’ the same thing here that we do at home?”

Chandler chuckles under his breath. “Yeah, you’re right. Is that bad?”

Joey shrugs. “Nah, I just...figured we’d be more adventurous in a whole ‘nother country.”

“Well, I don’t think there’s any mountains to scale or dangerous wildlife to capture. We’ll just have to stick to taking pictures of old buildings.”

Joey draws small circles on Chandler’s shoulder with his index finger. “I’ve got an idea, if—if you wanna hear it.”

“Of course.”

Joey takes a breath, builds up the courage to say this out loud. “We could, y’know, fool around.”

“Take me now,” Chandler says flatly.

Joey huffs a sigh. “I gotta ask! I don’t wanna start doin’ somethin’ without knowin’ you’re okay with it first.”

“How very chivalrous of you, Joe.” Chandler scoots up a little so he can press a kiss to Joey’s mouth. Joey kisses him back, sucks on the bow of his upper lip, and Chandler moans a tiny sound of want. Joey shifts, rolling on top of Chandler. He experiences a brief second of panic that Chandler might shove him away, but Chandler just reaches up to get his hands in Joey’s hair. Joey grins, gleeful at the idea that Chandler wants him just as much as he does. Joey slides a hand underneath Chandler’s t-shirt, feels the heat of his skin under his palm. Chandler squirms at the touch, his body wriggling, and his hips lift up to grind against Joey’s own. Joey crushes his mouth against Chandler’s, and Chandler spreads a hand over the curve of Joey’s spine.

Their mouths break apart and reconvene, hands everywhere at once, and all Joey can think about is that he might get to put his dick inside Chandler tonight. He opens his mouth to ask when a knock sounds on the door. They scramble away from each other.

“You wanna get that?” Joey asks, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. “I’ll be right back.”

Chandler goes to answer the door as Joey shuts the bathroom door behind him. Joey has never panicked about having sex before; this is a brand-new experience for him. But Joey’s never had sex with his best friend—or another guy—before either, so he’s racking up a bunch of first times tonight. Joey will gladly admit that he’s pretty great at sex, and he thinks he’ll be rather decent when it comes to fucking another dude.

But this is Chandler. He wants to make it good for him, because Joey’s willing to bet that most—no, probably all—of Chandler’s sexual experiences have been awkward and clumsy and unsatisfying. Joey hasn’t had awkward or clumsy sex since he was, like, fourteen. Plus, Chandler’s his best friend, and what kind of friend would Joey be if he didn’t give the guy a mind-blowing orgasm?

He decides to start slow, because Joey has a multitude of filthy, rough, pornographic scenarios in his head, but Chandler’s new at this, and Joey doesn’t want to scare him off. He can do this. It’s going to be awesome because it’s them, and they love each other—or, at least, they’re getting there.

Joey opens the door at the absolute worst moment, because Chandler and Monica are kissing, and Joey doesn’t know what’s real anymore.

Chandler sort of shoves her away, panicking and flailing his arms in a way that’s completely authentic. Joey doesn’t think Chandler even knows he’s there. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! What’s going on? You and I just made out! You and I are making out!”

“Well, not anymore,” Monica says.

Chandler shakes his head, pushes a hand through his hair. “Look, Mon, any other time I would be all over this, trust me, but, uh...I’m sort of, um, seeing somebody.”

Monica looks way more surprised about this than is necessary. “Since when?”

“Since...a couple months now.”

She gasps. “Oh my God, Chandler, why didn’t you tell me?”

He shrugs. “I guess I just...didn’t want to. I mean, I wanna make sure it’s gonna work before I tell anyone. It’s nothing against you or anybody else. I just don’t wanna talk about it in the early stages where literally anything could go wrong.”

“Does Joey know?”

Chandler shakes his head. “It’s a total secret.”

“Wow.” Monica looks away, chagrined. “Well, at least I only sort of made a fool out of myself,” she says with a laugh.

Chandler moves closer and hugs her. “No, c’mon, Monica, you’re fine. You should be proud; it’s not often that beautiful women kiss me of their own volition.” She chuckles, spots Joey eavesdropping near the bathroom. “Joey, there you are. Can I talk to you for a second?”

Chandler sort of jumps, like he had no idea Joey was standing there. Joey nods, follows Monica to the front door. Chandler’s mouthing “don’t tell her” in an overdramatic fashion, complete with over-the-top arm gestures. When they get outside the room, Monica sighs. “Okay, please don’t reject me too.”

Joey lifts an eyebrow.

“I’m feeling very vulnerable right now,” Monica says. “If an attractive man were to, oh, I don’t know, ask me how I was doing, I might feel compelled to sleep with him.”

It takes Joey a moment to put things together, but then he’s laughing nervously and rubbing the back of his neck. “Oh man, you’re gonna hate me...”

Monica makes a frustrated grunting noise and thumps her head against Joey’s chest. “Why is this happening to me?” she sort of sobs.

Joey rubs her back, holds her in his arms. “Aww, c’mon, Mon, you know you’re hot.” He doesn’t think Monica will go for another ‘already dating someone’ excuse, so he tries to think on his feet. “But don’t you think that’d make things weird? I mean, the last time anybody in our group slept together, Rachel and Ross happened. And Rach isn’t even here because of Ross.”

Monica frowns. “I’m not asking for a relationship, Joey. Just sex. You’re good at that! Or so I’ve heard.”

“How come you’re all ‘sleep with me, Joey’ all of a sudden?”

She sighs, looks away in chagrin. “All evening, my mother has been making snide little jokes about how I’ll never get married, and I just...I don’t know, maybe she’s right.” She shrugs in defeat. “What’s so wrong about wanting to feel desirable?”

“Nothin’, but you don’t need me or Chandler to make you feel that way.” Joey figures he needs to appeal to Monica’s competitive drive here. “I mean, if you feel forced to do somethin’ just ‘cause your mom made you feel bad, doesn’t that mean she wins?”

Monica’s face scrunches up. “She doesn’t have to know...”

“Yeah, but you’ll know.”

She stares at him like she’s trying to read what’s going on in his head. “When did you get”—she searches for the word, settles on the wrong one—“smart?”

“Maybe I’ve been hangin’ around Chandler too long.” She smiles at him, and he presses his lips to her forehead. “Now, go on, enjoy the hotel. Go see what Ross is up to.”

Monica kisses his cheek and departs. When Joey gets back into the room, Chandler’s sitting on the bed like he’s waiting to be punished for something. “Is she okay?” Chandler asks.

“She will be.” Joey comes over to him, lays his hands on Chandler’s shoulders and kisses his mouth. Chandler’s hands find their way underneath Joey’s shirt and push, skimming over his nipples. Joey gasps around the kiss, and Chandler tugs him down until they’re lying on top of each other. Chandler keeps tweaking and pinching, making Joey squirm and wriggle his hips. He pulls at Joey’s shirt, trying to bring it over his head, and Joey helps him with the task. Chandler’s hands slide over the skin of Joey’s back, and Joey moans hot against his mouth.

Chandler curls his fingers at the edge of Joey’s jeans before unbuttoning, unzipping, and shoving them down over his hips. Joey feels the smooth graze of heat from Chandler’s fingers over his thighs and kisses him harder. His mouth finds Chandler’s throat and latches on, his tongue dipping into the hollow there.

Chandler looks up at him, slides his hands into Joey’s boxers to curve around his ass. His lips are pinked with the flow of blood. “Are you gonna...y’know, start taking my clothes off?” he mumbles, chagrined.

Joey tips his head up to kiss his mouth. “I wanna take my time.”

“I thought you were a professional at this,” Chandler says, a hint of a smirk on his lips.

Joey grins at the compliment. “I am, but...this is different. This is you.”

Chandler’s mouth does a twitchy smile thing for a moment. “Ooh, flattery.” His hands push Joey’s boxers down, and Joey kicks them free. He pulls Chandler’s t-shirt off and kisses a line down his chest, opening his mouth around nipples and dipping his tongue into his navel. Chandler makes a shuddery sound of want that goes straight to Joey’s dick. Joey squeezes his thighs together, fighting the urge to just reach down there and tug. Maybe he’s being a bit too ambitious with the whole “taking his time” thing; Joey’s never been the most patient of men, especially when sex is involved.

He gets Chandler’s pants and underwear off, discarded on the floor alongside Joey’s own. His mouth immediately finds Chandler’s inner thighs, because he loves the way Chandler squirms when he kisses them—and squirm he does. His legs flail and eventually find their place hooked over Joey’s shoulders. Joey’s mind races with all the possibilities here, but he wants to do something new, something Chandler’s never felt with him before. His tongue licks the line of Chandler’s thigh, and he scoots up, sitting between Chandler’s legs. Chandler watches him with curious, half-lidded eyes.

Joey fumbles with the drawer of the night table, finding the condoms and lube he’d stored there. Chandler doesn’t show any signs of panicking at the prospect of having Joey’s dick inside of him. Joey snaps open the bottle and gets two fingers wet. “Tell me if you want me to stop, okay?”

Chandler nods, and Joey rubs his fingers over Chandler’s entrance, finds that he’s eager and open. Chandler closes his eyes, groans a wanton sound behind his lips. His thighs tense a little, and he slides down the mattress to push Joey’s fingers deeper. Joey takes the hint and eases the digits in. Chandler gasps and grabs onto Joey’s arms for stability, pushing his hips into Joey’s hand. “Joe, please,” he manages through needy grunts.

Joey’s going to take that as full-fledged permission. He slides his fingers out so he can get the condom on; the last thing he needs tonight is some sort of embarrassing injury acquired from trying to multi-task. Once he’s adequately prepared, he tugs Chandler a little closer to seal their hips together and folds forward to kiss his mouth. Chandler’s hands push through Joey’s hair before sliding down to his neck. Joey skims a hand underneath the hot length of Chandler’s thigh and eases his way inside of him.

Chandler gasps a shocked, aroused sound around Joey’s mouth, and it’s the hottest fucking sex noise Joey’s ever heard in his life. Being inside of Chandler feels pretty goddamn awesome too, if Joey’s honest. He’s tight and warm, and everything about him pulls Joey in deeper—his body, his legs, his hands. His eyes are stormy with need when they’re not squeezed shut in ecstasy. Chandler’s hands grasp blindly along the curve of Joey’s back as Joey moves, slow and unhurried.

Joey’s never had sex with someone he’s been in love with. He thinks it makes a difference, because Chandler’s little moans and whimpers and the way his fingers drag across his skin turn Joey on so much he knows he’s not going to last very long at all. It’s kind of pathetic, and if Joey wasn’t certain that Chandler wouldn’t make fun of him for it he’d be embarrassed for himself. But from the sounds Chandler’s making he’s not going to last long either.

“Is it good?” Joey pants out, hooking his arms around Chandler’s thighs so he can plunge in deeper, harder.

Chandler moans a sound that tells Joey he’s doing a pretty damn good job here. He groans Joey’s name, bucks his hips into the thrusts, and Joey’s dick tags a spot that makes Chandler’s back arch off of the mattress. “Oh, fuck, Joe, right there, please...” Joey does as he’s told, eager to please, rocks his hips between Chandler’s legs in a way that has Chandler begging and pleading for more. Joey gasps like he’s dying, because Chandler’s so tight and hot around him, and the tease of an orgasm pressing against the base of his spine is obscene. Nothing should feel that good ever. It’s almost too much to take.

Joey falls apart with a cry, the pace of his hips stuttering and slowing, and Chandler’s orgasm is such a beautiful thing, Joey’s glad he came first so he can watch it happen. Chandler gazes up at him, looking absolutely wrecked. He licks his lips, pushes a hand through his messy hair. “God, Joe, that was...” He rolls his hips and moans, and Joey’s going to take that as a compliment. Joey folds at the waist to kiss Chandler’s mouth. Chandler pulls him in, his fingers knotted in Joey’s hair as his legs slide off of Joey’s shoulders and wrap around his waist. He sighs a happy sound around the kiss, chuckles when Joey kisses the little freckle above his mouth. He looks like he wants to say something more, but he doesn’t, instead pulling Joey in for another kiss.

Joey’s not going to argue with that.


Joey wakes up the next morning with Chandler sleeping soundly on his chest. He’s wearing a cute little smile on his lips, as if he’s dreaming something pleasant; Joey wonders what that might be, if he’s a part of Chandler’s dreams. With a gentle hand, he feathers his fingers through Chandler’s hair, but the touch wakes Chandler up regardless. Chandler shifts in the sheets, rolls over onto his back and rubs his eyes.

“Mornin’, Joe,” he mumbles, cuddling close and laying a hand over Joey’s stomach.

Joey smiles at him. “What were you dreamin’ about? You looked like you were enjoyin’ it.”

“I don’t remember,” Chandler says after a moment. “Must’ve been nice.”

“Was it about our sex life?”

Chandler snorts a laugh. “I said I don’t remember.”

Joey shrugs. “I thought I’d jog your memory.” He chuckles when Chandler grins and moves in to kiss him, and he can’t help but wrap his hands around Chandler’s ass. Chandler moans into his mouth and crawls on top of him, his knees on either side of Joey’s hips. Joey rolls his hips up, reaches blindly for the bottle of lube discarded somewhere on the mattress. He dips two fingers in, gets them slick enough to slip inside of Chandler. Chandler makes a contented sound and pushes back against Joey’s hand. Chandler’s already wide open for him already, twitching around Joey’s fingers. Joey loves how Chandler grinds down, tilts into the stroke and press of his hand.

He slides his fingers in and out in greedy pushes, and Chandler tips his head back and breathes out, “Mm, Joe, yeah, like that;” Joey’s more than happy to comply. Chandler’s making helpless little sounds, rocking his hips back and forth into Joey’s fingers, drunk on the slow stroke of his hand. Joey raises his hips up, trying to manufacture some friction for his impossibly hard dick.

Joey can feel that he’s close. He slides his fingers out, slow and careful. “Chandler, get off.”

“That’s”—huff—“what I’m trying to do.”

“No, I mean get off’a me.” Chandler freezes, frowning like he’s being chastised for some sort of wrongdoing. “I wanna try somethin’.”

Chandler does as he’s asked, then Joey tips him backwards onto his back, kisses the inside of his thighs. Chandler groans, head hanging off the end of the bed, and Joey slides a hand under Chandler’s ass to hold him still while his other hand tugs at his own cock, jerks himself hard and fast until he’s coming in thick, wet stripes between Chandler’s legs. Chandler sighs out a breath and squeezes his legs together. This is the hottest fucking thing Joey’s ever seen, and he doesn’t know how to handle the idea that it’s going to get hotter—at least, if Chandler doesn’t freak out.

Joey gets both of his hands wrapped around Chandler’s ass so he can pull his hips up to his mouth and lap at his jizz-smeared opening. Chandler chokes out, “Joe, Joe,” and hooks his legs over Joey’s shoulders. Joey grins and slides his tongue in, slow and slick. He can feel the way Chandler clutches around the hot stab of his tongue, the way his thighs quiver and lock when Joey sucks and hums around his entrance. Chandler doesn’t have any more words to make by this point, whining out needy little sounds that spur Joey on. He doesn’t want to rush, just works his tongue in and out, slow, easy, enjoying the moans he can draw out of Chandler.

Chandler cries out, breathless and shuddery when he comes, and Joey licks up the cum that drips down where his tongue is lapping. Chandler’s all squirmy, pushing his hips into Joey’s mouth and grabbing the sheets in his fingers. “Did you like that?” Joey asks, breathing hot between his legs and making Chandler squirm even more.

Chandler answers that with a satisfied groaning noise.

“That good, huh?” He dips down again to tease his tongue around the tight bud of muscle there. Chandler moans in contentment, his hand tugging at his own flagging cock.

Joey’s licking inside of him when the door to their hotel room flies open, and Ross sticks his head in. “I’m getting married today! I’m getting married—Oh my God, what am I looking at?!”

Chandler and Joey scramble to cover themselves up and fall off of the bed in the process. Ross screams again and shuts the door at a speed Joey didn’t know was humanly possible. He can still hear Ross making mortified screeching noises on the other side of the door.

Chandler’s grabbing his clothes off of the floor and pulling them on with shaky hands. “Oh my God, oh my God, Ross knows, Ross knows,” he mutters, panicked beyond reason.

“Look, they were gonna have to find out eventually,” Joey says, trying to be helpful, as he pulls his jeans over his hips.

“Not through a visual aid!” Chandler hisses.

Joey sighs. “Okay, okay, it’s cool, alright? We can tell him somethin’ like...I was just looking for somethin’.”

“In my ass?” Chandler yells incredulously, complete with flailing arms. “Dude, I’m pretty sure there’s no way to explain what he just saw in a way that won’t make him hate everything forever.”

Joey nods, because that was pretty damning evidence. Joey’s tongue was in Chandler’s ass; there’s no coming back from that.

They might have actually traumatized Ross.

Monica storms into their room, because she has absolutely no sense of privacy when a gossip-worthy situation is at hand. “What did you guys do? Ross has never had this much trouble making words in his entire life!”

Chandler sighs and shuts his eyes. Joey rubs the back of his neck in a very guilty way.

Monica stares at them. “Joey, why is your shirt on backwards and inside-out?”

Joey looks down, sees the tag of his shirt sticking out. “Oops.”

As he’s correcting his fashion faux-pas, Monica says, “Did Ross walk in on you naked?”

“In a matter of speaking,” Chandler says with a bitter laugh. Joey opens his mouth to feed her another excuse, because he knows Chandler isn’t ready for anyone to know about their relationship yet, but Chandler stops him with a hand laid over Joey’s chest. “We were, uh, we were both naked.” Monica’s brow furrows in confusion. “Remember last night when I said I was seeing someone? Well, I sort of lied when I told you that Joey didn’t know....”

It takes Monica a moment to put it together, then she’s almost as loud as Ross. “Oh my God, you two are—You guys are dating?”

Chandler winces at her volume. “Yeah.”

“How long?”

“A couple of months,” Joey offers.

There’s a moment of silence where anything could happen, then Monica’s laughing.

“Gee, thanks for your support,” Chandler grumbles, collapsing into a nearby chair.

“I’m not—I’m not laughing at you,” Monica says through giggles. “I’m laughing because Ross walked in on you guys!”

“I don’t really see the humor, Monica.” Chandler bites his lips together, blinks in that way of his when he’s being particularly bitchy.

“Because if it had been anyone else—me, Phoebe, or even Rachel—it wouldn’t bother us. But Ross... It’s like: first Carol and Susan, and now you guys!” She claps her hands together and laughs again.

Joey frowns. “I still think you’re laughin’ at us.”

Even the drama of Rachel showing up at the wedding and Ross’ blunder with the names doesn’t keep Chandler and Joey’s relationship being the focus of gossip between their friends. Joey really wishes they didn’t have to find out so...visually; he would have preferred a nice little revelation over pizza or something.

Ross is grumbling at them at the buffet table, still refusing to make eye contact. “I am completely blaming this on you!” he hisses at Chandler while they’re loading up their plates.

“What? How? How can you blame us for saying the wrong name at the altar?”

“Maybe I would have said the right name if I hadn’t walked in on you two trying to create a human centipede!” Ross sort of shouts. A few of the reception guests stare at them, and they’re definitely not being subtle about it.

Chandler looks like he wants to hide under the table for the rest of his life. “Wh—why did that make you think of Rachel?” he cries. “Oh God, I don’t wanna know.”

Joey frowns at his plate; this is one of the rare circumstances where he’s actually lost his appetite.


They don’t get to be alone until they get back home—though not without a lack of trying. Ross, Monica, and Rachel seemed hell-bent on keeping them from having any sort of intimate moment together, so Joey’s a little affection-starved as he drags Chandler into their apartment. He tosses their bags aside and shoves Chandler against the front door, a knee between Chandler’s legs to grind his thigh against his dick.

“Now that we’re alone,” Joey coos, pressing sloppy kisses to Chandler’s jaw before grabbing his earlobe between his teeth, “what do you wanna do?”

Chandler grins and says, “You,” which Joey is absolutely okay with. He shoves a hand down the front of Chandler’s pants when something—or someone—tries to force the door open.

Phoebe’s voice sounds from the other side. “This is bullcrap! I miss everything!”

“Pheebs?” Joey tugs Chandler away from the door, and Phoebe storms in, jabbing a finger in the middle of Joey’s chest.

“How come you never told me you guys were together?”

“Because something like this would happen,” Chandler quips dryly.

“And how could I not know?” She tosses her hands up in the air. “Ugh, this pregnancy is throwing me all off!”

“We did hide it pretty well,” Joey says, because it’s true: they did.

Monica rushes over from across the hall. “Please tell me you guys didn’t do anything gross while you were living in my apartment!” she practically screeches.

Joey laughs, decides he has a perfect opportunity here to fuck with her. He shrugs, says, “I guess you’ll never know.”

Monica’s face goes white. “Oh my God.” She gasps, horrified by the prospect, and disappears in her apartment, presumably to clean and disinfect everything. Twice.

Phoebe glances at them. “You guys didn’t actually—”

“Aw, c’mon, don’t spoil the fun,” Chandler teases, nudging her with his arm, and Joey beams in pride that Chandler’s managed to siphon a little bit of his humor.

Phoebe grins. “I’m so happy for you guys!” she squeals, hugging the both of them the best she can. “You make a really good couple. You’re, like, super-lobsters!”

“I’m sure you meant that as a compliment, Pheebs,” Chandler starts, “but with all the craziness surrounding Ross and Rachel the past couple of years...” He shrugs. “Maybe they’re not the best example of a solid relationship.”

We’ll never go on a break, huh?” Joey teases, sliding an arm around Chandler’s waist.

“That depends, Joe. Do you plan on cheating on me with the hot girl from the Xerox place?”

Joey covers Chandler’s mouth with his own. “As long as you don’t make a list about me,” he says around the kiss.

“Touché.” Chandler can’t argue with that, since the whole list debacle was his idea.

Phoebe smiles and hugs them again. “Aww, you guys! I’m gonna go home and let you two scar Ross for life some more.”

“Monica told you about that?” Chandler sort of yells with a twinge of terror in his voice.

“Duh! That was, like, the first thing she said: ‘Ross saw Joey and Chandler having sex!’” She laughs at the memory. Chandler covers his face with his hands. “Don’t worry, Ross is the one who looks stupid here.”

“Yeah, I’m not so sure about that,” Chandler murmurs, and Joey kisses his cheek to stop his whining. Because, sure, their relationship’s going to be a source of humor for the group over the next week or so, but it’s also fucking awesome and solid, and Joey thinks that’s a pretty good trade-off.

When Phoebe’s gone, Joey slinks his arms around Chandler’s waist again and kisses his pouty little mouth. Chandler smiles at the affection. “Forget about it, Chandler, they’re just jealous of our love.” It’s so new and fragile it gives him butterflies just saying it.

Chandler chuckles, smiles wider when Joey kisses the little freckle near the corner of his lips. “You love me,” he teases, but he’s blushing as he says it, like he can’t believe it himself. “Good luck with that.”

“I think I’ve racked up enough points to be pretty good at this whole thing with you.” Joey squeezes Chandler’s hips and captures his mouth again. “How many points do I have now?”

Chandler grins against Joey’s lips, steering him in the direction of his bedroom. “Joe, I stopped counting a long time ago.”