Title:  Friendly Persuasion
Author:  Elvichar
Fandom: Friends
Disclaimer : Characters owned by the people who make Friends - no one is making money from this, least of all me.
Rating: G at most. I’m a bit of a wuss.
Synopsis: After the one with the hypnosis tape Joey wants to see how far he can go.
Spoiler - The One with the Hypnosis tape (probably not called that but if you’ve seen it you’ll know the one I mean.)
Pairings: Well who do you think - you’ve seen Friends - who would you put together? Don’t say Rachel and Ross or Monica and Chandler - I warn you I’ll scream.

Email: elvichar@yahoo.com


Friendly Persuasion

by Elvichar


Chandler had been acting pretty weird lately. But then
what was new?

Joey heard the sound of the self-hypnosis tape coming
from his roommate’s bedroom - he had to go in a look.
Chandler asleep... it was so cute.

Joey chuckled to himself as he heard the words of the
tape. “You are a confident woman...you do not need to
smoke.” 

The next morning Chandler got out of bed and made
himself some herb tea.  Joey came out of his room,
rubbing his eyes like a little child.

“Hey what’s up? You making breakfast for me?”

“No.” Chandler said, affronted, “You can make your own
breakfast.”

“But I’m hungry.”

“So eat. Don’t be such a big baby.”

Sandwiches. That’s what Joey really wanted. Submarine
sandwiches. And for Chandler to do stuff for him -
that’d be good. He remembered the hypnosis tape and
decided to try something.

The next morning Chandler was again awake before Joey.
“Joey - what did you do to the tape?” Chandler asked.

“Hey - it was just a joke. So,”  Joey laughed, “you
going to make me sandwiches?”

Chandler shook his head.  “No my friend - I’m not that
easily swayed by the power of suggestion.”

Joey stifled a laugh and Chandler shot him a look that
made him realize he’d better leave it.

**************************************

Phoebe had just finished her set at Central Perk and
she had a date. Ross and Rachel were still on for
once, and had decided to go for a romantic stroll
through the city. Chandler asked them if they were
going to pick up any crack and whores on the way, but
they weren’t that amused. Monica had an evening class
on  ‘hygiene in the home’. 

“You teaching it?” Chandler had laughed. Monica gave
him the look, so he shut up.

So it was just Chandler and Joey sitting with their
lattes waiting for something to happen.

“Hey why don’t we go play some racquetball?” Chandler
said enthusiastically.

“You don’t have a racquet.” Joey pointed out.

“I lent it to you.” 

“My point exactly.” Joey shrugged.

“Well I’m bored. What can we do ? All our friends have
abandoned us,” Chandler grizzled.

“We could  do guy stuff,” Joey suggested.

“What’s guy stuff supposed to be? Can’t we just get
some more coffee?”

“Chandler - don’t be such a baby. And make me a
sandwich.”

Chandler laughed weekly, “yeah, good one - got me
there.”

“We don’t need the others. We’re the two amigos -
friends forever. What’s the matter - scared of me or
something? Why  can’t we just hang out - get some
beers. You and Ross are always doing stuff together -
why won’t you do stuff with me?”

Chandler stared at Joey. “I’m sorry Joe. I had no idea
you felt so strongly about it. “

“Yeah - well there’s a lot you don’t know about me.”

“Yes I’m sure there is,” Chandler said patronisingly.

“No don’t do that. I’m not stupid you know - I do know
when you’re making fun of me.”

Serious for once, Chandler looked at Joey, “You mean
it don’t you - you think I’m hanging out with all the
others just to avoid you.”

“I didn’t say that, “Joey insisted, “although you do
like them more than me.”

“I do not!”

“You do too!”

“This is just ridiculous Joey - I don’t know where you
got this idea but it’s  just not true.”

Joey smiled, “Ok - we going to hang out together then?
’Cos I think we should go to the zoo.”

“The zoo?” Chandler knew when he was defeated.

*************************************

They’d seen quite a few monkeys trying to do it with
other monkeys, trees and any other objects that were
lying about. They kind of reminded Chandler of Joey.

From the zoo, they’d somehow ended up at an old
fairground on the outskirts of the city. They were
still there when the rides were switched off for the
evening.

“Ok Joe - I can see you can get a LOT of cotton candy
in your mouth - you don’t have to keep showing me.”

“Joey opened his mouth to show Chandler the pink goop
inside. He stuck out his tongue and made munching
noises.

“Enough - you’re like a little child ,” Joey took a
lump of melting candy from his mouth and stuck it on
Chandler’s cheek . He pointed and laughed as Chandler
wiped it away.

“Will you stop!” Chandler said, “what’s with you?”

“Hey don’t walk away - we’re having fun here.”

“Sure we are.”

“Chandler - are you not enjoying yourself?”

“I’m just a little tense, that’s all.”

“I’ll say.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Chandler snapped.

Joey looked a little shocked, Chandler immediately
felt he had to make it all better, “I’m sorry Joe.
It’s just life. It’s depressing me.”

“Aw - don’t be sad Chandler there’s loads. You’re a
great guy - everybody likes you. “

“I just feel so lonely sometimes.”

“How can you feel lonely ? You’re never alone.”

“It’s not so bad when there are people there - it
doesn’t sink in so much. It’s just after., Late at
night. Sometimes I wake up in a big bed. Alone. And it
just hits me. I have no one.”

“Chandler you don’t have no one.”

“Is that a double negative?”

Joey frowned, “No. What are you talking about? I’m
always there for you.”

“It’s not the same. It’s not what I meant. You know
what I mean.” Chandler sighed.

“Yes. I do know what you mean. I know exactly what you
mean. That’s what I’m saying,” Joey said quietly.

Chandler looked at him. The cotton candy had melted,
and although he was a bit sticky he looked ok. Joey
was the best. Out of all his friends Joey was the one
he’d  miss the most if they were all parted. It was a
shame Joey didn’t mean what Chandler thought it
sounded like he meant.

“No -  I mean it Chandler,” Joey continued. “I’m there
if you need me.”

“Not for what I need though Joe. “

“I think I might surprise you,” Joey smiled. and moved
closer to Chandler. Chandler jumped away quickly.

“Oh no Joe - that’s not what I meant. You’ve
misunderstood. You’re a good friend - but that’s way
beyond  the boundaries of friendship.”

“But Chandler..”

“No Joey, no buts. Definitely no buts. That’s the last
thing I need right now.”

Joey stood there looking confused. “But I thought...”

Chandler melted slightly. “Joe - I’m sorry. I don’t
want this to come between us. You’re my best friend,
but not that...”

Joey pouted, “Chandler. Ii was just trying to help.
Now I’ve ruined everything.”

Chandler was feeling bad now. He didn’t want Joey to
be upset. The last thing he wanted to see was a sad
Joey.  “Joe. Don’t... we’ll just pretend this never
happened .”

“But it did happen. You can’t turn the clock back
Chandler. I just  wanted to make you feel better.”

“You did Joe - you did. You just went a little too
far.”

“C’mere,” Joey said.

“What?” Chandler looked sideways at Joey.

“If you hug me - it’ll be like it never happened.
Everything will be all right.”

“It will?”

“Sure.”

“Ok. If you say so.”

Chandler walked forward, Joey opened his arms and gave
him big bear hug. Squeezing him tighter.

“Love you man,” Joey’s muffled voice said.

Chandler said nothing. He just let Joey hug.

********************************************

The next morning Rachel and Monica came into to borrow
some milk.

“So what did you guys get up to last night. Anything
fun?” Rachel asked.

“Fun? No. What makes you think we had fun?” Chandler
said tensely.

“Okay. Sheesh I just asked,” Rachel shook her head,
“Joey - did you have fun?”

“What? Oh yeah - I had fun. I think Chandler got a
little scared of the monkeys. Hee hee - they were
doing it.” 

“You guys went to the zoo?” Monica asked, bemused.

“Yeah - we went to the zoo.”

“Cool. What did you do afterwards?”

“Will you stop with the questions?” Chandler threw up
his arms and stormed back to his room.

“What’s the matter with him?” Monica raised her
eyebrows.

“Oh nothing. He’ll get used to it.” Joey said.

“Used to what?”

Joey shrugged.

“Ok. Fine, don‘t tell us. We‘ll find out anyway,”
Rachel took the milk and left. Monica followed.

After they left Joey gently tapped on Chandler’s door.

“You can come out now they’ve gone.”

Chandler opened the door and peeped out.

“Okay Joe. I’ll let you in, but you got to promise me
something..”

“Sure - I’ll promise.”

“We’ll just keep this to ourselves eh? We do enough
stuff as a group, maybe there are some things that are
too good to share.”

“Like sandwiches?” Joey grinned

Chandler smiled back, “Sure - like sandwiches.”

Joey stepped over the thresh hold of Chandler’s door
and stepped inside. Joey chuckled suddenly.

“What?” Chandler asked self-consciously.

“No nothing. I’m just nervous,”  Joey lied.  

Not that easily swayed indeed...

end


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