Pairing: Monica Geller/Chandler Bing
Blurb: Ah, Chandler and Monica. A couple I shipped before I knew what shipping was. A couple I rediscovered, in all their dysfunctional functional glory, during a massive re-watch of all 10 Seasons of Friends last fall, while I was directing a play about how mean people are to each other in the name of love. It was so nice to come home from rehearsal and watch a show where love wasn’t an excuse to screw everyone around you over.
Monica Geller – the neurotic caretaker to a group of friends who can’t seem to hold on to a boyfriend.
Chandler Bing – the wisecracking friend whose most serious relationship was with… well… Janice – possibly the most annoying woman in the Tri-State area.
I’ve always been attracted to couples who make each other better: who complement each other, rather than ruin each other. And I’m a real sucker for lovers who were friends first. Monica and Chandler hit the trifecta for me. They were very much friends first. They know each other, with all the good and bad that implies. He knows she’s a neurotic control freak; she knows he has commitment issues because of his parents' divorce. Over the years they’ve seen each other at their best and their worst; and they love each other because of all that, not in spite of it. His more laid back approach is good for her, and her standards are good for him. As Joey said to Chandler once - "you guys are perfect for each other. Y’know, we look at you and-and we see you together and it just…it-it fits. Y’know? And you just know it’s gonna last forever."
I also love couples who, at least initially, are a surprise. As someone who is old enough to have watched Friends in real time…I can tell you, Monica and Chandler were a complete surprise to the audience. Friends was so focused on the push/pull of Ross and Rachel that the idea of Monica and Chandler hooking up was inconceivable. And yet… the minute I got over the shock of Monica popping up from under those covers… they made amazing sense to me.
Monica and Chandler…
Because he offered to marry her and father her child way back in the first season.
Because she always laughs at his jokes. Or at least, always gets his jokes. Watch sometime: every wisecrack Chandler makes gets a smile out of Monica, long before they’re involved.
Because he thinks she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever met in real life.
Because she taught him how to be good in bed long before she had any idea she was going to benefit from the lesson. (‘Everyone knows the basic erogenous zones: 1,2,3,4,5,6, and 7." “There are seven?”)
Because the sex is incredible. Just look at them.
Because she’s passionate and high maintenance, but that’s OK, because he likes maintaining her.
Because she was willing to indulge him with Shark Porn. (‘Chandler, let me be part of this!’ “Monica, Let me be part of this!”)
Because when they found out they couldn’t have children, he tried to find the perfect sperm donor so she could fulfill her lifelong dream of being a mother, only for her to turn him down – because she didn’t want a baby, she wanted Chandler’s baby.
Because they found each other when neither one of them was looking, and ended up with everything they ever wanted.
And mostly because TOW the Proposal still makes me cry, every damn time.
Monica: Chandler… In all my life… I never thought I would be so lucky. As to…fall in love with my best…my best… There’s a reason why girls don’t do this!
Chandler: Okay! Okay! Okay! Oh God, I thought… Wait a minute, I-I can do this. I thought that it mattered what I said or where I said it. Then I realized the only thing that matters is that you, you make me happier than I ever thought I could be. And if you’ll let me, I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you feel the same way. Monica, will you marry me?
Fic Rec #1: The One with Nostalgia
Author: greenish orange
Why This Must Be Read: This is a lovely vignette immediately post show-finale. Wistful, funny, in character. Another favorite – The One on Sunday Night; http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2631251/1/The-One-On-Sunday-Night. Really, read almost anything by greenish orange marked C/M - the Monica/Chandler voices are perfect, the humor is right on, and even the stuff that’s slight AU/non canon seems incredibly in character.
Fic Rec #2 Wonderfully Tacky Terminology
Why This Must Be Read: In Chandler’s voice, Leondra muses beautifully on Chandler’s feelings about his six friends – and Monica, in particular.
Fic Rec #3: TOW the Midnight Snack
Author: Captain Crunk
Rating/Warning(s): PG; nothing really.
Why This Must Be Read: Ever wonder how Chandler and Monica got to be friends again after she chopped off his toe? Well, Captain Crunk has a theory. And it’s cute, and in character, and fit pretty well in terms of my head canon, anyway.
Fic Rec #4: Good Enough
Rating/Warning(s): sexual situations; adultery…some Monica/Richard.
Why This Must Be Read: This is AU, and a bit soapy, but it works for me. It goes AU because sometime after TOW Everyone Finds Out, Chandler freaks out and breaks things off. And it doesn’t seem all that out of character for me; Chandler could have had that particular freak out. Initially it seems like a bit of a hatchet job on Richard, but by the end I felt sorry for him, too. And hey, true love wins out. Eventually.
Fic Rec #5: Then
Why This Must Be Read: Well, see, I have a weakness for post-show Monica and Chandler. I like the idea of them living their lives, and having their kids, and, like Rachel said in The Last One - I want to see Monica and Chandler ‘attempt to handle this!’ And surprise – in this fic, they handle it pretty damn well. BluEyes has several other great fics for Monica and Chandler; I’m partial to Mad World, an amnesia fic that reaffirms how perfect Monica and Chandler really are for each other.
Fic Rec #6: Equilibrium
Author: Calm Soul
Rating/Warning(s): PG; drabble-y, and the author thinks timeline-wise stuff is off.
Why This Must Be Read: Well, the author thinks it’s OOC; I don’t. Love the Chandler and Monica voices, and it’s wistful, and it establishes why they just work as a couple.
Fic Rec #7: NBC Kink Meme –fill; balcony sex
Rating/Warning(s): R/NC-17; sexual situations (it’s balcony sex, people!)
Why This Must Be Read: I saw this recced on tumblr, and it’s well done Chandler and Monica balcony sex. The sex is kind of hot, and funny, and in character… and Chandler gets his balcony sex, which was a running joke for the last few seasons. So… yeah.
Fic Rec #8: Monica on Her Own
Author: Richard Lawson
Rating/Warning(s): R; some sexual situations, and pre-show, so Monica/Kip and Monica/Fun Bobby get more action than Monica/Chandler…
Why This Must Be Read: . It’s all from Monica’s POV, and it gives Monica’s neuroses, which were always played for laughs on the show (as was everything, really), some history and grounds them in a why. It’s pre-show, and covers a tremendous amount of stuff that happened pre-show in canon (TOW the Flashback, how Chandler finds out about Monica’s sex with Fun Bobby on the terrace, how Monica learns about his third nipple… it’s all there). This is mostly Monica, and all her relationships, but the growth of her friendship with Chandler over the course of this story is so natural that it’s canon in MY head, anyway – and you can see hints of where they ended up. And besides, it establishes why they all hang out in Monica’s apartment, and how she tied the six of these disparate personalities together.
Fic Rec #9: Talking Walls
Author: shannonism (lalastrange)
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17; sexual situations, voyeurism
Why This Must Be Read: Chandler and Monica always struck me as surprisingly kinky. And in this one, they deal with Joey’s insistence on interrupting and having some Joey and Chandler time. It’s hot, and kind of funny at the same time.
Fic Rec #10: A Night at the Essex House
Author: Annie M1
Why This Must Be Read: Chandler and Monica have dinner with his mother, Nora Bing. Sweet look at the two of them settling into the serious relationship part of being together.