|How to Heal
Author: cobrafantasies PM
When Joey's mom passes away, his drinking starts to get out of control. This causes a shift in the group.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 8 - Words: 8,910 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 06-08-12 - Published: 04-19-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8039456
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Author's Note: I'm trying a bit more serious drama, hopefully it goes well! Let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I do not own anything or any of the characters.
A/N: When Joey's mom passes away, his drinking starts to get out of control. This causes a shift in the group.
(Set around season seven.)
Three weeks after Gloria Tribbiani's death.
I hear a bang. My eyes tiredly open. I look to the clock on my nightstand. 4:18 a.m.
I roll my eyes as I hear the front door creaking shut. I get up and drag myself out to the living room. Joey's leaning against the door nearly passed out.
"Joey," I say sorrowfully. He opens his eyes and looks at me.
"Hey Rach," he crookedly smiles at me. He's drunk, completely wasted, as he has been almost every night these past few weeks. I can't yell at him though because I understand. His mother passed away. He was so close with her, it killed him…still does. But these crazy drunken nights are getting out of hand and none of us know what to do. I took on the responsibility to take care of him as much as I can, mainly because I'm his roommate. It would be tough to sleep only a few feet away and not do something.
So, like every other night, I take hold of his arm and carefully start to lead him to his room.
"Rach, the city is sooo alivvve at night." His words slur and I cringe at his beer-tainted breath.
"I know sweetie," I respond softly. We reach his door. I struggle with managing to hold him up and open his door at the same time. Somehow I accomplish this task and get him to his bed. I guide him until he's lying on the bed, barely even conscious anymore. I move to his feet and pull off his shoes. I reach to his back pocket, remove his wallet, and place it on the nightstand. I kneel down in front of his face then. I place my hand on his clammy forehead and lightly brush it through his hair. 'Poor baby' I can't help but think. I wish I could do more, but I don't know what else I could do. So I get up and return to my own bed.
The next day is Saturday. Joey doesn't rise until noon. At least, that's when I hear a loud thump. I hurry to his room; I push the door open and see him on the floor.
"Joey, are you okay?" I exclaim and rush to his side.
He groans and flips over painfully.
"My head hurts," he whines.
"I would imagine," I respond. "Come on why don't you get up and get some food in your system?"
"I can't move, Rachel I have to stay right here," he protests.
I sigh, he's usually stubborn or depressed when he's sober these days.
"Joey, honey, you can't lie on the floor forever." I try not to sound reprimanding. He squints open his eyes at me, having not looked up since I came in.
He lets out a long, tired sigh.
"Why not? What's the big deal? What is the world gonna stop turning if I just stay here!"
"No, but that's not much of a life."
"Rachel, what kind of life is this?" He suddenly sits up and I would imagine that rapid movement shot a spark of pain through his aching head. He flinches slightly, but is determined to continue. "A life where life is just taken away at any day's notice!"
"I know," I try to hush him.
"A life where it won't matter if I never move from this floor because nothing I do is going to bring her back!" he starts to shout.
"I know, shhh," I whisper and rub his shoulder.
"Nothing!" he throws his head into my shoulder, crying. For once, I'm not repulsed by a crying man, but saddened by his undeniable pain. I wrap my arms around him and don't let him go until his eyes go dry.
With each night of dealing with Joey I get more and more annoyed because it's like trying to watch some ratty, little kid I didn't sign up for. He's such a child when he's drunk, before he passes out, but I guess it's better than the bad mood or sad sober Joey. I hate seeing these dreadful sides of him. We all know this isn't healthy, but what can we do? We've tried to keep him distracted or convince him otherwise when he heads off to the bar, but nothing works. And speaking of work, he hasn't worked in weeks and we keep telling him to contact his agent and go on auditions again. Nothing budges though.
One day I come home from work and see Joey sitting at the island. I'm shocked to see him at all. Usually, at this time, he's off at who knows where.
"Hey Joey," I say, but his face holds a far off glaze and he takes a while to answer.
"Hey," he sighs.
"What are you doing home?" I ask and then wonder if maybe that wasn't a good idea. Maybe I shouldn't have reminded him of the bar in any way.
"I…don't know what to do," he tells me.
My mind thinks, well usually you're getting drunk at the bar at this time, but of course I'm relieved he's not.
"Well, we can do anything. We can watch a movie, play some foosball, just talk?" I offer excitedly. He looks dully up for a split second before looking down again.
"Nah, I think I'm just gonna go out," he says and gets up from the bar stool.
"No!" I dispute. He looks unexpectedly at me.
"I mean, why don't you want to hang out, we can have fun. When was the last time we spent time together?" I try.
"Alright, fine," he agrees and I smile happily.
"I know! Let's play a board game, we never play those!"
"Do we even have one?" Joey asks wearily.
"Well, I'm sure Monica does, I'll be right back!"
A few minutes later I return and I'm so relieved to see Joey didn't leave. I thought he might use the time to escape to the bar.
"Okay, she only had the game Life." I tell him with the box in my hand.
The game goes well for a little while. But soon Joey gets slower and slower with his turns. It takes him a year to just role the dice and move his piece. Finally, at one turn he's taking forever to decide which way to go on the board.
"Why don't you just go the left, then you won't have to pay anything?" I suggest.
"Oh, who cares?" He finally lets out, so bored of the game.
I feel my blood heating up. He's been making me so angry this whole game.
"I do!" I shout at him. He jumps back slightly. "I care okay so why can't you just play a stupid board game, why can't you just try anymore?" I remain at the high volume, really worked up now. He stares at me.
"I just don't want to play-" he starts, but I fire back at him.
"No, no it's not about this dumb board game, it's everything. Joey, I get it, you're really hurting and you should be. I totally get it and feel for you, but we've all been trying really hard to help, to lift your spirits again. But that's just it - you don't care - you just don't give a shit about the people trying to help you because we care that much about you! You're making everything worse Joey!"
I feel awful right after I say it, but at the same time I'm so grateful I got it off my chest. He needed to hear it, hopefully. Unfortunately, he's still giving me a blank stare. Finally, he picks up the dice.
"Fine, I'll play," he tells me, but I lose it again. I pounce on him and trap his wrists down with my hands.
"I don't care about the game!" I scream at him, but now I'm losing control and my eyes are starting to water.
"Rachel stop!" he yells at me. He's fidgeting beneath me, but I only tighten my grip on him.
"Okay, okay!" He shouts. "I'm sorry, okay I'm sorry I haven't been trying!"
Finally, I exhale a large breath and loosen my hold on his wrists. Then, I get off him and sit right in front of him so when he sits up again we're face to face.
"Joey…" I put my hands on his face so I can lock him in and really get my message to him. "I just…care so much about you and I can't bare to see you like this anymore. You have to stop, please, you have to try and get better," I cry to him.
He holds my stare for a few moments. Then he talks again.
"I will," he breathes hoarsely. I let him go and drop my head, trying to hold back my sour tears. When he pulls me into his arms, I'm so happy he lets me cry into his chest, even though I'm not the one that deserves to cry.
I fell for you when you were at your worst