"Have you two been married for a while?"
"Is he close with your daughter?"
"Have you seen that woman before?"
"Her name is Sarah Ronof. She's originally from New York, but she recently came to Woodbury for a top secret meeting we've Ben investigating. She used to control international affairs. Military. You know anybody that has ever served?"
"You're probably wondering what she has to do with your daughter."
"Remember her face. And the gentleman in front of her. We need to find out what they're doing and who he is."
"Rach, you ready to go?"
The voice startles Rachel, her eyes shooting up at the man sitting across from her. Ross. She had totally blocked him out.
Ross stares at her, annoyed. That hadn't been the first time she was totally out of it, not paying him any attention. According to him, this had been a mutual date. It was suppose to be romantic and reconnecting, but it was more of a silent dinner. She didn't even respond when Ross joke-fully kicked her under the table, trying to initiate a game of footsie.
"Are you feeling okay?"
She nods. She wipes her mouth on the napkin and then tosses it on her dirty plate.
Ross doesn't try to pry more out of her and let's it go. Hey pays their bill and takes her hand as they leave the restaurant.
"I'm surprised they're still using American dollars."
Rachel seemed like she was focused now, immediately responding to Ross' comment with a smile and a turn of her head.
"Well, this is still America."
He chuckles, "Yeah, I know. But how is it gonna work now? No way the money is going towards tax or some type of federal income anymore. I don't know, it just seems weird to me. Doesn't really make any sense."
This make's Rachel's eyes narrow. He made a good point. What was the money going towards now?
"So, what do you want to do when we get home?"
The question is imposing and Rachel catches on quickly. Not that she didn't want to have sex with Ross, but because she was now having so much on her mind that she was worried that something similar to their first night here would happen again. Another argument with Ross about intimacy is the last thing she wanted right now.
"I don't know Ross, I'm tired."
He nods, hurt. He let's it go. They're quiet as they continue their walk back. Rachel looks back over at Ross, his face is sad.
He looks tired and defeated, but for different reasons than she is. It hits her how much effort he's been putting in at trying to save their marriage, and of course their dinner tonight in which he clearly had plans at conquesting her and majorly failed. She attempts at cheering him up.
"I had an amazing time tonight." Ross scoffs. Rachel ignores this, "I know I was quiet a lot, but I'm just still so worried about her." She stops in the middle of the side walk. Ross doesn't stop until he's a couple more feet ahead of her. He doesn't turn around to look at her. She stares at the back of his head, "aren't you worried even at all?" He continues to stare down at his feet.
He turns a little so he's sideways but not looking fully at her. His emotionless face makes her angry, "How can you not feel anything about it?"
Ross sniffs and bites his lip, angry. He finally looks at her, "I can't believe you think I don't care."
"Then at least show it. I can't just have sex right now. Not when I keep thinking about Emma. I can't just have a baby when my other one is gone." She takes a deep breath, "I can't have a baby with a guy who won't even trust me."
"Just a guy?"
"You know what I mean."
Ross' gaze travel upwards until he looks into her eyes. She sees tears glistening in his eyes. She suddenly feels like she needs to cry, too. Because she realized how much she's move on from him at that moment. They were both just so completely different.
But he hadn't caught on on time.
"I thought we were going to try." His voice is a whisper.
Rachel takes a deep breath and runs her hand through her hair. He had a point, she did make a promise. She hated herself, she really did. She tries not to let a tear escape, she felt like she was bonded to a post, not allowed to escape and that she had no way out.
She didn't want this anymore, but she felt like she had no choice.
"We will. I promised, right?" She shrugs, her voice cracking.
Ross stares at her, his face still sad. He takes a moment before he nods slowly. He extends his hand outward and waits for her to take it.
She takes a beat and a little more before she does and they continue their way back to their apartment.
Rachel wonders what Sarah has to do with her daughter.
She hears the door close and she turns around immediately, jumping up on her feet. She crosses her hands in front of her face, hopeful.
He sighs, "Alright. I walked all around town, and I found one office. About ten minutes from here. It's an obgyn. Not necessarily a fertility clinic but definitely somewhere where we can start."
Phoebe nods diligently. He walks up to her and brushed her hair behind her ear, "We'll find someone, don't worry."
"Well, obviously I know that. I can see it in the stars."
Mike smiles at this. Phoebe smiles back and leans her face up against his.
"We're gonna have a baby, soon, Pheebs. Okay? It doesn't matter what these people try to do to get in the way, it will happen. I know it's going to be a scary place," he lifts his hand and caresses her cheek with the back of his hand, "but we'll be fine. I won't let anything else ever get in our way ever again."
Phoebe closes her eyes tightly together and Mike frowns as a tear escapes down her cheek. She opens her eyes and their wet. She looks away from his eyes to the opposite wall.
"I'm sad." Mike acknowledges this and then brings her lips to his by sliding a hand behind her neck. He kisses her tenderly for a few seconds before pulling away, "I don't know how Monica did it."
Seeing her for the first time since last night was awkward. He avoids eye contact with her all through training until they went their separate ways. He's ashamed at himself for what he did to her and for what he did that night in his room.
He still doesn't understand what happened between them, to him. The sexual energy seemed as if mutual between the two of them, out of nowhere. It was extremely powerful.
But that night, Joey thought about it really well. Going back down that road with Rachel was a very bad idea, especially with this new government situation going on.
Granted, when they were at work in the evenings, they could pretty much do whatever the hell they wanted.
But they could go to jail, or even wined up killed if it anyway were to transition into their everyday lives. He thought about bringing up the conversation with Chad to see what advice he could give, but he had a feeling Chad would not be happy. It was best not to say anything at all.
Joey finally got to practice shooting with one of his first guns, a small G26. What he wasn't expecting was for Rachel to show up just as he shot one of the dummies straight through the chest.
He pulled off his earphones and looked over at her coming towards him. Her hips swayed, her eyes not leaving his. He looks away and clears his throat.
"Hey. How was it with Jenny?" They ignore that this the first real interaction they've had since he practically stripped her with his hands. The way he pulled off her jeans making Rachel whimper at the memory.
She tries to stand confident, keeping in mind why she had come here to speak to him. She was nervous.
What she had wanted to talk to him about was going to change everything.
"It was great. We have our first suspect."
"How bout you?"
Joey switches the gun to safety, "Just shooting random crap. Mark says their suspecting Gayle of building some kind of secret army."
Rachel frowns, suddenly extremely concerned, "An army?"
Joey nods. They're quiet again. Joey smiles slightly as he eyes the glock in his hand. He flips it so the trigger end is facing towards Rachel and walks up to her, "You wanna try?"
Rachel raises an eyebrow, "What? Are you crazy? They said I couldn't handle one for a long time. We'd get in trouble."
Joey looks around dramatically as if proving a point, "Do you see anyone here?" Rachel twists her lip into a smirk, but her face still serious. She looked scared. He waves the gun towards her making her take it, "Come on, I'll teach you."
Rachel hesitates, but then takes the gun. She's never held one before, it ends up being a lot heavier than she expected.
Joey hands her a pair of headphones and she slides it on. The outside sound, if any really, becomes silent. But she can still hear his voice as a whisper as he tells her he's going to switch her gun off safety. He places her in between the two glass panels and explains to her where her finger should lay on the trigger to go in the direction she wanted.
She raises her two arms out in front of her, her arms are shaking, her eyes become blurry.
"Fix your back a little more, you're too bent forward. Bring your head back about an inch." Joey says.
It's then that Rachel realizes she's trembling very hard. She tries to steady her arms as much as she can, but as she does so, all she sees in front of her is a halo of a man strangling her beautiful daughter. He's a fog, he's ugly, and mean. He's bringing a knife to her throat, preparing to slice it and that's when suddenly Rachel's vision is red.
Joey notices how much she is shaking and wonders what is going on. He's about to ask, concerned, when when shoots without thinking.
Her finger hits the trigger on impulse, hard.
"Hey hey! Careful now!" He shouts. He runs up to Rachel's side. There was a gaping hole in the dry wall, a small cloud of cement smoke gathering itself around the entry of her shot.
Rachel mentally curses herself for letting go like that, but she couldn't help it. She was so angry. Joey looks at her, worried about her well being, but also worried about being yelled at for the wall. Shit.
She's still shaking when she feels two strong arms behind her on her upper arms, "Here, I'll show you." The hands are strong. They felt great on her body.
His whisper is low just below her ear, on her neck. She feels his breath, his strong hands traveling up her arm to her shoulder, "just breathe, Rach," he caresses her, "You're shaking. It's okay." He stares at her face, her cheeks are burning with an emotion he can't really put his finger on.
Joey brings the hand that was traveling up her shoulder down to her waist, "stand up a little taller, just relax." He says with a tug.
She feels her body naturally lay back onto his chest, her head tilting a little bit more. His body goes tense behind her, memories of last night hitting him, his feelings rushing in. He takes a deep breath and allows her to fall into his form.
She feels his hand trace just the bottom of the hem of her shirt. His hand is only about five centimeters away from the top of her jeans. His grip there becomes hard and hot, pushing her tight up against him, "That's it, up against me." He whispers into her neck. He feels a deep puff of air escape her lugs as she relaxes, feeling his hot breath on her skin, "just like that."
He brings his hand back up to hold hers in his, "Hold it nice and tight. Now, aim for whatever you want to aim for. I'm just gonna hold you, okay?"
Rachel searches the dummy and finds the target she wants. That same man. She nods slightly when she's ready. She cocks the gun and bullet into place. She slides her finger into where Joey says it should lay and she squeezes when she feels his grips around her small hands tighten.
The backfire she wasn't prepared for pushes her body back into Joey's. He catches her with his hand on her waist, stumbling backwards with her.
She didn't realize she had closed her eyes again, but this time when she opens them she sees she had shot right where she wanted to; the heart.
A big smile fills her face. She pulls away from Joey pulling her headphones off.
"I did it! Oh my gosh." She looks back at the dummy and then back at Joey, "I can't believe I hit it." She is in disbelieve.
"Yeah you just had to relax that's all."
Rachel's eyes soften as she looks at Joey's face. He sees the sadness in her eyes and I hits him. His face falls and he brings her into his body for a hug by her hair, his fingers tightly holding her stands. He takes in a deep breath trying to control the hammering in his chest at holding the woman he loved.
He hides his face into what is now her hair.
He feels a soft sob rack through her body and he brings her in closer, if possible.
"Sh, it's okay." She sniffles. He looks up at the gaping whole behind her, caressing the back of her head, "You saw her didn't you?"
Rachel nods furiously. After a few moments, Joey brings his hands to her waist and push her back, her cheeks are filled with wet streaks of salty liquid, "Me too." He wipes her face with his thumb.
She feels warm by his comment, comforted. She stares into his brown eyes, his had hidden tears too. They had something she saw in them many many years ago back in New York.
It was the same way he looked at her before their first kiss and when he first told her he loved her.
Ross had been right.
His gaze trace her eyes, her lips, her eyes again. He swallows.
Just one night.
The familiar phrase resonates in her head.
Maybe he would go along with it.
"Joey-" she whispers making him gulp again. He sees the familiar lust in her eyes.
All they hear is each other's breathing as she tries to remember where that hallway was. The one with the rooms.
Joey realizes how close they are standing and pulls away from her. It was wrong. He couldn't feel this way. She was married.
chandler was right.
What is happening in this moment knocks the breath out of his lungs.
Then why was she staring at him the same way?
"Joey," she starts seeing him pull away even farther as realization hits him like a stab in the chest, "you were right."
He stares at her, his eyes flickering up towards her gaze. His face suddenly holding no emotion. He refused to go down that road again.
"What are you talking about, Rachel?" His tone is harsh.
"I don't know what I want."
His breathing becomes shallow, his heart hammers away in his chest. He shakes his head. This wasn't reality, this could not happen. Him and Rachel could not happen again. But at the same time his heart is soaring at the words she's saying.
"I'm not saying I have feelings for you again,"
This notion itself catches him off guard. His heart shatters at the words, his mouth is dry. Of course she's rejecting me, he thinks, even when I never said anything she rejects me.
He needs to get away, he shouldn't have brought her here to this place, ever. He steps back again.
Now they're about five feet apart.
"Where is this getting at, Rachel?" His voice is low and husky. He spats her name like it's venom on his tongue. He's trying to ignore how beautiful she looks standing there all vulnerable.
She knows that what she's about to offer him and for herself is heartless, but she needs it.
"Just once." It's a lie and she knows it. She knows she doesn't want it to be just once. But it's the only way to get him on board.
Now his eyebrows knit together, he is confused. "Just once, what?"
"He hasn't satisfied me, Joey. Not in the way I know you can."
Joey realizes what Rachel is trying to say and he's speechless. He examines her face, contemplating what the hell she was thinking.
Was she crazy?
"Those rooms, the ones he showed us yesterday, when we saw them I just kept picturing you and me-"
A mixture of relief and arouse fills his gut. When she'd made that comment about the room when they were together, he was almost sure Rachel had just been thinking about her and some random guy. But no, she had been thinking about him. He runs his hand trough his hair pulling away from her creating even more distance.
It was as if the distance was helping him want her less and think more thoroughly. Standing too close to her was getting in the way of honking straight, "God, Rachel. We can't do that!"
Hurt fills her eyes. Rachel feels naked and embarrassed in front of him now. She feels rejected, not believing he actually said no. She wasn't almost one hundred percent sure he wanted her, too. Her face felt hot. She ruined everything.
She needs to get out of there before she starts crying. She couldn't even stand to look at his face any longer. His crestfallen, sad face.
She walks past him to leave the arena. Her breathing is ragged through her nose.
Don't cry don't cry.
Joey notices that she's about to cry and that she's angry, he feels guilty. Joey walks up to her and forcefully grabs her hands, spinning her around.
Her face snaps towards him, angry. Fresh tears running down her cheeks, "I literally just put myself out there for you."
Joey shakes his head in disbelieve, "Rachel, I can't just have sex with you." Rachel scoffs, ripping her hand out of his grip, "I can't just do it with you once and not want it again, you know that." His voice raises.
She narrows her eyes. She wasn't expecting that. Joey sighs, "I could never do you like some meaningless fuck. You mean more to me than that."
Rachel nods understanding. She thinks for a moment and then closes the distance between them by taking a step forward. She looks up at him, her face serious.
"Then it won't be a meaningless fuck. It can be whatever you want."
This makes him speechless. He leaves her with no response as he watches her spin around to walk out. He watches her walk away, shocked.
"What makes you so sure we'll be able to do it this time?" It's clear to her that he is referring to when they were going out years ago.
"I just know. Plus, it won't be for the same reasons."
Joey gulps at this, remembering her comment about how Ross wasn't satisfying her. She wanted to continue staying with Ross, and just wanted Joey to satisfy her sexual needs on the side. She was asking him to help her marriage. This wasn't sex for love, this is was sex for sexual satisfaction.
He takes a deep breath, "So a meaningless fuck."
Rachel blushes at the fact that he was correct. She was trying so hard to cover up the super wrong idea she was imposing that that was exactly what she was asking for. She might as well be honest and come to terms with the fact that that is exactly what she is asking for.
She nods slowly.
Joey's gaze goes towards the ground and he ponders her words for a second. She wanted to have sex with him. Part of him thinks this idea is very bad, knowing there was no way it could not end well and would only leave him hurt in the end. But the other part of him wants to go along with it because she had a point.
They couldn't have sex the first time because there was too much closeness involved, maybe the lack of love that would be involved and just the raw physical aspect of it would make it easier. Maybe this was his chance to finally be with Rachel this way and show her how badly she hurt his feelings by making him love her all those years ago.
Rachel is surprised at his answer. So this was it, they were going to do this. But something was still uneasy in his eyes, he looked furious.
"But it can't be just one time. It'll be every time I see you, every time I even look at you," she gulps, "If I'm the only one with the deep feelings involved in this filthy thing, then I'm going to be the one in control."
This makes Rachel scared and hot for him. His dominant character makes her crave him even more, if possible. But she also senses the amount of hurt in his voice. She hates that she has to do it this way, she wished she could love him again. She wasn't even sure what it was exactly she was feeling aside from her erotically charge body.
Then Joey says something in a low voice that leaves her still.
His tone is rude, "You can't kiss me. Because the moment you do, it'll stop being just physical. You want a meaningless fuck? That's what you'll get."
He puts on a dirty look and walks around her to leave, leaving her, the two dummies, and a gaping wall behind.
The kids were in the room playing and Monica and Chandler sat in the kitchen talking softly about what they would do regarding adopting another child. Ross had just left only minutes before.
Somehow the conversation turned onto Ross and Rachel having another baby, to which Chandler became silent, making questions pop up in Monica's head.
"Can I ask you something?"
Chandler plays with the edge of the table. Monica watches him in curiosity, "Is something going on with Rachel and Ross?"
"What do you mean?"
"Rachel and Ross are having marital issues. And I'm sure Ross talks to you, too. And now you keep inviting him over as if to stall him from something else."
Fear envelopes Chandler, he hoped he wasn't coming off as suspicious or anything. God, he hated that he was doing this.
"No, I'm not stalling him. I guess I'm just trying to keep him distracted from his problems." Monica squints at him trying to see if he was telling the truth. Chandler comes off as convincing and she shakes her head.
"Alright. Did he say anything about what they're going through?"
Something flickers in Chandler's eyes making him look up quickly at Monica and then back down at the table.
Monica looks intrigued, "Chandler, what's going on?"
Chandler thinks about the cameras and the promises he made to his best friend, but he also thinks about how Monica is his wife, he told her everything. He was supposed to.
"Okay, fine I'll tell you," Monica raises her eyebrows in excitement, standing up straighter. Chandler on the other hand looks torn and in distraught. He brings his voice down to a whisper, "Ross thinks something is going on with Joey and Rachel."
"What?!" Her outburst is loud. She looks at him in disbelieve, "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Rachel doesn't love Joey anymore, and neither does he," she shoots Chandler a look, "right? Please tell me I'm right, Chandler."
Chandler sighs, "No, at least he says he isn't. To be honest I think Ross is paranoid and he's just making me a little paranoid, too." Chandler refuses to mention to Monica about him and Rachel secretly meeting up. He hated lying to her and keeping secrets from her.
Monica shakes her head, "Joey and Rachel, I can't believe this. Ross definitely is being paranoid. You know what it is? This whole government thing. It's probably driving him nuts." Monica leans over on the island and let's out a sigh, "They wouldn't keep something like that from us, especially Rachel." Chandler nods silently.
"Wait, hold on." Chandler head shoots up again, "why did I see you whispering back and forth with Joey yesterday?"
"He needed advice." He lies.
He pauses, "about Kelly. He's trying to move on since he knows he won't see her anymore."
Suddenly there's a knock at the door.
He tries to control his rage as he drags himself to the hotel. He couldn't believe that he would actually allow himself to fall into such an awful trap. It bothered him that he was keeping everything a secret, he hated secrets.
He also hated that Rachel was purposefully hurting him and she knew it, they both knew it. But he made a vow to himself that he would have to hurt her back, just as hard. She wanted to sleep with him? She would get a real good taste of it without any commitment.
He doesn't know how but his feet take him to Monica and Chandler's.
Chandler, he always went to him about advice.
After a couple of knocks he finally opens the door. Both him and Monica are staring at him in concern, probably sensing his heavy breathing from the anger and his walking too fast.
Chandler looks especially concerned and scared. The inconvenience was not something he was expecting, and judging on Joey's face and knowing who he was just with, something bad happened. Especially with the conversation he was just having with Monica, it was bad timing.
"Can i talk to you?" Chandler nods closing the door behind him when he comes in.
Joey looks up at the four different cameras all looking at them. He was inpatient and he needed to get it out. He walks quickly to the bathroom down the hall, Monica stares at him and Chandler as Chandler follows behind, throwing Monica an uncertain look.
Monica bites her lip. Chandler wouldn't lie to her, right?
"What the hell is going on?"
Joey's leaning over the sink, his breathing is ragged. He looks angry.
Suddenly he pulls back and runs his hand trough his hair turning away, from him.
"She's married, she has a daughter, I haven't been with her in twelve years, and now I'm," he turns to look at Chandler. Chandler says nothing as he listens to his best friend's hurt voice, noticeable tears bordering his words, "What do I do? How do I get over her?"
Chandler watches him as he sits down on the closed toilet. He has his face in his hands. He feels bad for his best friend but he's also angry for him dragging him into this. But Chandler felt an obligation to drag him out of it now.
Ross was his best friend, too.
"Have you two been fooling around?"
Chandler is asking in past tense and Joey knows that his answer won't be a lie. Up until now, no, him and Rachel have not been fooling around.
"No." He doesn't look down and Chandler knows he's telling the truth.
"Okay, so where is all this coming from? Three days ago you were in love with Kelly wanting to marry the crap out of her, well somewhat, and yesterday you told me I was nuts for thinking you were still in love with Rachel."
Joey sighs, "I know, okay? I know," Chandler looks confused, "Look, you were right. I'm clearly still hooked up on Rachel. And I need to get over her, I just don't know how." His eyes look at Chandler, they're begging him, "Please."
Chandler wonders where this sudden need to get over Rachel so badly came from. Normally, if Joey were still in love with her, he would've expected him to come for an advice on how to tell her. But here he was asking Chandler how to get over the love of his life. Joey looked like he was going to be sick.
Joey wanted Rachel so badly, physically, but if he were to even allow a little piece of his heart to be open to her again it would destroy him. He couldn't allow it. He needed to find out how he could see her as simply an object, like a sex toy. He feels sick again.
He feels a hand on his shoulder, he didn't realize he had closed his eyes again and leaned them on his hands.
"You need to stay away from her," Joey scoffed, "and if that's not going to work you need to just pretend you hate her or something. Use some type of psychology to make her less appealing to you. I know it's hard for you, I can't even imagine how this feels, but this situation requires drastic measures. You need to do anything you can to keep away from her. She isn't yours."
Those three words make Joey sad. He remembers Rachel's disregard for his feelings and thinks about Chandler's comment. He gets up suddenly, "Yea."
Maybe she wasn't his in the real world and never would be, but in bed she would be until he let go of her. He would make sure he got the point across.