You all asked for it, so here it is! My version of Mike's proposal to Phoebe. I hope you enjoy!
"Who do you think is the best person to write a letter of recommendation for us?" Monica asked Chandler. They were sitting in their apartment at the kitchen table. It was morning.
"Hmm," Chandler mused. "That's a puzzler."
"It's gotta be someone who can capture us well and make us look good enough to get a baby," Monica went on.
"Joey's out then," Chandler said, sipping his coffee.
"He's not very good with words. I think the adoption people would picture us as cartoons by the time they finish reading something Joey wrote," Chandler explained.
"All right. Joey's out," Monica agreed. "Phoebe?"
"I dunno. She might go on about our secret relationship that we had for a few months. They won't like that we could be sneaky."
"Fair enough. Phoebe's out. Ross?"
"I feel like he'd turn the letter more into how he's a good father to Ben and Emma than about us. He also might write something stupid like if we were to go on a break, what might that look like?" Chandler added. Monica grimaced.
"Okay. That leaves Rachel."
"I think she can do it," Chandler agreed.
"What, no in depth negativity statement for her?" Monica asked.
"Nah. She gets us. Pick her."
"All right. Rachel it is." Monica stood up and went to get dressed for the day. Chandler answered the knock at the door after she'd disappeared into the bedroom.
"Hey," Mike said, waving. "Is this a bad time?" Chandler looked down at his robe and back up at Mike.
"Eh, why not?" Chandler said. He let Mike in. "What's up?"
"I really want to propose to Phoebe today," Mike said. "I was wondering if you had any tips."
"I'm flattered," Chandler chuckled. "Well, for starters, don't pretend that you hate marriage and want nothing to do with it. That will end with Phoebe packing her bags and leaving."
"Helpful," Mike nodded. "Who would do that?"
"Certainly not me," Chandler denied.
"Any other tips?"
"Be sweet and make sure you get down on one knee."
"All right. Sounds good."
"Hey, Mike," Monica said, returning. "What are you doing here?"
"Asking Chandler if he wanted to have lunch today," Mike cut in before Chandler could open his mouth. "He's busy unfortunately. I'd best be on my way now. See you!" Mike went out the door hastily.
"That was weird," Monica said.
"He is weird," Chandler replied.
Mike rubbed his hands together. Chandler didn't have much to offer, so he though he'd try Joey. Luckily, Joey was home.
"Is Rachel here?" Mike asked, looking around first.
"No, she's at work," Joey answered. "What's up?"
"I want to propose to Phoebe today, and I thought I'd get your advice," Mike replied. He looked at him hopefully.
"I say go to a Knicks game and propose on the big screen!" Joey said excitedly. "She'd love that."
"Really?" Mike asked. It seemed a little out of the ordinary, but then again, Phoebe wasn't an ordinary woman.
"Yea! She'll be thrilled," Joey added.
"Okay, if you say so."
"I know her better than anyone else. She will probably cry a little too," Joey warned.
"Good to know," Mike laughed nervously. "All right, here I go."
"Good luck, man!" Joey called after him.
"I think I'm going to let Emma have her first cookie," Rachel mused, watching Emma eat her grapes. Joey looked at her.
"First cookie? She has cookies all the time," Joey laughed.
"I haven't given her one," Rachel objected. "Have you?"
"Nooo. I haven't given her frosting from a can either," Joey added, nodding his head solemnly. Chandler and Monica walked in before Rachel could say anything else.
"Hey, Rach," Monica said. "We were wondering if you'd be interested in writing a letter of recommendation for us to the adoption agency?"
"I'm honored!" Rachel cried, putting a hand over her heart.
"A-a-ahem," Joey coughed. All three looked at him. "I think you've made an oversight."
"We would have asked you," Chandler said. "But we didn't think you'd be interested."
"We didn't see you as being one with the words," Monica added. She glanced over at Chandler.
"Whoa, hey, oh, whey, ho, whoa!" Joey said, swinging his hands around emphatically.
"We were clearly wrong," Monica said.
"I have a lot of nice stuff to say about you guys, okay? I really want to help you get a baby," Joey said.
"All right, then we'll let you do it," Chandler caved. Monica raised a brow at him.
"Thank you! I know how I'm gonna start: 'Dear baby adoption decider people...'" Joey began.
"We are so looking forward to your letter," Chandler said sarcastically.
"Hey you guys!" Phoebe called, coming in. She was dressed very fancy.
"Wow, Phoebs, you look great!" Monica commented.
"I sure do! It's my first anniversary with Mike today!" Phoebe said happily.
"Ooohhh first anniversary of what? First date? First kiss? First time having sex?" Rachel asked.
"Yea!" Phoebe answered emphatically.
"So you must be going somewhere fancy to celebrate," Chandler said. He was smugly thinking to himself that his advice to Mike was going well.
"We're going to a Knicks game," Phoebe answered. Joey's eyes almost popped out of his head. Mike was going with his idea after all!
"Um," he said, clearing his throat and trying to not look so excited. "Aren't you a little overdressed?"
"You know what? I've never had a one year anniversary before, okay? So I'm gonna dress fancy pants, put on my finest jewelry, and have sex in a public bathroom," Phoebe replied.
"Wow, you guys do that? Chandler won't even do it in our bathroom," Monica said, impressed.
"That's where people do their number two!" Chandler argued.
Mike was anxiously looking at the big screen when someone else already proposed. He wished he'd been the one to go first!
"Oh how lame!" Phoebe cried. "Oh so tacky and impersonal!"
"Really?" he asked, shocked.
"Yea. That's the worst way to propose!" Phoebe replied. Mike felt his stomach drop. Damn it, Joey!
"Excuse me," he said, leaping to his feet. He ran as fast as he could to where the person in charge of the big screen was to cancel his plans. A few people got shoved out of the way.
"You gotta take my seat number off," he gasped, leaning on the counter. The small man looked up at him.
"Got dumped did ya?"
"No, no. She just thinks it's stupid," Mike corrected. That didn't really sound much better. The man chuckled.
"All right," he said, clicking a few buttons. "You're off."
"Thank you." Mike headed back to his seat where he suspected Phoebe had caught on to his plan. He cursed Joey mentally. Wasn't he supposed to be her best friend and know these things?!
"I'm sorry," Phoebe said as he sat down. "Did you have something planned?"
"No. Nope. Not at all," Mike shook his head.
"Oh. Okay," she said.
"Let's just enjoy our anniversary, okay?"
Mike figured he'd have to talk to Ross since he was the last guy friend of Phoebe's left. Maybe he'd have a better suggestion.
The Next Day
"Hey, Ross, what's up?" Mike asked, leaning against Ross' door frame. Ross sighed heavily.
"What can I help you with?" he asked instead of answering.
"Well, uh, I'm trying to propose to Phoebe, and it didn't go very well," Mike admitted.
"That's so sweet!" Ross exclaimed. "She'll be so excited!"
"Didn't you hear me? It didn't go well," Mike said.
"Oh, well, does she know for sure you were trying to propose?"
"I'm not entirely sure, so don't tell her," Mike warned, pointing.
"I won't," Ross said, affronted.
"How should I do it?" Mike asked. "I mean, I know you proposed three times, so you might have some pointers."
"Technically the third time I was drunk, and it was Rachel's idea not mine," Ross said defensively.
"Okay fine. You've proposed twice then. How?"
"Well," Ross started. He launched into a fifteen minute talk about how he did it. Mike stared at him after.
"Wow," he said. He wasn't really into the whole piercing his ear thing.
"How did you try to do it?" Ross asked, curious.
"On the big screen at a Knicks game."
"Let me guess, Joey's idea?"
"Yea, don't listen to him. Trust me, the ring in a dessert will be perfect," Ross said.
"But you said Carol almost choked on it!"
"And we laughed about it later," Ross said dismissively. "Go for it!"
"All right. I guess I'll try it," Mike said. "I am desperate."
"Let me know how it goes," Ross replied, grinning.
"I'm sure you'll hear about it before I get to tell you," Mike laughed. He turned to go.
"Best of luck!" Ross called.
"I ruined his proposal!" Phoebe cried. Monica and Rachel tried to soothe her. "He'll never ask me again!"
"Well, we are in the modern era," Monica said. "Propose to him. I proposed to Chandler."
"You think so?"
"Yea!" Rachel agreed. "He'd never expect it."
"At a Knicks game on the big screen," Monica suggested. "He obviously thought it was a sweet idea, so he'd love it."
"You're right. Okay. I'm gonna go propose the crap out of him," Phoebe said, getting up. "Wish me luck!"
"Good luck!" they both called. Chandler and Ross came in after she'd left.
"What was that about?" Ross asked.
"Nothing," Monica lied. She didn't want to ruin Phoebe's news on her.
"Hey, why didn't you guys ask me to write your letter of recommendation?" Ross asked, pouting.
"We figured you were too busy with work and Charlie," Monica answered smoothly.
"Joey's doing it," Chandler added.
"Joey!" Ross spluttered. "He'll make it sound like a child wrote it!"
"I don't think so. I showed him where the Thesaurus is," Chandler said proudly.
"Oh boy," Monica commented.
Mike was in disbelief when Phoebe got on one knee and proposed to him. The crowd started laughing and jeering at them.
"Looks like we know who wears the pants in that relationship!" the announcer said.
"Well that's not very enlightened," Phoebe snapped. Mike shrank into his chair, embarrassed. This was SO not how he wanted things to go. He should have been suspicious when she suggested another Knicks game. Why couldn't this proposal thing just work out already?! And who told Phoebe to propose to him? It didn't seem like her.
"BOO US? BOO YOU!" she was screaming now. Mike covered his face with his coat. This was ruining his attempt to ask again at the restaurant later. He was feeling his confidence shrinking away.
"Let's go," he said, getting up suddenly and pulling at her arm. He couldn't take the yelling anymore.
"I'm not finished!" Phoebe shouted. Mike dragged her along as she kept yelling at people that she did not wear the pants in their relationship.
"There goes the man with no balls!" a woman shouted as they passed. Mike bit back his reply. Phoebe was furious.
"Let me at her!" she begged. Mike tightened his grip on her hand.
"No way," he said. "Come on." They exited the stadium and went to the car.
"Mike, can I at least try to explain?" Phoebe asked.
"Don't worry about it," he cut her off. "Let's just forget it."
Phoebe felt sad. She had ruined it again. Maybe she was the worst person ever right now.
"I can't believe the agency thought Joey's letter was written by a child!" Monica laughed. At least it was different from the first draft. Not even a doctor would have figured out what Joey was trying to say.
"Hey, it worked didn't it? I knew we could count on him," Chandler said.
"No you didn't," Monica objected.
"Well, not at first," he responded. The phone rang then, and Monica answered it.
"Phoebe, calm down," she said. "It'll be all right! I'm sorry it didn't go well, but please don't ruin your dinner with Mike over it. Just apologize and move on." After a few minutes of listening and encouraging, Monica hung up.
"What was that about?"
"Phoebe's proposal fell flat. She's so embarrassed and thinks Mike will never propose to her again," Monica explained.
"And he didn't even pull the 'I hate marriage' stunt," Chandler mused. "Weird."
"Wait, you knew about this?"
"Yes. He asked me for advice."
"And you gave him some?!"
"He didn't take it obviously," Chandler snorted.
"He was going to on the big screen at a Knicks game," Monica told him.
"What about the Knicks?" Joey asked, coming in. He went to the fridge and grabbed a soda.
"Mike tried to propose their on the big screen," Chandler explained.
"I really thought it was a good idea!" Joey said. They stared at him.
"That was your idea?" Monica asked.
"Well...yea. It's unexpected and cool," Joey shrugged.
"Oh sweet Lord," Monica said.
"Yea. It didn't go well I heard," Joey went on. He chugged down his soda.
"Neither did Phoebe's attempt," Chandler said. Joey spewed his soda everywhere.
"Phoebe tried it too?" he asked, wiping it off his chin.
"Yea. It ended badly."
"Man, those two really have rotten luck don't they?"
"So, Mike talked to you and Joey," Monica said, turning to Chandler. "Does that mean he talked to Ross as well?" They all looked at each other.
"Oh, God. It's gonna be so lame," Chandler groaned.
"He's done it three times, and all three said yes," Monica pointed out.
"Technically Rachel asked Ross," Joey corrected.
"Oh whatever," Monica snapped. "They were both drunk out of their minds, and even if they weren't, Ross probably still would have asked."
"She's going to dinner with Mike tonight right?" Chandler asked.
"Oh no, he's gonna hide it in the dessert," Monica moaned. Joey and Chandler both looked at her quizzically. "That's how Ross proposed to Carol," she explained. "Carol almost choked on it, and he had to give her the Heimlich to save her. I still think she felt obligated to say yes after that."
"I would have paid to see that," Joey snorted.
"Should we warn Phoebs?" Chandler asked.
"No. Let it happen. Hopefully she doesn't take big bites," Monica sighed.
"That woman didn't know what she was talking about," Phoebe said. "Of course you have balls."
"Let's just forget the whole thing, okay?" he said, repeating his earlier statement. He felt embarrassed, yes, but he didn't want this talk to ruin his plans. The waiter set down the cake in front of her, and he began to feel excited.
"I would love to," Phoebe said, responding to his statement. "Also, however and whenever you're going to propose, I promise I'll say yes whether it's at a basketball game, written in the sky, or like those cheesy movies where the lame guy puts it in the cake..." she trailed off after seeing Mike's eyes. "Oh no. It's in the cake isn't it?"
"Where else would Mr. Lame No Balls hide it?" he asked, looking disappointed. He pulled the ring out of the cake and shook off the crumbs.
"Why do I keep ruining this for you?! What is wrong with me?!" Phoebe cried, smacking her head with her hand.
"No, it's not you. I keep trying these lame ideas when all I really want to say is that I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you," Mike said. He should have never went along with Joey or Ross' ideas. He should have just done his own. "I'm gonna do this now."
"Oh my God," Phoebe said breathlessly. He got down on one knee slowly. "Wait!" She pulled of some of her rings. He looked at her expectantly.
"Uh huh. No, hang on!" she said, pulling off all of her rings. "Okay, go."
"Can I really?"
"Phoebe, I love you. There's no one else on this Earth that I'd want to ask to marry me...three times, but I wanna take care of you, have babies with you, and grow old with you. Phoebe Buffay, will you marry me?" he asked, holding up the ring. Phoebe's eyes were wet. At least Joey as right about one thing.
"Yes!" she cried. He slid the ring on, and she hugged him tightly.
"I love you," he said.
"I love you more," she replied, kissing him. This was perfect. It was exactly how he'd pictured it. He only wished he had just done this the first time.
"Well?" Ross asked excitedly when Phoebe and Mike came into the coffeehouse. They were all eagerly awaiting the news.
"We're engaged!" Phoebe shrieked, jumping up and down and waving her ring hand.
"Yayyy!" everyone shouted, running and pulling them both into a huge embrace.
"Did you go with the dessert idea?" Ross asked Mike.
"Pfft no," Mike scoffed, lying. Ross deflated a little.
"He totally did," Phoebe said, laughing. "But I figured it out so he just did his own thing!"
"That means you didn't do it right," Ross chastised Mike.
"Who cares?!" Monica cried, smacking Ross upside the head discreetly to make him shut up.
"Yea, who cares?!" Ross echoed, clapping his hands.
"Let's go celebrate!" Rachel suggested.
"Let's do it!"
Mike grabbed Phoebe's hand, and together they walked out the door feeling so excited for the new journey they were about to embark on.