This story will be primarily about Joey/Kate and Phoebe/David, but will have some Ross/Rachel in the background. To me, the Friends writers should have left well enough alone and not revisited Joey/Rachel, when they had written the characters as having moved on from that. They especially should not have made Rachel behave in that offensive, flighty, lustful way that she did in season 9.
So please remember back to season 3, when Joey fell in love with Kate Miller, his co-star in a play. Rachel is NOT the first woman Joey ever loved, no matter what the Friends writers have chosen to forget for the sake of their stupid love triangle/rectangle. The writers brought back Phoebe's season 1 love David, and they even mentioned Joey's hole digging from the season 4 premiere, so why can't Joey's old flame Kate be remembered and acknowledged too? Why falsely build up Rachel as the love of Joey's life when they won't be together in Joey's spinoff? It's manipulative contrivance and melodrama, without a point.
Joey and Rachel were kissing in her hotel room, when suddenly the door to the adjoining room opened, and Monica burst in.
"We won, we won!" she yelled, happy about her recent victory in a ping-pong match against Mike.
Startled, Joey and Rachel broke off their kiss, then cringed as they saw Monica's huge hair, which had grown considerably frizzy due to the humidity. Joey fell down on the floor.
Monica gasped as she realized the scene she had broken in on.
Then Chandler followed his wife into the room, but he had no idea what was going on. Seeing Joey and Rachel's shocked faces, he chuckled, "Mon, I told you to not to scare people with your humidity hair. It's like Medusa, turning people into stone."
Monica just glared at Rachel. "How could you! Joey has a girlfriend."
"Not anymore! She just broke up with him."
"What?" Chandler was shocked, and he went over to help Joey up from the floor. "Man, how long were we in that ping-pong game? You okay, Joe?"
Joey shrugged. "She said we had nothing in common, you know, and she's right. I don't get art museums or paleontology or anything. She likes Ross better."
"Ah, Joe!" Chandler sighed and couldn't argue with that. But he patted Joey's shoulder comfortingly nonetheless.
Monica wasn't nearly so sympathetic with Rachel. "So let me get this straight--the minute that Charlie's out of the way, you pounce on Joey for a rebound fling? Are you that hard up for sex!"
"Huh?" Chandler glanced between Rachel and Joey, then realized that he had no idea what Joey was doing in Rachel's room, near the bed. "You--you weren't--? You didn't--? Oh my God!" He backed away and stared at Joey in horror.
Joey frowned and said defensively, "Stop looking at me like that, will ya? It's no big deal."
"Yeah," Rachel agreed, "and if you guys don't mind, we'd like a little privacy please."
"No way!" Monica refused to budge. "We are gonna stay and talk about this."
Chandler nodded. "Yeah, do you have any idea what you're doing, Joe?"
"What I'm doing?" Joey rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I think I know all about sex already."
"This is more than just sex!" Chandler protested. "This is about friends hooking up with other friends, not to mention that one of them has a baby with another friend." He glared at Rachel disapprovingly.
Monica said, "Yeah, this is a really big deal! If I've learned anything from what happened with me and Chandler in London, it's that this one incident could lead to life-changing consequences. It could be a terrible mistake!"
Chandler glanced at his wife questioningly. "As flattering as that sounds, I have to agree. You don't want to do anything rash, Joe. Even I know better than to sleep with somebody within hours of a breakup. Like Ross did with that copy place girl, you know?"
"We were on a break!" Rachel said, then gasped and covered her mouth. "Oh my God! I-I didn't mean that. Nobody tell Ross I said that."
The others looked at her skeptically.
Rachel insisted, "Seriously! I-I just said that because Ross wasn't around, and I expected to hear it. That's all it was!"
Monica and Chandler shrugged and let it go.
Chandler looked at his friend again and sighed. "Joey, just a few months ago, you were saying how wrong this felt, and how Rachel and Ross belong together."
"I know," Joey replied with guilt and thought of Emma again. "But things changed. First Charlie broke up with me, then Rachel said she liked me--"
"So?" Monica interrupted. "It's just another crush. Rachel gets these crushes on people all the time. Don't you remember Joshua, and Danny, and Tag? And I could list tons more guys from high school!"
Joey looked at Rachel. "Is that all this is? A crush?"
Rachel shrugged noncommittally. "I don't know. I mean, when did you realize that you didn't just have a crush on me? That you were seriously in love and all?"
Joey thought back. "I-I don't know. One week you were just my friend and roommate, and it was too weird to sleep with you, even if you were all hormonal and pregnant. Then, we went on that pretend date, and I started thinking of you differently."
"Yeah, but you weren't in love with me right then, were you? I mean, one date. That's crazy."
Joey looked hurt, and Chandler put his arm around him protectively. "You don't know Joey. He falls hard and fast. Like with that actress Kate Miller."
Rachel was surprised. "What? But I thought I was the first woman you loved!"
Chandler scoffed at her arrogance and stupidity. "Are you kidding me? You don't remember how head over heels he was about Kate? How self-absorbed were you! I was there! I heard Joey talking about her every day after rehearsal; I saw him crying after she slept with him and rejected him; I heard him calling girls all night to apologize to them because Kate had hurt him so bad. I mean, she even had a boyfriend at the time, and she knew Joey was seeing her understudy already. What a bitch!"
Joey protested, "Hey, she wasn't--well, she was just confused. She was a lot nicer when we talked stuff out that last time."
"That's only because--!"
Rachel interrupted, "Hey! Joey, then why'd you tell me that I was the--?" Then she remembered something with a gasp. "Wait. Kate Miller." She went to grab a name tag that she'd worn that day when they snuck into a pharmaceutical convention. "It says Kate Miller! You don't think she's here?"
Chandler shook his head. "At a pharmaceutical convention? I doubt it. Could be some other Kate Miller. What are you doing stealing name tags anyway?" He grabbed it from her.
"We were bored," she whined. "We wanted to get in and eat some free food."
Joey frowned and grabbed the tag, staring at the name intensely. "Kate. I-I said I'd never forget her. How could I--?"
Chandler shrugged. "I don't know, Joe. Maybe it hurt to much to think about."
Joey groaned and rushed out of the room.