This is going to be the final chapter, because I need to finish this before I start getting busy again with other things. This means that this chapter will probably be really long. I also have other ideas for fanfics which I don't want to start until I have tidied up this one. Please, for the last time, read and review. I would like to thank you all for reading this and reviewing, but especially Lobster, Exintaris and Francy, and "E" for making me add one final main twist. You've all been really helpful and you've all given me good ideas, and your enthusiasm made me want to finish this, and finish it well. And now, after a very long authors note, I shall proceed with the story.
The room went silent. Everyone was looking towards the doorway, as a dripping wet bride-Rachel-stood, with her arm around a short, brown haired woman, her head facing towards the floor.
"Emily," Ross gasped.
"It's raining outside," Rachel said bitterly.
Ross walked over to Rachel. "Rache, we can talk about..."
"You invited her, did you?" Rachel hissed.
"Hey, everyone, let's get the dancing started," Monica said unnecessarily loudly, and nodded to the live band, who immediately started playing. People began to dance a little, although there was a strange awkwardness dominating the room.
"Why don't we all go and talk somewhere?" Ross suggested. "I can explain what I did... what I did and why."
Rachel nodded, still angry with her husband but willing to hear his excuse. Emily didn't seem to hear him, but Rachel led her out of the room with Ross. Ross was surprised that Rachel didn't seem angry with Emily. Only him, he thought dryly, as he led the way to a private room away from the dancing. He shut the door behind them, hoping they wouldn't get interrupted, and turned to face his new wife and his ex-fiancée, one looking angry and wanting answers, the other looking surprisingly subdued.
"Emily, why did you come here?" Ross asked, confused as to why she had shown up. She didn't look bitter, or even angry. In fact, she looked rather nervous and afraid, and both Ross and Rachel felt a little sorry for her.
"Maybe because you invited her!" Rachel said through gritted teeth. "You know, when people are invited to things, they usually turn up. It's sociable."
Ross shook his head. "Rachel, I didn't invite her," he said.
"He's right," Emily interjected, speaking for the first time. "He didn't invite me."
"But... but you said he did!" Rachel exclaimed, confused and now sure exactly what was happening.
It was Emilys turn to shake her head. "No I didn't, Rachel. I said that he told me you were getting married today. He didn't invite me. He just told me. It's a different thing."
"So... why have you come here?" Rachel began to feel anger. Emily had turned up, uninvited. Was she planning to ruin her day, just as Rachel had ruined hers? But then, that wouldn't make sense. Rachel didn't ruin Emily's wedding. But maybe Emily saw it that way. And why did Ross tell her about the wedding anyway?
"I came because... I needed to see that Ross was doing the right thing," Emily admitted, realising she would need to explain herself. "See, the thing is, no matter what Ross did, no matter how much he angered me, I still love him, and I miss him. And if he was making a mistake marrying you, then I wanted to show him that I was prepared... prepared to forgive and forget. I wanted him-you-to know that, Ross."
Ross was stunned. He didn't know what to say. The two weeks he'd spent with Emily had been the worst of his life. He felt like the worst person alive. He'd completely humiliated Emily in front of her friends and family, and yet she still seemed to have feelings for him-in fact, she still seemed to love him.
And Rachel was surprised too. She never would have suspected that Emily came purely for the fact that she still loved Ross, as it was obvious she was distraught that she had lost Ross. But she didn't seem bitter. Like Rachel, she wanted Ross to do what he thought was right, because she loved him so much. If he wanted to marry Rachel, well, she wasn't going to stop him.
"Emily..." Rachel groped for the right words.
Ross shook his head. "I never realised you still loved me," he said. "I thought you hated me."
"What was the point in telling you?" Emily asked, laughing a little hysterically. "It was obvious you wanted Rachel more than me. All that I would do... all that I have done... is cause heartache for myself, and possibly ruin your life, and make you confused. It's clear you love Rachel more than you ever loved me... isn't it?" she asked, still holding on to the tiny thread of hope that perhaps Ross still loved her, and was willing to be with her.
But her hopes faded as Ross nodded. "I'm sorry Emily," he said. "But I do love Rachel, and I always have done. You were... I don't know," he admitted. "I thought I loved you, but I think part of it was because I thought Rachel had moved on. I decided that I should too. I told myself I was in love with you, when in fact... I was just fond of you."
Emily nodded, having guessed that this was the probable scenario. "Well, if you really love Rachel, then I guess I'm happy for you," she finally said, and attempted to smile. "I want you to be happy, Ross, and if it means that it's without me, then I have to accept that."
Ross looked to Rachel, and she nodded, before he gave Emily a hug. "I'm so sorry," he whispered. "I wish things had been different between us. We could have been really good friends."
Emily sighed. "That can't happen now," she said, pulling away from him and smiling gently. "I need to go back to London, clear my head, get away from... all this." She nodded to Rachel, and gave her a hug too-Rachel was surprised, but returned it. "I always liked you, Rache," she said honestly. "And to be honest, Ross couldn't do better than you."
"Thank you," Rachel said, and pulled away, still not having forgiven Ross completely. "Why don't you stay for a while?"
"I couldn't. It would be too painful," Emily said honestly. "Congratulations though, for both of you. I hope you'll be very happy together."
She touched Ross' hand briefly before leaving the two of them in the room. Rachel turned to Ross, her arms folded and her eyebrows knitted scarily close together. "Ross," she said, almost in a question, as if asking for an explanation.
Ross sighed. This part wasn't going to be easy.
Monica had tried to grab Emily's attention as she left the building, but Emily's head was down, facing the floor, and anyone could see she had been crying a lot. She left quietly, though people watched her as she walked away, wondering what had happened.
"Do you think Ross and Rachel are ok?" she asked Chandler.
"Hmm?" Chandler asked, still in a thoughtful mode. Monica was worried. She'd never seen him think this much before, and it was unnerving.
"I said, do you think I should ignore my boyfriend and go and kiss that rather drunk looking man over there?" Monica said exasperately.
Chandler still wasn't listening. "What? Whatever, yes, Monica, good idea," he said.
"Chandler!" Monica exclaimed, hitting him lightly on the head with her bag. "You haven't listened to a word I've said all evening. What's wrong? You look like you're thinking and... well, it's scaring me hun."
Chandler looked at her. "I am thinking," he said simply. "I have a lot to think about."
"Well, quit thinking for a minute and worry about Ross and Rachel with me," Monica said. "Emily walked out a half hour ago, and they haven't appeared yet."
Chandler shook himself, and turned to Monica. "Well, I don't know what's going on," he said. "But believe me, Ross will be able to talk his way out of whatever it is. If Emily's left... it probably means nothing terrible happened."
Monica agreed. "I think I'll go find out what's going on," she said, but as she got up to see, Ross and Rachel emerged, both looking serious but happy at the same time.
"Oh thank god," Phoebe breathed from another part of the room. "They're together. See, lobsters," she told a woman she was standing with.
"Where?" asked the woman.
"Ross and Rachel. They're lobsters," Phoebe explained to the confused woman.
"I thought Ross and Rachel were the couple getting married," she replied, wondering what was wrong with this tall blonde woman.
"They are," Phoebe said, feeling a little confused herself. "But they're lobsters. Lobsters-they mate for life. You see them walking around the tank, holding claws..."
The woman stared at Phoebe, before walking off, shaking her head. "Stupid blondes," she muttered to herself. "It's true what they say."
Phoebe was a little hurt by the woman's reaction, but became distracted by Joey sneaking up behind her. "Hey," he said. "Seems they've sorted out their problems."
Phoebe nodded. "Yes, it does. Oh I'm so happy, Joey," she said. "Everyone's coupled up successfully... well, except me and you," she said flirtingly, winking at Joey. Joey wasn't really sure what to make of Phoebe, and grinned awkwardly at her.
"Oh, I didn't mean we should pair up," Phoebe assured him. "Well, not yet anyway," she added, grinning back at Joey, who went a little red.
Rachel hugged Monica, tears falling down her face. "She was so nice, Mon," she said, pulling back a little. "She really does still love him. I could see it in her eyes. I felt really sorry for her. If I were watching it on a soap, she would be the one I was rooting for, not my character. Oh god," Rachel said, crying again. "I feel so bad now."
"Hey," Monica said consolingly. "It's not your fault, Rache. Ross chose you. And yes, Emily got the raw end of the deal, but you've got Ross. The man you love. Be happy for yourself. Let the others worry about Emily. Poor Emily," Monica said thoughtfully. "Whoever would have thought that the only reason she'd come was to make sure that Ross was happy?"
Rachel agreed. "I was always worried that if she found out about our wedding, she'd come and try to ruin it. But she didn't. She's really sweet."
"What a great rival to have," Monica said. "Someone who ISN'T going to ruin your life."
Rachel laughed weakly. "I guess," she said, blowing her nose.
Ross came over to the two of them, and hugged Rachel. She hugged him back. "I've even forgiven him, Mon," she said. "I guess, in his own way, he thought he was doing the right thing, telling her." Ross grinned, and boyishly tweaked her nose.
"Ahh, young love," Monica said, and kissed Ross on the cheek. "I'm happy for you two."
"And we're happy for you, Mon," Ross said. "Finally, you've found someone!"
"Cheeky!" Monica said, laughing. "Yes, I've never felt this happy before. But recently... I dunno, I've been a little worried. He seems so thoughtful all the time. I'm wondering if he's having second thoughts. I mean, we've been together for about four months now. Maybe he's getting bored?"
"I doubt it," Rachel said wisely. "You're all he can talk about these days, hun."
Monica smiled. "Really?" she said eagerly. "He's all I can talk about too. I wonder what he's thinking about then," she said.
"I wouldn't worry," said Ross. "Everything will turn out alright. Look at us, we're happy. Who would have thought we'd get to where we are now?"
"I would," Rachel said, and kissed Ross. Monica smiled at the pair of them. At last, they really were together and happy.
Two weeks later
"I'm getting sick of this!" Monica exploded, standing up abruptly. "Chandler, please tell me what's wrong! You've been acting weird since the wedding. Just tell me before I die of annoyance!" she said dramatically.
Chandler looked up at her. "I'm sorry," he apologised. "But I think I've finally come to a conclusion of my thoughts."
"Thank god," Monica said wearily. "Look, Ross and Rachel will be home soon. They're coming here to tell us about the honeymoon. Why don't we fix them up something to eat?"
Monica looked at him. "What do you mean, 'No?' Why not?"
Chandler stood up too. "Monica, I need to talk to you. Will you come and sit down with me?"
Monica put her hand to her forehead. "Oh god, Chandler, are you breaking up with me?" she asked, suddenly really worried.
"No, of course not," Chandler said, smiling at his girlfriend's worry. "It's just... this thing I've been thinking about for the past couple of weeks. I really need to talk to you. See how you feel."
"O...k..." Monica said, unsure of what was coming.
"Look, I don't know about you, but these past four, five months have been the best months of my life," Chandler said honestly. "I've never felt this way about anyone before."
Monica smiled. "That's sweet, Chandler. I love you."
Chandler shook his head. "I love you too, Mon, but that's not it. I know you've heard all this stuff before, but I want to make it clear to you just how much I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
"Oh... god..." Monica said, as Chandler knelt down by the couch.
"Monica," he said, smiling and opening up a little red box. "Will you do me the honour of being my wife?"
"I had a great holiday," Rachel said, kissing Ross passionately before they started to climb the stairs to Monica's apartment. "I love you, Ross."
Ross smiled. "I love you too, Rachel," he replied. "Have you got the photos? Monica will be dying to see them, I think."
"Yep," she said, patting her bag. "Got 'em in here."
They got to Monicas and tried the handle, surprised that it was unlocked. Recently, Monica and Chandler had taken to locking the door, so they wouldn't be disturbed, but for once it was open. "Guys?" Rachel called, as they walked in. The room was semi-dark, and she could smell scented candles coming from Monica's room.
"Oooh," Rachel said, grinning at Ross. "We'd better not disturb them."
As they made to leave they heard Monicas bedroom door shut, and they turned to greet the two. They were surprised and shocked to see Monica standing, watching them, with tears rolling down her face. Yet she was smiling.
"Hey," she said, sniffing a little. "Chandler will be out in a minute."
Rachel ran over to Monica. "Hun, whats wrong?" she asked, concerned.
Monica looked at Rachel, and immediately started crying again. "Cha... chandler..."
"What's he done?" asked Ross, a little worried.
She looked over at him. "We're engaged!" she exclaimed, and hugged Rachel.
"Are you serious?" Rachel yelled, and hugged her back. "Chandler proposed?"
Ross was shocked, but went over to hug his sister too. "But... you've only been together for five or six months," he said, a little surprised. "And Chandler... well, he's not a fan of commitment, is he?"
Monica smiled. "It's different with me, apparently," she said. "Rache, call Joey and Phoebe for me. They're out doing some shopping, so ring their cell."
Rachel nodded and went to ring the two friends, as Ross went to clap Chandler on the back when he emerged from their bedroom. "Way to go, Chandler," he said, genuinely happy for the two of them.
"Thanks man," Chandler said, and hugged Ross. Thank god he wasn't angry, Chandler thought. They'd been worried about telling Ross, although neither of them were sure why as Ross didn't have a problem with the two of them together.
"They're coming here as soon as they can," Rachel said, running over and hugging Chandler. "I'm so happy for you two!"
Chandler grinned. "Thanks Rache," he said sincerely. "It means a lot to us that you two are so happy for us."
Monica took Chandlers hand and he turned to face her. As he pulled her in for a kiss, Ross and Rachel smiled to each other. Everyone seemed so happy these days, it was hard not to smile.
"To Monica and Chandler," everyone chorused.
"It seems my "wedding" in London changed everyone's lives," Ross said wisely. "If it wasn't for London, you two wouldn't have got together."
"And I wouldn't have come to declare my real feelings for you," said Rachel.
"And I wouldn't have shown my real feelings for you by saying your name at Emily's wedding," Ross said, kissing his wife.
"And I wouldn't have met Felicity," Joey interjected.
Everyone looked at Joey. "Joe, did that really change your life?" Chandler asked. "You sleep with anyone and everyone."
Joey pretended to look hurt. "Well, I've never been with an English girl before," he said. "That must mean something. Change my life in some way."
Phoebe laughed. "Everyone's so happy now," she said, gazing at the two couples. "It's so much better than when we're always arguing."
Everyone agreed. "Yeh, it's better this way," Rachel said. Monica nodded, and looked at Joey and Phoebe. "So, how long do we have to wait until you two get it together?" she asked jokingly.
Chandler and Ross laughed, and Joey and Phoebe smiled at each other. Who knew what would happen next? Chandler thought wisely. If someone had told him a year ago that in the next few months he would be marrying his best friend, and he would have fallen in love with her, he would have laughed out loud. It just goes to show, that one little event can change the course of history for ever.
I hope you liked this story. I know it was very soppy in this chapter, but I needed to tie it all up and I am in a rather soppy mood today. Please read and review! Lilian xXx.