Disclaimer: I don't own Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, Phoebe, or ANY of the League; I just own the plot and the bad guy.
Feedback: The more I get, the faster I write.
The One Where They Help Save the World
"We have to leave her here," Chandler said, sighing as he looked around at the base. "I just can't see any cops in the present being able to cope with something like this set-up."
"Yeah, that's true," Ross said, nodding in agreement as he and Joey stood up.
"Agreed," Monica said.
"Wouldn't mind having to avoid making witness statements," Rachel added.
"I say we just go before this gets any worse," Joey said, before looking over at the League. "How do we do that?"
"Simple," Hyde grunted from where he was standing in the corner of the room. "Send me out there, and I'll tear through this place like a house of cards-"
"No; you don't have enough energy for that," Sawyer said, holding up a hand. "Trust me, Hyde, you're looking practically dead on your feet; you don't have the time to cause a serious amount of damage before your serum runs out."
He looked over at Hartdegen, who was examining the machinery in the room. "You got any ideas as to how that thing works?"
"I think so…" Hartdegen said, as he looked over the machinery with a thoughtful smile. "It's essentially a similar principal to my time machine; it's just that this version doesn't need to come with the person who's travelling in time, it can send them to their destination by remote. All I need to do is make sure I've got the coordinates set right, and then I can send us all back home."
He looked over at the League's new friends with a smile. "I can even use this to send you home before anyone even realises you were missing."
"What?" Phoebe asked, looking at Hartdegen in confusion. "You mean… just send us to Monica's apartment after we were dragged out of it?"
"After we left it," Chandler said, raising his hand and glancing over at Emma, who had been picked up by Rachel from where they'd hidden her under one of the control consoles. "Don't want to change history too much, do we?"
"Yeah, good point…" Hartdegen said, as he studied the controls with a small smile before looking back at the others. "Even better; this machine has a self-destruct mechanism."
"Powerful enough to take this dump with it?" Skinner asked, looking up from where he was now sitting on Kaitlin; evidently, he'd decided that this was the best way to make sure she stayed immobilised until they were finished.
"Maybe…" Hartdegen muttered, as he studied the data on the screen thoughtfully. "If we can just give it a bit of a power boost, that might work…"
He looked over at the others with a small smile on his face. "Of course, I'll need to make sure it isn't too powerful; we don't want to destroy any-"
Hyde held up a hand. "Less talking, more doing; we have some soldiers coming this way," he said, looking at Hartdegen with a slightly strained expression on his face, like a man trying to hold on to something. "And trust me; there's a lot of them."
Rachel visibly paled. "Um… Ed?" she asked, raising a nervous hand. "How much is 'a lot'?"
"Around thirty; maybe more," Hyde said grimly. "Too much for us to handle, especially in close quarters."
"Yeah, that's true," Sawyer said, indicating the narrow door. "That door may mean only a few of them can get to us at any one time, but it also means we can't take out more than a certain number of them at once; eventually, we'll run out of ammo, and I really don't fancy our chances at hand-to-hand."
"Just a moment…" Hartdegen said, gritting his teeth as he began to tap at a few keys in front of the screen, before looking over at the non-League members of the group. "If you just stand over there- and one of you holds this while the rest of you hold on to them," he said, tossing a rectangular silver device over to Joey, who caught it and looked at it.
"What is it?" he asked, looking over at Hartdegen.
"A homing beacon with your apartment building keyed in as its destination," Hartdegen said, smiling slightly at Rachel's initial discomfort; evidently, she remembered the condition the League had been in after their trip to the future. "Don't worry; according to this, the discomfort is greatest when the trip is longer. For what I'm planning- a few hours into the past and a few miles or so into the city- you shouldn't be in any worse condition than being dizzy for a while."
"Ah," Phoebe said, as she and Chandler moved to place their hands on Joey's shoulders; Monica took Chandler's hand, and Rachel and Ross placed their hands on Phoebe's shoulders, Emma in Ross's right arm.
The six New Yorkers looked over at their newfound friends, tears visible in the eyes of some of them, until Chandler finally broke the silence and spoke.
"Um… thanks," he said, smiling over at Mina and Sawyer. "It's been fun knowing you all."
Sawyer smiled and gave Chandler a brief thumbs-up.
"No, guys; thank you," he said, as the rest of the League gave the New Yorkers similar gestures of appreciation. "If you hadn't been here, we'd never have managed to stop Kaitlin. We owe you one."
"Ah, well… it was nothing, really," Rachel said, smiling sheepishly. "Who wouldn't turn down the chance to save the world?"
"That's true," Joey said, as he looked back at the slab in his hands before looking back at Hartdegen. "So, will we see you again?"
Hartdegen sighed. "Maybe, Joseph," he said, as he reached out to the keys. "We'll just have to see what happens."
His finger hovered over a key on the computer keyboard, as he looked back at the gang.
"Goodbye," he said, as his finger descended towards the board…
Chandler wasn't sure what he'd been expecting. Bright lights, rewinding clocks, stars and explosions around him as they headed for their destination…
But all he saw was a brief flash of purple, and then, suddenly, they were all standing in the middle of the hall between their apartments, looking at each other in confusion.
Joey spoke first.
"Uh… wha time is it?" he said, looking around at the others.
Opening the apartment door, Monica walked into her home and glanced over at the clock, before looking back at the others. "About eight o'clock; it's almost an hour ago."
"Uh… right," Ross said, as he absent-mindedly set the hands on his watch to compensate for the change, the others doing the same.
They looked around at each other for a few moments, before Phoebe broke the silence.
"Well," she said, smiling around at the others, "now are you guys more prepared to believe that stuff goes on in this freaky ol' world of ours that we don't know about?"
Monica shrugged. "After seeing Mina do that bat thing, I'll believe anything," she said.
"I'm certainly prepared to acknowledge that there are areas where I should be more open-minded," Ross said, nodding slightly as he spoke.
"Same here," Joey said, raising a hand.
"Ditto," Rachel added.
"Newly-converted member of the supernatural club standing right here," Chandler added, raising his hand as well.
Then he lowered his hand, and sighed slightly as he stared up at the ceiling.
"Chandler?" Monica asked, looking at her husband curiously. "What's wrong?"
"Just… wondering, I guess," Chandler said, before he looked back at the others. "Think we'll ever see them again?"
Monica clasped his hand and gave it an affectionate squeeze. She could tell that, out of all of them, Chandler had been the one most affected by their time with the League; after all, he had spent the most time with them after the others were captured, even if it was just two of them.
"I think…" Joey said eventually, looking around at the others as he spoke. "I think… so long as they've got Alex's time machine, there's always hope. Right?"
The others smiled.
Indeed, they could hope. After all, no matter what else changed in the world, there was always that detail, wasn't there?