Disclaimer: I don't own them, if I did Joey and Rachel would have ended up together!

Title: The One Where Rachel leaves

Author: GMB loves Angel

Rating: PG 13

AN: I've watched the entire 10th season today and being a JnR shipper I was really bummed out, especially on the series finale so even though I've never written anything else than Buffy fanfics before I couldn't let myself not write a JnR one. So here it is, my first attempt, which I hope is liked and whish I hope can turn into more chapters. A notice is that I started this fic at 4 am and it's 8 am now... I couldn't go to sleep without having finished this baby... So PLEASE review!

AN2: It's a rewrite of the series finale, what if Rachel had spent the night with Joey and not Ross?


As she slowly floated towards consious state, she slowly noticed how good the sheets around her felt. Her mind however was taken away from the sheets once she noticed it being someone else in the bed with her. Her eyes opened, her vision being blurry at first, then she noticed a room she'd never slept in before, yet there was something very familliar with it. Her head turned sidewards to face the sleeping profile her bedmate and...

Rachel practicly jumped out of the bed, the sheets covering her body. The man, still sound asleep on the bed, though now barely covered by the rest of the sheets... was Joey! Had they...? She wanted to believe not, this was the one thing they had never managed to do. Any logic told her that this had not just happened. However her slightly sore, yet satisfied body told her otherwise...

Also any other reason for why she was nude under the sheets wasn't coming to mind. She couldn't believe how this had happened. Despite having drunk no alcohol the day before, the events were still a bit too hazy for her. Why!

Not wanting to wake his sleeping form, and not wanting to completely leaving him bare, she searched for clothes to wear, only finding one of his shirts from two days before, she put it on. Even though she was still commando underneath it, she felt that it covered enough for her to dare to go out into the appartment to get to her bag, so that she would have some actual clothes on for whenever Joey would wake up.


Phoebe, dead tired from staying behind to finish the packing, didn't feel like going home, like Ross had done ten minutes early. She had thought about crashing on Chandler and Monica's couch, but finding no blankets, she decided to head over to Rachel and Joey's to crash instead. She was slightly surprised about them not locking, not that it would do much as she had a spare key.

She carefully let herself in and was about to lock the door behind her, when she saw Joey's door open, and to her surprise a confused Rachel, wearing one of Joey's favourite shirts and seemingly nothing else, exiting it as quiet as she could. Not sure what to say, Phoebe stood by her door, watching Rachel silently close the door behind her and turning around to sneak over to her own. She froze when she noticed her friend staring at her.

Phoebe was about to say something, most likely in a high pitched scream, but was hushed by her semi-naked friend. She pointed to Rachel's room and was answered with a nod.

- Oh my God, Phoebe whispered, once the door closed behind them. - Did you just sleep with Joey?

- I think I did.., Rachel answered, still slightly hazy on the nights events.

- B-but.., but I thought that you guys couldn't get yourself to that level?

- I know, that's what I thought too, but then I woke up there and... well... apparently we can...

- So what happened, Phoebe asked, surprised, yet slightly excited as well. - I thought Joey was mad at you for leaving or something... how did that lead to this...?

- I dunno, I dunno, Rachel stammered. - It's still a bit unclear to me. I mean... obviously there were some things said and some tears and I went over to hug him and I guess kiss him on the cheek or something... then... well...

- I think I'm going to need a little more than this, come on... I want details, Phoebe whispered, ending in an almost a high pitched scream.

- Shhh, Rachel whispered, waving her arms franticly.

She then went silent...

- So, Phoebe muttered.

- Shh, Rachel whispered. - I have to know if you woke him or something... I can't have him wake yet. I-I'll freak...

She laid her head against the wall, hearing nothing, she went over to the door and peaked out into the appartment. Neither of those time hearing a sign of Joey being awake, she closed the door behind her. Her head turned towards Phoebe, sitting on her bed. She slowly sat down next to her.

- Allright, she muttered. - You want the whole story...? Where should I start...?

- Maybe it's best to start with Joey storming out of the flat...

- Okay, Rachel muttered, taking a deep sigh.

FLASHBACK

Rachel entered the appartment, finding Joey sitting on his chair, holding the baby duck he was planning to give to Chandler and Monica for housewarming. He obviously hadn't seen or heard Rachel coming in as he was talking to duck jr.

- So what you think about Rachel leaving? I know... I should be happy for her, just like that ghost-girl said about Chandler and Monica. I have to let her go, but it's so hard, you know? She's been here forever and I know that there was barely an us anyway, I mean, it was like a week and then it was over, just like that. But I guess I handled that, because I saw her every day, you know...? She was always there and there was always stuff happening, stuff with her, stuff with Emma... I think I was just so busy with her that I barely noticed that we weren't happening...

END OF FLASHBACK

- He didn't even know you were in the room?

Rachel shook her head. Her heart was melting even as she was telling Phoebe about it. Together with that came rushing everything about her career, how within the city she now was unemployed. Everything was packed, arranged, she was so ready to start a new chapter in her life...

- When did he notice you being in the room.

- Um, Rachel muttered. - When I accidentally coughed.

FLASHBACK

Joey almost sent the duck flying when he saw Rachel standing by the door, staring at him. Her eyes were as teary as his. Why did this have to be goodbye? He also felt like kicking himself, Rachel was allready emotional about going, he had promised himself he wasn't going to get her to cry, if anything he had promised himself that he was to try and stop her tears. He had warned everybody about it, he hed all evening sent her reassuring looks, but when the moment came that she was to say her goodbyes to him, he head freaked and left the room, he just couldn't take it.

The duck had been a nice, silent partner in the conversation, but now he was forced to go through with the goodbye talk. Did she even know how much he still loved her?

- H-have you been standing here for long...?

She gave a teary smile that could either be happy or sad, or even a little bit of both... She sat herself at her knees in front of him, taking his hands in hers.

- I know this is hard, she muttered. - Hell, I've been crying for hours now, my head is aching, my eyes are burning and for half an hour ago I felt like some burdens had lifted from my heart, I guess I just didn't realize how hard it was gonna be, saying goodbye to you. We've had some great times here, haven't we? I don't know where we would have been if we hadn't stomped at that... um... problem with us being so great friends. I just know that even though this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, I know this is the right thing to do. And I hope you know too...

- I know, he muttered. - But it's just so hard.

His eyes becoming tearier and tearier by the minute, as hers were.

She stood up and kissed him on the forhead.

- Goodbye, Jo.

She gestured for him to get up with her, and she put her arms around him. Him holding her close, only lettingher go far enough to kiss her on the cheek, then one more on her cheek, then his lips found hers... Hands started roaming everywhere, bit by bit garments were discarted as they made their way to Joey's bedroom.

END OF FLASHBACK

- Wow, seriously, that must have been some sex, Phoebe exclaimed.

Rachel nodded, releasing a soft sigh at the thought of it. It had definatly been mindblowing. She wasn't sure if it was his skills, experience or the fact that she hadn't had any for a long time. And even though she felt that she had to spend some more time thinking about this. She felt exhausted and she leaned her head down onto the pillow to keep her head supported. It took mere seconds before she was sound asleep. Phoebe lifted her legs onto the bed and tucked the sheets around her sleeping friend before heading towards to couch to lie down herself.


Still not believeing that Rachel was indeed leaving that very night, Ross entered her and Joey's appartment, carrying Emma. They had agreed that Rachel was going to travel first and then her mother would follow, together with Emma, that way her appartment would be more ready for her and Emma starting over in Paris.

He had expected Rachel to be up by now, but seemingly noone was up at all. But the moment he closed the door behind him, he saw Phoebe waking up on the couch.

- Oh, hey Ross, she squealed. - What are you doing here?

- I'm here to drop Emma off with Rachel, is she up?

- No, and I wouldn't expect her to wake up in the next hours. She and I've kinda been sitting and talking.

- What, Ross exclaimed. - She can't do that, there are things she needs to do, there's not that much time before she will leave for the airport.

He stopped himself talking, because it really hit him that Rachel was leaving and that the custody arrangement with Emma was going to become a lot more difficult. Then Joey's door opened and he came out, wearing his bathrobe. He barely ackowledged the people in the room and headed straight for the bathroom. As he came out Ross was about to ask him if things were allright when Rachel's door opened as well and she came out, fully dressed and styled, but with eyes reminding him of a zombie.

She halfway stopped, when she noticed all the people in the room and Joey stopped up, noticing her entering the room.

- Ross, Phoebe muttered. - Can I talk to you for a sec, allright? Good.

Before he could say anything she had pulled him and Emma out of the room, leaving the confused lovers.


- What are you doing, Ross exclaimed.

- Shh, Phoebe whispered. - I just think that Joey and Rachel need a couple of minutes to talk without us disturbing.


- So, Rachel muttered, her eyes fixated at him.

- So, he answered, staring back at her. - What the hell happened...?

- I dunno, she muttered. - I guess we were so fixated about me leaving that we forgot about all the awkwardness and the friend stuff... that we actually managed to...

- We actually managed to... wow...

- I know, she muttered. - It was very wow to me. Very

- So, are you still leaving...?

She put her arms around him and rested her head on his shoulder.

- I think I am... I have to do this for me, for Emma... I have to make this desision for myself. This is a big opportunity for me and as much as I don't want to leave, I can't stay. Things depend on me, I have to go...

His eyes turned teary, as on cue hers did too.

- I can't believe this really is goodbye, he cried.

- Me neither, she sobbed.

She removed her head from his shoulder and started him into the eyes and they, passionatly started to make out again.


- What is going on, Ross asked.

- Not now, Phoebe said, her ear towards the door, then moving it fast away. - She's coming out.

As on cue, Rachel opened the appartment door, her eyes still puffy and red from crying together with Joey... again... She didn't need to say a thing for Phoebe to take a hint and hurry into the appartment. Rachel motioned for Ross to sit down on the hallway step.

- I was planning on having done all the goodbyes yesterday, but with Joey and everything I never made it to you, she explained.

She pulled him into a hug.

- I'm going to miss you, you know and I know Emma will too, but I'll make sure that she will see her daddy as often as possible, ok? You know that, right?

- Yeh, Ross muttered, patting her gently on the back with his free hand. - I wasn't too happy about all this, I tried all ways to get you to stay, but I realized that that's not the best for you, you have to go. I understand that and with Emma, we'll make it work. I'll miss her, and it'll hurt a bit, but it'd hurt more if I knew I was keeping her mommy from being happy and doing what she want.

- Thank you, Ross, Rachel sobbed, holding him closer. - I can't tell you how much your support means to me.

They both stood up and Ross handed Emma over to her mom.

- I'm gonna miss you, sweetheart, but you be nice to mommy, ok? Don't give her a hard time. If you need to get it out of your system take it out on your grandma, do we have a deal?

Ross held his thumb up, something Emma duplicated really well. He smiled and bent down, giving her a kiss. Then he gave Rachel one on her cheek.

- I think your mom is waiting.

- Yeh, Rachel muttered, and hurried down the hall and the stairs.


Ross came into the appartment finding Phoebe hugging Joey, comforting.

- What happened, Ross asked, bit overwhelmed by how harder Joey seemed to be taking everything.

- Joey and Rachel slept together, Phoebe explained.

- What!

Ross couldn't believe what he was hearing, even though he was very aware about their common attraction and kissing almost a year ago, this was just a little bit too overwhelming. Surprisingly not from jealousy, but just plain shock.

- Wait a minute, he exclaimed. - I thought you two couldn't...

- Apparently last night we could, Joey muttered, with sad eyes. - And today she's leaving...

- And I was just telling him how he has to do something about it, Phoebe exclaimed.

- I can't, Joey muttered. - I've felt like being jealous the last weeks, but this little ghost girl made me realise that I want what's best for my friends and I think she needs to go for this opportunity. I don't want to stand in her way.

With that, Joey returned to his room, leaving two very pondering friends.


They were all gathered at the almost empty appartment of Monica and Chandler, waiting for them to return with the baby. Joey was very silent, catching a glimpse now and then towards Rachel, who was pacing back and forward by the door. Neither Phoebe or Ross felt meddlesome enough to say anything to either of them while they both were in the Room. Distraction came when Mike entered, carrying a little poster he had made for whenever the baby was to be brought home. It broke the ice a little as they all helped to hang it up really visible over the couch.

- Why aren't they home yet, Rachel muttered. - If I don't leave soon I'll miss the plane. They have to come soon, cause I want to see the baby before I leave...

- Monica just called from the cab, they are right around the corner, Ross answered, putting the phone back down. - You'll see him or her before you have to go. Monica even said that they have a surprise for us.

- What is it, Joey asked, slightly impatient.

Ross shrugged and Joey went silent again. Still catching glimpses towards Rachel by the door. But before he really could say anything he saw Monica by the door, holding a newborn in her arms. They all wordlessly gathered around her and cooed at the adorable baby. A slight cough behind them, made them turn to Chandler, who to their big surprise also held a baby in his arms.

- Oh my God, Rachel muttered. - Twins...? Oh my God... they are so adorable... oh my God, I'm so late. I wish I could stay to see how you two handle all this, but I can't...

Her last word, came in a high-pitched sobbing voice.

- Okay... bye everybody. You better come visit me, she sobbed. - Bye everybody.

Her voice turned more and more into a whisper.

- bye Joey...

And she turned and disappeared down the hall. Leaving Monica, Chandler and Mike with puzzled looks on their faces. The silence being enough to cut through with a knife... Phoebe decided to come to the rescue.

- Joey and Rachel slept together.

- What.., Monica and Chandler exclaimed in unison.

- My God, Phoebe, Ross muttered. - You're a worse secret keeper than Chandler...

- No, I'm not, Phoebe answered. - Nobody ever asked me to keep this a secret.

- Oh my God, Joey, Chandler muttered. - I thought you and Rachel didn't...

- No, we thought we didn't, Joey muttered. - But apparently last night we managed.

- And she's still leaving.., Monica exclaimed. - Joey, you have to stop her.

- I can't, Joey muttered. - She deserves this chance...

- But you and Rachel deserves a real chance, Chandler stated.

- That's what I've been saying, Phoebe exclaimed.

- You love her, right, Monica asked.

- I do, Joey sobbed. - I love her, allright? I love her so much I think I'm gonna break to pieces if Ican't be near her.., but I can't do anything, she's leaving.

- You can't let her leave like this before you've cleared things up with her, Phoebe exclaimed. - I can't let you wast your one chance here. Now come on, we're going to the airport.

- Which one, Joey asked.

- Newark, Monica answered, holding up one of the copies of Rachel's flight schedual.

- Allright, he stated. - I'm gonna do it.

And before anyone could follow he was running down the stairs, caught a cab and got in, almost faster than it took the gang to go to the window.


Rachel sighed as she heard her flight being called, both passport and boarding card in her hand it didn't take her long before she was seated on the plane, both certain and uncertain about the choice she had just made. Was she going to spoil this opportunity just because they now had broken through their barrier that split them up in the first place, at the same time was a job worth loosing her big shot with Joey?
He knew he had little time when he entered the airport, he headed straight for the booking desk, praying to every religion there was that somewhere on that flight there was a spot he could take...
How he had managed to get through passport without bringing his was a miracle, he seemed to notice some people recognizing him, but only way that mattered now was if that helped him reach Rachel faster. And there he was onboard the plane, he saw her, sitting in her seat, biting her fingernails while trying to read one of her many fashion magazines. He saw a man sitting in the seat right next to her.

- Hey, he said to the guy. - Do you mind finding some other place to sit.

Rachel's head turned towards him as she heard his voice.

- Joey...?

- I'm sorry, but we all have to sit in our aligned seats, the annoying man answered.

- You don't understand, Joey tried again. - I really, really need to talk to the woman sitting next to you.

- And I say we have to stay in our aligned seats, I've gotten comfortable here now.

- Listen, Joey tried once more. - Here you go, if you give up your seat to me, you can have mine front in first class.

The man didn't need to be asked twice and grabbed his stuff quickly and headed up front with his new ticket.

- Joey, what are you doing here, Rachel asked as she was silenced with a kiss.

He broke the kiss off gently and seated himself in the seat right next to hers.

- I couldn't let you go just like that. Not with the breakthrough we just had. And before you say anything. Yes, I don't want you to give up this dream. I want you to go, but only if you let me come with you.

- B-but, Joey, she muttered. - What about DOOL? Your career? Your appartment? Your stuff? Sweetie, did you bring anything at all.

- There was no time. I didn't even bring my passport, but I managed to get through it. Any of the guys at home can help us with that, I think they would love to help us with that. DOOL is something I easily can give up for you, it's due anyway. And with Estelle being dead I no longer have a manager, so I might as well try my luck in Paris.

- But Joey, Rachel objected. - You suck at French.

- I know, but I'd learn it for you. I'd do anything for you, I love you.

He captured her eyes with his and repeaded it.

- I love you, Rachel Greene.

- I lo...

- There's one more thing, Joey interupted her, and sunk down on both his knees in front of her, taking her hands in his, like she had done to him so many times.

- What, she asked.

- I want you to imagine that in my hand, there's a small box. And now I open the box and you see a ring in it, a beautiful ring, gold with a beautiful diamond, the kind you deserve. And then you listen to what I have to ask. Will you marry me?

Rachel ghasped at the question, it was so sudden, yet for some reason it felt right.

- Yes, she whispered, croaked and then looked into his eyes. - Yes, I'll marry you.

Joeys heart jumped in his chest as he slipped the invisible ring onto her finger and kissed her gently.

- I'm going to replace it with a real one soon, he promised.

TO BE CONTINUED

okay, what do people think, this is my very first Friends fanfic ever! So be gentle, yet also honest. Let me know if you want more, okay?