The One With Ross' Reaction
This chapter contains spoilers for season eight (in general), do not read if you do NOT wish to be 'spoiled'.
--Ross stood cemented in place. He couldn't have heard right. Joey didn't just say he was in love with Rachel, did he? He turned around slowly, away from the exit doors of Central Perk… the back of Joey's head gave away nothing in the way of answers.
His cup of warm milk in hand, he approached Joey and cocked his head as he looked into his face. The angst-ridden expression on his friend's face confirmed what he thought he heard… Joey, a person Ross considered to be one best friends was in love with Rachel, his ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, and mother to his unborn child.
"Since when?" was all Ross could think of to say…
"I don't know. I think it's been there for a while, but I didn't… get it, ya'know?"
"When did you 'get it'?"
"When I took her out on that date."
Ross retook his seat… "Wow. I-- I'm not sure I know what to do with this."
"I hoped it would just go away, really I did! Phoebe tried to convince me that it was just a crush, but--"
"Phoebe--? Phoebe knows?"
Joey looked away anxiously… "Everyone kinda knows…" he admitted… "But I didn't tell them! They just, sorta, guessed."
"No! No, she doesn't know."
Ross stammered a bit, trying to gather his thoughts… "Are you sure it's not just cause you guys were roommates? And cause you were helping her with the pregnancy and all?"
"Believe me, I wish it were! I didn't mean for this to happen, Ross, you gotta believe me."
"Joe, are you under the impression that I would be mad about this?"
Joey shrugged… "Well, ya'know, you have the history and all. And she is carrying your child…"
"Yeah, but I told you months ago, I'm no longer in love with Rachel. I love her as a friend, and as the mother of my child, but that is all."
"I know, but, what about the rules? She's your ex…"
"I know, but Joe, I look at it like this… she's gonna be dating again eventually, and falling in love and getting married… it's inevitable. But, if that lucky man happens to be one of my best friends… how great would that be?"
"I can't believe how great you're being about this!"
"What did you think I'd do?"
"I don't know, but I figured you wouldn't be happy."
"Hey, ya'know, the fact that you worried so much about how I would take this just goes to show what a great friend you really are."
Joey smiled his usual crooked half-smile… "Well, I was really worried…"
After a brief guy-style hug, Ross ventured further… "So, when are you going to tell her?"
"Man, I don't know…" Joey replied nervously…
"Couldn't be more terrified."
"Look, just don't do what I did, right? Cause, I waited for, like, ever to tell her, ya'know?"
"Yeah, but, what if I tell her, and it ruins our friendship?"
"It shouldn't. Look at all Rachel and I have been through, and we're still friends. I think your guys' friendship can weather through this. But, I would definitely tell her."
Joey nodded, still unsure… "Ok, I'll-- I'll think about it."
Ross patted him on the back… "Good." He stood and picked up his to-go cup of warm milk… "Well, I'm gonna head home now. Want me to send her over?"
"No, no, no… not yet. I can't tell her yet… I gotta figure out what I'm gonna say first."
Ross smiled… "Alright…" he patted him on the back again, knowing the turmoil his friend's emotions were in… "Night."
"Night." Ross was headed for the door when Joey called out… "And Ross?"
He turned around… "Yeah?"
"Thanks for being so great about this."
Ross nodded… "No problem." He left Joey sitting in Central Perk, wondering what he should say, if anything, to Rachel.
--Ross entered his apartment to find Rachel cowering on the couch as she watched the TV…
"What are you watching? A scary movie?"
"You could say that…" Rachel replied… "It's a tape of Phoebe's friend giving birth."
"I don't think I can do this, Ross…" she whined nervously…
"Most women think that, and most women do just fine." Ross consoled her with a hug as he joined her on the couch…
They were silent as he held her, the only sounds in the room the sound of the woman screaming on the video…
"She doesn't sound fine. She sounds like she's dying."
"Women rarely die during childbirth in this day-and-age."
"Oh, that's comforting." she muttered sarcastically, struggling to get off the couch…
"Where are you going?"
"I think I left my pregnancy book over at Joey's. I wanna go get it."
"He might not be there… he was at the coffeehouse last I saw him."
"I still have the key!" she announced as she fished through her purse in search of her key-ring, smiling and jingling the keys in triumph once she found it… "I'll be right back."
TO BE CONTINUED?
You tell me. I had only originally planned to write this much cause of the horrible place the show left us hanging at. If people want, I can write more… if people want. Let me know…
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