Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

By Margaret (Tvrox) and Lauren (Sweetangel251)

Life's Surprises Never Cease to Occur

Disclaimer:  Yes, we lazy bums are still sitting here wishing we had something to do with Friends.  We have reached a new height of boredom.  A few nights ago, we played a lengthy game of this or that at about midnight that we only very vaguely remembered the next morning.  If we've stooped that low, you can be fairly confident that we're not claiming ownership of anything having to do with the show.  And plus—we'd rather not be sued, we're awfully young, and haven't got that much money.

Author's Note:  Okay.  So we lied.  Joey did not, we repeat did not go to the park with Chandler and Monica and the older kids, he went back with Phoebe and the babies for naptime.  We are very sorry, but we did further plot planning, and realized that for purposes relating to your amusement, we had to have Joey back with the babies.  So, anyway, without further ado, the next chapter.

Phoebe and Joey were walking home with the smaller kids.  Phoebe was pushing David and Becca, the two youngest, in Josh and Becca's double stroller, and Joey was carrying Josh.  It was very strenuous physical activity.

Because of this, they decided to go to Chandler and Monica's house, which was considerably closer to where they currently were.  They reached the apartment, found the usual key in the doormat, and headed inside.

They put David and Josh to bed in Daniel and Julia's room, and Becca in David's crib.  When all the kids were settled, Joey turned on a baseball game and Phoebe picked up a magazine.

~*~*~*~*~

Meanwhile, at the park, Monica had just heard an awful wail from the other side of the playground.  Katie and Emma came running. 

"Mommy, Mommy!" panted Katie, "Brian's hurt!"

"What?" cried Monica.  "What happened?  I tried to be so responsible, and watch all of you!  Where is he?  What did he hurt?  Is he okay???"  At this point, Monica was a complete nervous wreck.

"Settle down, Aunt Monica," said Emma, speaking very quickly.  Emma was usually very outgoing, but when someone was in trouble, she became very sensitive and shy.  "I'll answer each question one by one.  He was climbing on the monkey bars and he fell off.  He's over there near the bars.  He hurt his arm, and no, he's not okay, I think it's broken…." Emma trailed off, and tears filled her eyes.  "I'm scared," she said. 

Monica gave Emma a quick hug, and reassured her, and rushed over to Brian.  He was crying hysterically and Julia and Daniel were standing watch over him.  When Monica saw him, she flipped out even more. 

"Daniel, go get Daddy and tell him to come over here.  Jule, sweetie, go look in my purse on that other bench and bring me my cell phone."

Monica knelt down and attempted to comfort a frantic Brian, but she didn't touch him, worried that it might worsen whatever injury he had.  Julia came running back with the cell phone, and Chandler arrived.

"Chandler," she said, "here's my cell phone.  Call 911 and tell them to send an ambulance.  And stay near Brian, watch him!"

Before Chandler could say anything, she rushed over to Chandler's former bench where Emma and her three oldest were sitting, and watching, worriedly. 

"Kids, we think Brian might have hurt his arm really badly.  I can't leave you here alone.  Can you go over and stand with Daddy-Uncle Chandler-and Brian?" she asked.  Three small heads nodded quietly, but one stayed still.  Monica could see that Emma's eyes were full of tears. 

"Okay, Em, come with me," conceded Monica.  She took Emma's hand and they ran to the nearest payphone. 

She quickly put in a quarter and dialed Phoebe and Joey's number.  No answer.  She called Phoebe's cell phone.  Phoebe picked up.

"Hello?"

"Pheebs, it's me," said Monica breathlessly, fear filling her voice.

"Monica, what's wrong?" asked Phoebe.  She was beginning to worry herself.  "I sense alarm in your aura."

"Pheebs, this is no time for auras.  Brian fell of the monkey bars.  You've got to come—quick.  We think he broke his arm."

"Be there in seconds," said Phoebe, and before Monica could say anything more, Phoebe had hung up.

~*~*~*~*~

Meanwhile, Ross and Rachel were at the doctor's, completely oblivious to everything that was going on among the other flustered members of the gang. 

The doctor was doing the sonogram.  "You would like to know what you're having, is that right, Mr. and Mrs. Geller?"

"Actually, it's Mr. Geller and Ms…" Rachel began.

"Leave it Rach," he said.  "Yes, doctor, that's right."

"Well, I don't know the gender yet, but I do have some very interesting news for you," replied the doctor.

"Oh?" asked Ross.  "What's that?"

"Well, when we listened for the baby's heartbeat, we heard two heartbeats."

"Umm…yeah, mine and the baby's," said Rachel as if it was obvious.

"No, actually, Rach….." Ross corrected her, and started to go into his scientific voice that was usually reserved for boring speeches and lectures.

"Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Geller, you're having twins!"

~*~*~*~*~

"Joey," said Phoebe.  "JOEY.  JOEY!!!!!!"  She turned off the TV. 

"What?  I was watching the game!" he protested.

"Joey, our son is hurt.  His arm may be broken.  Now, I've got to meet him and Monica at the hospital.  Can you stay here with the babies?"

"Sure, just one thing."

"Yes?"

"Which son?" asked Joey.

"You never change, do you?  Sometimes I wonder why I married you.  It's BRIAN."

Joey was immediately frantic.  "NO!  What if it's more serious than that?  He could DIE!"

Phoebe reassured him, and then left for the hospital.

~*~*~*~*~

Phoebe arrived at the hospital just as Monica and Brian did with the ambulance.  Examination by a doctor proved that the arm was, indeed, broken, but that there were no other serious injuries. 

However, Brian was content again after some Tylenol and a cast.  He'd gotten to pick the color-bright blue!

Meanwhile, in Ross and Rachel's appointment, a few minutes had past and they were finishing up.

"Now, how do we reach the exit again?"

"Well, you just go straight, and then make a left, and a left, and then two rights, and then three more lefts, go down a flight of stairs, go right, straight, left, right, straight, and you're there."

"Umm," said Rachel, "is there a closer exit?"

"Well, you could always exit through the emergency room exit.  Just turn right out the door, go straight, go down the flight of stairs at the end of the hall, and turn left, and you'll be in the waiting room you should see the door."

"Thanks!" said Rachel and they left.  On their way out, they ran in to Phoebe, Monica, and Brian leaving.

Phoebe and Rachel spoke simultaneously.  "Brian broke his arm!" said Phoebe.  "I'm having twins!" exclaimed Rachel.

And then they spoke together again.  "Congratulations!" cried Phoebe.  "Poor Brian!" said Rachel as she saw his cast and gave him a hug.

~*~*~*~*~

Meanwhile, back at Monica and Chandler's, Becca was asleep—and so was Joey.  But not Josh and David.  They'd woken up, found Daniel and Julia's art supplies, and had massacred the entire apartment.

There was crayon, paint, marker, and glitter glue all over the walls, floor, and furniture.  Chandler arrived home with Emma, Katie, Daniel, and Julia, and was greeted by the greatest mess of his life. 

In addition to the house, David and Josh's clothes were stained everywhere possible.  Before Chandler had time to wonder what was going on, he saw Joey asleep on the sofa.

"Whoa, okay, Monica's going to be home soon, and we've got to get this mess under control.  Katie and Emma, please go help the boys wash their hands and faces, Joey or I will be in soon to give them a bath.  Julia, Daniel, go into your room and play something quietly for awhile."

The kids obeyed orders and Chandler promptly woke Joey up.

"Wha-huh-where am I?" said a very groggy and bewildered Joey.

"Dude, it's me, you're at my house, you fell asleep while babysitting and our sons created art out of my apartment!  We've gotta go get this mess under control.  I'm gonna go bathe the boys, start cleaning the walls and floors.  I'll send Emma and Katie out to help you."

Joey got up, and the cleaning process began.  Chandler got the boys successfully bathed and re-clothed, and set them to play with Julia and Daniel in the twins' bedroom.

When Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe and Brian walked in the door, the saw Chandler, Joey, and the girls rushing to get the house clean.

"WHAT IS GOING ON!?!?!?!?!?!" yelled Monica.  "WHAT HAPPENED TO MY HOUSE?  IT USED TO BE SO CLEAN AND BEAUTIFUL AND NOW IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING YOU'D FIND AT A MODERN ART MUSEUM—AND THAT IS NOT A COMPLIMENT!  AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" 

Chandler quickly sent the girls and Brian to where the other kids were.  Ross and Rachel stood in awe while Joey and Chandler tried to explain to their wives.  As if right on cue, Becca woke up and began to wail, and some yelling came from the room where the other children were. 

Before anyone could say anything, Rachel went to get Becca and Ross checked on the kids.

~*~*~*~*~

Several hours later, Monica and Chandler's house was reasonably clean again, and the entire gang was in their living room eating Pizza.

"Gosh," said Monica, "what a hectic day."

"Yeah," said Ross.  "Life's surprises never cease to occur."