Dream Come True, Chapter One Cake and Conversation

Author's Note: Hello, everybody. It's me, Margaret. You probably know me as Margaret from the Margaret and Lauren pair (You've Got Mail, First Kiss, Two Steps Forward, One Step Back) or Marg of the Marg and Celia pair (any fic by bluefroggy), or you may know me from one of my solo fics, of which there are very few, written under the name tvrox. Anyway, this is my first solo fic which I think will actually work out. I have carefully planned each segment, and I know exactly how everything's going to happen, so I shouldn't have any trouble putting out chapters efficiently. One small thing: This chapter takes place in May 2003, on Emma's first birthday. She talks a little more than the average one year old.well, actually, a lot more. I had fifty words at one, she probably has about a hundred. But there's a whole scene where she's alone with Rachel, and it's no fun trying to write dialogue for someone who can't talk. So that's just the way it is. Ross, Monica and Rachel may be a little OOC, but I'm not that familiar with the characters' personalities, so bear with me, it's still a good story. Also, a slight A/U. Emma's name is not Emma Geller-Green, but Emma Karen Geller. Okay? I thought so. Now read and review!

~*~

Rachel pulled a yellow cake out of the oven. "Okay, Em, it's done. Want to help Mommy put on the frosting?"

Emma shook her head. "No messy!" she exclaimed. Though a very feisty and outgoing girl, even at one, and quite a talker, she didn't like to get dirty.

Rachel smiled. "Okay, sweetheart. What color do you want your cake to be?"

"Pink, Mommy! Pwetty pink!" she said enthusiastically.

"Okay, birthday girl, one pink cake, coming up!" Little Emma clapped her hands. Rachel began to ice the cake, but she soon realized that more icing was going on the counter than on the cake itself.

She picked up the phone and dialed Monica's number. "Mon," she begged, "come quick! I tried to bake Emma a birthday cake, and it didn't go too well!"

"I'll be right there," agreed Monica. "But I'll have to bring Jennie!"

"That's fine. See you in five minutes." Rachel hung up. She turned to her daughter. "Guess what, Emma? Aunt Monica's coming to see us!"

Emma clapped her hands. "Yay!" she cried.

"And Jennie's coming too!" added Rachel.

Emma pouted and stuck her tongue out. "Meanie!" she said. Emma and three- month-old Jennifer were not the best of friends. In fact, quite the opposite: Emma had proclaimed her a "boring baby."

However, Rachel was not happy. "Emma Karen Geller," she said sternly, "don't you stick your tongue out!"

Emma's lower lip popped out and she made puppy eyes. "I sowwy, Mommy," she said.

Rachel couldn't resist that face. "Aww, Emma, it's okay, Mommy's not mad."

Emma brightened, and Rachel continued. "But sweetie, Jennie is your cousin, and you have to be nice to her. You're bigger than her, and that means she thinks you're special. So try to be nice, and I promise, once Jennie is a big girl like you, she'll be lots more fun. Okay?"

"Okay!" agreed the little girl. The doorbell rang, and in walked Monica and Jennie. Monica took one look at the cake and took charge.

"Okay, Rach, you watch the girls. I've got a cake to save!"

~*~

Two hours later, it was five o'clock. Emma had just woken up from a nap. The cake had been perfected, and Monica and Jennie had gone home. As Rachel was dressing Emma, she heard Ross entering the apartment.

She buttoned Emma's dress, brushed her hair, and walked out to greet Ross.

"Hey," she said. "Dinner's all ready, and after that we've got Emma's birthday cake."

"Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines?" he asked, assuming she'd used a mix.

"Rachel Green," she replied with a smirk.

"Rach, you backed a cake?" Ross was amazed but touched.

"Yeah, you know, it's Emma's first birthday, I wanted to do something special." Rachel put Emma down in her playpen.

"Well, you certainly did," he replied as he took his plate and they sat down.

"You know, Ross," she said, "just because I'm Rachel doesn't mean I can't bake."

"Yeah." began Ross. "I just can't believe you did it all alone without any help from Monica."

"Okay, okay," she admitted. "Monica helped a little."

He shot her a Look. "Okay, Monica helped a lot," she confessed. They both laughed.

"You know, Rach, this is, like, real."

"What is?" she asked

"Our situation. I mean, we're like a real family. We live together, we have a kid, I come home from work and you've cooked dinner." He trailed off.

"Except for one thing, Ross. One big thing. We're not married. Heck, we're not even together."

"I know, Rach," he said solemnly. "Which is just what I want to talk about. I still have feelings for you, and I think you feel the same way. Do you think we'll ever be together-for good?"

"Someday, Ross. Not today, but maybe tomorrow, maybe in a couple of years."

"Why not today?" asked Ross. He leaned in and kissed her.

"Oh my God," said Rachel. "Ross, I'm not saying that wasn't amazing- because it was-but we're not ready."

"Okay, Rach, you're right. Just remember what I said."

~*~

It was about midnight. Ross was trying to sleep, but he couldn't stop thinking about Rachel. The past few nights he'd had dreams about marrying her, having kids, and their life together.

All of a sudden, there was a knock. "Come in," he said. In walked Rachel.

"Ross, I couldn't sleep. I can't stop thinking about what you said, and about that kiss," she said.

"I know, me too," Ross replied. "But what you said was right. We're not ready for a relationship yet. Who knows when we will be. But we've got to wait until we are. If we broke up, that'd be awful for Emma."

"You're right, Ross. But-can I sleep in your bed tonight? I'm just lonely."

Ross smiled. "Why not?" I'm a bit lonely myself. Just as long as we don't.you know."

Rachel laughed lightly. "Oh no!" she exclaimed. She lay down next to him. "Goodnight, Ross," she said.

"Sleep tight," he whispered.

~*~

So that's it. Perhaps a little OOC, and awfully sappy. But I promise, in the next chapter, it gets SO MUCH more interesting. So just bear with me and keep reading. I've got a lot of stuff going right now, but if I get enough good reviews, I'll try to have the next chapter up within a week. Most importantly, R&R!