isis2015: (♦ j/r. so close)
[personal profile] isis2015
Title: So I Will Share This Room With You
Rating: PG-13
Summary: He was her best friend, and when she was with him she believed that she was going to be okay.
Disclaimer: I do not own Friends. At all. I wish but alas...
Author's Note: What if Rachel and Joey had slept together after their conversation in, 8.11, "The One With the Creepy Holiday Card"? This fic basically came out of that idea.

The first sensation she felt upon waking is warmth. She always felt hot in the morning now, could never really seem to get comfortable for long, but that wasn't what it was now. She blinked a few times and tried to decide what to say; she tried to decide just how much she may have ruined the two most important relationships in her life.

She rolled over and looked at Joey. After a minute, he woke up too.

"Hi," she said. She wasn't sad, regretful, or ashamed. But she was thoughtful and concerned. He seemed to understand that and smiled back at her. Not happily, not proudly, but reserved and unsure. It was a new side of him. She was beginning to see several new sides of him.

"Hi," he replied.

She shifted her hand underneath her head and laid down on it. She breathed in and out a few times as they laid there, looking at each other. In the light of day, things were no clearer than they were the night before. She was still pregnant by her ex-boyfriend, still uncertain of the new path her life was taking, and confused by conflicting feelings inside of her that had driven her to this moment.

It all stood out very clearly in her mind, even though her lust had cooled and she felt more stable in her own skin. She thought back to the night before, when she had needed the comfort of a friend, how it felt very much like the way she had needed Ross before Monica and Chandler's wedding. She knew it wasn't the same, but a part of her couldn't help but believe it wasn't that much different.

In the end, this was her decision. Hers and Joey's. It was one they would have to live with, one they may have not fully understood the night before. But still, her mind raced now. So much of her life was changing. She wasn't sure that she could handle it all.

"So," Joey began, slowly. "What happens now?"

She shook her head and answered, "I don't know."


"I never thought this would happen with you," Joey said, handing her a cup of coffee. "I mean, I hoped, but…" It was a half-joke/half-truth, she knew that. But instead of making her uncomfortable, it made her smile. It was still same Joey. Still her friend. Things would change, she knew, and she hated it, but for now Joey was still Joey.

"Yeah, me neither," Rachel answered. It wasn't like she hadn't thought about it sometimes too. Before Ross. Sometimes after Ross, if she was honest. But she hadn't ever thought anything would come of it. "Do we...I mean, are we gonna...tell anyone?"

He crossed his arms uncomfortably and tried a few times to say something, but nothing really came out except unsure sputtering. " there anything, really, to tell them?" Was there? Did she want to date Joey? No, no, that was way to complicated, and she didn't really want to date anyone.

"I guess not," she answered, slowly, shrugging. "I...don't really know what to do here. I mean, the last time something like this happened, this happened." She pointed to her stomach. And that was another thing. "Do we have to tell Ross?"

Joey sighed. "I don't know, Rach. This was just..."

"A mistake?" Rachel asked.

"No!" he answered, pretty loudly and pretty quickly. He looked away and shook his head a few times. She understood the feeling. She wasn't quite sure what to do with herself either, or what to think about what this may have meant. "I mean, no, I don't think it was. Do you think it was?"

"No,"she answered. "I just wanted to know if you thought it was." She thought about what it was like with Ross, before she had found out she was pregnant. He was a friend, who she had history with, and a part of her would always feel safe with him. That's what she had needed at the time, and they had gone about their friendship after that moment knowing that it had meant something only for that moment, but beyond that nothing had changed.

This was so much more complicated. What did she owe to Ross? What would telling him do? She sighed, setting her coffee down on the counter and pressing her hands up against her temple. "God, Joey, I don't know what we're supposed to do," she said. "I doesn't mean anything, right?"

He nodded. "Right."

"You're my friend," she stated. "And we're adults. And we don't owe anything to anyone. So we should just let this be what it was and keep it between us. It's no one else's business. Right?"

"Right," he answered. There was a long pause and then he said, "Do you really believe that?"

She let her head fall and rested her forehead against the countertop. "I don't know," she whispered. She closed her eyes. She wished so many things were different, that the thought of telling anyone – let alone Ross – didn't nauseate her because she knew, while she did nothing wrong, not everyone would see it that way. And Ross would blame Joey more than her, and that she could not handle.

"Joey," she said, lifting her head. "I know this is hard, and you're bad with secrets, but...I don't think we can tell anyone about this. They won't understand were just being a good friend to me." She got up from her seat and walked over to him, reaching out and holding his hand. "This is ours, okay? No one else's."

He shifted a bit uncomfortably as he looked at her. Joey hated keeping secrets, and she understood that. He had hated having to keep Monica and Chandler's secret for so long, so she knew the horrible position she was asking him to stay in. But she just didn't think there was any other way.

"Can we even do that?" he asked her, quietly.

She smiled, sadly. "I think we have to."

After a few moments, he squeezed her hand hand smiled. "Okay," he told her.

"Okay," she said back, pulling him into a hug. He held onto her tight, and she realized in that moment that there was a reason it had to have been Joey. In such a short time her life had been turned completely upside down. So many things were changing, and sometimes it was hard for her to keep her head above water. But through all that, Joey was her solid ground. He was there when she came home, listened to her concerns and her fears, reassured her when she wasn't sure she could handle it all.

He was her best friend, and when she was with him she believed that she was going to be okay.

"Thank you. For everything." she told him, meaning it more than she'd meant anything in a long time.

"Anytime," he answered, pulling her even closer and not letting go for a long time. She felt the ground stabilizing beneath her feet as she breathed in and out, all the while holding onto the one thing in her life anchoring her to the ground and making her feel like she wasn't sinking anymore.

Date: 2011-10-31 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great fic! I love that they say "Hi," to each other when they wake up. It's adorable and seems so fitting for them! I think you really got Rachel's characterization down in this; she would want to avoid further complications, but she's also understandably confused, and trying to figure things out. I love the tone throughout this, how it contains all her shifting emotions and, after she's figured out what she wants to do, things settle down and it's just her and Joey at the end, together as friends - I really appreciate that focus in here. Joey did act as an anchor for Rachel, so that final paragraph was especially awesome and insightful.

I love how things played out in Season 8 after that episode, but at the same time, it would've been interesting to see how things might have gone down if Rachel and Joey had ended up going for it that one night. This is a terrific 'what if?' scenario that plays out realistically and keeps in line with the show.

"A mistake?" Rachel asked.

"No!" he answered, pretty loudly and pretty quickly.

LOL! That echoes the show so well, I could totally see that playing out. I also like the visual of Rachel putting her head down on the counter; that was a great touch. There aren't many Joey/Rachel fics out there, so thank you for writing and sharing such a well-written one!

Date: 2011-11-05 11:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think what I try to do when I write Friends fic is to be honest in a way I don't feel the show always is. Things like this happen. And I know the issue of Rachel's pregnancy makes it hard to find the line of how much Ross's business this is, but in the end I came down on the side of it's not. If they wanted to be in a relationship, then yes, that's his business. But I feel like a moment like this would be between Rachel and Joey and that's it. At least, that's how I feel. And I felt like in order to be honest about the idea of his happening, I had to explore that.

I'm glad you liked this, thank you very much. :)