As always these characters do not belong to me except for all the kids! This story is not written for profit but purely for entertainment purposes.
The Bings And The Gellers
Part Five: The One With The Big Decision
The next day at lunch with Monica, Rachel bore her soul. "What the hell did we do wrong Monica? He's completely out of control. He's coming home drunk, he got Jessie Moore pregnant. I just don't know what we are going to do with him. Nothing we do seems to work. And Ross is so tense with this. I know he blames himself. Geesh, Mon, I love them both so much and this is tearing me apart."
Monica hugged her, "I know you do Rach. They are both lucky to have you. Just a suggestion; why don't you send Nick to stay with Mom and Dad for awhile?"
"As in Mom and Dad Geller? They are getting a little old for that aren't they?"
"They would love it. It would be good for them- for Nick and for you. You could all use a break from each other and the stress this situation has put you in. I'm sure the sexual tension between you and Ross is building up."
"Yeah once since we've brought Lauren home."
"Once in four months? This is you and Ross we are talking about here. No wonder he is so stressed out."
"We both are. I mean we have a belligerent son and a brand new baby who is just so wonderful. And poor little Travis may as well be forgotten in all of this. Neither of us have had much energy to spend with the poor little guy lately. I mean we are just too old for all of this madness! Which reminds me, what is this I heard about you and Chandler arguing all the time?"
"Who told you that?"
"My nieces. Something about you wanting to adopt a baby and Chandler saying hell no a lot."
"Oh, let's just say that I'm going through a baby fever phase. I mean my baby is 11 nearly 12. How is that possible? And I always wanted four but Chandler insisted that we stop after Taylor."
"Well, Mon, you did already have a 3 year-old and a barely 2 year-old when Taylor was born."
"Funny how our three are like little stair steps and yours and Ross' are like seven and eight years apart."
"Well you know how long we tried between Nick and Travis and I did have that miscarriage. And Lauren was a complete surprise," Rachel smiled at her sleeping daughter, "although now that she is here she is such a wonderful surprise."
"I just miss having babies around the house. I feel so old and Taylor is entering that horrid pre-teen phase. Ugh! Maybe the third time really is the charm."
"Well, whenever you get to missing babies, I will just send Lauren over to her Aunt Monica for awhile."
"That would be great! Lauren and I will become buddies! I will spoil her so!" Monica started rambling on about all of the fun things her and Lauren would do together and how she would be her favorite aunt.
Rachel and Monica left their lunch both feeling better about the situations at their respective homes.
By later that afternoon Rachel had phoned her in-laws and made plans for Nick to spend the rest of the summer with his grandparents. The only problem was how to tell Ross. That was trickier than she had counted on. Ross completely freaked out at first. But Rachel eventually won him over with her reasoning. None of them were really prepared for just how hard Nick would take it.
"You don't want me anymore! I make a few mistakes, I just try to be a kid and you want to pass me off to someone else!"
"Nick honey that is not it!" Rachel tried to reason with him.
"You just want the ever complaint Travis and your precious little girl. I am just unwanted baggage-"
"Nicholas listen to us-" Ross started to explain.
"No! Mom, Dad you listen to me! If you really want me to go to Grandma and Grandpa Geller's FINE! Don't ever expect me to come back! I hate you for doing this to me!" By now Rachel was sobbing and Ross was pacing around the room.
The three of them had been arguing back and forth for over an hour when a key turned in the door and in walked- Ben!
"Uh-oh," Ben said, "I can see I picked a bad time."
"Hey Ben!" Ross went over and hugged his 21 year-old son. "There is a never bad time."
"Hi Ben." Rachel also went over and hugged him and tried to hide the sadness in her voice. "It is great to see you!"
"Well we had a two day break at University and so I thought I would come visit. And there is someone I want you to meet." He pulled on the hand of a beautiful young girl. "This is Cortland Lindley, she's a- a friend."
"Hello Cortland. What a beautiful name! It is so nice to meet you." Ross and Rachel both focused their attention on Ben and Cortland.
"Figures!" Nick muttered to himself "And I suppose if she were pregnant with his baby it would be the greatest news ever!" He stormed into his room and slammed the door behind him.
The rest of the evening flew by quickly as Nick stayed in his room blasting his stereo and angrily packing for his trip. Ross, Rachel, Travis, Lauren, Ben, and Cortland spent the evening getting to know each other. Ross and Rachel were pleased with Ben's choice in Cortland. She was a marvelous young lady who was great with kids and obviously adored Ben.
When it was time for bed Ross said "Well Rach and I are kind of tired so we are going to head for bed. Ben, you can sleep in Nick's other bunk bed and Cortland we will pull the couch bed out for you." Ben started to object and then changed his mind.
About two in the morning Rachel woke to giggling and moaning. She sat up in bed quickly and made sure Ross was still asleep. He was sleeping soundly beside her.
She got out of bed and opened the door to the living room. It was as she thought; Ben and Cortland were in bed together. Rachel wasn't sure what to do except she knew better than to awaken Ross. He would totally freak out! She decided just to let them be and to talk to Ben about it in the morning. She quietly closed the door and crawled back into bed. She snuggled up as close to Ross as possible and tried to fall back asleep.
The next morning it was all Rachel could do to wait for Ross to leave for work. When he finally kissed her goodbye and left Rachel turned to Cortland. "Cortland, could I ask you to keep an eye on Travis and Lauren for a few minutes? Ben why don't you come on a walk with me?"
Cortland looked knowingly at Ben and said, "Sure Mrs. Geller."
"You can call me Rachel. Come on Ben we should be only ten minutes or so."
Ben and Rachel decided to talk a walk around the apartment building. "Ben, I need to talk to you. I saw you and Cortland together last night. Why didn't you two just say you wanted to share a room rather than sneaking around?"
"Because Dad would have freaked."
"No, no, he would have freaked if he had seen you last night. What if Travis had seen you?"
"You mean he's never seen you-"
Rachel quickly changed the focus of the conversation back to Ben, "Look Ben he wouldn't have freaked if you wanted to share a room. But he would have if he had seen you or if Travis had caught you."
"Why? It's not like Dad's a virgin."
Rachel blushed slightly, "Yes, I know. Great now you sound like Nick. What are we going to do with you boys? And I suppose I am supposed to keep this a secret from your Dad?"
"Just until I get a chance to talk to him about it. I think Cortland's the one Rach. I don't want to blow anything about this relationship especially how I approach it with Dad."
"Ben, your Dad knows you are an adult. I think maybe you are underestimating him on this one a little bit."
"Maybe, but just give me a chance to handle this my way please Rachel."
Ben gave her the puppy look that he inherited from his Dad.
"Geesh, I can never say no to those eyes. Why did you all get them?"
"Thanks Rach. You're the best third Mommy a boy could ever have."
The next day Ross, Rachel, Travis, Lauren, Ben and Cortland took Nick to the airport to catch his flight to spend the summer with his grandparents. Ben and Cortland took Travis and Lauren on a walk. Ross, Rachel, and Nick sat in the boarding area in silence. Ross and Rachel were each pondering if they were making the right decision. When the final boarding call was made for the flight Rachel went over to Nick and tried to hug him. Nick was not receptive. "We love you, son." Ross said softly.
"Yeah, whatever." Nick just walked away from them onto the plane. Rachel went immediately into Ross' arms. He held her as they watched their son's plane take off and take him out of their lives for the summer.
Ben drove home because Ross and Rachel were too preoccupied. But instead of stopping at home, he stopped in front of the Radisson Hotel. "Ben, what are you doing?" Ross asked.
"Well, Cortland and I talked about it and decided that maybe you two could use a night away."
"But Travis and Lauren-"
"We will keep them."
"Sure we can handle it. Besides, Aunt Monica and Uncle Chandler are right across the hall." Ben waved the room key at them, "Besides, we know where to find you. C'mon, you know you want to?"
Ross looked at Rachel and she nodded slowly. "Alright, but Ben you call us if you need us. And don't hesitate to get Monica-"
"And Lauren needs to eat when you get home. Her bottles are in the refrigerator."
Ben interrupted their ranting, "Would you two just get out of the van before we change our minds?" He winked at Cortland.
A few minutes later Ross and Rachel found themselves completely alone for the first time in along time. Ross sat down on the edge of the bed and Rachel sat on his lap.
Ross started rubbing and kissing her neck. "Ross, do you think we made the right choice with Nick? I think we broke his heart.."
Ross kept kissing her, "Shh! Let's talk about it in a few minutes. Right now, the only person I want to think about is you. How much I love you and how much I want you right now." He laid her on the bed.
"Shhh! No talking!" he kissed her soundly. Rachel started to get into his kisses and soon they both forgot their troubles for a while. (
Montage: Ross and Rachel enjoying their night; eating dinner by candlelight, taking a bubble bath together, watching a movie snuggled up on the couch, and cuddling in bed together. Ben and Cortland feeding Lauren, roughhousing with Travis, putting them to bed, making out on the couch.
In the morning Ross and Rachel enjoyed a long breakfast together in bed and then decided to take a cab home.
When they opened the front door, Travis ran up to them in his cowboy outfit. "Mommy! Daddy! I missed you but I had the funnest time ever with Ben and Cortland!"
Rachel hugged him eagerly, "That's great honey!"
Ross looked at Ben and Cortland, "Did you two have fun playing house?"
Cortland blushed and said Ben "Yeah it was fun. What about you two? Did you enjoy your night away?"
Rachel beamed lovingly at Ross and said, "It was exactly what we needed."
The day went by somewhat uneventfully. Ross took Ben to lunch and Rachel and Cortland hung out at the Geller house. When Ben and Ross came home, Rachel knew that they had had their talk. Ross seemed okay with the whole situation because when Cortland and Ben announced it was time for them to leave, Ross hugged them both and said to Cortland, "You take good care of my son."
"I will Dr. Geller. I will." Ross and Rachel stood with their arms around each other and watched Ben and Cortland drive away.
Then they followed the skipping Travis back into their building.
Part Six: The One With The Letter
Rachel, Phoebe, Sierra, Madi, Taylor, and Lauren were shopping in a large mall. "Aunt Rachel, can we go to Music land?" Madi asked.
"Sure guys, but make sure you meet us right back here in fifteen minutes." Her three nieces went off toward the store. Rachel pulled Lauren's stroller over to a bench and sat down. Phoebe plopped down next to her. "Oh I am sooo tired!"
"So when is Nick coming home?"
"Well Ross talked to Judy last night and they decided to keep him an extra week. So he will be home about a week before school starts. And to be honest, Pheebs, it has been so peaceful without him here I'm not sure if I am looking forward to him coming home."
"I can understand. Does he talk to you or Ross yet?"
"No every time we call he refuses to speak to either of us. Guess I can't blame the kid. After all we did send him away-"
"Rachel don't you even make yourself feel guilty about this. You are a fabulous Mom, like way better than I thought you would ever be. Nick was being a grateful, rebellious child and you did what you thought was best for the family-"
Rachel hugged her, "Thanks Phoebe. You always did have a way of putting things."
"Yeah, I know it's a gift."
The girls were back now each one toting a new CD. "If you girls spent your school clothes money on CD's your Mother will go ballistic on me." Rachel warned them.
"Relax, Aunt Rach," Sierra laughed, "We know all too well what Mom would do to you- and to us. We bought these with our allowance."
"Okay, then." They shopped for a few more hours and then finally headed back to Ross and Rachel's.
They opened the front door and dropped all their bags on the floor. Ross looked up at them and smiled, "That better not all be yours Mrs. Geller."
"Relax Dr." she winked at him, "Only about half of it is mine." He came to her and kissed her. "All right ladies, why don't you sort through this and take your stuff over to your apartment and put it away."
Taylor held up a shopping bag, "Who bought something at Victoria's Secret?"
Rachel quickly grabbed the bag, "That is mine."
Ross raised his eyebrows at her, "Is it?"
"Yes," Rachel wrapped her arms protectively around the package and made a dash for their room.
Ross tried to follow her into their room but she shut the door on him, "Rachel Karen Geller open up this door!"
"Oh Uncle Ross, I bet you can't wait for us to go home now!" Sierra joked.
"Ewww! Gross!" Taylor rolled her eyes, "You guys are like way worse than our parents and our parents are like hopeless nymphos."
Ross looked at Taylor in shock, "You are way too young to even know that word young lady!"
"Relax, Uncle Ross we live with Mom and Dad. Who by the way, say you and Aunt Rachel are much worse." Rachel burst out laughing from her bedroom and Ross looked down kind of embarrassed.
Rachel opened the door walked right past Ross into the kitchen and started dinner. When their nieces left to take their stuff home Ross asked, "So what did you buy at Victoria's Secret?"
"Oh, nothing. Just some underclothes I have been needing."
"What kind of underclothes?"
"You know, the usual bras and underwear."
"Rach, are you keeping secrets from me?" Ross teased, "Cause you know I will make you pay for keeping secrets."
"Oh will you?" Rachel touched his lips with her fingers, "Well then you just gave me more of a reason not to tell you."
The girls came back into the apartment laughing and joking about their now bulging closets. "Oh no! Mom's going to want us to recategorize our clothes-"
"I know! I know! Maybe if we tell her we did it will they were gone she won't make us do it again."
"Yeah, right. Then she will want to see our inventory list by category."
Ross and Rachel laughed. Sometimes they felt sorry for their nieces who had to live with the ever-obsessive Monica. Only Sierra who was just like her Mother didn't seem to mind Monica's quirky little "things." "Which reminds me, your parents called while you were out shopping. They are going to be gone a day longer than they thought. So you are stuck with your Aunt and I for a little bit longer." Ross told them.
"That's cool!" Taylor turned on the TV, "you guys are the coolest- except for they lovey dovey stuff." Soon the girls were engrossed in VH1. Ross kissed Rachel's forehead, "Are you okay with having them for an extra night?"
"All the longer to keep secrets from you my dear." She grinned at him.
Ross wrapped his arms around her, "Maybe when my sister and her dear husband return from their trip, they will let us go on one of our own." He kissed her and pulled her closer to him.
"Ross! Ross! The water's boiling!"
He ignored her and kept kissing her, "And our nieces are in the next room! Joey is bringing Travis back from the zoo like any second now-" As if on cue the door opened and in walked Travis and Joey.
"Rach you got any food? I'm starved." Joey looked at them kissing and said, "Niiice!" Ross and Rachel broke quickly.
Ross went into the living room to get Travis cleaned up for dinner. Rachel set an extra place at the table, "Stay and eat dinner with us Joey. It'll be crowded and fun."
And fun it was. During dinner, Joey had them all in stitches. He told the girls about their parents' secret love affair and how they all found out. Of course because Joey knew about the relationship the longest he had the most information and his version of the events were hilarious.
Sierra wiped the tears from her eyes, "Mom and Dad conveniently left some of that out. They may kill you when they found out you told us." She smiled at her sisters, "Now we know why Dad always teases Mom about laundry day."
After dinner Joey went home and the girls gave Travis his bath. They loved babying him and he loved all the attention. Ross took Lauren for a bit and Rachel went into to read to Travis and tuck him in.
A few days later.
When Monica and Chandler came back from their trip Rachel could tell that they had a refreshing time. The girls were eager to see their parents and were already starting to tease them about some of the things Joey had told them. "That's it Joey is a dead bastard." Chandler said to Monica.
"Yep, but how do we do it?" Monica asked as the girls laughed at them.
Finally Ross, Rachel, Travis and Lauren had their apartment and their routine back to normal. It was an eerie, yet wonderful feeling after a week and a half with a house full of teenage girls.
"Maybe that's why Nick and Travis were boys." Ross laughed, "Cause I am not ready for adolescent daughters," he picked up Lauren, "It's a good thing I have a few years to practice before you turn into one of them." He teased his little daughter and made a funny face at her. Lauren smiled at her Daddy and squealed in delight. "Oh yes! There's Daddy's little girl!"
Rachel looked lovingly at her husband and her daughter. She was so glad that she had given him a daughter even if they were too damn old for this baby thing. They were both having a blast.
When Travis and Lauren were in bed Ross joined his wife on the couch. She was looking over some designs for the new fall line. "Thinking of going back already?" Ross asked.
"Already? Lauren is five months old. We agreed I would wait until she was six months. My new boss just asked for my opinion on the new fall line."
"Honey, what's in the Victoria's Secret bag?"
"I told you underclothes."
"Can I see?"
"Ross, there is nothing to see it's bras and underwear."
"I still want to see. Please." He gave her his puppy dog eyes.
Rachel sighed, "Man those eyes are killers! I will show them to you, but then you have to let me finish looking at these designs, my boss wants my critique in the morning."
Ross ran his hand up her leg, "But I want to see your fall line." He began kissing her neck, "I've heard it's fabulous."
"It is-" Rachel tried to divert his attention. "We have this great new black strapless dress."
"Uh hum," Ross laid her down on the couch and began unbuttoning her shirt, as his kisses on her neck grew more intense.
"Oh dammit!" Rachel said and let herself be carried away by her husband's advances.
About three days before Nick was scheduled to arrive home Ross and Rachel received a certified letter from an attorney. Rachel tore it open and then burst into tears.
Her hands were shaking so hard she could barely dial Ross' number. "Professor Geller."
"Ross," she was serious and quiet.
"Rach? What's happened? What is it?"
"Ross, I need you to come home."
"Well, I have a class this afternoon. I'll see if I can get a substitute."
"Ross you have to come home. It's really important. Please-" Rachel was crying too hard to go on so she hung up.
Ross tore out of his office down to the Dean's fearing the worst. He spoke quickly with the Dean and then rushed home as fast as he could.
He found Rachel on the couch hugging Lauren tightly to her. Travis was coloring at the table. "Hey buddy!" Ross tousled his sons' hair.
"I'm drawing you a new dinosaur Daddy."
"That's great, Trav, my office needs some new artwork and you just happen to be my favorite artist."
Ross sat down next to Rachel, "Okay, I'm here. What's going on?"
Rachel handed him the letter. "This is what is going on."
Ross read the contents of the letter and looked at his wife sadly. "I think we need a lawyer now." He went across the hall and asked Monica to watch Travis and Lauren. He didn't tell her anything but Monica knew Ross well enough to know that something was very wrong so she quickly agreed.
Ross and Rachel soon found themselves in an attorney's office. Rachel was grasping the letter in one hand and Ross' hand in the other. Neither of them spoke. A few more minutes passed and finally the lawyer entered the room. "Hello, I'm Mike Clark."
Ross stood, "Hi, I'm Ross Geller and this is my wife Rachel."
Mike sat down behind his large desk and looked at them through the end of his glasses, "So what exactly do you need my help with? My secretary told me this was concerning an adoption-"
Part Seven: The One With The Disagreement
Ross handed Mr. Clark the letter, Here is what we received in the mail.
Mr. Clark looked up at them after reading the letter, Do you wish to contest this adoption?
`May I ask why?
Well, it is our 15 year-old sons baby and we just feel really strongly that he should take responsibility for his child.
You mean raise it himself?
Not necessarily that so much as if the baby is put for adoption that Nick should be allowed to be involved. So far the young ladys family has completely left our son and us out of the decisions. They have been rude and spiteful, he gripped Rachels hand, We have a five month-old baby at home that is ours so we are not in the position to adopt it ourselves.
Well, all I can do right now is issue a temporary stay of the adoption process until paternity can be positively identified. Then once that has been established I think we should try to come to an agreement outside of court.
Ross stood up and shook hands with the lawyer, Thank-you so much for the help. I will be by tomorrow with a check for your retainer fee
It was nice to meet you Dr. and Mrs. Geller. We will get this worked out.
Rachel who had remained silent through the whole visit blew up in the car,
What the hell were you doing in there?
Ross looked at her stunned, What did I do wrong, Rach? I got us an attorney.
You said we dont want to adopt the baby.
Of course we dont Rachel! In case youve forgotten we have a brand new baby,
an eight year-old, and a very difficult teenager.
So you would rather your grandchild be raised by strangers so your life isnt inconvenienced?
Rachel, you are being ridiculous and irrational about this. Besides, if we take the baby how will that teach Nick a lesson in responsibility?
Separating him forever from his child is not the answer either.
Well, I dont know what else to do Rachel. Its obvious that Jessie doesnt want to keep the baby and I just dont think Nick is in the position to do this alone.
Isnt that what we are here for Ross? To help him?
Yes, honey but its not fair to our other children to take on this responsibility.
Rachel sighed, Damnit! I feel like such a failure with him. We didnt teach him enough about safe sex, we just drilled abstinence into him. She was crying now, and like many teenagers he just couldnt wait and he didnt know how to protect himself.
Ross rested his hand on her knee, Sweetie, we educated him about AIDS, STDS, and we talked to him about condoms. Yes, we did drill abstinence into him, because we were really hoping that that is the choice that he would make for himself. He just made a mistake. And the like the rest of us, he is going to have to live with the consequences of his decisions. Theres just a possibility that his consequences wont be happy for him.
Rachel took his hand off her knee, It doesnt bother you at all that this is your grandchild? That this child is your flesh and blood? That Jessie has a little Lauren growing inside of her right now?
Of course it bothers me, it bothers me a lot. Some days it is all I think about. But I think we have to look at this realistically and understand that ultimately what happens to our grandchild may not be up to us. In fact we may not even get a say in it all.
Rachel snapped at him, Well I still cant believe you are being this insensitive about this. I am so angry with you right now. And will you please speed the hell what up, what you are going like 20 miles an hour?
Well, at least I dont get speeding tickets.
Thats for sure. They drove the rest of the way home in silence. When they got to their apartment building Rachel went over to Monica and Chandlers to pick up Travis and Lauren. She could hear Laurens screams in the hallway.
Shes starving, Monica explained, She wont take her bottle. Rachel took her daughter from Monica and sat down on the couch to nurse Lauren. The babys cries instantly subsided.
So whats going on Rachel? The concern was etched on Monicas face,
Is Nick alright?
While Lauren nursed Rachel told Monica the whole story, I am so mad at Ross right now. I cant believe he doesnt want his own grandchild. She burst into tears, Its like I wake up everyday in someone elses nightmare.
Monica put her arms around Rachels shoulder, Oh sweetie, its all going to work out. I know that Ross loves you so much and that he loves his grandchild. I really think he wants what is best for all of you. Look at you, Rachel, you are exhausted and you want to go back to work soon. However would you manage with another baby? Do you honestly think Nick is at the place in his life where he can be a good, responsible father? He is still just a kid.
How can I give away my own grandchild? I mean I always imagined the birth of my first grandchild as a joyous, happy occasion. This is almost as bad as a funeral.
Maybe you and the Moores will be able to find a family that will give an open adoption so you can still be involved in the babys life and get pictures and letters.
Rachel looked at Monica, Do you think you could help Ross with Travis for a few days?
Yeah, sure. Why?
Because before Nick gets home I want to go away for a few days and think this through. I really need to work through this on my own. Ill take Lauren with me.
Whatever you need. But dont shut Ross out.
Ross tried to talk Rachel out of going away. He was so worried about her being alone to wallow in depression. She had been on an emotional roller coaster ever since she had discovered she was pregnant with Lauren. But as usual, Rachel was stubborn and unrelenting. Ross, I need to do this. I just need some time to clear my head and really feel right about whatever decision is made. I hope that you will use this time to rethink your position, and your motives behind it. She walked right past him with the suitcase and Laurens diaper bag and took them to the car. She came back in and took Lauren from Ross, Travis come give Mommy a kiss. Travis quietly gave her a hug and a kiss. Rachel handed Ross a piece of paper, This is the hotel where I will be staying. Dont call unless it is an emergency. I will be home in time to go with you to the airport to pick up Nick on Friday. I should be ready to talk then. With that said she left.
Ross just stood there staring at the closed door. I love you Rach. He said softly.
Part Eight: The One Where Phoebe Gets Involved
The first day that Rachel was gone Ross moped around the house. He couldnt help but think that although he knew he was going in the right direction with this situation with his son that perhaps he wasnt being sensitive enough to Rachel. She was constantly on his mind; he loved her so much and couldnt bear to think that his decisions were tearing her apart emotionally. Ross had no idea that one of his best friends would make a decision that day that would change all of their lives forever.
Phoebe knocked on the door of the hotel room where Rachel and Lauren were staying. Rachel opened the door just enough to see who it was. Oh, hi Phoebe.
Rach, can we talk? Rachel opened the door and let in her. You look like hell.
Well Lauren hasnt slept since we came here. She just fell asleep ten minutes ago out of sheer exhaustion so well have to whisper.
Thats fine. Phoebe sat on the edge of the bed and looked at Rachel very seriously, I want to adopt Nick and Jessies baby.
Rachel stared at Phoebe open-mouthed, What- what did you just say?
I want to adopt Nick and Jessies baby. Lets face it Im 45 years old Im never going to have my own natural child now. My biological clock is ticking, ticking, ticking. This may be my only chance to ever have a child.
But Pheebs, Mr. and Mrs. Moore have already selected another couple to adopt the baby. Ross and I had to go to court to get a temporary stay on the adoption proceedings until Nick comes back from Florida.
I have already set up an appointment with Mr. and Mrs. Moore and Jessie. I am very serious about this Rachel but I wanted to make sure that you and Ross are going to be okay with this. And Nick too of course.
Rachel began to cry, Phoebe, you are the greatest friend anyone could ever ask for. How loving and selfless of you
Hey now, Im not totally without reason for doing this and it is somewhat selfish.
But if it doesnt work out, if the Moores dont agree.
Well have to worry about that when we get there now wont we, if we get there.
Phoebe handed Rachel the phone, Now call your husband and tell him to meet you here. You two have things to talk out.
Lauren will go for a ride with her Auntie Phoebe. Shell sleep right through it anyway. When you are ready to have her back just call me. And Monica is picking up Travis at school today so you really have no more excuses.
Isnt Ross at work though? I mean I cant call him in the middle of class.
Oh my God, Rachel, will you just call him? He is at home. He took a few vacation days because he is too emotional to be effective at work right now. If you dont call him Im going to seriously hurt you.
Rachel dialed her home number and Ross answered on the first ring. She told him to come to the hotel she was ready to talk. When she hung up Phoebe picked the sleeping Lauren up and put her in her car seat. Now go shower and get changed before your husband gets here. It will be easier to talk if you dont look like hell.
By the time Ross got to the hotel room Rachel was showered and in fresh clothes.
Ross knocked on the door and Rachel let him in. Ross, sit down we need to talk. He sat down next to her on the bed and she took his hand in hers, Phoebe came by this morning.
Ross looked all around the hotel room, Rach, where is Lauren? Is something wrong?
Its okay sweetie, shes with Phoebe. She wanted us to have a chance to talk alone. And everyones just fine so theres no need to worry. Now, I need to tell you something. Phoebe came by this morning and told me that she would like to adopt Nick and Jessies baby.
What? Ross looked at her stunned, What??
I know it freaked me out at first too a little bit, but Ross, sweetie this could be the perfect solution. Think about it our grandchild being raised by one of our best friends, we could watch him or her grow up Ross, and Nick could be involved a little too, if he wants to be.
But what about the Moores? What about Jessie? This may not be what she wants. What about Nick? He may not want to put the baby up for adoption. He may decide he wants to keep it.
Ross looked at her lovingly. Youre right Rachel, this could be the perfect solution. This could be the one way that everyone is happy. He hugged her, I love you so much.
I love you too. She kissed him, I suppose I can go check out of this room and go home now that weve worked everything out. We will still need to discuss how we are going to bring up the subject with Nick. But we have another day or so to worry about that. She started to stand up and then realized something. You know what Ross?
We are all alone in an empty hotel room! She winked at him, What do you suppose we should do about that?
Ummm we could redeem the time? Ross suggested.
I can never say no to you. She laid down on the bed and pulled him on top of her. He kissed her intensely and they spent the afternoon making love.
Two days later Ross, Rachel, Travis, and Lauren went to the airport to pick up Nick. Rachel was a little nervous and she was pacing around the gate bouncing Lauren in her arms.
Ross laid his hand on her shoulder, Rach come on the plane just got in. Stop making yourself so anxious everything is going to be fine. They walked over to the door of the gate where the passengers were starting to file out. They waited for what seemed like forever and finally Nick appeared. Ross walked up to him first and hugged him, Welcome home son. We missed you.
Rachel threw her arms around him and cried. Nick looked helplessly at his Dad and then said, Hi Mom. Hi Dad. I missed you guys too.
The ride home in the car was filled with conversation about all of the things that Nick did on his visit with his grandparents. The separation though long seemed to have done them all a world of good.
After Travis and Lauren were in bed that night Rachel, Ross and Nick sat at the kitchen table and had a serious conversation about the baby. Nicholas, son, we need to how you feel about this baby. What role you want to take in the life of this child. Jessie and her parents have decided to give up this baby for adoption we need to know how you feel about that.
Nick swallowed hard, Mom, Dad I love my baby I really do. But I want to be a kid. I realize that I made a mistake when I slept with Jessie and that the kid didnt ask to be born. I think that it would be unfair and selfish of me to prevent it from going to someone who really wants to have a baby. And I dont. Not right now, anyway.
Rachels eyes welled up with tears, That is the most mature, responsible thing I have ever heard you say Nick. I am so very proud of you son.
Me too. Ross agreed.
Nick, honey, your Aunt Phoebe came to us while you were in Florida and mentioned that she would like to adopt your baby. We would like to know how you would feel about her adopting your child.
Really? Aunt Phoebe wants the baby, my baby? Seriously?
Seriously. She has made arrangements for all of us to meet with the Moores this Saturday if you are okay with proceeding with this. But if you are not sure Nick, just say the word and it will get dropped. We dont want to pressure you into any decision that you do not feel ready for.
Nick thought for a moment and then he finally spoke, I think it would be really great if Aunt Phoebe took the baby. I mean she would be a great Mom and I would never have to worry about the kid being mistreated or anything. It would be really cool!
Ross smiled, Then it is settled. Well call her in the morning and tell her. But now lets all get some sleep.
Phoebe was overjoyed at Nicks decision. Saturday they all gathered at the Moores house for the meeting. They were all seated around the living room eating appetizers and having drinks. Finally Mr. Moore set down his drink and said, Okay Mr. and Mrs. Geller and Ms. Buffay its obvious that this is not merely a social call. Especially considering that youve hired an attorney.
Phoebe smiled at them, Mr. and Mrs. Moore I am Phoebe Buffay. I have been a friend of Ross and Rachels for almost twenty years. I know that they have been a hard time deciding how to deal with the situation that their son has found himself in.
Mr. Moore interrupted, Well, we all know how it could have been prevented.
Ross tried to maintain the civil tone in the conversation by immediately interjecting, Mr. Moore, please we are not here to rehash what anyone could have done differently. We are here to talk about what we can do to make this situation work out happily for everyone and most importantly come to a decision that will be in the best interest of the child.
This is where Phoebe began again, I would like to adopt Nick and Jessies baby. I am past the age where I can have a child naturally and I have always wanted to be a Mother. I think this would be a great solution and one everyone would be happy with.
Mr. Moore interrupted, Look Ms.Buffay, I appreciate your time but we have already found the parents for Nick and Jessies baby. Now I am sorry to disappoint you but this meeting is really a waste of time.
Mrs. Moore surprised everyone by finally speaking, Jacob, I think we should listen to what Ms. Buffay has to say. She is obviously trying to meet us in the middle here and I think it is time that we started trying to be a little more sensitive to the other grandparents in this babys life.
Jacob Moore sighed heavily, Fine, Marie, you are right. Ms. Buffay we will listen to you. Although, I can not promise you that it will change anything.
Several hours later, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Nick left the Moores slightly more optimistic than they were when they first arrived. Several days went by without so much as a word of their decision. Nick went to school and everyone else went to work and they jumped every time the phone rang hoping that they would get the answer they would be waiting for.
One night during dinner there was a knock on the door. Nick stood up, Ill get it. At the door stood Jessie, Hi Jess. Come on in.
Jessie came shyly into the kitchen and saw everyone sitting around the table, Oh I am so sorry I have interrupted your dinner.
Rachel motioned for her to sit in the empty chair at the table, Nonsense, have a seat. Would you like something to eat?
No thank you maam Ive already had my dinner. I came over because I was hoping to talk to you about this adoption. Ive given my parents my opinion about who I would like to see adopt this baby and I told them that I want to give her to your friend.
Nick dropped his fork onto his plate, Did you just say her? Jessie is it a girl?
Yeah, I found out today! Its a little girl!
Everyone cheered and hugged. Well Jessie, that is very exciting news thank you for sharing with us what you are thinking.
This statement caused Jessie to burst into tears, I am not sure my parents are going to listen me. Why wont they listen to me? They have treated me like this my whole life. I am just their puppet on a string with no feelings. This baby is my mistake and I should be allowed to help fix it.
Rachel hugged her, You know what Jessie, I think you are a great Mom. You love your little girl so much and you are trying to do the right thing by her. And we want you to know that we will do whatever we can to help you.
Thank you Mrs. Geller that really means a lot to me. Jessie stood up, Well I better be going Ive taken up enough of your time. Thanks again.
After Jessie left Ross looked at Rachel, You know this little granddaughter of ours is very lucky. She has so many people that love her.
Yeah she is. Rachel added, Yeah she is.
About a week later the phone rang in the middle of the night and brought Ross and Rachel both out of a sound sleep. Rachel found the phone first Hello?
Yes this is she.
Mrs. Geller, its Marie Moore. Have you seen Jessie?
No, Im sorry Im afraid we havent seen her for a few days. Is everything all right?
Well not exactly. Shes missing. She didnt come home tonight. I wanted to call you earlier but Jacob was being well, Jacob. Anyway, would Nick know where she is?
I can have Ross go ask him but her and Nick dont really see each other anymore. Hold on one second please, Marie. She covered the mouthpiece with her hand and said to Ross, Jessies missing, go ask Nick if hes seen her.
Ross got up and made his way down the hall to Nicks room. He flipped
on Nicks light switch and gasped at what he saw. All of the drawers in
Nicks dresser were opened, and his bed was empty