Written by Michael J

Characters created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane

Scene: [Central Perk] Everyone is there except Ross and Rachel. Phoebe is sitting in the big chair. Monica, Chandler and Joey are seated on the couch.

Monica: (nervous and edgy) Oh God, what is going on up there? The suspense is killing me. (looks at her watch) It’s been two hours now. That’s got to be a good sign, right? I mean if nothing was going to happen between them, then wouldn’t it have not happened by now?

(everyone gives Monica a puzzled look)

Phoebe: Monica’s right. I think. (pause) How long does it take for two people to realize that they have been total asses for the last four years and just, you know, seal the deal!

Chandler: Unless of course "the deal" requires lengthy negotiations and extensive bedroom diplomacy. (pauses to think) Or Ross could have screwed up again in which case Rachel would have pushed him off the balcony. But we would have heard the sirens by now.

Joey: Come on you guys, relax. I’m sure the lovebirds have got a lot of catching up to do. I mean when two people are destined to be ever entwined, love’s tender grasp will always show the way to ultimate and everlasting happiness.

(everyone gives Joey a strange look)

Chandler: Joe, have you been into my mother’s books again?

Joey: Hey, I’m just expressing my sensitive side through sophistication and culture.

Chandler: Joey, there’s more culture in a half-eaten cup of yogurt than there is in anything my mother ever wrote.

Monica: Hey, I think it’s sweet. (turns to Joey) So Joey, do you really think that Ross and Rachel will find everlasting happiness?

Joey: Well I can't really answer that for certain Monica, but let me put it to you this way. (bends over slightly and puts his hand to his ear) If you listen very carefully, you can hear the helpless cries of mattress springs everywhere screaming out; help me! Help me! (does the last part in a high-pitched voice)

[Opening Credits]

[Scene: Chandler and Monica’s apartment Ross and Rachel are sitting on the couch cuddling. Ross is kissing her neck. He is very busy.]

Rachel: (happy and smiling) Oh Ross, I can’t believe this is happening. You and me again. What were we thinking all of these years?

Ross: (takes a break to come up for air) I know, it’s like…it’s like we’ve been going through the motions these last four years. You know, we’ve been sleepwalking and now we’re awake and living again. (thinks) I can’t even remember anything that happened yesterday.

Rachel: Well I’ll tell you, I’d like to forget yesterday. I must have seemed like a total idiot to you.

Ross: Oh sweetie I’m so sorry. I still can’t believe I didn’t recognize what you were going through. I guess I was still doing the sleepwalking thing. (seriously) But now I’m here for you. I’ll always be here for you

(they embrace and kiss)

Rachel: (excited) Oh I’m so happy! I’ve just got to tell someone! Let’s go down and tell the guys the good news.

Ross: (whispers) I don’t think that will be necessary. Pretend you’re laughing. (he gets up while Rachel continues to occasionally laugh and giggle. He quietly makes his way to the door and opens it quickly. Everyone else comes tumbling and falling through the door)

(there is a brief silence as everyone is scattered on the floor)

Chandler: Well this is just as awkward as I always imagined it would be.

Phoebe: How did you know we were there?

Ross: Well, I kept hearing the theme from F-Troop in my head. Then I realized it wasn’t in my head but somewhere else. The TV wasn’t on but I did notice through the reflection on the screen, shadows underneath the door.

Chandler: (hitting Joey) Way to go Corporal Moron! Next time we need to sneak up on the Hekawi camp, we’ll be sure to leave you back at the fort.

(Monica gets up and looks over at Rachel. Rachel smiles and gives her a nod)

Monica: Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! (excitedly she runs over to Rachel and gives her a big hug. Everyone extends congratulations. Lots of hugging and kissing)

Phoebe: This is great! So you guys are you-guys again. I was beginning to wonder if my lobster theory could actually hold water. This is a great day for lovers and lobsters everywhere. (pauses to think) Well maybe not such a great day for the lobsters since the lovers will probably go out to celebrate at a seafood restaurant and…well you know.

(Joey, who is standing next to Ross, whispers in his ear)

Joey: Lets hope we never have to be involved in testing her crab theory. You definitely want to stay away from that one.

Monica: (excited) So what are your plans? What are you two "love birds" going to do next?

Chandler: Monica, they haven’t even been back together three hours yet. Give them a chance to breathe. I mean…(puts his hand on Ross shoulder and smiles)…their shirts are still damp from the tears.

(Rachel comes over to Ross and puts her arm around him)

Rachel: We want to thank you guys for putting up with us through all of this. It’s really meant a lot to us.

Ross: Yea, we appreciate all of the support and patience you guys have given us over the last few years. Looking back there sure were some pretty awkward and difficult moments. We just want to apologize for sticking you in the middle of it.

Phoebe: Well if you really want to show your appreciation, you can start by promising us that you two will (spoken loudly) never, ever, ever put us through that again. I mean the sexual tension between you two was so thick, you couldn’t cut it with a (moves her arms up and down as if holding a sword) ma…with a ma…(trying to say the word machete) with a (frustrated) long sharp metal thingy.

Joey: Yea, we may not have seen as much of you guys the last time you were dating, but at least we knew you were someplace safe, soft, hygienic and hopefully, out of the weather. (shot of everyone laughing. Then a close-up of Ross and Rachel laughing until they turn to look at each other. Their laughter quickly fades replaced by expressions of embarrassment as they both look down.)

[end of scene]

[Scene: Chandler and Monica’s apartment a couple of days later. The three girls are present. Rachel and Phoebe are in the livingroom while Monica is doing something in the kitchen]

Monica: So Ross invited you over for dinner tonight? That is so great! Looks like tonight could be "the night" heh?

Rachel: I know, this is so incredible. It’s like we’re dating for the first time again. I gotta tell you guys, I’m a little bit nervous about it.

Phoebe: But Rachel there’s nothing to be nervous about. You and Ross are very familiar with each other’s "territory". I’m sure everything is still in the same place. He hasn’t had any operations that we know of. (pauses then gets a concerned look) Unless you’re worried about…(we switch to Joey and Rachel’s apartment where the guys are having a similar conversation)

Joey: …equipment failure? Ross your problem is you think way to much in the bedroom. Believe me, the bedroom is no place for thinking! Do you think I could have gotten where I am today with women by thinking in the bedroom?

Chandler: Yea, Joey usually reserves the bulk of his thinking for the bathroom. It’s the one place where his concentration level is best utilized for the tasks at hand. But Ross he does have a point. Just be yourself. Don’t fill your head with expectations of some ultimate evening where everything has to be done perfectly. (laughs) Believe me, that kind of thinking has come back to bite me in the ass many times!

Ross: (concerned) I don’t know you guys. It’s…It’s kind of like when you’re starting a new job you know, and you don’t know what to expect. You want everyone to like you. You want to fit in…(switch to girls)

Rachel: …to that dress. I haven’t worn it in such a long time. But it was always one of Ross favorites. It really got his "mood" up if you know what I mean.

Monica: (holding the dress) Honey, you could be wearing a burlap sack with U.S. Govt. Surplus Potatoes stamped all over it. If it has a slit up the side like this, I don’t think Ross "mood" is going to be an issue.

Phoebe: Besides, packaging is so overrated these days. You know, it can be so deceptive. Like when you buy a bag of potato chips and you open it up and (loudly) surprise, there’s like a few measly chips at the bottom and the rest is nothing but frigin’ air! And Rachel honey, you are so much more than just a few lousy chips and a whole lot of air!

Rachel: (eyes Phoebe strangely) Well thanks Phoebs. (pause as she continues to stare at Phoebe) But this evening is a crucial step in the rebuilding of our relationship. It has to be handled delicately, carefully and with as much sleazy eveningwear that I can get my hands on. Let's face it, there's a lot at stake here you guys. The very least I could do here is show Ross a little…(switch to guys)

Ross…breast of chicken saut?ed with artichoke hearts, sweet cherry tomatoes in a butter sauce with fresh spinach on the side. I picked up a nice merlot, and for dessert…

Joey: (laughs) Ross buddy, I don't think you are going to make it to dessert. (pauses to think) But just incase you do, make sure it's something spreadable.

(Ross has a look of "wow good idea" on his face)

Ross: (nods and smiles) I like that Joey, I like that!

Chandler: You know, I once had a sensual experience with food. Janice and I had ordered Chinese take-out and were going to eat it off of each other's stomachs.

Ross: (interested) So how was it? Pretty good heh?

Chandler: It was good for a while, until we started getting splinters from the wooden chopsticks. (grimaces) That just kind of ruined the moment you know.

(both Joey and Ross stare at Chandler in disbelief)

Ross: (anxious) Come on you guys, I'm serious here! I want this night to be something special. I don't want to leave anything out…(switch to girls)

Rachel…of it quick enough. I want to wear something that, you know, when the time's right you just snap-zip and you're off and running! Precious seconds could be wasted if the garment is to…to (pauses to think) complicated. Take it from me as someone who's in the fashion industry! (proudly points to herself)

Monica: (excited) Man these tips are great! And believe me, with Chandler sometimes seconds are all I get!

Phoebe: Wow Rachel you are good! You should work for Victoria's Secret! (excited) Oh I'll bet you could even figure out what it is! You are the ultimate in intimate apparel…(switch to guys)

Ross…lel universe. Which kind of makes you wonder if there's an identical group to ours somewhere out there living their lives in a totally different way.

Chandler: Ross will you forget the parallel universe crap! Remember you're trying to woo Rachel here, not make her want to leap off a high-rise building. (puts his hand on Ross shoulder) Listen Ross; Rachel is a very special girl. She means a lot to us. You both mean a lot to us. We've always wanted you two to get back together and be happy. So just be yourself. I'm sure that's all Rachel is looking for. That's all she's ever wanted. (pauses to think introspectively) Did I just use the word woo?

Joey: Yea Ross, I hope you and Rachel have a romantic evening. (pauses to think) But if you do get the urge to, you know be "alternate universe Ross", then you'll have to try out that bra-unhooking maneuver that I showed you. I guarantee you; she'll be impressed! (Ross nods in agreement and then turns to Chandler who is giving him a look. Ross quickly looks down in shame).

[End of scene]

[Scene: Ross apartment that evening. Ross is nervously setting the table for dinner. He is wearing a black sports jacket with a white shirt underneath with no tie. He checks his watch. He then grabs a lighter to light the candles on the table. Just then there's a knock at the door. Ross glances up with a look of alarm.]

Ross: (nervously) Ju…Just a moment please. (As he is looking up at the door, his hand holding the lighter moves over to a dried flower setting that was next to the candles. Close up of Ross as he notices the flowers are on fire)

Ross: (quietly) Ah!

(he quickly grabs the flowers and throws them into the kitchen sink and turns on the faucet)

Rachel: (V.O.) Ross are you ok?

Ross: (quickly cleaning up the mess) I…I'm fine sweetie! I'll be right there!

(he finishes up with the flower mess, then quickly makes his way to the door)

Ross: Commin…(as he passes the couch he trips over a small magazine rack next to it and falls face first on to the floor. But he quickly pops back up and composes himself. He brushes himself off and opens the door)

Rachel: (smiles) Hey you! Can I come in?

(she is wearing a slightly below the knee length, form fitting royal blue dress with, of course, the slit up one side)

Ross: (still trying to recover from everything that has happened) Oh I'm sorry, come in please.

(he takes her hand and escorts her inside and closes the door. They embrace and kiss passionately. After a few seconds they break and Ross steps back to get a look at Rachel)

Ross: (in awe) My God Rachel you look absolutely gorgeous!

Rachel: (with a look of self-satisfaction) Well thank you very much. You're looking pretty hot there yourself Dr. Geller! (sniffs) What's that I smell? That…that smells like potpourri. Oh Ross you remembered I love the smell of potpourri. (pauses as she recalls) But you hate potpourri! You used to say that it reminded you of that aunt you visited when you were a kid who used to pinch your cheek really hard and feed you those stale vanilla wafers.

Ross: Yea, well imagine my surprise when years later I found out that vanilla wafers weren't supposed to be crunchy, (pause) or brown! (they laugh) Oh dinner will be ready in a little while. I'll tell you, Monica really out did herself this time.

Rachel: (gets close to Ross and looks him in the eyes) Monica always did have a knack for saving her best for the truly special occasions. (they kiss)

Ross: Here, have a seat. Would you like some wine? (she sits on the couch)

Rachel: I would love some.

(Ross proceeds to open the bottle of wine. As he turns the corkscrew he gives Rachel an uneasy smile as she does the same. When he pulls out the corkscrew the cork breaks in half with the bottom half down inside the neck of the bottle. Rachel is looking away and doesn't see this)

Ross: (upset) Oh no, now I'm going to have to push it in!

Rachel: (startled from his last statement) What?

Ross: The cork. It broke in half. Now I've got to push the bottom half down into the wine. We're gonna have little pieces of cork in the wine.

Rachel: What…oh the cork! (uneasily laughs with relief) Ross it's ok. You've got two other bottles there. (pauses to think, then smiles) Boy, you must have been planning a pretty big night heh? Just open another bottle and we'll save that one for last. By then we won't even care if we’re bouncing cork across the room.

Ross: Yea you're right. (he opens another bottle, pours two glasses and comes over and sits down next to Rachel and puts his arm around her)

Rachel: (snuggles into Ross chest) Oh Ross this feels so good!

Ross: I know sweetie. I can't believe we've lived without this for so long.

Rachel: (ponders) Honey, have you ever wondered where our relationship would be today if we had never broken up?

Ross: Well if you're asking would we be married now, we've kind of already been down that road. Remember the Vegas fiasco?

Rachel: Oh God yes! (pauses to remember) You know, to this day I still look twice before I go to sit on a park bench.

Ross: Hey you can't blame yourself for that. How were you to know that guy was going to be lying there. Besides, if I remember correctly, I'm quite sure you made his evening! Nothing was going to wipe that smile off his face.

Rachel: Not even when we made off with his bottle of ripple. (both laugh)

[End of scene]

[Scene: Chandler and Monica's apartment. Chandler is sitting reading the paper on the couch. Monica is standing at the window looking over at Ross apartment.]

Monica: (frustrated) Oh I can't see anything! Why did Ross have to change his furniture around for anyway?

Chandler: The nerve of that guy! What some people won't do to get a little privacy. Before you know it, he'll have dimmer switches and a secret knock! (pause) Monica will you get away from that window! You're gonna have the cops over here again like the last time. Remember, the old couple.

Monica: Hey that was simply an honest misunderstanding! How was I supposed to know it wasn't real? I mean, who uses a squirt gun to apply baby oil?

(enter Phoebe and Joey)

Joey: (notices Monica looking out the window) Hey Monica, did we miss anything?

Monica: (dejected) I don't know. He turned his couch around.

Phoebe: Oh no! Do you think he's on to us?

Monica: It's possible. (pause) I don't think he suspected anything when I offered to dry-clean his drapes for him. But he did look at me strangely when I suggested he replace his 60 watt bulbs for 75 watt to cut down on eyestrain.

Joey: (puts binoculars to his eyes) Well he didn't have a clue when I told him I needed to borrow his binoculars for research.

Chandler: (doubtful) Oh really Joe! And exactly what kind of research did you tell him they were for?

Joey: (looking down speaking softly) You know, binocular research stuff.

Phoebe: Chandler will you lighten up! We're all making sacrifices here in the name of true love. (pulls out a baby monitor from her purse) And mix in a little audio surveillance, and that's entertainment!

Chandler: (surprised) What in the hell is that?

Phoebe: It's one of the baby monitors I used to use when the triplets were small. This equipment is state of the art. I've got the transmitter hidden in Ross apartment. So all we've got to do is crank this sucker up and…(suddenly Ross can be heard on the receiver)

Ross: (V.O.) Nice try Phoebs!

(they look over and see two hands pop up over the back of the couch open the back to remove the batteries and throw them on the floor)

Phoebe: …and make a note to myself to next time hide it under the couch after he moves it!

Chandler: (disgusted) You guys are so sick! I can't believe you can actually stand here and…(suddenly Joey, who is still looking through the binoculars, yells out…)

Joey: (hysterically jumping up and down) Heads down! Heads down! Woe! Feet up! Feet up!

Chandler: (rushing over to grab the binoculars from Joey) …and make your sacrifices in the name of research!

(everyone else runs over to the window to look out)

[End of scene]

[Scene: Ross apartment. Rachel and Ross are lying on the couch making out. Things are getting pretty hot)

Rachel: (passionately) Oh Ross! (pause) Oh Ross! (pauses and sniffs) Is something smoking?

Ross: (in the heat of passion himself) Sweetie, let's just say I'm glad my smoke alarms not working!

Rachel: (breaking) No Ross something is burning! (looks up) Oh God Ross the oven!

(smoke is coming out of the oven. Ross jumps up and runs over to it)

Ross: Oh no! I can't believe this is happening!

(he takes out the contents and throws them into the sink and douses it with water. He then dejectedly turns and walks over to the couch and sits down)

Ross: (depressed) Nothing has turned out right tonight! First it's the wine cork, then the cast from Mission Impossible over there, and now this. I'm sorry Rach. I wanted everything to be perfect.

Rachel: Ross honey none of that matters. The important thing is that we're here, together, and (glances quickly at the window) practically alone. (pauses and looks down) You know I've got to admit at first I was a little nervous about tonight. I mean we're building a new relationship here. (softly) We're crossing that line again. And this time Ross, (pauses and grabs his hands) I want to cross it and never look back.

(they embrace and kiss)

Ross: Me too sweetheart. Me too. (pauses and then gets a look of realization) Hey I just realized something.

Rachel: What, that Phoebe's baby monitor uses the same type batteries as that toy T-Rex that you used to have that would roar and vibrate and just plain scare a poor little girl half to death! (gives him a loving nudge)

Ross: (laughs as he recalls) No. That you have never gotten the VIP tour of the bedroom in this apartment. It's…it's (glances at the window) private. Its (looks up at the ceiling) got a great view of the smoke detector. And, most important, it boasts as it's permanent residents (holds up his hands) the Hand twins! I here they're very competitive. Each one is always trying to outdo the other.

Rachel: (laughs) Well, never let be said that Rachel Green ever turned down a good healthy competition. (pause) I might even have to model my new cheerleader uniform (winks) and root for both sides cause tonight…(gives Ross a seductive look)…everyone's a winner!

(Rachel takes Ross by the hand and hurriedly leads him into the bedroom. They enter and close the door. A few seconds later Ross comes back out and grabs the two glasses and the bottle of wine that are on the coffee table. He starts to the bedroom and gets halfway and stops to think. He then turns around and walks over to the kitchen and grabs the other two bottles of wine and quickly makes his way to the bedroom and closes the door. Moments later he comes back out and hurries over and grabs the batteries from Phoebe's baby monitor off the floor, smiles, looks at the camera, roars and runs back into the bedroom.

[The End]