(Scene is in Ross and Rachel’s living room where Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, Mike, Ben are singing ‘Happy Birthday’ in chorus, the occasion being Emma’s 2nd birthday. Emma is laughing as Rachel takes her hand in hers to cut the cake, just as Chandler and Monica enter the room.)
Monica: Here we are, people!
(Nobody pays attention to them and finish singing the song and whoop as the cake is cut)
Chandler: Erm, hello?!
Everyone else (with a dull undertone): Yeah…
(Still ignoring them as they watch the sweet sight of Rachel feeding Emma the cake)
(Emma now has frosting all over her lips as the piece is too large for her mouth. )
Rachel: Oh, look at you! Looking just like your uncle Joey!
Chandler (Extending his hand in a formal handshake): Chandler Bing, nice to meet you.
Phoebe: Oh look who is here! It’s the Mr and Mrs ‘I am too busy’!
Monica: It was Mom and Dad. They were late.
Ross: Why don’t you keep a Nanny?
Chandler: Do you really think Mon would trust our kids to a Nanny? She doesn’t trust even me!
Rachel: Obviously! …(flustering as Chandler glares accusingly at her).. I..I mean I would…
Chandler: Yeah, Okay…
Joey: It’s cool man. They won’t trust me alone with Emma either.
Chandler: Of course. One should never leave two kids alone. It would be total mayhem!
Scene resumes in Ross and Rachel’s living room.
(Everyone is busy pampering the birthday girl when the door opens and Rachel’s farther barges his way in.)
Mr Green (in his booming voice): Happy birthday Emma! Look who’s here! It’s your pappy!
(Ross attempts to hide while everyone else appears slightly uncomfortable by his arrival. Rachel quickly plasters a smile on her face.)
Rachel: Hey, Daddy!
Mr Green (hugging her): Hey sweetpea!
(Sucking it up, Ross approaches Rachel’s father)
Ross (clearing his throat): Mr. Greene ..(Extending his hand in a formal handshake)
Mr. Greene: Oh there you are, wethead (not taking his hand, he hands him his coat instead.)
(A muscle clenches in Ross’s jaw, while Rachel’s expressions are a mixture of concern and amusement.)
Mr. Greene (Taking Emma in his arms): She looks just like you, Princess. Except for the nose…it’s perfect! But her eyes… they look just like…(glaring at Ross) Mr. Wethead !
(Emma and Ben laugh loudly on hearing that)
Mr. Greene (Grinning at Emma): You like that?
(Ross looks annoyed, while Rachel joins hands as though in prayer, requesting him to bear with it. To make matters worse though, another person walks in at that precise moment.)
Sandra: Oh hello dears, did I miss the party?
(Nobody speaks as everyone is dreading what could happen next. Unaware, Sandra still hasn’t noticed her ex-husband)
Sandra: Why these long faces? Where’s my birthday girl? Oh, there you ar…(pausing as she finally lays eyes on Rachel’s father.)
Mr. Greene: Noticed, have we?
Sandra (Ignoring him): Oh, did you miss me?
Sandra: Oh, I missed you too. Look Gramma’s brought you a present!
Mr. Greene: Out of my alimony! Might as well be from me.
Sandra: What is your problem?
Rachel: Mom, Dad please don’t start! At least not in front of Emma!
Sandra: You are right dear. It’s just that I can’t stand your father sometimes.
Mr. Greene (standing up): Oh, really?!
Phoebe(exclaiming loudly): Who wants a drink?
Mike: I’ll go get one.
Phoebe: I’ll help you choose!
(Both rush into the kitchen)
Monica: I’ll get the glasses
(follows Phoebe and Mike in a hurry)
Chandler: I need ice!
(rushes past Rachel’s parents)
Ross: Come on Ben! Surprise for you in the bedroom!
Ben: Cool! Is it my new video game?
Ross (looks confused earlier, but quickly changes his expression): Yeah, off you go!
(Joyous, Ben runs towards the bedroom. Ross cradles Emma in his hands and follows suit.)
Joey: I need to pee…
(Yet he heads towards the kitchen!)
(Rachel looks exasperated, while her parents seem to have barely noticed anything as they look daggers at each other. )
(Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Monica are all cramped inside the limited floor space of the kitchen.)
Phoebe: We were convincing right?
Mike (smirking): Absolutely!
Chandler (rolling his eyes): Without a doubt!
Monica: I’m glad that at least we are in the kitchen this time.
Monica: I mean, look how disorganised Rachel is! We can spend hours organising the stuff on these shelves!
(All exchange glances)
Joey(Taking out a beer from the fridge): Yeah, like there’s nothing better to do!
(opening it and having a sip)
(Ross and Ben are searching through the closet in the bedroom, hunting for Ben’s apparent ‘surprise’)
Ben: It’s not here, Dad!
Ross (simply looking inside the closet): It was here somewhere. Wait. It must be in the dresser then.
Ben: Okay! I’ll help.
(A few moments pass. Ross is simply flipping through stuff. Ben opens the dresser drawer)
Ben: Cool! Party balloons!
(He tries to blow them.)Ben: Why don’t they blow?
(Because they are NOT party balloons)
Ross (flustered when he notices what Ben had gotten hold of): Oh, heh!
Ross: (Grabbing and putting them back) The…the…that’s because they hmm are water balloons. Laters, Okay?
(The raised tone of voices in the living room conveniently breaks through the momentary silence.)
Ross: Listen, Ben. Now, I’m going into the living room, but I promise I’ll be back soon. In the meanwhile, I don’t want you to touch that drawer or blow ANY balloons, Okay?
Ben (confused): Okay.
The living room
Sandra: Look how you have influenced your daughter! She has borne a child with a guy just like you!
Rachel: Hey, don’t you guys put me into this and what?!
Sandra: Oh honey he wears the same reading glasses and smokes cigars of the same brand as your father!
Rachel: He does not wear glasses and he definitely doesn’t smoke! Where did you get that from?
Mr. Greene: Just like me? That wimp can’t even be even half a man!
Sandra (to Rachel): Oh darling I caught him red handed at your 25th birthday party.
Sandra (angrily, facing her ex-husband): And he’s much more of a man than you ever were!
Mr. Greene: Oh really? Were you even in the party? ‘cuz I might have surely seen your face from a mile away with that ton of a make up!
Sandra: Of course I was there when it all took place in Rachel’s old apartment!
Mr. Greene: What?! The party was in the boys’ old apartment!
(Confused, both turn to look at Rachel. In the meanwhile, Ross enters the living room, unnoticed by anyone.)
Both Mr. Green and Sandra: Rachel?!
Rachel(with hands in her hair in exasperation): Okay, Okay! See? This is exactly why I didn’t keep you two in the same room! We came up with the whole two different parties thing to prevent this from happening!
(Taken aback, Rachel’s parents appear ashamed.)
Sandra: But, lying Rachel? Is that what we taught you?
Mr. Greene (pointing towards Ross who was standing uncertainly at one end of the room): And just so you know that guy has been a bad influence on you from the start! Look at the mess he has put you in!
Ross: Look, Mr. Greene …
Rachel (interrupting him): No, wait Ross! I’m not in any place that I’m ashamed of and he (walking towards Ross and intertwining hands with him) has been one of the best persons in my life! Whether it be as a friend, as a lover, as a shoulder to lean on or as a… soul mate.
Mr. Greene: Oh really? Where do you see yourself ten years down the line then? A single mother striving hard to support her bastard child?!
Sandra (Gasping): Leonard?!…
(Furious, Ross looks ready to burst in flames, but Rachel holds him and addresses her father with a teary, but eerily composed voice.)
Rachel: What I can definitely tell you is that I won’t be announcing an end to a marriage that was never supposed to be, a marriage I regretted my whole life, a fruitless saga of 25 years of quarrelling and pretention…(Now gazing directly at her mother, who was silently pleading her not to continue)…that I married my Barry.
(Unable to control herself, Rachel finally dissolves into tears in Ross’s arms who attempts to comfort her by hugging and patting her on the back. Ross glares angrily at Mr.Greene , but chooses to say nothing and heads to the bedroom, carrying Rachel with him)
(There’s deafening silence in the room, Sandra has her hand over her forehead while Mr. Greene’s mouth is slightly open in shock)
Mr. Greene(finally gaining his voice): What?
Sandra: It…It’s true Leonard. I…I had regrets from the beginning…I was never actually happy.
(Ross is trying to comfort Rachel. Emma is crying soundlessly is in Ben’s arms, who is trying to cheer her up, despite being worried himself. Enter Phoebe,Mike, Chandler and Monica.)
Monica (gently rubbing Rachel’s arm): Rach? Are you okay?
Rachel (attempting to smile): I’ve been better. It’s weird but I’m actually feeling relieved, now that I’ve finally gotten it off my chest! Not hiding it from my dad anymore.
Joey: See? Secrets-baaaaad, everyone knowing-goooood. Told ya!
Phoebe: But them fighting, especially today, must’ve been hard upon you…
Rachel: Actually…no Pheebs. This was what happened practically every night, no matter what. Mon, I was too stubborn to tell you then and also kinda ashamed, but this was the reason I spent so many Thanksgivings, so many Hanukkahs at your house. Not to mention our sooooo many girls night outs with you.
Monica: I knew, sweetie.
Rachel: I wanted to be a part of your family, because it felt…home, you know?
Ross: You will always be welcome at the Gellers, Rach. No matter what happens. You are family.
(Rachel smiles sweetly at him and embraces him)
Phoebe: Wait a minute. You had so many girls night out without me? you…you…traitors!
Monica: Come on Pheebs, this was before we knew you! We’ll never leave you alone on purpose.
Phoebe: Uh huh. So next time I have a girls night out, you won’t be invited! We’ll see how it feels then, missie!
Mike: Pheebs…Errrm..heh…don’t you think you are a little too old for a girls night out?
Phoebe: Oh right! Yeah, I’ve grown so old, Mike. So sorry but I won’t be able to do a single thing in your wishlist.
Mike (pales suddenly): Of course you can have a girls’ night out, Pheebs! I mean, you are as young as ever!
(Phoebe blushes and giggles)
Chandler: Dude, what is in your wishlist?
Phoebe(flirtarious): You really want to know, Chandler?
(Remember how Phoebe fake flirts Chandler to bust Mondler? In the same way!)
Chandler(blinking): No… I think I’m okay.
Ben (apparently bored): Dad, should we have a water balloon fight?
Phoebe: You have water balloons? Oh yay!
Ross (flushes): Not really…heh…
Ben (removes a few from his pocket): See? I have many!
(Everyone looks at them for a second and barely manages to hide their laughter as they realize what they actually are.)
Ross (angry): Ben, you give that to me now!
Joey: Wait a second. Ben, these are not water balloons! These are condoms! Whoa Ross quite a stock you got there! Making up for all those years are we?
(Everyone looks wide eyed at Joey, who obviously misses the point. Ross is livid)
Ross: Empty your pockets right now, son!
Ben: What is a condom?
(Ross glares at Joey who finally realises the point)
Joey (panicky): Come on Ben, let’s get started! We are a team!
(hurriedly takes Ben with him to the kitchen)
(Everyone now looks at Ross, their eyebrows raised.)
Ross: Yeah, you can laugh…
(And so they do, even Rachel. Ross also smiles sheepishly.)
Mike: You sure got a stock there Ross! I mean, his pockets were pretty full! Did you ever intend to stop once you started?
(All laugh while Ross looks at Mike challengingly.)
Ross: Oh yes Mike, while we are on that topic, I really don’t think Phoebe will be willing to perform Act 2 Clause A of…
Mike (interrupting Ross in a hurry): Hey! But who am I to say! You go get her Ross! I myself think it’s very wise to keep a stock handy!
(Ross smirks while Phoebe glares at Mike and is about to say something when a knock is heard at the door)
Sandra: Rachel? Honey, I just wanted you to know that we are not fighting anymore.
(Complete silence in the room.)
Sandra: I know it might be too much to ask but can we at least say goodbye?
(Sighing, Rachel heads towards the door)
Mr. Greene (speaking as if the words stuck in his throat): Ahemm… Errrm… Ross? A word if I may?
Ross (astounded): Did he just call me by my name?!
Rachel (taking his hand and smiling): I think it’s a good thing.
(They head out of the room)
The living room
Sandra: First of all dears, we are really sorry for ruining such a beautiful occasion and secondly Rachel darling please forgive me if I gave you the wrong impression when I said I married my Barry. I did marry your father for the wrong reasons, but sure there were moments we cherished. I did love him…well maybe not always but…yes, I did.
Rachel: I know. I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have brought it all up…
Sandra: No dear you did the right thing. I don’t remember the last time we had such an honest conversation with each other…
Mr. Greene: She is right. And one more thing…ahemm…Please forgive me for what I said about your little angel. It’s just that I never imagined my first grandchild being born out of wedlock…
Rachel: More than me, you owe forgiveness to Ross.
Ross: It’s…It’s okay Rach.
Mr. Greene(pronouncing his name with effort): Ross…Before you say anything I just want to let you know that the only reason I disrespect you every time is because I don’t think you are good enough to take care of my princess…
Ross: So… you don’t hate me..?
Mr. Greene: Let me finish, Geller! And yes, I dislike you very much whenever you are with my daughter but I don’t essentially hate you. Although, I’ve realised that I don’t really have a say in this…she wants to be with you and she is the… happiest…I’ve ever seen whenever she is with you. I call myself a man, but that’s the one thing I never managed to accomplish. Keeping my wife happy…
Sandra (Taking his hand for the first time in years): It was not just your fault, Leonard. It was mine too.
Mr. Greene(nodding): So…I hope you take good care of her..
Ross (Taking Rachel in his arms): Till the very end, Mr. Greene .
Mr. Greene: And grow a pair and marry her for God’s sake!
Ross (smiling): I…I will…maybe someday. I’m glad you agree.
Mr. Greene: Until then…(stretching his hand for a handshake for the first time ever)…Ahemm.. Ross.. t-t-take care..
Ross (Surprised but willingly extending his hand): Yeah…Thanks
(Both stare awkwardly at each other. The women watch the exchanges with interest. Confused as to what to do next, both come closer for an awkward one armed hug…but get away from each other immediately on contact)
Both Mr.Greene and Ross (muttering): Too soon…it’s too soon
Ross: Yeah…we should take things slow…
Mr. Greene(Grinning): First time you have said something wise Geller. Look at me! (wiping the lone tear escaping his eye) this is pathetic!
Sandra: Actually, Leonard you’ve never seemed more of a man than you seem at this moment.)
(Pleased, Mr.Greene flashes a rare true smile. Just then Joey peeps from the kitchen)
Joey: A little help required…
Ross: Is it urgent?
Joey: It is, if you don’t want Ben to spoil all the chance you’ve got for hooking up with Rachel tonight!
Sandra: What does he mean by that?
Ross (looking embarrased): Well Uh let’s just say that Uh…
Rachel: Ben wants an all-night water balloon fight!
Ross: Yeah!… And I just want the balloons dry…
(Rachel’s parents appear even more confused and suspicious on hearing Ross’s explanation.)Ross: I’m coming Joey!(heading off into the kitchen.)
Mr. Greene: That guy keeps on getting harder to like by the minute isn’t he?
The living room
(It’s late in the evening and everyone has gone to their own home. Carol has come to pick Ben up and is playing with Emma. Enter Ross.)
Ross (taking Emma into his arms): She’s adorable, isn’t she?
Carol: Yeah…She’s very cute. I’m sorry I couldn’t come to the party Ross. But I’ve brought her a present!
Ross: Oh, It’s okay! You didn’t have to, you know!
(In the background, Ben lets out a laugh, apparently having a good time with his ‘fun aunt Rachel’)
Ross: I miss having him around here…can’t you bring him here more often?
Carol (Smiling): I’ll try to. Why don’t you come over at our place sometimes?
Ross: I do, but I end up going back half the times.
Carol (frowning): Why?
Ross: Well… let’s just say that I’m not fond of watching lesbian love thrown on my face, especially when one of then is my ex-wife?! Don’t you ever realise there’s a child in there?!
Carol(blushing): He has playdates on those times Ross, of course we take care of it. And by the way that is also a reason why I bring Ben here less often.
Ross (confused): As in?
Carol: Ross he keeps on asking me these awkward questions. Like about you and me or about you and Rachel and I can explain it to him on some level but neither does he and nor do I to be honest understand why you and Rachel aren’t together… He sees you with different women and that confuses him even more!
Ross (lowers his head and sighs): I know…
Carol: I want you to be stable, Ross. And I want you to realise what you are being so ignorant at! Rachel is the love of your life!
(Unnoticed Rachel appears in the corridor, hanging to every word of the conversation.)
Ross: I know..I’ve been thinking about it and yes…I’m gonna do it…
Carol: Do what?
Ross: Rachel is gonna be it. I’ve known it like… since ages …but it took me the possibility of losing her forever that made me realise it. I’m gonna propose…
(Rachel gasps inaudibly)
Carol: That’s great! I’m very happy for you Ross!
(hugs him in joy)
Ross (returning the hug): All in right time…
(Just then Ben enters the room.)
Ben: Mom! Look what I got! (removing it from his pocket)
Carol (glaring at Ross): Ben, where did you get that from?
Ben: Dad’s dresser drawer.
Carol (furious): Any explanation?
Ross (flustered): Hey, unlike lesbians, normal couples do need those!
Ben: What is a lesbian?
(Carol glares at Ben…but realises that the situation had become awkward for both of them)
Carol: Well, I guess we should get going, huh? Bye, Ross.
Ben: Bye dad!
Ross: Take care buddy! Bye Carol!
Ben (now near the door): Bye Aunt Rachel!
(waving at Rachel, Ben exits the room.)
Rachel(blushing on being finally noticed): Bye, Ben!
(Surprised, Ross becomes a deep crimson wondering how much she had heard. Rachel, as usual gives nothing away by her look)
(Scene is in Phoebe and Mike’s bedroom. Mike is holding a wad of pages and is trying to convince a distressed Phoebe.)
Phoebe: I cannot believe you showed Ross your wishlist!
Mike: I didn’t!
Phoebe: Then how did he know that I won’t agree to Act 2 Clause A of the Micheal Hannigan- Phoebe Buffay Hannigan code of bedroom conduct, Amendment B 2004?! Wow, I like speaking like a lawyer!
(repeats the line in a sing-song voice)
Mike (amused): He… okay…I’ll tell you the truth. I told him what I was gonna ask as my birthday present from you and that I had prepared a wishlist with act and clauses. That’s all I swear!
Phoebe: Okay, but next time onwards what goes on in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. Alright, mister?
Mike: Definitely. But what were you gonna tell Chandler if he wanted to know?
Phoebe (laughing): Oh please! The last time I tried he bought a house an hour away! He might move to the moon if I say so much as a word of our bedroom codes!
Mike (incredulous): You tried telling him?
Phoebe (dismissing with a hand): Only to stop him jabbing nonstop! I knew he’d pass out if I continued.
Phoebe: So what is Act 2 Clause A?
Mike (handing her the wad of pages): Page 13 Paragraph 2
(Taking it, Phoebe reads the statements.)
Phoebe (smiling): Oooh boy, there’s so much you don’t know about me. This is like my home ground!
Mike (delighted): Well then you’ll find yourself even more at home as we go on, your Majesty!
Phoebe: Oh I knew I made the right choice marrying you, your sluttiness!
(Throwing away the paper, Phoebe pushes him on the bed.)
(End of scene)
(End of episode)