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Author's Note: Sorry, no sex in this, apart from some FF references.



Friends: Ross's Revenge - What Monica Did Part 10: Reconciliation
by Exintaris ([email protected])

The drive to the Geller parents' house seemed interminable, and despite
Phoebe's well-meaning efforts to distract her Monica was very much on edge
with impatience by the time they entered the streets with which she was so
familiar. When they drew up outside the house Monica had jumped out of the
car almost before it had stopped moving, and she was running for the door
when it opened and her mother appeared. Noticing how old and drawn her
mother looked, Monica rushed towards her, bursting into tears, and threw
her arms around her, kissing her with desperate intensity.

"Oh mom, I'm so sorry!" she cried. "I feel so guilty!"

Her mother was crying too, seeming to lean on her, but at this she stiffened.
"Nonsense, Monica," she said quite firmly." It seems to me, your brother is
wholly to blame."

"Oh, but I led him on," Monica wailed. "I encouraged him to see me in a
sexual light ..."

Her mother drew back and looked at her gravely. "I won't have you blaming
yourself unnecessarily," she said. "So, maybe you did contribute - but the
one who was mostly to blame is your brother, and he is wholly to blame for
what he did to Rachel." Her voice was shaking a little by the end.

"Mom, what happened?" said Monica. "I, uh, brought Chandler and Phoebe with
me," she said to explain their presence. "In fact, Chandler drove us here."

"Chandler," said her mother warmly, and went to embrace him. "I owe you an
apology. I should have believed you - and you too, Phoebe, when you called
about Rachel."

"It's a hard thing for any mother to believe," said Phoebe. "I do sympathise,
Judy, believe me. But how is Jack?"

Judy sighed deeply. "It's too early to say for sure. But come in, and I must
tell you what has happened, and why I realised how wrong I have been." She
gripped Monica's hand. "Come into the kitchen, and I'll make us some coffee."

While she did this she began to tell them the story. Ross had been bailed and
had come home with them, in such a bad mood that they found it hard to speak
to him. When they arrived, he had said that he had gotten very little sleep
in prison, and proposed to take a rest. He had gone to his old bedroom, and
not been seen until the evening.

"It was over dinner," Judy said, "that the storm broke. We had some wine, and
Ross was drinking a lot. When Jack suggested he slow down, he snapped that he
had been through hell, and needed to relax. He was in a really strange mood,
at least I thought so; he kept muttering to himself. It was then that Jack
asked what the truth was. I knew Jack was uneasy. Leonard Green called him
earlier, breathing fire, and he had a word with someone about the evidence
against Ross. So we knew that a DNA test had been taken, which they would
hardly have bothered with if Ross hadn't done something to Rachel that left
a, a sample. But Jack didn't say anything about that to Ross.

"Well, Ross was very evasive. He said he'd already told us, when he called us
to make his bail, how there was this conspiracy against him, and Rachel was
in it.

"Then Jack said, 'But what about the evidence of the other people in your
block, who came when they heard Rachel shouting, so they said?'

" 'They all hate me,' Ross said. 'They'd say anything to discredit me.'

"Jack looked unhappy. 'That's not good enough, son,' he said. 'I've heard
something of what their evidence will be, and there's DNA stuff. Now, I know
this thing between you and Rachel goes back a long way - '

"Ross laughed in an unpleasant sort of way. 'You could say that,' he said.
'I should have done something about it a long time ago.' Then he mumbled
something that sounded to me like, 'Better than she deserved, the little
slut.'

"Jack obviously heard this, and he looked mad. 'Have you been lying to us?'
he said. 'Did you attack that sweet girl? It wasn't consensual?'

"Ross seemed startled out of his thoughts. He looked at Jack in surprise, and
then a real sneer showed on his face."

Judy paused and swallowed. "I tell you, I've never seen him look like that,
like some kind of, well, devil is closest to what I'm thinking of. It was
as if there was a completely different side to him, that we had never seen
before, like some kind of Jekyll and Hyde character.

"His words fitted his look. He said, 'Why, dad, do you have a hard-on for
her? Mind, I don't blame you. She may be past thirty and a mom, but she's
still hot.'

" 'You're disgusting,' Jack yelled, jumping up. His face was very red, and I
called out to him to calm down, but he was not listening. 'If that's your
attitude, it makes me wonder what the truth is about Monica,' Jack went on,
and I can tell you, Monica," - by now she was sitting next to Monica, and she
reached to take Monica's hand - "I was already realising that I had made a
terrible mistake in choosing to believe Ross."

"It's okay, mom," Monica said, squeezing her hand. "To know you believe me
now, even though it must hurt you so - that's what matters."

Her mother smiled at her tremulously. "Well, anyway, Ross just laughed even
more at what Jack had said. 'It's too late now,' he said. 'You bought my
story. And I didn't tell you what a slut Monica turned out to be. You heard
that thing about the woman on the balcony? Well, that's her. And she's making
porn movies now.'

"I knew nothing about this, but Jack evidently did. His face went even
redder. 'And how did she get on that balcony?' he roared. 'Did you force her,
you animal? Was the story you claimed she would tell all true?'

"Ross just leaned back in his chair and drained his glass, seeming quite
calm, but still with a kind of gloating sneer on his face. 'You can't afford
to disbelieve me now,' he said. 'If we stick together, we can ride this out.'

"I thought Jack would explode. He seemed to swell up, he clenched his fists
and shook them at Ross, and started screaming, 'You, you vile pig!' and
then he clutched his chest and cried out in pain, and just collapsed." Her
listeners gasped.

"Yes, it was a heart attack," she went on. "Well, I jumped up to go to him,
and by now I was so mad at Ross, thinking how he'd lied to us and made me
think so badly of you, and of Rachel too, all of you in fact, that I started
yelling at him, from where I was kneeling by Jack. I told him he was a
disgrace, that he had probably killed his father, and the shame of it would
probably kill me too, and not to stand there like an idiot but call an
ambulance!

"And you know, he looked at me as if he was seeing me clearly for the first
time, and he opened his mouth to say something, but instead he grasped his
head, squeezing his eyes shut as if he was feeling some terrible pain, and
then he seemed to pass out and fell too, hitting his head on a chair quite
badly, so that it bled. It must have been some kind of stroke. So," she
heaved another very deep sigh, "I had to call the ambulance and have them
aken away, and of course I went with them and stayed at the hospital most of
last night. Jack recovered consciousness after a while, but they're still
quite worried about him. Ross is in some kind of coma. I came home when I was
told that there would be no change soon, and I called Chandler's apartment as
soon as it seemed likely that he would be up and about. It was later than I
planned, in fact, but I did doze off for a while."

"You mean you haven't had any real sleep?" Monica cried. "Oh mom!" She threw
her arms round her. "Never mind, I'm here now, and whatever you need doing,
I'll do it, and of course I'll stay until we're through this."

"You know you can call on me any time, Judy," said Chandler. "But, well, I
can't afford to miss too much work. I can't stay long."

"No need, Chandler," said Judy, smiling at him. "It was very good of you to
bring Monica. Now that I have her here" - her voice trembled slightly - "I
feel so much better. But, Monica, what about your work? And I don't even
know where you've come from, though Phoebe said you'd flown in, so it must
be some way away." She looked suddenly inquisitive.

Monica looked at her friends. "I'd prefer to tell mom the rest alone," she
said. "We'll be okay on our own, won't we, mom?"

"Oh, but they must stay for lunch," her mother said firmly. "Why don't you
walk around for a while? Chandler, you should remember some of the sights,
you could show Phoebe round."

"Sure," said Chandler. "C'mon, Phoebe, let's stretch our legs, and make good
use of our time off on this fine day."

Phoebe got up, patting Monica on the shoulder. "Don't be afraid to tell the
truth," she said. "I'm sure Judy would prefer to know it all, painful as some
of it may be."

When they were left alone, Monica looked at her mother nervously. "I've been
a bad girl, mom," she began falteringly, "very bad indeed."

"I doubt it," said her mother, her expression unchanged. "I can't believe
you've done anything wicked, like Ross, that you've lied or cheated or done
things deliberately to hurt and humiliate people. Your friends would not put
up with that, and ... you just don't look like that."

"Well, I haven't hurt anyone physically," Monica acknowledged, "but what I
did, well, Chandler suffered."

"Just tell me," said her mother, "and Phoebe was right. I would prefer to
know it all."

Monica drew a breath, and began by explaining the trouble between her and
Chandler, and how it had led on to Ross attacking her. She would have spared
her mother details, but Judy Geller wanted to know precisely what Ross had
done, though no more than a statement of each act. She winced at the worst
bits, but did not comment. Then Monica went on to explain the 'woman on the
balcony' reference. Having admitted how deeply she committed herself to what
she was doing and how much she enjoyed it, she paused, feeling very uneasy.
But her mother was still regarding her without obvious shock or anger.

"Aren't you mad, mom?" she faltered. "I behaved like the worst kind of slut.
Surely that must shock you."

"I suppose in a way it does," said her mother, "though I always knew you were
very active sexually, when you got the chance." She chuckled. "I used to be
jealous of you, there in the city with all the opportunities."

Monica's mouth dropped open. Her mother smiled.

"Oh yes, I have sometimes wished I'd had a ... more varied sexual career
before I married your father, but in those days it was very much frowned
upon. I did very little before I got together with Jack, though I did plenty
with him!" She chuckled again, then looked serious. "I'm not sure what else
you could have done but cooperate. If those men had taken a dislike to you,
who knows what might have happened?" She shuddered. "And if you enjoyed it,
well, that would make it easier for you. And here you are, alive and very
well, to go by how you look. Go on."

Thankful for her mother's understanding, Monica told about the confrontation
with the others, and how she decided to leave. She did not mention her
mother's phone call, but Judy did. She took her hand and squeezed it again.

"It was my call, wasn't it?" she said. "That was what pushed you over the
edge."

Monica felt too full of emotion at the memory to speak, and unable to look at
her mother, as her eyes had filled with tears. She simply nodded once.

"I'm sorry," said her mother. "I'm truly sorry. I'll never be so quick to
judge again." She paused, then said, "Obviously you didn't become pregnant."

Monica sighed, and just said, "No." After a moment she added, "I, I suppose
it's ... just as well." She tried to keep control of herself, but when her
mother patted her hand she couldn't help it: she broke down. Instantly her
mother put her arms around her. For a while Monica wept in her mother's
embrace, but she was able to recover. She had learned to live with the pain.

"So, what next?" said her mother when Monica had wiped her eyes.

Feeling it best to make a clean breast of everything, Monica admitted what
not even Chandler and the others knew, that she had gone to bed with Larry
the cab driver in return for his help.

"I wish I hadn't done it, now," she said, "but I was subconsciously mad at
them all, I think, and it was a way of punishing them."

Her mother nodded. "Mad at me too, maybe? Don't be afraid to say so."

"Well ... maybe," Monica admitted. "I'm sorry, mom."

"It's understandable," said her mother, still quite calmly. "And I think,
however rationally you may have thought you were behaving, you were still in
shock. So you flew to LA - and what are you doing there? Was Ross telling the
truth on that? Are you making porn movies?"

Again Monica was dumbfounded by her mother's calmness. She just gaped at her.

Her mother chuckled and smiled at her. "It's not so hard to spot. You're
obviously feeling guilty about something, and you seem to have plenty of
money. Don't worry, dear. I'd rather have a happy well-adjusted stripper
or porn actress for a daughter than a nervous wreck."

"Well, um, it was Larry who suggested it," Monica said, "and I thought, it
would be one way of getting the sex that I, well, that I felt I needed, and
make a reasonable living too. I had some luck when I was in LA - " She went
on to tell how she met Abby and let herself be seduced. Again she paused,
looking apprehensively at her mother.

"What's it like with a woman?" her mother asked curiously. "I've always
wondered."

Immensely relieved that her mother was taking this so well, Monica said,
"Well, it feels quite different from being with a man. Kissing one, feeling
her body against yours and her hands on you - it's all different. And a
woman knows better than many men do what pleases a woman. Being, er, having
something like full intercourse is not the same, but a woman can last until
you've reached orgasm. And there's so much you can do!" She paused again,
uneasy about how her mother would react to her sudden enthusiasm.

"How do you have full intercourse?" said her mother, looking puzzled.

"Well, one of you wears a strap-on," said Monica, "you know, a fake cock."

"And how does that feel?" her mother asked, sounding sceptical.

"If you're in the mood, it feels good," said Monica. "Not quite like a real
cock, of course."

"Of course," said her mother. "And this Abby helped you some way?" her mother
enquired. She had evidently taken Monica's admission that she was now active
bisexually in her stride.

Monica went on to explain how she had made her way into the porn industry,
mentioning She Couldn't Get Enough because her friends had discovered what
she was doing through Joey's finding it. She confessed how promiscuous she
was being, even telling the story of her flight back, though it sounded so
bad to her own ears that she hurried through most of it.

But her mother did not seem at all shocked or offended. Rather, when Monica
indicated that she had done something with the whole plane crew, she burst
out laughing and slapped the table.

"Oh Monica, you're a marvel!" she said. "Oh, that's done me good! Do you
mind if I tell that story to my closest friends, who know something of what's
going on, and have been a great support? I will only choose the unshockable
ones, who are not the ones you might think, by the way. I think Sandra Green
might be more shocked than some, for instance. I hope you'll forgive my
saying it, but that story really is rather funny." Her eyes twinkled.

"Sure, mom," said Monica, still dazed by the degree to which her mother was
accepting everything she'd done. "And, um, there's more."

"Have you slept with Chandler again?" her mother asked. "What about the
others - Rachel, maybe?"

"Oh mom, I've been with them all!" Monica blurted out. "They all wanted me,
you see, after seeing She Couldn't Get Enough. Really Joey and Phoebe have
always wanted me, and Rachel, well, she just seemed to be so turned on by
it all. So I was with Phoebe and Rachel last night, and then I went in to
Chandler this morning, and I so wanted to make him happy ... and Joey joined
us later."

"They didn't do anything with each other, those two?" her mother said,
apparently totally unfazed by this confession. "Chandler and Joey, I mean.
I wouldn't be altogether surprised to learn that Phoebe and Rachel had
already done something together."

"No," said Monica, surprised at this view of Chandler and Joey, "though
you're right about Phoebe and Rachel. But when Chandler spent so much time
when we were all younger proclaiming very fiercely that he was not gay, and
Joey was such a stud -" she giggled and shook her head.

"Still, they're very close," her mother remarked. "So that's it, that's
everything?"

"Only one thing more," said Monica, feeling rather nervous again. "I, I
didn't use protection with Chandler or Joey. I wanted to see if I could get
pregnant, in more normal circumstances." She took courage from her mother's
continuing expression of acceptance and unshockability. "You see, Phoebe
thinks that maybe my body somehow refused to get pregnant from Ross, or any
of the men on the balcony."

"She could be right," said her mother. "But after all this, I would be very
happy for you to give me a grandchild, no matter who the father is and what
the circumstances." She patted her hand. "Nothing you have told me has
positively disgusted me, my dear. I just can't help feeling amazed that you
can be so active. But you always had plenty of energy, and it seems an
understandable development, given your nature and what Ross did to you." She
heaved a great sigh. "Can you bear to come look at him?"

"Of course I will, mom," said Monica. "I was hoping he might repent, though,
if he does, knowing what he's done is bound to tear him up inside. You know,
Phoebe thinks he's possessed by an evil spirit."

Her mother smiled fondly. "Dear Phoebe - but you can imagine how much I'd
like to believe that. Maybe a stroke will change him, by destroying his
memory. Could you live with that? Suppose he has forgotten all about it?
Could you bear to treat him the way you used to do?"

Monica thought about it. "I would have to try," she said, "but I don't think
in cases like that they forget for ever, do they? It comes back. But in some
ways it would be a good thing if he forgot, though it might make him very mad
at me for the kind of life I lead now."

"Well, he wouldn't have to know everything," said her mother firmly. "Now,
what shall we have for lunch? I think we have time to cook something."

"Mom," Monica said falteringly, "you've taken this better than I could
possibly have hoped, but ... what do you think dad will say?"

Her mother looked pensive for a moment. "I'll have to give that some thought.
He knows from what Ross said that you're the 'woman on the balcony', and it
will ease his mind to know what that really means, I think. For the rest,
let's just proceed on a need to know basis. Maybe he'll think Ross was lying
about the porn movies, just to make you look worse; we could let him go on
thinking that." She winked at Monica in a conspiratorial way.

Monica could stand it no more. She threw her arms round her mother, hugging
her desperately, tears running from her eyes. "You're the best mom in the
world!" she cried.

Her mother patted her on the back and kissed her. "No, you're the best
daughter in the world, who never truly let me down, who put up with all my
criticisms so patiently - just like I did with my mom. Now, let's go see if
Chandler and Phoebe are hanging around somewhere."

As they went towards the door, she put an arm round Monica's waist. "You know what
pleases me most about this? You've been totally honest with me, even when it
did not show you in a very good light. Ross" - she paused for a moment,
looking as if she was thinking something over in a very serious way. Then she
nodded, sighed, and said, "Ross was never willing to admit he was in the
wrong, whether over the breakup with Rachel or anything else. And lying to
cast the blame on others! I should have realised it was a bad sign, when he
told us it was Chandler who had been smoking pot in his room."

"He did have a hard time, mom," Monica said, impelled even at this stage
to defend him. "It wasn't his fault that Carol found out she was really a
lesbian, or that Emily flipped - "

"If he'd paid more attention to Carol, and brought her into your circle,
maybe she'd never have 'found out,' as you put it," her mother said sharply.
"After all, she seemed perfectly happy to live a heterosexual life with him
for years. And as for Emily - now I feel sorry for her. It was not his fault,
precisely, that he said the wrong name at the ceremony, though it shows that
he shouldn't have been marrying Emily - but it certainly was a bad mistake to
accept Rachel's offer to accompany him on the honeymoon. If Emily looked like
failing to show up at the airport, he shouldn't have gone. It's as simple as
that. Then maybe they could have patched things up, and Emily wouldn't have
made all that fuss about Rachel."

Monica could not help feeling it was not as simple as that, but she was too
pleased to be on good terms with her mother to argue. They found Chandler and
Phoebe walking behind the house. Her mother called to them. Both looked at
her rather uneasily.

"Monica has told me everything," she said cheerfully, "and I do mean
everything - not every detail, obviously, but everything she's done. And in
case you're worried, I have made a deliberate decision not to be shocked. I
am too pleased to have her back, when at one time ..." She heaved a sigh,
shook her head, then continued, "It's good that you're all friends again,
because you have been a very good support to each other over the years."
She looked at Chandler sympathetically. "But I don't see how you can go on
being married to Monica, the way she is now. I promise you, I would never
blame you if you got a divorce, nor would Monica, I'm sure."

Chandler flushed a little. "That's kind of you, Judy, but ... I don't want
Monica out of my life. I want her to, to go on being around."

"Well then, maybe you should go back to California with her," Judy said. "In
fact, why don't you all go? You could form a kind of commune. I'm sure you
could all find work and live together."

They looked at her in amazement, Monica also with delight that her mother had
brought up the very idea that she had been wanting to propose.

"What a great idea!" said Phoebe enthusiastically. "Oh Chandler, let's do
that! Joey could get much better acting work in LA, I'm sure."

"We can't leave here until we know about Jack - and Ross," Chandler said. He
turned to Judy. "But wouldn't you be lonely, with us all on the other side of
the country?"

"You're right, we need to sort things out here," Judy acknowledged. "But,
well, Jack and I could follow. We'd miss Ben, of course, but we could go back
and see him, or they could come over ... That reminds me, I ought to call
Carol. How much does she know?"

"Not what I'm doing and what I'm like now," said Monica. "But Chandler told
her the truth about that night."

Her mother nodded. "Well, let's go inside and get started on some
preparations for lunch," she said briskly. "Phoebe, you're a vegetarian -
maybe you could look over what I've got, to see what will suit you ..."

    

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