Author's Note: sorry, no sex in this one, but it is a short chapter, and
explains how the situation in later chapters will come about.

Friends: Ross's Revenge - What Monica Did Part 12: The Conference (no sex)
by Exintaris ([email protected])

Monica woke up next morning with a smile on her face. She took pleasure in
the thought that she had now been with Carol and Susan, whom she had always
liked. Opening her eyes, she saw that they were already up and about,
preparing breakfast, though they were trying to keep quiet.

"It's okay, I'm awake," she said, sitting up and stretching, to be reminded
that she was completely naked. Hurriedly, she covered herself with the

They smiled at her. "I don't think it would bother Ben if he saw you," said
Susan. "He's seen us without much on now and then. We encourage him not to
think of it as something dirty."

"Good for you," said Judy, coming into the room. Monica looked at her in
alarm. She might well guess from the fact that Monica was naked that
something had been going on.

Her mother smiled at her, walked over, and bent down to give her a kiss. "My
darling daughter," she said. She drew back, to look into Monica's eyes, still
smiling, then turned to Carol and Susan, who were watching.

"Well, I might be right and I might be wrong," she said archly, "but my guess
is, you girls got together last night."

Carol gasped, and so did Monica, but she didn't want to lie, not when her
mother was being so nice to her now. "I'm sorry, mom," she muttered, hanging
her head.

"Whatever for?" said her mother. "You mustn't think it's going to make me
mad, any of you. I have made a deliberate decision not to disapprove of
Monica's life, unless of course she really does do something bad." She
grinned at Monica, and winked. "But I hardly think that's likely. And, you
know, it gives me a sort of warm feeling, to think that you are all getting
along so well."

All three of the younger women sighed in relief. Susan said, "It gives me a
warm feeling too, to know that you are now going to show the love I'm sure
you always had for Monica."

"Yes, I still have plenty of time to do that," said Judy softly, patting
Monica on the shoulder. "The bathroom's free," she said in a different, more
practical tone, "unless Ben has grabbed it."

Monica felt around for her clothes while trying to keep herself covered, but
her mother just laughed, picked them up, and held them out to her.

"I'd rather like to see you, you know," she said rather wistfully. "It's not
a pleasure I've had recently."

Her heart beating fast and her face and body flushing, though she was used to
being naked in the presence of others by now, Monica stood up, smiling at her
mother rather tremulously. "If you want to see me, you can," she said, and
turned around slowly so that all sides of her were visible.

Her mother smiled very affectionately, her eyes looking slightly misty.
"You've put on some weight," she said. "It suits you." She looked over at
Carol and Susan. "A fine sight, don't you think?"

"Oh yes," they chorused, looking at Monica as if spellbound.

Monica went to the bathroom with a warm glow in her heart. Her mother's words
were worth more to her than the best review ever written for her restaurant

Later, before sitting down to breakfast, Monica made a short call to
Chandler, to bring him up to date.

"So I'm sorry, I may not be back for a while," she said in conclusion.

"That's going to cause a lot of disappointment here," he said in a light
joking way. "But we understand, your first duty must be to your parents. But
don't go back to LA without coming to see us."

"As if I would!" she said indignantly.

He chuckled. "I knew it, of course. I'll pass the word, and keep in touch."

"Love you, Chandler," she said, making a kissing noise into the phone.

"Love you right back," he replied, with a similar noise.

After breakfast Monica and her mother drove back to the hospital, where they
learned that Jack's condition, while not immediately life-threatening, was
still grave.

"Any sudden shock might bring on another serious attack," said Dr. Goldman,
who was handling the case, to Judy. "I, um, know something of the background
now from what your husband has let out, and also from the nurse who has been
attending your son." He shook his head. "A bad business. It's not something
to be talked about in your husband's presence, and obviously they must not

"No indeed," said Judy. She hesitated a moment, then said in a cold voice,
"How is Ross?"

"Much better," said Dr. Goldman. "We have no reason to keep him here, really.
Er ... shall we bill him separately from your husband?"

"If he offers to pay, it should be accepted," said Judy. "Otherwise," she
sighed, "we'll pay."

"Thank you," said Dr. Goldman. "Now, you may of course see your husband, but
it would be best not to stay too long."

"I understand," said Judy. "I would be grateful if you could arrange to have
Ross told, he is not to return to our house. Tell him ..." She paused for a
moment, seeming to need to control her emotions, then continued, with only a
slight tremor in her voice, "Tell him I never want to see him again."

"Oh mom!" said Monica, and burst into tears, knowing how much pain her mother
must be feeling.

"My dear soft-hearted daughter," said her mother, hugging her. "You're such a

"I will ensure that your son is told that," said Dr. Goldman in a low voice,
and he left them.

"Let's go see your father," said her mother to Monica, "and then we can go
home, and maybe talk a bit about what is to be done for the future."

* * *

Two weeks later, a meeting was held in the afternoon, in a hotel conference
room. Judy Geller stood at the doorway to welcome those invited, with Monica
at her side. The Greens came in a group, Sandra and Leonard carrying Emma in
a baby-carrier between them, while Rachel's sisters flanked her, both seeming
remarkably solicitous. They both looked very sympathetically at Monica also,
and smiled when she and Rachel hugged.

"Monica, I'm so amazingly impressed," Amy said in a low voice. "I could never
have survived that without going crazy. You've come a long way since high

"Yeah," said Jill, "and you didn't just survive, you turned your life around.
And I think it's great that you've been so nice to Rachel," she said in a
quieter voice, winking in such a knowing way that Monica could not help
grinning in response.

Then her friends showed up, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe, all of whom gave her
a loving hug and kiss. Carol and Susan were close behind them; both beamed
at her and hugged and kissed her even more lovingly than her friends had.
Chandler and Phoebe caught each other's eye and shook heads, grinning.

"Monica's a ball of fire!" Phoebe murmured.

"Well, I think we're all here," said Judy. "Shall we start?"

"Jack not coming?" said Leonard in surprise.

"Well, that's one of the things I want to talk about," said Judy. "We felt
he's not well enough to, to handle it. He knows what I'm going to say, and he

They all took seats around a table.

Judy was looking uncharacteristically nervous. "Well, we all know why we're
here," she said. "It's to decide what to do about Ross." The distinct
pause, and the distaste in her voice when she named him, left no one in any
doubt about her feelings.

"I say, nail his balls to the wall," said Leonard ferociously.

"Leonard!" Sandra protested. "Not in front of the children."

"Oh, I agree," said Jill. "If I had him here ..." She banged a fist into a
palm, her face twisted with rage.

"I'd probably try to kill him," said Amy quietly.

"Honeys, it's so great that you feel like this," said Rachel rather
emotionally, "but Monica went through far worse than I did."

"Oh, I know," said Amy. "I'd do it for both of you."

"Me too," said Sandra viciously. Then she smiled at Monica while she patted
Rachel on the shoulder.

Judy looked unhappy. "That is what I wanted to talk about. You see," she
actually gulped, "I want to ask you a very big favour."

Everyone tensed. She sighed audibly.

"Normally, I would wish to see him treated with the utmost severity. But this
has all borne very heavily on Jack. It is my fear and his doctors' - that
if Ross were tried and sent to jail it would kill Jack - literally. And Jack
must be my first consideration. So I am appealing to you" - she looked at the
Greens in particular - "not to cooperate with any action against him."

"He's to get off scot free for what he did to Rachel and Monica?" cried Jill
in outrage, before either of her parents could speak.

"Hardly scot free," said Judy evenly. "We are going to require him to resign
his post at the University; we will inform them of the truth if he refuses,
and ask them to ensure that it is known throughout the profession. He is
going to be barred from seeing us and from all family gatherings. As for
access to his children, I think that should be entirely up to Rachel, Carol
and Susan. I won't object if they don't want him to have written contact,
even. Again, we can threaten to tell the truth to the judge if he makes any

"I think," said Carol, "that he should be required to pay maintenance to
Rachel for Emma."

"You think he'll do that?" said Leonard incredulously.

"No," said Carol, "but if he doesn't, it will put him in the wrong if he goes
to the law for access."

Leonard nodded. "A good tactic."

"We should say one thing," said Susan. "Emma is not really old enough to miss
him very much. But Ben loves his father, and so we propose to allow him some
contact, under strict supervision, of course."

"We'll make it quite clear to him that he is being watched, and any attempt
to run away with Ben will see him in jail so fast his feet won't touch the
ground," said Carol savagely.

"Are you okay with this, Rachel?" said Leonard in a softer voice, gazing at

"Yes, dad," she said evenly. "I guess Monica is, too."

"For my father's sake, I will accept it," said Monica quietly. "Also, I'm
afraid any defence would be bound to bring out stuff about my present way of
life which would be painful for my family and friends to hear." She held up a
hand to quell protests from several quarters. "I know, it's not relevant, but
it's such a common defence tactic to try to discredit the accuser."

"Of course we never want to see him again," said Chandler fiercely. "But if
we can, we'd like to have him pay compensation to Monica for all that she
suffered at his hands - and Rachel should get some too."

Leonard Green spread his hands. "All very well, but how do you get it out of

"There's ways," said Judy in a steely voice. "Without a job, he's going to
need our support. But what do you think in general, Leonard?"

He sighed. "Well, Judy, for Jack's sake I guess we have no choice but to
agree - but I can't say I like it."

"Nor I," said Sandra. "When I think what he did to Rachel - and in front of
his own child!" She dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief. "It seems to me,
he's still getting off very lightly."

"I think it's the best you can expect," Phoebe said suddenly. "And by doing
this you will get good karma."

Her audience showed respect for this comment, though Leonard pulled a slight
face. "You're right," he said sombrely. "But I think he'll have to be watched
very carefully."

"Well, if we're all agreed ..." said Judy.

There were nods and grunts from the others.

"There's something else," said Monica. She looked at Chandler.

"Yes," said Chandler firmly. "We're planning to join Monica in LA."

"And I and Jack might do that as well, when he's better," said Judy. "If we
pool our resources, we might be able to find a large place for all of us to

"Oh, but ... we won't see you any more?" said Sandra, looking at Rachel

"Of course, you will," said Rachel. "I'll come for holidays and things and
I'll bring Emma. And of course, you'll be welcome in LA, all of you." She
reached out and gripped her mother's hand.

"You're leaving your friends?" said Leonard in a slightly questioning way to

She nodded. "I couldn't bear the looks from everyone we know," she said
frankly. "It's started already, and it will get worse. Pity, disdain ... and
no doubt the scandal sheets will be sending their reporters around, to feed
their readers' appetites for lurid gossip. We'll come back to see everyone,
when things have quietened down a bit."

"And I'll come too," said Monica. "I don't want Ben to forget me."

"He'd never do that," said Susan warmly. "We wouldn't let him."

In recognition that the meeting was over, people began to get up and leave,
with small smiles and nods of acknowledgement. The Greens left in a body, as
they had arrived, but before they went Rachel gave Monica a parting hug, and
murmured "See you later" in her ear. Involuntarily Monica flushed a little.
Staying with her mother and father had not allowed her much scope for
intimate meetings with her friends, though her mother had encouraged her to
go into New York to visit them now and then. At any rate, she had definitely
been feeling that she was not getting enough sex, and had agreed with her
mother that she would come back to the house to say goodbye for now to her
father, then go to her friends for serious discussions on moving everyone to

"That sounds a good plan," said her mother, then, with a definite twinkle in
her eye, "I hope there's still enough of the old Monica in there to make
plans and get things organised, in between the fun."

Blushing, Monica assured her that she would not take her eye off the ball.


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