Joey and Phoebe had decided on a dinner date. Phoebe was now four months pregnant with as she had found out a month earlier, triplets and she was feeling like she needed a night out. Joey was of course happy to oblige. She was also feeling a little sad because in about a week, everyone but her and Rachel would be headed to London for the wedding of Ross and Emily. Phoebe had so badly wanted to go but she was getting way too big and it wasn't safe for her to fly. So now, Joey and Phoebe were at one of their favorite restaurants. Phoebe having steak because that's what the babies were craving and Joey eating pasta, looking longingly at the steak. He and Phoebe had made a pact. Phoebe had been craving meat so they decided that Joey would not eat meat for the rest of Phoebe's pregnancy so everything would balance out. Phoebe was just eating Joey's cows. Everything had been going smoothly until Joey innocently revealed the truth about something that had happened a month earlier, thinking it would be a funny story.
"Turns out, he doesn't hate his name after all," Joey laughed at the story that Phoebe wasn't finding quite so funny. Frank and Alice had told Phoebe she could name one the babies. She had been struggling between naming the baby Joey or Chandler, but then Chandler started to get weird, talking about how he wanted to change his name. He kept going on and on about how much he hated it and even said that he was thinking of changing the name. Phoebe decided to name the baby Chandler because of that, to convince Chandler he had to keep his and now she was learning it was all a ruse.
"He lied?" Phoebe asked, feeling angry all over again.
"Well, he didn't lie, really...he was just playing me and it...I-" Joey tried, suddenly realizing that Phoebe was not finding this story as funny as he did. "It's a funny story."
"No. No it's not. I can't believe he did that. He lied...I...no...this is not okay. I actually believed he hated his name. G-d, he must think I'm an idiot or something."
"No, I think he thinks I'm an idiot," Joey grinned, "he was trying to get to me."
"Doesn't matter. Joey, can I tell you something?"
"I think I'm starting to like you more Chandler."
"You don't mean that."
"No, I do. I mean, I'm naming one of the babies after him. I feel like such a jerk. If he wants to play a prank then saran wrap a toilet, don't do that. And okay... he missed my thirtieth birthday because he was off in Yemen...it's just...how do you forgive him so easily?"
"I just do," Joey said, shrugging.
"How? You helped him through drug withdrawals and he pays you back by kissing your girlfriend. How do you even begin to forgive that?"
Joey let out a sigh, twirling his pasta around his fork and sticking it in his mouth. He really wanted to give answer to Phoebe's question or at the very least give an answer where he wouldn't end up accidentally throwing Chandler under the bus. He just forgave Chandler, that was all. Yeah, Chandler had hurt him, pissed him off many times. But there was something about his friend, his roommate...he couldn't let him go.
"Chandler's...Chandler grew up differently than us," Joey said.
"I don't wanna hear it. I grew up differently than all of you."
"I know. It's just...he...I think he grew up alone a lot-"
"As did I."
"You still had friends though, Pheebs. Even when you were still living on the street, didn't you still have friends?"
"Yeah. But he has friends now."
"What do you know, Joey?" Phoebe asked. She noticed how uncomfortable he looked. She noticed that he looked like he was hiding something and she wanted to get to the bottom of it.
"Phoebe, I can't. I keep your secrets and I keep his. You both had sucky childhoods. I mean, really awful. Both of you have been through stuff that to me and Ross, Monica and Rachel seem just unbelievable...and the fact that you are both still alive is a testament to how strong you both are...but I can't. I'm sorry."
Phoebe smiled at Joey. He was good man, Joey Tribbiani. Despite his piggish tendencies and the fact that from time to time he could be a little dim and childlike, he was a good friend and sometimes Phoebe felt a better friend than any of them.
"Alright...okay. I got it," Phoebe said. "Okay...moving on. G-d, I can't believe you guys are going to London in a week."
"You're not going to eat meat in London. Right?"
"No," Joey said.
"Joey...you better not eat meat."
"I won't eat meat."
"But you know London cows are apparently far meaner than American cows and-"
"Do not eat meat, Joey."
"Dammit. I can still drink right?"
"Yes. I can't wait to drink again," Phoebe groaned. She didn't realize how hard it would be to give up drinking. The first few weeks of her pregnancy, she had been so sick Chandler had made the suggestion that maybe she was going through withdrawals as well. She had never realized just how much booze she took in and not having it was almost painful.
"You will soon."
"Yeah...Still sad I'm going to miss Ross' wedding. I'm glad Rachel is going to be with me."
"I can't believe she's not coming to London," Joey said.
"Well, she's still in love with Ross."
"Well, yeah...duh," Joey said which made Phoebe laugh.
"I'm also glad that I get to stay in Monica and Rachel's apartment...their apartment not yours."
"Hey, here's a question. Chandler and I were trying to figure this out. How the hell did the three of you switch our apartments back in the length of time that it took for us to go to, watch and come home from a Knicks game? I mean, how did you guys carry all our furniture and stuff."
Phoebe smiled. She had some secrets of her own. After Chandler and Joey had left for that game, Phoebe had called up Marjorie and SueEllen who called up some of their guy friends and they came over to help. With help from the dolly Monica kept stored in the closet by the big window, they were able to get the guy's apartment back to how it had looked before the switching. She wouldn't tell though.
"Oh, Joey...you tell me what you know and I'll tell you what I know."
"That's not fair."
"Hey...my hoes come before my bros."
"Not sure if you used that right."
"Yes, I did."
Joey laughed as the two continued eating. There was something else on her mind, a reason she had actually wanted to have dinner with Joey before he went to London. The reason had briefly left her mind after Joey had briefly left her mind after the revelation that Chandler had played her. But now it was slowly coming back and she was wrestling with whether or not she could ask Joey this.
Something was happening to her in her fourth month of pregnancy. She had not had sex in a year and was quite simply going out of her mind knowing it would probably be another five more months until she could have it again. She had snapped a few days earlier when she had stolen a cardboard cut out of Evander Holyfield out of a Foot Locker at the mall. Her grandmother had given her such a weird look when she walked into the apartment carrying that cardboard cut out. Monica could not stop laughing when Phoebe confided in her what she had done. Monica was laughing so hard that Phoebe had threaten to beat her with the cardboard cut out, but unfortunately, that just made Monica laugh harder. Phoebe decided she needed sex and she needed causal sex and there was only one person who she could do it with. Ross was obviously out of the question and so was Chandler. Joey, though, that could work and she knew he would.
"Joey, can I ask you something?"
"Of course, what?"
"Would you ever have sex with a pregnant woman?"
"Okay...the other day, I stole a cardboard cutout of Evander Holyfield from a Foot Locker."
"No. I haven't had sex in a year. I'm not going to have sex for another five months. I'm going out of my mind and you're already doing this one favor by not eating meat...can you do me another favor and do me?"
Joey looked at her, trying to figure out if she was joking or not. Sure, he loved Phoebe. He thought the world of her and always felt that he had special connection with her. A connection that went deeper than any he had with Monica or Rachel.
"Are you being serious?"
"Yes. I am. I'm serious. It's just...I mean, obviously, I can't ask Ross and Chandler, no...and well...I would love a casual sexual encounter and you know, when I think of causal sexual encounters-"
"I'm the first that comes to mind?"
"Well, I'm flattered Pheebs."
"Come on, Joe."
"But you're pregnant...with triplets. What if I poke one of them in the head?"
"Well...try to aim for Chandler. You can poke Chandler in the head."
"That's an image I don't want," Joey said.
"You two are close."
"Not that close."
"Joey, come on. You're going to London. I'm making sure the chick and duck don't die while you're in London. I'm going to keep them away from Rachel-"
"Oh, you better. I don't trust her with them."
"Joey...hey, you had sex with Ursula. You can pretend I'm her...but you can't call me that or the chick and duck will die."
"I know. It is tempting. You and I have kissed before."
Joey looked at Phoebe who was biting her bottom lip. They continued eating in silence, Joey thinking about the idea of casual sex with Phoebe and Phoebe wondering if she should never have asked.
The answer came after dinner, when they got into a cab. Joey told the driver to go back to his apartment and gave Phoebe a smile. Phoebe grinned as well, knowing exactly what was going to happen when they got back to his apartment, it was late around midnight and Joey whispered that Chandler was probably asleep. They walked into Joey's room and Joey shut the door behind him. They two began kissing as Phoebe gently lay on his bed. Joey continued kissing her, sure it was bizarre having sex with a woman who was four months pregnant. It made no sense, but maybe for any other pairs of friends, it would be strange but not for Phoebe and Joey. They both knew how to take emotion out of sex. Phoebe had learned it on the streets when she had been taken captive by that pimp. Joey had learned it by being Joey. Phoebe could compartmentalize and at the end, Phoebe felt far more satisfied. Joey was definitely good at sex. When they were done, they lay side by side, holding hands.
"I have never had sex with a pregnant woman before," Joey said.
"Maybe one you made pregnant?"
"Don't say things like that."
"I hope it wasn't too gross."
"No, it was fine...good. You're good."
"So are you and see this is why I like you more than Chandler right now. He would never help me out by having sex with me."
"No, he probably wouldn't. But you do know he loves you, right? He really cares about you...he just...I think it makes him nervous to care about people."
"'Cause they end up leaving him."
That hit Phoebe. She got that feeling so well and for that moment, she felt like she actually got Chandler. Maybe they were more alike than she thought.
"I get that. But we're not leaving him."
"It doesn't matter. He still thinks it will happen eventually. He does a lot of talk...but yeah, don't believe it."
"Hmmmm. You know, Joe...I think you get a lot more than people give you credit for."
Phoebe smiled as she closed her eyes. Joey turned onto his side. She could soon hear him breathing as he fell asleep. She was awake, although she kept her eyes closed. She loved laying there next to Joey. She really did have a soft spot for him and it made her happy that he had one for her, one where he could do her favors like give up meat and have sex with her just to satisfy her. She really was starting to like Joey more than Chandler, something she never thought would happen. It confused her a little, the feelings she had for both boys. She wished she could figure it out, perhaps she would...maybe later.
The next morning, Phoebe and Joey woke up in Joey's bed. After getting dressed, there was some debate as to how Phoebe would leave the room without being caught by Chandler but they both decided ultimately to risk it and of course as soon as they opened the door, they saw Chandler standing at the counter, eating cereal with a huge smile on his face.
"You two have a nice night?" Chandler asked, the grin on his face so broad that his jaw was hurting.
"Hey, I was just doing a favor for a friend," Joey said.
"You two slept together," Chandler said, giggling.
Phoebe walked over to him and grabbed the spoon out of Chandler's hand and pointed it at him. She glared at him.
"Do not say a word. It was just a friend helping out another friend. I have not had sex in a year and I probably won't for another five months so shut up, jackass," Phoebe said as she dropped his spoon into his bowl of cereal, "and by the way, how do you like your name Bing?"
"You told her?" Chandler asked, glaring at Joey.
"I thought it was a funny story. Phoebe disagreed."
"You lied to me...asshole," Phoebe said.
"I love you, Phoebe," Chandler said.
"Shut up," Phoebe said.
"Phoebe doesn't love me anymore," Chandler said.
"I know, she loves me more," Joey said.
"Is that true?" Chandler asked, giving her a pout.
"Right now...earn it back. Have sex with Monica in London."
"Oh, that's not gonna happen," Chandler said.
"Grow a pair and make a move," Phoebe said.
"Nothing is going to happen between me and Monica in London. I will bet you two hundred dollars...if by some miracle something happens between Monica and I in London, I will give you two hundred dollars," Chandler said.
"Wait, I want in on this," Joey said.
"Alright, fine...if Monica and I get together in London, which we won't...I will give you each two hundred bucks. But if I'm right and nothing happens, you both give me two hundred bucks," Chandler said.
Joey and Phoebe exchanged looks and nodded. It was a deal. It did make Phoebe a little sad that she wouldn't be there to see if Chandler and Monica did get together. But she knew Joey would definitely be on the look out.
"Now...let's talk about the fact that you two slept together last night," Chandler grinned as Phoebe glared at him. She walked over to him and playfully smacked him as he giggled in a way that made him sound a bit like a school girl. She knew he wouldn't tell though. While Chandler wasn't the greatest at keeping secrets, she knew she could count on him to keep it quiet about what she and Joey had done.
About a week later, everyone left for London leaving Phoebe and Rachel alone. At first, Phoebe was happy to have Rachel there until it soon became apparent that Rachel began having a crisis after realizing her feelings for Ross. While Phoebe did love Rachel, Rachel was worlds different than than that girl who Phoebe had stolen clothes from all those years ago. But Rachel was still a bit self absorbed and she became even more so when she decided that what she needed to do was fly to London to tell Ross that she loved him. Phoebe had tried to stop her, but she couldn't. Even though she was just four months pregnant, with triplets she felt about the size of a truck. She could barely move and ended up calling Marjorie and SueEllen and asked for them to stay at the apartment with her. She didn't want to go home because her grandmother she knew would not be helpful. Ever since Phoebe had become pregnant it was as if her grandmother had disappeared. So she was thankful when Marjorie and SueEllen helped her while she kept trying to call London to try and speak to someone to warn them. She had only reached Joey and told him what was going on. She was able to reach Joey again during the wedding. He had told her nothing had happened, Rachel was there but it was all good. Phoebe was once again relieved until she heard something, something that made Joey gasp and she could distinctly hear Chandler mutter, "oh, shit". Instead of saying Emily's name, Ross had instead said...Rachel.