A/N: Well, this was just a random, out-of-the-blue idea I had for a fic, and as strange as it is, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write it. I think that the idea has a lot of comedic potential for later on (already have a ton of ideas) so, it might be interesting and funny, or it might be a complete failure, so I'm unsure if I should write more of this. Idk, you tell me! Reviews/feedback, are greatly appreciated. This takes place while Rachel is still living with Phoebe, and Joey and Chandler are still living together. And one more thing: My intention was originally, for this to be just a story of Joey and Phoebe's friendship. Knowing me, and my love for Phoey, I'll probably be tempted to tie them together romantically somehow, eventually. xD
Phoebe enters Central Park, after spending hours getting ready for her big date tonight. This was where she agreed to meet Aiden, but she still had some time to kill. She's somewhat nervous, and is hoping that a hot beverage, in her usual hang out place will help her feel at ease. She's unsurprised to find Joey there, as it's his usual hang out place, as well. with a newspaper in one hand, chocolate chip cookie in the other, he glances up, making a double take as she walks in. He shoots her an approving half-smile, at her black, flared-skirted dress, and elegant up-do, which took her much longer than necessary to create. She takes her best friend's reaction as a sign the time she spent has paid off.
"Damn, Pheebs..From the corner of my eye, I thought you were some hot chick I've never met before. I was about to hit on you." he tells her, with a flirtatious wink.
She rolls her eyes, as she takes a seat next to him on the orange sofa. "Well..sorry to disappoint you. It's just me."
"That was actually meant to be a compliment.." he explains.
"I know." she informs him. "It just wasn't a very good one."
"Well, how's this?" setting down his newspaper, he looks her up and down, with a familiar, irresistible grin. "Hey, Pheebs..How YOU doin'?"
Phoebe makes an attempt to turn her face away from him, before an uncontrollable smirk passes over her lips, and her face reddens, just a little. He may have been her best friend, but he sure knew how to make a girl blush.
"Ok, well, that's better." she admits, and his grin widens slightly with confidence.
"So..what are you so glammed up for tonight, anyways? Got a hot date?"
"Yes, actually." she tells him. "With my boyfriend."
Joey furrows his brow. "You have a boyfriend?" he questions.
Phoebe gives a small irritable sigh, as it frustrates her when her friends don't pay attention to the happenings of her life. Joey, however, being naturally less observant than the average person, is somewhat forgivable. "Yes, I have a boyfriend! Aiden! The lawyer!" she sharply reminds him.
Joey nods. "Ohhh...right. That guy." he mutters, with a hint of disdain in his voice, before he takes a sip of his coffee.
"What do you mean 'that' guy?"
"Nothin'." Joey replies, before he stuffs the rest of his cookie into his mouth, in what seems to be an attempt to end the conversation.
Unwilling to let his comment go, Phoebe stares at her best friend. "No, no..what do you mean, Joey? You don't like Aiden?"
"Eh...he's ok, Pheebs, I guess. It's just..." he gives a shrug. "I dunno..you don't think he seems like a bit of a show-off? You know, with all his money, and his Lamborghini, and summer house in the Dominican Republic he's always braggin' about, and his perfect hair and Armani suits he's always wearing.."
"No. He's not showing off, or bragging, Joey. He just happens to have a lot of money. He's a lawyer!"
He gives a small snort and eye-roll. "Right. Y'know...sometimes I wish I was a girl..I could just date some rich ass guy and have it made. Never have to worry about money again."
Phoebe pauses to give him an odd look. "Oh, Hi, Chandler! When did you start looking so much like Joey?"
Joey shoots her a glare. "Well, it's true! It's so easy for guys like 'Aiden'" again, there's a tinge of mockery in his voice as he speaks his name. "To get chicks to fall head over heels for him, when he's got all this money to shower them with gifts and drive them around in his Lambo..."
Phoebe's mouth drops open, becoming offended by his bitter assumption. "You know what, Joseph Francis!? If you're suggesting that I'm just some gold-digger who's only into him for his money, then, you are SO wrong! He happens to be incredibly romantic, and sweet. He treats me like I'm his queen. And then in the bedroom, well..that's a different story. Plus, we have so much in common! Like, he's a vegetarian, and he also plays the guitar, and he's fluent in 6 different languages, and he has incredible eyes, and a nice smile.." She finds herself staring off dreamily, as she lustfully thinks about her new love interest, and momentarily forgets the point she was attempting to make. "Ooh! Ooh! And! He promised he'd take me to his house in the Dominican this summer! But even if he didn't, I'd still like him!"
Joey shakes his head, unconvinced. "Look, Pheebs, I'm not saying you're a gold-digger, but this guy seems totally fake, if you ask me. I mean, he's got you so snowed over, it's not even funny."
Again, her jaw drops. "Nuh-uh!"
"Oh, yes, he does." Joey nods. "Hook, line and sinker. Trust me, Pheebs, I'm know how these things work, ok? I'm a guy. I mean..not that I have a whole lot of trouble getting girls, with my looks, and my charm...but if had as much money as this guy does, I could make a girl believe just about anything. I'd probably have about six of 'em on the go, and none of them would find out, so long as I keep throwing money at them, and telling them how beautiful they are.." he pauses, notices the expression on her face and places his hand on her shoulder. "Look, Pheebs, I'm just telling you these things, because I don't wanna see you get hurt."
"Ok, that is the most ridiculous load of bullcrap I've ever heard, first of all!" Phoebe furiously states. "Secondly, you don't know Aiden at all! He is SO not the kind of guy who would have six girls on the go! Not ALL men are pigs, like you!"
"Hey, woah!" he retorts, becoming just as offended. "There's no need for the name calling, I'm just telling you what I know to be true, alright? But, look on the bright side: You're a girl. You've got a rack..nice one, if I do say so, myself..and if you play your cards right, you can probably get him to do just about anything to keep you around. This is what I mean when I say you girls don't know how lucky you are. You've got it easy."
Normally, Joey's slightly inappropriate comments about her body only gave her a boost to her ego, but everything else he said was over the line, even for him. She could hardly believe what she was hearing.
"Oh, please! Cause it's so hard being you, isn't it?" She waves her hands, in a mocking gesture, slightly deepening her voice as she speaks. "'Oh, look at me, I'm Joey Tribbiani! I've can get away with objectifying women, like a big pervert, and nobody can say anything cause I have a penis!'"
"Ok, I don't sound anything like that, first of all!" Joey snaps at her.
"So what? It's true!" Phoebe heatedly shoots back. "You're a young, good-looking, white, American male, who's...who's never once suffered any kind of oppression, or discrimination, or...or been asked to flash your breasts to a strange man for a dollar while playing your guitar, trying to make an honest living, on the streets, at age 15!"
"Hey! Listen-" Joey starts his rebuttal and stops, suddenly, raising his eyebrows. "Well, no...I guess I can't say that's ever happened...but don't start talking that feminism crap with me, alright? You women don't have to worry about anything as long as they find a man who makes a decent living! They also don't ever have to pay for dinner on a date, or open their own doors.."
"Oh, gee! Yeah, no I can see how that's about the same as, oh, I don't know, being denied the right to vote, or own property!"
Joey gives yet another snort, shaking his head. "Chicks don't like to vote, anyways.."
"Oh, that is it!" Phoebe abruptly, and angrily rises to her feet. "I'm not going to sit here and listen to this from you, any longer! You don't know the first thing about what like being a women in today's society, and if you ask me, you couldn't handle it! Chandler, on the other hand...maybe. But you? Forget it!"
"Pfff..Oh, like it's that hard." Joey mutters, indifferently.
"You know what? I'm going to wait for my date outside! Good-bye!"
"Fine by me!" Joey replies, with annoyance.
As Phoebe is making a point of angrily storming away from their heated discussion, irritated with Joey's inability to see things from her point of view, an African-American woman, wearing a colourful head-wrap enters the coffee shop, studying Phoebe as she attempts to brush past her to the door. Phoebe is too angry with Joey to notice her at first.
"Phoebe Buffay? Is that really you?"
Phoebe stops before she reaches the door, and turns around, taking in the woman's familiar face for the first time. "Yeah, uh-huh?"
The woman flashes her a warm smile. "My goodness, I haven't seen you in ages! You look fantastic!"
Phoebe smiles, modestly. "Well..yes, thank you. But, uhm...I'm sorry, do I know you?"
"You don't remember me? I used to come into the aroma therapy shop where you worked.."
"Oh! Ooh! Miss Tabatha! I remember, now! Oh my God, Hi! How have you been?"
"Oh, very well, child! Thank you!" Miss Tabatha chuckles, and gives Phoebe a welcoming embrace. It wasn't very often that Phoebe ran into people she knew from her street days, any more. Miss Tabatha, who was a psychic, and also dabbled into voodoo spells from time to time, was a frequent visitor of the shop where Phoebe got her first job, and became introduced to aroma therapy. She came in so often that she also became one of Phoebe's first friends, since the death of her albino roommate. Phoebe notices Joey is still watching her with curiosity, from the sofa.
"Uhm, I'd introduce you to my friend, Joey, but...we're not exactly friends, right now." Phoebe mutters, out of politeness to Miss Tabatha, who gives her a chuckle and a nod.
"Yes..I can actually see the tension in the room between you two. It must have been some disagreement.." Phoebe's old friend says under her breath to her. None the less she still offers Joey a friendly smile and nod. "Hello."
"Hey." he answers, with a small, awkward wave, before he turns his attention back to his coffee and newspaper.
Miss Tabatha turns back to Phoebe. "So, I understand you have a date tonight with somebody you like very much."
Phoebe's eyes light up, with admiration. "Oh, wow! You're good! Did your sixth sense tell you that?"
"No, I could just tell from the way you're dressed." Miss Tabatha explains.
"Ohh.." Phoebe nodds, glancing down at her new dress. "Yeah, I went a little overboard. I really do like this guy, a lot..hey, by the way, are you still doing the whole, y'know, voodoo stuff?"
"Oh, goodness, no." Miss Tabatha tells her. "I'm a stockbroker, these days."
"Oh! Well..money is money, right?" Phoebe tells her, surprised by her answer.
"Indeed, it is." she presents Phoebe with a business card. "Here's my card, it has my number. I can see that you're eager to meet with your man, but, we must catch up sometime, soon."
"Yes, definitely! I'm sure you have a lot of stories to tell me." Phoebe agrees. "Well, hey, it was great seeing you again, and I hope it won't be the last time."
Miss Tabatha smiles. "Oh, I have a feeling it won't."
Phoebe is about to walk out the door, when she's stricken with a sudden thought, and stops. She turns around "Hey, uhm..Miss Tabatha, could I ask you something?"
"Of course, dear." she replies.
Phoebe lowers her voice. She doesn't want Joey to overhear what she's about to ask, considering their recent blow-out over the same subject. "Well, it's about...this guy who I'm seeing. I really like him a lot, and, uhm, I was sort of wondering, do you, uhm..do you see us, y'know..going anywhere with our relationship? You know, in you're mind's eye or, whatever.."
Miss Tabitha pauses, reading her face in silence for a moment. Phoebe suddenly regrets asking her. What if Joey was right? She can't bare to know the truth at this time. "You know what? Forget it...I don't wanna know that. But, uh, is...is there anything that you can recommend that might you know, improve my chances, with this guy? To make it last, or whatever? You know, like a spell, or potion?"
"Oh, I told you, my child, I don't do that stuff any more." Miss Tabitha responds, with a wave of her hand.
"Oh, but you don't understand.." Phoebe interrupts. "This guy has a yacht. And a Lamborghini. Not that that's the only reason I like him!" she enunciates that last part of her sentence, loud enough for Joey to hear from where he sits, still ignoring her.
Miss Tabatha looks at Phoebe, studying her with consideration. "I have something that may help you." she says, in a hushed voice, and gently pulls her aside. She reaches into her purse and takes out a small silk pouch. From the pouch, she dumps two peculiar polished stones into her hand. One red, one blue, and both vibrant in their colour, with strange markings carved onto their flat surfaces. "Hold out your hand." she instructs.
Phoebe does so, waiting anxiously to hold the beautiful, mystifying stones, but Miss Tabatha holds them back with hesitation. "You must understand, these are very powerful stones. So if you use them, you must be sure that your intentions are true, and that this is what your heart truly wants."
"What are they?" Phoebe asks, as staring at them as she drops the stones into her palm.
"I call them 'passion stones'. They have the power to draw two souls together in perfect harmony."
Phoebe looks up at her with a grin. "I like the sounds of that! How do they work?"
"Well..you must keep one with you. And when you are ready, you give the other one to your soul-mate to keep with them. You will know when the timing is right. For now, keep them some place safe."
"Wow!" she says, still admiring the stones. She places them inside of her bra and looks to Miss Tabatha, apologetically. "No pockets." she explains with a shrug.
"That's fine. Just be sure to use them wisely. Good luck."
Phoebe gives her smirk of gratitude. "Thank you."
Miss Tabatha walks towards the front til to make an order, leaving Phoebe near the door. She glances at Joey, who doesn't seem to be paying attention to her anymore, still feeling annoyed with him. 'I'll show him, now that I have these stones..' she thinks to herself. She's never been a skeptic of magic, before, and she trusted Miss Tabatha's powers with all her heart. A minute or two passes while she's standing by the door, and Joey gets up from his seat. Phoebe crosses her arms over her chest, and makes a point not to look at him as he comes closer to her.
"Hey, uh...that friend of yours," he asks. "did I hear you say that she does voodoo or something?"
Phoebe doesn't want to acknowledge him, but she decides to answer. "Yes. Why do you care?"
He shrugs. "I dunno...just wondering if she maybe had a spell or something that could get me a date tonight, since I got nothing else planned."
"As if you need one." Phoebe huffily responds, with annoyance. Before he can respond, the two are interrupted by the presence of a handsome, well-dressed man, with piercing blue eyes, and an impossibly perfect smile, which he uses to greet Phoebe with.
"Well, hello there, Miss America. I'm looking for my lovely girlfriend, have you seen her anywhere?"
Phoebe beams at his comment, despite seeing Joey roll his eyes at it, in the corner of her eye. "Hi, Aiden!"
He takes her hand, pulls her towards him and plants a peck on her lips. "You look beautiful. Hey, Joey."
"Hey, Aiden.." Joey mutters in a tone, similar to the one he and Ross use to use to mock Rachel's ex, Paulo, which causes Phoebe to shoot him a disapproving glare.
Aiden doesn't seem to notice, as he locks his fingers with her, flashing her a gorgeous smile. "Well, we'd better get going. I've got reservations for us at the Aquavit for 7pm. We don't want to be late."
Phoebe's eyes widen. "The Aquavit in Madison Park? My God! Don't you have to book reservations like, 15 years in advance to get into that place?"
"Well, not when you're a big tipper." Aiden replies.
Her mouth curls into an excited grin as she stares, lustfully into his baby-blue eyes. "Oh, wow..you are just too good to be true. I could just eat you up! But I won't, cause, y'know...vegetarian."
"Me too." he says, reminding her of how flawless he is. "But, I'm sure you'll be able think of a way to thank me, later." he winks, raising her hand to his lips. Behind her, Phoebe hears Joey give a snort, and resists the urge to turn around and slug her best friend in the arm for his rudeness.
"You alright, Joey?" Aiden obliviously asks him.
"Oh, yeah...just, uh...I have a sneeze that won't come out. Better go snort some pepper, or something! Uh..you two kids have fun. See ya, Pheebs."
Phoebe refuses to turn around and address him.
"Alright then, see you later. You ready, sweetheart?" he asks Phoebe.
Her smile quickly returns for him. "Uh-huh." she says, as he guides her out the door to his Lamborghini.
Joey watches Phoebe leave with Aiden, feeling a small sense of guilt. He didn't mean to make her so angry with him, he was only trying to warn her of what he suspected the guy might be up to. He really hated to see his best friend get hurt, especially by guys.
On the other hand, the fact that she had a "perfect" date tonight made him envious. It was unusual for him not to have one, on a Friday night. And particularly inconvenient, because Chandler and Monica had requested the apartment to themselves tonight. Joey sighs. 'Chandler is getting laid tonight, and I'm not..' he thinks to himself, beginning to feel especially pathetic. He looks around, scanning the coffee shop. Normally, if he's lucky, there would be a cute girl or two that he could try to pick up. However, something unexpected catches his eye, instead.
On the floor is what looks like a bright, ruby-red stone. Curiously, he picks it up to get a better look. For a moment, he's inexplicably mesmerized by it's appearance as he studies the strange symbol carved onto it. He runs his thumb over it's smooth surface a few times. He blinks rapidly for a second or two, coming out of his hypnotic-like daze. It looks like something that would belong to Phoebe, who he knew owned several small healing crystals. She must have dropped it on her way out the door.
He quickly exits the store, hoping to catch her, but she's no where in sight. Nor is Aiden's Lamborghini, meaning they've left already. Joey looks down at the stone again and shrugs.
"Guess I'll give it to her, later." he says to himself. He drops it into his coat pocket. The moment he feels the weight of it, as it lands inside his pocket, he notices someone walk out of Central Perk. It's the African woman who was talking to Phoebe. For some reason, she looks at Joey, and her eyes lock into his for a few seconds, giving him an unsettling feeling. She gives him, what seems like a knowing smirk before she turns away. Joey puts his hand in his pocket, feeling the smooth stone, once again. "That was weird.." he mutters, before he turns around and goes back inside...