It's Always Darkest Before Dawn

A Night Out

Ross had gone to the store, to try and find some food Emma would like, as Rachel was laying down next to Emma, watching her sleep. She had gotten sick again, and Rachel did her best to clean up, and laid back down totally exhausted, both physically and mentally. No sooner did she lie back down, when there was a knocking at the door. Whoever it was would either have to wait, or come back later, as she was not going to leave Emma's side, until Ross got back.

The knocking on the door persisted for several more seconds, before ceasing. Rachel just closed her eyes, and drifted to sleep and a few minutes later felt somebody reach out, and hold her hand. She opened her eyes, to see Monica standing by the bed. Rachel got up, hugging her friend as they quietly slip out, to the kitchen and Rachel grabs a rag, and starts to clean the sink.

'Are you doing ok', Monica asked as Rachel continued to scrub and said 'I have to be, right'. Monica smiled as she took the rag from her friend's hand, looked at her and said 'No, you don't, and it's ok to fall apart. You're only human Rachel, and you can only take so much'. Monica commented that Rachel looked absolutely exhausted and said she would feel better after having a long bubble-bath. 'I have to wait for Ross', she said as Monica handed her a towel and bubble-bath, saying she would wait for him. Rachel smiled, thanking her, pausing to get a few CDs before slipping off to the bathroom.

Monica went back to the bedroom, sitting down on a chair, thumbing thru a book, watching Emma sleep. Emma woke up as Monica smiled, sat the book down and went over to Emma. 'Hey, how are you doing', she asked and Emma, too weak to speak, only nodded lightly. Monica smiled and said 'Your mom's taking a bath and you're dad went to the store and he should be back soon. Are you hungry? Can I get you anything to drink'.

Emma thought for a moment and nodded as Monica went to the bathroom door, knocking on the door, asking what food Emma could eat. 'Hang on, I'm on my way', was the reply from the other side of the door. 'I got it, Rach. Just tell me what she likes', Monica replied and Rachel told her there was some oatmeal in the refrigerator. She went to the kitchen, heated the bowl in a microwave and grabbed a towel and spoon from the drawer, and went back to the bedroom.

'Did you want some more oatmeal', her aunt asked as Emma nodded. She sat down next to Emma, stirring the oatmeal, letting it cool as Ross came back from the store. 'I'll be right back', Monica said as she went to greet her brother. 'Hey, how are you doing', she asked as she took a grocery bag from his hand. Ross hugged her, thanking her for coming and Monica simply smiled and said 'No problem'.

Monica said Rachel was taking a bubble bath and she was just about to give Emma some oatmeal. Ross replied that he could do that, but Monica said just wanted to, and that Ross should take some time for himself. Ross thanked her, went to check on Emma, and went to the other bathroom to take a shower. Monica went back to the bedroom, making sure the oatmeal was cool enough.

She sat on the bed, next to Emma talking to her, telling her that her mom and dad were so proud of her. She got Emma to eat nearly half the bowl, before she mumbled she was full. Monica grabbed a damp rag, gently washed Emma's face as she fell back asleep. It was about an hour later and Rachel got out of the bath, and went to check on Emma, as Monica said she and Ross needed to get out of the house, if only for a few hours and suggested they go to the park, go to a movie, or anywhere else they wanted.

'But what about Emma? Somebody needs to stay with her', Rachel protested and Monica took her hand and said 'Yes I know. That's why I am here and I have your cell phone number and I will call you, if you need to come home. But you guys have been cooped up in this house, for God knows how long and I know you need to get away. I promise that everything will be OK. You need a night out'

After some discussion and hesitation, Ross and Rachel agreed. 'Honey', Rachel softly whispered to Emma, 'Your dad and I are going out for a while but Aunt Monica is right here, and we'll be back later'. She lightly kissed Emma, as she and Ross stood at the door, watching her sleep before quietly leaving the house. They got into Ross' car and he turned to Rachel and said 'So, what did you want to do'?

Rachel just shrugged and mumbled she didn't know and that she felt guilty for leaving Emma and asked Ross how they were supposed to enjoy themselves. After staying in the driveway for about 10 minutes, Ross started the car and slowly backed out, as they went to eat, and decided to catch a movie they had both wanted to see, for quite some time.

- To Be Continued -

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