It's Always Darkest Before Dawn

In Search of A Miracle

uthor's Note: One more chapter coming up! Also on a side note, I do not know much about Shamanism, so if this is not correct, I do apologize.

In the course of the days that followed, there was a heavy and almost unbearable tension that seemed to fill the house. Ross and Rachel had been on edge with each other, and neither of them spoke a word, unless it was to argue. And they seemed to be doing more of that, than anything else, as of late, but they agreed to make it a point not to argue or fight, in front of Emma. Phoebe was staying with them, trying to act as a mediator and peace-maker, between them.

Rachel had become increasingly bitter and angry, often lashing out at Ross, over even the most trivial of matters, such as forgetting to put the milk back. She grew more and more distant, often preferring not to be in the same room as him, and deep inside even she knew none of this was his fault. She just felt the need to be angry and since she couldn't very well be angry at Emma, she directed that anger and hostility towards Ross.

Ross would just storm off to the other room, slamming the door shut as Phoebe went after him, telling him that deep inside Rachel wasn't really mad at him, and she must have been very scared to be acting like that. She said the best thing right now, would be to just give Rachel as much space and time that she needed. Ross agreed and slept in the guest room, as Rachel and Emma occupied the master bedroom. Ross understood what Phoebe was saying, but also understood that no marriage could survive, if it is treated like a warzone.

It was a few days later, as Rachel was watching Emma sleep, as Ross left the house saying he needed some time by himself, to think. Phoebe was in the shower and Rachel was sitting next to Emma, watching her sleep, and lost in her thoughts. The telephone suddenly started to ring as she darted to the kitchen, as not to wake Emma and with trembling hands, she answered the phone and her heart, and all of her hopes, dreams, and prayers sank as Dr. Anderson gave her the shattering news.

The telephone slipped from her hands, as Rachel slumped to the floor, crying hysterically, as she felt a pain radiate throughout her. It was not just an emotional or physiological pain, but it was a very physical pain, that seemed to run up and down her entire body. Rachel started to panic, thinking she was having a heart attack, and seconds later everything went dark. When she came to, she was lying in bed, dizzy, disoriented, and confused. She was not sure just how long she was out, but judging from the darkness outside, it must have been several hours. As her eyes became accustomed to the darkness, she glanced at the doorway and saw Ross standing there, acting as if he was not sure if he should come in, or not.

She could see that his face was pale and blotchy, as if he had been crying. Rachel felt like kicking herself for being the most inconsiderate person on the planet. Here was a person, whose only crime was being there for her, and she treated him like dirt. She was so lost in her own pain and grief, she didn't see that other were hurting as well. 'What kind of person, am I', she thought to herself. She glanced outside and saw the it was rainy and look dreary, and the weather seemed to perfectly match how she was feeling.

Ross informed Rachel that she had fainted, and had been out for almost 5 hours. He wiped away the fresh tears that were forming and said 'I am so very sorry, Rachel. I am so sorry for whatever it was that I have done'. Rachel felt her heart just break and could not believe what she was hearing, and that it should have been her, apologizing to him. Ross was so good at being brave, that she forgot he could hurt ,break, and feel pain too. 'Come here, baby', she gently coaxed.

Ross slowly moved towards her, as she took him in her arms as he broke down, sobbing. 'Shhh, it will be ok, honey', she softly whispered as she continued to hold him, gently rubbing his shoulder. 'I am so sorry for everything Ross. I don't know why I took this out on you. Sometimes I forget that you're hurting, too'. She gently kissed his neck, saying how lucky she was to have him in her life. 'I'm scared, Rach', Ross said as she held him tightly and whispered 'I know you are, Ross. I know you are'

Ross said that Monica and Phoebe took Emma and the twins to Chuck E. Cheese and then to a movie, and were going to stay the night at a hotel, saying Ross and Rachel needed some time alone. Rachel unbuttoned Ross shirt, kissing him as she did, as they quickly disrobed each other, not stopping until the morning. It may have been strange considering what they were going thru, but to Rachel that night was perfect... it was almost like an escape from everything. Rachel lay awake, resting her head on Ross' chest, silently listen to his heartbeat, never wanting to move from that spot.

'Good morning sweetie', Ross greeted as he kissed her. Rachel smiled, as she returned the kiss as they slowly got up, and got dressed, just as Phoebe returned. 'Where's Emma at', Rachel asked as she prepared a pot of coffee. Phoebe said Monica took her and the twins for breakfast, and then was going to take them to the zoo, saying Monica wanted some time with Emma, as Rachel nodded, understanding. 'That kid is getting so spoiled', Phoebe joked as she poured some coffee.

'Listen.. and just hear me out', Phoebe said as they all gathered around the table. 'I know somebody who may be able to help Emma'. Ross and Rachel asked who, and Phoebe said there was a Guru in upstate New York, who is known as a miracle-worker. 'Come on, Pheebs', Ross said with a sneer, 'This is real-life, ok'. Rachel nodded and said 'I'm sorry, but Ross is right. The doctor said...'. Phoebe threw her hands in the air and said 'Ohh.. well if the DOCTOR said so, because we all know they're NEVER wrong', turning to Ross and added 'Isn't that right'

'Look, Phoebe I know you believe in that kind of stuff, but we're not taking a chance with Emma, like that', Ross said. Emma said 'What chance are you taking? The doctor already said there was nothing modern medicine could do. What exactly would you be losing, here... and please don't tell me that you're going to let your stupid pride and worn-out principles stand in the way. Because what if.. just what if I'm right about this. Are you willing to choose your pride over your own daughter'.

'I think we should', Rachel said as Ross just sighed and said 'Don't tell me you're going to fall for that witch-doctor bullcrap. You're just as bad as Phoebe is' Phoebe took his hand and gently said 'Just for once open your eyes. There's more to the world that what we see and hear. Who knows, we may be able to surprise you'. Ross just shrugged as Rachel said 'I'll take that as a yes'.

The drive to upstate New York felt like the longest drive ever and Phoebe kept telling her to think positive thoughts. They finally arrive and pull up to a small un-assuming building as they get out as Rachel follows her to the door as she knocks on the door and a few minutes pass, and an elderly Native American gentleman answers, hugging Phoebe saying 'Long time, no see. How are you doing' They make small talk for a few seconds as Rachel introduces her and said 'Chief Grey-Wolf, this is my best friend Rachel'

Chief Grey-Wolf shook her hand, inviting her inside as Phoebe said she would leave them alone and let them talk, and waited out in her taxi. 'There is more to life, than what we see' he said as he invited her to sit down. After a lengthy pause, he added 'You don't believe, do you'. Rachel apologized and the Chief smiled and said 'There is no need to apologize. You are from a world, where if you cannot see it, it is not true. You rely on what you see... we rely on what we feel'. He took a drink of water and said 'This is real. This magic is real, but it only works if you're willing to believe. Are you willing to set aside any prejudice or bias'

Rachel nodded and said 'If it helps my daughter, I will believe anything'. He shook his head and said that's not enough. 'You have to believe in here', he said pointing to his heart. Rachel wiped away the tears that had formed and said 'I want to help my daughter so much, and Phoebe speaks so highly of you. I will do anything you ask. If it helps my daughter, I will give up anything'. The Chief nodded and said 'In order to save one, one must lose themselves'. Rachel asked what he meant and he said 'If you really believe, I will help you. Are you ready to do exactly as I say', as Rachel nodded.

He asked for a picture of Emma, and Rachel pulled one out of her purse and handed it to him. He looked at her seriously and said 'I can cure your daughter.. if you are willing to take her place'. A tear fell down Rachel's face as she nodded. He smiled and said 'There is no greater love than a mother who laid down her life, for her daughter'. He lit some candles and incense, took her hand, and took the picture of Emma in his other hand, closed his eyes and began to chant.

About 30 minutes passed and Rachel felt light-headed and rush to the restroom, and started to cough into the toilet, and after wiping herself, went back to the Chief who was preparing a pot of tea, and sat down, pouring themselves a cup of steaming tea and explained what was happening and said that as Emma would heal, Rachel will get sick. 'I'm sorry, but some miracles come at a price', he said as they drank the tea and offered her a chance to cancel it, and she thought for a few moments and shook her head and said 'I want my daughter to get well, and I don't care what personal price I have to pay'. He smiled and said 'I think you now understand', and she nodded.

- To Be Concluded -

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