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FRIENDS: Between Spaces

Title: Between Spaces
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Friends
Characters: Rachel, Phoebe, Monica
Rating: G
Summary: Yarn, scrambled eggs, and an absence of snowballs. Rachel Green learns about being a grown-up.
Notes: Set during the first season of Friends.



i. all chaotic and twirly

Rachel was pretty sure she'd learned how to make things with yarn at some point. At camp, during craft time, or maybe during one of those home economics classes she'd usually spent passing notes. Wherever or whenever it might have been, though, she knew that she should be able to make something more than a multicolored tangle of knots. So when Phoebe looked across the table at her multicolored tangle of knots and said, "Oh, it's pretty," Rachel snapped.

"No," she said. "It's not pretty, it's something a six-year-old could make." She wagged her knitting needle--or maybe it was a crochet hook--until the multicolored tangle of knots fell off. "Anybody beyond six years old might have, I don't know, skills that could get them, like, a job. Or something." She dropped her knitting needles, or possibly crochet hooks, onto the table, then folded her arms and sulked. "A job that earns money that means they could buy gifts for people, like grown-ups do."

Phoebe nodded for a few seconds, then bit her lip. "Um." She set down her own work, which was something recognizably scarf-like. "Yeah, okay. Yes. But are you complaining about six-year-olds right now, or is this more about you?"

"Well, me. I guess." Rachel shifted in her chair. "I just, I don't know. I've always been so much better at gifts than my sisters. Like, once, I got my mom this necklace that was hand-carved ivory from Bali. It was gorgeous."

"Bali's an island," Phoebe said. "I don't think they have elephants--"

"Yeah, well, whatever. You know?" Rachel sighed. "She just, god, she just cried, you know? I made her cry."

"And that's good."

"Yes, Phoebe," Rachel said, trying to sound patient. "It's good."

Phoebe nodded again. "Okay. But besides, y'know, killing elephants, the necklace was great because you thought it was something she would like."

"Yeah." Rachel shrugged. "I guess."

Phoebe reached out and picked up Rachel's multicolored tangle of knots. "It is pretty."

Rachel sighed. "Yeah. Mom's favorite colors." She pulled at one loop until the rest of the knot dangled from it. "Maybe it could be an ornament or something?"

"Or something," Phoebe said, smiling. "Yeah."

Rachel twisted the loop into a bow. "Okay, fine. Give me some more yarn."

Phoebe rolled the ball towards Rachel, and then handed over the scissors.


ii. that's how we buy things

Monica and Phoebe had many, many different opinions about how cooking should happen, but they both agreed that Rachel was absolutely horrible at cracking eggs.

"Seriously," Monica said, "you shake hands like you're Tinkerbell. How could you possibly do that three times in a row?"

"I don't know!" Rachel responded. She rinsed bits of broken eggshell and yolk from her hands, yet again. "Maybe if you showed me proper wrist action again."

"Shut up," Monica said.

"You're good at eggs." Phoebe peered into the crunchy carnage inside the mixing bowl.

"Thanks," Monica said. "I have to do this, like, a hundred times a day." She cracked an egg, gracefully, and the yolk dropped into the bowl.

Phoebe mimicked Monica's gestures, down and up again. "Your wrists must get so tired," she noted.

"Shut up," Monica said.

Rachel snickered.

Monica rolled her eyes, and gave her another egg. "Again."

Rachel posed with ballet-perfect posture, making obscene gestures with her egg-free hand. "Why do I have to do this again?"

"Because Joey says he saw you eat a frozen Eggo for breakfast," Monica said.

Rachel mimed cracking the egg, but hesitated at the last second. "Maybe if you don't watch me."

"Maybe she could strain out the eggshells," Phoebe suggested. "She could still scramble what's left."

Rachel hopped up and down. "Yeah, a straining thing! Chefs have straining things, right?"

Monica put her hands on her hips. "Crack the egg, Rachel."

"What's the point of having tools if we don't--"

"Now!"

"Fine!" Rachel bent, tapped, and the egg cracked perfectly. "Oh my god."

"Oh my god." Monica clapped her hands together. "You did it!"

"I did it!" Rachel shrieked, and threw the eggshell into the bowl. "Oh my god!"

"I'll get the straining thing," Phoebe volunteered. "And the frying pan."

Rachel paused, mid-hop. "Wait, the what?"


iii. little chocolate blobbies

If Rachel squinted and tilted her head sideways, the flames of the three candles looked kind of like an extremely wimpy fireplace. She pulled the blanket closer around her shoulders. "Remember Jenny Walstrom's cabin?"

"The one with that moose head?" Monica handed Rachel a mug of mulled wine before settling next to her on the couch. "We went there for New Year's, right?"

"Yeah, right after graduation." Rachel dipped her head, breathing deep before she sipped from her mug. "And her parents were getting divorced, so she brought all that rum."

"Her dad drove us up in the station wagon," Monica said, "and he was crying the whole time."

"Her mom told me it wasn't too late to swear off men," Rachel mused. "Then she taught me how to make a martini."

"Then after midnight, Jenny got so wasted and threw up on the snowman," Monica laughed. "And we had that snowball fight! You got so mad."

Rachel laughed. "Hannah kept throwing snowballs at my left boob." She patted her chest. "I'm pretty sure she stuffed her bra."

"She was so jealous," Monica said. She tipped her head back for a swallow of wine. "You know she has two kids already?"

"God," Rachel said. She patted Monica's knee. "What a bitch."

"I know," Monica replied. One of the candles went out, and she set her wine down to relight it. "Mom likes to call and tell me about how adorable they are. Scotty, the oldest one, played 'Little Drummer Boy' at his piano recital."

"Oh, sweetie." Rachel reached over, slid an arm around Monica's shoulders. "Your boobs are much better than Hannah's."

"They'd better be, after she's had two kids." Monica snorted, then sighed. She picked up her wine and took a long gulp. "I think I'm going to make some cookie dough now."

Rachel smiled. "Want me to crack the eggs?"


###

Originally archived on AO3.

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