THE ONE WITH A NIGHT AT CENTRAL PERK
- For Ross and Rachel’s fans only, the others would get bored -
Written by Greta
Based on the characters of serial FRIENDS created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane.
Central Perk. Around 11 p.m. Few people are there. Rachel is talking to one of the waitresses. Chandler is on the couch and is spying Monica through the hole he did in the newspaper. Phoebe is singing but no-one is paying attention to her. Monica, Joey and Ross are playing cards, well, Ross is physically playing cards, but his mind and his eyes are close to Rachel, who, after nodding something to the waitress, is moving towards the closet
JOEY – OK I’ve won.
ROSS – What?
JOEY – I’ve won, the game is over.
ROSS – looking at his cards – Oh, I had got 2 Jollies …
MONICA – Well guys, it’s time to go to bed … - in a low and malicious voice - with the sexiest guy of N.Y.
Chandler’s ears set in motion.
MONICA – No.
JOEY – Who?
MONICA – He knows who I mean!
JOEY – Yes, I know too.
ROSS – Just a short call to the bathroom…
MONICA – Ok, hi Ross we go, see you tomorrow.
PHOEBE - who is always singing for no-one –
Monica said "it’s time to go" – strum -
But no-one dares to move his nice ass from his place – strum
Untill I stop singing please – strum
Thanx you’re very kind – strum
ROSS – hopping and pointing the bathroom door out – I HAVE to go … please …
PHOEBE - always singing – OK Ross can go to pee – strum
ROSS – THANK YOU , Pheebs.
PHOEBE – not stopping singing – You’re welcome Ross – strum
OK this is the end of my song, we can go, goodnight everyone – double strum.
The C.P. quickly empties before Phoebe changes her mind and starts singing again. Gunther switches the lights off, looks around and goes. Rachel is back from the closet just in time to see him who is turning the corner of the street.
RACHEL – Gunther, hey Gunther wait … - knocking at the window – Gunther please … Oh dear, this is really what I was looking for, a lonely night at Central Perk.
There is a noise behind her and Rachel starts.
ROSS – Hey, has our singer already gone away? Well, no wrong with that! – he wears his coat – OK, go to bed?
RACHEL – shaking her head - It’s closed!
ROSS – Closed? Are we locked in?
RACHEL – Yeah, I was there and when I came here Gunther’s ..
ROSS – already gone away!
RACHEL – Yes.
ROSS – Oh, good.
They look at e.o. for a while.
ROSS – smiling – Good. Well… will you play cards?
RACHEL – smiling too – Well I … NO!
ROSS – Fine, I was afraid you might say "YES".
RACHEL – Silly …
They smile again.
ROSS – OK, how can we spend an interesting night at C.P.?
RACHEL – lowering her eyes – Do you … do you like some coffee?
ROSS – Yeah, some coffee, why not?
RACHEL – moving next to the coffee machine – Fine, it’s free!
ROSS – Y’ believe that when Monica realise you aren’t at home, she’ll look for you?
RACHEL – Sure! Tomorrow morning.
ROSS – Well, uh …
A bit later.
RACHEL – handing Ross a cup of coffee – Here.
Ross gives no signs of life.
RACHEL – Ross??? It’s ready.
ROSS – Uh .. sorry – taking the cup of coffee – I was lost in thoughts.
RACHEL – Interesting thoughts? … Well, sorry these aren’t my business.
ROSS – Oh no, no, they are!
RACHEL – Really?
ROSS – Yeah, I was thinking of you.
RACHEL – Me?
ROSS – Yes, I call to my mind when you was working here, behind that counter, when there were a lot of persons you got confused, your checks got red and your hair fell on your face … you were beautiful.
RACHEL – pretending an imperious tone - Drink the coffee, Ross, before it gets cold.
ROSS – You are the boss!
Ross and Rachel ARE PLAYING cards. Ross is losing and, as he is nervous, is playing with his wedding ring, Rachel is ringing Gunther up and is looking at THAT ring trying not to show it.
RACHEL – hanging the phone up – Nothing to do. Gunther doesn’t answer. Well , is it my turn?
ROSS – No, mine … ufff … why … why when I need Jollies they don’t come?
RACHEL – ‘cause all the Jollies are in my hand.
ROSS – Have you got 4 Jollies?
RACHEL – innocently – Yes – showing the Jollies – Here they are.
ROSS – joking –Damn! Well, y’ know the saying – bad luck in game, good luck in love? – Well, sorry, this is my translation of an italian saying -
Rachel whispers something to herself.
ROSS – You haven’t bad luck in love!
RACHEL – No? – warming a bit up - Well, see. Let’s start from Barry, I dumped him at the altar but I don’t care about this – talking to herself again "I didn’t love him" – Then, it’s been Paolo who, while dated me, played with the ass of one of my friend, very romantic – Then, what I did? I spent a wonderful year with the guy of my life and then I threw him in the arms of another woman who has been able to love him better than me as she got his wife – Rachel suddenly realises that is talking exactly to THAT guy. She has to deal with a moment of panic – Ehm, Ok I really need to go to the bathroom … yes I do need … right away …
ROSS – Rach! -
But Rachel, quicker than lightning shuts into the bathroom. Ross is alone, turns around and smiles to the angels then makes a small dance – sort of Chandler’s funny dance.
Few minutes later.
ROSS – knocking at the bathroom door – Rach, Y’ guess ,,, How long will you stay in there? I’m afraid of the dark.
Rachel smiles but doesn’t open. Silence.
RACHEL’s THOUGHT – Well, what are you doing Rachel? He knows you love him, right? So, go out, be woman!
ROSS – Ok, if you won’t come out, let me in please. I feel alone here … without you.
Rachel sighs and smiles again.
RACHEL’s THOUGHT – I feel alone too, Ross and you can’t imagine how much I’m missing you.
ROSS – Rach???
She finally opens the door and comes out.
ROSS – Oh, here you are. I was starting believing you had run away from the window.
RACHEL – smiles – I don’t flee … I won’t … - sitting down the couch – Well, Dr. Geller how is your job?
ROSS – putting the cards away and sitting down the chair – Today someone stole the Australopithecus’s clothes.
RACHEL – Really?
ROSS – Yeah .. perhaps somebody who was looking for a new sensational look …
RACHEL – I don’t doubt he’ll look smart wearing that!
ROSS – Yeah.
They laugh, then Ross gets serious.
ROSS – I really feel good with you Rach.
RACHEL – gets serious too – Yes?
ROSS – nodding – Yes, I could have never closed you out of my heart.
RACHEL – touched – Ross …
ROSS – Ever!
Suddenly, Ross’s attention is captured by something there is out the door.
RACHEL – What’s up?
ROSS – smiling – There is a dog who is peering in there and looks at us.
RACHEL – Oh .. – she watches at the dog, approaches at the door and kneels in front of the dog – Hey – beating on the panes – Hi, are you cold? Would you come in? Sorry … I haven’t the key … Hey – lighting up, - Yes. I have, there is the spare key.
She stands up and goes behind the counter.
ROSS – What?
RACH – The spare key. Gunther holds it in this drawer for emergencies.
She rummages in the drawer and finds a bunch of keys.
RACHEL – See … We … We can go.
ROSS – Perfect!
RACHEL – Yeah.
They wear their coats and make for the door. Rachel tries to find the right key and fumbles with the door. Ross, remembering a certain night, smiles. Rachel sees him reflected in the window panes.
RACHEL’s THOUGHT – I know what you are remembering Ross …
ROSS’s THOUGHT – You are also thinking of THAT night, aren’t you? I gave you all the kisses I have been keeping for you since I went to the high school.
The door’s open, Rachel, hesitating, is going out.
ROSS – sweet way - Do you really want to go home Rach?
Rachel shakes her head, meaning "NO".
ROSS – Fine, neither I want ...
Rachel moves back a few steps and locks the door again. They gaze at e.o. for a while through the window panes then Rachel turns towards Ross.
RACHEL – I miss you Ross, I miss you so much.
She almost trembles and can’t help moving to tears. Ross gets touched.
ROSS – Come here.
Rachel hesitates just for a while then throws in Ross’s arms so in a rush that Ross, for consequence, moves back stopping against the back of the couch.
ROSS – looking straight at her eyes – I know you’re awaiting this for a long while.
Rachel shakes her head meaning "don’t mind, I love you". He fondles her check then puts his hands into her hair and moves her lips against his. Ten minutes of sweet and tender kisses first, then very passionate kisses, follow.
Rachel’s kissing Ross’s hand and her eyes lay upon the wedding ring.
RACHEL’S THOUGHT – Why haven’t you taken this ring off yet, Ross?
ROSS – sweetly – I know what you’re thinking of …
Rachel looks at him looking for the answer.
ROSS – ‘cause I want you to be taking it off …
Rachel watches at him again then at the ring. She breathes and leans her forehead against Ross’s, kissing his hand again. Ross takes her face, she is touched.
ROSS – very sweetly – Off Rach …
She takes Ross’s hand and unthreads the ring, keeping it into her hand. Ross opens Rachel’s hand making fall the ring on the ground. She watches at it which is rolling away then clings to Ross, pressing him close to her. They stay hugged for long, then Ross breaks the hug to be able to look at her.
ROSS – touched - No woman, I had, has been able to love me as much as you did Rach, and noone of them should have been able to do what you did for me.
Rachel turns her head away ‘cause she can’t keep her tears anymore but Ross forces her to look at him.
ROSS – I would lie if I said I didn’t love Emily, but I would lie too if I said I’ve been in love with any other woman as much as I’m in love with you, Rach ... It’s just … See, when we broke up I passed through some moments in which I was going mad thinking of my life without you, I was afraid … so I … I HAD TO TRY NOT TO LOVE YOU ANYMORE Rach, y’know?
RACHEL – nods, crying – During all these months I’d like to tell you all those thoughts which went through my mind and I couldn’t. Now, you are here … with me … for me ... and all what I’m able to do is "cry".
ROSS – You did, Rach. Yes, YOU DID. Your eyes talked to me FOR YOU, every day.
RACHEL – pushing her tears back – I love you … I LOVE YOU.
ROSS – I love you too, Rachel. So much.
It’s dawning. Ross is lying down the couch and Rachel is crouched next to him. Both are sleeping. There is a noise outside and Ross wakes up. He opens his eyes finding Rachel’s face close to his. He stays looking at her and thinking of the past night, then happily smiles lightly rubbing his nose against Rachel’s. After some minutes Rachel wakes up too and without opening her eyes gets close to Ross.
RACHEL – Ross???
ROSS – Yeah …
RACHEL – Yeah, it’s you … it’s you. I just needed to hear that "it’s you".
ROSS – smiling and kissing her hair – ‘Morning sweetie.
RACHEL – Hi.
They kiss and kiss again and again.
N.Y. is waking up too and some persons quickly walk in the street.
ROSS – Maybe … we should dress … Shortly Gunther should be here … and – joking – I don’t want him to see you naked.
RACHEL – Well, it wouldn’t be the first time.
ROSS – What?
RACHEL – awaiting a bit before answering to give the thing a little of suspance – We, you and I have been already naked in a public place.
ROSS – Oh … yeah.
RACHEL – And then – pointing out Ross’s neck tie which is around her neck – I’m not naked.
ROSS – Yeah.
RACHEL – Here – handing him her bra – Put this, so, maybe, we’ll pass unnoticed.
Rachel locks the C.P. door, watches inside and joins Ross who is looking around, deeply breathing.
ROSS – aloud – GOOD MORNING NEW YORK.
Some hasty passers-by stare at him.
ROSS – to them – I’m just saying "Good morning" to N.Y.
The passers-by shake their heads and go.
ROSS – A lot of weird people stroll about early in the morning, right honey?
RACHEL – Yeah.
They hug and kiss then, hand in hand, make for home.