Bring on the Banter

TOW Ms Pacman
The West Wing

Authors note: I just thought I should say, that although in FRIENDS Joey and Rach get together for a while (which all starts with the episode I’m using for this fic) that won’t be happening here. In my world Joey and Rachel are only ever friends. Sorry guys.

Monica and Chandler entered their apartment their hands filled with groceries, to find Phoebe already inside, standing in front of a huge object that has been gift wrapped with colourful paper.

“Hey!” Pheobe exclaimed seeing them enter. “I got you guys a present. It’s really for your wedding. I ordered it weeks ago, and it finally arrived!”

“Pheebs, you didn’t have to get us anything for our wedding you already sang…” Chandler reprimanded her, but was interrupted by an enthusiastic Monica.

“I love it, it’s HUGE! Let’s open it!” She shouted excitedly while ripping at the layers of wrapping paper which covered the giant object.

Before Monica could discover what the object was, Pheobe informed her. “It’s a Ms. Pac-Man machine!”

“Oh my God!” Monica was looking at the game, her eyes wide and shining with delight.

“Do you really like it?” Pheobe asked unsure.

“Are you kidding!” was her reply “I practically spent my entire childhood at the arcade! This is like—Oh my, this is like my second favorite game!”

“Really? What was your favourite?”

“Well I-I really don’t remember the name of it, but you put a quarter in and y’know pull some handles and win like a candy bar or something.”

“A vending machine?” Chandler deadpanned.

“Don’t feel bad for me!” Monica pouted at him. “I won like every time!”
“Yes! Ahh. Oh, would you look at that Monica? I just knocked off all of your top scores!” Pheobe jumped up and down on the spot excitedly, her eyes never straying from the screen.

“I’m next.” Monica stated frowning at her friend, who carefully ignored her and began a new game. “Don’t! Don’t start another game! I said I’m next! Phoebe!”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you over all the winning.”

“Chandler!” Monica whined at her husband. “Phoebe’s hogging the game!”

“Who cares?” he scowled at her from his seat at the table. “It’s just a stupid game.”

“You only think it’s stupid because you suck at it.”

“I don’t suck. It’s sucks. You suck.” Came his witty retort.


The next day, Monica entered the apartment she shared with her husband, to find him playing Ms. Pac-Man.

“Hey.” She greeted him with a kiss on the cheek.

“You are not going to believe what I did today!”

“Well it clearly wasn’t showering or shaving.”

“I’ve gotten good. I spent all day playing this and now I rule at it!”

“Wait a minute,” Monica stared at him “You stayed home all day and played Ms. Pac-Man while I went off to work like some kind of chump!”

“Uh-huh,” Chandler grinned at her “and I got all the top ten scores, I erased Phoebe off the board! High five!”

He held up his hand to give her a high five but was unable to uncurl his fingers.

“What is the matter with your hand?”

“Well I’ve been playing it for like eight hours, it’ll loosen up. Come on, check out the scores. Oh, and also look at the initials. I made them all into dirty words.”

“Chandler! Why would you do that?”

“Because it’s awesome.”

“You actually think this is clever?”

“Well y’know, they only give you three letters, so after A-S-S it is a bit of a challenge.”

“Well you’d better clear them all off. Our nephew is coming over here tomorrow to play this game, and these can’t be on there!”

“Come on,” Chandler complained “He won’t even know what they mean.”

“Chandler! He’s seven; he’s not stupid.”

“Have you talked to him lately?”

“All right then, fine. I’m just gonna have to unplug it then.”

“No-no-no, if you unplug it, I’ll have nothing to show for my day! It would be like I was at work.”

Monica unplugged the game.


Then plugged it back in again.

“Hey look at that! Look at that, it’s still there! This thing must have some kind of primitive ROM Chip in it or something!”

“Well then honey. You’re just going to have to beat your scores.”

“With the claw hand!” Chandler widened his eyes, blinking them pitifully, hoping to get some sympathy from his wife.

“All right, fine. Fine, I’ll do it. I’ve just got to get this off the screen. Carol and Susan are still upset that you taught him ‘pull my finger’.”


Rachel and Joey were seated in their favourite orange lounge, in their usual coffee shop Central Perk, occasionally sipping at their hot drinks.

“Hey Joey,” Rachel asked looking at him “Can I ask you something?”

“Yeah, sure, Rach.”

“After our date last night, did you feel a little weird?”

“Oh my God! You did too?”

“Yeah, I think it was the lobster.”

“Yeah… wait! I didn’t have any lobster!” Joey looked puzzled.

“Yes you did. I say you eat it!”

Joey looked stricken. “I ATE lobster?” His face turning a deathly white.

“Joey? Joey? Sweetie? What’s wrong?” The words flew from her mouth as she looked at him in panic.

Joey rested his head between his knees, breathing deeply.

Eventually he was calm enough to sit back up, much to Rachel’s relief.

“Joey, what the hell just happened?”

“The lobster.” He answered her. “Just the thought of it makes me sick.” A disgusted look crossed his face, and he inhaled deeply, trying to get his stomach to stop churning.

Rachel looked at him in shock. “Then why the hell did you order it last night!”

“I didn’t realise!” Joey exclaimed. “You were taking so long ordering and I was just so hungry. I wasn’t really thinking about it, because your friends came along. But now I’m remembering…”

Rachel held back a laugh and rubbed his back. “Aww Joe, I’m sorry. But thankyou for the wonderful night, it was great. Especially getting to see Donna again after such a long time.”

“Yeah, your cousin seemed really nice. And her boss too. What’s going on with those two anyway?”

Rachel smiled. “I’m not sure, but I’m sure going to try and find out. Come on.” she said standing. “Let’s head back to the apartment. Donna’s coming for a visit this afternoon. I’m not sure what time, so I want to be there to greet her.”

With that the two of them left the coffeehouse.


A few hours later, Monica was still standing at the Ms Pacman game trying to beat the high scores which Chandler had achieved.

“Okay, I got that. I’ll escape over there. I’ll come back over here. All right, come on Ms. Pac-Man. It’s got—Right…Dammit!” She shouted in frustration at the screen as her character died yet again. “Well, you’re just a little bitch, aren’t you?”

At that moment Phoebe entered the room. “Hey, you guys. Listen, I’m sorry that I was hogging the game before-” She stopped speaking as she noticed the top ten list which was visible on the screen. “Oh my God! Your friends have some unfortunate initials!”

“They’re all Chandler.”

“But Chandler sucks! He couldn’t have gotten this good!”

“I did.” Chandler replied looking mournfully at his deformed hand. “But it came at a price.”

“But Ben is coming over tonight and he can’t see this. So we have to try and erase all the scores”

“Oh come on, by age seven kids have already seen orgies.” Phoebe and Monica looked at Chandler strangely after hearing his latest revelation. “Was it just me!
“Donna!” Rachel shouted out seeing her cousin further down the hallway, about to knock on Chandler and Monica’s apartment door.

“Rachel.” Donna smiled at her cousin in relief. “We thought we’d gotten the wrong apartment number” she said, gesturing to herself and Josh before hugging Rachel warmly. “We were just about to try this door, since you weren’t answering.”

“Yeah sorry about that” Rachel grinned at the other couple. “Joey here was feeling a bit sick. It turns out he shouldn’t eat lobster.”

Josh who had been standing at the side silently opened his mouth to reply, obviously remembering the other man’s meal from the night before, but Rachel shook her head at him. “Don’t ask.”

“Well, as you’re here. Let’s go in and visit some of our other friends. They should be home.” Rachel said opening the door to Chandler and Monica’s apartment.
“Oh my God Phoebe, you’re on fire!” Monica congratulated Phoebe who was now having her turn at trying to beat Chandler’s top scores.

“I know!”

The door opened and Monica glanced up to see Rachel enter the room, before turning her attention back to the game.

“Hey Rach. Sorry, can’t talk. This is too important.”

“Oh okay.” Rach said, motioning for the others to enter the room quietly. “Well I guess you don’t really need to meet the visitors I brought over, I mean, they are only staying in town for a few days, but it doesn’t matter. Your game is much more important. We can see them in another couple of years.”

Monica turned back around to see who the mysterious guests were. She smiled in confusion at the two strangers who had entered the room with Joey and Rachel.

“This is Joshua Lyman and Donna- ” Rachel began to introduce to the group before she was interrupted by Monica’s large gasp as she finally recognized the blonde woman.

“Donna!” Monica squealed in excitement before launching herself at the younger woman. “What are you doing in New York? I haven’t seen you in about 10 years! This is so great” she babbled.

Donna laughed along with her, before untangling herself from the dark haired woman, to introduce Josh and herself to the other occupants of the room.
“Soooo, you’re Rachel’s cousin? And used to be friends with Monica?” Chandler asked trying to make sure he understood their connection.

The gang, had seated themselves in the lounge room, well all of them except Joey, who was now trying his hand at Ms Pacman.

“Yep,” Rachel replied for Donna “We used to have sleepovers all the time when we were younger, we all used to be so close. But that only happened when Donna came to stay in the holidays. Then,” Rachel glared pointedly at her younger cousin “Donna went off with that loser boyfriend and practically stopped calling.”

Donna looked down at her lap forlornly, and Josh who was sitting beside reached out for her hand.

“I know, I know. I should have listened to you guys. Michael was a jerk…” she

“He may be a jerk, but if it wasn’t for him you might never have joined the campaign.” Josh smiled at her fondly. The others all noticed the sweet exchange but didn’t say anything.

“So Josh, what was it you do? I’m sure I’ve seen your face around somewhere.” Chandler asked curiously.

“Ooh, ooh, let me guess.” Phoebe bounced in her chair excitedly. “Ummmmm… you were once a safari tour guide, but when you were attacked by a wild lion, you returned to the city to give lectures on building the perfect igloo.”

Josh looked at her in horror, and was about to give a sarcastic retort when Donna placed her hand on his arm, startling him enough to interrupt.

“Very close.” Donna nodded at Phoebe encouragingly, while Rachel stifled a giggle. “Actually, Josh is my boss. He’s the White House Deputy Chief of Staff.”

“Wow!” Chandler exclaimed. “I knew I’d seen you before! You’re the guy that came up with the ‘secret plan to fight inflation’”

Donna grinned. “Yep, that was him.”

“Soooo, Deputy Chief of Staff” Monica commented eying him up.

“Monica!” Chandler looked at his wife in shock as she admired the older man. “Hello! Husband in the room!”

“Yes, sweetie, I know” she grinned at him cheekily. “But just because I’ve ordered doesn’t mean I can’t look at the menu”

“Is this because I put dirty words on the game?” Chandler exclaimed.


“Oh. Okay. Well I guess I’d better get back to trying to win the game. Come and help” he said speaking to Josh, knowing that the girls wanted a chance to chat between themselves.


“Soooo…. Joshua Lyman, very nice.” Monica congratulated Donna, glancing over to admire the slightly older man. “So what is he? 10 years older than you?”

“Actually eleven. And there is nothing going on between us! We’re just good friends” Donna defended.

“Ah huh.” Rachel looked at her cousin appraisingly “and that’s why I met you guys at New York’s most romantic restaurant last night?”

“He took you to Paul’s Café?” Monica gasped. “Chandler only ever takes me there on our anniversary!”

Donna blushed under the inquisitive gazes of the two women. “we told you last night Rach. He said I could choose, and so I just looked up the most expensive place I could find. It meant nothing. Just a dinner between two friends and colleagues. Anyway, what about you and Joey? You took looked awfully cozy last night.”

Rachel’s eyes went wide and she and Monica burst into hysterical laughter. “Me and Joey?” Rach gasped trying to get herself under control. “Sorry Donna, we’re not laughing at you. It’s just… no. Joey and I are friends. He’s slept with almost every woman in the tri-state area.” She let out another laugh.

“Hey Joey” she called out to him “Donna thought that you and I were an item.”

Chandler and Joey both burst into laughter, then Joey sauntered up to Rachel. “How you doing?” he asked winking at her. She slapped his arm. “Joey you pig! I’m pregnant and you’re hitting on me! Why don’t you go talk to Donna? Apparently she’s single.”

Grinning he walked up the younger blonde. “So, How YOU doing?”

“Good thanks.” Donna smiled at him. “And how You doing?” she responded in the same tone of voice.

Joey looked at her in shock and Josh let out a snort of laughter.

“I don’t know what you’re laughing at” she glared at him. “You’re just as bad as he is!” Josh immediately stopped his laughter looking scared.


Everyone was now seated in the kitchen, having been taking turns all afternoon at trying to beat Chandler’s high scores.

Phoebe was currently playing and Chandler had been enthusiastically looking on in excitement.

“One more score to go! You can do it!” Chandler cheered, reaching out to touch Phoebe’s shoulder encouragingly.

“Don’t touch me!” Phoebe shouted at him, scaring him away.

“Don’t touch her!” Monica also shouted angrily “This IS your fault Bing!”

“All right! Go left! Go left! Go right! Go right!” he continued cheering from a safe distance.

“I can’t! I can’t!” Phoebe yelled hysterically. “Noooooooo! You son of a bitch!” she screamed out in agony as her character died. “A#$&! #&! $&$!”

At that moment time Ross and Ben entered the room, hearing the stream of obscenities burst forth from Phoebe’s mouth. Almost in slow motion Ross tried to shield his innocent son from Phoebe’s vulgarity, but to no avail.

“Phoebe!” Ross shrieked at his friend

“Oh hi Ben” Phoebe smiled at the boy. “Oh No!” She exclaimed in realization. “Don’t look at the machine!” She cried as she leapt in front of it, covering the screen.

End…. Or TBC.


Authors note #2:

I don’t know if you could tell, but this chapter was kind of forced. I wasn’t really sure how I wanted to continue. So tell me what you thought of it. If you’re liking how it’s going that’s great, I’ll and try and continue, probably using more FRIENDS Season 8 story lines.

But if it doesn’t work out, I thought that I could write a series of short unrelated fics, all crossovers with ‘Friends’ episodes. That way I could just pick and choose fun episodes from any season and throw the WW characters in the mix. Tell me what you think.

Thanks guys!

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Unless otherwise stated none of these characters belong to me. All creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator(s).