The One With the Rudolph Paper

Author: Sharon Rogers

Timeline: I started writing this right after the Thanksgiving one fifth season. So Monica and Chandler are together and Joey's the only one who knows.
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: The characters and their stories belong to Bright, Kauffman, and Crane and NBC and Warner. I mean no infringement and make no profit. I'm just writing out of love.

Author's Note: This is my first Friends fan fic, so I'd love any feedback at all so I'll know if I should try again or not, and how to improve. I appreciate any constructive criticism. It's also my first time to write anything in script format, so I hope I didn't break too many rules.

{Monica and Rachel's apartment - decorated for Christmas. A little tree stands on the cabinet by the TV. Chandler and Monica are on the couch each holding a gift. Monica's is a big rectangular box.}

MON: Chandler, I swear, if you got me a toaster, I'll...

CHAN: Force feed me Pop Tarts till my gut explodes?

(Monica gives him a "don't be funny" look, but can't help laughing)

CHAN: Come on, the reason we're opening our gifts now is because we don't want the others to see their (suggestively) "very personal nature," right? (he puts his hand on her knee and his face softens into a smile) Trust me, Mon, it's not a toaster.

(Monica leans over and pecks him on the check then grins and turns her gift to start to peek under the paper. Just then, Rachel and Phoebe enter. Phoebe is carrying a big bag of presents.)

RACH: (frowning at C&M) He-ey!

(Chandler shakes his present hard - it doesn't make any sound.)

CHAN: Is it a jigsaw puzzle?

RACH: (walks over to the couch and grabs Chandler's present.) No shaking! (she grabs Monica's) And no peeking! You're just gonna have to wait till tonight when we open them up all together.

(As she puts their gifts under the tree, Chandler and Monica exchange a worried glance.)

PHOEBE: (goes over to the tree and starts to unpack her gifts) No one will be able to guess mine. I disguised them all when I wrapped them.

RACH: (picks hers up and looks at it briefly - it's a tall thin cylinder shape) Oh, Phoebs, leather gloves! Just what I needed!

(Rachel moves to hug Phoebe, but Phoebe grabs the gift with a disgusted look on her face.)

PHOEBE: Monica, can I borrow your wrapping stuff? I have to disguise these gloves better.

Opening Credits

{Monica and Rachel's apartment. Monica is at the cabinet stirring something. Rachel and Phoebe are at the table preparing food as well. Chandler is inching toward the tree. Christmas music plays in the background.}

(The door bursts open and a huge Christmas tree enters.)

JOEY's VOICE: Ho Ho Ho! Santa's helper here. I brought you a tree!

(Joey steps out from behind the tree grinning and sees Chandler standing by the other tree. Joey's face falls.)

JOEY: Monica! You already got a tree?

MON: Yeah, Joey. Right after Thanksgiving.

JOEY: Why didn't anyone tell me?

RACH: Joey, you helped us decorate it!

(Joey looks up and puts his hand to his chin like he's trying to remember.)

PHOEBE: Yeah, remember? You brought over the ornaments you ordered from the back of Playboy?

(Joey and Chandler look at each other and start grinning and nodding.  Monica clears her throat and Chandler stops grinning. Joey rolls his eyes.)

MON: Why don't you put that tree in your apartment, Joe?

JOEY: But it won't have any presents under it over there.

CHAN: I know! Joey and I can keep our presents under our tree until it's time to open them tonight.

(He starts gathering up gifts, including his and Monica's to each other.)

RACH: Oh no you don't. You just want to get them away from me so you can sneak a peek. We're all gonna be over here anyway. Joey, just put your tree over in the corner and Ross can put his presents under it when he gets here.

(Chandler reluctantly puts the presents back. Monica shrugs at him.)

PHOEBE: Where is Ross anyway? How did he get out of all the food preparation...

(Monica gives her a look.)

PHOEBE: ...festivities?

JOEY: Oooh! That reminds me... I'll be right back.

(He rushes out the door.)

MON: (gives Phoebe a "nice try" smirk) Ross is over at Carol's having his Christmas with Ben.

RACH: Oh, that's sweet. Ben's at a great age for Christmas. He's old enough to understand the traditions and he's still young enough to get excited about all the magic of the season.

CHAN: Ah yes, but then again, he's old enough to know that his family's "different" than the other kids', but he's still too young to get excited about all the magic of the lesbian.


MON: Chandler!

(She throws an oven mitt at him. He ducks and it lands on the floor under the presents. Monica gestures at Chandler to get their gifts when he picks up the mitt. He nods and gives her a thumbs up.)

(Chandler, dramatically and sneakily like a silent movie villain, creeps back to the tree and as he slowly bends over to retrieve the oven mitt, looking over his shoulder occasionally to make sure Rachel and Phoebe aren't watching, he grabs his gift from Monica and stuffs it under his shirt. He starts for Monica's gift, then the door slams open)

(Ross stands in the doorway.)


(Chandler is so startled by this, he drops the mitt and his gift falls out from under his shirt to the floor.)

RACH: Chandler! You're like a little child. (She rushes over and snatches the gift pushing Chandler toward the kitchen.) Go help Monica for a while so you won't be so tempted.

(Monica walks over to Ross taking the bag of gifts from his hand and leading him to the kitchen table.)

MON: What happened, honey?

ROSS: Well, let's see. My wife left me. I lost my apart...

PHOEBE: That again? Come on, get some new material!

ROSS: (glaring at Phoebe) My son hates me.

PHOEBE: See, there ya go.

MON: (puts her hands on Ross's arm) Honey, Ben does not hate you.

CHAN & RACH: (chiming in) No! Of course not! etc.

ROSS: (stands up and starts pacing) Yuh-huh! I spent six hours waiting in a toy store for the latest shipment of what was advertised as "the toy of the season." But when Ben opened it, he just tossed it aside. He wanted a truck. A truck! I mean, I'm his father. Why didn't I know he wanted a truck? (Ross's voice starts to raise) A dad should know his son well enough not to get him a stupid eighty dollar talking puppet when what he really wants is a plain simple truck! (by this point Ross is shouting)

RACH: Oh sweetie. Ben's not going to hate you just because you didn't get him a truck.

ROSS: (sits down in the armchair) It's not just the truck. I mean, in the past few months I've been so caught up with my own junk, with Emily and the wedding and divorce and... (glances at Phoebe who looks down apologetically)...stuff. I really haven't spent much quality time with Ben. I just... I just feel like I'm losing my son and it's all my own fault, y'know?

(All are silent for a moment, then Joey busts through the door wearing a Santa hat and holding a plateful of smushed together brownies.)

JOEY: Christmas goodies, anyone? I just made, like, a truckload of brownies.

ROSS: (stands up abruptly and heads for the door) That's it. I'm going to buy a truck.

(Ross pushes past Joey out the door.)

JOEY: (calls to Ross down the hall) Ross! We don't really need a truck. They're just across the hall!

(Joey turns and looks at the others like "Boy, Ross is dumb.")

Commercial Break

{The girls' apartment. Monica is standing at the stove looking worriedly over her shoulder every few seconds. Rachel & Phoebe are sitting on the couch stringing popcorn. Joey is sitting in the chair with his plate of brownies on his lap and chocolate all over his face. Chandler is in the kitchen pacing.}

MON: (turns to Chandler, whispering) Chandler, you've got to get those gifts.

CHAN: I know, but Sergeant Green won't let me anywhere near them.

MON: Well, you've got to do something.

CHAN: (lights up) I know! Why don't I just put on my invisibility suit and dance a little jig in front of Rachel before grabbing the gifts. (pauses while Monica rolls her eyes) Why can't you get them? She's not watching you like a hawk.

MON: I'm a little busy. Y'know, this Christmas turkey isn't going to baste itself.

CHAN: Monica, if you pour any more liquid on that bird, you're gonna have to serve it in cups. (He holds up his hand as if he's holding a cup.) Glass of thigh?

(Just then Joey walks up licking his fingers- his face still covered in chocolate.)

JOEY: No thanks, I just need a napkin.

CHAN: (whipping around) Joey! You've got to help us!

JOEY: Oh, now you need a brownie fix. Well, I'm sorry. You should have thought of that before you turned down my tasty Christmas morsels.

MON: No, Joey...ungh, (she looks disgustedly as Joey practically shoves his whole hand in his mouth trying to lick the chocolate off the back of it) (she hands him a dish towel) We need you to hide our presents for us.

JOEY: Geez, Monica. I mean, I understand Chandler not being able to stop himself from peeking - he's weak. But I thought you had more self-control.

CHAN: That's not what she meant. And thanks for the vote of confidence by the way. (Joey nods "your welcome") We got each other two sets of gifts - one to open up in front of the group, and then our real gifts that no one else should see, if you get my drift. (Joey shakes his head, confused)

MON: Because they're very personal... (Joey's still confused)

(Chandler whispers in Joey's ear. Joey's face lights up and he gives Chandler a thumbs up with the head bob, then looks suggestively at Monica making an "awyeah" kind of noise.)

CHAN: Anyway, we got interrupted before we could open them, so do you think you can grab the gifts and hide them while I create a diversion?

JOEY: No problem, buddy. Which ones are they?

CHAN: Monica's is the one with the gold paper, and the big white bow, and mine's the Rudolph paper.

JOEY: Got it.

RACH: (just walked up behind Joey) Got what?

JOEY: Got... ummmmMilk! (he whips around and opens the fridge)

RACH: So, what were you guys whispering about over here?

PHOEBE: (skips over from the couch clapping her hands) Oh! Oh!  Were you trying to guess your gifts? I wanna play! I wanna play!

RACH: Phoebs, I already know all my gifts.

PHOEBE: All right, Miss y'know X-Ray Vision, what did Monica give you?

RACH: (looks at Monica, then over toward the presents, then back at Monica, scrunching up her face in concentration) A lime green sweater set? (with a disgusted tone) Monica, lime green? (off Monica's shocked look) No, it's lovely, really. Thanks, sweetie. (hugs Monica)

PHOEBE: Okay, you're no fun. Monica, what do you think Chandler got you?

MON: (distracted by Joey sneaking toward the tree) Hmm? Oh, I don't know. A blouse?

PHOEBE: (scoffs) Yeah, Chandler picked out a lovely blouse for you.

RACH: "Oh, this is fabulous." (daintily holds up her fingers like she's holding a blouse) "Could there be a more perfect match for Monica's coloring."

(Rachel and Phoebe start to snicker at Chandler who starts to give them a sneer, but suddenly changes to a hurt look.)

CHAN: Well, I'm sorry if my gifts in the past haven't lived up to your high expectations. (he begins to move toward the door, dropping his head in mock shame) I, mean, I tried to find things I thought
you'd like. (scuffs his foot along the floor)

(Rachel and Phoebe rush to his side to hug him, gushing apologies.)

(Monica gestures to Joey to grab the presents. Joey falls over the chair in his rush to get to them.)

(cut to: Monica throwing her hands up in frustration)
(cut to: Chandler forcibly holding Rachel and Phoebe's heads to his chest)
(cut to: Joey turning around with a thumbs up after tossing the gifts into Monica's room)
(cut to: Rachel and Phoebe pulling away with disgust from Chandler, who just smiles sheepishly at them)

{fade to: All sitting around in M&R's living room. Rachel, Phoebe and Ross are on the couch. Chandler's in the chair with Monica at his feet.  Joey's on the floor in front of the coffee table picking at a turkey bone.}

ROSS: I can't believe all the toy stores were out of trucks.

ALL: Oh, Ross. Let it go. Enough already with the trucks. etc.

PHOEBE: Yeah, Ross, it'll be okay. Ten years from now, you and Ben can laugh about what a horrible father you were.

ROSS: Thanks Phoebs. That helps a lot.

RACH: Okay! Present time! Present time!

MON: Why are you so excited? You already know all your gifts.

RACH: I know, but it's still fun to be proven right. Okay, who wants to be Santa and hand out all the gifts.

(All eyes turn to Joey who is picking his teeth with a turkey bone.)

JOEY: What? Just because I ate a couple dozen brownies and a fourth of a turkey, that doesn't make me fat enough to be Santa.

CHAN: C'mon Joe, be a right jolly old elf, and hand out those gifts.

(Joey stands up and starts handing out presents. He hands Chandler one and Chandler jumps up surprised.)

CHAN: Rudolph paper!

(Monica's eyes widen in horror. Chandler waves the gift in Joey's confused face.)

CHAN: Rudolph paprrrrr! (growls out that last part)

ROSS: Dude? What is the big deal?

CHAN: Nothing. It's just... ah, I love that red-nosed son of a gun.

(He sits down glaring at Joey.)

{fade to: Post-present opening. Paper, boxes and bows are everywhere.}

MON: (rises and starts picking up trash) Well, that was a great Christmas.

RACH: Wait a second. Chandler, don't you have one more gift?

CHAN: NO! (stammering) No, no, not that I know of.

ROSS: Yeah, you didn't open up the one with the Rudolph paper you were so excited about.

MON: Yeah he did. I remember. (menacingly) Don't you, Joey?

JOEY: (looks up frightened) Sure. Yeah. The Rudolph paper. I remember.

PHOEBE: Well, what was in it, Joey?

JOEY: uhhhh, (he gets that "deer in the headlights" face. he looks quickly back and forth between Chandler and Monica, and Phoebe) Heeey, who wants to play Boggle? (holds up his new game, shaking it)

PHOEBE: I don't think you opened the Rudolph paper, Chandler.  Maybe you're sitting on it. (She goes to the chair and starts to push Chandler from side to side reaching underneath him.)

(Chandler fights it, but she outmaneuvers him)

PHOEBE: (pulls out the present and looks at it) Here it is! It's from Monica. Open it.

(She shoves it in his face.)

CHAN: (hesitantly taking the present) O-o-kay. (looks daggers at Joey)

(Everyone is standing/sitting around watching Chandler slowly open the gift.)

MON: (suddenly sits up on her knees, fake laughing) You know, this is stupid.  I just got this present as a joke. It's not even real or anything.  It's a totally fake, joke present. Here, (reaching for the gift) Chandler, you don't have to open it. It's just stupid.

ROSS: No, I like joke presents. And I like to see my sister look stupid. (He smirks at Monica who returns a sneer.) Open it.

(Chandler starts to whimper.)

JOEY: (jumps up pointing toward the window) Oh, look outside! It's snowing!

(Ross, Rachel and Phoebe all turn toward the window. Then in one swift motion, Chandler rips the paper off the present, hands the box to Monica who chunks it into her bedroom just as Joey grabs the first thing he sees off the cabinet and tosses it to Chandler.)

(The others turn around without seeing a thing. They all give Joey confused looks.)

JOEY: Aww, you missed it. That was the prettiest snow I've ever seen.

PHOEBE: No fair! I always miss the pretty snowfalls.

RACH: Well, Chandler, what is it?

(Chandler holds up the "gift" without even looking at it. It's a book.)

ROSS: (leans over to read the cover) "Twelve Steps to Becoming a Better Lover"

(Chandler immediately jerks the book around to look at the cover, then groans and covers his face with it. Monica also covers her face with her hands in embarrassment.)

ROSS, RACH, PHOEBE: (are silent for a while then start laughing  hysterically) Good one, Mon. You got him. That's perfect. etc.

(Chandler looks up at them with disgust, as Joey starts to join in the laughter, and Monica smiles at him.)

(music: "The Christmas Song" at "...and though it's been said many times many ways, Merry Christmas to you.")

Commercial Break

{The guy's apartment. Monica backs slowly out of Chandler's room with him following. Their arms are around each other, and they're kissing. Chandler is wearing a robe, Monica is fully dressed.}

CHAN: C'mon, one more time.

MON: I can't. mmm (he kisses her) I've been gone all day. mmm (another kiss) Rachel's gonna get suspicious.

CHAN: What did you tell her you were doing?

MON: Going down to the coffee house for a bagel.

CHAN: (beat) So tell her you're having an affair with Gunther.

(They both pause while they get a mental image of that. Then they both shudder and try to shake it off.)

CHAN: Or you could tell her you ran into an old college friend there and ended up spending the day with her. (He reaches for her, pulling her back toward the bedroom.)

MON: Nope, no good. I've already used that one. (beat) Chandler, I'm running out of excuses here. (She starts to pull away.)

CHAN: Got sick and had to go to the doctor?

MON: Used it.

CHAN: Got called in for a cooking emergency at work? (She nods) Got a chance to enter a contest to win a free trip to Vegas? (She nods and he rolls his eyes like he can't believe it. Then sarcastically) Got abducted by aliens and spent the entire day traveling from galaxy to galaxy?

MON: (looks at him for a moment like "yeah right" then suddenly lights up) Okay! (She grabs his hand, and pulls him back into the bedroom shutting the door behind them.)

The End

Please send me feedback! Let me know if you liked it or not and if you thought it  was funny or stupid or what.

Sharon Rogers