She found Cosmo – not unexpectedly – in an empty soundstage, sitting at the piano. He was sideways on the bench, one elbow propped up on the piano and the other moving up and down along the keys, though she couldn't hear any music. His back was to her and she couldn't tell if he was absently singing along with a melody in his head, as was so often the case whenever he was sitting at a piano, regardless of whether or not he was alone. Don, she'd found, tended to ignore any noise Cosmo was making – though anytime Cosmo stopped and asked an opinion, Don was quick to give it.
So clearly he wasn't ignoring Cosmo, per se, just dividing his attention. Kathy smiled to herself and walked over, wondering if it would be a skill she'd learn, herself. She rather suspected she'd prefer to sit and listen with her whole attention, should Cosmo ever let her listen in while he wrote.
She hoped – well. She smiled as she got closer, and she could hear that there was no music at all. Cosmo was moving his fingers over the keys with no discernible purpose at all. He started when he caught sight of her, hand landing loudly and discordantly on the keys.
"Oh!" Kathy's hands flew up. "Oh, Cosmo, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to startle you."
He plastered a smile on his face – and she could see it was a fake one. She'd spent plenty of time with actors, had done it herself on more than one occasion. She wanted to reach out, ask him why, but he was smiling so brightly that somehow she couldn't bring herself to draw any closer.
Smiling so falsely at her.
"The Lovely Kathy Selden," Cosmo said, clear and sharp, and she had the oddest notion that she should be grateful he wasn't drunk in the middle of the afternoon. "How may I be of service?" He tipped his head forward, so elegantly she could see the invisible hat he wasn't wearing.
"Oh, Cosmo, what's wrong?" It wasn't what she'd meant to ask, but then, she hadn't expected to find him quite like this. She felt off-balance in a way she never had with him before – though perhaps, as she thought back, Don had always been around whenever she'd seen Cosmo.
He blinked at her, his face freezing for an instant. "Whatever do you mean?" he asked, and his voice was bright and cheerful, and for some reason it simply broke her heart.
She came around the edge of the piano and sat down on the bench, forcing him to slide a bit to give her room, giving him the option of sliding all the way to the other end if he wished. But he moved just enough to give her space to sit, spinning around to face the keyboard. His elbow bumped into hers as he looked down at the keys, resting his hands on them like he couldn't not reach out to play something.
She tried to think of what she might have done lately – or that someone else might have done that would reflect on her. There was always movie magazine gossip, but generally the reporters were quite taken with her and her romance with Don, so she didn't think anyone would have said anything that would upset Cosmo. There was Lena, of course, but they all ignored her – or made fun of it, which meant Cosmo would have already been making up funny voices as he related the latest thing she'd done.
But here he was, not even looking at her, giving her all the fake smiles and charm he reserved for reporters and bigwigs at parties.
"Oh, Cosmo, what have I done?" She had no idea, but of course whatever it was, she'd fix it. She hated to see him look like this – like somewhere deep inside, where he didn't want anybody to see, his heart was breaking. Or – no, he wouldn't have? When Cosmo didn't answer, she frowned at him. "It wasn't Don, was it? Did he do something?" She'd be happy to yell at him, if need be. Drag him down here and make him make it up, whatever it was.
Cosmo looked at her then and he smiled. It was an honest smile, and it wasn't a happy one at all. "Neither of you have done a thing," he said quietly. He sounded content, but sad. "Nothing I wouldn't have wished for Don a thousand times over." He reached over and put his hand on hers, gave it a gentle squeeze. "I like you Kathy, I like you a great deal. And--" His voice caught a little, and he said, "Don loves you very much. You make him happy, and that's all I could have asked for."
Kathy blinked in astonishment. She knew – she'd heard Cosmo's music, his song writing, and she knew that he harbored a romantic soul. He'd written so many pretty words and lovely music, that it shouldn't have surprised her to hear those words coming out of his mouth.
Only what did he mean by them?
Oh. Oh no.
Kathy narrowed her eyes at him and pulled her hand free. "Cosmo Brown," and didn't she just wish she knew his middle name, her mother was right, it was so much easier when you could use a person's full name. She folded her arms and he was looking appropriately confused and guilty – mostly confused. "Cosmo! You do! Honestly! You thought that I would make you and Don--" She stopped herself, because the sound stage had looked empty, but of course there was no way to know for certain. Cosmo's eyes had gone wide like perhaps he'd clued in. She glared at him anyway, and hissed as quietly as she could, "After all the dates with all three of us, and you think I'd have Don kick you out? Just like that?"
Cosmo was staring, and his lower lip was moving, like maybe he wanted to say something. Finally he blurted, "But you're getting married! You both keep dragging me along to see the houses you're thinking about buying!"
And she could see it now, the pain in his eyes, that of course he'd hidden, thinking he was losing Don and still being asked to share in their joy of becoming a family.
Kathy thumped him on the arm. Not hard at all, but he mouthed an 'ow' and put his hand there like she'd broken it. "And didn't you notice how the only ones we liked had a wing with a couple of rooms that were perfect for someone who needed a music studio? How we kept asking you what you thought of them? The little blue one you hated, we didn't go back to, and the darling Spanish one which you and Don both love so much, that has a room that's perfect for a piano and a cosy little bedroom attached? The one Don says is probably the one we'll buy?"
Cosmo blinked at her again. "Is--" He stopped, and Kathy let him think it through. She could see when he'd gotten it – his face cleared up and his eyes had a smile in them that she hadn't seen in a very long while. How she'd missed it, she didn't know – probably caught up in her own happiness, as no doubt Don had also been, that they hadn't noticed Cosmo hadn't quite been on the same page.
"Naturally, when the reporters come to take pictures of Don and me in our lovely new home, no one will think twice if Don's best friend since childhood has a room all the way on the other side of the house. You and he work together, so of course it would make things simpler to have your studio right there. And we'd simply have to clean the rooms and tidy everything before the photographers come by – so who's to know exactly who is sleeping with whom in which bed? For that matter, the master bedroom has a bed big enough for three if they're friendly." She frowned. "Not too big, because we don't want them to start gossiping about a bed big enough for three. Big enough to make it look like movie stars and their outlandish luxury, sure, that'll be fine." She stopped and thought about it. She felt like she'd need to rehearse more to say; she'd already had one interview that was all about Don and her. The reporter had kept pressing her for sordid details about their love life which of course she'd not deigned to answer.
But that had been a male reporter, and she knew the women would have a keener eye for such things. She'd already decided to give one of her first interviews as a married lady to Chelsea Danney of Photo Story, because she and her husband had a "good friend" sharing their apartment and would know what sort of details not to put in the article.
She noticed Cosmo was still sort of staring at her, mouth open in a goofy sort of amazement. "You..you really..." he managed.
Kathy took hold of his hand. "Cosmo, we both love you. Don loves you more than anything in the world and I would be pleased to--" she paused, then lowered her voice again, "have you share our home." She tugged at his hand. "If anything, I should be thanking you for letting me in."
"Oh, well," Cosmo said, then he grinned, all shy as he ducked his head. She leaned over and kissed his cheek – all she dared public, and a habit she wanted to keep firmly as chaste as she could. He giggled and covered his face with his hands, and it might have been part real and part acting, but it was adorable nonetheless.
She stood up, still holding his hand. "Come on," she said, in a natural voice that might carry to anyone peeking in from the shadows. Her mother had told her over and over how to be careful – her aunt and uncle had lost so much when they'd been forced to divorce; her Aunt Betty had moved in with them and had never really recovered from the heartbreak. "Let's go find Don."
Cosmo stood up after her, smiling, cheerfully enough she had a feeling he might just break out into song. Well, that was nothing really new or surprising. But with him this happy, she wanted to find Don right away – she had a feeling that maybe the two would need some time alone in Don's trailer, she could tell people they were working on a piece from an upcoming scene.
She thought about whether or not they'd let her watch, sometime. Which of them would do best in the middle. She looked at Cosmo, appraisingly. She'd been so swept up in falling in love with Don that her feelings for Cosmo had sort of crept in around the edges, but she had to admit they were definitely there.
Not today – Cosmo had been thought enough, he needed a chance to hear all she'd said, from Don as well, and be reassured they both meant it.
But they had the whole weekend free....