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The Lina Lamont Show

Chapter Text

Don was waiting around for filming to begin when Cosmo appeared on set.

"Mr. Lockwood, I've just got to have your autograph," Cosmo said, thrusting a sheaf of papers at Don.

Don laughed, taking the papers. "Hiya, Cos. What's this?"

"Your publicity rounds for Hollywood Holiday, hot off the presses. R.F. was going to send someone else, but I told him I was getting composers' cramp, so he sent me."

Don scanned the bookings briefly. Good, nothing conflicted with filming dates for their current picture. He glanced over his shoulder to see Kathy emerging from her trailer. "Hey, Kathy, got a minute?"

Kathy smiled, crossing to the two of them. "Sure! Hi, Cosmo."

"Hi, Kathy. I'm delivering your marching orders from R.F."

"Oh, are we marching this time?" Kathy joked, scanning the papers over Don's shoulders.

"Looks pretty good, doesn't it?" Don asked.

But Kathy was frowning. "Don, have you looked at all the radio programs we'll be appearing on?"

"They seemed okay to me. Fred Allen, Jack Benny..." Don looked at the papers a little more closely.

"...Lina Lamont," Kathy added.

That did get Don's attention. Ever since Lina's public humiliation at the screening of The Dancing Cavalier, Don hadn't seen Lina. Her studio contract at Monumental had ended, so Don had assumed that was that. But apparently that was slightly less than that. "Lina Lamont has a radio program?"

"Gee, Don, don't you ever tune in? 'The Lina Lamont Show, brought to you by Kleenz Toothpaste! If it Kleenz with a z, it's a guarantee!'" Cosmo said.

Don stared at Cosmo, aghast. "You're kidding."

"No, it's very popular," Cosmo said. "Lina plays a girl who's always trying to break into show business. Everyone who's anyone in Hollywood guest-stars on it."

"And we're booked to record a guest appearance on it a week from Thursday," Kathy added.

"Well, we can't do it." Don said.

Cosmo looked thoughtful. "Maybe you can."

"What do you mean? She had an ax to grind to begin with, and she's had five years to keep grinding," Don said.

"But Lina doesn't write the scripts," Kathy said, clearly picking up Cosmo's train of thought. She looked at Cosmo. "Does she?"

Cosmo looked entertained. "Can you imagine? The first script would've been Lina conquering Hollywood, and so would all the scripts after that. No, Lina leaves the writing to her writers."

"But after the read-through, she might decide to change some things," Don said. He'd underestimated Lina once before and wasn't about to do it again.

"That's where it gets interesting," Cosmo said. "Say she wants you humiliated. The writers won't. If it gets out that people appearing on The Lina Lamont Show have to do anything embarrassing, goodbye Hollywood guest stars, and goodbye Lina Lamont."

"And we'll get a lot of sympathetic publicity," Kathy said.

Don looked from Kathy to Cosmo. Then he sighed. "All right, but I don't have to like it."

"Cosmo, could you arrange to be at the broadcast?" Kathy asked.

"Oh, I wouldn't miss this for the world," Cosmo said, looking tickled. "Why?"

Kathy looked at Don. "For good luck, and maybe a few jokes before the show. Right?"

Don smiled at Kathy. "Right." He looked at Cosmo. "What do you think?"

"Well, jokes I've got," Cosmo said with a grin. "Anyway, I've gotta get back to the piano or I'll lose my job to the Gershwins. See you later." He headed off.

Don stood, taking Kathy in his arms. "I don't like putting you in Lina's way again."

"It doesn't matter," Kathy said, her arms moving around him. "She can't hurt me now. I have everything I want."

Don smiled. "Oh yeah?"

Kathy smiled too. "Mm-hmm." Together, they leaned in for a kiss.

Roscoe Dexter's voice came from behind them, exasperated as ever. "I don't suppose it matters that you're wanted on set."

Don reluctantly broke the kiss. "Another time."

Kathy beamed at him. "I'll be waiting."

They took their places on set, and Dexter took his customary chair.

"Quiet!" Dexter bellowed. "ROLL 'EM!"