|Seven Twenty Four
Author: Scarlett88 PM
Quick one-shot that takes place at the very end of Mad Men S3 E 7 - Seven Twenty Three. What happens when Don comes home after signing the contract with Sterling Cooper? Mad Men belongs to Matt Weiner and Lionsgate - I own nothing.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Words: 1,007 - Published: 02-09-13 - Status: Complete - id: 8995005
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The front door of the Draper house opened with a brisk swing, causing Betty Draper to raise her head from the newly purchased fainting couch in the redecorated living room. Resting her hand over her eyes to block the harsh sunlight streaming in from the windows, Betty let out a soft moan.
"Don?" she asked softly, lowering her hand long enough to get a glimpse of her husband's bruised appearance. With a bandage over his nose and a swollen right eye, Betty let out a sharp gasp.
"I signed it," Don said tersely, giving her a nod as he walked up the stairs.
"Wha," Betty mumbled, trying to find her footing on the ground. She hadn't seen her husband since last night, after a large fight over Don's pending contract with Sterling Cooper. He had been with the advertising agency for several years, and the issue of a contract never came up – until last night. The 'Sterling' of Sterling Cooper had decided to call Betty himself to get her to expedite the process and move onto new business. Aside from Betty's loathing of Roger Sterling, she was less than pleased with the late night call, finding the entire premise of her husband's boss contacting her inappropriate.
Her anger over the conversation was brimming when her husband came home that night. Accusations went flying about why he never told her about the contract in the first place to why he refused to sign the document. An already frustrated Don wasn't interested in hearing more about the contract or any business that came with it. Biding his wife an abrupt goodnight, he took off, leaving an irate wife in his wake.
Any anger over last night seemed to have vanished as Betty stumbled up the stairs after Don. She was used to him staying away over night – usually in Manhattan – but this was something entirely different. If Don's previous mood had been any indication he seemed ready to perform another disappearing act, only to resurface when he was ready.
"Don," Betty said, closing the bedroom door behind her. She knelt down next to her husband to examine his face. She could see a scratch on his forehead in addition to a bruised nose and eye.
"I'm fine," Don said, more tired than anything else. Without bothering to change, Don crawled under the covers.
"You aren't fine," Betty murmured, going off to the master bathroom in search of a clean towel. Running cool water over the cloth, Betty examined her own weary appearance in the mirror. Apparently neither one of them got any rest last night. With a heavy sigh, Betty walked over to the bed, perching herself on her end and pressing the cloth over Don's face.
"What happened to you?" she asked softly, tracing the outline of his face with her other hand. "I didn't know if you were coming home or not, or if you were going into the office today…"
"I got in a fender bender," Don stated, using the same decoy that he did at the office earlier that afternoon. It was easier than explaining how two hitchhikers roughed him up and took his money. Don was fortunate enough that the teens left him his car so that he could return to the city.
Betty clicked her tongue, rubbing the towel across Don's forehead. "And you say you hate my driving." Betty dipped the cloth in a bowl of cool water on the table. "Were you in the hospital last night?" she ventured, searching for more answers.
"I was driving and the accident happened in the early morning – I didn't want to wake you." Don looked over at Betty and grimaced. "After the accident I went to the car dealer and they made the necessary repairs."
Betty shook her head. "Are you in pain?"
"I'll manage," Don murmured.
Betty touched Don's scratch, lowering her head. "I wish you had called this morning. I was worried sick about you."
Don inhaled. "I was behind on work, I needed to focus."
"You promised me you wouldn't disappear," Betty said, her voice wavering ever so slightly. "After Gene was born – you promised."
"It's not like that." Don reached to touch her shoulder, boosting himself up on a pillow. "I didn't disappear."
Betty pulled away. "You don't come home all night, and you don't call all day. What am I supposed to think!" she snapped, storming off to the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
"Birdie," Don winced as he pushed himself out of bed, padding across the room. Turning the knob, he found Betty rummaging in the medicine cabinet.
"You don't change," Betty muttered, slamming various bottles of pills and tonics. "You can't commit to your precious advertising, why should I think that you can commit to me?"
"Hey." Don touched her arm, pulling her towards him.
"Don't," she warned, refusing to meet him in the eye.
"I signed the contract," he said quietly.
"Well I hope you and Roger are very happy together," Betty quipped.
"Three years whether we like it or not," Don chuckled in an effort to ease the tension. He tilted Betty's chin up. "You and I have more than three years together," he whispered. "We have the rest of our lives."
"Do we?" Betty asked softly.
"Do you need a contract to prove it?" Don chuckled. "Because we signed one nine years ago."
Betty let out a heavy sigh. "No more disappearing," she begged him. "I can't…"
Don cut Betty's voice off with a kiss, deep enough to make up for the past twenty four hours. "Promise," he said, forming a small smile on his mouth. Don slid his left arm around her waist as she walked him back to the bed. Without either party apologizing, they crawled into bed, arms linked together. The issue of the contract seemed to be forgotten as their heads hit the pillow. For now it seemed that all parties involved were pleased with the results, and that was all that they needed.