A/N: Sorry for the long absence and lack of posting, hope you enjoy this chapter, it's mainly a filler for the next which will be posted shortly as I'm on break for Easter. That being said there is a lot of Cosmo in this chapter, and a lot of action to establish relationships between our favourite music director, Kathy and Don. Hope you enjoy, much love x
(The disclaimer from the first chapter applies to this whole fic)
"Cosmo? Cosmo, what's the matter with you?" Kathy turned from the papers she was shuffling at the table next to Cosmo's piano and glanced at the man briefly, "I'm sure you haven't heard a word I've said all morning."
"Kathy, that's not true," Cosmo flipped the page of the music book resting on his stand and then back towards the latest musical sensation herself, "I distinctly remember you saying hello to me when you came in!"
"Very funny, Cos," she gave a small flutter of a laugh and then lifted her now neat stack of papers, holding them to her chest and sitting lightly on the side of the table and smiling at the pianist, "what's the matter though? Don says you've been acting distracted all week since R.F's party. Didn't you enjoy yourself?"
"Oh of course not, this life of his class, high fun and high lifestyle is much too dull for me now," Cosmo spun off of his stool and jumped towards Kathy, prying her hands away from her papers and spinning her around as they fluttered to the ground at their feet, "I don't think this nice salary and these nice clothes are for me at all. I'd much rather be turned out onto the street to beg for the change to see your next picture, my art would surely improve for it!"
Kathy laughed and leant back into a low dip before rising up and shuffling back from the musician, "Without you Cosmo there would be no next picture."
"Aw, come on now!" Cosmo pulled at his tie and smiled down at his feet a second, walking towards Kathy with his arms held out and rubbing her shoulders smiling warmly, "Kathy you are far too nice for a woman so talented and so beautiful. You have talent enough for a million pictures with or without me."
Kathy smiled and leant forward onto Cosmo's shoulder, rocking slowly from side to side as if they were going to dance, "thanks, Cos."
"Well you're very welcome," Cosmo smiled as Kathy's hair rested against his cheek, holding her hand and her waist more formally as they swayed on the spot in the middle of the room, empty but for the piano and the table that stood to their right, "hey Kathy, what made you go for a guy like Don?"
"Oh, I don't know," Kathy gave a fluttering laugh and continued to sway, and Cosmo could feel her smiling against his chest, "he was handsome and he always seemed so genuine in his interviews before I met him. When I finally did, well, through all that front the two of us put on, I could tell he was genuine underneath. I think it's like they show you in all those pictures; you feel a spark and then nothing can separate you after that, not really."
Cosmo gave a short laugh and smiled to himself as Kathy lifted her head to look at his face, "nothing, funny you should mention the word."
"Okay people! Let's wrap it up from there," Roscoe bit his lip as the director shouted to himself in the corner, ordering people back and forwards as extras scattered quickly from the set, "Don! Hey, Don!"
"What can I do for you, Roscoe?" Don flashed a winning smile as he undid the button on his gloves and pulled them off, "what's up with Max over there? What are we cutting for?"
Roscoe twisted up his face and rubbed at the back of his neck with an absent hand, "look Don, he isn't happy with the music we've got goin'. Can you talk to Cos for me? I think I better go calm him down."
"Yeah... sure thing," Don spared a look over his shoulder at Cosmo seated by the piano, absently flipping through his music book and writing in corrections he assumed, "hey Ros, I'll get it sorted, don't worry about it."
"Thanks Don," Roscoe started to back away, turning to take care of Max's temper, "say hi to Cos for me."
Don nodded and smiled again, turning to walk towards the piano with a frown for his friend. Something wasn't right with Cosmo lately; Don just couldn't quite put his finger on it.
"Da da DI da!" Cos sang lightly, shaking his head and making more marks on his music book, "da da do di da."
"Sounds good, Cos," Don smiled winningly as he leant against the closed hood o the piano, watching his friend smile and nod at his own handiwork, "whatcha cookin' up for us now?"
"Just something for the opening credits. Thought I'd jazz 'em up a bit for the folks back home," Cos met Don's gaze with a smile and pushed his stool back, reclining against the table nearby, "how's it goin' Don? Wrapping up early today, the life of a big star just gets harder and harder."
Don smiled down at the piano and then looked up at Cos with a serious gaze, watching the grin fall from his friends face as he did so, "yeah it does. Hey listen Cos, is there something up pal? You've been acting kind of strange lately and well... people are starting to worry about ya."
"Worry about me?" Cosmo smiled as if he thought the world idiots, trailing his fingers against the length of the table as if it were a piano, "there's nothing wrong with me Don, old Cosmo ain't crazy yet. What makes them think, anyway?"
Don flicked through the pages of Cosmo's music book and looked back towards his friend seriously for a second, "Cos, we're filming a comedy."
"You were playing the funeral march!" Don held his hands out to his sides and smiled at his friend without much humour, softening his touch and returning to his original stance, "Come on Cos, what's the matter pal? You've been down in the dumps for a while now."
Cosmo heaved a sigh and slumped back towards his piano, running his fingers over the keys to open his tale, "hey Don, if I ask you a question, do you promise not to make a big deal out of it?"
"Of course, Cos! You can tell me anything," Don seemed to stand to attention as Cosmo continued to play the piano quietly in the background of his thoughts, "what is it?"
"Well..." Cosmo looked up thoughtfully as if he could see something above his shoulder and was trying to describe it. With a simple banging of the keys, all together and out of tune, he stood to face Don, smacking him on the shoulder and gesturing about himself, "you know how it is, Don! We spent our lives on the streets working our way up and what have we got ourselves? A nice place to live. Who cares? A nice place to work. We meet more genuine people at the cleaners! We have all the money we wanted and all the glory we ever begged God to deliver to us, and after all that I don't have a single thing I ever really wanted. How did you do it, Don? How did you go out gettin' yourself a girl like Kathy? How did you do it? How do you tell a girl you're in love with her?"
"Wha-?" Don spluttered for a second and then seemed to regain his composure, watching Cosmo almost slam himself back onto his seat and mash his fingers against some of the piano keys in defeat. A smile seemed to break out across his face without permission and Don threw himself towards Cos at the front of the piano, "Cosmo Brown are you telling me what I think you're telling me?"
"Technically, I told you nothing," Cosmo grinned smugly to himself and then slumped forwards again, rubbing his hands over his face and then looking up towards Don, "that word again. I think I'm in real trouble this time, Don."
"You're in love," Don's smile was almost predatory and Cosmo stood up with a huff, stomping around the piano until he was in the open space of the studio, edging towards the set, "Cosmo that's brilliant! Who is she? Do I know her? I bet she's one of those chorus girls I've been seeing you with for the past few months, isn't she? You sly dog! You've gotta bring her over so I can meet her!"
"No can do I'm afraid," Cosmo stood shaking his head, hands in his pockets as Don approached and circled like a bird of prey that's found its latest victim, "you and Kathy will have to stow your romantic notions away Don. I never got her number."
"Never got her..." Don seemed to fall for a second, but with a clap of his hands he was grinning again, his hand clapped fast over Cosmo's shoulder, "well you know her name don't you? We gotta get to the operator and find her!"
Cosmo drew his hands from his pockets and turned a little to face Don, looking every bit a mess like a fool hopelessly enthralled, "I already found her Don, but it's no use, I can't call her."
"Can't call her?" Don gave Cosmo a small tap on the face and continued to stare at him, "Cos you're in love with her! You have to call her."
"It's not so simple," the musician sighed as his friend continued to stare at him. Don always got his way by doing this, "we met at R.F.'s party alright. She was... I dunno, Don! She was different. Not like all the others we meet around here y'know? I really liked her, Don. Her sister works here in costume that's why she's been around, but I never got a chance to get her number and I don't even know if she remembers me now, that party was a couple of weeks ago. I've left it too late, Don."
"Oh Cosmo, has working here taught you nothing?" Cosmo flinched at the word but Don continued without noticing, holding out his arms and gesturing to the grandeur of the set to his Irish born friend, "it's never too late, Cos. Especially for this."
"Don! What are we doing down here?" Cosmo whispered harshly as Don strolled casually along the corridor, "Don!"
"Calm down, Cos," Don smiled one of his blinding Hollywood smiles and Cosmo rolled his eyes at his friend, mentally making a note to deal with that ego of his one day soon, "I need a fitting, and you're coming along to... hold my coat."
"Why Don, you're a card," Cosmo said sarcastically. He wiped the palms of his hands against his pants and looked into the door at the colourful array of costumes on display at the costuming department. As much as he detested another of Don Lockwood's infamous plans of romance, he was still a bit excited at the possibility of finding, "Dana."
Dana Mercy spun on her heel in the doorway to the costume department of Monumental pictures. For a second she seemed surprised to see Don Lockwood standing in her path offering her his hand, and then all at once Cosmo could tell she had spotted him.
"Mr. Noth-..." she looked upset for a second, her hand still clasped with Don's, "I was wondering if I'd see you again."
"Miss Mercy," Cosmo stepped forwards awkwardly, hands jumping about across his chest and then clasping themselves behind his back briefly, "um... hi."