(Author's Note: Legal Disclaimer: All names, places, trademarks and copywrites belong to their respective owners; I have not intended to defame them in anyway, nor claim to own any of the advertisements in this fan fiction. This is for entertainment purposes only.)
Chapter 13: You Can't Run Forever
Though the Viacynth Team tried their best, it appeared that McCain-Ericksen landed the account. It took 5 days after the initial meeting for the news to spread among the elite and eventually trickled down the hierarchy, until everyone knew. Pete Campbell was the most upset, as usual. He raved on and called back Viacynth Chemical, urging them to give SCDP another chance. They promptly told him that their idea was second, but just not exactly what they had needed. Pete hung up the phone in disappointment. Roger Sterling was disappointed to, but had had a feeling that their idea wasn't sticking like it should have.
"It's like a dart. Having every intention of landing a bull's-eye, all the potential, but the delivery was just not well done." He said to Don, the day Pete ran in, breaking the news.
Mike was disappointed as well. He had worked hard, coming up with the idea swirling in his mind. Creativity just doesn't grow on trees, and when it flowers, you have to grab it before the short season ends. Peggy was equally as disappointed. Not only did she have the letdown of the account, but she had a date set for the previous Friday, and it had gone south faster than geese in a cold fall frost.
There was a gloom hanging around the office that week, and with summer entering its full swing, they needed to reel in a few more accounts to bring them up to quota. Lane was frantic about this, and was hounding down the partners necks.
The worst of it all, for Roger Sterling: the bitter truth was losing his Joannie to a wretched low down loser. He contemplated just telling Greg that they were having an affair. That should get them apart. Then he realized Joan would instantly blame him for the losses and never speak to him again: not a pleasing route. He needed Mike out of the picture, maybe not businesswise, but at least in that relationship. Roger was sitting alone in his cold office when he had yet another, brilliant idea. He picked up his phone, and called Gregory Harris.
"Greg! Hey, it's me, Roger." There was a slight silence and then it seemed to sink in.
"Oh, Roger Sterling! Of course, what can I do you for sir?"
"It's not what you can do for me, more so what I can do for you. How about you come by the office today and we have a little talk?"
"That sounds fine, is everything alright? Is Joannie misbehaving? I'll set her straight you know." Greg laughed on his end and Roger smiled.
"No Greg, but it is something I deem important. Be here as soon as you can. Bye Bye." Roger hung up the phone, and took a swig of scotch. "Now, you're in my town kid."
Across the hall and one office down, Peggy Olson was typing away madly on her typewriter. She was recuperating lost time while on the Viacynth deal, and was now looking into small business' that needed a representative. With a few on the line, she was mailing letters out in the company name, and setting up business meetings. Just as she was midway through her third letter, Stan Rizzo barged through the door and threw himself laying down onto the couch.
"I'm trying to get work done Stan, go away." She didn't look up from her typewriter.
"Peggs, jeez, relax. I'm here to observe. Besides, there's nothing better to do right now. What am I going to do, go draw pictures for fun?" She turned her head to him and changed the subject
"No, but I do need these letters mailed personally. Give them to Joan once I'm done and skedaddle."
"Yeah, yeah k, sure. Anyway, what happened with your date Friday night." Stan looked genuinely interested so Peggy appeased him and stopped her work. She leaned onto her arms and began,
"Well he was an hour late…"
"Yeah, and when he did show up, he was dressed in shambles, reeked of pot and was probably high as a kite."
"You went on a date with a hippy!" Stan fell back laughing.
"Yeah, yeah whatever. Anyway, I'm never going on a blind date again." Peggy was visibly upset.
"Hey now, that is probably for the better." He smiled. "So while we are bored here, let's play a game."
"Stan, I don't have time for games."
"Oh c'mon Peggs! Truth or dare? The old childhood favorite. I'll start: Truth or dare."
Peggy replied reluctantly, "Truth."
"Have you ever kissed a guy?"
"Stan! Of course I have! Don't be an ass."
"Hey, I never know with you. Okay, you go. Truth."
"How many women have you slept with?"
"Woaw now were getting somewhere. Honestly, just two. Well three if you count yourself"
"Really?" she was shocked by his lack of womanization. "I thought more. Hmm… Truth."
"Favorite male characteristic."
"Probably their jaw line." Stan brought his hand to his jaw and said,
"Look at this fine instrument. Crafted by the hands of the lord." Peggy giggled and continued,
"Sure, sure. Hmmm…. Dare."
Stan looked around the room for a moment and then lightly asked,
"What are you doing this Friday night?"
"Nothing so far… why?"
"I dare you to go out on a date with me." Stan smiled boldly.
Greg Harris marched into Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce with an uncertainty in his step. He wasn't usually called in by people he didn't know very well. This particular incident set him on guard. With a nice suit and tie on, he plowed through the front door.
Meanwhile, 7 blocks away, Joan was walking into a dry cleaning store, handing in a dirty suit that Roger had requested she get cleaned. Out loud, she was civil and didn't mind a minute chore, but in her head she was mad that Roger still considered her a secretary who he could order around. "Oh well." She thought. "Not forever."
There wasn't many people in the office at this time, "must be lunch" Greg thought. Roger was on his sofa smoking a cigarette when Greg pushed into his office.
"Greg." Roger stood up and shook his hand. "Can I get you a drink?"
"No sir, I'm fine thank you." Greg swayed nervously where he stood
"Fine by me." Roger said. "Take a seat, will ya."
Greg walked over to a nearby chair and sat down. "So what is going on?" his voice was shaken.
"Calm down bud, I'm just here expressing some concern." Roger picked up a drink from his table.
"About?" he demanded.
"What about my wife."
"You tell me. She just seems distant lately." Roger looked into Greg's eyes. "Has she been distant with you at all?"
"I guess… in the past while she hasn't been very, well you know, intimate. More withdrawn and focused on work. I mean I did piss her off something good last week and she went out with the girls or something and stayed at her friends."
"I see. Did she tell you where she was going when she left?" Roger inquired.
"No… not directly at least. She left, I was fairly inebriated, and when she came back from work the next day, she told me what happened."
"How well do you trust her?"
"Do you doubt what I say?"
"No, I'm wondering what she said." Roger took a sip of rum.
"Are you inferring that she is having an affair?" Greg stood in anger.
"Woaw there cowboy, don't get your panties in a twist. Sit down. All I was saying was that she was acting peculiar. Maybe you should take her on a vacation. Somewhere down south, Bahamas or Mexico. She could use a break. And if she is, for some odd reason in fact, having an affair… well then you shall discover that shan't you."
"I love the idea Mr. Sterling, I do, but I just don't have the money for this right now. I really would love to take Joannie out on a trip, but still haven't done my full time overseas yet, and until then, the Harris' won't receive full pension."
"What if I chipped in for this? Say I gave you a check and you used it to go on a vacation, for this last week that you are here. Would you do it?"
Greg's face widened in a dramatic smile. "Well of course I would, but why are you being so generous? First with the time off, and then this trip?"
"Joan has always been a dear friend of mine, since long, long ago. I appreciate, more, we appreciate her company so much, she deserves a break now and then!" Roger raised his glass.
"I couldn't agree more!" Greg replied. Roger walked over to his desk and pulled out his wallet, stripping a check and writing it out for a thousand dollars. He handed it to Greg who was acting like a young boy on Christmas. "Have fun boy." He yelled as Greg ran out of the office with a smile.
As Joan pulled up to the base of her building she swore she saw a man who looked identical to Greg, running down the street with his hands held high and in a flurry of excitement. "Lucky him" she mumbled.
The elderly man had waited patiently for his time to strike. At least, that's how he played it in his head. He walked slowly with care into the tall building in downtown New York City. A redheaded young lady had held the door for him and promptly asked which floor he was going to. He told her and she seemed surprised.
"What is your business there? I ask as I am the Director of Agency Operations." She smiled nicely to him, and he appreciated her gesture.
"I am here to see Donald F. Draper, about a very important matter, regarding the state of New York." He smiled as she looked more surprised.
"Oh… well alright. When we arrive, I'll get you through to him."
"Thank you tenfold my lady." He smiled.
Don received the intercom call a few minutes later and was surprised to hear he had any visitors at all.
"I haven't scheduled anything." Don replied through the intercom.
"He says he's a drop in, and it's urgent."
"Send him in."
It took another few minutes for the man to reach Donald's office, with Joan by his side, and enter his sanctuary. Don's eyes widened in astonishment and he quickly stood walking over to the man.
"Govenor Rockefeller, how nice to see you." He walked over and shook Nelly's hand.
"Nice to see you as well, Donald." Joan was frozen on the spot.
"Joan, could you close the door? Anyway, can I get you anything?"
"I'll have a cherry if you don't mind." Nelson Rockefeller strutted across the room and slumped down onto the far couch. Don went to grab his drink and handed it to him.
"You should promote this young lady. She is extremely courteous and understanding."
Joan blushed a bit, and replied. "Thank you Mr. Rockefeller. It's an honour to meet you."
"The pleasure is all mine." He smiled.
"Joan, could you take notes on this?" he handed her a clipboard and they both sat down.
"I'll get right to it Donald, I'm coming up for re-election as you probably know. The competition is fierce, and I don't want to fall behind in the race. I need someone, a team, to come up with a sure fire way to entice the public into believing that Nelly Rockefeller has got what they need for the future. I need them to believe Nam is where our troops need to be. I need them to believe that I can ensure that health insurance premiums don't skyrocket, I need them to believe that I should stay where I am. Can you do that for me son?" He gestured his hand out to Don.
"I'm sure I can put together a team that could easily handle this." Don smiled confidently.
"I like the attitude." He stood from his seat, followed by Joan and Don. "Now look here, I will pay you. It won't be much, our campaign manager has cut the budget in half, but, if I do win, I will extend my hand in whatever way I can, to ensure Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce sees a brighter future and better business, with less red tape." The old man smiled and Don was genuinely happy for the first time in a while.
"Absolutely Govenor Rockefeller, thank you for the opportunity." They shook hands candidly and the old man left with Joan following close behind. Don couldn't help but throw his fist into the air when the room had gone quiet again.
Don broke the news to Roger later that day. Of course, Roger was just as ecstatic as Don and immediately proposed they go on a celebratory trip to The Blue Lagoon with Lane. Don and Lane both agreed and by 6:00 p.m., they were seated by the blue whale of a bar, sipping cherry hookers and laughing about the loss of Lucky Strike.
"Things are really looking up hey?" Roger brushed glasses with the other men in the line.
"Yes, it does seem quite so." Lane smiled.
"I can't believe you met Rockefeller on that plane and never told us."
"Must have just slipped my mind." Don smiled. A few stools away, he took notice of a woman. She was of midrange stature, around 5'6 maybe, had dark black hair, like a raven and deep brown eyes, so dark they were nearly black themselves. Her nose was angular, but not too pointed at the end, and she was dressed in a very high class business suit. He was taken aback by her beauty and Lane spotted his staring.
"I see we've caught the eye of dear Donald Draper." He smiled and sipped his drink. Roger turned around the see who Lane was talking about.
"Well, I can see why you're looking." Roger laughed. "Sly devil over here."
Don had drowned out their voices and was watching her drink and speak with her friend. He was not only drawn by her beauty, but because he knew her from somewhere, a long time ago. He stood from the stool and began walking over to her.
"Go get em' tiger!" Roger shouted. He approached her with caution and tapped her on the shoulder. She slowly turned around, her eyes glinting in the reflection of light.
"I don't normally do this, but I felt compelled. Do we know each other?" The girl looked intently over Don and smiled shyly, but replied,
"No I don't think we've ever met. My name is Katy, if you're wondering though." She extended her hand to meet his. Her hand was as smooth as her voice and just as reassuring.
"Don, Don Draper." He quipped.
"I'll let you to get acquainted." Katy's friend smiled and moved down the bar. Don took her seat and smiled at her. The girl's smile disappeared and she squinted slightly.
"Now that you mention it, I feel like I do know you… Oh god." She exclaimed. Her cheeks turned bright crimson and her hand covered her mouth. "We all thought you were dead! You died in the war! Dick, is that you?"
It was at that moment that a hurricane of memories flooded Don's mind, and reminded him of the day he first met Katy Konstantine, in the third grade.