(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. Also, this is not an accurate portrayal of neither Bruce Reed, nor Nelson Rockefeller, this is my rendition of their characters.)
Chapter 7: Hillbilly Hell
Roger Sterling awoke in his king sized bed with his young wife lying beside him. He sat up with a headache and a sore throat but reeled himself out of bed none the less. Sunlight was streaming through the 12 foot windows of their master bedroom and Tuesday was already underway. Jane sprawled out after he had adjourned from sleep.
"Come back to bed." She mumbled.
"I have to go to work dear." He piped up. Roger sulked towards his walk-in closet and began getting dressed. Jane sat up in bed rubbing her eyes.
"Why so early today?" She walked over and leaned into the closet.
"Don set me up as leader of a new account." Roger was feverishly looking for his socks.
"Bottom drawer love. Well that's exciting!" She smiled. Roger seemed less than amused.
"I guess but I have to play with the new blood at the office." He was pulling up his tie at this point. "And some I don't like."
"I'm sure they're fine Roger, you're very prickly around the edges sometimes."
"How could you say such a thing" He smiled and kissed his wife on the forehead, left the bedroom, then headed for the garage.
"Goodbye dear!" she yelled.
"Goodbye Janey." he replied
Around the same time as Roger had woken up, 20 miles away and 15 stories up, Michael Falco was putting on his suit and parting his hair. The night held more rest for him, and so he had everything ready early. After Don had left the previous day, the rest of the evening was spent at the city archives, learning about Bruster's and it's owner Bruce Reed. If Don wanted him to be educated, he would educate himself. After grabbing his new briefcase, and filling it with Xerox copies of information, he made his way out of his building and down the busy street, trying to find a cab.
At exactly 9:57, both Roger and Michael walked up to the front of the building and through the base doors.
"New Guy!" Roger said enthusiastically. "You ready for this?"
"I think so Mr. Sterling, I read up about Bruster's during my free time last night" Mike replied.
"Excellent! Your dedication will, I'm sure, pay off." He winked at Mike as the elevator doors slowly slid closed.
"Do you know about them?"
"Does buying a cone from them count?" He looked at Mike and laughed. Mike smiled back.
After a minute, the doors of the elevator receded and the executives piled out. Soon they filled the door way to SCDP.
Once Roger and Mike had passed reception, Peggy walked up to them.
"Bruce Reed will be here in two hours so I'm setting up everything in there. Do you have anything?"
"I have a bunch of sheets on the company in my folder." Mike commented. Roger was looking around.
"Perfect, could I borrow those to read?" She smiled.
"Of course." Mike handed over the briefcase. Peggy began walking for the conference room to which Joan was just exiting.
"Joannie!" Roger shouted. Joan turned on her toes to see who was addressing her. She smiled queerily and made her way towards them.
"Boys, how are we today." Joan asked.
"Just great!" Roger stretched.
"I'm alright thanks Joan." Mike smiled, to which she returned the same.
"The kid and I are gonna go for a grand slam, aren't we?" Roger rested his arm on Mikes shoulder.
"Hopefully" Mike shied back a bit.
"Don't be so bashful. Gotta keep that confidence up." He let off the shoulder and began walking for the lunch room where a few secretaries were congregated.
"Well he's being awfully nice today." Mike said intruiged.
"Just watch him." Joan warned. "He's always up to something. Walk with me?"
"Sure." He smiled at her and they both began walking.
"When you're in there today, just watch out. Roger has a very competitive edge, and will probably try to be the most present in conversation. Just let him do his thing, and you'll be alright."
"Why wouldn't I be?" Mike felt scared for a moment.
"He's just very competitive, and when he doesn't get his way, he lashes out."
"I understand… it's not like I haven't been through school before." He laughed a bit as they walked into Joan's office.
"I just want them to play nice you know." She smiled. They stood there for a moment as the door swung closed. Mike casually walked up to Joan until he was nearly touching her. She looked up into his bright eyes and that's when she knew he was falling for her. Something inside Joan ticked in a certain way it hadn't in a while. "I can make someone like me!" a little voice inside said to her. I am beautiful. She forgot for a moment about the restraints of her life, and the control she absolutely had to have over it. Mike rubbed her cheek with his hand and slowly leaned in. Joan closed her eyes to receive the kiss she knew was coming. It was very tender this time: different from the first one, or the many that succeeded it that one night. Joan kissed back as tenderly as she could. It wasn't sloppy, but it wasn't just a light peck. "Oh look at me. I'm analysing a damn kiss." She thought to herself with her eyes closed.
Mike's mind was just a blind of white. A bliss of interest stirred in him and he answered the call it had. He moved his other hand to her hip to hold her while he kissed. He opened his eyes a split shutter and was satisfied when he saw her eyes were closed. He began kissing more intimately and she followed suit with him. Joan pushed her hands up and down his back, and running them through his hair when they reached his head. She missed this love more than anything. Not the tender kiss, not the passionate holding, not the sex that normally ensued, nothing like that. She missed true love. To have someone who was absolutely dead set on her. It felt damn good.
Mike pushed her into the side wall and began kissing her neck, but this Joan spoke up to. "Mike… Mike we can't do this. At least certainly not here or now." She muttered. He slowly withdrew from her and held his face so close their nose touched.
"No, I guess not, hey?" he smiled and she did too. "Especially when envy is your boss." He leaned off of her and she replied. "Yes, you better watch your tongue." She pointed seriously.
"I will! I do have some self-control."
"But not much" she smirked and walked out the opposite door. Mike could do nothing but smile as he watched her leave. He looked down to his watch and noted the time, 10:12.
At that moment 1500 miles away and 27 000 feet above the ground, Donald Draper was checking his watch aswell. He adjusted it for the fall back of time and leaned his head into the large leather chair in first class. Air travel was so peaceful to him. He felt still and yet they were moving with unfathomable speed. The stewardess' had brought him food and drinks often during the flight, and even the co-pilot had come around to talk with a few first class passengers. An older man in his late 50's to early 60's was seated beside him.
"I never thought air travel would ever become this popular." The man with spectacles commented. "I thought it was the most amazing thing during the war."
Don looked up from the paper he was reading and dropped ashes off his cigarette.
"Yes but that was quite a different time." He quipped. The other man turned to reply.
"I guess that's true. It's just so much different from train travel. I made the journey out to California in the thirties and it took days by train. You would be stuck, in the same car, for days!, with the same people. You got to know them, learn their stories, and once the train stopped, it all ended. You parted ways, most likely never to see them again."
Don pondered the truth the old man was speaking. "I never thought of it that way." He put the cigarette back in his mouth and lifted the paper. "Perhaps it was the lack of friendship that made me never board a train." Don continued. The older man replied once again.
"Oh yes? Well that was the reason I stopped riding them." Don looked over into the eyes of the man beside him and suddenly thought he recognized him. "I don't mean to be rude, but have we met before?"
"I highly doubt it. Maybe in some other life." He chuckled. Don rolled his eyes behind his sunglasses. "So what do you do?" the man continued.
"I'm an advertising director, at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in New York." He put the paper in the side folder, seeing as this man was probably going to continue pestering him. The man looked very interested none the less.
"Really? Do you have a card?" Don reached into his pocket and pulled one out.
"Donald F. Draper hey? Your names on the building then." He smiled.
"Indeed it is."
"I've been looking for a man such as you this past while; you're in my neighbourhood, perhaps I'll give you a call."
"And if you do, who shall I expect calling?" he said sarcastically.
"Nelson A. Rockefeller." Don's eyes widened.
"Mr. Governor?" the man laughed at this.
"My friends call me Nelly" he reached out his hand.
Bruce Reed was a man of no reputation. A farmer type: never dressed upper class and never cared too. He liked pretty women, a good ice cream and republican sentiments. He thought planes were a horror, cars were a glory, and mud was where we were meant to live, but he knew how to do business. Anyone in his county will tell you, the riches never changed him. He walked into Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in a t-shirt, tattered fedora, blue jeans, and a wide smile.
Joan was waiting in the opening room when he showed up at precisely 12:00. Her eyes widened seeing him. "I'm in hillbilly hell" she thought.
"Well naw, who're you?" Bruce cracked a smile and Joan attempted not to be horrified.
"Joan Harris, I'm the director of agency operations here." She forced a wide smile.
"Damn, I wished you would have said Roger Sturrling." He sputtered out. Joan laughed and clenched her jaw trying to avoid his gaze.
Peggy was waiting at the doors to the conference room when she saw Joan approaching with the other man. Following suit, her jaw nearly fell open and she stuttered saying, "Right this way sir!"
"Why thank ya young lady." He swung open the door nearly smashing Joan in the face. Peggy laughed slightly and then quickly stopped when she saw Joan was angry. Roger stood from his chair seeming unphased by neither the attire nor the attitude.
"Names Bruce Reed. You boys are supposed to whip up some hub-bub so we can sell more ice-cream, am I right?" his grin was filled with yellowing teeth. Roger laughed, shook his hand, and nearly cringed at the same time.
"That's the plan." Bruce took a seat in a far chair of the boardroom table. Peggy stood up and walked over to the storyboards.
"Mr. Reed.." he cut her off.
"Please, Mr. Reed was my father. I'm Bruce."
"Oh.. okay. Well, Bruce then, we have prepared some pictures for you, so you can visualize the advertisements we want to put up with Bruster's."
"Go ahead." He ushered. Peggy pulled off the covers to unveil their hard work.
"Bruster's, You're home here. Since you run a very family oriented business I thought we could use that aspect to attract your target customers. We think kids eat the most ice cream, but honestly research shows that 78% of people who eat ice cream, are adults. So why not bring that thought of children and home, to your store. Like they're being treated as one of your own family."
Bruce Reed leaned back in the chair, sat a moment, then said,
"It's perfect." Peggy smiled, much too soon. "For any company but mine." He sighed.
"Why not?" Roger bucked.
"I hate my family, and I don't want to remember them." A cool silence fell over the room, then Roger continued,
"How about, Bruster's: You're always welcome here. Nothing to do with family, but still has the ring of invitation and friendliness." He leaned in hoping for a good answer.
"I like that better. It feels like I want to stay there."
Peggy let out her breath in relief. Stan smiled at her.
"So what say we just change the slogan, and leave up all the drawings. Perfect match."
Bruce sat in silence crossing his fingers. For a silent 2 minutes they waited in anticipation.
"I like it… but still not there…" Falco jumped in quickly and Roger looked a little miffed.
"Bruce, if you don't like your family, then you don't want that slogan. It's too personal. You want something the opposite. Something that says "Come getaway from them."
"I do?" Bruce looked confused
"He does?" Roger was red in the face with anger. "Mike I think we just had a great slogan."
"Bruce, you want something that is a getaway. Something that screams "Leave it all behind, and come to Bruster's. I say we change it too "Escape To Bruster's". Simple, quick, catches the ear, and all those adults wanting to leave their kids behind will jump at this opportunity."
Bruce smiled his yellowing grin. "Dammit boy, you got some gut. I love it. Could you change it to that lassy?" He pointed to Peggy.
"Of course I could."
"That's what I like to hear! Mr Sterlin', you got yourself a bunch of A-lister crew people here. You keep em' close ya naw?" he laughed a deep gut laugh. Roger extended his hand.
"Yes we have quite some characters here, that's for sure." He looked Mike dead in the eyes. Dead.