Don Draper grabbed another cigarette out of his pocket, disappointed to find that there were only five left in the pack. I must have been more miserable than I thought, he thought to himself as he attempted to navigate Roger Sterling's Derby Day party in his slightly drunken state. He was at work disguised as a party – as he had explained to the gentleman at the inside bar – and it certainly wasn't his first choice for a Saturday afternoon.
Don shuffled down the grassy knoll, anxious to get away from the party host and hostess, who were now dancing in the middle of the floor, drunkenly holding one another and making what would turn out to be false promises. It's not my fault that his wife is a lush, Don thought to himself, ignoring the fellow partygoers. Don and his wife Betty had been victims of bad timing, and possibly being Good Samaritans. Roger's new bride Jane – who was by all accounts young enough to be his daughter – decided to stop by the buffet table for a late night snack; yet she was too inebriated to walk, let alone carry a plate full of food back to her table. Betty was the first to approach her, even in her pregnant state, explaining to her that hostesses shouldn't have to serve themselves. Jane applauded Betty for her efforts as she and Don attempted to hold her up and walk her back to her seat. Jane, in typical drunken fashion, revealed how thrilled she was that Don and Betty had reconciled. The look that Betty served her husband was enough to sober up the three of them, and hostess Jane was quick to admit her faux pas. Don sent Betty away from the scene, not knowing what else to do. In another instance of bad timing, Roger saw his wife drunkenly touch Don as she attempted to find out why he did not like her. Don didn't get a chance to respond when Roger came to the scene, laying all of the blame on his coworker. Don attempted to walk away from Roger for the night, rather than involve himself in a long argument, but his host managed to corner him. Their brief conversation further solidified the deterioration of their friendship.
Don had had enough for one night and was anxious to find Betty and get home. Don muttered to himself as he meandered past stray party goers, finally finding his target under the light of a very full moon. Don studied her for a moment; she seemed pensive, waiting by herself, with her hand over her protruding belly. In another month they would have another baby. He almost didn't want to disturb her, wanting to observe her just as she was.
Don stepped forward once more, coughing to announce his presence. Betty turned her body, offering Don a tired smile. Don closed the gap between them and leaned in for a kiss. They hadn't spent much time alone together at the party, being pulled in different directions. Betty deepened the kiss, running her hands up to Don's hair. Don dropped Betty's coat on the grass, lowering his hands to her back, pulling her closer.
The orchestra in the gazebo played a Johnny Mathis classic for couples still milling around the area. Most had opted to go home, while others seemed to delay the end as much as possible.
Betty slowly pulled away, gasping for breath. "Umm," she moaned, her arms still wrapped around her husband.
"Are you alright?" Don asked, touching her belly with his right hand.
"I feel fine," Betty promised, giving him a small smile. "She really enjoyed herself today," Betty said, resting her hand on her husband's.
"I wasn't just talking about the baby," Don said in a low voice.
Betty nodded her head. "I know that."
"Jane was my secretary while we were…separated," Don added, choosing his words very carefully.
Betty let out a sigh, resting her head on Don's shoulder. "It's just another reminder of everything," she murmured.
Don rubbed Betty's back. "If I could change what happened I would." He placed a kiss on her forehead. "It's in the past," Don added, lowering his head to look at her. "Isn't it?"
Betty answered him with a kiss, savoring his touch once more. Don tenderly held her closer as the music continued.
What'll I do
When you are far away
And I am blue
What'll I do?
What'll I do? What'll I do with just a photograph When I'm alone
When I am wondering who
Is kissing you
What'll I do?
To tell my troubles to?
With only dreams of you
That won't come true
What'll I do?
What'll I do with just a photograph
When I'm alone
The band culminated in a grand finish, Don and Betty still lost in their embrace. From the sky, little drops of rain began to fall on the grassy area. Betty instinctively pulled away, looking up at the darkened sky. The stars were beginning to fall away to the clouds that were coming in.
Don reached down to the ground and handed Betty her coat, placing it over her shoulders. "Are you alright?" he asked.
"I haven't felt this great in months," Betty said, a genuine smile forming on her mouth. She leaned into Don once more, ignoring the rain around them.
Don didn't object to Betty's desire for affection. There was no one there with them to stop them from enjoying one another's company. A majority of the party goers were heading for the valet section to collect their cars and get out of the rain.
Betty shivered in Don's arms, holding him tighter.
"I'm taking you home," Don said placing a final kiss on her forehead. "I don't want you to get sick in your condition."
Betty didn't object as Don wrapped his arms around her body, guiding her to the line of people waiting for service. The rain continued to fall, emitting shrieks from several of the ladies who were concerned about their appearance. Some chose to take cover under the gazebo, where the band continued to faithfully entertain the crowd.
Betty and Don found a place in line and waited as the uniformed gentlemen handled the group. "I'm glad we came," Betty said softly. "Aren't you?" she asked, looking up at her husband with expectant eyes.
"Yes," Don agreed as he held her close, inhaling her flowery scent. "We're next," Don gestured as he and Betty walked forward. Don handed the attendant his key and waited for him to return.
"The baby's kicking," Betty said softly, placing Don's hands on her stomach.
Don nuzzled Betty's neck. "You're still as breathtaking as you were the day we met."
Betty's mouth curled into a surprised smile. "Do you mean that?"
Don nodded a 'yes' as the attendant returned with the blue Cadillac. Resting his hand at the small of her back, Don opened the front passenger side, helping Betty slide into her seat. Don caressed her cheek as Betty buckled her seat belt.
Climbing into the front side, Don offered Betty his handkerchief to dry off with. Betty gladly accepted the cloth, drying her face and arms.
"I'm afraid there's a bit of line to leave," Don chuckled looking at the row of cars inching towards the gate.
"I'm in no hurry," Betty assured him.
Don squeezed Betty's hand. "If you weren't already pregnant, I could think of the perfect thing we could do to pass the time," Don leered.
Betty's cheeks turned red as she playfully batted Don's hand away. "Keep your eyes on the road," she teased.
Don let out a small laugh as he inched forward.
"Would you mind terribly if I closed my eyes?" Betty asked softly.
Don smiled and offered her his jacket for a pillow. "I'll wake you when we get back."
Betty snuggled against the window, the pitter patter of the rain providing a peaceful lull. Don stole a glance at his wife as he pulled out of the gate. There had been many changes for them in the past seven months, and Don seemed pleased with the way things were turning out. Don knew that there wouldn't likely be a third chance with Betty if he strayed once more, or if she ever found out his deepest secrets, things that no one else knew. Don knew that he would do everything he could to protect his marriage, even if that meant burying old secrets. It's a small price to pay for her, Don reminded himself as he drove down the highway. The very possibility of being alone – without his family – was enough to scare him straight.