The door to her office finished rattling in its frame as she slumped onto the couch. The phones ringing and typewriters dinging seemed to be getting farther away with every breath she took. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to think.
She knew she looked like shit today, but that couldn't hold a candle to how she felt. All she could see was the red pouring out from Abe's body; hear him in the ambulance saying the words she had long since known to be true.
Then Ted's voice admitting that he was in love with her and how much he thinks about them. She had to lie, he couldn't know how much she had fallen for him too. When she comes to tell him about Abe, he dismissed her without a second thought. Why did he have to be so damn—nice!
"I'm sorry to hear that."
He ushered her out of his office and gave Don that perfect smile as if nothing had happened. She had stood there looking at Don's door and back at Ted's. They were two copies of the same person, wanting the same thing and just going about it differently. Both refusing to see her, both always taking her for granted.
A knock at her door startled her back into reality.
Stan's voice was muffled around his usual cigarette, "Peggy, we're waiting for you."
"I'll—I'll be there in a minute."
She wiped at her eyes furiously, knowing the crack in her sentence had given her away. Quickly crossing behind her desk and staring out the window, she braced to ignore him. The door opened without an invitation and closed just as quickly.
She continued to look out the window, willing the hot tears to stop running down her cheeks. "Rizzo, I'm fine. I said I would be in there. Now get out of here," she managed hoarsely.
She last named him. That either meant she was pissed at him, or pissed at Don and taking it out on him. He walked around her desk and stopped next to her. Jesus, she was crying. She almost never cried at work.
"Are you pissed at me for the other night," he mused. It wasn't that, and he knew it. Even if secretly he hoped she was mad. At least that meant she had been thinking about him.
"Why would I be," her voice was icy. "You found what you were looking for one way or another."
"Damnit, did everybody see that?! I'm sorry. I'm not blaming it on the drugs. I just didn't expect it to hit me so hard."
"The drugs or the pain," She kept starting straight ahead and offered a shrug. He didn't have time to answer. "It doesn't matter."
His eyes narrowed as he took another drag. She had told him he needed to feel, but she couldn't see that was what he had been trying to do for months. Now it was her turn.
"You look like shit," he offered.
Her lips twitched into a miniscule smile before setting back into her usual line. "Thanks, it was a bad night."
"You want to talk about it," He tossed his notepad onto her desk and smothered his cigarette in her ashtray. Her silence wasn't exactly an answer. "You think that when you called me across town from CGC in the middle of the night that I couldn't hear everything you weren't saying too?"
"Shut up, Stan."
"So it's definitely Don," he quipped.
"God. No," she wiped her cheeks before crossing her arms. "Abe and I are over."
It wasn't exactly a lie, but she would just keep crying if she told him the whole truth. Right now, she just needed to suck it up and get through the day.
"And you're just heartbroken," he laughed.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean," she hissed. She finally turned to glare at him, and that was all he wanted anyway.
"It means I know you," He grabbed her by the shoulders and leaned down to look her in the eyes. "This many tears—over him? You told me things were already cold. So what is it really?"
"I'm an idiot," She bit her lip and looked down, fighting back the burning in her eyes again. "It's not about what happened. It's that I'm sick and tired of being the girl that's never going to be enough."
Her shoulders heaved under his touch as she sniffled quietly. He pulled her closer, forcing her to look back up into his eyes. They were clear and bright, so different from the other night.
"You're not a girl, Peggy. You're a woman that is already more than any of them deserved."
She could feel his words on her lips. He couldn't stop himself. She pushed against his chest for a fleeting moment before giving in to his kiss. She didn't care if it was wrong, or what might happen after this. He wasn't Ted, and he never would be. She was being a hypocrite because she just wanted anything to ease the pain. Right now, in this moment, she wanted this too.
Her hands were in his hair pulling him in, her body arching completely against his. He couldn't believe this was happening. She was finally giving him a chance. He sucked her bottom lip in between his teeth before wrapping his arms around her small frame.
There was a knock on the door as it swung open. They jumped back from each other in shock.
"I—the—uh—meeting. Well if you two are done, there's work to do," Ted managed forcefully. His eyes scanned over Stan before locking with Peggy's. "Now."
"Uh, yeah," Stan muttered. He snatched up his notepad and ran a hand over his beard on his way out the door.
Her mouth fell open, "Ted…"
He held up a hand, "Don't. Just get to work."