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Don Draper
Characters: Peggy-centric. Peggy/Don; Peggy/Pete; Don/Megan; Roger Sterling; Sally, Bobby and Gene Draper.
Rating: PG-13 for language and suggestive dialogue.
Word Count: 7,667
Warning: Character death (not Don or Peggy).
Spoilers: Through Season Four.
Disclaimer: Not mine! Fun, not profit. Title courtesy of John Lennon.

Summary: In 1981, Peggy is keeping a secret.



Just Like Starting Over

Monday

“Look,” Peggy’s secretary says, handing her the mail. “That interview you gave finally came out.”

“Oh, great,” Peggy says, spotting the Ms. Magazine at the top of the pile. She hopes Linda didn’t leaf through it first. When she gave the interview, back in July, Prince Charles’s wedding had been right around the corner, and she and the interviewer, Samantha, briefly discussed the frenzy surrounding it. Peggy mentioned that many of the women in her office were fascinated by the royal family; every time she walked into the kitchen, two or three of them were in there talking about Diana’s dress or the Windsor genealogy. “Isn’t this why Americans fought a revolution?” she asked. “So we didn’t have to think about those people?” Of course, she didn't mention her secretary by name, but Linda would recognize that Peggy was talking about her.

Now, skimming the article, Peggy’s relieved to see that didn’t make the cut, although the editors did include the conversation that came out of it. Samantha had suggested---a little heavy-handedly, in Peggy’s opinion—that it wasn’t just the American Revolution that should make women disinterested in the royal wedding, but the feminist revolution, too. Why, she asked, after all that had happened in the last fifteen years, did so many women still see marriage as their ultimate goal in life?

Q. You yourself have never been married. Was that a political decision?

The question, delivered over the phone in Samantha’s earnest, young-sounding voice, had reminded Peggy of that seventies slogan, The personal is political. When everyone first starting saying it, she knew she should get on board, but she’d never thought of her life in those terms. All she’d ever wanted to do was work. But she felt like a bad feminist, remembering that while being interviewed for Ms. So she kept her answer simple.

A. No, I don’t think so. It just wasn’t the right thing for me.

For us, was what she meant, but she didn't see the need to discuss that with Samantha. After all, her own mother died without knowing about it.


In the first interview Peggy ever gave, the Times called her “The ‘Dolley’ on Madison.” That was in 1971, shortly after she’d left SCDP to become the creative director at another firm. As her fortunes have gone up, those of her city have continued to fall, but she still loves Manhattan; all the speeches and conventions in dull Midwestern cities and sprawling new Southwestern resorts have convinced her of the superiority of the little island where she’s lived for the last eighteen years. Of course, she knows it’s easier to think that way when you live in a doorman building on the relatively unscathed Upper East Side, ride in taxis instead of on the subway, and can afford to send your children to an exclusive private school instead of the crumbling P.S. Whatever down the block.

Hypothetical children, that is.


Later that afternoon, Linda calls from the reception desk to tell her Don Draper is on the line. Surprised, Peggy asks her to put him through.

“Well, hi,” she says. “Aren’t you worried you’ll get caught consorting with the enemy?”

“It’s OK, I paid off my secretary.”

“Mmm-hmm,” Peggy says, laughing. “What’s going on; is everything OK?”

“You should have seen this girl’s face at the bookstore, when she rang up a copy of Ms. for me.”

Nooo. Did you really? You could’ve just borrowed my copy.”

“No, this way I can leave it on my coffee table, to impress Sally the next time she comes over. Maybe then she’ll stop asking me to boycott the Athletic Club.”

“OK, I should hang up before I start feeling like a hypocrite. And also, I’m ridiculously busy today. But I’ll see you later, right?”

“Six-thirty if that works for you. I’d offer to buy you a BLT, only I spent my last couple bucks on that magazine.”

“Goodbye,” Peggy says.

Don stops her before she can hang up the phone: “Hey. Congratulations.”

“Thanks. See you tonight.” She hangs up, feeling disproportionately happy. Maybe this will be a good week after all.

**********

1972

Eighteen months after becoming the creative director at Creswell Partridge, Peggy was nominated for a Clio award for a mouthwash commercial. Don Draper was at the ceremony, as she’d known he would be. He avoided her table, not because of her (she assumed), but because Sal Romano was her art director. So, during an intermission in the ceremony, she followed him over to the bar, where he was talking with Roger Sterling.

“Peggy!” Roger said, with an enthusiasm she attributed mostly to his Scotch. “That was a hell of a campaign. ‘Listerine, Listerine,’ ” he pronounced to anyone within earshot. “ ‘Keeps your mouth kissably clean.’ ”

“Well,” she said. “Some of us more than others.”

“Ah,” Roger said. “You always had a smart answer.”

“Can I get you a drink?” Don asked her.

“Sure. Uh. Whatever you’re having’s fine.”

“This is just Coke,” he said, double-checking.

“Oh. Well, I guess I’ll take a gin-and-tonic, then.”

“That’s right,” Roger said. “Peggy missed this little development. The new, excruciatingly boring Don Draper.”

Don, pointedly ignoring Roger, turned to signal the bartender.

“Actually,” Peggy said, “you know what, I’ll take a Coke too.”

At the end of the ceremony—with neither of them collecting an award—Peggy stopped by the Sterling Cooper table. “Good to see you, gang,” she said. “Maybe we’ll all have better luck next year.”

“You’re leaving?” Don asked. “You want to grab something to eat?”

“Now?”

He shrugged, looking almost apologetic. “I just feel like I haven’t talked to you in a while.”

Well, you haven’t, she thought. And not just since I left, either. But she found herself agreeing to join him.

“Don’t go too crazy, kids,” Roger said as they left.


They went to a coffee shop around the block. Peggy was worried it would seem awkward, but they fell into conversation easily enough. She inquired politely about his children and learned Sally was headed to Vassar in the fall. It didn’t seem possible that so much time had passed. She felt older, yes, but not that much older.

“You know I’m divorced,” Don said. “And living in the city again, which is weird.”

She nodded. “I know. That happened right before I left.”

“That’s right. That whole time’s kind of…indistinct; there was so much going on.”

“Right. You getting a divorce and me quitting, I’m sure those were equally traumatic experiences.”

“My divorce wasn’t exactly traumatic. I could see it coming for a long time. Megan was—still is—a young woman. She liked my children—I think she actually loved my children—and she said they were all she needed. But it only took a few years for her to decide she wanted her own children after all. I couldn’t blame her, but I couldn’t help her either.” He hesitated before continuing: “I haven’t been the greatest father to the kids I have. I didn’t want to compound the problem.”

Don was leaving out the part Peggy knew already, the part where he’d begun sleeping with other women. Maybe, self-servingly, he saw that as the symptom rather than the problem itself. Or maybe he just figured it was common knowledge and didn’t need to be rehashed. Either way, she wasn’t going to call him on any bullshit. It was nice just talking to him again, so she decided to let it go.

“Anyway,” Don said. “Maybe I should have predicted you quitting, too.”

“Well,” she said, “by the time you were my age, you were already running Creative at Sterling Cooper. I’m sure you can understand why I left.”

“I remember asking you what I could give you to make you stay, and you said—”

“ ‘Your job.’” They laughed. “Yeah,” she said, “but see, I wouldn’t actually have wanted that. Because then everyone would have compared me to you, and I’d have lost. I just knew I had to get out of there. It’s like when I was a kid: My mother would always try to save money by keeping me in the same shoes for as long as possible. I’d get these calluses, like a middle-aged waitress. Finally my father would say, ‘For the love of Mike, Katherine, get the girl some new shoes.’ Well, that’s how it was. I just needed some new shoes.”

“You outgrew us.”

“I outgrew the job, that’s all.”

“It’s kind of funny that we’ve never talked about this before, don’t you think?”

“What—me leaving? Your divorce? Why would we have? We weren’t exactly confidantes.” There’d been a time when she’d thought they might be, but she didn’t remind him of that.

Don wasn’t expecting that. “Well…”

“Sorry.”

“No, you’re right. What can I say? I’ve made a lot of mistakes.”

“It’s OK,” Peggy said. “Who hasn’t, right?” She pushed her plate towards him. “Here, have a French fry.”

Maybe that was what did it, the moment that got the wheels turning. At least on Don’s part; Peggy was caught completely off guard when, at the end of dinner, he asked if she wanted to come back to his apartment. “I would say, ‘for a drink,’ but…”

“Why are you doing this?” she asked. “To see if you can?”

“What? No.”

“Then, what? You’ve never been interested in me. Even when you were trying to be nice, all you could come up with was ‘cute as hell,’ like we were on Andy Griffith or something.”

“OK, you're right; I didn’t think of you that way before, but after you left…well, I missed you.”

Absence makes the prick grow fonder, she thought. Her mind had gone alarmingly obscene in recent years.

“Then I saw you tonight,” he continued, “and—I forgot how much I liked just talking to you.”

Peggy was loath to admit she’d been thinking the same thing. “Oh. You’re inviting me to your place to talk?”

“Look, if you’re not interested, just say so. I won’t be offended. I’ll be humiliated, but not offended.” He smiled. She smiled back, thinking: Well, that’s it.

It still felt wrong, but she couldn’t think of any reason it actually was. She did find Don attractive. He wasn’t her boss anymore, and neither of them wanted a serious relationship. By his own admission, he was someone who hurt women. But she didn’t believe, by that point, that he could hurt her.

“OK,” she said. “Let’s go.”


“I don’t know what we’re gonna talk about,” he told her later that night, “now that we can’t talk about work anymore.”

Peggy wouldn’t allow herself to say anything as clichéd as: Oh, we’ll think of something. She wasn’t, actually, sure that they would.

**********

Tuesday

Dear Abby,

I am a junior in college. I was raised with loving parents and a great older sister. Only a few months ago, my mother told me that I was adopted at birth. This was a big shock for me since I’ve always been told how much I resemble my father. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I never expected this news.

I feel awful even writing this, because it sounds so ungrateful, but lately I find myself constantly thinking about who my real parents might be. My schoolwork is suffering and my friends have noticed that I seem distracted. (No one outside my family knows about this.) I just feel like I don’t know who I really am anymore. Abby, do you think it would be worthwhile for me to try to find my birth mother?

--Confused in Cleveland


After Peggy discovered this column in the Sunday paper, she cut it out and hid it, like a child would, at the bottom of a dresser drawer. She knows that the odds of the letter writer being her son are infinitesimally small—even though the age is correct—but she can’t shake the idea completely. Is that a sign of maternal instinct, or of paranoia? And even if this earnest young person is no relation to her, the letter has suggested a possibility that, until recently, she had never even considered—a different manifestation, maybe, of the same denial that had allowed her to ignore her pregnancy in the first place.

When she met Don for dinner last night, she fully intended to bring it up—if only because mentioning it out loud might make it seem more absurd, less plausible. But, sitting across from him at the coffee shop, she couldn’t bring herself to say anything. They talked a little about the article and made plans to have dinner with his two older children on Saturday. She thinks she did a good job of seeming like her regular self.

She isn’t entirely sure what the point of her secrecy is; it’s not as if Don doesn’t know she has a child. Had a child. And, even leaving their relationship aside, he would be the most logical person to tell—who else would understand the fear of being pursued, the feeling that it was only a matter of time until you heard the fateful knock on your door and the life you had known ended forever?

But there are still things Don doesn’t know about her, things she doesn’t want him to know. If she starts talking about what happened in 1960, she might not be able to stop.

**********

1973

Back when Don and Peggy still worked together, they could be almost brutal with each other; neither of them would hesitate to say: The whole campaign is bullshit or: Don’t you think you’re better than this? But when he told her that, while in Korea, he’d stolen the identity of his dead commanding officer, she managed only, “But weren’t you worried you didn’t look old enough?” And it wasn’t because she was stunned, although she was; when she considered it later, she realized it truly didn’t matter.

He raised his eyebrows. “That’s it?”

“Well…” she said. “I guess it means you’re stuck with me.”

She intended this as a joke, or, at most, a way of testing the waters. In the year they’d been seeing each other, their relationship had evolved beyond a sexual fling—but to what, exactly, neither of them could say. They certainly never used the words girlfriend or boyfriend. Besides, Don was forty-seven. To refer to him as anyone’s boyfriend was ridiculous.

But he wouldn’t have told her that, if he didn’t think she was sticking around.

Later, knowing he wasn’t asleep, she reached over to him in the dark. “What’s your real name?”

He told her. “But you can’t call me that,” he said. “Not even here.”

**********

Wednesday

Peggy leaves work early to go to a dentist appointment. She’s walking through Washington Square Park when someone calls out, “Hey, Peggy! Over here!” The late-adolescent voice brings her to a chilled halt, until she realizes that the boy is Don’s younger son, Gene, a freshman at NYU.

“Hey,” he says, catching up to her. Another boy his age, dressed in similar suburban-punk garb, stands just behind him. “Didn’t mean to scare you.”

Although Peggy sees Don’s children only on rare occasions, she has suspected for several years that Gene is gay. Now that he’s out of judgmental, suburban Westchester, set loose in anonymous New York, it’s immediately obvious that she was correct. She’s pretty sure he’s wearing eyeliner, not that that means anything by itself—even the straight kids want to look semi-androgynous now.

“Oh, you didn’t,” Peggy says. “Scare me. I was just…off in my own world, I guess.”

“You know, we’re already late,” Gene’s friend tells him.

Gene rolls his eyes. “This is Chuck. Sorry, he’s from Nebraska and he’s not exactly civilized yet.”

“Ah, fuck off,” Chuck says mildly.

“See? Chuck, this is Peggy. She’s, um…she’s a friend of my dad’s.” In Gene’s awkward, euphemistic explanation, Peggy can glimpse all the future introductions—Gene coming home from college, or later visiting for the weekend, each time with a different “friend” or “roommate.” She’s known enough young guys like that over the years, and although everyone says things are better now, “better” is a relative term, isn’t it? Anyway, living alone with the ex-Mrs. Betty Francis can’t be easy even if you’re straight.

“I’m his father’s girlfriend,” she tells Chuck, surprising herself.

“Oh, yeah,” Gene says, embarrassed. “Sorry. I didn’t mean…”

“What is he, married or something?” Chuck asks.

“My dad’s not married, Chuck. Jesus Christ.” Too young to remember his father’s infidelities, Gene seems genuinely offended. He fumbles in his jacket pocket for a cigarette, not quite as cool as he wants to be. Not yet, anyway; he’s only a freshman. “I know,” he sighs preemptively, “I shouldn’t be smoking.”

“Why not?” Peggy teases. “Stunts your growth?”

Gene is perhaps six two; he looks down at her and laughs appreciatively. “See, that’s what I always liked about you,” he says. “You never tried to be anybody’s mother.”

**********

1974

Peggy had broken from her usual custom and gone to Don’s apartment on a weeknight, so they could watch Nixon’s speech together. They both knew the president was going to resign, but somehow it was still a surprise to hear him say it. It was more of a surprise, in America, to think that a president could be forced to leave office than that a president could be assassinated. (Whenever Peggy was asked, “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” she always tried to dodge the question.)

She set the alarm for six o’clock, so she could go home and get ready for work. But the next morning, she was awakened not by the alarm but by the phone, which was on her side of the bed.

“You get that?” Don mumbled.

She never answered the phone in Don’s apartment. He had only said that because it was five-thirty in the morning and he was still half asleep. Then she realized that the phone ringing at five-thirty in the morning could not be good news.

“Hello?” she said into the receiver.

Peggy?” It was Pete Campbell.

“Oh. Yes,” she said unnecessarily. “It’s me.”

“Isn’t this the icing on the cake...All right, well. Is…could you put…oh, never mind. I suppose you still remember how to take messages.”

“I have my memo pad right here,” she said, as breezily as she could manage at that hour.

Pete said without preamble, “Roger Sterling’s dead.”

Dead?”

Hearing this brought Don fully awake. He sat up, grabbing her arm, looking more panicked than she’d ever seen him. Trying to look reassuring, she shook her head. Not your children. Not your family. Don’s expression was half relief, half bafflement. He whispered, “Nixon?”

Peggy almost laughed, had to turn it into a cough. She shook her head again and turned away so she could better hear what Pete was saying. Unfortunately for her, this turned out to be, “Apparently he had a heart attack while watching Nixon’s resignation speech.”

Then she did laugh; she couldn’t help it. It was only for a second, but that was enough.

“I’m sorry if you think this is funny.” Even though Pete hadn’t liked Roger, his personality couldn’t allow for any irreverence.

“No,” Peggy said; “I’m sorry. It’s not funny. I guess I’m just in shock.”

“We all are,” Pete said. “Look, tell Don I’ll speak with him at the office.” He hung up.

Before Peggy had replaced the receiver, Don asked, “Who is it?”

Peggy couldn’t quite look at him. “Roger. That was Pete Campbell on the phone.”

“Jesus. When, last night?”

“Yes,” she said, leaving it at that.

Don quickly got out of bed and went to get his clothes from the closet. “Poor Jane,” he muttered absently.

Unlike Megan, Jane had gotten the child she wanted. Roger had finally agreed, maybe because of the tantalizing prospect of a son. But Jane had had a girl, five years earlier. Peggy didn’t want to think about that any more than she had to.

She knew she should tell Don to expect Pete to be angry. Don didn’t have to hear the whole story; she could just say they’d slept together a few times. But some part of her had already resolved to say nothing. Maybe he would attribute any strange behavior on Pete’s part to shock over Roger’s death.

“You want to stick around?” he asked her. “We could leave together.”

She nodded in agreement and watched as he headed into the shower. I am not a crook, she thought absurdly.

**********

Thursday

“Guess what,” Peggy tells Don over the phone. “I ran into Gene yesterday, on my way to my dentist appointment.”

“You two find a lot to talk about?”

“Oh, well, I had to get going, and he was with his friend, so…”

“Who was the friend?” Don says, and Peggy knows what he’s really asking.

“I don’t know, a classmate. Chuck from Kansas or Nebraska or something. You know, just some kid he’s in school with.”

“I called him, to see if he wanted to meet us on Saturday. He said he was busy. He lives three miles away and I haven’t seen him in a month.”

“Well, he probably likes feeling like he’s off on his own. That’s the whole point of moving away for college, right? I mean, not that I would know about that, but I remember when I first moved to Manhattan, my mother always wanted me to come to Bay Ridge for dinner. ‘It’s the R train, Margaret, not the Transcontinental Railroad.’ But of course, the actual physical distance wasn’t the point. It was the, you know, psychological part of it.”

“You’re probably right,” Don says.

“He’s fine. He’s a good kid.” She wants to say something like: Whatever happens, he’ll be fine; but that, she knows, is just direct enough to cause trouble. Instead she says, “Don’t worry about him. Too much.”

After she hangs up with Don, Peggy goes into the bedroom, opens her bottom dresser drawer, and takes out the newspaper column. She sits on the edge of her bed, looking down at the newsprint until the words blur together. Don’t worry about him too much.

**********

1976

When Peggy’s friend Elaine called and asked her to brunch, Peggy had the impression she wanted to talk to her about something. Sure enough, about halfway through a Cobb salad, Elaine sighed and put down her fork. “Listen, I don’t know how to say this,” she said, “but Joe and I—”

In the half-second pause that followed, Peggy readied herself to hear that Elaine and Joe were getting divorced. She prepared her best sympathetic expression.

“We were out having dinner the other night,” Elaine went on, “and we saw Don, with a woman. With her,” she added, in case Peggy didn’t get it. “I’m sorry, Joe didn’t think I should tell you, but it’s been making me sick all week…”

Peggy felt a little sick herself. This wasn’t something she wanted to hear, but not for the exact reason Elaine probably imagined. And the last thing she wanted to do was explain.

“He’s an idiot,” Elaine said. “I’m sorry, but he is.”

Peggy had always suspected Elaine of having a thing for Don. “He looks like Cary Grant,” she’d said once, after a few cocktails; “you know, around North by Northwest when he was really sexy.” Now she seemed personally offended, as if Don had also humiliated her, for ever finding him attractive.

Peggy sighed, knowing she had to say something. “No, he’s not.”

You’re not the idiot,” Elaine said fiercely. “Don’t you think that way.”

“What? I wasn’t.”

“Oh. Well…good. Because you’re not.”

“Look,” Peggy said, “we don’t really talk about it, but…that’s kind of how it works.”

“How what works? You mean he dates other women and you know about it?”

“I don’t know about it; I just don’t…not know about it. It was something we both understood, from the beginning—that we weren’t going to be totally exclusive.”

“Does that mean you see other men?”

“Well…it means that I could.”

Elaine’s expression was skeptical, with a fair amount of pity mixed in, which Peggy resented. Who was Elaine to judge the way her relationship worked? Everyone knew she and her husband couldn’t stand each other.

But at the same time, it was one thing to know that Don was probably sleeping with other women, and another to be confronted with the reality of it. The idea of him out in public with someone else was particularly off-putting, although there was no real reason for that—wasn’t taking a woman to a restaurant better than picking up hookers in Times Square? And, after all, she was free to do the same thing.

So a few weeks after that, she did. His name was George, and they met at a hotel bar in Dallas. This was during the bicentennial celebrations, and George told her, back in her hotel room, “Time for us to make our own fireworks.” The ridiculousness of the line made him the perfect one-night stand, someone impossible to get attached to. Sleeping with him didn’t feel exactly like cheating, but it also wasn’t something she was eager to do again.

That August Elaine sent her a letter which included the line, I’m sorry if you think this is what liberation looks like. Peggy tore up the letter and stopped returning Elaine’s phone calls. If Don noticed anything unusual in her behavior around that time, he never said anything.

Later that year she was made partner, at the firm now called Creswell, Partridge and Olson. Don took her for a celebratory dinner at Tavern on the Green. “I don’t tell you often enough,” he said, “how lucky I am even to know you.”

Their hands were joined under the table when the waiter brought the check. With her free hand, Peggy reached for it before Don could object. “You’ve got three kids and alimony payments. There’s no reason I shouldn’t pay sometimes.” She signed the bill thinking, Yes, this is what liberation looks like.

**********

Friday

On line at the bank, waiting to deposit a check during her lunch break, Peggy hears an exaggerated throat-clearing behind her. She turns to see Pete Campbell and smiles politely even while thinking, Who else would it be, the way this week is going?

Pete smiles back, pleasantly. He doesn’t look so different, only a little heavier, so that he bears a slight resemblance to a penguin. “Hello!” he says. “It’s funny we’ve never run into each other here before.”

“I usually go to the branch on 57th, but they got held up this morning.”

“Goodness!” Pete says, sounding not so much like a holdover from another decade as from another century. “That’s unfortunate. But what else can you expect, these days.” Pete and Trudy moved out to Greenwich as soon as their older daughter reached kindergarten age. Peggy knows, through Don, that they’re still married, apparently happily.

The “Teller Available” sign lights up and Peggy moves towards the available post. Behind her Pete says, “Wait for me a minute, all right? If you can.”

Since she does have a little time to spare, Peggy waits for Pete over by the deposit slips. She has more than one reason for wanting to avoid a prolonged conversation. Although the firm is still called Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, everyone in advertising knows that most of its remaining power rests with Pete Campbell. Peggy first glimpsed the proof back in 1974, when Pete was informed of Roger’s death before Don was. Lately there’s talk that Pete wants to hire a new creative director, push Don into some kind of consulting position. Don hasn’t discussed it with her, and most of the people in her office are aware of her situation, but all it takes is one clueless gossip in an elevator.

“Thanks for waiting,” Pete says as he comes over to her. “I thought you might still be sore with me.”

Peggy tries not to laugh as she echoes, “ ‘Sore with’ you because…”

“When Roger died—it wasn’t my finest hour.”

“Oh, Pete, that was so long ago. Anyway, no one’s finest hour is five o’clock in the morning.”

Pete nods. “That’s generous of you. Thanks.” He asks after a pause, “So, how have you been?”

“Oh, pretty well. How are you; how’s your—how are Trudy and the girls?”

“They’re all very well.”

“Great.” Peggy nods a few times, which seems at least a little subtler than checking her watch.

“I’m sorry,” Pete says quietly. “I just don’t understand…”

“What?”

“Well…all these years and he hasn’t given you a ring? Don’t you think you deserve one?”

She shakes her head. “It’s not a question of ‘deserving.’ He doesn’t buy me jewelry; I don’t cook him dinner. That’s just not how it works.”

Pete says, “You do seem happy,” like a reluctant benediction.

Peggy normally doesn’t think of herself as happy or unhappy. She likes her life, mostly. “I am.”

“Good.” He seems to struggle with whether to leave it there before adding, with that haughty schoolboy’s defiance he’s never quite lost, “But I still think you deserve one.”

**********

1978

In all these years, they’ve taken only one real vacation together, not counting advertising conventions they both happened to be attending. Peggy keeps the photo album on a bookshelf in her living room, with the notation in cursive on the inside front cover: Bermuda, 1978. She was constantly taking pictures that week, which was unlike her—her sister was always the one yelling, “Everybody hold still!” at family gatherings. But she so rarely got to travel purely for pleasure that she didn’t want to forget any of it. There are only four or five photos of her: one Don took of her lying on the beach, a few of both of them with her holding the camera. (She would never ask anyone else to take their picture, because she always hated when tourists in Manhattan asked that favor of her.)

She still remembers her surprise when Don asked her to go, how she couldn’t shake the feeling that he was running from something, that maybe he’d gotten some tip about the FBI. But then she realized that fugitives didn’t typically fly to resort islands with airplane tickets they’d charged to their own credit cards. Don wasn’t running from anything. In fact, that week was the most relaxed she’d ever seen him.

Most days they ate lunch at their hotel’s beachside bar-and-grill. Once another couple sat next to them at one of the long wooden tables. “Is this all right?” the man asked. “Sorry, there’s no other seats open.” He and his wife introduced themselves as Eric and Patricia Brown, from London.

Don reached out to shake their hands before Peggy could say anything. “Dick Whitman. This is my wife, Margaret.”

“Oh,” she said. “Well. Everyone calls me Peggy.”

“Hi, Peggy,” the Browns said in unison.

While they were perusing their menus, Peggy kicked Don lightly under the table. No rings, she mouthed when he looked up at her. He shrugged amusedly and jerked his thumb behind him, towards the ocean—meaning, she guessed: We took them off to go swimming.

Well, OK, she decided. That would work.

So she ate lunch that day as Dick Whitman’s wife. When they got up from the table, walking hand-in-hand back to the beach, they were still the Whitmans from Illinois. At some point they passed out of the Browns’ line of vision and became just Don and Peggy again. But, no matter how many times she went over it later, she could never tell exactly when that happened.

**********

Saturday

Peggy lets Bob Draper into Don’s apartment, where his sister Sally is already waiting. “Hello, girls!” he says, imitating Dudley Moore in Arthur. He gives Peggy a somewhat awkward kiss on the cheek and takes off his jacket to reveal an old plaid shirt and jeans, probably the same thing he wore on his plumbing job. Peggy hopes the restaurant they’re going to is loose with its dress code. She remembers, just in time, that Bob wants to be called Rob now. He plays drums in a bar band; he must think “Rob” sounds cooler.

“Hi, Rob,” she says. “How’s it going?”

“Oh, not this ‘Rob’ bullshit,” Sally says.

Bob/Rob ignores his sister even as he sits down next to her on the living room sofa. “Great, Peggy, thanks for asking.”

“You realize your name now has ‘rob’ and ‘rape’ in it,” Sally says. “That’s really going to encourage women to let you into their houses. You have nine letters in your name and seven of them are problematic.”

“Wow, maybe you should be in advertising,” he says. “What do they call it, brand marketing or something like that?”

“Give me a fucking break,” Sally says. “Sorry, Peggy.”

Peggy can’t tell if Sally is apologizing for the cursing, or for insulting her profession. “No problem.”

“Aw, Peggy’s cool,” Rob says. “She can take it. Hey, where’s Dad?”

“Shower,” Peggy says. “The hot water wasn’t really working this morning.”

“Oh. So do you live here now or what?”

“No, I just stay here sometimes.”

Rob shakes his head. “You and Dad, man, I envy you guys. You guys have got it all figured out.”

“Wow,” Sally says. “Thanks for that relationship analysis, Bob.”

Her brother is picking at something under his fingernail, his feet resting on Don’s coffee table. He gives Sally a sly glance. “So, you ever fuck one of your students?”

“You’re ridiculous,” Sally says. “And by the way, you smell like pot.”

Rob acts mock-bewildered: “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

The two of them have bickered like this for as long as Peggy has known them—from what Don says, even longer than that. They’re twenty-seven and twenty-four and still fight like a couple of teenagers. What makes it even more absurd is that Sally is a high school guidance counselor. Peggy can’t imagine taking career advice from someone that age, especially not someone like Sally, who changed her major three times and couldn’t stick with a job until a few years ago. It’s not that she dislikes them, just that she remembers herself and her friends at that age and can see the difference. Sometimes these kids seem like a whole generation of Not Ready for Prime-Time Players.

“Wait a minute,” Sally says suddenly, tugging at a magazine underneath her brother’s foot. “Since when does Dad read Ms?” She begins leafing through it and, before Peggy has decided whether to say anything, exclaims, “This is you!”

“Mmm-hmm,” Peggy says.

“God, how stupid did that sound? Like you didn’t know that already, right? I just wasn’t expecting it—wow, this is a long article, too.”

“What?” Rob asks, trying to read over his sister’s shoulder. “What’s it say?”

“It was a special issue,” Peggy explains, “on advertising and the media, so…”

Sally reads from the note at the start of the interview: “‘In 1960, while working as a secretary at the agency Sterling Cooper, Olson found herself, almost accidentally, writing advertising copy.’ You were Dad’s secretary, right?”

“I didn’t know that,” says Rob—with what Peggy recognizes, unexpectedly, as genuine interest.

“If things had gone differently, I might still be a secretary now. I think about that sometimes.”

“Look at it this way,” Sally says. “If you hadn’t done what you did, a lot of women might still be secretaries now.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Peggy says.

“No, honestly. I always thought it was pretty great.”

“Thanks,” Peggy says. “That’s—it’s nice to hear something like that.” For the first time she senses that Sally might, in fact, make a very good guidance counselor.

Still reading over Sally’s shoulder, Rob says, “So where’s Bowie, anyway? Isn’t he coming?”

“Isn’t who coming?” Sally asks.

“Who else? Our brother, Ziggy Stardust or whoever he thinks he is. What? Didn’t I make myself queer?”

“Hey,” Peggy says.

Rob gives her a quick look, surprised, trying to gauge her tone. Then he says, shrugging affably, “OK, forget it.”

“I guess he didn’t want to have dinner with you, for some reason,” Sally tells him. She lowers her voice, maybe unsure about broaching this topic. “It’s no joke, you know; I had this kid come into my office so upset, because he—well, he’s gay, only his father is a minister and doesn’t know anything about it. The dad is like a Moral Majority type, too.”

“Hey,” Rob protests, “I’m not saying anyone’s going to hell; I don’t even believe in that bullshit. I just don’t see why I’m supposed to pretend like—”

Peggy hears a noise from the back of the apartment—Don coming out of the shower. Wanting to stop the conversation, she finds herself sounding more like her mother than she ever has before, and probably ever will again: “Now listen,” she tells them, “I don’t want to hear any of this in front of your father.”



The hot water in Don’s apartment is still acting up, so after dinner, he and Peggy head back to her apartment for the night. They watch some of the Saturday night movie and then go to bed early. Peggy reads the new Advertising Age; Don has Rabbit is Rich. It’s nice in the apartment, quiet, after that loud trendy restaurant Sally picked out.

“I wish Sally hadn’t started smoking,” Don remarks as he turns a page.“She thinks quitting’s the easiest thing in the world once you decide to do it. But look at me; it’s the only vice I have left.”

“Mmm,” Peggy says. Then she adds, kiddingly, “The only one?”

“Well, I don’t exactly think of you as a vice.”

“I didn’t mean me.”

Don puts the book down on the nightstand and gives her a strange look. “I don’t sleep with anyone else.”

For a split second, Peggy imagines a Three’s Company¬like misunderstanding, the woman in the restaurant actually a client or a long-lost cousin. But she knows that isn’t true. Why did she even bring it up? Why now, after all these years? “It’s not—”

“No, I mean it. I did. I’m not going to tell you I didn’t. But now?” He shakes his head. “I don’t have any interest in that anymore. All this time, that’s what you thought?”

“It didn’t bother me. It was what it was.”

“ ‘It was what it was’?”

“You know, just…part of the deal. And it was, at one point, so don’t get indignant about it. You told me. You said that to me. ‘If this is gonna work, neither one of us can feel tied down.’ That isn’t a hard code to crack.”

“Well, you didn’t want to be tied down, either. You just wanted to be tied up.”

She shouldn’t reward this by laughing, but she does. Anyway, she doesn’t want to be mad. She believes him, that he’s given it up—whether it’s out of morality, fidelity, or just weariness with the whole scene doesn’t particularly concern her. She wants them to be together, happy; that’s all that matters. And they are happy. She’s been thinking about it since Pete asked her yesterday. Certainly happier than most of the people she knows seem to be.

“I slept with someone, once,” she says. “In Dallas. And—” She stops herself before she confesses to anything else.

“And--?”

“Oh, well, I can’t give away all my secrets in one night.” But she knows there’s one thing she does need to confess tonight. “Listen,” she says. “I have to show you something.”

She gets out of bed, taking a deep breath before she crosses the room and opens her bottom dresser drawer. Don watches her curiously. He pulls himself upright and reaches for the newspaper column when she hands it to him.

You’re Dear Abby?” he says, and she tries to laugh. She doesn’t know where to go, what to say, so she just stands there while he reads.

When he’s done, he keeps looking at the column for a minute before lowering his reading glasses and looking back up at her. “How long have you been saving this?”

“Not long. A week.”

“First of all, this kid is in Cleveland.”

She nods. “But people do move. And he’s in college—he could have gone out of state.”

Don sighs, turning the strip of newsprint over in his hand. “What can I say to convince you?”

“I don’t want you to convince me. I want—I don’t know what I want.”

He doesn’t say anything.

“You know what I can’t understand?” she goes on. “How they waited twenty years to tell him. I don’t know much about raising kids, but I sure as hell know you don’t do that to somebody. I mean, seriously. How could they do that to him?”

“Peggy,” he says gently, “‘they’ have nothing to do with you. You know that.”

“But even if that’s true, he’s still out there. What if he feels like this kid? What if he’s looking for me?”

“Didn’t you already know that was a possibility?”

“I guess I knew it and I didn’t.”

“Well, do you want him to find you?”

“I used to have dreams sometimes,” she says, not looking him in the eye. “I’d be walking down the street and see a little boy walking by and—I just knew. And he knew who I was, too. But the dreams always ended before we could say anything to each other. And sometimes I’d wake up in the middle of the night, not because of a dream exactly, but because I just had this feeling that something bad had happened to him. But whether it was that he’d failed a math test, or…something worse, I didn’t know. Obviously. And, of course, it could have been nothing at all, which was the worst part. I mean, I’d always wonder—was this that thing, that sixth sense mothers are supposed to have, or was it just—just nothing? I didn’t know, and I didn’t have any way to check. I still don’t; anything could have happened to him, no one would tell me…”

“Hey,” Don says. “Hey. Come here.” He reaches for her, to draw her down onto the bed next to him, but she pulls back. She doesn’t want that, doesn’t want to be comforted; it’s too easy. It doesn’t solve anything.

“I wish I’d known you were feeling like this,” he says finally.

“I wasn’t; that’s what I hate most about this whole thing. I wasn’t even thinking about it until I read this damn column, or at least, I was thinking about it as little as a person could be. You know, life goes on, right? But reading it brought back these things I hadn’t felt for years.

“If I’m being honest…I don’t want him to find me. If there was some way for me to know he was all right, and him not to know about it, I’d take it. But. There isn’t. So.”

“No, there isn’t,” he says, and she loves that, how he doesn’t try to bullshit her. He knows her too well for that. Nine years together, Jesus Christ. Nine years ago Nixon was still president, Peggy’s mother was still alive, the Vietnam War was still going on. Nine years from now, who knows?

Then she does come closer—he slides over to make room for her and she lies down next to him, on what’s usually his side of the bed, as his arm stretches across her shoulders.

“So different over here,” she says. “The closet’s so far away…”

He laughs and she feels the rumble deep in his chest as she rests her head there. “It’s like a little vacation.”

“What did you do with--?”

He holds up his left hand, the one farther away from her, which is still holding the newspaper column. “What do you want me to do with it?”

Peggy looks at it for a few seconds, then says, “Give me that,” and tears it into little pieces. Leaning over, she drops them onto the floor. She’ll clean them up tomorrow. Right now, she wants to stay just where she is.

Later, after Don is asleep, Peggy tries an experiment. Barely audibly, her voice not even a whisper but more like a breath with words hidden inside, she says, “Pete Campbell.” She waits a few seconds; then, at the same volume: “I had Pete Campbell’s baby.”

Just in case Don’s senses have suddenly sharpened, she looks over at him. Nothing.

It’s rehearsing, that’s what it is. Nine years from now, Don could be retired. Maybe, once he isn’t working with Pete Campbell every day, she can tell him the rest of the story. She turns on her side, watching him, imagining him walking into that office every day knowing, as he must, that someday he’s going to be forced out. Don is like New York, something she loves even more in its decline.

When she wakes up the next morning, she has a brief moment of disorientation—is she in a hotel? In someone’s guest room? Then she remembers that she’s literally waking up on the wrong side of the bed. She rolls over. Don is awake, watching her.

“Hi,” he says.

“Hi.” She kisses him good morning. “It’s Sunday, right, not Monday?”

“Sunday,” he confirms.

“Thank God.” She yawns, so hugely that Don starts laughing.

Peggy laughs too, right in the middle of it. Eight o’clock on a Sunday morning. Perfect. She suddenly remembers that it’s November 22; John F. Kennedy died eighteen years ago today. It would be nice if this date didn’t remind her of Duck Phillips anymore.

“Oh, hell,” she says, before she’s even aware of making the decision to say anything. “Maybe we should just get married.”


THE END


NOTE:

"Maybe then she’ll stop asking me to boycott the Athletic Club": The New York Athletic Club did not admit women until 1989.

Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
tekalynn
Feb. 5th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
This is marvelous.

I love Mad Men, and I love fanfic, but I don't click with a lot of Mad Men fanfic. Your story, however, I definitely click with. Everyone's behavior and speech patterns are so in character, and this is a very plausible--and positive!--extrapolation of their future lives. Lovely story.
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm a sucker for happy endings, but they have to feel earned, so I'm glad this worked for you in that way.
marinw
Feb. 6th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. I love imagining what Peggy/Don/Joan/Betty and the gang would evolve into in the 1970's.
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
Thanks! I debated whether to fit in more members of "the gang," but decided to keep the focus narrower.
cmk418
Feb. 6th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
This is wonderful. I like the structure of it - the shifting time periods continually bringing us back to the present and closer to the secrets that Peggy is trying to escape. I like how you gave the Draper kids each their own distinct personalities in how they interact with Peggy and one another. This was how I could see a relationship with them developing, evolving over years and years until they finally either realize they've been practically married for years or until they both settle into monogamy. Nicely done!
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! Honestly, this fic was a complete beast to write (but in a good way), mostly because of the structure. So I'm glad that it came together in a cohensive way for you.

This was how I could see a relationship with them developing, evolving over years and years until they finally either realize they've been practically married for years or until they both settle into monogamy.

When I finished writing, I realized it was sort of a story of Don gradually coming to deserve Peggy.
yahtzee63
Feb. 6th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
This is the happiest Don/Peggy story I can ever really believe in, because you show exactly how Peggy has and hasn't compromised, how Don has and hasn't changed, the secrets that are still there and how their flaws and pasts may keep them separate but not apart. Awesome period detail, and I like your takes on the adult Bobby, Sally and Gene. AWESOME fic.
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! The happiness/plausibility balance was important for me. I'm glad you liked the Draper kids, too; they were really fun to write.
mrssnape13
Feb. 6th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
This is fantastic. Everyone's voice reads true to the show, but your Peggy is especially good. Really, I can hear her saying all of these things in that soft but no-nonsense voice of hers. Great story! :)
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:05 am (UTC)
Thank you! Peggy rocks so hard. It was fun to try to write a whole story from her perspective.
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Oh, also, can I just say that I love your username.
mrssnape13
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)
Thank you! :) Some fandoms, a girl can't just give up. ;)
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC)
That takes me back...
madshrubbery
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
Excellent! I can just imagine Don with a little gray creeping in and Peggy with a wardrobe filled with trendy pantsuits.
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
Ha, yes, exactly! And Peggy would probably have an 80s perm too.

Thanks for reading!
peppermint_fox
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
This was lovely fanfic, I really enjoyed reading it :)
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
Thanks, glad you liked!
michellek
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC)
I loved this. I'm still on the fence about Don/Peggy, in terms of it happening in canon, but I think this is the best/most realistic way for it to occur, it becoming more serious over time. (And I want to think that Don will want to be faithful/tire of chasing after women because, man, at this point his philandering is tiresome/depressing.) Everyone was nicely in character, and I liked seeing older version of Don's kids.
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
Yea, I'm glad you liked it. As I sometimes do, I partly wrote the fic to see if I could make it plausible to myself--because while part of me would like to see them together, I don't want Peggy to get involved with Don as he is now in canon. This was the only way I could think of to do it.

I'm not sure when exactly I shifted to thinking of them as a ship--because until really recently I didn't, even after "The Suitcase." But I have the feeling that no one "gets" either one of them as well as they get each other.
michellek
Feb. 8th, 2011 04:03 am (UTC)
I've probably said this to you before, but I do think Don being as he is currently is part of the reason why I can't quite ship them.

Out of curiosity, do you think they're endgame? I've read quite a few people in the Mad Men community say, "I know they're endgame!" (Not everyone who makes this declaration is happy about it, so the idea that they're being set up for a relationship down the line isn't limited to just Peggy/Don shippers. I don't know how widespread it is, but anyway. I'm curious if you think they'll go there.)
lz1982
Feb. 8th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's the reason I had to write this as a future fic (and why I had to start the fic in 1972).

The thing is, I didn't know until several months ago that they were based on real people who actually did get married. So when I found that out, I started thinking that was MW's intention. Prior to that, I hadn't thought so at all. I just thought they were supposed to have a mentor/mentee relationship or possibly a friendship (I actually thought of writing this fic twice, once with them as a couple, and the other with them just as friends 15 years down the road. But I don't think that is going to happen.)
snerker
Feb. 6th, 2011 07:38 am (UTC)
Nicely played, and I'm not even pro-Peggy/Don.

This characterization of future-Sally pleased me most, I think, it clicks right with child-Sally.

And I love Peggy, completely in character.
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading even as a non-shipper. Glad you liked. And I'm happy to hear the future-Sally worked.
snoaz
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC)
Your characteristic was amazing. I could just /hear/ them speak the words, you know? Pete in his aristocratic manner of speech; Don carelessly confident; Peggy fierce yet hesitant at times.

I actually never read fan fictions for Mad Men, so I'm glad that the one time I did, it was a good one like this :)
lz1982
Feb. 6th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much! I'm glad you tried this one out and that your first fic experience was a good one.
pap3rbackwr1t3r
Feb. 8th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
Fantastic work! Really brilliant. Everything felt so in character and right. I ship Don/Peggy, although have my reservations in the sense that both of them need to further develop (especially Don). And if it ended up like this it'd be perfect.

Just a side note, I literally said "NNOOOOO!" out loud when Roger died. XD
lz1982
Feb. 8th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
It's not just luxury; it's smarter than that
Thank you so much! I absolutely agree with you about the characters' need to develop more, which is why I set it in the future.

Sorry about Roger--I figured there was no way he'd last until 1981, plus it was a good set-up for Pete to find out about Don and Peggy.
pap3rbackwr1t3r
Feb. 8th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
Re: It's not just luxury; it's smarter than that
No need to apologise about Roger. Considering how poorly he takes care of himself your timeline makes sense.

I just didn't expect it there. XD You wrote it so well, I was surprised right along with Peggy. At least he went in an amusing/fitting way!
lz1982
Feb. 8th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
Re: It's not just luxury; it's smarter than that
Yeah, I wanted to make it semi-amusing, since Mad Men often blends comedy and drama in those moments (i.e., Mrs. Blankenship). Glad it worked for you.
brighty18
Feb. 11th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
</i>
This was really cool - though I expected nothing less. Oddly, I like Don/Peggy, and you write them exceedingly well. He needs someone who is is intellectual and, in a weird way, psychological equal.

Back when Don and Peggy still worked together, they could be almost brutal with each other; neither of them would hesitate to say: The whole campaign is bullshit or: Don’t you think you’re better than this? But when he told her that, while in Korea, he’d stolen the identity of his dead commanding officer, she managed only, “But weren’t you worried you didn’t look old enough?” And it wasn’t because she was stunned, although she was; when she considered it later, she realized it truly didn’t matter.

He raised his eyebrows. “That’s it?”

“Well…” she said. “I guess it means you’re stuck with me.”


That rather sums it up, exactly. He needs the challenge, but not in the traditionally '50's girl-playing-hard-to-get way. The very fact that they share their greatest secrets (and she knows the name Dick Whitman) speaks volumes.

Oh, and I could totally see Gene as gay.

Finally, I have to say that you do an outstanding job with the time period - and that's sadly rare in this fandom. It's the little touches like Three's Company, Dear Abbey, the lighted "Teller Available" sign, the phrase "sore with you," etc. It all really worked

Edited at 2011-02-11 09:15 pm (UTC)
lz1982
Feb. 11th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: </i>
Thanks!

He needs someone who is is intellectual and, in a weird way, psychological equal.

I think you're right--one of Don's saving graces is that, despite being a sexist womanizer, he's much more open to the idea of women in the workforce than most men of his time. He has had relationships with intellectual career women, but they never seem to get beyond the fling stage. Dr. Faye was probably the closest, even though that relationship never really clicked for me.

Don and Peggy only have potential for me in a mythical future where Don at least sort of has his shit together. Otherwise, I like them as friends and coworkers but I think it would be a mistake for Peggy to get involved with him.
lz1982
Feb. 11th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
Re: </i>
Whoops, you must have edited this while I was commenting!

The very fact that they share their greatest secrets (and she knows the name Dick Whitman) speaks volumes.

Yes--the only thing I think she doesn't know about is Dick's brother Adam. Which is probably what Don is thinking about during the last scene--the idea of a family member tracking you down and you not wanting any contact with the person.

Glad the period stuff worked. I remember going to the bank with my mom and waiting for the "Teller Available" sign. Easy to forget ATM's weren't as common in 1981. And I don't think the first ATMs could accept deposited checks and things like that.

Funnily enough, I really wanted to have Don reading Rabbit is Rich, so I checked the NYT bestseller lists for that week to make sure it had already come out. Guess what else was topping the charts that week: a Dear Abby compilation! That was when I felt that sort of divine/mystical blessing over the fic and I knew it would work out.

Edited at 2011-02-11 09:36 pm (UTC)
hannasus
Mar. 3rd, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)
I absolutely adored this! Not only did you capture the period, but you captured the character's voices perfectly. Even older and wiser Don still sounds exactly like Don. I hope this is how they all turn out. Wonderfully done!
lz1982
Mar. 3rd, 2011 02:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm really glad the voices worked for you and especially that Don didn't seem out of character.
darklight90
Mar. 27th, 2011 08:57 am (UTC)
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I loved how perfectly IC and realistic this all played out. Peggy's perspective flowed so fluidly throughout the years with just the right amount of angst and pop-culture thrown in. I also liked that you elaborated on the lives of the Draper kids; it's small touches like those that really add a spark to a story. Also loving the touch of drama at the end with her not telling him that it's Pete's baby.

Just perfect :)
lz1982
Mar. 27th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it. I would hope the issue of Pete being the father could be discussed in the future and that Don would understand why she hadn't told him. It would be interesting to see that scenario played out over so much time.

I didn't want to go overboard on the pop-culture references so I'm glad you didn't think it was overkill.
abelard369
Apr. 23rd, 2011 07:24 am (UTC)
You are a complete genius. This is fabulous. I will worship you forever if you write more Don/Peggy (taking place in any year, in any kind of relationship whatsoever). Please???????!!!!!!!
lz1982
Apr. 23rd, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm sure I will at some point. I enjoyed writing this.
fearlessfan
Feb. 8th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)
This was really fantastic, I loved it start to finish - so well-written and full of meaningful little details, just perfect. Really wonderful story.
lz1982
Feb. 8th, 2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
Wow, total surprise comment. Thank you! I was really proud of this one.
myr_soleil
Sep. 3rd, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
Don/Peggy fic!!! This is wonderful. I feel like it got better as it went on. It seems very realistic, and I love Peggy's relationship with Don's children, and so many of the small touches - “Dick Whitman. This is my wife, Margaret.”, sleeping on the wrong side of the bed, Don not sleeping with anybody else, ahhh. I love it.
lz1982
Sep. 4th, 2012 02:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I think as I got to the end of the story, I was writing more frequently, so maybe it flows better as it goes on.
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )