“We need to talk,” Kathy says as soon as she enters the room. Don and Cosmo exchange a glance, but she continues on before they have the chance to feel anxious about what she’s going to say. “You two need to finally tell each other about these feelings you’re both been avoiding for your entire lives.”
“What?” Don asks while Cosmo goes quiet, both of them taken by surprise. Don wants to avert his gaze but he knows if he looks away from Kathy then he’ll end up looking at Cosmo, and he doesn’t think he has it in him to do that right now.
It’s not surprising that Kathy knows, and honestly it was just a matter of time before she figured it out. She knows both of them better than she knows herself, it’d be impossible for her not to have noticed the lingering looks, the unnecessary touches, the air of longing between them.
“You’re in love with each other,” she states simply, without a single doubt in her mind, “and if you don’t admit it soon, I’m going to go insane. There’s only so much pining a person can witness before they have to do something about it.”
“But I—” Don says, like he’s not quite sure what’s happening. “I’m in love with you.”
“I know,” she agrees, moving to sit on the couch and taking her place right in between them. “And you’re also in love with Cos.”
He shakes his head, beginning to chuckle. Nothing’s funny, but this is a turn of events he hadn’t thought would ever come. “Kathy,” he begins, but doesn’t know what else to say.
“You can’t try to deny this, Don. You’re as far from subtle as you can get, but I want you to know it’s okay.” She places her hand on his shoulder and he relaxes, even if it’s barely noticeable. “You don’t have to hide it, not from me.”
“...Do you really think a person can love two others at the same time?” he asks her, looking more vulnerable than she can ever remember seeing him.
She gives a single nod. “I do.”
And with that, he turns to Cosmo. His best friend since childhood, his most dear companion, his equal. The urge to take his head in his hands and kiss him until there isn’t any air left in the world is a feeling he’s gotten used to, but not having to squash away that feeling and bury it deep inside him? That’s new.
He leans in towards Cosmo, holding his breath as he waits for him to tell him no. Cosmo doesn’t say anything at first, then nods his head, a definite yes. Don removes the space between them, tentatively leaning forward to press his lips to Cosmo’s, testing the waters.
It’s everything he had imagined. Better than all those times he’d pictured it, in the privacy of his own thoughts before he had to stop himself. They move in complete synchronization, as if they were always meant to be together like this. Don’s hands move up to cup Cosmo’s cheeks and Cosmo’s hold onto his shoulder, in search of something to remind himself this is real. Don breathes him in, trying to soak up everything that’s been building over all this time.
They pull away, but the spell isn’t broken.
It carries on, in the way they meet each other’s eyes and really look, all the unspoken yearning hanging between them. Don seems like he understands now but Cosmo still looks confused and he turns to Kathy, who has been watching the exchange with a fond expression.
“What does this mean?” he asks quietly, because Don loving both Kathy and him is already almost too much to wrap his head around, but he has no idea where this leaves him and her.
The thing is, he’s known for pretty much all his life that he isn’t interested in women the same way most men are. It took him a while but he had come to accept it; it’d be okay as long as he pretended to be the person everyone thought he was. But then Kathy came into his life and turned everything upside down.
At first he assumed he had feelings for her only because Don did, because the two of them were so close and he felt everything Don felt, but as time passed he realized he genuinely likes her. Loves her.
Kathy smiles gently at him, like she knows exactly what’s going through his mind. “What would you like it to mean?”
He doesn’t know what to do, he hadn’t ever entertained the idea of her returning his feelings but he does now and sees an image of the three of them together, happy. That’s the outcome he wants, but he still has no reason to believe that’s something she would agree to. He glances at Don for help, and gets a nod in response. He and Kathy had just decreed it possible to love two people at once mere moments ago, maybe there’s a chance this can actually work out.
“I love both of you,” he blurts out, getting it over with before he can lose his nerve. “I want— I want to be with both of you.”
She beams. “I was hoping you’d say something like that.”
He blinks. “...Really—?”
She leans in and Cosmo’s hands in her hair as he presses his lips to hers are so light that she almost believes she’s dreaming. She hadn’t known one person could be capable of being so gentle, and she can’t help but smile into the kiss, both of them giddy at the unexpected way this evening has gone. It makes him laugh, which makes her laugh. The next thing they know they’re laughing too much to continue and Don begins laughing too. Nothing’s particularly funny, but everything is good.
They calm down enough to regain their breath and Kathy turns towards Don. She’s kissed him enough to know how it feels but this time it feels like the first time all over again, exciting and new. They’re breathless again by the time they part, and she starts standing up.
“Well, that went well,” she says, mostly to congratulate herself for finally getting this done. She holds out a hand to Cosmo, whose other hand is taken by Don’s, and offers a wink before pulling them in the direction of the bedroom.