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A Moment Alone

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Kathy was sitting on the top of Cosmo's upright piano, swinging her legs in time to the music. They were almost through filming Singin' In The Rain, her first film costarring opposite the great Don Lockwood. Her Don Lockwood. They were in the last days of filming, and she was glad, because ever since the picture had begun (and it seemed like ages ago), they hadn’t had time together. She was trying to plan a wedding, for goodness sake, but there were always early calls, always lines to be run and numbers to be rehearsed. It was all she could do to break out a seating arrangement chart or an RSVP list, and she had only gotten the invitations out with some help from her old friends from the Coconut Grove.

It wasn’t like the wedding would be impossible to plan After all, as one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, Don had pots of money and was letting her spend whatever she wanted - including a wedding planner. But Kathy wanted to feel involved. She didn’t want these months to pass her by so that one day she woke up and was suddenly married. She wanted to go through the madness. And to feel that spark of romance again. They hadn’t even been together all that long, certainly not long enough for the sparks to fade, but there was just never any time anymore!

"CUT!" Yelled Roscoe. "Don, that was perfect! Ten minute break to reset the stage, then Kathy, you're up."

Kathy straightened up and beamed at Don, who was sauntering her way, dressed in a grey raincoat and drenched with water.

"Watch out, Don, I think the studio sprung a leak," Cosmo said, picking at the piano keys. "Unless it was the angels weeping for the greatest actor of our generation."

Don laughed and pulled off his scarf. As he wrung it out, Cosmo added, "I think this picture'll really make a splash, don't you?"

"Well at least you know genius when you see it! How'd it go, Kathy, really?"

Kathy grabbed the lapels of his coat and pulled him closer. "Swimmingly, Don, simply swimmingly." He smiled and leaned in to kiss her.

"Stop with the sugar, you lovebirds!" called Roscoe, as Don sighed and stepped away, hands in the air. "Save some of that chemistry for camera! Cosmo, you keep an eye on them!"

"With pleasure, boss!" Cos called, and turned to the lovers. "You kids need to stay out of trouble!"

"You're one to talk, Cos! You've never been out of trouble in your life!" Don said, lifting Kathy down from the piano and settling his arm around her waist.

"Yes, but I'd thank you not to tell Roscoe." Cosmo winked at the dancers walking by, and one of them giggled and blushed. "That's Celia," he whispered confidentially.

"And Kathy, keep an eye on Cosmo!" came Roscoe's next order.

"Don't make me have a word with Celia! She's a nice girl!" Kathy cried, hitting Cosmo with his own sheet music.

“Kathy, you wound me!” he cried, sinking to his knees. “I have nothing but the best intentions! I adore the fair Celia!Nothing shall ever come between us.”

“Yes, this week, I’m sure she’s the only girl for you,” Kathy said, smiling in spite of herself

“Well, now that Lockwood’s locked down, someone has to keep Hollywood’s reputation for recklessness going.”

“If people knew your name, Cos, that’d be a great excuse,” laughed Don.

“You brutal celebrities cut me to the core!” Cosmo said, clutching his heart. “All that gets me through the pain is my music!” Spinning back to the piano, he played a melancholy ditty, rhyming “suffering” with “buffering.”

“I think you’re getting a little lost in your old age,” Don said. “Come on, Kathy, let’s run through the next number, lest we get this new composition stuck in our heads. ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ please, Maestro Brown!”

Kathy shook off her coat and joined Don on the dance floor, her small hand in his. “From the top?” she asked.

“Of course! We need to start in the right emotional tone, I think!”

Kathy laughed and stepped into his arms. “Like this, dear?”

“I don’t know,” he drawled, “could you move a little closer? I could use some warming up from all that rain!”

Just as Kathy scooted in, they heard a cry from the wings. “Good! You’re already in place!” called Roscoe. “Excellent! We’ve never been this efficient before. Maybe we can get this done in one take. Now remember, Don, after weeks of separation, you’re finally back with Lucy, and she just told you she dumped her lazy boyfriend for you.

“And Kathy, you’re overjoyed at seeing Jack, and delighted that he decided to not take his new job in New York, which would make him move away from you. And you’re both in love. Now, take us there! From the top!”

While he was speaking, Don rolled his eyes and whispered “later” apologetically to Kathy. She glared at him. It was always “later”. Taking matters into her own hands, she whispered, “No. We’ll make time now.”

“QUIET! ROLL ‘EM!”

The scene began. Don pulled Kathy to him and kissed her passionately, as this, the last scene in the film, called for. The rain began to fall from the ceiling, drenching both of them, and they stared at one another in wonder. And then, nothing.

“Kathy, that’s your line,” Don whispered.

“CUT!” yelled Roscoe. “Kathy, what happened?”

“I just…” she giggled… “Sorry, Roscoe, that kiss seemed to knock my memory out.” Beside her, she felt Don preening at that comment. “What was the line?”

“‘Oh, Jack,’” Roscoe said, rolling his eyes. “From the top! QUIET! ROLL ‘EM!”

And they kissed. And the rain fell. And Kathy opened her eyes and said, “Oh, Jack!”

“I love you, Kathy. Marry me, and never go away again,” Don said. When Roscoe shouted “CUT!” Don winked at her. “What was wrong with that take Roscoe?”

“That kiss looked pretty real, I thought,” called Cosmo, from the piano bench.

“Don, try to remember, this is Lucy, not Kathy. For this one moment, her name is Lucy Forsythe. Can you please try? Alright,” Roscoe called. “From the top. QUIET! ROLL ‘EM!”

The mistakes continued. Kathy tripped, Don sneezed, Cosmo played the wrong music, and once they all three collapsed into a fit of giggles. Roscoe was fuming, but Kathy ignored him. It was the first alone time she’d had with Don in months--even if it was in front of an entire studio--and she was determined to enjoy it.

“CUT!” screamed Roscoe. “We’ll get this in editing!” he looked at them despairingly. “You had better hope this picture does well, because if it doesn’t, I’m never working with you two again. You should never have been cast opposite each other!”

“I miss Lina,” said Cosmo. “At least those shoots were short.”

But Roscoe wasn’t done. “And Don, those film costs are coming out of your pay!”

“And my hospital bills.” Everyone looked at Cosmo. “Well, if I get arthritis from having to play that song so many times, Don’s paying for it!”

“The bill will have to be filed with my new accountant,” Don said. “Kathy, is it within the budget to pay for Mr. Brown’s medical expenditures.”

“Only if he plays for the wedding,” Kathy said. “As though we would have anyone else.”

“Oh, I’ve been practicing!” he ran back to the piano and began a funerary march.

“C’mon, Cos, a wedding’s not that bad!” cried Don.

“Oh, this old thing? I’m just mourning the loss of the hours I’ve spent listening to you whine about Kathy. ‘Where is that girl, Cosmo?’ ‘Does she like me?’ ‘Should I propose?’ ‘I’m such a ham.’ Now where will I get my entertainment from?”

“I think you’re mourning the cake that we stopped eating after we went from bakery to bakery looking for Kathy,” said Don.

“Hmm, that was good cake. I hope it’s just as good at the wedding.”

“Same bakery. Different girl coming out of it though. I’d hate to have Kathy jump out and steal another man’s heart away,” Don said, kissing her.

“As long as it’s not Celia. She told me I was a second-rate pianist, and if you two have taught me anything it’s that insults lead to matrimony.”

Kathy kissed Cosmo on the cheek. “Only if she’s a fan and she’s trying to hide it. Now, excuse me, gentlemen. If we’re done from the day, I need to get Don out of these wet clothes so he doesn’t get too ill for our rehearsal dinner, and he needs to help me make place cards tonight for the banquet.”

“Well at least that’s suitable punishment,” said Cosmo. “Is that okay with you, Roscoe?”

“Yes, Don sounds punished enough. Calligraphy is the perfect way for him to finish the day. Alright, you kids. If you never pull anything like today again, I hope your wedding planning goes swell.”

As they walked off set and towards Don’s dressing room, he asked if she really needed to plan the wedding tonight. “After all, we’re out of rehearsal early, and we could always go to dinner.”

Kathy considered this as they reached his door, and then she stepped in and pulled him in after her, locking the door behind them. “Don, we’ve been so busy, it’s been weeks since I’ve had a proper kiss from you. Placecards-and dinner-can definitely wait.”