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Cosmo Brown, Where Are You?

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Don should have known something was wrong when Cosmo came home boiled as an owl and shouting at the hallway furnishings. Cosmo likes his drink just as well as any man, but half-shot isn't his style. Whimsical as he is, he's always in control, always the rational one. If there's anyone who puts on a lot of dumb show it's him. So for him to come stumbling in, blind drunk is more than enough cause for Don to worry. He just wishes he'd seen how bad it really was before it was too late. Instead he chalked it up to a case of the lovesick blues because the whole time he was wrestling his friend into bed and holding the bucket under his chin, he kept sobbing about being miserably in love.

Kathy, bless her soul, kept impressively calm throughout the entire ordeal until Cosmo finally fell asleep, curled up at Don's side, that's when the worry finally shone through on her pretty face. He can't help but think it's not fair on such a young girl to have this thrust upon her, but then he remembers Cosmo is only a year older than her and he himself two. He feels that Hollywood has aged them. Fame takes a toll on you like no other. He'd always hoped that his friends had escaped it, but deep down he knows they haven't.

When he wakes up in the morning, Cosmo is gone, a note left in his place, written in that neat cursive he's always associated with his friend.

"You're always worth it, Don. I guess I'll see you around someday."

He can feel the bottom of his stomach drop out as he reads the words again and again his heart cracking a little bit more each time.

Kathy is the one that points it out to him. The poor girl he's supposed to marry is the one who has to tell him that his own best friend has been completely gone on him for as long as she's known him and probably longer. Poor, sweet, Kathy who he thought would be the perfect conclusion to his success was the one who threw the brick that shattered his illusions. Just the thought of living the rest of his life without Cosmo at his side. He can't bear it. She's also the one who calls off the wedding much to everyone's surprise. It's her idea to put it on the front page of every newspaper and gossip rag in Hollywood when they don't hear anything for a week.

"Cosmo Brown, where are you?"

The day he nearly gives up hope is three weeks later. It's also the day Cosmo comes back. Wanders onto the set looking slightly apprehensive claiming he's there for some sheet music he left behind. He almost doesn't believe it, but when he wraps his arms around Cosmo's lean frame he's as real as the rest of the people in the room.

He's angry. "Why did you go and call of the wedding? You were supposed to marry Kathy and forget about me." He doesn't shout, but there's an unsettling deadness in his voice that stomps on the pieces of Don's broken heart.

"Please come home, Cos." He pleads while his friend squirms in his arms fighting to get free. "Let's talk about it." He uses the one inch he has and lifts Cosmo off of the ground to take away his leverage.

"Talk about what?" He snaps, "How I'm desperately in love with you?" It's practically a whispered sob, but the room goes quiet at the admission, a hundred faces turned towards them some in anticipation, some in disgust.

"That goes both ways, you know." He quietly admits as he puts Cosmo back down and let's him go only to receive a right hook in the eye that sends him stumbling back a few steps. By the time he's recovered Cosmo is already on his way to the door and he jogs to catch up before he can slip away once more. "Some kind of punch you throw there." He jokes as he stops his friend with a hand on his shoulder.

Blue eyes are brimming with tears when Cosmo turns to face him. "That's not funny, Don." He reaches up and gently tilts his face to look at the after effects of his anger. "Would be a shame if I ruined that face." A lone tear trickles down Cosmo's cheek and he automatically wipes it away.

This time, he doesn't resist when Don pulls him into an embrace. "I do love you." He whispers as Cosmo buries his face in his neck, holding on to him for dear life. They stay still in that spot for so long some of the people watching them lose interest.

Eventually Cosmo unsticks his face from his now slightly damp neck and looks at him with so much love that his broken heart pieces itself back together. He kisses him right then and there not caring who sees. It's like opening a door into a new world, there are no sparks or fireworks like the romance novels, it's much like any other kiss he's ever had, but it brings with it such satisfaction that he can't understand how he's lived without it for so long. How something so great has been right next to him nearly his entire life without him noticing. And now that he finally has it, he's never letting go.