Fandom: suits usa
Characters: donna paulsen, harvey specter, mike ross
Warnings: explicit sexual scenes, hard nc17, angst, written post s2
Summary: 26 moments that put harvey and donna together
It starts with his thumbs pressing into her hipbones like he's trying to make sure she stays simply by leaving bruises above her hipbones and his breath on her cheeks in a position that's so immediately intimate she wonders how they got here. She thinks vaguely of all the television she has ever watched and how this was never the beginning of a love story, how recurring characters never had insignificant sex with the main character and how much she doesn't want this and also how much she just does.
He stays a moment, like he's thinking about something and all Donna can think about is how much she just wants him to do something, anything, to make a move before she explodes with guilt and desire. She makes the point, eloquently digging her nails into his shoulders until he looks up at her like, what? all questioning and uncertain even though he's standing between her legs and it's her blouse that is open to the navel and his index fingers are making indirect tracks to her underwear.
'Harvey,' she breathes out, dropping her eyes to his throat and watching him swallow once, twice, thrice until she's sure that he is just as nervous as she feels. All she can think about is the next morning when - but her thoughts get disrupted by the fact that he's interpreted her unease as acquiescence and he pulls her to him until she's sitting on the edge of his desk, his dick is hot and hard against her centre, a formidable friction caused by the slow, hesitant roll of his hips that he begins capturing any protest under a heady kiss.
It's like everything she didn't think she wanted as his mouth, warm and pliant, envelopes her lips in a wanton kiss. His fingers dance along the edges of her underwear, pulling her closer to his clutches as his other hand slips to cup her face and then without any precursor, uses her hair to drag her closer, deeper into the kiss like he wants to meld with her and no space is still too much space.
Donna can't process anything, just keeps thinking about what Mike said to her that morning, the words rolling over and over in her head until she can't even separate her desperate need for Harvey from her disgust, until his fingers, moving from hesitant to emboldened find her clit and press down, the pad of his thumb swiping across her core and her eyes fly open.
'Harvey,' she heaves out, caving into logic right into his mouth, pulling down on his lapel. He doesn't get it, drops his hands to cup her ass until all her weight is supported in his arms.
'Couch,' he tells her and Donna can almost hear the repetition, the familiarity of that phase, the way it's come from him too often, the way it's too well oiled, not enough inarticulation, like he knows exactly where to go from here and she suddenly thinks of all the women that have been here, at this moment, 11 o'clock on a Friday night and she feels the bile rise in her throat as he ducks down to kiss her again.
That's all she can see at that moment. Dana Scott standing smugly at the door, leaving for London on her own terms with a condescending, 'he's all yours, Donna' and a look over her shoulder like she knew too much.
Donna pulls away, trying to think of something to say, something to explain the way she feels without saying too much or too little. All that she knows, in that moment, is that she doesn't want to hurt him (stupid, stupid girl, she reprimands later), doesn't want to leave him.
'I'm so sorry,' she whispers, sliding off the table to stand in front of him.
Humiliation is stamped into the skirt hitched around her hips and the way she can't look at him, the way she can't bare to face the fact she's another notch on his belt, the way she let him bring her to this moment, to take her dignity from her.
As she sighs, she sees all the respect he's ever had for her drain from his eyes.
She thinks to apologise again, perhaps just to use up the last gulpful of air she's holding onto but she sucks it back down and leaves. Pride keeps her from looking back.
It is child's play, she recites to herself, to pretend it never happened. Probably of a more pubescent kind, but in any case, there is a strong chance she will never have to explain herself. The thought makes her angry and apathetic at the same time. Their working relationship always relied on its impersonality. The way they were so incredibly close professionally and yet, completely unattached sexually.
If Harvey confronts her, it'll mean he doesn't want her. If he doesn't, it'll mean he doesn't want her.
She processes all this between the 37th and 49th floors of the Pearson building, the increasing numbers making her feel more and more anxious until she's looking straight at herself in a pair of aviators.
'Take those off,' she greets, 'before someone sees you're wearing them.'
'They're cool,' Mike starts before he gets the withering look from Donna and he tucks them into his jacket pocket. 'Fine,' he huffs as he passes her a coffee.
'Isn't this for Harvey?' she says proceeding to give it back to him.
Mike stops short as Louis barks out his name and waves him off before turning to face her.
'He's not coming in. Didn't he...?'
And Donna sticks a look of admonishment on her face and goes with: 'Yes, of course, I confused the date. Go before Louis starts unraveling at the seams.'
It seems ridiculous to stay in the office when she could get Norma to cover for her and spend the day anywhere but in the vicinity of Harvey's office. But it makes her feel awful and the feeling is welcome when she tries to quash thoughts of his hands on her thighs and her skirt disappearing past her waist.
She spends the day gazing out at the city, her fingers poised on her keyboard so it looks like she's doing something until her reflection is framed by the dusk skyline and an empty office. Temptation offends her better judgement and she finds herself in Harvey's office, staring down his record collection.
A cry for attention, that is what this is.
But he makes no comment, doesn't even blink, he doesn't even seem like he's noticed that she's taken B.B King home.
(Signed copy! And nothing!?)
It tells her nothing. She interprets it as everything.
He actually frowns when he sees her the next day. He turns the corner from the elevator and sees her at her desk and he stops momentarily as if he's allowing his brain to catch up and then he stalks over to her.
'I forgot to call,' he says and his cheeks give up on his jaw and give him a sallow, pinched expression Donna might (if deaf, blind and stupid) think was apologetic.
Her brain is stuck on the fact that this is obviously his version of sorry and she doesn't know what to do with that or even what that means. She entertains the idea that he thought about having sex with her for the whole day and was too horny to leave his house.
'My brother is in town,' he says in the awkward pause her thoughts crammed themselves into, 'he was only passing through. I thought I should spend some time with him.'
'Oh,' she replies stupidly, her relief so fucking immense she doesn't even remember to ask why, when or how.
Harvey sighs and then leans onto the counter. 'Look Donna...' he starts and she can see the tawdry wishy washy 'it was a mistake lets be friends' line hanging in the air like a ugly putdown.
'It's fine,' she interrupts, 'it happens. Never again, but it happens.' And then plasters on a small smirk so she looks legitimate.
His only response is mild embarrassment and a creased brow before he says, 'That was a given. I'm talking about....'
The rest is melted into insignificance; her cheeks flush so much her hair looks dull in comparison.
f. (cry) foul
She unravels outside his flat, her hands pressed, palms down on his door, her forehead pressing into it so hard she hopes it splinters into a million pieces, jars the portions of her cortex that still hold hope in this stupidity.
She hears the TV switch on, a moment later in the silence between infomercials, a beer is opened and she hears the leather depress as he sits. She wonders what he is thinking in that moment, concedes that she can not even puff her narcissism up that much to believe it would be about her and settles with something like the Yankee's batting scores.
She thinks about autumn in that moment and the smell of cinnamon and the colour of the leaves and the way the wind eats up her hairstyle before she even gets a chance to catch a glimpse of it in the shop mirror on her way to work.
And despite evasion, she comes right back to the apex of the issue which is how terrified she is in that moment. She can feel her cheeks heat up and she feels the humiliation rushing back to her. 'That was a given' rings like church bells in her ears until she takes a step back, gathering herself.
She will always be so incredibly small to him even if her contribution is so large. Just as Mike said, there will always be missing pieces of his life that she doesn't get to see, that he doesn't tell her.
Her throat burns from the amount of times she's swallowed back regret today and she doesn't want to do it anymore. She doesn't want to wonder.
Knowledge is power.
He acts like he saw her a decade ago and yet never stopped speaking to her. He charms like Harvey but is softer, humbler, taller. She laughs without hesitating and watches a man that in all his stature makes the room look imposing in the way he seeks to fold himself into the crevices, hiding from shadows that look like his older brother.
'You're here now aren't you?' he says, after she apologises for not coming to see him.
'Harvey said you were only staying the day.' It seems so flat for a person she once helped choose a college for.
William shrugs, makes his brothers mistakes his own. 'Do you want a refill?' he asks gesturing to her wine glass. Her mouth, almost always preceded by her brain races to an acquiescence and he smiles.
'Where, uh, is Harvey?' she asks. Because, because, because why is she here if not to see Harvey? (She hopes her forehead doesn't have a map of his front door on it.)
'He didn't say.. didn't come home from work at all, actually.'
Oh. Donna frowns and Will voices her thoughts.
She hesitates, laughs. 'Without a doubt.'
She thinks she knows him so well. She really does. Backwards, forwards, front and upside down. If there is anything she is sure of, it's Harvey. And Donna knows everything. But this.. this is ambiguous.
She feels so anxious the entire day at work, tries to avoid him as much as possible and ends up playing catch up with Mike all day who seems to have forgotten articulation and confuses her more than he calms her with the minutiae of work.
And if she didn't know better, she would think he was doing the exact same thing.
It's the first time in a fortnight where she hasn't been able to avoid walking into his office but this is for Louis and if it wasn't for tickets to the private Degas screening at the Met she wouldn't have even blinked.
'If he's not going to roll over and play dead,' Harvey interrupts her just as she walks in, 'then I don't want to hear it.'
'He's trying to help you,' she replies. 'Do you seriously think Hardman isn't going to go after him as well? Or all of us for that matter?' She tries to remember what she did in these situations but her hand slips off her hips and she can't even raise an eyebrow to look indignant for her life.
Harvey leans back into his chair and Donna sighs because she can see his brain looking for an entry into a conversation she knows she doesn't want to have.
'William said you came by the other night.'
Her attitude comes off her in waves, 'We're talking about Louis here.'
She can see his jaw clench but she doesn't want to give him the satisfaction of filling in the blanks. This is his turf, he can construct his stupid conversation by himself.
'I didn't tell you he was staying.'
And in that moment all she wants to do is kiss him. Slip into his lap and kiss him until he can feel her lipstick under his skin and the weight of their hot/cold on his shoulders for once.
'I had a hunch,' she retorts, smiling smugly from the way his hair looks mussed in her fantasy.
'Donna,' he says in that way like she's just supposed to know what the fuck he's thinking. And she has had enough of his crap but she's not desperate enough to play along.
She flashes him a quick smile and a shrug and then walks out, thinking about how much she loves all the glass in his office.
(He's staring at her ass and she just thinks, you could've had it all.)
k. kat with a k
'Will that be all, sweetie?'
And there is a hint of suspicion that this is a child she is talking to because honestly, who uses dope that wasn't born in the nineties and while that could make her legal, it doesn't make her appropriate for Harvey.
'Should be, tell him to ring me back if he needs anything,' she concludes so cheerfully Donna thinks she probably vomits sunflowers and shits daisies.
'Have a good day,' the redhead replies, saccharine crusting her syllables until she's embarrassed by how much she hates this girl that is probably just a secretary at the DA's office. But in any case, she probably had a date with Harvey and Donna doesn't care if it's petty or makes her a terrible person, let alone woman, she's not going to pass on the 'give him my regards' part of the message.
'This doesn't change anything,' she remembers telling Mike as she handed him Harvey's coffee, 'Besides, Rachel is still fragile. Let her deal with this alone for a little while.'
'I just.. I can't help but feel responsible. I lied to her,' Mike had muttered to her, looking so much like a kicked animal she felt almost guilty she herself didn't tell the young paralegal.
'It was either that or the risk of your career,' she had placated with a shrug. 'She'll come around. At the very least, you two can just be friends.'
The look in Mike's eyes had been so tragic Donna had sighed and then sat down. 'It's not so bad,' she had said, feeling like a terrific phoney even as she tried to console him.
'Isn't it?' Mike says after a beat. 'C'mon Donna..'
Her eyes had looked up at him, staring him down. 'You did lie to her, and whatever the reasons, it still stands that she's not just going to roll over and play fetch with you straight away.'
He had just rolled his eyes. 'Dog analogy,' he started, 'that's new.'
'Whatever works,' she had told him, shuffling Harvey's mail into her in-tray. 'Just,' she had begun, 'give her a little time to reason out what you've told her.'
'And Donna, um, don't tell Harvey about this.'
She had frowned at him again, wondering how somebody so young could have so many secrets that hid in plain sight.
'He doesn't get it,' Mike had justified, after she had nodded. 'It's not like you and him. I couldn't not tell her something this big.'
Her eyebrow had risen a quarter of a centimetre as Mike took a sip from Harvey's coffee. 'Of course,' she replied caustically. 'Harvey's waiting for you, you better go in.'
'Wait.. I didn't mean,' he protested but she hadn't cared at all (so much) and just pushed him into Harvey's office and shut the door.
m. miss (and hit)
'Open the door,' he asks for the third time before she hears his phone buzz in his pocket. He sweetens the deal with, 'Goddamn it Mike.'
She just stares at it for a while, wonders what he looks like behind it, if he's angry or despondant, why he's here if she means so little to him, if sex is simply a way to clear out the cobwebs in their relationship and give him the ability to die knowing he fucked up (/over) everyone. Wishes she had a sister to replace her in this moment so they could be equal, so that she doesn't give him the satisfaction to say something when she opens the door that'll make her crumble.
Donna remembers all the wine in the world and all the mind-numbing work she could drown herself wouldn't let her forget this moment and the inevitable stitches she'll have to darn.
So she opens the door.
He is gone.
I love, she thinks hatefully.
I love your arrogance, I love your waist, I love your handwriting, I love your smugness, I love your squint, I love your palm, I love your posture.
But I hate you.
Ironically, Donna thinks, with Harvey, that is the same thing.
She doesn't try to make him into what he isn't. But in a way, that was the best part. Falling in love with Harvey didn't happen all at once or even in quick bursts that she tried to supress. Falling in love with Harvey was like learning to read. Slow and measured with so many stops and starts that moments were forgotten in the inarticulate conversations that followed in order to keep the passages flowing. But a proficiency was gleaned after a long time, harder books were sought out and more difficult circumstances were broached until all that was missing was intonation.
He came to her house, he came to fight for 'in here' and the constant battle for 'out there' was always going to win. Harvey was never going to put his heart above his head and she didn't begrudge him that. Logically, she could understand and anatomically, she could forgive but standing where she was, neck deep in uncharted waters she wanted him to stop pressing the fucking elevator button and start opening doors. For her, for him, for them(?)
There was only so many times she could still be disappointed when he didn't come through.
'Donna,' he barks and it doesn't matter how awkward or tense their relationship is, it doesn't give him the right to call on her like a dog.
She turns her chair and glares at him through the glass before she rises. 'Yes, Master?' she greets sarcastically.
He looks anything but impressed.
'The ledger!' he shouts at her, slamming a file onto his desk. The sound causes her to jump and she stares at him, taken aback by his outburst. He doesn't even wait for her to stammer something before he gets up and strides over to her, hand squeezing her elbow so tight she thinks he's trying to pierce her skin.
'Copy room now,' he says and she's honestly wondering whats happened because he's touching her and screaming at her and this was definitely not how her fantasy played out. She gives him the length of the 50 metre walk to sort out his Hulk man issues before she locks the door of the copy room and starts to breathe fire.
'I don't want to hear it, Harvey, that was disgusting. For god's sake, what is wrong with you?'
She stares at him for a beat but he just gazes back at her inscrutably and she rolls her eyes. 'You drag me in here because of a fictitious ledger - because really Harvey, I don't just forget paperwork - and now you're just going to stand there and stare at me like I'm the one that's acting irrationally?'
He shoves his hands into his pockets and looks so fucking casual she wants to bitch slap him.
She throws her hands up in the air and lets out an exasperated laugh. 'What do you want?' Her hands find familiarity at her hips and she waits one, two, three seconds before she's fed up. His self indulging nonchalance finds her last nerve and breaks it.
'This is so goddamn typical,' she tells his blank expression. 'First you treat me like a whore...' and her words stop short as a smile breaks the line of his lips.
Push and push and you'll get what you want.
Her eyes narrow.
'Go to hell.'
He stands in front of the door and she frowns. 'I'll scream bloody murder,' she tells him seriously.
'Now it's my turn,' he says levelly.
And she hates him so much in that moment because she could leave, force her way out and he probably wouldn't put up a fight but she can see he wants her to stay and get this out in the open and she wants to do that too. She just doesn't want what'll inevitably happen after.
'You made me think - for an entire week - that you'd made a mistake with me. You said 'sorry' instead of the more applicable 'not like this'.
Just as she rolls her eyes because really Harvey? Semantics?, he frowns and takes a step forward. 'Why didn't you just say that? God, Donna, I felt like I was pushing you somewhere you didn't want to be like I was the one that was more invested in this than you.'
'For a change.'
He sighs. 'Why didn't you just say?'
And she's so fed up of him acting like an idiot, she slaps him, hard across the cheek.
'Don't give me that look, as if you don't know. As if anyone doesn't know. You know exactly how I feel and you choose to think that fucking me in your office would be the best way to start 'this'. That treating me exactly like every one of them,' she gestures carelessly around her, 'would be the best course of action.'
He steels himself and then shakes his head. 'I have absolutely no idea how you feel,' he says with a shrug, 'because you've never told me.'
'Are you being serious?' she asks when he has the audacity to look expectant and superior.
'What was I supposed to do? If I had stopped, said we should wait, you would've taken that to heart, seen it as rejection. I was trying to give you what you want without hurting you!'
And the way her face falls makes him frown.
He doesn't even give her time to breathe or process anything, ends up right outside her door, pressing into her comfort zones, cheapening familiar circumstance.
'Donna...' he says through the letter slit. 'Come on..' and it's the third time he's asked to come in, declared he won't leave till she changes her mind and that this time he's brought food.
She feels so trapped between her heart's unsteady hammering and the shuffling of his feet on her threshold. From this place, even the breeze seems to remind her that she pushed these events into their places. She had left his office that day because of pride, because she had thought he would brush her off the next day, not tell her how he felt and move on while she was left to sew herself back together after her stuffy emotions had all peeped out. And he had let her, she thinks sullenly, trying not to be petulant and yet reminding herself that she could no longer play their games at the same level. He didn't see Donna anymore, he saw the secretary he almost fucked in his office.
Her irises blazed, before she sits down on the landing step, propping her feet up on the door frame. There is a small noise of surprise from the other side and she sees her letter slit open.
'Thank you,' he says and she can count on her fingers the amount of times he's been gracious or apologetic but he's sitting there, facing her, in the same position and he looks truly sincere. She doesn't say anything for a long time, swallowing back exasperated declarations of love and hate and everything in between, thinking about the first time they met.
'Fifteen years,' she says with a small smile. It's all the moments and triumphs and heartaches she remembers, a messy blur of entanglements and disconnections that meet her at this moment.
'It's been long enough,' he replies, watching her intently through the crack. He focuses on her eyes, doesn't look away and she nods slowly.
'It doesn't matter if we had sex or not, it still changes everything.'
Bravery flees her in that moment and she stares at the paint bubbles in the frame as he sighs. 'I tried to give you space,' he says apologetically. 'I thought that's what you would've wanted.'
And she realises in that moment that she knows him so well, too well even and yet she was all wrong about him and all her mental presentations of him consist of a man that knows of nothing but himself but he did what she wanted him to do. She glances at him quickly before, 'But you're here now,' she blurts out before she can remember to not let her anger show.
'You came to my house and got to come in, it's only fair.'
His tone is soaked in facetious amusement like he's trying to do anything but let this slip into angry and get lost in fifteen years of suppressed emotions and tension and she smiles, her eyes rolling heavenward because really, this could be the fifth grade and the differences are immaterial. Incomes, wrinkles, shoe sizes and yet on the inside, it's being 12 years old and the same butterflies that never quite leave.
And so she opens the door, standing barefoot and tall above where he's sitting. He looks up at her and she tries to memorise the look on his face somewhere between I want to be anywhere but here and how do I fix this fuck up.
She expects him to get up and force the truth out of her from behind the threshold where he was the benefit of space and clarity and impersonality. Instead, he takes her hand and pulls her to the floor.
She wants to remember this moment forever, wants the smells and the sounds to stay at the forefront of her mind for the rest of her life but already the giddy anxiety is clouding the former moments. She remembers the day and she remembers his tie colour and his socks, so ridiculous and the way his hands are clammy and comforting at the same time.
'I never meant to make you feel like that,' he says, goosebumps following the path of his fingers up her arm, 'but you've never let me touch you,' he says softly, tripping over the plosive sounds.
'We've never done that before,' she reminds him, levelly.
'Terrified,' she replies before she can sum up why.
Donna shrugs, thinking about all the scenarios she'd prepared herself for. 'I expected you to ask Dana to go.'
He winces and she sort of likes that his heart is hurting. She likes being terrible, ferocious, capable of causing him pain. 'You told me to fight. You told me it wasn't about you.'
And Donna nods, 'it wasn't. At the time. And then she left because you told her to. And you didn't tell me why. So I thought.'
He waits for her to continue and then he purses his lips, fill in the blanks. 'You thought I loved you.'
'It was a stretch, I know, but..'
And Donna desperately wants him to reassure her in that moment, be her crutch for once in his goddamn life.
Not I do, but I could. Like he could also move on and never see her again and not be any worser.
'Harvey, you're terrible at this,' she replies humourlessly, looking anywhere but him because she's more disappointed than she should be.
He laughs at that and then raises his gaze from their hands to her eyes. 'I should've made you stay, made you explain,' he spills quietly.
'I wouldn't have-'
'That's the thing, though, you would've. You said you weren't going to leave and I didn't believe you, when you walked out without explaining anything..'
'You thought you'd just let me think-'
'No,' he says before she can finish her thought, 'but I couldn't come to work the next day because I didn't want to see you there, or not see you there.'
He repeats her sentiment and then shrugs. 'So?'
'What do you want me to say?'
'Instructions,' he says pleadingly, 'where to from here.'
'Back to-,' she begins to suggest and can't help the regret she feels. The way the universe opened with possibility and then abruptly closed.
'I can't,' he interjects quickly like the thought exploded unbiden from his heart.
Her eyes flash to him and her mind just gets stuck on can't.
'Don't even try it Paulsen. You can't just give me a taste of possibility and then expect me to not think about it. You. Us. Whatever.'
She gulps, 'I did.'
'And look where that got you,' he says so casually she can see he doesn't understand how incredibly insensitive he's being, like putting her fears and feelings in the 'too hard' corner was easy for her.
'Donna,' he says, getting to his feet. 'Come on, help me out here.'
But she can think of nothing she'd like to do less, thinks of how symbolic their current stances are and how much she hates herself for being so right.
'Give me a reason,' she demands from the ground, looking anywhere but him, so she feels less like she's begging and more in control.
'Get up and I'll answer you.'
She huffs. 'Answer me.'
He rolls his eyes, hovers at the door and then steps into her apartment.
'Take it, or leave it.'
But he's already located where she hid his record and slipped his jacket on the dining room chairs and she thinks maybe, maybe this is enough.
He looks completely out of place and yet completely at home in her apartment. He rolls up his sleeves and deliberately bumps into her as she walks to the kitchen and she gets so frustrated by how final this feels.
'Hey... hey,' he starts, his lips finding home at the top of her spine. 'If you're not..'
'No,' she replies quietly. 'I just don't know from here and I'm...'
'Donna, I'm terrified too.'
And she wonders how much she underestimates the intimacy in knowing a person through and through.
He doesn't drag her, he doesn't push her, he doesn't so much as touch her. She leans back into him and his shoulders curve down and over to hold her against him until his breaths are even with hers; until his fingertips find the hem of her shirt and they hitch at the same time.
It isn't until his fingers find the bruises at her hipbones that she makes any noise at all, a gust of air expelling from her lungs, fear she'd been holding in from the evening at his office. Harvey's teeth are gritting together so hard she makes to ask him what enamel tastes like but he's turned her to face him.
'Let me,' she says, voice low and scratchy before his fingers can find the tie of her yoga pants. She watches his knuckles clench and she can't resist, can't stop herself and asks, 'How much do you want-'
It is thrilling doing this with Harvey. She is experienced and she knows people, can read them but Harvey is enigmatic in the fact that she knows everything there is to know about him and yet here, with her mouth at his throat, he is an unsolved puzzle.
Every sound that escapes him, every minute twitch of his fingers she memorises. But Harvey, eager to please, doesn't like the way she takes her time, fingers inching around her underwire, grazing her ribs with frustration.
'Donna,' he starts, breathless and uncomfortable. 'I have waited,' he asserts and she can't help but smile: he'll always see everything as a challenge.
She licks her lips, settles underneath him and watches his jaw slacken. 'Anyday,' she teases softly, laughing into his mouth as he coaxes her tongue into action. She thinks she hears him say something against her throat but it gets lost in translation before he transfixes himself on the task at hand.
It is bizarre at first and the fact that this experience is so foreign to her, she can't help but lose concentration before Harvey huffs, gives her a look like give me a hand here. She props herself up a little on the pillows and tries to kiss him but he moves to her breasts and she tries to lie down, give him room but she elbows him out of balance and he collapses on top of her.
'Oh,' she exhales in a burst,' that was-'
'Terrible,' Harvey murmurs, lips against her throat. 'We're good. At this.'
'I don't know-'
'Don't know what,' she asks quickly before he can voice insecurity.
'-why it's so hard,' he tells her flatly. 'The...pressure. I've been thinking about this moment for a long time.'
'Oh,' she mumbles. 'Have you?'
'Granted there was a lot more latex, but the gist is the same.'
And Donna laughs, throws back her head and laughs, her fingers curling into his shirt and her eyes gleaming.
'Naughty nurse?' she asks, grinning.
'Very naughty nurse,' he replies, the tenor of his amusement causing ripples of vibration against her throat and Donna's hips involuntarily tip forward.
Harvey looks so serious in that moment she suddenly feels like crying but he props himself on one elbow, leans down and threads his fingers through hers.
'Slow,' he says quietly and kisses her like he means it. He unlinks their fingers to crawl up the underside of her shirt, slowly edging up the protrusions of her rib cage before he finds home. Hesistant, unsure, he palms her breast, eyes intent and calculating as he gauges her reactions.
This is a Harvey she knows professionally. A man that sits in his office, in silence, for four hours and comes out with a plan. The intensity with which he kisses her is the same intensity he uses with his clients. And Donna just grips his shirt tighter until her palms are clenched so tight, they're the same colour as his blouse. Fighting, for the in here.
He starts a lazy path up to her neck, hesitating on her collar bones like he's debating something.
'How much do you not like hick-'
'Don't you even dare,' she mutters, pushing her index finger into his chest. His chuckle reverberates about her heart before he props her up a little and unclasps her bra.
'You're lucky I do yoga,' Donna intones as she takes her top off.
'You're lucky you do yoga.'
Donna smiles, half impatient and half wanting him to stoke her arousal until she's desperate for relief. He takes off her leggings quickly and then finds her sweet spot - her inner thigh. He spends what feels like eternity tracing the hem of her underwear, giving her the most delicious shivers and sucking. His mouth leaves a hot trail from her knee to the inside of her legs until her toes curl over and her fingers dig into his scalp like fuck harvey, come on.
But he pays her no mind. Sweat collects beside her shoulders, her skin clammy and rosy as she feels the tension curl slowly in her stomach. She finds herself clenching her teeth, half-ticklish half-insane with desire. The room starts to become hotter and brighter as Harvey presses the pad of his thumb to her clit over the material.
She lets out a gasp, not even so sensitive just anxious. 'Please,' she whispers, breathing in the anticipation in the air.
He acquiesces and perhaps he realises how much she needs this as he slowly drags her clothing off. He sinks a finger into her, and starts to experiment. This is a game to him, she thinks. She closes her eyes, can't watch him staring as he calculates her responses, the way her mouth opens just that little bit wider as his finger curls forward over her sweet spot.
She's just about to remind him that she will never beg, when he kisses her, long and hard.
'Are you sure?' he tests.
And she can't believe he's asking her this when she's completely naked underneath him.
He smiles and she almost thinks he looks relieved, like it comes as a surprise to him. He frowns after a beat and looks sheepish before he says, 'do you have a condom?'
Her eyes widen and she laughs, 'you didn't bring a condom?'
She's never seen Harvey look more like a child than in this moment. 'I didn't want to be presumptuous.'
Donna smiles and she doesn't know why, but she thinks she might love him in this moment.
The morning is not sunny or bright but a miserable, rainy deluge that sticks to her windows and causes ice to form on the panes. But the inside of the apartment is toasty, her heating turned up full-blast and the smell of coffee coming in from the kitchen a comforting way to wake up with a warm hand draped over her stomach.
It is a bizarre experience and one that is difficult to get used to, having someone stay the night, someone that she knows is definitely not going to disappear from her life in the morning. A constant. It is unsettling and yet exciting at the same time, like a small pressure lifted from her - the anticipation of rejection, perhaps.
She gets up, sitting quietly in bed for a while, just watches him as if the picture of him between her paisley sheets is a little too domestic and surreal for her accept. When she makes to move his arm from on top of her, he frowns slightly before going back to sleep.
Donna rolls her eyes a little at the ridiculous state of her room, clothes lining a path from the kitchen and she groans as she makes to pick up the disaster. Kneeling down to pick up her bra she notices a mark on her thigh. She stops a second, gulps down all the anxiety rushing up her throat and presses a finger into the round bruise on the inside of her legs. It is a bright yellow, faded but accusatory. A reminder. Or perhaps, for Harvey, a mark. Mine, it seems to say to her until she presses her index finger into it so hard, her skin turns white and washes it away.
He meets her in the kitchen, dressed in his suit yet looking suitably crinkled. She presses a mug into his palms with a greeting as he leans against her counter and watches her walk about the kitchen making herself toast.
'Breakfast?' she asks, suddenly feeling so anxious under his gaze. This isn't the office, where even despite their unequal professional footings, she still has the upper hand in all matters of course. This is her home, where Harvey has never belonged and she feels so self-conscious about the chipped mug her niece made in her pottery class and the tea cosies that have corny baking jokes embroidered on them.
'Sorry,' she interrupts before he can reply to her question, 'about the mess.'
Harvey looks around the place and shrugs, 'Toast sounds good.'
She nods quickly and walks over to the toaster where she's safe with her back turned to him. She lays her palms flat against the counter and closes her eyes. Every single negative expletive she can name, she berates herself with until she's shaking. Idiot. How could she possibly think this would work and they would suddenly become Mr and Mrs. Stepford. She feels trapped in her tiny kitchen, Harvey blocking the door and her heart plastered over every portion of her face. Vulnerability attaches itself to every bone in her body until she feels so very stupid, so very tragic, and so, so comedic.
Her eyes fly open. She places the two pieces of bread on the plate in front of her and this feels so terrible and courage abandons her again.
'This feels like the first time,' she says, trying very hard to keep rational about all that has happened.
'We didn't have...' Harvey says, confusedly.
'But worse,' Donna continues quietly, almost to herself.
She feels him approach her, feels him step into her space, crowding her and she feels so very alone in that moment like nothing she can say to him will make sense or make him understand.
He places one hand on the small of her back and the other around her waist, like he's propping her up and she looks down at the stale toast in front of her.
'Hey.. hey,' he says softly. 'Don't.. don't shut me out.'
And she wants to be cruel in that moment, wants to say isn't that what you've always done to me? just because she can and because he probably deserves it but instead, she lets him shift them so they're facing each other.
'Tell me,' he intones.
'Tell you what,' she recites back levelly, wants to make this difficult for him because fuck you Harvey, fight for this, show me you want it.
'Tell me you love me.'
In that moment, she learns something about herself. She learns that vulnerability is not a trait exclusive to her and her feelings about Harvey. She learns that people see what they want to see and most of all? Most of all, she learns that she will never accept less than what she deserves.
'Tell me you love me.'