Fandom: suits (usa)
Characters: donna paulsen (pov), harvey specter, squint and you'll miss her jessica pearson.
Summary: the road to a relationship is paved with many almosts and this is the story of donna and harvey almosts.
this is dedicated to onlywordsnow for her birthday (happy birthday bb<3) for bringing me out of my long time block and its also dedicated to the donna/harvey fandom because i think we've waited long enough...
Perhaps it will be a Wednesday. Perhaps a Friday. In any case, the day is unimportant. Much of what is about to be said will be unimportant but it will be important to someone. And it will be vital in the instance that this all goes to hell. And it will. For sure. Such is life.
He will tell her 'if we're forty and still...' and she will laugh. Laugh. It will bubble out of her, giddy on a subtlety lost with intoxication.
'Sure,' she will promise because at this hour, maybe she won't remember in the morning.
They will talk around it, sure, but there is an intimacy in that too. For every half-truth and every glance there is more to it than she has ever had with her Fabio or Theodore's. And despite the fact that this lingering offers little solace, little comfort, there will be a warmth that spreads through her every time she lets herself remember.
She will offer solace, empathy in the form of selfishness. She will take his jacket and press her hands into his shoulders until the knots release and then she will breathe.
And that will be enough.
The moment Mike Ross walks into her life is a moment that she will never forget.
She will remind Harvey of his quip, true and yet so incredibly good one night, stockinged feet pressed into the arm rest. She will look awful, smudged eyeliner and a carelessness borne of the euphoria of a battle well bested.
He will share a story, thematically linked, something of Mike's stupidity, and they will smile.
There will be a pause, long and filled with crisp Chicago nights and that one time and then he will get up, smoothing over a shortened celebration with gratitude.
'He's lucky to have you,' she will say because offering comfort in these quiet moments is the only way she knows how to feel closer to him when the distance of five paces on a Sunday night feels like five years of almosts.
'He's lucky to have you,' he will echo and she will nod.
And he will smile. She will take that moment and put it away. Somewhere quiet. Somewhere only she knows. Because it is perfect.
It will be innocuous, at first. A conference, with "networking" and Mike will be busy, something about nesting and Rachel and Harvey will blackmail her until she will offer. So. They will go.
They will not sleep in the same room. There will be no chance circumstance that rom-coms them into the same cramped bed.
But they will meet on the threshold - of her room - and he will grin around the mouth of a bottle of Perignon and seduce her with 'you win' because she will, fifteen million dollars worth of billings is no small achievement.
And she will let him in, uncouth to let a bottle go cold, right, and they will drink.
Somewhere between recollections of 'remember when Hardman' and sunrise, she will start to feel it.
Wistful, a little pressed for time, too, like it will all crumble if she doesn't say it now or if she doesn't just act.
And so she will lean into him, shoulders pressed together, overlooking the lights of Orland Park but that the act of keeping herself there, of even suggesting a need for intimacy will leave her throat dry.
She will examine the consequences of kissing him, she will. She will rationalise painstakingly.
But moments, these Wednesday mornings, will disappear.
And as the sun will rise, he will say, 'why not?'
She will have all the answers, and she will have none.
She will get an invite on the eve of her birthday. Lost in the post box for a fortnight, she will take the heavy cartridge paper and roll it over in her hands, smooth out the crinkling on the left corner and trace her finger over the script.
She will take the save the date card and she will add it to her calendar and she will smile because this is perhaps the nicest thing he has ever done.
She will take a personal day, he will not know why.
She will take two hours to get out of bed, she will go to some sort of exercise class and then order take away and she will feel excellent about it.
She will eventually stop screening his calls,
'You need to give me notice, or -,'
'Next time, maybe.'
'Is this about Scottie,' he will ask.
And she will have indignant rebuttal on her mind but she will say, 'yes, but no.'
He will stop short, he will be surprised. He will go so far as to take a step toward her, disbelieving.
'I -,' she will say, and falter. Because this was not part of the plan. This was not well executed. No. This was sharp and open wide and this was a wound that she refused to touch.
But before she can say anything, ruinous or reparatory, he will say, 'don't,' tight and stilted and she will shrug, she will nod.
There will be a pressure now, she will notice it. He will be forcedly casual in an effort to be guarded.
She will exert pressure, perhaps gilded by the lack of secrecy now.
He will say, 'you had a rule.'
He will not say, 'but Stephen Huntley.'
And she will say, 'this was what I thought you wanted.'
And she will never see him look so disappointed as in that moment.
She will tell herself, later, it was almost romantic.
He will tell her, 'it was all a fucking waste of time.'
She will agree, but she is rarely so pointedly useless in her retrospectiveness.
'Don't be so nihilistic. It wasn't the right time.'
He will look ashamed and say, 'well, I'm sorry.'
She will roll her eyes, 'don't. It wasn't - , just let it be. It is how it is.'
She will refuse a ring at first, this is true, but she will demand a key.
'Court me properly or I will quit.'
He will laugh.
'Work me or bedroom me?'
'You're both tyrannical.'
He will not be the same. This is a side of him that she will learn.
It does not take long.
There is something about the story that she likes. When Harvey's brother comes to visit, disguised as poorly as it is, to celebrate, she will tell it slow and not as achingly as it actually was.
He will laugh, see through her, and shake his head.
'You should've just said: 'it took him a fucking long time to pull his head out of his ass'.'
But, also, this is better.
He will not tell Mike, for a long time, he will tell Jessica first.
Actually, Jessica will guess but Harvey likes to tell the story with embellishment.
By guess, she will just tilt her head to the side, smirk and say, 'well.'
It will be strange at first because ingrained personal autonomy is hard to relinquish. They will bicker about smart things like the institutional establishment that is the electoral office and about the respective benefits of equal versus splenda. Right.
In a lot of ways, it's exactly the same.
She will forget their anniversary/(ies). He will say the first time they met and she will huff because, 'no, Harvey, that doesn't fucking count.'
'The first time I saw you naked?'
'Yeah, choppy waters, buddy.'
'The first time you admitted to a uncommonly known use of whipped-'
'Mmmmm, watch yourself.'
He will wink. 'How about we just appreciate each other for more than one day of the year?'
'Are you sure you're capable of expressing gratittude without a formulaic and arbitrary date of the year to remind you?'
At this, he will wave her off. 'I'll tell my secretary to pencil it in.'
As with anything, it will be nothing and everything all at the same time.
And so, maybe it will be a Wednesday. But it will also be the Monday he bought her flowers after her father died, and the Thursday he came to her closing night. Maybe it will be the consecutive Saturdays she spent at the office drafting paperwork and the Tuesday evenings he always spent at Cargo Bar until she came to pry him out of his stupor after his father died.
It will be the mornings and the afternoons, the nights and the long nights and the achievements, the failures, the journey to partner and the corporate assassinations. It will be every time she stood by him and everytime she drew the line.
It will be everything and nothing. It will be painful and wasteful, time and feelings, and it will be wonderful and meaniningful because 'i need you' and 'harvey and i are like this' came before 'i love you' and 'i want you'.
So it might be a Wednesday but it might also be every Wednesday up to that one, and it might also be every Wednesday after that.