Well hello everyone, remember this fic. It's been so long *hides* but season seven just really drained any happy thoughts I usually have when writing this fic, so I had to put it off for a while cause it should be fun.. but as time went on and people mentioned it again.. that came back and I remembered I had planned a Christmas flashback.. [as always cursive parts are flashbacks] I really hoped to have it up with Xmas but *pretends to be shocked* that didn't work out, but at last.
HERE IT IS. CHAPTER 40...
Special thanks to Ana, Cece, Ali, Pauline for listening to me whine about writing it.. To everyone else who is still interested in it, bless you!
let me say really quickly: YES, it's massive. I'm sorry in advance. YES, I'll update (~10 chapters left). NO, I don't not know when..
but I do really really hope you'll enjoy this and I would LOVE to read your thoughts, so please share them. Enjoy - M
Chapter 40: Godawful dinner parties
He froze on the spot, his mouth dropped the slightest. Repeating her words in his mind over and over again he tried to make sense of her statement. He swallowed slowly, the way her hand now ran up over his arm waking him up from his own thoughts. A nervous chuckle escaped him and for a split second, he wondered if he imagined the whole thing. "What?" he asked just to make sure.
"I just ran into your mom," she spoke again looking up at her fiancé, she watched the confusion wash over his face once more. That followed by his gaze drifting to the distance, without a doubt looking for his mother. She stretched her fingers over his arm, held onto his elbow. "Harv," she whispered, bringing him back to the present. "That was minutes ago."
His jaw clenched and he swallowed thickly. "Typical," he muttered in annoyance. "She left."
"Hey," Donna called for his attention, her hand slipped down his arm to his wrist and she took his hand in both of hers. She forwent reminding him of his own behaviour from the day before, he didn't have to tell her for her to understand that dinner could have only ended with him walking away. "She told me she was happy for us and that the timing couldn't be more unfortunate as she was running late for a class she has to teach," she explained, squeezing his hand once she smiled at him when his gaze met hers again. "But she did ask if we would like to stop by at the studio later today."
She nodded, a soft 'yeah' escaped her lips when the corner of his mouth twitched up in a small smile. "I think she was actually buying something for our little pumpkin," she answered, bringing his hand to the top of her stomach. She briefly glanced down at the baby bump and back up at him. "And she would only know to do that because you told her."
He pressed his lips together in a thin line, swallowing once more he nodded at her words. "I did."
Her eyes glistened at his admission and she had never been more proud of him. She knew how long and difficult the road to this reunion had been, how often little steps had been taken only to drift even further apart. Each time resulting in his return to New York before the other, yet this time he was still here. They were still here. "About going to the studio," she broke the silence, "I told her I had to ask you first."
Harvey let out a deep breath and focused on the redhead in front of him, his anger and annoyance subsiding in her presence. "She really said she was happy for us?"
"Yes, she did," the pregnant redhead beamed, trying to keep her emotions under control. She blinked once but couldn't prevent a happy tear from slipping down her cheek. It immediately being wiped away when his thumb ran over her cheek and moved to tug a strand of her auburn manes behind her ear. "Will you take me to the studio?" she asked him. "After lunch?"
He chuckled softly at her added words, whatever they would do or wherever they would go it always involved getting something to eat first. "I will," he answered, leaning forward to press a kiss against her forehead. "And for lunch… There is this place I've been meaning to show you."
He looked up from the files in his hand as he turned the corner, glancing into the office on his right he chortled at the sight of Andy Malik trying to get their boss to listen to him, Cameron had never really liked the other assistant district attorney. Turning his head back to look ahead he barely missed Big Bertha on her path down the hall and he came to a somewhat abrupt halt when he spotted her fiery red hair.
She crossed one leg over the other and swivelled her desk chair a little to look at her boss. "Mr. Specter," she answered with a smirk, her gaze flickering up to meet his and she silently questioned the surprised tone her name had been pronounced with.
He grinned and slowly shook his head at her answer, knew she only called him that to tease him. He took a step forward, closed the folders in his hand and tilted his head to the other side. A silent comment on his part, something they had gotten scarily good at in these short months. "I thought I had given you the day off?" he asked, breaking the silence when she didn't.
"You did," she gave in with a deep sigh and she glanced at the calendar on her desk for a moment; December 24th. "And I would have been halfway Connecticut by now if my train hadn't gotten cancelled because of some disruption and I didn't have the money for a ticket on the last plane going there today," she explained with a shrug. "Guess it's the incoming storm from upstate."
A frown slowly formed between his brows, taking in her answer and the disappointed look on her face. It had, besides the afternoon off for Halloween, been the one thing she asked him on their first day working together. He smiled at the memory but pushed it away soon after, now looking back at his secretary. "You should have told me. I could have paid –"
"No," she interrupted him, shaking her head. "No it's fine," she added with a smile now, wordlessly thanking him for his offer and she studied him for a moment. His tie, suit and finally the files in his hand. Bobbing her head to the side she uncrossed her legs and pushed herself onto her feet. "But I think the real question here is why are you still in the city? Shouldn't you be with… Who is it this week?"
He rolled his eyes. "Hilarious, Paulsen."
"But seriously," she spoke before he could move away. "Shouldn't you be with your family?" she asked, the words meant as a tease in some way it was a sincere question. The only thing she'd really come to learn about the man's personal life was that he was close to his father. The regular phone calls back and forth had told her that much.
He swallowed thickly at her question and he looked down at the files in his hands when he spoke. "No. I don't," he answered rather coldly and he tapped on the folder. "Got a case to work on," he added, turning on his spot to enter his office.
Her brows knitted together in a frown and she stood there, momentarily left speechless. Her head slowly turned to the left, watching him make his way around his desk before he sat down in his chair. She scoffed once and shook her head, foregoing knocking on the still open door she followed the assistant district attorney inside his office and stalled in front of his desk, waiting for him to look back up at her but when he didn't she spoke. "Which will still be here in two days," she merely stated with a bob of her head in the direction of the files, she crossed her arms and jutted her hip to the left.
He held back a sigh, bit down on the inside of his cheek and looked up at her from under his lashes at last. "So?"
He nearly choked on air at the words and in particular the tone they got delivered with, her stance and the grin spread across her face making it look like she won an argument that wasn't an argument in the first place. It was just a statement on his part weeks ago. He coughed now, looking away again. "I don't."
She rolled her eyes and pursed her lips, held back a comment and turned to look at a painting on the wall on her right. "Well," she sighed then, dropping her arms she let her hands run over her skirt. "Since we're both stuck in this city we might as well celebrate Christmas Eve together."
His head bobbed up in a beat. "What?"
"We both need to eat anyway," she answered. "I could make dinner."
Confusion soon made place for amusement and he tilted his head to the side, pretended to think over her offer. It was the way he grinned that gave his answer away before he could speak.
"I'll take that as a yes," she smiled to herself. Tapping with her fingers on his desk, she pointed at the files again and shook her head. "Well, I'll go and get groceries. Text me your address and I'll meet you there in an hour."
"Ooh," she snickered, turning around in the door opening to look at the young lawyer again. "I know you," she reasoned pointing at him, she shook her head from left to right. "There's no way I'm inviting you over to my place."
"Hey. Not fair," he objected, letting his gaze narrow in on the redhead. "You have only been working for me for three months, you don't know me at all."
She laughed louder this time, kept looking at her boss until she bit her tongue and redirected her gaze. "I know enough," she claimed on her way out of his office, something made her want to have the last word on this matter but she couldn't exactly place why.
He scoffed and made a face behind her back, repeating her last remark over and over again in his head his expression changed into a somewhat confused one. He wasn't entirely sure if he understood what she meant with those three words and if he felt at ease with the possible meaning. He only woke from his thoughts again when he caught a glimpse of her red hair moving away and he shifted in his chair, watched his secretary make her way out of the building.
He only realised he'd been smiling when she disappeared out of his peripheral vision and with a small shake of his head he forced himself to focus on the files again. The very ones that caused her to invite herself of to make dinner at his place. "Shit," he muttered then, eyes widening when the meaning or possible meaning or rather potential result of her words finally dawned in on him, immediately followed by the state he left his place in this very morning.
He pushed the door closed behind him, stuffing his mobile phone back into the pocket of his suit pants. Letting out a deep breath at the sudden temperature change, he pulled the gloves from his hands, removed the folder he took with him from under his coat and hung the slightly snowed under item on a rack. He sighed again, looking around his small apartment from the front door, assessing what needed to be handled first to make it somewhat presentable for the redhead to come over.
The beer bottles left on the coffee table right in front of him, the case files he wasn't allowed to bring home on the desk against the wall. That would definitely be something she'd call him out on. He let his gaze drift from the desk behind the sitting area to the right, his kitchen now coming into view and maybe for once always ordering in was in his favour as it looked relatively clean. Turning further to the right he looked at the small table that didn't even deserve to be called a dining room table but it had been the only thing that fit.
He shrugged his suit jacket of his shoulders, walked along the couch to the dining kitchen and made a turn to the right for his bedroom. Opening the cabinet on the right he reached for a hanger and placed his jacket on it. Rounding the bed he pulled the sheet up to the bedhead, he reached for both pillows. Patted each twice to fluff them before throwing them back on the duvet. Kicking his running shoes under the chair he walked back to the small dining room table, pushing all the take out boxes to the side he searched through the kitchen drawers for a garbage bag.
A black plastic bag in hand he rummaged through his apartment, throwing the empty bottles away he moved on to his desk. Stuffed the files back into their original folder, he glanced around the desk in search for a better hiding place, eventually disposing them in a drawer. He rearranged the scattered magazines on his coffee table, hiding the playboy at the bottom of the stack and he let out a somehow relieved sigh until the small zip lock bag with weed fell back on the table.
"Crap," he muttered to himself then. Discarding the magazines on the table next to the old fire place he lifted the drugs from the table and searching for yet another hiding spot he momentarily cursed the redhead for inviting herself over. Time to contemplate about cancelling the entire ordeal was non-existent as two soft knocks coming from his front door echoed through the room.
His head shot up and he looked at the door, counting to three he glanced around one more time before making his way over to the front door. Tossing the little ziplock back to the corner of the room, he pulled the door open in one swift motion and his gaze automatically locked with hers. "Hey."
"Hey," she chirped back, immediately pushing a bag of groceries in his hands.
He took a step back and looked down at the bag in his hand, then the one in hers. Frowning, his eyes searched for hers but she missed his look when she stepped inside. "How many days are you staying?"
"What?" she asked.
"Ooh, shoot," she cursed, turning around on her spot to look at him again. "There's still something in the cab, could you?"
He looked down at the plastic bag in his hands, wondered how there could possibly be more but he didn't comment. Placing the bag on the couch next to him, he merely nodded and made his way downstairs and out of the building. He shivered instantly when he stepped outside, running his hands over his arms he crossed the small sidewalk to the yellow cab still waiting in the street, coming to a halt rather abruptly when he spotted what he was picking up. "You have got to be freaking kidding me."
Puffing on his cigarette the cab driver shrugged once and gave the young man a sympathetic look. "Your woman if very headstrong," he spoke next, bobbing his head in the direction of the Christmas tree on the back seat of the car.
"I…" Harvey swallowed once. "She's not. We're not," he found himself mumbling as he reached for the door and contemplated on how to get the damn tree inside his apartment. If he even should but the cab driver was right about one thing, the redhead could be headstrong when she wanted to be. He let out a sigh and reached for the item. "I'm her boss."
"Right," the cab driver laughed once, threw the cigarette bud on the sidewalk and crushed it in the small lawyer of snow with his foot. He watched the young man wrestling with the tree, finally pulling in on his back, he closed the door again. "That would be fifteen bucks."
He stalled on his spot, rolled his eyes and let out a sigh. Juggling the tree on his back, he switched hands holding it. Now using his left hand to reach for his wallet.
"Just kidding," the cab driver stopped the young lawyer before he could pay. "Your woman already paid, but she said she was sure I could trick you into paying again. I had to try."
Harvey closed his eyes and shook his head. "Great," he muttered now, pulling on the tree he made his way back inside. Climbing the stairs one slow step at a time he made his way to the third floor. A deep sigh leaving his lips when he reached the landing on his floor. Feeling her gaze resting on him he glanced to the left and spotted her leaning in the door opening to his place. "Paulsen."
"Mister Specter," she greeted him again, holding the door to his apartment open as he dragged the tree inside.
"Care to elaborate?"
She shrugged once, closed the door behind him and turned around again. A small smile now gracing her lips when his annoyed expression hadn't yet subsided. "It's not Christmas without a tree."
"And what if I already had a tree."
She chuckled once, quickly glanced around the place. Not a single trace of holiday spirit to be found. "Told you I know you," she gloated, now signalling the corner between his desk and the lounge chair.
He sighed, dragged the tree across the wooden floor to the appointed location. He already hated the fact that he'd find needles of the pine tree around the place for weeks to come. Stuffing it on its spot he took a step back and looked at the dreaded object. "And what's the point in having a bare tree?"
"Ooh," she laughed, walking around his couch she reached for the bag she'd placed down earlier. "I've come prepared," she answered with a smirk, pulling a garland form the bag. She handed the bag over to him as she spun the silver item around the tree.
"Seriously?" he looked down at the bag she brought along, rummaging through the contents.
"You bring over all these decorations but there's no mistletoe?"
She chuckled once, turning around to face him she took the next garland from his hand. "I'm not sure how Sven would feel about that."
His brows knitted together in a frown, he studied her for a hadn't been part of his, she's coming over thoughts. "Who's Sven?"
"The guy I've been seeing for the last month."
"Month?" he repeated, a teasing hint palpable in his voice.
"Yeah," she fired back, her elbow playfully bumping into his arm. It wasn't her fault there were no women sticking around in his life. "I met him on Black Friday," Donna explained as she continued hanging the garland around the little Christmas Tree.
He crooked his head, thought over her words for a moment. "Wait," he muttered. "How does one meet someone on Black Friday? Please tell me you're not one of those people that sleep in front of a store."
She laughed loudly now, there was no need for having to reassure him that. "No," she answered regardless. "But I was at Bloomingdale's and I reached for this last pair of black gloves and so did he."
He watched a grin starting to spread across her face and he stared at her for a moment. "No," he mumbled then, not believing a word of it. "That… That sounds like something that happens – Wait a minute," he paused now, his hand briefly falling against her arm he made her look at him. "Did you just describe Serendipity to me?"
"You know Serendipity?"
He sighed, his jaw clenching when he realised what she did. "Not the point."
She grinned proudly.
"Donna," he whined now. "Please tell me that wasn't true."
She let out a chuckle, rolled her eyes at his plead. "Of course not," she gave in. "It was Macy's."
"Anyway," he countered, getting a bit tired of the subject. He couldn't help but ask though, had to make sure her story wasn't made up altogether. "Why aren't you celebrating Christmas Eve with this Stan."
"Sven," she corrected him. "He's Scandinavian. And because I only know him for a month."
He swallowed involuntarily, crooked his head and watched her move a few decorations around his tiny apartment. The place looking vastly more festive than it had been half an hour ago. He shook his head then, realising they had only been working together for three months but he decided to let that remark slide.
"Besides he had to work."
"He had to work," he repeated in disbelief, almost choking on the words himself. "You made me stop."
She rolled her eyes at his comment and stepped over one of the pillows that had fallen of the couch to make her way to a side table. "He's an intern at Mount Senai," she reasoned. "Besides it's a month, I'm not going to tell him what to do. He probably wouldn't even listen," she mumbled more to herself than to him. She took a few steps back and observed the tree they decorated. "There," she smiled triumphantly, now finally taking in the rest of the place. "Hmmm."
"Not what I expected."
He observed the tree and frowned, it looked alright in his book. He turned to look at her then, only now realising she most likely wasn't even talking about the tree but his apartment. "What did you expect?"
"I don't know," she admitted with a shrug. "Something bigger," she voiced her thoughts now. "Different neighbourhood. More glass."
He took her words in and slowly bobbed his head up and down in acknowledgement but a verbal answer lacked. Instead, he lifted the other bag she brought along from the couch and brought it to the small kitchen.
She studied her boss for a moment, watched him move through the open living room. It wasn't uncommon for the man to forego an answer here or there but she couldn't help but wonder why it happened with this particular conversation. She exhaled softly, stepping forward to the kitchen as she remembered her promise from earlier that day. "Shoo," she ordered, waving him off as she took the bag from his hands.
He stared at her for a moment, lips quirking up in an amused smirk when she told him to just go read the files she'll pretend she didn't see. He let his hand run through his hair, went over his options but backed away when she shot him another look.
Her voice broke his concentration and he redirected his gaze from the files in his hands, shifting a little over the couch he looked over his right shoulder in her direction. His eyes widening at the sight he quickly tossed the papers on his coffee table and made his way over to his now very cluttered kitchen. Ingredients, pots, and pans spread out left and right. He caught her standing on the tip of her toes, trying to reach for yet another bowl from the top shelf.
"God woman," he near exclaimed, rushing the last two steps. He stepped up towards her, reaching over her to grab the bowl. He slowly placed it down, his gaze dropping back to the redhead right in front of him and he only became aware of their exact proximity when she looked at him from over her shoulder.
He nodded and swallowed, taking a step backwards and then made his way over to the fridge to create a bit more distance between them. He glanced back to his right. "Now I get why you wanted to go to my place and it has nothing to do with me coming over, but with not making a mess at your own place."
She stuck her nose up in the air. "You're ridiculous."
He kept his poker face in check, reaching for two plates from the cabinet above the sink. "You're never making me dinner again."
"Ooh, I wasn't planning on making this a regular thing anyway."
He crooked his head to the side. "You weren't?"
"That's not in my job description."
"Yet you're here."
"Eve," he added with a low laugh. "Fine, let me see. What are you even making?" he asked, already reaching for a wooden spoon from the drawer. He stirred it around the pan and took it to his lips, immediately coughing afterwards. "What- What the hell is that supposed to be?"
Her mouth dropped at his comment, her eyes closing for the briefest of moments she swallowed thickly. No, she wasn't the best at cooking but then again his words were something else. She scoffed once, stole the wooden spoon from his hand. Telling herself the man had the tendency to overreacted she reached for the sauce and tasted it herself.
She bit her tongue and blinked twice to stop the tears prickling in her eyes caused by the heat. She dropped the spoon in despair, turned off the gas and pushed the pan to the side. "I'm sorry," she mumbled in shame, pressing her lips into a thin smile.
His face softened and he silently scolded himself for his earlier comment. "I bet we could save it," he offered, looking at the rest of the ingredients spread out over the counter. He lifted a few, checking the potential and glanced at her from the corner of his eye. "My brother might be the one opening up a restaurant but he learned all the tricks from me."
She laughed at his comment, knew it to be a lie but she still shook her head in defeat. "Let's just order in."
He dropped the tomato back on the counter and looked at his secretary. "You sure?"
"Yeah," she nodded, smiling a little bit brighter this time around to let him know she meant it. "Do you like Thai? I know this great place."
He leaned back against his couch, watched her chopstick skills for a moment. Toying with his own he dropped them on the coffee table and reached for his fork. Moving it through the cardboard box to wind the noodles around it he let his gaze drift off to his still messy kitchen and back to his redheaded secretary. "So," he started now, taking a bite of his food. "You can't cook."
She stilled the chopsticks in her hand and looked up at him from under her lashes. Pulling her leg up she adjusted her seating and gave him another pointed look.
He merely grinned. "I didn't know that," he answered in his defence, now looking down at the box in his hand again. He frowned a little but took a second bite nonetheless. "Also," he continued, swallowing the piece of beef. "You're not in charge of ordering food anymore."
Donna eyed him in disbelief. "Ooh, come on," she argued, "this is great. I love this place."
"No," he shook his head. "This is one Shitty Thai Place."
She rolled her eyes and shook her head, ignoring his comments. The food was just fine and she focussed on the box in her hand once more. "You're impossible," she whispered. "You know that, right mister?"
He pressed his lips together in a thin line and he felt the corner of his mouth tug up into a smile. He looked down at his food, focussed on trying to eat it a box of noodles later, he broke the surprisingly comfortable silence. "My parents are divorced."
"Huh?" she whispered, not entirely sure where this comment suddenly came from. What triggered him to share it or what it was that he was talking about. Her gaze searched for an answer in his.
"You uhm- You asked why I was still in the city," he recalled their conversation from earlier that day. "That's why," he added, for the first time letting someone who hadn't been around at the time in on this part of his life.
Her breath hitched and she turned to look at him, her gaze searching for his. When he didn't look at her she dropped the chopsticks in her own box and gently placed her free hand on his arm. "I'm sorry."
He drew his bottom lip between his teeth, let out a deep sigh. He glanced at her hand on his arm, let his gaze rest on it for a moment and he held back a sigh when she pulled her hand away again. Only then he redirected his gaze to meet hers.
"It is what it is," he answered with a shrug. Pressing his lips into a thin smile, the only one he fooled with that gesture was himself. "My brother is too busy with his restaurant and my dad is on a reunion tour, not that I could invite him over to this dump."
She lowered her gaze to the table in front of them, slowly bobbing her head up and down as she took in his words. It didn't go unnoticed to her how he left out his mother in this explanation and she could hear from the tone of voice he used, the shrug and smile that followed, that him sharing this side of himself wasn't a common occurrence. She smiles softly, decided not to bring this revelation up or ask about it, she knew better than to push him in short time she'd known him.
"Yet you invited me?" The question more a tease, a way to redirect the conversation by focussing on the last part of his statement in the hopes he'd realise she did understand the meaning of what he told her but respected his privacy enough by not asking further and a relieved sigh left her lips when he laughed.
He leaned forward and dropped his now empty box on the table. "You invited yourself over, Paulsen."
"Well. For what it's worth, it's not as bad as my first apartment in the city."
He tilted his head in surprise and pursed his lips. "Ooh, so you've had more than one place here. Fancy. I would have moved but I don't do roommates, so it's staying here for now until I can get something better. A place to invest in."
She rolled her eyes and slapped his arm with her hand. "Shut up," she muttered shifting on the couch so that her back was leaning against the backrest. "No, I get that. The no roommates thing," she added when she noticed his brows starting to furrow together. "I shared my first place with my best friend."
He looked at her, rather confused at the combination of her statements and he shifted over the seating too, propping his feet up on the coffee table. "That can't be so bad, right?"
She looked down and sighed. "Until you start getting annoyed at things you never considered a problem and end up not even being friends anymore."
He nudged her shoulder with his. "You can always find a new best friend."
"You offering?" she joked looking at her boss of three months, a man she got along with really well. Flirted more with than she should but she wasn't entirely sure if she'd describe him as a friend yet.
He laughed and shook his head. "No," he spoke, his tone of voice more serious now. "I… I don't do best friends."
She looked at him in surprise. "What do you mean? You don't have a best friend."
He signalled a no with a shake of his head once more. "Never had," he admitted then and he caught himself swallowing when he felt her gaze burning his skin. He paused and peered at her from the corner of his eye for a brief moment. "Look don't get me wrong," he laughed. "I had plenty of friends, was the popular kid in high school. Every girl wanted to date me."
"I bet," she grinned.
He flashed her his signature grin and reached for his bottle of beer. "Thing is, I was also very competitive."
He smiled and nodded. "Still am, yes," he gave in. "But well- That didn't contribute to having a best friend."
She bit her tongue and looked down, thought about her own time in high school and how much she relied on her best friend there during those years. Couldn't have imagined it differently, especially after her parents split up.
"It's my parents' wedding day."
His face fell in a beat, brows knitted together he stared at her for a moment. "Today?" he mumbled unsure.
She chuckled once at his near horrified tone. "No, worse," she muttered. "Tomorrow."
He crooked his head, continued looking at her in pure disbelief. "On Christmas?" he asked. "Is that why you were so excited to go upstate? You could still go."
She snorted and shook her head, already answering his question but she explained regardless. "No. They've separated actually."
His frown increased by the second. "I – I don't understand. Why – What?"
She laughed, more at his confusion than the entire situation. "Yep," she chirped, rolling her eyes. "Their wedding day is- Or was Christmas," she repeated, shaking her head again because she knew how stupid it sounded. Who the hell gets married on Christmas. "My uhm- My dad lost our money when I was thirteen. We moved from Cortland to Hartford and my parents split two years later and let's just say the holidays have never been the same since."
She turned to look at him again, mouthing the same word in return to question his reaction.
"We need a drink," he stated, already pushing himself up from his seat he moved his way to the kitchen. Pulling out two bottles of beer, he handed one over to her and dropped himself back down on the couch again. Silently, he raised the glass bottle and let it cling to hers. Both sporting a small smile as toast.
"Okay," she spoke, kicking her boots to the floor she pulled her legs up under her. "This talking is way too depressing. Let's watch a movie or something. Do you have anything here?"
He took a large sip of his beer, glanced at his television above the fireplace for a moment and sighed then. "No," he answered, much to his own surprise. "I don't have a DVD player."
She eyed him sceptically. "Harvey – I quote a movie in every single sentence - Specter doesn't have a DVD player, how is that possible?"
He shrugged, couldn't answer her question if he wanted to. He turned to look at the two cabinets on the wall next to his front door, observing his starting collection of records. "In my defence," he argued, bobbing his head in said direction again. "I do have my record collection here."
"Can't watch a record now, can I," she countered with a deep sigh. She stood up and walked past him towards his television. Pressing the button on the side, she watched the screen light up and a channel appear. "There must be something on TV," she reasoned, looking around the place she glanced back at him. "Where's the remote?"
He turned to his side, leaned over the armrest to the small side table and lifted the object of her request up in the air. "Here," he answered, holding back the item when she tried to reach for it. He shook his head, signalled for her to sit back down. "My TV, my choice."
She didn't object, figured on a night like this the choice of movie was limited anyway and the odds of it being something she liked were in her favour. She merely lifted her hands in the air to signal surrender, stepped over his propped up legs once more and returned to her previous seat while he flipped through the channels, eventually stopping when he noticed Star Trek would be on in a few minutes.
She redirected her gaze from the screen to him, let her gaze narrow in on the young lawyer for a moment. Counting to three in her head she waited for him to change the channel. "Really?" she mocked him when he didn't.
He looked to his right, read her expression for a moment. "Well, it's Star Trek," he argued in defence of his choice. "Plus it's not like there's anything else on at the moment."
"It's good," he reasoned, his gaze remaining fixated on the redhead until he recognised a look of acknowledgement on her face. "No," he near exclaimed when he saw her bit her lip, making up from her expression that the in his book impossible was possible. "You – You've never –"
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms in front of her chest. "You're overreacting."
"Overreacting," he repeated. "No. No way," he added. "This is Star Trek we're talking about."
"As if you ever read Shakespeare."
He opened his mouth to object but a remark failed him. He laughed then, taking another sip of his beer. "That's off topic, we're talking about movies."
His voice broke her concentration.
"There's an alien object with unbelievable destructive power less than three days away from this planet."
She looked at him in surprise, maybe even awe as he completed the line without missing a single word or beat. "Ooh, my God. You're a geek," she whispered now, an adoring laugh leaving her lips she looked at her boss. "I seriously wonder how you can be such a ladies man."
He nearly choked on his sip of beer, coughed twice while he turned on his seat to look at the redhead. Brows knitted together, he wasn't entirely sure if he was amused or offended. Maybe a combination of both.
"Don't tell me you used movie quotes as pick-up lines."
He crooked his head and his lips curled up into his signature grin. The sparkle in his eyes enough for her to know the answer.
"Did that work?" she asked in disbelief.
"If it wasn't for Sam we could test it right now."
Even with him mispronouncing his name yet again she felt a blush spread out across her cheeks and she looked down. Slapping his arm with her hand. "Just so you know," she argued looking back up at him for a moment. "You just ruled out any chance of me seeing you as the serious and mean boss," she commented, her answer not addressing whether or not it would work on her cause if she had to be brutally honest with herself she wouldn't know is no would be the truth.
He bit back a smile at her words. Opting not to comment on her statement he could only wonder if in the short three months that she had been working for him, he'd even been the boss. With her around, he was never truly in charge anyway.
He let out a yawn, closing the door to the bathroom behind him he found himself staring at her for a moment. The way she was curled up on the right end of his couch, her arms wrapped around her own frame in what looked an awful lot like his sweater. "Isn't that mine?" he asked.
"I got cold," the redhead answered with a shrug. "Now are you going to sit your ass back down or are you going to keep Captain Kirk waiting?" she teased him, fully aware the commercials were still on.
His head crooked to the other side, an amused grin spreading across his face as he realised what was happening. "Ooh God," he faked a frown. "I turned you into a Trekkie."
"Please," she whined, narrowing her gaze in on him, she signalled for him to sit back down once more. "I'm not a Trekkie," she countered, "and even if I were. It's all your own fault, mister."
He shook his head, walked in front of the coffee table and let himself fall back down on the couch. "I created a monster," he stated as The Wrath Of Khan continued again.
She faked annoyance, stretching her leg to kick his against his knee. "Well," she argued, "wait until this monster makes you read Shakespeare."
"Ugh," he whined. "No."
"You're going to love it."
"That will never happen."
She yawned, struggled to keep her eyes open by the time the second Star Trek movie came to an end. She caught her bobbing head with the palm of her hand, rubbing her bangs out of her eyes as she shifted over the couch. "I uhm…" she paused to yawn once more. "I should go," she emphasised her statement by pushing herself to her feet. "Shit," she muttered, blinking twice she now stared out of the window in his small kitchen. "It's snowing."
He got off the couch himself, turned to look at the redhead before he made his way over to the window behind his desk, now observing the storm for himself. "You should stay." His words sounding more like an order than a suggestion. "It's going to be impossible to get a cab now in this weather."
She let out a breath, took a few steps forward to the window to assess the seriousness of the situation for herself. Pressing her hands down on the windowsill, she shivered at the cold touch of it and his name left her lips in a nearly inaudible whisper.
"Look you're not going to get home in this weather," he reasoned. "Just stay, I'll sleep on the couch."
"No," she objected, spinning around on her place to look at him. "I can't let you do that."
"Donna," he paused, biting down on his bottom lip as he thought over his words. "Just take my bed," he ordered, signalling the area on her left. "I'm not letting you sleep on the couch."
She bit her tongue, there was no real point in arguing with both of them being so stubborn. "Well, then at least share it with me."
In any other situation words like that would have been music to his ears, yet this time a hesitant chuckle escaped him. A notion he covered up with words, for the first time that night using the right name. "I'm not sure how Sven would feel about that."
Donna snorted, took a few steps back from the window to him, her boss, her – She didn't finish that thought. "In your dreams, mister," she spoke instead, poking his arm as she did so. "But since it's officially Christmas and I'm not letting you sleep on the couch. Consider it your present."
He watched her tiptoe over the place, eventually leaning against the wall of his bedroom; no doubt eyeing the room like he was eyeing her. He swallowed, looking own he pushed the thoughts away. Reminded himself of the guy she told him about and the one thing he vowed to never do. The one person he vowed to never become. "You didn't get me anything?"
She sighed, crossed the open room to the side of the bed near the cabinet. "As if you got me anything," she argued, pulling back the duvet she crawled into his bed still fully clothed. She lay down, her red manes automatically spreading out over his white sheet.
He watched her pull the blanket back up to her chin, exposing her knitted sock-clad feet and how she wiggled them around. "You'll never know," he called back, turning around to turn off the television and the lights. Moving to his bathroom once more, he changed into a pair of trainers and t-shirt before he returned to his bedroom. A part of him hoped to find her already asleep, allowing him to move to the couch regardless but he realised any chance of that happening was long gone when two big hazel eyes stared up at him.
"Don't even think about it."
He smirked, wasn't entirely used to her being able to read him yet and he doubts he ever would. Dragging his bare feet over the wooden floor he made his way to the other side of the bed. "No couch," he answered. "I know. I know."
"Good," she grinned, letting her eyes close slowly again.
They talked for a few more minutes before the pauses between her answers became longer with every second, eventually fading into deep breathes and soft snores. He paused in the middle of his sentence at the realisation she had fallen asleep and he slowly let himself roll onto his back. Sighing heavily and staring up at the ceiling he couldn't help but think over the last few months. How things had changed ever since the redhead next to him stepped into his life and he snorted at the irony of it all. How one of the first things that had crossed his mind after her introducing herself to him was getting her in his bed, how she had shut him down with that catching laugh of hers and yet she had made him dance and flirted with him more than on a daily basis on Halloween. He had really thought that with a little time he would be able to convince her or at least get her to grab dinner with him. Possibly more.
Yet things changed faster and differently than he imagined.
They had had dinner. She was even in his very own bed but it wasn't like that, all because of some Scandinavian doctor.
She rolled onto her stomach, stretching her long legs under the warm covers and buried her face into the pillow. Revelling in that moment just before you fully wake up, hers was interrupted roughly anyway when she took in the smell and texture of her surroundings. This wasn't her place. Immediately prying one eye open, she glanced through the room at the empty spot next to her and the bright light coming from the window.
Her eyes widened in a beat at the sound of that voice, his voice, and her entire body tensed up. She swallowed slowly, closing her eyes again she counted to five but when she opened her eyes again her surrounding had remained the same. She slowly lowered her gaze to her own body and a sigh escaped her when she realised she was still very much dressed, she told herself that sigh was relieved.
"I hope you like bacon and eggs."
She shifted on her spot, pulling her right-leg up over the duvet. She wrapped her arms around it as she watched him standing there in his kitchen and she subconsciously licked her lips at the smell she now recognised, it making her stomach rumble. "I love bacon and eggs."
"Good," he answered, finally turning to look over his shoulder in her direction. "Cause it's the only thing I've got," he added with a cheeky smile. "That and toast," he reminded himself out loud, moving to take two slices of bread and put them in the toaster.
She grinned, bit her lip and let out another breath while getting out of his bed. "It stopped snowing," she said glancing out of the window on her way over to the small dining room table. She pulled the chair back and sat down at the already plated seats, watched him crack two eggs and move to the coffee machine in the corner.
He lifted the pot, hovered it above the two porcelain cups on the counter. Filling both of them to the brim, he turned around and handed one of them over to his secretary. "I don't have any vanilla, sorry."
She shrugged and smiled softly, deciding in that moment that on the next day of work he would find a bottle of it on his desk as a gift. Leaning forward, she took the cup from his hands she used it to warm her own. "You know, no one has ever made me breakfast before," she whispered, lowering her gaze to the hot beverage in her hands, taking a sip of it she missed how the spatula stilled in the frying pan when he froze at her words.
Specter 1 – Sven 0.
"Ooh," he caught himself mumbling out loud, he forced himself to finish dinner and find a way to respond. If he even should respond. The ding of the toaster oven woke him from his thoughts and he turned off the gas, reaching for the two slices of bread he dropped one on either plate, filling it off with the eggs and bacon. He placed one plate in front of her, kept his plate at the other side of the table as he pulled his chair back and sat down too. He lifted his cup of coffee in the air. "Here's to firsts."
She laughed but didn't respond to his gesture. "That's not fair," she argued. "I can't toast to something if I'm the only one who has something to toast too. In fact, it's not even toast-worthy."
He laughed at her reaction, how she almost considered it an insult that no one had made her breakfast before and if he was honest with himself, he thought so too. She was Donna after all. "Well, you are the first woman to have ever just slept in my bed."
"God," she whined, rolling her eyes. "That is most definitely not toast-worthy either, mister."
He smirked, shrugging he took a sip of his coffee. "If it weren't for Shawn I wouldn't even have a first to toast about, so. "
She wanted to laugh, she really did but all she could manage was rolling her eyes and drinking her coffee herself. "Don't I have a say in that?"
He looked at her and nodded. "You do," he admitted, "but it would be a yes. You find me irresistible."
They shared a moment of silence but their eyes and grins had a conversation on their own.
She stalled, dragged the sole of her boot over the thick layer of snow. She brought her hands around her own frame, warming herself she pressed her scarf up to her face.
"So this is it?" he asked, lifting his left-hand up in the air to signal the building in front of them.
She chuckled once and turned on her spot, her gaze meeting his she laughed when she spotted the snow on top of his hair. She stepped forward and brought her hand up. He flinched a little but remained rooted to his spot when she crooked her head and gave him a look. She used her glove to wipe away some snow. "You looked weird," she reasoned with a shrug.
Surprised by her words he glanced back up at her, his gaze locking with hers in a beat and he merely smiled. "Wow thanks," he mocked her words. "You look great too."
She snickered and looked down to hide the sudden blush creeping up on her face.
"Seriously, Donna," he spoke after a few seconds. "I had a great Christmas Eve."
She glanced back up, taking a step forward she let her hand slide over his arm. She leaned on her toes and placed a kiss on his cheek. "Merry Christmas, Harvey."
His breath stilled and he stared I the distance for a moment, unable to fully respond his answer came after a deep swallow two seconds later. "Merry Christmas, Paulsen. Have a great night with Stan."
She laughed and took a step away from him in the direction of the entrance. She decided to keep up with the lie she told him earlier, after accidentally having seen the texts from his father. "Sven."
"Right," he mumbled, bringing his hands back into the pockets of his coat. He shuffled on his place and walked backwards. "Stephen."
"Ooh my God," she argued, fishing her keys out of her purse she moved to unlock her door. She looked back and watched him return in the direction they just came from. "You're impossible," she called after her boss even though he wasn't able to hear it anymore. She shook her head and moved inside of the building, quickly making her way up to the second floor.
He looked through the window, let his gaze drift over the crowd sitting at the tables to the small stage in the back. A dim light reflecting in the saxophone, his lips curled up in a smile as he watched his father perform from the street. Letting out a breath he took a step forward and turned to the door of the bar on the right, pushing it open with his hand.
He let out another breath when he stepped inside the small bar, brought his hand through his hair to remove a bit of snow like she had done earlier. He pulled on his gloves and stuffed both in the pockets of his coat, now making his way through the crowd. Stalling when he spotted his father again, he listened to the jazzy sounds that reminded him of his childhood.
Gordon turned on the stage, missed a tune when he spotted his eldest son. He smiled his Specter grin, bobbed his head up and down as a silent greeting before he continued playing the saxophone, finishing the son.
The old Specter man stepped off the stage a few minutes later, a wide grin spread across his face he placed his saxophone down and walked over to his son with open arms. Now properly greeting the young lawyer with a warm embrace, patting on his back twice before he took a step backwards and he raised his hand to signal the waitress for two glasses of scotch as he sat down on the barstool next to his son. "We missed you last night, Harvey."
The assistant district attorney swallowed and looked away. "Yeah… Uhm."
Gordon laughed, knew his son well enough. "Ooh, I get it," he took a sip from his scotch. "What's her name?"
Gordon's words took the young lawyer by surprise. Harvey swallowed and kept his gaze lowered on the glass tumbler, moving it over the table between his hands a few times first he lifted it up to take a large sip. Letting the auburn liquid burn on his tongue before he spoke. "No." He swirled the alcohol around inside the glass. "I uhm… Had a case."
She pressed the phone between her ear and her shoulder, she reached for the zipper on her back with her left-hand. Trying to pull it down she resorted to a silly dance in front of her mirror as she tried to change into something more comfortable.
"Hey mom," she answered. "Merry Christmas. I'm sorry I couldn't make it. The storm, everything got cancelled," she apologised and explained the short text she had send the day before, a frown forming on her face when she heard her mother laugh on the other end of the line.
"Who is he?"
Donna stared at her own reflection in the mirror, narrowing her gaze in on her own image as if she was looking at her mother. "What are you talking about?"
"You don't sound all that upset about not being here with us," Martha stated. "That's all."
She rolled her eyes at the tone her mother used. "If you must know," she paused, letting out a sigh she kicked her boots aside and stepped into her slippers, now strutting back to her living room. "I spent the night with my boss."
She realised what it sounded like the second the words left her lips. "And no," she added quickly. "Not like that." She laughed despite herself, pretty sure both of her sisters were listening in on the conversation anyway.
"He made you work on Christmas Eve?"
She let herself fall down on the couch. "No," she reasoned, "we just had dinner together since we were both stuck in the city. I really am sorry I'm not there right now. Tell Rose and Alice I said hi." She could hear her mother pass the messages on and she grinned when both her sisters yelled their hellos in return.
She reached for the remote, pulled both her legs up and leaned against a couple of pillows as she turned on the television. Flipping through the channels she found herself resting on reruns of the movies from last night. A small smile tugged at her lips and she tossed the remote to the other side of the couch, leaving the television on the movie he quoted along with.
"And tell dad and Thomas to stay away from the gingerbread, that's mine."
He tossed his hand of cards on the table, laughed when Alex sighed and he downed the remainder of his beer in victory. He pushed himself onto his feet, ignored the bottle of champagne the other lawyer brought along on this New Year's Eve, he stepped over one of the girl's legs and made his way to his kitchen. Going for another round of beer instead. He turned around, eyed his friend explaining the rules of poker yet again. He laughed, used a bottle opener to remove the caps. He handed a cold beer over to Alex, repeated the process with his own.
He sobered up in a beat, remembered his promise of not interrupting her night with work on any calls at all. He placed his bottle down on the table and eyed the blonde wiggling the phone up and down in front of his face. He quickly took it from the woman's hand, ignored the look Alex shot him and he stepped through the room to the hallway, the music inside to loud to hear the redhead on the other end of the line.
"Donna," he answered. "Everything okay? Where are you?"
"I'm fine. At the hospital –"
"Hospital," he repeated interrupting her sentence, he missed the soft laugh the first half of her answer came with. "What happened? Do you need me –"
"I. Am. Fine," she repeated with a pause between each word. "Just waiting for Sven's shift to end… At the hospital," she added the words again. "Actually we were about to leave but this kid came in so he stayed to help."
Specter 1 – Sven 100
He sighed once and rolled his eyes, annoyed at a man he never met. A weird kind of jealously taking over him he couldn't place and surely didn't recognise it as such. Amusement the overruling emotion when he realised that after everything, he was still the one she called. "Well. If the hospital is boring, you can come over. Why did you call?"
"Because," he heard her sigh. "Okay, waiting at the hospital is kind of boring and… And I wanted to make sure you're not working for once. Don't think I didn't see you sneak out those files this afternoon."
He laughed, glanced back through the open door at his desk and let his gaze move over his current company. In particular, the two blondes that signalled for him to get back. "Nope," he answered with a grin. "Definitely not working."
"Ooh God. You're gross."
"Hey," he shrugged in objection. "You asked but I'll gladly send them away if you ditch that Canadian boyfriend of yours and join me."
Scandinavian. She rolled her eyes and bit her tongue to stop herself from correcting him. She knew he knew. Donna looked up at the subject of their conversation in the distance, watched Sven fill in a chart. "No I'm good, "she answered the lawyer. "Happy New Year, Harvey."
He smiled. "Happy New Year, Donna."
He woke up the following morning with a massive headache, courtesy of the countless amount of alcohol and how the game that night had changed to a far more interesting version after Alex and the brunette left his place. He let out a groan, moved his hand up his face to rub the sleep from his eyes. Involuntarily, his head fell to the side and he pried open one eye.
He caught himself staring at one of the naked blondes next to him, much like he'd done exactly a week earlier yet completely different and a weird feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. Quietly he moved his head again, now staring up at the ceiling for a moment before he very carefully removed himself from the bed.
Scratching his bare butt, he yawned and strode through his living room on his way to the bathroom. The BlackBerry on his coffee table caught his eye, he lifted it to find out the time but he froze when he spotted her message.
And once when it's officially the new year. Happy New Year, Harvey –x Donna
His good mood faded in a beat and his head pounded again. Leaving her message unanswered, he placed his phone back on the table and resumed his path to the bathroom. He needed a shower in order to fully wake that morning. A towel wrapped around his waist he returned a couple of minutes later and he would have forgotten about the two girls in his bed if he handed heard them giggle.
He glanced to his right, caught them cuddled up together and signalling for him to join them when they noticed his presence. He stalled, rocked back and forth on his feet and just watched them for a moment, trying to remember their names and which name belonged to which face with that.
"Aren't you going to make us breakfast?" The girl on the left asked, batting her lashes.
"We could all eat in bed," the other added.
He swallowed, bit down on his bottom lip. Crossed his arms in front of his chest. "I don't have any food left."
Blonde number one let out a sigh and number two produced a fake pout, moving closer to her friend she whispered something in her ear. Both of them giggled soon after. He swallowed, closed his eyes for a brief second at the pounding headache he still had. Looking back up again he found the blonde number two right in front of him, her hands stretched out in reach for him.
Realising these two weren't getting his subtle hints of just leaving, he gave in then. Figured he might as well do something to improve his mood, he stepped forward and joined both women again.
Hoping that the next time he would open his eyes they'd just be gone.
He held the door to the little pub open for her, gave her a hand as she stepped inside the establishment. The place he had drinks with his younger brother the last time he was in Boston when he admitted he was already married to Donna. An old bar where his father used to perform in his last years, the place his father performed the night before he passed away.
He turned to look at his fiancée, kept her hand enveloped by his own as he guided her through the little bar. "Dad used to perform here a lot before he –"
She squeezed the hand that was holding onto her own and she brought her right hand to his arm. Rubbing it over his bicep in a silent moment of comfort, she smiled at him when he glanced at her.
"I thought of showing you Marcus' restaurant," he continued. "It's down the street but I uhm… I realised I wanted to show you this more."
She let his digits slip between hers and followed him along the tables to an exposed brick wall decorated with picture frames in the back. She glanced at the wall for a moment but rested her gaze on him, watched him watch the picture. The way his eyes roamed over them, how his expression changed to a watery-eyed and tight-lipped smile.
"There," he spoke pointing at a frame in the middle.
She looked at the wall now, the picture he addressed in particular and she caught herself tearing up at the picture of what would have been, and maybe deep down always already had been, father-in-law.
"I miss him."
"Me too," she whispered, swallowing once she bit back her tears. She brought her free hand to her face, quickly wiping one away with the back of her hand because she didn't want to make this any harder for him than it already was.
He caught her movement from the corner of his eye and he gulped once. Shifting on his spot he brought his hand to her face, traced his thumb over her cheek and smiled at her before he brought his hand to her baby bump. "That's your grandpa, pumpkin," he spoke pointing at the picture again.
This time he held his hand against the glass plate for a moment, took in the picture and thought back to all the times he'd seen his father perform. Looking back it hadn't been enough.
He looked at another frame now, one two rows higher and a bit more to the left. Another picture of his father, this time with two old bandmates and Marcus. The one three to the right from that a group picture. His father, his mother, brother and sister-in-law and even Bobby.
A happy family. His happy family but without him.
Harvey swallowed and looked down at his feet when confronted with everything he could have had if he hadn't been so stubborn. If he had just forgiven his mother like his brother had, he could have had a family.
Deep down he also knew that everything happened for a reason. That the friends and colleagues he had today, the woman standing by his side, in particular, had been his family all along. Maybe not by blood but by choice, by love.
That if it hadn't been for his past he wouldn't have had this present or future and he wouldn't trade it for the world.
But he couldn't help but feel doubt in the moment, not about her and their little pumpkin or his past but if it was at all possible to rebuild a relationship with his mother. If it was worth it. If he could still have all that and more.
She let out a deep sigh, rolled her eyes and mouthed 'clients' when the managing partner walked by. Donna swivelled around in her desk chair, followed Jessica with her gaze until the female lawyer was out of her sight. "Mom," she muttered then, moving the phone from one ear to the other she played with the cord as her mother went on about dinner. The promise she made even before she joined him on that business trip to Italy.
"Mom," she repeated, trying to figure out if there was any way at all to get out of it. She loved her mom, she really did but ever since her parents officially split there had just been one too many potential stepfathers she had to meet.
She let her gaze drift off to him when she failed to interrupt her mother, she just listened now. Humming every couple of seconds, she could almost recite the words her mother would say from memory as she watched him and for a moment, for the briefest of moments she wished she didn't have any contact with her mother either.
As if he heard her thoughts his head bobbed up and she looked down at some files in front of her. "Okay," she gave in then, already deeply regretting those few seconds she let her mind wander. "Fine. I'll have dinner with you and Fabio."
"Fabian," she corrected herself. "I know."
"Then we'll see you tonight."
She almost dropped the phone at that remark. "What?" she asked now, silently praying she heard that wrong but she knew luck wasn't on her side.
"Fabian and I are in the city," Martha continued. "So we'll stop by tonight. How does seven sound? Can't wait to see you. Love you."
Her lips slowly parted at the beeping sound coming from the other end of the line, she couldn't believe her mother just hung up on her that. Couldn't believe her mother just used her own tactic in return. She let out another sigh and pressed the horn back down on the machine with more force than necessary and she didn't have to glance up to see it resulted in questioning eyes coming from the small office. She counted to three, considered her options but had already pushed herself to her feet and marched into his office before she could come up with a definite plan.
"Donna," he acknowledged her presence, finished typing his sentence before he looked up. He took in the stressed look on her face, suddenly wondered what the call was all about. His head started to tilt ever so slightly to the right a question on the tip of his tongue, she spoke first.
"I need your help."
He tilted his head in the other direction now, eyes widening a little at her words. It possible being the first time she asked him for something. "Anything," he answered all too easily.
"Have dinner with me and my mom tonight," she blurted out before she could change her mind, or more realistically even think over her own words. She pressed her lips together in a thin-lipped smile.
He blinked twice, not sure he heard her correctly but his mind yelled 'anything but that' at him. "What?" he asked instead, convinced he made the entire thing up in the first place. It happened a lot lately, ever since they returned from their business trip to Italy two months ago. Ever since he decided he couldn't care about her anymore, not that much, to not let it affect him, it's like his mind, his subconscious, had another way of dealing. Often causing him to hear and see things that weren't there.
He kept telling himself again and again that he didn't feel her gaze resting on his skin. That she wasn't looking at him and that the smile she greeted him with every morning was nothing more than just that. A greeting.
So he told himself, once more, that she didn't talk about dinner.
"My mom and her latest boyfriend are in town," she spoke, a hint of gloom palpable in her voice. "She wants me to meet him and I need you there."
She bobbed her head up and down. "Need," she repeated with a pleading look. "Please, or you might just have to represent me for attempt to murder."
The expression on his face changed from confused to surprised and amused in under a second, a laugh escaped him then. "That bad?"
"Worse," she exaggerated but having heard the stories from her siblings she was in for a treat and if she were honest. She didn't want to go through it alone. She pushed those thoughts away, jutted her hip to the side and she snapped her fingers to get his attention. "I'll take that as a yes," she continued. "My place. Six. Don't be late."
Mouth left agape he watched her turn around on her heel and strut out of his office before he even got the chance to respond. He shook his head, snickered despite himself. He couldn't say no even if he wanted to but then again when it came to the redhead there was no point in saying no anyway.
The screen of his BlackBerry flickering up broke his thoughts and he looked down, right-hand already reaching for the device. He rolled his eyes at the message on his screen. An exact repeat of the words she left with.
My place. Six. Don't be late – D
She rocked back and forth on her feet, stared at the clock on the kitchen wall. Five past six. "Typical," she muttered to herself, pulling on the tail of one of the shrimps. She tossed it back into the bowl next to the sink, almost decided on calling the entire off if it hadn't been for the three knocks on her door. Knocks she somehow knew to be his.
She let out a sigh, moved to the sink to quickly wash her hands before she made her way over to the door. Swallowing once, she pushed the memories aside. Reminded herself that this was not that. They had not just left the district attorney's office. He had not rung the bell.
They were still working at Pearson Hardman. He had just knocked and maybe the only thing this moment had in common with the one over a year ago was that she was as certain of what would happen as she had been the last time.
It this time being nothing, absolutely nothing. Just dinner.
He swallowed at the sound of the lock changing, it momentarily bringing him back to the one other time he had set foot inside this building. Waiting in front of her door, much like this time, he pushed himself onto his feet when the door swung open. He swallowed when her eyes locked with his and he found himself grounded on his spot.
Two big hazel eyes staring up at him expectantly, just like the other time. Her auburn manes loosely hanging over her shoulder, her bangs perfectly framing those two beautiful eyes, just like the other time.
His gaze dropped ever so slightly but this time, this time there was no suggestive grin. No biting her lower lip and there was most definitely no lilac nightgown or bottle of whipped cream daring him to act out what he once sketched on a square piece of paper.
"Hey," she greeted him.
The sound of her voice brought him back to the present and he told himself, once more, that this was not that.
"Hey," he mimicked her, shuffling on his spot he brought the bottle of wine she texted him to bring to the front. "Sorry I'm late," he apologised, handing the white wine over to his secretary, "but you asked for this."
She smiled, taking the bottle from his hand. She stepped aside and opened the door further, silently inviting him inside. She turned the bottle over in her hand, eyeing the label. "You're a lifesaver," she spoke, closing the door behind him.
"Harvey is fine," he joked, looking back at her over his shoulder. He was hyperaware of every step he took inside of her apartment. The small hallway the same yet different.
"I take that back," she laughed, sidestepping him she made her way through the living room to her kitchen. "You're impossible," she called after him.
He followed her through the apartment, it taking every fibre in his being not to glance to the left while still in the hallway. He now observed the living room and finally stepped into the one area he hadn't been the other time; it having a weirdly calming effect on him. "Where is your mom?" he asked now, glancing around once more as if the woman would suddenly magically appear.
"They'll be here at seven."
He turned around. Semi-annoyed at the shrug he knew that line was delivered with. He was about to ask why on earth she insisted he'd be here an hour earlier but the words died on the tip of his tongue when he caught her moving a can opener from one hand to the other, unfolding it to reveal the corkscrew.
He felt his throat dry up, his heartbeat increased and after a few seconds, he leaned forward. Taking the object from her hands. "Let me," he muttered, trying to make it sound like an offering, a gesture but he felt off his game and he needed to be in control. Feel in control.
She pulled her hand back when his fingers scraped hers and she suddenly needed the alcohol a hell of a lot more and faster than mere seconds ago. She turned on the tip of her toes, opened one of the cabinets and reached for two glasses placing them down in front of him. She simply nodded when he looked in her direction, urging him to fill the glasses.
He removed the cork with a plop, lifted the bottle and filled both glasses. Sliding one over the counter in her direction. "So," he started, placing the bottle down he got a hold of his own glass. "You are looking forward to this dinner."
She chuckled at his tone, peered at him from the corner of her eye. "Ooh, absolutely," she answered in a mocking tone, now lifting her glass herself. She brought it up to cling to his.
"To twisted families."
She nodded at his words. "Twisted families," she repeated softly, bringing the glass to her lip. She took a large sip of her wine.
He watched her take another big sip before he turned around and placed his glass back down. His gaze now roaming over the kitchen it reminded him of the time she tried to cook him dinner with Christmas. Staring at the big bowl of shrimps on the counter, he spoke. "What are you making?"
She let out a sigh, bit down on her lop and placed her glass down next to his. Moving to the side she removed the apron from the peg but instead of putting it on she held it up in front of him. "You are making shrimp something."
He stared at her in confusion, not entirely sure how to respond because this was the furthest thing from what he expected her to say.
"I can't cook," she added with a shrug, pushing the apron against his chest. "You said so yourself."
He quickly reached for the apron, trying to ignore her accidental touch his fingers clung to the material. "Donna Paulsen admitting she can't do something," he teased her. "It must be my lucky day."
"Yeah, yeah, very special," she mocked, rolling her eyes. "But I'm going to let it slide this once because my mom and whatever his name is will be here in," she paused, narrowed her gaze in on the clock on the wall. "Under thirty minutes."
She used the wooden spoon to stir around in the pan, followed his strict instructions on which spices to add, how much of each and when. No doubt all spelt out for him through texts from his younger brother but she didn't mind, she just needed this dinner to be perfect. She moved the spoon again, lifting it up and bringing it to her lips she blew over it once more to make sure it wasn't too hot before she tasted it. Her eyes immediately closed in appreciation, a soft but very unintentional moan rolled off her tongue. She cursed herself, didn't dare to look in his direction and for the first time that day she was glad for her mother's presence when the doorbell rang in that very moment. "Could you?" she asked.
He frowned but obeyed, glad to be able to step away for a moment even if it meant crossing the hallway yet again. Accidentally looking in that direction would be nothing compared to the sound he just heard. He extended his hand and reached for the doorknob, slowly turning it he pressed his lips in his best smile possible given the circumstances and opened the door.
Her voice appeared out of nowhere and he nearly jumped on his spot. Nodding at the older redhead in front of him he briefly looked back at the slightly tipsy younger version and managed to step back just in time to escape being sandwiched in a hug between mother and daughter. A gesture that given her anxious behaviour made him frown but feel a little bit more at ease at the same time.
"Donna," the older redhead smiled, kissed her daughter on the cheek and took a step back to really take her in. Her hands moved over the secretary's arms, smiling brightly as she took in the complete image. She let her gaze drift from her daughter to the man standing behind her. A small smile crept up on her case as she recognised him from descriptions Donna had given and the time Rose, her youngest daughter, had googled the man in front of her because she had to know the bastard that had kept her sister in the city. All other Paulsen women had realised in that very moment it wasn't just 'acting' that kept Donna in the Big Apple.
He swallowed when he noticed her mother's attention shift to him and he automatically straightened his back, lifted his chin ever so slightly. He forced himself to extend his hand then and introduce himself. "Hello Mrs Paulsen, I'm –"
"Harvey Specter," the older redhead answered, shaking his hand.
He found himself speechlessly experiencing a moment of déjà vu, it at the same time answering many questions. "Right," he whispered to himself, looking back up at his secretary's mother. "Yes, that would be me," he answered, not bothering to ask how the woman in front of him knew in case he'd hear the same line Donna threw in his reaction more than once but just with a different name.
"But you should call me Martha, son," Donna's mother smiled, finally letting go of his hand. She shifted on her spot and now brought her hand to the man standing beside her. "And this is my boyfriend Fabian."
Donna took a deep breath, bit her tongue and briefly glanced at her boss. The look in her eyes an 'I told you so' and she did her best to smile when she faced the man who couldn't have been much older than her older siblings. "Fabio – an," she chirped, stepping forward to greet him with an embrace.
Harvey held back a laugh at the redhead's almost slip up. Now nodding and extending his hand himself. He wasn't entirely sure what the protocol was on meeting your secretary's mother's new boyfriend but he kept himself busy by closing the door and taking both coats in his hands.
Martha smiled and guided her boyfriend through the apartment, both of them sitting down at the decorated table facing the living room when Donna signalled them to do so. She watched her daughter tell the young lawyer something before they both disappeared into the kitchen. The young man soon returning with the bottle of white wine, he held it up asking if both of them wanted it.
"So Harvey," Martha spoke eyeing the lawyer in the flowery apron once more. "Donna didn't tell me you two finally got together."
The bottle almost slipped from his hand he just about managed to stop the bottleneck from colliding with Fabian's wine glass.
At the very same moment, a loud clattering sound echoed through the apartment, coming from the kitchen. It followed by an, "Oh my God, mom!" and a rather frantic redhead rushing back to the living room. The first thing she noticed was his shocked expression, the second her mother's enthusiastic smile. She let out a breath and came to a halt next to Harvey, mentally scolding him for not having diffused the situation yet but then it again it was her mother.
"No," she spoke firmly then, signalling up and down between her boss and herself. "We work together. That's it."
She reached for the decanter on the table. "Want some water too?" she spoke rather than asked, foregoing an answer she filled the four small glasses to the brim. She stared at the now half empty glass bottle in her hands, trying to control her breathing. "Let me refill this," she announced in an inaudible whisper, already turning on her heels. She called for him on her way back to her kitchen.
He pressed his lips into a soft smile, nodded at the two guests before he made he did as he was told and followed her to the small kitchen. He took two last strides, his pace slowing down with each of them when he caught her pace around.
She sensed his presence before she spotted him from the corner of her eye and she turned around on her spot. Nearly seething, she mouthed a 'what the hell did you tell her?' in his direction before reaching for her still half full wine-glass from earlier and took a big sip.
He exhaled slowly, knew that she wasn't mad at him but the anger covered embarrassment and nerves her mother's presence had brought out. He took two small steps in her direction, lightly shook his head and he covered her hand holding onto the glass with his own. Taking it away, he placed it on the counter just out of her reach.
"Nothing," he whispered his answer. Bringing both of his hands to her upper arm, he held her for the briefest of moments before quickly retreating his hands again. He directed the attention from the way his hands balled into fists with words. "You can do this."
"I can't believe she didn't notice it."
She laughed so hard again her head fell backs the cabinets and her eyes closed. Wrapping her arms around her stomach as they were she seated on the floor of her kitchen, she coughed 'it hurts' between breaths. Glancing at him from the corner of her eye she chuckled again, the image of a piece of shrimp stuck in the back of her mother's hair something she'll never forget. "Why.." she paused, trying to catch her breath. "Why would she. With all the hairspray?"
He snickered again, brought his hand to his face and ran the back of his hand over his eyes to remove a tear. He couldn't remember a time he laughed this hard, at something so stupid and just after what had been a very stressful start of an evening. He looked down at the glass of wine in his hand, moved it a bit to let the clear alcohol roll around in it before taking downing the remainder of it. "Well, it was your fault."
She tried to roll her eyes but in reality, she moved her entire head before she gave him a somewhat disappointed look, one index finger raised in the air. "You," she spoke, poking his thigh with her finger instead of pointing at him. "You," she repeated. "Spat a piece of shrimp in the back of my mother's hair. Please explain how that incriminates me, hotshot."
He shifted a little on his spot and glanced at her, an amused chuckle leaving his lips at her choice of words. "Because," he argued, bumping her shoulder with his own. "You made me burst out laughing."
She shrugged once. "Can't help it that I'm hilarious," she reasoned in her defence, laughing again. She reached forward for the bottle of wine, emptying the second bottle in both of their glasses. Donna let out a deep breath and sobered up a little, the laughter finally subsiding.
"Thank you, Harvey."
"The only side I'm on is my family's, the one you until very recently never really been a part of."
His brother's words from the day before came to mind again and he let out a deep breath, returned to stare at the picture on the wall. A visual reminder of the hard truth, but truth nonetheless. He swallowed once more, only broke his gaze and turned to look at her when her hand twitched inside his.
"What if there's no point?"
She crooked her head, turned his hand over in her own and brought her free hand up to draw circles on the back of his hand. "Harv."
"You heard what he said," he mumbled, referring to his brother. "It's true. Ever since dad – " he swallowed in the word, glanced down at his hand in hers. "Before that even," he admitted with a hint of sadness in his voice. "Maybe this is enough. Us," he spoke looking up at her his gaze locked with hers. "You've been my family all along."
She smiled softly at his words, felt the same way about him but she shook her head regardless. "But I – we," she paused momentarily looking down at her baby bump. "We're not your only family, Harvey. You have another one and you need to reconcile with them."
His Adam's apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed and took in her words. He nodded slowly, tried to push the doubt away but his mouth opened anyway.
"Enough is enough," she spoke before he could, she smiled again because she already knew what he would say next. "She wants this just as much as you want it, Harvey," she reassured him of what Lily told her that morning with a squeeze of his hands again. "You can do this."
He flipped through the files Jessica had just given him on his way back to his corner office, he had trodden this path down the fiftieth floor numerous of times before. When it was still his mentor's office and maybe even more often in the five months it had been his and yet every single time spotting that title under his name made his lips curl up.
That and the fact that his office was officially bigger than Louis' and the redhead that sat outside of it, always willing to share the latest news and help his career flourish even more. He looked up from the folder in his hand again when he noticed that this time the redhead wasn't sitting at her desk. He frowned, narrowed his gaze in on her empty desk chair but continued his way down to his office.
Once he reached her cubicle he caught a glimpse of her red hair from the corner of his eyes, turning his head to the right he spotted her standing near the window. "Oh no," he muttered to himself, already bracing himself for the news she was no doubt going to deliver. He closed the files with a deep sigh and pushed through the glass door. "Donna whatever it is –"
He stopped in the middle of his own sentence when she turned around to face him. His gaze automatically landing on her face, he froze when he noticed her red-rimmed eyes, a tear rolling down her cheek and the way she sniffed. Using the back of her hand to wipe the single tear away.
"What happened?" he asked his eyes searching for hers. "Donna, are you okay?"
"I'm fine," she sniffled, shaking her head and shrugging as she sat down on the armrest of one of his chairs. "It's nothing. Never mind."
He bit his tongue and crooked his head, didn't believe a word of what she was saying. In all the years he'd known her he'd seen her cry only a handful of times, twice on stage, once at her parents' second wedding and when she told him his father had passed away. Swallowing thickly, he took a guarded step towards her. "Don."
She looked down, drew her bottom lip between her teeth and pushed herself back onto her feet. "It's just," she whispered, a perfectly executed nervous chuckle leaving her lips. "My parents decided to come to the city last minute to redo their honeymoon and the hotel they stayed in at the time is booked. I tried to get them another place, but it's Christmas so everything is full and my place is too small," she paused, glancing up at him from under her lashes. She sighed dramatically. "I know it's silly I just –"
"They could stay at my place." The offer pronounced before he could fully think the meaning and logistics of it through.
"What?" she whispered.
He swallowed, knew her question wasn't because she didn't hear him, knew that there was no way out of his offer now. "They can stay at my place."
She crooked her head, looked at him for a moment. "Harvey, no –"
"Donna," he spoke, using the tone he only reserved for her. "It's okay. I'm not in the city anyway this weekend."
She nodded at his words, pressed her lips into thin line. "Marcus?"
"Yeah," he spoke, offering her another thin-lipped smile to let her know it was really okay before he turned around to his desk.
He stalled once more, dragged his shoes over the carpet as he faced her again. He noticed the way she bit her lip and the apologetic look in her eyes in a beat but he'd never outright tell her he could do that too. "What?"
"You said this weekend," she reminded him of his own words. "My parents will be in town tomorrow."
His lips parted and his eyes closed for a moment, couldn't believe this was happening. "Well," he sighed. "I promised. It's fine, don't worry about me."
"Donna," he countered, his tone firmer this time giving away that this was the end of the discussion. He had suggested it, he would figure something out for that one day he didn't take into consideration.
She let out a breath and stepped forward. "Let's swap places."
"What?" he asked now.
"You'll stay at my place before you go to Boston and I'll stay at yours with my parents," she clarified. "That way I can also make sure they don't burn your precious penthouse down at the same time."
"Please," she cut him off before he could even fully pronounce her name. "Just - So you don't have to sleep on the street."
He snorted and shook his head, finally rounding his desk he pulled back his chair. "I'd find somewhere else to sleep than the street."
"Gross," she said, rolling her eyes at his smirk that followed his words. She made her way over to his desk, stood opposite of it as she looked at her boss. "We're swapping places," she decided then once and for all. "I'll see you tomorrow morning."
He ran his hand over his face, let out a yawn and momentarily regretted his offer altogether. Why did they have to swap places first thing in the morning? Why were they swapping places anyway? He yawned once more, moved from his bathroom to the cabinet in his bedroom. Searched through the drawers for a sweater and dress shirts to bring with him to Boston. He strode through his room to another door, pulled out another spare suit when he heard soft knocks on his front door.
Dropping the suit on his bed, he made his way over to the door. Pulled it open in one swift motion and mustered something that sound resemble a smile on his lips. He stepped aside, wordlessly wanting to let her enter his place and he would have hadn't it been for two giant suitcases that stood behind her. "Geez," he whined through another yawn. "I think I missed the memo that this swap would last a month."
She bobbed her head to the side, gave him an unamused look when he nodded at her suitcases. She scoffed once, reached for each with a hand and pulled them inside his apartment. "It's just the essentials," she argued, stopping in the living room. She placed one suitcase on the side and lay one down on the floor.
He pushed the door shut behind him, walked back himself and stalled when he saw her squad next to her suitcase, pulling on the zipper. A more than confused frown appearing on his face when the suitcase didn't contain clothes or shoes but a few photo frames, two pillows and a handful of other memorabilia he couldn't recognise from his spot.
"What- What are you doing?" he asked, crossing his arms in front of his chest when she placed two candles on his coffee table, the two pillows landing on his black leather couch.
"If I'm going to pretend this is my place, I at least have to make it look like my place."
His eyes widened for a moment and he stared at her for a moment, pretty sure he was losing his mind in this exact moment. "I thought we were swapping places?"
"Yeah," she gave in shrugging while she moved the picture frames over to the edge of his fireplace.
"But this is more fun."
"Right." He brought his hand to the bridge of his nose, rubbed his skin there to prevent a headache from setting in. "As if your mother would ever believe the least decorated apartment in the city belongs to you," he mocked, grinning at his own thoughts.
She smiled knowingly but pretended to play along. "Ooh, thanks for the reminder."
"No," he objected, immediately taking a step back when he remembered the very first and only time they celebrated the holiday together. How she had managed to get him to carry a freaking tree up the stairs to his place. "I'm not –"
His sentence was cut off by the ringing of the doorbell and Donna smiled once more. "That must be Ed."
"Ed," she repeated, stepping over her suitcase she rushed back to the door trusting he would just follow her to the front door anyway. "I asked him to bring up the tree and decorations," she added before she opened the door and indeed found herself facing Ed.
"One Christmas tree, miss."
"Thanks, Ed," she chirped, reaching for the two bags that came along with the tree. She narrowed her gaze in on Harvey and bobbed her head in the direction of the door, silently ordering him to take care of the tree.
He let out a sigh when she was out of sight, turned to face the older man from the reception of his building once more and took the tree from the man's hands. "Thanks, Ed," he mimicked her words, smiling through gritted teeth. He closed the door again and dragged the tree over the wooden floor to the middle of his apartment, asking her where she wanted it he eventually placed it near his liquor cart.
Zipping his own suitcase up, he lifted it from his bed and walked back to his living room. Stalling in front of his breakfast bar he took a moment to observe the place and he had to admit that it indeed looked more lively and her than it had done before. He eyed her hanging the last garland in the tree, heard her mumble a 'there' before she folded the empty bag in her hands.
He let his gaze drift off again, to the pillows on his couch. The pictures next to his record player and the candles on his tables and back to the tree. He couldn't help but notice how the one decoration he knew she always insisted to be at the office party was missing from his place and he chuckled once but didn't comment on it.
She rolled her eyes as if she read his thoughts but she too chose to let it go, wasn't going to comment on something he didn't even say. "You got everything?" she asked instead, signalling the suitcase in his hand with a bob of her head.
"Okay," she answered, going over her checklist in her mind. "You got my key, right?"
He reached for his keys from his pocket, flipped through the few keys until he reached the spare key to her apartment she'd given him a few years back. Holding it up he merely nodded and placed it back in the pocket of his pants.
"Good," she smiled, turning the lights of the Christmas tree off she walked ahead of him to the front door. Opening it up she looked back at him. "So there's food in my fridge," she started. "Remember no snooping around and Harvey, so help me God, if you bring over a nameless face to my place I will stop working for you."
She put her key to his apartment in the lock, quickly turning it around she opened the door for her parents. "Welcome," she smiled brightly as she took their suitcase from her father's hands and rolled it through the open floor plan to the column at the end of the kitchen.
"Wow," Martha and Jim whispered in unison, taking in the penthouse with wide eyes. "Honey," her father continued. "What a place."
The redhead chuckled nervously, moving across the place again to turn on the lights of the Christmas tree she brought that very morning. "What can I say," she mused. "Only the best for the best legal secretary this city has ever seen."
He dragged his suitcase up the two flight of stairs, let out a deep breath when he stood in front of her door. It was only the third time he'd set foot inside this building and if he was honest he dreaded it, he dreaded going there and had spent most of the evening in his office with his bottle of scotch. Sighing once more the junior partner was just about to reach for her key when he spotted it.
Hanging in front of her door.
The images of her pressed against the inside the second he had stepped inside. His lips moved down her neck as they collided with another wall, both their hands fighting over the bottle of whipped cream until they reached the other door. The one she had tried to open but failed because he distracted her too much. The one she had mentioned in between kisses, the one he had opened while he lifted her up and lastly the one he had closed when he snuck out the following morning.
His eyes closed in a beat and his feet took heavy steps backwards, his back bumping into the railing across the landing of the second floor a few seconds later. His breathing fastened and he used his hand to trace along the wall on his way back down out of the building.
Never having set foot in her apartment.
She stirred a little, rolled on her side when he back ached from trying to sleep on his black leather couch. She scolded herself for suggesting the house swap, she could have been in her perfectly comfortable bed right now instead of on his couch while her parents slept in the room next door. She sighed, pulled her arm up under her head and just when she wanted to close her eyes again she heard the soft sound of keys ruffling.
"You've got to be freaking kidding me," she whispered kicking the blanket aside, she threw her legs of the seating and pushed herself up. Tiptoeing through the living room she turned on one light in the hallway before making her way to the door. Without much thought, she pulled it open in one swift motion.
Her mouth dropped when she spotted him then, or rather them. A petite blonde clinging to his frame, his hand-eye coordination had gone out of the window as he still fumbled around with his key not even noticing she had already opened it for him. As if these two things weren't enough for her to realise he was more than drunk it would have been the smell of an entire liquor store he carried with him. She crossed her arms and shook her head in disappointment. "Really, Harvey?"
Both heads lifted up to look at her then. It were his eyes that widened in surprise at the familiar face of the redhead and where words lacked him a stupid grin tugged on his lips. The blonde's eyes widened too but hers started to drift from the redhead to the man holding her.
"You're married?!" the blonde cried out, her free hand colliding with his cheek not even a second later before she broke free from his embrace and stormed off to the elevator and if Donna wasn't so annoyed at the entire situation she would have admired the girl's ability to still aim so well.
"We're not," both the lawyer and his secretary barked back at the girl but it was of no use when the metals doors closed and they were the only ones left in the hallway at this ungodly hour.
Donna shook her head once more, knew there was no way she could send him back to her place in this condition. In fact, she'd probably worry even more if she did so, letting out a deep sigh she stepped aside and held the door open for him. "Get in," she ordered.
"Well tha… thannnk yooou," he mocked her with a bow. Laughing at himself he stepped inside his apartment. He moved to remove his coat, tried to ignore the redhead walking behind him and the reason why she was even there.
"I can't believe you showed up here drunk."
"I ammm not drrrunnnk, Daaawnna" he countered. "Ash sooobberr ash it getsssh."
She let out a tired sigh, shook her head at his inability to even correctly pronounce her name and that was a dead giveaway on the 'how drunk is Harvey Specter' scale, only confirming the one thing she thought before. She couldn't send him away. "You're out of here first thing in the morning though."
He chuckled but forgot to answer, kicked off his shoes near the breakfast bar. Planted a hand on the cold marble surface to keep himself steady for a few moments before he continued his way down to his bedroom.
"What are you doing?" she hissed now.
He shook his head, closed his eyes and stalled a little when the room around him started to spin. He slowly opened his eyes again before he spoke. "Gottta… pee."
As silently as possible she rushed forward with two big strides and stopped right in front of him. Her hands on his chest, she had to physically stop him from moving further. "Woah," she spoke a little bit louder than she should have. "Are you freaking serious?" She pulled her hands away from his chest then, signalled the room behind her. "My parents are in there."
His brows quirked in amusement but confusion took over soon enough, he just about managed to keep down a laugh. Instead, he narrowed his gaze in on her. "Yoourrr- Ooouurr parrrennshhh are sssshleeppping in- are in mmmy beddd?"
She sighed, couldn't believe she was having this discussion with him while he was drunk. It was his freaking idea, well one that she tricked him into thinking was his own but still. "You'd rather have me sleep in your bed," she fired back. "Don't even answer that." She shushed him immediately after, ignoring the fact that he should have been sleeping in her bed at this very moment.
An uncontrollable snicker left his lips, wasn't even sure why he was laughing but he only stopped when her index finger pressed against his lips. Her touch and the soul-piercing look she gave him enough for him to sober up a little and his gaze slowly dropped from her face to the one finger still pressed against his skin. He inhaled thickly when she removed her hand and he crooked his head, shifted on his spot a little bit more uncomfortable this time because he still needed to go to the bathroom. "Doonnnaa."
"I can't believe this stupid crystal palace doesn't have another bathroom."
He tried to take a step forward but wobbled on his place."Yooouuu. Pickkkedd. It."
"Obviously it is not suited for having guests," she stated, throwing her hands in the air. "My bad."
"Jussst my luccckkk- " he coughed once. "I dddo nottt avvve famiiillly ssshowun upp lasssht minnnutt," he bit back, stepping to the side now to cross her.
She bit her tongue and swallowed in the rest of her words when he reached the sliding door to his bedroom. She cursed inwardly but it was his place after all and she also knew he never had to give in to her in the first place. Her heart skipped a beat when he opened the door and stepped inside, probably already having forgotten about her parents' presence.
She quickly made her way after him. "Just…" she spoke a hushed tone, coming to a halt again when the bathroom door closed in front of her face. "Be. Quiet," she glowered slowly at the object separating them. Her sleep deprived patience running thin she made the mistake of slamming her fist against the wood.
Her entire body stiffened at the sleep-laced sound of her name coming from her mother's lips, her eyes closed in a beat and her head dropped down. 'Fuck,' she whispered under her breath, counting to three in her head she forced herself to turn around. Faking a bright smile on her lips she looked at her mother. "Hey, mom."
"Is everything okay, honey?"
She swallowed once, prayed that the man currently in the bathroom didn't decide to show up in this very moment. "Yeah," she lied, moving closer to the door again when she realised the light was shining through the crack under the door. "I uhm – Was just going to the bathroom. Didn't mean to wake you."
Martha nodded once but kept eyeing her daughter when the redhead didn't move. "Aren't you –"
"Uh, yeah." The redhead shuffled on her spot, reached with her hand for the doorknob behind her back and contemplated her options one last time. When she heard movement coming from inside the room and the sound of the toilet starting to flush she pushed the door open and hurried herself inside, pulling the door closed behind her.
He backed away from the sink at the sudden flash of red hair, his elbow hitting the glass barrier of his shower. "Aauw. Fuck."
He crooked his head, brought one hand to rub over his other elbow and he eyed her curiously as she kept standing there. Her back facing him. "Donnnaa?"
"Are you dressed?"
"Onnnly iff you want me ttoo bee," he countered, the familiar Specter grin started to spread across his lips. He rocked back and forth on his spot when the redhead twisted on hers in order to face him and he might have been a little intoxicated but he could still manage to read that look in her eyes. "Neverrrminnnd."
"You're impossible," she murmured. "Just shut up."
He caught her gaze dropping ever so slightly before it met with his own again and he tried his best not to smirk this time. Instead, he glanced at the mirror on his left reminding himself of his current surroundings and he suddenly questioned her presence. "Whhy are yoou heeere?
She frowned now, stared at him for a moment questioning his words till she remembered where they were. In his bathroom. With her parents just outside, sleeping in his bed. "You…" She paused, screwed up her face as she pointed at him. "You woke my mother," she reasoned, signalling the room on his right. "And I… I had to pretend it was just me going to the bathroom."
"Ooh." His face fell, sleep overtaking him at last at three in the morning. He yawned and leaned against the sink. "Whatt now?"
She let out a yawn, covered her mouth with her hand and considered her options, wondering at the same time how the hell she ended up in bathroom with her boss. "We wait," she decided. "For my mother to fall back asleep," she added softly anticipating the question she was sure he was about to ask. She turned around and let her hands rest on the sink, gaze roaming over the contents for a moment.
The redhead reached for one of the glasses on the side, turned the tab and filled it with water. Moving to the side she rummaged through the drawers of his cabinet. Pulling out a box of Advil, she slid both over the counter in his direction. Urging him to take it with a bob of her head.
She moved back to the door, pushed it open an inch and peeked through the crack at the bed. This time seeing both her parents back asleep she let out a relieved sigh and moved back inside. "Okay," she whispered. "Where do you have an extra spare blanket?"
His forehead puckered and it took him a few seconds to decipher her question and formulate a coherent answer. "The uhm… Closssett on the righhht."
Donna nodded. "On the count of three, you get your ass into the living room without a sound," she ordered, opening the door again she counted softly. Getting him onto his feet with a soft push, she signalled for him to keep walking when he looked over his shoulder in her direction. "Go," she muttered, quickly making her way over to the closet to get the spare blanket before tiptoeing her way back to the living room. She pushed the blankets in his hands, lifted a pillow from the couch and dropped it in his hands too.
"You're out of here first thing in the morning."
She let out a deep breath when her parents said goodnight that Christmas Eve, glad that for once everything went sort of as planned. Harvey had been gone when she woke at seven that morning, neither of her parents seemed to have noticed his presence in the middle of the night and the three of them had enjoyed a play off-Broadway, followed by a dinner.
She rocked back and forth on her feet, made her way over to his liquor cabinet and pulled out her mobile phone. His message from that morning still left unanswered on her screen.
I'm sorry – H
Her thumb hovered above reply button for a moment but she chose to dial his number instead. Waiting for the phone to go over she took a sip of his scotch and moved to sit in the armchair next to the Christmas tree. "Hey," she greeted him.
She let out a sigh and looked down at the glass tumbler in her hand, rotating it a little to let the alcohol spin around. "I'm sorry."
"Harvey," she objected, her hand now stilled. She let the hand with the glass rest on her thigh, her gaze fixated on the wall in the distance.
"I was an asshole, we both know it," he reasoned, moving through his hotel room. He listened to her soft sigh. "Everything okay?"
"Yeah," she whispered. "Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. Hope you have a great time in Boston. Marcus told me what he planned to make," she added, drawing her bottom lip between her teeth as she thought of the grilled beef steak. She looked down at the glass in her hand again when she noticed he didn't answer. "Harvey?"
"She would have been there, Donna. I -"
"Hey," she cut him off, placing the glass on the small side table. "It's okay."
"No, it's not," he countered, looking through the room he spent the better part of the evening in instead of having gone to his brother's restaurant.
She bit her lip, could hear the pain in his voice and then it hit her. "I'm sorry," she answered, closing her eyes. Couldn't believe she had forgotten all about it. "I was so stressed about my parents showing up here last minute that I didn't even think about how this day would be for you."
She could hear from his sigh that followed that he wasn't really in the mood to talk about how he usually spent these days. "You made partner this year," she reminded him, trying to cheer him up just a little.
"We made partner," he corrected her again.
She smiled softly when he repeated the words he had used a couple of months ago too and at the time she had known it was too soon for her to bring up his father. This time she did. "He would have been so proud, Harvey," she whispered, shifting over the arm-chair, she pulled up her legs. Using her free hand to tug on the branches as she continues speaking. "He would have called every day just to hear me say 'Pearson Hardman, Junior Partner Harvey Specter's office."
He chuckled, moved closer to the window of his hotel room he stared at the Boston skyline like he had done back in the city countless times before. Talking to her making his day just a bit better and he pictured her reflection next to his own. "You never answer the phone like that."
She laughed and let her head rest on the chair, phone pressed between her ear and her shoulder. "For your dad, I would have."
He smiled softly, closed his eyes and thought about the friendship his old man and his secretary had had. How from time to time they teamed up against him, something he found annoying at the time but looking back now he wouldn't have wanted it any other way. "Merry Christmas, Donna."
"Thank you, Harvey."
He shook his head, heard from her tone of voice that this wasn't just a thank you for the season's greetings but more. "You don't have to thank me."
"Yeah I do," she contradicted him. "For always helping me with my family."
When she returned to her apartment the next day she noticed the mistletoe that used to hang in front of her door was gone and the notes still intact inside of her place were the last thing that gave away that he never set a foot in her apartment.
She never told him she knew.
When he returned to the city after the weekend Ed handed him a big bouquet of flowers that got delivered to his apartment. The note that came along with it a thank you from her mother, telling him she knew it was his place all along. She also asked if he could keep that a secret.
He never broke that promise.
He stepped inside the college building, his grip on her hand increasing with every step he took. Guiding the both of them through the hallways, walking the same path as he'd done the day before alone and he only stalled when he neared his mother's classroom.
She noticed his pace slowing down and turned to look at him. "Is this it?"
She softly squeezed his hand once before letting go. She knew it was his moment and he needed to do it but she would be here for him every step of the way. Always and forever. "Whenever you're ready."
Harvey nodded, pressed his lips together in a thin line. He counted to three in his head and let out a breath before he stepped forward, glancing back at her he waited for her to follow him and he continued when she took a step forward too.
Lily stopped painting the moment she heard the footsteps coming from the door and she turned to look over her shoulder. She let out a relieved sigh at the sight of the two people stepping into her classroom and she smiled softly. "Harvey."
"Can I come in?"
"Of course," she answered, letting her gaze drift from her eldest son to the woman next to him. "I'm glad you decided to come."
He bobbed his head up and down, fidgeted with his hands as he took another step forward to his mother, building up to courage to speak as he went. "I'm also here to apologize for the way I acted last night."
Lily acknowledged his words with a small bob of her head, she placed the brush back down on the easel. She figured as much, it was exactly what she told the redhead next to him herself that very morning. She couldn't help but ask about her husband's interference. "Is this because Bobby came to see you?"
"No," he answered with a shake of his head. "It's because Marcus told me his kids had to choose between their grandma and their uncle and that –" He paused, glancing down at the floor. "That was never supposed to happen and I don't want that anymore. Not for them, not for my son."
"I'm so angry," he cut her off. "I have a fiancée and a kid on the way and still sometimes I'm so angry and I want that to stop."
"Then let me say how sorry I am for all the pain that I have caused you."
He looked back up at Lily. "You don't need to tell me how sorry you are."
"Yes, I do," she admitted. "Harvey, we both may have played a part in the last 20 years, but I was an adult, and I put you in that position. And not a day goes by that I don't understand why you hate me. I was your mother…" she paused her voice breaking. "I was supposed to protect you not scar you. Harvey, I am so sorry."
"I don't hate you, Mom," he answered sincerely, swallowing once as he tried to get the words out. "I hate what you did, and I probably always will." He paused for another moment but kept looking at his mother. "But I don't hate you."
Lily swallowed and pressed her lips into a thin line. "I'll take that," she spoke, taking a few steps towards her son and she noticed the way his expression changed, how his gaze moved from her to the wall behind her. "What is it?"
He blinked twice feeling tears starting to well in his eyes. "Nothing," he answered but his voice broke, swallowing once as he tore his gaze from the picture back to his mother. "I just realised that you have a picture of me on your wall and I still have your painting on mine."
She watched him swallow once more, now really seeing the pain her son had felt over the years and she swallowed herself. Already widening her arms as she stepped forward, wrapping her arms around him in an embrace. "I love you, Harvey."
He carefully wrapped his arms around his mother's frame and he couldn't remember the last time this gesture happened. He must have been a kid. "I love you too, Mom."
Donna sobbed loudly in that moment, for the first time in that room really making her presence known. She brought her hand to her mouth and used the other to wipe away the tears when mother and son glanced in her direction. "I'm sorry," she cried, smiling at the side in front of her. "Don't mind me. It are the hormones."
Harvey chuckled softly and took a step back to the redhead. Bringing his hand to the small of the back he urged her to move forward. "Mom," he spoke glancing at Lily, feeling a strange urge inside to witness her reaction. "This is Donna. My –" he paused for a moment, not entirely sure what to say or what to say first. Wife. Fiancé. Mother of his child. Best friend. Secretary.
Lily smiled brightly at the redhead's words, the way her son laughed and mumbled a yeah in return. She took a step forward to pregnant woman, her new daughter-in-law and cautiously brought her hand to Donna's cheek and wiped one of the tears away. "Hi," she spoke, bringing both of her hands to the redhead's arms. "Nice to finally officially meet you."
Donna snickered and removed another tear. Too emotional to speak she just nodded and looked at him for a moment before she returned to smile at Lily.
The older woman took a step back, now really taking the redhead in. "Look at you," she smiled. "How far along are you?"
"Seven months and 15 days," he answered proudly. "But who's counting."
Lily's mouth dropped in surprise. "Ooh my God," she answered looking back and forth between the two of them. "I don't know how long the two of you will be in city but if you have time why don't we move this conversation to my place. Get you a place to sit and have something to drink?"
Donna glanced at Harvey out of habit but already nodded before he did. "That would be great yes."
"I live down the street," Lily continued. "But we can also get a cab."
The redhead waved Lily's comment away. "I may be as big as a house but I can still walk."
"Wobble," Harvey mumbled under his breath, a grin starting to spread across his lips when she looked at him.
Lily watched the redhead pat her son's arm and she smiled at the 'I heard that' that followed, couldn't believe that after everything that happened that she got to witness these kinds of moments.
He swallowed when he suddenly felt his mother's gaze rest on him, realising he was acting like a teenager in front of his mother. Completely in love. He scraped his throat and shuffled on his spot. "She- She also still doesn't want to quit working."
Donna looked up at him and back to his mother, faking an annoyed look. "He wouldn't manage a day without me," she countered, as she hooked her arm around Lily's. "Please. Lead the way."
He chuckled in spite of himself, wondered how it was possible his redhead got along with everyone so well. How she managed to team up against him with every single one of his family members but deep down he was glad she did this. Take the lead after he had said what he needed to say, guide not only him but his mother through what otherwise could have been an awkward afternoon as it was still overwhelming for the lawyer.
He watched the two women walk away and he quietly followed them to his mother's house, listened to them converse or more Donna converse as if they had done this all along. He caught up with his redhead at Lily's house, helped her out of her coat and whispered a 'thank you' in her ear.
Donna smiled, ran her hand over his arm when she caught him looking around the hallway. Eyeing the picture frames scattered across the wall and while at the bar he had felt excluded, this time he spotted more than one picture of him and his brother as kids. The sight only telling him that yes he could have it all.
"Is that you?"
He stepped closer to Donna and turned to look at the picture she was pointing at. A soft laugh escaped his lips and he nodded. Vaguely remembering running around the house with the mask and a dark cape. "Yeah," he answered. "I really wanted to be Batman."
Lily walked back from the kitchen to the happy couple still in the hallway, following their line of sight she smiled at the picture of a three-year-old Harvey. "I see you found him," she stated, nodding a the picture when Donna and Harvey turned to look at her. "I have more in albums if you want to see them."
"Anything embarrassing?" Donna joked.
Lily chuckled but didn't answer the redhead's question. Instead, she stated she put on water for the tea and told Donna to follow her so she could show her the albums. Already moving to the dresser on the left to retrieve it, she walked back with the big photo album in her hands. Stalling just a little as she watched her son and daughter-in-law sitting on the couch together. "Your father would have loved to see this."
Knowing that particular comment would make him swallow, Donna brought her hand to Harvey's knee. Patting it twice she smiled at his mother. "Yeah," she admitted. "He asked more than once if this one here had come to his senses already."
Harvey watched his mother smile knowingly and a small frown formed on his brows. Not because of the redhead's words, he knew those to be true. They had taken a long time to get together and his father had commented about it from time to time but he hadn't expected his mother to know. "He asked you too?"
"He asked your brother," Lily answered. "But both of them mentioned your fiery redheaded secretary from time to time," she explained with a bright smile, now stepping forward she handed the album over to Donna. "Let me get the tea."
When Lily returned with the tea she found the redhead flipping through the album, her son providing commentary every now and then. She placed the tray on the coffee table and proceeded with filling the three cups.
Donna turned over another page, smiled at a picture she had seen before. "I saw this one in Gordon's album."
Lily looked up at the couple but focussed on her son. "You have your dad's albums?"
He redirected his gaze from the album in Donna's hand to his mother. "Yes. Marcus gave them to me."
The older woman smiled and nodded. Leaned forward to reach for the cookie jar. Removing the lid, she held the jar out to Harvey. Waited for him to take one before she repeated the gesture with the redhead.
Donna looked up at the jar, wanted to reach for one but felt her stomach already protest at the mere sight of the biscuits. "I uhm…" she mumbled, taking a few controlled breaths.
"Ooh, wait." Lily smiled apologetically, immediately closing the jar again as she realised what was going on. Placing it back on the table she quickly made her way over to the kitchen and returned with another treat.
While Harvey could only frown at the little exchange, Donna's eyes widened in a beat and a grin spread across her face. "How did you know?" she whispered curiously eyeing his mother as she took one from the box.
"It was one of the only things I was able to hold down when pregnant with Harvey," Lily answered, now sitting down in the chair next to Donna. "Actually your father once got out in the middle of the night and drove to a gas station to buy it for me," she laughed at a memory of her late husband. "I saw it in the store this morning and- I had to buy it."
"This was lovely," Donna stated as Harvey helped her back in her coat. She folded the thick material over her stomach as best as she could before stepping forward and giving his mother a hug.
Lily wrapped her arms around the redhead, held her close for a moment. Swallowing she fought the tears starting to well in her eyes, the entire weekend but especially this afternoon an overwhelming roller coaster ride of emotions. She realised more than ever in this very moment that the one person she had to thank for this reunion to happen was in her embrace. "Thank you, Donna."
Donna swallowed and stepped back out of the embrace. She looked at Harvey for a moment and then back to his mother, she knew he found it difficult to say goodbye. That he wasn't entirely sure on how to proceed or where their relationship would go from here. Knew they were still a long way from weekly visit or even phone calls for that matter, but she also knew that if she suggested an upcoming event as another moment to meet it would take the pressure from both mother and son. "Would you like to come to my baby shower?"
Lily's eyes lit up in excitement and her lips curled up into a big smile. Cautiously trying to contain her excitement she glanced at her son first.
"I mean…" Donna continued, looking back and forth between the two. "I don't even know when Rachel planned it-" she paused glancing at him again.
"Friday," he answered, breaking his promise to his associate of not telling the redhead.
"This Friday?" Donna repeated with an excited squeal. "Really?" she asked again until he nodded in acknowledgement. "Well I don't know if you have time," Donna started again. "But I'd love for you to be there."
Lily looked at Harvey again, beamed when he nodded at her. "I'd like that yes."
He pushed the drawer of the cabinet shut and turned to look at the redheaded seated in the middle of their bed. "What?" he asked, unsure what it was she was referring to. He made his way over to the bed sat down, moving himself to sit behind her. He wrapped his arms around her frame and looked over her shoulder at the file in her hand. "Ooh yeah."
"Ooh yeah," she mimicked his reaction, tapping the paper again. "Harvey this is a townhouse, not an ooh yeah."
He snickered and kissed her cheek. "I know," he gave in, moving his hand to take hold of the file. "It's just something I've been looking into but I haven't bought us anything yet. Do you like it?"
She observed the pictures again, the four-story brick house with a backyard. Plenty of rooms and original features still intact.
"I know it's not a white picket fence or anything."
"I love it," she answered sincerely, shifting ever so slightly in his embrace to be able to look at him. "But we just finished the baby room and –"
"I know," he admitted. "But this place… You moved in but you still have your apartment and I – I just want a place that's really ours."
She watched him tenderly, brought her right hand to his jaw and kissed him softly. "Why didn't you mention it before?"
He exhaled slowly, thought over his answer for a moment. "Because you asked me to take things one step at a time," he started. "And I realised the moment we got together that all we ever did was take it slow and I- I kind of wanted to take all the next steps right away but I also didn't want to overwhelm you, so."
She let her back rest against his chest, covered his arms with her own and she thought over his words. "Maybe we should," she whispered, feeling him crook his head to look at her. "Take all the next steps."
Surprised he glanced at the woman inside of his embrace. "You sure?"
She bobbed her head up and down. "Yeah your mom asked for our wedding date," she recalled one of the conversations from earlier that day. "And I know we haven't set a date yet or anything."
"Just that you want a six-layer cake," he teased her.
She laughed and poked his hand. "I was thinking," she whispered now, still cautious about his reaction, she let her hand run over the one he had placed on top of her baby bump. "What if we got married before this one here is born?"
His breath temporarily faltered and he gawked at her. "Yeah?" he half stated half asked when he found his voice again, turning his hand over beneath hers.
"Yeah," she beamed. "Let's do it all. Let's get married, get the house and a dog."
He carefully pulled her closer and let his chin rest on top of her shoulder. "I didn't say anything about a dog."
Her eyes twinkled in amusement, she laughed at his remark. "But I did."
"Okay," he gave in with a kiss on her cheek.
He let out a breath and just held her for a moment, quietly processing everything that had happened in their weekend in Boston. From the business meeting, staying at his brother's house to meeting with his mother. How that went from disastrous to quite alright. How Donna just knew when to take the lead and when to let them be, he wouldn't have been able to go through with it without her. "Please don't tell Rachel I told you," he broke the silence a few minutes later. "Just act surprised okay?"
"Me? Act?" she mocked him.
He snorted at the tone she used but didn't comment any further. Just held her close until he caught his breath again. "I love you," he whispered. "And thank you. For today."
"I don't need your thanks, mister Specter," she answered, letting his digits slip between hers as she stretched her legs a bit further and leaned more against his frame. "I'm just really happy you got to do this."
"Still," he breathed. "If it hadn't been for you, I would have never –"
"You would have."
He swallowed, wasn't so sure about it as she seemed to be but he chose not to comment on it. For him, it was all because of her and he would forever be grateful for her support. Throughout the years but especially these last few days. The redhead had not only been his family for the last decade, she was also the one who helped him get his family back and gave him a new one.
Feeling their baby kick he moved his hand to her stomach, drew invisible patterns over her baby bump as Gordon seemed to play with him. It made him think about another moment from that morning, one that had made him wonder about something but he wasn't exactly sure how on how to start the subject. "Babe?"
She opened her eyes again and hummed. Shifted a little on her spot to look at him as she waited for him to continue.
"I uhm - I know we haven't talked about it yet," he started slowly, carefully trying to find the right words. "Because this one was a bit of a surprise." He placed his hand flat on the top of her bump again. "But you were holding that pink tutu this morning and- I just- Would you want," he paused, swallowed once. "I mean if we survive this one, would you –"
She looked at him, noticed how much his question meant to him because he couldn't even say the word but she knew what he meant. It was a thought that had crossed her mind from time to time too. She turned around further, smiled at him and nodded. "I would."
He texted Rachel they were back at their place when the elevator reached the top floor. Letting her step out of the elevator first, he stalled in front of the door to their penthouse to give the people inside just a little bit more time. Fumbling with his key he reached back for the redhead's hand and gave her one look. "Act surprised okay?"
"Yes. Yes," she chirped, tapping his side with her hand. "Just open the door already."
He laughed, pulled her closer to steal one last quick kiss before he turned the lock. Opening the door fully, he guided Donna back inside. The moments that followed making him grin proudly, he'd seen her on stage multiple times and in different Shakespeare adaptions but the performance she gave right now the best he'd ever seen when Rachel yelled surprise.
He grinned, kept his lips firmly shut to stop himself from spoiling the news anyway. He glanced to the right, caught his mother's gaze in the distance and noticed her knowing smile. Nodding once he then let himself be greeted by the other men, mostly the other halves of every woman present as he watched getting greeted by their family, friends and colleagues. He took a step back and smiled brightly at the big group of people that had come to this baby shower just for her. For her, he reminded himself now turning to look at the young lawyer.
"Ready to go, dad?" Mike asked, patting Harvey's shoulder in the process.
"Yeah," Harvey nodded and he took two steps towards Donna. Stealing one more kiss he wished all the women a great party and followed Mike's instructions as the young lawyer urged all the men to follow him.
Donna shook her head and laughed, continued to look over her shoulder till her father closed the door behind him. A shriek coming from the room made her turn around again, being enveloped in a hug by Rachel yet again. "You ready?"
Staring at the big pile of presents on the coffee table she couldn't believe the amount of thoughtful or personalised gifts she had gotten. She always thought a party like this was something fun, a moment to joke around and get maybe a bunch of much-needed diapers but her friends and family had managed to turn it into a consecutive string of emotional moment; a literal day no one would forget.
From a tiny Batman costume from Lily to Shakespeare for kids from Louis, the most special gift must have been the one Mike handed her just before he took all men to a pub downtown. Tears slipped down her cheeks as unwrapped a Curious George doll and he told her about how his mother used to read the story to him as a kid.
Returning her attention to the game they were currently playing, she laughed loudly at the way her sister was trying to pin a cutout baby to a large print of Harvey. Bringing her hand to her cheek, she wiped away another tear.
"Donna," Rachel called for the redhead now. "It's your turn."
The mother-to-be smiled and nodded. "I'm coming," she reasoned, placing her hand on the small of her back as she tried to make her way across the room. Continuing to take few steps forward, her pace slowed down as the room started to spin around her. One arm instantly wrapped around her stomach, a low shriek left her lips.
He laughed, rolled his eyes at Louis' comment and focused on the one glass of scotch he allowed himself to drink that day. Bringing the crystal tumbler with auburn liquid to his lips, he sipped on the Macallan 18.
He placed the glass back down on the bar and slowly turned around when he heard his name being called by the junior partner. His eyes widening in a beat when he took in the look on the younger man's face, his heart skipped a beat and the only thing on his mind was her. "What?"
*ETA june 2018 - yes this story will be continued and updates will follow. But I'm currently rewriting this story, changing some things and adding a few things (nothing major tho but it's what I feel is necessary for me to personally enjoy this fic and get back into writing it) so the new update will follow once I've done the rewrite, also fixing some formatting issues that occurred on the site)