Hello everyone, here's another one shot; it's one that takes place earlier and it's a bit AU,
so I decided to first briefly explain the current situation below. I hope you like it anyway, and maybe leave a review? x M.
Setting: This story takes place before Suits 4.15 'Intent':
* Harvey is of course Harvey.. not really aware of his feelings for her, but he's just him when it comes to her. Always wanting to protect her.
* Donna tried to move on from Harvey; not that anything ever really happened, but after seeing him with Scottie (season 3, they did break up) she's tried to move on and she's currently in a relationship with this guy, let's call him Mitchell :P It's been a couple of months now and things are quite serious between Mitchell and Donna. He stays over at her apartment often. Rachel knows about him. Harvey does too, not that she really told him much details, but he knows.
* Donna has this very curious old neighbour. The 65 year old Mrs. Robinson is always the one to gossip, wanting to know whatever goes on in the building and especially on her floor. Meaning what's happening in Donna's (personal) life.
Lights are dimmed, soft sounds of a record playing in the background warming the room around them. Her face is being lit by one of the candles on the table, her hair practically glowing. Her eyes shimmering by the flickering of the candle, but he can still see her perfectly. She looks amazing.
Mitchell extends his hand, brushing over hers and he smiles. A simple gesture she mimics, her eyes twinkle as she looks at him. The way his thumb moves over her knuckles, whispering how much he loves her and that he has a surprise for her.
Getting up from his chair, he tells her to wait for him as he walks himself over to the chair where his jacket is placed. She tries not to look, but she can't help but notice the red velvet box coming out of the pocket. Her breath faltering for a second and she quickly looks away, as she lets out a breath. She's not sure if she's ready for it, but he's perfect. He's absolutely perfect. He's handsome, has a good job. He's kind, he's funny, he's caring and he talks about his feelings. He's nothing like Harvey in that department, she shakes the idea as she looks at him again. He's perfect.
He smirks as he sits down next to her again. "Donna," he whispers, placing the box on the table and she looks down. Trying to lower her expectations, but she knows what's happening. He looks at her again. "I know.. I know it's soon," he whispers, "but I.. I wanted to give you this," opening the box for her as he keeps his eyes on the box.
Her eyes flutter a couple of times as she sees the necklace inside and she swallows. Making her lips curl up as she looks at him again. "Ruby?" she crooks her head and he nods. "It's.. it's beautiful," she mumbles. "Good," he smiles taking it out of the box and he stands up, walking behind her. "May I?" he gestures to her neck and she brings her hand to cover the necklace she's wearing. It was one of the gifts she bought herself with Harvey's credit card. She always told him it was a gift from her father, not sure if she was lying to him or to herself now.
"Uhm, yeah," she whispers, bringing her hands behind her neck as she unclasps the chain, removing it feeling like she removes twelve years of feelings. But she wonders if that's even possible.
She turns to look over her shoulder again, her lips still curled up in a, what Harvey would have recognized as fake, smile. Moving her hair aside she waits for him to place the necklace around her neck. The golden chain feeling cold against her chest, but the kiss he places in the crook of her neck is enough to make her feel happy again.
He lets his hands rest on her shoulders as he places a kiss on the top of her head. Extending his hand he waits for her fingers to slip between his and when it happens he pulls her on her feet, wrapping his arms around her. "I love you, Donna, " he kisses her and she nods. "I love you too," she adds letting her chin rest on his shoulder. Because she does. She loves him, it's different, but she loves him.
He keeps her in his arms as he starts talking to her about the plans they once made and she laughs as he mentions something about a theatre. How he'd set up a course for her, where she could be the teacher. How he'd do anything to make her dreams come true. "You would?" she whispers and he moves back, his hands cupping her face as he nods.
"I would, because I would want to spend the rest of my life with you."
It are the words. Just different words than she imagined it would be. Different words she dreamed of hearing for so long, completely pushing away that that dream once included another man, because she loves him. She does.
"The rest of your life?" she repeats in a whisper and he nods. "Yes," he smiles.
The next morning they walk downstairs together. She hugs him as the cab drives up. Saying goodbye as he needs to get out of town for a couple of days. "I just need to take care of some stuff," he whispers before kissing her one last time and she nods; a smile on her lips as she waves him goodbye.
She watches the cab drive off as she turns around on her heel, her eyes falling on her neighbour who happens to be lingering around the entrance. "Mrs. Robinson," she greets her. "So," the old lady smiles. "Did the handsome fellow propose?" her eyebrows raised in way Donna would do to Harvey.
Donna's mouth drops for a second. "No," she answers, bringing her hand to the necklace. "He gave me this," she smiles showing her the pendant. "Lovely," the woman smiles as Donna adds how Mitchell did kind of tell her that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.
"So where did he go now?" Mrs. Robinson asks curiously and Donna smiles explaining how he needed to take care of some business up state. "OOh," the woman laughs, "guess he'll be picking up the ring then?" she teases the red head.
"Uhm.." Donna mumbles, "I.. I don't know.." she adds looking away, "I.. I have to go. Work," she turns around again. "Of course you do," the old woman answers, "Say hello to that handsome boss of yours for me, will you."
Donna turns around again, letting out a sigh as all she sees is the door falling shut. She shakes her head as she turns around again, walking to the firm for a change.
During lunch Donna meets Rachel and the younger woman can't help but notice how the red head seems to be beaming. "New necklace," she whispers and Donna nods, telling about the previous night.
He lets out another sigh as his eyes fall on her desk once more, she usually doesn't take lunch breaks this long. It's not that he's checking up on her. He just noticed. It's not because it's quiet, or he doesn't see her. Not because he doesn't hear her typing away. It's this uneasy feeling he can't really place, but whenever she's off it happens. He's just not really able to place as to why and that he mostly feels this way at night. When he's alone.
His head turns around again as he hears her heels hitting the floor, and it feels like a weight is being lifted from his shoulders. He sees her smile and he feels his own lips curl up. He knows he isn't the reason she's smiling, but she's the reason he is. That much he knows. He's not willing to fully accept it. Not yet.
"Donna," he calls for her over the intercom
"Harvey," she greets him entering his office, her fingers playing with the pendant of the necklace and it's a motion that distracts him for a few seconds as she walks up to him, finally placing her hands on his desk. That's when he sees it, a new necklace. One he didn't buy for her.
"Is it new?" his head nodding towards her and she looks down then. Her eyes falling on the ruby stone and she swallows as she realizes how he must have noticed she always had that other necklace on. "Yeah," she whispers, "Mitchell gave it to me," she smiles and he swallows, looking away. "I'm happy for you, Donna."
She hears the flat tone he used and she feels a shiver running down her spine as she looks away too, her hand turning on his desk as she lets out a soft sigh. "Thanks," she mumbles. "Did you need anything?" she asks then and he shakes his head. "No.. No, not anymore," the only words coming out of his mouth and she swallows again, turning around on her heels as she walks back to her cubicle.
Mrs. Robison's mouth drops as she hears the words at the other end of the line. "Ooh no," she mumbles, her hands holding on to the phone as she steadies herself against one of her vintage cabinets.
With Mitchell out of town and Harvey seemingly pissed for a reason he couldn't voice she invited Rachel over for dinner. She needed someone else to spend her evening with, someone who could understand the excitement and doubts she was going through. It's premature, but with a wedding enthusiast like Rachel, numerous of bridal magazines are being read as they enjoy their glasses of wine.
After hugging her friend goodbye, the brunette bumps into the old lady on the hallway on her way out. "Hello," Mrs. Robinson greets the brunette as she walks with her down the stairs. "Hello," Rachel shakes the old ladies hand. "You're her friend aren't you?" she asks and the brunette smiles, nodding as she thinks about all the times Donna told about her crazy neighbour.
"Did you hear about Mitchell?" the older woman asks then and Rachel crooks her head in surprise, not sure how much she can say. "Hear what?" she asks. "I feel so sorry for her," the old woman continues as she lets her hand rest on Rachel's shoulder. "What? Why?" Rachel asks, not sure what this is about.
"That he's married of course," Mrs. Robinson whispers then and Rachel's mouth drops, "M.. m.."
"Yeah, Mitchell," the older woman confirms. Rachel just stands there, not sure what to do. "I.." she mumbles and the old woman nods. "I just thought she should hear it from a friend, you know," she adds as she lets her hand run over Rachel's arm again, before she walks of leaving Rachel alone, still shocked about the previous exchange. She repeats the words to herself, as she looks up to Donna's window. It seems so impossible, he really was a great guy.
She hesitates whether she should go back up now. Tell Donna, but tell her what? That 'the crazy cat lady from 204' as Donna used to call her, walked up to her out of the blue and told her that the man her friend has been seeing is married? She's conflicted, but decides that it's best to find out more first before she tells this to Donna. She can only imagine Donna's response if this turns out to be one big mistake.
He pushes the covers aside as he lets out a sigh, the dream he woke up from still having effects on him as he stumbles to the bathroom. Splashing some cold water in his face as he decides that a cold shower might be better.
He gets out again, putting on his suit like always as her red hair, her smile, her lips, her eyes are still the only things he can think about. She's all he can think about, and he hates himself for how he reacted to her yesterday. So cold and he lets out a breath as he decides to make things up to her.
He calls Ray and asks him to bring him to Donna's apartment.
Meanwhile at the firm Rachel still can't shake the words of the older woman. Mitchell, married. She lets out a sigh as she walks down to the 35th floor, knocking on the door of Benjamin's office. Mike always said he'd help him, so she figures he'd do the same for her.
She stares at the screen, closing her eyes as she pushes away the tears she feels coming. She so hoped for it to be not true, but it is. He is married and she's the one who knows, she's the one who has to tell Donna.
"Just stop here, Ray," he mumbles as he waits for his driver to pull over the car. He lets his head rest against the window, eyeing her building and he lets out a sigh before he opens the door. Walking himself over to the door, his eyes scan the door numbers above the doorbell as he brings up his hand to ring hers, but he can't.
He shakes his head, pacing around a few times until he decides it might be better to just wait for her outside. He wasn't even sure what he was going to say anyway, let alone what he would say if he actually climbed the stairs he dreamed of doing every day since that one time.
He looks to the right, shaking his head as she sees the older woman walk up. He can still remember the disapproving look on her face the morning after the other time.
He also remembers all the things Donna used to tell him about the woman, how crazy she was. How she used to know everything and how her twelve cats drove her insane. Shaking his head as he feels his lips curl up just a bit. He nods at the woman as she stops in front of him.
"Ooh, you here," Mrs. Robinson comments and he nods, his eyebrows furrowing as he's not sure what she means with those words or the tone she used. "You're always hear when she needs someone to cheer her up," she continues, "like after that Stephen bloke," she laughs and he swallows feeling his jaw clench at the pure mention of the name, but he wonders why she says that now. Donna seemed so happy yesterday.
"I'm sorry?" he mumbles. "I'm just here waiting for Donna," he adds, "to give her a ride to work."
"Ooh," Mrs. Robinson nods, "Too bad son, she already left," she comments shaking her head and he nods, swallowing. Of course she was gone, he was always too late. He turns around, his hand falling around the doorknob of the car as he remembers her words again. "Mrs. Robinson," he calls for her turning around, and she does the same. "Mr. Specter."
"What did you mean with she needs someone to cheer her up?" he mumbles, "what happened?"
"Didn't she tell you?" she asks then and he shakes his head. "Tell me what?"
He feels his heart beat starting to increase, he's preparing him for whatever is to come. Whatever it is this Mitchell guy has done.. A million options running through his mind already, but it surely couldn't be as bad as..
The words feeling like a punch in his stomach, images of his mother, his father, a crying Donna, everything combined flashing through his eyes as his hand balls into a fist, slamming through the car window. "Fuck," he exclaims.
The brunette lets out a sigh again as she waits for the elevator to reach the ground floor. She looks at her watch again, it's 7.35 am so right before Donna usually arrives at the firm. She takes a big breath, walking past the security as she waits on one of the benches near the entrance, her hands shaking from the news she's about to give her best friend.
She hears the door turn, a flash of red hair appearing in the corner of her eye and she lets out a sigh as she knows it's now or never. "Donna," she calls for her as she walks herself over to the woman. "Rach," the redhead beams, a big smile on her lips. "What are you doing here?" she asks, "you didn't have to wait for me downstairs -"
"Donna," the brunette interrupts her again.
He pulls his hand back, blood streaming down the edge of his white dress shirt. "Fuck," he mumbles again as he shakes his hand, as if he could shake the pain and the blood away. Both Mrs. Robinson and Ray trying to help him at the same time, but he doesn't let them. Brining his hand to his tie as he undoes it, wrapping it around his hand.
"My phone, Ray," he snarls out as he cringes pushing the fabric in his hand. "My phone!" His hand still shakes as he fires it up, hitting the number one under his speed dials. It's her number. Donna's.
"Rachel," the redhead mumbles back now, her tone changed as she sees the apologetic look on the brunette's face. "What happened?" not willing to admit out loud that Harvey was the first thing that came to mind.
"It's Mitchell," Rachel tries and Donna's mouth drops, not a word leaving her lips.
"Come on.." he mumbles, the phone pressed to his ear as he hears it go over for the first time.. "Donna… just answer," he mumbles pacing around in front of the black Lexus.
"He's married with two kids," Rachel tells her then, her hands reaching for Donna's but she pulls back. "Donna.." she mumbles, "Donna, I'm so.. so.. sorry."
She swallows, looking away. Closing her eyes. "No," she's fighting the tears.
"Donna," he mumbles against the phone again as it goes over once more, he's fuming. He can't believe the man she's in love with is married. "Pick up your phone.." he mumbles to himself again.
"No," Donna shakes her head again, opening her eyes as she lets out a nervous laugh. "You're lying," she mumbles, trying to keep herself together. "No.." shaking her head again as she turns around.
He hears her voice, only to realize it's her voice mail and he throws his phone back into car. "Goddamn it, Donna.." he mumbles as he sits himself down. "Ray. Firm. Now," he orders.
"Donna," Rachel calls again as she walks after the red head, but she shakes her head once more. "No, no.." she keeps repeating, "this can't be .. this can't be happening," she adds, but Rachel presses her lips together. "I'm so sorry Donna." The words enough for the red headed woman to turn around and she starts walking. Walking away from the situation.
She feels the tears starting to well in her eyes, but she can't allow herself to cry. She tells herself it's the cold autumn wind, as she storms through the crowd. Her feet moving in a firm pace, taking her further away from the firm with every step she takes. Lost in thought she doesn't even notice how her phone keeps ringing.
He calls her again and again. Each and every time only getting her voice mail. "Faster," he calls out to Ray who's still driving him to the firm. He lets out a sigh again as a sting in his hand reminds him of the pain. His eyes lower to the now blooded tie and it's in that exact moment that the black Lexus passes the sidewalk the redhead is strutting down. Both too lost in thought to register the other, ironically somehow being the one on each other's mind.
She slams the door of her apartment behind her, letting her head fall back against the wooden object as a tear finally starts flowing. She lets out sigh, she needs to know. She just needs to know, now storming through her apartment she drops her bag on the floor as she reaches for her landline.
Calling the number she knows belongs to Mitchell. The 'you don't have to call me on this number, I'm never there anyway' now making sense in a way she still doesn't want to accept.
He slams the door with the broken window of the car closed behind him, telling Ray to wait for him no matter what as he storms through the entrance. His left hand pressing the tie against the wound.
"Harvey," Rachel calls out as she notices her boss storming in. His pace slows down for a few second just to register who said his name. "Not now," he snarls, "I need to talk to Donna," he exclaims. "Harvey," she calls again, this time making the lawyer stop fully. "She's not here anymore.. She run off after.."
"After what?" he swallows, but he knows what's coming. "After I told her about Mitchell being.."
"Goddamn it Rachel," he exclaims, "you let her walk away?"
"I.." the associate mumbles, but he doesn't even register the other words as he turns around again and runs himself back to the car. "Donna's apartment," he blurts out, "Again."
The phone rings one, twice and she feels her head starting to spin. She's pacing through her living room, not even sure what she's expecting, not sure what she wants. "Hello?" she hears a female voice answer the phone and her breath is taken away for a second.
"Hi," she replies in her most genuine tone, "is this Mrs. Johnson?" she holds her breath. "Yes," the woman on the other end answers and Donna closes her eyes for a second. "Is Mitchell Johnson there?" she asks
'Honey! There's someone on the phone for you,' she hears the words but nothing registers just yet. Not until she hears his voice on the other end of the line. "Hello?" she hears Mitchell ask.
A shriek escapes her lips as she slams down the phone, tears now streaming down her face as she brings her right hand to cover her mouth. How could she have been this stupid, falling for a man that's unavailable once more.
She paces through the room, her hand falling around the necklace again and she pulls it off in one move, throwing the gold chain to the side as she lets out a scream. Everything in her apartment now reminding her of him. Where they used to watch a movie, where they used to eat. Where he kissed her, where he - the places that once reminded her of Harvey now forever ruined again, by Mitchell.
She wipes away her tears, her mascara stains along with them as she grabs her bag. She needs to get out of this place. Clear her mind. Be anywhere but here and she storms down the stairs again, until she's outside.
The car pulls up around the corner, just one more block to go and he looks at his hand again, it looks bad but he knows it's a fraction of how Mitchell's face will look like once he's done with him.
She's not bothered by the cold air, she doesn't even close her coat, or wrap her scarf around her neck an extra time. She's still seething and she just starts walking. Walking wherever her feet are taking her.
He stares at the red brick building for the second time that day, as he gets out of the car. This time not even bothering to ring her door bell first as he lets himself in the building. Taking to steps a time as he runs up the two floors. His hand slamming against her door, her name leaving her lips not once, but a dozen of times.
"You again?" Mrs. Robinson comments as she sticks her head through the door next to Donna's. He lets his hand drop, his fore head leaning against the door frame before he turns to the woman. "She already left," she comments. "Looks like you're always too late," she frowns at him. "I know," he closes his eyes, turning around again.
"I hope you find her," she calls after him, "because you know.. sometimes late is better than never."
He nods, as he rushes himself down the stairs again and back into the car. He lets Ray drive him to that diner, but she isn't there. The Thai place, but once more she's nowhere to be seen and he slams his hand against the roof again.
A shot of pain running through his body as he looks at his hand again. "Home," he mumbles then, not knowing where else to look for her. Not knowing if she want to be found in the first place. "Okay," Ray mumbles as he drives his boss back to where the day started. "Don't forget to get that looked after," he adds as Harvey gets out of the car again.
He slowly drags his ass in the elevator, leaning against the mirror he looks at his reflection. He hasn't even worked today yet, but it's been one of the most tiring days of his lives. He lets out a laugh then, thinking about how work was never able to make him feel this way. It was always her.
He slowly opens the door to his apartment, his face falling in a frown as he's greeted by the soft sound of his father's record playing. He tosses his keys on the kitchen counter, as he sees her sitting on his couch. She looks beautiful, after everything she still looks beautiful and it's the only thing that crosses his mind.
"Donna," he mumbles and she turns her head to face him. He swallows seeing her blood stained eyes. She has been crying and his face settles on a soft look, his lips pressed together in a thin line. She looks at him, taking in the look on his face and that's when it hits her.
"You knew," she swallows.
It's the way he remains silent that confirms it for her, and she bites her lip. Fighting the tears in her eyes. "You knew," she confirms to herself. "Donna," he steps towards her. "You knew!" she exclaims, "you fucking knew and you didn't tell me!"
"Donna," he mumbles stepping even closer, but she hits him in the chest. "You're supposed to be my friend," she cries and his fingers fall around the wrist of her right hand. "I am," he breathes. "Why didn't you tell me?!" she cries out loud, still hitting him with her other hand and he tries to stop her, forgetting the current state of his right hand and she slams against it. He bites his tongue, not willing to let her know he's hurt as he wraps his arm around her instead. Pulling her against his chest as he holds her. He just holds in the hope she calms down.
"I just found out," he mumbles, as a way to justify his acts. But he knows deep down that he should have known. He should have looked after her, he should have kept his promise, he should have looked into this Mitchell guy.
"Well that makes two of us," she mumbles then, a bit more calmed down. "I'm so sorry, Donna," he whispers, fighting the urge to press his lips against the top of her head. The way he hears her sob, making him give in. "I'm sorry," he mumbles against her forehead, placing a kiss against it.
She freezes on the spot, a shiver running down her spine, but at the same time she feels warm and safe and home. Inside his embrace she feels whole again, for as far as she can feel that way right now.
"I wanted to tell you," he whispers, "I .. wanted to, but I didn't know how," he adds holding her close. Both of them feeling that these words weren't just about Mitchell but about so much more.
"I know," she closes her eyes as they continue to stand in place for a couple of more minutes in complete silence, before she lifts her head, looking at him. He lets go of her and takes a step back. "I'm sorry," he mumbles again and she looks down, her eyes falling on his hand.
"What did you do?" her fingers slipping around his wrist and even though they just hugged he shivers by the touch of her fingers on his skin. She turns his hand around as both of them sit down on his couch. She slowly unwraps the tie as she sees his face cringe. "Harvey," she mumbles again.
"I'm fine, Donna," he shrugs, "his face will look much worse than this."
"Will?" she replies her breath shaking, her eyes meeting his for a second. "I'm not letting him get away with this, Donna," he nods. "I promised you once," he whispers, "I'd never let anything happen to you," he adds, "And I won't ever and I intent to keep that promise for as long as it takes," he adds.
"Forever?" she recalls his words after everything that happened with Stephen and even long before that.
"Forever," he confirms, his lips pressed in a thin smile. Her lips curl up in a small smile, it are those words again. Forever. For the rest of her life. Still not the exact words she used to dream of, not the moment or scenario she pictured. But this time it did include the man she dreamed of. Forever.