Hi everyone. So something new, because apparently, my mind can't stop thinking about where would things go from here with Donna and Harvey. After she told him she wanted more... So I know where this story is going, just don't know yet how many parts it will exactly be. Anyway, here's the first and I hope you'll enjoy it. Let me know what you think. x - M
PART I: SPREAD YOUR WINGS
She moves her hands over the safety belt, checking it for the third time in a row while her gaze remains directed on the little window on her left, eyeing the terminal. She closes her eyes then, almost ceremoniously moving her right hand over her thigh. The palm of her hand rubbing against the thick fabric of her jeans, trying to dry her slightly clammy hands.
Her hands are never clammy, except for moments like this. Moments where everything is out of her control. And one thing she's learned over the better part of a decade is that she likes it when things are going the way they are supposed to. When she can control what's going on, or maybe more importantly when she actually knows what's going on. She's like him for that matter.
She makes her hand ball into a fist for a moment and she lets out a deep breath, forcing herself to open her eyes again. The terminal still on the same spot in the distance. There's no way back now. She reminds herself that she said she'd do this. She told him she'd do this. That she'd be okay. She swallows when the engines start and her body tenses for a moment, repeating the words to herself. "I'll be fine. I'll be fine."
Her right-hand feels warmer than it was a second ago then. His left hand resting on top of hers, he gently squeezes her fist and she lets out another breath before she looks to her right. Her hand slowly unclenches beneath his as his thumb moves over her pulse point in soothing circles and his lips twitch into a little smile. He repeats the words she whispered out loud herself mere seconds ago and all she can do is give him a small smile in return.
Letting out another breath she leans to her right. Her head resting against his shoulder and when she feels his chin press against the top of her head she closes her eyes again. Focusing on the way his digits slip between hers, she whispers once more. "We'll be fine."
Her eyes flicker open with a light shake of her head. She blinks twice, momentarily wondering where she even is. Her back aches and she rolls her shoulders, turning her head again. She now stares into the bright blue eyes of a young flight attendant for a moment and reality soon catches up with her again. Her mouth slowly opens and her voice is hoarse when a combination of incoherent words escape her lips.
The young flight attendant smiles again and she gently places her right hand on the redhead's shoulder. "Ma'am, we've landed at O'Hare International Airport."
Slowly, Donna takes in the information presented right in front of her. Her head tilting to the left, she stares out of the small window again and the scenery from two and a half hours ago has indeed made place for a different building. She looks ahead again then, finally nodding at the blonde flight attended. "Thank you," she answers before she lets out a breath.
Her head now turning to the right, she takes in the empty seat beside her and swallows. The sound reverberating in her ears, her teeth now pressing in her bottom lip when she's faced with reality once more. She drops her head, her gaze shifting to her own hands on her lap. Her left folded over her right, her own digits intertwined and her lips twitch into a small smile when the sight reminds her of the image of her own imagination again.
"Are you ready to disembark?"
Donna looks up again, untangling her hands in the process. "Yes." She nods. "Yes." Her gaze dropping again, she unclasps the safety belt and only when both metal parts slip from her hands is when she really lets it sink in that she made it. She presses her lips into a smile again, lifting herself from the chair. She glances down the aisle and comes to the conclusion she's one of the last passengers to leave. "Sorry," she apologizes now to the blonde woman who helps her get her purse from the overhead luggage department.
The flight attendant smiles again, clearly not that bothered by the redhead's behaviour. "It's okay," the blonde answers, handing the Birkin bag to the redhead before she steps aside. Letting Donna pass in front of her as she wishes her well once more. "Welcome to Chicago."
20 DAYS AGO
"There's one more thing and you're not going to like it."
His hands clench onto to the folded letter. The smug smile on Mike's face, paired with the tone of voice he uses already giving away his last demand before the young lawyer pronounces it. Harvey looks to his right, eyeing his office. His head starting to shake in objection. "You're not getting my office," he counters, pointing to his right.
"Ooh. Yes. I am," Mike counters in an instant, not even bothering to listen to the older man's objections. "And I'll tell you why," he adds, ever the lawyer. Now a legally practicing one.
"Because she's gone, Harvey," Mike reasons, referring to the former managing partner of the firm that had come to both, but mostly his rescue earlier that day at the New York Bar hearing. "And she's not coming back."
Harvey's jaw clenches at Mike's words and his brows knit together ever so slightly. It's been a few weeks since his mentor officially left the firm and moved to Chicago, but until half an hour ago he'd never gotten the chance to say goodbye.
"It's time for you to take the reins."
Harvey swallows then, taking in the younger man's words.
Words he had mistakenly thought to be true when Jessica merged the firm with Edward Darby. As much as he hated that merger and still sees fit in having done everything to turn it back, he does regret that the thought of planning a coup, as the redhead had phrased it, crossed his mind and he meant it when he'd told Jessica he didn't want to be managing partner.
But she was gone now and it were words to be considered again.
"It's up to you, Harvey. Either step up and take the reins or start looking for another job, because if you don't tell Louis he's not ready to run this firm, we're going to be out of business one way or the other."
Words he hadn't wanted to hear when Donna had told him the same thing just days after his mentor left, even though he knew them to be true. She was always right and despite her harsh, but justified critique earlier, she'd always believed in him and had his back. "I'll follow you to the ends of the earth."
It was also her who had first vocalised the reality of Jessica's departure to him. "Jessica left you and you need to get it through your head, she's never coming back." Ironically his subconscious preceding reality. "She's not coming back, you know."
It had also been her who helped him deal with that fact. Telling him to do the one thing he'd ignored for years, to reconcile with his mother. Something he'd only been able to do because of her support and he knows she probably doesn't even realise how much she had helped him and in that way helped them.
The real goodbye from Jessica just the one last thing he needed to finally allow himself to accept those words. This time pronounced by the younger man, but exactly coming down to the same thing. He breaths out through his nose then, nodding once with a thin smile before he steps forward. Extending his right hand to the newest junior partner who shakes it in agreement.
Rachel stops by the corner office a minute later, asking her soon to be husband to go home after she thanks Harvey again. He wishes both of them a good weekend and he lingers in the door opening of his office, watching them walk away. His gaze catching a glimpse of the happy couple running into the redhead in the distance.
It's dark, but he can still see her smile and he swallows when she walks away with the others without a look in his direction. A lump forms in his throat and he looks down, slowly turning on his heels. Her cubicle comes in sight again and he swallows once more. His happiness about getting Mike into the bar only a temporary luxury as he's faced with reality.
"I want something more and I've never said that out loud, but I can't pretend that's not true anymore. "
She enters the office at seven that morning, half an hour earlier than usual, but she came to clear her head. Think over what to do next, what she wants. Questions she's been ignoring for a long time, but ever since she vocalised she wanted something more to him she can't stop thinking about it. His question in precise.
"What do you mean more?"
She doesn't exactly know what she means with that and she hates that feeling of not knowing. It's not who she is, it's not who she portrayed herself to be and suddenly she wonders if she's been acting all her life regardless. Just never on stage, but in her everyday life. Pretending to know everything.
She shakes her head, making her way through the still empty hallways. The silence almost too much as it leaves her alone with her thoughts. Thoughts she fears to be true and as ironically as it sounds she knows they aren't. Not completely that is. She always knew how to read people, how to help others, but when it comes to herself it's another story.
She told herself she didn't love him, year after year. They had been young and stupid, it had just been a moment and things had turned out the way they were supposed to. She was wrong.
She told herself she had moved on. She told herself going back to work for him, even if it was just because of Mike, wouldn't change a thing, but it did. Not necessarily between them, but for her. Making her realise she hadn't moved on at all.
Not that she is expecting anything from him, but it was just another wakeup call that when it came down to her own life, her catch phrase 'I'm Donna, I know everything' didn't apply at all. She had then told herself this only applied to just her love life, but The Donna awakened dreams she suppressed alongside her feelings for him over the years and when he asked her what she meant, realising she even didn't know this was the hardest thing to swallow.
She lets out a sigh, turning around the corner and to her surprise he's already there. Her feet come to an abrupt halt and she swallows, reminding herself of his question once more. It's the only thing he said that night. Nothing more, not on the night itself, not the day after during Mike's hearing and definitely not during the weekend.
She isn't even sure how she expected him to react, if she even wanted a reaction, but the silence that followed is another thing. She wonders if her news even registered at all, his face from four days ago tells her it did. His happiness the day after making her question it again and even now he looks pretty alright. Stoic almost and his inability to address what she told him, not even sure if she wants or expects him to do so, reminds her of the last time she brought this type of news to him. How he had ignored the situation and how she had accused him of hoping things wouldn't change by pretending they hadn't happened in the first place.
She's not even sure if that's what he's doing now, but she does know she's done with spelling things out for him. Not even going to bring up how ignoring it wouldn't change anything like she did last time. She told him, because she needed to tell someone and even after everything they've been through, it's his opinion she values above anything else. His opinion she needed to make her decision at that moment, but she promises herself right there and then that she's not going to push for a conversation again.
Letting out one last breath, she steps into the corner office at last and he tilts his head at the mere sound of her heels on the floor. "I heard the prodigal son has returned to Pearson Specter Litt."
He turns on his spot to face her. His head crooking the slightest he tries not to grin at her choice of words, but he nods at last.
"Congratulations," she answers, her lips twitching into a soft smile, a gesture he mimics. "I thought he didn't want to come back?"
He nods once more, a soft laugh escaping his lips. "He drove a hard bargain though."
Donna frowns now not sure what he's exactly referring to, even though she hadn't expected anything different from the younger man. They taught him well.
"Our office," he answers.
Her eyes widen in surprise and she swallows, not sure what to say. "Your office," she repeats at last, a hint of sadness palpable in her voice. He nods again. "Does that mean you're moving to –"
"Jessica's." He finishes her thought and he watches her take in his answer. Her gaze breaking his and he just watches the way she looks around for a moment. Like she's taking in the place on last time and he swallows thickly. The sight only reminding him of what she told him four days ago, the dream he had mere weeks before that and how now more than ever it looks like his fear of losing her is becoming reality.
Her gaze roams from his excessive record collection to the trophies in the window sill, items he always claimed not he, but they had acquired, to the picture he'd asked her assistance with only weeks ago on the wall. She swallows and her eyes close, realisation hitting harder than ever before about what has been pending for a long time.
She knew this office wouldn't be her daily view anymore. She had known that when she told him she wanted more. She still doesn't know what more was supposed to be, but she knows she meant more than her current position in the firm. Changing that means changing what has been her day to day life for over a decade and for over seven years (minus those few months at Louis' desk) this office had been that. She just hadn't imagined the change in scenery to catch up with her figuring out what more was, making her have to do something she dreaded twice now. Saying goodbye.
"Do you need my help to pack things up?" she asks then breaking the silence, no longer wanting to think about her own quest. It all being a little too much now.
He frowns for a moment, her question catching him off guard.
"I mean…" She turns to face him again. "I guess Mike wants to move in as soon as possible?"
It takes him a second before he bobs his head up and down. In agreement to her question, but not as willingly as it should have been. He'd been trying to put off this moment for just a little bit longer, afraid it would also lead to the inevitability of her leaving him again. He knows that moment will come sooner rather than later and he knows it isn't his right to stop her or tell her otherwise, but change has always been a difficult thing for him. Especially when he isn't the one in control of it. She told him she wanted more. Mike had made him give up his office.
"Yes," he adds when he finally finds his voice again. "That would be great." His lips curling up into a little smile at the sudden realisation that that would mean spending more time with her.
She turns her desk chair, her hands moving a stack of paper form one end of her desk to the other. Not ready to put it in a moving box yet and she also knows there's no point in doing so. Not yet, not before his office is all wrapped up and ready to move. Something that's not going to happen before the weekend.
She turns around again, her gaze briefly landing on him and she shakes her head. She really should be helping with packing, the way he turns over nearly every single record in his collection to read the tracks not speeding anything up. Neither is putting them on or the way he recalls certain moments, it not only making things go slower but a lot harder.
She swallows, redirecting her gaze to her own desk again and more precisely to the envelope in her hands. The papers she needs to sign for the deal regarding her project with Benjamin. One signature making her a millionaire. One signature to remind her of something that could have been, one signature that would mean the definite moment she's got to start defining more and she still doesn't have a clue.
She thinks about it a lot, but she doesn't speak of it. The only person who even knows of this not addressing it either and she places the envelope back down. Not being able to focus on it now. Instead, she makes her way back into his office. Her eyes locking with his when he looks up from the record in his hands.
"They're not going to pack themselves, you know."
He laughs, his fingers moving along the torn edges of the record before he turns it over again. "It's my first record," he answers, glancing at her from the corner of his eye and she crooks her head in surprise. Both fully aware he's never shared this with her before. "He gave it to me on my tenth birthday," he recalls the memory, turning to face her a bit more, his left arm landing on the backrest of the couch. Extending his right hand, he hands the record over to the redhead for her to see. "I was dead set on making it in his band back then."
She chuckles, knowing for fact he never had the patience to learn any instrument and there's only one time she heard him sing. The older Specter man having demanded it when he learned it had been her birthday. He wasn't bad, not at all, but nothing like his father.
"Yeah I know," he mumbles, vocalising her thoughts. "Wouldn't have been a good choice."
She turns the record over in her hands, now eyeing Gordon's handwriting on the cover. Wishing his son a happy birthday. She swallows then realising the song both men sang for her is on this very record. She steps forward at last, giving him the record back as she manoeuvres her way between the couch and his collection.
He follows her movement for a moment, not asking anything. He just watches her lean against the back rest of the couch, his left hand now awfully close to her leg and he swallows. His fingers twitching, he taps against the pillow in some rhythm of his imagination, not wanting to pull his hand away.
She reaches for another record then and he already knows which one it is just by the placement of it. "This is my favourite one," she tells him, gently holding onto one of his father's records.
He smiles for a moment, staring at her and he wants to tell her he knows, because he did. "Mine too," he tells her another truth instead and her eyes meet his a second after. She's the one breaking his gaze when she hands him the record. Her hand falling to the couch, she pushes herself back on her feet.
An empty box lands on the spot beside him on the couch soon after and he finally pulls his hand back to fold the box into its form. She takes the lead now and things go a lot faster. Only one or two comments every now and then and he wonders if she's doing it on purpose. If she saw through his act of making this last or if she's just as clueless about this as she seems to be about the rest.
She closes the last box of records, making him carry it to the stack of boxes on the other side of his office. He hears a thud mixed with a heavy sigh and when he turns around he finds her sitting on his couch. Her head leaning against the backrest, her arms spread out and her in Jimmy Choo clad feet propped up on his coffee table.
Another tired sigh leaves her lips and he finally steps forward. Pouring both of them a glass of scotch as he makes his way back to the couch. It doesn't match with the Thai from that shitty place she loves they'd eaten earlier, never has and probably never will, but it's tradition.
"Thank you, Donna," he pronounces her name in that tone he only uses for her. She crooks her head, opening one eye and she smiles tiredly before she takes the crystal tumbler with auburn liquid from his hand. He sits down in the chair next to her then, his own feet aching and he contemplates whether or not he should place his feet on the table next to hers. He settles for stretching his legs under the table instead.
He brings the glass to his lips taking a sip of the Macallan 36, his gaze roaming his office again. It's empty, stripped to a bare minimum of furniture and most of his personal belongings are already packed up in boxes. Yet with her by his side, it still feels like home.
He lets the glass rest on the metal armrest of his chair. His thumb moving over the rim, he wonders if he should say something. Tomorrow being their last day in this very office, but he can't find the words. His head tilts to the left, his gaze landing on her and he notices she's doing the exact same. Her index finger tracing the edge of the tumbler and he wonders if she, like him, might be searching for the words to say too.
She bobs her head in his direction then, her eyes meeting his before he can look away. He knows she caught him staring at her, but he doesn't care. Not anymore, not in light of the bigger changes ahead. Of the prospect of not being able to look at her at any given moment during the day again.
"You should get a new couch."
He knows he should have been the one to break the silence, but he's glad she did nevertheless. Her words just throwing him off his game. "What?"
"New office. New couch," she answers, her free hand moving over the leather cushions. "This one is terrible anyway."
He grins. Her remark still the same as seven years ago when he had demanded to at least pick out one piece of furniture for his new office himself. "If that couch is so bad," he replies, pointing in her direction. "How come you've fallen asleep on it more than once then?" His remark sounding more playful then he thought it would be and his own words bring back the memories of her curled up on that very couch.
"Because my boss has unreasonable hours," she retorts, taking the last sip from her glass.
He swallows, shifting in his chair. "Donna," he pronounces her name so softly she doesn't hear it.
Instead, she simultaneously places her glass on the table and brings her feet back to the ground. She lifts herself from the couch, her hands moving down the skirt of her dress. "Speaking of which," she offers him a small smile. "Goodnight Harvey."
He wishes her goodnight in return, pressing his lips into a thin line after and before he can lift himself out of his chair she's left his office. His gaze lands on her desk again, he knows most of her items are still there, but it looks abandoned from this angle never the less. Her words come to mind again. "My boss has unreasonable hours." He thinks it will soon be had as he won't be her boss for much longer and he swallows then. Downing the rest of his scotch.
Stepping out of the elevator on the fiftieth floor, he lets out a heavy breath. Today being the last day that corner office will be his. He's come in extra early once more, wanting to make his way over to his former end of the building in peace. Maybe walk the path even twice, he also knows he's acting ridiculous. Any other lawyer in the firm would be thrilled about the prospect of a new office, any other lawyer had moved offices more than he had anyway, but he doesn't like it one bit.
Too many memories, both the good and the bad. Perhaps also too many things that remind him of her, but that was just the thing. With her leaving him up in the air, he had told himself to cherish those memories. Unlike months ago when every single thing she ever touched or spoken about drove him insane, this time he'd been going over things again and again.
The basketball signed by Michael Jordon who'd technically signed with her and not him. The Miles Davis record she'd scratched, it had been his fault really for scaring her, but he'd never admitted it. The cigar box on his desk that used to be his grandfather's and only she had known about the money he'd hidden in it.
He'd been going over all these little memories. Not just in that one day between her news and Mike demanding his office, but since that dream. Maybe even before that, deep down he'd always known her leaving was an option again. She had come back to help with Mike, but stayed after, maybe that's also why he never asked if she even wanted to stay. Something he should have done.
He rounds the corner and stalls when he spots the younger lawyer in his office, clearly already trying to figure out how to decorate the place himself. "Don't you have anything better to do?" he asks stepping into his office, demonstratively walking himself behind his nearly empty desk.
Mike rolls his eyes, faking annoyance. "I've been busy setting up interviews," he counters, not getting more than a raise of eyebrow as response. "And now I had a moment to think about how I'm going to make this place mine."
Harvey's jaw clenches and he shakes his head. "You're out of your mind if you think you're also getting any of my furniture." He watches the young lawyer crook his head, most likely to challenge him, pretending to look around again as if he's now window shopping. Harvey swallows then, noticing Mike's gaze coming to rest on the cubicle outside of his office. "No."
Mike turns to look back again. "What?"
"No," Harvey objects, firmly shaking his head. "You can have my office, you can even have my furniture, but you can't have her. Even if she wanted to stay a secretary."
Mike swallows in the teasing comments on the tip of his tongue, focussing on the last and more important thing the older man just said. "Stay a secretary?" Mike repeats, shaking his head as he tries to wrap his head around this news. "She's leaving?"
The junior partner frowns once more, trying to digest the news and at the same time taking in how the older man's handling this news better than when she left him months ago. "You don't know?"
He swallows, not even sure why he brought it up. "She said she wanted more."
He sighs, the younger man's question exactly his own. "I don't know," he admits then. "She said she needed to figure that out and she hasn't brought it up again," he adds in his own defence, but he already knows he should have asked. The exact accusation Mike throws in his direction.
"And you didn't ask?"
"I…" He swallows in his tried, he's thought about it. Almost non-stop, how could he not and the question had been on the tip of his tongue more than once, but never pronounced. Telling himself staying quiet on his part would actually be helping her, but it doesn't feel like he tried. "I … I don't want her to think I'm trying to make her stay."
"Harvey, how on earth would asking her what she wants equal that?" Mike asks confused now.
"I'd probably find a way," Harvey mumbles in return. "It's a gift."
Mike notices the look on his boss' face, the way the older man pinches the bridge of his nose. Only confirming what he's known for a while now. "Harvey," Mike starts again, trying to get his mentor's attention, fully aware that the latter will shut him down as soon as he realises what Mike's about to say. "I don't the specifics of why she left last time, but I do know you ignored whatever it was that was going on and it almost broke –"
"No, let me finish," Mike orders, his harsh tone making the older man shut his mouth again. "You once helped me with Rachel, telling me all I needed to do was forgive her. All you need to do to keep her in your life is support her, be there for her."
"I know," Harvey answers, turning around to look at Mike again, his previous concern still getting the better of him. He crooks his head, almost in defeat. "And I'm trying, but – "
"It's Donna," Mike answers, with a shrug of his shoulders. Wondering how the man opposite of him doesn't realise that if anyone is able to see the true intentions behind his actions, it will be her. "She'll know."
"I'll know what?"
Harvey freezes on the spot the second he hears the redhead's voice. His eyes widening in the process and he opens his mouth to speak, but it's like his muscles move in slow motion. All he sees is her gaze shifting between him and the younger man.
Luckily for him Mike's reaction is faster and far more natural as the young lawyer turns around to look at Donna. "The best way to decorate this office," Mike bluffs pointing around. "I assume this was all you."
Donna scoffs, as if anyone else would be responsible for that. "It's not even yours and you're already acting like you own the place," she lectures Mike then, with a shake of her head. "And just because you're right about who picked out every single piece of furniture but that couch." She points to her right. "Doesn't mean I'm going to help you."
Mike swallows now, his eyebrows knitting together as he's lost for words for a moment. Mumbling "right" at last.
"Shoo." The redhead signals the door now, her gaze narrowing in on Mike until he turns on his heels and makes his way to the door. Harvey just manages to catch a glimpse of the look the younger man shoots in his direction, before he catches the redhead in front of him giving him a questioning look as well.
Harvey blinks now, her words exactly what he was wondering. "Yeah... Uhm," he mutters, looking at the ground for a moment. The sole of his shoe scraping over the floor. "Wasn't that a little harsh?" he asks then, facing her again.
"Me?" she points at herself, one eyebrow raised as if she's never been so offended before. "Just because you let the puppy trick you into giving him our office, doesn't mean I have to get soft now."
He crooks his head, his gaze remaining on her. He bites the inside of his cheek, trying to suppress a grin.
"Fine," she gives in at last with a roll of her eyes. "For old time's sake, because it took him so long to realise he wanted to get back here."
He snickers, shaking his head as he walks around his desk. "You've been waiting all week to do that."
"Maybe." She shrugs, now slowly turning around to take in his office one more time. "Okay, so we have to pack your degrees." She points at the wall left from him, silently moving on to the picture next to it. She looks back at him again. "Clear your desk and my cubicle."
He watches her hand move over the edge of the lid, closing the last box. Her burgundy painted nails tapping on the cardboard material for a moment and he hears her let out a breath. "Done," she says now and her one-word remark sends a shiver down his spine. He knows this moment was near, but it's still difficult. He also knows he's better of embracing the change ahead, it's coming either way.
He thinks about Mike's advice then, something he already knew. Something he was trying, he's just figuring out what's the best way to so. Support her. If that would be with words, the exact thing that screw them up big time months ago or actions, something he'd always used but might not be enough anymore. He lets out a breath and looks up then, his gaze briefly flickering over her face. "Donna."
She stands a little taller, her gaze searching for his. She remains quiet, but he can read the questions in her eyes. "Thank you," he adds, swallowing thickly himself as nothing else is pronounced and he can see the slightest hint of disappointment in her eyes when she presses her lips into a thin line.
"I'm going to grab a box for my desk."
He doesn't get the chance to react to her statement and he drops his head in defeat. His eyes closing in the same movement, he swallows and his hand balls into a fist before it falls flat against the table. He's annoyed, annoyed at the situation, at himself. He's got so many questions he wants to ask her, but he can't. Afraid it will only drive her away.
He scolds himself for thinking like that again and he forces himself to look up. His gaze falling on her cubicle and he stares at it from a distance for a while. Just taking in how it used to look, the lamp in the corner behind her computer screen. The printer in the far right corner and how on alternating places there used to be little plants. He grins then, remembering how she bought him a cactus because it would be something he was less likely to be able to kill, but there was a firm rotation of plants at her own desk. At least the cactus is still alive.
He doesn't realise he made himself walk over to her desk until his hand brushes over the wooden table top. Another sigh escapes his lips and he takes it in one more time, deciding then that maybe the first thing he could do was help her pack, just like she had helped him these last days.
She returns not soon after, the still empty box held between her right arm and her hip and a frown grows on her face when she spots him in her cubicle. Leaning against her desk and he's focused on something in his hand. He shifts his gaze from the little white ceramic bird in his hand to her and he turns it over when she gives him this questioning look she's mastered over the years. He offers her a small smile, placing it back on its original place. "I remember you had this on your desk in the D.A.'s office."
She thinks for a moment, the corners of her mouth quirking up. "Yeah I did," she answers him, walking around the partition now. She places the box on her desk, leaning against the desk opposite of him. "My aunt," she starts then, folding her hands on her lap. "She gave it to me when I moved to New York to study acting here at NYU. She said it was a symbol of how I was spreading my wings," she whispers now and she glances at him from under her lashes before she looks at the ground again. "I just never really did."
He swallows now, his shoulders dropping a little. He knows he's part of the reason she never did pursue her dream. "Donna," he pronounces her name in that one tone he only uses with her and she looks back up at him. He offers her a small smile when he notices the hint of sadness in her eyes. "Is that what you meant?" he inquires. "With more?" he adds when he notices her head starting to tilt to the side. "Acting? Is that what you want to do?"
His questions take her by surprise, after these last days of silence on his part to now this, she swallows and shakes her head at last. "No," she answers then. "I mean I love acting and it's what I thought I wanted to do a long time ago, but it's – "
"You could," he interrupts her, not wanting to hear her say it's too late. "If you want to, you could."
A soft laugh escapes her lips at his reaction. "I know," she counters, looking up at him again. Her eyes meeting his. "But that's not what I want and I don't know what exactly I do want to be doing," she breaks his gaze, now looking down her soon to be old desk. Her hand moves over the edge of the wooden object, a soft sigh escaping her lips and she can't help but glance at him from the corner of her eye. "I just need it to be more than this."
He swallows when her words confirm once more what he's known deep down for days know, that she won't be working for him anymore soon. He nods then, pressing his lips into a thin smile. "Will you tell me?"
She turns to face him.
"When you know?" he clarifies. "I want to know."