It's a considerably small crime in the life of a lawyer's wife but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Donna Specter can feel it. Can feel the hurt curled up inside her, heavy and deep like a guilt-ridden foetus, not breathing, suffocating in the layers upon layers of flesh and blood and bone. She wants to curl up herself, into a small ball, and block out the world for a while. But she can't. Because the world is loud and it demands to be heard.
So she sits, perched on the edge of the bed with her shins drawn up to her body and her head bowed. Her hands are twisted in the sheets. The bed is lowered slightly on the other side under the weight of another human being, but she tries not to lean backwards towards the space. Tries not to reach for Harvey.
It's become a habit. A bad one. In the five years they've been together as a couple, it's become a habit. Too familiar and too fallible. Now all Donna wants is to fall back into the pattern; to reach, to touch, to lie, still, naked beside the other in motel beds and concrete alleyways as time gorges on their youth and spits back out the bones. She thinks that they've been falling for far too long. First into love, then, all of a sudden, out. Their bodies slip past each other like two comets floating through orbit.
And it hurts.
"Harvey," she dares to speak and the effort makes the word crack and tremble like a note held too long, like a gunshot fired a second too late.
The half-filtered light from the smeared glass panes attempts to cover up their shame, but Donna can see the dried blood curving like water down Harvey's face. The tension holds his neck in place, hunched and sore, because he can't look up, he can't face her.
"If you don't look at me, how am I supposed to talk to you?" Donna whispers, shifts closer, feels the orbit pulling.
"Don't bother," Harvey suggests in a low, pained voice, "You don't have to."
Donna whimpers. Her chest is caving in. She forgets how to breathe.
"Harvey, God damn you," She chokes, "Stop it. Just stop it."
She slides closer and her hands search across the sheets between them for something solid to grasp onto. She entwines their fingers and for a second she is calm. But then Harvey exhales, slowly, sadly, as if he hadn't wanted to. As if he had wanted to hold his breath forever.
"Don't play the victim, don't you dare do that to me, Harvey."
Her vision is glazed around the edges and her eyes ache with the effort of not blinking.
Five years. Five fucking years, and it comes down to this. An overcrowded bed in a darkened room. A wedding, ruined.
"You don't get to do this," Donna clenches his hand. It's cold, and he doesn't grip back, but he doesn't pull away. "This is not how it ends."
"Let's be realistic, Donna," Harvey whispers in a lost voice, "There's nothing left to end. It's done. It's over." He pauses, his breathing is harsh and every heartbeat is a testament to God's cruel irony, "I'm sorry."
"No." Donna growls, pulls her hand away, stalking away from the bed. She moves like an executioner, all stiff lines and aching purpose. She's so beautiful like this, and Harvey watches her with dull eyes. She wants Donna to know what he's losing. All this passion, all this love. Wasted.
But Harvey won't let her go and the orbit spins too close. He watches and she caves, like she always does. The pain is evident on his face, written in the melody of erratic breathing and sculptured on those hooded, haunted eyes. Harvey is a fearful masterpiece. Every brushstroke paints him darker, and every time she thinks she sees him, Donna takes another step back and discovers new intricacies.
So she steps forward, closes the space between them. She lowers her head until they're level and she can look him straight in the eye.
"What were you thinking?" She asks, her voice barely breaking above a whisper. He knows what she's referring to, but Harvey doesn't reply. Instead he seems to implode, falling in on himself as if the foundations of his soul have collapsed and he can no longer support his body.
Donna wants to scream in frustration, but she doesn't trust herself not to cry, "What were you thinking?" She repeats forcefully.
"I don't know," Harvey murmurs,
"You said it, in front of everyone, all the guests, our friends, in front of him, you said-"
"I know what I said!" Harvey snarls, springing to life, "It was a mistake! It was a stupid fucking thing to do, and I ruined everything. I get that, okay? I am perfectly fucking aware that I fucked everything up-"
"Do you understand what 'everything' actually is, Harvey?" Donna cries, "It's us! It's five fucking years and five fucking anniversaries and you don't seem to understand, Harvey, that it's me! You fucked me up." She lowers her gaze, "You said you loved me."
"But I'm not the only one,"
It's not a question, she knows, they all know.
Harvey had raised the wine glass in a toast. All eyes were on him and his hands were shaking so badly Donna had been afraid he would drop it.
He had bitten his lip, drawing sharp spots of blood, and the silence in the room increased because everyone was waiting for him to say something. Mike was smiling, one arm wrapped around the husband and another propping up his chin. He was expecting Harvey's condescension. Perhaps some veiled insult, an allusion to past misdeeds. Donna had expected that, too.
Harvey had stared, eyes bright, trembling. A pained noise broke in his throat and Donna had panicked, starting to rise if he needed her. But Harvey spoke then. His voice had been so heavy with emotion it dropped to below a whisper and, in front of everyone, he'd murmured, "You shouldn't have married him."
Mike had frowned.
Harvey had shaken his head, his words catching on several false starts, and then, so quiet, almost incoherent, he confessed.
And then left the room.
It had been silent. Painfully so.
That awful moment, she will relive it every time she's rejected. Every failed date. Every botched job. Every single fucking fatality and it will be that moment she remembers.
That moment when you feel your world crumble into ashes, burnt by your own passion and your foolish, misplaced happiness.
She'd thought he was content.
She'd thought they'd been good together.
"I don't-" Harvey begins, but his voice falters and he can't continue.
"You don't what?" Donna spits out, "You don't love him? You don't mean anything by it? It was a mistake? It was a lie?"
Harvey bows his head.
"You're a fucking coward, Harvey!" She spins round, slams her hands into the drywall. It cracks, "You wait until his wedding day to say it, after years of fucking around with me."
"I don't regret us!" Harvey snaps, and Donna laughs, dry and bitterly.
He blinks, breaks a little more and then is remoulded sharper than before, "Then what the hell are you still doing here?"
"I can't leave!" She turns on him, indignation burning in her eyes, "I can't-"
Harvey watches her.
It's all so wrong but there's nothing more to be done. Sometimes you have to let things lie. And, maybe, after years have passed and people have faded, they'll be covered up by dirt, layer upon layer, until the whole thing is buried deep and new things can grow from the mess they made.
"What's wrong with us?" She says suddenly, furiously. "How did we end up like this?"
His head jerks upwards, "I didn't want this." Harvey snaps, ignited by her spark, "I didn't want to love him."
Donna glares at him mournfully, "But you do! Even after everything we had, you still do!"
Harvey stares at her, pain flashing across his face, before he stands up abruptly and stumbles to the bathroom, slamming the door with shaking hands. There's the sound of retching against porcelain before a few moments of silence. Donna waits, tense, and then hears a low, keening cry come echoing through the paper walls.
After Harvey had run, Mike had stood up, swaying slightly, and excused herself, pressing a reassuring kiss to his husband's lip.
He'd followed him, and so did Donna. Harvey had been pacing outside and Mike didn't say a word, just punched him, square in the face so that Harvey's head had snapped backwards with the force.
"You don't say that at someone's wedding, Specter," Mike had growled fiercely, his eyes blazing, " You are lucky that Logan did not killed you."
They'd stood, glaring at the other, before Mike had turned on heel and Harvey had closed his eyes, accepting it, leaving Donna to try and mop up the blood.
And yet again, Donna finds herself having to be the one to drag Harvey up from the dirt. Sighing, she pushes open the bathroom door and enters the small room.
Harvey is waiting for her, propped up against the bathtub. The lino is cold against his exposed skin but he doesn't notice. He's trembling like a child caught up in a nightmare, but the upturned die promises that this is not a dream.
Donna approaches with caution and sits down next to him on the floor, prompting Harvey to draw himself up slowly in a kind of weary embarrassment.
"How did we end up like this?" She asks softly, resting her head on his shoulder. "I don't remember it going wrong." There's a melancholy edge to her reflections.
Harvey whispers, "I do."
"But you won't tell me."
The silence enforces her words and brings a heavy fatalism with them.
"I think the worst thing is that I believed you. Every time you held me, kissed me, I was certain that you loved me." She delivers this with a self-deprecating smile to prove her naivety, "But now... What now?" She frowns, "What do I believe in? How do I know that it wasn't Mike you were thinking of when you touched me? Every single kiss. Was it me or him?" She buries her face in the crook of his neck, presses herself closer to his warmth as is to re-enact a past scene in which she was more certain of herself, "I hope it was me. Because I love you, Harvey. And now it hurts, so badly, to be told you don't love me too."
Harvey stokes her hair tentatively. He is biting his lip, eyes cast down like a child reprimanded.
"There were times when I suspected that there was... something between you and him" Donna whispers desperately, "Because you looked too long, or laughed too loud or sat too close."
"Close enough to get burnt," Harvey laughs bitterly in muted agreement.
Jessica had called him, several times, until Harvey had eventually picked up.
"What just happened?" Jessica's voice had been full of urgency, and Harvey, propped up against Donna in the back of a cab, had wearily ended the call.
Jessica kept texting, all of her messages remaining unopened, before Harvey had crushed the phone underfoot and kicked the plastic remains into the road. He hadn't the energy to deal with Jessica then, but he had hoped the woman would not be offended. After all, Harvey wasn't the only one with a dead romance.
Donna shifts against him, "I just hope it was worth it," she breathes, "I hope you felt something when you told her. I hope she was worth me." Donna exhales shakily, brushing staining tears from her cheeks, and Harvey remains motionless.
"No," He pauses, and then says again, stronger, "No."
She smiles tearfully, "Well, I guess it's too late now
Harvey nods numbly, "He hates me."
And Donna can't disagree.
"I just panicked when I saw him with Logan Sanders. It was horrible, like all those times I've watched him die before, all over again, all in white. I felt... I felt hopeless." Harvey exhales, "I thought that, maybe if I said it out loud, if only he knew-"
"What good did you think it would do?" Donna frowns at him, "You shouldn't have said it."
"I couldn't help hoping," Harvey admits in a small voice as he curls even smaller, and Donna can do nothing more than gaze out at the silent morning light and try to cast her mind back to a time before the end.
For a while they sit together, until the floor becomes too hard and the light too bright. Then they dress silently and separately, and take different planes to different places to establish different lives.
And that's it.