I had started toying around with the story earlier in this season but as the episodes came out each week things began to change a little. Just an FYI this story takes place over until the last episodes of season 3, but for this story we will ignore the blunder that was the pairing of Harvey and Dana during the last episode.
I do not own any of the characters from suits. All rights to characters and plot lines are owned by the writers of Suits on USA.
Harvey stepped out of the Pearson-Darby building, basking in the glow of their latest victory. Ava's murder charges were dropped, Darby would be shipped back across the pond, and Stephen Huntley was out of his hair. Then he saw her, standing on the curb by his car, and felt his excitement deflate. She was tough but he knew that the whole debacle with Stephen was as shocking as having a bucket of ice cold water dumped on her. She put on a smile as he approached but he could see it was still a front. The smile failed to reflect in her eyes, like it usually did when she was particularly excited about something. He cursed Stephen Huntley in his mind and smiled inwardly as he remembered kicking his ass thoroughly just a few days before. Smug bastard deserved it and much more, he thought to himself.
Harvey may have made the mistake last year of not having fought for Donna when she was fired from Pearson-Hardman but he sure as hell wasn't going to let it happen again. He fought for her this time, literally. Though he may never admit it out loud to anyone, beating the pulp out of Stephen was all for her and now he hoped to lock up the bastard for life.
"Donna," he said as he approached, giving her a soft smile.
"Harvey," she returned.
"How did it go?"
"It's done," she said firmly.
Harvey nodded and observed her quietly. She had asked him if she could be the one to deliver the news to Stephen about his arrest and he obliged. He knew that despite the tough exterior she always tried to put on that she was broken inside.
"Take the car," he offered, "I think I feel like a walk tonight."
She nodded softly and gave a sad smile as she ducked into the car.
"Goodnight, Harvey," she said, looking up at him.
"Goodnight, Donna," he replied as he shut the car door gently and watched as Ray pulled the car away from the curb.
He turned around and began walking, not really sure where he'd end up.
The office was quiet without Donna around, too quiet. He always felt a little bit helpless when she was gone. He caught himself letting his gaze drift over to her desk a few times, as though she would magically appear if he looked hard enough. Two weeks had gone by since Stephen's arrest and she had been through a lot and deserved a few days to herself, days he was sure she did not want to spend at home, where she had spent time with Stephen. Harvey felt his jaw set and lock into place as he thought of the two of them. It had bothered him when she told him she was sleeping with him and though he finally admitted to her that it bothered him, he wasn't sure she knew just how much and why. He offered her his house in the Hamptons for the week and though she insisted it wasn't necessary, Harvey insistence was much greater than hers and she conceded.
The day was winding down when Mike sauntered into his office at a quarter past 8, a stack of files in his hands. He dropped the files on Harvey's desk, the thud startling Harvey from his thoughts. He let his gaze linger on Donna's desk for a second too long when he noticed his associate eyeing him curiously. He cleared his throat and turned to face him now.
"Did you get those financials from Louis on Folsom Foods?" he asked.
"It's all there," the associate answered, "Along with the financials for Hessington Oils."
"Good," he responded, picking up the first file and flipping through it absentmindedly.
"So," Mike began casually, "Where's Donna?"
"On vacation," he responded with disinterest without looking up from the file in front of him.
"I see," he replied slowly, cautiously. Though he had said no more, Harvey could feel Mike's gaze fixed on him.
"What?" he asked annoyed.
"Nothing, nothing," the associate responded quickly and plopped down on the couch in Harvey's office, stealing a glance at Donna's desk and back to Harvey again.
"So…did she go on vacation alone?" he prodded once more, with his best attempt at casual disinterest.
Harvey pressed his lips into a thin line and took a deep breath, Mike was testing his patience, he was sure of it.
"I don't know nor do I care what Donna does in her own personal time. This isn't the sophomore locker room."
"Yeah, sure seemed like you didn't care when you beat the shit out of Stephen for her," he muttered sarcastically under his breath.
Harvey slammed the file down on his desk, looking up at Mike, irritation evident in his expression.
"I'm sorry, do I pay you to work cases for me or do I pay you to make empirical observations about my life? And before you give me some smart ass remark, let me clue you in; if you want to start dropping some Freudian slip bullshit on me, your ass is out of here! And another thing, I kicked Stephen's ass because he deserved every bit of it for bringing his filth into this firm. Now get out!"
Mike snapped his mouth shut and sighed, shaking his head slowly. He turned toward the door and stopped before exiting.
"Can I just ask you one thing?" he said turning around once more, unable to let go of whatever thought plagued him.
"No" Harvey snapped.
Mike nodded slowly, sizing up his boss and considering the likelihood of his threats.
"Well, I'm going to ask it anyway and then I'm going to leave," he countered.
"What are you going to do about it, Harvey?"
"What the hell are you talking about?"
Mike gave his boss a pointed look and sighed when all he got was a vacant and irritated glare back. He turned, shutting the door to the office before continuing.
"I'm talking about Donna! Look, I know it's not my place…"
"You're right, it's not your place!" he snapped back at Mike.
"No, it isn't but do you know that the only reason you have a confession from Stephen Huntley that Dana Scott was not involved in this whole mess is because Donna went in there and outsmarted him into a confession?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Three days ago, Donna asked me to go with her to see Stephen. She got him to admit that Dana had no knowledge of his and Darby's plans. Do you know why she did it? For you! Because for some weird reason, this woman sacrifices her happiness in order for you to be happy. And on top of it all she thinks that Dana Scott is what will make you happy."
Harvey's head was reeling and he found it difficult to comprehend what Mike was implying. Taking advantage of his boss' silence, the young associate continued.
"Let me just give you a reality check, Harvey. You were right when you said you weren't the guy I should go to if I needed advice on relationships. So let me give you some advice. If any good came from this whole thing with Stephen, it should have been to show you that Donna is not going to be around forever! You will not be number one in her life forever. Someday some man will come around and give her everything she needs, and the days of you being number one in her life will be over and you are going to wind up alone and bitter about it, even if you're too proud to admit it. The only reason it hasn't happened yet is because she hasn't let it; she's been too busy over the past decade helping you achieve your goals."
"She's not going to wait around forever, Harvey. You've got your name on the door now, so now what? You've achieved everything you've wanted but what about her? Do you think she is just going to stay here keeping your life all neat and tidy and pass up on living her life? Handbags and bonuses will only go so far. Stephen was just the first sign of her really coming to the realization that she needs more than this and she deserves it. And when the day comes, that she lets someone in to her life, however much you think you dislike Stephen Huntley, you'll dislike this guy a thousand times more, because he will have the one person who knew all your wants and needs before you even knew them yourself! He's going to have the only woman you've ever been able to really love but have been too proud and too self-centered to let her know!"
"Hey, that's enough!" he snapped back angrily now, rising up from his seat, "I never asked Donna not to live her life! And she knows that!"
"You're right…you would never ask that of her. You would just expect it of her. Telling her would mean you'd have to show some semblance of emotion and feelings toward her and God forbid the great Harvey Specter ever do that! Donna has been focused on her job for the past 12 years Harvey, but her job is you! Her focus is always on you! How can any other man ever compete with that? If your relationship with her is really meant to just be a platonic thing, then that's fine, but everyone around you two can see it's more than that. And her trying to set the scene for a happy ending between you and Dana, that's her trying to run from whatever she feels, that she's undoubtedly been pushing away for years. She's been more faithful and loyal to you than people I know who have been married a lifetime! And why the best closer in New York can't manage to close that deal is beyond me!"
"I don't know who you think you are and I don't know what kind of impression I've given you but let me make this clear to you: Whatever happens or does not happen between me and Donna is none of your business or anyone else's in this company! Your business is to research these goddamn cases and if that's too complicated for you, then I can show you the door!" Harvey shouted, finally finding words.
Mike stared at his boss in silence for a moment and dug his hands into his pockets before releasing a sigh and shaking his head.
"That's all I had to say," he said turning toward the glass door but paused before stepping out, "Oh, and if you want to say that you beat the shit out of Stephen because he deserved it, fine. But if you want to claim that the reason he deserved it has nothing to do with Donna…well then I'd have to say that's bullshit!"
With that he turned and walked away from his boss' office, leaving Harvey in silence.
Harvey took his seat again, fuming now. He picked up another one of the files Mike had brought over and began paging through it, trying to clear his mind of that conversation. Now that Mike had cracked that whole subject wide open though, it was hard to think of anything else.
"Son of a bitch!" he cursed under his breath as he slammed the folder back down on his desk.
He turned his chair to face the window. He stared out at the city skyline but focused on nothing in particular as his mind raced plagued by Mike's words.
Harvey had already seen what his life had been like without Donna last year; dark and ugly. When Mike had said that Donna had be loyal to him longer than most couples he knew that were married, the kid really had no idea just how loyal. Harvey recalled their time back at the DA's office and remembered how Donna had been the one to pull his head out of his ass when she saw that he was risking going down the unscrupulous path that Cameron Dennis had been paving for him.
He shuddered to think of where he would be now if it hadn't been for her. He wasn't perfect, far from it, but without her he would probably be a man his father would be ashamed of. She was more than just his assistant, much more, but what exactly would you call it?
The default answer was always that he was her boss and she was his employee but it sounded so impersonal as he spoke it in his mind. Harvey knew somewhere deep down that as much as he showered her with gifts and bonuses, that the space he took in her life left a gap in her that he had not filled and that could not be filled with all the Marni bags in the world. It was the space that Mike alluded to in his rant, that space that another man could someday take.
And if truth be told, the real truth, Harvey had to admit that he had been pretty selfish. For everything she gave up for him, he hadn't given the same up for her. And he knew that Mike was right, someday someone would come along and she would really let them in and he would lose her, he would lose everything.
Harvey Specter didn't do relationships though, he didn't really know how to. But something had to give if he didn't want to risk losing Donna forever. She had numerous proposals come her way, this was true, and it was only a matter of time before she finally said yes to one and made that binding tie to another man.
But as he sat there, adrift in his thoughts, another one nagged at him. She didn't break the rule for you. She broke it for Stephen. The policy, she called it. Her one rule. She didn't get involved with her coworkers. He thought back to the one time they broke that cardinal rule of hers. Technically they were no longer coworkers, she had left the DA's office unable to work for Cameron Dennis' corrupt ways, and he had been working his move over to Pearson-Hardman. When he showed up at her door that night, all bets were off and all kinds of rules had been broken. He smiled to himself as he recalled that night ten years ago.
He came to her days later, asking her to join him at Pearson-Hardman, because he didn't want to know the kind of lawyer he would be without her. He saw a brief flicker of disappoint flash in her eyes in that moment but as his career needs were always greater than anything else, he had pushed it aside. But being Donna, she quickly recovered and finally agreed on the condition that they never let their rendezvous be spoken of again.
She once told him, "If you were ever lucky enough to have me, you'd never want to share." And she was right because even in the way he had her now, he could never think of sharing her with anyone, much less letting her go.
"Nice to see I pay you so much to let you sit around daydreaming," came the voice from behind him, stirring him from his thoughts.
"Jessica," he said turning around in his chair to face his boss, "Listen, I need to take a few days to take care of some things."
Jessica raised her eyebrows, "Harvey, we are in the middle of the dissolution of this merger, I need you here and I need you focused."
"Jessica, I am focused, but I need to do this. If you need me, I'll have my phone and laptop with me, and I'm within two hours of the city."
"Can this not wait?" she asked impatiently.
"No," he answered firmly, "I've already waited ten years."
A look of understanding crossed Jessica Pearson's face, "Donna?" she asked.
Harvey nodded silently but with conviction.
"Fine. But if the shit hits the fan over here while you are out, you will need to get your ass back to this firm."
Harvey nodded quickly, without another word, grabbing his laptop and headed out of his office.
"About damn time," Jessica said, a smile playing on her lips as Harvey moved quickly out the door.
He needed to go to her and he needed to do it now. Now that he had allowed himself to admit it he didn't want to waste another minute. This wasn't about finding out what kind of lawyer he would be in ten years if she weren't around; it was about making sure he didn't find out what kind of man he would be in ten years if she were no longer an integral part of his daily life.
Somewhere along their ten-plus years together, the admiration and respect he felt for her became something more and he had rarely allowed himself to tread those waters, until now. He wasn't sure what she felt though but hoped that for putting up with all of his crap over all these years that it had to mean that she felt a little something. She had worked avidly at getting him to reconcile with Scotty and she claimed she wasn't in love with him but he supposed that if he were in her position, he wouldn't have admitted it a year ago either. He had never given her any reason to feel like she could tell him as much.
He stopped by Donna's desk on his way out and picked up a few items he needed. When he left the Pearson-Darby-Specter office, the moon had started to make its rise over Manhattan. He sped home and packed a light bag made his way to the garage and into his car. He sat in the driver's seat for a minute considering whether or not to turn the ignition. He wasn't sure how this would all play out or what the hell he would even do once he got there but he couldn't wait until next week for her to return to find out.
Stay tuned for the next chapter.