AN: I do not own.
Gilda returns two days later. It isn't the best timing under the circumstances, but one day was too soon and she doesn't know when he'll vanish again. She doesn't want to miss her chance.
"Hi Harvey," she says quietly. Behind glass he does not move, does not look up, does not give any indication of hearing. Maybe that's fair.
Gilda shifts where she sits. The guards here are very careful—personal belongings get checked at the entrance, visitors are to remain supervised at all times. She wishes they'd let her keep her purse so she'd have something to hold onto. As is, she just clenches her hands in her lap.
"I wanted to tell you I'm sorry," says Gilda. She hesitates, carefully uncurls her fingers. "I'm sorry."
Although his expression doesn't change, she can see Harvey exhale heavily through his nose. Even now, she can't help but find his body English reassuring. This should disturb her. It doesn't.
When she continues, it's like someone else is speaking. "I'm not sure what to do anymore. It feels like we only hurt each other."
A beat. He still won't turn to face her. Sometimes she blames him for this. Right now, she doesn't.
"I'm not leaving," she tells him, and it's a little louder than she'd meant it to be. More subdued, she adds, "I don't want you to leave either."
"It's not up to me," answers Harvey. The words come slow, in the rasp he uses on t.v. to address the public these days. He lifts his right hand and she sees the coin, catches her breath as it moves gently between his fingers.
Finally, he looks. There are dark circles under his good eye, a tension in his brow and mouth that didn't used to be there. It hurts when he smiles. "How about you tell me what's right or wrong this time, hm?"
She sighs. "No, Harvey." A beat. Then, she admits "Even if I wanted to, I can't."
Moments pass. His arm falls, tucking the coin out of view once again. His eyes drift, expression shifting to something uncomfortably neutral. "Then I'm afraid I can't promise you anything. That's just the way it is."
"I know," she replies, and she hates the way her voice shakes. Gilda breathes, in and out.
When she's ready, she tells him "I miss you."
His good eye closes. He doesn't answer.
"Sometimes I listen to your music while I'm working. I've memorized a few songs, but it sounds terrible when I join in."
His lips twitch. The smile on her own face feels tight, but it isn't unhappy. Not completely.
"I might have stolen your office."
He raises his eyebrow slightly. Without missing a beat, he asks "You didn't redecorate, did you?"
"A little," she replies, "I added some neon and tiger stripes."
The grin that sweeps over his mouth is warm, familiar. He dazzles her with his teeth, ghost of a white knight. She tries to memorize the way his eye creases around the edges.
When Gilda laughs, it fills her chest. "I thought you'd like that."
"I like your taste."
"Mm," she says, looking into her lap. Her expression softens. "It cheers me up, sometimes. Being there."
It takes several moments for him to answer. "I'm glad," he says, and the kindness in it twists like a knife.
She meets his gaze, dark brown against blue. "You haven't died, Harvey. Come home."
Silence. Then, barely more than a whisper, he says "I miss you too, Gilda."