Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who read the story and liked, followed and/or left a review. You have no idea how much it means to me.
Chapter 2 is here, so I want to thank Karine and Jo for their help and generosity. Thank you for making it so much better.
Hope you enjoy!
Harvey takes a deep breath and opens the door to Donna's room. She appears to be sleeping, her breathing steady, but as soon as she hears someone opening the door she opens her eyes.
"Hey," she says in a low, and almost shy, voice. "Where have you been?"
"I… was talking to Dr. Robins." He says, looking straight into her eyes.
"Oh. Harvey, I'm so sorry, I…" Harvey can see the pain and guilt in her eyes. He cannot believe she is feeling guilty over something that didn't even happen. And that breaks his heart all over again.
"Hey, hey. Donna, it's okay. It's okay," he says approaching her bed as tears threaten to leave her eyes. "Donna, please, don't cry. It's okay. Everything will be okay, I promise." And as he says the words, he just expects them to be true. Maybe, just maybe, everything will be okay in the end.
"I don't know what is wrong with me, Harvey. I can't remember important things…".
"Donna… Nothing is wrong with you, okay? I talked to Dr. Robins and he said it's not uncommon what… you are going through after what happened to you."
"But, Harvey, I can't remember." She says with increased uneasiness.
"Donna," he cuts her off, "remembering is something I can do for you." His voice is firm but warm. "Why don't you try to get some rest now? I'll be here when you wake up and we can talk about it."
"Okay," Donna says, feeling the exhaustion in her body but a little less stressed after confessing to Harvey worries about her lack of memory. As she closes her eyes again she adds, "Harvey, would you ask the doctors where my wedding ring is? I guess they took it off when I arrived but I would prefer to have it back on my finger as soon as possible." And with that, Donna goes back to sleep leaving Harvey gaping at her.
"Rachel? Hey, I… I need your help." He starts his speech nervously.
"Sure, Harvey. Is Donna okay?" she asks with concern in her voice.
"Yes, she is. I… Could you please come to the hospital? I need to tell you something and I also need to leave the hospital for a while, but I don't want to leave her alone." He finally says thinking this is a talk they should have in person.
"I'll be there in 30 minutes." Rachel hurriedly answers, knowing Harvey doesn't ask for favors unless he doesn't have another choice.
"Thanks, Rachel," a sigh escaping his lips after ending the call.
While he waits for Rachel, he has some time to think about what he needs to do next. He needs a ring, he knows that much, but for a reason he can't wrap his mind around yet, he needs to buy it himself. Rachel would probably know what she likes more, but if he is gonna give Donna a ring he is damn sure he will be the one to choose it.
He starts formulating a plan in his mind. The ring will bring up a conversation about their wedding day, so he knows he needs to make something up. An intimate wedding, that's it. They wouldn't have a big wedding with many attendees, and he thinks that once he would have finally realized he wanted to marry her, he wouldn't have waited for too long. Maybe a quiet weekend in the Hamptons with Mike, Rachel, Louis, and their closest family. She would have worn a beautiful but simple white dress and she would have looked stunning. Maybe a small bouquet of lavender and the brightest smile he would have ever seen on her. She would have walked to him down the aisle and he would have been the luckiest man in the entire world.
He can't avoid smiling at the images he is conjuring in his head. They would have been really happy. And this is how Rachel finds him when she enters Donna's room.
"Hi, I came as fast as I could. Is she still okay?" She says in a low voice, failing to catch the expression on his face.
"Hey, Rachel. Yes, she is doing fine. Let's talk outside." Harvey answers, standing up to leave the room.
"I talked to Dr. Robins this morning and I have been trying to wrap my head around it since," he stops before revealing the truth. "Donna thinks we have been married for the last six months and—"
"She what?" Rachel interrupts "Harvey! Oh my god. Have you already talked to her? Have you told her the truth?" She asks anxiously.
"No, Rachel. And I'm not gonna tell her. No one is gonna tell her the truth. For now," he says firmly.
"What?" She questions, looking at Harvey with wide eyes. So Harvey proceeds to describe his conversation with Dr. Robins earlier that morning.
"Harvey… If you lie to her…" Rachel's words are full of sorrow. She has the same revelation he had after talking with the doctor: Donna and Harvey won't have a real chance after this.
"I know, Rachel. I know." And the sorrow in his voice tells her everything she needs to know.
Half an hour later he finds himself at Tiffany's, engaged with the shop assistant in a conversation about which wedding band would match the solitaire diamond engagement ring he just chose for her. He finally decides a plain white gold band will be perfect and, having asked Rachel Donna's size before leaving the hospital, he thinks he has everything covered. But just before paying for them, he freezes on the spot looking at his own hand. He is gonna need a wedding band too.
A few minutes, two rings in a small box, one on his own finger and a big hole in his bank account later, he smiles, quite proud of himself thinking she will love them.
The easiest part he has managed to do by himself, but he will need some help for the rest. In all other respects, Donna is doing fine and if she continues like this, Dr. Robins will send her home soon to finish her recovery there. His condo is where they would have moved if they were married, it's bigger and Donna loves the light and the view, but he is very aware that it doesn't look homey enough for Donna. He will need to change some furniture (the couch for sure) and bring most of Donna's clothes to his closet. Since they have been married for six months, Donna keeping her own apartment, for now, seems suitable for him, so he doesn't have to bring all her stuff to his place, but he won't mention it just in case.
He debates between rushing to his condo to do all the needed preparation or asking Rachel for help again. He finally decides the second option would be better. That will allow him to spend more time with Donna, and it would be better that Rachel will be the one digging through Donna's closet and drawers… where her underwear is and… Okay, he needs to stop thinking about that right now.
After the fourth ring, Rachels answers her phone. "Hey Harvey, did you find the one?" she asks smirking.
"Yes, I did. I'm coming back to the hospital now, but I need your help again. You need to make my place look like we have been living together there for a while."
"Say no more. I have Donna's apartment key. I will bring her stuff and will give your place a female touch. That condo has been screaming for it for a while. Oh, and that couch needs to go, NOW."
"Okay… Just.. try to…" he starts before thinking he better choose his battles. "Nevermind, make it look good for her. I'll give you the key and my card when I arrive at the hospital."
"Oh, don't worry about the key. I'll let myself in. But your card will be very much appreciated," she answers and quickly hangs up to start making some calls.
"Are you ever gonna tell me how you…?" Harvey starts before realizing there is no one on the other end of the line.
When he arrives at the hospital, he finds Rachel and Donna chatting animatedly. He looks at them from the door with a smile on his face. She is talking fast while Rachel looks at her with a wild expression on her face, nodding and laughing every now and then. He surprises himself thinking how it's possible that she looks so beautiful after surviving a car accident.
He is shaken from his thoughts when Rachell addresses him. "Hey Harvey, Donna was just telling me how eager she is to come back home."
"Oh, uhm, yes," he answers, uncomfortably walking forward into the room. "I'm sure you will be able to come home soon."
"Harvey, is everything okay? Is there something you are not telling me?" Donna asks worriedly.
"What? No, Donna. Of course not," he says trying to reassure her. "I know you don't want to be here, but let Dr. Robins decide when you can leave. And in the meantime, I have something for you," he finishes with a bright smile on his face that finally puts Donna at ease.
Rachel sees it as her cue to leave. She kisses Donna on the cheek and squeezes Harvey's arm before leaving the room to begin Harvey's condo transformation plan.
Harvey approaches Donna's bed extracting the two rings from his front pocket and showing them to her. She smiles at him and extends her hand to take them. He takes her hand in his and softly says "let me" before sliding the rings onto her finger. "There, where they belong," he says, locking eyes with her. Time stood still for a moment and he has never wanted to kiss her as much as he wants to kiss her right now.
"Thank you," she says and finally unlocks her eyes from his and glances at her rings. "They are beautiful. I know I should remember them, but it's nice to see them for the first time again." She touches them with her other finger and raises her gaze again to look at Harvey.
"I really want to go home, Harvey." Tears are attempting to pour from her eyes, but Harvey is not sure if they are sad or happy tears.
"I know Donna. I really want you to come home, too," he says sitting on the side of her bed while his arms circle her shoulders. He realizes he is not saying it for her sake but for his own.
They spent the rest of the day talking about anything and everything. She asks about her wedding day and Harvey tells her all about the day he had imagined earlier. He doesn't go into details but he makes sure she knows it was beautiful, that she was beautiful, and that they were happy and in love. At least, he doesn't have to lie about that.
He also tells her she shouldn't worry if she doesn't remember small details like where everything is at home or where to find her things. He assures her he will help her and they will change anything she is not comfortable with.
He receives a few messages from Rachel during the afternoon, asking for advice regarding decoration and furniture. His first impulse is to tell her to choose whatever she likes, but after a second thought he decides to dig a bit into Donna's likes before answering. He asks her questions about her favourite color, her side on the bed, the shape of the couch, and anything else he can without raising suspicions, which he realizes requires a herculean effort.
After a very specific question about the material of the bedsheets, she looks at him raising her eyebrows. "Harvey?" She doesn't need to say anything else.
"Em… I just… I… I just want everything to be perfect when you come back home. That's all." He stumbles while looking at his lap.
Donna takes his hand in hers and answers in a sweet voice, "You are everything I need at home to be perfect."
That's it. That is all it takes to make him confess everything to her. He cannot keep lying to her. He loves her and she will never believe him again if he keeps lying to her. He wants her at his home, he wants to marry her and he wants the damn bedsheets to be perfect for her, but he cannot let her feel deeply betrayed when she recovers her memory.
"Donna, I have something to tell you." He says looking at her. She can see he is dead serious, probably as serious as she has ever seen him, but she can also see other things in his look: love, uncertainty, guilt?
"Good afternoon, Donna. I have good news for you!" They have been so absorbed with each other that they didn't hear the doctor enter the room.
"Dr. Robins, hey," Donna recovers first and smiles at the doctor. "Please, tell me that the good news involves discharge papers."
"Yes, Donna. They do." Dr. Robins hands her some papers. "But, it doesn't mean you can go back to your normal life just yet. Bed rest is mandatory. Get all the rest you can and by rest, I also mean mental rest. I don't want you to work and stress yourself out. Please, keep in mind how important it is." The doctor finished his speech with a pointed glance at Harvey. He gets the message.
"However, I prefer you to spend tonight here. So yes, these are discharge papers, but for tomorrow morning. If everything remains okay, you will be home tomorrow before lunch."
"Oh, okay. I guess that is soon enough considering the circumstances." She doesn't try to hide the disappointment in her voice.
"Hey, it's just one night, Donna. And I will be here with you the whole time." Harvey intervenes, squeezing her hand. She smiles at him and at Dr. Robins, letting them know she is okay with it.
Donna manages to fall asleep early after they have dinner. Her body is tired, what with the extra effort to heal itself added to the painkillers she has been taking that make her drowsy.. However, for Harvey, it's a very different story.
He took advantage of her being cradled in the arms of Morpheus to make some necessary calls. Firstly, he calls Rachel. After making sure everything at home is okay, he asks for some pictures of what she has been doing to not look too surprised when he arrives to his, their, home. When he sees Donna's clothes taking up three-quarters of his walk-in closet he couldn't avoid groaning. He will get used to it, he supposes. Rachel's choice of couch is a great one, he has to admit. It is elegant and looks comfortable. He finds himself imagining them both watching Survivor and cuddling under the blanket. Stop! He reminds himself.
Next, he calls Louis. He knows Rachel has called him to explain everything and he is on board because, in his own words, there is nothing in this world he wouldn't do for Donna, but he just wants to make sure he understands the situation.
And finally, the most difficult one. Donna's parents. He doesn't have a good relationship with her father and he has only met her mother once at that god-awful dinner party, but it has to be done. He decides her mother is the safest option and he calls her. Clara's impulse is to catch the first train to New York to see her daughter, but after what seems like an era, he makes her understand that it's enough that he and her best friends have to lie to her to her face, so he hopes he can avoid making them do that as well. He assures her that he will get Donna to call her the following day and let them know what happened and that she is okay.
It's past midnight when Harvey sits again in Donna's room and watches her sleep. Tomorrow will be a difficult day.
After a few hours of bad sleep, Rachel's visit, who brought Donna a change of clothes, and all the papers signed, they are finally leaving the hospital. Ray waits for them in the parking lot to bring them home.
"Good morning, Donna. I'm so glad to see you this morning. You look well," the driver compliments her with a warm smile.
"Good morning, Ray. I'm pretty sure I have been better, but thank you for the compliment." She answers sliding into the back seat.
Harvey closes her door and rounds the car to sit next to her. After fastening his belt, he bends his body to her and whispers in her ear "you are always stunning." He resumes his previous position just in time to notice Donna blushing.
"Thank you," she answers in a low voice sending him a meaningful look.
When he opens his condo's door he is rooted to his spot. Rachel has sent him pictures the night before but the place is incredibly better in person. The new couch is the best thing he sees but everything is full of details. There are new decorations, pictures of him and Donna, their families and friends. Donna's favourite books are strategically situated and there is a very appealing blanket on the back of the couch. There is also a nice smell in the air that makes him feel… at home.
"Mmmm I have missed the smell. It's good to be home," she comments walking forward into the room.
He makes a mental note to ask Rachel for the name of the air freshener (surely the one that Donna has at her place) and to thank her in some way. He doesn't do gifts, but maybe this is a good time to start.
"Okay, why don't you go and sit on the couch? I'll bring your bag to the room and we'll order some food for lunch," he says hoping to have a chance to look at his room and closet before she gets to see them.
After lunch and a long nap on their new couch, Donna goes to take a shower finding her shampoo and conditioner on Harvey's shower caddy and her blowdryer in the cabinet. Harvey is again thanking Rachel in his head. Donna is having some difficulty raising his arm over her head because of the bruised ribs and Harvey offers to help. He has never blow dried a woman's hair before, but he definitely wants to do it again for Donna. The moment is so intimate and special, he slides his fingers through her silky hair with the warm air caressing them. When he cannot prolong the moment any longer he stops the dryer and places a kiss on the top of her head.
"Done. And now, let's watch Survivor!" He says smiling at her.
"Survivor? You cannot be serious." And she looks extremely alarmed, Harvey thinks.
"Donna. What do you think we do every Tuesday night?" He looks at her with wide eyes and with a fake offended look.
"Oh my God, Harvey, I was hoping for something more sophisticated."
"Well, not on Tuesday night, babe."
Babe. It's difficult for Harvey to determine which one of them looks more surprised about his slip up. He is definitely surprised, but not displeased and she doesn't look upset either, so… another thing he could get used to.
They order pizza and watch the show sitting on the couch. However, he is not sure how, they end up laying on it, with his head on the headrest and hers on his shoulder as they both fall asleep content with the TV playing in the background.
A couple of hours later, Harvey is awakened by soft kisses on his jaw. Donna woke up a few minutes earlier with Harvey's arms hugging her protectively.
"Let's go to bed, babe." She says standing up and taking his hand in hers. Harvey hums contentedly as they walk hand in hand to their bedroom thinking how good babe sounds coming from her lips too.
Thanks so much for reading. Reviews are more than welcome :)