A/N: Written for a prompt at suits meme over on lj...also fills the 'unrequited pining' square on my h/c bingo card. also, this is my first Suits fanfic EVER, which is super sad considering how much I love this show!
Five Ways Donna and Harvey Never Met…
The first day of kindergarten, Harvey Specter wets his pants during class. He's sitting on one of the red chairs (and Donna isn't the slightest bit jealous even though red is her favorite color and she got stuck in a yellow chair) and one second everything's normal and the next, there's a sound like water and then there's a puddle on the floor and Harvey's face is bright red.
The kids next to him start to freak out, jumping up from their chairs with wide eyes and horrified expressions , and some of them start to laugh. Donna stays in her seat, two away from Harvey, and watches him closely. His lower lip is trembling and his eyes look all watery, but he isn't crying and his fists are clenched at his side. The teacher comes and directs the class to the play-area of the classroom while her helper ushers Harvey toward the door. As Donna watches him go, head still held high, she decides that she rather likes Harvey Specter.
The next day, Harvey is back like nothing ever happened and Donna sits in a chair right next to him even though no one else wants to be near him. He eyes her suspiciously.
"Why are you sitting next to me?" He asks. Donna shrugs.
"'Cause I want to."
Harvey turns back to the coloring page he's working on.
"You didn't cry yesterday," Donna says. "I would have cried."
Harvey looks at her again then starts coloring before speaking.
"It was an accident," he says. "Not like I meant to. Crying would've made me seem like a baby."
"Yeah," Donna answers. She decides not to point out that some people might think peeing your pants is more babyish than crying. She also decides not to point out that every time she cries, she gets what she wants. Maybe it's different for boys.
"Besides," Harvey says after a pause, "The only thing I was mad about was my pants."
Donna frowns. "Your pants?"
Harvey nods and grins. His teeth are white and small, like the little pearls Donna's mother wears.
"Clothes make the man," he says.
Donna shakes her head and thinks about that for a minute. "You're weird," she says finally.
"You like me though," Harvey laughs, poking her in the side.
"Maybe a little," Donna answers, smiling. "Let's be best friends."
Harvey spits into his hand and holds it out to her. Donna mirrors the action and they shake.
"Deals are serious," Harvey says. "This means forever."
Donna's eyes widen. "Even when we're grown-ups?"
Both children take a moment to recognize the seriousness of the situation before Harvey nods seriously.
"Even when we're grown-ups," he says firmly.
Harvey smiles again and Donna smiles too and thinks that she's very glad they're best friends, and also that she might love Harvey just a little bit.
The bar is kind of a shabby one, but Donna just got fired—again—and she needs a drink and this was the first bar she found. She sips angrily at her beer and eyes the other patrons of the bar, half-heartedly wondering if any of them would be down for a one night stand. She typically doesn't go for the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am situation, but she's in a foul mood and hot, angry sex sounds like a pretty good idea for once. The bar is occupied mostly by drunks and bums, but there's one guy who looks like a college student, dressed in a slightly shabby suit with perfectly coifed hair who looks like a good target.
She sidles up to him, swaying her hips as she walks, and is about to open her mouth to purr something seductive and sexy when the man shakes his head and laughs.
"What?" She demands, offended.
"You're just about as subtle as a gunshot," he says, laughing again. "You desperate for some action?"
Donna huffs and clenches her teeth.
"No," she snaps. The man looks at her appraisingly.
"Yes you are, you're pissed off about something and want to get laid to release some tension. I'm the only guy in the bar you even considered."
Donna scowls and turns away, embarrassed and pissed and a little disappointed.
"Hey," the man says. "I never said no."
Donna flips him the bird and walks outside.
There are two men waiting for her in the shadows, moving to stand in front of and behind her. Donna tenses, cursing herself for using the side door alone and fingers the mace in her purse. The man in front of her has a knife, and she isn't sure she can take them both out before one of them hurts her. She takes some calming breaths, channels her brief martial arts training and every kung fu movie she's ever watched, and prepares to give it her all.
And then the man from the bar, with the perfect hair and the adorable smile, steps behind the guy with the knife, hands raised.
"Hey guys, let's take it easy, huh? I've called the police, so why don't you just let her go and we'll let you have a head start?"
This seems to alarm the men rather than talk them down, though, and before Donna really knows what's going on, the one with the knife has turned on her rescuer, and the second is nearly on top of her. She doesn't even hesitate, spraying him full in the face with her mace. He yelps and falls to his knees, so Donna rushes toward the other two men. Her would-be rescuer is on the ground, arms up in an attempt to block his face from the punches raining down on him.
"Hey!" Donna shouts, and when her attacker turns, she elbows him in the face while simultaneously sending a knee to his crotch. The man exhales sharply and falls to his knees, and Donna takes the opportunity to send an uppercut to his chin. He drops boneless to the ground, and Donna doesn't try to keep the smirk off her face.
"Did you see that?" She asks, turning to her rescuer. She's proud of knocking the guys out, but even prouder that she did it in front of Nice Hair Guy.
Unfortunately, Nice Hair Guy seems pretty distracted. He's hunched over on the ground, one hand clamped to the bottom of his rib cage, and there's blood oozing out. There's a cut over his eye, too, trickling blood down his face, and his lip's swollen. A black eye is already starting to show.
"Shit," Donna hisses, hurrying to his side. "Hang on, I'll call 911."
He nods tersely and attempts to smile at her, but it's more of a grimace. By the time Donna's done calling, more people have come out of the bar to see what's happened, and a rather imposing fellow has taken up position over the would-be-attackers, so Donna sits down next to Nice Hair Guy and pulls out a handkerchief from her purse (because she like to be prepared for anything) and holds it out to him. He blinks up at her, his expression somewhere between bleary and confused.
Donna sighs and lifts his red-covered hand, presses the kerchief against the slash across his ribs, then pushes her hand over his.
"Th-thanks," he whispers.
"I should probably thank you," Donna answers, determinedly not thinking about the blood that's still spilling out of the man.
"Didn't need me," he says, laughing painfully. "Had it under control."
"You provided a distraction," Donna says. "That was pretty key."
"Mm," the man says.
"Hey," Donna says, pressing a bit harder. "Talk to me. What's your name?"
"Harvey," the man says. Donna snorts.
"Harvey?" She repeats. "Your parents hate you?"
"Nah," he murmurs, nostrils flaring as he rides out a flash of pain. "Big Jimmy Stewart fans."
Donna thinks a minute before nodding. "There was that movie, called Harvey."
"Yep," Harvey says. He coughs a little and hisses in pain.
"So you're named after an imaginary bunny," she says.
"Hey," Harvey protests. "He was real."
Donna laughs as the sirens of an ambulance and cop car finally become audible.
"Looks like your ride's just about here," she says.
"Yeah," Harvey murmurs. "Gonna get hell for this at work."
"Where do you work?" Donna asks. Harvey manages a grin.
"I work at the DA's office," he says. Donna cocks an eyebrow.
"You need an assistant?" She asks.
"You offering?" He counters.
She shrugs. "I might be."
"Are you any good?" He asks.
She scoffs and rolls her eyes. "Honey, I'm the best you'll ever have," she says. Harvey chuckles, then winces in pain.
"Okay. Done deal," he says as the paramedics come over. They're loading him into the back of the ambulance and the cops are approaching to take her statement when Donna runs over to him.
"Hey," she says, holding out a piece of paper. He takes it from her with blood-stained hands. "That's my number. Seriously call me, okay?"
Harvey looks at the paper then at her, then nods.
"Okay," he says, grinning crookedly.
Donna hopes he'll call and thinks that she might love Harvey a little bit.
Donna isn't ashamed to be at a Star Trek Convention no matter what anyone says, and she's definitely not ashamed to be dressed up like an Orion slave girl. That doesn't mean she wants everyone at work to know, though, and she's keeping an eye out for anyone she recognizes so that she can make a quick exit if she needs to.
It's during one of her many scans of the crowd that she sees him- the perfect Captain Kirk. There are tons of men walking around in his classic yellow and black outfit, most of them overweight and unattractive, but this man- he's got swagger and confidence and the Kirk hair, and he just exudes awesome. He's totally out-Shatnering Shatner.
And then he catches her eye, flashes a smile at her, and winks.
Donna feels slightly flustered and is abruptly glad for the green body paint she's wearing that will hide her blush.
He walks over to her with precise movements, with confidence and ease borne of an amazing amount of self-confidence.
"Hi," he says, smirking as he reaches her side.
"Hey," Donna answers, suddenly acutely aware that aside from the paint, she's basically only wearing a bikini.
"Harvey Specter," the man says, sticking his hand out. Donna shakes it with a smile.
"Donna Paulsen," she answers.
"Well Donna, are you doing anything for dinner tonight?"
Donna considers saying no for a second just because it's so damn cliché that she's getting picked up by Captain Kirk, but Harvey smiles again and she can't say no because she maybe loves Harvey just a little bit.
Every day after school, Donna walks down to the baseball field and crouches behind the bushes to watch Harvey Specter practice pitching. The season's long over by now, but Harvey still practices every single day, throwing ball after ball over the home plate. Donna's been watching him for a week or two now, squatting awkwardly behind the bushes growing wild behind the fence rising up behind home plate, but today is the first time she's ever worked up the courage to actually talk to him.
"Hey," she says, walking up to the baseball diamond. She's timed it so that she comes a few minutes after Harvey's already started in an attempt to make it seem like she hasn't been stalking him lately. Harvey spares a brief glance at her before throwing another ball.
"You the one that's been watching me?" He asks. Donna clears her throat.
"Hmm," Harvey says. He throws his last ball, then starts to pick up the ones that are scattered around behind home plate. Donna puts her backpack down and crouches down next to him, reaching for a baseball.
"You need to keep your elbows about the same height," she says, picking up a second ball. Harvey freezes for a second, frowning.
"What?" He asks.
"When you're in the cocked position," she explains. "You're bringing your left elbow up too high. It's throwing you off."
Harvey resumes picking up balls then straightens, cracking his back.
"What are you, a pitching expert?"
"No," Donna says, picking up the last ball and handing it to Harvey. "But my dad likes baseball a lot and he's taught me a thing or two."
Harvey doesn't say anything for a second, thoughtfully fingering a ball before he looks up.
"So my elbows are wrong, huh?"
"Yeah," Donna says. "Should be more like this." She demonstrates, bending her left leg in front of her, right extended behind, right arm cocked and ready behind her head. Harvey silently inspects her form before nodding and throwing another ball, careful to keep his left elbow raised.
"Better," Donna says, grinning. She stoops to pull a glove from her backpack and holds it up. "How'd you like to throw to a catcher instead of a fence?"
Donna grins and squats down over the plate, smacking her glove. Harvey smiles back and rockets a ball into the glove. It hurts her hand a tiny bit, and she laughs.
They practice until school gets out, and then they practice every day over the summer, playing catch in the park until the sun makes their shadows grow long and the cicadas start to sing. Harvey talks about his big dreams to play in the major leagues. Donna doesn't know what she wants to do yet, but she's organized and can be scary, so she's thinking maybe something where she can boss people around. Harvey laughs and agrees.
By the time baseball starts up again senior year, Harvey's throwing curveballs and fastballs like a pro. They're both convinced it's his year, and their prediction proves right when Harvey gets the starting pitcher position. They still throw a ball around a couple times a week in between homework and practice, and Donna goes to every home game and even away games when she can make it.
They both celebrate when the team qualifies for Districts, then Regionals, and then they're going to the State Championship game. Harvey is more excited than Donna has ever seen him, picking her up and swinging her around after the game. Donna wants to kiss him then, just plant one on his coy lips, but she doesn't.
She's in the front row of the bleachers at the championship game, smashed up between strangers because Harvey's parents were too busy to go to his game (and that pisses her off so much but she keeps her mouth shut for Harvey's sake) and wearing a homemade T-shirt adorned with Harvey's number.
She screams herself hoarse through the first three innings, exhilarated and excited as Harvey pitches the game of his life. Part way through the fourth, he grimaces after a pitch and rotates his shoulder around, face pinched in pain. Donna frowns and leans forward, watching tight-lipped as he clenches his jaw, takes a deep breath, and throws.
The batter connects, looks like a fly ball, but Donna's attention is focused solely on Harvey, who is bent over, left hand holding his right shoulder with a white-knuckled grip. The coach rushes onto the field, crouching over to see Harvey's face, then helping him stumble off the field.
Donna stands, ignoring the angry shouts behind her, and climbs over all of the people between her and the aisle. The coach knows her, and she's pretty sure she'll be able to talk her way into the locker room if anyone tries to stop her. No one does; in fact, the coach looks relieved when she shows up.
"He's in a bad way," Coach says. "I've gotta go back out there, but he needs you."
"Of course," Donna says. As if she would be anywhere else.
Harvey is sitting on a bench, holding an ice pack to his bad shoulder. His head is hanging and he's trembling slightly as if trying to hold back tears.
"Hey," Donna says, sitting next to him.
"Hey," Harvey says. His voice is slightly croaky, and he sniffles. "I fucked up."
Donna shakes her head.
"No, you didn't," she says. "You threw out your shoulder. That could have happened to anyone."
"But today," Harvey moans, shoulders drooping even further than before. "Damn it."
"Hey," Donna says, rubbing his back. "You kicked ass, Harvey. Seriously."
"Yeah," Harvey mutters under his breath. "I guess so."
"Okay, stop pouting," Donna says, punching Harvey in the good arm. "No one wants to be around you when you're pissy."
"And by no one you mean…"
"Me," Donna says. "I mean me."
Harvey smiles tiredly. There are little crinkles at the corners of his eyes.
"I don't want you to not be around," Harvey says, then frowns, "if that makes sense. I want you there, you know? You can be my agent or something when I make it to the big leagues."
"What if you decide not to play baseball?" She asks.
"Then I guess you'll just have to follow me wherever I go," he answers.
Donna frowns and puts her hands on her hips.
"What, you expect me to just follow you around, huh?"
"Yes," Harvey says, grinning. "You don't have anything better to do."
Donna laughs and punches him again and he laughs too, until he accidentally jars his shoulder, and Donna thinks that she maybe kind of loves him and that she would probably follow him anywhere.
Donna's browsing through a record store. She has no idea what she wants and is content to peruse slowly, absorbing the laid back vibe of the little store. There's some patchouli scented incense burning somewhere, the smoke wafting up and tickling her nose. She suspects that the cashier is stoned.
"That's a good album," someone says. Donna startles and nearly drops the record, then regains some composure and plasters her most insincere smile on. She has to glance quickly to the record since she forgot what she was holding; it's a Led Zeppelin album, that appears to be titled "Zoso."
"Oh, yeah," she says. "It's great."
The man laughs and sticks a hand out. "I'm Harvey," he says. Donna eyes his hand and doesn't move. Harvey smiles and tucks his hand in his pocket.
"You like classic rock?"
Donna shrugs. "I'm not really sure what I'm looking for," she answers. Harvey nods.
"Well, do you know what genre you're looking for?"
Donna shakes her head, slightly embarrassed. Maybe she should just buy Zoso or whatever and call it good.
"Do you like jazz?" Harvey asks.
"I've never listened to it much," Donna confesses, feeling her blush growing deeper. "My parents were kinda stuck on classical."
Harvey nods slowly. "I see," he says, then leans forward conspiratorially. "Well, Nameless Woman, jazz will going to change your life if you let it."
Donna frowns cynically. "Really."
"Yep," Harvey says, flipping through a few records before pulling one out. He holds it gently, almost…caressingly.
"This," he says, "is Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. It is the single sexiest album that has even been created."
"Uh-huh," Donna says. Harvey grins.
"No, really. You put this on during a romantic candlelight dinner and you're getting laid, guaranteed."
Donna laughs and shakes her head. "Is that what you mean by life-changing?" She laughs. "You've gotten laid more since pretending to like jazz?"
Harvey shakes his head gravely.
"There is no 'pretending' about this, Nameless Woman. Jazz makes you see life in a different way. It speaks to you in a way that no other music ever has or ever will."
Donna laughs nervously. "Ooookay then," she says.
Harvey smiles again and hands her the record, then pulls out a business card.
"Look, I can tell I'm freaking you out. Why don't you take this home and listen to it, then give me a call? We can go out to coffee and talk about it sometime."
"Yeah. I'll do that," Donna says. He doesn't mean it, she really doesn't, but then Harvey looks at her and his eyes are twinkling and he's got these cute dimples and he just seems so damn sincere…
"My name's Donna," she says finally.
"Donna," Harvey says thoughtfully. "That suits you."
She watches him walk away, then takes the record up to the cash register.
"Jazz, huh? Cool man," the cashier says.
"Yeah," Donna says, fingering the business card. "It's pretty cool."
That night she listens to Miles Davis and cries a little bit and realizes that she might be just a tiny bit in love with Harvey.
…And One Way They Did
Donna is typing loudly, nostrils flared and glaring at the screen. Her boss Nolan is a jackass, and even worse, he's a jackass who doesn't realize Donna has potential to do anything other than answer the phone and send e-mails to tell his wife he'll be late.
"Donna! Almost finished with that e-mail? Wouldn't want the wife to worry, huh?" Nolan rolls around the corner with a blinding smile on his face, fairly chirping. Donna wants to vomit a little bit.
"Yeah, almost done," she says, plastering a smile on her face.
"Great!" Nolan says, beaming. "I'm heading out to lunch, see you in an hour!"
"See you," Donna mumbles under her breath. As soon as he's out the door she allows her head to smack against her desk.
"That looked fun," a voice says, and then a man with great hair and a better suit walks up to the desk.
"If by fun you mean 'mind-numbingly dull,' then yes," Donna says, "it was extremely fun."
The man grins.
"I actually meant more like 'vomit inducing,'" he says. Donna smiles back.
"I like you," she says, leaning over the desk to extend a hand. "Donna Paulsen."
"Harvey Specter," the man says, shaking her hand. "I'm with the DA's office."
"Ooooh," Donna says. "You're here to talk to Mr. Rafferty? Because as you probably saw, he just left."
"No," Harvey says, leaning forward. His cologne smells sexy. "I'm here to steal you."
"To what?" Donna asks blearily. She's not sure if she's more confused by his question or stunned by his beauty.
"I'm looking for an assistant, made a few phone calls, and heard you're the best." Harvey grins at her again and leans in closer. His breath smells like cinnamon and his teeth are basically perfect .
"And I only want the best," he whispers. Donna wants to fan herself, but manages to restrain herself.
"Well," she says. "I'm the best. I am definitely the best. But you start using me as a glorified 1950s era secretary and I'll quit. First I'll kick your ass, and then I'll quit."
"Don't worry," he says. "I like you, I like your attitude, and I want you to speak your mind. You start acting like a glorified 1950s era secretary and you'll be out."
"Just let me give my two weeks' notice," she says.
It's only a few months into her new job with Harvey and it's already the best job she's ever had. Harvey treats her like an equal and actually relies on her, and he takes Donna's snark and fires back with his own.
Basically, it's perfect.
Except that she loves him.
"Donna," Harvey says, walking up to her. "How was last night? You went to the opera, right?"
"It was great," Donna says, smiling. "It was a great way to spend my birthday."
"Good," Harvey says, producing a package. "You didn't think I'd forget, did you? Happy birthday, Donna."
He walks back into his office as Donna fingers the slightly messily wrapped box. She rips it open to reveal a very expensive looking bottle of wine, and a little card that read 'Thanks for being my right hand man and for keeping me sane. –Harvey."
Donna sets the wine down on her desk and shakes her head. She fingers the card for a second, looking at his neat, blocky handwriting, and realizes that she can't be his right hand man and his lover at the same time. She has to make a choice.
So when Harvey comes back from lunch with her favorite sandwich from the little bistro up the street, she takes it and smiles and makes fun of him a little, but stubbornly tamps down the little part of her that gets flustered every time he glances at her.
As time goes on, though, damn if she doesn't love him just a little bit.