DON'T LET GO
In her mind it didn't happen like that. But life has always had a tendency of disappointing her in that department. How she writes the script in her mind and how life decides to play it are two very different things. And she should have known better by now.
She didn't want Harvey to beg. She really didn't. She just wanted him to show that he cared, at least as much as she did. She wanted him to fight for her, like she'd fought for him so many times. But he didn't. He let her go.
Norma called a few days later. Donna thought about ignoring the call, but some masochistic, curious part of her wanted to know what was going on since she got fired.
"He went to Atlantic City. I've heard he gambled a client's company. He's out of control," Norma told her over the phone. "Jessica is not happy. That man is a mess right now. He even took a day off. In the middle of the week!"
Donna heard the older woman talk and talk about how everything was chaotic since she left. Part of her felt proud. Part of her felt sick and crushed. She messed up, she knew that. She didn't mean to, though. She just didn't know what to do, so she just did, something, anything, to protect him. She was sorry that she had to do it but, if it saved Harvey's ass, she wasn't sorry she did it. And she knew that was wrong. That was so very wrong.
She thanked Norma for keeping her posted and for caring. Then she hung up and flopped on the cough with a sigh, regretting she didn't send the call to voicemail. Hearing about Harvey still hurt too much. The wound was still too fresh.
Her mind kept screaming at her: "He's in trouble. You've got to help him. He needs help. Go and help him. Fix this, Donna. Fix it. He needs you." But then she remembered the way he just stood there, by the elevators. How he didn't say nor did anything, how he just let her go. The betrayal was still so painful she had to close her eyes and hold her breath for a moment before she could even move again.
He had let her go.
"You what?" her sister shouted at her over the phone. "You're kidding, right? You went back to him? Just like that?"
"I didn't go back to him, Pam. I got my job back. Jeez, and here I was thinking you might be happy for me."
Donna looked outside through her living room window, trying to distract herself from the argument she was sure was coming. She couldn't remember why she thought it was a good idea to call her sister.
"I can't believe it! He's not worth it, Donna."
"He doesn't have to be worth it, Pam. He's just my boss," she replied, trying to convince Pam and herself that's all he was.
"Oh, come on, Donna. He's more than that and we both know it. Hell, everyone knows it!"
Donna didn't say a thing, the anger muting her. Her sister sighed loudly and Donna rolled her eyes in disgust.
"What did he say to convince you?"
"He said he needed me."
"Of course he does. You organize his entire life!"
"He said he can't be himself without me," she added evenly, trying not to reveal any emotion in her tone.
Pam raised a brow, then. She'd known the man for more than a decade. Harvey Specter admitting that Donna was an important part of who he was? That was not unexpected but utterly shocking. No wonder why her sister agreed to come back. Yet, Pam was still having trouble to believe this confession came from his heart and not from his self-interested mind. Maybe he said what he thought he had to say to get Donna back. It still shocked her that he would go there to get Donna back, though.
"You know I have nothing against Harvey," she said, unconvincing.
Donna laughed, "Of course not, Pam. You just despise the man, that's all."
"I don't despise him. I just… You've been in love with him for so long. And he knows it. And I keep seeing you suffer. And he does nothing about it. And, hell! He let you go! You were fired and he let you go! After thirteen years! I still can't get over that!"
"Neither can I!" Donna's voice cracked and she heard her sister sighing loudly again on the other end. She hated that her sister felt sorry for her. She hated that anyone could feel sorry for her. "Listen, I'm not in love with him, okay?"
"I'm not! I love him, yes. I've been by his side for so long, how could I not love him? But I'm not in love with him. He has his life."
"You mean his lovers," Donna's sister interrupted.
"Whatever, Pam. He has his life, I have mine."
"What life, Donna?" her sister asked, a hint of sorrow in her voice.
"Oh my God, I'm hanging up now."
The pitiful tone on her sister's voice made Donna want to punch her in the face through the speaker.
"Fine! You have a life. But, do you have time to live it? Outside your job?"
"What do you want me to say, Pam?"
"I want you to think about what fixing Harvey's life is doing to yours!"
Donna swallowed back a sob. It had not been a good idea to call her sister. Worst idea ever, actually. She didn't need this. She was tired and her heart could only take so much. It had taken way too much lately.
"I want you to think about what you want from that relationship. Because one day he'll find someone..."
"He's found a million 'someones' and I'm still around," Donna snapped, slightly proud of the fact.
"He'll find the one."
Donna laughed a halfhearted laugh, "Don't be corny."
"He'll want to keep you around because he's a selfish bastard."
"No, Pam. You don't despise him at all," she mocked, rolling her eyes.
"You'll have to see him marry someone else, have kids with someone else…" Pam continued, ignoring Donna's interruptions.
"Pam, stop it! I'm not in love with him, he can marry, have kids, join the Hare Krishna for all I care."
"You'll be alone, Donna! He'll be happy and you'll be destroyed. And it terrifies me! It terrifies me that my sister won't be able to get over this jerk, because this jerk is the only man she's allowed to get into her heart, and he's not worth it!"
Donna hung up. Tears were now a cascade down her face, and damn if she let her sister know it. She didn't even know if she was crying out of anger or self-pity. It was probably a mix of both.
Pam called again, but Donna sent it to voicemail. And she kept doing that until her phone eventually stopped ringing.
She cried. Cried until her eyes hurt so much she couldn't even open them. She went to bed then, and cried some more. She cried for all the years of loyalty to a person who abandoned her when she most needed him. For all the fights she fought for him. For all the times she risked her job for him. For all the times she had protected him without him even know it. She cried for herself, for caring about him so much more than he would ever care about her. For what a fool she was.
Her mind was desperately trying to find a reason, an excuse, but there was not excuse to overlook thirteen years of friendship. Thirteen years of them. She did screw up. She knew that. But he? He let her go!
Her phone buzzed. Donna didn't check it until next morning, when her eyes didn't hurt as much. A text message from Pam: "I love you. All I care about is you."
She went back to bed and cried some more. For all the text messages and calls she didn't receive from him. For what a damn fool she was.
Because she would have called. She would have fought for him. Hell, she would have picked up her things and left with him. She'd done it before. She would have done anything. Anything but let him go.
Harvey looked at her through the glass doors. Something was off. At first, he blamed it on the fact that Donna has been back for less than a week and they've gone through a lot. Getting rid of Hardman and all. But there was something else that he couldn't quite place. And he was getting a little bit anxious about it.
"Donna, my office," he said to the intercom.
Two seconds later she was standing by the door. Her eyes lacking their distinct spark. Something was definitely off.
"Yes?" she asked tiredly.
"What's going on?"
"I don't know. You tell me."
Donna tilted her head and sent him a confused look.
"Well, could you be more precise? There's a lot going on, in a lot of places, with a lot of people," she joked without much enthusiasm.
Harvey wasn't buying any of it. So he stood up and crossed the room to stand in front of her. Donna looked away, trying to put some kind of barrier between them.
"What the hell is going on?" he asked again. His eyes narrowed, his jaw tightened.
Donna looked at him then, defiantly. "Louis got a stray cat. Jennifer from accounting is being fired. Mark came out in Denise's party…"
"I don't give a shit about those people," he cut her. "I want to know what's going on with you."
Donna looked away again. "Nothing."
"Liar. I know you."
Donna scoffed and looked at him again, "Do you need something or not?"
"I need you to tell me what's going on."
"I just did."
"I need you to tell me the truth."
"It's late, I'm tired, and not in the mood for this, Harvey. So, if you need something, I'll get it for you before I go home. If not, I'm done for the day. Goodnight."
She turned around to leave.
"Oh, no. You're not leaving," Harvey walked up to block the door.
"You're kidnapping me now?" She mocked, putting her hands in her hips. Her expression was serious, though.
Harvey stared at her for a moment. And he saw it, the pain in Donna's eyes, the disappointment. He had never seen that look in her eyes, ever. Not like that. Not that bad. And he wanted to ignore it because he wasn't one to face feelings, he wasn't even one to show them. But a part of him was warning him that this was huge. He'd done something wrong, and Donna was slipping away. And he wouldn't… couldn't let that happen again.
"What did I do? If you don't tell me I can't fix it," he finally asked in a low voice.
Fix it. That's all she'd been doing. Alone. All this time.
She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. But it was too much, all the feelings, all the emotions of these past few weeks. She didn't mean to snap. She meant to leave his office and call it a day. She hoped that, like she said to Mike, the feelings would just go away. But he was there, in front of her, his eyes boring into hers, and the words were out of her mouth before she could even stop them.
"And since when do you want to fix anything between us? I'm here, ain't I? Everything is organized, and easy, and just the way you like it. And now you want what, exactly? My soul? Take it, I probably don't even need it. What's a soul for, anyway?"
"What else do you want from me, Harvey? What?"
"I want you."
There was an awkward silence between them. Almost as if they'd said more than they intended to.
"You want me? As in…?"
"As in you, Donna," Harvey muttered under his breath.
"I'm here already," she said matter-of-factly.
"You're not here. I don't know where the hell you went but you're not here and I want to know why. What changed?"
Donna blinked a few times to fight back the tears that were coming. She wasn't crying in front of Harvey. She wasn't.
"I need us to be okay!" he shouted, raising his arms.
"You need so many things! So many! What about what I need?" she shouted back, a single tear running down her cheek. She wiped it out quickly. She was not crying in front of Harvey!
"And what do you need?" his voice was so soft now it sent a shiver down her spine.
She looked away.
"Donna," he whispered, moving closer to her.
"Don't," she held a hand to stop him. "I'm tired. I'm going home, Harvey."
"Don't do this, Donna."
"You know exactly what. Pushing me away. Don't do that."
"I'm not…" she lied.
"You are, and I…" Harvey ran a hand through his hair. "Just don't. I need you."
"Yeah, you keep saying that."
"And I mean it. Whatever I did, tell me. I want us to be us."
"There's no us," there was no fight in her voice anymore. She sounded… resigned.
That made Harvey's blood boil with anger, and fear.
"The hell there's not! What did I do, Donna? I'll fix it!"
"How are you going to fix it if you don't even know what you broke!?"
They were lucky it was late and there wasn't anyone around anymore, because they were both yelling at this point.
"Broke? I didn't break a damn thing."
"Move, Harvey. I'm going home."
She waited for him to move out of her way. But he didn't.
"I fought for you," he breathed.
"You…" Donna bit her lip and let out a broken laugh, shaking her head in disbelief. "Right."
"I did. I fought for you."
"No, you didn't," her laugh was gone." You didn't. I committed a crime for you, Harvey, to protect you. And no, you didn't ask for it. And yes, I did screw up, I shouldn't have done it. But I did it for you. And what did you do for me? You let me go. After all these years, you just let me go."
"I didn't know what to do!" he let out. "And I didn't stop until I got you back."
"Yeah, you're good at that."
Donna walked over to stand by the windows, staring out the city lights and trying to keep it together. Harvey followed her, his reflection a shadow behind Donna's back.
"Don't, Donna. You know how I feel."
She turned around to face him.
"Feelings, Harvey? Since when do we talk about feelings?"
"We're doing it now."
"Well, we shouldn't."
"Then tell me how to fix this."
Another tear fell down her cheek and she spun around again to hide it, wiping it out as quickly as she wiped the first one, and cursing herself, and her eyes, and Harvey.
"Have you thought about it, Harvey? What if it had been you being fired?" her voice came out as a hoarse croak. "Me standing there, doing nothing. Me not calling you. Me showing up at your apartment only because I needed your help. Have you thought about it? Because I totally understand if you haven't. I mean, I'm sure you would have trouble imagining me letting you go like that. The worst part…" her voice cracked and he swallowed hard, fighting the sudden burning in his throat. "The worst part is that a month ago I would have laughed at whoever dared to tell me you would let me go without a fight."
"I didn't." He grabbed her arm and whirled her around. "Dammit, I didn't! I yelled at Jessica for hours! I told her things that…" he trailed off, his voice almost a whisper when he continued. "I went to my father's grave. I told him I lost you, I told him I didn't know what to do to get you back. I stood there like an idiot talking to a grave because I lost someone I cared about again and I just couldn't take it. So, don't tell me I didn't fight for you, Donna. Maybe you didn't see it but fighting is all I've been doing since you left."
Harvey pulled her into a fierce hug, making her cries muffled into his shoulder.
"Don't ever say there is no us, Donna. And don't you dare give up on me, ever," his voice coming out as a low whisper, his tone almost a plea.
They stood like that for a while, until Donna's sobs turned into light whimpers.
"Donna, tell me we're going to be okay," he said in a quiet voice. When she didn't answer he tried again. "Donna?"
"I need time."
"Okay," he said, letting his lips brush her hair.
Several minutes passed and none of them made a move to break their embrace. Donna sighed and thought that it was kind of funny that she had ruined Harvey's suit with her tears, but he didn't seem to care at all.
Harvey smiled. "I know."
"We don't hug."
"I'm sorry," he apologized but hugged her even tighter.
"You should be."
"Not about the hug, Donna."
He stared at their reflection in the windows and let out a small sigh of contentment.
"I care," he finally said.
"I do," he repeated more firmly.
"And what you need matters to me as much as what I need."
She pulled slightly away from him to look in his eyes. "You're being ridiculous now, Harvey," she rolled her eyes.
"I'm serious. What do you need?"
Donna sighed. "Well, I need to go home. And I need to get the longest hot bath ever."
He laughed. "Be careful with the details, Donna. I have an overactive imagination."
Harvey raised a brow and Donna pulled away a little bit further. "Okay, now I need you to stop hugging me while imagining me naked."
She pulled out of his embrace as Harvey gave her a mischievous look. "Bummer."
She smiled, then, genuinely, for the first time that day.
"We're going to be okay," he half asked.
Donna nodded slightly and Harvey smile grew wider.
"Stop imagining me naked, Harvey."
He laughed again, "I told you not to give me details."
"I said hot bath! That's hardly detailed."
Harvey shrugged, "Detailed enough for me."
She shook her head, still smiling, and then headed to the door. "Goodnight, Harvey."
"Donna?" he called out.
She turned around to meet his gaze. His expression was serious now, concerned.
"We're going to be okay," she reassured him.
"We are," he replied, and she knew it was not a statement but a promise.
She smiled at him and his face softened, his body relaxing.
He couldn't lose her. He didn't even want to think about losing her. Because he would never do. He would never let her go, he couldn't, he didn't want to, ever. She was part of him the way he was part of her. Losing her was out of the question. He would always fight with all he'd got. And he would make sure she believed that.
They were Harvey and Donna. They were going to be okay.