Written for the Comment Fic-a-Thon, for the prompt massage (which I used liberally).
where they touch for lizook12
This is where it starts.
In the DA's office, they are still not best friends, barely even acquaintances really, but they have a heat about them, a desire to be friends and more, but mostly they want to stand toe-to-toe and one-up the other.
Despite that, Donna likes to be there for him, bringing him coffee when he needs it, stealing glances at the files until he concedes that she's good too and that yes, she can look too.
He is already planning to steal her away and to bring her to Pearson Hardman, although she isn't aware of these plans. He doesn't make promises until he can keep them, and he's in precarious positions with both Jessica and Cameron Dennis, because he's not really doing what either of them want (which will be his trademark soon, but he doesn't know that yet).
"What's wrong?" Donna asks, leaning on the door.
Harvey looks up from the file. There's a streak of ink on his cheek, which makes her giggle.
"You're a mess," she tells him.
"Seriously, though. What's up?"
He grunts. "Files. Of course. This just isn't making sense."
She winds through the cramped office to come right behind his shoulder. He looks back at her, his neck protesting the movement.
"That's not for the DA," she says.
He hisses out a breath and then says, "They're for Jessica Pearson. She wants to see what I can handle."
She frowns sympathetically, and when he drops his gaze, she moves closer to him. He can feel her breath on his hairline, exciting and a little desperate now that they're so cramped together. He can also feel how they're both ignoring it.
"Do you want some help?"
Harvey considers it momentarily. Part of him wants her help because she'll probably find exactly what he needs and then will help him twist into a perfect case. Part of him wants her help because her dress is fitted and a little short, and he wants to see her creamy, but freckled legs stretched out in front so that he can trail them with his eyes (he has always imagined that she got a lot of those freckles in Nantucket, but he doesn't know why, and he has wondered if she goes back there ever, and if she ever loosens her bikini top to let the tan and the freckles be even on her back, and if she ever looks to see if the beach is empty and if she ever turns over and bares herself to the sun).
"No," he says finally. "If she's going to hire me, I'm going to have to be prepared, right? I'll figure it out myself."
She smiles a little, and for some reason he feels like he made the right choice.
"Okay," she says, and suddenly her fingers are digging into his right shoulder blade, her palm pressing, like a slight massage. It lasts just under half a minute—it's quick, barely anything, but it's a gesture of solidarity (and a touch that he suddenly craves very much more of). "Good-night, Harvey." She hesitates. "Call me if you need anything, okay?"
"Yeah," he says, shoulder still stinging with the electricity of her touch.
For their first charity ball as partner, Donna wears a backless dress. Harvey is stunned before he really registers the backless part, and after that, he does everything he can to stay by her side, as inappropriate as it is.
"Harvey," Jessica tuts, "can you please go work on our potential clients?"
As much as she poses it as a question, it is definitely not a request. Harvey sulks away (but straightens immediately, because no potential senior partner acts like that in front of his clients or the rest of the partners.
He does his rounds, and keeps one eye on Donna the entire time. It isn't hard; her back is an expanse that draws his attention no matter what, and her hair, tied up as it is, radiates with all the glow of the dimmed lights. At some point, though, he actually gets drawn into a worthwhile conversation, and hands his card out a couple of times. And as much as he wants to focus on Donna, he knows what has to come first. He loses track of her.
Half an hour later, they meet at the bar.
"Gin and tonic," she says to the bartender and then "Hey" to Harvey.
"You okay?" To the bartender, "Scotch, on the rocks."
"Louis," she sighs.
They accept their drinks, and walk to a corner, where she leans against the wall a little. He takes a sip. It burns.
"What did he do?" Harvey asks.
She shrugs, and then moves her neck from side to side. "As much as I enjoy teasing him, he's not that bad. And I'll admit we have a little bond over Shakespeare."
"Little? I know you guys went and saw Hamlet together four times last season. Seriously, isn't that like ten unnecessary hours with Louis. Who does that?"
"Shut up, Harvey!"
He laughs hard, his eyes focused on the pouting frown of her lips. He curbs the desire to kiss her, to take that endearing look away and turn it into something even more warm and wanting.
"Okay, so now that we've established that you're secretly in love with Louis," he shoots her an asshole grin, "why're you so pissed at him?"
"Because drunk Louis is a lot more lecherous than normal Louis," she grumbles.
"What, Queen Donna is tired of getting hit on? Chin up, kid, you might get another marriage proposal."
"I hate you, Harvey." She downs her drink quickly, and shoots him a hot glare.
"Aw, come here," he says, and holds a hand out. She eyes him tentatively, but moves closer. He puts his drink down, and focuses on the soft skin at the nape of her neck. Slowly, he places his fingers there, and presses in. Her gasp feels like a reward. He draws a few circles with his thumbs, pushing in and out. He can't look at anything but the pale column of her neck, which slides into that gorgeous back. Tension ripples in and out of the muscles; he keeps pushing.
"Better?" he rumbles.
"Mmmhm," she says, and that's when he realizes how dangerous this territory is (what started out as a joke feels like an invitation to go where he always felt like he will end up, as wrong as it is).
He doesn't touch Donna often anymore. They can't distract themselves anymore (and they can't give in to the things that they want to give in to). There have been years where things have been subdued and easy.
There's a veneer on them and a blockade between them, which he can breach with jokes, but not meaningful glances or words or, especially, touch. They know each other, but they hold their reins tightly. Sometimes he wishes differently, but then he looks where they are, and how long they've lasted, and maybe it's for the better, he thinks.
Even her leaving and coming back was tinged with anger and eventually banter. He barely told her depth of his need for her. He didn't have to. She knew how far she could push it, until it would go into that place that they would never, ever get out of.
But now that she is back, he wonders (about a lot of things, of course, like who will win the World Series, and if Mike really can get through all the work he gives him, and if Louis should be let in such a little, but mostly where are they going and what, just what, would happen if he really touched her).
Mike and Jessica leave after the champagne.
"Don't do anything stupid," Harvey says to Mike, remembering his own days of youth, when victory gave him highs.
"Uh, yeah. Okay?"
"See you Monday."
He watches Mike leave, and when he turns, Donna has her eyebrow raised, laughter in all the lines of her face.
"Some fatherly advice, huh, Harvey?"
"Professional advice, Donna. What if he keeps getting high? We made a deal about it, way back when, remember?"
"Right." She pops the 't' and begins to giggle. "Oh, just admit it, Harvey, you love the kid."
"I hate you, Donna."
""Course you do."
She tilts her head back, and she utterly beautiful, skyscrapers framing her, eyes bright, cheeks a little flush from the alcohol. A twitch in his fingers is all he has.
"My feet hurt," she proclaims.
"Is that why you're defacing my furniture with those heels from hell?"
"They're not that high."
He sits next to her feet, and traces the lines of one shoe. They're triangular. They look like they pinch.
"You should take these off," he says. "No wonder your feet hurt."
"They hurt because I've been moving your office around like a crazy woman."
He jiggles the strap. "Take it off."
She rolls her eyes at him, but reaches forward. "You're so weird, Harvey."
He gets an ample view of her cleavage in the meantime, which only tightens his resolve (and the lump in his throat).
"There." The shoes like haphazardly under her chair. She wiggles her toes at him playfully. They're finely painted a dark purple, which isn't what he expected. As her toes tilt, the light shines on the color, darkening it, shadowing it, at times.
When he puts his hand on one, it is a little warm, as if being confined for so long has been torturous.
"A foot massage, really, Harvey? You know I can pay people for tha—"
He cuts her off by pushing against the skin, rotating his fingers. He treats each inch like he would the rest of her body: with passionate care.
She moans and arches towards him, her breasts heaving towards him. He pulls her closer so that he can reach up to her ankle, where he spends some time understanding the curve of her anklebone. He draws her letters, which spell out nonsense, and then moves to her calf muscle. Her skin is soft and supple, and she keeps whimpering as he explores. Harvey drags his fingers up, tickling slightly, but pressing where he can imagine there must be strain.
Donna has a beautiful knee.
And that's where he stops (because any further, and she'd be straddling his lap, his mouth doing the tracing now, her hair falling over one shoulder, giving him room on the other side to suck hard).
They both blink each other, and he knows that she too is wondering why this is all coming back now and what it means.
When Hardman's presence returns, Harvey knows there is going to be trouble.
That kind of knowledge leaves him wary, frustrated, and utterly unapproachable.
Mike keeps away, only coming in to get and deliver work. Sometimes the kid lingers, about to say something, but Harvey fixes him with a glare, and reminds him that after his work will come all the shit that Louis has left for him, so he might as well get going. This usually works, but lately, Mike has been stopping at Donna's desk too, conversing in hushed tones.
Jessica hasn't been any better. The stress is showing on her, in the dampened color scheme of her clothing, the lines around her mouth, her lessening leniency, her barking orders, her larger order of alcohol.
They try to conspire, but between the two of them, they are exhausted and worried, and nothing is getting done.
Towards the end of a particularly hard day, he hears a quiet knock, and looks up to see Donna at his glass door, her own concern lining her face. It's surprising; she always knows when he's busy, and when it's okay to knock, so she rarely knocks.
He tries hard to smile, and she takes his half-smile-grimace as an invitation.
"Here," she says, and hands him a little box.
"What is it?" he asks, but opens it without waiting for her answer.
He stares at the cupcake, almost not comprehending, but simultaneously wanting to thank her for this little bit of kindness.
"It's from Magnolia," she says helpfully. "It's Red Velvet. But I got you cream cheese frosting."
"Thanks," he says furrowing his brow.
"There are two forks," she says, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.
He can't help but laugh at her. "Okay, Donna, you want a bite?"
"A bite? That's all you're gonna give me?"
He sighs dramatically (she must be rubbing off on him). "Half. But you get the smaller half."
Donna smiles, and it's half-proud (probably because she's glad he's laughing) and half-tender, and then perches on the end of his desk. She positions the box equidistantly from both of them, and wields her fork. Harvey realizes, very quickly, that he is going to have to fight for his half.
They eat in silence, but she points at his face when little red crumbs line his lower lip, and he shoves her a napkin when a tiny piece falls on her dress.
"Thanks, Donna," he says when they finally finish.
"No problem." She looks at the box mournfully. "I should have gotten two."
He laughs again, and this time her smile is bright and pure.
"Harvey," she says, and inches closer.
He's amazed when she covers his hand with hers. She traces his knuckles with her thumb, all the while staring at his wall. When she's done, she squeezes once, but lets her hand lie on his, her fingers measuring up on the cracks between his. He licks his lip, and tastes the remnants of frosting. She doesn't move. Harvey slowly turns his hand over, and she laces their fingers immediately.
"Whenever you need something, you're supposed to come to me," she says. "That's what an executive assistant is for."
"Even when I need cupcakes?"
She squeezes one more time, but this time he squeezes back, and their skin pressed together feels good and right and warm and safe.
He's been thinking about it for so long, but he wasn't expecting her to make the move.
As much as he watches her lips (talking, sighing, pursing, smiling, laughing, on another man but that only happened once, smirking, drinking, whispering), he can never prepare for what kissing her is really like.
It's the Hardman trial, a real one, finally, and both Harvey and Donna have their hands on the can opener. He watches her face as she twists the lever, and it makes a quiet, but satisfying sound.
"And that's for you to open up the minds of the judge and the jury," she recites quietly.
Then she straightens his tie. "That's for you to win them over with looks, as much as charm and smarts."
He grins, as he always does at that part.
"You'll be great, Harvey," she finishes, a very meaningful emphasis on the words.
He puts the can opener down, and turns to leave, feeling completely ready to fight with Hardman, to finally cut the cancer out of their beautiful law firm, when she grabs his sleeve.
She is looking at him with large eyes, adoration and pride shining in them.
"You're really, really going to do great, Harvey."
"Thanks, Donna," he murmurs.
And then she leans up, and presses her lips against his.
He's shocked at first, at the feeling of those two blossom-like lips moving against his, but as soon as he realizes that it's Donna who is kissing him, he pulls her body close to his, and opens his mouth, and lets her slip a tongue inside.
He can feel a growl in the pit of his stomach when she touches his whole mouth with her own, when her tongue swipes against his (it's a candy apple at the fair, that's what she tastes like, sweet and bitter, refreshing). Her hair slips through his fingers, his hips align with his, and they're swallowing each other sighs, all the while she's massaging his mouth, soothing hurts and promising new things.
He's kissing her, he realizes again, and his chest tightens, and he gathers her even closer so that the infinitesimal space between them can't exist, and he forgets about trials and money, and he plans to kiss her every day, a thousand times a day, just so he can have this.
Eventually she lets go, and thankfully, they can look each other right in the eye. This is it, he realizes, this is the moment that he has to maneuver right, or this is the end. It's been too long, they've gone too far not to bridge this gap (and besides, all he's doing his admitting what he's always known). He leans forward, pecks her slightly (which is hard, because all he wants to do is practice kissing on her, because before now, he thinks maybe he never knew how to kiss).
"I'm gonna go win this now," he says (gasps).
"Don't be too distracted."
"By?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, Harvey, I know you have an imaginative mind."
She winks; he wins the case, but only by pretending she doesn't exist.
Harvey can hear her heart beat when he leans his head on her chest.
His bed is large enough for them to sleep with space between each other, and they usually do (it doesn't mean anything, they're just those kind of people), but today he wants his hand on her hip, his ear to her chest, her hair falling into his eyes, his shoulder aching from the awkward position. Sometimes he just likes knowing how much 'his' she can be (Donna has called this possessive, but they both do it).
She's clad only in one of his old dress shirts and stark black lingerie. The outline of her bra peeks through the whiteness of the shirt.
And when he's done counting her breaths and heart beats and matching his pulse to hers, he turns her over gently, kissing at the corner of her mouth, hand slipping into the shirt, breaking a button, caressing the underwire of the bra.
"Harvey," she moans, "it's early."
"It's my birthday," he whispers.
Her eyes flutter open, in surprise, and then a slow, sleepy smile spreads across her face. "No, it's not. I know when your birthday is."
"I know everything" she yawns "I'm Donna."
Her bra clasps at the front, he discovers, and once he unhooks it, he buries his face into the valley between his breasts. Her hips shift, and he knows he has her attention, but he's going to have to work hard to keep her engaged when she's this sleepy. He likes this challenge.
He pushes the bra off of her, along with the shirt, until she's baring herself to his hungry eyes. Her skin is flushing already.
"You could make a galaxy with these freckles," he teases.
"Harvey," she groans. "Stop. I hate you."
He cups her left breast gently, and runs his thumb around her nipple, flicking it gently with his thumb. She hums appreciatively, but her breath hitches when he squeezes gently. Harvey feels a growing ache already; she's beautiful in the throes of sex. He covers her body with his, nudging at her with his need, to remind her what he wants, and peppers her breast with swirling kiss. His hand never stops kneading, touching, stroking.
"Harvey!" But it's far from angry, she wants him now, really wants him, suddenly he finds himself on his back, her rising on top, straddling him. There's still sleep in his eyes, but she's driven by her own lust.
"Seriously," she says, "you think you're in control here? Take those off."
He laughs, and pulls everything off, as she pushes her panties to the side.
She sinks onto him, and he groans. She steadies herself, and as he feels her clench and unclench around him, he closes his eyes (every other time this happened with another woman always saw a flash of red hair behind his eyelids so he never closed his eyes but now he can and he can just feel her and know it's her and never be guilty). The cry she elicits from him is strangled (he loves morning sex).
When he finally comes down to the sheets, pillows, and bed, he reaches forward to her gasping, shuddering body, and touches her, until she comes.
As much as Harvey pretends not to care, his heart has always been held by women.
His mother's grip felt like a thousand little needles poking a balloon.
Jessica's grip felt like iron, bossy, uncompromising. As much as he wove around her, making them friends and equals, it never loosened (maybe it was the debt that he felt like he owed her).
But Donna doesn't even grip, she holds gently, tangling her fingers into his heart. She holds it like it belongs in her hands, and she calls it precious in the whispers of the night.
Sometimes he worries that he can't take this kind of touch. When he watches Donna from the glass walls of his office, and she laughs at something that Rachel, or Mike, or even Louis says, his heart feels suspended, and it feels hard to breathe, so he turns to stare at the buildings and steady himself.
When she walks into his kitchen, not quite put-together, hair wet around her shoulders, he feels the same way. He feels it when she tells him things about her childhood, or how she sees the future, or that she wants to be with him always. But maybe he feels that way because he's not scared of those things anymore, and that scares him.
"Stop living in fear," his dad would say (cliché and right 'til the end).
"I love you," Harvey blurts out one day, when she hands him a file.
His heart starts to calm then, it settles, and even though she still holds it, it feels better.
She puts the file down silently, and then hugs him, and they touch toes and knees and hips and chests and cheeks.