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Suits Fic: Some Nights (It's Because Of The Past), Chp 1 - tranquility... best achieved in chaos
Suits Fic: Some Nights (It's Because Of The Past), Chp 1
Title: Some Nights (It's Because Of The Past), Chapter 1
Rating: M
Category: Donna Paulsen/Harvey Specter.
Spoilers: Season Two, War.
Disclaimer: Owned by others.
Author's Note: Beta gratefulness, as always, to ceruleantides.
Summary: It could be a warning sign, but it's just as likely the champagne.

Part 1: Some Nights (It Was Meant To Be)
Part 2: Some Nights (It All Could End)
Part 3: Some Nights (It Takes A Conversation)


For all the tension in the air lately, he expects to be more stressed. There are the multiple hostile takeover attempts, and Scottie playing her usual deceptive games, and the future of the Pearson will-be-Specter firm in question, but he's feeling quite oddly... zen about everything.

It could be a warning sign, but it's just as likely the champagne. The party is an expensive success, he'll give Edward that much.

"Your date?" Donna asks with an arched eyebrow as he joins her at the bottom of the sweeping staircase and offers her his arm. It was an offhanded comment to Jessica - the statement simply a minor technicality, and one that saved him from getting stuck in unbearable discussion with Edward. He knows she'll understand.

"Louis brought Norma," he points out.

She gives a wry smile. "That's hardly a compliment."

"You look stunning," he says to appease her though there's too much truth behind the words. The dress fits her perfectly - it's edgy and unbelievably sexy, her legs look long and toned, and the exposed length of her thigh is all unfair temptation. He realizes he's staring and only registers the swift flicker of pleasure that passes over her face after he continues talking. "Am I forgiven?"

"You really know how to ruin a moment," she replies, but it's good humored. She eyes him over her champagne glass as she takes a sip. "Speaking of, what are you planning to do about the merger?"

It comes as no surprise that she knows what's on his mind. He puts on a confident smile. "Exactly what I do best."

"Is Jessica ready for that?" She asks it lightly although he knows how weighted the question really is. It's a gamble, but he wants and wins in equal measures, and his successful history with Pearson Hardman backs up that fact. Plus, zen.

He gives a shrug. "She'll come around."

Donna looks pensive. "Be careful biting the hand that feeds you, Harvey."

It's an unusual comment coming from her. He doesn't question Donna's loyalty, and he's never been foolish enough to dismiss her advice, but the merger talks have heightened the stakes. "You think I should let the merger continue? And what, roll over and wag my tail for a pat on the head from Darby?"

"You know that's not what I mean," she says and gives him a pointed glance. He doesn't bother with an apology she doesn't expect, and relaxes back in the familiar.

"Jessica doesn't want a merger," he assures her. "This is just another player at bat."

She quirks a smile. "Caution’s never been your strong suit."

"You can't win without risk."

She drinks to that.


Nigel-something asks Donna to dance. Harvey watches as she accepts, but then her glance flicks over his way - it's too quick and their eyes don’t meet.

He wonders what that's all about.

So he decides to cut in as the music starts. She doesn’t say a word, just lightly shakes her head as his hands slide down over her hips and the space between them condenses in a step.

“Already with the takeover,” he says jokingly, but it sounds strangely possessive.

Donna’s mouth tightens imperceptibly like she hears it, too.


He doesn’t know where to go after - overwhelmed by Mike and Jessica, Scottie and Edward, and the Pearson-nothing sign on the wall.

The glass framing his office is unusually hard to break. Even though there’s no slam of a door, the glass still rattles against the hinges loudly.

He has a feeling that throwing something would have been more satisfying.


It's the third shot of scotch that does him in.

A kind of drunken melancholy settles, and he's still just on the right side of lucid to feel miserable and know exactly why. There hasn't been any part of the day he wants to hang on to, but the scotch-fueled depression keeps all of it top of mind anyway, the events replaying even while he drinks to try and temporarily forget.

Anger still burns at the edges of his thoughts because of Mike's betrayal, and it's worsened by guilt and confusion over how everything settled with Scottie.

Had it ended there, he might have called it a night with a few extra hours at the office and a drink before bed. But anger and guilt only sit beneath the cloud of humiliation he feels over his public defeat and the complete dressing down he received from Jessica. He's on the outs with everyone, and never before has that been a problem.

Harvey pours a fourth shot, liquid gold beckoning; he knows the day's conversations will silence eventually with help. The condo already sets the mood - it hadn't seemed necessary to do anything more than turn on a light and throw his jacket and tie over a chair. His counter serves as a dimly lit bar, and he has an open tab.

He looks up when he feels her hand on his. Donna wears a faint frown, her expression resigned rather than pitying, and he protests when she slides the untouched shot of scotch beyond his reach.

"More scotch is the cure," he tells her because he's sure in short order he could drink enough to find blissful oblivion if she'd just give him the glass back. It occurs to him that Donna must have let herself in. "What are you doing here?"

"Do you have to ask?" she says as she caps the bottle of scotch beside him and puts it back with the rest of the liquor. Her hair is pulled away from her face, done up attractively in a creative knot at the nape of her neck. It draws his attention - he's never really noticed her neck before, the smooth line from ear to collarbone that gently twists as she turns her head to look at him. "You're not alone in this, Harvey."

Because it's Donna, she says the one thing that squarely nails his present insecurity. He ignores her attempts to find an upside to the merger. "No? Should I call Mike? Or maybe Scottie. Why do you think we ended up in this goddamn mess?"

"None of this is anyone's fault."

"Of course it is!" It explodes out of him unchecked – feelings and weakness. "We had exactly what we needed to send Darby running."

“There are people on your side.” She leans against the counter across from him so she's in his eyeline. "Mike and Dana included. People who were willing to cross into an unethical grey area because of you."

"And look how well it all turned out," he reminds her. He doesn't have people for a reason; he doesn't need people to win.

"Jesus, Harvey. The situation wasn't strictly black and white."

He scoffs and catches the frustrated look she shoots his way.

"Scotch doesn't agree with you," she notes dryly.

He shrugs. "I'm not very agreeable."

She doesn't say anything, apparently not finding fault with that assessment, and even as it bothers him that she doesn't disagree, he knows the truth of it. Right now, he's a lousy drunk.

"You lost, Harvey," she says firmly so he gets it. He doesn't want sympathy, least of all from her, but he hates her words all the same.

Donna comes around the counter to take the seat next to him. She's wearing a coat, but from where it falls open he can see the dress beneath - a wine-colored purple that looks elegant and surprisingly modest. She's interrupted her date for him, not for the first time either, and he doesn't know what to think about that. Their history goes back further than he understands.

"Do you remember the first case?" he asks. "Not as Cameron's second, but the time he didn't show?"

She's watching him closely, and he can see the way her lower eyelashes curl down, the faint freckles on her cheeks.

Donna nods. "The Ballinger case."

"Do you remember what you said to me?"

"Try not to crush them."

He can't help but smile at that. "I meant what you said after. After the win."

She hesitates, swallows, and then he’s watching her throat, looking at her neck again. There are scattered freckles there too, barely visible in the light. She's right beside him and his hand comes up to reach for her as though he plans to touch her, as though he'll be able to trace the line of her jaw into memory. He thinks maybe it’s possible he missed the obvious – all those years ago when she might have been trying to tell him something…

“Make it a habit,” she says and it interrupts his thoughts, his hand caught in the air between them until he lets it drop. He remembers his question.

“Make it a habit,” he repeats, nodding slowly. There had been drinking back then, too. Some things don't change. He looks over at her. “Were you on a date?”

She sighs; he has a feeling it's because of him.

"Yes," she admits. "Does it matter?"

Nothing is supposed to matter, and yet his track record for the day is impressively defiant. Donna doesn't wait for his answer.

"We all needed a drink after today," she says.

He indicates the abandoned glass of scotch with a wave of his hand. "By all means."

She takes a sip, and like a moth to flame he finds himself looking at her neck again without meaning to. He wishes she'd take off the coat - it obscures his view though he can just make out the light flutter of her pulse.

"You've got a firm to win back," she tells him. There's a subtle flush creeping up the side of her neck that probably has less to do with scotch and more to do with him than she'll ever admit. He wonders what time has changed and where paths diverged - how she is still beside him after so long, yet why he stands alone from everyone now.

The new rift with Jessica disturbs him further. "I don't know if it can be fixed."

"Since when did you stop at impossible?"

He smirks. "There's not an easy fix."

"So stop wallowing," she reprimands like it should have been obvious, but she glances at him with that special smile of hers and holds the scotch up in toast of her own solution. He's always found her smile disarming, and it suddenly catches him unawares, her unshakable faith in him.

It's most decidedly not-zen, but he's already kissing her before he's even finished thinking about it as a really fucked up idea. And it is, the glass caught between them, and then falling, as if in slow motion the long distance down to shatter on the floor. He doesn't care about the mess; he doesn't care at all, but she mumbles shit against his lips even as his hand slips past the collar of her coat to feel the soft skin of her neck, his fingers drawing along her collarbone until his thumb rests in the hollow of her throat.

He's standing somehow, standing beside her chair with his other hand stroking the inside of her thigh. And despite the broken glass omen, her chin tilts up to follow his mouth and she kisses him back. It's messy and impolite - cruel, really, the way he takes and she gives like a desperate kind of need fulfilling them both. It's perfect in that way, too, the way they both can want with sudden abandon.

There's a low hum in her throat he feels under his fingers, but it doesn't resolve into words until she pulls away with a whispered, damn it, and a shake of her head. It's not an apology and he doesn't want to be sorry; there is nothing here to regret. He's still standing between her legs with her breath hot and measured on his chest, and everything about the moment feels like the right kind of bad idea.

She tasted like scotch; he knows that means something.

"Harvey," she says, and the sound is encouraging and wanting. "I should leave."

He doesn't trust himself to respond. Whatever she probably wants him to be thinking, he'd likely disappoint her. There's not a single pure thought in his head.

"I should leave," she repeats quietly, and he thinks maybe it's supposed to be a question.

He frees the clip in her hair, the twist coming apart to send red curls down her back. No apologies.

"This is it, right? The line?" she asks.

He has no idea what she's talking about. "What line?"

She looks up at him and she actually seems sad. Not in a he-said-something-wrong sad exactly, but something deeper and tragic like memories from a long forgotten past. Before he can take a step back and give her space, her hands are pulling his shirt loose from his pants, her fingers deftly undoing buttons.

"Donna." He knows he's missed something. Figures it was probably important too from the way her hands slide up his chest with no misgivings. "This doesn't-"

She cuts him off, her mouth finding his as she stands and her body folds into him. For a second there's a strange sort of broken desperation in the kiss, but then she's shrugging out of her coat, hips pressing against his not as a suggestion, but as a demand.

He pulls her to him tightly and feels her smile of approval.


The sex is raw and rough with wants greater than comfort.

Her hand fists in his hair when he bites at the inside of her thigh, uses his teeth and tongue to hold her at the point until her breath is in hitches. She alternates between curses and orders then, and god he loves that she never begs. Not once.

Like it's a fight to the end.


"Is this a pity fuck?" he asks because it occurs to him that might have escaped his notice earlier.

Her fingers dig into his back and her exhale is right in his ear. "Oh my god, Harvey."

He'll admit his timing could have been better. He tightens his grip on her hip as it rolls beneath him when his thrust falls out of rhythm.

"So this is...?" he presses, but he's having trouble concentrating on his question, no surprise - thoughts coming to him in bursts of clarity.

She doesn't answer immediately, strands of tangled curls caught against her cheek, and her mouth hovering near his as she looks at him.

"This is," she starts, and her voice is ragged when she struggles for breath, "...meaningless."

Something tells him it's actually all been the wrong kind of good idea.


They don't leave the kitchen, and at some point, the scotch returns. In for a penny, he thinks. So it's drunk fucking on cold counter tops and against harsh edges that bruise.

It's a pretty obvious metaphor.

- Fin

Continue to Chapter 2

Tags: ,

16 whispers :: tell me a secret
anr From: anr Date: March 15th, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ouch! Stunning as usual, but what a punch to follow! Beautiful, bb. :)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: March 15th, 2013 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

I didn't anticipate it going in this direction originally, but Harvey is just ridiculous and blind, and Donna can't stay in limbo forever, so this came out. Heh. Sorry? *puppy eyes*

Thanks as always for reading and commenting! I promise to find a way to fix what I've done eventually. ;)
muldy From: muldy Date: March 15th, 2013 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I LOVE YOU and I have to run off to do photography for a play, but I'll be back with a real review
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: March 16th, 2013 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh. You might change your mind once you read it. ;)

But I have delicious plans, mwahaha. THESE TWO IDIOTS, I SWEAR.
bristow1941 From: bristow1941 Date: March 15th, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Harvey... you can be willfully blind. And really, asking that question mid-coitus? You did deserve that answer. I hope he doesn't manage to burn through Donna's affection for him by being an utter idiot. Sigh...

Beautifully written, love the characterization, and exactly the type of stripped raw fanfic I was hoping to see after that season finale.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: March 16th, 2013 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Doesn't he just... UGH. For a guy that has known her for 13 years, trusts her and relies on her, he's so bloody slow about understanding feelings. And I could tell the way I kept drawing it out in fic after fic that it needed a curve ball. It has to go wrong so he can see what's right. At least I hope that's what I'm doing. ;)

And thank you!! It always makes me happy when you like the fic. *grins*
bluberrykisses From: bluberrykisses Date: March 16th, 2013 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh my Christ.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: March 16th, 2013 06:08 am (UTC) (Link)
BWAH. Omg don't hate me. *CLINGS*
abvj From: abvj Date: March 18th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate you.

No, really, I kind of love you, but why do you always write such excellent things. It makes the rest of us look bad!

The banter is flawless (per usual), the sex hurts in a visceral way, but I love the conversation before the sex the most. The way she comes to him, unashamed, the way she tells him to get over himself. It's canon, in my opinion. And something I'd been toying with myself because there are a lot of instances this season where I can see them turning to each other, and this is a perfect example.

Love this, in case you couldn't tell.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: March 19th, 2013 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Pfft, your Donna/Harvey fics are a staple in the fandom. And they reduce many, including myself, to utter flail, so making you look bad is impossible. <3

I wasn't sure how people would react to seeing these two go in this direction, but yes - doesn't it just feel necessary somehow? Like, something has to give already. And I love that it could be oh so right but just terribly wrong at the same time. :/

I'm so glad you liked it! I have missed you and we must have more discussions on these two idiots because ALL THE FEELINGS. Also, I would like to take this time to tell you that you also need to post up more pictures of that adorable baby of yours. BECAUSE OMG. That is all.
lizook12 From: lizook12 Date: March 18th, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
UGH. I hate you.

Ok, not really, but damn... it hurts and is so, so perfect at the same time.

And really Harvey, for as smart as you are, how can you be so effing slow when it comes to her?

On top of that, the way they speak to each other here is so intimate and knowing - and I love how the actions reinforce that. Specifically: “Already with the takeover,” he says jokingly, but it sounds strangely possessive.

Donna’s mouth tightens imperceptibly like she hears it, too.

Nicely done! :)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: March 19th, 2013 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I had intended for Some Nights part 4 to be when they finally slept together, but honestly didn't see it going in this direction until after the finale aired. AND IT HURTS. Harvey being so slow to realize, Donna giving in because she finally gives up on him... WHY DID I DO THIS? *CRIES*

But I have a feeling there's going to be some good Donna/Harvey angst coming up next season because they can't move the relationship forward without going there in some way. So yeah, we're all going to need therapy. That said, if what I'm planning works out, there's some more fic coming in the near future that starts to fix what I broke. ;)

Thanks so much for reading and leaving the comments!! HIATUS FIC-A-THON SOON.
enemeriad From: enemeriad Date: March 22nd, 2013 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh baby girl. I loved this (also I love that we both wrote D/H uniting fics) ugh. But this needs more.

Jsyk, I was torn between being like DONT GET TOGETHER because I wanted there to be plenty of angst and also this desire for them to just make out and get together because fuck if they aren't the greatest pairing ever.

This just killed me. I had a bunch of lines I wanted to point out, but I hit the word count and then accidentally deleted them.

phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: March 22nd, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually think I should have dedicated this to you because I'm pretty sure it was your fic that put me in this headspace. LOOK AT YOU GIVING ME YOUR ANGST. ;)

And I'm evilly giddy that you had the reaction you did because it was exactly what I was hoping for. I wanted very much to play in the "right idea/wrong time" of it by actually making it a "bad idea at the right time", so it was kind of absurdly fun. ALTHOUGH PAIN. But hee, a chapter two is in the works. *grins*

I love that you loved this!!

enemeriad From: enemeriad Date: March 22nd, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
REALLY? (You flatter me so.) Haha. IT'S MY GIFT TO YOU MY PRECIOUS. <3

Yes(!!!!!!) It was amazing. I actually reread this whole thing after you replied because it's just that good. Uck. I cannot wait for more.

Everything of yours is a charm, so really, what did you expect? ;)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: March 30th, 2013 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoops, I missed this! But I have taken your angst and converted it into more Donna/Harvey fic! Although hopefully my master plan pays off and I don't send everyone off the nearest bridge. BUT THESE TWO CAUSE FEELINGS, SO I CAN'T PROMISE ANYTHING.

And aw, thank you hon. You should write more too! And we'll be kicking off the second comment-a-thon on the comm sometime soon, so you will flood it with your brilliance, yes? I NEED AWESOME FIC TO READ. <3
16 whispers :: tell me a secret