Harvey stepped off the elevator, ignoring the dull throbbing headache that he had woken up with, and headed down the hall toward his office. He had been released from the hospital the day before yesterday, the doctor telling him to take the next few days easy. Harvey didn't want to take any days easy; he wanted to work, but Donna pretty much threatened to sic Jessica on him if he tried to come into work. So he was stuck at home for two days.
Out loud he'd tell Donna he worked anyway, but secretly he just re-watched all seven Star Trek movies and the first two seasons of the show. He would have gotten the third season done also, but he had ordered the animated series online and it had come while he had been at the hospital and he wanted to…
Harvey nearly stopped, berating himself for sounding like a total nerd. He had a reputation to keep and he couldn't afford to have such juvenile thoughts while he was working. Besides, he liked the television show better…
He walked past Donna, whose squinted eyes told him she disapproved, but he had to work. He couldn't sit around. He'd go stir-crazy by the end of the week.
"You know your face can get stuck that way." He said walking past her. He stopped at his office door and turned to face her. "Hey, do you have…" a bottle of Tylenol appeared in her hand. He snatched it from her, actually grateful she predicted he'd return to work earlier than planned.
"You shouldn't be here," she called after him as he shut the door. He moved across his office, palming three Tylenol. He knocked them back, swallowing them dry, setting the bottle on his desk before taking a seat in his chair. He stared at his laptop, for the first time, in a while, really not wanting to open it.
As much as he wanted to work, he kinda enjoyed his two day break. He caught up on some sleep, watched his favorite show, and actually wore jeans. He missed jeans sometimes. Don't get him wrong, he loved donning a suit and going on in public. Just to see either the look of contempt or respect on some schmuck's face left him with a tingling sensation up his spin. But still, suits got old fast...
He sighed heavily, opening his laptop. He checked his email first, skimming all the usual garbage before reading a long one from Jessica. She had sent it that morning, six minutes ago. Meaning she saw him enter the building at some point.
He scanned the email, snorting at a few parts. 'You have some kind of relapse I will personally fire you.' And 'Gunshot wounds need to be taken seriously, Harvey.' It wasn't until he got to the end did he start to get... not so amused. 'Talk to your associate. He's been acting strange.' She ended the email with a quick 'glad you are okay.'
Harvey re-read the line about Mike. He wouldn't know how Mike had been acting. He hadn't seen the kid since the incident at the coffee shop. Harvey couldn't remember all the details, some were just too fuzzy to recall, but he got the gist of it. He tried to talk a gun man down, the guy fired his gun, and he got hurt. It wasn't a big deal, he was fine.
Not amusement gripped his stomach. Was Mike hurt, too? No one offered up too much information on the younger guy. Donna had assured Harvey Michael was okay, but maybe she was just saying that because she wanted him to relax. To not be not amused about the kid.
"Donna," he said calling his assistant.
"Have Mike come see me when he gets in."
"Finally," Donna said or he thought she said it. Before Harvey could elaborate on it, however, she had already ended the call. Sometimes he wondered about his assistant.
It was another fifteen minutes before Mike finally showed up. Harvey tried to act like he wasn't paying attention, scanning a file that had been sitting on his desk, but in his peripheral he noticed Ross hesitate in the door way. Donna said something to him, he responded, she pointed at the door glaring, and he finally nodded and stepped into the office.
Harvey's not amusement peaked tenfold when he got his first glimpse at his associate. Mike looked like crap on the best of days. His hair was too long, his razor just couldn't quite get him clean shaven, he always had the beginnings of dark shadows under his eyes, and his suits were wrinkled from riding his bike and the fact that he owned six and only wore half of them in a work week.
But now. Now it was just very, very, very not amusing. In fact, it was a little sad. In a 'not caring' sort of way. Because Harvey didn't care, he didn't. He just didn't want to see his associate so burnt out. It made him look bad. And if he looked bad, the firm looked bad.
"You look like shit," Harvey commented leaning back in his chair, keeping his face impassive.
"You wanted to see me?" Mike questioned ignoring Harvey's comment. There was something in his eyes, something Harvey didn't like. Yep, he was so not amused that he was starting to feel a little ill.
"What's going on with you?"
"Nothing." He was lying. He always scratched his nose when he lied. "Is that it?"
"Oh for crying out loud," Donna said making both Harvey and Mike jump. It had to be the fact that he was shot, that he hadn't seen his assistant listening in from the open door. She stormed into the office, stopping next to Mike.
"He thinks it's his fault you were shot," she said pointing at Mike. "There, it's out there." She waved her hands. "Do with it what you will." She moved toward the door, actually closing it behind her that time.
Harvey waited for Mike to say something, the younger guy finding his shoes to be the most interesting thing in the whole office. A complete load of bull, in Harvey's opinion: he had a lot of interesting stuff in his office. His record collection, his signed basketballs, that weird painting that he never really understood but hung up because Donna got it for him and it was either that or have her glare at him all the time. Besides, the painting had grown on him some, and it wasn't that big, and it added character. Or, that's what a client told him once…
He was stalling, he knew he was. If Mike felt responsible, really, truly responsible, they were probably going to have to talk about it. Harvey hated talking about feelings and stuff, but he hated feeling not amused about Mike so he would just have to suck it up. And, if he didn't talk this through with the kid, there was a possibility he would continue to run himself ragged. No doubt he had been working a lot over the past three days, trying to keep himself from thinking. The signs were right there, Harvey too perceptive not to notice.
"Look at me," Harvey finally said when Mike made no attempt to speak. He waited until Ross looked up, heavily bagged blue eyes locking on his dark ones. "Did you pull the trigger?" Mike shook his head. "Did you ask that guy attempt to rob that coffee place?" a second head shake. "Then how is any of this your fault?"
Mike took a breath, his eyes finding his shoes again, and said, "I wanted to stop for coffee."
"Really? Is that what happened?" Harvey waited until Mike met his eyes again, the younger man's eyebrows scrunched in confusion. "Because, the memories may be a little hazy, but I do recall I asked Ray to stop for coffee."
"At a place I recommended," Mike argued weakly. "In a bad part of town. We shouldn't have stop. We should have just come back here. I screwed up and you got hurt."
Harvey was quiet for a second, thinking. He then gestured to the chair situated on the other side of his desk. "Sit down; I'm going to share something with you." Mike stared at the chair, almost as if it were going to bite him, before nodding once and sinking into it.
"When I was an associate I was working under Jessica…"
"I know," Mike said quietly.
"What did I say about interruptions?" Harvey threw a half-glare at Mike. The younger guy muttered an apology, allowing Harvey to continue. "It had been the first week I was working with her, and I had been given one simple job. Keep an eye on the witness's daughter."
"Let me guess, you lost her," Mike asked, a trickle of hope creeping into his eyes, across his face.
"No," Harvey deadpanned figuratively slapping the hope away. "What I did was worse."
"What? Did you sleep with her?" the office got really quiet, the small smirk Mike managed to conjure wilting. Harvey had hoped to keep any sort of emotion off his face, but the unconscious flinch didn't help matters. She had been nineteen, he was in his mid-twenties. She was 'friendly', he was a guy. Really, what was he supposed to do?
"And Jessica walked in on us…" Mike shook his head at his boss's admission. Harvey fixed the younger man with a pointed glare. "That, kid, is screwing up. Figuratively and literally. It's not screwing up if you didn't do anything.
"Hell, Louis got his boss stabbed when he started working here."
"It's a long story, and I'm not sure what exactly happened, but all I know is his boss ended up with fifteen stitches in his arm and a scar." Mike smiled at that story, Harvey fighting a smirk of his own. He sobered pretty quickly and said, "My point is, this was not your fault. You want to blame someone, blame me…"
"But you didn't do anything."
"…or blame that guy who had the gun. I heard he was picked up a few blocks away for robbing another place."
"He was," Mike said quietly after a long pause.
"See, asshole got what he deserved."
The room lapsed into a very long, very uncomfortable silence. After a few minutes Harvey took a breath and said, "You haven't been doing stuff for Louis have you?"
"Not too much." Nose scratch: lie.
"Stop," Harvey responded glancing down at his computer. "And I expect you to take a shower and get a good night's sleep for tomorrow. I can't have you looking like that. It's embarrassing."
Mike sat for a second, stock still, but finally got the hint. Harvey had been dismissing him. He stood, moving toward the door, but then stopped.
"What?" Harvey questioned looking up to see the scrunched up eyebrow look again.
"You didn't watch Star Trek, did you?"
"Two days, no work. I just have a feeling you watched Star Trek."
"Go back to work, Ross."
"Kirk or Piccard? I know you said Kirk was the man, but I have a feeling you are a Piccard man."
"Get out." Harvey pointed to the door. Mike flashed him a small smile before leaving. Harvey caught the smirk on Donna's face even though she was trying to look busy. Harvey shook his head, looking at his computer again.
If he were being honest he was less not amused now. He had a feeling Mike would slowly let his blame go, now that they actually took the time to talk. Harvey just hoped these conversations didn't become a regular thing…
I am ending this here for a number of reasons, but a big one is because I am working on too many projects right now. I just need to clear my 'plate' of a few and I may come back to this, fix some things. Maybe make it longer.
But until then, I hope you liked this, thanks for reading, reviewing, and alerting. And I own nothing.
Drop a comment if you can :D