Harvey, Jessica, Rachel, Louis, even Kyle. None of them believed that he was cut out to be a lawyer, and perhaps they were right. Maybe he wasn't cut out for this life, and then again maybe he didn't want to be. If becoming a successful lawyer meant that you had to shut off all your emotions, and turn into a heartless bastard, then Mike wanted out. He'd rather be a poor homeless bum that the next 'great' Harvey Specter, heartless bastard extraordinaire.
He was so wrapped up in his thoughts as he leaned across the cubicle to grab the bag from his desk that he almost missed the small manila envelope conspicuously placed on top of his keyboard. Grabbing the envelope, he noticed that it was simply labelled Mike, and he was sure that he recognised the handwriting from somewhere, but then again he'd probably seen everyone at Pearson Hardman's handwriting at least once by now.
Mike pulled a single leaf of paper from the envelope; unfolding it he saw that it contained just one sentence.
Harvey lost his first mock trial.
"What the hell?" Mike stormed into Harvey's office.
"I'll call you back." Harvey placed the phone back in the cradle, before turning to face the younger associate with a look that could have frozen hell itself. "What have I told you about not barging into my office, or is that too difficult for you to understand?"
"You lost your first mock trial?" Mike chose to ignore Harvey's little dig, focusing instead on the reason that he came here in the first place. "You sat there and berated me for losing to Kyle, and you did the exact same thing."
Harvey pushed his chair behind him as he stood, adjusting his suit before putting his hands in his pockets. "You see, that's where you're wrong; I didn't do the same thing. I may have lost my first mock trial but I didn't have a choice; you did."
"Excuse me!" Mike replied, incredulous.
Harvey sighed. "I can't believe that I'm actually going to say this but you're better than me, better than I was when I first started out. The difference is Mike, I gave it everything I had during my first trial, and you didn't. You wimped out at the last minute and weakness is not a trait that you can allow in yourself if you want to be a great lawyer."
"Oh right, I forgot. The only way to get anywhere in this firm is to be a complete arsehole, who doesn't care about anyone or anything except for winning."
"Is that really how little you think of me?" Harvey was hurt, although he wasn't about to let on to Mike. "Do you actually think that you would be here right now if I didn't care? Look at you Mike, you're a college drop-out, with no qualifications to speak of, and you're an associate in one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. You certainly didn't get here thanks to your good looks."
"No, I'm just here to stroke your ego. So that you can tell me how crap I am, and how amazing you are at every opportunity. Well you know what, I'm not playing anymore. Goodbye Harvey." With that, Mike turned and started to make his way towards the door.
"You walk out that door that's it, there's no coming back." Harvey replied purposefully keeping his voice neutral as he'd learned to do in court, despite the fact that his heart was pounding, and inside his head was screaming at him to go and stop him. Grab his arm, his leg, whatever it took to keep him here.
"Like you said yourself, I'm not cut out for this job. You'll be better off without me; you can go and find yourself a real associate." Mike didn't want to leave, he really didn't. This job, Harvey, had come to mean everything to him over the last couple of months, but there was no backing out now, he was committed.
Damn it. Harvey found himself moving around the desk towards Mike before his brain could register what his body was doing. It looked like he was going to lose this one. If he didn't back down now then he would be losing one of the most talented associates he had ever seen; he just couldn't do it.
"Do you want to know why I ride you so hard? Why I push you harder than any of the other associates? It's because I see something in you that I don't see in them. Most of them will be lost in mediocrity; they're never going to make senior partner, hell most of them won't even make partner. I staked my career on you, Mike. If anyone found out that not only did you not go to Harvard, you don't have a law degree, I would be out of he so fast your head would spin. Now I'm not sure that actually means a lot to you but it sure as hell does to me."
Mike spun around to face Harvey, anger flaring in his usually cool eyes. "That's not fair. It means everything to me that you gave me this chance. As corny as it sounds, you've literally changed my life."
"You're right, it does sound corny. There are feelings and then there are feelings. I know it's hard for you but rein them in." Harvey pulled his hands from his pockets, before folding them over his chest, a defensive gesture that he didn't even realise he was doing.
"That's your problem. You want to be a great person and a great lawyer but the two just don't mix. You can't let your feelings," he spat the word out as though it left a bad taste in his mouth, "get in the way of doing your job. You may think that I'm a heartless bastard who doesn't care, but the thing is I do, I've just learnt to rein them in. My clients don't want someone that they can share their hopes and dreams with Mike, they want somebody who will win their case for them. Don't ever give up caring, just learn when to show that you care and when to keep it to yourself."
"I'm not sure I follow." Mike was more than a little confused, how could he care and not care at the same time.
Harvey sighed. "You know for a genius, you can be really dense sometimes. When you really try, you could already beat most of the other associates with one hand tied behind your back and you've only been doing this for six months. They've been doing it for six years. Just think what you could achieve in in six years, especially under me."
There was the old Harvey Specter, the one that Mike had grown to love and hate.
"The only reason I ride you so hard," Harvey continued, not noticing the smirk that had played across Mike's face at his last sentence, "is because I know what you're capable of. I see me in you Mike, and I know that you could be great."
"Well, that was a little unexpected." Mike wasn't really sure how to respond to this new side of Harvey. An angry Harvey he was used to, but this was new. "Who knew there was actually a heart beating under that wall of stone?"
"If you ever tell anyone about this; ever! I will hurt you. Do you understand?" Harvey made his way back to his desk before pressing the intercom button. "Oh and Donna, that goes for you too."
Mike raised a questioning eyebrow. "How does she do that?"
"I have no idea, and frankly I've learnt that it's best not to question her."