This was written for a suitsmeme prompt over at LJ. It was filled once so I figured I would post it here.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but memories used to write this.
Warnings: Character Death, Pre-slash (if you squint)
He got the call at lunch, standing outside at a hotdog stand on a warm sunny afternoon. It would have been a beautiful day, but Mike would never think so. His hotdog slipped from his hand, falling on the street as he clung to the phone.
"Yes, this is Mike Ross," He answered after the initially hello. Mike knew Harvey was curious but Mike held his hand up to silence him and then to his ear to better hear the nursing home. "I … I understand. I'll be there as soon as I can … how – how long?"
His heart clenched and his chest tightened as he hung up without a goodbye. His tie was too tight around his neck and suddenly it was much warmer out. Mike heard Harvey calling out to him but it wasn't until he was wrenched forward that he realized that he was actually falling backwards. Harvey pulled Mike over to a bench and pushed him down.
"Who was that?" Harvey demanded, trying to keep Mike's attention, afraid he would go into shock if he didn't keep him stimulated. "Mike answer me."
It took two snaps in his ear before Mike lurched forward, barreling into Harvey who had been squatting in front of him. Harvey hit the ground and sprang up, clutching Mike's arm and pulling the younger man back to him. He was too shocked to even complain about his suit, just needed to understand what was going on.
"I need to go," Mike panted, on the verge of a panic attack. "I need to get to her. Oh god … they said she had hours. Hours! Why's this happening? I don't understand!"
Harvey didn't even hesitate as he pulled Mike into his chest with one hand as he text Ray to pick them up with the other. He didn't want to let the kid go, thinking he would take off again.
"Donna," Harvey spoke into the phone, still clutching the frantic Mike. "I need you to rearrange my day. Something happened … no, not to Mike … I'll call you back, the kid is going to run out into the street if I don't keep a solid grip on him. I'll call you back!"
Harvey ended the car and pulled Mike into the car with him. Mike settled enough to rattle off the address of the Hospital that was given to him. As the car took off, Mike felt the dam break as he started shaking and couldn't stop. He didn't even react when Harvey put his arm around him in what was meant to be a comforting manner.
Harvey didn't really know what he was doing, but figured there wasn't much he could do besides just sitting there. He took out his cell and text Donna then after a moment Jessica and finally Rachel. With his other hand, Harvey rubbed Mike's back in a soothing manner, feeling the sobs wracking the smaller man's body. He knew that this would be a difficult day for Mike.
"Oh god," Mike moaned, head still in his hands. "I don't know how to say goodbye… I can't even think. Tell me this is a nightmare. Harvey, you don't understand, I can't say goodbye… I … I'll have no one left."
Harvey just continued to rub Mike's back, not knowing what else to say. He knew that Mike's parents were dead and he had a grandmother but surely the kid had someone.
"She raised me, ya know," Mike went on, hiccupping a bit from his crying. Harvey handed him a tissue. "She took me in, sacrificed the world for me. She tried so hard to be the family I would never had. I love her so much and I can't … I can't do this."
"She loves you too," Harvey murmured soothingly.
"She knows all about you," Mike said, finally seeming to calm himself. "She knows all you've done for me. She wanted to meet you … I didn't … I would have been weird."
Harvey just hummed noncommittally, letting Mike ramble while he kept his hand on his back.
'I just," Mike stuttered over words. "I wanted her to be proud of me. I've screwed up so much and I'm finally getting my shit together and … she might not see it. She won't … won't know."
"She knows," Harvey said kindly. "She knows how amazing you are and that people make mistakes. She loves you."
A few more tears dropped from Mike's eyes as Ray pulled up to the door. Mike jumped up and Harvey muttered a few words before following at a brisk pace.
"I'm looking for Mary Ross," Mike impatiently tapping hands on the table before taking off when he heard the information from the woman. Harvey followed behind again, texting the same information to the Donna and Rachel who were on their way together.
No one may have really been close with Mary Ross, but everyone knew how badly this was going to be for Mike. Jessica already sent out an email to the other partners and told Harvey to take the day and keep her informed.
Harvey pocketed his phone as he approached the door, standing a moment to watch Mike clutch the frail woman's hand. She looked so pale, the only sign to show she wasn't just sleeping. The heart monitor beeped in steady succession and a machine helping her breathe rose and fell. Mike began to sob, running his fingers through her hair while he cried to his grandmother. Harvey felt like he was intruding, wanting to give Mike a few moments so he went to find a nurse.
"What room?" a young blonde nurse asked as he approached.
"215 … Mary Ross?" Harvey leaned against the station.
"Oh," the nurse said, her eyes dropping as she turned to him. "The nursing home said people would be coming. She had a cold and it became progressively worse. Apparently the medication just wasn't effective and … she's in a coma but her vitals aren't good."
"How long?" Harvey asked, sucking in a deep breath. He noticed Rachel and Donna walking in. The former headed immediately to Mike while the latter walked over to him.
"The doctor is coming down now," she said, looking at Donna. "He'll be able to give you some more information and inform you about the will."
Harvey nodded and pushed off the station. Donna frowned at him, before looking towards the room.
"How is he?" she asked, fiddling with her hair, something she never does unless nervous or worried.
"Not good," Harvey shook his head. Harvey watched Mike fall into Rachel's smaller arms, he began to cry again and she was whispering into his ear.
"I'll call the nursing home," Donna said finally after a moment. "Find out what they cover and what they won't."
"Thanks," Harvey muttered. "You're always thinking."
"Someone needs to," Donna replied easily. "Mike's in no condition to do anything. He'll need some help."
"Call around for some arrangements," Harvey said finally. "See what information you can find and give my card. Mike's signing bonus will only go so far."
"Jessica will want an update," Donna looked hesitant to leave.
"Go," Harvey said. "We'll keep an eye on him and I'll keep you updated."
Donna nodded before giving Mike a tight hug and saying something to him. Mike nodded a few times before letting her go and sitting back down with his grandmother.
"Are you family of Mary Ross?" Harvey hadn't even noticed the doctor approaching. He waved Mike outside. Rachel took his seat, holding Mary's hand in hers.
"I'm her grandson," Mike voice came out calm, but his shaking hands gave him away. Harvey stood beside him, hand clapped onto his shoulder.
The doctor nodded.
"I'm Dr. Shaw," he opened Mary's chart. "I'm very sorry for everything that is going on. But I need to go over a few things with you. There is a patient waiting room or –"
"I'd rather not leave," Mike cut off the doctor, who nodded and just cleared his throat.
"You're grandmother came in with a complaint of chest pain and shortness of breath," Shaw continued explaining. "We gave her some medication but her blood pressure continued to rise and eventually she passed out due to the strain on her heart and slipped into a coma. At that point we began monitoring her other vitals. Her heart rate dropped significantly and we feared the cardiac arrest had done too much damage. She stopped breathing for awhile but we were able to stabilize her for the moment, but her chances aren't good."
Mike took a deep breath, holding in a sob.
"What about brain function?" Harvey asked, hand tightening on Mike's shoulder.
"We won't know the extent of the damage unless she were to wake up," Shaw frowned sympathetically at Mike who was looking into the room, tears in his eyes. "Another thing I wanted to speak with you about is her living will."
"She doesn't have one," Mike looked up sharply. The doctor handed him a piece of paper and both men scanned it quickly. It was fairly simple, she did want to be kept on extended life support unless her chances were over 50% and Mike would make all other decisions.
"Right now, there isn't anything we can do," Shaw paused, looking both Mike and Harvey each in the eye. "If something happens, I wanted you to be aware of her wishes. Her chances are a little over 30% right now. If they do not improve over the course of the next few days, we will need to readdress this issue. I'm sorry, I hate this part."
Mike nodded, turning into Harvey's chest. Harvey just grimaced at Shaw. The doctor nodded at him before turning and walking over to the nurse's station.
"I didn't even know she made a will," Mike mumbled into Harvey's chest, not crying and feeling pretty numb.
"It's pretty standard at the nursing home," Mike nodded and pushed back.
"I'm sorry," Mike muttered turning away. "There is so much I have to do but I can't think of anything right now. I … I know there is something."
"Don't apologize," Harvey held Mike's face and forced eye contact. "You have support around you, even if you don't seem to realize it yet. We're taking care of it."
"We?" Mike asked, turning his puppy eyes on Harvey and he felt himself melt.
"Rachel," Harvey said, nodding to the room. "Donna … Jessica … Me. We're not letting you handle this on your own Mike. You've got to trust me."
Mike just nodded, fresh hot tears prickling his eyes. He turned and walked back into the room.
Harvey hung outside again, pulling out his phone and moving towards where the nurse was waving him in order to use his cell.
He quickly updated Donna and Jessica. He just ended the call when the alarms went off. Harvey quickly turned the corner to see Rachel clutching onto Mike who was trying to barrel into the room. Doctors and nurses were flying in with equipment and shouting to each other in their secret medical language.
Harvey grabbed Mike, pushing him into the wall where he felt the younger man begin the shake again.
"What happened?" he asked sharply to Rachel who stumbling over words to tell Harvey about how Mary's heartbeat just stopped. "Pull it together, I need you functioning and so does he."
Mike stared blankly at the room and Harvey snapped his fingers in his face again.
"Mr. Ross?" Dr. Shaw was back and looking forlorn. "Your grandmother's health has severely declined in the last few minutes. I've spoken to the nurses and reviewed her chart again and feel that we may not be able to stabilize her again. I would like to go in and tell them to stop and let her go peacefully. To do that I need your support."
Mike's mind collapsed and Harvey shook him, shouting his name for almost a minute before he responded.
"I .. I've said what I could," Mike stuttered, grasping Harvey like a lifeline. "I… I'm not ready for this but… but I think she… she was." He was shaking so bad that Harvey was afraid he was going to pass out himself. "Ok."
"Was that a yes?" Dr. Shaw waited again for direct confirmation before going to into the room and calming the fury. Mike sobbed as the flatline carried out into the hall and even Harvey was shocked to feel his own tears begin to fall as Mike's legs finally gave out and he fell to the floor. Rachel helped Harvey move Mike into a chair. A nurse pushed a glass of water and some tissues into his hand. He quickly used one and handed them over to Rachel while gently shaking Mike for the 100th time today.
"I just," Mike began, visibly choking back a sob. "I just can't believe she's gone."
"Do you want to see her again? Or go home?" Harvey asked gently as Rachel went to speak quickly with the nurses about arrangements and contact information.
"Home," Mike spoke softly Harvey was barely sure he spoke. He took out his phone to text Ray before nodding to Rachel and letting Mike clutch onto him as they walked slowly down the hall and out the doors.
Harvey told Ray to head to his place. Rachel looked up sharply, unlike Mike who just stared numbly out the window, and Harvey murmured about Donna grabbing Mike's stuff and food and not wanting him to be alone. Rachel nodded, eyes softening as she looked at Harvey.
He completely screwed over that no caring thing, but one look at Mike and he couldn't even care.
Mike finally asked where they were going and nodded slightly to Harvey telling him. No remarks or comments at all. Harvey knew it was too soon to be worried but couldn't help but be anyway. Rachel held Mike's hand gently and Harvey sighed into his window.
This day was not what he planned but he couldn't help but feel there that there was nowhere else he could be.
A few days later, Harvey stood in his office at the window overlooking the city. They had just buried Mary Ross and some of the associates and partners who didn't have cases went to the service.
Donna had made all the arrangements, letting Harvey know where to sign for what. He did so dutifully. Eventually it would dawn on Mike that he hadn't paid for anything yet, but Harvey was sure it would be awhile.
"I brought coffee," a voice startled him from behind.
"Knocking. Not just a fad," he turned and took the cup offered. "And you aren't suppose to be anywhere near this office until next week. Does paid time off mean anything to you?"
"I can't be home alone," Mike said, sipping his own coffee. "It's not healthy for my overly analytical brain. And Donna confiscated my case files after she packed me up and moved me into your guest room for a few days. I think she even copied my key because one day I came home to find a stocked kitchen."
"She's decided to keep you," Harvey smiled noticing that his associate seemed lighter and more at peace. "Now you really need to be careful when you disobey her orders. How did you get by her anyway?"
"I asked Rachel to cover for me," Mike grinned. "I'm milking the puppy eyes."
A knock on the glass door made the two men turn around. Donna stood glaring before pointing at Mike and then gesturing to her own eyes and back in an 'I'm watching you' manner.
"I'm going to die, aren't I?" Mike asked, slightly worried as Donna stomped back over to her desk.
"Wait till she tells Jessica you are here," Harvey motioned to where Donna was talking animatedly into the phone.
"Hey," Mike said suddenly serious. "I wanted to say thank you."
Harvey shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot.
"Just listen," Mike continued, again looking out the window. "It meant a lot that you were there for me, especially when the shit really hit the fan. You've been doing it for a while and I never said thank you but I'm so amazingly thankful that I know I'll never be able to repay you. And not just that shit-ton of money you spent on the funeral and hospital visit. Because I don't even know how to repay you."
"Don't worry about it," Harvey said, and put his hand over Mike's mouth as he opened it to respond. "You've shown strength and resilience enough for four people Mike. You've lost a lot and you still walked into this building ready to sneak papers out and risk the wrath of crazy assistants."
"It's hard," Mike finally looked over to Harvey, tears in his eyes. "But I've been through this and it sucks and it takes forever but it will get better. Right now, I feel like shit but Grams always use to say 'Life doesn't stop for the living' and I know she'd be pissed if I just stopped everything."
Harvey put his hand on Mike's shoulder and sipped his coffee. Both men were silent for a few moments before Mike murmured another thank you to Harvey before walking out of his office. Harvey watched him go, smiling slightly as he got a hug from Donna before being shooed away.
Donna walked through the door, holding a few papers.
"That boy," she muttered, but Harvey knew she didn't mean it. She stopped and Harvey looked up at her. "He's got a heart of gold. Don't take that from him."
"I couldn't," Harvey replied and he knew it was true. Donna dropped the forms on his desk for him to sign and Harvey reached into his pocket to find his favorite pen.
He found a crumbled 20 bucks with a post-it saying "Think of it as a long term compensation plan - M" folded inside.
Harvey was going to throttle that boy one day, but today he just laughed.
"Donna," he called into the intercom. "I need to speak with Jessica when she has a moment."
Mike would be getting a twenty dollar raise.
Well damn, Harvey blinked while still holding the note. There goes that no caring thing again.
Boy, that was longer than it was going to be!
I think we needed a happy note to end on, right? Thoughts?