A/N Hey Guys :D I know, it's been forever - I'm SO sorry D: And more bad news is that this is the final chapter. Mostly because I've more than likely got OCD as I need to finish this on a multiple of 5 and 20 seems like a perfect number. Also, I'm trying to finish all my Suits fics to start new ones (See my profile page for details)
So, yeah - thanks to those of you who stuck by this and enjoyed it :)
Guess what, kid? Seeing as you were late in bringing me the summary for Mr. Jareki's case, you've just earned yourself a time-out in the filing room. I think the other associates could use some help in the filing for Louis' case. I've already instructed Louis on the appropriate guide to puppy care so there'll probably be a bowl of water and some newspaper out. Go wild.
Mike grumbled as he read the note before crushing it in his fist. So he had been late giving Harvey the summary - it hadn't really impacted on the case... much. Mr. Jareki was still with the firm, and Mike was pretty sure Harvey could easily sway him to come back to using them. Apparently since it had been late, Jareki wasn't sure if he wanted to go with the combined team of Harvey and Mike, and so was now with a different Senior Partner and their associate.
Sure, Harvey had every right to be angry with him, but Mike had been working too hard for this to be all his fault. Harvey had run him ragged to the bone and had also not been making any sort of attempt to stop Louis dumping his crap on him too. He had been trying to do the best that he could, and even though usually that was pretty amazing - with the lack of sleep and slowly building headache; he wasn't exactly up to par.
He grabbed his bag and threw the note in the waste bin next to his desk. He wasn't going to write a note back. He was sick of Harvey treating him like some errant child or puppy who was incapable of listening and would only respond to a punishment.
What, no argument? Has it finally hit you who the big dog is now? Or do you simply like working with Louis? Because if you do, I'm sure I can come to some sort of arrangement with him regarding you. Don't worry, this time I won't swap you for nothing. There's a rather expensive looking stapler on his desk that was a present from a client, and it would look much better on MY desk. So just tell me if you'd rather be his associate. I'm thinking Kyle might be better when it comes to handing things in on time anyway.
Mike ground his teeth together. It was a virtually silent room as all the associates were busily sorting through various court documents for Louis. A passing paralegal had slipped the note on his desk, commenting on the odd, smug grin on Harvey's face as he instructed it to be sent down. Mike bent his head as Louis walked past, not wanting him to see.
Evidence of note-passing between Partner and associate was what Louis was hoping to find over the past few weeks. Donna had nearly exhausted her tear ducts every time the Junior Partner came snooping by the office. What he wanted was proof that Mike wasn't doing his job so he could go to Jessica and demand he get fired.
It wasn't even a personal vendetta. Mike wouldn't have minded so much if it was one; but the fact that it was to get to Harvey made him angry. Why couldn't they just squabble and leave him out of it? He ignored the note and knew that if Harvey could see him he would no doubt get snarked at for acting like a child.
Although... he really didn't want to work with Louis from now on. He stuff Harvey's note in his pocket and grabbed a piece of spare paper and started scribbling a response.
Suddenly, it was pulled from his hands. "What is this?" Louis asked. "I was told you were down here specifically to work on my case. Like all the other associates. Just because you were assigned to a Senior Partner - one who, may I add - was only promoted because of favouritism - I expect you to work on the work that I assign you, when I assign it. Is that clear?"
Mike stared at him with wide eyes. Louis had never openly talked ill of Harvey in front of the associates; because they all knew he was one of the best lawyers in the firm. "Yeah, I was, uh - "
"Excellent," Louis suddenly gave a wide, fake beam and left.
What, you actually want to work with Louis from now on? Or, are you just ignoring me? That's it, isn't it? You're sulking because you screwed up. Well news flash, kid - I don't give a crap. Your mess - I have to clean it up. That's how it works, apparently. So don't act all sad and pathetic because of something you did. It's not exactly lawyerly behaviour and; here's the kicker - it's not the type of behaviour I expect from my associate. You want to keep working here? Show me you can do it.
Mike groaned slightly and rubbed at his eyes for a few seconds with exhaustion. This second note had been delivered by a scared I.T tech who had said that he hoped Mike wasn't the reason as to why Mr Specter looked as though he was about to kill someone.
Mike quickly read the note and slid it into his pocket just before Louis saw. As soon as the Junior Partner turned away Mike started another reply, trying to act nonchalant.
It didn't work.
I KNOW you're getting these notes, Mike - are you seriously sulking? And did the message from the rest of them not sink in? If you want me to still consider you my associate, reply and show me you have the balls to clean up your mess.
Are you TRYING to piss me off? Is that what this is? If you're not careful, I'll send Donna, and she won't hold back with the insults. If this is like the time Louis locked you in there then I will laugh and call you a wuss, and do you really want that? Reply.
Mike - you don't answer this and I come down there and kick your ass myself.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Louis, always a pleasure," Harvey said sarcastically, scanning the room. "Where's Mike?"
"None of your business," Louis told him, seeming to take great enjoyment out of this. "You said I could do whatever I wanted with him today."
"Yes, and that usually means 'Louis stay away from my associate'," Harvey explained to him. "Where is he?"
"I found him slacking off," Louis told him, looking like a proud frog with a swelling throat.
"Slacking off?" Harvey repeated. That didn't sound like Mike at all. He went at everything with 150%, getting into everything like an over-excited, slobbering puppy.
"He was either doing your work or something that was his own on the company's time. I found him scribbling something down on scraps of paper. And he kept having private messages brought to him by others. Well you might like him screwing around with your work, but not when he's working for me!"
Harvey tried not to feel guilty. The kid deserved being sent here to do Louis' work. But... he was probably trying to reply to Harvey's notes. Probably something along the lines of, "Please come rescue me, I'll be good, just please save me from Louis."
And that had more than likely gotten him banished to wherever Louis had chosen to send him.
"Where is he, Louis?" Harvey asked wearily.
Louis huffed but pointed to a different filing room. Harvey gave him a scathing look but left, finding the right door. He looked through the windows and saw that the kid was chewing on a highlighter again - an annoying yet somewhat endearing habit that Harvey loves using in one of his, "See how you're a puppy?" speeches. He rolled his eyes but went to open the door.
He growled when he couldn't open it and quickly swiped his partner card on the key card pad to open it. Clearly either Mike had lost his card (Which was very likely; Harvey was really beginning to doubt this eidetic memory) or Louis had stolen it so he couldn't get out.
Harvey meandered in with his hands in his pockets, resting casually on a large rack of folders. "I know I said I was sending you on a time-out to the file room, but I didn't mean it this literally."
Mike jumped, looking up in shock, the chewed highlighter cap falling from his mouth. He immediately closed it though, and glowered at Harvey, continuing to work on Louis' documents. Harvey frowned. He would have thought Mike would look upon Harvey as his saviour. "Did you not get any of my messages?" He asked, perfectly aware that Mike was getting them. "My clever threats are wasted on paper without a response."
He waited but, like with the notes, didn't get a reply.
"Fine, sulk for America, see how that treats you," Harvey grumbled, turning to leave. He heard some paper fall and turned. Scraps of paper were falling from Mike's pocket. Blushing, the kid picked them all up and stuffed them back in his pocket.
Harvey recognised them as his own but didn't say anything, simply left the room.
He could be patient when he wanted to be.
Even when it got to half past 8 and all the associates wearily tramped upstairs to their desks from the filing room, Mike still didn't appear. Harvey thought that he would at least say hi to Donna, but no. He frowned, sitting back in his chair and absent-mindedly start throwing a baseball back and forth in his hands. What was wrong with that kid?
Maybe Louis did something?
"You're an idiot," Harvey frowned and looked down at the intercom that suddenly spoke. He glared at Donna through the glass. "I mean; stop blaming everyone but yourself for your mistake."
"Excuse me?" Harvey asked. Donna stood up and walked in, her arms folded.
"Harvey - you're wondering why Mike's avoiding you? You think it's one of two things - he's either too scared to face you because of his mistake or because Louis said something to him to hurt his feelings, right?"
"Where's this going, Donna?" Harvey asked tiredly.
"I read those notes you sent, Harvey," She told him. "They were harsh. Sure, he might be sulking a bit - but I think he's entitled to it, don't you?"
Harvey looked at her for a while before perching his chin on his fingertips, thinking.
"Oh, and he left this for you," Donna said on her way out, leaving a note on his desk. He growled but read it.
Harvey - you really think I'm just 'sulking'? That I'm some kid who's sad because Daddy yelled at him? Get over yourself - you couldn't make me feel like that if you tried. It might have escaped your attention, but I care about my job. You always threaten to fire me as soon as I do something wrong - you forget that I have no idea what I'm doing half the time! Well, no, that's not it - I mean, I do; I can do this job! Ignore that last part!
Harvey rolled his eyes.
How did you think it was going to go, sending me notes with Louis around? As soon as he saw me trying to reply he locked me in the other file room; it's not my fault I couldn't reply, okay? If anything, you're sulking.
Harvey frowned, not quite sure how that worked. He'd tried talking to Mike, and sending hundreds of notes. Sure okay, it may have been his fault that Mike hadn't focussed on Louis' work, but it was definitely Mike's fault that he had to be in there in the first place.
So yeah - I'm sorry I didn't give you the summary on time, okay? But stop taking it out on me as soon as I make a mistake.
Trust Mike to be this much of a drama queen over something like this. But still, small seeds of doubt were spreading in Harvey's mind. Maybe he had been too harsh on the kid?
Maybe if you'd stood up to Louis more when he locked you in that room, this wouldn't have happened!
How am I supposed to do that when you expressly told me to do what he says?
You should have known I was joking! Why would I want you to do what Louis says?
Because you want to make my life a misery?
That's true, but no one deserves Louis. Look, I'm sorry, alright? Now will you stop being such a wuss and just come talk to me?
What? You've suddenly forgiven me for, and I quote, the 'worst mistake anyone at this firm has ever made'?
Look, you of all people know I'm a bastard at the best of times; I was fair in my punishment of you but I shouldn't have said those things to you. Happy?
Don't push it.
Yeah well, I'm still angry at you for saying it. Even if you did apologise.
Kid, anger from you is like a puppy trying to growl. It ultimately tails off on a high pitched note.
Whatever. I'm not talking to you anyway.
And now you're 5. Will you just finish your sulking and come in my office?
Fine, but don't expect me to talk to you. I'm still angry.
It'll be a blessing. Oh, and by the way, Mike?
Writing notes? It's still talking to me.
... Shut up.
A/N So, yeah -it kinda went way off track with what I was anticipating but, yeah... hopefully you enjoyed the last chapter and if you could review a final time I would be over the moon :) Thank you all for the reviews so far, it meant so much to me :)