Written for a prompt on suitsmeme at LJ.
It was fun, writing Mike as the smart, not-so-worried about doing things by the book person that we saw in the pilot.
Good With His Hands
1: The first time that Mike used his secret talent to help Harvey was at a bar. They had been having drinks with a client, in a small corner pub, that normally Harvey wouldn't be caught dead in. Mike on the other hand, was completely comfortable. He loved this type of environment, dim lights, smoky and crowded with inattentive people.
No one, not even Trevor, knew that Mike could pick pockets. It was something Mike started doing in middle school, when money was tight and he didn't have enough to buy lunch, but didn't want to worry his gram. He was small then and easily overlooked, a trait that remained despite his current height. It was a skill that he spent many years perfecting, using it whenever money got too tight, when his grandmother's bills piled up and no amount of tests could cover it. Mike wasn't proud of the fact that he had to do it, but he didn't regret it either.
So while Harvey sweet talked the client, Mike watched the people around them. He might not be able to read people like Harvey could, but he could spot a cop or another thief a mile away. So when an absolutely stunning blond sauntered up to his boss, leaning across him suggestively while she collected a drink from the bartender, Mike shook his head. She was sloppy, he decided, not that most people would notice, they would be looking at her formfitting dress or the high slit that showed her legs. Rolling his eyes, he muttered an excuse to Harvey, who was paying no attention, and moved toward the bathroom, brushing past the woman and discreetly slipping the Harvey's wallet from her purse. Again, Mike rolled his eyes, circling the room before moving back toward his spot and pretending to pick up the wallet off the ground.
"Hey, boss, I think you dropped this." Mike casually handed it over, then going back to his spot, ignoring the startled look that flashed over Harvey's face. Mike waited until Harvey's attention was fully on the client again before he grinned.
2: The second time Mike's special talent came into play, he reasoned that it wasn't really for Harvey, it was more for Donna. Mike had learned early on to have a healthy fear of the woman who, in Mike's opinion, could do anything. Except, Mike decided, watching Donna sob all over Harvey's suit, realize who had taken the bracelet that she always wore.
Mike, who had once complimented her on it, knew that it had belonged to her great-grandmother and Donna treasured it. Sighing, he headed off toward the associate's cubicles, determined to find it for the secretary before the end of the day. Being forced to spend far more time than was healthy with the other associates meant that Mike heard all kinds of things that he really didn't want to know. Like how Gregory was secretly afraid of judges, and how Kyle had a massive thing for Jessica.
It took him most of the day to realize that Henry, the small mousy man that delivered the mail was the only person in the building to have a crush on Donna, as everyone else was terrified of her. Granted, the only way Mike learned of that was because he stumbled on Henry talking to himself about Donna more than once.
Mike decided that the best place to start looking was locked wooden box that was always in the mail room, based mostly on the very flashy high-grade lock that was on it. He had gone to Rachel, begging a hairpin off of her with the excuse that he lost the key to his bike lock, and spent nearly twenty minutes carefully picking the lock. The small Donna shrine, which was creepy enough for Mike to avoid both Henry and Donna for a straight week, had bits of hair, pictures, and the bracelet. Mike snatched it and relocked the box, taking great care not to touch anything else in the box.
Because of his now overly creeped out mind frame, Mike smuggled the bracelet, along with a typed explanation of where it was found, onto Harvey's desk, letting the older man take all credit for finding it, even if it meant that Donna was completely on Harvey's side for several months afterward.
3: The third time it happened, Mike had a ten minute laughing fit afterward. It was bad enough that Donna tried to send him home because he was obviously very sick. There wasn't really anything that Mike could say to convince her because he was too busy holding himself up with her desk while he laughed to do anything else.
It was April first, and the pranks and jokes had been flying around the associates cubicles all morning. Mike had been the victim of only two, one by Rachel that he hadn't expected, and one by Donna that he had. Oh there had been many more intended for him but Mike made a point of arranging it so that someone else ended up being the target. The bucket of water that Gregory had set up to fall on him had hit Luis, the nail that Kyle put in his chair, somehow ended up in Seth's and the snake that Seth had hidden in his desk drawer was discovered by one of the female mail clerks, who screamed so loudly that half the building heard her.
Mike, who had decided that it would be best if he stayed away from his desk for a while, had been walking toward Harvey's office to drop off some files when he spotted Luis slinking around. The only reason that the sight didn't make Mike believe that he was in an alternate dimension, was that Donna had left for lunch and Harvey had been in meetings all day. So he watched the junior partner fiddling around with Harvey's chair and desk, before ducking out of sight, when Luis left.
They say that curiosity killed the cat, but everyone seems to have decided that Mike is a puppy so he feels perfectly justified in investigating when he sets the files down. For a minute, he is surprised at Luis' creativity and half considers letting Harvey fall victim. But, if Mike is a puppy then he is a loyal one, and after making a couple of adjustments, he soon breezes off, making an excuse to collide with Luis at the first available opportunity, using apologies and an offer of a coffee run to cover his hand slipping a small key out of the older man's pocket.
No matter how loyal Mike is, he still waits until Harvey has settled into his chair and Luis' prank has sprung, handcuffing the senior partner to his chair. Briefly, Mike smirks at the expression of complete shock on Harvey's face before slipping the key unnoticed on Donna's desk where he knows she will find it soon. But no matter what he does, he can't stop himself from laughing while imagining what Harvey might have done if Mike hadn't removed the chocolate cream pie that Luis had set up to splatter all over his boss when he had sat down.
4: The next time that Mike used his pickpocketing skills was a complete accident. Well, mostly an accident. It was nearly Christmas at this point, and things had been going fairly smoothly. Well, if you decided to completely ignore the fact that Mike was starting to develop this... thing for his boss. Yes, minus that, everything was perfectly fine. Unfortunately, Mike never could lie to himself.
Mike, who never missed a opportunity to spoil people that he cared about, had made sure that both Rachel and Donna had flowers on their desks, anonymously of course, that Jessica had a small box of chocolates delivered, secretly, and that Harvey had a wrapped unlabeled gift waiting for him on his desk, all the day before the firm closed for the holidays. Mike wasn't stupid, he knew that the best thing he could do was make sure they wouldn't be able to know that it was him, because he would never hear the end of it.
His plan works perfectly, because no one says a word to him for the entire day, until Harvey pauses at Mike's desk just before seven at night. "Mike."
"Hmm?" Mike was reading through some information on a sexual harassment case at rapid speed, barely paying Harvey any attention, because it was easier for Mike to pretend that this.. thing existed.
Harvey rolled his eyes and setting down a small wrapped box, placed his hand over the paper, making Mike glance up at him. "Mike, go home. The papers can wait until after the holiday."
Mike sighed, nodding slightly, "Going to see your family?" The only reason Mike asked was because it would have been strange if he hadn't.
"Long enough to give my mother her gift." The reply was short, as Harvey straightened and walked toward the elevator.
Mike rolled his eyes. He may have a thing for the man, but sometimes he wasn't that great to talk to. It was then Mike noticed the gift that Harvey had forgotten. Mike had no illusion that it was for him, because Harvey Specter didn't care. In a flash, Mike had his coat on and raced down the hall, before stopping. He was fairly sure that just giving the gift to Harvey would probably result in some kind of snarky remark. That was not how Mike wanted to start his holiday, but at the same time, he couldn't just let Harvey leave without it. A sly grin crossed his face, as he again raced down the hall, catching up to Harvey while the older man was waiting for the elevator. Pausing just long enough to enjoy the sight of his boss in a very nice leather trench coat, before moving past him smoothly and slipping the gift into his pocket, while heading for the stairs. "Have a good time!" He called out cheekily, catching a glimpse of Harvey shaking his head with a small smile on his face before the door to the stairwell closed behind him.
5: The fifth time, Mike decided that he was an idiot. He couldn't believe that he was actually going to do this. It was all Harvey's fault. Everything. Mike even considered quitting for all of five minutes before deciding that would be bad for him on all counts. So here he stood, as a dead man walking, silently cursing his boss. He knew that Harvey didn't actually expect him to be able to get the client's card from Jessica, because that would imply that Harvey might actually think highly of Mike. Still, Harvey had banished him from his office until he returned with the card.
Mike had considered all the possible ways of getting the card on his walk toward Jessica's office. He could simply ask her for it, and explain things to her, but secretly, and openly, Jessica scared him almost as much as Donna did. He could hope to the Fates, who his was positive hated him, that she had left it in her desk, of he could just take it off of her. For the first time in years, Mike was nervous. He was certain that he could get the card from her, there was no doubt about it, but he rarely pilfered from people that scared him. Cursing himself now, certain that Harvey had to have figured out about Mike's... thing for him and that this was just a twisted form of payback, Mike took a calming breath and started thinking. He ducked into an empty room to plan exactly the best way to get the card and where Jessica might be keeping it.
Ten minutes later, with a firm(read-crazy) plan running through his mind at warp speed, he carefully approached Jessica, holding a cup of coffee in one hand. He had decided that since Jessica had taken the card from Harvey only minutes before his insane boss sent him on this suicide mission, that it was probably still in the pocket of her suit jacket where she had tucked it away, while lecturing Harvey. Mike approached her with a nervous smile, all the while swearing that he would get Harvey for this, one way or another.
"Miss Pearson?" Mike began shifting slightly when the woman gave him her full attention. "I was told to bring you this.." He handed over the coffee with his usual smile, listening the whole time that Jessica explained that the gesture was not going to help Harvey get back on the case. Mike nodded at all the right moments, and was extra careful while quickly collecting the card, when Jessica turned away to call to someone down the hall.
When Mike returned to Harvey's office, all he did was glare at his smirking boss before tossing it down on his desk, secretly enjoying the surprised look on the older man's face. "I am never doing that again!"
+1: Mike had meant what he said to Harvey. He was never again going to use his secret talent to help his boss out ever again. It didn't matter how much Mike liked Harvey, because if Mike somehow got caught, then he would be fired and Mike needed this job. More than anything else, he had to take care of his grandmother, and he couldn't do it right without his job.
Harvey, on the other hand, had been suspicious of his associate since the Christmas, when he found the gift that he had intentionally left for Mike back in his pocket half way toward his destination. So he tried, numerous times to arrange a situation so that he could catch the kid in the act. But, Mike was determined not to risk his job again and refused to take advantage of any of the situations.
So instead, Harvey had Donna, who Mike was absolutely skittish around lately, leave something of Harvey's in Mike's jacket, which the kid always left at his desk. Poor Donna had to do it four times before Harvey finally caught Mike returning it. He had to admit that the kid was good.
In the end, it was when Mike was returning one of Harvey's favored gold pens that the older man noticed it. Mike was standing next to him, explaining his latest discovery, when Harvey turned abruptly, and caught Mike moving his hand back to his side. The associate kept talking like nothing was out of the ordinary, but Harvey stuck his hand in his pocket anyway, curling his fingers around the pen. Keeping his eyes locked on Mike's, he pulled the pen out, waving it at Mike.
For his part, Mike shrugged, looking completely unconcerned with the discovery. He simply stuck both hands pointedly in his pockets, apparently waiting for Harvey's lecture.
"Were you going to tell me you were a thief?"
"Why not?" Harvey scowled just for good measure.
"Because," Mike shrugged again. "I haven't stolen anything."
"Really?" If Harvey hadn't been so good at knowing when Mike was lying he wouldn't have believed him.
"Yup. Not since I got this job." Mike kept his voice casual.
"Is that so..." Harvey smirked. "Then I think you and I need to have a little talk about exactly what you have been doing."