A/N: So this is the part we've all been waiting for (for a LONG time...sorry about that...). The one sport Mike dominates at. Thanks for all the fabulous reviews and congrats to those of you who guessed it! I hope you enjoy the last chap!
And The One Time Mike OWNED The Court
Harvey was frowning down at a paper in his hand when Donna spotted him. She brought her fresh cup of Partner's Break Rom coffee to her lips and caught up to him, walking side by side back to his office.
"You can't not pick him," she informed around a smirk, looking toward the windows that faced the Manhattan skyline.
Harvey huffed, not even asking how she already knew about something he had only just been informed of.
"I'd be doing the kid a favor. He'd probably trip on his way to the court, fall, break his neck and we'd be out an associate again."
"Harvey..." Donna said in that 'you're being dramatic again' tone.
"Not to mention the fact that watching Mike break his neck might do the opposite of what this charity basketball game is supposed to do, namely raise money for the Boys' and Girls' club and not traumatize the couple hundred kids who are going to be there watching."
Donna seamlessly broke off from Harvey and settled at her desk while he went into his office and sat as his own.
After a few moments her voice came across the intercom. She was still facing her computer.
"You know you can't not-"
"Yeah I know." Harvey snapped, flipping open a file with more force than necessary. "But if that kid ends up costing us the game and we lose to Louis I'm gonna kick his ass."
Donna smirked at her computer screen.
"You never know Harvey. He might surprise you."
Harvey snorted. "Yeah he might. By making it through this game without a head injury. That would be surprising."
A little while later when Harvey told Mike he had a spot on Harvey's team for the charity Basketball game (a backup spot where there was a lower risk of actual game play and the head injuries that would inevitably follow, but a spot nonetheless), he'd been expecting that wide-eyed look of horror to cross the kid's face. Definitely some complaining and probably a bit of whining too for good measure. He'd even been prepared for the possibility of an 'I don't get to see my grandmother enough as it is and I'm supposed to stop by that day' sob story.
What he hadn't been expecting was the tilted head of mild interest and hint of amusement that played behind Mike's blue eyes before he simply shrugged and accepted the news along with the handful of briefs Harvey gave him.
And Harvey watched him curiously as he walked away.
Harvey was seething.
Somehow he knew, he just knew Louis had planned this from the beginning. How he managed to make sure the score was tied by the end of the game, he hadn't quite worked out yet, nor how he convinced Jessica to agree to a game of 'Twenty-One' in lieu of traditional overtime. But the fact that this impromptu game of one-on-one had somehow managed to be set up between Mike, who'd warmed the bench all afternoon (right where he belonged) and Louis' own protégé Kyle (who'd been stuck in court all day and was the only fair choice since the rest of Louis' players were winded, or so the Junior Lawyer said) pointed to a diabolical plot of Louis' making as the only logical explanation.
The man turned slightly to one side and saw Mike hovering beside him.
"Um, which," he began in a low voice and glanced around quickly, "which hoop is mine?"
Harvey very nearly groaned audibly. Forcing a deep breath, trying to reconcile the fact that he was about to lose to Louis, he reached up and pinched the bridge of his nose.
"It's a half-court game of 'Twenty-One', Mike. You're both going to the same hoop." He opened one eye to see Mike still staring at him. He sighed. "That one."
Mike followed his gaze and then nodded. "Okay."
The kid trotted away from him and Harvey shook his head, holding in the urge to call out for him to 'be careful'. Good associates were hard to come by, after all.
Mike approached where Kyle was already waiting out on the floor. His decade old scuffed Air Jordan sneakers and baggy blue gym shorts were a stark contrast to the other lawyers gleaming white and red ensemble.
He nodded at the referee, holding a basketball out in front of him, preparing to toss it into the air for the tip off, and then looked at Kyle, who wore a smug twist on his lips.
"By the way," he said, bending at the waist and hiking his shorts up slightly at the knees, "I was captain of the basketball team at my prep school."
"Good to know." Mike nodded solemnly before his blank look morphed into an almost wolfish smile. "And in the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that I played ball at Fredrick Douglas Park every day from the time I was ten until I went to college."
Kyle frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Mike's eyes flashed with mischief and he shrugged, feigning nonchalance and quickly took hold of his foot, stretching his quads.
"You'll see." He assured the other lawyer, and all words ceased as the referee threw the ball into the air and both men jumped, hands reaching high over their heads toward it.
Harvey had no idea what the hell had happened, but he was pretty sure his associate had been switched with someone who actually had skill. More than skill.
Mike was wiping the floor with Kyle.
It wasn't so much that he was scoring much higher than the other lawyer, their scores were pretty even (although with the way Mike was playing Harvey had the sneaking suspicion he was stringing Kyle along more than anything). It was more the way he was playing.
And Harvey had to admit, if the roles were reversed and Kyle was using the moves Mike was, he'd probably be as worked up as Louis right now (he'd never seen the the man's face turn quite that shade of red before). Still, the moves were legitimate. Flashy and unnecessary and general humiliating to Kyle, but legal.
And where had all this talent been the last five times he'd needed the kid to have some actual damn coordination?
Mike stood at the three point line, dribbling casually as Kyle leaned his hands on his knees and caught his breath.
"Not tired, are ya' Prep School?" Mike taunted, smirking. He usually didn't use nicknames, his grandmother had always said it was bad manners, but Mike had always considered the basketball court to be an exception to most of the rules his grandmother had taught him.
"What is this anyway, huh? Everybody knows you suck at sports." Kyle snarled.
"Shouldn't believe everything you hear, Kyle. Some might call that 'naïve'. 'Soft' even." Mike shook his head. "There's a lot of partners here tonight, you wouldn't want them to think of you that way, would you?"
Kyle made a noise similar to a roar and rushed at Mike, who was instantly on the balls of his feet. He took a half step toward Kyle, dribbling the ball between his legs once and then around behind his back, spinning out of the way and to one side, letting Kyle rush right past him. Instead of going toward the hoop though, he stopped, turning to face Kyle again. He absently watched the other lawyer and dribbled the ball under one leg and then the other, lifting them in tandem as Kyle took up a defensive stance in front of him.
"Scores 19-19, Kyle." Mike reminded him, "two more points and I win."
Kyle scowled. "Two more points and I win, Speed Bump." He spat the nick name, assuming he'd hit a soft spot, trying to get under Mike's skin.
The blonde laughed.
"Now, Kyle, that's not nice." Mike tilted his head to one side and quickly lifted the ball, bouncing it to Kyle's left and then juked to the right, meeting the ball behind Kyle before the other lawyer even had a chance to turn around.
Mike dribbled once, twice, eyes glued to the backboard as he approached and passed the ball under his leg and into the closer palm for an easy layup that had enough height to be a slam dunk if he'd wanted it to be.
He caught the ball after its trip through the net and smiled.
"19-20." He said loudly, trying to be heard over the sound of hundreds of kids going wild in the stands. "Your ball."
Kyle growled and snatched the ball from the air when Mike passed it to him.
Mike kept his arms out wide and stuck to Kyle like glue, matching him step for step on defense. It only took a moment for Kyle to get frustrated and make his fatal mistake. The ball had barely left his fingertips for the ill-fated jump shot when Mike's hand shot up, smacking it back down again and back into his possession.
He dribbled back to the free throw line and time seemed to slow down as he watched Kyle rushing toward him, a look of pure fury on his face. He looked toward the sidelines and saw Louis looking ready to explode, and kept searching, his blue eyes landing on familiar faces with unfamiliar looks painted across them.
He'd never seen Donna look surprised before and Jessica had never seemed pleased with him before and he'd certainly never seen that look of pride on Harvey's face before.
And why was he waving his arms like that?
"Oh," Mike said to himself, and turned back around, shooting the basketball with moments to spare before Kyle slammed into him. He felt the wind rush out of him when the other man's body hit his, and felt himself falling to the ground harder than he expected. He felt his head bounce against the floor and he felt it hurt like hell.
The last thing he felt before the world went dark was irritation. He didn't even know if his shot was good or not.
Mike awoke to dozens of heads hovering over him and it was sort of hard to breathe.
He blinked his eyes open again and saw Harvey had pushed the other people back and his was the only head hovering above him.
"D'mk it?" He muttered, raising his hands to press against his face. An impressive headache was pounding at his temples.
"What?" Harvey said, leaning closer.
"Did I make it?" He said again, God his head hurt.
Harvey nodded, a small smirk on his lips.
"Yeah kid. You won." He shook his head, helping Mike sit up. "How you doin'?"
Mike sighed, "That sucked."
"Actually it was quite impressive." Harvey said, "Who knew you had skills like that?"
That made the younger man smile a bit and he opened his eyes fully, looking around. He saw Donna and the referee standing off to one side and the crowds in the bleachers looking out at the court with earnest expressions.
"Help me up," Mike muttered, trying to pull his feet under him.
"Mike I think you should-"
"The kids, Harvey," Mike muttered meaningfully.
Harvey turned to look over his shoulder, realizing that everyone in the stands, including a couple hundred elementary school-aged kids, were staring out at the court, looking worried for their injured underdog.
"Yeah, okay." Harvey nodded, pulling Mike's arm across his shoulders and helping him to his feet.
Mike gave a small wave, even as he tightened his grip on Harvey's shirt sleeve because the world wasn't staying quite upright like it should. The crowd seemed appeased and clapping and whistles rang out from all over the gym as Mike, aided by Harvey, approached the trio behind Donna.
Kyle stood between Jessica and Louis, both looked angry though Mike guessed it was probably for different reasons.
"That's what that means." Mike said, squinting in pain but smiling anyway.
Kyle looked confused. "What?"
"That a streetballer can whip a prep school captain's ass any day of the week and twice on payday."
A scowl grew across Kyle's face again and Harvey turned them away before the smack talk could get any more out of hand.
"C'mon kid," he muttered, adjusting his hold on Mike to take more of the kid's weight.
"Did you see me, Harvey?" Mike slurred, his concussion getting the better of him.
"Yeah Mike, I saw you." He nodded, letting some of the fondness he felt in his chest come across in his voice because he was pretty sure the kid wouldn't remember it later. "You were great."
"Dude, I dominated."
Harvey snorted, "Yeah, that you did. And yet, somehow, you still managed to come away with a head injury."
I had to whump him a little bit to make up for the lateness of this chapter. Hope you liked it!