Author's Note: Whew. Sorry for the lateness of this chapter folks. =| This took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it is 28 pages. I hope you enjoy! Thank you, Charlotte Thornton, for the review! =)
"I cannot believe I let you two talk me into this," Harvey said as he climbed out of his car which they had parked about five blocks from Central Park in an underground car garage. He glanced at the car next to him and sniffed haughtily, eyeing its doors as though he suspected the owner was particularly careless about dinging neighboring cars. But they had been lucky to get a spot at all as a steady stream of cars rolled through the garage trying to scout out hidden spots. He ducked back in to grab his brown felt fedora and, instead of jamming it on his head, he set it delicately and precisely.
"It's just a few hours," Mike said to him, smiling at Harvey's intent on looking his best even when he was covered in fake gore.
"I don't do costumes."
"You have to this time," Donna said, beaming at him. "Honestly, Harvey, live a little!"
"All of this is just a ruse set up by Jessica to get me to put cheap make-up on. She begs me every year to participate," he mumbled with a severe frown.
"Oh shit! You caught us," Donna replied.
His eyes brightened up and he peered over the car, but the assistant was giving him a bland stare and he sighed.
"You'll live," she said and ducked back in the car. When she stood up again, she stared around in surprise when she found them gone and then peered around the garage to find them already halfway towards the exit. "Boys, get back here! I have to put the finishing touches on."
Mike immediately faltered and started heading back to the car. Harvey kept going.
"No you don't," the older lawyer shot back at her.
"Harvey Specter, come back right now, or I'll spread a rumor around the firm that you're impotent!" Mike's eyes went wide and he practically choked, glancing from Harvey to Donna warily as though he was trying to decide whom he should be afraid of more. He backed away from both of them until he was on the other side of the car.
The older lawyer stopped instantly and turned around slowly. "You wouldn't! That's too mean, even for you!"
She narrowed her eyes in challenge and set her jaw in a truculent jut. "Try me."
Mike had to bite his fingers to keep his laughter contained, but he sobered up quickly when Harvey walked right up to Donna, close enough that he had to look down and she was looking up. He didn't think he had ever seen Harvey look so angry – and especially not at Donna – but she did not relent, yet he thought he saw a light blush on her cheeks. They were so close, Mike thought for an instant that they might kiss, but they only glared at each other with enough fury to charge the atmosphere around them.
They didn't appear to hear him and continued staring at each other. He thought Harvey may have said something to her – Donna looked as if her blush had deepened but it was difficult to tell. Harvey's eyes looked entirely too dark, but then, Mike thought, it might also be the light playing tricks.
"Hey over there," Mike said, waving his arm a little to see if he could get their attention. Still nothing.
He eyed them, wondering if they would break out of this staring match or whether they would wind up doing something else. If they had not moved in the next minute, he would go over there and separate them and remind them that they definitely had to show up at the zombie walk or Jessica might just fire them – or he would just leave them. That sounded like the safest option of the two.
Mike was just edging away when Donna broke the tension by smacking Harvey in the chest, letting it slide off and leaving an awful bloody mess and trail. She smirked up at him in triumph.
Harvey snatched her bottle of fake blood, poured a liberal amount into his palm and slapped some on her shoulder, but she only giggled.
"I wasn't the one who didn't want blood on my clothes. You're only making me look better," she shot at him. He scowled but then his expression changed into a knowing smile, but then he caught the look on Donna's face. If Mike had any doubts that Donna was a goddess, they were banished when he was certain he could see thunderclouds in Donna's eye and she said, "I swear to God, Harvey, if you put that stuff in my hair, I will return the favor with enough fake blood so that your hair will be dirty and greasy for a week!"
He deflated. "You are mean. A guy can't have some fun without you grievously injuring them."
"Oh, you can have fun with me, just expect payback to be tenfold," she said with a sweet smile on her face. He settled with putting more fake blood on his hand and dabbing her other shoulder, a little bit closer to her neck. "All right, give me that back. I need to stop you before you grope me in front of the pup."
"Like he can see," Harvey said, glancing at Mike over the car with a dastardly look in his eyes.
The associate raised his hands up in an innocent gesture and said, "I did not see anything, I did not hear anything."
While Harvey was looking away, Donna had taken the opportunity to apply more blood and he suddenly jumped away.
"Damn you, woman! I didn't want blood on my khakis either!"
"C'mon, Harvey, Khakis are a dime a dozen. You can easily go buy another pair."
"You're talking as if I like to go shopping."
"You spent so much time looking for the perfect three-piece suits."
"And I've been with the same tailor for about six years now. What does that tell you?"
Donna sighed as she applied fake blood to her own jeans. "Tells me you're nothing more than the typical male."
Harvey huffed and walked over to the other side of the car where Mike was.
"Harvey, get back here. You're going to look strange with blood on the front of your legs but not on the back."
He just stood next to Mike and scowled at her, stubbornly refusing to make a single move, so she sighed and headed over to the other side of the car, poured out some more blood and slapped it on his leg as soon as she rounded the car.
"Gah! Now look who's groping."
"I didn't grope you," Donna said, looking up at him from where she crouched with an amused grin. She threw more blood on his other leg and he continued to glare at her.
"I say you did!"
"Mike didn't see anything."
The associate was pointedly staring everywhere but at them. "Yes, I didn't see or hear anything," he said. "But please don't grope me."
Donna rolled her eyes. "You weren't the one who didn't want to put blood on his clothes. You can do yourself," Donna replied, reaching around Harvey to shove the bottle of fake blood into Mike's chest.
The older lawyer and secretary waited rather patiently for Mike to apply his own fake blood, which he did rather clumsily under both of their gazes. He looked up at least once to find Harvey smirking at him. He blushed deeply for reasons unknown to him and fumbled the fake blood only for it to fall on the ground and leak out. Harvey couldn't keep from laughing.
"Mike, do you need help?" Donna asked, with more than a little exasperation in her tone.
"No, no, I'm fine. See? I'm almost done."
"Sometimes, I wonder how you manage on your own," she said as he snapped the lid shut, opened Harvey's car door, and was ready to toss it in the backseat when he saw the dangerous glare on Harvey's face. He hunched his shoulders in guilt and set it down gently and upright at the foot of Donna's seat.
"Good puppy. He has a sense of self-preservation after all."
"Are we ready then? Let's go!"
It had taken them thirty minutes to get from the parking garage to the park and in that time, there had to have been a dozen people who screamed, "It's Indiana Jones! Hey it's Indy! Dead Indy! Can I get a picture? Dude, look, it's Zombie Indy!"
"I knew this was a bad idea," Harvey sniped at Donna and Mike as they shot each other conspiratorial winks and amused grins.
"I thought you liked being the center of attention," Donna replied.
"Only when I look like the best damn closer in the city."
"Have you been hearing all the compliments you've been getting? The best damn closer still looks good, just fitting for the occasion," Mike said, gesturing to all the other zombies that were walking down with them. He had to admit, he thought this walk was supposed to be a little gathering meant just for the lawyers at Pearson Hardman, but just noticing the volume of people streaming down the sidewalks to the park suggested this was far beyond the scope of their firm.
"Hmmph," Harvey said and he tipped the fedora down a little further to hide his face.
Donna reached over and tipped it back up and she said, "Come on, Harvey, indulge a little! Have some fun! I bet none of your costumes as a kid looked half as cool as you look now."
"I indulged in it when I was college," Harvey shot back at her. "I'm a little old to be indulging in it now."
"He's not," Mike suddenly pointed and couldn't keep from laughing. "Zombie Santa! He looks great!"
"See, Harvey? Live a little. You've been too wrapped up in the world of a lawyer and the rich. Have fun."
"I have fun on my own terms," Harvey muttered, but he did give an amused chuckle at Zombie Santa already lurching along in character, complete with a bag of toys thrown over his shoulder. His tangled white beard even had gobs of sticky blood stuck in it.
Mike admitted that dressed up like they were, he had felt a little like an idiot. When they had been driving down the parking garage, Donna had made faces at people in other cars stuck at the red light with them, and every single time he saw the occupants of the car break down in laughter, then point and whistle at her. There had been another time when a person in a car next to Harvey glanced over and gave him an odd stare. The older lawyer had noticed and simply nodded at him with a cool look and the man had nearly broken down into giggles, to which Harvey just sighed. But now that they were far from being the only zombies in the city, it was much easier to revel in their appearance.
"Whoa," Mike intoned when they finally came up to the park and saw, not just a couple hundred people, but thousands of milling zombies wandering around the park, waiting for the event to begin.
"Well, you were right, Donna. We do look like kickass zombies," Harvey said to her as he pointedly watched some college kids go by with sloppy red and white make-up applied, making them look more like sloppy versions of clowns rather than zombies.
"Yes, another example to back up that I am right. All the time," Donna replied.
Harvey snorted and turned to give her a mischievous grin, "No you're not. What about that professor guy you had three dates with? You were so convinced he was just being metaphorical until you finally realized that he did raise monkeys in the basement of his apartment complex."
She frowned and blushed a little. "I could swear he was talking about his students!"
Harvey only laughed at her and then Mike jumped in, "Oh, like you haven't dated any weirdos!"
"Except I don't date, kid. Gets me out of experiencing a lot of crap the average bachelor would have to go through."
Donna got a thoughtful look on her face and she stared pointedly at Mike. "Harvey has picked up girls that tried to sabotage his condoms."
Mike's eyes widened, "Got any illegitimate children, Harvey?"
"I don't think so," Harvey replied, but Mike had noticed his good humor had slipped away at the mention of those particularly crazy women. He still had a smirk on his face, but it lacked the gleeful light Harvey usually had when he was amused. "I caught them all before we got far enough and then I tossed them out on their ass. I will not risk it, I don't care if they're almost passed child-bearing age or not."
"See? Harvey's had his share of crazies. It's just a different brand of crazy," Donna said. "Let this be a warning, Mike. You're handsome enough you'll get some women later. Be sure you don't get conned into having any children you don't want."
Mike gulped at the thought and said, "Well, I have a nice steady relationship now." Although he seriously wondered how long that would last if Jenny continued to get pissed at him like she was today.
As they approached the park, they noticed a stage had been set up close to the road and a man dressed up as a passable imitation of Beetlejuice was talking into a microphone, "For those zombies just arriving, please come to the stage to be counted."
"All right, let's get this over with and then I want to see if I can find Jessica," Harvey said, making a beeline for the stage.
"Do you really think she'll be here?" Mike tried to picture Jessica Pearson as a zombie and failed rather miserably. If there were a zombie apocalypse, he had no doubt that she would be on the front-line directing the troops with not a single scratch on her.
"She's definitely here. Jessica alwaysshows up to these things. In fact, she's probably hovering somewhere around the stage."
They didn't see her as they approached the stage, though Harvey was straining to look over the crowds to catch a glimpse of her, but he shook his head as they followed the steady line up onto the stage. At the top of the stairs, a woman volunteer, not dressed up at all, was pulling off stickers and putting them on the shoulders of everyone who passed her.
"Nice costume," she said to Harvey as she put a sticker on his shoulder.
He accepted her compliment with a nod and asked, "Where do you put your donations?"
"The man in the Beetlejuice costume has the can," she said with a nod over her shoulder and then she grinned at Mike as she stuck him with a sticker. "Your group has some really clever costumes."
"Thanks," Mike mumbled, keeping his head bowed and Donna rolled her eyes from behind him.
The associate followed Harvey over to where he was standing with the Beetlejuice guy, who spluttered when he was handed several hundred dollar bills.
"Uhh…do you need a receipt for that, sir?"
"No," Harvey who looked about as joyful as a little boy forced into taking piano lessons. He turned and started down the stairs on the other side of the stairs before the guy could say anymore and just as Mike was getting out his wallet to donate something, Donna put her hands on his shoulder and pushed him along.
"Mike, you have little enough as it is. Consider yourself a part of Harvey's donation," she said to him.
"But – !"
"Are you honestly going to argue with me?"
"Well, I mean, it would only be decent. I can't just claim to be part of Harvey's donation!"
"Sure you can. You and I both helped Harvey earn that money. I promise you, this day is on him," she said.
"Will you hurry up?" Harvey said from the bottom of the stairs. At the uncertain frown on Mike's face, he said, "You don't need to donate anything. You're a peon associate with a grandmother to take care of. Feel free to be as philanthropic as you like when you're senior partner one day."
"You really think I'll get to where you are?" Mike asked, unable to believe he would ever be the caliber lawyer that Harvey was.
Harvey smirked at him. "I know you will be." With that he turned away and glanced around the crowd, still trying to see if he could spot Jessica.
Just as he started off in a direction, he heard his name from the opposite direction he was going and he turned back. He recoiled and blinked as a bright flash met his eyes and after the white spots disappeared he saw Jessica smirking at him with delight, holding her little point camera.
He drew his mouth into a furious line and stepped over to her with a glare, but she only looked please.
"I am going to print this shot, put it on my desk, and write a little note next to it that says 'Harvey finally wore a costume like I asked,'" Jessica said with a pleased smile.
"It was Donna and Mike's fault," Harvey said to her and she looked over at them with a pleased smile.
Mike shifted uncomfortably since he hardly ever got such an appraising look from Jessica, but he did his best to meet her stare. "Well then, I may actually have to give them a raise for doing the impossible."
"You don't keep me around to see that I dress up in costumes. I keep your firm profitable by being the best closer," he said with a proud smile.
"Hmm…that's very true. But you would be perfect if you actually did everything that I asked," she replied and there was a bite to her tone.
"I am the closest to perfection you're going to get," Harvey replied, raising his eyebrows at her and giving her one of his patent charming smiles.
"Is that one of your pick-up lines? It's not half as good when you're looking like a ghoul, not to mention using it on your boss."
"Whatever works to stay on her good side," Harvey said, quieter than his normal tone but Jessica obviously still heard it. "Just so you know, I think my delivery of said pick-up line was far less effective made by the fact that you look hideous."
"I'll take that as a compliment," Jessica said, but Mike could tell she was having difficulty trying to keep from smiling. She had grayed out her skin much like Donna had done to all of them, but she quite possibly looked even more zombie-like with darker circles under her eyes. She had apparently decided to go as a zombified rich woman, because she was wearing one of her beautiful black dresses and, as a result, had not used nearly as much blood as they had. She surveyed them with her head held up high and smiled on them kindly almost like how a grandmother would to her grandchildren. "You all look great at the very least. Now, please tell me that isn't a real whip."
"Of course it is," Harvey said with a mock scoff. "I would not go as Indiana Jones if I could not do it authentically."
"That better stay on your belt."
"Relax. It's tied there. Jessica, I thought you knew me better than that."
"Mmhmm. That's why I had to ask."
"Oh yes, that reminds me. Is there a position open for a slave driver at the firm? Because I will gladly fill it."
"And, again, that's why I asked," Jessica shot back at him, but she was once again having trouble trying to keep from grinning. When she could see that even Harvey's attention was starting to drift away from her, she informed them, "Much of the firm is gathered here – makes it easier to count who was here and who wasn't. Feel free to mingle."
"Hmm," Harvey said to her, glancing around more as a courtesy than a sign of any real interest. The only people he talked to on a regular basis were standing around him right now. "Is there any protocol for leaving after the walk is done?"
"No. Feel free to do whatever you want. You have to be in the walk for at least an hour, Harvey," Jessica said giving him an evil eye since she knew he had a tendency to duck out of even more formal functions.
"I wouldn't worry about him, Jessica. He will finish the walk or face my wrath," she said in a cool voice and a hard look at Harvey, which he ignored.
Jessica smiled. Donna was scary but quite possibly the best part about her was her ability to keep Harvey in check; that last thing he needed was his excellent secretary angry with him.
Harvey led them over to a nearby sycamore tree and then pulled out his phone to check the time and he sighed. "This thing starts at seven. We still have another twenty minutes and I doubt this will start on time," he said with a scowl.
"So tell me what else you were planning to do tonight?" Donna asked. "Oh, that's right, nothing."
He smiled unpleasantly at her.
Mike paid them little attention and was instead staring around at all the people passing by. It was so strange to see so many people dressed alike in so many ways and yet he saw the odd strange costume here and there, such as a military zombie, dead David Bowie – he could appreciate a nod to Dr. Horrible – and even just some regular zombies that looked freaky as hell. One man looked like a Hannibal with gray skin, down to the creepy eyes and everything.
"Am I allowed to wander around?" Mike asked, knowing that Harvey was usually particular about such behavior.
"Go ahead. But if you get lost, I'm leaving you here," the lawyer replied. He was surveying the area much like a hunter surveys the game he's about to shoot.
"Well, I have my cell phone on me if you need me."
"He remembered his cell phone, Donna! Imagine that."
Mike stuck his tongue out at both of them as he walked away. Immature, sure, but then they were treating him like a child. The forgetful phone episode lasted all of a week! He hadn't forgotten it since – he made sure of it.
Mike hadn't wandered away for more than a minute, so Harvey was surprised when he felt a presence step up beside him and he addressed it, "Back so soon? You better not ask me to – Oh God, it's you."
"Hi, Harvey," Louis said in his nasally voice.
Donna had her back turned to Louis and she visibly cringed at the sound of his voice, but she turned around to show him a very strained smile. As usual, Harvey didn't even bother to hide his dislike of Louis and he sneered at Louis' costume.
"Good evening, Louis. You look like the bastard child of Ronald McDonald and the Joker. Not in a good way though," Harvey said to him with a grimace and Donna was biting her lip to keep from laughing.
"You think you're so funny, Harvey. Why in the world are you dressed up like that? Don't you think the Indiana Jones outfit is overkill? You even did a crappy job of matching the outfit," Louis said, eyeing his black leather jacket and the odd leather whip and wrinkling his nose in a snotty way.
"While detail maybe important in the court of law. It's not here. I must've had twenty people scream 'Indy' at me when I first walked into the park."
"I'm surprised they could make the connection with all that terrible make-up on your face."
"Whoa, Louis. I did not just hear you insult my make-up job, did I?" She had a dangerous look in her eyes and she turned with her hands on her hips to glare Louis down. The cowardly lawyer shrank back.
"Yes, he did! Sick him, Donna!" Harvey was smiling deviously, standing out of the way and slightly behind Donna now.
"Uh no, Donna. You look quite lovely. I was just implying the make-up doesn't look so great on Harvey. He doesn't wear it well," Louis spluttered, shrinking back from the fire in her eyes. Damn, what he wouldn't give to have Donna at his side defending him like she was Harvey now.
She glanced back at Harvey and then back at Louis, raised her chin up haughtily and said, "I think Harvey looks perfectly hideous. Whoever did your make-up job looks like they have the coordination of a five-year-old." She was certain that if the ratty lawyer's face wasn't painted so white it would be a nasty shade of violet.
"I think I look perfectly feasible as a zombie – "
"Good for you," Harvey interjected.
"And I'm sure it will work for this deal tonight."
"Same as mine."
"You needn't be so cocky, Harvey," Louis sneered at him. "You won't be winning any awards looking like that. I bet you couldn't even get into your favorite restaurant dressed like that."
It was like light watching a light bulb go off in Harvey's head and he stepped up to Louis, using his height to tower over him. To his credit, Louis did not cower away but he did appear a little nervous. "Is that a challenge?"
"You really think they'll let you into the restaurant looking like a zombie?"
"I guarantee it. LeBernardin will let me in."
Louis nearly choked, but then he got a hold of himself and smirked at Harvey. "Are you serious? Not only is that a very high class restaurant, but it's French. You know how particular they are."
"I do," Harvey said, leaning over Louis with a smirk on his face. Donna had recognized this Harvey before. It was how he acted on trial day, but most often when he was especially confident of the case. Normally she would be having difficulty repressing a smile at his occasional boyish exuberance, but now she just stared at him like he was crazy. If she had not spent all afternoon with him, she would have thought that he either had too much alcohol or somehow agreed to smoke weed with Mike.
"Fine, I'll take that bet. There's no way you're gonna win, Harvey."
"So what's the sum? A thousand?"
Louis thought about it for a moment and said, "Five hundred. This isn't one of our big office bets."
"Fine, five hundred," Harvey replied with what looked like a dangerous glint in his eye.
"Better stop at the ATM before you head over there, Harvey," Louis said to him as Harvey turned to walk back over to the sycamore to stand next to Donna.
"You better get into your secret stash in your stateroom before your wife finds out," Harvey said to him. He struggled to keep from laughing when Louis gave him a strange look that had nothing to do with his wife joke.
"Are you high? You really think you can get into LeBernardin dressed up as zombie Indiana Jones?"
"Oh, I'm sure they can open up a private table for their most loyal and favorite customer," Harvey replied, readjusting the fedora in lieu of a tie he would normally be wearing.
Donna stared and then she felt her mouth curling up into a humorous smile. He might have a chance after all.
Mike had wandered through the crowds of people, grinning the whole time at all the various costumes, and channeling the infectious excitement of the crowd. Several people had called out to him, pointing with several different names on his tone, "Engineer zombie, you rock! Office employees for the win! You look great!" He would nod and bow his head, and he even stopped for a few pictures from eager fans.
He really had expected a much smaller affair, so knowing that he would be one of what could be considered an actual zombie apocalypse if everyone was infected, he was starting to grow giddy. He glanced back to where Harvey and Donna were supposed to be and when he didn't see them he decided it was probably a good idea to head back.
He had just reached the general area where the lawyers were hanging when he suddenly tripped. His hands flung out to catch himself, but he still ended up with grass stains all over his shirt. Well, at least this was meant to be a dirty and nasty costume. He glanced back to see what had tripped him and scowled.
"Oh, sorry, Ross. Maybe you should watch where your big feet are going," Greg said to him with a nasty smile. Kyle was standing next to him and he laughed rather evilly at Mike sprawled out all over the ground.
"Very mature, guys," Mike said to him as he got to his feet and tried to brush out the grass stain anyway, more out of habit than any real need to clean it. "Who did you two decide to go as? The zombie versions of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum?" He asked, pretending not to notice that one of them had a Yankees Jersey on and the other had a Red Sox Jersey.
"That's all you got, Ross? I see you're still dressed up as Harvey's little bitch," Kyle gloated at him and Greg burst out with laughter. They high-fived each other as though it was the greatest joke ever told, but Mike shook with fury. He was fairly certain that his ears had gone a violent red and he was clenching his fists, ready to give a knockout punch. He wasn't even thinking about how bad it would look, not only for himself, but on Harvey if he punched an associate right under the noses of all the partners and Jessica. He convinced himself that in a fair trial, he'd be acquitted.
Kyle saw this and raised up his hands, "Ooooh, wanna fight, Ross? I bench 150. What do you bench? Ten? I could beat your ass from here to the Pearson Hardman building," Kyle crowed and Greg stood next to him, clearly ready to gang up on the scrawny young associate.
Mike suddenly stopped as though he realized he was clearly outnumbered and he stopped advancing, but he had a stubborn jut to his jaw. "You really think ganging up on me here would be a good idea?" He asked, waving his hands at the general location of the lawyers.
"Oh, I think we could easily lose them in the crowd," Kyle replied, nodding at the thousands of milling zombies as he stepped up and put a hand on Mike's shoulder to turn him around.
The young lawyer abruptly brushed him off and his face was dark with anger. "Don't touch me!"
"Don't worry, Ross, it's just a nice little stroll through the park," Kyle said, with a nod at Greg who came up on his other side.
Mike however held his ground and was even smirking lightly at them as Kyle reached for his shoulder again.
"I believe that is called assault," a low deadly voice sounded behind them. The two associates went parchment white and quickly turned around to face the deep and dark wrath of Harvey Specter, who had drawn himself up to his full height and stared down at them like the pissants they were. Mike tried to hide his glee that Harvey had untied the whip at his belt and was currently slapping it into his palm like a baseball bat he was about to beat them up with. Donna stood behind him with an equally menacing glare at his side.
"Mr. Specter! Ross was talking about doing the zombie walk with us – " Greg lied quickly and he allowed a small relieved smile when Harvey let his shoulders drop and he held onto the whip handle.
"I heard what you intended to do with my associate," he said in the same low voice. It was difficult to hear over the chatter of the large crowd but Kyle and Greg appeared to hang onto every word and he used this to his full advantage. "If I see you threaten my associate again tonight, I will arrange for a cab to take you back to Pearson Hardman where you can spend the rest of the evening working on briefs and then, come Monday morning, you can explain to Jessica why you weren't here for the zombie walk when we were all required. Do I make myself clear?"
"Y-yes sir," Both Kyle and Greg had stammered and they quickly scurried off into the crowd to get away from the most fearsome closer in the city.
Mike watched them go with a huge grin on his face and then he turned back to Harvey. "That was awesome. I think you should bring your whip to work on Monday."
"Will you stop grinning like that? You look like an idiot," Harvey said, his eyes darting around the area shiftily as he quickly wrapped up the whip again to tie it to his belt. "I can't. You heard Jessica! I wasn't even supposed to take it off my belt," he whispered urgently.
"I saw that."
Harvey straightened up at Jessica's voice and gave her a genial smile and an entirely too innocent look. "Jessica, I was just – "
"Swooping in to your associates rescue? I saw. I'll let it slide this time. It was quite," she paused to drag out the moment. She chuckled at the horrified expression on Harvey's face and she was certain he had an idea of the next word that was going to come out of her mouth, "cute."
"What? No! I was just…it was because…" Harvey tried to come up with an excuse but while all of his standard responses worked for his associate, they did not work on Jessica. Mikeismyresponsibility; most partners hardly batted an eye at the welfare of their associates. If their work was late, they were fired. If they showed up late for work as consistently as Mike had, they were fired. If their associate happened to be the main target for all the associate bullies, oh well. Most partners didn't give a rat's ass what happened to their poor associates, just as long as they did their job, no matter how difficult it was. At a loss for words he simply scowled at her and said, "I never want to hear that word to describe anything that includes me again." Then he rounded on his associate and pointed a finger into his chest. "And you! You're ruining my reputation!"
Donna snorted. "I don't think so, Harvey. You did that all on your own. Mike didn't ask for your help."
The two women were just shaking their heads and laughing at him. But, worst of all, Mike did not look chastised at all, but he simply shrugged and smiled which seemed to say, 'Give it up, you big softie. You definitely care.' He wouldn't deny that he had been pleased when Keith and George had scampered off with their tails between their legs, but that did not mean for a second that he cared one jot about Mike's welfare, at least not anymore than what would affect his work.
A man's voice suddenly boomed over the microphone and everyone turned to the stage. "Welcome to the 3rd Annual Zombie Walk hosted by the Hope Foundation." Harvey was grateful at least for all the attention to have turned away from him, but he sighed in frustration as the man launched into a long speech about what a good service everyone was doing for the community and what not to do during the Zombie Walk. The police had apparently closed off traffic on the three streets everyone was supposed to walk on and they were lined with metal fences almost like a parade event. No one was allowed to grab any of the curious bystanders and all zombies were to stay in the street and not on the sidewalk.
"All right, can we get on with this thing already? I'm hungry," Harvey muttered.
"Maybe you should have eaten something before we left, smart one," Donna snarked at him.
"I had hoped this wouldn't take more than an hour but now…" he looked around at all the thousands of fake zombies starting to shuffle off to downtown and he frowned.
"These things always take hours, Harvey."
"Why don't you just go with the flow, Harvey," Mike said to him and he abruptly started staggering and shuffling like what was generally seen in the movies. His face was blank and he was moaning hoarsely.
"Wow, he actually looks like an extra in Dawn of the Dead," Harvey said, staring at him and he admitted to himself that he was honestly impressed. Even as he said this, other people around them were joining Mike in being a zombie and groans started to rise over the crowd. Some of them had their arms out in front of them as they shuffled and stumbled along.
"That's your cue, Harvey. Come on. Join in," Donna said, nudging him in the side and he frowned at her. She had begun shuffling along at barely a walking pace, now groaning with the rest of the crowd. When he continued to walk and look at her strangely she dropped character for a moment. "You're the one who looks like an idiot since you're not following the crowd."
He sighed but purposely kept his arms limp and shuffled along at a zombie pace and he was able to easily to slacken his face into a dull mask.
"You're not groaning!"
"I think everyone else is groaning enough."
She sighed but did not press the issue. Harvey was too stubborn to let completely loose even though he would not even look close to acting like a fool, considering the volume of people acting like zombies. She could even hear other people screaming and howling like loons all around her, but she was pleased that Harvey was even going through the motions. Donna glanced around to see if she could see any other familiar faces, but Jessica had long disappeared and, thankfully, neither Louis or either of his protégés appeared to be anywhere in sight.
They stumbled along as they were for a while, ending up near the metal railing on the side of the street.
"Ack! My throat's getting dry," Donna said, launching into a coughing fit from her too dry mouth.
"Aha! A good reason not to groan," Harvey said with a relieved smile on his face. She only glared at him but he failed to see it as they passed a restaurant with tables sitting outside and he strained his head at the passing tables. "They have beer! That's what I needed before this damn walk."
"But then you wouldn't have been able to drive us," Donna replied.
"That's what taxis are for. I hear there are a good number around New York. Ooof!" She didn't bother disguising that elbow in the ribs.
"I'm sure Jessica would have been just thrilled for you to show up tipsy at the zombie walk."
"Aww, Harvey, why didn't we think of that? A beer does sound good," Mike said.
"See? It would have been a good idea. You could have had one too, Donna."
She rolled her eyes and muttered something inaudible under the low sound of all the groaning.
Mike continued walking until they reached the end of the third block and then they started turning to go back to the park. His throat was scratchy, dry, and sore and his legs and feet were tired and painful. "Oh my God, I feel like an old man," Mike moaned as he shuffled along. "I've been biking for years and this walk around the block feels like a marathon."
"You are doing the zombie shuffle. That's a little bit harder than your regular walk," Harvey replied. He had refused to groan with the rest of the zombies, but he did not look any worse for wear as he walked along. "Has it been over an hour yet?"
"It's been an hour and a half, Harvey," Donna replied and she sounded tired as well. She continued along at her usual pace, but she had given up groaning as well and instead chanted, "Water. Water, please."
"An hour and a half? It took us an hour and a half to walk four blocks? Do you think anyone in the firm is still here?"
"Jessica is bound to still be here, but I wouldn't bet on anyone else," Donna replied.
"Can we leave then? I'm hungry and we still have to cash in on Louis' bet," Harvey said to her.
"I'm actually getting tired of this, too," Donna agreed. "Where's LeBernardin?"
"It's two blocks that way," Harvey said, pointing down a street to their right.
"We can at least do it without shuffling."
"Wait, what is this bet you're talking about? When did this happen?" Mike asked when he realized the subject was completely new to him.
"You were wandering and Louis paid us a visit," Harvey said and, if it was at all possible, his dull zombie look became even duller at the mention of Louis' name. He slowly made his way over to the other side of the street.
"Now I'm really glad I wasn't there."
"Yes, he insulted the make-up job I did on Harvey."
"She almost castrated him. I wish she would have. Excuse me," the older lawyer said as he pushed open the metal fence and slid through. A cop standing nearby gave them a sharp look and Harvey scowled at him. "We're done with the walk. Anyway, Louis made me a bet that I couldn't get into my favorite restaurant dressed up like this, make-up and all. I'm going to prove him wrong."
"Let me guess: this restaurant is particularly ritzy and high class, too," Mike said with a bored look on his face.
"That's right," Harvey said as he strolled down the street, surprisingly unabashed at the people who stared at him now.
"I don't know if he can do it," Donna said to Mike's incredulous face.
"You just watch," Harvey turned and shot a look at her that said 'have a little faith.' "Besides, you're going to stay outside the restaurant. They definitely won't let you in if your jeans are ripped."
"That's true. Louis didn't state that he had to get us inside the restaurant," Donna said.
"We're still having pizza tonight then?"
"Yes. We are not eating at my favorite restaurant dressed like this. I would never be able to show my face again," Harvey said. Since he was leading them, neither one could see his face, but his tone sounded troubled.
"Beer and stuffed crust pizza sounds like a great idea," Mike said.
He heard Harvey sigh and he said, "Yes! We're getting you a stuffed crust pizza all right? You can stop hinting at it."
The conversation died as they walked along the New York City block until Harvey finally held out his hand and stopped them. It was easy to see how rich this place was as limos pulled up one right after the other to drop their high paying customers off at the curb. Old ladies in fancy dresses and wearing big rings, middle-aged men in the nicest tuxedos money could buy as they helped out their twenty year old dates from the car, beautiful women heading into the restaurant as a part of their weekly ritual to get together, all of them dressed in their best.
Mike stared at all this and never felt so nervous in his life. He glanced down at his bloodstained and, most recently, grass-stained clothing with pants that were slightly too short and he stared at the skin of his arms, stained gray and red with make-up. He shuddered at his appearance and then took in Harvey's. By far, the older lawyer was more imposing and he wondered if perhaps he did have a chance of pulling it off. However, after one look at the blood-stained khakis Harvey wouldn't even normally wear to the office and a glance at the fedora and the whip, made Mike chuckle disbelievingly.
"You sure this is a good idea, Harvey? You look like some hobo who got gangbanged last night."
"And you look like the poor kid everyone beat up for their lunch money," Harvey shot back.
Mike winced when he felt it hit a little too close to home. Harvey noticed this and said, "Relax. I'm the one who has to go in there. Not you. Just wait patiently out here. I shouldn't be more than five minutes or so."
Harvey was now glad more than ever for his training as a lawyer because although his face appeared to be that of a stoic mask, he wouldn't deny feeling nervous for the first time since he left the New York police department twelve years ago. The restaurant could easily throw him out before he set foot on the first step, so he had to be careful. He locked onto a particularly beautiful lady and walked up just as she was starting up the steps.
She jumped a little in shock at his appearance but then she smiled as she looked him up and down; just the reaction he needed. "Why, hello there, Dr. Jones," she said, playing along and she started up the step with him. "Just come fresh from the zombie walk I take it?"
"Indeed I did. I've always had the aspiration to dress up as something fearsome and grotesque; the Hope Foundation zombie walk was just the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, though, now I'm famished and looking to see if my favorite restaurant will allow me to dine here for the night."
The woman did her best to hide her laughter as she glanced down at his blood-stained shirt and pants. "I wish you good luck. You might just have enough charm to make it past the doorman, particularly after you went to such trouble to support a good cause like the Hope Foundation."
"Why thank you, my Lady. Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to give it one hell of a shot," he said as he continued up to the door where the man standing there was giving him an odd look, but he had overheard the conversation and he decided to wave the man on through. This was bound to be the most entertaining night of his career and he would enjoy watching the Indiana Jones imposter try.
"I will enjoy watching the attempt," Harvey heard the woman say behind him as she also walked past the doorman.
He immediately had everyone's attention as he walked through the doors; a strange hush fell over the hall as people at the bar turned to see the commotion and those mingling in the lobby stared at him. He waited behind another couple where the host was currently scratching out their reservation and handing them off to a waitress ready to lead them into the restaurant. The young man working as the host was one Harvey thankfully had spoken with in the past and in his mind, the name floated to the forefront, ready to use. The host stared at him as he stepped up with a semi-amused and mortified expression on his face.
"I am terribly sorry, sir, but we require a certain level of dress at this restaurant. You will have to leave," the man said to him in a heavily French accent.
"Please, Pierre, it was a spur of the moment idea. I didn't have enough time after the zombie walk to change for the evening. I beg your pardon if you will allow me a table for one," Harvey said to him, taking off his fedora for extra benefit and he tried to run his hand through his hair to make it lie flat, but to little avail.
Pierre, however, peered at him through squinted eyes and cocked his head curiously at him. Then suddenly they widened comically and his mouth hung open in shock. "Monsieur Specter!" A collective gasp filled the room as his name sounded throughout the hall and he did his best not to wince. It was now going to be all in the rich gossip that he had tried to enter LeBernardin dressed as a zombie; he would probably hear all about it again at work on Monday.
"Please, Pierre, its Harvey." The lawyer did his best to keep from laughing at the look of pure mortification on the poor kid's face as he stared at the lawyer and struggled to find the right words to say.
"Harvey, normally we would turn anyone away who was dressed in anything less than a suit, sir," Pierre said to him slowly as though he were treading carefully through a pit of sleeping panthers.
"I understand, Pierre, but I was out later than I normally would promoting a good cause. I am only here for a quick bite to eat – you know how much I love eating here," he replied, injecting just the barest hint of puppy eyes that Mike had taught him through his multiple demonstrations.
Pierre seemed to be thinking about this and he said, "But, Monsieur, you have not been here in a month."
"I'm afraid my case load has been rather strenuous of late. But I needed an excellent meal to help keep me on my feet. I have a client I am supposed to be dining with next week; I will of course bring them here," Harvey said to him, trying desperately not to show how tightly he was gripping his fedora. Comeon,Pierre,don'tletmedown!
The poor host seemed to be at a loss, but at the people stacking up behind Harvey he sighed and said, "Monsieur, we will always have a table available for you. Our only request is that you wash the make-up off your face before we seat you."
Harvey gave him a relieved grin and replied. "That's more than fair."
"Please, if you will follow me then, sir," Pierre said, motioning towards the stairs that went into the restaurant.
"I really appreciate you doing this for me, Pierre, but I am afraid I will have to decline. I wouldn't want to put your career here at LeBernardinat risk." Harvey dug out his wallet from his back pocket, pulled out a one hundred dollar bill, and carefully slipped it into the host's pocket.
Pierre only just stared.
"For humoring me," Harvey said, with an amused quirk of his lips. He turned to leave and the grin grew wide and evil. "Louis! I see you came just in time to watch me get seated. Now, I know you only said that I had to get into the restaurant, which I did," Harvey replied, motioning to the doors the other lawyer had just walked through, "but I decided to go ahead and see if I could get seated. There you have it. Even while looking like a zombie, I can still get into my favorite restaurant. Now hand it over!"
Louis was beside himself with rage. The rat-faced lawyer had clearly cut out of the zombie walk early because he was all dressed in his nicest suit and odd gray tie, ready to eat there as well. Louis appeared just ready to open his mouth and ream Harvey out, but all the eyes of the rich were on them and he reluctantly dug into his pants for his wallet and counted out five one-hundred dollar bills.
Harvey snatched it from his hand and gave Louis his smoothest and cockiest smile. "A pleasure doing business with you, Louis," he said. He noticed the woman he had been talking to earlier was wearing a look of amused shock and her friends behind her were hiding their mouths behind their hands as they clearly tried to keep from giggling at him. He gave her a deep nod and then left the restaurant.
The conversation in the restaurant picked up right away, all on the events that had just taken place, but the woman continued to stare after Harvey. "I need to find that man. Anyone with the confidence to walk into a restaurant dressed like that is well worth the effort."
"So charming too," one of her friends said and they both shared a conspiratorial look.
"You're talking about Harvey?" Louis asked, finally snapping out of his anger when he realized he had the chance to demonize his most hated rival in front of a woman whom had clearly captured his eye. "I would recommend avoiding him, Ms…?
"Belafonte," the woman replied politely, but her smile was now strained as it fell on the conniving lawyer.
"Ms. Belafonte, Harvey does not have the most stellar reputation. He is all good looks and charm, but little more than that," Louis said, giving her what was supposed to be his charming smile. "Are you alone this evening? Perhaps we can continue this conversation."
"He's gone too long," Donna said to Mike as they continued to wait outside. The sun had long set and they were both starting to shiver as the cold crept up from the pavement.
"Yeah, but that could be a good thing. He clearly hasn't been thrown out yet," Mike said, with his arms wrapped around his body trying to stay warm. "Hey, is that him?"
"I'm fairly certain he's the only one wearing a fedora," Donna said with a disgruntled tone to her voice.
"I did it," Harvey called to them as he finally joined them. "See? It was easy."
"We saw Louis enter about a minute ago. I can just imagine how livid he is right now," Mike said to Harvey with a pleased grin. "Wish I could have been there."
"No, kid, you would've lost me the bet."
"You know what I mean!"
"Can we go then? I'm starving now," Donna said, more than a little grumpily.
"Yes, let's go," Harvey replied and they began the silent march back to the parking garage they had left all those hours ago.
Mike yawned widely and loudly as he watched the last ten minutes of Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog, which he had started once he realized Harvey's Netflix account carried it. He glanced over at the couch and couldn't keep from grinning.
Harvey was collapsed now in a corner of the couch with his legs stretched out so that they rested underneath the coffee table, breathing softly as he slept. Donna had sat next to him when the night had begun and she now used Harvey's shoulder as a pillow; one of her hands rested on his stomach in a half-hug as they snoozed together. They had been like that for nearly two hours.
Once back at Harvey's condo, he had insisted that they all take a shower before he dared let them lounge all over his leather couches with all that ghastly make-up. Donna had been the last one to use the showers and the pizza had unfortunately come while she was away. Harvey had knocked on his bathroom door and let her know it was there, but neither he nor Mike waited for her to come out and started polishing it off eagerly. Harvey had been starting on his third slice when she finally came out and snarled at them about the lack of pizza left. As it was, there were only three pieces left of just the stuffed crust and after eating five pieces and drinking two beers, Harvey was out like a light just half an hour into Shaun of the Dead.
Donna had followed him not long after, but Mike was doggedly continuing to hang on. He was quickly losing the battle as he nestled deeper into Harvey's leather armchair and he gazed sleepily at the TV. After Dr. Horrible was done, he would turn the TV off and go to sleep with the rest of them but as it was a Saturday night, he refused to fall asleep before midnight and at that moment it was 11:55.
Suddenly he heard the sound of a deep inhalation and he turned to see Harvey blinking his eyes owlishly. The older lawyer glanced down at his watch and sighed as he rubbed at his eyes. He squinted and blinked at Mike in the arm chair and sighed sleepily. "I'm going to bed," he said. "And so is Donna. Feel free to watch whatever the hell you want, just keep it down."
"I'm going to bed after this."
"I'd recommend it," Harvey said to him.
Mike was busy watching the climax when motion caught his eye and he saw Harvey carefully pick Donna up so that her head continued to be nestled into his shoulder and he carried her up the short staircase to his bed. Mike stared. This was not a side he had often seen in Harvey. Actually, as he thought about it, this was a side he hadn't been certain existed in Harvey but there he was letting her take at least half of the bed. Once he had tucked her in, he headed back down to his hall closet and pulled out a few pillows and a down blanket. He placed them on the coffee table and said, "Goodnight."
"Night, Harvey. Thanks for everything."
The older lawyer said nothing in return, just turned out all the lights, and Mike switched off the TV and moved to the couch Harvey had just been sitting on so that he could stretch out his legs. He sighed as he pulled the blanket around him and sank into the cushions of the couch thinking back on the night. Donna had been right. The night had been a lot more fun than he had originally foreseen and he would gladly go as a zombie again if it meant not having to wear a tuxedo.
I hope you enjoyed the story! It has been a pleasure reading your responses! =)