A/N: My first Suits fic, yay! This was written for the prompt on the suits_gen community over at LJ. Beta-read by Tania.
Mike let out a heavy sigh and put on his earphones. He knew he shouldn't be listening to music too loud at the office in case someone called for him, but right now he didn't care. Anything was better than listening to the incessant bickering going on two stalls further. It was hard to believe, but Kyle and Greg were pissed, and for once it wasn't about the fact Mike just waltzed in and got to be Harvey Specter's associate.
"I can't believe you told her I was gay!" The whine broke through the music and Mike blinked, turning it down a little. He didn't know what the fight was about, although he was happy it didn't involve him for once. Looking up, Mike saw Kyle throw his arms up in exasperation.
"You told her I was an addict!"
"Well you sure chug down Red Bull like there's no tomorrow," Greg bit back, and Mike shook his head. He saw that the other associates were watching with amusement, most of them not even pretending to work. Mike was half expecting Donna to crash the party, like a stern teacher, sending the two guys to stand in the corner. They were lucky that all the senior partners were on a meeting upstairs. Mike couldn't even imagine Louis' face if he saw his associates having a hissy fit in the middle of the office.
Mike couldn't stop the snort that escaped him at the thought that the two idiots were fighting over a girl. Shaking his head, Mike turned away from the spectacle and tried to focus on his own work. A job which would've been so much easier if Louis hadn't added to it. Three more case-files he was supposed to go over with a red pen, at two of which should've been lying on Greg's desk by now. After all, he was Louis' associate, not Mike.
Feeling amusement turn into irritation, Mike turned the music up a notch and concentrated on the job. After all, if he wanted to see drama, he would've stayed home and watched soap operas.
It was almost an hour later when he clapped shut one of Louis' files and put away the pen. He had found what he was looking for and deserved a little break. Taking off the earphones, he realized the office was oddly calm. Turning to his left he saw why. Greg and Kyle where nowhere to be seen and everyone else was busy working.
Finally,some peace,Mike thought and stretched out, ignoring the glare he got from a passing by assistant when his bones popped. Looking at the time Mike saw that the meeting was almost over. He had maybe ten minutes before Louis came storming back, checking if his little peasants were all working at top capacity. Mike hid the yawn that threatened to come out at the thought of more work. He barely gotten any sleep the past two nights, the work and worry for his gram keeping him awake most of the time. A cup of coffee sounded like the right thing.
He hadn't reached the break room when the sounds of raised voices warned him about the presence of Kyle and Greg. It looked like the two hadn't resolved their fight after all, but simply decided to move it away from the office. Mike paused momentarily, weighing his need for coffee versus the chance of being pulled into the argument. His mouth opened into an involuntary yawn and that decided for him.
Mike thought a fast way in and out would be the best solution, so he ignored the two guys standing by the fridge in a heated argument. He headed straight for the coffee machine, feeling lucky when he saw the freshly made pot. Behind him, the two associates were ignoring his presence.
"See what I was talking about? Where the hell is my Red Bull?" Greg asked, casting an accusing look at Kyle.
"Where else would it be? I took it and drank it. After all, isn't that what addicts do? They steal and drink and lie... Oh wait, isn't that your specialty, pal?" Kyle smirked, giving Greg a 'friendly' pat on the arm, then turned his back and started for the coffee machine, intent on pouring himself some too.
"Oh, so you steal my drink and I'm a liar? That's rich, Kyle. You know what? I bet you're hungry too. Here, why don't you also have my banana?" Greg grabbed the fruit and threw it at Kyle, but his aim was just a little off and the banana hit Mike in the head. At that moment, Mike was holding a full cup of coffee in one hand and a mostly filled pot in the other. The unexpected attack took him by surprise. His hand automatically reached up to protect his head from another impact or to check the wound. The cup of coffee went up with it, spilling over the front of his shirt and the hand it was held in. Upon the scalding pain, the pot slipped from Mike's other hand and crashed loudly on the floor, spilling the rest of its contents all over, while breaking into tiny pieces.
Mike let out a yelp and jumped back, trying to cradle his burnt arm while at the same time trying to pull off the shirt from his chest, which was also burning hot. Greg froze in shock, while Kyle jumped aside, letting out several expletives, and then falling silent at the sight of the carnage. Mike would've appreciated the sudden silence if not for the pain on his arm and chest. He felt like he was on fire and there was only one thing that could help. Cold water. Mike lunged for the fridge, intent on pulling out all the bottled water and pouring it on himself, or at least putting his hand into the freezer. Anything to stop the burning. He had only taken two steps when his foot landed on something soft and slippery and all Mike could think was Fuck, I'll die because of a banana! when his foot went out from under him and there was a fleeting feeling of flying, before the hard floor rushed to meet him and his head connected with the solid material. There was a white flash and after that only darkness.
"It was an accident! I swear, it was just a stupid accident!" Were the first words Mike heard and he couldn't help but cringe at the loud and whiny quality of them.
"I don't care! I hear you're acting like children all morning and now this? I've just about had it with you, Gregory. This is NOT how Harvard graduates should act like."
"But-" Kyle opened his mouth and Mike wanted to groan, because just his voice alone was causing the pain in his head to escalate. Was it too much to want some silence?
"Shut up!" A third voice grumbled, and Mike felt the fog in his head starting to clear. Was that Harvey?
"Get those two jokers out of here Louis, or I swear Jessica will have to present me on behalf of two murder charges."Harvey said quietly and Mike wished his eyes were open. He never heard Harvey use that tone before. It was hard like steel and vibrated with danger. He was happy that tone wasn't aimed at him, although it made him feel strangely protected. The choked sound coming from the door indicated that the tone or the words weren't lost on the other occupants of the room either.
"You heard him. My office, now." Louis ordered, and there was a scramble of rushing feet.
"The ambulance should be here shortly. Is he... okay?" Louis sounded nervous and Mike wondered why he was still there. It wasn't like Louis Litt cared for anyone, much less Harvey's associate. His thoughts were interrupted when a hand pressed against his neck, checking his pulse. Mike jerked away, startled, and his movement was spotted.
"He's alive. If you want to help, get rid of the crowd so the medics can get through."
"Of course." Louis sounded relieved that he could leave, until Harvey's voice stopped him.
"I don't care what those two idiots thought they were doing. This isn't acceptable behavior. Make sure they know that if Mike wants to press charges, I'll be representing him myself."
"I'll make sure they know that," Louis replied and Mike was surprised to hear an amused agreement in his voice. Or maybe it was just the head wound talking.
"Okay kid, the idiots have left the room, you can open your eyes now," Harvey said when the door shut close after Louis, and Mike pushed back the grin that threatened to break out. It wasn't that hard once he blinked and saw the blurry face of his boss. Harvey still looked pissed.
"It wasn't my fault," Mike croaked out and winced at how whiny his own voice sounded. But his puppy eyes must've worked, because Harvey let out a sigh and the murderous look was exchanged by one of concern. Which, by itself was scary and caused Mike to blink frequently.
"I didn't say it was, so put that look away. Or is something wrong with your eyes?" Harvey frowned and he peeked into Mike's eyes with such concern, that Mike started thinking he might've entered an alternate reality, or suffered brain damage. There was no other explanation for a caring Harvey.
"Ugh, some space, man," Mike protested and Harvey leaned back, giving him a quick once over, before his eyes fell on Mike's tie. The next thing Mike knew, Harvey was taking it off and unbuttoning his shirt.
"What the hell?" Mike tried to stop him, but paused when the shirt was open and cold air hit his chest. That was the moment he remembered the coffee and the burning pain came back. Hissing, Mike pushed away the hand that was about to touch the red hot skin.
"Fucking idiots," he heard Harvey grumble under his nose. "Stay put," came the clear command and for a moment Harvey vanished from Mike's sight. He didn't care, the burning sensation on his chest and his hand was suddenly competing with the growing headache and he was getting nauseous. Clenching his mouth shut, Mike closed his eyes and tried recalling the last file he read, hoping to quench the nausea. The last thing he wanted was to add puke to the mess on the floor. Banana, coffee, blood, glass and one injured associate were already more than enough.
When something cold landed on his chest, he stopped breathing altogether, jumping half off the floor. His head spun and it was only Harvey's hand that caught him and gently lowered him back to the ground.
"L-little warning would be nice," Mike stuttered once he was breathing again. The cold was seeping into his bones and he was getting a little chilled, but he preferred that to the burning pain.
"Sorry," Harvey apologized, managing to sound sincere, as he wrapped a wet cold towel over Mike's hand. "That should help till the EMT's come."
"Thanks," Mike said and winced as the door opened and Donna slid in.
"Harvey? The ambulance should be here in five minutes. How is he?"
"I'm f-fine," Mike tried to reassure her, but it was hard when he was laying flat on his back, with a pack of – wait, where those frozen peas in a kitchen towel? - lying on his chest. Harvey must've seen his disbelieving look, because he smirked.
"Don't fear, it's a clean towel. I just unpacked it. Now be a good injured puppy and stop squirming," Harvey admonished, one hand resting on Mike's shoulder to keep him down.
"He will be fine," he turned to Donna, giving her a reassuring smile. "Can you clear my schedule for the rest of the day? All but the meeting with Blackstone at six, that needs to be dealt with today. And make sure Greg and Kyle wait for me at their desks till I finish, alright?"
"You're making them wait for their punishment? Oh, how evil of you, Harvey. I'll make sure they have something to do in the meantime," Donna's eyes glinted with mischief and Mike felt suddenly sorry for the two associates. The feeling lasted only a short time though, as Harvey deemed it prudent to check if Mike hadn't cracked his skull open and his fingers encountered the sizable goose egg just behind Mike's left ear. Mike hissed and shied away from the touch.
"You did a real number on yourself kid," Harvey sighed and Donna patted his shoulder.
"Sorry," Mike mumbled sheepishly, although he wasn't sure why he was apologizing. It was hardly his fault.
"That's okay Mike, Harvey's just pissed because now he'll have to read all those files himself," Donna winked at Mike and he couldn't help but grin when he saw Harvey roll his eyes.
"Like that's even possible. I'm sure Louis will find me some people who would happily go through all of Mike's work. Although I will definitely miss the cheek."
"Hey, I'm not dead yet," Mike protested and something dark flashed in Harvey's eyes, something that made Mike feel really sorry for Greg and Kyle. At the same time, there was a warm feeling spreading through his stomach upon seeing Harvey's protectiveness. He hadn't seen it for a long while now. Ever since his parents died. Sure, his grandma took care of him and he could go to her with any problem. She loved him and there were times when she got really fierce on his behalf. But those times were gone. She was old now and their roles had changed. It was up to Mike to take care of her, to protect her.
At one time he thought Trevor had had that look too... When they were younger and someone started a fight with Mike, Trevor was there, protecting him. But Trevor was gone now too, and Mike wasn't sure Trevor ever really wanted to be there for Mike, or if he was just there to use him for his brains. Shaking his head, Mike pushed those thoughts back. What he saw in Harvey now was something different. It looked dangerous but it also made Mike feel safe.
Harvey's snapping fingers brought him back to reality.
"Donna, go check on that ambulance. I think he's concussed or something." Donna nodded and slipped out of the break room.
"I'm fine," Mike protested. "I don't need an ambulance, just lemme sleep it off."
"Here on the floor? Right, definitely a concussion. Now what was so funny?"
"You were smiling like you got the best Christmas present. What gives?"
"Oh, just realized that you care," Mike replied with a lazy smirk, then proceeded to explain. "You know, in that big brother way. Like 'I will kick your ass to next day if you hurt my little brother' way," Mike explained, his one good arm flailing in the air excitedly. Harvey frowned and caught the arm, pushing it down. Mike didn't seem to notice.
"It's nice, actually. Always wanted a big brother, but Trevor was more of the 'get you into trouble' type, then 'get you outta it'. Yah know what I mean?"
"It means you're definitely blabbering now Mike," Harvey sighed, and then shook his head with a smile. "Only you, Mike."
"What?" Mike asked, brows furrowed in confusion. He was getting a little confused and didn't understand the quick change in topic.
"Only you can come to work perfectly healthy and be taken away in an ambulance with burns and a concussion. All of that caused by spilled coffee and a banana. If it was Louis or one of those stupid idiots on the floor, I would be laughing my ass off right now."
Mike was scowling, thinking Harvey was making fun of him, but then he gave a genuine smile.
"See? I knew you cared."
Harvey just rolled his eyes and patted his cheek.
"You don't need to get yourself half killed to prove that kid," he muttered, but it was lost in the noise of the ambulance crew arriving. Harvey let them in and slid aside, but he stayed close. Every time Mike looked lost or scared, he was there, looming nearby, strong and protective.