The Art Of Lying
There is a certain grace that comes with telling an effective lie—maybe it's conveyed in the way the false story is told, or the way those simple false words turn people in malleable things you can shape in what you please. Perhaps it's how those brief or lengthily sentences are uttered; possibly it's the way the liar stands while fabricating the facts, or how they let each syllable roll off of their tongues.
Every human being has been given the skill of lying; no one on the planet was born with a heavy tongue that could only speak the truth. People tell the truth for the sake of ethics, and claim it's in their nature to do so.
But the best kind of liars can go against their nature—can fight the voice in their head that shrieks the reality while their mouths calmly state the untruth. These liars become compulsive, and rarely are honest. They fail to realise the potential that being authentic has on certain occasions, and become known as liars, thus ruining the delicacy of their art.
Harvey Specter is one of the best liars on the planet.
He has no tells—nothing he does pinpoints whether or not he's being honest. His voice doesn't peak, his palms never sweat, and his heartbeat stays firmly and consistently steady. Nothing about him screams honesty, however, but nothing announces that he's a professional silver tongue, either. He keeps himself in the best condition—he's always well groomed, well dressed and well presented, and perhaps that leads people to think he would be an amicable man.
His coworkers, to some extent, know better. They think of him as too smooth, too chiselled to possibly be a candid person, although trust him more than they do Louis. The more youthful associates would take to heart any scripted sentence he read to them, believing that someone as prestigious as Harvey had to be telling the truth; otherwise he would have failed at his career a lot sooner.
His senior associates knew that Harvey was a master manipulator—they'd seen him take an impossible case and flip it in his favour so quickly that the prosecution would get whiplash. Yes, angling situations to make heroes look like villains and villains heroes was often very useful in a legal profession, and sometimes, if he sold the story right, at the end of the day even he could believe the words that had come out of his mouth.
In truth, that was the best kind of lie. The ones that even the liar believes to be the truth.
Harvey had many of these lies he had told so often that they quickly became his personal truth—I don't care about the client, I don't care about other people. I don't care about the client, I don't care about other people. I don't care about the client. I don't care about other peop—
And then, just like that, Mike Ross stepped ever-so-casually into his life and he had to add yet another list of lies that he had to tell just to make it through every day.
Mike went to Harvard. Lie.
Mike was brilliant there; in fact. He aced the bar exam multiple times and shocked me with his memorisation skills. Truth.
Of course Mike can fill out a subpoena. Lie.
Mike's a good lawyer. Truth.
He would've been hired somewhere else if we didn't take him. Lie.
What? No, he doesn't remind me of myself. Lie.
He's just my associate. There's nothing more, nothing less to our relationship. Truth.
I don't care about Mike.
And oh, wasn't that just the biggest lie of them all?
All of these bitter words he'd uttered hundreds of times in front of the mirror, adjusting to the foul taste in his mouth. He'd run his tongue casually over his teeth in private, desperately trying to scrape off the flavour of rancorous statements that made Donna scowl at him, Jessica sigh and Mike hang his head. There was something to be said about the way the latter reaction, out of all of them, made him feel the worst.
He still told the blatant lies like they were the truth, and only the sinking sensation in his stomach ever gave away what they really were. It didn't really matter, though, because no one could feel it except for him, and his most used poker face hid him from discovery. He was good. He was very good. In fact, he was superlative within his own art.
But he hadn't thought, on this particular day, that far ahead.
He should have known that Mike would've been the first person to pick up on his charade, to notice how smoothly he bluffed to the opposition and their clients in meeting rooms and in his glass office.
Today, in particular, Mike noticed how smoothly he fed the other firm's witness a load of crap.
"As a matter of fact, Ms. Elliott, we know that this lawsuit has nothing to do with the falsifying of record's within your husband's firm, as there are no falsified records that anyone within the company—save for yourself, of course—had touched. This is entirely about your husband's affair with his secretary."
"What!" she spluttered. "No—no, I, uh—"
Harvey silenced her with a firm look. "If you continue to pursue this suit, it won't end well for you."
Ms. Elliot looked queasy, and Mike couldn't help but notice her attorney looked the same way. The pair of them seemed to suddenly not fit in their expensive clothing, and Mike shot an appreciative look in Harvey's direction, wondering at what point he'd learned about the affair. As far as he knew, Harvey had been in his office the entire time Mike searched for actual falsified records, except for the sole occasion the two of them had spoken to Mr. Elliot.
After fifteen minutes of tears and confessions—which came exclusively from Ms. Elliot—Mike found himself tailing Harvey closely down the executive hallway of the company's building that they had met in.
Harvey's pace was swift, and Mike had to break into a slight jog to keep up with him. Mike wasn't sure, but he thought he heard a soft chuckle and a murmur of something along the lines of, "Short legs," as he desperately tried to keep up.
"Slow down, Harvey!" Mike panted, and Harvey slowed his pace by about a step, smirking confidently at Mike.
"No point, kid. We've got places to be, and other cases. Being late does not look good, especially since they're hiring us and not the other way around," he said, his voice deep and a hint of a smile still curling on his face.
"Yeah, sure, okay—but how did you know that Mr. Elliot was having an affair with his secretary?"
Mike stopped, mid-stride, his mouth hanging slightly open in shock. Harvey smiled, quickly pulling out his phone and snapping a picture before Mike had a chance to regain his composure. This time Harvey made no attempt to smother his grin, revealing a set of perfect teeth as he said, "Oh, the things photo shop will do with this one…"
"You lied," Mike said softly, snapping his mouth shut and looking down at the carpet he'd been treading on with wide eyes. "You said you didn't—"
"Commit perjury. I don't. This, on the other hand, was just forging the truth a slight bit. Not even a blatant lie, actually," he said casually, scrolling through his schedule on his phone.
"Oh, yeah?" asked Mike. "How is there any truth in what you told Ms. Elliot?"
"Well, I knew her husband planned on leaving her, and that was long before the lawsuit. He didn't have any pictures of her on his desk, but he did have some of his secretary, though. She's a smart woman, despite her attempt at legal repercussions, and she would've noticed that, hence the reason I brought that up."
"Were they actually having an affair?" Mike queried, confusion still written blatantly on his facial features.
"Then…why was he leaving her?"
Harvey snorted, pocketing his phone and continuing his confident stride down the hallway with Mike in tow. "Would you like a list of reasons?" He spoke again without waiting for Mike to answer, listing them off his fingers.
"One—she was a cat person."
"What's wrong with being a cat person?" retaliated Mike. Harvey sent him a look that clearly read, we'll talk about this later.
"Two—she was rich, but still drove a Golf."
"Not everyone's into cars!" argued Mike, gesturing wildly.
Harvey frowned, raising his eyebrows at Mike, and then lifted another finger. "Three—she got jealous over her husband's secretary. Don't disagree with me on this one; secretary's organise their boss's lives. They know everything there is to know about the people they work for. Would you really want to be with someone if you knew everything about them?" he asked.
"That's generally part of being married, Harvey," said Mike.
"Meh. Four—she tried to sue him for an affair he didn't have."
"Out of all the things I've come up with, this is the only one you agree on? I would've thought you'd be all over the 'think of how she must feel, Harvey' crap you usually are full of."
"I don't appreciate the fact that you gave your impersonation of me a high pitched voice."
"When you try to do me you sound like a gremlin, so don't get all offended." Harvey retorted, opening the door and stepping out onto the busy street, which was bathed in sunlight.
"I don't try to 'do' you—"
"—shut up," Harvey said, cutting him off. "Five—he was gay."
"Wait, what? How the hell did you come up with that?" asked Mike.
"It was obvious," Harvey said, his voice as smooth as the pavement he was walking on.
"I had no idea my model of asshole lawyer came with built in gay-dar," Mike responded sarcastically.
Harvey shrugged off the comment, a small smirk tugging on his pale mouth. "Do you really want to know?"
"Yeah," said Mike, glaring accidentally at Harvey due to a bright reflection of the sun from behind him.
Harvey subconsciously held his breath, taking in the sight of the younger man before him. Mike's skin, usually a tone or two lighter than his own, seemed to just glow in the warmth of the midday sun, and a million fantasies in which he could run his tongue and his fingers over the delicate flesh sprang to mind. He swallowed subtly, and was glad Mike had his eyes practically closed so he couldn't bear witness to the pure azure that he knew he could easily get lost in.
"I used you," he says, truth ejecting from his mouth a though it was a prisoner finally being set free.
"How?" Mike asked, his head cocked slightly in confusion, and Harvey bit back a facial expression from appearing on his features yet again as the 'puppy' metaphor he'd used to describe Mike previously crossed his mind.
"Really, Mike, are you that dumb?" The truth was freely flowing now, and despite the way his teeth were digging into his tongue he couldn't seem to stem it. "Kid, you're practically jail bait. Every client that's attracted to men ends up staring at you as though you're the holy grail, and Mr. Elliot was no exception. He kept looking at your ass so intently I thought he was going to burn holes through your pants."
He was a heartbeat away from saying, you're good looking, Mike. You're so good looking it's not fair. Especially for me, since I have to stand around all day and stare at you.
"I'm not jail bait!" exclaimed Mike. "I'm perfectly legal!"
"They still ask for your ID every time you buy alcohol though, am I right?"
"No! Well, not every time…"
Harvey laughed, the sound rich and throaty, catching Mike's attention.
"Come on, jail bait, we have to go," he said, climbing into the back of the car that had just pulled up, greeting Ray as he gestured for Mike to go around. He leaned back, adjusting until he was comfortable on the black leather seats.
Mike grinned, hurrying around the back of the car and opening the door, ungracefully clambering into the seat beside Harvey.
"If I were you, I'd pull away quick; I think some people thought you were a pedophile abducting me."
"Yeah, because that would be hard—all I'd have to do would be offer you red bull and you'd climb in the car willingly." Harvey frowned. "Actually, you'd probably do that for anyone with that…disgusting sports beverage. God, my mouth tastes bad just saying the words. From now on, you're staying away from white vans."
"'Cause you're afraid of losing me?"
"Naturally. How else could I tell the sexuality of our clients?"
"Maybe it's because—deep, deep down—you care about me?"
Harvey chuckled again, placing a small smile on his face and stretching the skin around so it seemed believable. He crinkled the corners of eyes, then replied, ever-so-causally,
"Ha. Don't get your hopes up, kid."
Somewhere within him Harvey heard the small voice that whispered, lie.
Um, hi. (Looks nervously out into the darkened internet). *clears throat* I've travelled here from the distant lands of other fandoms, and have decided, after reading many fanfictions, to write Suits for the first time.
So my characters may be crap, and my dialogue awful, but I'll only know if you give me feedback. Chances are it will get better in later chapters as I improve my pacing.
Thanks for reading, and I'd really appreciate if you let me know what you thought.