Disclaimer: Not mine, but that's okay. I like the mentoring relationship Harvey and Mike have in canon too. :)
Credit to GallowsHumor for the beta and the flailing. Anything that is still wrong is totally my fault because I can't help but tweak before posting. And to Lu for helping me with that damn ending line. *stabs it*
Written for an anon prompt on suits_meme on LJ (which I will put at the end to keep from spoiling all y'all).
It's ten p.m. and Harvey doesn't know where his child is.
When he realizes this, the feelings coursing through him are not unlike that moment when you understand that the hooded man stepping out of the alley is indeed pointing a gun at you and demanding your wallet and you only left the house with the five you used to buy milk.
Of course, Mike is only four and can't reach the handle on the front door without dragging the step stool from the bathroom out, so Harvey can eliminate anywhere outside the condo as a possibility—unless he's managed to finally make that dream of flying off the roof like Batman a reality, but Harvey's pretty sure he'd have heard the diminishing scream of joy, so probably not. He checks there first just in case, but there are no sirens or lights or even a horrified crowd of looky-loos gathered on the sidewalk below.
One potential nightmare debunked, an infinite number to go.
He begins a systematic search of the condo, checking every space that could possibly hold the preschooler—and some that shouldn't be able to, but Mike's a contortionist to shame the stars of Cirque du Soliel—all the while vowing to himself that he really is going to stop bringing work home until Mike is at least old enough to think before he leaps—literally in many cases—and/or distinguish when it's appropriate to dial 9-1-1.
(When Harvey is too busy to play "firemen" with him being a good example of when it's not appropriate.)
Normally he's good at leaving work at work, and when he's not, Donna reminds him that kids grow up so fast while telling him a bullshit story about her own childhood as a latch-key kid that still manages to make him feel guilty because, dammit, she is really good at acting. The only reason she let it slide this week is because this account is that important—which means it's also too important to trust even the proofing of briefs to the Associates down in the bullpen.
What he wouldn't give for a competent human being in there. He didn't care if they weren't even a college graduate, let alone a Harvard alumnus. If someone could get him back a copy within a week of his requested deadline or get it right in under seven drafts, he'd hire that person on the spot.
At any rate, the preliminary hearing is next Monday and Harvey has no intention of letting it go past that stage, so this won't be an issue for much longer.
Right now, though, he needs to make sure that his son hasn't managed to flush his own foot down the toilet. Again.
The bathroom is—thankfully—child-free and Harvey breathes a sigh of relief and moves on. Mike's bedroom is the usual post-natural-disaster mess and Harvey makes a note to have Bridget help Mike clean this up tomorrow, but it's also sans the little force of nature and Harvey shuts the door and continues to the library.
A half dozen of Harvey's college textbooks are spread around the floor indicating that Mike had been reading them again. Harvey smiles fondly and shakes his head. He knows that Mike doesn't understand half of what he reads, but being only four and getting even that much out of an undergraduate biology text is impressive as hell. The pride bubbles and swells in his chest, tempered only by the fact that his little genius isn't in here either.
He only ducks his head into his own bedroom, but the lights are off and it's pristine just as it should be after the cleaning service has come through and Mike knows he's not supposed to play in there anyway, so Harvey checks it off his list and moves on.
One by one every room is cleared and Harvey is left standing in the living room scratching his head and trying to think like a precocious preschooler who could give Waldo a run for his money when it comes to playing hide and seek.
With a resigned sigh, Harvey wipes a hand over his face and pads to the kitchen table to retrieve his phone. Time to call the cavalry and hope that she's not on a date, because it really is too soon to be going back to Tiffany's. They're going to mistakenly assume he's getting engaged again and he hates the knowing looks they give him—not to mention the amused smirks he'll have to endure from Donna.
It's not there, even when he lifts up the plethora of files and folders and books, and he turns a circle, frowning at the room as he tries to remember what he did with it. His brow smooths as he spots the closet next to the front door and he crosses to check the overcoat he wore today to protect his suit from the spring drizzle that won't end. Harvey is going to be very displeased if it lingers through the weekend and ruins his plans to take a break from work by going to the zoo on Saturday with Mike.
The frown returns when he digs into the inner breast pocket and comes up empty. He checks all the others before rolling his eyes heavenward.
Great. Now he's lost his phone, too.
He scrubs a hand through his hair and wonders if he left it in his suit jacket. He enters his bedroom again and heads for the closet, reaching to flip on the light switch before opening the door.
About the time it registers that the switch is already in the up position, he's pulling on the knob and seeing the light spill out and he feels both relieved and annoyed at himself for not being thorough in his search.
When he gets the door open completely and sees his son sprawled fast asleep on the floor of the walk-in closet, he blows out a controlled breath. After that is a tangled mix of feelings—and, really, that's pretty much par for the course when it comes to Mike, so he's gotten used to it by now.
Annoyance at the fact that his $5000 suit jacket is now wrinkled and soaking up a puddle of drool trailing from Mike's mouth wars with the embarrassingly gooey adoration for the sight of his son dressed like him right down to the Blackberry clutched in his tiny hands the way some children might cling to a teddy bear.
And, also as usual, the annoyance is no match for the wonder and joy his baby boy brings to his life.
Harvey carefully steps over Mike and then crouches down next to him, taking a moment to stroke a hand over his soft blonde hair. He takes after his mother and that's a painful truth at times for Harvey who still misses her as fiercely as he did the day two years ago when he had to stand in a private room off of the Mount Sinai ER and hear the doctors explain to him that they'd done all they could, but her injuries were just too severe and she'd passed away a few minutes before.
It was a dark few months that followed and only Donna's insistent mothering and Mike's need to keep one of his parents had kept Harvey from seeking a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Now he's mostly grateful for the reminders, especially when they involve Mike's bright grin and playful giggle—also like his mother's but much sweeter for the memories they spark.
Shaking off the bout of melancholy, Harvey pries the phone free, verifies no calls were made before tucking it into his pants pocket, and starts undoing the buttons on the jacket and the white shirt underneath. The tie is last and Harvey chuckles over the fact that it's a little messy, but still definitely identifiable as a Windsor knot. This kid, he thinks to himself with a shake of his head.
Extracting the sleeping child from the clothes is a significantly more delicate process, because if Mike wakes up now, the odds of him going back to sleep are too close to laughably small and Harvey doesn't need to go from mainlining coffee to literally overdosing on it to try and stay awake at work. He manages the feat, though, and brings the limp little body up to his shoulder, one hand cradling the back of Mike's head as he straightens.
He pauses to close his eyes and bend his head to brush a kiss over the forehead damp with sleep sweat, basking in the sweetness of holding his child, thanking God once again for this miracle.
A slow and easy stroll back to Mike's room follows, a soft hum Harvey is only barely aware of making accompanying them. Another careful transfer is made to the bed and then one last kiss as star speckled sheets are pulled up under Mike's chin.
"Goodnight, kiddo," Harvey whispers and then stands, traversing the minefield that is his son's bedroom floor with all the care of a seasoned soldier. He pauses at the door and smiles fondly one last time, then shuts off the light and eases the door almost shut.
He pads back to the living room, sets up some soft jazz on the turntable and resettles himself in his chair.
He's so absorbed in the intricacies of property rights ten minutes later that he doesn't hear the door open or Mike's footsteps cross the floor. It isn't until a tiny hand reaches up and pushes on his arm that he's aware of the kid's presence and he turns in surprise.
"Hey, what are you doing up?" he asks in a soft voice, hoping that if he keeps things low key Mike won't become any more aware than the blinking befuddlement his face currently shows.
Mike leaves the thumb he's sucking in his mouth, choosing instead to answer with action. He throws an arm over Harvey's leg and begins the process of hauling himself up, trusting that his dad will make up for his deficits. Sure enough, a moment's passing ends with Harvey scooping him up and setting him on his lap. Mike immediately cuddles into his chest, one arm slipping around Harvey's neck to hold on tight.
His hooded eyes drift over the table and now the thumb comes out long enough for him to ask, "Whatcha doin', daddy?"
"Just some work."
Mike lifts his head long enough to give Harvey a look of long-suffering that clearly communicates, "No shit, Sherlock." Harvey isn't sure if he inadvertently taught Mike that expression or if Donna deliberately did, but it's adorable as hell either way and he doesn't even bother trying to suppress the amusement and pride.
Instead he chuckles and gently pushes Mike's head back down to his shoulder, then explains the lawsuit being filed against his client and why it's bullsh— poop, plain and simple.
Mike listens to every word, the sounds of his thumb-sucking a relaxing rhythm to accompany the bluesy music issuing from the speakers.
When Harvey stops for a moment to frown at something in the half-written document before him, Mike pipes up with a sleepy, "Why don't they just learn how to share?" and caps it off with a jaw-cracking yawn.
Harvey blinks and looks down at his son to see those beautiful blue eyes staring back at him. He smiles and tightens his grip briefly as he laughs.
"And what if they don't want to?" he asks because he can't resist. Sometimes the leaps of logic Mike makes blow him right out of the water with their brilliance.
Mike shrugs one shoulder. "Put 'em in time out and take their toys away until they promise to behave," he says, then closes his eyes. "Miss Bartlett puts Trevor in time out and then he shares. Until he forgets again."
"Miss Bartlett is a very smart woman," Harvey says. And a saint, too, for putting up with Trevor Evans. Harvey doesn't believe in corporal punishment, but he thinks he'd be forced to reevaluate that stance if he had to spend a significant amount of time dealing with Trevor.
"Yeah," Mike agrees, "she's pretty smart. Except she doesn't know that spiders are good because they eat bugs. She always makes Mrs. French smash them."
Harvey laughs. "Well no one's perfect."
Mike's eyes open again and he says, "Except you." While Harvey stares in surprise, Mike closes his eyes once more and with a final sigh goes back to sleep.
Harvey swallows the lump in his throat and looks over the paperwork before him with a cough. After a moment his head cants in curiosity and he wonders if Mike isn't on to something.
Patterson Manufacturing isn't as close to being ready to settle as Harvey would like, thus the part where they're actually going to go to court to present their cases to a judge, but maybe if he filed an injunction and stopped production at their factory... It just might soften the board up enough to consider the value of cutting their losses and walking away right now.
"Thanks, buddy," he whispers and rips the the last twelve hours worth of work out of the legal pad he's using, crumpling it into a ball and making a three-point shot into the trash. Mike is going to be an even better lawyer than his father, one day.
Harvey can't wait to be second place.
Thanks to Anon for the wonderful prompt, GallowsHumor for the speedy beta, and you for reading! Please leave me a review if you enjoyed it!
PROMPT: At the end of the day, Single Dad Harvey finds his kid, Mike, asleep in the middle of his closet, after a whole day of playing dress-up and impersonating his awesome lawyer daddy. Basically, asking for adorable fluff, just cause.