Harvey had learned over the years that while it was his basic right to feel satisfied with his accomplishments, such as proving once again to Louis that there was a reason he was a Senior Partner, it was in that moment of satisfaction that things tended to go from fantastic to shit.
He took great delight in springing such surprises on Mike just to watch the kid scramble, all the while lecturing that the best lawyers always, always kept an eye out for the other shoe.
Well this shoe wasn't so much dropping, as getting ready to drop kick him off the top floor.
"No." With one hand shoved into his pant's pocket, his jaw firm and eyes narrowed, Harvey allowed his body to convey the follow through that he was far too prudent to say out loud.
"No?" Jessica remained largely unfazed by his refusal, one brow arched with a smile curling at the edges of her mouth. The pen in her hand remained poised over her paperwork, a clear message that he wouldn't be around long enough for her to worry about leaving drip spots. "Harvey, when did I ever give you the impression that you had a choice in this decision?"
"When you made me Senior Partner," Harvey declared. The smug smile was a reflex, now as deeply engrained as harassing Louis about his non-existent wife and torturing Mike with rules he made up on the spot.
Jessica considered that for all of two seconds before her smile widened, revealing perfectly white, even teeth. Which Harvey thought was totally unfair since the woman deserved fangs for what she was trying to pull.
"Wrong, Harvey. As Senior Partner you are entitled to your opinion, which I have taken into consideration." A beat of silence. "My decision remains the same."
Desperate times called for desperate measures. "What about Louis? He would be perfect for them; after all, they're used to dealing with cold blooded monsters by now."
Jessica's eyes narrowed in disapproval. "Not funny, Harvey. You know why I can't send Louis."
"Oh come on, I'm sure Louis has gotten over what happened to Gennaro. It's been years since the man was…." Harvey trailed off, one hand sliding out of his pocket to wave through the air.
Some might think of it as a sign of respect that Harvey chose not to speak about the gruesome details of Gennaro's death. In actuality he simply found it ridiculous to talk about, let alone acknowledge.
Jessica's eyebrow lifted higher, an unquestionably sardonic smile close behind. "You know Louis. Do you really think he could handle this professionally?"
"Yes. I have complete faith in Louis' abilities. He is the perfect man for the job." Harvey even managed to smile while speaking, although that was due to the way his facial muscles had spasmed in protest and only sheer willpower kept him from swallowing his tongue.
"If saying that out loud didn't kill you, Harvey, then I doubt you have anything to worry about," Jessica pointed out with a smirk.
"You're wrong. Now I have to get a lobotomy just to remove the trauma." Two for one deal. He could forget what he'd just said and force Jessica to send someone else.
"Harvey." Jessica stood, a slow graceful movement that ended with her hands braced on her desk. Her head was lowered in way that reminded him of a documentary on lions he'd seen on the wildlife channel. Harvey had a feeling he was about to go the way of the gazelle. "You are going. End of story. Understood?"
Harvey almost wished Jessica would leap over her desk and assault him with her teeth if he refused. He preferred that over what would actually happen. Jessica was merciless when she felt she needed to remind him just who the top dog was. It basically involved the legal equivalent of canine dominance displays and by the end of it he knew he'd end up wishing he'd kept his mouth shut.
Harvey was a smart man. He knew what to do in a no-win situation of Jessica's making.
"Fine. I'll do it. But I'm not flying all the way out to San Diego. If he wants me so bad he can come here."
Her superiority established, Jessica let him off with an eyebrow lift that fell somewhere between 'you're good so I'll let this go for now' and 'you're male, enough said'.
"That's fine. He's already in the city for the next week so all you have to do is call and set up an appointment."
"Perfect. Also, I want Mike on this with me."
"Do you think your puppy can handle it?" Jessica settled back into her seat, shuffling her papers around. She might have even been reading them.
"It will help him get accustomed to our rather unusual client base." Plus the look on Mike's face wasn't something he was willing to miss out on.
"Fine, you can bring him in." Jessica's smug look said she knew exactly what Harvey was thinking. "But you will handle this, am I clear? You may think I don't know how often you shove your cases off on Mr. Ross, and as long as we continue to get positive results I will continue to let it slide. But you will not risk this, Harvey. Mr. Hammond will secure a very profitable future for us."
"Jessica, if I didn't know any better I'd think you doubted my devotion to this firm."
"Seeing as how you are the firm, we both know better, don't we?" Assured of his compliance for the time being she waved him out. "Don't disappoint me, Harvey."
Harvey backed towards the door, armed with an innocent grin and wide spread hands. "Would I do that?"
"No comment," reached him before the glass door clicked shut.
Harvey returned to his office. If he moved at a quicker pace from an irrational fear that his words of praise for Louis, while obviously false, were branded across his forehead, there were no witnesses.
As he approached Donna's desk she peered up at him over the privacy shield and grinned. "Harvey – six; Jessica – one hundred and forty-seven. Do you want me to get you a cold wash cloth for your bruised ego?"
Harvey sighed and with a roll of his eyes made it clear he was ignoring her.
Donna followed him, unfazed by his dismissal. "So, I called Mr. Hammond and while he can't come here, he does have time for you to visit him at his townhouse tomorrow at four."
"I have the Montgomery meeting then." Harvey stripped off his jacket and draped it over the back of his chair before taking a seat.
"I moved that to next week. Mr. Montgomery won't be able to see you till then due to a recent crisis in his personal life."
Something that had yet to reach the public ear, if it would at all. Harvey made a mental note to take Donna to lunch soon and re-establish him self as worthy of her presence.
"Got it. Is Mike in yet?"
"Right now he's working on the Pettler briefs for Louis." Donna smiled and Harvey was struck by a sense of déjà vu as he once more expected to glimpse the sharp curve of fangs. "Can I tell him?"
"No, you may not. I'm determined to get some enjoyment out of this." Harvey was not sulking, no matter what Donna's arch expression implied. "Get him in here for me will you?"
"Fine. I bet Mike is going to be thrilled when he finds out."
Harvey watched her walk out. Once he might have wondered how she had found out. Now he simply assumed Donna knew everything. It cut back on the tension headaches.
While Harvey waited for Mike to show up he wandered over to his liquor cabinet and poured out a finger full of whiskey. Normally he tried not to indulge before ten in the morning, but this was proving to be one of those days.
He didn't turn around as Mike sauntered in. "Harvey, Donna said you wanted to see me?"
Eyes on the view and the taste of the whiskey heavy on his tongue, Harvey said, "Tell me what you know about InGen."
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