Note: There seems to be a serious shortage of Suits Gen fic, so here I am to fill the gap! It's a fic that's mostly canon – except this takes place sometime in the future after the season 1 finale. Therefore, no slash (sorry!) and is mostly a story that highlights the relationships in the wonderful show we all love.
Do leave me a review! As you know, it's food for us writers :)
Disclaimer: Totally do not own Suits or the wonderful characters. This story is purely not for profit but written so that we can tide the long months before season 2 begins.
Four days before he nearly died, Mike Ross was talking a man down from a ledge.
The man in question was Dr Nathan Rollins, their latest client, a doctor from Mercy Medical who was caught on the wrong side of a wrongful dismissal suit and with evidence stacked so high against him that Mike couldn't blame the man for acting somewhat, well, desperate.
Though for a desperate man, Dr Rollins looked liked he didn't have a care in the world. He sat – in his tattered jeans and rumpled white shirt – on the ledge, lazily kicking his legs in the air. The rough, early winter winds tossed his unruly blonde hair wildly and sometimes obscured his face. His sneakers were arranged neatly on the ledge beside him. He had a tiny smile on his pale, drawn face.
He looked like a man who had finally come to a decision, and was finally, at last, at peace with the world. That, however, was not a good state of mind to be in when you're perched on the edge of a skyscraper, hundreds of feet above the ground.
Rollins took a long draw from his joint and threw him a lazy grin.
"Want one?" he offered him the half-smoked roll of weed.
He gave Rollins a tight smile. "No thanks. I quit a while back."
"That blows," Rollins murmured in perfect slacker speak.
It took every ounce of Mike's willpower to please, for the love of all that's mighty, not to look down. He gingerly sat next to the man, hoping that he didn't spook him. However, unlike Rollins, who hung his legs over the ledge, Mike's were safely tucked on the ground. But being just a mere inch or two away from certain death didn't sit very well with him.
"So. We were looking for you."
Rollins lifted a blonde eyebrow but otherwise did not offer his opinion on the matter. Then, he muttered flatly: "Shucks, you shouldn't have."
Mike cleared his throat. "Well. You walked out in the middle of the negotiation – "
"Because they insulted my wife and daughter. My dead wife and daughter," Rollins' tone was hard.
"They" were Pharma Medical, the corporate giant that owned Mercy. Specifically, their lawyer Leah Johnson, who brought up how Rollins spiralled into drugs, drink and depression even before the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter at the hands of a murderous gang of robbers the NYPD had dubbed "The President's Men". The robbers, who had a penchant for wearing masks of former presidents, had the corpses of his family on the sofa for Rollins to find after he returned home from a 36-hour shift at the hospital.
As if he read his mind, Rollins said: "I suppose I have to thank the bastards. They sat Linda and Joyce on the couch – Linda had her hand on Joyce's head, like she was stroking her hair. They were watching Spongebob. Joyce loved Spongebob. I can pretend that their last moments were … pleasant." His voice was dull, dead. He took another long drag and watched the New York skyline with vacant eyes.
After Leah implied that he had been a screw up even before Linda and Joyce's deaths – mentioning hospital gossip about him having an affair with a patient – Rollins had gotten up slowly, walked over to Leah and without taking his burning eyes from her defiant ones, swiped her files to the floor in a messy heap. Without a word to any of them – they had all been frozen with shock, even Harvey and Jessica – he walked out. Harvey just threw him a look. It was Harvey's code for: "Get his ass back here. Now."
So, here he was, barely insulated against the icy winds, probably catching pneumonia in the process, as he tried to talk Dr Rollins from hurling himself off the 60th floor of their office building.
Mike had had tough cases. But this one was a different level of tough. Seeing despair so deep and raw affected him in a way that he had not expected. He and Harvey had worked themselves to the bone with this one, spending numerous sleepless nights hunched over endless sheets of data, desperate to give this man some kind of hope. They had an instinctive feeling that without that glimmer of hope, Rollins would give up. Not just on his career, which was the only thing he lived for, but on life itself.
But Rollins, by all appearances, seemed to have already given up when he came to them. He was mostly silent and withdrawn, letting his twin sister Amanda do all the talking. She was the one who pleaded with Harvey to take on his case, offering her meagre savings as payment. Harvey, in a rare moment of generosity, decided to take the case pro bono.
Mike suspected that Rollins would willingly allow Pharma Medical to bankrupt him if he could. The man just needed an excuse to bail in any way.
Except from his patients, that is. That seemed to be the only thing that would get a reaction from the man. And the trouble, after all, began when he made a tough call at the ER. Already "grounded" because of his topsy turvy personal life, Rollins – who was once Manhattan's best infectious disease specialist – intervened and saved a patient's life when the ER doctors couldn't. For two days the patient was alive, happy and euphoric that he survived. Then, he was dead from a heart attack. The family sued, and after a long drawn out suit, Rollins was proven innocent. Then, Pharma Medical fired him. Mike couldn't blame the man for wanting to throw in the towel. Not after all that he'd been through.
"Rollins. We're close to winning this," he said.
"I don't care if we win," Rollins said curtly. He flicked the joint into the empty air and watched it flutter to the distant ground with mild curiosity.
Mike swallowed, trying not to follow the descent of the doomed joint. "Amanda's worried about you. We all are."
Rollins snorted. Then, he laughed dryly and squinted at him, blinking away the glare from the winter sun.
"You care? The blood-sucking lawyer cares?" he said in disbelief.
"First, I object to the blood-sucking label. I take my steak well done. Then there's also the fact that your sister will not spare me if anything happens to you on my watch," he said.
Or Harvey, for that matter, he thought.
Amanda was away in Miami for a funeral. Mike knew that he was grasping at straws when it came to "convincing reasons to give a man who was about to turn himself into pavement splatter." But any delay tactic was better than no delay tactic.
This seem to amuse Rollins further. He guffawed, slapping his thighs. Mike tensed nervously, worried that the motion would tip the man in the wrong direction.
Okay, this is enough, he thought crossly. I'm freezing my butt off on top of a skyscraper, talking to a guy who's about to jump. Just about the wackiest thing I've done for this crazy job.
"Look. I'm never going to understand what you went through. I don't think I ever could so I won't give you the usual platitudes," he said.
Rollins' blue eyes turned ice cold, all mirth gone.
Mike swallowed nervously. "But I sense something in you. Call it a hunch, call it the instinct of a man who has tasted desperation one too many times but I know you want to screw the Big Guys just as badly as we do. If you do this – " he pointed at the blank, empty space before them, " – if you're giving up now, you're letting them win. And Leah Johnson? She's not gonna lose a nanosecond of sleep over it."
Rollins' eyes narrowed at the mention of her name and Mike tensed, wondered if he'd screwed up. After one too many long seconds, the man laughed bitterly.
"If we screw them, are we gonna screw them good?"
"Oh yeah. That's Harvey's speciality."
Rollins grunted, then stretched out a hand to him. Mike took a step back and looked at the hand in confusion.
"What? You think it's easy to get up from here?" Rollins arched an eyebrow.
Quickly, Mike grabbed his hand and helped Rollins to his feet. But in his haste, he scratched himself on some piping by the ledge. He ignored the brief sting – so great was his relief that Rollins was finally on solid ground again – and finally allowed himself to breathe as Rollins swung his feet over the ledge and reached out to rescue his sneakers from an uncertain fate.
Once he was a safe distance from the edge, Rollins lit another joint. Mike sighed. Smoking pot in front of Leah was just not going to win Rollins any plus points. Worse, Jessica's going to flip and who's going to get to clean up? Yup, Mike Ross.
He was going to have to talk Rollins out of it on the way down to Pearson Hardman. He groaned inwardly at the thought of it.
Mike smiled. "You're welcome."
Rollins expelled a big puff of smoke from his lungs and threw the joint on the ground and proceeded to crush it with his bare foot. Mike winced. Rollins' toes were blue from the cold.
"Yeah?" he watched the flames go out.
"Breathe a word of this to Amanda and I'll sneak into your home and spike your food with something you're not gonna like."
He suppressed a grin and cleared his throat as he tried to look grave and serious. "Okay."
As Rollins walked lazily towards the stairs, wearing his sneakers along the way, Mike finally felt the pain. When he gave the wound a brief look, he was surprised at the amount of blood dripping from it, but quickly flicked the blood away and proceeded to banish it from his mind.