A/N: So sorry for the delay. I had been intending to update GUIHTD, but I really had this urge to get this chapter up. And this chapter is the whole reason for this fic, really, - it was really built up (e.g. I had to find a plot) around Mike's freak out at the office (which in turn was actually inspired from an article in the paper about a man who flipped out at the office – throwing computer and chairs and stationary out of the office window). Sadly, Mike doesn't get that far. But he does throw some shit around.
Also – here in the UK when you're off sick you can go a week before you need a sick certificate for work. I have no idea how it works in the US so I just kept it general.
And yes – Donna clearly is a fan of Dead Poet's Society. Of course, it's actually a quote from Walt Whitman, 1865, and not John Keating (Robin Williams).
Mike spent at least a day back at his apartment, holed up and avoiding the outside world, including at least three missed calls from Harvey. In all that time, which affectively had meant to be spent calming himself down and fooling himself into a false sense of security, all his mind could do was churn over all the possible scenarios that could and most probably did happen.
So, by the second day, he was even more tired and edgier than before.
Harvey being at his door wasn't helping either.
"What are you doing here, Harvey?" Mike asks rather invitingly but steps aside anyway. His body automatically starts to relax with the older man's presence, now knowing it wasn't anyone coming back for a twisted second round.
"You weren't answering your phone," Harvey comments, stepping in and turning in the small vicinity of the couch. "Just checking you were still with me."
Mike rolls his eyes and shut the door after him.
"A bit dramatic isn't it?" he asks, moving past Harvey and returning to the couch and nursing a beer that he had abandoned earlier.
"No," Harvey replies quickly with none of his usual banter. He chose to sit on the small coffee table (that Mike now only had come to realise was pushed further back than usual) and Mike gives him a mildly offensive glare for his mistreatment of his furniture. Harvey ignores the look and kicks his foot gently with an outstretched leg, nodding at the beer in his hand. "A bit early for that, isn't it?"
Mike shrugs and takes another gulp, swilling it around in his mouth before swallowing it in a loud and satisfactory sigh.
"I think it's warranted," Mike says, wiping the mouth with the back of his hand.
"Mike-" Harvey warns, leaning forward. He snags the bottle out his hand and pulls it out of his reach. Mike gives him a disappointed look and debates actually fighting him for it before grinning and waving it away.
"I got more," Mike tells him, lifting his chin.
"And you can drink them later, if that's how you're doing things," Harvey says with a disapproving shake of the head.
Mike huffs a breath out and drops his head on to the back of his couch, vision wonky as it settles on the light fitting above him.
"But I need to know what's happening."
"I thought you knew," Mike says, lifting his head wearily and eyeing him with suspicious eyes. " You were there-" he ends up covering his face with his hand, head dropping back down, in a fit of giggles. "- well, obviously not for all of it. That would just be awkward."
He hears Harvey sigh loudly.
"If I had been then none of this would happened."
Mike lifts his head again, schooling his features, going rapidly cold and numb.
"Harvey-" he starts to say. He knows there's many things he should actually say – like asking Harvey what actually happened, he knows he should actually tell him about his uncle's return and everything that had happened before, so someone else can dot the dots and take action and fluff him up in a warm body of armour. And most importantly he knows he should tell Harvey that none of this is his fault. He doesn't, of course, because he's still lingering in desperate and detached anger. Anger at Cliff, anger at whoever or whatever happened to him, anger at himself for not being able to remember. For letting it happen. For failing himself. For failing Harvey. Instead it ends up directed at Harvey instead in a rush of hot air. "Don't start."
"I'm not pushing you to come back," Harvey tells him, ignoring the misdirected anger, face softly calm and reassuring. "But I need to know what's happening now. You can only be off for so long before you'll need a doctor's certificate. I take it you didn't stick around to get anything when you were at the hospital?"
Mike averts his eyes from Harvey's roaming ones and shakes his head.
"I'll need to tell Jessica something."
"I'll be back before I need one," Mike tells him, rubbing his eyes tiredly and wondering if he had anything stronger than beer. It was times like this he wished he hadn't thrown all his stash away.
"You don't have to," Harvey disagrees, leaning forward and staring at him. Mike strangely wasn't unnerved at their close proximity. Harvey had stared at him like this before, like that time when they'd been inches apart after Mike had got high. "You can take as long as you need."
"I said I'll be back before it's needed," he repeats. He wasn't sure if it was more of a challenge to Harvey, anger winning out, then worry that anyone else at the firm would find out.
Harvey sighs loudly again, leaning back and rubbing his face with both his hands.
They fall into an uneasy silence, enough time for Mike to see the tension wind through Harvey, the barely concealed anger reverberating through his limbs and Mike fidgets uncomfortably on the couch, shame engulfing him.
"Harvey, please..." Mike suddenly croaks at him, surprising himself with the sudden emotion flooding through his voice. "I get you can tell me what to do at the office, but this is my place. I just need some space. Give me some time. I'm not bailing. I promise."
Harvey drops his hands and Mike blinks at the sudden determination in his eyes.
"Neither am I," Harvey tells him. He stands, giving Mike's knee a squeeze, and nods. "Come back when you're ready.
Mike's eyes prick at the honesty to Harvey's words and he nods wordlessly at him, allowing him to move past and head back the apartment's door.
"Huh?" Mike asks dumbly from the couch.
"If you need to call... I'll always answer. You get that?" Harvey asks, back to him, stalling at the door.
For the second time in mere minutes Harvey has astounded him (although he doesn't know why. He's secretly known these things about Harvey for quite some time now) and he finds himself nodding again. It takes him a second longer to realise Harvey still has his back to him, so he ends up croaking "Yeah. I got it."
By the time evening rolls around he ends up getting completely sloshed on vodka and puking up a stuffed crust pizza that he had no recollection of ordering in the first place.
True to his word, Mike surprisingly turned up for work two days later.
Harvey spent a suspicious amount of time scrutinising Mike – which all but told him that he was either perfectly fine and on fire at work; outdoing all the associates with meeting deadlines, laughing outrageously when Durant, of all people, made a minor mistake at housing court, of all places, and being the general over jubilant puppy he had shown them to be – or in some form of manic melt-down that would inevitably lead to a crash.
The crash never happened though – things seemed to settle and Mike appeared to spend the next day and weekend rebalancing himself until all was fine. There were still times, though, that made Harvey realise the kid was still emotionally recovering. Like that one time when Donna found the kid completely spaced out in the associate break room.
"Harvey," Donna appears in his doorway, arms folded. "What's going on with the kid?"
"Huh?" Harvey asks, looking up in alarm, file dropping to his desk.
"I just found him in the break room," she explains, brow furrowed in worried concern. "The kid was completely away with the faeries. He wasn't responding to me, so I put my hand on his shoulder and he completely freaked out."
"Well... more flinched. Quite violently," Donna clarifies. "And went fifty shades of pale."
Harvey studies Donna for a second before shrugging.
Harvey trusted Donna completely and he knew that if he disclosed what had happened she'd take the secret to her grave and be a pillar of support to Mike. Only it wasn't his to tell and he wouldn't betray what little faith Mike might have left in him.
"Right," she snorts before striding forward and standing directly in front of his desk. Looking up he can see her face was disbelieving, eyebrow raised. "Don't think I haven't noticed how you've been practically stalking the kid since he's been back and checking up on him. 'Donna, make sure Mike doesn't have too much to do', ' Donna, tell me if anyone comes to see Mike,' 'Donna, tell me when the kid goes for lunch,' 'Donna, make sure the kid eats something',..."
"Okay, I get it-" Harvey interrupts her (very bad) impression with a wave of his hand. "And I don't sound like that."
"So?" she asks, leaning forward slightly.
"So, nothing," he replies and shoos her away with his file. "The kid had a bad stomach bug and someone needs to check up on him."
Donna looks stricken and thrown by his very loose half truth.
"Seriously?" she asks in obvious delight. "You admit he needs you."
He shakes his head and smirks at her.
"No. He needs someone."
"And you can see that and have taken it upon yourself to be that someone," she coos. "That's even better."
"Right, whatever-" Harvey declares and stands up, waving the folder in the direction of the door. "I got work to do."
She grins and salutes him.
"Oh, and Donna?"
She stops by the door once more and turns.
"Yes, Oh Captain, My Captain?"
"I think the kid wont be leaving till at least 10 tonight," Harvey says, rolling his eyes at her. "Make sure he gets a stuffed crust pizza, will you."
"Already done and dusted," she tells him, heading back to her desk. "I used the same place you got one from last week. Which, I might add, was a strange choice of food to send someone recovering from a stomach bug. Don't you think?"
Harvey chose to ignore the remark.
Instead he thinly smiles at her and slowly closes the door.
By the middle of the second week of Mike's return things really did seem to settle and, although Harvey wasn't entirely happy with Mike pretending nothing had happened, he was satisfied enough in his reassurance that the kid was able to function professionally.
In fact he was satisfied enough to feel Mike had balanced himself out enough for Harvey to invite him to an important meeting.
"C'mon," Harvey tells him, leaning over the cubicle and pointing at his ratty messenger bag. "Get your stuff. You're coming with me."
Mike eyes his watch, taking in the time, and then back at Harvey.
"You're taking me to lunch?" he asks with a stupid grin.
"I'm taking you to a meeting. Lunch may or not be involved," Harvey smirks back. If truth be told, it was another good way at ensuring the kid was still eating. "And you're making us late. Move your ass."
"Aye, Aye Captain."
The meeting was with PI Banking and their newly allocated spokesperson Daniel Rodgers. They were in the process of merging with another leading bank and had drafted in Pearson and Hardman to oversee it.
If Harvey had any qualms about Mike joining them – they were soon quashed. Mike not only finished of a huge bowl of mouth mouth watering pasta, but he had Rodgers practically eating out of his hand, wowing him with strategies and statistics.
"Where the hell did you find him?" Rodgers directs at him when Mike excuses himself to go to the bathroom.
He found me
"Luck of the draw, I guess," Harvey tells him with a shrug.
"He's not like those usual Harvard idiots your firm palms off on us-" Rodgers continues and then smiles sheepishly. "No offence, Harvey."
"None taken," Harvey smiles back, holding his hands up in a mock placating manner.
Rodgers looks down at the impromptu draft of ideas Mike had jotted down for him – brain-storming with clients had never really been one of Harvey's strongest points – before glancing back up and grinning again.
"You've taught him well. You should be proud."
And Harvey was. He hadn't recognised it straight away but there was a warm feeling lining the deepest of his stomach, and it had nothing to do with the wine he just downed.
They could both see Mike reappear at the back of the restaurant.
"This ones a keeper," Rodgers informs him, picking his wine glass up and tipping it at Harvey. "Don't let him out your sight."
Harvey curls his fingers around his glass and smiles tightly back.
"I don't intend to."
While Harvey returned to work and Mike basked in the after glow of a successful meeting – neither realising that the event that had just occurred would have reverberations throughout – Clifford Ross was receiving a telephone call.
"Go for Ross."
"Is this a sick joke?"
"What? Excuse me?" Cliff asks, pulling the phone back and recognising the name on the caller ID. "Philip?"
"Was this an elaborate scheme? You thought you could set me up with a load of legal bullshit?"
"What the hell are you on about?" Cliff breaks in, alarmed at the anger filtering in through the phone.
Cliff really hadn't wanted to drag Mike back into this and Wilds had seemed to be a safe bet. A one off who wanted no strings attached. Now, Cliff was worried and confused at what had transpired since last week. Maybe Mike had recollected something? Maybe, somehow, he'd found a name and approached his client. No, Cliff was sure that couldn't have happened. The kid had been completely out of it.
"Did you know?" Wilds asks, still not clearing the subject up, voice raging in his ear. "Did you know what he does for a living?"
"He's in sales..." he answers rather uncertainly.
"Is that what he said?"
"Yes," Cliff responds quickly and then shakes his head because no, he hadn't – cliff had just presumed and Mike hadn't told him anything different. "Kind of."
"Shit fuck god-damn," Wilds hisses. "You didn't think to check it out?"
"I didn't think I had to," Cliff insists,before it dawns that he still doesn't know what has happened. "Why? What happened?"
"What happened? I'll tell you what happened-" Wilds continues, voice actually seething with rage. "My colleague just returned from a lunch meeting with our firms lawyer, who by the way is Harvey Specter who happens to be one of the city's best lawyers out there. He happened to bring his associate along because he's and I quote 'some kind prodigy'. Do you want to guess who the associate was, Ross?"
"Uh... I... had no idea," Cliff answers dumbly, completely befuddled by the fact that Mike's practically a lawyer. That he works for someone so (reportedly) prestigious.
"Yes," Wilds agrees. "From your complete lack of well formed vocabulary, I can see you didn't."
"I really thought he was good to go."
"Well he wasn't and I wants some reassurances."
"Like my money back. Consider it good-will. And to make sure the kid doesn't talk-"
"Wait-" Cliff breaks in trying to reason with him. "He was drugged. He doesn't know anything."
"What part of prodigy don't you get? And from what my colleague said, he's got some photographic memory-"
"Eidetic-" he automatically corrects farcically.
"What ever. The point is that even though he was out of it, he might remember specific details and I don't want any of those details getting back to me. Okay? I got a wife and kids to protect."
Cliff would have laughed right there down the phone at that but he didn't.
"Fix it, Ross. Before I have to."
Mike returns back to his apartment after a pretty good day. Things had steadily improved but today he actually started to feel normal for once. Since returning Harvey had continuously been checking up on him and giving him these small encouraging smiles. He wasn't entirely sure if Harvey knew he was giving them and for most of the week they'd been pretty much unwanted by him. But at lunch with Harvey and Rodgers he couldn't but feel a swell of happiness when he caught sight of Harvey grinning at him halfway through some exuberant explanation of Harvey's tactics, chipping in with some ideas of his own from his very brief reading of the file in the drive over.
The good feeling lasted all day and Harvey had even clapped him on the back (which Mike was pleasantly surprised when he didn't flinch) and told him to go. Mike didn't need telling twice – after the afterglow of the meeting, he was starting to flag.
The good day didn't last though.
Because as soon as he steps in through his front door he caught sight of a flash of movement in his right peripheral before being struck hard against the side of his face.
"What the fu..." he only manages to get out before a whole body slams into his side and whips him around, slamming the side of his face into the now closed door.
"Fuck," Mike spits through blood. "Get off me."
"You didn't think I would find out?"
Mike instantly recognises the voice.
He increases his struggle against the hold only to find one arm twisted behind his back painfully, the other trapped between him and the door.
"Are you fucking stupid?"
Mike stills his movements and pants through the pain and fear. He can't remember Cliff ever being this physical with him before.
"What... what?" Mike pants.
"Don't play stupid, Mike," Cliff hisses in his ear and roughly shakes him. "Sales, huh?"
Mike's breath stills along with his body.
"What do you know?" he whispers.
"I had an interesting conversation with my contact today. Lawyer? Really?"
Cliff is practically leaning his entire weight on to Mike, pushing further into the wooden frame, breathing into his ear.
"Associate, actually," Mike corrects croakily, suddenly overwhelmed by the fear that he might have spent his lunch with the man responsible for this nightmare.
"Lawyer. Associate. It really doesn't matter, does it? You still work for Harvey Specter, right?"
Cliff jostles him when he doesn't respond straight away and so Mike nods at him shakily.
"How... did... your client...?" Mike says, fumbling over his words, terrified he might have been so close to him.
"His colleague was gushing all about you to him after your meeting. As soon as he mentioned your name alarm bells started ringing." Cliff tells him, completely not getting any of Mike's concern. " He thinks you're going to pull some legal bullshit on him. Are you?"
"How could I?" Mike asks, disbelieving, wondering what Cliff wanted out of him and more worriedly, how he was going to resolve the situation. He twists and turns slightly, trying to see Cliff's face. "I didn't exactly know any of this was going to happen."
He's unexpectedly spun again, leaving his head reeling, until he's directly in front of his uncle.
"You're going to do what I tell you," Cliff tells him, bracing his entire body with both his hands.
Mike shakes his head and makes an attempt to reach out behind him, fumbling with the handle.
"Damn it, Mike" Cliff shouts angrily, slapping him hard across the face. He's grabbed much tighter this time and dragged forwards before being thrown down, with force, on to his couch.
It's absurd really, but he's still reeling from the slap, and because he knows it's absurd he starts to laugh.
"Don't you get it?" his uncle paces in front of him, running a hand through his hair repeatedly. "He wants me to make sure you don't talk, Mike. That means one of two things. Money or-"
"Making someone disappear?" Mike asks quietly. He can feel himself curling in on himself but his tone remains challenging.
"Have you? Killed someone before, I mean?"
"He seriously asked you to kill his nephew?"
"He doesn't know you're my nephew, you dipshit-" Cliff spits out and then strides forward to him. Mike flinches when he grabs his face between his hands. "Which is why I'm doing you a favor."
He snorts and tries to pull back but Cliff tightens his grip, pinching at the skin and locking their gazes on each other.
"You don't need Harvey Specter or that fucking firm. You're playing at dress up, Mikey. You need to do what you're good at. And we're blood. We'll look after each other."
Mike snorts again but stops short when Cliff squeezes even tighter, fingers wrapping with force around his chin, preventing him from saying anything even if he wanted to.
Mike felt himself nodding.
"Good boy," Cliff tells him, releasing the pressure.
Mike's hand immediately goes to his chin and rubs. The only other person to say those words had been Harvey. And it had felt good, full of praise and warmth and genuine affection. Now they were tainted which only filled him with anger.
"Now go pack," Cliff is telling him with his back to him. "You're coming with me."
"No," Mike quietly says. He's not sure if his uncle has heard him or not – he body stills with his back facing him, so he repeats it again. A little bit louder. A little bit more determined. "I said no."
Cliff turns around slowly and faces him with a look he hasn't seen since he pulled that guy off him that one time in the bathroom. He doesn't back down, doesn't bolt, just stays there on the couch, straightens his shoulders and gives the older man a steely look of his own.
"I haven't said anything. I wont say anything."
"You don't get to make that choice," Cliff tells him, striding forward again and jabbing him in the chest. Mike doesn't flinch this time.
"I do. I choose to stay," Mike tells him firmly, looking directly into his face.
"You mean you choose Specter."
"Maybe," Mike concedes with a shrug. "I don't know. Maybe I don't need anyone."
Cliff steps away and chortles loudly.
"Look at you kid," he says, still laughing loudly. He gestures to him with his hand. "You've always needed someone. Your parents, your grammy, 'Trevor'' he must have found this even funnier because he indicates it with airy air quotes. "Even me. And I'm guessing this Harvey guy, too."
Mike smiles tightly at him and shakes his head.
"You might be blood, but you're not family," Mike spits out at him, watching him dance around in front of him. "I want you to leave now."
"And I want you to pack," Cliff informs him, voice becoming louder. "NOW!"
"Okay," Mike says grinning and raising his hands up in the air. He stands up and makes an attempt to pass. "If you wont leave, I will."
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" Cliff challenges hotly at him and then suddenly they were a tangle of limbs (Mike was sure he managed to get in a fast uppercut that would have had Harvey proud) which brought both of them down hard.
Mike, unfortunately, lands first with Cliff coming down hard on top him.
He tries to shake him off. Tries to drag his already sore body out from underneath the heavier form of his uncle. He succeeds only half-way until Cliff catches him by the belt of his pants and yanks him backwards before piling on top of him and pushing his face back down into the carpet.
"You're going to do what I tell you to do," Cliff tells him for the second time that evening and Mike freezes, breaths trapped between his chest and the floor, terrified that Cliff was going to actually do what he had always been on the sidelines for. "Got it?"
Mike nods into the carpet and Cliff pats his shoulder in a satisfied manner.
Clearly he thinks the threat of bolting has passed because Mike suddenly feels the pressure alleviate. In that split second Mike makes the quickest decision he's ever made – in fact her can't even remember making it, his body jackknifing in a fight and flight response – and brings the back of his head up so fast that Cliff has no time to react at all. His head connects hard with something, Mike only slightly aware of a faint crunching sound, before the remaining weight disappears completely.
Mike scrambles away, hands grabbing at the door handle to pull him up before flinging it open and bolting through it (forgetting his messenger bag which had been torn from his shoulder or his bike which would only add time trying to manoeuvre it down the stairs), leaving Cliff rolling around the floor with a bloody nose.
Mike ends up at Jenny's again. Only this time it was a conscious decision and for more practical reasons other than it being the only address he could remember – he'd left both his phone and wallet in his bag – and Jenny's was in at least walking distance. He was also not entirely sure he wanted to drag Harvey back into his troubles again. When Mike had accidently stumbled into those interviews Harvey had been expecting an associate, not someone with a walking soap opera life.
"Mike?" Jenny gasps at him, hand automatically reaching for his face. "God, what happened to your eye?"
Mike manages a flinch and a shrug before becoming a shaking mess on Jenny's couch.
He refuses to tell her anything and just ends up begging her for a place to stay.
Reluctantly she agrees, throwing him worried frowns and clutching her phone like a life-line.
She catches sight of him wearily looking at it in her hands and sheepishly put it down. It's sometime later that Jenny inches forward slowly, moving across the the couch like she she expects him to bolt any second. He wont – he's too exhausted to move and besides, Jenny's safe.
When she's close enough he finds her wrapping a blanket around his shoulders. She hesitates for a second before deciding to wrap herself around him and the blanket. He flinches – just the once – before relaxing under her presence.
After the umpteenth time of silence and clearly when Jenny's at breaking point, he hears her soft voice floating up to him.
"Why did you come here?"
"I thought that was obvious," Mike says, voice strangely scratchy.
"Apart from the obvious," Jenny says, prodding him gently.
"Why didn't you go to Harvey's?"
"Too far," Mike says. It appears shock and exhaustion makes Mike an honest boy.
"Do you want to call him now?"
Mike shakes his head shyly, hiding his head further into the blanket.
"I don't want Harvey being dragged into this."
They fall into another silence until Jenny speaks up again.
"I'm not the one you need."
"I... don't... I don't need Harvey," Mike says for the second time that day. "Why do people keep saying that?"
"I don't know," Jenny shrugs against him. "Maybe because you need someone like him."
Mike starts to resist, agitatedly moving under the blanket until Jenny's hand finds his and squeezes.
"I don't know what Harvey is to you, Mike," she reassures him quietly. "But it's something."
The morning finds Harvey outside the firm, leaning against a wall, two coffee's in hand and scanning the crowds of people walking backwards and forwards in front of the building. Mike's bike was still missing from it's usual spot and the kid was already an hour late.
After the last few days, especially yesterday, Harvey had thought things were settling down. But now worry tugs at him. The last time Mike was this late it had been the start of the nightmare that followed. The kid was also not answering his phone.
"Harvey?" a voice said startling him out of his thoughts.
"Jessica," he greets at the woman standing in front of him. She looks at him with a quizzical frown.
"Is there any reason your standing out here with two coffees instead of getting ready for our meeting later this morning?"
"Uh. No. Just enjoying the scenery," Harvey tells her with a shrug.
Jessica smirks at him and folds her arms.
"Is this anything associate related?"
"What...?" Harvey starts startled.
"Please, Harvey-" Jessica admonishes him with a tut. "I do have eyes. Something's bothering you. And from the way you've been acting around Mr Ross lately I presume it's related to him. I also presume your standing out here, with a second coffee, waiting for him."
"No," Harvey shakes his head vigorously and clutches both coffees a little bit possessively. "They're both for me."
Jessica eyes him sceptically.
"Donna said something, didn't she?" Harvey asks with a sigh.
"Only that something was bothering you regarding Mr Ross," Jessica says with a shrug. "I have to say Harvey. I'm kind of impressed – looking out for the welfare of someone who's not actually paying you to do so."
"Jessica-" Harvey starts to warn.
"He's late," she observes dryly.
"Can't argue there," he comments. Way to to go, kid. Now even the boss is noticing.
"Can I offer you some advice?" Jessica asks, tilting her head to the side.
Harvey smirks at her and shrugs. "You're going to give it to me anyway, right."
She grins at him and unfolds her arm, resting a hand across his chest.
"Find the right balance between being boss, mentor and friend."
"Right," Harvey chuckles, scanning the crowd once more. "That really helps."
Jessica offers another grin and picks at some imaginary lint to his lapel before reaching for his hand and snagging one of the coffee's from it.
"Hey," Harvey objects half-heartedly.
"Give the kid yours," she tells him, blowing at the heat and looking over the rim at him.
She goes on to talk about some of the details of the planned meeting but he's only half-listening, distracted when a yellow taxi pulls up and Mike suddenly appears, jumping out of the swinging door in a rush. Clearly he's still wearing the same suit from the day before and by the way it sits on him – rumpled and creased – he must have slept in it. He's also sporting an impressive black eye and split lip.
He's already half way across the open stretch of pathway when a blonde head pops out of the open door and calls him back. Harvey can see it's Jenny, holding Mike's tie, and Mike stops and immediately turns back obediently with a pained smile. Harvey watches while she gently loops it around the younger man's neck and secures it into place. She whispers something into his ear which Mike nods at before hurriedly walking off. He seems so preoccupied and lost in thought he doesn't see Harvey or Jessica openly staring.
"What the hell is going on with your associate, Harvey?" he hears Jessica murmur next to him.
"That's what I intend to find out."
By the time Harvey has made it in, Donna's already in his office looking none too pleased.
"Have you seen his face?" she demands of him as soon as he steps inside. "Stomach bug my ass."
"Okay, okay-" Harvey sighs tiredly, not wanting to fight. "I'll tell you everything, but I need to speak to the kid first."
Donna huffs a breath out at him.
"You don't think I'd have him waiting in the office for you if I could?"
Harvey eyes his assistant questionably.
"Louis," she goes on to continue. "Is giving him the speech of always looking professional and how he's not allowed near any clients until he looks half acceptable."
Harvey groans and drops into his chair heavily.
Donna looks at him impatiently.
"Let Louis give him the speech. Call me as soon as he's back at his desk."
Donna doesn't look too pleased but accepts it anyway.
Unfortunately, for all involved, Donna wasn't at her desk and Harvey was halfway through a phone call with Rodgers when the associate finally reaches his desk so they kind of missed the volatile confrontation that happens to occur at Mike's desk.
Mike's been at his desk for all of two minutes when the mail man slaps some letters down on his desk. He jumps slightly at the intrusion and takes a second to process that the delivery man's hands look different. For as long as Mike has been at Pearson and Hardman the mail man's hands had always been well manicured and slender fingers. They've never been this. Bitten down nails with nicotine stains.
Mike glances up and is so startled at Cliff's face looming above him he actually shrieks. Just a little.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" he hisses quietly, pushing his his chair back slightly. To his alarm he sees that some of the associates have noticed his girly gasp and are looking on intriguingly. His eyes dart away slightly and focus on the PH ID badge on Cliff's breast pocket. For reasons unknown to Mike - the mail room staff had never been issued with the usual identification, just small plastic sheets of paper with a passport photo inserted in between – and straight away Mike's eyes adjust and see that one corner of the flimsy plastic is puckered. "How... how did you get that?"
"This?" Cliff asks, seeing Mike staring at the ID. He taps at it before pulling it from the pocket before tapping it on the cubicle wall between them. "It seems that Trevor wasn't that trustworthy either. Kind of makes me wonder why he had one of these in the first place."
Mike gulps. He's reeling from the fact that Trevor might have been planning to use that thing all along and now his uncle, his freaking sleazy, backstabbing one at that, is here in the middle of Pearson and Hardman. Mike doesn't understand his actions. This is way too public for either of their liking but one look at Cliff's eyes told him everything. Desperation.
Clifford smiles and flings the ID badge down at him. It bounces off his chest.
Mike looks around nervously and flinches when Cliff winds his hand tightly around his elbow.
"You need to go," Mike tries to tell him quietly. "You're making a scene."
"I don't care," Cliff says just as quietly and Mike finds himself starting to shake. Any form of reasoning or negotiating seemed out of the window. "You don't get to walk away. Not from me. Did you think you could?"
Mike shakes his head.
He really feels like he's about to cry right now. And on top of that he can feel even more eyes on them - the weird mail man who was manhandling him.
"I told you to get your shit together," Cliff says, eerily calm and quiet. He releases his hold of Mike's arm and Mike just blinks at him, barely registering that he has his messenger bag in his hand. Cliff throws it at him and Mike catches it on auto-pilot. "So get your shit together. We're leaving now."
Maybe it's fear that paralyses him, or rebellion, or the simple fact he might be sick of hearing Cliff order him about, but he ends up rooted to the seat.
"I said – get your shit together," Cliff insists, eyes flashing in anger. "You don't want a scene. So don't make one."
Mike shakes his head and dumps the bag back on his desk.
"I'm not going with you."
"Move you ass!" Cliff snaps at him, anger now completely evident. When Mike refuses to move cliff suddenly grabs hold of him and drags him off the cubicle seat, pushing him forward. If all of the associates we're not watching them, they definitely were now, especially when the seat tips and clangs loudly to the floor.
"Fuck you," Mike yells, throwing caution to the wind and trying to scramble out of the painful hold. "Get your fucking hands off me."
Cliff appears to have nothing to lose now and continues drag Mike around the edge of the cubicle, finding it easier than dragging him over the wall. And something inside of Mike snaps (because he's had to put up with this shit, both the actions and memories, for most of his teen and adult life, and now he here is again, dumping it right in the middle of where he works, where he's supposed to be smart and intelligent and professional and most importantly: Harvey Specter's freaking associate) and he stops fighting at his uncle's persistent hold and lets out another strangled shriek. He swipes at the contents of his desk as he's pulled, hand connecting hard with his computer's keyboard, dragging it from his desk and seeing it smash to the ground.
There's startled gasps all round but Cliff doesn't stop until Mike settles his hands on the monitor too.
It's at this moment that he's tackled from behind. He goes one way, the monitor goes the other. There's the sound plastic and metal and glass crunching near-by. Mike tries to scramble away because there's a hot body and several hands pulling at him and he manages to stagger a few feet before being face planted again, someone piling on top of him.
And someone's screaming loudly all around him.
It takes him a second longer to realise it might be him.
Harvey's nearing the end of his conversation with Rodgers when he hears a commotion come from somewhere outside of his office. A second later there's the unmistakeable sound of Mike's voice swearing and then shrieking. Harvey startles in alarm.
Donna, who had been on the phone at the time, jumps too and looks around her.
She leaps from her seat and rushes towards his office.
"Harvey-" she starts.
"Sorry, Daniel. I've got to go," Harvey cuts off the man on the other end of the phone. He drops it harshly, not entirely sure if it disconnected and barrels past Donna who quickly follows him.
He stops short at the associate area and the scene in front of him. Mike's being tackled to the ground by two of the other associates – Greg and Kyle – causing the computer monitor he barely had a grasp on to fall and shatter behind the cubicle wall.
Donna gasps out her shock and clasps her hand tightly into his arm, nails digging in.
Harvey's eyes focus in on the mail man – seemingly looking like an innocent bystander – and instantly sees a familiarity in him and knows that both he and Mike are somehow related. Same eyes, same nose, same mouth.
He'd have to deal with that later though. Because at this moment in time both Kyle and Greg are pinning Mike to the floor and the kid is struggling against them with all he's got. It's then that he starts with a keening wail that has Harvey skidding across the room.
"Get off him," Harvey mutters. When they don't comply he turns and glares at them. "I said get off him."
"Let him go."
He turns to see both Jessica and Louis, as well as several other partners, have joined them.
Both associates let go and Mike jackknifes up and Harvey has no choice but to capture him by the shoulders and push him back down. He didn't want to hold the kid down, not after everything that has happened, but he didn't want the kid hurting himself or doing anything stupid.
"What the hell happened?" he hears Louis mutter behind him. "I'm calling security. Do we need to get him certified?"
"Shut up Louis," Harvey snaps at him before turning his attention back to Mike. "Calm down, Mike. It's me. It's Harvey. Stop fighting me." Mike instantly stills beneath his hand, the keening moan cut off in his throat, eyes shut. The only evidence that he was even alive after the abrupt change was the rapid panting coming from the younger man.
"Hey, it's okay kid," Harvey murmurs down to him, slowly letting go of one of his shoulders and placing it across the rapid rise and fall of his chest. "You're safe."
He can hear a ripple of excited voices around them, shifting his back body slightly in a pathetic attempt at shielding Mike from an unwanted audience, and picks out the mail man from the assorted murmuring.
"I was just trying to drop his mail off."
"You threw your ID at him," someone speaks up in an accusatory tone. "You tried to drag him out of his cubicle."
Harvey turns an angry and suspicious glare at the man who backs up slightly alarmed.
"He had Mike's bag with him. I'd recognise it anywhere," the blonde – Harold – speaks up, before retrieving the ID from the floor of Mike's cubicle. "The ID says 'Trevor Evans'."
Harvey tears his eyes from the stranger to Harold.
"Let me see that."
Harold passes it to him while Harvey keeps one hand on Mike's chest. Sure enough the ID – most probably faked twice over – has Trevor's name and the man's, who stood before him, face.
"That's not Trevor," Harvey declares, mostly for Louis and Jessica's benefit. He sees the security men appear from the doorway. "Louis, you better keep this scum-bag away before I do anything stupid. And Try and get a name."
He can see Jessica squeeze Louis arm and nod at him.
"Are you sure he's not certifiable?"
"Just go, Louis," Jessica informs him.
"Harvey?" Mike asks underneath his hand.
"Mike?" Harvey asks him. Mike blinks at him with watering eyes and raises a shaky hand to his rapidly filling eyes. Clearly the kid was about to start on the waterworks. "Hey, kid. It's okay."
Mike shakes his head and chokes on a half sob. It ends up swallowed in a gulp of air.
Harvey really needs to move him up to his office. He flashes Mike a reassuring smile, squeezing his shoulder, before seeking out Donna. She's surprisingly closer than he expected and as soon as he settles his eyes on her she nods at him, pale face flaring angrily. "Okay. Move it now before I start stapling parts of anatomies to your desks.
Harvey turns his attention back to Jessica. He's never really seen her look that concerned before. Not since when she found him fucking his own life up.
"Let me deal with this?"
She nods at him once, eyes drawn to Mike's free hand which had found it's way to Harvey's, fingers wound around his wrist and squeezing with painful tightness.
Huh. He hadn't even noticed