A/N Hey guys :) So, I decided to take a mini-break from writing mini!Mike (see what I did there? ;)) and had a rare moment of inspiration - from my room, of all places; the radiator randomly clangs sometimes and scares the living daylights out of me XD
Guys, I must apologise for this one... usually, I'm quite good at writing horror. I don't know what happened - this was supposed to be scary and turned out comedic... I think anyway, so... yeah; I'm not sure what this is XD
Mike's flat made noises. Like all good flats should, he thought privately. Sure, Harvey's half a million dollar condo may be comfortable, have an awesome view and be basically epic in every way, but it didn't have the comforting sounds of a broken tap dripping morosely, the radiator trying and failing to start up and the whistling of the wind on the corners of the building, leaking through his windows and creating a squealing sound when he was trying to sleep.
Who was he kidding?
Give him Harvey's condo any day.
He couldn't wait to move out of his flat. Once he could afford it, that was.
He could swear that the noises were getting louder day by day.
Very, very secretly, he had a thought that maybe - just maybe, his flat was haunted.
After all, he already paid a slightly discounted rate for rent and when he asked suspiciously why it was cheaper, the landlord shuffled awkwardly and said that it was a private matter of the previous family. So sometimes; only when he was at his most stressed or paranoid, he would pray silently to himself - even though he wasn't the slightest bit religious.
Because sometimes he could swear things went missing. He'd put a cup down and quickly go to get something else and when he came back, it would be in a different place. One time a very neat pile of files was suddenly all over the floor, and while it was more than likely a draught, Mike was unsettled.
The noises he thought were getting louder, were getting louder.
He swore he had heard creaking and... groaning. Whilst those two together at first made him curse the thin walls and pray he wasn't listening to his neighbours having sex, it became such a regular occurrence that he doubted it was them. Plus, it wasn't a... pleasurable groan.
He had once talked to his Grammy about it. She wasn't exactly a spiritualist in any way but she was superstitious. It was a practical sort of superstition though. Like how walking under ladders was bad luck because his Great-Uncle Bernie once did it and it collapsed on him and left him in an oddly shaped coffin. Or like how his Great-Aunt Augustine's path was once crossed by a black cat and she had a severe allergic reaction and to this day (she was only a few years young than his Grammy) still swears up and down any time someone mentions the word 'black cat' she comes out in hives.
Mike isn't so superstitious. Plus, they were all unfortunate incidents. Anything else and it would have been deemed a tragic accident; if Uncle Bernie had a piano collapse on him people would have sighed at the irony and moved on; but instead, they all raved about how you shouldn't walk underneath ladders.
And over-thinking all of his elderly relatives' misfortunes was bringing on a headache and proving that he should really get more sleep.
In his haunted apartment.
Yeah, no thanks.
Harvey rubbed at his forehead before sighing. He was actually bored. Not that he wanted a pro-bono case but if Jessica were to suddenly hand him one... he didn't think he would mind. They hadn't had a decent case for weeks. And yet somehow Mike always seemed to have paperwork to do.
And Harvey noted with distaste that none of it was his paperwork. He had seen more than once that Mike was staying until a ridiculously late time to finish whatever it was he was working on. And Harvey didn't really think that Louis' straight forward sexual-harassment case required the amount of files he saw Mike going through.
He got up, tired of just being sat in his office, pretending to be busy. He was a Senior Partner, dammit, he needed his associate back and he needed a case.
After noticing that Mike wasn't at his desk - but realising he would seriously need to talk to the kid about a proper diet; all there was were thousands of crushed red bull cans and empty pop tarts wrappers (and why the hell was it his associate who ate like a fifth grader and the others all sat there with cups of coffee and bagels?) - Harvey decided to check an empty file room. Usually Mike would seek the solitude of one if he had a lot of paperwork to do and all the other associates were being distracting.
And Harvey read into that to mean; 'so none of the other associates would keep being mean to him'.
He glanced into various rooms and saw other employees. It was sometimes a sport to see who was doing what when they thought they weren't being watched. One room had a paralegal and an associate making out (and Harvey made sure to thump on the door as he walked past, just to scare them), the one next to it had someone asleep on the table, another had an associate that was hard at work and then...
Harvey rolled his eyes, hearing Green Day being played on laptop speakers further down the hall.
Why couldn't he have a normal associate, rather than the faulty one he had chosen?
He looked in the window to see Mike air-guitaring to his music, and singing along with Billie Joe, stopping miming occasionally to look down different parts of the shelving. Harvey opened the door, not being spotted at first by Mike, who was singing enthusiastically along.
"A fixture on the talkshows, to the silver screen... From here to Colorado, he's a sex machine. It's your favorite son - it's your favorite son..." Mike suddenly stopped as he was slapped in the back of the head by a file that had been on the table originally.
"He's going to be a lot less favourite if he doesn't tell me why he's doing work that is definitely not mine," Harvey eyed him, watching as Mike scrambled to turn the music off his laptop, before looking back at Harvey.
"Oh, hey, Harvey, I was just - wait, did you just imply I'm your favourite son?" Mike grinned at him, thankful that the exhaustion plaguing his bones was letting him enjoy this moment.
Maybe he should buy the exhaustion a fruit basket.
"What are you working on?" Harvey asked him.
"Hmm? Oh, this? It's just... it's nothing, why - have we got a case?" He asked eagerly. "Does it require all-nighters? 'Cause I can do that. I'm like... a pro at that. And if we have to stop for the night, then maybe we should start in your office - or maybe your condo, 'cause it's awesome and it doesn't make weird noises either!" He finished enthusiastically. "What?" He asked, as Harvey stared at him like he had just told him that he hadn't seen any Star Trek films.
Which he hadn't.
Maybe he should keep that to himself.
"Are you looking at me like that because I haven't seen any Star Trek films?" Mike asked him.
One day, Mike decided, he was going to have a nice long talk with his brain and would ask it why it makes him act like a socially-inept child.
"Do you think I'm socially-inept?" Mike asked Harvey.
Harvey usually had good opinions on things.
"Yes. Now more so than usual," Harvey answered him, an eyebrow raised. "Are you high?"
"What? No! Why, do I smell like pot? 'Cause I swear, there's a weird smell in my apartment - I think it's like, tobacco fumes or something; it kinda smells liked these cigars my Great-Uncle Bernie used to smoke before the ladder-accident. What are you doing?" He asked as he was manhandled out the room. "All my stuff's in here!"
"I'm sure you can come back and get it," Harvey told him. "When was the last time you slept?"
"In my bed?"
Harvey rolled his eyes. "We can start there, yes, and then move on to other places you might find yourself sleeping in."
"Uh... I don't know. My apartment makes weird noises. I think it's haunted," he confided as they walked towards Harvey's office.
"Is that right?" Harvey said in a completely uninterested manner. "Donna, will you please go down to the D2-F5 File Room and grab Mike's things from there?" Harvey asked the assistant as they got to his office.
"Are you firing me?" Mike asked worriedly.
"Believe me, I'm thinking about it," Harvey grumbled. "I think you should sleep before you get the pink slip though, it might be too much of a shock to your system otherwise."
"Please say you're joking," Mike whimpered, clutching onto Harvey's suit. The older man rolled his eyes and pushed Mike down onto his couch before pulling out his phone. "Who are you calling?" Mike asked with interest.
"The associate pound, I need to sue them for negligence," Harvey muttered, quickly asking Ray to bring the car round to take Mike back to his own flat to sleep. "You're damn lucky we don't have a case at the moment," Harvey said to him sternly; although the malice of his words wasn't really acknowledged, as Mike giggled slightly when Harvey pointed his finger. "I give up," Harvey groaned, sitting on his chair.
"I don't want to go to my place on my own," Mike said, his lips wobbling. "It's haunted."
"I'm not joking, Harvey!" Mike sat forward earnestly, ignoring the head rush. "There are sounds, and my stuff moves around and I keep hearing this weird groaning and smelling cigars."
"You have thin walls and a crappy apartment," Harvey informed him. "It's your neighbours." He got a text informing him that Ray was parked outside. "You're going to go home," he said firmly. "You're going to sleep. And when you come in tomorrow; you will be doing my work and not talking gibberish."
"You told me I always talk gibberish," Mike informed him as he pushed himself up off the couch to take his messenger bag from Donna with a smile (the laptop was staying safely in her desk until he could walk in a straight line).
"Go home and sleep, Mike," Harvey said, pushing him out the door.
Mike had gone home. And he had slept. And he woke up the next morning - which made him realise just how much sleep he had needed to catch up on - feeling refreshed. He groaned slightly as he remembered being very hazy at work the day previously, and also remembered babbling. A lot.
He got up to make some coffee before he smelt that smell again. He sniffed in and the scent of cigar smoke curled inwards up his nostrils, making him pull away slightly. No one was allowed to smoke in his building, and he was sure that his neighbours didn't smoke anyway.
He jumped a mile in the air as the tap suddenly sputtered and came to life, gushing water. Mike hastily turned it off, just on the off chance the water turned into blood. He rubbed his shaking hands on his suit pants and breathed out slowly. He would need to put on a fresh suit - he had been so tired that Ray had insisted on going up with him and making sure he got into the apartment. Mike assumed the driver had been there to see him pass out on the bed fully clothed in his suit and hoped that little fact wouldn't make it back to Harvey.
As soon as he made his coffee, the lights flickered. Usually, Mike wouldn't mind. The crappy wiring was par for the course in this apartment. But with all the weird stuff that had gone on in there recently... It put him slightly on edge.
He figured he'd have maybe half an hour to shower and change before he would need to set off back to the firm.
But there were those damn noises again.
It was like... not 'groaning' exactly but... a kind of keening moan.
It was suddenly followed by what Mike could only describe as a death rattle.
That was new.
After arming himself with a plunger, (and allowing himself the indulgence of whispering 'exterminate') he crept around the flat. The noise seemed to be coming from the walls. And his room.
His wardrobe, actually.
Bracing himself, he slowly put his hand on the door handle, and whispered a silent prayer before thrusting the plunger in front of him, yelling out a battle cry.
He instantly dropped the plunger, made an odd, girly sounding squeal and fled his apartment.
It wasn't every day you found a woman, covered in blood, moaning and staring up with dead eyes, in your wardrobe.
Harvey was the first to admit that his associate was different. Okay, sometimes in bad ways but usually, he was happy to admit that Mike was different. He sometimes liked it when Mike proved this in front of other partners or Jessica, when he found something that would break their case because of the unique way his brain worked.
How he didn't like Mike to show it, however, was the kid nearly running into his glass office door before sprinting in and babbling: "Harvey you've gotta help me, there's a dead woman in my closet but she's still breathing and moaning and I don't know how she got there and I told you my apartment was haunted and I'm not going back you can't make me!"
This happened just as Harvey was finished a meeting with Jessica and 5 other senior partners.
Harvey plastered on a fake smile and nodded at his colleagues. "Ladies, gentlemen... if you'll excuse me for just a second."
He kept the smile up as he grabbed Mike by the scruff of his well-worn, rumpled suit (which had obviously been slept in) and walked him out of the office.
"What do you think you're doing?" Harvey hissed as soon as they were in an abandoned corridor. "You just admitted to most of the partners in this firm that you just killed someone!"
"No, someone else in my flat killed someone!" Mike pulled at him. "You've got to do something!"
"Oh, okay. So, someone else in your flat killed someone; while you were sleeping - and stuffed the body in your closet, before disappearing without a trace," he closed his eyes at Mike's insistent nod. "And you're sure you haven't been drinking, smoking or taking any illegal substances?"
"Harvey I have a dead woman in my closet! I didn't have time to sit down and have a few beers when I found her!" Mike yelled semi-hysterically.
Harvey smiled nervously at an IT tech hurrying by, just in time to hear Mike's confession. The man sped up remarkably quickly and soon they were alone in the corridor once more. "Mike; besides all your higher-ups in this firm and an techie who is now probably looking through all your internet history on the off-chance he will catch a glimpse of the words 'kill', 'where to buy a shovel' and 'psychotic break'... Have you told anyone else this?"
Mike shook his head. Harvey breathed out. "Okay. We are going to go back to yours and I'm going to call a cop who owes me a favour. So when you're arrested - "
"But she just appeared in my closet!" Mike argued.
" - you might get put in a mixed sex prison hold," Harvey finished.
"I can't go to prison, Harvey, I can't afford a lawyer and I don't know much about criminal law so I can't represent myself yet; do you think if I used a plea of insanity they'd go easier on me?" Mike asked desperately, as if this scenario would actually happen.
"Mike, if you suddenly killed a woman and you don't remember it happening, I can't wait to watch that trial," Harvey rolled his eyes. "Come on."
"Can you smell the cigars?" Mike asked him, pulling at his arm.
"Yes, Mike. What I can't smell, is decaying flesh," he replied. "That means if there is a dead woman in your closet, then she can't have been killed that long ago. And Ray can be a witness that you fell asleep when he was still here."
"What if it was Ray?" Mike gasped. "He's a good guy, he shouldn't have to go through such a messy trial!"
"Here's an idea," Harvey grumbled. "Instead of accusing my driver of murder, how about we look in your wardrobe first?" He hesitantly reached out to open it. He felt Mike clutching the back of jacket but decided to let him. If the kid was going down for murder, the least he could do was not snap at him before he gets arrested.
He opened the wardrobe, and paused.
"Oh god, you think I did it, don't you? I swear Harvey, I've never even felt the urge to kill someone, let alone actually do it!"
"Mike there's nothing here."
"What?" Mike peeked around Harvey to see his wardrobe how it usually looked. Very cheap, ready to fall apart and body-free. "But. No - she was right there! Maybe the murderer stole the body back and hid it! Are we going to call the police?"
"Mike, look around," Harvey told him. "Where's any evidence at all that a murder took place here?"
Mike looked around. "There's no blood."
"Right. And it doesn't even smell like it's just been cleaned."
"So we are going to keep this little incident to ourselves. Aren't we?" He asked, sounding like he was talking to a five year old. "And then maybe the next time you see a body in your wardrobe, we'll get you checked into a nice hospital," he went to leave quickly, looking back at Mike as he left. "Take the day, Mike. Feel free to call me if you actually murder someone."
The front door closed and Mike glared at his wardrobe vehemently. "You suck."
The next time Mike heard the groaning, he childishly held his hands over his ears, singing the first song that came to his head in order to drown it out.
"I see a bad moon rising... I see trouble on the way... I see earthquakes and lightning," he started to get louder as he could swear the dying woman in the closet was trying to compete with him. "I see bad times today... Don't go round tonight!" He began yelling, screwing up his eyes. "Well it's bound to take your life... there's a bad moon on the rise!"
He hesitantly uncupped one ear to listen.
The groaning stopped for a second and he sighed.
Then it started again.
"You know you suck at harmonising!" He yelled.
After a few times, he got used to the groaning at two in the morning, the smell of cigars and the occasional grab at him when he went to get some clean socks from his closet. The hand always went through him, but it still made him nearly wet himself and he was shaking for most of the day onwards.
(Donna told Harvey she thought that Mike was in shock from something. Harvey offered for him to ride up front with Ray, assuming that the same prize you might offer to a child would work on Mike. It kind of did.)
Usually now, he would just come home; after pretending he couldn't remember the conversations about his apartment being haunted when questioned by Harvey - the smug bastard - and would just ignore the constant wail of the woman in the wardrobe.
A title which he thought was quite good, and reminded him of 'The Woman In Black', which he had read when he was six and had been scared to sleep for two months.
He decided he should probably try and do something about it. If - and the if was a very big if, because chance was a fine thing now - he ever brought a woman back, he could only imagine the awkward conversation that would follow; 'No, that's just my friendly neighbourhood ghost. She lives in my wardrobe. She won't mind, really; she never really complains about much. And when she does it's just wailing so we can pretend it's about something else.'
That would go down brilliantly.
He decided to do what anyone would do in this situation.
He Googled it.
He wasn't really sure which internet site to trust. It wasn't like there was a definite site for hauntings. Everyone knew that if you wanted information on films, you'd go on IMDb. If you wanted anything else, you'd always have Google. And screw what anyone said, Wikipedia was awesome. After ending up on some officially dodgy sites (including one that suggested he should offer his own blood up as payment) he decided on one that suggested to find out who the ghost was, if they had any unfinished business; if they were murdered, then maybe all they wanted was for their body to be recovered.
Great; was that all?
Because Mike had so much time on his hands to go tramping through sewers and roadside ditches to find this woman's body.
He went down to speak to the landlord, hoping he would have some sort of insight into what was going on.
"Hey; you know how I always ask why you don't charge me much?" Mike asked, leaning on the counter at the reception.
"Yeah...?" His landlord, Jeff, replied slowly.
"Is it because someone died in there?"
"What?" He could swear that Jeff was sweating. "No, don't be ridiculous, Mike - why would you say that?"
"'Cause there's a ghost in my wardrobe," Mike replied simply.
"Oh..." Jeff nodded, looking shell-shocked. "Right..."
"So - did someone die in my apartment?" Mike pressed.
"The family don't want anyone to know," Jeff mumbled, pretending to me immersed in some books.
"Look; you know I work at a top law firm," Mike told him. "Either you tell me what happened, or I'm going to find their names and address and tell all the local news stations that they murdered someone. Which will it be?"
A mixture of lack of sleep and the stress over a corpse in his closet made Mike slightly manic.
"Okay, okay, look - all I know is, the last guy who lived there was... he was a bit of a nut," Jeff told him in a hushed voice. "His wife wasn't the easiest person to be around; she was always telling everyone what to do, how she thought they should live. And he just snapped one day. Stabbed her. Like... a lot," Jeff shuddered. "And then left her in the closet. He then told me they were going on vacation and left. Never came back. Someone complained about the smell so I went up there and... there was just like, a hand."
"That's all there was?" Mike asked, his eyes wide.
"That's all," Jeff confirmed. "That and a whole pool of blood. So either he hid her good or he cut off her hand and they actually did go on vacation. We never found him or her. Cops searched everywhere."
Mike nodded and thanked him, wondering what to do, before turning around. "Did you change the wardrobe?" Mike asked. "The one she was found in?"
"Hey, wardrobes cost money, man," Jeff argued. "I cleaned it."
"How to find... murdered corpses... in your... apartment," Mike muttered as he typed the phrase into Google. As soon as the page loaded he jumped at a knock on the door. As usual, the woman in the wardrobe started moaning. "Alright, already - I'm getting it!" He shouted, hoping to appease her. When he opened the door, he was brushed past by an expensive suit and a waft of shampoo and fresh linen.
"So, why is it," Harvey started, wandering around the pokey living area, "that my associate hasn't been answering his calls and I have to come get him, to remind him we have court in," he checked his watch, "an hour?"
"I'm so, so sorry, Harvey," Mike said earnestly. "I've been really busy, and I haven't been sleeping well, and - "
"Save it," Harvey interrupted, rolling his eyes. "And what's this?" He looked at the search Mike had just done on the internet and then looked back up with a raised eyebrow. "I think we should probably take you to that hospital now."
Mike was about to say something very witty and cutting in reply but was stopped when the woman in the wardrobe wailed once more. "What the hell is that?" Harvey asked, going into Mike's bedroom. Mike followed and watched as Harvey opened the closet.
"Holy shit," he said, staring at the phantom in front of him. "You have a corpse in your wardrobe."
"I know," Mike said, sounding disgruntled; as if he thought that Harvey genuinely thought Mike was unaware of this fact.
The woman went to pull at Harvey, and her hand went straight through him. "You have a ghost in your wardrobe."
"I do," Mike agreed.
Harvey nodded, still staring. "Shall we leave?"
Harvey was allowing Mike to live with him as his apartment was torn apart. Not actually torn apart, but just very carefully de-constructed by the police as they searched for any traces of bone or body parts. After a very large brandy, Harvey had immediately become very businesslike and was moving things out of Mike's apartment into his condo, before calling the police and telling them they needed to check their cold case files and reopen one.
He had to sit on Mike and shove a cushion in his mouth as the younger man tried to shout up to the phone and list several citations that indicated he should be compensated and that it wasn't easy to inhabit the same room as a very loud, mouthy corpse.
When Harvey had managed to sort everything out, he pushed Mike onto his spare bed, opening the wardrobe for him to show that his place didn't have anything as uncouth as a ghost.
"How did you sleep?" Harvey asked the next morning, after getting a call from the police saying they were detecting unusually high amounts of mould in the walls and were checking that out now.
"Like the dead," Mike told him before frowning. "Actually, that's not true, because she never sleeps - all I hear is her stupid complaining; I wasn't the one who killed her, so she might at least have the decency to shut up and respect my rights to sleep."
"Have some coffee," Harvey muttered, pushing a mug towards him.
It was too early to listen to Mike complaining about how a mouldy corpse wasn't taking his feelings into account.
He got a phone call a while later saying that the mould in the walls was simply decaying flesh (and Harvey wanted to seriously correct them on their use of the word 'simply') and that they had found the rest of the woman. Her husband and murderer had managed to somehow craft a hole in the wall behind the wardrobe - which he had then smoothed over with plaster - and stuff her body into it, cutting it up first so that it would fit. He had apparently forgotten her hand.
After talking to Jeff, the police were sure that Mike definitely had nothing to do with the death and allowed him to move back in.
They even did him the courtesy of tidying up afterwards, putting new walls up and giving him a new wardrobe.
"What if she's still here?" Mike asked Harvey as he sat cross-legged on his own bed, eyeing his new wardrobe sceptically.
"Then you're moving," Harvey told him. "I can barely handle you normally; having you close to a breakdown is too much hard work. And you need sleep if you want to finish all my paperwork for our next case."
"I never want to finish all of your paperwork," Mike grumbled. "But thanks... I think. You realise if you want me to move that badly, you're going to have to pay for it?"
Harvey shrugged. "That's fine. Small investment."
"You call the price of a new apartment 'small'?" Mike asked. "What am I saying, of course you do... Look; I'm going to try and get some sleep. You can stay if you want, but uh..."
"You want me to stay?"
"Just in case she's still here," Mike told him. "I don't want to bike to yours in my pyjamas. If you're already here the trip'll go much smoother. So... will you?" Mike asked him with large, pleading eyes.
Harvey sighed and made a huge show of how this was a big inconvenience for him. "I'll be in the living room. Night, kid."
"Night, Harvey," Mike shuffled down in his bed, unable to hide his grin when Harvey turned the light off but left his bedroom door open. He faced the wardrobe and eyed it suspiciously. "If you're here still, I'm so having the Ghostbusters come round to kick your ass."
"Stop giving your wardrobe smack talk and go to sleep," he heard a grumble from the living room and grinned, closing his eyes.
That night, he didn't hear any noise at all; not even the sound of Harvey leaving.
He did wake up to a note from Harvey that said:
I'm assuming you're fine now, Carol-Anne; just do me a favour and try not to attract any more ghosts any time soon, okay? We have a big case coming up and I can't focus my full attention on that if you're having me play Peter Venkman at night.
Mike rolled his eyes, but smiled as he rolled up the note and threw it in the bin.
He found it hard to stifle a smile when Harvey's phone was somehow, mysteriously changed to the Ghostbusters tune, however, and couldn't help but yell out, "Who you gonna call?" When Harvey was striding down a corridor.
He was sure Harvey didn't mind.
Which was why the following day Mike's ring tone was somehow changed to a groan that sounded eerily similar to the woman in the wardrobe.
And wouldn't stop playing as he was on his own in a filing room.
The whole day.
At least Harvey had told the partners that Mike hadn't killed anyone.
He had told them that the younger man had suffered a nervous breakdown.
But at least they didn't think he was a psychotic, killing madman.
A madman, yes. But not a psychotic, killing one.
A/N So... Yeah - I don't know what this was, I can only hope that you enjoyed it and found it entertaining in some way :P Let me know what you thought :)