I did it for you
Summary: Hardman presents Mike with an impossible offer, one that he can't refuse, no matter how much he'd like to. How will this affect Mike, and more importantly Mike and Harvey?
Rating: T to be on the safe side. Will be slash eventually but nothing mature, I don't think I would even know where to start.
Author's Note: Haven't written anything for about 4 years when I wrote for ER and don't have a BETA but Suits was just asking me to dust of the old fic writing part of my brain. I'm a bit rusty so please if you see any errors please let me know. Also the title may change when I have more of the story down on paper, I've never been good of thinking of them. If anyone gets any thoughts let me know.
"You wanted to see me?" Mike asked anxiously as he stood in the doorway of Hardman's newly decorated office.
His heart was pounding in his chest, first his dinner with Jessica, which to be fair hadn't turned out anything like he'd expected, but now a private meeting the 'new boss' just 3 weeks after his return. It was too much!
Hardman had laid it on thick with associates, knowing he needed as many of the underlings in his corner as he could get, but Mike couldn't help wonder why he of all the 1st years had been so ceremoniously summoned for a get together.
'What if he knows!' Mike's paranoid side kicked in. Louis had been particularly inquisitive about all things Harvey, and therefore all things Mike lately. His hands tightened into fists in his pockets, unconsciously preparing to fight for his job if it came to that.
'Relax' his more analytic side told him, 'you know that if Louis knew he wouldn't have been able to stop himself from confronting you already'
"Yes, please come on in and take a seat Mr. Ross" Hardman said looking up a from a large pile of files, his smile too sickly sweet for Mike's liking.
'The founding partner of Pearson Hardman is smiling at you like Trevor does when he has a 'plan'…..This can't be good!'
Mike eased himself into the chair hoping that if he sat far enough back he could just sink into the cushions and pretend this wasn't happening.
"I've been reviewing your work," Hardman started pointing to the files on his desk and leaving a long enough pause for Mike to start panicking again.
'Please, please tell me I haven't made any mistakes lately!' Mike implored with his memory, 'Come on, if you had Harvey would have reamed you so hard you'd remember without your freaky memory.' it said back.
"I'm very impressed. You have a great eye for detail and with the right 'leadership' you could go far."
'Oh god, this is starting to sound too much like Louis' pony speech….ugh I just have to have a photographic memory don't I!'
"Louis has been telling me very good things about you," Hardman continued, knowing this would throw Mike off and smiling when it did.
'And here it comes' Mike had to hold back a sigh.
He could see Mike's mind processing this new information and the look of dread on his face at the prospect of being shipped off to Louis, he could hardly blame the kid. No doubt, Louis was a powerful asset in this particular war but he was undeniably creepy.
Daniel Hardman was no fool though, he could see straight through Louis' intentions when he'd come to him gushing about Mike's amazing mind and how much he needed a new mentor. Louis wanted Mike, not needed but wanted and Hardman knew exactly why.
Mike was Harvey's. An irresistible attribute.
And if he was worth Louis so shamelessly begging for him, he was worth taking for himself. Also it wouldn't hurt pissing off Harvey. He was never get him over to his side so he may as well get some enjoyment where he could.
"And as of Monday I'd like you to start working for me….exclusively." The last word hung in the air tainting it.
Mike's head almost exploded at this, he knew his work was impressive, he defied any of the other associates to match him, but working for the Founding Partner…..please! Hardman was playing a game with him and Mike didn't know the rules.
"That's a very generous offer, Mr. Hardman," Mike started, thinking that gratitude was expected, "but Harvey gave me my start in the firm and I've learned so much for him already. I can't…"
"Mike," Hardman cut him off, his false smile slipping "You seem to be under the impression that I make requests…..I don't.. Come Monday, you work for me and only me. Understand?"
Mike did understand, he'd been backed into a corner and there was no way out. Not even Harvey and his 146 options could help him now.
'Harvey' Mike thought, 'I can't turn my back on him, he gave me a chance when no-one else did. He stopped Jessica from firing me, god only knows how? He's…..everything.'
The last word didn't scare Mike as much now as it used to, he long ago recognised the fact that his feelings for his boss, yes he had feelings, were far from platonic. Not that he would ever breathe a word of that to anyone. He knew now that his infatuation with Jenny and Rachel was just a way of pushing what he felt for Harvey as far back into his mind as he could. Not that he didn't genuinely care for them, it was just different. Harvey was different, Harvey was who he needed to be with.
''Seriously' Mike chastised himself, 'can you leave your deluded fantasies for a second and concentrate on the deep shit you are currently in!'
Mike knew it was futile but he couldn't go down without at least trying to fight his corner again.
"Mr. Hardman, I'm sorry, but I work for Harvey and you should take this up with him." the slight waiver in his voice really not helping his case.
'Loyalty' Hardman thought, 'I like that. Too bad it's for that asshole Specter. If the kid loves him so much let's up the stakes a little.'
"Ok, Mr. Ross," Hardman started, slipping back to formalities to up the tension, "let me put it to you another way. You work for me starting Monday or Harvey is gone, and I don't just mean from the firm. I have connections you couldn't even dream of, he will never work in this city again."
"What?" Mike gasped, all sense of decorum gone. "you can't do that! Harvey is this firm and you have no grounds to fire him."
Hardman just leaned back in his chair and smirked as if to say 'Please! I own this place, what makes you think I need a reason?'
Mike sank further into the chair, he knew defeat when he saw it, there was no way out. He couldn't risk Harvey like that. If anything ever happened to him he would never forgive himself.
"The offer expires in the next 5 minutes," Hardman said interrupting Mike's train of thought, 'you agree now or you're both out of here.'
"Ok," Mike choked out, not able to say any more, not even acknowledging the threat to his job. Right now losing Harvey was all he could process.
"When are you going to tell him?" Mike finally asked, knowing he'd need time to prepare himself for Harvey's reaction.
"I'm not," Hardman said, the sickly sweet smile back, "You are."
Mike couldn't even form a response to that and bowed his head in despair as he left the room, his unspoken dismissal clear.
"Oh and one more thing," Hardman said stopping Mike in the doorway, "you breathe a word of this to anyone, especially Harvey and…..well I don't really need to reiterate the consequences do I?" Hardman smirked.
'Harvey is never going to speak to me again!
Mike wanted to march back into the office and throw himself on his sword and quit, anything but this, but he knew it wouldn't make any difference.
It never occurred to Mike to ask why Hardman was doing this, in truth he didn't really care about his end game anymore. Mike wasn't naïve enough to believe that this had anything to do with him or that he could change the outcome in anyway.
He was a pawn in this game and this was only the first move.
Hardman watched Mike leave his office a broken man and a true smile crossed his face. This may have started out as a way to show Louis who was boss and drive Harvey crazy but he saw the real potential behind his plot now.
Jessica needed Harvey to keep her footing in the firm, and although he would never admit it, Harvey needed Mike too. An off kilter Harvey would certainly be entertaining to watch but the added bonus of taking Jessica down from afar was just too much to resist.
'Welcome home Daniel' he thought to himself, 'This is going to be fun'
Chapter 2 to follow shortly.