He could feel the eyes of everyone in the firm following him as he walked to Harvey's office, feel the curiosity, the tension, the unasked question hanging thick in the air. He ignored them all, walking as quickly as he could with his eyes straight forward and his head up.
He didn't stop until he reached Donna's desk. "Is he here?" he asked.
Donna looked up at him and opened her mouth, the shut it, clearly surprised. It was the first time he had ever seen her speechless. Finally, she found words, sensing that she shouldn't ask and he wouldn't answer. "Yeah. Yes, he's in his office."
He nodded and went in. Harvey was on the phone, he back toward him. He hung up, but didn't turn around.
"What have I told you about busting in here?" Harvey said. He turned around, an irritated look on his face. Irritation quickly turned to shock, then concern. "Mike, what the hell happened to you?"
Mike sighed, collapsing into a chair, leaning his head back, his eyes closed. His jacket was torn, his shirt ragged and bloodied, his tie hanging loosely around his neck. A large bruise was forming on the left side of his face, his lip swollen, a cut above his eyebrow. He groaned in response to Harvey's question.
Harvey moved around his desk and pulled up a chair across from Mike. He clasped his hands in front of him.
"I'm going to ask you again Mike: What the hell happened?"
Mike sat up and looked at the wall, avoiding eye-contact with Harvey. "The tires on my bike were flat, so I decided to get a taxi to work. When I got out of the taxi a few blocks from the firm, a couple guys saw the suit and figured I was a good target. They took my wallet, they took my watch, hell, they even took my phone." He winced, shifting a little in the chair, his hand going to his ribs. "Go ahead, make fun of me, quote some movie, whatever. Just get it over with."
"No, Mike, this is serious. Who was it?" Harvey asked
"I don't know," Mike mumbled. "I've never seen them before in my life. It was just a couple of guys who got so desperate they decided to mug a scrawny lawyer." He shifted uncomfortably again, grimacing.
Harvey noticed this. "They really tuned you up, huh?"
"No. I'm fine," Mike answered.
"Don't give me that," Harvey said.
"I'm fine," Mike insisted. "The blood is from my lip. It looks a lot worse than it is."
"Fine, then. Lift your arm above your head," Harvey instructed.
Mike lifted his left arm up.
Mike hesitated, then lifted his right arm, his face drawn in pain as he did so.
"That's what I thought. Let me see, Mike."
Mike gave him a strange look.
"What?" Harvey asked.
"You want me to take my shirt off? Right here in your office?"
"Yes. Do you have a problem with that?"
Mike snorted. "Yes I do, actually."
"Oh, come on! Donna will make sure no one comes in. Won't you Donna?"
"Oh, of course," Donna said over the com.
Mike sighed in defeat. "There's no way I'm getting out of this."
"You're a smart kid."
Mike stood and started to take off his jacket, painstakingly slowly. Harvey stood to help him.
"No, no. I'm not five," Mike said, shooing him away. He started unbuttoning his shirt. Harvey noticed worriedly the shallow, measured breaths his associate was taking.
Mike opened his shirt.
"Shit," Harvey said softly.
Mike looked sheepish. "It's a little worse than I thought," he admitted.
His whole right side was covered in nasty bruises, red and purple. It was obvious to Harvey that ribs had been broken.
"Alright, that's it. I'm taking you to the hospital," Harvey said decidedly.
"You're what?" Mike said in disbelief.
"Mike," Harvey said sternly. "I know broken ribs when I see them. There could be more. Don't argue with me."
Mike was about to protest when he was hit by a sudden wave of nausea. His face paled and he sat heavily in the chair.
"Maybe it's not a good idea, Harvey. I could puke in your car," he said.
"Mike, damn it!" Harvey snapped. Mike looked up at him, startled by the anger and sharpness in his voice.
"Okay, okay," he said. He started to stand, only to have pain and nausea send him straight back down. This time, he didn't resist Harvey's help as he pulled him to his feet.
"Could I at least button my shirt first?" Mike asked.
"Fine." Harvey said.
Mike fumbled with the buttons on his shirt, buttoning only half before giving up. He started to protest when Harvey buttoned it the rest of the way, but didn't bother. Harvey was not going to be stopped.
When they came out of Harvey's office, Donna was watching Mike with a worried expression.
"He'll be fine," Harvey told her reassuringly.
"I'll be fine," Mike echoed, his voice reedy and erasing any reassurance Harvey might have offered. He walked a little unsteadily, and Harvey put a firm guiding hand on his shoulder.
Mike sighed as he continued to draw stares from everyone else in the building. By the time they got to the lobby, his breathing was ragged and short, his brow beaded with sweat from the exertion. He doubled over suddenly, vomiting. Harvey placed a hand on his back as he puked on the floor. He could hear Harvey talking to him, but couldn't quite make out the words, his mind dull with pain as he fell to his knees.
He was unconscious by the time the ambulance arrived.
"How you feeling, kid?" Harvey asked.
Mike grimaced. "I hate hospital food. Good thing I'm getting out of here soon. The sons of bitches screwed up my kidney. They should be shot."
"Oh, about that," Harvey said.
"…What?" Mike asked slowly.
"I got a call from an officer down at the station. Said they picked up two suspects based on the very detailed descriptions you gave-both with histories of violence. Found your watch on one of 'em. Also, I don't think assaulting a twerp is worthy of death by firing squad."
"Good. Bastards deserve to be behind bars. They should think twice before mugging someone with an impeccable memory. And I beg to differ. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue."
"That's the Chicago way! Now whaddya say I order us some real food?"
Mike grinned. "I say, as long as you're paying, why not?"
Harvey smiled. "I'll just take it out of your paycheck."
The smile disappeared. "Wait, what? Seriously?"
Harvey laughed, shaking his head. "Calm down, Malone. I'm only kidding."
"I cannot wait until I get to do this," Mike muttered.