I've never written and posted anything as quickly as I wrote and posted this, so you'll have to excuse me for any grammar errors but I have limited windows of internet access and I was really excited about the finale so I'm just going to throw this out there now with my fingers crossed XD I chugged this out over the past few hours while waiting for my laundry to be done (foreign appliances confuse me) so if it seems choppy it's because I've been running all over Spain trying to wash my clothes haha. Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts on what might potentially happen after the finale. I have no clue if any of it is even close to what will really happen in the summer when S3 starts, but we shall see! As always, thanks for reading!
Oh, I don't know anymore what it's for
I'm not even sure if there is anyone in the sun
Can you help me to understand?
From "In the Sun" by Joseph Arthur
Harvey wonders where it had all gone so wrong.
A year ago, his life had been great— sure, he had still been junior partner, but he had been on his way to bigger and better things. He had known his place within the firm and everything in his personal life had been relatively uncomplicated.
And now…well, he's lost Zoe, he has no clue what the hell is going on between him and Scottie, and sometimes he gets the feeling that Donna is holding something back from him. As if that weren't enough, for the past nine months he's constantly been struggling, backed into a corner and on the defensive to fend off attacks from seemingly every other lawyer in New York City: Tanner, Hardman, Allison Holt, Robert Zane…and even though he'd fought them all off and emerged stronger from the experience, well, the efforts required had exhausted him. He's tired of fighting just to keep hold of his tenuous footing in what used to be a secure position…and for being the man who had easily called himself 'the greatest closer in New York'; the man who 'never lost' just a year ago, well, he has certainly lost a lot. All he had ever wanted—all he wants—is for the firm to survive this mess and come out strong with his name on the door next to Jessica's.
But he doesn't even know where he stands with Jessica anymore, and this is the hardest thing of all to accept, because through it all he has always known that Jessica has his back, just like he has hers. But now….well, he just feels angry and, quite frankly, hurt by the fact that Jessica is still trying to control him and lord her power over him. He can't believe that she still doesn't trust him, even after everything they've been through together. After the whole fiasco with Cameron Dennis he knows that he should be used to mentors letting him down…but with Jessica, who has always been there for him, who dragged him out of the mail room, pushed him through law school, and pulled him up through the ranks at Pearson Hardman….well, he still feels like he's reeling from the sting—no, the jagged cut— of her angry words in the bathroom.
And then there's Mike.
It had taken him approximately 24 hours after he fired the kid before he got over his anger and started regretting his hasty actions.
Sure, part of him is still pissed at the kid for siding with Jessica and not obeying him, because it's Mike's job to have his back. And he was already juggling so many other things at the time that he needed for Mike to be doing what he was supposed to be doing, when he was supposed to be doing it. After all, if he can't depend on his number two man, then who can he depend on?
But once he's cooled off a bit, he finds himself able to see Mike's side of the situation—he knows that Jessica put a gun to the kid's head and threatened to expose his secret—otherwise Mike would never have capitulated and gone against Harvey's instructions. And he knows that one of the reasons that Mike guards his secret so protectively is because that backlash that would result if it ever got out would have a negative impact on Harvey, so in a way Mike was trying to protect Harvey in his actions too. He had just done it stupidly.
All in all, it had been a shitty situation—they'd all been backed into so many different corners around that time, and this was one corner that Mike just couldn't fight his way out of. Which Harvey understood, really, he did. Mike had barely been in the legal field for a year, which was something that Harvey sometimes forgot, given Mike's incredible legal prowess and talents. So even though Harvey would have easily been able to twist his way around Jessica and sneak around that situation, Mike just wasn't ready for that. And that's okay, because he'll get there someday.
But for now, Harvey has to occasionally remind himself to step back and go a little easier on Mike than he would go on himself—of course, he has to be demanding of the kid or he'll never learn or become a better lawyer. But he can't expect that Mike will always completely perform 100% up to the standards that he, Harvey Specter, holds for himself, because Mike is almost 15 years younger than him and has almost no experience as a lawyer. Still, Harvey's impatience and habit of having unrealistically high expectations for other people get the best of him sometimes.
It reminds him of when he was a teenager and his little brother was 7 or 8 years old, always lagging behind and tagging along after Harvey.
"Harvey," his father would always say. "Paul can't keep up with you; he's too little. You need to be more understanding and slow down a little bit. He's your little brother, it's your job to protect him and take care of him."
Harvey would always roll his eyes at this. He was 15 years old and he was too cool for little brothers at the time. Not to mention that things were weird at home; his mom was always out at strange hours of the night and no one but Harvey seemed to notice. And besides, he had more important things to worry about, like girls and baseball.
Until one day after school. It was Harvey's job to stop by the elementary school on his way home from high school to pick Paul up from his 3rd grade classroom.
"Come on, Paul!" Harvey snapped as he darted across the street, yanking Paul behind him. Paul's sweaty little hand slipped out of Harvey's grip and he heard his little brother let out a frustrated huff.
"Harveeeeeey," Paul whined, pouting. "Slow down! Why are you always running everywhere? We used to have fun walking home from school together. Remember when we'd play hide-and-seek on the way? You're no fun anymore!"
"I don't have time for hide and seek, Paul," Harvey said stormily, picking up his pace and turning the corner sharply. He found that he was irrationally angry for no reason (other than the fact that he was a moody teenager).
Suddenly he realized that he could no longer hear Paul walking behind him and scuffing his shoes obnoxiously on the sidewalk. He sighed and turned around, fully expecting to see Paul dawdling behind and trying to pet the neighbor's dog.
But Paul was nowhere to be seen. His heart beating a little faster, Harvey ducked back around the corner, guilt flooding his veins when he realized that Paul had tripped and was lying sprawled out on the hard concrete.
"Harvey!" He wailed pathetically, his previous frustration with his older brother immediately forgotten in the face of the current crisis—a scraped knee. "I"—hiccup—"tripped!"
"Shh," Harvey said, his anger gone as he knelt down next to Paul. "It's okay, Pauly; it's just a little scrape. We'll put a band-aid on it at home."
"But you left me!" Paul cried, and Harvey ducked his head guiltily as he realized that this was the part of the sidewalk where there was one uneven crack that Paul, ever the clumsy one, always stumbled over without fail. But he'd never fallen before. Because Harvey had always been there, holding his hand, catching him and tugging him upright before he could fall.
But today he'd forgotten and he'd left his little brother behind. And Paul had been the one who'd paid the consequences.
It won't happen again, he'd vowed to himself as he hefted Paul up and onto his back so that he could piggy-back his brother the rest of the way home.
But now it had happened again, in a much different form and with a different sort of little brother. Because although he and Mike weren't blood related, there was definitely something in his relationship with Mike that mirrored his relationship with Paul, although he'd never admit it.
And he'd let Mike down. He'd gone and fired the kid when all he'd deserved was a stern lecture and a slap on the wrist.
So was Harvey still angry? Yes, a little.
But did he stand by his decision to fire Mike? No.
Was he going to man up and tell Mike any of the things he was feeling? Probably not of his own volition.
After all, it's not in his nature to apologize or admit it when he's wrong. But then again, it's not in his nature to hire sad, puppy-like potheads from the wrong side of the tracks. He's sometimes amazed by how Mike is a constant source of confusion and contradiction in his normally well-ordered, neatly compartmentalized life. He doesn't know why he does half the things he does for Mike—like risking his job to save the kid's neck, for example.
Maybe he does it because he cares just a little bit (not that he'd ever admit that out loud under pain of death).
Not that that matters anymore, though.
Because now Mike won't look him in the eye, ever since it happened. Whenever the two of them see each other in the halls of Pearson Hardman (he hears through the grapevine that Mike's taken to calling it 'Pearson Downton Abbey' now and that definitely does not make him laugh, not even a little bit), Mike immediately looks the other way and awkwardly changes direction in a completely unsubtle way.
Harvey doesn't know what to say or do. But he does know that Mike looks like he's having a rough time working with the other associates under Louis—the kid looks absolutely exhausted and far too thin these days. (Not that Harvey's keeping track of Mike's wellbeing or anything, though).
Donna, on the other hand, is furious with Harvey.
"You need to get over your ridiculous pride and just talk to him! I know that you miss having him around and that you don't like to see him working for Louis, so be a man and do something about it!" she says, flipping her red hair over her shoulder and jabbing a perfectly-manicured finger menacingly at him one day the week after the incident as they stand in front of her cubicle. Donna has always told him what he needs to hear, but this is something that he doesn't want to hear.
"I don't miss him," Harvey says, but it sounds weak even to his own ears. "Well, maybe I miss having someone around to do all my grunt work, but that's it."
"You just keep telling yourself that, Harvey," Donna says, sighing sadly and returning to her planner. Harvey looks at her with one eyebrow raised, hardly able to believe that she's just going to leave it at that and not threaten him until he does what she wants. He shrugs and returns to his office, although he finds himself strangely unable to accomplish any sort of productive work after that conversation.
But he should have known better than to believe that Donna was actually going to just leave it at that.
That's why, two days later, he finds himself trapped in the elevator with none other than Mike Ross.
It has been a shitty day for both of them (although the past two weeks have all been shitty days). Harvey hadn't known that Mike was in the elevator when he had jumped in at the last second (it was late at night and he didn't want to wait for the elevator to go down 50 floors and come back up). When he sees that the other occupant of the elevator is none other than Mike Ross, he almost groans out loud. So much for not forcing an awkward situation.
But, he tells himself, he'll just have to wait for one minute during the elevator ride and then he can escape the tangible tension brewing between them and get some fresh, Mike-free air.
It seems like a very long minute. Mike is studiously staring at the wall, so Harvey takes the time to subtly observe his former associate out of the corner of his eye. Mike is still looking thin and overtired and about twenty seconds into the elevator ride, he begins coughing; deep, raspy, chesty coughs. Harvey can't help the tiny bit of concern that blossoms in his chest as he listens to Mike trying to cover up painful-sounding wheezes in the corner of the elevator. He might not have Mike's eidetic memory, but he remembers reading in some personnel file of Mike's that the kid has asthma, and it's a bad time of the year for asthma.
He has just opened his mouth to say something sarcastic about the coughing so that he can get a handle on whether or not Mike has been taking care of himself and keeping his asthma under control when the lights go out and the elevator jerks to an abrupt stop.
He hears Mike exhale shakily as they are plunged into darkness.
"Harvey?" Mike asks tentatively, his voice slightly hoarse.
"Yeah, I'm here," Harvey says calmly. He feels a hand grab onto the sleeve of his suit jacket and rolls his eyes for good measure (although Mike can't see him do it in the dark) but he doesn't shake the hand away for whatever reason, despite the fact that Mike is probably going to wrinkle the fabric of one of his best suits.
The emergency lights of the elevator flicker on and the elevator car is flooded with dim, dingy light. Mike quickly jerks his hand back from Harvey's arm as though he's been burned as soon as there is light, blushing slightly.
"Sorry," he says quickly. "Do you think we'll be in here for very long?"
"I don't know," Harvey shrugs. "If I had to guess, I'd say that Donna is responsible for this and that we won't be let out of this elevator until we 'talk it out'," he adopts a tone of disgust to let the general public (Donna's probably listening to this conversation somehow) know exactly how he feels about talking things like this out.
Mike laughs nervously and drops into a sitting position. Harvey resists the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose—god knows Mike's suit will be filthy after he sits curled up in the corner of the elevator like that. It doesn't help that it makes it hard to maintain his anger and frustration with Mike's betrayal when Mike is curled up in the corner like that, looking much younger than normal. It's probably the terrible lighting, but he could swear that Mike looks a lot like Paul right now.
They pass a moment or two in silence until Mike coughs raspily. The sound makes Harvey's chest ache.
"I am sorry, you know," Mike says quietly when he recovers. "For the record. Like I've said before, Harvey—I need you to trust me. And I let you down and betrayed your trust. So I'm sorry. But you have to understand, at the time it seemed like there was no other option—"
"There's always another option when you have a gun pointed at your head, Mike," Harvey says wearily. "Have you honestly learned nothing that I've been trying to teach you all this time?" Mike looks pained.
"But I understand why you did what you did. That doesn't mean I'm happy about it, though," Harvey says, surprising himself with his frank words.
Mike looks up at him. "Harvey," he says, his voice soft. "I've lost a lot lately—my grandmother, Trevor, my job…and I'm sick of it. I hate it." His voice grows louder, more passionate. "And I'm not going to lose this too"—he gestures between himself and Harvey—"not if I can help it. Not if there's any chance that you might forgive me. Please, Harvey. I've got my shit together now, and I can't lose this; I can't do it. I promise you that what happened with Jessica won't happen again. It's just that, when I took this job I wanted to work for you, not Louis or Pearson Hardman itself. So just tell me if there's any hope that I can fix this so I know if I need to quit or not. Because I don't want to just be a random associate. I want to work with you again, or nothing at all. So please, if you have any respect left for me at all, just tell me. I can take it," he says bravely, lifting his chin defiantly.
Harvey stares at Mike through this rant. His former associate's eyes look suspiciously watery, and if Harvey tilts his head and squints a bit, he could almost say that they look a lot like Paul's eyes did that day that Harvey had doubled back around the corner and found his little brother crying on the sidewalk. He sighs heavily.
"No more secrets and no more lies, Mike. I mean it," Harvey says. "You work for me, not Jessica."
Mike's eyes snap to Harvey's so quickly that Harvey thinks it must have made Mike dizzy.
He bobs his head fervently. "I promise you, Harvey. No more going behind your back. Although we're going to have to talk about Rachel eventually…"
And just like that, the lights on the elevator flood back on and they start moving down again. Mike pushes himself to his feet, grinning broadly. "How does Donna even have access to the elevators in this building? Isn't that a little dangerous?"
"How does Donna do anything that Donna does?" Harvey asks rhetorically, and they both share a small, slightly awkward chuckle. It might take awhile for things to go completely back to normal, but they'll get there.
He pushes the button to take them back up to the 50th floor and Mike looks at him in confusion.
"What are you doing?" He asks, coughing into his elbow again. "We were going to the first floor...?"
"You've got a lot of work to make up on and we have some new cases I want to go over," Harvey says as though it's completely obvious, and Mike's smile is ludicrously bright. He looks far too excited at the prospect of more work at 9 o'clock at night but his smile is a knowing one—he understands that Harvey's forgiven him and that all is well between the two of them again and that he has his job back. He just happens to be far more demonstrative than Harvey is about it.
Because if Harvey also happens to being feeling a bit sentimental, he doesn't let it show, although he does clap Mike on the shoulder casually as they leave the elevator, which might as well have been a full out bear-hug in terms of Harvey Specter affection. And when they get back to Harvey's office and sit down in their usual positions (Harvey at his desk and Mike on the couch surrounded by stacks of paper), Harvey tosses something small and plastic over to Mike, who catches it in surprise.
"My inhaler?" He asks, bewildered. "Why do you have this?" He takes two puffs of it, sighing in relief as some of the tension in his lungs dissipates instantaneously.
"Donna gave it to me," Harvey says nonchalantly. What Harvey doesn't say is that he had asked her to get him a spare one for his office when he had found out that Mike had asthma. But Mike doesn't need to know that right now.
"Thanks, Harvey," Mike says, smiling and getting to work on his stack of files, still beaming idiotically. "For everything. It's nice to know that someone's got my back."
And Harvey just nods thoughtfully, thinking of cracks in the sidewalk. He remembers the promise that he had made to Paul all those years ago and renews it internally as he looks at Mike.
As long as they have each other's backs, they'll be okay.
I love me some asthmatic!Mike for some reason :D Anyway, this is my fix-it fic for the angst of that season finale, there are about a million threads left hanging but I'm going out now and can't write more. Hope you enjoyed it- if anyone wants to talk about the finale let me know and I will rant with you about it until the cows come home (and until my wi-fi dies XD) anyway, I'm just throwing this out there- yay for impulsive fic writing!