Hello hello hello there! I bring you my obligatory college AU fic. I feel like writing a college AU is like some sort of rite of passage or whatever. This is an important day in my life. I think I need a moment to savor the feeling.
(Actually a collaboration with my dear friend Lizzie)
Anyway, a bit of necessary background before we jump in (also an apology for the lame opening chapter, I swear it will get better):
I did screw with the ages a bunch. Eheh. Ah well. Whatever works.
Harvey - 23
Mike - 16
Hope you'll enjoy this one, guys! Drop me a review, tell me how I'm doing!
(not a romance, btw, if that's what you're looking for)
So, Harvey's father died two years ago as of now, when he was finishing his junior year of college. He dropped out and got a job in order to care for his little brother Lachlann Specter. (Their mother, who walked out with the man she was having an affair with when Harvey was ten, was an Irish lounge singer. The name is Irish Gaelic.) Jessica Pearson, head of student affairs (a job which I totally made up, along with the school) went to the coffee shop he worked at every morning, and got to know him. A contract was drawn up involving her sister's law firm, one thing led to another, and now he's a senior at her school, bound for law school, then a position at the aforementioned sister's firm. Other characters will appear as necessary.
"It's highly unorthodox, but I have reviewed the case and come to a decision."
That's what Dean of Student Affairs, Jessica Pearson, had said, the day he sat across her desk from her in an overstuffed leather armchair, watching her nervously as she juggled his future from hand to hand. Thankfully his feet touched the ground, though just barely, so he wasn't left swinging his legs above the floor like the chastised child he so felt like at the moment. Beside him, an elderly woman squared her shoulders. She looked at him and smiled thinly.
"And your decision was?" Edith asked. The boy sitting next to her was impressed with the way his grandmother spoke. He was sure that if he had tried to address the imposing woman sitting before them, his voice would have cracked and shook embarrassingly.
"Well, as I said when you first came to talk to me regarding Michael-"
Jessica was thoughtfully silent for a moment, her stare making Mike, who had just spoken for the first time since they arrived, feel like if there was ever a moment for a gaping hole to open in the floor and swallow him, now would be a pretty good time. Jessica Pearson was the kind of person who gave the impression that she was constantly evaluating you for a position you hadn't known you had applied for and weren't entirely sure you wanted, and as such was endlessly intimidating. She nodded once, her face completely blank. Mike thought absently and unrelatedly that he would hate to play cards with her. Jessica had one hell of a poker face.
"Of course. Anyway, as I said when you first came to me about your grandson, this is a very special set of circumstances. Universities rarely admit students his age, and ours even less than average. However his scores and recommendations speak for themselves. I have no doubt that Mike would do well here, and as he has exceeded the level of work that high school is capable of providing, I'd be happy to admit him here."
Mike felt a flood of relief rush through him. He grinned widely at her, then at Edith.
"Of course," Jessica added with just a hint of a smile. "Given his age, I wouldn't be comfortable placing him in one of our upperclassman dorms with that many older students, and our underclassman dorms are at capacity. That leaves our options limited, but I do have a rather... Unusual solution to our housing problem, if you're willing to consider it. I'd have to talk to someone about it first, but I think it should work out. I'll contact you when I have a concrete answer, and we can have this all settled by the beginning of the term."
Truthfully, the last thing Mike wanted was to consider whatever her 'unusual solution' to their 'housing problem' was. He quite liked living with his grandmother, thank you very much. But Edith was getting old and, though he was loathe to admit it even in his own head, he knew her mind was slipping. She had made the decision after her third fall in a month that she would be checking into an assisted living home as soon as they figured out where Mike was going to school. Neither of them liked the idea, but they knew it was the way it had to be.
"Thank you, Miss Pearson." Edith and Mike both shook the woman's hand and then left the office, brushing past a well dressed young man standing in the waiting room outside. It was for the best that they got out of earshot quickly, as the ensuing conversation between the person in the waiting room and Jessica got very heated, very quickly.
"You want me to what?" demanded the twenty three year old senior, expression full of disbelief.
"You need the extra money and I need a place to put this kid. You have a spare room, I have a spare freshman. The solution presents itself."
Harvey Specter was top of his class, set up to become the most brilliant lawyer in the state, raising his teenage brother the best he could with one parent dead and the other MIA, and vehemently opposed to every word that had come out of Jessica's mouth in the past five minutes.
"Let me see if I understand you here," he said slowly. "You expect me to lease my spare room out to some sixteen year old rich kid who's mommy and daddy don't want to put up with him and decided to send him to college three years early? I'm not a babysitter, Jessica, and I'm at capacity for teenagers in my life at the moment."
Jessica regarded him coolly and came out from behind her desk, standing face to face with Harvey and silently reminding him that she was both two inches taller and far more powerful than he was.
"Since you won't respond to reason, let me put it this way. I own you. I pulled you out of that coffee shop, I got you back in school, I control whether or not you stay here. And both you and I know you will stay here. So you are going to clean out that spare room, and the boy will be there next week. He doesn't have to be 'in your life' beyond being your roommate. I'm sure it will work out fine." She smiled at him, and it was made of ice. "Remember our deal, Harvey. Have a nice day."
The woman's eyes followed him as he left, her face softening as the boy she was watching fast grow into a man turned away from her. He had a lot of work to do, and he somehow still didn't understand that everything she did was for his own good. Jessica folded her arms and shook her head softly. Harvey Specter. What ever was she going to do with him. He was a brilliant young man, but he was also impossible to deal with, arrogant and entitled. That was, contrary to what appeared to be popular opinion, not a good trait in a lawyer. He was cocky, and that needed to be fixed.
Dealing with the Ross kid might teach him something.