Prompted by: kriadydragon
Beta-read by: pennythepants
Characters: Mike Ross, Harvey Specter
Spoilers: Set in season 1
Word Count: 4036 (chapter 3) - (12 832 total)
Summary: Someone holds a grudge against Harvey and Mike is the convenient target.
It never came.
There was a loud crack of splintering wood, then a voice shouting: “Drop the gun! Put it down!”
Mike's eyes shot open just as his attacker turned to face the new threat, his eyes going wide. The cold metal of the gun turned away from Mike and swiveled towards his wanna be rescuer.
There was a loud pop and a scream and Mike felt a drop of something warm land on his face. In slow motion, he saw his attacker jerk as the bullet hit his shoulder, the gun falling to the ground next to Mike, shortly followed by the man himself.
The guy who had saved him rushed inside, toward the fallen man, kicking the gun out of his reach and quickly handcuffing the attacker. Only then did he look at Mike.
“Are you okay?” he asked in a much calmer tone than Mike thought possible under the circumstances. He gave a shake of the head and blinked stupidly at the man. Mike was confused and dazed. Just a moment ago, he thought he was gonna die. Now he’d been saved by a stranger. Mike didn't know what to do, what to think.
“W-who are you?” he finally asked as the stranger made short work with his handcuffs, freeing Mike's hands.
“Todd Sander. Mr. Specter called me few weeks ago, to keep an eye on you. I was following you home, making sure no one else was behind us. This guy must've gotten in before you and waited. I'm sorry. I should've taken that possibility into account,” Todd looked genuinely sorry but Mike just shook his head, still stuck on the fact that Harvey had called someone to keep an eye on him.
“How... how did you know I was in trouble?”
“I called him,” came a gruff voice from the door, and there he was, Harvey Specter himself, looking so out of place in his three piece suit and slicked up hair, yet so right. For the first time since this whole thing started, Mike felt safe. The relief must've been apparent on his face, because Todd patted his shoulder encouragingly, and then stood up to make room for Harvey. As he did, Harvey got his first look at Mike's attacker and his face darkened. If Mike hadn't known who the target of Harvey's anger was, he would've been scared.
“Bill Reinhold,” Harvey hissed and without warning kicked the fallen man in the ribs. “Why don't you stand up and fight like a man, instead of pointing a gun at the kid? Huh?“ Harvey shouted, and Mike was pretty sure he would've continued pummeling the man, but Todd grabbed him and pushed him against the wall.
“Stop it!” he shouted. “The cops will be here any minute. You don't want to give the bastard any leverage in court, do you? You're a lawyer, so think like one!” Todd hissed and waited until Harvey's breathing slowed down and the murderous look vanished from his eyes. “Good. I'll take care of this one until the cops arrive, you take care of your boy. He looks a little shaken.”
Harvey threw Mike a worried look and nodded. “Okay. But I need to tell him something,” Harvey said, pointing at Reinhold, who was starting to come around and was trying to clutch at his wounded shoulder.
“As long as you're just talking,” Todd said with a smirk and let go of Harvey.
Mike watched, half dazed, as Harvey leaned down, practically breathing the words into Reinhold's ear. Mike didn't hear what had been said, but he was sure Reinhold heard every word. He was also sure they put the fear of god in him, if the look in his eyes was anything to go by. Somehow, Mike didn't care. All that mattered now was that Harvey was there, that neither of them were dead.
“I'm sorry,” Mike said as soon as Harvey knelt down next to him.
“For what?” Harvey frowned, even as his fingers started roaming over Mike's torso, checking for any open wounds. Mike hissed as Harvey touched his side and the bruise caused by Reinhold's foot. As if starting a chain reaction, all his bruises came to life and Mike couldn't stop the groan of pain. Harvey pulled away, startled by the reaction. “Mike?”
“It's okay,” Mike said with clenched teeth, even as he tried to pull himself up into a sitting position, to lean against the wall. “Just... feel like a bus run me over.”
“Might've been safer,” Harvey grumbled and helped Mike into a semi comfortable position. “Can you stand up? Think it would be better to put a little distance between us and that scumbag.”
“Sure. As long... as you prop me up... “ Mike grimaced as Harvey gave him a supporting hand and helped him up. “...and promise not to dock my pay for any blood that might end up on your suit,” Mike got out between clenched teeth.
“As if your pay could ever cover the cost of this suit,” Harvey snorted and led Mike towards the couch, lowering him into the cushions. Mike frowned, nervously fidgeting.
“What? You gonna hurl?” Harvey asked seeing his face pale. Mike grit his teeth and tried to calm his breathing. After the wave of nausea eased, he sighed.
“I'm okay. But I'll have to burn the couch,” he said in all seriousness and Harvey only raised an eyebrow. Then he reached into his vest for the obligatory handkerchief and pushed it against a wound on Mike's head.
“Ow,” Mike said but didn't try to get away. He blinked owlishly, the adrenaline starting to fade and the head wound making him slightly sleepy. Harvey peered into his eyes worriedly, patting at his cheek gently.
“Mike? Hey, kid. Stay awake.”
“I want it to be over Harvey,” Mike whined pathetically and later he would have to put that tone down for concussion, because no way was he whining to his boss.
“It is already over, kid. Now we just have to wait for the EMT's so they can patch you up. You have to at least be awake to tell them hi. It would be rude not to. Now what were you saying sorry for?” Mike frowned, not sure what Harvey was asking, or maybe just not wanting to understand. But Harvey was the best closer in the city and when he wanted an answer, he was going to get one. So he touched Mike's chin until the kid was looking right up at him. “When I came in, you said you were sorry. What for?”
“Writing that message. I swear I didn't think you'd come, Harvey. I didn't want you to die,” Mike mumbled, his eyes pleading with Harvey for understanding.
Harvey had to take a deep breath to try and calm down. It must've been the concussion. There was no other possible reason for the kid to apologize for sending an innocent message while being held at gunpoint. No way Mike Ross was that gullible. After two more breaths and an eye roll, Harvey told him just that. He also added something about idiotic puppies trying to save their masters with milk teeth. Or something like that, Mike wasn't sure. The words started losing meaning and the room started spinning, so Mike closed his eyes.
The only thing Mike wanted right now was to sleep. He was hurting and tired, and he wanted to leave behind the images his memory was serving him, if only for a few minutes of rest, but there was a commotion somewhere near and Mike's eyes jerked open, the fear back. “What?” he asked, looking around in panic.
“Sh, it's okay. You’re safe,” Harvey's calming voice surrounded him as his hand rested on Mike's chest, right over his heart. Mike blinked and Harvey nodded towards a young woman in EMT's uniform. “The ambulance and the police just arrived.”
“Oh.” Mike looked around his apartment, for a fleeting second wondering if he had any pot left behind from his days with Trevor that the cops could find, before remembering that he got rid of everything the day he realized that the life Harvey offered him could be real. Shaking off the sudden nostalgia, Mike gave the EMT a sheepish smile.
“Hi,” he said when the woman introduced herself as Cherry and started asking him questions. He thought it was real nice of him to stay awake during the initial exam she gave him, but he drew the line when a cop entered the room and wanted to know when he would be able to give his statement. He heard Harvey's voice jumping in and decided that his boss had it all under control.
It was Saturday afternoon and Harvey walked next to Mike's wheelchair, who was finally leaving the hospital. The previous night was one best put behind him, what with the attack itself, and then the following chaos with the emergency services. While Mike was being whisked away into the exam room, Harvey was pulled aside by a detective investigating the case.
He explained his own involvement as well as all the facts he knew about the stalking. Luckily, Todd Sander wasn't new in the field and had known the detective, so the rest of the explaining fell on his shoulders. Mike was given a reprieve from questions until the next morning, when the doctors allowed visitors. Harvey was by his side during that, posing as moral as well as legal support, though by the time Mike finished speaking he almost matched the kid's own pallid coloring. Despite Mike having suffered a mild concussion, his eidetic memory served him well, and he could recall every moment with startling quality. While the detective was more than happy with that, Harvey felt like leaving the room several times. He wasn't sure what affected him more, the many times during which Mike's life hanged on the squeeze of a finger, or Mike reciting the events matter of fact, in a cold disinterested tone. Both things made his stomach churn and wish for a drink. In the end, he shook the detectives hand and gave Mike a supportive smile, which the kid totally ignored. Sighing, Harvey settled himself back in the chair, waiting for the nurse to come with the release papers.
Mike felt strangely numb. He knew he should hurt; he had more bruises than after a fateful wrestling match in his third year in high school, a mild concussion and a cracked rib. The meds they gave him at the hospital were already wearing off and he could feel the pain, but somehow it wasn't important. All he could focus on were the images of the gun being pointed in his face, the touch of the finger on the trigger.
“Mike?” Harvey's voice pulled him out of his thoughts and Mike blinked, eyes looking around wildly. He was in the car and Harvey was watching him with something akin to worry. The look didn't fit Harvey at all. It made him look out of control, and if Mike knew one thing, it was that Harvey Specter never lost control. Well, almost never.
“If you feel sick, just let me know. The nurse gave me some nifty paper bag you could use to save Ray's upholstery.”
“That would be much appreciated sir,” came the somehow amused voice from the driver's seat and Mike fought the urge to roll his eyes.
“I'm not gonna hurl,” he said, though as the car turned a corner he was about to reconsider. Luckily-for Ray's upholstery-they just pulled over.
“We're here. Do you need some help sir?” Ray asked and Harvey gave Mike a studious look, before shaking his head.
“No, thank you. I think we will manage. Right?”
Mike shot him an annoyed look but didn't protest when Harvey grabbed his arm and helped him get out of the car. And Mike's head must've been really scrambled because it took him half the trip towards the elevators before he realized that this wasn't his building and that Harvey was taking him to his own apartment.
“Why are we here?” he asked, balking only slightly as Harvey pushed him inside the elevator.
“Because your apartment will be a crime scene until tomorrow and I'm not letting you sleep in some ratty hotel with a concussion.”
“Who said I would pick a ratty hotel?” Mike protested, slightly offended but Harvey didn't find it worth a reply.
“Donna was ready to take you in, but she has family visiting and anyway, she would spoil you rotten. I couldn't allow that.”
“So I can stay at your place?” Mike asked just to make sure.
“No, there's a cot and a bowl of milk waiting for you outside my door,” Harvey said with sarcasm dripping from his voice.
“I think you're mixing up your pets, Harvey. Milk is more for kittens than puppies you know,” Mike joked and Harvey couldn't stop the chuckle.
“Oh, shut up. This is a pet free zone anyway.”
“Do not fear, I am house trained,” Mike said, as Harvey unlocked the door and let him into the apartment.
“Niiiice,” Mike whistled as he got a look around. The place was just as elegant as Harvey's office, but it was a little cozier, maybe because there were signs of living around. Fresh fruit on the kitchen counter, a t-shirt lying haphazardly over a chair. Several photos of Harvey with strangers, one with a guy that bore a startling resemblance to Harvey, and Mike realized it must've been his brother. He wanted to ask, but Harvey had momentarily vanished in the kitchen.
“Are you thirsty or hungry?” he asked after a moment, peering from behind the counter and Mike gave a slight shake of head, fending off nausea at the mere thought of food.
“You better keep hydrated,” Harvey said and pushed some bottled water into Mike's hands, opening one for himself too.
“I don't really feel like eating anytime soon,” Mike said with a sigh. Harvey only shrugged and nodded towards the couch.
“Sit down, watch some TV. We need to talk, but first I need to take a shower,” Harvey wrinkled his nose, frowning at the gritty feel of his clothes. Suits really weren't meant to be slept in while waiting in a hospital chair.
“Can't argue with that,” Mike said, thinking about taking a shower himself, though he knew that he was too tired to stay upright for even that long. Then his brain caught up with the first half of the sentence.
“Talk? About what?”
Harvey gave him a look that screamed 'What do you think genius?' All he said instead was: “Five minute shower. If you need anything, tell me now. I don't want to find you passed out on the kitchen floor because you were looking for a glass or something.”
“I got it. Stay on the couch, like a good puppy. ” Mike rolled his eyes and Harvey was of half a mind to pat him on the head. “The remote would be nice though,” Mike added as an afterthought, as Harvey turned for the bathroom.
All Harvey wanted was to stay under the hot spray of water for an hour, to let it wash away all the grime and tension. Maybe if he didn’t have an injured Mike sitting on his couch he would have given into the temptation. Instead he turned the water cold for few seconds to give himself a jolt then turned it off completely. It was time to give the kid some answers.
He entered the living room thinking he would find Mike watching TV or sleeping. Mike was doing neither. Instead, he was cuddled up in the corner of the couch, eyes wide and terrified, barely breathing. Frowning, Harvey crossed the room and put a hand on Mike's shoulder, trying to bring him out of the nightmare. Mike yelped and shrugged off the hand, practically leaping off the couch.
“Mike!” Harvey shouted as he saw Mike stumble at a sudden wave of dizziness. “God kid,” he muttered as he grabbed Mike's flailing arm and steered him back to the couch. “Calm down. You are safe, do you hear me Mike? You're safe!” Harvey repeated until Mike's eyes focused on his face and his breathing approached normal. As soon as that happened, Mike's face turned from white to crimson as he realized he’d just freaked out in front of his boss.
“I'm sorry Harvey,” he started but Harvey shook his head, annoyed.
“Stop apologizing, you idiot. None of this is your fault.”
“I can't stop seeing that damn gun,” Mike whispered, then hid his head inside his palms, trying to pull himself together. He felt the couch dip and heard a sigh as Harvey put a hand on his back.
“It's all fucked up,” Harvey said and Mike had to look up, because he never heard that tone before.
“Yesterday, this whole month. It shouldn't... it shouldn't have happened. Not to you.”
Harvey looked genuinely sorry and Mike blinked, because of all the persons that could be blamed for the attack, he never once thought it was Harvey's fault. Yet the man looked almost guilty.
“I don't understand. Not to me?”
“Reinhold shouldn't have used you, to get to me. I… never considered that angle when I hired Sander.”
“Uh, concussion,” Mike pointed at his head, looking lost and Harvey realized he owed the kid an explanation.
“When you came to me after the bike accident and the phone calls, I called a friend working as a private investigator. She recommended Sanders so I hired him. We both thought this was a personal attack against you, and with your history-”
“You mean Trevor and the goons,” Mike sighed, remembering how Harvey literally saved both their asses that day. Harvey nodded.
“Yeah, Trevor and his friends. I thought this might be some of his other friends trying to get to him through you. But Sanders couldn't find any connection, so we started looking through the cases in which you played a part in, but we couldn't find anything either, and then the calls stopped and the trail went cold. We never once thought it might be someone holding a grudge against me.”
Mike thought about it, feeling a twitch of disappointment, maybe even anger. Because Harvey was supposed to trust him, and he should've known that Mike was done with Trevor and with everything else from his past. But the anger surged out and Mike knew it wasn't really warranted anyway. After all, he did get into trouble with Trevor and it was much more likely to think he’d made enemies, rather than that Harvey's enemies would come after him. If he thought about it, it was kind of flattering. Bill Reinhold thought that hurting him would hurt Harvey. Which meant a total stranger noticed that Harvey cared about him, thought of him as friend – or a stray puppy. But it still didn't explain where all the hate came from.
“What did you do to him? To Reinhold?” Mike asked carefully. Harvey looked at him, and then rubbed the bridge of his nose.
“I didn't do anything, not to Reinhold personally.”
“But he was somehow involved, he lost something,” Mike insisted. He knew Harvey looked tired and he was starting to feel every bruise, the shock of the events finally starting to fade. Maybe they should've postponed the topic until after they both had gotten some sleep, but Mike wanted to know the truth, wanted to know why he would have to see the gun pointed at his face every time he closed his eyes to rest. So he did what Harvey taught him. He pushed where it hurt.
“You took something from him and he wanted to take something from you. That's why he went after me. But what did you take, Harvey?”
“I really don't know,” Harvey answered frustratedly, running a hand through wet hair. “Do you remember the Eisenberg case?”
“Of course. I worked my ass off trying to find the loophole.”
“And you did. It was in the accounting files, loud and clear. One of Eisenberg’s accountants made a mistake and gave us a way in. Eisenberg had to fight to keep his business, let alone try to take over anyone else's. He knew how we got in, but he didn't know which accountant made the mistake. We made a deal with him in exchange for his anonymity so he would be protected. So because Eisenberg didn't know which accountant it was, he fired the whole team. The company is going down and as Reinhold had most of his money invested there, he's broke.”
“So his wife left him and took everything else that was worth something,” Mike said softly. “Still, why me? I didn't appear in court with you, there was no reason for him to go after me. Hell, Donna spent more time with you in court than I did, what with bringing you files and coffee...” Then Mike remembered a moment at court, almost two months ago when the Eisenberg case was finished. There were several people throwing angry glares at Harvey and Mike that day, but Mike had ignored them. He remembered how he and Harvey had joked around. If Reinhold followed them all the way to Pearson Hardman and then waited for Mike to come out, he would know which bike was his. And after the bike accident, Mike gave him a card with his name and contact. Mike cringed at the thought of how stupid it had been, how dangerous. He practically gave Reinhold everything he needed to target him and Mike felt a chill at the thought how easy it was, to ruin someone's life.
Harvey saw Mike blanch again and he had enough. It was time to end this discussion and to get some rest.
“Look kid, there's no sense in thinking about it. It's done and it's over,” he said in his no nonsense voice and Mike looked at him. “For some reason, Reinhold chose you. I'm sorry you got hurt, I really am. If I could take back what happened, I would in a second. But I can’t. We have to deal with the consequences.”
“You did good, Mike. Kept your head cool. I'm proud of you.” Hearing that, Mike grinned and Harvey rolled his eyes. “Not a word of it to Donna, or I swear...”
At the mention of the secretary, Mike's smile vanished. “I'm just glad he picked me and not Donna,” Mike said, shuddering at the thought of Donna being the one facing the gun.
“I dunno…” Harvey started and Mike shot him a startled look.
“What? You'd rather Donna faced down the crazy guy?” he asked, horrified.
“No, of course not you idiot. I would kill anyone who harmed a hair on her head. But... you must admit. Out of the two of you, I think Donna would've made Reinhold beg for his mommy before the cops arrived. Or make his body disappear without a trace,” Harvey mused and after a moment of silence, Mike let out a chuckle.
“I think you’re right. She would've totally made him cry,” Mike smiled and leaned his head back on the couch. A big yawn broke through his face and Mike closed his eyes. The image of the gun flashed before his eyelids, but was promptly pushed back by a picture of Donna, standing fiercely by Mike's left, while Harvey stood over his right protectively.