"You gotta work like a soul inspired until the battle of the day is won. You may be sick and tired, but you be a man, my son. Will you remember the famous men who have to fall and then to rise again? So take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again" -Frank Sinatra, 'Pick Yourself Up'
The thick veil of smoke permeated the small room, making his eyes water and his chest tighten. He took another sip from the cold glass of ice water clamped tightly in his hand and flicked his eyes around the room, taking in the multitude of bodies that pressed tightly together. From his perch on his barstool, Harvey, even at his young age, could see the influence that his dad's band had. People had packed into the tiny bar, coming from miles away, just to hear the melody ringing out from the bass guitar, the pounding beat of the drums and the smooth riffs offered by the tenor saxophone. As he listened to the music pouring from the eclectic ensemble, he let himself get lost, soaking in the atmosphere and imagining what it would be like to be up there himself one day.
This was his favorite night of the week. He looked forward to tagging along with his father to his weekly gig at the bar not too far from his home, a luxury even his younger brother, Marcus, wasn't afforded. He was made to promise, though, that if he was allowed to come, he wouldn't speak a word of it to his mother, his father knowing that she wouldn't approve. Harvey was great at keeping secrets.
The music soon died down and the band called out their thanks to the crowd for coming. As people started to disperse, the heaviness from the room seemed to instantly lighten. Harvey sat straighter in his chair and grinned crookedly towards his dad, watching as he pushed through the swarms of people to collapse on the stool next to him.
"Hey there, Squirt," Gordon chuckled, reaching forward to mess Harvey's hair. "Picking up any good lookin' ladies out this way?"
"Daaddd," Harvey whined, ignoring his dad's comment and reaching up to straighten his hair. Even at ten years of age he knew the importance of a clean-kempt look and his dad knew he hated it when he messed with his hair.
Gordon shot a short wave with his first two fingers towards the barkeep, signaling his request for a drink, before turning back towards Harvey. "What? Got a hot date in here I don't know about?"
Harvey rolled his eyes. "Yeah, because there's a lot of girls my age here tonight."
"Alright, I know how it is. You don't want to be embarrassed by your old man," Gordon said with a chuckle. He reached for one of the fries on Harvey's discarded dinner plate and graciously accepted the cold beer from the bar tender. Taking a long swig, he looked at Harvey with a twinkle in his eye. "I guess that means that you don't want to help pack up the equipment tonight?"
Harvey instantly shook his head, disagreeing with the statement. He loved to help pack up the band's equipment, it made him… oh what did his friend's call it? A roadie?
Gordon laughed and took another long drink before pushing to his feet. "Well, come on then."
Harvey leaped down from the bar stool and followed his father across the room, heading towards the stage area. There were multiple men there already, each of them busy wrapping chords and unplugging headsets. One or two, recognizing Gordon's young son, stopped to high-five Harvey, instantly making him feel like the coolest kid in the joint.
Reaching his father's station, Harvey set to work collecting all of the sheet music and neatly packing it away. He'd just reached for his dad's neck strap when two arms lifted him under the armpits and he found himself thrown over a shoulder, staring down at the beaten wooden floor boards of the stage.
"Hey!" Harvey yelled out, a giggle betraying his mock anger. "Put me down, you clown!"
A deep rumble rippled from the man who held him, jollying Harvey as he hung over his shoulder. The man obliged, however, and swung Harvey back down to set him upright once again.
"You know, not too many people get away throwing those kinda names at me. Especially not in a place like this," the man mocked. He held up a hand for a fist bump to which Harvey met, a large grin covering his face. "How's it going, H-man?"
"Good," Harvey shrugged, turning back towards his father's things. "Just cleaning up."
Pete was Gordon' best friend. They'd started the band years before Harvey had been born and he considered him almost like an uncle. With that said, he could be a bit embarrassing, just like his father.
"One of these days we're going to start training you to get up here," the man said, watching Harvey as he worked. "Your dad's getting too old for this kinda thing."
"I heard that! You take that filth back, Pete," Gordon jokingly chided. "And don't be putting nonsense like that in Harvey's head. My son's going to make something of himself. He'll do much better than playing jazz music at a beaten down bar, won't you, Harvey?"
"Yeah, we'll see," Pete responded, giving Harvey a knowing look. "Maybe he's just biding his time until he can show you how to really play that saxophone…"
HARVEY, PRESENT DAY
"I don't care what he's told you, Sean, the guy is a lying scumbag who would love to do nothing more than screw both of us over," Harvey spat as he walked into his office, Sean Cahill close at his heels. His eyes caught Donna's as he passed her desk and a look passed between them. She knew how easily Sean set him on edge. "My answer's no."
Sean let out an aggravated sigh and stopped close to the basketballs adorning the low shelves framing Harvey's office. He reached to touch one of them and Harvey tensed. Pulling back, though, Sean grinned knowingly and retracted his hand, he knew just how to push his buttons.
"Well, when you finally get your head out of your own ass, why don't you read through the file? Give me your answer when you have a clear head," Sean shot back, tossing a manila folder onto Harvey's desk. He fished a folded paper from his pocket and tossed that atop the file before heading towards the door. "It's front page news, Harvey, this is a career defining case. Think about it. I'll talk to you later."
Harvey let out a huff and collapsed in his chair, pushing the folder from his line of vision and spitting fire at Sean's back as he retreated out of his office. He watched as Donna nodded towards Sean before rising from her chair and coming into his office.
"What was that about?" She asked, getting straight to the point. She never was one to beat around the bush.
Harvey sighed and sat up straighter in his chair, refusing to meet her gaze. Donna had a way of reading everything he was thinking, whether he spoke his thoughts aloud or not. Even though he didn't want to deal with any additional headaches, he always looked forward to her opinion, her moral compass often more on course than his own.
"Sean wants me to take on a case to prevent the merge of two of New York's biggest medical firms," Harvey replied. "I told him that the case isn't black and white and it would look really bad for our firm if we lose. He doesn't like to take no for an answer."
Donna nodded in understanding. "Maybe there's something more to it that he's not telling you?" Harvey shot his gaze towards her and, seeing she had his attention, she continued. "It wouldn't hurt to consider the opportunity, would it?"
"Donna…" Harvey replied with a sigh, knowing she was right. He hated it when she was always right. She could be wrong once in a while, it wouldn't kill her.
She adjusted her stance and simply looked at him, her gaze almost unnerving him. He always felt like he was just on the edge of losing it when she looked at him like this, unable to understand how just a simple gaze could make him feel this way. He flicked his gaze from hers, eager to break their connection, and reached for the papers he'd shoved aside, attempting to clear his mind. That's when the newspaper that Sean had dropped on his desk caught his attention. Did he just see…?
Harvey stiffened and reached for the rumpled paper. He couldn't have just seen what he thought he'd seen, could he? His hand shook slightly as he flattened the paper and scanned the articles in front of him. There, glaring from just beneath the 'Obituary' header was the name Peter Calwig.
"Harvey? Are you ok?" Donna asked, noticing his change in demeanor. She took a few steps towards his desk but he barely noticed.
Peter Calwig. The same Peter Calwig that had been his 'uncle' for the better part of his younger years. Harvey's heart dropped.
So this is my first Suits fanfiction. From those of you who may have read some of my other stories, you'll notice that I tend to use the characters provided by a show but completely rewrite them into a different story altogether. I've decided to take a different approach here and somewhat stick with the storyline provided in Suits. That's not saying I won't stray or do something totally different. Anyway, as always, reviews are appreciated, I'd love to hear your thoughts!