Author's Note: The last chapter! Thank you ever so much for your reviews, everyone! It was a pleasure writing for you. =)
And, Bloo, I wasn't apologizing for what I did write, I apologized for not making it more romantic (i.e., kissing, real snuggling, etc.). The story was never supposed to tread into that territory. I intend for my next one to, though, but you won't see that for a while. At least not until I finish The Not So Dead Walking. Thank you for your feedback!
I do not own Suits.
On any normal day, Harvey's presence attracted a number of envious and even awed looks from the other lawyers and associates, parting them like the Red Sea, and he thought it was powered primarily by his confident stride and serious attitude towards all things lawyerly. When most people saw him, few had the courage to meet his eye. This Monday, however, was different and Harvey decided he would have to reformulate his hypothesis on what really caught everyone's attention.
He still slid through the halls with the ease of a barracuda hunting its prey, but he could have sworn Gregory walked into a wall when he turned a corner too sharply. He hadn't bothered to look back as he was walking to his office. Much to his amusement, Louis had walked right past him without even a glance, which was a welcome change from the usual attention the junior partner gave him – he didn't care to hear about any of Louis' sexual rendezvous. Although the sniveling lawyer was engrossed in some paperwork, he usually watched Harvey coming so that he could puff himself up.
Donna was at her desk just like she usually was. Her eyes flicked up from the screen and she couldn't keep an amused smirk from spreading over her face.
"Good morning, Harvey," she said to him, as if they hadn't woken up next to each other again. This time there was no cuddling to be had – he didn't need his image tarnished more than it already was.
"Donna," he replied, "Anything new for me?"
"Not really, since you can't meet with clients until Wednesday. Looks like you and Mike are stuck on research for a few days."
"Great," Harvey mumbled, picking up the envelopes and folders waiting for him. He had to work very hard to keep a full smile from breaking out on his face when she produced his regular cup of coffee.
"Oh and Jessica will be by in five to see you."
"Did she say that?"
"Nope, my radar is pinging."
"One day, I'll figure out where you get your super powers from," Harvey replied.
"Never going to happen," she replied as he began walking into his office. "I must say, though, your power is seriously diminished without one of your suits on."
"Damn. I was really hoping it was the power of my personality that made everyone cower."
"It is, but your suits amplify it. Must be the reason no one can sit around in khakis here."
"I don't know about that. Louis could walk in right now and I still think I'd look the part of the lawyer better than he would."
There was silence on Donna's part and it was only after he sat down behind his desk that she answered, "Khakis and a black shirt, Harvey? I think even Louis could pull off lawyer in his cheap suits better than you."
He huffed. "Don't you have work to do?"
She hummed at him, a covert sign of her laughter and then she clicked off the speaker connecting their desks.
He hadn't even been reading one of the letters Donna handed him for more than two minutes when the speaker clicked on again. "Ping."
The lawyer glanced up to find Jessica almost to Donna's desk and he couldn't help but give the back of Donna's head a look of both exasperation and amusement. He could just imagine the proud smile she was wearing right at that moment.
Jessica strode in with a mere nod to Donna, who returned it, wearing a simple skirt suit and she walked up to Harvey's desk and crossed her arms.
"Why are you here?" She asked with a severe frown on her face.
Harvey stared up at her and gave her his most charming smile. "I believe I work here."
She shifted and he knew she was not really angry with him at all, but she gave him an exasperated sigh. "You are looking considerably healthier from when I saw you on Friday, but I would have expected you to take a few days off after your last case. Anyone else would've taken a week off. Why can't you act human every once in a while?"
"But Donna said I needed routine," Harvey shot back at her, barely able to smother a smile.
"I'm sorry, Jessica. I really wanted to call him in sick, but he was driving me crazy with his work-a-holicism. Is there a cure for that?" Donna said over the speaker.
Harvey frowned at it. "Who said you could listen in on this conversation?"
"You did. When you failed to turn off my speaker," she replied with more than a little smugness.
He toyed with the button as though threatening to cut her off, but in the end he never did, hardly minding her input. It was rare occurrence when he did shut off her speaker, but by unspoken agreement, she knew there were some conversations of a truly private nature that he didn't want her to listen to and she never complained when he did turn her access off.
"Don't listen to her. I slept most of the weekend away."
Jessica gave him a stony look. "I know you well enough not to doubt a word of her testimony."
"Well, I really did sleep most of the weekend away."
"I would have to agree. He did," Donna said and Jessica nodded in satisfaction.
"Be that as it may, you will leave the office at noon today," she said.
Harvey's expression hardened and he stood to his full height – it never failed to bother him that he could never quite pull of intimidating to her. – and stared her straight in the eye, "I can work. Donna's already arranged my schedule so that all clientele meetings are Wednesday, after I get my suits back from the dry cleaners."
"Did you really need to take them all in?" Jessica said, a hint of amusement in her voice. He couldn't tell if she it was caused either by his choice to take all his suits to the dry cleaners or his silly attempt at intimidating her.
"You think I would risk showing up to work with ash or soot on my suit then you would be sorely mistaken."
"They were in your closet," she replied. "Perfectly wearable and probably very much untouched."
"Those are expensive suits! I would not take the risk of them being ruined."
"Even if they were, it wouldn't take much to replace your entire collection. I think I pay you enough."
"That's beside the point; I just got one of those suits last month. I would hate for Rene to think I didn't take care of the suits he sells me."
"I'm sure he would understand as long as he continues to receive your patronage."
"You act like the protectiveness over my expensive clothes is some strange quirk and yet, I bet you would panic if your apartment flooded and put your Jimmy Choos as risk," he replied with a nod to her feet.
Jessica pursed her lips, a sign of her frustration, and then Donna's voice came over the speaker again, "You're not going to win this one, Jessica. He and I headbutted over this earlier today."
"Fine. Feel free to take your suits in but, since I think you need a vacation and since you happen to not have any proper dress, I'll make that the official excuse to send you home. And don't you dare come back until you have your suits back, which will be…?"
"Wednesday," Donna supplied. Harvey could only sit there and frown at Jessica.
"Wednesday then. Donna, I expect you to make sure he takes it easy."
"Yes, Ms. Pearson," the secretary replied, but she mumbled just loud enough for them to hear. "That's easier said than done."
Jessica only stood there in front of his desk with her arms crossed and a triumphant smile on her face. While Harvey had pulled his mask back on to show his signature neutral expression, all that Jessica cared about was that she had wiped the amusement from his face, but if she thought he was going to walk away quietly…
"I can do research and write letters without my three-piece suit, so that I will not fall behind in my work."
"I assign you your work," Jessica said. "And I can just as easily reassign it. Consider yourself free of responsibility."
"Harvey, taking a few days off is not going to kill you," Donna interjected. "Besides, you need to look for a condo, anyway. Just when did you expect to do that?"
He did not grace her with an answer, but Jessica's eyes lit up and she said, "Well, you have all afternoon now. So get to it, Harvey" She turned to leave and as she walked she heard Harvey mutter something under his breath along the lines of "This is what I get for letting women run my life." It was tempting to wrap his knuckles with some good old-fashioned burial by briefs, but that would just give him an excuse to keep working, but just as she reached the door she said, "Oh yes, I got a call by one David Reeft. He said he was a tenant on the same floor as you. Know him?"
Harvey clicked his tongue in annoyance, "Maybe not so fortunately yes." She looked at him crossly and he clarified, "I don't like being on familiar terms with my neighbors."
"Well, he sounded pretty pragmatic, which should meet your approval. I am going to offer them Pearson Hardman's services for the suit. Feel free to offer your input if you are so inclined."
"Not likely," he said. The answer was quick and frank, but Jessica could sense a long list of reasons why Harvey would prefer to not have anything to do with the case.
"As you wish," was her only reply. "Now leave, Harvey. Your new condo won't find itself."
"That is so very true," Harvey said, with an exaggerated sigh and his expression turned into one of long suffering. "Do you have any idea how uncomfortable Donna's couch is?"
"You looked quite comfortable on it Saturday morning when you fell asleep sitting up," Donna snarked at him over the speakerphone and he toyed with the button again, as though threatening to turn it off.
"Behave, Harvey. Donna's doing you one hell of a favor," Jessica said and then finally left for her office.
"I guess I'll call Karen and ask if she can show me the condos earlier," Harvey said aloud with a heavy sigh. "Donna, would you – "
"Yes, I will."
Harvey frowned at her back. Not once had she turned around to look at him and he was really starting to wonder about those super powers, before he decided to push a little further. "You don't know what I was going to ask."
"Yes, I do."
"It could have been to call Karen for me. Or to call Mike so that I can send him home, too."
"Well, you do need to do the latter, but no. You were not going to ask me to do either of those things."
"You were going to ask if I could look at condos with you."
"What? I am very certain that was not the question I was going to ask you."
"You were going to ask eventually."
"I don't need you to go condo shopping with me; I managed quite well the first time."
"You had me look at pictures of the condos you went through."
"I was leaning towards my current condo!"
"But you still asked me," she replied, nonplussed at his indignation, hidden to all but her. She could just decipher that specific cadence in his voice to know his feelings. "You need a woman's touch, Harvey. If I let you get a total man cave, you'd never be able to get a woman to stay more than five minutes in a condo with you."
He could just hear the insult she was waiting to add to that – "as if you needed five minutes" – and he leaned close to his speakerphone so that he wouldn't miss it, but she held her silence. That was definitely toeing the line of inappropriate talk in the workplace and he was almost ashamed to feel relief when she deliberately kept her mouth shut. It may not have been spoken, but it was implied. He vowed revenge.
"I am hardly inclined towards a complete and total man cave. I do have taste," Harvey shot back.
"Sometimes I wonder, but yes, you tend to have overall good taste. Your condo is a case-in-point. You certainly knew you could sweep a woman off her feet with those views," she replied.
"Would you count yourself among those women?" He felt entirely too interested in knowing that answer and did his best to suppress his curiosity.
"Oh, please, Harvey, who wouldn'tbe impressed?"
"Good point," he said and then he pulled out his cell phone with a sigh. "I'm calling Karen. Tell Mike to be here in five minutes."
He was just ending his call with the realtor when Mike walked in, dressed in one of his cheap suits and skinny ties. The associate hesitated at the office door, with his head cocked in curiosity at Harvey and when the older lawyer eventually hung up the phone, Mike made his entrance, strutting confidently and smiling smugly.
"I need a picture of this. The one day I am better dressed than Harvey Specter, best closer in the city," Mike said, still smiling as he handed over his research for the new case they were supposed to be working on.
"I don't know, pup. Those skinny ties will keep you from ever looking richer than a newly graduated college student trying to land his first job," Harvey said, throwing the file on his desk and then standing up to pull on his leather jacket.
"Bitter today, I see," Mike replied, but the smile suddenly stymied and the associate deflated like a balloon slowly leaking air.
"What's wrong with you? Someone kick your puppy?"
"Hah. No…it's just – you not being dressed up in your suits is making the other associates talk. Greg got a group of them laughing about how I must have somehow spilled coffee on all of them."
"You still care what those idiots think?" Harvey asked, rolling his eyes. "Greg said that? Because I saw him walk into a wall because he was too busy looking at me."
"Did he really? I may have to throw that in his face. Well, I don't really care what Greg and Kyle think, but I'm sick of everyone thinking of me as only a screw up."
"Donna and I know you're not a screw up and we're the only ones that matter. Never forget, Mike, they'll never be half as good a lawyer as you will be," Harvey replied, managing to keep any notions of caring off his face and instead channeled it into an irritating frown. "Now, Jessica is kicking me out of the building because I'm not dressed to code." He grimaced at this and muttered something inaudible under his breath before he continued. "Because I am being forced on an impromptu vacation, so are you. I don't want to see you and your cheap ass suits until Wednesday."
"Well, I'd love to, Harvey, but Louis gave me a nice stack of briefs due to him tomorrow morning."
"Hand it off to someone else."
Mike stared at him for a moment and then gave him a hollow laugh. "I can't just hand it off to someone else."
"Then tell them I told them to do it."
"I'm not sure they would believe me if I told them it was on your behalf. Besides, Louis would still hunt me down and skin me alive."
"Fine, I'll do it myself."
They had been standing at the doorway as they talked; the older lawyer had just started heading off in the direction of the associate's cubicles.
He turned to Donna and blinked at the flash that assaulted his eyes and then fury swept through him as he saw Donna's point camera and the pleased smile on her face.
"Delete that," he commanded her.
"Not a chance."
"Awesome, Donna, now I'll have a picture to commemorate this moment!"
The lawyer let out a sigh of frustration and headed down the hall to the little nest of cubicles which housed about half of the associates. Much like in the outer hallways, Harvey thought every single associate glanced up and stared as they passed, apparently still unable to grasp that Harvey Specter was not wearing his three-piece suit. At Mike's desk, Harvey saw three stacks of papers and he looked at Mike with irritation.
"You need to better organize your desk."
"I have a system."
"These are the briefs," Harvey said, picking up the nearest stack.
"And these," Mike replied, picking up the second closest stack which was almost as high as the first, to which Harvey stared. Under ordinary circumstances, no associate could possibly get through those briefs overnight, let alone two days and seeing how Mike still managed to get through the combined pressure of not only Louis but himself made him swell with pride. He kept the evidence of it to only a slight quirk of his lips and then he walked over to Kyle's desk. "You, Louis' protégé, shouldn't you be doing these? Eight o'clock, tomorrow morning, Louis' desk." Kyle gaped as they were placed on his desk. "Mike, hand that stack to George. I doubt they can handle more than that."
"Okay," Mike replied and he set them across the way onto the other associate's desk. Greg just glared at him and Mike could not keep from ribbing him, "Here you are, courtesy of Harvey Specter."
"Now grab your things and get out of here," Harvey said to him and with that the older lawyer left his associate to pack up.
He wouldn't deny it, but he enjoyed getting back at the little pissants who constantly made life in the law firm hell for Mike, just as they had made it hell for him back in the day. One day, he was certain that Mike would be where he was now and would forever be able to lord it over Greg and Kyle that he had reached the pinnacle of success, just as his mentor had. It would happen and he would do his damndest to make sure that Mike attained it.
When Donna came into view again his smile lessened ever so slightly and he narrowed his eyes at her. But first… That picture had to go. He was going to make sure no evidence could possibly exist of him at the office during day hours without his usual suit. Once the evidence was gone, plausible deniability was possible, and then, of course, was revenge. He would find a way to get back at Donna, he made it a promise, as he stopped at her desk trying to look inconspicuous.
"Not going to happen, Harvey."
So disposing of evidence was going to be a challenge, but Harvey Specter never said no to a challenge.
I hope you enjoyed the last chapter!