Title: between how it is and how it should be
Fandom/Pairing: Suits, Harvey/Mike
Summary: Five times people confuse them for a couple and one time they’re right.
A/N: Why does everything I write end the same way?!?
The first time it happens, Mike laughs it off before immediately removing it from his memory as best he can. Because thoughts of people assuming he’s dating his boss are really not what he needs right now.
It’s a long-time client and friend who assumes incorrectly the first time. They’re in Harvey’s office and the older man shakes Harvey’s hand before turning to Mike.
“And you must be Harvey’s other half, I assume,” The man holds his hand to Mike who laughs, startled.
“No, no, I’m Harvey’s associate, Mike Ross. Nice to meet you,” Mike shakes his hand and tries his best to stop laughing before Harvey kicks him out.
The man gives Mike an amused look similar to the one’s Donna gives when she knows he’s lying. Clearly, he doubts every word that just came out of Mike’s mouth.
“So that’s what it’s called now…associates…”
And as far as Harvey seems concerned though, everything is perfectly normal. Mike is still reeling with the hysteria and ridiculousness while Harvey is cool and collected, proceeding with the meeting. By the end of the meeting, the confusion has already been forgotten by Mike, who is all wrapped up in a new case.
When Mike shows up late to the business lunch he’s supposed to be having with Harvey he is in no way prepared for a nosy hostess to meet him at the front door.
She’s young and pretty and immediately looks Mike up and down as he rushes in, frantic but carrying files that contain some answers to their current case.
“Oh, you must be who table 14 is waiting for,” Mike smiles at her and wonders how she could know who he’s looking for, “You’re husband is over there.”
The hostess points over her shoulder with a manicured hand and a smile. Mike stutters.
“He’s not my…we’re not…umm, no…”
The hostess nods like she understands, “Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll ask you any day now.”
She smiles and leads a bewildered Mike to where Harvey is scowling at his Blackberry.
“You better have something for me,” Harvey sounds irritated but doesn’t look up.
The hostess winks on her way away from their table and Mike wants to call her back and explain that this is a business lunch between a boss and employee.
Finally Harvey looks up with hard expression, “Mike? The case?”
And then it’s back to business.
When Harvey’s doorman buzzes his apartment to ask if he should allow Harvey’s “partner” up, Harvey wants to laugh. He almost does, but it’s eight in the morning on a Sunday and he really should be asleep.
Instead he growls back at the doorman through the intercom, “Who?”
“Your…what’s the term? Life partner?”
Harvey actually laughs at this before telling the doorman to send him up. When Harvey sees Mike come up in the glass elevator with a look of awe, he goes to pour himself another cup of coffee. He thinks he’s going to need it if Mike’s is knocking with files this early.
“Why does Fred think we are life partners?”
“Who is Fred?” Mike makes himself at home on Harvey’s couch, spreading files across the coffee table and dumping his messenger bag on the floor.
“My doorman. Don’t avoid the question.”
Mike laughs a little awkwardly, “Well he wasn’t going to let me in if I didn’t sound like I actually belong here.”
“It wouldn’t make more sense to just tell him that you work for me?” Harvey does not look amused.
“For the record, I did tell him that. And he told me ‘Mr. Specter isn’t accepting guests before 10 a.m. on Sundays,’” Mike adopts a snobby accent to imitate Fred.
“So you told him that we’re in a homosexual relationship with each other?”
“More like insinuated…”
When Trevor calls to tell Mike that he is back in town and that they should go out for drinks to celebrate, Mike doesn’t need to be told that it’s a bad idea.
“Look Trevor, we’ve been friends for a long time, but I think it’s time you tried to do things on your own for once.”
“Yeah, yeah, I am Mike. Just come out for drinks tonight and you can see for yourself how good I’m doing.”
“I can’t Trevor. I’ve got work to do,” Mike would rather spend his night at the office than with Trevor at this point.
“Well what about tomorrow night? You have to get a night off sometime, Mike.”
“It has nothing to do with work Trevor, I’m just don’t want to go for drinks. Ever.”
“Ohh, I see what this is. You think because you have a new job and a new life and some rich boyfriend that you’re too good for me?” Trevor sounds pissed and Mike wishes he could reach through the phone and punch him.
“Rich boyfriend? I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about Trevor, but if I think I’m better than you, that’s because I am.” It only occurs to Mike hours later once he’s cooled down who Trevor must have been talking about and…what the hell?
Why does everyone think he’s dating his boss?
When Donna says it though, even Harvey looks surprised. In that moment, Mike decides that surprise is a very good look on Harvey Specter. They’re fighting over Harvey’s company credit card in front of Donna’s desk again when she looks up and laughs at them.
“Don’t buy anything illegal,” Harvey warns.
“Can you expand upon just exactly you mean by illegal?” Mike is smirking as he tries to take the credit card from Harvey.
Donna manages to completely interrupt with a smirk and a well worded comment, “You two fight like a married couple.”
The black credit card is dropped and forgotten on the carpeted floor. Harvey’s eyebrows shoot up and Mike just stares blankly at Donna.
When Harvey finally recovers, it’s with a “Remind me to cancel your holiday bonus, Donna,” before he’s disappeared, back into his office.
“That would be funny, if I didn’t write all his checks for him.”
Mike isn’t sure if she says that for his benefit or Harvey’s, but he doesn’t stick around to find out. He retrieves the credit card from where it was forgotten and turns to say something to Donna, but she’s already back at work, typing away.
The part of Mike’s brain that still thinks he’s twenty is screaming one thing, and one thing only.
Harvey is completely and entirely positive that he does not deserve this. No one deserves this. He wouldn’t wish being lectured by Louis onto even his worst enemies. Well maybe…
“As you keep pointing out Harvey, Ross is your associate. You’re responsible for him and his mistakes.”
“Mike didn’t make a mistake.” Harvey is adamant on this point and why the hell is he letting Louis do this much talking anyway?
“I hired Mike because he thinks outside of the box; he gets me results that none of your Harvard-clones are capable. If I wanted another brainless lawyer, I’d have you work for me, Louis.” Louis visibly anger. “But that’s not what I wanted, so I hired Mike. And let’s get one thing straight: Mike’s method may have been unconventional but he did not fuck up.”
And Harvey stands up, done with conversation.
“Careful Harvey, you shouldn’t get so attached your puppy. You of all people should understand the firm’s policy on workplace relationships.”
It’s clearly Louis’ last-ditch attempt at getting under Harvey’s skin. Instead, Harvey’s response is clear and concise.
“You shouldn’t make comments about my husband like that Louis, unless you’d like to find yourself up against charges of slander.”
And then Harvey is out of Louis’ office with a smirk.