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After Hours

Chapter Text

Louis had told Mike that he had an eye for detail, which he did, and it was something he continued to prove time and time again; however, he could only pick up on his surroundings and things he read, Mike couldn’t read people. Harvey on the other hand could read people when he wanted to, but he usually only wanted to when it benefitted him, and right now he wanted to.

“Mike,” he started as he leaned on one of the walls of the man’s cubicle. “Where are those papers? You told me you would have them on my desk an hour ago.”

“Yeah, about that…” Mike looked down at his desk and anywhere except Harvey. “Look, I’ll have them for you by the end of the day, all right?”

“The end of the day isn’t good enough,” Mike shifted uncomfortably even though he can tell Harvey wasn’t mad at him. “In order to win this case, I need those papers in two hours.”

“I told you I didn’t know how to fill them out.” The same excuse every time.

“We’ve been down this road before, Mike. When you don’t know how to fill something out, you figure it out.” The same reply every time.

“You think I haven’t tried?” he hissed. Harvey noticed Mike finally made eye contact with him. Good. “Everyone around here is too busy to waste time showing me how to fill out forms, and you’re always out on lunch dates or in court. So who am I supposed to ask?”

“That’s what you need to figure out, and what this job is about—figuring things out on your own and getting it done on time, or better yet, getting it done early. Have it for me in two hours.” Harvey saw that Mike was about to say something else, but he just turned and walked away. Though he did glance back to see the man staring with a clueless expression at the paper.

While Harvey was off lounging in his office or whatever he did in there, Mike had just wasted an hour trying to fill out these forms with absolutely no progress. When he asked Rachel for help earlier, she had told him it would only take around half an hour to fill out before making him leave again. So he could absorb information like a sponge, but when it came to filling out forms without any sort of guide, he was simply hopeless. Fantastic.

Thinking back to a few weeks back, he remembered how Louis had called him in and said that when Harvey couldn’t (or wouldn’t) help him, that Mike should come to him instead. Having already tried trading it off with anyone else in the workplace and at least seven different copies of the form half-filled and lying on the ground, Mike didn’t want to go to that man, but he wasn’t exactly seeing any other options. He didn’t want Harvey to think he was incapable, and he didn’t want to get fired. So with 43 minutes left before he had to have the papers in Harvey’s hands, Mike found himself sitting on the expensive but uncomfortable chair in Louis’ office.

“You need help filling out this form?” Louis asked as he stared at Mike from across the table. He still gave Mike the creeps. “For someone who went to Harvard I would have expected you to know how to fill this out.”

“Yeah, well… I haven’t had to fill one out for a while and it seems I’ve gotten a bit rusty.”

Louis looked at his with skeptical eyes and a smile on his face, neither of which Mike noticed because he was too busy avoiding his gaze. This may just be the opening Louis had been looking for to find out just what exactly Harvey was hiding. Moving so that he was sitting beside Mike, he took the next 35 minutes showing Mike how to fill out the form.

Taking a breath of relief as soon as he was out of that man’s office, Mike looked at his watch. He had about 8 minutes to make it to Harvey’s office. First though he had to make it past Donna. “Is Harvey in his office?”

“Cutting it a bit close aren’t you?” Smirking as she watched him glance to the office and then his watch, Donna made a motion with her hand towards the door. “Go on.”

Harvey was just ending a phone call when Mike came in with papers in his hands. He half expected that the man wouldn’t show up, and when he was proven wrong Harvey felt a small swell of pride which he was swift to ignore. Mike was one of his coworkers; there was nothing more important about him than any of the others in the building.

“I got the papers filled out.”

“Excellent, bring them here.” Harvey waited as Mike walked over and handed him the papers. Glancing them over, the easy smile on Harvey’s face quickly turned into a frown. Nearly everything on the papers was wrong. “Who showed you how to fill these out?”

Mike was tempted to lie, but when he saw the frown on Harvey’s face he assumed it would be a lot better to tell the truth at this point. “Louis showed me.”
Of course, Harvey should have expected that the rat would be the one to pull something like this. What better way to expose that Mike was a fraud than to show him how to fill out forms wrong with mistakes even paralegals would catch? As much as Harvey enjoyed watching Mike squirm as he gave him orders, if doing so put Harvey’s ass on the line then he would have to give up this little game. “From now on, don’t go to Louis for help no matter what he tells you. Understand?”

“All right,” Mike said. Even though he knew that Harvey didn’t get along with Louis, telling him not to go to the man for help was a little extreme, though understandable since he had just sabotaged their paperwork.

Leaning back in his chair, Harvey smirked up at Mike. “You said that if you read something then you understand it, and once you understand it you never forget it, right?”

“Yeah, it was a bit weird in school considering my Elementary school teachers told me one thing and then my High school teachers taught me something completely different. It can mess a kid up pretty bad.” Mike grinned as the atmosphere lightened up.

“Then I hope you’re ready to put that brain of yours to work because tonight I’m going to show you how to fill out all of the forms you’ll ever need to.”

“What? Are you serious?” Harvey, the man who never helped him with anything, was offering to show him not only how to fill out one form, but all of them? He had to have fallen asleep at his desk, and any minute now Mike would wake up and Harvey will be standing there berating him for not having the forms on time.

“Does this face look anything but serious?” Harvey asked. Technically to Mike it looked suave and charming, but apparently that was the expression the man used when he was being serious, so Mike shrugged and nodded. “Good. Since I don’t want to spend my night here we’ll be going to my apartment. The view is a lot nicer there.”

“All right, what’s your address and what time should I be there?”

“No, no, no. There’s no way anyone who knows me is going to be showing up to my place riding a bike. I’ll drive you there after work.”