Louis took great joy in instilling the fear of God into the underlings of Pearson Hardman. After all, if he was going to run around and be underappreciated and consistently disrespected by someone who was supposed to be his equal, then others were going to suffer for it. And by others he meant the junior associates because they were the ones eager enough to let him do whatever he wanted in order to get some sort of attention from a bigger fish in the law firm. Louis enjoyed his position and thoroughly enjoyed watching every associate under his command vie for his attentions.
Correction: Every associate except Mike Ross ran around trying to get him to notice them. Mike Ross, who should his associate, was entirely too busy running around with Harvey fucking Specter to do what other associates should be. Harvey fucking Specter, who acted like he was God’s gift to the world, who stole associates and promotions that should be his, who should be fired for the stunts he pulls, who is just….the biggest thorn in Louis’ side.
Until today because Louis can finally do something about Harvey fucking Specter and his goddamn complex and get away with it. He has been waiting for an opportunity like this since the day his promotion, the one he had been working towards for years, was stolen from him by that goddamn prick and his chance had come up because perfect Harvey fucking Specter had messed up.
At exactly half past eleven last night Louis had come rolling back into the office to pick up a case file that he had forgotten in preparation for meeting with a client later today. He had expected to go in, get his file, and head home to prepare, he had expected to find the building empty, save for the cleaning staff that came in at night and the security guards. He had not expected to find the light to Harvey’s office or the sounds of two men grumbling.
Louis made it his business to know everything about the firm and he knew that Harvey was prone to staying later to compensate for coming in later but it was unusual that he would be here this close to midnight. It was also strange that someone else would be here with him, and being the nosy person that he was, Louis had done what anyone in his position would; he hid around the corner and spied through the glass walls. He had then had the privilege of seeing Harvey fucking Specter sitting on the floor of his office beside Mike, leaning against his perfectly nice couch, jackets off, ties undone, take out boxes around them and files on the floor in front of them, talking animatedly about what they were going to do next for whatever they were working on.
It bothered Louis that he didn’t know about this case because it was obviously important enough to warrant a late night in the office. It bothered him that Harvey fucking Specter was the one handling it because he was every bit as capable as him and Ross. It bothered him that the two of them were using hand gestures and pointed looks to get their points across to the other. It bothered him that Harvey fucking Specter was almost smiling at Mike Ross as the younger man made a point. Harvey fucking Specter did not smile unless he was trying to charm someone, had just won a case, or was going to get his way. He had not looked like he was about to do any of those things with Mike Ross, he just looked….happy. It bothered Louis. A lot.
He had almost been ready to go and interrupt their little powwow to get information on their new case until it happened. He had watched Mike Ross, whiz kid extraordinaire lean up and press a kiss, a fucking kiss to Harvey fucking Specter’s cheek and then he had watched as said kiss on the cheek turned to one on the mouth. Louis had watched, dumbfounded as the two kissed for a minute and then pulled away, Mike Ross grinning like a love-struck idiot and Harvey fucking Specter smiling like he had just won the biggest case of his career.
Louis watched them after their kiss for a full two minutes, watched Mike lean into Harvey’s embrace before Harvey pointed to something in the file. He watched them throw themselves back into their work before he did what any man who had just made the discovery of his career would do. He fled the building, promising that he would come in earlier than usual to look his case file over, and when he was back at home in his nice apartment and had a chance to process what he had witnessed at the office he practically began to dance because this was exactly he needed to take Harvey fucking Specter down a notch or ten.
While inter-office relations weren’t forbidden around the firm, hell he had just gone to a wedding for two of their lawyers not even six months ago, they were most definitely frowned upon when they took place between superiors and subordinates. It brought forth a whole mess of litigation for sexual harassment, favoritism, and it was just what Louis needed to get to Harvey fucking Specter and win against that bastard for once. This was something that Jessica would absolutely need to know about and while she couldn’t tell them to stop seeing each other, she could lecture them, and then she could, with careful nudging from Louis of course, move Mike Ross away from Harvey fucking Specter’s service and into Louis Litt’s.
Victory. He was going to get sweet, sweet victory that Louis could not wait to achieve and to see the look on Harvey fucking Specter’s face when he stole his progeny. Those thoughts were what propelled him through the office, meeting with the client successful, meeting with Jessica just minutes away, and he was practically giddy with excitement. If he thought he could get away with it he would skip down the hall, but that would destroy his reputation and more than likely cause people to think he was insane. He had heard whispers already because he had actually been nice to Greg an hour ago when he had chosen not to yell at him for writing illegibly on a subpoena. All because he had dirt on Harvey fucking Specter and he would be inheriting Mike Ross and his eye for detail in a matter of hours.
Life was good right now and it was with that thought in mind that he walked towards Jessica’s office to tell her about the meeting, the junior associates, and his newfound victory. It was with that thought in mind that he walked leisurely because nothing was going to ruin his good mood. It was with that thought in mind that he was practically pushed into a wall as a pair of very stylish high heels flew past him and into Harvey’s office.
“Hey watch where you’re….”
Donna turned her head as she reached the doorway, glared at him, and Louis promptly shut the fuck up because while he was technically her boss that woman scared him.
“Never mind, it was my fault for getting in your way,” he held his hands up in defeat; she surveyed him for a moment before she nodded and then continued on her way into the office. The office that should be his, but he was robbed off and really he deserved to be a Senior Partner just as much if not more than Harvey fucking Specter. The-should be his office-where the curtains were drawn in the middle of the day when they shouldn’t be per Jessica’s request unless they were with clients. Louis knew for a fact that Harvey did not have any clients this afternoon because of whatever he and Mike had been working on last night.
It was his job to know everything about this firm. This was what he kept telling himself as he walked towards the door and pushed the curtains aside only to be confronted with the sight of Mike sitting on the couch, head cradled in his hands, Harvey sitting beside him, a hand rubbing circles on his back. Donna was rushing around Harvey’s desk, grabbing papers, arranging them, and putting them into his briefcase and when had she gotten his briefcase? Louis shook his head as he watched her work, knew it was why Harvey paid her what he did. She knew everything and also apparently had magical powers because really, where in the hell had that briefcase come from?
“Ray’s waiting downstairs, any appointments you have this weekend have been or will be moved to next week within the hour, I’ve got everything you’re going to need for the Turner case ready to go and…”
“She’s gone,” Mike mumbled and even Louis winced at how fragile and broken he sounded. Shit what had happened to bring out that in the kid? “She’s gone,” he repeated.
Harvey didn’t say anything to…whatever Mike was to him because Louis had no idea, he just watched as he ran the hand that had been on Mike’s back through his hair. Mike made a broken little sound and turned into the touch before he launched himself against Harvey’s chest. Louis watched as Harvey surprisingly just went with it and wrapped his arms around the smaller man, and if he were any other person, Louis might have awed when Harvey brushed his lips against Mike’s forehead, but he didn’t, he just kept watching even though he was feeling mildly creeper-like as he did so. This was something that was obviously deeply personal to Mike, personal enough to cause a breakdown at work and while Louis certainly wouldn’t admit to actually liking the kid how could anyone ignore the way he looked right now?
“Shhh, just breathe,” Harvey soothed. “I’m gonna help get you through this alright?”
“It hurts,” Mike may or may not have sobbed. “Gram’s gone and I just….I can’t…”
“Which is why I’m here for you alright? You are not alone,” Harvey assured him quietly. “We’re going to head over to the facility and deal with what has to be done right now. Make sure they have everything they need from you.”
“And then I’ll make sure there’s take-out waiting at Harvey’s condo when you’re done,” Donna promised.
“I’ll even let her order that god awful heart-attack inducing pizza you like so much,” Harvey added with a pointed look at Donna who nodded and made a note in her….ok she had to have magical powers because where in god’s name had that blackberry come from? She hadn’t had it two minutes ago and where had that briefcase gone? “And you’ll eat, and we can watch Star Trek reruns so you can laugh about how much I geek out over Captain Kirk.”
“I…” Mike pulled away from Harvey and looked at him, eyes red, face splotchy, Louis winced again because this was just…sad and wrong. No one should look that desolate.
“I’m not going to say anything to try and make you feel better, because nothing’s going to work; all I’m going to say is this: you’re not alone. Got it?”
“Yeah,” Mike whispered voice hoarse as he wiped at his eyes. “Ok, I can do this. I can…”
“Yes you can,” Harvey reinforced and hell, Louis backed out of the office, into the hallway and took a breath before he decided that now was as good a time as any to interrupt their little powwow. His curiosity was still there and he needed a better handle on the situation if he was going to do anything about it. It was his job to know after all. He knocked on the door, heard Harvey swear, gave them a second and then stepped inside, plastering a fake smirk on as he did so. He was surprised at how quickly Mike had dislodged himself from Harvey’s embrace and stand or how put together the older lawyer could look in a matter of seconds.
“So let me tell you how much money I just brought into this firm and...what’s going on here?”
Donna glared at him as she gently took Mike’s hand and led him out of the door, briefcase in her free hand, blackberry nowhere to be seen. He shrank back against the doorway as they moved past and Mike refused to meet his gaze. When they were gone Harvey approached him, mouth set in a hard line as he adjusted his suit jacket and approached.
“Ross has had a death in the family, he’ll be taking the next week off to make arrangements,” Harvey told him and Louis felt himself sink a little. As it was his job to know things, he knew that Mike Ross only had one person in his family call him at the office and that person was most definitely in a nursing facility. He also knew that one of the only pictures Mike Ross kept on his desk was that of him and his grandmother. Shit. Louis knows what it’s like to lose someone you’re close to, he’d just lost his mother two years ago and there really isn’t anything you can say to make it better and he can sympathize with Mike because of that.
“And you are…”
“He’s my associate,” Harvey bit out and Louis can’t deny the worry that crept into Harvey’s eyes as he looked past him and down the hall before they were back on Louis. Louis bit back a sigh.
“You should go with him,” Louis suggested, and Spector’s eyes widened in surprise. “We both know that Ross doesn’t have a life outside this firm, nor should he because of his position but…it’s not easy to sort through this stuff alone. And he could probably use someone with your…pompous self-awareness to help him get stuff done.”
Harvey bristled at the insult but what could Louis do? He had a reputation to maintain here.
“I intend to, I just need to tell…”
“I have a meeting with Jessica in a few minutes,” he began and what was he doing? He had plans for this meeting and….he bit back a sigh because he realized exactly what was happening. His heart was showing, the one that was screaming that he had been in this position before and that adding to Mike Ross’ anguish would be like kicking a lost puppy, repeatedly, and risked inciting the wrath of not only Donna and Harvey fucking Spector but also his own mother, god rest her soul would more than likely come back from the grave and haunt him. He can practically hear her telling him she raised him better than that and who was it that sent along violets to her own funeral two years ago? Oh yeah, Harvey had, with a note of condolences from him and Donna. One that he’d meant because he had said as much when Louis had returned to work after he had grieved.
“And?” Harvey asked, eyebrow raised, arms coming up to cross in front of him, ready to defend and for once Louis felt a sour taste in his mouth in regards to the weakness he was bringing out. This wasn’t Harvey fucking Specter at his best, this was Harvey, something to Mike, being worried and unsure. It wasn’t a fair fight and Louis just…he made up his mind right then and there.
“And I’ll tell her what’s going on, you and I both know she’ll understand.”
“What’s in it for you?”
“You know I’m a goddamn bastard, I enjoy being one but believe it or not I do have a heart,” Louis replied before he glanced around and leaned in closer. “And I recall two years ago when someone took over a case because I had my own issues. This is me….reciprocating because no one should have to deal with this by themselves and seeing as Ross apparently has no one else…”
“He has me,” Harvey replied quickly, and well hell, Louis saw an actual amount of caring flash into those eyes. When Ross wasn’t grieving he was really going to have to investigate this further.
“So go,” Louis waved his hand. “I’ll hand all of the work I was going to bog Ross down with today over to Greg. He was looking bored anyway.”
“This doesn’t mean we’re suddenly best friends,” Harvey said as he stepped out of his office. Louis snorted.
“Wouldn’t expect it to Specter. Now go before I change my mind.”
Harvey did exactly that after he closed and locked his office door. He began to walk down the hall but stopped and turned to Louis once more.
“I’ll say this once,” Harvey held up a finger to emphasize the point. “Thank you.”
He turned and walked once more. Louis waited until he was gone before he resumed his walk to Jessica’s office. He wouldn’t out their relationship to anyone right now, he could but he wouldn’t. Instead he’d tell Jessica that Ross had lost someone close to him and that Harvey was helping him deal. It’d get Specter another gold star in her book but maybe he deserved this one.
Louis sighed and got his own blackberry out, making notes to find out about what arrangements Ross would make so he could send violets. His mother had loved those and he was sure that right now she’d be happy to see that at least some of the morals she had tried to instill were still there, even if they were buried.
He’d do it anonymously of course. No one else had to know he had a heart.