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Harvey wasn't even going to pretend to be interested in the New York Talk article. He hadn't wanted to do the stupid "New York's Most Eligible Singles" profile in the first place; Jessica had talked him into it, saying he had a duty to the firm to get the name out there, and if the name got out there under the banner of Harvey Specter Needs A Wife, he would do the damn thing and smile while he did it.

It was just so...desperate seeming. Harvey liked being single. And there was something creepy about the tone of the journalist who came to interview him.

Elise, a restauranteur and fellow "eligible single" Harvey sometimes hung out with because nobody else properly appreciated a well-cooked paella, summed it up when they met for drinks a few days before it went to press.

"It's tackily hetero," she said, sipping her wine. "I mean, I told them I'm the biggest dyke on the upper west side, but I'll bet you five grand they don't run that."

"No bet," Harvey said. "Be fun for you if they do, though."

"Mm. Would I date girls who read New York Talk?" Elise asked nobody in particular, pondering it. She grinned at Harvey. "You tell them your dirty little secret?"

"I told them as little as possible."

"You have to come out of the closet sometime," she sing-songed. "Harvey Specter, indiscriminately discriminating. Come on, kiddo, there's a cachet in being bi these days."

"Not when you work for Pearson Hardman, there's not," Harvey said sourly. "Sleep with whoever you want, but for God's sake don't talk about it."

"Gospel of Jessica?"

Harvey waved a hand. "Jessica doesn't care. The ten other senior partners and Hardman, on the other hand..."

"Ah. Well, when you're Managing Partner, you can take the whole firm to Pride," she said. "One day, my dear, homos will rule the world."

Harvey raised his glass in salute, and drank maybe a little faster than he should have.

The day the magazine actually came out, he was prepared for a reasonable amount of good-natured teasing from Donna, probably more than a reasonable amount from Mike, and one or two pointed barbs from Jessica, despite it all being her fault in the first place. Any fallout on the dating scene would remain uncertain for a while, but Harvey had dealt with gold-diggers in the past and would again, to be sure.

He did not buy a copy, did not flip through a copy at the news stand, and did not look up the magazine's website. Nonetheless, when he reached his desk, there was a copy of it sitting on top of his keyboard.

"Donna," he said patiently.

"I'm not sure if I'm going to call you Hottie or Playboy today," she answered over the intercom.

"How bad is it?"

"So much worse," she said gleefully.

"I'm not reading it," he told her, and set the magazine in the trash.

"You'll wish you had when Mike gets in," she told him.

Mike was five minutes late, which was an improvement over his usual, and gratifyingly he hadn't stopped to buy a copy. Harvey heard him faintly, through the glass wall of his office, trying to cajole Donna into sharing hers.

"Donna, send Mike in," Harvey called. Mike's head jerked up, and he pushed through the door eagerly.

"Have you seen it yet?" he asked.

"No," Harvey replied.

"Why not? Donna said she gave you a copy -- "

"Because I am a lawyer, Mike, not a debutante."

"You'd look very pretty in the fluffy white dress," Mike said, with a weird sort of loyalty, like he had no doubt in Harvey's ability to pull anything off with style.

Harvey was about to make a cutting retort that would reduce Mike's ego to ashes when someone blurted "Oh, my God!" and burst into his office. Rachel; Harvey knew better than to out and out yell at her, but he still glared sternly. Rachel, if she noticed, didn't seem to care.

"Mike!" she said, waving the magazine. "Have you seen it yet?"

"Can we not do this in my office?" Harvey complained.

"No, Donna wouldn't lend me her copy," Mike said, hurrying over to her.

"You're in it!" Rachel crowed.

"What?" Mike asked, stopping dead.

"What?" Harvey echoed, standing up.

"They gave you a sidebar under Harvey's profile," Rachel continued. Mike made a grab for the magazine but she pulled it away and held it up, reading. "Our profile of Harvey Specter wasn't meant to turn up any diamonds in the rough, but while Harvey was off sealing deals we got to know Michael Ross, a first-year associate and Harvey's personal go-to boy."

Harvey stared at them both.

"Lemme see, lemme see," Mike said, finally snatching it out of her hands. "Where did they even get a picture of m -- oh, my God, it's my ID photo."

"Also they called you a legal hottie," Rachel added to Harvey. "And Mike is a blue-collar kid made good."

"Don't you have work to do?" Harvey asked mildly.

"He's a lawyer, not a debutante," Mike told her.

"Mike, out, now. Rachel, out of respect for your professional standing, I'll say please when I order you to leave. Please get out," Harvey said.

They left, giggling like children over the article, and Harvey sat down again. His email alert flashed.

 

FROM: elise.konstanova@eliteeats.com
TO: harvey.specter@pearsonhardman.com
SUBJECT: AAAAHAHAHAHA

Told you they wouldn't run me being gay. You're a lawyer, Harvey, can I sue them for defamation of character?

E.
--
Elise Konstanova
CEO, Elite Eats
"Feed Your Style"

 

FROM: harvey.specterpearsonhardman.com
TO: elise.konstanova@eliteeats.com
RE: AAAAHAHAHAHA

I'm a lawyer. Put me on retainer and find out.

(No.)

--
Harvey Specter
Senior Partner
Pearson Hardman

 

FROM: elise.konstanova@eliteeats.com
TO: harvey.specterpearsonhardman.com
RE: AAAAHAHAHAHA

Aw, don't be cranky, your profile looks great. Drinks tonight? Sixish?

You can even bring your wingman if you think it'll help you score.

E.
--
Elise Konstanova
CEO, Elite Eats
"Feed Your Style"

 

Harvey was about to tap out a reply when an email came through from Louis.

 

FROM: louis.litt@pearsonhardman.com
TO: harvey.specter@pearsonhardman.com
SUBJECT: (no subject)

This is adorable. You two are like pinky and the brain.

--
Louis Litt
Junior Partner
Harvard JD '88
Pearson Hardman

 

FROM: harvey.specter@pearsonhardman.com
TO: louis.litt@pearsonhardman.com
RE: (no subject)

Why thank you, Louis. I always knew sooner or later my scheme to take over the world would succeed.

--
Harvey Specter
Senior Partner
Pearson Hardman

 

FROM: louis.litt@pearsonhardman.com
TO: harvey.specter@pearsonhardman.com
RE: (no subject)

Who said I thought you were the Brain?

--
Louis Litt
Junior Partner
Harvard JD '88
Pearson Hardman

 

FROM: harvey.specter@pearsonhardman.com
TO: louis.litt@pearsonhardman.com
RE: (no subject)

In a world where you're the baseline, Louis, everyone's the Brain.

--
Harvey Specter
Senior Partner
Pearson Hardman

 

Harvey sat back, satisfied; insulting Louis always relaxed him.

On the other hand...

 

FROM: jessica.pearson@pearsonhardman.com
TO: harvey.specter@pearsonhardman.com
CC: michael.ross@pearsonhardman.com
Subject: New York Talk

Harvey, Mike,

I'd like to see you two in my office to discuss this. 8am. Be there.

J. Pearson
--
Jessica Pearson, Managing Partner
Pearson Hardman

 

That couldn't be good. Harvey weighed his pride against his instinct for self-preservation, but he only had ten minutes to prep; might as well make the most of them. He pulled the magazine out of the trash, leaning forward to flip through it, holding it under his desk so nobody would see.

"I can hear you preening," Donna said.

"I'm not preening," Harvey replied, though he had to admit the photos of him did look good.

There it was. His profile, under a huge ugly header marked THE CLOSER, and underneath all of that, a washed-out picture of Mike headed THE WINGMAN.

"Wait till you get to the part about how you're cocky but sweetly shy," Donna said.

"I'm not hip," Harvey muttered, skimming his profile.

"I think you're very hip!"

"Hip is not a compliment."

He couldn't find anything in the writeup on him that would give Jessica pause, except maybe the mention of street racing. All the motor club cars were GPS enabled, though, so if it came down to it he could prove to her that it was ad copy and not reality.

Sighing, he started on Mike's profile, shorter than his (justifiably so) and less flattering.

When he reached the second paragraph, he groaned.