Harvey had woken up sometime just before dawn, with the sun peaking in through the glass walls of his corner office.
He'd lifted his head and blearily blinked the sleep from his eyes as he realized he'd been drooling. And Harvey Specter did not drool.
He managed, however, despite his no doubt rumpled appearance and drool-stained shirt, to not panic. Harvey was, after all, an expert in such exercises of self-control, and so he decided to rationally recall what had happened the previous night, to have left him in such a state.
It was Mike's fault, his brain supplied immediately. There was just no other obvious solution, and Harvey was certain that his associate could confirm this simple fact.
He swept his eyes across his office in search of the man, but found himself alone. He quickly grew irritated. But definitely not panicked.
Last night, he thought calmly, Mike had found something in the Turrell files that we had to look into, and we must have fallen asleep. Harvey was certain this was the case, since there were scattered file folders and papers strewn across every flat surface of his office. His baseballs had been used as paperweights in some places, and highlighters littered the floor.
But there was no Mike.
Harvey knew the man had stayed here last night, so where was he?
He glanced at his watch in the predawn glow that was now flooding his office. It gave a pink hue to everything in the room, as though Mike had highlighted it all in the neon fluid. It also made seeing anything in his office rather difficult.
They still had a few hours before everyone showed up. Or at least before anyone important showed up.
Harvey dug his phone from his pocket and texted Donna to bring in an extra suit for him. He certainly wasn't going to work looking like this, and he hardly needed to imagine the effort he'd have to spend mocking Louis just because his suit was less than perfect. No, he'd rather expend that effort for a really good reason, like stealing a client from the man, or taking the last donut from the partners' break room—which he just realized he was actually early enough for.
Harvey heard footsteps approaching, and, hoping it wasn't anyone important, he ducked behind his desk.
His office door opened in a way that he immediately recognized as Mike-like—only Mike could open Harvey's door so carelessly. The footsteps entered, but stopped just past the threshold.
Harvey was now extremely aware of the fact that he was hiding behind a desk—his desk—and that Mike would very likely never let him forget it. He decided to stop stalling and just accept the brief pang of embarrassment he was about to experience. He was certain he could make both of them forget about it anyways. Mike was just so easy to distract.
"You need something?" he asked suavely.
Mike just stared at him. Actually, he was staring at Harvey's suit, which greatly annoyed him, and he turned a focused glare on his associate.
"I'm having Donna bring me another one. Believe me, yours looks worse than mine," Harvey said honestly. Mike's suit did, in fact, look phenomenally worse than Harvey's. His tie was twisted, of all things, his jacket creased, his pants wrinkled, and his shoelaces undone. And his shirt sported a nasty-looking coffee stain on it. Mike's face looked even worse, but Harvey thought it wasn't worth mentioning.
Unlike Mike's typical responses to Harvey's insulting his suit, this response was rather anti-climactic. Mike just continued staring, and staring. And staring.
"Take a picture, Mike, it'll last longer," Harvey said harshly.
Harvey rolled his eyes at his associate's articulateness.
"Harvey?" Mike sounded unsure, which was troubling, really, because Harvey needed the kid to be up to par on their casework for today.
"Yes?" Harvey said with more patience than he felt.
Mike swallowed slowly and loudly, such that Harvey raised an eyebrow in suspicion. He was half expecting the man to tell him that he'd set fire to Louis's office, he sounded so hesitant. (If that were the case, he didn't need to be afraid; Harvey would personally defend him in court).
"What is it, Mike?" Harvey said tiredly. He really needed some coffee.
"Any day now."
Mike seemed to regain some of his composure and suddenly a small smile formed at the corners of his mouth. "You're an empty suit," he said matter-of-factly to Harvey.
"Now that you feel all brave and manly inside, can we get back to actual work?"
Mike started laughing now, and Harvey was starting to get a migraine. He rubbed at the bridge of his nose in frustration.
"Oh my God! You're an empty suit! Ha!" Mike continued talking, but he was laughing so hard that his words turned into nonsense. Harvey was sure that not even Mike knew what he was saying.
"I am so firing you," Harvey muttered. "I thought I hired a grown-up, not a five-year-old." He used his best warning tone, trying to instill the fear of God in the laughing man.
Mike looked scared for all of a nano-second. Then more laughter erupted, but at least now he had the dignity to look ashamed at his inability to control himself.
"I was wrong, apparently," Harvey muttered, but loudly this time, so he was sure Mike had heard him.
"Harvey, you know that phrase, 'the clothes make the man?'" Mike asked, tears now leaking from his eyes as he regained some semblance of control. "Well, you are literally the embodiment of that."
Harvey frowned. "I don't know why I'm bothering to pay attention to you after that stunning display of adolescence-level regression, but what do you mean?" Harvey's suits were nice, sure, but clothes weren't everything. Mike was proof enough of that.
"You are, literally, the clothes." Mike said, laughter all but gone.
"Insulting me is not the best way to go, Mike," Harvey warned. Putting up with Mike in the morning was like dealing with a parade of sugar-high "My Little Pony" fans. Hold a second! Did he just acknowledge that in some capacity, he and Mike spent a night together? God, he needed coffee.
Mike took a moment to calmly collect himself, until, with as straight a face as he could muster, he said, "Harvey, you are literally your suit." He waited for Harvey to say something, but after a minute of confused and tired silence, Mike figured he needed to further explain. "You," he said slowly, as if explaining something to a child, "are invisible. Your clothes are not."
Well, Harvey thought. And for once, he had nothing to say.
In all fairness, Mike had not explained the situation very well.
"Harvey, good to see you," Donna said with a straight face, causing Harvey to roll his eyes (not that anyone could see it) and Mike to burst into more inappropriate giggles.
"Very funny," he sniped back, beginning to feel greatly disgruntled about this whole experience. He showed his displeasure by ripping the suit bag from Donna's hands and marching off to the men's room to change.
Fortunately, Donna had had the good sense to come in even earlier after seeing his message, and no one else from the office was there.
Harvey stared at his appearance in the mirror. Where his head should be was the reflection of the stalls behind him. He really was just a suit floating in the air. It felt rather strange to see himself as being absent of any reflection at all.
Trying to ignore the image in the mirror, he quickly changed into his fresh suit, replacing it with the rumpled one and zipping up the bag.
But there was one more problem, he realized. He looked damn fine, or at least his suit did, anyways, but he couldn't get the tie right. It was extremely difficult to tie the fabric properly when you couldn't see your own hands. (He'd at least had the good sense to leave his socks on, so he would know where his feet were in relation to his pants). In the end, it took him five extra minutes, but he'd finally gotten it just right, and headed back towards his office.
Mike and Donna were arguing about something. He couldn't make out what they were saying, but it sounded like Mike was actually holding his own against Donna. Harvey had to admit, if only to himself, that he was mildly impressed.
"Mike, please tell me you have an extra suit," Harvey said as he approached them.
Mike frowned at him. "Harvey, this is my extra suit."
Harvey honestly regretted that Mike couldn't see his expression, because he was certain Mike would have run crying if he had.
"Okay, geez, can't take a joke," Mike groused.
"After your laughing fits this morning, I really don't want to hear another hint of anything funny from you ever again," Harvey said. And before Mike could respond, Harvey asked, "What were you two discussing a minute ago?"
"Mike thinks you should cancel your meetings," Donna said.
Harvey looked expectantly at Mike until he realized that Mike couldn't see that. This was going to take some getting used to. God, did Harvey hope he wouldn't have to actually get used to this. "Mike?"
Mike shrugged. "Well, I don't know, I guess I just thought the clients might be terrified to find that their attorney is just a pile of overpriced fabric."
"Overpriced?" Harvey complained.
"I believe the term is 'empty suit'," Donna interrupted.
"Careful," Mike warned her. "He gets mad when you call him that."
"Look, I think Mike is right," Harvey began. Donna gave him a surprised look. "Donna, cancel all my appointments for today."
"Harvey, you have a meeting with Kevin Turrell today," Donna said.
Harvey swore. Mike looked thoughtful, though, and Harvey began to worry that his associate was cooking up another one of his terrible doomed plans.
"What?" Harvey asked, just wanting to get it over with.
"Well, the client hasn't met you before, has he?" Mike asked.
"No…" Harvey answered hesitantly. He hoped this wasn't going where he thought it was going.
"So, I mean, hypothetically, I could pretend to be you," the man suggested. I knew it, thought Harvey.
"You're right, that's a terrible idea," Donna said.
"Donna, Harvey didn't reject it yet," Mike whined, a wounded look on his face.
"No, she's right. It's a terrible plan," Harvey said. He could just imagine how that scene would go. Mike would probably destroy everything they'd spent an entire night and most of a morning working on, and Harvey, being invisible, wouldn't be able to save him.
Mike crossed his arms in a definite pout. This angered Harvey greatly, as he was still of the opinion that this whole situation was somehow Mike's fault, no matter how irrational and undocumented it was.
"Why don't you go do something productive, instead of making things worse?" Harvey asked, and Mike looked at him with thinly veiled hurt written all over his face.
"No need to lose your head," Mike said dejectedly as he slinked off towards the bull pen.
Harvey had to hand it to him—that was actually clever. "Mike?"
The associate turned slowly back to him.
"Go change your clothes. You look terrible," Harvey said more gently.
Mike smiled as he headed off, presumably to change and do whatever it was they paid him for.
Behind him, Donna snorted.
"What?" Harvey said.
"Harvey Specter," she said with a smile. "You are so transparent."
"Oh, 'Ha, ha,'" he said, and marched into his office.
Louis had just come in to the office and he was already pissed.
Harvey Specter had, as usual, bested him again.
It had been his case. His! And Harvey had once again managed to strip him of it. He'd probably whined to Jessica about it and she always listened to him!
So Louis decided to remedy this situation by marching over to Harvey's office, right after swinging by the partners' break room for the usual custard donut. But when he got there it was gone. He searched the room a little until he spotted it in the trash can with a tiny nibble taken out of it. Harvey, Louis thought. He just knew that Harvey was juvenile enough to have done that.
With renewed vigor, he set off towards Harvey's office.
Donna was busily typing something at her desk when he arrived, but after a quick glance through the glass walls, he found the office empty.
"Why are you here, Louis?" Donna said, as though talking to an annoying bug that wouldn't leave. He really hated how much she got away with. And yet he envied Harvey his secretary. Norma gave him the creeps, and she knew it.
"Where's Harvey?" Louis demanded, managing not to outright yell at the fiery woman. He knew from experience that she didn't respond well to threats.
"In his office," she said, as if it were obvious.
Louis looked more intently at Harvey's office this time, scanning for the man, but still he found it empty.
"Yeah, he's not in there. Look, just tell me, and stop playing games," he said, venom seeping into his voice.
She looked up at him with disdain and Louis actually quivered.
"Please," he added with a swallow, attempting to not squeak.
She leveled a stare at him. "Louis," she said icily. "He's in his office."
"Really? Because I don't see him in there, so unless he's hiding behind his desk, I think you better tell me where he is." He winced at the threat, but it was too late to take it back.
Donna looked like she might actually murder him, and he suddenly wondered if maybe she was capable of causing people to spontaneously combust.
"I told you where he was. It's not my problem if you can't see him," she said, and Louis could have sworn that she had a hint of laughter in her eyes.
"Tch!" he muttered, rolling his eyes in exasperation. He decided to make a strategic retreat for now. "Whatever. When he's ready to be an adult and show his face, tell him to come find me." Louis strode away with a purposeful stride, as he hoped that Donna's glare wouldn't actually burn holes in his back.
"That was fun," Donna said on the intercom.
"It was," Harvey agreed with a snicker. Maybe this invisibility thing wasn't so bad after all.
"Mike," Louis said, walking right past the associate and into his office.
Mike had been busily compiling his notes on the Turrell case for Harvey's appointment with the man, and he sighed at Louis's interruption. Begrudgingly, he rose from his chair and pulled his headphones from his ears, following Louis into his office.
"I'm kind of in the middle of something important for Harvey, so—"
"Where is he, Mike?"
Mike stopped mid-excuse, surprised by Louis's question. Usually whenever Mike claimed to be busy working for Harvey, Louis made some crack about how Mike worked for Louis too and then shoved extra work into his arms. "Umm, who?"
"Don't play dumb," Louis sneered, leaning back into his desk chair, and glaring at Mike.
"I'm not—" Mike began.
"Harvey? Um, I wouldn't know. I'm kind of busy working." Mike didn't have time for this. Turrell would be here soon, and he was still trying to figure out a way to fix this mess of invisibility that Harvey had landed himself in.
"C'mon, Mike," Louis smiled at him. Mike really wished he wouldn't smile; it creeped him out. "Where is he?"
Mike paused, considering. "To be honest, Louis, I haven't seen him yet."
Louis just stared at him.
Mike stared back, until after the silence had stretched past the awkward zone, he asked, "So, can I go now? I have work to do."
"Get out," Louis said and glared at him until he left.
Mike finished up his notes and headed over to Harvey's office.
"You have my notes?" Harvey's suit asked from his couch.
"You owe me," Mike said.
"You really do," Donna said via intercom. "Norma heard the whole thing."
Harvey's suit snickered. "What'd you tell him?"
"Hadn't seen you yet," Mike laughed back, and took a seat on the couch next to where he imagined Harvey to be.
"Donna was better," Harvey's suit said.
"Duh," the intercom agreed. Mike shook his head. It wasn't fair, really. How could he compete against Donna?
"How'd you get him to not see your suit floating eerily in midair through the windows?" Mike asked. "Did you actually hide behind your desk, again?"
"Again? Harvey, why were you hiding behind your desk?" Donna inquired through the speaker.
"I was not hiding!" Harvey said indignantly.
"Whatever, Harvey," Mike said, rolling his eyes and grinning. "But really, how did you hide from Louis?"
"I wasn't hiding. I was sitting right here the whole time," Harvey said.
It actually took Mike a second to figure out the implications of that statement. He stood rapidly from the couch like it was on fire. Harvey let out a chuckle.
"Why? Oh, God. Why?" Mike exclaimed loudly.
"It was Donna's idea," Harvey defended.
"I am never sitting on that couch again!" Mike swore.
"Just be glad I didn't take her advice to haunt the halls of Pearson Hardman," Harvey said with a chuckle.
"Yet," Donna interrupted.
"Oh God," Mike said, feeling faint. Naked Harvey, he thought and he felt thankful that his boss had had the decency to put his clothes back on after teasing Louis.
"I could really use a coffee," Harvey's suit said standing up, and to Mike's horror, began removing itself.
"Aghh! Stop! Please, for the love of God, stop!" Mike screamed in a panic.
"Well, I can't very well go out looking like this, Mike," the suit argued.
"No. I'll go get us coffee. I'll do anything. Just…don't, please."
"Fine," the suit grumbled.
Mike took a moment and gathered himself before opening the door to leave.
"Just, hurry up," the suit called rudely to him.
"Okay, just keep your pants on," Mike said and paused. "I totally planned that."
"Go!" the suit yelled, and began unzipping its fly for emphasis. Mike bolted out the door and ran as fast as his legs would carry him, towards the break room.
Mike was terrified of Donna's powers of persuasion.
"And that's a good idea, how?" Mike asked incredulously, leaning forward over Donna's desk for emphasis.
"Well, he can't very well go walking around as a floating suit, can he? So the logical solution is—"
"No!" Mike screamed, cutting off Donna and convincing himself it was worth her wrath. A naked Harvey wandering the building was just way too creepy.
"It doesn't matter what you think, does it?" Donna said, turning to peer at Harvey through the walls of his office.
Harvey was ignoring them, sipping his coffee and presumably reading something floating in front of him. It was a disturbing image, and Mike frowned worriedly.
"Harvey, listen to reason, here!" Mike pleaded through the intercom.
Jessica suddenly appeared down the corridor and Mike gave Donna a quick look of panic. He blushed furiously, hoping she hadn't heard what they'd been arguing about.
Jessica walked right by them and swung the door open to his office and dropped some folders on his desk. She then turned around and looked straight at Mike, like he was her next target.
"Thanks, Jessica. I'll have the Turrell case wrapped up by tomorrow," Harvey's suit spoke up.
Jessica stopped and turned around slowly, examining the empty suit in lazy repose on Harvey's chair, a file floating mysteriously before it. "Oh. Excuse me, Harvey. I didn't see you there."
The floating file flopped forward suddenly, but Jessica was already walking out, a small smile on her face as she shook her head.
Mike let out the breath he'd been holding in, a nervous giggle escaping him.
"Donna, is Turrell here, yet?" Harvey's voice called.
"Good. Mike, stop looking like an idiot and go find this damned file we need for Turrell." Mike nodded and wobbled down the hall. "Wait," Harvey called after him. "There's no time. I'll just come with you." And suddenly there was an empty suit walking next to Mike.
Mike wondered if he should protest Harvey's joining him and revealing his…"condition," but then decided that if Jessica didn't seem to care, then Mike shouldn't either.
He made a small snort and Harvey asked, "What?"
"You totally wanted to get away from Donna and her creepy suggestions, didn't you?"
"Tell her and you're dead," Harvey warned.
Mike made a zipping gesture along his lips.
"No, that's not what happened."
Gregory had gone to the copy room to make copies, obviously, for something Louis needed. But he'd hesitated at the door as he recognized a certain voice.
He peered in and saw Mike Ross arguing with what appeared to be a floating suit, with its sleeves stuffed in its pockets in a lazy pose.
He listened more closely.
"It was not my fault! C'mon! That's totally unfair!" Mike was whining.
Gregory couldn't make out what the other voice was saying. It was on the far side of the copy machine that Mike stood before, and the sounds from the machine distorted its voice.
"Oh, right, because that was a good idea," Mike shook his head. "I can, too! I'm not totally incompetent, you know."
There was a slight chuckle that Gregory thought must have come from the floating suit, but he was distracted from the conversation by a presence behind him. He turned to see Harold standing at his back with a confused look on his face.
"Why are we hiding behind the corner of the copy room?" Harold asked with a frown.
Gregory pulled him further behind him, hoping he was hidden from view should Mike turn around. "Quiet! Mike's in there talking to a floating suit."
"Ohh," Harold said thoughtfully. "Wait, what?"
"Shh!" Gregory said. He focused back in on the conversation beyond the door.
"No. Believe me, I would love to see his reaction, but no. Please, don't. He'll make my life even more of a hell." Mike sounded defensive and panicked, and Gregory wished he'd been able to hear the other voice more clearly. Who were they talking about?
"What are you morons doing?" a new voice asked behind Harold. Gregory whipped his head around to glare at the new intruder. A smug and smirking Kyle stood, holding some folders in his hands, probably so he could copy them. Gregory gave him a look, held a finger to his lips and returned his attention to Mike.
"Ooh, who're we spying on?" Kyle asked, more quietly, but still too loud for Gregory's taste.
"Mike and a ghostly suit," Harold whispered conspiratorially. Kyle leaned around Harold and peered over Gregory's shoulder.
"I can't see anything. Move over, Harold," Kyle said.
"Ow! I was here first, Kyle," the blonde whispered back.
Gregory ground his teeth in annoyance, and rounded on the two men. "Will you two shut up? They're going to hear us!" he whispered furiously. They glared back at him but shut up.
He returned to the scene in the copy room.
"What? Of course it's noisy and smells like paper. It's a copy room." Mike said in exasperation.
The suit's voice said something, but as usual, it was lost to the sound of the machine.
"I can't hear anything," Kyle said angrily. Gregory elbowed him in the ribs.
"Yeah, right," Mike scoffed, this time lifting the top of the machine to place a paper down on the scanner. "I bet you don't even know how to use this thing." He pushed some buttons on the screen. It made one copy and then he shoved that and some other papers in the tray on top, fiddling with some more buttons. The first paper went through, but then there was a familiar sound of a paper jamming.
Mike frowned down at the machine and raised a hand in defense towards the suit. "Shut up. It's just jammed," he muttered dejectedly. He leaned over the top to fiddle with the caught paper. "There we go," he said brightly and pushed the continue button.
Mike started laughing at something that was lost in the noise of the machine again, but his chuckle was choked off suddenly.
His arms beat desperately against the sides of the machine and he was making weak gasping noises. The suit straightened in a sudden motion but it wasn't quick enough.
Gregory cursed. The idiot that was Mike Ross had gotten his tie caught in the little wheels of the paper feed tray of the machine, and it was killing him. He ran into the room and grabbed some scissors off the supply shelf and cut through Mike's tie. He noticed that Kyle and Harold had followed him in.
Gregory let Mike fall to the floor clutching his throat, and looked around the copy room, but the floating suit was gone. Had he imagined it? But then, who was Mike talking to?
"Are you alright, Mike?" Harold was asking the man. Mike's face was bright red as he sucked in the blessed air. He weakly nodded his head.
Kyle frowned down at the man and then shared an annoyed look with Gregory.
"Thanks," Mike wheezed out.
"Whatever," Gregory said nonchalantly.
Mike pulled himself to his feet and leaned heavily on the machine, which was now jammed with the remains of Mike's tie.
"What happened?" Harold asked, concerned.
Mike shook his head. "Tie…got stuck." He glared at the machine and mumbled, "Stupid thing tried to kill me."
Harold heard this and came to a startling conclusion. Or at least, Gregory assumed he did because Harold stood up with a gasp.
"What?" Kyle asked with a sneer.
"It must have been the ghost!"
Kyle and Gregory looked at each other, and Mike just stared at the blonde.
"The ghost," Gregory dared.
Harold nodded vigorously.
"What?" Kyle said incredulously.
"The ghost of…" he paused dramatically, "Phil the Phantom!"
"Phil?" Gregory asked disbelieving.
"The phantom," Mike said, sounding just as unbelieving of Harold's stupidity as Greg and Kyle.
"Yes," Harold insisted. "Phil the Phantom. He was an associate here at Pearson Hardman ten years ago. He was given so much work by the senior and junior partners that he had a nervous breakdown, and died in his cubicle!"
"Which cubicle?" Kyle asked, crossing his arms with a smirk. Poor Harold didn't even realize he was being made fun of.
"Actually, I think it was the one Mike has," Harold said seriously, and turned a worried frown at Mike who had by now mostly recovered.
"Harold, that is by far the dumbest thing I have ever heard. And I've had conversations with Mike!" Kyle said.
"Hey!" Mike grumbled.
"But it's true!" the blonde argued. "He goes around the halls of Pearson Hardman, terrorizing the associates and imitating the senior partners!"
"Where's your evidence?" Kyle demanded. Gregory actually turned to Mike to share an eye roll. He couldn't believe Kyle was even arguing about this.
"Well, the ghost that tried to kill Mike was wearing a suit! Did you see that thing? Only a senior partner could afford that kind of suit."
Mike frowned confusedly at Harold at the mention of the ghostly suit. "Umm, actually, that wasn't a—"
"That's ridiculous! Why would it bother to wear a suit when it could just be invisible?" Kyle said, ignoring Mike.
"Well, maybe he hypnotizes you or something, makes you believe you're talking to a senior partner so you have to do what he says."
"Right. If that's your only piece of evidence then I think you've lost the jury," Kyle snorted, looking to Gregory for support, who managed just in time to mimic the look on Kyle's face. Mike gave out a quiet chuckle and Gregory shook his head at him.
"Okay, well that's not all he does!" Harold said desperately.
"This has to be good. Okay, I'll bite. What else does 'Phil the Phantom' do?"
"He steals things from you. From all the associates, and you never find them again."
Kyle burst into laughter.
"Well, how else do you explain where all my highlighters go?" Harold yelled.
Mike made a coughing noise and Gregory looked at him to see him fiddling with his shirt collar and looking suspiciously embarrassed. He suspected there was a simpler answer to the case of Harold's missing highlighters.
"And what kind of name is that, anyway? 'Phil the Phantom,'" Kyle continued, wiping tears from his eyes.
"Yeah, that is a pretty terrible name," Gregory added.
"What about, 'The Specter'?" Mike asked with a slight chuckle. Gregory knew the man was obsessed with his boss, but that was just sad.
"Keep your weird man-crush obsessions to yourself, Ross," Kyle said, and Gregory glared at him. He'd wanted to insult Mike about that!
"I'm not—I was trying to tell you—"
"Look, I didn't come up with the name! That's just what it was! His name was Phillip Jenkins, I swear!" Harold said, cutting Mike off.
"Really?" Kyle laughed. "Prove it. Prove that someone named Phillip Jenkins actually worked here."
Harold puffed up his chest. "Okay. I will," he said and marched out of the library, probably heading for the records room. Kyle followed him out, laughing and joking the whole way.
Gregory turned to stare at Mike, trying to discern what the man was hiding.
"Thanks," Mike said shyly. "For, y'know…my tie."
Gregory gave him another steady stare for good measure, before heading out. Just as he started to round the corner, he turned back and said, "I'm watching you, Ross." The man just stared back at him in confusion.
Thanks to Tam Is My Father for the help on this chapter. Also, I apologize for not updating this sooner. I will try and work more on this from now on.
Mike paced nervously in Harvey's office, files gripped tightly in his hands. Donna was giving him a look but Mike ignored the glare.
Harvey should be here! Where would he have gone? He knew they had a meet with Turrell now, so why wasn't he here?
Donna calmly stepped into Harvey's office and shoved Mike onto the couch.
He tried desperately to not think about who had been sitting there earlier wearing nothing but his birthday suit. Donna's glare was at least helping to distract him.
"Stop destroying his carpet," she said evenly.
"But Turrell is going to be here any minute and Harvey's not here. And even if he was here, he wouldn't be visible!" A sudden idea occurred to Mike and he stood frantically, shouting out to the empty room. "Harvey! If you're in here and you're ignoring us I swear I'm going to—"
Donna and Mike turned to see a man in a battered and rumpled suit staring nervously at them from the doorway.
"Um, I'm Kevin Turrell. I'm supposed to meet with Harvey Specter?" he asked nervously, adjusting his tie.
Mike took a deep breath. He couldn't believe he was about to do this, but he had no other choice. He would just have to do his best to imitate his boss. He opened his mouth to introduce himself when Donna stepped in front of him, hand held out to Turrell.
"Hello, I'm Harvey Specter," she said smoothly, just like Harvey himself.
Behind her, Mike gaped like a fish out of water. Donna gestured to the chair in front of Harvey's desk and sat down in Harvey's seat. She leaned back in the chair, exuding an air of smug egoism.
Turrell looked suspicious for a moment and didn't take more than a step before stopping and looking questioningly at Mike. But Mike was too busy trying to determine when Donna had acquired the ability to so precisely mimic their boss. He wondered if she practiced in her spare time or if she was just naturally that talented.
"Mike, would you bring me the file for Mr. Turrell's case, please?" she asked him, and then turned to Turrell. "This is my associate, Mike Ross. He'll be helping out on your case."
Turrell still looked wary, but he took a seat in the indicated chair and waited patiently for Mike to hand Donna his file.
This was proving rather difficult for Mike at the moment however. He was too busy trying to work his jaw into a closed position. At an evil glare from Donna that looked much too like Harvey's, Mike finally came to his senses and passed her the file.
Donna pretended to peruse it for a minute and then grinned smugly at Turrell. "Don't worry Mr. Turrell, you've got nothing to worry about."
Turrell frowned. "But, over the phone, you said…"
Donna raised an eyebrow and Mike shuddered.
"Well, it's just that you sounded…different…over the phone," Turrell explained.
Donna nodded sagely. "Yeah, I get that a lot. But back to your case, Mr. Turrell. My associate has some questions for you before you go." She turned to Mike and gestured to the couch. Mike purposely sat down in one of the chairs opposite the sofa and waited for a stunned Turrell to take a new seat.
Mike began asking the questions they'd been waiting to ask since they found that file last night. He realized he didn't actually need Harvey for this, that Donna had fulfilled the necessary role quite well. Too well, actually. It was giving Mike the creeps. It didn't help that she was still lounging at Harvey's desk, scanning the papers that were strewn across it and adopting an air of quiet arrogant confidence. He half expected her to be cradling a glass of scotch.
After finishing his interrogation, Turrell went back to stand before Donna. "Uh, Mr. Specter? May I talk with you in private about something?"
Donna narrowed her eyes in an all too familiar manner, and Mike realized he was supposed to leave as she shot him a look.
Just then, the phone rang. Donna looked expectantly at Mike.
"Mike, isn't it your job to answer my phone?" Mike stared at her in pure disbelief.
"I still hear ringing!"
Mike gulped and dazedly walked to Donna's desk. Hesitantly he fielded the call and then saw the earpiece Donna always used to listen in. He wasn't sure, but he guessed she had done that on purpose. She was actually telling him to eavesdrop from her desk. Mike briefly wondered if he'd stepped into an alternate universe today, before hastily listening in on the conversation.
"I thought you said he was your associate, not your assistant," Turell asked curiously, staring in wonder at Mike.
"He's both, actually. We train our employees very well at Pearson Hardman, Mr. Turrell, and our associates take their jobs very seriously if they want to keep them." Donna shot Mike a look that he assumed meant he should be paying attention. Mike gulped and then proceeded to listen intently to their conversation.
Harvey headed back to his office, realizing that he probably shouldn't have drawn all of those moustaches on the pictures of Louis. Not that it would affect him, but Mike had probably been right about Louis making things even worse for him. Harvey didn't care about Mike, really, but he did care if Mike's ability to function properly at work was negatively affected by his actions.
So Harvey found himself hastily heading back for his office, aware that Turrell was probably waiting for him by Donna's desk. But as he approached he felt very confused.
Mike was sitting at Donna's desk, typing something into her computer about Harvey's schedule as he juggled the phone receiver on his shoulder.
Harvey peered into his office, wondering what he'd find there in this strange reality he'd walked into.
Donna was sitting at his desk, leaning smugly back in his chair looking for all the world like a redheaded, female version of himself.
Harvey stepped up to Mike, hoping he'd find some answers. "Okay, what's—"
And he was cut off by Mike shooting him a glare that so much resembled Donna's, Harvey actually did pause. Mike hung up the phone and turned to Harvey.
Harvey frowned before realizing Mike couldn't see it. "Why is—"
Mike handed Harvey a file with a bunch of sticky notes on it, and said, "Jessica wants to see you in her office."
Harvey took the file and after about a minute of being in slight shock, he decided to try again. "Do we need to have that talk about you interrupting me, again?"
Mike glared at him, but didn't pause in his furious typing. "Harvey, I have about three meetings to rearrange, I have to call Jason Teegret back about his personal problem you refused to be involved in, and I have to eavesdrop on Turrell's conversation so we can fix it later. So if you don't mind, I have work to do." Harvey didn't budge, but glared at Mike, hoping the man could feel the intensity of the gaze he couldn't see. "Unless you'd rather I had all our clients come in today," he offered too sweetly, just like Donna.
Harvey shuddered. This was too creepy. "You realize I could fire you for allowing this to happen."
Mike didn't even look up, just said, "Donna's scarier than you."
Harvey made a scoffing noise, but silently, he agreed.
"Are you sure it's a good idea to hold up Jessica?"
Harvey swore under his breath and headed to Jessica's office, wondering just what was going on today.
Louis strode down the hall, his general irritation (courtesy Harvey Specter) made apparent by the deliberate stomping manner in which he proceeded.
His destination: Jessica's office.
He'd had enough of Harvey's shenanigans today! And Ross was deserting his post, making it virtually impossible for Louis to cheer himself up by piling insane amounts of work on Harvey's toy.
But Harvey stealing his case and then completely ignoring it, canceling his meetings, and assigning a random associate to handle it? That was the last straw.
So it was with a sneer of disgust and trepidation that Louis walked up to Jessica's office door.
"She's busy," Jessica's assistant said to him like he'd just done something particularly stupid.
Louis glared at her and then studied Jessica's office through the glass very carefully.
Inside, he could see Jessica sitting on the corner of her desk, her eyes gleaming with superiority and amusement. It was obvious by the way her lips moved that she was in a serious discussion with someone, but there Louis was left with yet another mystery.
There was no one in her office.
He scanned the room once more to make sure, but he was certain she was alone. He turned to the assistant, who refused to acknowledge him until after she'd finished typing something.
"Can I help you Mr. Litt?" she said impatiently.
Louis bit back the insult he wanted so badly to hurl at the woman and instead asked, "What exactly is she busy with?"
The assistant sighed wearily and glanced back into Jessica's office. "Well, gee, Mr. Litt. I'd assume she was in a meeting or something, wouldn't you?"
Louis contorted his face as he tried to stop the retort. He barely succeeded. "I know that. Who is she in a meeting with?"
"One of the senior partners," she said icily and Louis couldn't help but notice the way she'd slightly emphasized the word 'senior'.
"It wouldn't happen to be Harvey Specter, would it?"
"Why, yes, I believe it was," she replied, her false politeness ignored as his hatred for Harvey caused him to grind his teeth.
He looked in at the scene in the office once more and wondered where Harvey was if he was supposedly in a meeting with Jessica. He obviously wasn't in the room, unless he was hiding behind the sofa, which Louis highly doubted. Maybe he was on his phone. Which of course, meant he was either away and on his cell or in his office!
Louis adopted a more optimistic smile and marched down towards Harvey's annoyingly larger and much more ideally located corner office (which he'd won over Louis in a bet a few years back; Louis was certain Harvey had cheated on that one—there was no way Harvey had actually fit twenty-four gum balls in his mouth!).
When he got there, he waltzed right past Donna's station, hoping if he was quick enough, she wouldn't be able to stop him. He only made it to the door handle before two things made him freeze.
The first being the resounding and final "No," that was directed at him from Donna's desk, and the second being the image of the two people sitting around Harvey's desk within the office.
The problem with the latter was not with the man closer to Louis, who was obviously a client, but with the person sitting opposite them. They had fiery red hair and well, breasts, to be frank, and they were most certainly not Harvey. On closer inspection, it actually appeared to be Donna. Louis frowned at this, then realized that Harvey obviously had missed his client meeting and was making Donna cover for him. Louis decided this was the perfect opportunity for revenge. He'd just go in there and blow her cover.
That's when a warning throat clearing was thrown at him yet again from Donna's station.
Something clicked in Louis's brain and he finally realized that that voice he'd heard probably wasn't Donna.
Pausing, for a moment, his evil scheme, he turned to investigate.
Sitting at Donna's desk, busily typing away at her computer and looking for all the world like a male version of secretary, was Mike Ross.
Louis couldn't let a simple associate, much less one who worked for Harvey, talk that way to a junior partner. "Mike, what the hell are you doing?"
Mike didn't even stop what he was doing. "Harvey's busy, Louis."
"Uh, in case you didn't notice, Mike, that's not Harvey in there. Technically that is lying to a client—something Harvey is going to get in very big trouble for. And you're supposed to be working, not fooling around playing secretary, so if you don't want to get fired right now, I'd suggest you scurry off to that mountain of paperwork on your desk." Louis was confident he'd successfully scared the man when Mike froze in his hastened typing. Louis prepared to return to his evil machinations.
Slowly, Mike turned to stare at Louis, a calm and sweet smile on his face. "June 7th, 1999."
Louis froze, feeling the temperature of the room actually lower. He shuddered as he felt a wave of déjà vu wash over him and he had the sudden crazy thought that maybe Donna had swapped bodies with Mike; how else could the man have known about that?
Catching himself, he schooled his features to a smooth calmness, replying with, "Is that supposed to mean something to me?"
"I don't know. You tell me," Mike said sweetly, sounding so much like Donna that Louis did a double take.
Louis chewed on his bottom lip for a second before approaching Mike, who looked suddenly uncomfortable at the proximity. "You expect me to believe Donna gave away one of her precious secrets?"
"Yeah, she's not the only one who talks to Norma."
Louis swallowed nervously, letting out a distressed whine as he realized he was cornered.
"Fine, just tell me where Harvey is," he managed to get out without sounding like he was begging.
Mike shook his head, said, "Goodbye Louis," and resumed typing.
Louis glared at the assistant—associate!—he corrected, and then stomped back to the bullpen. Maybe if he yelled at some of his useless minions it'd make him feel a little better. Maybe.
Okay, so I know this has taken forever, and I'm sorry. You have no idea how much I've beaten myself up for the delay on this story. Anyway, I hope this chapter sort of makes up for the long wait.
Greg was sitting in his usual chair in the associate break room, listening disinterestedly to the conversation around him.
Seth was trying to convince Harold to do something stupid, it seemed, and Harold, as usual, was gullible enough to consider it.
"C'mon, Harold. It'll be fun. He won't know what hit him," Seth said.
Harold was looking more and more desperate as the argument continued. Greg would have thought Harold would be slightly more confident in himself after having found proof of a Phillip Jenkins. Kyle had certainly seemed annoyed enough to allow some proper gloating, but Harold seemed incapable of normal human actions and open to all things weird.
"But I don't want him to not know."
Greg turned his head, growing bored of the conversation, and tensed. Louis was approaching the room, and he didn't look happy.
"Guys," he said in a harsh whisper which everyone ignored.
Seth wasn't giving up on Harold, no matter what dangers lay ahead. "Kyle would do it."
Louis took a step inside. No one noticed him except for Greg who was avoiding any and all eye contact.
"But I don't want to be Kyle!" Harold complained with a shout and a defeated gesture.
And then Greg saw a strange sight. Louis had frozen at Harold's words and was slowly backing out of the room, a slightly puzzled look on his face. Greg sipped his coffee, wondering what was wrong with everyone today.
Harvey had returned from Jessica's office and headed for Donna's desk. Mike was still typing furiously at the keyboard, phone receiver on one shoulder. Donna was apparently still talking to Turrell, because they were shut in his office.
"Harvey, I need you to find these files for me," Mike said suddenly.
Harvey startled. He was completely invisible at the moment, so how did Mike—?
"Being Donna has given me heightened sensory perception," Mike interrupted. Of course, Harvey thought with a roll of his eyes.
Harvey grabbed the piece of paper from the edge of Mike's desk. Donna's desk. Whatever.
"And why am I running errands for you?" Harvey asked amusedly.
"Because you have nothing better to do than draw mustaches on Louis's pictures of himself and ruin my life for the next few weeks. Plus, you're creeping me out with your nakedness."
"How do you know about—?"
"Please, Harvey. I'm Donna, remember?" Mike said so genuinely that Harvey actually started to picture him with red hair.
"Fine. But I'll only do it because I'm bored."
"And if you don't, I'll ruin your schedule," Mike added cheerily.
Harvey gave him a glare, which of course Mike couldn't see. Harvey was really getting tired of being invisible.
"Wow, Donna, did you get a haircut or something? You look different."
Mike looked up to find a grinning Rachel leaning on his desk. He swatted good-naturedly at her papers that were littering his clean surface. She pulled them off with a laugh.
"You should see Harvey," he joked.
"I heard no one's seen Harvey."
Mike gave her a grin. "I meant the new and improved one, and much prettier than the last one" and he pointed into Harvey's office.
Rachel took a good long stare. "Why do I feel left out?"
Mike looked at the folders in her hands. "You don't have to."
She raised an eyebrow and he knew he'd hooked her. Being Donna certainly had its advantages.
"Well, Harvey is supposed to have an associate. And he really needs him to scour the case files on Kevin Turrell. But this associate hasn't been seen since," and he looked at his watch for effect, "fifty-seven minutes ago."
Rachel gave him a wink. "I think I can handle that."
Mike smiled and went back to his newly acquired godlike multitasking abilities.
Louis walked out of the break room with a huff. He had no idea what was going on here anymore. Everyone was someone else! And he still hadn't found Harvey.
And then an idea occurred to Louis suddenly. If Donna was Harvey, and Mike was Donna, then Harvey was Mike! He'd get his revenge on Harvey Specter if it was the last thing he did. Not that he remembered exactly why he was angry at him anymore. But it's not like he really needed an excuse.
He headed quickly over to the associates area and went straight for Mike's cubicle. Where he found Rachel Zane sitting hunched over a bunch of case files.
Louis stared at her in confusion.
She looked up at him finally and Louis remembered he should probably say something.
"What are those?" he managed to ask. He didn't recognize the case name, after all.
"I don't have time to do your work right now, Louis. I'm really busy with this stuff for Harvey," Rachel said distractedly in near perfect imitation of Mike Ross.
And then the phone on the cubicle desk rang. Rachel picked it up, still busily scanning papers in front of her. "Mike Ross."
Louis stood there listening distractedly to the phone conversation, before dazedly staggering off. He wondered, if Rachel was Mike, then who was Rachel?
And what was going on today?
Harvey hadn't been able to dig up the files Mike had asked for in the file rooms, which he would have refused to enter had he been wearing his suit. The dust in those rooms was overwhelming. He almost pitied the associates and paralegals that had to brave those dungeons on a daily basis.
Paralegals. Of course! Why hadn't he thought about it earlier? If Mike had wanted files retrieved for some reason, he would of course ask Rachel to do it for him. That kid was too predictable.
Harvey made his way carefully to Rachel Zane's office, weaving around the traffic of lawyers in the narrow corridors of the building.
Rachel's office was tiny and cramped, but he thought it might have had a slightly better view than his own. He sidled around the desk and leaned over the mass of papers there, looking for the ones Mike had requested.
The sound of the door clicking open startled him and he straightened to see Louis dazedly walking in.
What the hell? Harvey thought, as Louis sat despondently at Rachel's desk. Harvey jumped as far back into the corner as he could to avoid the dangerously aimed chair that Louis swung out. This office was too tiny, and now Harvey found himself literally backed into the corner with no escape route. Louis began rummaging through the papers littered across the desk, muttering something just quietly enough that Harvey couldn't hear it.
Harvey hastily thought through the possibilities for escape and decided he'd just have to knock Louis out if he wanted to leave anytime soon. He carefully picked up the three-hole-punch from atop Rachel's filing cabinet and raised it above Louis's head.
And then the sound of the door clicking open again startled them both. They looked up only to find Jessica waltzing into the office.
"Rachel, I need—" she paused as she took in Louis and the floating hole-punch above his head, "these files ASAP." She gave a sharp look in Harvey's general direction while handing Louis a list, supposedly, of the files she needed. Then she was gone.
Harvey sagged in relief before realizing he was still trapped and he'd just been banned from causing traumatic brain injury to Louis.
"Am I Rachel?" Louis asked himself aloud. Harvey stared at him in confusion.
Louis picked up the list of files. "I am. I am Rachel Zane," he muttered experimentally, voice filled with resignation. He stood and slowly made his way around the other side of the desk. "I'm Rachel Zane." He pulled the door open, an odd expression on his face as he muttered his strange mantra over and over to himself.
Well, Harvey thought, replacing the hole-punch on the file cabinet and watching Louis walking through the hall,stranger things have happened.