When Mike first meets Harvey Specter his first instinct is to look for the man’s daemon. Mike’s always been pretty good with reading people so when he first sees Harvey he looks around for something big and impressive, a panther maybe, a tiger. Something powerful and dangerous and badass.But he doesn’t see one and for one horrified moment he thinks Harvey might not have one. Elina, his Indian wild cat daemon, brushes up against him and he can feel her amusement. Of course Harvey has a daemon. If he didn’t...well he’d be dead.
He eyes Harvey up, searching for the little container people with insect daemons sometimes get to protect them but when he doesn’t see one of those either he’s stumped. Elina presses her nose to his hand and hisses, “Probably doesn’t want to mess up his suit.” Mike tries not to snigger and Harvey looks at him like he’s an escaped mental patient which, given Mike’s entrance to the room, may not be so farfetched.
He wows Harvey, he and Elina strut out of that hotel with a job and he decides it’s not that strange that he hasn’t seen Harvey’s daemon yet.
“Maybe she’s a flea,” Elina says, smirking.
Mike smiles, “Well we’ll find out soon enough.”
He starts getting curious when after over a month of working at Pearson Hardman he still hasn’t seen Harvey’s daemon. At first he thought she must have been something small but he’s never once seen Harvey talk to her even when he thinks no one’s looking. Harvey says it’s an advantage, people don’t know what his daemon is so they don’t know what kind of man he is and Mike has to admit it makes sense. It also means that he definitely won’t tell Mike what his daemon is.
“Maybe she’s a dolphin, like Izzy’s,” Elina says thoughtfully.
Izzy had been Mike’s first girlfriend, her daemon had settled as a dolphin when they were thirteen and she had to choose between stretching the bond between them so they could live separately or moving to be near water. She had chosen to move but Mike thinks that Harvey would probably have chosen to separate.
“Not a dolphin,” he says stroking Elina’s fur absentmindedly. “A shark. A great white.”
“Yes!” Elina cries. “Perfect.”
They laugh but both of them are annoyed because they don’t know. And it’s frustrating beyond words not to know.
That’s when Mike starts asking around.
Rachel’s daemon is also a cat. He’s a margay and when they first met he sat proudly on her shoulder and eyed Mike with an air of contempt. Now though he and Elina wrestle playfully (when no one else is around, of course) and just too close together.
They’re researching a case and Elina and Aine are giggling together under the table. Mike’s half listening to his daemon’s conversation and he’s grinning like a loon at the joy Elina’s feeling right now. Rachel’s smirking at him, “Our daemons really seem to like each other, huh?”
Mike looks up at her, “Daemons are weird.”
And Rachel nods and then she smiles, “You know, once I dated a guy with an emu daemon. She hated Aine, used to peak at him and everything. That guy was crazy about me though.”
Mike decides he might as well ask her so he says, as smoothly as possible, “Speaking of daemons have you ever met Harvey’s?”
Her face brightens and Aine jumps up onto her shoulder, ears forward, tail swishing. “Now that’s a mystery,” she says animatedly.
“We’ve never seen her and we’ve been here ages,” Aine says.
“So what, they’re separated?” Mike asks, “Is she, like, a shark or something?”
Rachel shrugs. “I asked Donna once she laughed at me and said I was being nosey.”
The conversation drifts back to the case and Mike hides his disappointment but makes a mental note to ask Donna, which in hindsight only made things worse.
He asks Donna one morning before Harvey gets in and her weasel daemon, Kennet stops scurrying around the desk and Donna’s smile fades. Beside him Elina’s ears prick and she sits up attentively.
“Kid, you know I like you,” Donna says, “but that’s really Harvey’s business.”
Up until then Mike had just assumed Harvey’s daemons was something aquatic so that they had to be separated but Donna’s reaction sends his imagination in to overdrive. He’s about to ask Donna further questions when Louis stalks up to them, his mongoose daemon hissing.
“Don’t you have work to do?” he snaps to Mike and Mike glares at him but stalks off anyway.
“We could ask Louis,” Elina says back at their cubicle.
Mike thinks that’s about the most ridiculous thing she’s ever said. It’s almost more ridiculous then asking Jessica which he considers for a few moments before thinking about how her panther daemon’s teeth would feel around Elina’s neck.
He doubts anyone else would know what Harvey’s daemon is so he starts to research in his spare time. He knows Harvey and his daemon must be separated, otherwise he’d have seen her before now. But he couldn’t work out why.
“Maybe she’s too big,” Elina suggests.
“What like a hippo?” Mike says, smiling at image of Harvey and a hippo daemon.
El rolls over and smiles at him, “A giraffe.” She giggles.
Mike laughs and is about to suggest an elephant when Harvey walks past and chucks another file in Mike’s direction and they get back to work.
He doesn’t find out what Harvey’s daemon is until he turns up at Harvey’s apartment one night and Harvey lets him in.
Mike notices two things almost simultaneously as he walks through the door: the first is that Harvey’s daemon is a fairly large golden eagle with bright golden eyes and it’s so Harvey Mike’s annoyed with himself for not once guessing she’d be an eagle. The second is that Harvey’s daemon has broken wings. Her feathers are mussed, tattered and she holds them at odd angles.
For a few moments he didn’t understand why Harvey would leave her in the apartment but then he thought about how hard it’d be to carry her around all day and wonders if her wings still hurt.
He can feel Elina’s need to go over to her and...and do what? He doesn’t know and Elina presses herself to his leg comfortingly. Harvey lets Mike stare at his daemon for a few seconds before he says, “This is Nyla. Now why are you here?”
The daemon turns away from Mike’s gaze and Mike says, “Uh, yeah...” he turns back to Harvey and for a moment he sees the anticipation in Harvey’s gaze, half daring Mike to ask, half hoping Mike won’t.
Mike wishes he had the strength to ask but he doesn’t.
When he leaves that night he’s shaking. “El, how can that happen to a daemon?” he asks when they get back to their apartment.
Elina clambers onto his lap even though she’s far too big and Mike wraps his arms around her. “I don’t know,” she answers as Mike buries his face in her fur. “But I never ever want to find out.”
Everyone knows that daemons can reflect some trauma physically, usually though it’s just scars like the ones on Trevor’s mangy vixen daemon reflecting his drunkard dad’s fists. Mike’s never seen anything as bad as Nyla’s wings, he doubts anyone has, usually daemons heal quickly. Nyla’s wings must have been like that for a while.
“Do you think they’ll ever get better, El?” he asks softly.
Elina shakes her head, “I don’t know, Mike.”
The next day Donna somehow knows Mike’s seen Nyla and Mike’s not really surprised. She’s Donna, she knows. Kennet jumps down to sit by Elina and whispers to her and Donna makes a sympathetic face.
“How long as she been like that?” Mike asks quietly.
Donna shrugs, “Since I met him, anyway. Though she got worse after the DA office.”
Mike glances over at Harvey’s office. Harvey’s reading through a file and Mike wonders where Nyla would be sitting if she was in there with him. “What happened?”
Donna fixes him with an unreadable look. “If Harvey wants to tell you he will. But until then leave it alone, okay Mike?”
Elina looks up at him and nods almost imperceptibly. “Okay.” Mike says.
It takes another month before Harvey starts to open up.
Since then he’s done some research. Daemons with injuries like Nyla can recover, it just means dealing with the trauma, and Mike knows that talking about feelings is not one of Harvey’s strong points but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to try.
They’re working late on a case so they’ve gone back to Harvey’s apartment. Mike’s sprawled on the floor, flicking through file upon file when he finds the piece of info they need. “Harvey, found something!” he says.
Harvey’s sitting on the couch stroking his daemon’s back, staring in to space. The eagle nips at his finger, “Harvey,” she says. And it’s the first time Mike’s heard her speak; her voice is slightly rough and unsteady. Elina is watching her carefully.
He blinks and looks down at Mike. “What?”
“Just I found something we could use for the case,” Mike says, eyeing Harvey carefully.
“Lemme see,” Harvey says and Mike hands him the file. Harvey starts to talk about the case but Mike’s only half paying attention because Elina has clambered onto the couch beside Nyla and she’s talking to her softly and the eagle is talking back.
It’s distracting Harvey too because he keeps losing his train of thought and eventually he turns to his daemon and just looks at her.
“Oh, shut up, Harvey.” The eagle snaps. “I’m stuck here all day with no one to talk to.”
Harvey looks as though he’s just been smacked and Mike can’t help chuckling.
“Sorry, Ny.” He says, stroking her back again.
Elina looks at him and swishes her tail, now Mike.
“Harvey, what happened to her?” he asks quietly.
Harvey sighs and Nyla moves to rest her head against her human’s hand. For a minute Mike can see the excuse bubbling up in his boss’ eyes but Nyla whispers something to him and Harvey says, “Growing up we didn’t have much money and I was the oldest. My mom couldn’t work and my dad...he got stressed.”
Harvey doesn’t need to say it because Mike can see what he’s trying to say through his eyes. He’s been here before, with Trevor, but Nyla looks so much worse than Trevor’s Alysanne and Mike’s not sure he wants to know what Harvey’s dad actually did. All he does know is that if he ever meets Harvey’s dad he’s not sure he’ll be able to stop himself from killing him.
Mike moves forwards and puts a gentle hand on Harvey’s back; Harvey stiffens but doesn’t move away. “You know talking about it would help.” He says gently.
Harvey opens his mouth, no doubt to make some sarcastic remark but Nyla nips his finger and gives him a warning look. “Harvey.” She says.
Harvey rolls his eyes at her and Mike smiles because it’s pretty adorable watching Harvey argue with Nyla. Elina hops off the couch and comes to sit beside Mike and she whispers, “He’ll do it, Mike. He’ll start talking to us.”
Harvey sighs again dramatically and grumbles, “Maybe after this case, kid.”