Harvey made it a point to know as little as possible about Mike's personal life.
So when Harvey was racking up overtime on a dreary Friday night, secretly hoping Mike would discover the magical loophole that would release them from their servitude and let Harvey go home to much more important things—things like that really hot blonde who'd written her number on Harvey's napkin, for instance—and out of nowhere a highlighter suddenly floated across his office to land in Mike's outstretched hand, well, Harvey had better things to do than inquire into why Mike was wasting his obviously considerable talent on something so mundane. He made a mental note to ask Donna when this had started and committed himself to pretending he hadn't seen anything.
Mike, for his part, looked surprised and a little relieved at Harvey's nonchalance. But he didn't bring it up either, so Harvey figured they were good.
The next Monday, Harvey was relaxing in his office, glorying in just how perfectly he had destroyed his opposition, and all on his own too—okay, Mike had helped a little bit, but since Harvey had hired him, that meant that Harvey got to take credit for all of his accomplishments—when suddenly the delicate glass of Scotch he'd been sipping from shot from his hands, zipping straight toward Mike, who was standing in the doorway with a startled look on his face. Mike managed to duck just in time, and the glass shattered against the wall behind him.
From where he sat, Harvey couldn't see Donna's glare, but it sent shivers down his spine all the same.
Mike, for his part, stood up sheepishly and began to talk a little too loudly, trying to use the sound of his voice to distract from the shards of glass sparkling on the carpet around him. Harvey wasn't fooled; he was too busy mourning the loss of a perfectly good glass of victory Scotch.
But Mike seemed determined not to mention it, so Harvey did the same.
The following Thursday it was raining, and Mike didn't have an umbrella. It was a short walk from the office to the restaurant where they were meeting their client, but Harvey was nothing if not cautious, so he decided to take a cab. He didn't want a brisk walk through the rain to turn into a harrowing run as he and his associate were chased down the street by umbrellas, not to mention the suddenly drenched pedestrians who would doubtless be out for blood—Mike's blood, which was something Harvey could certainly spare but didn't particularly want to see. So spending a little cash on a cab ride in order to avoid such a fate seemed like the best possible solution.
But Mike was stubborn, and didn't see the point in paying for a cab when he could just as easily ride his bike and meet Harvey at the restaurant; and as they were both still determined not to mention that thing they weren't talking about, Harvey could do little more than bark an order at him. Mike gave in, as he was wont to do when Harvey used his I'm doing this for your own good but it doesn't mean I care voice, and waited sullenly while Harvey tried to hail a taxi.
That was how Harvey came to spend his lunch break running down the street, being chased by rogue automobiles out for his associate's blood.
(On their way back from lunch, Harvey relented and allowed Mike to walk, figuring it was better than the alternative. They had almost made it back to Pearson Hardman when Mike got tackled by his own bike, which had somehow ripped itself free of its locks and come sailing through the air straight at them, doubtless with murder on its mind. Harvey had dived out of the way, but Mike was still exhausted from his earlier run for his life, and could only stand there wearily as it collided with him, knocking him flat on his back and utterly ruining his suit. Harvey tried not to feel too happy about that last part.)
It was now a contest to see who would bring it up first, a contest Mike had to lose, because no matter how much it impacted him Harvey refused to do Mike's dirty work for him. Taking care of his own problems was something Mike had to learn for himself, and whatever this, this thing was, Harvey knew discussing it wouldn't change it, or Mike would have already asked him about it. And if Mike couldn't turn to Harvey of all people for help—since Mike apparently wouldn't turn to him for help—well, then Harvey didn't even want to help him anyway.
Harvey Specter was not bitter.
And he still didn't bring it up, even when the steaming hot cup of coffee that Harold was holding zipped across the cubicles and smashed into Mike's quickly raised arm, and Mike had to be rushed to the emergency room and treated for second degree burns on his hands and face.
Harvey most certainly didn't feel a twinge of guilt at seeing Mike swathed in bandages late that night, obviously in pain but still bent over his work and refusing to leave the office until he had found a way to make Harvey's life easier.
He was young. He would heal.
A few days later, Harvey was almost ready to take pity on Mike and casually work that into the conversation in such a way that Mike could think he had won—even though it would be Harvey who was graciously giving him the victory; really!—but then Louis came barging into Harvey's office, snarling about how Mike was a liability and it was only a matter of time until Jessica fired him for apparent negligent telekinesis, and how could Harvey have allowed someone so underqualified to work at Pearson Hardman in the first place? Harvey had to bite his tongue to keep from retorting that Louis didn't know the half of it, but any clever remark he might have made was cut off by Louis's next outburst, decrying the way Harvey had let Mike roam the file room unguarded, attracting every bit of confidential and sensitive material the firm contained.
Harvey was momentarily distracted by the mental image of a battered and bruised Mike emerging from the file room, bits of paper stuck all over him while printers and fax machines battled for supremacy in their efforts to fit through the tiny door behind him.
He was so distracted he didn't even notice Mike limping outside his office, at least not until Louis was suddenly yanked back by an invisible force, crashing through the glass walls to land on top of Harvey's increasingly injured associate.
Harvey couldn't help himself. He burst out laughing.
The sight of Louis's startled face as he was propelled through Harvey's wall would be a never-ending source of amusement for all his days. Harvey made a mental note to force Louis to pay for the repairs and tried not to grin as he surveyed the damage.
Fortunately, Louis seemed to have absorbed most of the glass—hehehe—and Mike was lying in the hallway with an almost resigned look on his face, struggling halfheartedly to free himself from under Louis's bulk. He perked up a little at Harvey's approach, glancing up with an expression Harvey knew all too well from his years of crushing lesser mortals: desperation.
Harvey almost said something, then and there, but then the helplessness was gone, and Mike's face became calm and controlled. It was, Harvey thought with more than a little idle fascination, much like looking in a mirror, because Mike was now looking at him with a patented Harvey Specter expression, and how could Harvey not be pleased by it? Why, when he'd done nothing but try to foster himself in his half-wit associate, would he say something to take that away?
So Harvey didn't say anything at all.
He didn't say anything the next Thursday either, when Mike stumbled into his office with the Serpinski files proofed and signed, and also giddy with blood loss and clutching at a pair of scissors lodged in his shoulder. Harvey pushed away the hopeful feeling he had when Mike cleared his throat to speak, but the next words out of his mouth were about work, so Harvey had to concentrate on pushing away the crushing sense of disappointment instead. Rachel came running in seconds after, apologizing profusely for losing her grip and looking to Harvey for help.
But Mike didn't want Harvey's help, so Harvey wasn't going to offer.
Donna started complaining about the bloodstains on the carpet, but Harvey wasn't fooled. She wanted to talk about Mike, only even Mike didn't want to talk about Mike, and Harvey would be damned if he couldn't at least respect that boundary.
He still didn't care, damn it.
Though even he had to admit to being more than a little concerned when his records starting flying off the wall and attacking his associate—those records were actually worth something. Harvey fully expected Mike to acknowledge this fact and finally bring an end to their silent cold war, but he didn't. He didn't even apologize, only gaped at Harvey for all of half a second before resuming his tirade against unfair hiring practices while ignoring the flurry of vinyl pelting him.
It occurred to Harvey too late that his shellac records were also in grave danger, and it was only after one had shattered itself against Mike's head that his associate finally fell silent, watching Harvey watching him, both waiting to see who would make the first move. Harvey was stunned, and he couldn't talk about it, wouldn't talk about it, because how dare Mike destroy his things after so callously deciding he didn't need Harvey's help? Mike was taunting him now, waiting to see if Harvey would break, trying to prove he was a better Harvey Specter than Harvey could ever hope to be. And Harvey hated that he'd ever wanted this, ever wanted to see himself in someone else instead of appreciating the days when Mike was still Mike , still the total screw-up capering for Harvey's amusement. But those days were long gone now, and Mike might be able to pull things to him but that wasn't why he was pushing Harvey away.
Harvey spent the rest of the day incoherently angry, though he wasn't sure at who.
By the time Harvey finally gave in and resolved to say something, it was not out of kindness or concern but borne out of a terrifying sense of defeat. Harvey didn't miss Mike—would never admit to missing Mike—but this crushing sense of loss was new to him. Jessica had asked him once to imagine what life would be like without Donna, and this was all too similar for him to bear. Somehow Mike had become a part of his life, a disgustingly necessary part of his life, and Harvey didn't know who to blame for it.
Harvey knew without a doubt who to blame for the loss of this vital component, however. It was his own fault, trying to mold his associate into a carbon copy of himself. Harvey had succeeded, too well it seemed, and now he was stuck as the emotionally needy one while Mike got to live the carefree existence of being utterly unattached to anyone or anything.
Harvey wanted his life back, and admitting defeat was the first step on the road to not caring.
He got his chance a few days later, when Mike sauntered into his office radiating unabashed pride at how he had completely undermined their client's opposition with his last-minute discovery of a vital loophole. Not even the couch lurching across the room to collide with Mike's knees could put a damper on his spirits. Harvey felt a little proud too, because at least if Mike was turning into him then he was doing a damn good job of it.
As Mike untangled himself from the mess of furniture eagerly flying at him and dodged a stray briefcase aimed at his head, Harvey turned away under the pretense of pouring a glass of Scotch and made up his mind to speak.
“So how long has this been going on?” he asked, keeping his voice casual.
The entire office fell silent. He heard a thump as one of his precious basketballs thudded to the floor before it could hit his associate.
“What?” Mike asked, his voice strangled.
“This telekinesis thing,” Harvey said, knowing Mike would want to draw it out to better savor his victory—it's what Harvey would have done. “When did it start?”
“You…” Mike was making an odd noise now, and Harvey turned around to look, glass of Scotch in hand. His associate was wide-eyed and sounded utterly disbelieving. So he was playing the fool now? “I thought you didn't want to talk about it.”
And that was a laugh, because Harvey wanted nothing less than to discuss Mike's personal problems. It just bothered him that Mike didn't want to talk about them.
He shrugged. “I'm just wondering if this is going to be a problem for us.”
Mike wouldn't stop staring. “Because it's not a problem now,” he said, with just a hint of a question.
Harvey knew it wasn't a problem now, at least not for Mike. Sure, maybe he couldn't control it yet, but if he hadn't asked for Harvey's help then it must not be that bad. So yes, it was problem now, but only for Harvey, who was starting to resent the idea that his associate might be capable of handling things on his own.
“It is a problem,” he heard himself saying. “It's a problem for everyone at this firm, and mostly it's a problem for me. If you can't control it, you're going to make me look bad.”
Because that's what this was about, really. It had always been about Harvey.
“Are you saying you care?” Mike asked. There wasn't a trace of hopefulness there, only dead resignation, as if he already knew the answer.
And Harvey would never admit he cared.
“I'm saying I don't want this thing to interfere with our working relationship,” Harvey said firmly.
Mike actually looked confused. “…It won't,” he said slowly.
“Good,” Harvey said. “I'd rather things stay the way they were.”
“The way they were?”
“The way they are.” Harvey could see a tiny light of hope in Mike's face, and he couldn't understand it. Harvey was the injured party here, Harvey was the one pleading for a return to form, begging for a reprieve Mike would certainly never give.
Suddenly Harvey's glass of Scotch lifted from his hands and flitted across the room. Mike caught it smoothly, without spilling a single drop.
“Trust me,” Mike said as he took a sip, and his smile could have lit up the night sky. “It's under control.”