"You know what the truth of the matter is?" Jeff Winger says, and he sounds sure and oddly contemplative. Mike admires the way he steps in front of the court and turns to the jury. "The truth of the matter is that no matter what you do, whether you release my client, drop her case, or indict her herself, that fact remains is that this man," he here he spins elegantly and extends a finger towards the man siting to Mike's left and Harvey's right, "made unwanted advances to my client, in her eyes."
"Objection," Harvey calls, sharply, slamming a hand down on the table. He wants this case to be over, Mike can feel it, but instead of sending his usual glance towards Harvey, he keeps his eyes on Winger, on the way he moves through the courtroom like it's his home, even though he hasn't even spent a day, fully, in it.
He's just a lawyer from a small town in Colorado, Harvey had dismissed, too easily and too carelessly for Mike to feel comfortable with. He won't do any harm.
Yet, here was that 'lawyer from a small town in Colorado', effectively giving Harvey one of the toughest times Mike has ever seen.
"Withdrawn," Winger says, still elegantly, and his eye catches Mike's and suddenly there is a grin and a wink sent his way and Mike has no idea what to do with that. "I, for one," and here he turns back to the jury, "do not believe in upsetting the common peace."
Harvey's about to call 'objection' again, but he bites his mouth shut and leans back. Mr. Frensca is sweating next to Mike.
"I don't mean to accuse Mr. Frensca of anything he hasn't done," Winger continues, shrugging. "I know what my client tells me, and my client called my firm, and asked for me to help settle a sexual harassment claim. That's what I'm doing now. Settling it. Someone will be indicted, in the end. My job is to try my hardest to make sure it isn't my client." Here he leans over and grins towards a younger girl in the jury stands. "If you were in my position, you'd do what you could, wouldn't you?"
The girl giggles and Mike shifts, sudden heat pooling in his stomach, making him uncomfortable. He realizes he's glaring at the girl. He cuts his eyes away and looks to the papers in front of him, forcing himself to think of anything that could help Harvey, anything that Winger has said to slip up.
But there hasn't been anything. Winger is a stream of chatter, of smiles and winks, and understanding tones.
"I'd like to call Mike Ross to the stand," Winger says, suddenly, and oh. Oh.
There's nothing more unsettling than having more that fifteen people suddenly have their eyes all dart towards you and Mike panics for a second, and thinks 'no, he can't do this, that's not allowed, isn't it?' But technically, Winger can call him to the stands because Mike's worked with Mr. Frensca before, and how did Winger know that?
He stands up clumsily and walks around the table, trying to ignore Harvey's gaze, telling him a million things all at once.
"You're name is Mike Ross, right?" Winger says, and he leans against the podium, legs cross, elbows on the ledge, and a smile on his face. "That short for Michael?"
"Yeah," Mike says, and promptly winces. "I mean, yes, yes, it is."
"You've worked with Mr. Frensca before, haven't you?" Winger questions, tilting his head to the side. "I understand it as you having worked a few cases about his company with him. Any sexual harassment cases?"
"I'm not disclosed to say," Mike says, icily, and he can see Harvey's lips twitch upward, and then fall straight.
"Oh, right, of course," Winger waves off, like he did actually forget that Mike wouldn't be able to talk about that. "Tell me about your work experience with Mr. Frensca."
He's creepy, Mike thinks right away. His eyes follow you across the room. You're never too far away from him. You can feel him looking at you down the hall.
"He's a hard worker, a great leader, and a decent person to work with," Mike says primly, and he looks at Winger for a second, studying his suit, his hair, his light five o' clock shadow. You can tell a lot about a man from his suit, Harvey had said. Well, Winger's was clean, and pressed, but nothing fancy like Harvey's, or too cheap, like Mike's. It was normal, like Winger paid maybe a couple bucks extra to have it look nice, but kept it practical.
It was a silent 'fuck you', Mike suddenly realized. It was Winger's personal way of saying 'oh don't worry about me, i'm insignificant' and then classy enough to suddenly punch you in the face and you were left on the ground wondering what had just happened.
"How long did you work with Mr. Frensca?"
"Six months, two weeks, four days," Mike says promptly, and relishes the way Winger blinks.
"That's a specific number," Winger remarks, raising an eyebrow.
"I'm good with numbers and have a great memory," Mike responds, cooly tipping his chin upwards, and when Winger suddenly grins, (after that second of panic that Mike's giving something away) Mike realizes that he had just flirted with the opposing lawyer and he just really hoped Harvey had missed that.
"So, you'd defiantly remember if Mr. Frensca ever…" Winger's tongue sticks out as he thinks. "Complimented you, wouldn't you?"
"Yes, of course," Mike says, and shifts, wondering where this road is leading to.
"Did he ever compliment your work skills?" Winger questions, leaning forward, voice a tad softer than before. Mike thinks it's because it wouldn't work if you were screaming into someone's ear.
"Sometimes, yes," Mike responds, and Winger leans forward just a bit more.
"And I'm sure you big shot lawyers in New York, you're all about the fashion, right? Did he ever compliment your suit?" Winger questions and spares a look over his shoulder to Harvey, who's sitting quietly, glowering. "You're boss sure owns a few nice ones. You must too, correct?"
Mike pauses for half-a-second deciding what way to answer the questions. "Once or twice he complimented my suit; I own a few nice ones."
"Did he ever compliment you?" Winger is suddenly so close to Mike, and Mike can feel minty breath on his cheek, and Winger is only speaking loud enough for the typographer to hear him. "Compliment the way you looked, the way you worked, the way you did…anything really?"
And god damnit if Mike isn't two seconds away from saying yes, just for the sake of it, before Harvey suddenly stands, slamming both hands on the table, Mr. Frensca jumping in his chair.
"Objection," Harvey says sharply.
"On what grounds?" Winger questions, but he grins cockily, and Mike knows he knows exactly what grounds.
"Harassment of my associate," Harvey grinds out, and Mike realizes that he's stressed the 'my' in a room full of people. Winger shrugs and leans back, and yes, Mike does lean forward before catching himself and pushes himself as far back in his chair as he can go. "Restate your question or let my associate go."
Winger merely shrugs. "Did Mr. Frensca ever seem overly friendly to you, Mr. Ross?"
Mike has to like his lips and refocuses, choosing Harvey has his focal point, before his eyes dart to Winger. "No."
Winger's lips twist. "You can step down."
He's working in his cubicle, revising Harvey's latest witness' testimony, when someone knocks on his wall. He looks up, tugging a earphone from his head and blinks when he sees Rachel, glowering at him with a look that's only reserved for when he's done something monumentally stupid, or when she hasn't had her morning coffee yet.
"Why do you have security set to call me?" she questions, and Mike blinks, before grinning, sheepish.
"I disconnected my phone by accident. I forgot to change it back after IT fixed it up." He looks at Rachel, and she rolls her eyes irritably.
"There's a guy here to see you," she says, and she looks him up and down, taking in his tie-less-ness and the two loose buttons on his shirt. "He's in the waiting room."
"Oh, thanks," Mike says, and panics for a second once she turns her back and stalks away because who the hell could be coming to see him, except trouble.
And trouble it is.
Winger is laid across the leather couch, phone about his head as he texts away, tongue peaking out of his lips. At first, Mike stalls and searches the room for anyone else, but he knows that it's Winger who's waiting for him.
"You're not supposed to be here," Mike says, and Winger grins, but doesn't look away from his phone, and doesn't stop typing either.
Winger shrugs. "Should I care what Harvey thinks?"
For a second, Mike stands there and splutters, half formed reasons for why you should care what Harvey thinks, before answering lamely, "Yes."
"Yeah, I should, shouldn't I? But, I don't. So." He stops texting and turns towards Mike. "Wanna go out for dinner? I can get a table at Serendipity, but you look more like a old mom and pop diner kinda guy."
For the third time in five minutes, Mike stalls, and stands there, and has his mind go blank for the first time in forever as he mentally reads of the the fucking wikipedia page of Serendipity, before coming back to planet earth.
Winger just asked him out on a date.
"Did you just--" Mike scrunches his eyes shut and wonders if he's gone to long without sleep and finally cracked. "Did you just ask me out?"
Winger swings his head over to look at Mike, shifting on the couch to stretch out his legs. "Yes," he says, and goes back to texting. "So, are you a diner kinda guy? Because I know this place that is basically a revamped version of a diner a couple minutes away. Burgers are good, I heard."
"Is this a trick?" Mike asks, skipping over the part where he wants to say 'yes I've actually been to that diner and it's amazing the burgers melt in your mouth you'd love it' and goes straight to the important part.
"I don't know," Winger says slowly, but the smile is set firmly in place. "Is it?"
Mike splutters. "I--I don't know!"
"Guess it's not a trick then," Winger says and neatly swings himself up into a sitting position.
"You do realize that I'm defending the guy you're trying to indict, right?" Mike questions, and scrunches up his eyebrows. Winger shrugs.
"Well, yeah, I am." Here Mike gives a small sigh that some sanity has been restored before Winger stands up and suddenly in Mike's space. "So, after the trail's done then? First thing? Winner takes the loser out to congratulate."
For a second, Mike is lost in the thought that that seems awful gracious of the winner because the loser should pay but if the winner pays everyone kinda wins and then suddenly Winger is kissing him, lips slitted against Mike's, light and quick before Winger pulls away and grins.
"What do you say?" Winger asks, voice hushed, and Mike knows there's about ten other people right now, in plain sight and yes, his opposing attorney just kissed him, and he should be furious, angry, completely rage-tastic right now, and he knows that's probably gonna blow up in his face.
So, Mike stands there, mouth gently parted, as Winger grins down at him, and he's not looking like at Mike like a prize he's conquered (like Harvey) or looking at Mike like he's his only salvation (like Jenny) or looking at Mike like he's the only sane thing in the world (like Rachel). Winger is looking at Mike like he's a challenge, and he's not in it for the prize but the compitetion.
"After the trial?" Mike questions, raising an eyebrow and grabbing some sort of reality.
"After the trial," Winger says, and lifts his lips up from a grin to a smile. "Of course, I'll pick you up and pay," he says, and leans forward to press his lips against Mike's. This time, Mike presses back, though, savoring the two seconds where there mouths connect and Winger's tongue flicks over Mike's bottom lip, before he pulls away. He looks down at Mike and steps back, walking backwards towards the elevators. "See you later, Mike."
It's only after the doors close, and Donna appears out of nowhere and shakes him that Mike realizes that Winger had said that he would pay.
Winger had also said, that the winner would pay for dinner.