The first time Jessica Pearson meets Harvey Spector he’s being arrested and she’s visiting a client at a police station.
She’s just been given full control of Pearson Hardman and she doesn’t really have to be here but this client is a distant relation to Mr Hardman (her father’s old business partner) and she’d rather get this over with. It’s a straight forward case of embezzlement and theft it won’t take long. Her client is an old man whose beaver daemon cowers in his lap every time Daedalus so much as glances at her.
She first sees Harvey as the chief of police is escorting her out. He’s being hauled in flanked by two officers, she barely glances at him, he looks like a hundred other young men who’d rather talk with their fists then their mouths. He’s scruffy, his knuckles are bruised, there’s dried blood on his two sizes too big white shirt and he has a rather magnificent black eye blooming. His daemon, perched on his shoulder is scruffier then he is and Jessica can’t tell what she is apart from that she’s a large bird of some sort.
“You can’t hold me long, you know,” the kids saying. “I know my rights and you don’t have nearly enough evidence to build a case. And even if you do you won’t get a conviction, I know what you need and you have nothing. Besides, you think a jury would convict me?”
The kid turns as she passes and grins which takes a lot of courage. Most people look at Jessica in her sharp suits and her huge panther daemon and quail.
“You’re a lawyer right?” the kid asks, looking her up and down. “Tell ‘em they can’t hold me.”
Beside her Daedalus laughs, a low rumble in his throat and Jessica drops a hand to curl into his dark fur. The kid’s lead away before she can reply and she turns to the captain leading her out. “That kid, officer, what’s his name?”
The Captain smiles fondly, “Harvey Specter, smart kid, from a rough background though. He mostly gets hauled in on suspicion of theft, nothing important, usually just food, clothes, you know. Occasionally we get him in after fights but nothing too serious. It’s a shame really, kid like that could go far.”
Daedalus nudges her leg.
“Tell him if he ever wants to give up being a screw-up he can give me a call,” she says, handing the Captain a business card.
Her daemon rumbles approvingly as the officer takes the card and assures her that he’ll give it to the kid and Jessica shoots Daedalus a look that says you better know what you’re doing. In answer to this Daedalus flicks his tail and gives her his equivalent of a grin.
She hears from Harvey Specter two weeks later.
“It’s just a mail room position,” she says as the kid slumps in the chair in front of her. His daemon is a golden eagle, that’s why Daedalus was so keen to scoop him up. Eagles are unusual daemons, especially ones so large. This kid could be great and Jessica needs greatness. “But once you pass law school we’ll-”
Harvey laughs and his daemon snickers, “Do I look like I can afford law school?”
“Obviously we’d be paying for you,” Daedalus rumbles from his position stretched out on the couch.
If Harvey is startled by Daedalus’ forwardness he makes no sign of it but the eagle on his shoulder shifts uncomfortably and says, in a hoarse voice, “What’s the catch?”
“Excuse me?” Jessica snaps because if someone had offered her the chance to attend law school all expenses paid she’d say something other than ‘what’s the catch’.
“Nyla,” Harvey scolds softly but he’s looking at her questioningly like he really doesn’t understand; why are you being so nice to me? Jessica wonders what it must have been like for him growing up (it must have been rough because his daemon is a state) but she can’t imagine anything like that because she’s never known hardship, they’ve grown up in luxury.
She softens her expression and leans forwards, “Look, Harvey this is a onetime offer. Someone with a daemon like yours shouldn’t be slumming it and I’m guessing you know the where the road you’re going down ends. Now with what I’m offering you, you could be qualified and making a ridiculous amount of money within six years.”
Harvey nods and looks at his daemon who nips his ear gently and whispers something. “We’ll take the job,” he says and then he grins. “And we’ll qualify in three.”
True to his word Harvey breezes through Harvard Law like its kindergarten; she calls him weekly to check up on him and he’s almost never doing work. He’s sharing a flat with a red head called Donna who has a quick witted weasel daemon and is studying chemistry of all things (she says it’s fun) and Jessica rather loves her. Donna keeps Harvey in check and reminds him of paper deadlines and exam dates and she even reminds him of Jessica’s weekly calls.
When Harvey graduates Jessica flies down to see it and Donna (who dropped out third year because she was bored) sits beside her and claps louder than any of the parents.
“So,” he says when he walks down to meet them, Nyla perched on his shoulder feathers gleaming regally and swelling with pride, her wings are straight and almost perfect. “Do we get to work for your fancy company now, Miss Pearson?” he grins smugly.
Daedalus laughs and Jessica knows it’s because all he’s seeing is the scruffy kid they hired to work in the mailroom. “Actually no,” she says. “I’ve managed to get you a job elsewhere, just for a little while.”
“How does assistant D.A sound,” Daedalus says with a flick of his tail.
Harvey’s jaw just about hits the floor. “Really?”
Jessica laughs. Cameron Dennis is a friend of her father, it wasn’t exactly hard to pull a few strings, Harvey needs experience and being ADA will be more than enough and Cameron’s the best one she can think of for Harvey to learn from. He’ll be a good mentor; Jessica worked with him for a while.
Cameron Dennis’ daemon is a black lizard; Donna has never been good at reptiles, but there’s something about him she doesn’t like immediately and Kennet agrees. There’s something in his eyes, in the way he takes Harvey’s shoulder in a fatherly manner, it sets her teeth on edge. Harvey, of course, laps it all up and follows Cameron around like a puppy.
“We can’t leave him here,” Kennet whispers.
Donna nods, she takes a job as Harvey’s secretary (even though it pays less than the job she’d previously had) and for the first few months nothing much happens. Then one day Harvey comes back to their shared apartment late, too late, his eyes are slightly glazed, his mouth is a tight line and Nyla’s left wing is twisted again. There’s a bruise on Harvey’s wrist and bite mark on his neck.
“What happened?” she asks immediately.
Harvey shakes his head but his eyes speak louder than words ever could. He locks himself in his room and Kennet is running up and down the living room. She knows what’s happened though she wishes she didn’t. She knows she should tell someone but she can almost hear Harvey’s scorn, it would make him look weak. He’d be more willing to suffer in silence than ask for help.
“What do we do, Donna?” he squeaks, Kennet never squeaks.
Donna doesn’t know.
Over the next few weeks Nyla’s wings get worse so Donna starts to dig. She knows Dennis has been tampering with evidence, not only in his cases but Harvey’s cases too. She’s tried to tell him, she’s shown him evidence but Harvey just shook it off, “You’ve got it wrong, Donna,” he said with a (wavering) grin.
It’s when she searches their flat that she really gets worried. Harvey’s told her all about his past and vice versa and she’s never thought any less of him because of it, he’s told her all about the drugs and though it makes Donna’s heart hurt to think of Harvey strung out and hopeless. She finds the needle under Harvey’s bed, in a little locked box with a faded photo of his family. She doesn’t actually find any drugs but there’s no reason for him to have a needle either.
“We need to ask him,” Kennet hisses, little body trembling with anger and betrayal.
When Harvey gets home that evening she slams the needle down on the coffee table in front of him so hard it shatters. Nyla jumps and squawks and Kennet is hissing angrily.
She’s expecting him to break down, confess, tell her everything but he doesn’t. His dark eyes harden, shutter closed of emotions. “So what?” he snarls.
“So what? So what?” it’s Kennet speaking, his voice harder than she’s ever heard it.
“Big deal, Donna,” Harvey snaps, standing up and glaring at her. “It’s none of business.” He storms out, Nyla half fluttering- half stumbling after him.
Donna kicks the table over and her eyes burn with angry tears, that idiot. Kennet licks her cheek, “We need to calm down.” he says.
Donna swallows and nods.
“When he comes back we’ll fix this.”
Harvey doesn’t get back till almost 5am; the sky is just beginning to get lighter. He looks wrecked, he’s carrying Nyla and he looks at Donna like all he wants to do is crawl in to a hole and die.
“I’m sorry,” he says softly. “I only...I only used once.” He sets Nyla down on the couch and Kennet goes to her immediately. “Cameron was...I didn’t...He was burying evidence.” He says finally. “You were right.”
“We have to leave, Harvey.” Donna says quietly.
Kennet has wound himself around Nyla’s neck and is whispering in her ear. Harvey closes his eyes and nods. “I’ll phone Jessica.”
“I’m leaving the DA’s office,” Harvey says, his voice distant and quiet. “I’ve learnt enough. I want to come work for you.”
“Come to my office tomorrow afternoon,” she says. The line goes dead and Daedalus presses closer to her legs reassuringly.
“I’m sure he’s fine,” he says softly.
Harvey isn’t fine. It’s kind of hard not to see that; Nyla’s wings are worse than ever.
Harvey watches her carefully, almost daring her to ask. Maybe he’ll crumble if she does, maybe he’ll tell what happened to make his daemon’s wings so broken or maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll shrug it off and mutter, “I’m fine, nothing happened.”
She doesn’t ask in the end and when he’s left to move in to his new office Daedalus roars with frustration. “What did he do to them?”
Jessica’s not sure she wants to know.
Nyla can’t fly anymore and Jessica hates to admit it but carrying her around is making Harvey look weak and clients don’t want a lawyer who looks weak.
“You can’t make them separate,” Daedalus growls as soon as the idea pops in to her head.
Separation is a painful process, usually reserved for those who have particularly large or aquatic daemons but Jessica thinks Nyla’s condition might provide a valid enough reason for requesting one. Besides Jessica can pay if they refuse.
“What else can we do?” she snaps. They’ve tried getting Harvey to talk to someone but he’s always refused and he’s losing clients faster than they can gain them. “I won’t fire him; we’ve put him through too much to do that.”
Daedalus shudders. “He’ll hate you if you make them do this.”
“I won’t make him do anything,” she grumbles Daedalus looks unconvinced and Jessica calls Donna to send Harvey to her office.
Jessica thinks Harvey knows what she’s going to say before she says it because his face is pale and when he sits down he curls one hand in his daemon’s feathers. “Yes?”
“It’s about Nyla,” she says as Daedalus huffs and stalks to the other side of her office, curling up and glaring at her through narrowed yellow-green eyes.
In the end Harvey doesn’t take much convincing, Donna goes with him and Harvey shows up to work the next week daemonless. That’s when things really take off for him, he soars and Jessica’s never been more proud of anything. Harvey’s not without his flaws of course, he cares too little and the only person she’s seen him be consistently nice to (in his own weird way) is Donna.
And then comes Mike Ross, the skinny kid with a sleek sandy coloured cat daemon. Jessica knows as soon Harvey introduces them that Mike didn’t attend Harvard. She’s not an idiot, she screens the interviewees before Harvey even gets a list of names and Mike was not among them but Harvey seemed to genuinely like the kid so she puts her best investigator on it and in week she knows everything there is to know about the kid.
She’s willing to let it slide because as Daedalus says she doesn’t officially know.
She dreads the day when he’s found out though.