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The Princesses of Fifth Avenue

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All things considered, Mike and Harvey didn’t have many rules. There was the Always Tell the Truth rule, the Show Respect rule, the Don’t Interrupt Me rule, but other than that, the boundaries and lines in the sand between them were natural and understood without explanation. The only one Mike didn’t understand was the rule instituted the night he turned up drunk at Harvey’s condo, the Don’t Turn Up at My House rule, that was so onesided it made Mike’s head spin sometimes. He found out a couple weeks later that Harvey had actually moved since then, though Donna assured him it had nothing to do with his spontaneous arrival that night, but other personal reasons. But Harvey didn’t have personal reasons, so Mike took the rejection for what it was and moved on.


But the rule was a constant. He wasn’t invited over or allowed to stop by. If anything, he’d call Harvey and Harvey would be on his doorstep an hour later, if not sooner. It had bothered him at first but then everything with Hardman and Tanner and then Darby had been dumped in their laps and he hadn’t had time to feel disappointed or left out or unwanted, because Harvey needed him at his best, so at his best he would be.


He did note however, that along with the cagey behavior regarding his homelife, Harvey’s work hours had always been a bit strange, and despite his dedication to his work, his outright devotion, there were days when he just wouldn’t come into the office, and Mike would skype with him, or talk to him over the phone, if he had any questions. Jessica had said it was simply the way things needed to be, and being the little fish in the big pond that Mike was, he didn’t ask. Harvey would wander in late some days, claiming he’d spent the night with a perfect woman and she’d let him eat breakfast off her stomach (yeah right Mike had never met a woman willing to do that because it was sticky and gross and unsanitary). He’d leave early claiming he had dinner with a client, when his calendar was empty. Donna never said a word and Mike didn’t bother to ask Jessica, but it irked him. He didn’t like knowing that Harvey was actively lying to him about something.


The last clue that something wasn’t right in their little pristine world came right after Harvey’s infamous fight with Stephen Huntley, when he attacked him in the Men’s Room and threw him into the full mirror. Harvey had gone home with a nice gash over his left eyebrow.

The next morning, it was covered.

“Why is there a Rapunzel band-aid on your face?”

Harvey didn’t even look up from his computer. There was a faint bruise on his cheekbone, which meant Stephen had a shitty arm or Donna had slathered some concealer on his face to help with his seemingly normal appearance. But above his eyebrow was a pink and purple band-aid with Disney’s rendition of Rapunzel on it. And Mike had no idea why his boss, manliest macho asshole that he was, would be wearing it willingly.

“Harvey?” Mike asked again, standing in front of Harvey’s desk with a frown, files in hand.

“Do you have something against Rapunzel, Mike?”

“I uh no,” Mike said quickly. “No just… Why?”

“It’s a band-aid what does it matter?”

“It’s a Disney Princess Band-Aid and you are Mr. Macho Lawyer, that’s why it matters.”

“Are you saying a man can’t like Disney? That sounds like gender discrimination.”

“Oh my god, seriously.”

Harvey sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Do you know anything about the movie?”

“Just that she’s in it? And the dude is kinda hot. According to Rachel,” Mike added quickly when Harvey raised an eyebrow. “And something about a frog?”

“Chameleon.”

“Seriously?”

“Her hair has healing powers,” Harvey snapped.

“Come again?”

“Her. Hair. Has. Healing. Powers.”

Mike fought the urge to break out in a fit of giggles. “And that means you, grown man of 39, are wearing the band-aid with her likeness, because of something her hair does in a story?” he lost it at the end and the look of pure murderous hate on Harvey’s face. He covered his mouth to stifle his laughter and dropped onto the couch, all while Harvey was contemplating the best way to throw him out a window.

Luckily, Jessica chose that moment to stop by his office.

“Harvey, there you are I was-” She looked up from the papers in her hand and saw the band-aid. Her ruby red lips curled into a fond and thoroughly amused smile. “I see you’re healing quite well.”

“If you’re here to laugh at me, save it.” Harvey grumbled, sitting back in his chair. Jessica glanced at Mike and he saw her shake her head, but it was a fond and weak attempt at shielding a laugh.

“I’m not. I wanted you to know that the FBI has been brought in on this. Stephen doesn’t know yet but they’ll be dropping in tomorrow afternoon to ask some questions. We’re keeping it as low key as possible, until there’s enough evidence to arrest him.” She handed him the papers. “And luckily, he feels humiliated enough not to press charges against you.”

“Wouldn’t matter if he did. I’d kick his ass all over again.” Harvey said with a shrug.

“And I’d help,” Donna added from the intercom. Harvey smiled.

“And I’d kick him, sir,” Mike added. Harvey’s eyes flickered to him and the smile grew teasing.

“Anastasia? Really?” he asked.

“Hey, it’s a good historically inaccurate movie. Plus Christopher Lloyd played Rasputin I mean come on.”

Jessica cleared her throat to end the conversation. “One other thing, Harvey.”

“What would that be, vasha Svetlost'?”

“Do you know what tomorrow is?”

“Friday.”

“I’d like a visit.”

Harvey scowled. “Why?”

Mike looked from Jessica to Harvey in confusion, even glancing out at Donna for a clue, but she was hurrying away from her desk.

“You’ve avoided it for the past five years for plenty of good reasons.” She sat on the edge of his desk and leaned in. “But I have had a shit week and would like one good thing.”

“Jessica-”

“Hiding,” she said, touching the band-aid lightly. “Is only going to hurt everyone later. Trust me.”

“Fine.”

“I expect a visit first thing tomorrow morning, understood?”

“Da.”

Jessica rolled her eyes and patted Harvey’s head, before slinking out of the room with all the grace of a monarch. Mike just stared at Harvey.

“What was that about?”

“Nothing.”

“Harvey.”

“I said nothing no go do your work.”

Mike sighed and got to his feet, setting his files on Harvey’s desk. His boss was sitting with his head resting on the cool glass surface of his desk, eyes closed and his shoulders tense. Miike reached out and rested a hand on the broad span of Harvey’s shoulders and felt him relax ever so slightly.

“You know you can tell me if shit’s bothering you, right?” Mike asked gently.

“I know.” Harvey muttered.

“So?”

Harvey sat back in his chair and looked up at Mike with a weak smile. “You’ll find out tomorrow. I promise. I’ll tell you everything tomorrow.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes now get out.”

“Alright.”

By the time Mike was finished for the night, Harvey had already vanished. Donna handed Mike a note when he came to drop off his findings.

“He left you that,” she said, before returning to her purse.

“He’s being weird.” Mike commented, reading the note.

Pup-
Get a lot of sleep. Trust me. You’ll need it.
And wear a blue tie.
And please, whatever happens, don’t hate me.

HS

“Do I even want to know?” He asked.

Donna smiled and kissed his cheek. “You’ll be fine. Just cut Harvey some slack, okay? He’s going to need you tomorrow.”

“He claims to need me everyday.”

“Tomorrow will be different. Trust me.”

“I do.”

Donna left him with a smile and Mike didn’t know what to think.

The next morning, when Harvey arrived at work, Mike felt like the ground had been ripped out from under him.

And he thought to himself - Holy Shit.

 

*

Every morning, Harvey had a blessed thirty minutes to himself, to cherish and revel in, before the day officially started. His phone alarm would go off, soft enough so that it wouldn’t be heard outside of his bedroom, loud enough to rouse him into consciousness. He would curl under the covers, listen to the silence of the condo, the muted noise of the world so far away outside his windows. It gave him a moment to breathe, to get his thoughts together, steady himself for the day, before he had to slip into his armor and face a world of expectations.
That morning in particular, the blessed thirty minutes were filled with hushed prayers and mumbled reminders, things he’d have to do, people he’d need to speak with, changes he’d have to make. All because Jessica still somehow managed to run his entire world. And then there was the muttered worry that Mike would hate him, would feel betrayed and hurt and would walk away without a word, instead of staying by Harvey’s side the way he always did. It wasn’t in the kid’s nature, but the thought terrified him. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to be Harvey Specter, World’s greatest Closer, without Mike Ross the Wonder Kid.

They were a set now, a pair, a perfect match. And it still scared him.

He poked his head out from under the covers and squinted at the clock. He had five minutes of peace left. So he closed his eyes and told himself everything was going to be completely and totally fine.

The actual alarm sounded.

The thunderous sound of tiny footsteps filled the air.

Harvey closed his eyes, pulled the covers over his head, and braced himself.

His bedroom door swung open with a crash and the girls came running in.

“Papa! Papa! It’s time to get up!” screeched Rosemary, the only warning he got before she jumped, landed on top of him and kneed him in the ribs. “Papa, I know you aren’t sleeping.”

“Is he awake?” Ella asked, her voice softer as she waited by the door for her sister’s answer.

“He’s faking.”

He groaned when a second heavy weight, Ella, landed on top of him. “Papa it’s time to wake up we have to go to work.”

Harvey stayed deathly still.

“Papa? Papa?”

“Papa are you sleeping?”

With a roar Harvey launched himself out from under the covers and tackled the two girls to the bed. “Psyche!”

They shrieked and laughed and wriggled in his grasp. Harvey held them tight and dropped back onto the bed. “Let us go!”

“Nah I think we’ll just stay here.” He mumbled, pulling them close and burying his face in Rosemary’s messy hair.

“Papa you promised Auntie Jessica you’d take us to work today.” Ella twisted to face him, curling up in the crook of his arm. She poked his cheek with her tiny finger. “You didn’t lie to her did you?”

Harvey shook his head. “No I didn’t lie.”

“Then get up we need to get dressed,” Rosemary demanded. She wiggled out of his grasp and proceeded to stand on his chest, her arms crossed the way she’d learned from him. He grinned up at her, trying to breathe while her little feet dug into his ribcage.

“I thought you two liked dressing yourselves. Like big girls?”

“Well duh.” Rosemary said. “But we need help picking out our dresses.”

“We need special dresses,” Ella added.

“And why is that?” Harvey asked.

“We want to make uh… uh… good first imperson.” Rosemary said, her face scrunched up as she tried to say the word.

“Impression, but very good.” Harvey booped her nose and she giggled. “You two will make the best first impression fancy dresses or no.”

“But Papa we need dresses.”

“Okay, let’s get your dresses.”

One miraculous hour later, the twins were dressed and eating breakfast while Harvey got ready for work. Rosemary had decided her emerald green Merida dress was appropriate for the occasion, but she had asked for the big petticoat to go under it, so it looked “fluffier”. Her hair was pulled up in a set of wild pigtails, shiny green ribbons matching her dress. Usually she went for Ariel’s blue dress, or one of her colorful outfits, but when asked she said-

“We have to dress fancy like you, Papa. These are our fanciest dresses.”

Never mind that they were supposed to be Halloween costumes.

Ella had spent thirty minutes debating between Belle and Rapunzel, but Rapunzel’s purple dress won out in the end, her long hair pulled back into a neat braid. It had taken Harvey a while to learn out to do it properly, to keep it from falling out every five minutes. He’d admit it, Donna had helped. A lot.

Eventually, he got the girls to the front door, each with their backpack of activities, their tiaras in place, Rosemary in her rainboots and Ella in her ballet slippers and had somehow managed to get all of his things together too, his briefcase packed without fuss, hair in order, suit immaculate. He just prayed the rest of the day would be as simple as their morning routine.

Ray’s face, a beaming smile of pure joy, when he saw the girls running out of the building to greet him made Harvey feel much better about the whole ordeal. Taking the girls into the office had been something he’d avoided ever since they were born, mostly because they were just too young. But apparently Jessica thought five years old was a fine age to introduce his girls to the nasty world outside their condo.

“My ladies,” Ray said with a lavish bow. The girls each tried to curtsy, before hugging him tightly. “I see today is quite the occasion.” He glanced at Harvey and winked.

“We get to go to work today, Ray,” Rosemary informed him.

“We get to be big girls.” Ella added.

“And you look ready for the ball,” he said opening the back door of the sedan. The girls climbed in, Ray stayed on the curb to buckle Ella into her car seat while Harvey carefully edged around to the other side to strap Rosemary in. He climbed into the front seat, an odd occurrence for him, and took one last deep breath.

“You alright boss?” Ray asked softly.

“I’m not supposed to lie in front of the girls,” Harvey muttered in reply and Ray smiled at him. He patted his knee.

“You’ll be fine, Harvey.”

Harvey twisted in his seat. “Ladies, do you remember the rules we talked about?”

“Be good, be quiet, listen to Donna, listen to Auntie Jessica, and Listen to Papa.” The twins recited in unison. “Be helpful when we can. And Always be polite.”

“Very good.”

“And we get ice cream if we behave,” Rosemary added.

“I don’t remember that rule,” Harvey said, trying to suppress a grin.

“It’s in the fine print.” Ella replied.

“That it is, Harvey,” Ray said, pulling the sedan into traffic.

“Okay fine. You two be on your best behavior and we’ll get ice cream on the way home.”

God, he was definitely going soft.

But the squeals of delight were definitely worth it.

The girls were quiet for the remainder of the ride, Ella counting the number of billboards on her fingers while Rosemary counted pizza shops. Each time they climbed in the car they would choose something to count. Then when they had arrived they would compare numbers and whoever had counted the most would win the “prize” which was really nothing more than leftovers or extra dessert if they could sneak it past Harvey. They had gotten good at the sneaking bit too. Harvey took the twenty minute drive to text Donna, to let her know they’d have guests for the day. Her enthusiastic reply, severely lacking in death threats for him having not told her earlier, put him at ease. Donna would make everything alright, even if it all blew up in his face. And really, if someone couldn’t stomach the fact he had children, those people didn’t deserve his attention or effort. He just kept telling himself that Jessica and Donna would make it all okay.

“Alright, ladies, we’re here,” Ray called as they pulled up outside the office. “Do you need help getting out of the car?”

“No thank you.” They replied together.

“Okay then have a good day with your dad alright? And I’ll see you after work.”

The girls unbuckled and leaned around the driver’s seat to kiss Ray goodbye. Harvey stowed his phone, took one last fortifying breath, and climbed out of the car to face the world. He opened the back door and waited for Ella to hop out, Rosemary whispering something in Ray’s ear. Their driver laughed and they hooked pinkies. When he caught Harvey’s confused frown he waved it off and mouthed “later”.

“You girls ready?” Harvey asked, closing the door and waving to Ray, who pulled off into traffic, effectively stranding them.

“Yes Papa,” Ella said, fixing her dress and smiling up at him. Rosemary was busy watching water work its way into a sewer grate.

“Rosie come on.” He called gently, taking Ella’s hand in his.

“Coming!” Rosemary grabbed her sisters hand and Harvey led the way inside. Frank, the security guard at the desk, smiled at them and raised a questioning eyebrow when he saw the girls.

“I have a couple guests with me today, Frank. Jessica’s orders,” Harvey explained. “Do they need-”

“No worries Mr. Specter. I doubt they’ll be leaving with anyone other than you or your associate. I’ll keep a wary eye out.”

“Thanks Frank, have a good day.”

“Bye Mr. Officer!” Rosemary called as they walked away. The old guard waved at her. Ella clung to the leg of his trousers and hid her face.

“You okay, pumpkin?” Harvey asked, petting her hair. She just clung tighter as they waited for the elevator. The doors opened and he scooped Ella into his arms, Rosemary following with a goofy smile on her face. “No you will not press all the buttons.”

“But Papa-”

“No.”

She pouted, but when other people joined them in the carriage, she forgot her disappointment and stared at the other passengers with the kind of wonder one only sees in a five year old’s eyes. She held tightly to Harvey’s pant leg and watched them in stunned silence. The ride was quick, the carriage emptying on various floors, until they reached the Pearson Darby Specter lobby and Harvey led the way out.

From the moment they entered the lobby, people were staring. Whether it was because Harvey Specter was escorting children through the floor, or because they were twins dressed as princesses, or they looked like him enough that anyone glancing for more than a moment would probably put two and two together and realize they were in fact his children. Ella didn’t seem to like the attention much, she hid her face in his neck as they made their way to Jessica’s office. Rosemary on the other hand was buzzing as she held his hand.

“Papa, Papa, Papa,” she whispered. “Papa they’re so pretty.”

“What are?”

“The people.”

He smiled. “Yes they are.”

“Is that your name on the wall?”

“Yes it is.”

“Papa your name is on the wall!”

“It is.”

“That’s important right?”

“Yes it it.”

“I knew you were important.”

“Duh, of course he’s important,” Ella snapped looking down at her sister. Rosemary blew a raspberry at her and Ella giggled.

“Alright girls, who wants to see Aunt Jessica?”

“I do!”

“Me!”

Harvey shot a glare at one of the associates who was staring, before turning the corner and heading straight for Jessica’s office. She was seated at her desk, brow knit together in a tense, unhappy scowl, lips pulled into a tight line as she focused on a file that was spread out over her desk. She looked up, reaching for her phone, when she caught sight of them and Harvey’s heart almost broke at the look of joy that spread it’s way across her face.
Since the girls had be born she had done her best to be a constant in their lives, even when things between the two of them weren’t going so well. But this would be the first time she’d seen them since the merger and Harvey would have been lying if he said that hadn’t made him a tiny bit nervous. But all pain and frustration left her face as she rose from her chair and came around her desk, Rosemary running into her office to hug her. Ella squirmed in Harvey’s grip until he set her down and she went to join her sister, throwing her arms around Jessica’s neck.

“How are my girls?” She asked, kneeling down to reach them. She pulled them close and let out a deep breath. Her gaze met Harvey’s and something he couldn’t name crossed her face, before the smile returned.

“We’re good. Do you like our dresses?” Rosemary asked. “We wanted to dress fancy like you and Papa.”

“You both look absolutely beautiful. Did Papa fix your hair?”

“Yes he’s gotten much better,” Ella said in a soft voice. “But sometimes he still needs help.”

Jessica laughed. “Sometimes we all need help.” She stood and straightened her skirt. “Now, who wants a present?”

“Jessica-” Harvey started to argue but she raised a delicate eyebrow and he fell silent with a grin. The girls let out excited babbling squeals and went to sit on her couch. Jessica came to Harvey’s side and took his wrist in a tight grip, leaning in to whisper in his ear.

“The FBI will be here later today. Stephen has yet to make a run for it but we need to act fast. Darby will be here by tomorrow at the latest. I will not let this one go, am I understood?” she said in a deadly voice. At one point it would have scared Harvey, made him shrink away and run for the hills. Instead he entwined their fingers and held tight.

“I’ll take care of it, Jessica. Spend some time with your girls. I know you missed them.” He said and he felt her smile.

“I did.”

“I’ll fix this.”

“Good.”

“I’m going to talk to Donna and then I’ll be back, alright?” he said to the girls, who nodded, still sitting perfectly still on Jessica’s cream sofa. “Be good for Aunt Jessica.”

“Yes, Papa.”

He kissed them both goodbye as Jessica pulled out several wrapped presents form a drawer in her desk, and went to find Donna.

“Are they here?” She asked quickly when she saw him coming. “Which dresses did they wear? Did they pick the ones I got them? Do I need to fix their hair? I got you an extra coffee with triple espresso.” She handed him the cup and followed him into his office.

“They’re being spoiled by Jessica right now,” Harvey said, settling down on his couch. Donna sat next to him. “What’s the rumor mill turning up?”

“That you stole someone’s kids as a ploy to win a case.”

Harvey choked on his coffee. “What?”

Donna shrugged. “Don’t look at me I didn’t start it. I think one of the associates did. Greg maybe, I’m not sure. Want me to get rid of him?”

“Maybe.” Harvey sighed. “Though I suppose it’s better than everyone thinking they’re our kids.”

“Please they’d be redheads if they were. Kind of obvious.”

“Genetics are a bitch, you don’t know that.”

“My entire family is made up of gingers, Harvey. I think my genetics would win that fight.”

“They are your genetics after all.” That earned him a laugh and a light kiss on the cheek.

“Have you told Mike yet?” she asked.

“No.” Harvey was dreading it.

“The kid isn’t going to hate you Harvey. And if he does I’ll throw him out a goddamn window.” She took his hand in hers. “He’ll love the girls as much as he loves you.”

“He doesn’t-”

“Harvey. Really. We have to have this conversation again?” When Harvey sighed she rubbed the back of his hand with her thumb, slow easy circles to calm him. “He cares. He sucks at hiding it. And he has a bleeding heart of gold, you know this. The worst that could happen is he’s a bit mad you didn’t tell him. But a short conversation and he’ll understand.”

“You’re right.”

“Course I am.” She patted his shoulder and stood. “Oh and I would take the girls to meet Louis too. He’ll be glad you made the effort and you don’t want him adding to the rumor mill.”

“Fair point.”

“It’s going to be fine, Harvey.” She promised from the door. “The files you need for the FBI meeting are on your desk and your day is cleared save for that. you may have a hearing with Judge McAllister at 3 but they haven’t decided if they can fit you in yet.”

“Alright. Thank you, Donna.”

“And bring my girls to visit as soon as they’re done killing Louis with kindness.”

“Yes your grace.”

She laughed and left him in the comforting silence of his office.

He could do this.

How hard could it really be?

When he returned to Jessica’s office to gather the twins, they were sitting in Jessica’s lap, examining the books she had bought them, each of the girls clutching a stuffed animal under their arms. Ella had a rabbit with a blue ribbon around it’s ear, Rosemary a tiger with a yellow ribbon around it’s neck. On the coffee table were several other books she had bought them, along with a new set of markers and crayons for them to share. Harvey stood outside for a moment to watch them, a fond warmth humming in his chest as he did. Jessica was smiling, a gentle smile he rarely saw these days. She had her arms around the girls, holding them close like a mother would, as if to protect them from the unseen evils that filled their offices.

“Ladies?” he called, poking his head in. All three looked up and the twins climbed off Jessica’s lap to show him their new toys. Jessica watched, carefully marking the page in the book and closing it on her lap.

“Papa this is Xavier,” Ella said, offering him the bunny.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Xavier,” Harvey said, kneeling down to shake the little stuffed paw. “And this is?” He asked, turning to Rosemary and her tiger.

“This is… uhm… hang on.” Rosemary held the tiger to her ear, as if it were whispering to her. “This is Rawry.”

“Nice to meet you.” He stood and moved over to the table. “What else did you get?”

“A buncha books and art stuff.”

“Did you say thank you?”

“Yes Papa. But we can say it again.” Rosemary and Ella climbed back onto the couch and kissed Jessica on the cheek, hugging her, and thanking her for the gifts. “Thank you Auntie Jessica.”

“You’re welcome girls,” she replied, kissing them both. “Maybe we can all go out and get lunch together later today. Would you like that?”

“Yes!”

“Can we Papa?”

“We’ll see. Can you pack up your books? I have someone I want you both to meet.”

“Yes Papa.”

The girls packed up their new books, Jessica handing Ella her new copy of Matilda, before moving back to her desk, Harvey following.

“Well I can say one thing,” Jessica whispered.

“What’s that?”

“For all the terrible things we’ve done, we managed to do one thing right.” She looked over at the girls. Rosemary was holding Ella’s bag open for her while her sister stuffed books into it.

Harvey smiled. “Yeah. Yeah we did.”

“You taking them to meet the kid?”

“Louis.”

“Really?” She sounded surprised.

“He deserves to know and I really don’t want him adding to the rumor that I stole someone’s children.” Harvey said with a roll of his eyes. Jessica laughed. “Seriously though that’s the rumor. Not that Donna and I had kids but that I stole them!”

“It’s too perfect,” Jessica forced out, still laughing. “Okay go, go meet him and crush the rumors. Wouldn’t want your precious reputation tarnished.”

“Ha, ha.” Harvey stuck his tongue out at her in a rare display of juvenile behavior and she just laughed harder. “Alright girls, come on. We have someone important to meet.”

“Is it Mikey?” Rosemary asked.

“No not yet. Mike is working right now so we’ll see him later.”

“Aww.” The girls whined.

“Come on munchkins.” He waved to Jessica. “Lunch?”

“Lunch. I’ll figure out what time and let Donna know.”

“Wonderful.”

People were still staring as he led the girls to Louis’ office. He could hear them muttering to each other, feel their gaze on them. It normally would have made him pleased, being the center of attention, having something to show off. But his daughters were different. And maybe it was the slight condensation he was sensing from certain people, the hint of mockery in their voices, but their gawking angered him. Thankfully, and he never thought he’d regard Louis’ office with a grateful tone, Louis’ office was just ahead and the man he was looking for was seated at his desk, muttering into his stupid dict-o-phone.

“Papa who’s that?” Ella asked.

“That’s Louis. He’s a friend of mine. We work together. He’s very smart and I want you both to be polite when you say hello, alright?”

“He’s scary,” Rosemary muttered, hiding behind Harvey’s legs. Ella nodded her agreement and did the same.

“He’s not don’t worry.” Harvey knocked on Louis’ door. “You got a minute?”

Louis scowled. “I don’t know it depends on whether you’re here to embarrass me.”

“I have someone I’d like you to meet, Louis.” Harvey said. “This is important.”

“Oh is it.”

“Louis, please,” he almost pleaded. “Just cut me some slack for the ten minutes that this will take.”

“Alright what’s-” Louis froze when he caught sight of the twins hiding behind Harvey’s legs, their bright dresses in sharp contrast with the cool gray of his suit trousers. “You didn’t.”

“No I didn’t steal children,” Harvey said, trying to be patient. “Girls, come out and say hello.”

It took a minute, but soon, Rosemary moved to stand in front of Harvey, her chin held high as she stared at Louis, holding her tiger close to her chest. Ella took a moment longer, but once her sister had moved, she joined her. Louis looked like he might have a stroke.

“Louis, I would like you to meet my daughters, Ella and Rosemary.” Harvey rested his hands on the girl’s shoulders. “Jessica hadn’t seen them in a while and asked me to bring them into work with me today. She thought it would be a nice change of pace. Girls?”

“It’s nice to meet you Mr. Louis,” the twins said in unison, their little voices squeaky with nerves.

The tense silence held. Harvey was ready for Louis to start interrogating him, to get nasty about having lied and not bother telling him, or to snap about children being a distraction and god forbid he make the girls cry. Louis gaped like a beached whale while the girls stared back, until finally Louis managed to find his words.

And they were not at all what Harvey had been expecting.

“Harvey how dare you not tell me we had royalty visiting today?” He demanded. “I would have worn a nicer suit and fixed my hair better.” Rosemary giggled at that. “Honestly I’m underdressed, this is embarrassing.”

He moved quickly around his desk and knelt down on one knee in front of the girls, who startled and started to back away. Harvey was speechless.

“My ladies, may I welcome you to Pearson Darby Specter,” Louis said in a somewhat ridiculous accented voice. “It is an honor to have such lovely princesses as yourselves in our meager presence.” He bowed his head to them, still on one knee.

“Louis what are-” Harvey started to ask, but Ella stepped forward and did her best to curtsy. Rosemary did the same, though hers was much more wobbly and she grabbed Harvey’s leg to keep from falling.

“It’s good to meet you, Sir Louis,” Ella said in a crisp, clear voice that made her sound much older than five. “I’m Princess Ella.”

“And is this Princess Rosemary?” Louis asked, looking to her sister. Rosemary nodded and hid her smile in Harvey’s trouser leg. “I see you’ve brought your brave knight to keep you safe,” He said, indicating the tiger. “Very smart.”

Harvey was still staring dumbfounded when Louis rose from his knee and straightened his jacket. “What?” Louis asked.

“I just… you…” Harvey couldn’t even find words.

“You have beautiful daughters, Harvey. you must be unbearably proud.” Louis sounded so sincere it made Harvey’s stomach tighten.

“I am.” Harvey cleared his throat. “Girls do you remember how to get back to Aunt Jessica’s office?”

“I do, Papa,” Ella said.

“Take your sister and see if you can find Donna, okay? She’s very excited to see your dresses.”

“Okay,” Ella turned back to Louis and gave him another well executed curtsy. “A pleasure, Sir Louis.”

“Good Day, your highnesses. Please come see me if you need anything at all.”

“Be careful,” Harvey called after them, Ella taking her sister’s hand and running off towards Jessica’s office. Donna was hopefully waiting outside for them, feigning the need to give Jessica some documents so that she could intercept them. “Look Louis-”

“It’s alright.”

“It-” Harvey frowned. “It is?”

Louis shrugged. “I don’t know the story and I don’t need to, unless you feel like sharing. They’re sweet girls, absolutely beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

“Can I ask why you didn’t bring them before?”

“They just turned five in October. Before then it just seemed too soon, they were young and I was… I don’t know.”

“Scared?”

Harvey huffed. “Maybe.”

“Nothing wrong with that. Its part of being a parent, so I’m told.”

“You were surprisingly good with them.”

Louis smiled. “I have a few nieces I see at the holidays. Yours are much nicer, and much better behaved. You didn’t do too shabby a job.”

Harvey felt himself smiling. “Thanks Louis.”

“Look uh, if you ever need someone to watch them, let me know, ok? I don’t just mean today.” He scratched the back of his neck. “If you need help let me know.”

“Really?” Harvey tried to hide the disbelief in his voice. “I thought you didn’t do shit like that if there wasn’t anything in it for you?”

“I don’t. But if you felt the need to hide them from us for five years then something tells me the mother isn’t in the picture, which makes you a single parent and I believe that single parents, no matter their income or status deserve help. And,” Louis shrugged. “I’d like to think we’ve known each other long enough to be something akin to friends.”

Harvey stepped forward and offered his hand. “Thanks, Louis.”

“Of course.” He took Harvey’s hand and shook it, his grip tight and sure and steady. “Besides someone has to introduce them to the wonders of theater, since a heathen like you won’t bother.”

Harvey laughed. “Anything but Spring Awakening or Chicago. They’re a little too young for that kind of show.”

“How about The Little Mermaid?” Harvey frowned at him. “It’s a broadway musical now, Harvey, don’t you read the paper?”

“I think they’d like that.”

“There’s a show next month I can get tickets for. You’re welcome to tag along if you don’t trust me.”

“I’ll ask the girls and see what they say.” He gave Louis a mock salute. “Thanks again Louis.”

“Have you told Mike yet?”

Harvey sighed as he turned for the door. “That’s next on the list.”

“I‘ll say a prayer for you.”

“You do that.”

Donna was waiting for him when he returned to his office. “I hear they met Sir Louis.”

“Add him to the unbearably short list of people allowed to babysit,” Harvey said, leaning against her cubicle wall. He glanced into his office where the girls were playing with their stuffed animals.

Donna stared at him. “Seriously?”

Harvey shrugged. “He likes them. I think they like him. He wants to take them to see The Little Mermaid on broadway next month.”

“Oh my god that’s adorable.”

“I’m still reeling from it.”

“And you said he could?”

“I said I would talk to the girls. They doing alright?”

“Perfect angels. I found them by Jessica’s office and once they were finished showing off they went to play.” Donna sat back in her chair. “No phone calls have come in. you have two emails that need your attention but they aren’t time sensitive. And Mike is on his way here.”

“How do you-” but all Harvey needed was the slight tilt of her head to know that Mike was coming up behind him.

Oh god.

“Harvey!” Mike called, sounding so goddamn delighted at seeing him. “There you are, I was wondering when you’d get in this morning.”

Harvey gave Donna a pleading look before turning to face Mike, carefully stepping to the side, blocking Mike’s view of his office and the girls. “You know my hours are my choice Mike.”

“I know I just… The note and… yeah,” Mike cleared his throat and handed him a stapled pile of papers. “I pulled together the last couple things for the meeting with the FBI. That way we can give them the actual files and we have copies and summaries to work with.”

“Good, that’ll make this afternoon easier.”

“And I wore the uh, blue tie?”

Harvey glanced away from the papers. Mike was indeed wearing a blue tie, the particular one Harvey had hoped he’d wear. Donna had gotten it for Mike as a christmas present, which meant it was actually from Harvey, which meant the girls had picked it out. Ella had declared that Mike needed a pretty blue tie to match the perfect blue eyes that Papa always talked about. So she and her sister had picked a sky blue silk tie that made Mike’s eyes shine with a beautiful light. He had only worn it one other time, to a function Harvey had dragged him to in the summer. Harvey had been so distracted by the way it made his eyes even more blue than normal, that he almost spilled his drink on the woman he had been flirting with.

Donna cleared her throat and Harvey looked away from Mike’s throat, where the blue silk sat mixed with the stark white of his shirt against his pale throat. He swallowed and nodded, trying to pull himself together.

“Good, thanks for that. I know it probably seemed weird.”

“You’ve asked me for weirder.”

“I have?”

“Have you forgotten atlantic city?”

“Fair point.”

Mike smiled. “So come on, what’s the big occasion that has be wearing a special tie?”

“I’m going to get a coffee, you boys want anything?” Donna asked, getting up quickly. “No? Okay be right back?”

Harvey groaned inwardly as they watched her practically run down the hallway. “What’s with her?” Mike asked.

“It’s Donna, I don’t ask.”

“Your face looks good. Not as swollen,” Mike commented, touching Harvey’s brow where the rapunzel band-aid had been. Harvey winced despite himself and Mike apologized.

“Gonna be sore for a while I expect,” he muttered. “So what-”

“Promise me you won’t freak out?” Harvey asked.

“Uh that sounds foreboding.”

“Mike.”

“Yeah okay,” Mike frowned. “Harvey what’s wrong?”

“I have someone I want you to meet.” He turned on his heel and waved for Mike to follow him into his office, which Mike did as he always had. “Girls? Can I interrupt for a second?” They nodded and looked up. Upon seeing Mike they let out a squeak a piece and hurried to hide behind Harvey’s legs. “Oh don’t be like that.”

“Harvey?” Mike asked, voice tight as he tilted his head the way he always did when he was confused. Harvey knew the girls were peering around his legs, staring up at Mike, just as he stared back.He could feel their small hands tugging on his trousers. He took a deep breath and opened his mouth to start explaining, but Rosemary beat him to it.

“Papa, thats the tie we picked out!” She said in an awed attempt at a whisper.

“It is isn’t it?” Ella echoed.

“Yes, girls, it is.” He knelt down and they stood next to him, Rosemary staring at Mike, Ella focused on him. “Do you know who this is?”

“You’re Mikey,” Rosemary said confidently. “You’re Papa’s friend.” When all Mike did was nod dumbly, she stepped forward and offered her hand. “I’m Rosemary Specter. It’s nice to meet you.”

Mike swallowed thickly and shook her hand. “Nice to meet you too, Rosemary Specter.”

Rosemary grinned. “My sister’s name is Ella. But she’s shy.”

“I am not!” Ella snapped.

“Are too.”

“I wanted to tell him my name!”

“Then don’t be a baby.”

“Girls,” Harvey warned and they fell quiet. Ella made a huffing noise and moved away from Harvey, offering her hand to Mike.

“I’m Ella.”

Mike shook her hand as well. “Nice to meet you, Ella.” He seemed to be running on repeat. He looked at Harvey then, a million questions in his eyes, effectively hiding any actual emotion Harvey had hoped to find there.

“They’re my daughters.” Harvey offered.

“Yea I got that.” Mike cleared his throat. “How old are you two?”

“Five,” Rosemary said. “We don’t know who is older.”

“I am,” Ella whispered to Mike. Rosemary was too busy asking questions to notice.

“Do you like your tie? Do you like working for Papa? How come you haven’t had dinner with us? How old are you? Do you like tigers? I like tigers. Do you like hot dogs? Papa says you do. He said-”

“Girls, can you go help Aunt Donna for a minute please?” Harvey asked. The girls nodded and hurried past Mike to see Donna, who had returned to her desk some time earlier. Ella climbed onto her lap while Rosemary somehow managed to climb up the back of her chair. That left Mike and Harvey in an uneasy silence. Harvey stood and smoothed the wrinkles out of his trousers, a nervous twitch more than anything. Mike just stood and stared at the floor where the girls had just stood.

“Mike?” Harvey asked softly. “C’mon you have to say something here.”

“Why… Why didn’t you tell me?” Mike’s voice was tight and on the verge of breaking. It terrified Harvey more than if Mike would have started shouting.

“No one knew.” Harvey said quickly. “I swear it wasn’t just you. No one knew except Jessica and Donna.”

“That’s not an answer, Harvey,” Mike said. It was weak, Harvey couldn’t hear an ounce of anger in it. Just pain, maybe a hint of betrayal. That wasn’t what he had wanted.

“I didn’t tell you because…” Harvey sighed and moved to sit on the couch. “Because I was worried. Worried they’d like you too much and then if this fell through, if something went wrong, you’d be gone and it’d break their hearts.” He rubbed his forehead. “And I didn’t know how you’d react if you found out I was a father.”

“How I’d-” Mike let out a forced, biting laugh. “You thought I’d treat you differently because you had kids? Really Harvey are you that insecure?”

“The circumstances are exactly great, Mike, and it wouldn’t be the first time someone cracked a joke at my girls’ expense.” Harvey snapped. Mike flinched at that. “Sorry.”

“What did they say?” Mike asked. “When they cracked a joke.”

“That I was a fool. A careless fool who got some girl knocked up. That I shouldn’t have bothered because I wasn’t cut out for fatherhood.” He sighed. “People like to show their true colors the moment you let yourself be vulnerable.”

“You know I’d never think that, don’t you?”

“I didn’t think they’d think that either, but here we are.”

“Did you not trust me?” Mike asked, moving to stand in front of him.

Harvey thought a moment. “I trust you more than I trust myself.”

“Harvey.”

He forced himself to look up at Mike. His eyes told Harvey how hurt he ways, and the thin film of tears there made Harvey’s chest ache. “I didn’t want them to love you only to have you leave just like everyone else.” He shook his head. “I’m sorry.”

“What changed your mind?”

“I… I was planning on telling you in a month or so, at Christmas. We were going to invite you over for dinner, at the girls’ request, and that would be when I told you. But Jessica… She wanted to see them, she’s been a part of their lives from the beginning, asked me to bring them in today to give her and Donna bit of joy in their day after what happened with Stephen.” He shrugged. “I had hoped to tell you last night but I had to pick them up from ballet.”

Mike was quiet for a moment, staring out the window at the city. Harvey sat there, head bowed in simple submission, waiting for Mike to shout at him, for call him a coward, waiting for him to leave, to do what Scotty had done. But he should have known Mike was never going to be like Scotty.

“Okay,” Mike said finally.

“Okay?” Harvey repeated, looking up at him.

“I’m still upset you didn’t tell me, but I understand why you didn’t.” Mike rubbed his eyes and offered Harvey a tired smile. “You just wanted to protect your girls, right?”

Harvey nodded, trying to find words, but relief washed over him and he couldn’t find any. So he stood and offered Mike his hand. Mike looked at it, rolled his eyes, and pulled Harvey into a tight hug.

“You’re a goddamn idiot,” he muttered against Harvey’s shoulder.

“Yeah, I’m working on it.” He gave Mike a squeeze before letting him go and calling to the intercom. “Girls, come back in here please, Mike wants to get to know you both.”

With delighted squeals, the twins hurried back into the office. Rosemary reached Mike first, practically climbing up his leg to reach him. Mike didn’t miss a beat and leaned down to gather her in his arms as she began to rattle off a million questions. Ella stayed by Harvey, tugging at his trousers so he would pick her up. He did, balancing her on his hip so she could be closer to Mike’s level as he tried to answer her sister’s questions. A sense of ease settled over Harvey.

They were going to be fine.

Chapter Text

Turns out it was actually pretty easy to have a crisis while bouncing a five year old on your knee. All it took was putting your panicked energy into entertaining the child and keeping your voice in check and hey, no one would ever know that you were currently suffering a revelation that redefined your entire understanding of the world.

Because honestly, on the very, very long list of all the hypothetical secrets Harvey could have kept from him, Children were so far down the list that Mike hadn’t even considered it a legitimate possibility.

Like, at all.

He had put Actually being Batman above children.

That was how far down the list of possibilities his current reality was.

“Mikey what’s your favorite color?” Rosemary asked. She was sitting perched on his knee, digging through her little Captain America Backpack.

“I like blue.”

She nodded, her little round face contorted in serious focus. Mike watched her dig around in her bag before she pulled out a long piece of shiny blue ribbon. She frowned at Mike, soft brown eyes narrowed and so very much like her father’s, but then she smiled.

“Your hair is so short. Just like Papa’s.” She said, waving the ribbon at him.

Mike glanced at Harvey, who was seated at his desk, trying to skim through the paperwork for the FBI meeting. Ella was out at Donna’s desk, helping her “organize” her folders. She had a stack of stickers and one was carefully placed on each folder.

“If I had long hair it’d just get in the way,” Mike explained. “Besides I don’t look as pretty in pigtails as you do.”

“I think you would,” Rosemary assured him.

“Oh really?”

“Really.”

Mike saw Harvey grin behind his hand. The bastard was loving every second of this, Mike was sure.

“So what’s the ribbon for?” Mike asked, instead of giving into the urge to mock Harvey.

“It’s for you. Ella and I wear ribbons for good luck. You should wear a ribbon. But I don’t know where to put it,” Rosemary mumbled. Mike was about to offer his wrist when she made a noise of victory and grabbed his tie.

For a five year old she was surprisingly good at tying bows. It was only a little lopsided, sitting just under the knot of his blue tie. The ribbon was nearly the same shade as the fabric and Rosemary beamed at him.

“Now you can be lucky,” she declared. “Papa do you like Mikey’s ribbon?”

Harvey, who usually took a few minutes to do anything that wasn’t top priority while he was working, was out of his chair and crossing the room in seconds, crouching down so he was eye level with where Rosemary sat. He smiled at Mike, eyes traveling down to the bow and back up to his reddening face.

“I do like it. You’re getting very good a tying bows, sweetheart,” Harvey said in a voice Mike had never heard before. It was tender, soft, and filled with such warmth it made Mike feel safe. “Can I straighten it?”

Rosemary nodded and Harvey reached out, careful fingers adjusting the bow so it sat perfectly center and straight against Mike’s tie. “Perfect.”

“Where’s your bow Harvey?” Mike asked, hoping to catch him off guard.

Harvey, without missing a beat, pulled up the sleeve of his jacket to reveal a red ribbon, tied in a neat bow around his wrist. Mike laughed.

“It suits you.”

“I like to think so.” He kissed Rosemary’s cheek. “Did you give one to Aunt Jessica?”

“Ella tied a purple one in her hair,” Rosemary said, leaning into Harvey. It made Mike realize how close Harvey was, that Rosemary who was sitting on his knee, could easily press her face into her father’s shoulder without toppling over.

“And Donna?”

“Ella said she would help her pick one. But Donna doesn’t need luck. She’s Donna.”

Harvey chuckled and kissed Rosemary’s forehead. “That’s very true.” He stood, offering Mike a smile, before heading back to his desk.

“When are the uh-” Mike began to ask.

“They should be here after lunch. Speaking of,” Harvey settled back into his chair. “Rosie do you want to invite Mike to lunch?”

“Yes!”

“Lunch?” Mike echoed. He was an associate. They didn’t get lunch breaks.

“Mikey come to lunch with us.” Rosemary grabbed his face in her hands. “Promise you’ll come to lunch with us.”

“Rosie that isn’t how you ask,” Harvey chided.

The little girl let out a put upon sigh, one Mike had heard from Harvey countless times. “Mikey will you please have lunch with us?”

“If it’s okay with your dad,” Mike said, his voice muffled from the little hands squishing his face.

“Papa?”

“Of course Mike can come.”

“Papa said you can come,” Rosemary told Mike, who tried to smile despite her hands on his face.

“Awesome.”

“Ella!” Rosemary shouted. Her sister looked up from the folder she was very carefully pressing a Ninja Turtles sticker to. “Mikey’s having lunch with us!”

“I want to sit next to him!” Ella called back.

“No I want to!”

“You can both sit next to Mike,” Harvey said quickly. “Now stop shouting.”

“Sorry, Papa.” Ella went back to her stickers, Donna smiling at them over her shoulder. Harvey shook his head with a quiet laugh, turning his focus back to the summaries, leaving Mike with Rosemary.
The little girl set her bag down and curled into Mike’s chest, taking off her tiara so she could rest her head under his chin. “Here you can wear it.”

Mike, under any other circumstance, probably wouldn’t have worn the tiara. But he took it carefully from her fingers and set it atop his head. Harvey glanced up and his face contorted with the effort it took not to laugh. Those pretty lines appeared around his eyes, his cheeks turning red, his lips pulled tight together. It was something Mike never got to see. He, because apparently he had developed the maturity of a five year old in the short amount of time he had been around them, just stuck his tongue out at Harvey, who had to cover him mouth to keep from laughing.

“Well, Mr. Ross don’t you look pretty,” A voice commented from the door. Mike paled when he looked up to see Jessica leaning against the door frame.

“I uh… Well she uh…” Mike just shrugged, jostling Rosemary a little. She mumbled something and pressed her face into his shirt.

“It’s okay, I understand. “Jessica indicated the purple ribbon tied by her ear. “Harvey I should be free around 11, if you want to get lunch.”

“That works. Is it alright if Mike comes?” Harvey asked, glancing up at her.

“He’s your boy it’s your call. So long as I get to be the favorite Aunt I have no problem with it.”

“If you’re the favorite Aunt then what’s Donna?” Mike asked.

“Donna is Donna,” Rosemary said, like it was the most obvious thing.

“Right.”

Jessica smiled, which was weird, because it wasn’t her usual I’m-going-to-rip-out-your-throat kind of smile, but a genuine smile filled with fondness and adoration for the little girl in Mike’s arms.

“I’ll explain at lunch, kid. Till then Harvey, be good,” She said, turning to go.

“Rosie, why don’t you show Mike your new books?” Harvey suggested.

Rosemary nodded and squirmed out of Mike’s grasp to get the books from her bag. One of the was a copy of Peter Pan, Mike’s favorite book as a child. He had a worn old copy at home that his grandmother had given him, with pages falling out from how many times he had read it. This one though was much shorter and even had pictures.

“Have you heard this story?” Mike asked. Rosemary shook her head and curled back up against his chest. “Has your sister?” Another shake of the head. “Ella?”

Ella looked up. “Yes?”

“Would you like to hear a story?” Mike asked. Ella beamed and was climbing onto the couch next to him in seconds. Harvey was watching with surprise written all over his face. Clearly he had just expected Rosemary to brag about the books, not have Mike take some sort of initiative.

With Rosemary curled into his left side, and Ella curled into his right, Mike sat back against the couch and opened the book. He knew all the words by heart, but there was a certain joy that came with reading the words right off the page.

“All children, except one, grow up,” Mike began. “They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!" This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.”

While Mike read, the two girls sat quietly against him, eyes fixed on the pictures in the book. He’d never imagined a pair of five year olds could be so quiet, but they were wrapped up in his words, in the story of the one little boy who never had to grow up, just the way he had been when his Grandmother had sat him down the day his parents had died and started reading him the very same book. It had made Mike feel safe, hopeful, the idea that he might run away and be a child forever, never have to die, or be left alone again. He had wanted to be a pirate for a while, to fight Captain Hook, maybe even find a fairy like Tinker Bell.

Instead, he had gotten Trevor and a life of hardship, mistakes, and loneliness.

Somewhere around the third chapter, Mike failed to notice that Harvey had stopped scribbling notes on the summaries scattered across his desk and that Donna had stopped typing out emails. He failed to notice that the intercom had been switched on, the little red light blinking on Harvey’s desk. He failed to notice that Harvey’s eyes had gained a distant quality to them as he pretended not to listen to Mike read, pretended not to watch the way his associate held his daughters close like they were his own.

Mike also didn’t notice the fact that Harvey had just taken that final, fatal step and had fallen completely, if not thoroughly and desperately, in love.

*

Lunch was a frankly chaotic affair.

The restaurant they had chosen wasn’t far from the office and was casual enough that the kid’s menu had grilled cheese and french fries, and the menus came with crayons and activity sheets. The girls had tried to talk Donna, with her yellow Bow tied in her hair, into coming with them, but she had to stay behind and keep the office together. Not to mention get ready for the meeting with the FBI, seeing as she was technically a key part.

So Mike followed Harvey and Jessica out to the street, the girls arguing about who got to hold Mike’s hand, until Harvey reminded them that Mike in fact had two hands which meant they could each hold one of them. They were a sight to see he had no doubt, the twins in their dresses, Mike still wearing the tiara because Rosemary was under the impression that it suited him better and she couldn’t do cartwheels while wearing a tiara anyway. She did three cartwheels without falling over before Harvey scolded her lightly and asked her to stop so she wouldn’t hurt herself.
About two blocks away from the restaurant, Harvey took the girls from Mike, leading them in an improvised game of “I Spy”. That gave Jessica the chance to fall into step next to Mike and ask-

“So are you still in shock or are you just taking this extremely well?”

Mike shrugged. “I’m wearing a tiara on my head. Which do you think it is?”

That made Jessica laugh. “I’m hoping both or I may have to make your future at the firm very, very miserable and pointless.”

“My feelings on whether Harvey has children don’t matter. Harvey has children, I know that now, end of story.”

“And what are your feelings on the fact that Harvey has children?”

Mike wanted to tell her that it made absolutely no sense and the fact that Harvey hadn’t trusted him enough hurt but hell, he shouldn’t have expected any different from his boss. “That I want to make sure they’re happy and taken care of.”
And he found that was the honest truth.

Jessica arched an eyebrow and a small smile curled her lips. “Well I suppose you have questions.”

“I do.”

“I can answer a few.”

“Harvey okay with that?” Mike asked, nodding to where Harvey was walking ahead with one girl holding each of his hands. It was a beautiful little moment, a photo Mike wanted to keep forever.

“Considering I was there when they were born, I think he would be,” Jessica said frankly and that make Mike look away from the family to her mildly smug smile.

“You were… Seriously?”

“Donna and I were both at the hospital with him, though Donna didn’t make it until after they were born. She came rushing in to find Harvey holding one of the twins and crying, it was quite a sight.”

“Crying?”

“When you have kids you’ll understand,” Jessica said. There was something about it that made Mike want to ask if she understood, how she understood, but he just nodded.

“Their mother?”

“She’s a lawyer too. In California I believe. One of the best damn Lawyers New York has ever lost let me tell you.”

“Is that why she didn’t want the girls?”

Jessica shook her head. “It’s not that she didn’t want them, Mike. She was afraid. You have your whole life planned and suddenly you’re faced with something that will change everything and well, I’m sure you have some understanding of what that’s like.”

He did. “So Harvey just decided Fatherhood was the best option?”

“His reasons are his reasons, you have to ask him. But he never seemed to regret his choice. Loved the girls the moment he saw them and he hasn’t stopped since. Donna and I are the only other family they have, besides their Uncle Marcus.”

“You two are on the birth certificates?”

“Godparents. We’re considering pulling some legal strings to get that changed.”

“To Aunts?” Mike asked.

“Someone has to be.” Jessica said. “Trust me that boy could not have raised those two trouble makers on his own, not in a million years.”

“I’m glad,” Mike said after a moment, the restaurant coming into sight.

“About?”

“That he had you.” Jessica seemed surprised. “That he had you and Donna. That the girls still have you and Donna. I just… I’m glad. I’d hope for nothing less, you know?”

She considered him a moment, as Harvey and the girls disappeared into the restaurant. Then she smiled, a real smile and patted his shoulder. “Well you’re on the team now too, kid. Treat them well and we’ll have no problems.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

When Mike saw Harvey herding the girls into their seats though, when Harvey looked up at him and smiled like he’d never been happier than in that moment, Mike knew that he’d never be able to do anything less than treat them well. He had this strange and new found urge to give them everything, anything they wanted, even if it was beyond his reach. Well he’d already felt that urge for Harvey, had for ages.

Now it was just spread equally between him and his girls.

And Mike was definitely okay with that.

Lunch went well. The meeting with the FBI could have gone better. But Harvey didn’t punch anyone, Donna didn’t cry, and Jessica didn’t set the agents aflame, so all in all it was a good meeting. Mike was left in charge of the twins while the others gathered in Conference Room C.

“Oh there you are,” a voice commented from the doorway. Mike looked up to see Rachel standing there. She froze when she saw Rosemary curled up in Mike’s lap, asleep, and Ella who was busy drawing at Harvey’s desk. “What in-”

“It’s a long story, but I’m babysitting,” Mike said quickly.

“Who’s kids?” She asked.

Mike just nodded at the door where Harvey’s name was etched in the glass and she laughed. “No seriously, who?”

Mike didn’t reply, just shushed her so Rosemary wouldn’t wake up.

“Oh my god seriously?” She hissed.

“Who are you?” Ella asked before Mike could answer Rachel’s surprised question.

“Uh I’m Rachel,” Rachel turned to her with a smile. “And you are?”

“Ella. Do you work here?”

There was something a little unsettling about being stared at with those large hazel eyes. Ella was still, her face passive, eyes wide. Mike could almost feel Rachel grow more and more nervous.

“I do, yes.”

“Do you work with Mike?”

“Sometimes.”

“Do you work with Papa?”

Rachel glanced at Mike for help. “Sometimes she does,” Mike offered.

“Fascinating.” It wasn’t said with any sort of mockery, Mike didn’t think so anyway, but with quizzical precision that did not belong in the voice of a five year old. Ella smiled then and went back to her drawing. Rachel stared at Mike in confusion.

“I’ll talk to you when you’re finished babysitting then,” she said quickly and with that turned to go, leaving Mike in silence with the girls.

“You’re very smart, Ella,” Mike said and she looked up.

“Thank you Mike. You are too.”

“Do you read a lot?”

“I’m still learning,” Ella started coloring again. “But Papa buys me books to listen to on car rides and stuff.”

“What’s your favorite?”

“I have a lot of favorites.” She looked up again. “What’s yours?”

“I like Harry Potter.”

“Papa says I should wait to read that till I’m older.”

“And what do you think?”

“That he’s silly.”

Mike laughed and knew what he was buying Ella for her next birthday.

“Everyone okay?” Harvey asked, striding in a moment later. He went straight to Ella, leaning in to kiss her head while she kept working, before coming to join Mike on the couch.

“Yeah. How did-” Mike began to ask but Harvey shook his head with a scowl and instead gathered the half asleep Rosemary in his arms. She clung to him like a monkey.

“You girls ready to go home?” Harvey asked, petting his daughter’s hair. Ella seemed disappointed since it was barely two in the afternoon, but she nodded and began packing up her things. “You’re done for the day too, Mike.”

“But theres-”

“No, we’re both done.” Harvey said and Mike could see him growing wearier with every moment wasted. “Go home and rest or spend the day doing whatever you want, just not working.”

“Can he get ice cream with us, Papa?” Rosemary mumbled.

“If you ask him nicely.”

She flopped back onto Mike’s lap, Harvey’s arm still around her. “Ice cream, Mikey.”

“Okay, Rosie. Let’s get ice cream.”