For @spektr, for the inspiration and also just because. Hope you enjoy it, sweet girl. 😘 Takes place in the universe where Mike and Harvey are married, with adopted sons, Jamie and Gordy.
Tibbyor Not Tibby (That is the Question)
As with most things in life, it was all Louis’ fault. Well, Louis’ and BuzzFeed’s, he supposed.
Something called a ‘vine’ had gone viral. Naturally the site had jumped all over it, and Louis followed suit.
Six seconds of Lucy the tortoise eating a strawberry. That was all it had taken. Six seconds and Harvey was stuck with something that would probably outlive him, Mike, Jamie, Gordy, Louis, and everyone else they knew.
(Well, maybe not Jessica. Harvey had a feeling the apocalypse itself couldn’t wipe her out. Maybe he’d will her the thing.)
The kids had been asking for a pet. Jamie wanted a dog. Gordy wanted a Tribble. They settled for a tortoise. As Jamie put it, “… just like the one Uncle Lou-Lou showed us on his ‘puter, Daddy!”
Daddy had a feeling showing the kids that video was Uncle Lou-Lou’s way of getting back at him for the nickname. He knew Harvey wasn’t an animal lover. Unless the animal came medium rare with potatoes on the side, or in a bucket and coated in the Colonel’s secret recipe.
He also knew Harvey would never be able to say no to his boys when they were practically beside themselves with joy at the thought of owning their very own tortoise, jumping up and down with glee, grins bright and eyes shining.
So one Saturday morning they skipped (literally in the boys’ case) to the nearest pet store to pick out the newest member of their family. Harvey didn’t know who was most excited - Jamie, Gordy or Mike. Still, all three of his boys were happy. Having to share his home with some weird-looking creature that everyone else seemed to think was the cutest thing ever was a small price to pay to see the way their faces lit up.
Of course, once they got it home all hell broke loose over who got naming rights. Jamie voted for Toto. Gordy favoured Sheldon. Mike jokingly (at least Harvey hoped it was jokingly) suggested Trevor. Harvey had his own preference.
In the end, unable to reach a consensus, they all wrote their choices down on a slip of paper, folded them up and stuck them in Mike’s cycling helmet. It was agreed Donna (who’d dropped by with Stu and their daughter, Mia, for lunch and a play date for the kids) was impartial so she was chosen to draw the winner.
She drew Harvey’s choice. Tiberius. (What?? If was good enough for the finest captain in Starfleet history, Captain James Tiberius Kirk, then it was good enough for some ugly reptile.)
Naturally it was quickly decided that it should be shortened to ‘Tibby’ or ‘Tibbs’, much to Harvey’s displeasure. He had his husband to blame for that one, but he couldn’t find it in himself to gripe when he overheard his sons chattering excitedly to Mia about how cool ‘Tibby’ was.
He was also a lot quicker on his feet than Harvey had expected. Okay, he wasn’t up for challenging any hares to a race, no matter what Aesop said, but he definitely wasn’t as much of a slowcoach as Harvey had assumed he’d be. That had become evident the day the boys had been playing with him in the grass in the backyard.
Running to the house for popsicles, they had left Tibby happily munching on a leaf. When they returned with their frozen treats mere minutes late there was no sign of him! It took two hours, a full-scale search operation involving the entire neighbourhood and much soothing of worried and tearful little boys before they found him, hiding out in Old Man Lawson’s vegetable patch and sampling the wares there.
Harvey was tempted to fit him with a tracking device after that, the memory of two sets of fretful eyes and quivering bottom lips tugging on his heartstrings long after both the boys had forgotten about the upset. He certainly began to keep a closer eye on the damn thing following the incident.
Which maybe explained how it came to be that Tibby ended up spending so much time in Harvey’s home office. It was a little more unclear as to why, after Mike, he quickly became Harvey’s number one sounding board. There was just something about the quiet, solemn presence that invited confidence.
Before Harvey knew it he was regaling Tibby with stories of his latest asshole client who expected miracles (which Harvey could still deliver, he just wasn’t sure he wanted to for creeps like this anymore, “… but don’t tell that to Mike, Tibbs, or he’ll start grinning like the cat who got the cream and crowing about how he got the great Harvey Specter to admit he cares about other people.”), bouncing ideas and tactics off him, and just generally shooting the breeze.
One of the kids is sick? A worried Harvey finds himself feeding a supremely zen Tibby a strawberry and telling him about the time he got mono, the animal’s unwavering serenity having a somewhat pacifying effect on his own frayed nerves.
Caught the way the new waiter at their favourite restaurant was running his eye not just appreciatively over Mike, in a way Harvey could have let go, but lewdly, in a way he couldn’t? Harvey’s plotting his revenge with the one guy guaranteed to keep his mouth shut about the plan.
The opponent in his latest case is refusing to settle and they’re having to go to court? Harvey’s holed up in his office, tossing a baseball in the air and talking trial strategy to a goddamn tortoise!
Their traditional Friday night movie marathon now sees them set up in the den, Harvey and Mike on the couch with the kids in their laps, or sprawled on the floor on a flotilla of pillows, Tibby front and centre on his very own special cushion.
And really, Harvey thinks on one of these ordinary, magical nights as he watches his kids ‘whisper’ secrets to undoubtedly the calmest member of their little family, Uncle Lou-Lou’s way overdue for a 'thank you’ fruit basket. Because he actually had an idea that turned out not to suck. Just this once.