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06 September 2011 @ 04:39 pm
[fic][suits]Death By Facsimile  
Title: Death By Facsimile
Series: USA Suits
Rating: PG
Words: ~1750
Characters/Pairing: Mike, Donna. GEN
Warnings: Evil fax machines?
Notes: For phreakycat in response to this prompt on the Suits Kink-Meme.
Summary: Mike is terrible with technology, and the fax machine is out to kill him.



Mike is terrible with technology. He shouldn’t be. He’s a nerd in his mid-twenties with an IQ well above average; he should be fabulous with technology. He should build supercomputers in his spare time and spend every waking moment glued to a smart phone. But Mike is terrible with technology. Anything more complicated than his microwave and he feels like he’s walking on eggshells just waiting for the thing to spit sparks at him and then die.

Most of the time Mike’s ineptitude with electronic devices just doesn’t matter. As an associate most of Mike’s work involves going through dusty files with size eight font or filling out forms in ‘neat and legible print written in blue/black ink’. Turns out lawyers don’t trust computers. They want everything in cold, physical, hard copy.

Occasionally though Mike has to do battle with the technological overlords, and he usually loses; which is why he’s no longer allowed to use the copiers and must instead beg one of the paralegals or secretaries every time he needs copies. Accidently get toner over the only copy of vitally important depositions just once and you’re marked for life at Pearson Hardman.

This time it’s his arch-nemesis; the facsimile machine, which is totally a fantastic name for a super-villain no matter what Harvey says.

Mike doesn’t know why they even still use a fax machine. The thing is slow, noisy, and evil. Surely there is a better way to send documents across town; bike courier maybe, carrier pigeons, smoke signals, anything but the fax machine.

Cautiously, carefully, Mike sidles up to the machine, manila folder of Very Important Injunctions clenched in his fist. He puts on a brave face as he nears the plastic hub of all that is evil. The machine can smell fear.

Snagging a Pearson Hardman cover sheet, complete with tiny disclaimer at the bottom stating that the contents of this fax are for the recipients eye’s only and use of the information by a third party may result in legal action, Mike fills it out, checking the number he’s supposed to send it to three times. He then slowly punches the number in to the machine, sets the papers in the feed try, double checking they’re facing the correct way because Harvey really will never let him forget it if he sends another 13 page blank fax, and hits the green send button.

He then flinches back two steps and cringes against the loud mechanical sounds of the fax sending. Except it’s not sending, there’s nothing but silence. Mike opens one of his eyes and peers at the machine, which is doing nothing.

Warily Mike steps back up to the machine, tilting his head this way and that as he tries to figure out what he did wrong. The machine is definitely plugged in, and it’s definitely on, and Mike is positive he punched the number in correctly and followed all the proper steps.

Briefly Mike considers going to find Rachel or Donna or anyone and begging them to make it work, except he’s still catching grief about the whole copier-catastrophe and he really doesn’t need to give anyone more ammo.

With a sigh of resignation Mike leans over the machine, shuffling the papers in the feed try because that’s honestly the only thing he can think to do, besides turning it off and back on again, and he’s no longer allowed to turn things off ever since he accidently turned off the back-up server and caused three weeks’ worth of files to not back-up properly, which wouldn’t have been a problem except for the short that happened in the main server.

Which really just proves Mike’s point that technology is evil.

Mike is still ruminating on the malevolent nature of technology when the machine whirs to life below him. He has a brief moment of triumph before his airway is suddenly choked off and Mike can no longer breathe.

It takes Mike a second to grasp what is happening, and that second feels like an hour as his tie becomes a noose around his neck, strangling the breath from him. He clutches desperately at his neck as panic wells up within him. A strange gurgling fills the air alongside the beeps and screeches of the fax machine and Mike’s panic only increases as he realizes the gurgling is him.

He slaps frantically at the machine, pressing whatever buttons he can reach in an attempt to halt the machine and save himself from a truly humiliating death at the ends of his own tie. He can’t reach around to pull the plug from the wall, and he can’t lift the machine; it’s one of those ancient multi-function pieces that must weigh at least fifty pounds and as he loses oxygen he slowly loses strength in his limbs as well.

Just as his vision begins to dim and blur around the edges he hears someone calling his name, and then the next thing he knows is he’s on his ass, fingers finally able to gain purchase on the polyester of his tie to pull it off. He takes deep, deep breaths of sweet, sweet toner scented air, wheezing harshly as his head swims and his heart races.

After a minute of simply breathing, because dear god the ability to breathe is like the best thing ever, Mike realizes that the only sounds in the room are coming from him, the death machine is silent.

“You back with me now?” a voice asks from somewhere above him. Looking up, and blinking away tears (manly tears, but yes Mike can admit they were tears) Mike sees Donna standing by the fax machine, a pair of scissors in one hand and the plug of the machine in the other. Not a single hair is out of place and her expression is one of supreme calm, raised eyebrow non-withstanding.

“Do-donna?” Mike croaks out, and Jesus it really is a croak. Mikes voice sounds awful and talking feels a little like he’s shoving sandpaper down his throat. Donna frowns a little at the sound of him and drops the cord on to the floor before holding a hand out to him.

“Can you stand?” she asks. Mike shakes his head, folding in on himself a little as he tries to calm his breathing. He hears the soft shush of silk sliding against silk and then becomes aware of Donna kneeling besides him. “Mike? Can you hear me?”

Mike nods at her, before breathing in a little too deeply and coughing as he chokes on his own spit, and god, yes, coughing is a special new kind of torment.

“Mike, listen to me, do you think you need an ambulance?” Donna’s voice is commanding and stern but Mike could swear he hears a little edge of honest concern in there too. A manicured hand lands gently on his back, rubbing slow circles that Mike tries to match his breathing too.

“No, no ambulance,” Mike gets out and then suddenly it hits him; he almost died. He almost died; a terrible awful death by facsimile machine which would have been terribly humiliating but mostly just terrible.

“If you’re sure,” Donna acquiesces with the tone of voice that suggests she thinks he’s being stupid but she’s not going to deter him from his path of idiocy. She shifts back on her heels to stand and it is the removal of her hand, of physical human contact, that propels Mike to doing something a little foolish and a lot embarrassing.

He launches himself sideways and wraps his arms around Donna, nearly knocking her over so that she has to grasp Mike in return not to land on her backside.

“And you’re hugging me,” Donna states, blandly managing to convey perfectly her disdain for the action, except her hands are tightening just slightly on Mike’s shoulders and she’s not actually pushing him away. They sit like that for a few minutes as Mike slowly gets his breathing under control. Donna doesn’t say anything, but she does chafe her hands up and down Mike’s arms, a steady repetitive motion that helps ground him.

Eventually Mike no longer feels like he’s going to fall apart if he moves so he backs off and releases Donna, who unhands him the moment she feels him shifting.

“Okay now?” she asks.

“Yeah,” Mike rasps.

“And you’re sure you don’t want to take a trip to the emergency room?” Again her tone implies that she doesn’t care either way but the mere fact she’s asked twice now speaks for itself.

Mike gives this idea due consideration before answering, swallowing a couple times to make sure he can (and, yeah, ow) and pressing at his neck tenderly. It feels swollen and sore and he’s sure that tomorrow he’s going to have a bruise he’ll have to hide or else listen to the other associates make either a) crude jokes about his sex life, or b) crude jokes about his suicidal tendencies. Still, Mike can breathe alright and his throat doesn’t hurt any worse than it did when he had strep as a child.

“No, I think I’m okay,” he tells her. To prove it he stands up, wobbling only once. Donna follows him up, and after a probing once-over, nods.

“Alright, I guess you’ll insist you don’t need to go home early either and that I don’t tell Harvey.”

Mike shoots her a sheepish glance, because he doesn’t want to go home and the idea of Harvey finding out he had a near death experience sending a fax is mortifying.

“Uh-huh,” Donna sends a deadpan look back, “well, if you don’t want Harvey to know you better find another tie.”

This is about the point that Mike realizes half his tie is on the floor and the other half is sticking out of the fax machine feed tray like a mocking tongue.

“Oh man,” Mike groans, which comes out sounding a little like a death rattle, “that was my favorite tie.”

“Really?” Donna wrinkles her nose at him. “Well, at least one good thing came out of this then.” And with that last sneaky insult to Mike’s fashion sense, or lack thereof, she turns on her high heel and walks out the door.

Mike is just turning to tug the ruined remains of his tie from the fax machine when Donna sticks her head back in.

Mike can live with that, although it does beg the question of how he's going to get Harvey's fax sent now, especially since he can't get the machine to let go of his poor abused tie.
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Amymellaithwen on September 6th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
that was hilarious and brilliant and so very sweet :D loved it, awesome characterisations of both Donna and Mike, and of course the Fax machine ;)
█ ♔ █: sd | thumbs upstraightrhodes on September 7th, 2011 03:19 am (UTC)
Thank you.

And this was totally not influenced by my own hatred of fax machines, totally *shifty eyes*
mystizan: Bones: Evil hiatusmystizan on September 7th, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
Srsly, GOOD WORK. I rly enjoyed this.
█ ♔ █straightrhodes on September 7th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
Yay! Thank you.
Your Omniscient Empress: Suitsladyknightanka on September 7th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
ROFLMAO, THIS WINS FOR LIFE!

Mike's thoughts provided me with endless amusement and Donna was so perfectly in character. ♥
█ ♔ █: senbasa | oichi smilestraightrhodes on September 7th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so happy my first foray in to Suits fic did not end in failure!
SamuelJames: Suits-Mike Rosssamueljames on September 7th, 2011 09:48 am (UTC)
Oh poor Mike, thank God for Donna and the scissors.
█ ♔ █: suits | donna omgstraightrhodes on September 7th, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
Donna and the Scissors, I'm thinking awesome punk-rock band name, y/y?

Lol, thanks!
(Deleted comment)
█ ♔ █straightrhodes on September 8th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
Thank you! OMG, everyone in this fandom is so nice. I love it!
Kimnakimna on September 9th, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
Omg your Mike is adorable and hilarious. I'm fully convinced of this fanon where Mike has no technology-taming abilities whatsoever based off your first three paragraphs. It makes sense! Like the bit bout lawyers working with hard copies. But ahhh I am just in love with Mike's thought processes~ so many great moments.

I especially like the line from which the title comes from: “He almost died; a terrible awful death by facsimile machine which would have been terribly humiliating but mostly just terrible" and the part about Mike half-eaten, severed tie is poking out the fax machine like a mocking tongue. It's just perfect! <3

I'm glad you told us it was your first kink meme fill- and Suits fic, even?! I never would have guessed! You're a fantastic author & thanks for such a gem. I do hope I'll be reading more stuff from you around the meme!
█ ♔ █: misc | brown haired girlstraightrhodes on September 9th, 2011 06:21 am (UTC)
Thank you! It's now my personal head canon that Mike is completely inept with anything more advanced than a walkie-talkie.

I've never written for any meme ever!!! In fact I think this was the first time I have ever written for a prompt even. I've been having terrible writer's block lately though, so I decided, why not poke around the memes and see if I could find something to get my creative juices flowing. AND I DID! I'm so happy to be writing again, haha. I actually am working on another fill for the Suits meme right now. It's something way out of my usual comfort zone but I'm excited to be writing it, I don't usually do AUs or slash but somehow the prompt grabbed my attention. I'm a little worried that it's going to gain a life of it's own though cause I've already plotted out about 5 parts and I'm not even close to done.

And OMG talk about over sharing, lol.
Kimnakimna on September 9th, 2011 06:36 am (UTC)
Oh my first experience with prompt-memes was just a little over a year ago and I think they're wonderful- everybody wins!

Eeee, I'm psyched to hear of this upcoming fic!! I always look forward to a nice, meaty AU. Sometimes when they're too short I'm like "but I read fic to get more of these people! Argh curse you for making me fall in love with a fictional version of a fictional character!" ...But that's just me. :D;

Bests of luck with the plotting/writing!
Roshniroshni06 on October 1st, 2011 04:38 am (UTC)
hahahaha -rofl- This was brilliantly written and the characterization was spot on. Reading this brought much-needed laughter to my day.
█ ♔ █: wc | el phonestraightrhodes on October 1st, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, bb! I had such fun writing this :D