Harvey is still naked when Mike emerges from the bathroom after his own shower, a towel wrapped around his hips, one Sunday morning. He slowly rises from the edge of the bed and stands still, facing the younger man.
Mike stops in his tracks and raises his eyebrows. They had made plans to hit the gym together, and Mike doesn't quite understand why Harvey isn't dressed yet.
"What--" Mike asks, but Harvey interrupts him.
"Change of plans," he says softly, and the corners of his mouth twitch ever so slightly. He nods towards the door of the closet.
"You once said that you had thought about dressing me. Why don't you go ahead and do that, then?"
Mike gasps and feels his cheeks blush.
"How do you--"
"Mike," Harvey smiles. "You're not the only one who can remember things." He gestures towards the closet again and grins. "Come on, indulge me."
"What do you want to--"
"Uh-uh,” Harvey shakes his head. "You pick something."
Mike's eyes widen and his nostrils flare a little. "Whatever I want?"
"Whatever you want," Harvey answers with a grin.
Mike nods slowly and turns toward the closet. "This could take a while,” he murmurs.
"Okay,” Harvey replies and sits down on the chaise longue, leaning back. "Take your time."
Mike nods again and walks toward the closet. He takes a deep breath before opening the door and flattens his left palm against his chest. His heart is fluttering wildly against his ribs and his knees feel a little weak. He switches on the light inside the closet and closes his eyes for a moment, inhaling deeply.
He's been inside this closet only a couple of times so far. It's Harvey's private space and Mike vividly remembers the first time he was allowed inside. It was a Sunday evening, the night before his heat would start, a heat that he had agreed to spend with Harvey at his place. It would be their second heat together, and Harvey had asked him for it only a couple of days earlier. Mike had given himself a tour of Harvey's condo after he had arrived, to calm his nerves, to gain time, Harvey at his heels, watching him cautiously.
He remembers walking into Harvey's closet that first time and how stunned he was. He had never seen anything like it before. He hadn't thought something like that even existed in real people's lives. He had felt as if he was looking at the pallet of a painter.
Mike had always thought of Harvey as an intensely beautiful man. Not just handsome, not simply dashing, but truly and utterly beautiful. To him, Harvey had always been the most beautiful man he'd ever seen. And, walking into that closet for the first time, he finally understood the art behind the appearance.
He knew of course that Harvey's beauty lay in his body, yes, and in his eyes and his smile – but it also lay in the way he so passionately crafted his appearance every single day: the exquisite suits that hugged his body, the tailored, crisply ironed shirts, the carefully chosen accessories. It lay in the meticulous haircut, the manicured nails, the dimple in the knot of his tie. It lay in his discreetly modeled eyebrows and his clean shaven jaw, as well as in his posture and the tilt of his head.
Mike understood back then that Harvey truly enjoyed the art of beauty. It wasn't superficial vanity, it was true passion and dedication. And that was breathtakingly beautiful in itself.
Mike's eyes dart back and forth, left to right. He wipes his palms against the towel he's still wearing around his waist and walks the length of the closet twice.
He starts to take coat-hangers off of the rails and to inspect colors, textures, and cuts, letting his fingers delicately run over different kinds of material, angling the cloth so that he can view its weave against the light, and holding the hangers in front of him with his outstretched arm, tilting his head.
He decides against anything casual, but also against a tux, and finally narrows his choices down to three suits: a dark blue one, a steel gray one, and a dark gray one with broad pin stripes.
He turns the hooks of the coat-hangers and hangs the suits on the rail on his left so that their fronts are facing him and he can compare them next to one another. He remembers Harvey in all three of them, on different occasions, and those images flood his mind as he contemplates his selection.
His next step is to choose ties for all three suits. He opens the drawers with the ties and bow ties (there are two drawers reserved only for ties) and browses all the beautiful colors and patterns for a couple of minutes, a little at a loss with how many there are to choose from. He picks three and walks over to the first suit, the dark blue one. Holding the ties against the first jacket, one after the other, he narrows his eyes, decides one is too light, and hangs the remaining two carefully over the shoulders of the jacket.
Mike repeats that act with the other two suits, and after that he heads for the rail with the shirts. He loves Harvey's shirts; he always has.
Most of them are classy - and in a way rather contained - business shirts for serious work, stylish bars, and glamorous parties. But there are also quite a few more cheerful ones, in brighter colors, nuances of orange and pink and light green and yellow, and Mike has never seen Harvey wear any of those. He knows they must look heartbreakingly gorgeous on him, though, combined with the light linen suits hanging in the front section of the rail, and with a pair of soft summer shoes, and he wonders if Harvey ever goes on vacation.
He imagines Harvey in a deck chair, reading a novel and sipping a glass of iced tea, the tea so cool that the summer air condenses on the glass, and Harvey's fingers leave wet smudges on his shirt when he wipes them absentmindedly after setting the glass down. He imagines Harvey in a rowboat on a lake, shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows, jacket lying next to him on the wooden bench, a light cotton sweater slung around his shoulders. He can see the veins in Harvey's arms and the subtle work of his muscles underneath his shirt as Harvey pulls the oars.
He imagines Harvey at the sea side, barefoot, trousers rolled up over his ankles, crinkles around his eyes. Mike smiles at the sight of Harvey's toes buried in the warm, golden sand and at the way the other man wrinkles his nose and laughs.
"Come on, Mike," Harvey turns around and shouts against the rippling sound of the waves. "Race you back to the car!" He swings the jacket he has been holding in his hand over his shoulder and breaks into a run, the shape of his buttocks clearly visible under the thin cloth of his trousers. They will have dinner on the patio later, candles flickering in the slight, salty evening breeze and wine cool in their glasses. They will talk for hours that night, and laugh, and maybe even go for a midnight stroll along the moonlit coast. It'll be ridiculously romantic, and they will crack jokes at that but enjoy it so much nevertheless.
For a moment, Mike can't breathe. He knows those will be his memories one day, that he will get to see that for real, and that's somehow a lot to process. He closes his eyes and inhales deeply. He will have that. Harvey is his.
Mike leaves those thoughts behind and returns to the more serious shirts. He lets his hand brush against them, leafing through them like a thumb through the pages of a book.
Next, he takes a closer look. Plain white shirts, light blue ones, and a large selection of striped ones. He pauses when he comes across a shirt he's seen Harvey wear only once. It's striped, lavender and white. He remembers the day Harvey wore that shirt as clear as crystal.
Looking closely at the shirt and running the material through his fingers, an intense wave of relief washes through Mike. He knows that Harvey will always look out for him. He knows that Harvey will always protect and take care of him and, for the first time, he doesn't feel the familiar shade of threat in that. He is Harvey's now, plain and simple, probably always has been, just like Harvey is his.
He carries the shirt over to the suits and hangs it next to the steel gray one. He stores away the other suits, the ties he has picked out for them, as well as one of the ties he had considered for this suit. He looks at his final choice and nods.
Before he leaves the closet, he takes a white t-shirt from one of the drawers and a pair of dark gray boxer briefs from another. He decides against a pocket square because he thinks the striped shirt might already be a little over the top, but he picks a soft cotton handkerchief and places it on top of the t-shirt.
He chooses a pair of gray socks as well as a pair of black handmade leather shoes and inspects the complete outfit one more time. He smiles. Harvey is probably going to say something about the shirt not really matching the suit, he thinks, but then again, maybe he won't.
Mike has already begun to pick up the undergarments, shoes, and socks, preparing to carry them into the bedroom, when he remembers that he also needs cufflinks. He pulls open another drawer and, after opening several tiny boxes, selects a pair. They are simple and discreet, frosted platinum squares with the letter alpha delicately engraved in them.
He places them on top of the handkerchief, and picks up the stack of clothes. Taking the shoes into his other hand, he walks out of the closet and into the bedroom.
The sight he encounters there takes his breath away.
Harvey is sprawled on the chaise longue, one arm over his head and the other dangling over the edge, his fingers nearly touching the floor. Harvey's cock is nestled between his legs, and Mike can't ignore the fact that it is not completely soft. Harvey's legs are crossed at the ankles, and he looks utterly relaxed. For a brief moment Mike wonders if the other man has fallen asleep because his eyes are closed and his breathing is so even. But then a smile spreads over Harvey's face, and he shifts a little. His eyes remain closed, though, as he turns his head a little toward Mike.
"Hey," he murmurs. "Did you find something?"
Mike nods and walks towards the bed. "Don't look yet, okay?" He sets the clothes down on the covers and puts the shoes on the floor in front of the bed before turning around to look at Harvey again.
You look like a fucking painting, he thinks, and Harvey blinks.
"Don't look," Mike teases, and returns to the closet to get the suit, shirt, and the tie. He lays them out on the bed as well, and inspects everything one more time.
"Harvey," he calls softly, and the other man opens his eyes.
"You're ready?" Harvey asks, grinning, and Mike nods.
"Okay,” Mike finally says. "Come here."
Harvey rises with an effortlessness and grace that makes Mike dizzy. He slowly walks over to where Mike is standing and pulls the younger man in for a lazy kiss.
"Here's what we're going to do." Mike breaks the kiss after a couple of seconds and mumbles, still feeling a little nervous. "We're going to do this without talking, okay?"
Harvey raises an eyebrow and crooks a tiny smile.
"No talking,” Mike repeats. "Please."
Harvey nods and straightens his back. "Okay,” he confirms. "Go on, then."
I shouldn't dress you at all, Mike thinks. You are so beautiful like this. You're the most beautiful man I've ever seen. Ever.
He runs his hands along Harvey's shoulders and down his arms. Bending sideways, he picks up the boxer briefs and crouches down in front of Harvey. He widens one leg with his fingers and brings it down to Harvey's left foot.
Harvey raises his foot a little, and Mike catches it with the opened leg of the briefs. When he has Harvey's foot inside, he repeats the motion with Harvey's right foot.
He smiles at the ease with which Harvey's body answers his intentions. He slides the briefs up over Harvey's ankles and then his calves, the fine hair covering Harvey's lower legs brushing against his knuckles, making both of them shiver subtly.
He tugs the garment over Harvey's thighs and pauses when his eyes align with Harvey's half erect dick. He reaches for it and carefully tucks it inside the boxers, caressing the slight bulge with his lips once he's got it behind the cloth.
Harvey hisses at the contact, and his dick twitches when Mike hums against it through the boxers.
Mike feels his own cock stir beneath the towel and he longs to reach for it. God, I want to suck you, he thinks. I want to taste you on my lips and suck you til you come down my throat.
He pulls the briefs all the way up and cups Harvey's buttocks through the soft material. I want to fuck you again, he thinks, and he runs his index fingers down the cloth-covered line of Harvey's crack. Be inside you again. Feel you. Just one more time. Will you let me do that?
You're so beautiful, his thoughts carry on while he rises and reaches for the t-shirt. So perfect. And you're all mine.
He can't help the smile spreading across his face, and when he comes face to face with Harvey again, he can see the same smile on the other man's face.
"Raise your arms,” he mutters, and Harvey complies without hesitation.
Mike pulls the t-shirt over Harvey's arms - struggling a bit with Harvey's right hand for a moment - and head, and smoothes it down Harvey's torso.
I can't believe you're letting me do this, he thinks and smiles against Harvey's chest. He can feel the other man's heart beating beneath his skin and that thin layer of cloth, and he wants to taste that, too. I want to taste your heartbeat, he thinks, briefly running his tongue over Harvey's cloth-covered left nipple. I want to taste what you feel.
"Mike," Harvey whispers, and wraps his arms around the other man, pulling him close. "God, Mike," he mumbles into Mike's hair, and a shiver runs down Mike's spine. He thrusts his hips forward gently and Harvey moans at the sensation of their hardening dicks nudging against each other through the layers of cloth.
It would be so easy to just let go now, to let Harvey sweep him off his feet and drag him into bed. He wants that, and he knows Harvey wants that as well, but he wants this even more.
So after a couple of seconds he pulls back and breaks the embrace. The look on Harvey's face makes him close his eyes for an instant. There's so much gentleness and mirth and openness, and that hint of vulnerability that makes his knees go weak.
You really love me, Mike thinks, and opens his eyes again to find Harvey smiling at him. Returning the smile, he bends down to pick up the socks.
He kneels before Harvey and scrunches up one sock. He brings it to Harvey's foot and looks up. "Lift," he says, and Harvey does. Mike pulls the sock over Harvey's toes and then his instep and his heel and after that all the way up Harvey's calf. They repeat the process with the second foot, and Mike nods.
I've never tasted the hollows of your knees, Mike ponders, and runs his fingertips up over Harvey's calves, the hollows of his knees and the back of his thighs. I want to kiss you there.
Harvey shivers under his touch, and Mike looks up. Harvey's eyes are squeezed shut and he's biting his lips. His hands are balled into loose fists, and his nostrils flare. The bulge in Harvey's boxers has grown considerably, and Mike has to cup his own erection through the towel for a moment.
I want to kiss you everywhere, he thinks, pressing his palm against his cock and nuzzling at Harvey's groin through the boxers. I want you so much it hurts.
Harvey's dick twitches in its confinement, and Mike traces its length with open lips. I'd do anything, he pleads, and Harvey moans.
Anything, I swear. Just let me-- Mike has to force himself to stop. He is this close to just yanking the boxers down again and sucking Harvey off right here and now. He sits back on his heels and realizes that he's very much out of breath. Trying to calm his breathing, he rests his palms on his upper legs and closes his eyes. Oh god, his mind races. Oh god, stop, stop, stopstopstopstop – now. He draws a long, shuddering breath and rubs his hands against his thighs.
"Okay," Mike whispers and rises to his feet. "Now, where were we?" He turns around and takes the trousers off of the coat-hanger. He crouches down once more and holds one trouser leg out for Harvey to step into. You undo me, he thinks.
Harvey steadies himself by resting his hand on Mike's shoulder and steps into the pants.
All the time, Mike thinks and holds out the other leg. All the fucking time.
Harvey shifts his weight and steps into the second leg, running his fingers through Mike's hair before he straightens again.
Mike stills for a moment and swallows. He rises slowly, pulling the trousers upward with him over Harvey's thighs, butt, and hips. He fastens the outer button of the waistband to keep the garment in place and lets his fingertips run over Harvey's lower belly. He smoothes his hands down the sides of Harvey's legs and smiles up at the other man.
After a couple of moments, he picks up the shirt and undoes the buttons carefully. Harvey raises his eyebrows a little when he really sees the shirt for the first time, but he doesn't say anything.
When Jessica found out about me, Mike thinks, and walks around Harvey to hold out the crisp, perfectly ironed shirt behind his back, when I learned that she knew, that was the worst day of my life since my parents died.
Harvey reaches back and lets Mike slip the sleeves over his arms.
All my dreams were crashing down in seconds, Mike muses, pulling the shirt over Harvey's back and shoulders. Everything I loved was slipping through my fingers and there was nothing I could do. Mike steps in front of Harvey again, and straightens the collar around the back of his neck. I had never felt-- because I never had-- He cups Harvey's jaw with his hand, and they lock eyes. I never had anything to lose before, and when-- Mike smoothes his thumbs over Harvey's cheek bones. That really was the worst day of my life.
But it was also the best, he thinks, and places a quick kiss on Harvey's lips before he starts on the buttons.
When you stood up to Jessica, when you risked your career for me – that was the best day of my life because-- Mike struggles a bit with the lowest button, his fingers trembling slightly at first. Because I knew then that you would stand behind me, no matter what. He continues with the other buttons and fastens them one by one, leaving only the top button open. Nothing I have-- I would-- He opens the trouser button again, and tucks the hem of the shirt into the waistband gently, trying not to crease the immaculate cloth. I wouldn't have had any of that without you, Harvey. He diligently fastens the trouser buttons and zips the fly.
Harvey straightens his back and clears his throat, and Mike reaches for the tie.
And I've known that you will always have my back, ever since that day I've known. Mike turns up the shirt's collar and slings the tie around Harvey's neck.
Even when we-- Mike carefully measures the two ends of the tie and pauses, locking eyes with Harvey again. Even when I betrayed you and you wouldn't look at me for days.
Harvey's eyes narrow a little, but his expression softens again when Mike smiles at him. Even then I knew that you would always protect me because you had shown me that you would that day.
He fumbles with the ends of the tie for a bit, but he manages to tie an almost perfect Windsor knot in the end. Harvey chuckles and raises his eyebrows.
And you were wearing this shirt when you did, Mike remembers, closing the top button now, feeling Harvey swallow, his Adam's apple bobbing under Mike's fingers. It makes me feel safe.
Mike tugs the knot into place before he turns the collar down again and straightens its edges. He adjusts the tie one more time, and turns around to pick up the vest.
The day you wore this was even worse, though, he thinks. When you found out what I really am. His shoulders slump and he stares at the floor, remembering just in time not to clench his fingers around the garment in his hands. Because I thought that you'd-- He clears his throat and takes a shaky breath. God, I was so embarrassed, I--
Mike looks up and he can feel the small smile that's spreading over his face. But you didn't-- You took care of me, he marvels, taking a small step closer to the other man. You took care of me like no one else ever had.
"Mike, I--" Harvey starts to speak, but Mike cuts him off.
"No, Harvey, shush. We said no talking."
Harvey chuckles and tilts his head. "Yeah, we did say that," he mumbles, and ruffles Mike's hair, looking slightly bewildered and amused at the same time.
You really did , you know, Mike thinks. I know, of course, that it happened because of the pheromones, too. He holds out the vest, and Harvey turns around and slips it on. When he turns back to face Mike, there is a slight frown on his face.
Mike smoothes his thumbs over Harvey's eyebrows and shakes his head, another small smile curling his lips. But you could have walked away. You could have. He begins to button the vest and sighs under his breath. And I still think from time to time that you should have.
His fingers stop moving for a second, and he looks up at Harvey. Harvey's eyes are closed and he's breathing evenly. His lashes paint dark half-moons under his eyes, and Mike wonders how on earth those soft lips can sometimes look so hard.
You would--, he thinks and resumes fastening the buttons. Your life would be so much easier without-- And he pauses again, rests his hands against Harvey's chest and inhales. But you made a choice back then. You chose to stay with me. He sets his hands back to work and closes the remaining buttons of the vest except the lowest one. You even chose to-- You gave yourself up for me, Harvey. Nobody has ever done that before. Not like that.
Once he is finished, he leans his forehead against Harvey's chest, hands resting on the other man's shoulders, and bites his lips.
And that's so insanely, nerve-wrackingly wonderful, so terrifying. He takes a deep breath, inhaling Harvey's scent.
Harvey's arms close around him, and Mike can feel the other man smiling into his hair.
And I wake up to that every day and I know it's true. I can feel it. Mike raises his head and wraps his arms around Harvey's neck. I can feel you in every fiber of my being, every second of the day.
Harvey runs his hands up and down Mike's spine a couple of times before pulling the younger man even closer against his body.
I know that I'll never truly have to worry about a single thing ever again because-- Mike's thoughts short-circuit when Harvey cups the back of his head and brings their mouths together. A soft moan escapes him as Harvey's tongue darts out and gently caresses his lower lip.
Mike breaks the kiss and buries his face against Harvey's throat. Their hips are pressed against each other, and Mike can feel the swell of Harvey's cock against his own.
You gave yourself up for me, Harvey. You do that again and again. Every goddamn day.
They break apart after a couple of moments, and Mike picks up the small box from the bed. He opens it, takes the cufflinks out, and places them on his open palm.
Harvey frowns when he sees which cufflinks Mike has chosen. "Mike, are you sure?" he asks. "I mean, after everything you've alr--"
"I am sure, Harvey." Mike smiles. "I've never been so sure about anything before." He reaches for Harvey's right hand and places the cufflinks into Harvey's open palm. "Here, hold these for me for a minute. And now seriously, shush!"
When you did that, when you claimed me, we-- Mike reaches for Harvey's left wrist and folds the cuff carefully. You showed me that-- Taking one cufflink from Harvey's hand, his fingers brush against the soft, warm skin of Harvey's palm, and he remembers tracing all those lines with his fingertips for what he estimates the better part of an hour - and Harvey letting him do it, not flinching once. He remembers Harvey's hands around his cock and fingers in his hair, tugging his head back and exposing his throat. He remembers Harvey's fingertips ghosting over the patch of skin his teeth had broken to claim Mike for his own. You showed me that I never had to feel as if I was just an omega. He pushes the pin through the hole in the cuff and twists the bar to secure the cufflink. You made me the most important thing in your life when you claimed me. He lets go of Harvey's left wrist and reaches for the right one.
You made me your omega. He diligently folds the second cuff and brings its ends together, lining them up against each other so the holes overlap. And later, you showed me the beauty that lies within that. He picks up the second cufflink and traces Harvey's life line with one of its corners.
Harvey inhales sharply as Mike pushes the cufflink's pin through the hole. Mike looks up for a moment and smiles.
Yeah, I know, I know. I didn't want to-- Mike continues securing the cufflink without breaking the smile. I had closed my eyes, my—my mind to it but you never gave up. He raises Harvey's hand to his lips and places a kiss on the knuckles before he lets go and straightens both cuffs, fumbling with the cufflinks once more to turn them to their right positions.
You showed me how beautiful it can be. How beautiful I am.
You are my alpha.
Mike picks up the last item of clothing from the bed, the jacket. He walks behind Harvey and holds it out for the other man to slip his arms into it.
I know you would-- Mike pulls the jacket up and smoothes it over Harvey's shoulders. He lets his hands rest on Harvey's arms for a second and then brings them to Harvey's neck, carefully arranging the jacket's and shirt's collars.
I know that you want to protect me and provide for me and take care of me for the rest of my life. He walks around Harvey again and works the top button through its hole. And I know it's tearing you apart inside that I won't let you do that. He picks up the handkerchief and slips it into the right pocket of Harvey's trousers. Well, at least not to the full extend.
Mike steps back and looks at the other man for a second, and then he lowers himself onto his knees again and reaches for the shoes.
I know you need to do it, I-- Mike undoes the laces of the left shoe and removes the shoetree. He takes hold of Harvey's foot and slips the shoe onto it carefully. I know that you desperately long to do it with everything you are-- He props up his right leg and lifts Harvey's foot up until it rests on his knee. He ties the laces, sets Harvey's foot back down and picks up the other shoe. And you hold back because you know that that is what I need, he wonders as he prepares the second shoe. Or at least it is what I want, Mike thinks, and slips Harvey's right foot into the shoe. I know it must hurt like hell to hold back like that, Harvey, and I will be forever grateful that you do that. He lifts Harvey's foot onto his knee and looks up, locking eyes with the other man once more.
Mike ties the laces and sets Harvey's foot back onto the floor. He arranges the trouser legs carefully, tugging at the hems and fiddling with the bows of the shoes until everything is in place. He doesn't look up yet, staring at Harvey's feet and reaching around Harvey's legs to run his hands over Harvey's calves.
"Mike," Harvey says quietly after some moments, and Mike raises his head. "Get up." He reaches for Mike's chin and guides the younger man from his knees into his arms. He runs his palms over Mike's chest and brings their bodies together, tugging at the towel around Mike's hips. He pulls the ends free and tosses it onto the bed. His hands wander to Mike's shoulders, and then slowly down his back and over the soft curves of his buttocks. Harvey cups them and pulls Mike's groin close against his own.
Mike can feel that Harvey is still half-hard inside his trousers. He pushes back, grinding their cocks together, and claims Harvey's mouth in a passionate kiss. I want you, he thinks. I want you so much.
"And see that you get me out of these clothes again sometime soon, okay?" Harvey eventually ends the kiss and his lips curl into a broad grin. "I want to give myself up for you some more."
"Shit,” Mike breaks the embrace and takes a step back, blushing. "How much-- I mean, what-- Did I say that out loud?"
"Oh yeah,” Harvey grins. "You did."
Mike buries his face in his hands and shakes his head. "Shit. Shit, shit, shit. You weren't supposed to--"
"Mike," Harvey chuckles and draws the other man back into his arms. "What you said was beautiful. Even though I couldn't make much sense of most of the things you said. You were kind of babbling there for a bit."
He strokes Mike's back gently and kisses the crown of his head.
"Thank you, Mike," he whispers. "And don't worry. Your secrets are safe with me."