When Mike moved in with Harvey, he figured there might be some necessary adjustments. Mike is a fairly neat guy, but not hospital corners neat, like Harvey, so he was sure one day he’d put a book back in the wrong place or leave one of Harvey’s records out or forget to put his dirty towel in the hamper and Harvey would eyeball him until Mike completely surrendered to the Intense Stare of Intensity and set things back to rights.
But no. Harvey’s surprisingly chill about it. He just puts the book back in the right spot, shelves the record, and throws the towel in the hamper without saying a single thing about it. Doesn’t complain, doesn’t eyeball Mike into submission, doesn’t force him to do lines.
I must not fuck with Harvey’s shit. I must not fuck with Harvey’s shit. I must not fuck with Harvey’s shit.
Actually, living with Harvey turns out to be not so different from living alone, except for the fact that Mike no longer pays rent, he lives much closer to work, he has someone to come home to at night who loves The Day the Earth Stood Still and Creature from the Black Lagoon as much as he does, and sometimes he gets to wake up to a mouth on his cock.
Which is, admittedly, pretty fucking awesome.
The other upside is that Mike has started to learn things about Harvey, things he would’ve never just come out and told Mike, things that prior to the move he would’ve made Mike earn. When Harvey’s brother calls one day, Harvey makes no move to pick up the phone, so Mike does and spends half an hour talking to Paul before he hands the phone over. Harvey doesn’t even blink an eye. When Mike wants to know who the people are in a picture in Harvey’s study, Harvey simply tells him. And when Harvey drags Mike out of the condo one Saturday without telling him where they’re going and they end up at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Mike takes pictures with his cell phone and watches as Harvey sits at a table that’s too small for him and paints pictures with bald little girls in princess crowns and pajamas that call him Mr. Spectro, like he’s a superhero. Watches until Harvey motions him down into a tiny chair of his own with a quirk of an eyebrow, anyway.
Donna knows everything, and Mike bets even Donna doesn’t know that.
There are, of course, things that don’t work. Mike has a tendency to steal the covers, and sometimes has the pleasure of waking up with a start when Harvey yanks some of them back onto his side, sending Mike to the floor with the force of one good pull. Harvey insists on the closet being organized by color, so all of their clothes are mixed together, and sometimes Mike grabs the wrong shirt and doesn’t realize it until he’s past the point of actually being able to do anything about it, which can lead to a ridiculous amount of teasing from Donna all day long, who somehow seems to know things like that even when no one else can tell the difference. And sometimes they’re not great about separating work from home, which invariably ends with either a) one of them – usually Mike – spending a little time sleeping on the couch, or b) one of them – usually Mike – bent over the arm of the couch. (Mike doesn’t mind the last one so much.)
And then there’s the milk carton thing.
Actually, to be totally accurate, it’s also the peanut butter jar thing, the toothpaste tube thing, the toilet paper roll thing, and the Kleenex box thing, but that seems like an unnecessarily long name.
It could also be called “Harvey Specter Has Absolutely No Clue How to Throw Away an Empty Container and If His Survival in the Zombie Apocalypse Were Contingent on That He’d Totally Eat It in, Like, Five Seconds, Tops”, but that’s a pretty big mouthful too.
So for the sake of brevity, Mike just calls it the milk carton thing.
Really... it’s not even that big a deal. About 99% of the time Mike doesn’t mind replacing an empty toilet paper roll with a full one, or rinsing out an empty peanut butter jar and adding it to the grocery list. It’s probably the least he owes Harvey for his awesome rent-free, sex-filled existence. The times he really cares are when he’s caught with his pants around his ankles – literally – because they’re completely out of toilet paper.
Or when he comes down with a bad head cold and has to blow his nose raw with paper towels because Harvey, who used the last of the Kleenex, left the box and didn’t bother to write it on the list.
Or when it’s seven o’clock in the morning and he’s already running late – Harvey having told him very plainly that if he didn’t make it to the office before him, Mike would become Louis’ underling for the day – and he reaches across the counter for coffee to fill his travel mug and into the cabinet for peanut butter and a bagel for a quick breakfast, and comes up empty on both counts.
Which is exactly what happened this morning.
The least Harvey could’ve done is leave him some coffee before he left for the gym. Or started a new pot. Or yelled across the condo that they were out of coffee and he better get his naked ass out of the shower and start a new pot or he’d be coffee-less and cranky. Something. But no.
So Mike spends the morning in the file room working through the Braverman briefs with less-than-awesome break room coffee and a room temperature Red Bull he found in the back of his bottom desk drawer, feels his stomach grumble about fourteen times before 9 AM, and curses Harvey’s very existence.
Mike is on the floor, sorting files with his back to the door, when he hears the door open and the click of dress shoes on linoleum, announcing Lord Harvey’s arrival. Mike holds a file up above his head for Harvey and waits for him to take it but doesn’t turn around, concentrating instead on the piles in front of him.
Mike looks at his watch.
Correction. Fifteen times before 9 AM.
“Is your stomach talking?”
Mike can hear the smirk in Harvey’s voice, can practically see the upturned lips and the raised eyebrow, and reminds himself he doesn’t really want to kill the guy who gave him a job, who gave him a home, who knows exactly what to do with his mouth to make Mike’s brain short out and his muscles go liquid.
He takes a sip of lukewarm break room coffee and makes a face. He could use a new cup. Maybe later, after he’s finished with the rest of the Braverman files, he’ll be able to spare a few minutes for another trip to the break room.
Mike loses himself in the stacks of files in front of him and when he turns to grab a highlighter on the table behind him, notices Harvey has left the file room. Mike sighs. If he had more in him than a little caffeine, he probably would’ve noticed that. He leans back against the leg of the table and opens a file from the stack to his right, pops the cap on his yellow highlighter, and begins reading.
A few minutes later a bag is dropped into his lap and a cup of coffee is held out in front of his face, and Mike tilts his head back to find Harvey standing behind him, looking down at him. Mike takes the blue and white paper cup from his hand and continues to stare at Harvey, and Harvey slides his hands into his pockets.
“Braverman pushed the meeting back to eleven thirty.” His eyes shift briefly to the bag in Mike’s lap. “Have the briefs on my desk by eleven.”
Mike takes a sip of coffee – piping hot with two sugars and a splash of cream, his usual – leans his head back again and grins up at Harvey, his good mood quickly restored. He gives Harvey a quick, upside down salute. “Aye aye, Captain.”
Harvey rolls his eyes and Mike sets the coffee down on the floor and opens up the bag in his lap. When he pulls out a large breakfast burrito, still radiating heat, he sighs in happiness and begins unwrapping the foil from one end.
So, okay...sometimes Harvey uses the last of the toothpaste and puts an empty tube back in the drawer, and okay...he pretty much sucks at replacing a roll of toilet paper. But Mike’s willing to give him a pass on all that. Because as this breakfast burrito proves – not to mention Mike’s early morning wakeup two days ago via Harvey’s right hand – he’s also about twenty kinds of awesome.
“I have a late meeting with Jessica tonight.” Mike nods and takes a bite of his burrito, chasing it with a sip of coffee. Harvey moves to stand in front of him and tilts his head, the corners of his eyes crinkling and one eyebrow lifting as he slowly looks Mike up and down. “Be ready for me by the time I get home, and I’ll let you choose the first position.”
Correction. Twenty-one kinds of awesome.