Mike was sitting at the cheap bar, sucking down his third beer and avoiding the curious looks of the bartender.
He’d not had a great day, and it had all been his own fault, really.
No! It hadn’t! It was totally Harvey’s fault.
He’d been trying to work on three projects at once, which wasn’t exactly unusual for him. He was juggling Louis’s bullshit case, Harvey’s far more important, multi-million dollar corporate client’s contract proofing, and Harvey’s much less important to the firm but more emotionally rewarding pro bono case.
This wasn’t really anything new, but he hadn’t been sent over the edge by any of that. It just pushed him really close.
No, Kyle had been the one to actually give him that extra shove into oblivion, with his snide remarks, his flirtations with Rachel, and his running to Louis about everything.
And what had Harvey done? Why, piled more work on Mike, of course! And to make it worse, he’d yelled at him about needing to act more like a grown up, while Louis was right around the corner.
Granted, its not like Harvey had been able to see Louis eavesdropping, but it was still his fault.
Louis had heard about Mike’s little mistake that had lost him a big lead on his pro bono case and caused him to misfile the important one, from Kyle. And after hearing Mike be chewed out by Harvey, Louis took the opportunity to ream Mike himself.
So here he was, at 2AM, drowning his miseries on a Tuesday night—wait, Wednesday morning—in some cheap, questionable bar with creepy suspicious bartenders.
Mike drained the bottle and waved for another one.
The bartender came over and eyed him with distaste. “We don’t run tabs, here. If you can’t pay for another, then you’re done.”
Mike dug into his wallet and found himself short. He grumbled something unintelligible.
“I’ll buy it,” a voice to Mike’s left said. Its owner was well dressed, wearing a light grey, tailored suit, but minus the vest, and he had a look that suggested he’d had a long day.
“Thanks,” Mike said as the bartender slammed two beers down on the counter.
“Sure thing, buddy.” The man raised his bottle to Mike, and Mike met it with a clink of his own. “Cheers.”
The suit took a long swig and leaned onto his hand, elbow propped on the counter, and bottle swinging from his fingers. “So, what are you in for?”
“Bad day at the office,” Mike said uncomfortably. He hadn’t really wanted to talk to anyone, but the guy had bought him a drink, so he felt slightly obligated to at least make small talk.
“Tell me about it,” the suit groaned, rolling his eyes.
“Heh,” Mike muttered and returned to his beer.
They sat there, side by side, for what seemed like hours, until they’d finished their drinks.
“Want another round?”
Mike looked at the guy. With a suit like that, he was probably loaded. Mike could go for some more booze, but he didn’t want to have to stay and chat. But they’d done well with a round of silence so far. Maybe he could get away with it. Besides, one more couldn’t hurt. He was already going to be late to work, after that fourth bottle.
So he nodded and thanked the man again.
“Get us something on draft. These suck,” the suit said to the bartender, who rolled his eyes, but proceeded to pour two mugs full of what Mike knew was the most expensive brew they had.
“Here’s to shit days,” suit said, hoisting his glass up again, and Mike complied a second time.
After a big gulp, suit said, “You don’t say much, or what?”
Mike was feeling rather unsteady now. He could hold his alcohol pretty well, but this stuff was definitely worth its price. Not to mention it was his fifth one. He knew, somewhere in his mind, that he should probably just get a cab, but his gut told his brain to shove it.
“My bosses are dicks,” Mike said, surprised his voice was slurred.
The suit chuckled. “Who’s aint?”
“I can’t be perfect all the time, can I?” Mike shouted angrily. The bartender gave him a glare and miraculously, Mike managed to not flip him off.
“I don’t know. You seem pretty perfect from where I’m sitting.” Suit was eyeing Mike like he was checking him out. For some reason, this made Mike giggle. It reminded him of when he’d show up to work in one of his cheaper suits, all wrinkled from his bike ride or from a late night. Harvey would usually eye him just like that, but he would frown, and this guy was smiling.
“You’re smiling. That’s so nice, y’know?” Mike said gratefully. “It’s nice t’be ‘preciated.”
“Oh?” suit asked, his voice purring. Mike didn’t know voices could purr. Maybe it was the alcohol?
“Yeah. I never compl’n! Don’t say a word! Ugh! Stupid H’rvey! Louis! And Kyle. I hate Kyle!” Mike tried to slow down. He knew he sounded funny, knew he should probably cut himself off. He was surprised they hadn’t kicked him out of the bar already.
“Well, I appreciate you…?” suit said expectantly like he was waiting for Mike to say something.
“Huh?” Mike tried to keep the room from spinning. Not that it was actually spinning yet, but he wanted to be prepared.
Suit chuckled. “Your name?”
Mike knew he shouldn’t answer. But this guy had gotten him two beers for free. So he just took the middle route and lied. “Ben,” he said, thinking of the IT man. He was the only one who’d been nice to him all week, mainly because he hadn’t seen him except in the elevator, but still.
“Ben,” suit said, like he was testing its sound on his tongue.
Mike felt like he should probably go home and get some sleep. He did have to go into work the next morning, after all. So he thanked suit for the beer, left the two remaining ones from his wallet on the counter, and headed for the door.
He waved his arms to hail a cab, before realizing how late it was and what neighborhood he was in. He started to panic before remembering that he only lived four blocks away.
Pulling his coat around him more to ward off the chilly air, he set off down the street for his apartment.
A brand new, black Mercedes with ads for plates pulled up next to him, windows rolled down. Mike risked a glance over and saw suit sitting in the front seat.
“You need a lift?” suit called out, pulling closer to the left of the road, where Mike was walking.
“I’m good, thanks,” Mike said. “You’re on the wrong side of the street,” he warned, because really, that was a safety hazard.
“It’s a one-way. Come on, it’s freezing out. Hop in.”
For some reason, maybe it was the five beers, maybe it was the depression and loneliness, and maybe it was the fact that it really was freezing out, but Mike walked round to the passenger seat and hopped in.
“I live about three blocks south on the right. You can just drop me off on the curb. Thanks for the lift.”
The suit smiled at him and drove on.
He pulled up by the curb and parked, following Mike out and up to the door.
“Thanks,” Mike said as he fumbled for the key.
“Nice place,” suit said sarcastically, and it reminded him of Harvey.
“Yeah, it’s not the best area,” Mike admitted, feeling as though Harvey were the one standing here with him.
“You need an escort? This building actually looks scarier on the inside.”
Mike laughed. He had to admit that it was pretty bad. Suit was reminding him too much of Harvey to say no, and his buzz was still on, though it was wearing off and threatening to turn into a hangover headache. “Sure,” he said. “But, uh, only ‘cause my place actually is kinda scary. I live on top.”
“Me too,” suit said suggestively and Mike swallowed. The suit had a stunning smile. It wasn’t as dashing as Harvey’s, but it was nice nonetheless.
They headed up the stairs of the building and past the door on the top floor with bullet holes in it. Suit eyed it distastefully.
“Well,” Mike said. “Here I am. Thanks for the ride! Maybe I’ll see you again!”
Suit smiled that smile again, and nodded. Mike turned back and fumbled with his keys before jamming the right one in the lock and opening the door. He turned back to the suit, and gave a little wave before closing his door.
A foot in the doorway and a hand on the door stopped it. Mike blinked in surprise long enough for the suit to manage to shove inside.
“I did tell you I’d appreciate you, didn’t I?” suit said, grabbing Mike’s shoulders and forcing his mouth onto Mike’s.
Mike shoved his hands against suit’s chest, forcing the man off. “Hey, sorry if I led you on, or something, but I’m not interested.”
Suit frowned at him, one eyebrow raised in confusion.
“I’m not gay,” Mike said lamely.
Suit studied him again, until, very slowly, he turned around and stepped towards the door. Mike’s shoulders relaxed.
“Sorry,” he added, feeling slightly guilty. Suit froze, hand midair, reaching for the door knob.
“Don’t be,” he said coldly, and turned the lock instead. Mike freaked and backed away, eyes scanning for something blunt to swing in a panic.
The suit reached him quickly, more quickly than Mike had anticipated, and he tripped in his efforts to get away. He fell onto his knees hard, gasping at the shock they absorbed as they hit the wood floor. He didn’t have much time to process the pain, however, as he was kicked in the back and knocked completely on the ground.
Mike struggled as hard as he could to slip free, kicking and clawing the floor, trying to find enough leverage. He managed to turn his body enough to lift his torso off the floor, but suit delivered a quick punch to his jaw, knocking him back until the back of his head hit wood.
Mike winced in pain, gasping as he struggled to break free. He managed to wildly catch his fingernails on something and they came away wet. He glanced at his attacker to see he’d scratched him clear across his left cheek.
The suit had been stunned enough for Mike to wriggle partially free. Now he managed to stand up, albeit hunched forward, with his back to the other man.
He took one step forward and away from him, when the suit lashed out and grabbed the waistband of his jeans, pulling Mike down and backwards. He fell with a thunk and a shouted oof!
Mike was reeling from the pain in his skull and his knees. He’d hit his head again that last time, and his shoulders had landed with all his weight behind them. He knew he had to get up, but the alcohol had made him slow, and his adrenaline rush was almost spent, making him feel drained and exhausted. He couldn’t move beyond sluggish motions, and he managed only to roll onto his stomach and begin crawling away.
He vaguely wondered in his delirium, where the suit had gone. He couldn’t see him from where he was, but Mike was pretty certain he was still there.
He was answered by the sound of duct tape being pulled and ripped and he looked frantically for the source.
It occurred to Mike, finally, to scream for help. It was past 3AM now, and he doubted anyone in his building would help him, but he had to try at least. He managed to get out about three seconds of an ear-piercing shriek for help, when the suit landed atop him, pinning his arms and stuffing something soft and fabric-y into his mouth. He attempted to spit it out, struggling against his captor, but the rag was stuffed further in and covered over with a long strip of duct tape.
Mike thrust his head upward as far as it would go, hoping he could hit his attacker in the jaw with his skull, but it only earned him an amused and slightly breathless chuckle.
“Now, now, princess. Wouldn’t want anyone interrupting us, would we?”
Mike bucked, trying to throw the suit off of him. But he was tired and dizzy, and he was now finding it hard to breathe. The suit easily overpowered him and with a few tugs he’d removed Mike’s jacket and practically torn his shirt off. He then wrapped another strip of tape around his forearms, painfully stretching them so they were parallel and across his back.
“I didn’t get to give you that ride I offered, did I, Ben?” the suit was laughing! Mike tried desperately to pick himself off the ground, despite his restraints, but suit just shoved a hand roughly on his back and slammed him back down. Mike felt the panic swell in his chest as he realized he was out of energy, that he wouldn’t be able to escape.
“I knew you were going to be fun, from the moment I looked at you. And you were so easy at first! I was worried I’d picked wrong.” Mike shuddered as he wondered how he’d ever thought this man could resemble Harvey!
Suit lifted himself off of Mike, keeping his hand on Mike’s back for balance as he kneeled over Mike’s thighs. With a quick and rough tug he pulled Mike’s jeans and boxers down, scraping some skin along the way. Mike gave a last futile struggle, his body awash with uncontrollable panic.
With one hand, suit pried Mike’s cheeks apart and poked a finger past the tight ring of muscles. He pushed it in as far as it would go, and Mike shuddered at the sheer agony of it. He’d never felt anything so acutely painful or invasive. He tried to pull his body forward, away from the finger, away from the pain, but suit’s hand on his back held him firmly in place.
“Heh, you’re so tight. This is gonna be difficult. I should have brought something.” The suit removed his finger suddenly and Mike panted through his nose in relief. Until he heard a zipping sound.
The suit took out his hard erect dick. He spit a few times on his hand to ease the burn and then started giving it a few quick strokes. It was practically quivering in anticipation. He pulled a condom out of his inside jacket pocket and slipped it on.
He quickly spit some more on his fingers and on Mike’s asshole, and then shoved two in at once. Mike screamed, the sound muffled by the rag. Suit chuckled.
He shoved them in as far as they would go, pulling them apart and twisting them to widen the space and work the entrance open enough to fit him inside. Mike never quieted, just kept on producing muffled shouts through the gag.
Suit shoved the fingers in deep one last time, and pulled them out as fast as he could. With his free hand he lined up his dick with Mike’s entrance, and shoved in as hard and fast as he could. The muscles forced open, swallowing suit’s dick, suffocating it. He gave a grunt in pain. Mike screamed a silent scream, the gag not necessary to hide the sound. The pain was white hot intense, and Mike thought he’d never felt anything so wrong. He could barely think past it, could barely move, and he finally gave up the struggle. He had lost. There was no point fighting; no energy he had left to fight with.
The suit pushed in to the hilt and held himself there, reveling in the tightness of Mike’s ass. “You’re so fucking tight, Ben!” he said. “I told you you were perfect, didn’t I? Oh, God! Fuck!”
And then he moved. Slowly, at first, trying to adjust to Mike’s ass, working it open, wider, as he went.
With each thrust, Mike’s body ground forward into the hardness of the wood floor. His bruised cheek lay on the ground, the boards rolling across it at each movement. Mike grunted involuntarily, trying to hold the sound in, trying not to give the suit the pleasure of hearing him through the gag. But he couldn’t hold the tears that started spilling out of his eyes.
As Mike let go of fighting, the suit removed his hand and instead started abusing more of Mike’s body. He leaned forward and bit Mike’s neck, kissed his back all along his spine, and licked anywhere he found. His hands snaked beneath him and teased his nipples. His fingers dug into the flesh around his ribs, his hips, and finally wrapped around his flaccid cock, stroking it, squeezing and twisting it painfully.
Mike cried harder at that. He didn’t want to be touched further by this man. He didn’t want to come for him. He didn’t think he could, but he knew the suit would drag it out of him.
Eventually, the thrusts came faster and harder, losing the rhythm they had built up, until the suit pushed so hard and deep inside of him that Mike’s vision went white in pain as suit’s dick held its place inside of him. Mike could feel him coming even through the condom. He could feel everything, and the new tears burst forth until he was sobbing, choking on the gag.
“Shh, shh, baby. It’s okay,” the suit said panting. “You’re so perfect, Ben.” He pulled out of Mike then, and stood, ripping the condom off and calmly wrapping it in paper towels from Mike’s kitchen counter. Mike’s eyes widened at the red liquid on the outer part of the latex. The suit stuffed the evidence in his pocket and then wiped himself down.
Mike was staring at his front door, which was only a few feet ahead, looking longingly at it. He could feel every sting, every thrust, as the memory lingered in his mind. He sobbed out some ragged breaths, and tried to will himself unconscious.
“You’re so fucking adorable,” the suit said. And suddenly he was atop Mike, flipping him over and looking at him. His skin held marks from suit’s fingers and teeth, his jaw sported a blossoming bruise, and his eyes were red and puffy. The suit ran his fingers down Mike’s stomach, pressing on the strip of skin in between each rib. He took hold of Mike’s still flaccid dick and started stroking it. Mike groaned, trying to maintain control over some part of his body. But he couldn’t control it, not really. He started pouring out new streams of tears and screaming curses at the suit through the gag as he approached climax.
Right as he was on the edge, the suit gripped the base of his cock tightly, cutting off any hope of release for Mike. He jammed three fingers into Mike’s sore and bleeding ass, and started finger fucking him.
Mike thought it had hurt before. He was wrong. This felt like overkill. He writhed with unexpected energy, trying vainly to escape the abuse.
He shoved his fingers into Mike’s prostate. “That’s it, baby. Come for me,” suit said, and released his grip on Mike’s dick.
Mike came. And it hurt so bad, he was pretty sure he’d blacked out. When he opened his eyes, the suit was wielding Mike’s food scissors, looking psychotic as ever. Mike blanched, his eyes widened in a new kind of fear.
“Shh, relax, Ben. I’m not gonna hurt you.” The suit chuckled and began cutting the duct tape on Mike’s wrists. Mike let his released arms flop to his sides. They’d been cramped behind him, and now they tingled like they were on fire as the nerve endings fired off.
Suit looked down at Mike, like he was a work of art, and smiled that Harvey smile. “Thanks for the fun times. Trust me, I appreciate you. It’s been swell, Ben, but I’ve got work in the morning.” And then he was gone.
Mike didn’t even bother taking off the gag first. He just passed out right there.
He awoke to the sound of a phone ringing.
His whole body was a ball of pure agony. His ass was on fire, his arms ached, his skin felt raw, his jaw hurt, his head pounded, and his mouth was insanely dry.
He moved his arm slowly up to his mouth and peeled the duct tape off, tearing the rag from his mouth and massaging his screaming jaw back into its normal position.
He very slowly, very carefully, pushed himself up onto his hands and knees. His pants were tangled around his calves, and there was something hard and crusty caked onto the backs of his thighs and his ass. He feared it was blood.
Standing up and wobbling a bit, he took a few steps and collapsed onto his couch. He didn’t think he could move any further than that at the moment, so he just tried to gather his strength, or whatever energy was left.
The phone ringing awoke him once more, and he startled. He hadn’t remembered falling asleep again.
The ringing was rather insistent, and he realized faintly that he was probably justified in not answering it this time, but it might be Harvey. And Harvey had drilled answering his phone into him.
He scanned for the thing before realizing it was in his pocket. So he dug it out and the first thing he saw was the time. It was 4PM. It had been twelve hours already since he was…since the suit.
With shaking fingers he accepted the call and held the phone to his ear.
“Hello?” he said in a raspy, wheezy, and completely pathetically weak voice. His throat was killing him just thinking about talking, but that was really the least of his pains.
There was a hesitation on the other end of the line. “Mike?” the voice said in disbelief.
“Unh,” he managed. He could hear Harvey’s frown. “Harvey,” Mike said longingly. He needed to see that smile, needed to replace the suit’s smile with it. He needed Harvey.
“Where are you?” Harvey asked, sounding strange.
Mike thought Harvey was yelling at him for not coming in. Normally, he would spew all sorts of excuses and apologies, but all he could manage now was a raspy, “Sorry.”
“Mike. Where are you?” Harvey repeated slowly, like he was asking a child.
“Home,” Mike said, and suddenly he was afraid to call it that. He couldn’t call it that anymore, not with the memory of the suit. He gazed in horror at the spot on the wooden floor in the entryway, where cum and blood were still caked in puddles, and he began to remember. His fucking, cursed memory was providing him with a horridly accurate replay of last night. He could feel the suit thrusting into him, holding his dick inside him as he came. “Unh,” Mike sobbed uncontrollably into his phone. He curled inside himself, ignoring the pain that came with each movement and using it to ground himself in the present.
“Are you..?” Mike couldn’t bear to listen to Harvey. He could barely stand to listen to himself, crying and crying and crying. He hung up and tossed his phone onto his coffee table, shutting out the light by curling more tightly in on himself. His phone rang again, and he knew it was Harvey, but he ignored it.
It felt like an eternity that Mike lay like that. His phone had rung five more times, but he didn’t want to answer it, didn’t want to acknowledge anything beyond the space of his couch.
It wasn’t until a loud and hurried knocking on his door woke him, that he realized anything existed outside him.
He ignored the knocking, hoping it would go away. It stopped for a minute, and he heaved a sigh of relief. Then his phone rang one more time. He didn’t answer. The knocking broke out once more, and Mike slammed his hands over his ears to block out the noise. His mind was telling him it was the suit, back for more.
The knocking stopped, and Mike relaxed his arms, finally calming down. Then he heard the knob turn, and he remembered that it was unlocked. He curled more tightly and reached for the empty coffee mug on his table, drawing it in between his chest and his knees as a hidden weapon.
He closed his eyes, anticipating the suit to be standing over him. There were footsteps in his doorway, the sound of expensive shoes. Mike tensed. The footsteps hurried over, practically running towards Mike until they stopped just beside him. Mike waited. A hand rested on his shoulder, and Mike struck, swinging the coffee mug up into the attacker. It hit him on the edge of his chin, not enough to do damage, but it startled him, and it broke the cheap mug, giving him something fragile, but sharp to defend himself with. This time, he wouldn’t let the suit win.
Mike backed up on unsteady legs, holding the sharp-edged remains of the mug in front of him. “Stay back!” he screamed.
“Mike,” the suit said, slowly taking a step towards him.
Mike raised his jaw, clamping down on it in an attempt to make his voice steady. “Get out. You won’t get me again, you fuck! I’ll fucking kill you.” Mike knew he sounded pathetic. He knew if the suit charged, he’d probably win. But Mike had to try. He wasn’t going to do it again. He couldn’t.
“Mike, calm down.” The suit took another step closer, and Mike shakily waved the mug at him. His arm was already tired to begin with. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep it steady. “Look at me,” the suit said with its smooth voice. Mike thought again how it sounded just like Harvey’s, and he hated it for ruining such a beautiful voice. The suit took another step, and Mike decided it was now or never. Maybe an offensive attack would buy him enough time to escape.
He leaped forward and stabbed at the suit with all his might. But his wrist was caught in a firm grip and his left shoulder was being held. Mike struggled to break free, struggled to bring the mug shards closer.
“Mike!” the suit called desperately, and squeezed his shoulder.
Mike panicked. He kicked as hard as he could with anything he had free. “Get the fuck away from me!” he screamed hoarsely, and scrambled away into the only place he had left, the corner. Desperately, he held his hands up as a shield, pleading, begging the suit to let him go.
“Jesus, kid,” the suit said, and Mike stared into its soulless brown eyes. But where the wicked, sociopathic smile was, was a concerned frown, accompanied by eyes filled genuine concern and an all too familiar mole above the eyebrow. It couldn’t be, Mike thought.
“H-Harvey?” he begged.
“Thank God,” the man said. He reached out tentatively towards Mike, to brush fingertips against his arm. Mike flinched, but the man didn’t let go. Mike started to panic.
“It’s me, kid, I promise.” Harvey said, and Mike couldn’t help it. He was safe. He was safe, and Harvey was here. He shook as he started to cry again. He was so embarrassed, letting Harvey see him cry.
“I-I, I thought y-you were….H-Harvey? I t-tried, I c-couldn’t stop him. He…He—” Mike didn’t even know what he was saying. He had no control over what was happening, and he couldn’t stop crying.
He thought Harvey was going to yell at him, tell him to act like a grown up, or call him crazy, but the man surprised him again. Harvey took one look at Mike, with tears streaming down his face and sobs racking his half-naked, bruised body, and he couldn’t stop himself. He pulled Mike into him in a tight hug, and let the man just cry and cry into his twelve-thousand dollar suit. He needed a new one anyway.
After what felt like forever, Mike finally calmed down.
“Come on, kid. Let’s get you cleaned up, okay?” Harvey said, afraid if he used anything but a calm tone, Mike would spook. He didn’t think he could handle being beaten up by a coffee mug again. His jaw was aching a bit where it had connected from Mike’s clumsy and desperate blow, but Harvey didn’t care after seeing Mike’s state.
Mike nodded and let Harvey help him stand. They walked over around the couch towards the bathroom, when Mike tightened his grip on Harvey’s sleeve and practically shrieked in fear, attempting to back up away from the bathroom.
Harvey frowned and attempted to maintain his hold on Mike, scanning for the source of Mike’s fear. He looked down to find the spot he’d noticed upon entering, where the wood floor was scuffed and marred by congealed blood and something else that gave Harvey a sickened feeling.
“It’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you,” said soothingly to Mike. But instead of calming his the man, it seemed to increase his fear, and Harvey was forced to let go as Mike ran out the door and fell to his knees, stomach heaving as he threw up everything in his body.
Harvey waited until he was finished and then rubbed Mike’s back comfortingly. Mike spun around with fear in his eyes.
Harvey held up his hands. “I’m sorry, Mike. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Mike took a deep breath and seemed to regain a little bit of his senses. “Harvey. Sorry. I—I can’t go back. I can’t stay here. It keeps happening again and again and againandagainandagain—” He started rocking back and forth, repeating that one phrase like he was a broken record.
“Mike!” Harvey said worriedly.
Mike snapped his head up. “Sorry!”
“Don’t be, kid. I was just…you’re kind of scaring me,” Harvey admitted.
Mike stared at him. “I-I’m scared too, Harvey. Please don’t make me stay here. I can’t. Please? Please, Harvey?”
Harvey looked into those blue eyes, and he knew he’d do whatever it took to help his associate.
“Where do you want to go, Mike?”
Mike looked confused. “With you,” he said softly.
Harvey nodded. “Okay,” he said, and helped Mike downstairs and into the waiting car.
It had been a bit difficult getting Mike out of the car.
The sun had been setting the whole drive home, but it was still fairly light out.
Harvey had parked in the garage below his building and gone to remove Mike from the passenger side.
Mike jumped as a soft clicking of metal woke him. He looked around for any sign of the suit and he tensed anxiously.
But all he saw was a man wearing a charcoal black, three-piece suit with deep brown eyes and perfect hair kneeling next to him. The suit had been wearing a light grey, Mike thought. He quickly focused on the man beside him until he could recognize his face. He sighed in relief as he focused on Harvey.
“Mike, you okay?” Harvey was asking him.
He struggled to relax his tense muscles, but blanched when the pain that had been dulled by sleep returned to him. He started to shake as he weakly nodded at Harvey.
“We’re at my place. Do you still want to come up?”
Mike wanted to stay with Harvey. Harvey would keep him safe. Harvey would keep the suit from finding him. Harvey would make everything better, just like he always did.
“Y-yeah,” he stuttered, blushing and looking at his feet as he felt new tears well in his eyes.
“You don’t want to go to the hospital?” Harvey looked worried. Did he want to get rid of Mike?
Mike’s face fell, the sting of rejection hitting him hard. “If-if you w-want.”
Harvey’s jaw clenched. “I’m asking what <i>you</i> want, Mike.”
Mike stared at Harvey, trying to control his shaking, trying to not cry and beg Harvey to forgive him for whatever he’d done to make Harvey want to get rid of him.
“Please don’t,” he said, voice hitching with a sob. “P-Please don’t l-leave me. He’ll f-find me, i-if you’re not h-here.”
Harvey’s eyes softened as he looked up at Mike’s wet eyes. “Mike, I’m not going to leave you, okay? I promise, no matter where you want to go, I’ll come with you, okay? Do you understand?” Harvey waited for Mike to respond.
The man nodded pathetically, chin trembling with the effort of holding back tears.
“Now, knowing that I won’t leave you alone, I’m asking you: Do you want to stay here, with me, or do you want to go to the hospital?”
Mike frowned. He didn’t want to go anywhere. He just wanted to get away from that place, from the scent of blood and sweat and sex—from the scent of the suit.
“Mike?” Harvey asked him again, and Mike knew he wouldn’t let Mike go without an answer.
“Here is fine,” Mike managed.
Harvey nodded, like he’d expected that answer. “Okay, we’re going to take the elevator up. Can you walk?”
Mike nodded quickly. He wasn’t sure he could stand, let alone walk, but the thought of someone holding him made his chest tighten with fear. So with shaky legs, he lifted himself out of the car, ignored Harvey’s proffered hand, and took a step towards the indicated elevator.
One step was all it took for Mike to come crashing down. The pain in his ass, in his back, and in his legs all lanced through his body, and his bruised knees fell once more with the full weight of his body.
He leaned on his hands, bent over on the ground trying to breathe through the pain. Harvey was calling his name and gentle hands were reaching around his waist and shoulders.
Mike knew Harvey was only trying to help, that the hands touching him weren’t going to hurt him. But it didn’t matter. He flinched away, and the memory of the suit holding him down, a hand on his back as his jeans were pulled down and a finger shoved roughly inside him, assaulted his mind. He felt the futility he’d felt at that moment, and just as before, all his energy left him, and he limply gave up.
Harvey should have known better. He had hoped that Mike was capable of walking on his own, knowing he wouldn’t want to be touched after what had happened. He didn’t know the full extent yet, but he could guess. And really, imagination was a scary thing.
When Mike collapsed, he knew better than to touch him. But his instinct had taken over, and he’d been unable to stop himself.
He’d expected Mike to fight him, like he had with the coffee mug. What he hadn’t expected was for him to go completely boneless. The reaction scared him more than anything else, as he wondered just what had happened to cause Mike to respond that way.
“Mike,” Harvey said, and shook him a little, hoping to bring him back around. But the man was passed out again. He heaved a sigh and lifted Mike into his arms, grunting at the weight, and carried him into the elevator.
When they reached Harvey’s condo, he gently placed Mike on the bed and thanked his original home designer for not putting wood floors in his apartment.
He shook Mike experimentally once more, and when the man didn’t wake, he went and fetched his first aid kit.
Harvey took a minute to fully examine the state of his associate for the first time that day. He was covered in red marks and bruises across his chest and at his collar bone. Harvey knew the kid’s knees were bruised too, but he didn’t want to alarm Mike by messing with his jeans. So he set about patching up what was already bare. The kid’s head had some big bruises along the jaw and on the back of his skull, but the skin wasn’t broken, and Mike hadn’t seemed like he was suffering from brain damage. Not the physical kind, anyway.
As he waited for Mike to wake up, Harvey thought back to earlier that day, before he’d found Mike lying bloody on his couch.
He’d been angry with him the night before. Not only had he screwed up something in the pro bono case Harvey had given him, but he’d forgotten to file a patent—again!—for their extremely important case. Harvey had, of course, taken the fallout, and been reprimanded by Jessica, who’d threatened to hand the case to Louis.
Mike had come into his office a mess, even more so than usual, looking haggard and miserable, and stumbling heartfelt apologies. Harvey had lost his temper, which he’d regretted instantly, and ripped him a new one. What was worse was that Louis had apparently heard the whole thing, and proceeded to spread the word to the entire bullpen. He’d only left the office that day after Donna had forced him to promise he’d make it up to the kid the next morning.
But the next morning came and Mike wasn’t there. He waited the extra fifteen minutes it usually took for Mike to come running into the office, out of breath, and apologizing about the rush hour traffic, but the time came and went and still no Mike.
He’d called and left a threatening message on Mike’s answering service, which usually did the trick. But when an hour had passed, Harvey had given up. He’d been busy with their case load, and had simply forgotten about it. Around lunch, he’d realized Mike still wasn’t here, and just assumed the man was home sick and he’d call to confirm later.
But by the time that 4PM rolled around, and Harvey still hadn’t heard from Mike, he’d decided to give him another call.
It took two times before Mike answered.
“Hello?” a voice answered, and at first Harvey wasn’t sure he’d called the right number. It sounded raspy and miserable, like it belonged to a dying man who desperately needed a drink of water.
He choked out a, “Mike?” wondering if the man was really that sick.
“Unh,” Mike replied. It was definitely the right number. Harvey frowned, fearing something was seriously wrong with his associate. “Harvey.”
Harvey froze, tension racking up his body as he realized that something was indeed terribly wrong. He’d never heard Mike sound like that before, and it sounded desperate.
“Where are you?” Harvey said darkly. He needed to find Mike. He needed to know why he was talking like that.
“Sorry,” Mike rasped out. Harvey felt angry. Mike had thought he was in trouble. And why not? After what Harvey had done to him yesterday, he had every reason to believe that compassion was the last thing on Harvey’s mind.
Harvey swallowed down his initial, snide response. This wasn’t a time for snark. Mike needed help. “Mike. Where are you?” Harvey willed his voice to sound softer.
Harvey hesitated. He didn’t know what to do, if he should say anything. Suddenly, he heard a strange choking noise on the other end of the line, and he vaguely registered it as crying. But he’d never heard crying like that before. Not from a grown man, anyway.
“Are you…?” Harvey asked, not sure if it was okay to ask someone if they were crying. He’d never really been in this situation before now. What did you say to someone sobbing hysterically on the other line?
The call ended and turned into a blaring tone. Harvey took all of five seconds to make up his mind. Then, he grabbed his things, left a note for Donna, and hurried over to Mike’s to see the disturbing scene of Mike curled up on the couch and blood and cum on the floor.
“Unh!” Mike whimpered, and Harvey came back to the present with a start. He leaned over to Mike, putting a gentle hand on his shoulder.
Harvey didn’t know if Mike was actually awake or not, but he still said, “I’m still here.”
Mike stilled and cracked his eyes open. “Where?”
“We’re in my condo. You passed out downstairs. How are you feeling?” Harvey explained, and looked questioningly at Mike.
“Hurts,” the other whispered.
Harvey tensed. He didn’t know the best way to go about this. This was why he’d wanted to take Mike to a hospital. “Mike, I…”
Mike stared at him, eyes wide and fearful, but Harvey thought he saw a shimmer of trust.
“You need to clean up. Do you…do want to do it? Or, would you prefer I do it instead?” There he’d said it.
Mike looked up at him and a red blush filled his cheeks. His eyes looked wet again, and Harvey felt terrible for making Mike want to cry, after all the crying he’d gone through.
“I…I can’t…” Mike said in a small voice.
Harvey nodded and reached over for his first aid kit. He picked up a towel and stood next to Mike. “I need you to—I have to—”
Mike nodded, eyes downcast. He took a deep breath and started to pull his pants down his legs. But once they got to his lower thighs he couldn’t take it anymore. The shaking started up again, and Harvey was afraid he might literally fall to pieces.
“It’s okay, Mike. That’s good enough. I’ll be careful, okay? You tell me to stop, and I’ll stop. I promise.” Harvey dipped the towel in the bowl of water he’d brought in earlier as Mike started to turn over onto his stomach.
Harvey grimaced and took his first look at the damage.
Mike’s ass was covered in dried blood and bruises. It looked extremely painful and horrifying, and Harvey resisted the urge to wring the towel in blind fury. He would kill whoever did this to Mike!
With a deep breath, he lightly brushed the towel over Mike’s right cheek. He had thought it would be awkward, wiping down Mike’s ass, but he only felt sick and angry, not embarrassed.
Mike whimpered slightly as Harvey worked, but he didn’t ask Harvey to stop. After a few minutes, his cheeks were mostly clean. But Harvey knew there was more to go.
“Mike, I’m going to continue. You tell me to stop if hurts, or you can’t handle it.”
Mike tensed in anticipation, and Harvey gently pulled apart Mike’s cheeks to reveal the raw hole that looked like it was causing Mike intense pain. Harvey dabbed water on it first, not wanting to press too hard on the sensitive skin. Mike’s whimpering grew louder and he started to shake more, but still he didn’t say anything. Harvey worried he wasn’t speaking because he was afraid to.
It seemed to take forever, but Harvey finally finished. “All done. Are you okay?” Mike didn’t nod. He just curled more tightly on the bed, and Harvey frowned. “Take it easy, kid. I’ll be here when you wake up.”
Mike closed his eyes, and Harvey went to go throw up in peace. Mike needed him to be strong.
Mike snapped his eyes open. He had thought he’d heard someone laughing, and it had sounded uncannily like the suit’s voice.
But looking around in the darkened room, he saw that he was no longer in his own apartment. Nor was he on a bloodied wooden floor or a crappy stained couch.
Harvey, he remembered. Harvey had brought him to his condo, and Mike felt safer. Then he remembered Harvey cleaning him up, and a bright blush filled Mike’s cheeks. He couldn’t believe Harvey had actually done that, and that he had let him.
Mike pushed himself into an upright position, and swung his legs off the oversized plush mattress. He felt unsteady, but the pain that was pulsing in his insides was strangely muted, and he wondered if Harvey had given him something. If so, he was immensely grateful.
Mike walked lightly to the door on bare feet. Harvey must have taken his shoes off at some point, but he’d left his jeans on, thankfully.
Mike heard the same voice again. It was rich and smooth and confident, and he knew it was Harvey.
He pushed the door open and walked out into the living room to see a man with dark hair in a dark suit, standing in the shadows of the darkened apartment. The windowed walls showed a night sky filled with lights from the city. Mike walked over to Harvey, reaching out with a steady hand for his shoulder.
“Harvey,” he said, and the man turned.
The suit smiled down at him with Harvey’s face, chuckling with Harvey’s voice. His suit wasn’t dark, but the familiar light grey, except he was now wearing a vest, Harvey’s vest.
Mike backed away, fear flooding him. But he felt lethargic, like he was stuck in slow motion.
The suit laughed and stepped towards him. “Miss me, baby?” he asked with a cold grin.
Mike opened his mouth to scream, but no sound came out. He tried to punch the suit, but he couldn’t move. He felt the suit pulling his jeans down, and suddenly they were on the floor back in Mike’s apartment, with the wood soaked in blood and cum.
The suit’s dick was shoving at his entrance, and Mike shook with pure terror. He couldn’t do this again! He couldn’t!
He screamed through the gag that was suddenly back, taped roughly to his face, the rag forcing its way down his throat.
“Mike,” the suit purred as he picked up a steady tempo.
Mike looked up, begging whatever deity was up there to let him go. And suddenly, Harvey was there. He wasn’t smiling, like the suit had, but frowning down at Mike in sharp disapproval.
Mike looked at him and pleaded as much as his eyes and face would allow. But Harvey just sneered and shook his head.
“It’s been swell, Mike,” Harvey said coldly. “But I have work in the morning.” Harvey turned and started to leave, just as the suit was coming inside of him.
Mike screamed in pain and desperation and betrayal. He screamed for Harvey as loud as he could, called his name, begged him to come back, to not leave him there.
The suit pulled out, and turned Mike over, laughing the whole time. Mike sobbed through the gag. “Shh, shh,” the suit said. “Time to wake up, princess.”
Mike frowned in confusion as the tears leaked from his eyes. He shook his head, not wanting to do what the suit told him.
But the suit grabbed his shoulders and shook him. “Mike! Wake up!”
Mike fell back from the suit’s grip to see Harvey above him, worry written on his face. It seemed alien on him, like how he imagined the suit’s face to look with the same expression.
“Mike?” Harvey asked him, and Mike realized he was still in Harvey’s bed, still wearing his jeans; his arms were free, and there was no gag stuffed in his mouth. It must have been a dream, he thought, relief flooding him.
Harvey loomed over him, a hand lightly resting on his collarbone. Mike recognized the motion as one meant to soothe him, but the memory of dream-Harvey was all too vivid in his mind. He watched Harvey walk away from him again, all traces of humanity gone from his expression, and he flinched away from the touch.
Harvey pulled his hand back like it’d been burned. There was some emotion playing in his eyes that Mike couldn’t recognize.
“Sorry,” Harvey muttered. “You were screaming. I thought—I was worried.”
Mike stared at him warily, still feeling the sting of betrayal lingering from his dream.
“Bad dream?” Harvey asked.
Mike nodded slowly.
“Want to talk about it?” Harvey asked calmly. He looked extremely uncomfortable, and seeing such a strange version of Harvey convinced Mike he wasn’t like the suit or the dream version.
“You were in it,” he mumbled softly.
Harvey studied him. “Whatever you saw, it wasn’t me.”
Mike nodded. “It was just a memory.”
“With you, nothing’s just a memory.”
Harvey waited for a reply, but Mike didn’t feel like talking. He’d felt pathetic enough for…however long it had been. He wasn’t sure what time it was anymore, but he knew he’d had enough of being helpless. The memory of clinging pitifully to Harvey, begging him to take him away, to stay with him, caused anger to rise in him.
“Do you want to eat something? I’ll get you anything you want,” Harvey offered.
“Not hungry,” Mike glared at him. He didn’t need Harvey coddling him. He’d already destroyed what little respect Harvey had had for him, he was sure. Now he would always be the childish weakling who couldn’t even defend himself against one man. The tears started to amass in his eyes as he thought about it. He was just thankful that these tears were of anger, not helplessness.
Harvey sighed. “Okay, well you let me know if you want anything, kid.”
Mike rolled onto his side, ignoring the way all the pain in his ass and his back flared at the movement. He didn’t want Harvey to see him like this. He just wanted to be left alone. He curled up, trying to hide himself from his boss, from reality. He just wanted to disappear.
He heard Harvey sigh quietly once more before there were soft footsteps and the sound of the door creaking. He noted the lack of the click, and after a few minutes he looked back to see that Harvey had left it open.
He didn’t want to admit it, but that simple act made him feel…not better, but comforted, and he relaxed for the first time in a long time.
Harvey poured himself a generous portion of scotch. He’d been on his couch, reading something for work when he’d heard the noises from his bedroom.
The small grunts and rustling sounds had quickly grown into screams. Harvey had never heard such terrified screams before, and it tightened his chest painfully to think they were coming from Mike.
He’d run into his bedroom, relieved to see Mike asleep, knowing it was probably a nightmare and not anything more.
But Harvey hadn’t known what to do. Should he try to wake him? Or should he simply let the dream play out? The desperate screaming answered for him. He couldn’t take it anymore; Mike had to stop.
“Mike,” he’d called desperately. When the man didn’t stop his shouts, Harvey had gripped his shoulders, hoping it would wake him and not caring if it earned him a punch. He’d shaken him as much as he dared and yelled at him to wake up.
He had hoped Mike would talk to him. He hadn’t expected much, and he hadn’t really wanted to hear the details, but he needed to know exactly what had happened to his associate to cause all of this. But Mike had been angry, and he’d looked at Harvey like he’d been betrayed in the worst way imaginable. Harvey had wondered then, just what, exactly, Mike had dreamed.
Now he was sitting back on his couch, trying not to down his scotch in one go, and wondering what to do about Mike.
He knew that whatever had happened, it was bad. When he’d walked into Mike’s apartment and seen the patch of wood floor tainted by the mixed fluids, he’d been so shocked he couldn’t move. But seeing Mike, bare-chested and bloodied on his couch had been enough to startle him back.
He was pretty sure Mike wasn’t gay, but he couldn’t be entirely certain. So his brain had come up with multiple scenarios. Whichever he chose, though, one thing pervaded them all: Mike had been raped.
Judging by Mike’s wounds, it had been by a guy, and it had looked extremely painful. But Harvey hadn’t seen any condoms lying around Mike’s apartment, and as unpleasant a thought as it was, he hadn’t seen any dried cum on Mike’s ass. That ruled out DNA evidence. All that he had, then, was Mike’s memory.
Normally, that was reliable enough for Harvey. If Mike saw it, he remembered it, flawlessly. But now Harvey wasn’t so sure. Something that traumatic could cause serious problems. After all, Mike hadn’t been able to differentiate between Harvey and his attacker back at his apartment. Harvey rubbed his jaw where the cheap mug had hit him.
He really needed help on this one. He wasn’t sure he could handle this alone, and he was certain Mike couldn’t. He forced himself, despite this, to not call in Donna. He was sure she’d be discreet, but he didn’t want to betray Mike. He didn’t ever want Mike to look at him with that hurt look ever again.
Harvey drained the rest of his scotch and hung his head in his hands. He needed to do something. Sitting here, waiting for Mike to be better, listening to him scream and seeing him angry and helpless, was driving Harvey crazy.
He picked up his phone and dialed Vanessa. Maybe she could find the man who’d hurt Mike. And he knew he could count on her to keep silent. Mike didn’t even have to know.
“The eagle has landed,” Vanessa answered.
Harvey would normally be happy to play the game with her—it was always his idea, anyway. But this time, it wasn’t impersonal; he wasn’t calling about a client, wasn’t using her services for the firm. This was about Mike, and it was definitely serious.
He decided to cut right to the chase. “I need a favor.”
Mike had fallen asleep sometime after his short chat with Harvey. But he hadn’t dreamed about the suit. He didn’t think he dreamed about anything, really. He was too mad, and too scared to let himself sink that deeply into his mind again.
When he woke up this time, it was light outside. The windows to the city made him uncomfortable. He felt like the whole world could see him—could see how pathetic and vulnerable he was.
He couldn’t look at the world right now.
So he stood up, wincing as every pained motion set his ass on fire. Every step felt like the suit was driving his fingers up him, slickened only by blood. Mike shook his head at the thought, willing the images to go away. He didn’t want to see them again, didn’t want to feel it.
He wanted to wash everything away. And he didn’t want Harvey’s help. He didn’t want Harvey to see just how broken he really was, although he faintly realized that Harvey already knew. He’d seen the damage for himself, after all.
Mike stumbled out of the bedroom, looking for the bathroom. He needed a shower. He thought if he cleaned himself off, dressed like he normally did, then he’d feel normal again. At the very least he’d be able to pretend.
The living room was quiet, lit only by the natural light spilling in through the outside. Harvey was lying on his couch, still dressed in his suit, but he’d discarded the jacket. His hair was ruffled and unruly, and there were deep frown lines etched into his face that Mike had only seen once before, during the Cameron Dennis trouble. A half-empty bottle of scotch stood beside an empty tumbler, and there were papers littering the coffee table.
Mike wondered if maybe Harvey didn’t look just as terrible as him at that moment, and it strangely comforted him. He didn’t feel so alone, suddenly. And the anger he’d felt at the man last night dissipated as he looked at him. Harvey had clearly been upset at something, and while Mike didn’t dare to hope it was for him, he felt sympathy for his boss.
Tiptoeing around the sleeping man, Mike headed for what he guessed was the bathroom. It was bigger than his bedroom in his apartment, and that simple thought was enough to cause the world to sway. He shoved the memory of that place down and stripped, purposely avoiding his reflection in the expansive mirror. He knew he looked awful—he didn’t need to see it.
The water was warm, and Mike knew any hotter would be scalding, but he turned the knob anyway. The pain made him tingle, like he was burning off the touch of the suit on his skin. It replaced the pain in his body, and he just stood beneath the stream of water, reveling in it.
He picked up a bottle of something, hoping it was shampoo. Harvey had six different things in his shower, and Mike guessed that all of them combined were the reason his boss’s hair looked so good.
He felt almost clean, now, but it wasn’t quite enough. He searched for something resembling soap, and found only body wash. He rolled his eyes, laughing for a moment at Harvey’s ridiculously excessive care in personal hygiene, and grabbed a wash cloth from the nearby towel rack.
He scrubbed himself down, scraping as hard as he could on all the spots where the suit had bit and licked him, where his hands had pressed into him.
Carefully, hesitantly, Mike reached behind him, and gently touched the washcloth to his behind. He rubbed as softly as he could and winced at the burst of pain it caused. It had hurt when Harvey had done it, but not this bad. He remembered the towel Harvey had used had been soft and gentle, and the washcloth was rough. No matter how lightly he pressed, it was still too much.
He considered giving up, but the memory of Harvey cleaning him forced him to continue. So he gritted his teeth and just went as quickly as he could, hoping to just live through the pain and get it over with.
It was a terrible plan. He gasped as the cloth slipped into his entrance, and he saw the blood mix with the soap and water as it swirled down the drain. He cried out, and his knees wobbled at the effort of keeping him upright.
He pulled the cloth away and stared at the red liquid on it. It looked like the liquid on the suit’s condom. And suddenly he was back there, lying beneath the suit, staring up at him, as he was forced to come from the man’s fingers being prodded into him. The pain was just as intense and just as real as it had been then, and he felt himself losing his balance as his knees gave out. He vaguely realized that he was in trouble, but he didn’t have the strength to stop himself. He didn’t even have the strength to fully realize that the memory was just a memory.
The world bent and he felt surreal and airy, his ears ringing as the sound of the water became strangely muted. At some point, he registered a pair of scared brown eyes hovering over him, breaking through his vision of the suit standing over him holding his food scissors, for just a moment before he gave up and succumbed to blessed unconsciousness.
Harvey blearily blinked sleep from his eyes, rubbing his hands across his face and into his hair. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep, but dealing with Mike had made him thoroughly exhausted.
He sat up and tried to make sense of the papers scattered across his coffee table, when he finally noticed the sound of his shower going.
A moment of panic gripped him as he worried about Mike doing things on his own. But he stopped himself from getting up and checking on him, afraid of spooking the kid.
Mike probably wanted to be alone anyway, especially while he showered. Harvey knew he was probably still angry, and even though it hurt the way Mike had turned from him, he knew the kid hadn’t meant it personally.
So Harvey just practiced some deep breaths and texted Vanessa to ask if she’d made any progress.
He had just pressed send when he heard a thud come from his bathroom.
Harvey stood faster than he’d have thought possible, and ran to the shower.
Mike was on the floor, slumped against the glass of the shower door, the water hitting him full on. Blue eyes blinked up at him as Harvey struggled to open the shower door. Just as he’d managed to slide it from the other side, he saw Mike’s eyes slip closed.
He reached for the knob to turn off the steady stream of water and flinched as his hand came in contact with the metal. It was red hot and the water’s steam was enough to make Harvey feel like he was in a sauna.
He climbed into the shower and examined how best to lift his associate from the tiled contraption without falling and making things worse. His eyes drifted to a small washcloth that Mike must have dropped. Harvey examined it and saw that part of it was soaked in blood. He swallowed down his fears and examined Mike’s head to make sure it wasn’t bleeding, though he knew the towel’s blood most likely came from a different source.
Carefully, he picked his associate up so he was practically standing with his back to Harvey’s chest, being held up by Harvey’s hands beneath his armpits. Very slowly, he climbed out of the shower and then picked up the man completely so he was cradled in Harvey’s arms. Mike looked pathetically small as his head lolled against Harvey’s chest.
He tried to ignore the fact that Mike was naked as best as he could, and carried him back to the bedroom.
He set him down and rushed to find a towel, drying him off after returning to the bedroom. It seemed Mike had managed to clean himself successfully before collapsing, and Harvey wondered what had triggered his fall.
Then he turned him over. Mike’s back was sporting new bruises from where it had hit the shower walls. They stood out against the very disturbing handprint shaped bruise. But the worst part was, once again, Mike’s ass. It was leaking fresh blood, and Harvey took an uncomfortably closer look at it to see that Mike must have rubbed it raw with that washcloth. Harvey couldn’t imagine how painful that must have been, and he knew it must have contributed to Mike falling.
It made Harvey feel incredibly guilty. He shouldn’t have fallen asleep. He shouldn’t have let Mike do something stupid like shower when he was barely able to stand.
Harvey gritted his teeth and fetched another towel from his kitchen, as he’d done earlier with Mike. He dipped it in warm water and proceeded to gently wash away the oozing blood until no more came.
Mike stirred beneath him at the touch, but didn’t rouse. He was twitching and frowning, and Harvey wondered if he was having another nightmare. He couldn’t blame the kid. Hell, he’d probably be having nightmares, too, if it had happened to him.
Harvey worried what would have happened if he hadn’t gone to Mike’s apartment. Would anyone have found him? Would Mike have tried to hide it, like it had never happened, until he couldn’t hold it in anymore and had a mental breakdown in the office? Harvey had no doubt that Mike wouldn’t have told him, given the choice. It made Harvey angry.
He dug out a pair of old boxers and some too-small sweatpants and managed, somehow, to dress Mike without moving him too much. He put a loose T-shirt on him, too, just so the kid would feel less exposed, for all it was worth. And Harvey didn’t want to look at all the bruises and marks on Mike’s skin.
He didn’t return to the living room permanently this time, but simply grabbed some papers and his cell and climbed onto the bed next to Mike. He wanted to give Mike space, but he didn’t want to let him out of his sight. He’d seen how well that had gone. So with a worried glance at the sleeping man, he settled down and let his work lull him into a light sleep.
Mike knew it was a dream. He knew it wasn’t really happening, that it wasn’t going to. But it didn’t stop it from hurting.
He was replaying the scene in his apartment yet again, only this time he was watching Harvey frown down at him in disgust, hearing his boss call him names and tell him he was fired.
He wondered how this could possibly get any worse until his grandmother appeared, blaming him for his parents’ deaths.
Mike had an out, though. He knew it was a dream, so he just had to wake himself up. But he didn’t. He replayed the entire memory until it was finished, hoping he could force himself to get past it.
When he felt like he’d succeeded somewhat, he finally shook himself up.
He was lying on his stomach, wrapped warmly in something. He opened his eyes to see he was once more in Harvey’s bed, this time under the covers and wearing some sweatpants and a shirt. They smelled like Harvey and fabric softener. It was much better than his previous attire.
He turned his head in search of the windows, hoping to tell what time it was. The sky outside was dark, but the room’s light was on. Mike let his eyes adjust to the light and made out the outline of a body next to him. He quelled the panic in his stomach as he reasoned that it must be Harvey.
The man must have fallen asleep like that. He was propped up against the headboard of the bed, folders open on his lap, a pen in his hand. He looked tired.
Mike rolled out of the bed carefully, wincing at the pain in his body. It was slightly dulled everywhere else, though his ass was on fire. He remembered vaguely falling in the shower, and Harvey’s eyes over him.
He slid a hand to his bottom and touched lightly. It hurt, but it felt clean and tender. Harvey, Mike thought. A blush rose to his face at the memory of Harvey cleaning him earlier as he realized his boss had just done him a repeat service.
Mike took another look at Harvey and decided he wouldn’t wake him up. His boss looked exhausted, and Mike already owed him too much. He shouldn’t have been so stupid to have taken a shower like that. But he couldn’t lie down any longer. It was too painful for his mind.
So instead, he wandered into Harvey’s kitchen, where the microwave blinked the time as being five in the morning. Mike decided he would repay Harvey by making him breakfast. He rummaged until he found what he needed and started to cook some eggs and bacon.
Harvey’s fridge was surprisingly well stocked, and Mike wondered if Harvey was any good at cooking.
As he was cleaning up, he heard some rustling noises, and a minute later, Harvey was standing in the kitchen and rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
Mike couldn’t bring himself to look at him. “I, uh, I made breakfast. Here,” he said, and handed Harvey a plate.
The man took it and stared at it confusedly for a second before finally sitting down and digging in.
Mike picked up his own plate and started picking at it. He wasn’t really hungry, but he knew he should eat, so he forced himself to take large bites.
“Are you—” Harvey started.
Mike cut him off nervously. “I’m fine, Harvey. Really.”
Harvey looked at him, and Mike avoided his gaze.
“Mike, you’re not fine. It’s okay to admit it.” Harvey’s voice was gentle, and that scared Mike more than anything else.
He didn’t want to admit it; he wanted to forget about it, pretend it never happened. He just wanted to go back to his life and have things be normal between himself and Harvey.
He met Harvey’s concerned stare with silence.
“Please,” he begged, voice small and quiet. He didn’t want to talk about this. Not now, not ever.
Harvey sighed. “Mike, you can’t just pretend it never happened.”
“Why not?” Mike slammed his fork down in anger, not caring how petulant he sounded.
Harvey looked at him like he was afraid he was going to shatter. “I don’t know what happened, Mike, but—”
“You’re right. You don’t. So just let it go and leave it alone, Harvey.” Mike scraped his chair against Harvey’s tiled floor as he stood, ripping Harvey’s plate out from under him, egg still dangling off his fork. He practically threw them into the sink, surprised they didn’t break from the force. He gripped the counter hard and hung his head, trying to stop himself from breaking.
Harvey stood slowly and stepped towards Mike. He would have moved away from his boss, but he was afraid if he moved an inch that he’d just lose it.
Harvey put a tentative hand on his back, moved it after a bit to wrap it around Mike’s shoulders. Mike tried to hold on.
“Easy, kid. It’ll be okay.”
He didn’t know if it was Harvey’s gentle embrace, or his calm, sure words, but the mental dam he’d constructed broke. He let the tears gush from his eyes and his chest moved frantically as it tried to take in enough air.
“He…I didn’t want to. I said no. But he—he kissed me and then I told him I didn’t want, and he changed. He hit me and…g-gagged me, and he—he…” Mike said in-between sobs, not sure what he was trying to say, but just saying it. He knew every painstaking detail of that night, could feel it in full sensation—every blow, every thrust. He hadn’t wanted to tell Harvey. He hadn’t even wanted to tell himself. Because once he told himself what had happened, not just simply remembering but actually realizing, he knew he wouldn’t be able to hide from it.
Harvey tightened his grip on Mike’s shoulders, and rested his other hand on Mike’s, which was white-knuckled on the counter. He tried to soothe his associate, tried to get him to calm down. “Shh,” he said as Mike’s body racked in another sob. “Shh, it’s okay,” he quieted.
But Mike froze, and Harvey had a moment to recognize the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, before Mike’s fist connected with his face.
Harvey was caught off-guard, and while Mike’s punch was pretty weak, it still managed to knock him back into the dining table, scattering a couple of glasses on the floor with a shatter.
Mike’s eyes were wide with fear, and they had a scary distant look to them. Harvey reached a slow hand out to Mike, like he was a wary dog, and proceeded to watch Mike bolt from his touch. He ran past Harvey, onto the shards of glass, and over to the front door, frantically attempting to unlock the thing.
It only took Harvey a second to come to his senses. He carefully hopped the glass and made it to the front door just in time to push it closed again. Mike jiggled the knob uselessly and Harvey knew he had to get him away from the door. There was fresh blood on his floor under Mike’s feet. If Mike got outside, who knew what else would happen to him.
He pulled the struggling man by the waist, trying to get him into the bedroom, where he could hopefully calm him down and ensure his safekeeping. Mike’s fingers clawed frantically at Harvey’s front door.
He threw his associate into the bedroom, and locked the door behind him. He stood like a bouncer before the door and watched Mike.
The man registered that his only exit was now blocked and instead backed himself into the furthest corner possible, shrinking down and pulling Harvey’s heavy alarm clock with him, whether as a shield or a weapon, Harvey wasn’t sure.
He didn’t move but looked straight at Mike, waiting for him to calm down, to realize he wasn’t going to move or come after him.
It took about ten minutes, according to the clock clutched in Mike’s hands. He was looking pale, and Harvey hoped the blood loss wasn’t too serious. He didn’t know how to stitch up wounds and he really didn’t want to try to get Mike to a hospital at the moment.
Mike finally dropped the clock and it fell to the floor with a thud. He seemed to look like he was back in the present, so Harvey relaxed a little.
“Harvey?” Mike asked weakly.
He nodded back, afraid his words might set Mike off again. He’d been thinking about what he’d done to scare him like that, and guessed it must have been something he’d said.
Harvey remembered when he’d found Mike and how the kid had been suspicious of him then, too. Harvey had promised it was him then. He was glad Mike remembered that.
“I promise,” he smiled.
“I’m sorry,” Mike said, eyes downcast in shame. He struggled to his feet and winced as he put weight on his feet.
Harvey started forward but stopped himself. He needed to help Mike, but he didn’t want to scare him into a relapse.
“I think I may need help,” Mike said.
Harvey wasn’t sure what he meant. Right now all he could do was check out the physical wounds.
“Let me see,” he offered, and Mike stumbled over to the bed and let Harvey check his feet.
He fetched his first aid kit again and some towels and water and set about bandaging the wounds. They were just small cuts, nothing serious. Mike passed out afterward, and Harvey let him sleep. He looked like he needed about a year of the stuff, so Harvey made sure to give him anything he could.
He went back to the kitchen and tidied up. While he was sweeping up the glass, his phone beeped. He sat back on his heels on the kitchen floor and checked out the text from Vanessa.
No luck. Need more info. ?
He put the dust pan down and texted her back.
I only know he met him at a bar. Bought him beer. Find me something.
He didn’t bother resuming cleaning, just waited for her response. He didn’t wait long.
Should help…maybe. I’ll do my best. Need more info…
Harvey knew it was too little to go on. Maybe she could get some clues from Mike’s apartment? He texted her the address and said,
He knew she wouldn’t bother to text back. He also knew she would do everything she could to help him.
He picked the dust pan up and started sweeping the shards of glass into it when another beep from his phone sounded.
It was from Donna.
What happened to keeping me updated?
Harvey sighed. He’d honestly forgotten about Donna with all that was going on.
Sorry. Been busy.
But you can’t…--Harvey
…Fix whatever this is. And keep me UPDATED!!—Donna
Harvey sighed and put his phone away. He finished sweeping up and then just stood there, not sure what to do. He needed something to do. But Mike needed him more.
Resigned, he went back to work. He’d found out more about what had happened, and he hadn’t liked it one bit. He only hoped that Mike would be able to recover and soon. He wasn’t sure he could bear the strain of seeing Mike like this. He wondered briefly if he was in hell, if he was being punished with dealing with Mike and being incapable to fix anything.
He really wished Donna were here.
He wasn’t sure what he was doing until he’d finished doing it. He stared at the ‘sent message’ notification on his phone and realized he’d basically just asked Donna for help. Before he could change his mind, though, she’d already texted him back.
Be there in 10.—Donna
He hoped Mike wouldn’t be mad.
“I brought soup,” Donna said when Harvey opened the door. She was holding a large brown paper bag, presumably containing the promised soup.
“It’s not really…thanks,” Harvey said. Soup would do everyone good, even if it wouldn’t fix Mike.
She set it on his counter and started getting some bowls out. “You look horrible, by the way.”
“How observant of you. I knew I asked you over for a reason.” Harvey knew it was a weak response, that she was judging him by it, but he was too tired to do better, and too tired to care that he couldn’t.
“It must be bad.” Harvey nodded at her questioning gaze. “So where’s Mike?”
She looked at the bedroom door, then down at the sink, where the mostly full breakfast plates were sitting. “He a terrible cook?”
Harvey rubbed his hands over his face. “No clue. I only got a couple bites in before…”
She stared at him as he trailed off, eyes searching for something. “Okay, scale of one to ten, how bad are we talking, here?”
Harvey assumed she wasn’t referring to Mike’s cooking. “Eleven.”
She stared once more at the bedroom door before returning her attention to the soup. Harvey just let his head rest in his hands over the dining table. He felt exhausted.
He looked up just in time to see Donna heading over to the bedroom with a bowl of soup in her hands. He got to her just in time.
“Better not,” he said, taking the bowl from her. It was hot, and he’d rather not have anyone add burns onto their growing list of injuries.
She frowned at him but didn’t argue. He took it back to the table and sat next to it, waiting.
“I’m guessing he’s not sick.”
He shook his head.
“And that he’s actually here….alive.”
Harvey gave her a look for that one. She was just trying to make him feel better, he knew, but it was failing spectacularly.
“He…he told me a bit about what happened. It was bad. I think he needs to see someone about it. But he won’t listen to me. He just wants to pretend it didn’t happen.” Harvey knew it was risky to tell her so much, but he couldn’t do this alone anymore. And if there was anyone he trusted with anything and everything, it was Donna.
“Harvey, you can’t just make someone listen to you.”
He looked at her with confusion. He made people listen for a living. It was why he had this job, and why he had Mike.
“I know you’re smarter than that, Harvey. He has to want to not pretend. If it’s as bad as it seems, then he probably won’t want to. Forcing him to try will only make things worse.”
Harvey knew she was right, but it didn’t help. If he couldn’t make Mike better, then what was he supposed to do? See him like this everyday? He didn’t know if he could handle that.
“He’s in bad shape, Donna.”
She didn’t answer, and he didn’t continue. They just sat there in silence for a while. He felt better just being near her, despite the helplessness he felt about Mike. Donna always made him feel better.
“Harvey? I think I’m—” Mike stopped short as he saw Donna. He looked like it hurt to stand, but he didn’t make a move towards the chairs.
Harvey took a deep breath, afraid Mike would be mad, or that seeing Donna would trigger something again. But Mike seemed to relax a little, instead.
Donna looked at him and pointed to the soup. “It’s getting cold. This stuff doesn’t grow on trees, you know.”
Mike looked scared for a second, but Harvey felt relieved to see it was more the panic he displayed only for Donna, and not the terrified out of his mind panic he’d displayed earlier.
Mike sat down and took a big bite of the steaming liquid, closing his eyes in enjoyment.
“Oh my God. What’s in this? Is it legal?” Mike said, and Harvey felt better, normal.
Donna snickered. “I’m afraid I’ll have to withhold that information.”
Harvey gave a relieved chuckle. “It’s really nothing special. She bought it at—”
Donna gave Harvey a smack on his shoulder and a look that promised death to his firstborn.
Mike snorted and pointed rudely at Harvey. “’No soup for you!’”
Harvey knew the kid was feeling better if he was laughing and quoting “Seinfeld” of all things. It felt almost normal. He wished they could just go on like this, but he also knew Mike needed to heal on the inside, and pretending would only last so long. But this would do…for now.
Harvey watched Donna leave and Mike follow her to the door. She had stayed for most of the day, and had even brought Harvey some work to do. They’d played a couple games of Scrabble and eventually Harvey had ordered a pizza for lunch. It had been an enjoyable and mostly normal day. And Harvey realized as she left, just how much he and Mike had needed it.
Mike locked the door when she’d finally left, but now he was just standing there.
Harvey waited for him to do something, anything, but nothing happened.
“Mike?” Harvey’s inquiry was met with silence, and he wondered if Mike was trying to say something, or trying not to say something.
“He…he walked me up to my place. I said goodnight, but he put his foot in the door. He kissed me. I told him I wasn’t interested and he turned to leave.” Mike’s voice was quiet, but Harvey was so still he could have heard a pin drop. He waited for Mike to continue.
“The door had closed, so he went to open it. I felt stupid, like I’d led him on, so I said I was sorry, and he…he said, ‘Don’t be’ and turned the lock. I tried to get away, knew I had to run. I just couldn’t. I was so pathetic, Harvey.” Mike leaned his head against the door, and Harvey knew the man was crying. He resisted the sudden urge to hug his associate and instead remained seated at the dining table.
“You aren’t pathetic,” Harvey said, voice hard but gentle.
Mike’s shoulders shook slightly and after a minute he turned from the door. He looked at Harvey, eyes filled with tears. “Then why did I let him get me?”
Harvey’s stomach churned. Did Mike really believe it was his own fault? “I doubt you let him do anything, Mike.”
Mike shook his head sadly. “I only scratched his face.”
Harvey’s mental light bulb lit up. He silently and discreetly texted the info to Vanessa from under the table.
Mike didn’t notice, just kept going. “I didn’t even get further than the front door, Harvey. He held me down with one hand. If that’s not pathetic, then I don’t know what is.” Mike sounded angry, and it made Harvey hate Mike’s rapist all the more, that he was still hurting Mike even after the fact.
He stood slowly from his chair, drawing Mike’s gaze. “Listen to me, rookie. You are not pathetic. You’re a reflection of me, and I’m certainly not pathetic. Unless you’d like to argue otherwise?”
Mike gave him a weak smile. “I don’t think that’s going to work this time.”
Harvey took deliberate steps over to Mike. “Mike.”
Mike looked at him, eyes wet and sad. “I…I’m sorry. We were having a good time, and it was normal again, and I ruined it now, didn’t I? I’m sorry.”
Harvey reached out and put his hands on Mike’s shoulders, then pulled him into his chest. Mike didn’t move for a bit, just stood there. Then Harvey felt his back tense like he was trying not to cry. “It wasn’t your fault, Mike,” he said softly to the man. Mike moved his hands onto Harvey’s chest, like he was going to push him away. Harvey repeated himself, saying the line over and over again, hoping if Mike heard it enough he’d finally believe it.
“Stop. Please, Harvey. Please, stop,” Mike was saying, breath hitched from his attempts to hold back his tears.
But Harvey’s hands held him firmly to his chest, his voice clear and gentle, the phrase rolling sincerely off his tongue.
Mike’s fingers grabbed at Harvey’s shirt, the fabric twisting in his hands, and Harvey finally heard him give up. Mike’s shoulders fell, and he started crying. It reminded Harvey of that phone call on Wednesday afternoon, when he’d been bewildered by Mike’s sobs.
It felt like hours before Mike finally stopped. He looked tired again, so Harvey disentangled himself from his associate and slid a hand around his wrist, leading him over to the bedroom.
Mike followed him, eyes downcast, and fell into the bed. He turned his back to Harvey again, but he sat up and stared at him when Harvey started to leave.
“Harvey,” Mike said hesitantly.
Harvey paused by the doorway. “Yeah?”
“You won’t…tell anyone…will you?”
He honestly wondered if Mike thought so little of him. “I promise, kid.”
Mike smiled sadly. “Does Donna—”
“No,” Harvey finished. “She thought you were sick. Hence the soup.”
Mike nodded. “Thanks for…everything.”
Harvey took a step out the door.
“What now?” he said jokingly.
“Umm. Can we go back to work tomorrow?”
Harvey hesitated. He wasn’t sure that was such a good idea. He could just imagine Mike being bumped into in the hallway and having a freak out moment.
“Please?” And suddenly Harvey knew he was going to let Mike come in, because he knew that here, Mike wouldn’t have anything to keep him from remembering in full detail.
“You’re going to stay in my office the entire day. You’re not going to go to the bathroom without an escort, you’re not going to work on anything unless I tell you to, and you’re definitely not going to do any work for Louis.”
Mike smiled gratefully. Harvey tried not to think about how sad that smile made him and instead flipped the light switch. He left the door open slightly, like he had that first night.
He collapsed on his couch and ran his hands over his face. Taking care of Mike was proving to be exhausting. This was why he never let himself care about anyone, so that he’d never find himself in this position. But what was he supposed to have done with Mike? Should he have just ignored the pain he’d heard on the other line when his calls had finally been answered? Or should he have just called an ambulance and left Mike there? He knew Mike had no one, other than his ailing grandmother and some pretty terrible “friends”.
His phone beeped, and he lunged for it.
Found the bar.—Vanessa.
Harvey started to type a response when he decided to just call. He was pretty sure he heard light snoring from the bedroom, so he wasn’t worried about waking Mike.
“Harvey,” Vanessa said seriously.
“Tell me you have something.”
There was a sigh on the other line. “You’re not going to be happy.”
“Tell me,” he growled.
“Well, you told me the guy bought your associate a beer, so I figured they must have been at a bar. Well, I canvassed the area around Mike’s place and found the place. They remembered seeing Mike, said he put down at least five beers before he left. There was a guy who bought him the last two rounds, but he paid in cash and no one can give me a description beyond ‘He was wearing a fancy suit.’”
Harvey closed his eyes in an attempt to collect his emotions. “So, I take that to mean you haven’t found him?”
“Sorry. I can keep looking, but I doubt I’m going to find much. I…I went to his place.” There was a brief pregnant silence and he could hear the horror she must have felt. “It looked…bad. I’m sorry, Harvey. I really am. If you find any more information, let me know. I’ll do what I can.”
“Thanks,” he gritted out. Realistically, he knew he shouldn’t have expected much, but he’d still allowed himself to hope she’d find the guy.
“And Harvey? It’s on the house. I insist. This bastard deserves anything we can give him.”
“I’ll call you if I find more,” he said and hit ‘End’. He liked Vanessa, and she didn’t deserve any of his misdirected anger. He’d just have to wait for Mike to tell him.
Harvey settled into the couch and tried to get some work done. He’d need to be ahead of schedule if he wanted to keep an eye on Mike.
He just hoped they’d both get enough sleep. After all, tomorrow would be an interesting day.
It was almost over.
They had had a surprisingly uneventful day, and now it was nearing 6:30 PM and they could start packing up.
Harvey had lent Mike a suit, which was slightly too big for him, but nicer than most of his own, and they’d gotten a ride together from Ray. Donna had eyed Mike with concern when they’d arrived, but she’d seemed okay with Harvey’s explanation.
He’d had to explain to her that it hadn’t been his idea, and she’d immediately halted the glares she’d been giving him.
He had made a trip to Louis’s office to…ask…the man to go easy on Mike for a while due to personal stress. Louis had eyed him curiously, but hadn’t refused, much to Harvey’s surprise. But then, he figured that Louis had taken a good look at the associate.
Mike looked especially miserable in Harvey’s slightly oversized suit, but there were also dark circles beneath his eyes, and he had been uncharacteristically quiet from the get-go.
The real delight for Harvey had been when Jessica had called him into her office.
“Harvey,” she’d said simply.
He’d sighed, wondering how to explain the situation to her, how much to tell her. There was no doubt he had to tell her something.
“What’s going on?” she asked patiently.
He tried to stall by stuffing his hands in his pockets and gazing pensively out her window.
“The fact that you aren’t answering my question has me worried. Should I be worried?”
Harvey turned and gave her a weighing look. “I…I can’t say exactly.”
She raised an eyebrow at that. “Can’t? Or won’t?”
“Can’t,” he affirmed. “It’s not my place.”
“Then whose place is it?” She took a seat on her desk, legs and arms crossed authoritatively.
frowned. “I really can’t say,” he repeated, for once at a loss for words.
“Now I’m really worried,” she joked.
“Look, it’s personal. Not to me, but to Mike.”
She stood in surprise. “Your associate? Really, Harvey?”
He spread his hands. “It’s true.”
She stared back for a full minute before responding to his blatant and highly unusual honesty. “You have to give me something, Harvey. I can’t just let this go on your word alone.”
heaved another sigh. “Mike was…assaulted, let’s say. He needed some time—needs some time—to adjust.”
Jessica drew in a sharp breath. “Assaulted?”
shrugged. “I really can’t say.”
Jessica nodded, and he knew she understood his meaning. She actually looked sympathetic. “Fine. But he’s your responsibility. That hasn’t changed, Harvey.”
“I know. I’m taking care of it."
He hadn’t answered her then, unsure of how to verbalize a response. He’d simply nodded and left, heading for his office where Mike was waiting for him.
Now it was time to head home.
Mike looked up from his work that he’d strewn all across the couch and coffee table when Harvey told him they were leaving.
“But I haven’t finished yet.”
Harvey shook his head in exasperation. “Mike,” he warned.
“Really, Harvey, I’m fine. It’ll only take me another hour.”
“We had a deal, Mike.”
Mike’s gaze swept back and forth between Harvey’s steely face and the paperwork a few times before he hung his head in defeat. “Yes sir,” he said and gave a little salute.
They gathered up their things and started to leave.
Suddenly, Harvey’s office phone began ringing. Sighing yet again, he motioned Mike on and went to answer it.
The voice on the other end was none other than their client, who was panicked about some threat the opposition was making.
Harvey was so engrossed in trying to calm the woman that he barely noticed that not only had Mike disappeared from view, but over twenty minutes had passed. He cursed silently and managed to end the conversation with reassurances that the “crisis” would be averted.
He locked up his office and headed towards the elevators, assuming Mike would be waiting for him there.
But the associate was not there.
Harvey headed for the bullpen, wondering maybe if Mike had gone to get more work from his desk, but his cubicle was empty.
He was heading for the bathrooms, thinking Mike may have simply needed to stop there before leaving, when Louis came up behind him.
“Harvey,” the man whispered, and Harvey knew it was serious because there was no hint of mischief in Louis’s voice.
“Let me guess,” Harvey groaned. “Mike’s in trouble.”
Louis nodded and looked around like he was making sure they were alone. “I swear I have no idea what happened,” Louis defended.
“Just tell me, Louis,” Harvey said wearily.
“He’s in my office.”
Harvey stared at Louis, vaguely registering the shock on both of their faces. “What?” he managed incredulously.
“Well, I usually don’t prefer to show any preferential treatment of any of the associates, but when one of them collapses on the floor in front of the entire associate’s area, I have little choice.” Louis looked genuinely freaked out, so Harvey decided to skip the jokes and insults and instead worry about Mike.
“What happened?” Harvey dared to ask.
Louis shrugged. “I have no clue. I swear, Harvey, I didn’t do anything. I was going to call an ambulance because he wasn’t responding, but then he asked for you, so…”
Harvey stared at Louis for a moment to appreciate the man and his rare acts of kindness. It always amazed him whenever he found that Louis had—not a heart of gold, per se, but—a soft spot he kept hidden beneath many layers of creepy and downright evilness.
Harvey followed Louis back to the man’s office, where he was directed to look underneath Louis’s desk.
Mike was curled up as far back as he could go underneath the great wooden thing, rocking back and forth, repeating something incoherent to himself.
“Mike,” Harvey called softly.
The associate looked up at him, big blue eyes shining in the darkness. “Harvey?” he asked hesitantly.
“Yeah, it’s me, kid. C’mon rookie. Time to go home.”
“Home?” Mike asked, eyes widened in fear. “No. I don’t wanna go back. Please!”
Harvey swore as he realized his mistake. “My home, Mike. My home.”
Mike just looked at Harvey with pure suspicion.
“I promise,” Harvey whispered to him. It seemed to work, as Mike stopped shaking and slowly uncurled himself as he scooted over towards the opening of the desk.
But just as he was almost out, Mike pulled back, glaring at Harvey. “No! I won’t go! You can’t trick me! You’re not Harvey!” he screamed with hatred and fear.
Harvey recalled Vanessa’s words from the previous night, how she had said that Mike’s attacker had been wearing a fancy suit, and Harvey remembered Mike’s reaction to him back in his apartment when Harvey had first found him.
“Mike, listen to me,” he said calmly, “it’s me, Harvey. I promise.”
Mike looked like he wanted to believe it, but he didn’t move an inch.
“Mike,” Louis said, and they both turned to look at the man in surprise. Harvey had forgotten he was even there. “It’s okay. You can come out now.” Mike stared at him. “You wanted Harvey, right?” Mike nodded. “It’s really him. Who else is rude enough to invade my office by stashing an associate under my desk?”
Mike gave a nervous smile and asked once more, “Harvey?”
Mike crawled out and, still on the floor, leaped into Harvey’s chest. The senior partner wrapped his arms comfortingly around him, refusing to acknowledge the fuel he’d just given Louis for future jokes.
But the junior partner was merely looking worried. Harvey shook his head at him and Louis nodded after a minute.
“Let’s go, Mike.” Harvey lifted them both up, prying Mike off of him in the process so that anyone looking in wouldn’t see Mike clinging to his boss.
Mike nodded, still shaking a little, and looked once more at Louis. Harvey noticed the shame in his eyes.
“Take care, Mike,” Louis said, clearly uncomfortable with showing any kind emotions whatsoever.
“Thanks, Louis,” Harvey said, and surprisingly the man just nodded back. Harvey was honestly amazed. Mike must have really freaked him out. He’d freaked Harvey out too, but this was becoming routine now, for him.
The ride back was quiet, with Mike sitting as close to Harvey as he possibly could. He kept looking up at him, like he was making sure he was still really there.
When they got to Harvey’s place, Mike went straight for the bathroom, and Harvey tried not to panic as he remembered the thud that led to Mike falling in the shower.
After a few minutes, Mike reappeared, looking more or less normal. They sat silently on the couch.
“Sorry,” Mike said, breaking the silence.
“Don’t pretend, Harvey. I know I must have been pathetically embarrassing.”
“I’m not pretending, Mike. This was what I was worried about—that you’d have a panic attack at work and I’d have to dig you out from Louis’s desk of all places!”
Mike’s eyes flashed at that, and Harvey regretted how harsh he’d sounded. He wasn’t angry at Mike, but at himself, for letting his associate guilt him into letting him go back to work so soon.
“I didn’t mean it like that, Mike. I just—”
“You’re right,” Mike gritted out.
“What?” Harvey hadn’t seen that coming.
“I shouldn’t have gone back so soon. I just wanted to have one thing in my life go back to being normal. I didn’t think about you.”
“Me?” Now he was really confused.
“You must be really sick of having to take care of me like this. I’ll…I’ll find somewhere else to go, if you don’t want me here.”
Mike was being serious, Harvey realized. He knew the kid had trust issues, even more so after his attack, but this was getting out of hand.
“Mike. First off, shut up. I don’t mind. Amazingly enough, I really don’t. Second, I’d rather you stay here. I definitely won’t let you go live with your grandmother in her nursing home, hiding from the nurses under her bed. And don’t try and convince me that you’d go someplace else, because you don’t have someplace else. Third, shut up.”
“You already said that,” Mike muttered dejectedly.
“Well, it was worth repeating, apparently, since you seem to keep interrupting.” Harvey glared at the kid, who finally dropped his eyes and closed his mouth. “Go get some sleep. We have the whole weekend to wait before we go back to work, so just take it easy, and we’ll try again on Monday, okay?”
Mike nodded meekly.
Harvey leaned back into the couch and closed his eyes, finally allowing himself to feel just how tired he was. He heard Mike stand and shuffle over to the guest room.
“What?” he asked, rubbing his hands over his face.
“I…It won’t happen again. I promise.”
Harvey looked at Mike. “It’s okay if it does, kid.”
Mike nodded and went inside. Harvey noticed he left the door ajar.
He waited until Mike had been asleep for awhile, that he wasn’t having a nightmare. When he was sure he wouldn’t be needed for a few hours, he headed down to his car and drove over to Mike’s place.
Despite the terrible state of the building and the surrounding neighborhood, no one had stolen anything from Mike’s apartment. Maybe they turned around when they saw the bullet holes in the next apartment’s door.
Harvey made things quick. He rummaged through Mike’s drawers, pulling all the clothes he could find that would fit in the collapsible hamper he’d brought. He grabbed his suits, ties (even the really skinny ones), and shoes, and anything else that looked important.
He found a framed picture of a couple and guessed they were Mike’s parents. Behind it was a picture of an older woman—Mike’s grandmother?—and he grabbed both frames and stuffed them in the hamper.
When it was full, Harvey headed out.
But he stopped by the doorway, where the stained patch of wood floor caught his eye.
He tried to imaging what had happened. He saw Mike standing before the doorway, like the associate had described, and the attacker forcing his way in. The thought of Mike lying on the ground right here, gagged and bound and being raped, made Harvey’s blood boil and stomach clench. He stopped in the bathroom to empty his stomach before leaving the dreaded place.
He’d come back later for the other stuff, like all of Mike’s books and DVDs and other miscellaneous belongings.
When he got back, he’d laid out a set of clothes for Mike to use in the morning, and stuffed the other items in the extra closet by his bathroom. He quietly sneaked into the bedroom, and after checking to see if Mike was okay and still asleep, he placed the framed photos on the night stand.
He hoped it would give Mike all the comforts of home without any of the horrors.
He settled down on the couch, letting out a large yawn, and cradled a large glass of scotch. He fell asleep only when he’d drained the whole thing and his hands had finally stopped shaking.
Mike’s eyes snapped open as he leapt from the nightmare. He blinked in the darkness for a minute, waiting for the shapes around him to sharpen into the familiar furnishings of Harvey’s room.
He glanced over to the door and saw that it was still open, like he’d left it. The windows showed that it was still fully dark, with no threat of the sunrise visible on the horizon.
Mike laid back on the sheets that were sticky from his sweat, and focused on clearing his mind of the horrid visions. He really didn’t want to go back to sleep for fear that the nightmare would begin again, but he didn’t know what else to do. So he turned on his side and stared into the darkness.
That’s when he noticed the framed pictures on the nightstand. Squinting in the reduced light he could have barely made out the outline of people in the image. But Mike didn’t need the light to know the pictures.
They were the ones he kept on his own nightstand, back at his apartment. One was of grammy, when they’d gone to the park just after he’d gotten into college. He remembered how happy they’d been that day. The other was of his parents. The photo was old and wrinkled from the times he’d stuffed it angrily into his pocket and the few times he’d tried to bitterly throw it away.
What he didn’t know was why they were here.
Harvey, Mike thought.
He stared at the photos for a few more minutes before realizing that they were upsetting him. He didn’t know why, though. They surprisingly didn’t remind him of his apartment and the suit, they just seemed to make him sad.
He suddenly missed them. He missed Grammy, felt bad that he hadn’t seen her recently, that he wouldn’t be able to face her after what the suit had done to him. But most of all, he missed his parents. He knew they’d have made him feel better in that childish way of hugging and crying together that you could only respectfully endure with the people that brought you into the world.
But they weren’t here. Not his grandmother, not his parents.
Mike swept his eyes across the room once more, looking for some sort of comfort, but it seemed empty now, and the bed felt ice cold.
Ignoring the rational part of his brain, Mike stood and limped on his injured and sore feet over to the door. His body was still sore from the injuries he’d received, but he hardly registered them. Right now, the biggest pain was the hole he felt in his chest, that empty place that needed desperately to be filled.
He pushed the door open and searched the living room for the familiar figure on the couch.
Sure enough, Harvey was sleeping on the plush sofa. But he was leaning in what must have been a terribly uncomfortable position on the arm of the couch, an empty tumbler in his hand, still dressed in his normal attire.
Mike stood there just staring at him for a minute before returning to the bed to rip the comforter off. He dragged the thing over to the couch and carefully sank into the cushion. He sat as close to Harvey as possible without touching him, wanting to simply be close to another human being. The hole in his chest slowly started to morph from sharp pains into a dull ache.
And very carefully, he pulled the comforter over both of them, adjusting it so it was covering them equally. Finally, he leaned back into the couch, legs tucked under him, and closed his eyes to sleep.
Harvey woke to the minute twitching of someone next to him. Usually it was whomever he’d brought back to his place, but that wasn’t right. He was on the couch, and fully clothed, so…
He glanced up, noticing first that he was under the comforter that normally belonged on his bed. He looked to his left and saw Mike curled up on the other end of the couch.
The kid was frowning and twitching every few seconds like he was dreaming. Harvey knew it probably wasn’t anything good.
He was confused by the entire situation. He was fairly certain Mike had fallen asleep in the bedroom, and not on the couch with him, so what was he doing out here?
Harvey wondered if maybe Mike sleepwalked.
“Mm, no!” Mike muttered. He was frowning and kicking his feet slightly. He looked pathetic and small and lonely, and Harvey worried about whether Mike would ever go back to the strong but naïve kid he remembered hiring.
“Mike,” Harvey whispered to him, hoping to calm him without waking him. He reached out tentatively to lay a hand on Mike’s shoulder.
“Harvey…” Mike mumbled calmly. His frown was gone, replaced with a small content smile.
Harvey sighed at him. “Right here, kid.”
Mike drowned out the quiet of Harvey’s office with his music, cranking the volume up until he was sure it was harmful to his ears. He needed something to distract him enough that he could fall into his work.
Harvey had been frustratingly calm and understanding over the weekend, treating Mike like he was going to break if he so much as looked at him wrong.
It didn’t help that Mike felt like he would actually break.
But now, he just wanted things to go back to the way they’d always been. He realized he’d screwed up before, on Friday, when he’d collapsed and hidden under Louis’s desk.
He was dreading seeing the man all day, but so far no one had so much as set foot in Harvey’s office. Even Donna was keeping her distance.
And worst of all, he was still living in Harvey’s condo. He realized that if he truly wanted to be treated like he wasn’t a porcelain doll, that he should go back home, prove to Harvey that he could be by himself. But Mike found himself on the verge of hysteria every time he even thought of that place.
So instead, he swallowed all of his childish protests and simply forced himself to keep going. Harvey frowned at him when he thought Mike wasn’t looking, but he never said anything about it. Mike was so very grateful that Harvey hadn’t asked him any more questions. The man had only insisted that Mike remain in Harvey’s office while working until further notice.
Harvey’s office was nice, comfortable, and quiet. But that was exactly the problem. It wasn’t cramped, sure, but there wasn’t much room to spread out without having to switch to a variety of surfaces, from the couch to the coffee table to the floor. And there was something seriously wrong with his back—he suspected it wasn’t used to such comfortable furniture.
What was really eating at him, however, was the quiet. After about an hour of working without making any progress, Mike had stuffed his headphones in his ears and put his music on shuffle. He’d managed to get some actual work done after that. But the success wasn’t long-lasting.
He paused his music in the hopes of figuring out what was bothering him.
Harvey was silent at his desk, completely focused on his work. But Mike noticed the man stealing hidden glances his way every time he moved more than a few inches.
He decided he needed to escape the confines of Harvey’s office. It was too open, and yet their relationship was uncomfortable at the moment. It was stifling. Maybe a light walk would do him good. He needed to make some copies anyway.
He moved some of the heavier piles out of his path and stood, heading for the door.
“Where are you going?”
Mike froze, glancing at Harvey to see the man pointedly not looking at him. The question was voiced innocently, but it made him feel more trapped. He really needed to get out of here.
“Just going to the bathroom,” he said, thinking there was no way Harvey could stop him with that excuse.
Yet again, his boss surprised him. He stood and wearily tossed a folder down on his desk.
Mike was starting to get annoyed, anticipating what Harvey was about to do, and angrily said, “I’m perfectly capable of going to the bathroom by myself, Harvey. I don’t need an escort.”
Harvey glared at him, and for a second Mike remembered what their relationship was like before all of this. He realized suddenly that he missed it—that he hoped Harvey would yell at him for being unprofessional, or whining, anything to return to what they were before.
But then Harvey’s face softened. “Didn’t mean to imply that you did, kid. Just stretching.” And he sat down again, face impassive.
It made Mike angry, but he knew he shouldn’t yell at Harvey. It wasn’t Harvey’s fault. It was his own; he was the one who was weak, who’d been completely unable to take care of himself. Hell, he was still living at Harvey’s place! He couldn’t be mean to the guy, not after all he’d done for him. Harvey must think he’s really pathetic to be treating him so.
So Mike mimicked Harvey’s expression and dazedly strolled to the bathrooms.
Harvey stared unfocused at the work Mike had spread out in the area of his coffee table.
Lately, Mike had seemed to be more in control of his actions, less prone to sudden bouts of panic. Harvey should be happy, but he wasn’t. He couldn’t stop thinking about Mike’s reactions to every little thing he said or did.
The whole weekend, Harvey had tried to be accommodating and supportive, not a usual use of his time, true, but necessary. He certainly wasn’t going to kick Mike out of his place. Where would the kid go? He couldn’t go back to his own apartment, not when it made Harvey want to scream, and he couldn’t go live with his ‘friends’. Mike may trust them still, but Harvey sure as hell didn’t. Where did that leave for Mike? His grandmother’s nursing home?
And he couldn’t simply act like his usual self, not when he clearly remembered seeing Mike that day on that ratty couch. He worried that every word he said may trigger some horrible memory and send him into a relapse.
So Harvey had carefully tiptoed around the kid, on his best behavior. And Mike…Mike had seemed to go through the same set of emotions after each interaction with Harvey.
First it seemed like he was about to explode in a rage. Then, he appeared deeply guilty—though about what, Harvey wasn’t entirely sure. After the guilt he donned a brief look of shame and finally he masked all of his emotions under stony indifference.
It worried Harvey. He’d expected the kid to get mad, to let out his feelings. He’d even expected depression, with crying and refusals to speak. But this mixture of emotions hidden beneath indifference was something he wasn’t sure how to handle. The kid was going to explode if he didn’t let some of it out, and soon.
Or maybe Harvey would explode first.
“You look awful,” Donna said, and Harvey looked up to find her in his doorway.
“It’s not me I’m concerned about.”
“Concern?” she mocked, a small smile playing on her lips. He gave a tired smile back.
She handed him a cup of coffee and he sipped it, turning to gaze contemplatively out his window.
He didn’t know how to solve this case, and his associate couldn’t help him figure it out this time.
It was Wednesday morning when things finally fell apart.
They’d been having a better time of things since Monday. Harvey had decided that maybe treating Mike with kid gloves wasn’t helping, and tried instead to go back to his normal uncaring self.
Amazingly enough, this seemed to make Mike feel better. At least, it looked like he was feeling better. He no longer looked at Harvey with those mixed expressions. The shame was still evident on the kid’s face, but it wasn’t so visible anymore.
They had actually gotten some work done, and were caught up on all their cases by Tuesday night.
They’d gone back to Harvey’s, the routine by now, and Mike hadn’t even seemed to notice that this day had marked the incident’s one-week anniversary. He hoped it was because he’d distracted them with watching My Cousin Vinny and then falling asleep to Lawrence of Arabia, and not because the kid was holding everything inside.
They’d gotten up a little later that morning, and then gone straight in to work.
Everything was going well. Until Jessica told them that a new client was coming in later, and that Harvey would be taking care of them.
Mike had seemed excited at the case, even after Harvey assured him that there wasn’t actually a case, just someone signing with the firm. But the kid was still enthusiastic, and Harvey found his newfound energy infectious.
They worked with renewed vigor they’d been without the past week, and waited impatiently for their new client to arrive.
Mike was sitting in his now usual place at Harvey’s coffee table, folders, pens, and highlighters scattered around him in what Harvey hoped was a sort of organized chaos.
“Harvey, did you take the contract for the Sakuro case?”
Harvey scanned his desk, though he already knew he hadn’t taken it. That one was supposed to be Mike’s job to deal with. He shrugged a ‘no’ and watched Mike frantically rummage through all his papers.
“Lose something?” he asked dryly.
Mike huffed at him. “It’s not here.”
“Did you pick it up?”
Mike just looked at him.
“Better hurry,” Harvey said, smirking as he made a show of checking his watch. “Wouldn’t want to be late to our client meeting.”
He ran to the copy room as fast as he could without actually running. He did have to maintain some level of decorum, after all.
He’d been certain he’d brought the contract with him, but he supposed it was possible he’d left it with the rest of the pile. He hadn’t finished reading it yet, and he needed to amend it before submitting it to Harvey for a final draft. And it was due today.
He hastily plucked it from its place on the shelf in the copy room, narrowly avoided an encounter with Kyle and Greg, and headed back to Harvey’s office.
He opened the folder to start reading the pages he’d not yet scanned, and ran right into Rachel, spilling (thankfully only lukewarm) coffee on his white dress shirt.
“Oh God,” he said as Rachel sucked in a loud breath. She shook her head, face still frozen in horror and concern as he looked at her. “That was totally my fault.”
“Yeah,” she nodded pityingly.
She patted him on the shoulder and continued on her way, as Mike shook himself and headed for his cubicle, where he kept his spare suit.
He realized he should probably drop off the contract in Harvey’s office before going to change, since it was on the way to the bathrooms anyway, so he headed back in that direction.
Harvey was sitting in his chair, pen flipping idly in his hand.
“Oh no,” he said, feigned concern heavy in his voice.
Mike gave him a look as he placed the contract on one of his many piles.
“You missed him,” Harvey said, a smile on his face.
Mike groaned. “C’mon! You’re joking.”
Harvey shook his head, smirk still strong on his face.
“I don’t believe this!”
“Relax, he’ll be back. Go change, before someone sees you.”
Mike rolled his eyes. “Because a coffee stain is a career destroyer?”
“No. Because it draws attention to your terribly cheap suit and your horribly skinny tie.”
Mike shook his head at his boss and stomped out of the office as Harvey laughed behind him.
Harvey was feeling the anxiety build in his gut. He’d been having a normal day so far, but he felt like the bomb was going to go off any second.
Mike’s coffee-stained appearance had made him laugh, and it reminded him of how their lives were before. It was a good moment, but again it made Harvey tense in apprehension.
It wasn’t until his next client arrived for his appointment that Harvey managed to shove all thoughts of Mike to the back of his mind.
Curtiss Ford was a successful business man who made a fortune creating a program that was used in restaurant computers. Over half of NYC used his system and he became a rich success story practically overnight. He was also highly attractive and fairly young, a real lady’s man. Harvey could relate.
He met Ford at the entry to his office and gave him a firm handshake. There had been rumors that the man was with Rosenthal & Rosenthal (no relation), but for some reason or other he was looking to find new representation. His shopping was Pearson Hardman’s benefit; Harvey always secured his prospective clients.
Ford met Harvey’s hand with a tight shake and a light grin. He had dark smooth features and his suit was clearly tailored. Harvey immediately liked him.
That’s when he noticed his now clean-clothed associate outside his office in conversation with Donna.
Harvey tried to give him looks that told him not to dare enter his office right now, but Mike seemed to be lost in thought. Had Harvey not been trying to entertain a new client and prevent a potential disaster in etiquette breach, he’d have realized that Mike’s thoughts weren’t the best things to be lost in. But as it was, he didn’t notice until it was too late.
Mike opened the door completely oblivious to the man sitting before Harvey’s desk. Ford didn’t turn around, but even if he had Harvey wouldn’t have noticed, because Mike did something really unexpected.
The associate took one long look at Ford and turned ghostly pale. He very slowly backed out of the room and walked away. Harvey followed Mike’s movements while half-listening to Ford.
Donna was giving him concerned looks from outside his office, and Harvey realized with that all too familiar sinking feeling that he would need to go after Mike because something was seriously wrong.
He turned his attention back to Ford, hastily giving an excuse that would allow him to leave.
Ford looked at him with confusion on his face, but then flashed Harvey a wicked looking grin and offered simply to return another time. As Harvey shook his hand and watched him leave, he finally noticed it—on Ford’s left cheek were two faint scratch marks.
Harvey hurried down the hall in pursuit of Mike. He couldn’t think of anything besides the strange way Mike had stepped out of the room, like he was some sort of zombie.
He swallowed down the wash of guilt, anger, fear, and panic that were flooding his brain, and focused only on how to help his associate.
The fact that Curtiss Ford was most likely Mike's rapist—that filthy son of a bitch!—was second to Mike's current predicament. Harvey decided to double check later with Vanessa's help. He didn’t think Jessica would forgive him for attempting to eviscerate a client without just cause and proper evidence, despite her blatant favoritism of him.
Harvey hoped Donna was covering for him. He knew she was worried about Mike, but he knew it was best if he helped the kid alone. More people might upset the kid even more.
He wasn't sure what he was going to find when he caught up with Mike, but he assumed it would be more of the usual panic. He could deal with that well enough by now.
What he found instead was much more worrying.
Mike wasn’t in the building.
Harvey’s cell rang suddenly, the sound echoing loudly in the stillness of the Mike-less room.
“Harvey Specter,” he answered distractedly.
“Mistuh Spectuh? Uh, yous the one Mikey wuhks fouh, right?”
Harvey waded through the thick accent, his mind focusing sharply on the mention of his associate. “Yeah, Mike works for me, why?” he said, apprehension pooling in his stomach.
“Well, he, uh, just tried his hand at jumpin’ front uh cahs. And, uh, he looks kinduh funny, ya know?”
Harvey dragged a hand down his face and managed a quick, “Be right down,” to the man on the line, whom he guessed was from security. Mike was always forgetting his badge (Harvey still couldn’t fathom how it’s “not the same thing”, as Mike put it), so he’d probably had many opportunities to get more personally acquainted with the security guards. Harvey wasn’t sure if he was more ashamed that Mike kept forgetting his badge and was hanging out with security of all people, or that their suits were better quality than Mike’s.
He hung up with a grimace and hastily stepped into the elevator.
When he got to the bottom he was met by the sight of a dazed looking Mike being held upright by a guard.
“You Spectuh?” the man asked him as Harvey approached.
“Yeah,” Harvey said, not really paying attention. He was too busy checking over Mike to make sure he was okay. He noticed there was a tear in the left sleeve of his suit.
“I had to tug him hahd to get him out of the way of the cah. Sahrry.”
Harvey knew he needed to take Mike home, away from any memory of Curtiss Ford, and he needed to go now. He’d have to take a cab; he didn’t have time to wait for Ray. The bike they could leave here.
The guard helped Harvey haul Mike over to a cab and then they were off to Harvey’s condo.
Mike didn’t so much as blink; he just sat dumbly in the seat, leaning slightly into the door. Harvey hoped he would snap out of it soon. He didn’t know how to help someone out of a catatonic state.
They made it up to Harvey’s place without much trouble. Mike was hard to get moving, but if you tugged hard enough, he followed without resistance. It greatly discomforted Harvey how pliable Mike was at the moment. It reminded him of that night when he’d gotten Mike out of the car in the garage, and the kid had gone limp as soon as Harvey had laid a hand on him.
Harvey sat Mike down on his couch and began putting things away, making phone calls to Jessica and Donna, and of course, Vanessa, who promised she’d look into Ford’s background and such.
Harvey didn’t need any more proof; he knew Ford was guilty. Anyone who saw Mike’s face as he looked at the man would know.
It was while he was on the phone with the judge from Mike’s pro bono case that he noticed Mike missing from his place on the couch.
Harvey very nearly hung up on the judge, but managed to get away with a rushed promise that he’d have to call back later due to an emergency. He swept his fearful gaze around the room only to find it empty.
Frantically, Harvey began systematically searching the many rooms in his condo. When he got to the bedroom, he would have missed Mike if not for the noise.
The balcony door was open, letting in a breeze and the sounds of the city in midday traffic. Mike was standing dangerously close to the edge, leaning over and looking at the distant skyline, still with a vacant expression upon his face. Harvey hoped it was just dazed stupidity and not suicidal urges that had brought Mike to the literal edge.
Very carefully, as silently as he could, Harvey stepped towards his associate. The man didn’t seem to notice, and Harvey quickened his pace.
Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blew; Harvey stepped further forward than he’d intended, and Mike leaned over the edge enough that a little more weight would carry him over the railing.
Harvey leaped forward awkwardly, sure he was twisting some sort of limb, and yanked as hard as he could on the fabric of Mike’s jacket, pulling the associate down on top of him in a mess of limbs and fabric.
Harvey panted for a moment, trying to catch his breath and force it down his throat. Still gripping the now doubly ripped fabric of Mike’s suit, he dug himself out from beneath Mike, scrabbling to find the man’s face.
“Mike? Mike!” he called desperately.
Mike didn’t move for a minute and Harvey breathed harder, wondering if he should give up and call an ambulance or something.
Then Mike’s face broke into a small, sad smile. Harvey stared in surprise at his associate, wondering if the kid had finally gone completely insane, when Mike giggled slightly and said, “Harvey Specter, you’re my hero,” in a nasally voice.
Harvey scowled. “I don’t think an attempted suicide warrants a quote from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Mike’s smile evaporated and Harvey instantly felt regret.
“Jesus, Mike! What were you thinking?!” Harvey said, leaning back with a sigh as he remained kneeling next to Mike.
Mike frowned a little and then looked around slowly at their surroundings. “We’re…on your balcony?”
Harvey didn’t know if he should be scared that Mike didn’t remember, or happy that he hadn’t—at least consciously—actually been attempting to kill himself. “Yeah,” he answered simply. “You were almost splattered all over the road down there.”
“Who watches the Watchmen?” Mike whispered and Harvey began to feel worried for the kid’s sanity once more.
Mike shook his head a little, wincing. “Sorry. I’m all jumbled up, I think. What happened?”
Harvey stood carefully, testing out the ankle he was certain he’d injured saving Mike’s ass, and then pulled Mike up next to him. “You don’t remember?”
Mike shook his head again. “I remember being in the office. I had just changed my shirt, ‘cause Rachel spilled coffee on it. I was on my way to bring you a file, and then…”
“Then?” Harvey asked, not entirely sure he wanted Mike to remember.
Mike frowned in concentration. “Nothing. Then I was here. Harvey, did something…happen?”
Harvey desperately wanted to tell Mike that no, nothing at all had happened—they just decided to go home early that day. But he didn’t want to lose even a scrap of the trust Mike had placed in him. He didn’t ever want to see the look on Mike’s face as he found out he was alone in the world.
So Harvey nodded, but said nothing. If Mike wanted to know, if he was ready to know—because he clearly hadn’t been at the time—then he’d ask, and then Harvey would tell him everything. But until then, Harvey decided to just leave it alone.
They’d work it out later, just as soon as Harvey decided how best to destroy the very essence of the evil soulless suit, Curtiss Ford.
Mike stretched nervously on the couch. He gave up trying to pay attention to the television program and instead turned to study Harvey.
His boss was sitting on the other end of the couch, files spread out over his lap and glass of wine in hand.
Mike had begged Harvey to let him do some work, since Harvey had insisted they not return to the office for the rest of the day, but the man had flat-out refused. So instead, he’d turned the TV on and told Mike to watch something.
But despite Harvey’s cable providing him with over a thousand channels of entertainment, Mike couldn’t seem to find anything that held his interest. His mind was furiously trying to fill in the blank slot that spanned from Rachel spilling coffee on him to lying on Harvey’s balcony. Apparently he’d almost killed himself by plunging over the railing.
He was grateful that Harvey had stopped him, but now he was growing irritated once more. It was just like the weekend, when Harvey had treated him with kid gloves.
So Mike gave up staring at the large screen and turned to face Harvey. It took a full ten minutes for him to acknowledge this, and about five more before he commented on it.
“What?” Harvey asked, a tinge of anger showing.
Mike didn’t know why Harvey was mad at him, but he didn’t like it. It made him feel even more pathetic and lost, like he was some sort of child who’d stolen from the cookie jar.
“Mike? What is it?” Harvey said, flattening his voice out and setting his glass down on the coffee table.
“Nothing. Forget it,” Mike answered sulkily. He didn’t want to have a fight with Harvey, who had done so much for him so far. He turned back to the TV and angrily aimed the remote, punching the buttons on it randomly.
Harvey frowned at him, worry on his face. Mike could somewhat remember a time when he’d wanted to see that expression on Harvey’s face, but now there was nothing he was more tired of. “Mike,” Harvey said, voice low and warning.
Mike ignored him and stabbed a couple buttons, cursing as something he’d hit caused a closed captioning bar to appear. He hit something and instead the captioning came out in Spanish.
Harvey called his name once more, but Mike focused his attention on the damn remote instead. He really shouldn’t have done anything. Now not only was Harvey being annoying, but it looked like Mike had broken his TV.
As he thrust the remote at the sensor on the cable box, Harvey reached out and ripped the thing from his hands.
“Hey!” Mike protested loudly.
“Tell me,” Harvey demanded.
“No! Give it back!”
“You weren’t even watching it! Now stop acting like a child and tell me what the hell is bothering you!”
“You’re the one who won’t give me the remote back!” Mike argued, purposely ignoring Harvey’s request to talk.
“Do I need to give you a time out?”
“Oh, fuck you, Harvey!” Mike stood and stomped over to the front door, ripping it open.
Harvey followed him out, calling after him. “Mike! Come back! Damn it, kid!”
Mike whirled in anger and frustration. “I’m not a kid!”
He turned to march down the stairs, but Harvey wrapped a hand around Mike’s arm, tugging him back inside the condo.
Mike flinched and struggled to get out of the grip. “Let me go,” he pleaded softly, unable to hold back the fear in his voice.
Harvey removed his hand quickly, eyes flashing with slight horror at what he’d done, but he made sure to close the front door and block the way. The action was not soothing to Mike, as flashes of the suit locking the door and turning on him were now plaguing him.
Mike took a few defensive steps backwards, away from Harvey’s reach. When he realized that the man wasn’t coming after him, he panicked at what he’d done. “Sorry. I’m sorry, Harvey. I know you wouldn’t—I just…I need to be alone.” And he ran into the bedroom and slammed the door behind him.
Trying to even out his breathing, he sank to the floor with his back sliding down the door. He let himself go boneless—trying to relax his muscles and clear his head. He didn’t know why he was so upset. Harvey didn’t deserve that tantrum, which was exactly what that was. It was stupid and childish and now Mike felt even more restless.
He tried to go back to earlier that day when everything had been close to normal. Harvey had finally begun to start treating him like he used to, like nothing had ever happened, and Mike wanted to find out what had caused things to go so wrong.
He traced his steps through the day, but when he got to Rachel spilling her coffee, he got stuck.
There was a soft knock on the door and Mike tensed. He didn’t want to talk to Harvey yet, not until he’d solved the mystery in his head. He kept silent.
Mike focused on keeping his breaths even and deep.
There was a heavy sigh, so loud that Mike could hear it through the door. “I’m sorry too. I didn’t mean…Just…come out when you’re ready.”
Mike squeezed his eyes shut, trying to ignore Harvey’s kind words and return to the day’s earlier events.
And then, suddenly, Mike remembered. It all came at once, so quick it left him breathless. He leapt up, trying to walk away from the painful vision, trying to escape. The image of the suit chatting amiably to Harvey in the office seared straight to Mike’s heart and he tasted betrayal. He’d never felt more alone in that moment, seeing Harvey befriending the man who’d done something so horrible.
The vision wouldn’t leave, no matter what Mike did, and it brought back all the other memories of the suit. They came in a rush, like waves crashing violently on the shore, and Mike felt each blow anew as the visions hit him.
He desperately punched at the bed, hoping it would bring him back to the present, but nothing worked. He threw his fists around, swept the lamp off the nightstand, punched a hole in the wall, but the images and feelings remained. He scrabbled for something to hold on to and found Harvey’s alarm clock—which he vaguely recalled wielding earlier—and he clutched it desperately.
As he felt the suit thrust into him again and again, saw Harvey smiling at the man like they were old friends, heard himself screaming and crying through the gag in his mouth, Mike couldn’t take it anymore. He screamed incoherently with rage and pain and raised the alarm clock high. He thought he heard Harvey screaming his name, but it was mixed with the sound of the suit laughing at him, telling him he was so fucking tight.
Mike brought down the alarm clock and waited for the sharp sting of pain to erupt in his skull. But it never came.
He opened his eyes to see the clock frozen in the air above him, caught in the struggle between his own grip and Harvey’s.
“Mike,” Harvey said, sounding breathless and nervous despite the evenness of his tone. “Let go of the clock.”
“I need to forget!” he screamed. Why didn’t Harvey understand!?
“This isn’t the way—”
“Please,” Mike whined pathetically.
“Not a chance, rookie.”
Maybe it was the way Harvey had said ‘rookie’ with so much normal mixed in, or maybe Mike was simply getting tired, but the visions faded until it was just the two of them. Finally, it was quiet again.
Mike relaxed his grip on the clock, and Harvey gently pulled it from his fingers.
They sat there in silence for a while, just shaking off the adrenaline from the moment.
After what felt like hours, Harvey spoke softly. “Curtiss Ford.”
Mike looked up at Harvey questioningly.
“That’s his name. The one who…”
“Oh,” Mike said softly. So the suit had a name now. It didn’t change anything, except, that’s the name Mike had seen written on those files for their new client. Understanding came to his brain; the suit was a client, so Mike had to get over it and represent the man who’d destroyed him.
“Don’t worry about a thing, Mike,” Harvey said, his voice sounding strange. Mike had never heard it contain so much promise before, not even with Clifford Danner. He stared at Harvey in confusion. How was he supposed to not worry about helping the man he despised and feared? But Harvey’s knuckles tightened on the alarm clock still in his hands where he’d held it to keep it from Mike. The ridges were bone white, and his eyes were eerily dark, full of hidden menace.
“I’m gonna kill the son of a bitch.”
The very next morning, Harvey began taking all the steps he’d need to ruin Curtiss Ford. He was owed a lot of favors by people in high places, and he was willing to call them in for this—for Mike.
He looked in on Mike from the doorway of the bedroom, not wanting to wake him. It had taken what felt like hours to get the man to go to sleep. Harvey had gone about removing any potentially dangerous objects from the room, just in case Mike decided to try his hand at smashing in his brains again.
He didn’t honestly understand why he felt so attached to this kid. If it had been Donna or Jessica, he could see himself acting this way—maybe. But Mike? The kid was obnoxious, painfully smart, and constantly screwing things up. He also had brilliant ideas, a sharp wit that could keep up with Harvey’s, and a phenomenal taste in the classics.
Mike stirred in his sleep, mumbling something incoherent before rolling over and snuggling deeper into the blankets. Harvey couldn’t help the small smile that curled the corners of his mouth. Whatever the reason for his liking Mike, it seemed to defy logic, much like the associate himself. It didn’t matter, because Harvey had already decided to protect him.
He was startled from his guard duty by his phone buzzing in his hand, and he stepped away from the bedroom to answer the call.
“Should I be concerned?” Jessica’s voice asked in all seriousness on the other line.
Harvey tried to collect himself and exude his usual confident manner. “I have no idea what you’re suggesting—”
“Cut the bullshit, Harvey,” she warned. “Why are you moving against our brand new millions of dollars for the firm client? And you’d better have a fantastic reason.”
Harvey sighed and rubbed a hand across his face tiredly. He’d been worried about Jessica’s reaction to this whole scenario. “I do, but…” he trailed off, for once at a loss for words.
“Uh-uh, I’m gonna need a little more this time, Harvey. This affects my firm.”
He could tell she was building up to quite a scolding, and hoping to end this mess quickly, he decided to be honest. He knew he could trust her, after all. “He raped Mike,” he bit out hastily. Somehow it didn’t sound real when he said it aloud, like something so horrible couldn’t possibly have happened.
There was a long silence on the other end, and Harvey inhaled nervously. He could hardly believe he was letting himself show all this emotion, much less experience it. But every time he remembered his past self, he thought of how Mike would be left with no one, and he swallowed his stubborn pride and steeled himself for Jessica’s response.
“You’re certain?” she asked quietly. “What am I saying? Of course you are. I take it that’s why you and the kid have been taking so much time off.” When he didn’t respond, she continued. “Do you have any proof?”
“No, and even if we did, I’m not sure Mike would let me do anything with it. He’s having trouble handling it privately. I doubt he could handle it if everyone he worked with knew.”
“And how are you handling it, Harvey?"
Harvey took a deep breath and let it out loudly. He felt exhausted and utterly drained; he felt a looming fear that Mike was going to try to kill or injure himself again; and he felt a deep and murderous hatred for Curtiss Ford for what he’d done. “I’m fine,” he lied to Jessica.
She let out a scoff but didn’t say anything to counter him. “I’d tell you to be careful, Harvey, but I doubt it’d make a difference.” Harvey gave a tired laugh. “Are you coming to the office any time soon?”
“I don’t know. I don’t really want to leave the kid by himself…”
“See if you can manage. I may have something that can help.”
Harvey frowned, considering. He supposed he could ask Donna to watch Mike for him. “Okay. I’ll be in later. Thanks, Jessica,” he finished wearily.
“Mmhmm. And Harvey? Next time let me in on it sooner.”
Harvey hung up and took another long look at Mike before dialing Donna’s number.
“What’s wrong?” Donna answered.
“Why do you assume that something’s wrong?”
“Harvey, don’t insult me.”
He let out a weary sigh. “I need you to watch Mike for me.”
He could practically hear her rolling her eyes. “What’s he done now?”
“What hasn’t he done? A few hours ago he tried to bash his brains out with my alarm clock. Could you just come over and keep an eye on him for a few hours?” he finished in irritation. He hadn’t meant to tell her that, but it had just slipped out. Well, if there was anyone he could trust (besides Jessica) it was Donna.
She was quiet on the line for a bit, but Harvey was sure he heard the jingling of her keys. “I’m on my way. And then you’re going to tell me why Mike needs to be placed under adult supervision.”
“Don’t argue with me, Harvey Specter.”
“Fine,” he grumbled resolutely.
“Be there in ten minutes.”
Harvey marched into Jessica’s office, not sure what to expect. He’d left Mike in Donna’s care, and the kid had still been asleep when he’d left. He just hoped she’d be able to take care of him without interrogating him.
He was just about to push the door open when he noticed Louis sitting rather stiffly on Jessica’s couch. He was definitely not in the mood for Louis and his patience was practically non-existent.
“What the hell is he doing here?” he asked rudely.
Jessica looked up from her desk, but instead of the anger he expected to see from such an insolent and unprofessional remark, she seemed cautious. It made him feel even more drained. “Harvey, I explained the situation to Louis, and he offered his help. I think you should take it.”
Harvey stared incredulously at Jessica. “You what?!” He couldn’t believe she’d betrayed his trust like that—that in turn, he had betrayed Mike’s trust.
“She didn’t tell me, Harvey,” Louis interrupted, rising to his feet awkwardly.
Harvey finally trained his suspicious glare on the man, but kept silent. He was hoping the fury on his face was enough, because he wasn’t sure he could control his temper if he spoke.
“I figured most of it out on my own,” Louis explained softly.
Harvey swallowed his anger and managed to achieve a pinched sneer and only mild rage in his voice. “What do you get out of it?” He really wondered sometimes with Louis. The man had been surprisingly caring during the incident where Mike had taken refuge under his desk; it was a little unusual for Louis “Witness-killer” Litt.
“Believe me, I would love to snag your clients any other day. But when people mess with our employees, it doesn’t just hurt them, it hurts this firm.”
Harvey’s eyes narrowed in disgust. “Mike’s not some machine you can fix up to make the engine run faster.”
“Harvey—” Jessica cut him off. He looked at her sullenly. “Let it go.”
Normally he wouldn’t have listened; he’d have smirked and gotten in a clever last word. But her choice of words brought back the fresh memory of Mike and him grappling for control of the alarm clock. It brought a sour taste to Harvey’s mouth and he backed off, instantly sobered.
“Louis, you can go. I’ll have Harvey send you a list of things he needs,” Jessica said, dismissing Louis while not taking her eyes off Harvey’s for a second.
Once the man had left the room, Harvey began, “This is ridiculous! You expect me to believe he’ll actually help?”
Jessica crossed her arms in her most imposing manner. “Harvey, Louis cares. But much like you, he has a hard time showing it. And most of all, he’s loyal to this firm. He meant what he said.”
“I don’t trust him to—”
“Then trust me,” she said calmly.
Harvey tightened his mouth in frustration. He’d hoped she’d found a way to destroy Ford, but instead it seemed she’d made it worse. At this rate, everyone would know about Mike. Harvey felt the bitter taste of guilt—a feeling he was becoming much too familiar with lately. Before Mike, the only thing he’d felt guilty for in six years was not talking to his mother outside holidays.
His eyes met Jessica’s and it felt like they were locked in a battle for a moment. “I do.”
He held his stare, emphasizing the weight of his next words. “Don’t ever go behind my back again, or we’re through.”
She didn’t say anything, just maintained her steady gaze. Harvey turned and walked out, not caring if she felt just how heavy his threat was.
By the time Harvey left the office, he realized he’d been there for over an hour. Which meant Mike was possibly awake by now. Harvey hurried home.
Sorry everyone for disappearing off the face of the planet for so long! I've been super busy with school and then finals. Not to mention I've been suffering crushing writer's block...But I'm back now, I promise! Anyway, I hope you haven't given up on me and that you enjoy this update! It's been a long time coming. 8D
When Harvey stepped through the door he found everything almost exactly as he’d left it. There was a heavy silence sitting in the place, and he suddenly felt caged, as if the walls were slowly closing in on him. He focused on the expansive windowed walls of his living room, gazing out at the city, but it only made him feel even more enclosed.
“Well?” a voice asked with a huff from behind him. He turned from his place at the windows to find an irritated Donna standing before the bedroom door. He briefly wondered if Mike was still sleeping.
“Did he wake up at all?” Harvey asked, not sure how to sidestep this conversation. He had to resist his newfound need to check on Mike and settled for sinking tiredly into his couch.
Donna frowned but didn’t appear too angry at his response. He hoped it was a good sign; he was too tired to deal with any of this right now. “No. He did call out a couple of times, but he was just dreaming.”
Harvey let his head plunk back onto the cushions. “Good. Kid needs some sleep.”
Donna snorted. “You could use some too, by the looks of things.” She sat down beside him and he let the façade drop. Donna was the only one he’d let see him this vulnerable. “Harvey, please tell me.”
She sounded so sincere and caring, Harvey found himself wondering why such good people like Donna and Mike were attracted to an emotionless egotist like himself. He allowed himself a faintly amused chuckle at her request, however, to keep up the charade. It made him feel more normal. “I thought you of all people would already know. After all, everyone else does.”
“Knows what?” a male voice intoned.
Harvey straightened from the couch instantly as he and Donna both turned to find a bleary-eyed Mike wobbling by the bedroom door. For a moment, he felt a swell of panic rise in him before he viciously quashed it. He couldn’t let Mike see him as weak.
Donna figured out what to do first, as usual. She rose from the couch and directed him to sit in her place. Harvey tried not to move further towards his own end of the sofa as Mike was placed next to him. “Hi Mike,” Donna said conversationally.
“Um, hi…” Mike said warily before turning to Harvey with a curious and shy expression. Harvey wondered if the kid felt bad about what he’d tried to do last night. “Harvey, what does everyone know?”
Harvey took a deep breath, not sure how to go about this. Did he tell Mike the truth and risk upsetting him, angering him? Or did he lie and let Mike believe things were fine? He glanced at Donna and he knew he had to tell the truth. Even if Mike believed him that everything was okay, Donna would know and she’d never forgive him.
“Mike, I’m sorry. I…may have broken my promise.”
Mike’s face fell. Given that this wasn’t the reaction Harvey had predicted, he was feeling slightly relieved. That didn’t stop him from feeling guilty, though.
“I’m really sorry, Mike.”
“I…I guess, if it’s just Donna, then its okay,” Mike voiced softly.
Harvey winced and ignored Donna’s heated glare. “Actually…”
“Just tell me. Please.”
Harvey sighed. “Jessica. That’s it. Except…Louis knows, too. He figured it out after the desk thing.”
Mike had seemed okay at the idea of Jessica knowing, if his reaction was anything to go by, but as soon as Harvey mentioned Louis, his cheeks heated up in bright red and his whole body tensed. “Louis!? Am I fired?”
Harvey scoffed. “No! Why do you always assume you’re fired? You’re not fired! Apparently, Louis actually has a heart, and I had to tell Jessica. I hope you can forgive me.”
Mike was silent for a minute or two, and Harvey felt like Prometheus, right before the eagle came to rip his entrails from him.
Donna was the one to break the silence. “Just thought I should mention before anyone says anything they’d rather stay private, that I actually don’t know anything.”
Mike stared at her in absolute confusion like he was seeing her for the very first time and couldn’t figure out her name or how he knew her. “But…you’re Donna.”
“I know, but I got the feeling you didn’t want to share, so I didn’t pry.”
Mike’s blue eyes started watering and Harvey readied himself to act—he had no idea how he’d act, but he’d definitely do something. But Mike didn’t give him the chance. He sniffled a little and said, “I-I can’t…”
Donna bent down and rubbed his shoulder comfortingly. “It’s okay. You don’t have to share if you don’t want to. I can leave if that’d make you feel better.”
Mike shook his head vigorously and started laughing of all things. “No, I didn’t mean—I just can’t…ugh! I don’t know how to tell you…” and he looked at Harvey.
Harvey nodded slowly. “Okay, I’ll explain. But first, Mike, you have to promise me you won’t pull any stunts like you did last night.”
Mike nodded, seriousness etched into his face like it had always been there. Harvey missed seeing the old Mike, the one he’d complained about endlessly to himself for how immature and jovial he was. Why did this have to happen, especially to someone like Mike?
“I promise, Harvey. I’ll—I’ll come to you first. That was stupid and pathetic and too much like the old me. I’m not gonna tap out. Never.”
Harvey believed him. So he turned to Donna and told her the whole story, from when he’d called Mike that morning and found him beaten and half-naked on his couch to his meeting with Curtiss Ford and the alarm-clock mishap from the night before.
Donna listened quietly through the tale, occasionally glancing at the two of them, but mostly staring at some unfocused point between them. When it was over, she rose from where she’d been sitting on the coffee table and poured herself a generous portion of scotch from Harvey’s collection.
Mike had been frowning as Harvey talked, but aside from squirming occasionally, he didn’t react to the retelling of his most horrible moments. If anything he seemed too calm.
“You okay?” Harvey asked him while Donna was pouring the amber liquid into one of his crystal glasses.
Mike nodded. “Yeah. It just…it doesn’t feel real when you say it. Like it’s one of those horror stories you hear on the news that you think could never happen to you.”
“That’s how I felt when I told Jessica,” Harvey admitted.
“What exactly did you tell Jessica?”
“Just the truth: that you were taking time off because you were raped.” Harvey didn’t want to talk about Curtiss Ford. For one, it made him extremely angry, and for another, he didn’t want Mike to know what he’d been planning. If he knew, well, Harvey wasn’t sure how he’d react.
“Mike,” Donna interrupted. “I’m sorry.”
“Its okay, Donna.” She looked at him agape. “Well, I mean its not okay, but you don’t have to be sorry because you didn’t do anything.”
“I’m still sorry.”
Mike shrugged, clearly uncomfortable accepting her feelings.
“So…” Mike said.
“‘So’ what?” Harvey asked.
“Well, I know you’re plotting some sort of revenge scheme against…him…and I was just wondering if you were planning on ever telling me about any of it.”
Donna chuckled. But Harvey frowned, realizing he’d been caught.
“I’m not ‘plotting’ anything—” he started.
Mike and Donna both stared him down.
“Harvey, you should know better than to plot revenge schemes without your diabolically ingenious assistant,” she said hurt.
“You shouldn’t be plotting anything at all!” Mike shouted loudly. “With or without Donna—by the way, that was awesome that you got both ‘plot’ and ‘scheme’ in the same sentence.”
“I’m Donna. I am the epitome of awesome.”
“There is no revenge scheme or plot of any kind,” Harvey asserted in irritation. Why were his friends so odd?
Mike’s eyes narrowed. “You mean there isn’t one yet!” The damned kid was too smart for his own good. “Harvey, I’m serious. I don’t think this is a good idea.”
“Sorry kiddo, I’m for Harvey on this,” Donna said when Mike looked to her for aid.
“But I’m the one who was hurt! Shouldn’t I be the one to decide if I want my friends to destroy him?”
“No,” Harvey and Donna growled at the same time. Mike instantly quieted, shocked by the sincerity of their tones and the conviction with which they’d said that simple word. Harvey tried to ignore the fact that he’d felt a surge of something resembling happiness at Mike calling him a friend.
“Look, Mike,” Donna began. “When someone hurts one your friends, it is your duty as their friend, to kill whatever son of a bitch hurt them.”
“Like, ‘you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’? Isn’t that just a cheap justification for vigilantism?” Mike muttered in defeat. Suddenly, Harvey understood what Louis had meant in Jessica’s office. He was trying to say that Mike was part of their unit at Pearson Hardman; that by hurting Mike, Ford had hurt everyone who worked with him too. Mike finally gave in completely with a dejected sigh. “Fine. Are you at least going to share your plan with me?”
“Nope,” Harvey said, leaning back into the cushions and resting his eyes.
“No amount of coffee will make me reveal my secrets,” Harvey heard Donna say.
“You’re like the Madame Defarge of Pearson Hardman. Are you going to take up knitting your victims name in code, too?”
Harvey allowed the banter to wash over him as he sank into the plush leather of his sofa. Despite the conversations they’d just had, despite what had transpired last night, despite Mike’s fragile state, Harvey felt almost normal. He fell asleep to Mike and Donna talking about their favorite vengeful characters of classical literature, dreaming of ways to strangle a host of Curtiss Fords.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
After revealing the whole sordid story to Donna, Harvey and Mike relaxed into a more comfortable and easy manner. Things almost felt normal again.
Harvey had no clue what his next course of action was going to be and apparently neither did Donna. He only knew that he wanted to maim and torture and engage in all punishments cruel and unusual for Ford. But as for actual plans, he had none.
Meanwhile, Mike had assumed his old mannerisms at work and at home. He bantered with Harvey, worked hard, sucked at gloating, and dressed just as poorly as always. Harvey was half ready to just let everything fade if they could continue in this comfortable pattern forever.
But as always, his hopes were completely dashed.
Harvey was standing in line for his usual Thursday hot dog from the suspect-looking cart vendor, when a passerby snaked their arm through Harvey’s.
“We’ve got to stop meeting like this,” a familiar voice said into his ear.
Harvey retrieved his hot dog and stalked over to the bike rack, where Mike’s decrepit bike would normally have stood. He faced the woman, not entirely happy to see her. “Vanessa.”
“I may have found something,” she said softly, her arm still entwined with his own as she eyed New York’s businessmen and women with boredom.
Harvey took a large bite of his dog. “I already know who he is, actually. He was formerly Pearson Hardman’s newest client.”
“Jessica caught wind of it. I had to tell her,” Harvey admitted, recalling Jessica’s actions after that night. She had immediately contacted Ford’s company and informed them they would need to find new representation.
“Well, if you’re plotting revenge, let me know. As long as it’s legal, anyway.”
Harvey could see the twinkle in her eyes. “What have you got?”
“Well, I have these pictures here,” she said and handed him a manilla envelope.
He finished his lunch and took the package hesitantly, sliding the pictures from the opening. They were certainly interesting, to say the least. He didn’t know that even was a position.
“Do I want to know how you got these?”
She smiled. “Let’s just say I’m not the first detective to follow this scumbag.”
Harvey studied some more of the pictures, plans and schemes already zipping through his brain.
“Oh, and I also know where his new hangout is.”
Harvey pushed the photos back into the envelope. Donna would want to help, of course. But he’d need a way to keep Mike from suspecting anything. Louis had already offered his aid, and Harvey knew he’d support retribution. Yes, his plan was forming nicely. He smiled at Vanessa as he realized he knew exactly what he had to do.
Phew, so I know it's been forever since I updated, but I haven't abandoned this story. I know this one's short, but the next bit is going to be longer and a bit complicated. So...just needed to post this really to ensure that I would continue and not give in to my writer's block. Anyway, good old-fashioned revenge coming!
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Mike’s first clue that something was wrong was when Louis unexpectedly swamped him with a larger than normal batch of casework. Louis had been oddly nice and kind to Mike after he’d found out, and while it made Mike’s face light up red in shame and embarrassment, he was grateful for the lighter load of work. So this one came as quite a shock.
His second clue was when Donna stopped him from entering Harvey’s office, which was really troubling seeing as how it was empty at the time.
“Donna, I really need to give these to Harvey.”
Donna gave him a small smile. “And he’s not in, so you can give them to me.”
Mike withdrew the documents from the vicinity of Donna’s outstretched hand. “What exactly is he doing? He should have been back from his client dinner an hour ago.” Mike made it a point to know Harvey’s schedule. It was nice to have a guaranteed ride back to the condo, not to mention someone to open the door. And Harvey was strangely watchful of Mike’s every movement outside of work and home.
Donna was definitely hiding something. “It ran over and he called to say he was stuck in traffic. I can take you home, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
Mike squinted at her, even more suspicious. “What’re you hiding?”
Donna gave him a look that even an angel would have found innocent. “I’m not hiding anything. Don’t be ridiculous.”
“He found him, didn’t he? Donna, tell me right now. Where is he?”
She stared at him for a moment, chewing her lip in debate. “He’s at a bar called the Bull Pit. Let me get my coat,” she said and rummaged around under her desk.
Mike slammed the folders down on her desk in frustration. What was Harvey thinking? Mike knew he and Donna had wanted revenge, but he hadn’t thought he’d be stupid about it.
“Mike, he has a plan,” Donna said, her coat wrapped around her hands, purse on her shoulder.
“Since when has Harvey ever stuck to any of his plans?”
“Why do you think I’m telling you?” she asked him.
Mike studied her for a moment as he attempted to collect his fraying emotions. “Fine. Let’s go.”
Donna turned to him while they were waiting for the elevator. “Mike…are you going to be okay, if…”
Mike waited until the elevator doors opened. “I don’t know. I just…I hope Harvey doesn’t do anything stupid.”
Donna sucked in a loud breath and stabbed the lobby button. “We’d better hurry, then.”
They headed to the bar where they’d hopefully be in time to stop anything arrest-worthy from happening.
Harvey aimed the pool cue and took his shot. There was a noise of admiration from somewhere behind him. He hoped it was the scumbag he’d been trying to get the attention of. He had no time for anything else.
“Mr. Specter,” a smooth voice he remembered well said.
He spun and eyed Ford with mock surprise. “Was it…Ford?”
“Glad to see you remember me,” Ford said with a smile. It made Harvey feel like he was staring into a funhouse mirror, a distorted image of himself looking back. He ignored, for the moment, the implications of Mike going home with someone who looked startlingly like Harvey.
“Oh I remember you,” Harvey said charmingly. “But I have a thing with names.”
Ford laughed. “When you’re done with your game, maybe you’d like a drink?”
Harvey grinned back, visions of stabbing this jerk with his cue making his smile stretch wide. “Depends on what we’re drinking.”
“Only the best in the house,” Ford smiled back.
“The best? Or the most expensive?” Harvey asked. “Sometimes the prettiest bottles hide the most disgusting contents.”
Ford gave a grin that Harvey was sure hid some twisted inner desire. “Oh, trust me, it’s what’s underneath the labels that I’m most interested in.”
Harvey put his cue down, half because he followed Ford over to his table, and half because he was afraid if he didn’t put it down that he’d take the man’s head off with it.
They made it to the table without incident, and Ford ordered them beers. A poor choice, in Harvey’s opinion. The man had probably never tried to take down someone of Harvey’s caliber before. Either that or everyone had as terrible a sense of taste as Mike.
“Too bad your firm couldn’t help me,” Ford said conversationally, as if to suggest he wasn’t upset over it, just curious.
Harvey nodded. “I’m sure my boss had her reasons.” He was very sure, actually.
“Mmm. Yes, but I do wish we could have worked together. Of course, I might not be drinking with you right now, had we kept our working relationship.”
“It certainly would have been interesting,” Harvey agreed.
“A man could certainly get used to a view like you have in your office. I suppose I could always invent a reason to visit,” and Ford rubbed his foot against Harvey’s leg. Harvey forced himself not to flinch in disgust. Even if Harvey wasn’t straight he’d find this guy creepy. “Perhaps I left something there?”
Harvey studied his beer bottle (which was in fact the most expensive of the available brands) before replying quietly. “You did leave something, actually.”
Ford took this as an invitation for further contact with Harvey, and he placed his hand on Harvey’s arm.
Harvey pulled the envelope he’d gotten from Vanessa out of his jacket and placed it discreetly on the table. His eyes were hard as he stared coldly at Ford.
Ford gave him a quizzical look and picked up the envelope. His expression switched from idle wonder to bewilderment to anger in a matter of seconds. All limbs in contact with Harvey were immediately withdrawn.
“What are these supposed to be?”
“You know exactly what they are, you son of a bitch.”
“This is why your firm wouldn’t represent me?”
“My firm won’t represent you because you’re a piece of shit.”
Ford’s eyes burned holes into Harvey’s own cold gaze. “What do you want?”
“I want to cut off your balls and shove ‘em down your throat.” He said evenly, his voice thick and heavy with the weight of his threat. “But then I’d ruin my suit, so instead you’re going to pack your bags and get out of my city. And if you ever so much as think about touching another man again, I’ll know. And I’ll find you. And you can be god damned sure that I’ll make it impossible for you to ever stick your dick in someone else’s vicinity again.”
Ford swallowed. Then his eyes widened at something behind Harvey. Harvey caught the image of Mike and Donna weaving their way through the bar towards their tiny table.
“I get it now,” and he smirked. “What’s wrong, Specter? Upset that I got to taste that tight little ass fir—”
Harvey punched him in the nose. Ford grabbed for the table, blood streaming down his face as he clutched at the broken bone and twisted cartilage. Harvey got his hands around Ford’s neck for a gratifying second before Mike’s hands were pulling Harvey’s shoulders back, away from Ford. Donna had scooped up the envelope of incriminating photographs and tucked them safely away in her purse.
Harvey calmed a little as he peered at a clearly uncomfortable Mike, who was trying to avoid looking at Ford as if his life depended on it. Mike was here. With Donna. So much for his plan.
Ford was writhing in pain, one hand still pressed to his face in an attempt to stop the flow of blood, his other hand clutching his throat where Harvey’s hands had been seconds before.
“This isn’t over, Specter,” Ford cursed at him.
Harvey tensed and took a step towards the man, intending on finishing the job, when a fist went flying to meet Ford’s jaw. The man toppled backwards off his stool to lie unconscious on the floor. Harvey gazed in surprise at Mike, who was now shaking his hand in pain.
“Ow,” he said softly.
Harvey gave out a chuckle, and suddenly they were smiling at each other.
“Um, boys?” Donna interrupted. “Maybe we should go before the police get here?”
Harvey nodded and gave one last scathing look to the pathetic heap of garbage on the floor.
“Harvey? Can we go home now?” Mike asked him softly.
“You’re sure?” he asked back, trying to convey in a look that if Mike asked him to he’d eviscerate this man.
Mike nodded and tugged on Harvey’s arm. “I’m hungry, and I have all these cases to work on ‘cause my asshole boss rigged it so I’d be too busy to stop his revenge scheme.”
Harvey didn’t laugh, though Mike’s attempt was actually tempting. He just didn’t understand how Mike didn’t want to strangle this asshole. “Why?”
Mike shrugged. “I’m tired.”
Donna was gesturing emphatically towards the back exit, and Harvey finally nodded. They headed home.
So this is almost at the end. Probably only one more chapter or so to go. I really wanted to have an epic fight scene where Harvey basically beat the crap out of the guy, but I just didn't see it happening...*sigh*
Anyways, guys, please let me know what you thought of this chapter. It'd really help me figure out what should go in the final installment-you know, in regards to what you'd like to see. It's about 99% certain that this won't end in Harvey/Mike, but I'm not against someone else writing an alternate ending for it, so have at it. Otherwise, let me know your personal hopes for the ending.
Here it is! The final chapter! Thanks to everyone who has stuck with this story! I'm so very sorry that it took me so long to write it, and that it took me so long to finish it. Hope you enjoy this wrap-up!
I would also like to thank Imaybesomeone for helping me edit this chapter. You were a very big help!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Harvey's gaze swept across the room. Donna was sitting on his bar stool, legs crossed, fingers playing absently at the strap of her purse; Mike was sunk into the armchair, a bag of ice wrapped around his bruised knuckles and a look of utter exhaustion on his face. Harvey was reclining on the couch, willing himself to be still, mind racing through unasked questions while silence weighed heavily on them all.
“I really wished you’d killed that bastard,” Donna spoke up, eyes steely as she looked over to Harvey.
“I would have if you’d just done your job.”
“Don’t blame me. Louis was the one who tipped him off.”
Harvey rolled his eyes. Louis had sworn he’d distract Mike, but he must have been too obvious about it. The man never did have much of an imagination.
Harvey looked at his own fist, knuckles stained red from Ford’s bloody nose. He’d hit him with everything he had, his callused fist tight with rage and the desire to protect what Harvey saw as his.
He looked over at Mike, who was eyeing his own darkening fist under the bag of ice, a contemplative frown on his face. Harvey winced when he saw the discoloration on Mike’s hand. The kid was never supposed to have been there, never supposed to have been hurt by that scumbag again. His only consolation was that it seemed to have helped Mike to stand up to Ford, like he’d gotten past some invisible hurdle. Harvey just hoped things wouldn’t deteriorate. He’d come to realize over the past few weeks that Mike was ingrained into his life, and worst of all, he was happy about it. Somehow, this skinny genius had wormed his way past all of Harvey’s defenses. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d wanted to punch anyone for someone other than himself.
"What was in the envelope?" Mike asked quietly from the chair.
The words broke through the silence that had resettled itself, startling Harvey. He looked up, his eyes catching Donna's for a brief moment. She'd collected the photos at the bar, after all.
"Incriminating photos," she said, and tugged the envelope out of her purse. But she didn't hand it over, just played with the edges a bit. Mike didn't ask further about them, and the silence resettled itself.
"I should probably go. We all have work in the morning," Donna said softly, though she didn't move from her seat.
"Harvey," Mike said suddenly.
Harvey snapped his attention to Mike, noticing Donna doing the same. "Yeah?"
"Do you want me to…Should I go home?"
Harvey hadn't even thought about Mike's apartment in the last few weeks. He'd been so busy trying to make sure Mike was safe and not suicidal, and that Curtiss Ford got his 'just deserts' that he'd overlooked the fact that Mike actually had another place to go.
Mike had come to call it home, and even in the bar he'd referred to it as his and Harvey's residence. And Harvey could no longer imagine the place without him. He'd grown used to the sight of Mike on the couch working late on case files, or cooking breakfast in the kitchen. And the entire list of recorded items on the television were Mike's favored programs. All his books were here, his clothes, his pictures. What did Mike's apartment have anymore, besides a few crappy appliances, some pieces of mismatched furniture, and a handful of bad memories? "You are," he said simply.
Mike was quiet for a few minutes and Donna cleared her throat. They looked up at her sharply.
"Well, I guess I should go. So long as you two don't do anything else that's stupid."
"Me? It was Harvey who—"
"Wait a minute! You agreed with—"
She held up a hand to stop them. "It was stupid. Necessary and I totally approve. But stupid. I'll see you boys tomorrow." She smiled at them and waltzed out the door before they could recover.
"Damn it. She still has those pictures," Harvey grumbled.
"Yeah, but it's Donna. Doesn't she hold everyone's blackmail materials?"
Harvey gave a smile. "Yeah, I guess she does."
"So…you, uh, really want me to stay?"
Harvey gave him a look. "You already live here."
"Well, yeah, but I'd always assumed that was more of a temporary thing."
Harvey glared at him. "Mike, you're staying here until I know you won't do anything stupid on your own."
Mike gave him a look of mock terror. "I'm never going to have any personal freedom again, am I?"
"No more skinny ties," Harvey grinned in delight.
"I’m guessing my bike’s off the list of acceptable items, as well."
"It’s right up there with heavy alarm clocks and access to balconies.”
“I never agreed to those terms,” Mike argued lightly.
“My mistake. I'll draw up a contract later."
“You mean I’ll draw one up later.”
“Now you’re getting it,” Harvey grinned.
Thanks for reading! I'm very sorry to those of you who wanted slash. It wasn't my original intention to make this a slash story, though, and I had to stick with my feeling of how the characters were. Despite this, I hope you liked it, and I tried to make it open enough at the end that if you have a very active imagination, you could turn it into wonderful satisfying slash in the privacy of your own brain. Please leave a comment! I'd love to know what you thought of this. I especially mean YOU, lurkers! I don't bite. I promise!