Harvey is woken up at three in the morning by a frantic banging on his door. He groans and presses his face into his pillow. When the noise doesn’t abate, he drags himself out of bed and to the front door.
And sure enough, there's Mike. He's still wearing his work clothes, but his cheeks are flushed like he's been drinking and the look in his eyes borders on manic. Harvey sighs.
"If I moved you'd probably follow me there, too, right?" he asks as Mike slides past him into the apartment, and shuts the door behind him. He follows Mike down the hallway and into the kitchen.
"I have the perfect solution," Mike announces. He’s standing in the middle of Harvey’s kitchen, hands on his hips and sleeves rolled up like he’s about to explain how the loophole he found in a hidden clause is about to make a client of theirs very, very rich. It’s automatically endearing, which is probably why Harvey isn’t kicking him out. Not because of the slender curve of his forearms or the insouciant way he carries himself in Harvey’s space. Not at all.
"I wasn't aware we had a problem."
"It's not so much that we had a problem as - "
"You had problem?"
"Exactly!" Mike says brightly. "And you taught me there's always a solution, even if it's not obvious."
“I’ve told you before exactly how much I care about your problems.” Harvey says, pulling out a stool and sitting down. He has a feeling this won’t be a short conversation.
Mike pouts at him, then brightens.
“No, wait, you’ll care about this!”
“Oh, I doubt it.”
“No, I promise, you will,” Mike insists, weirdly earnest.
Harvey sighs. "I'm probably going to regret asking," he says, "but what problem, exactly, are you referring to?"
"The Rachel problem."
"Ah. I was right, I don’t care."
Mike paces the length of the kitchen, totally ignoring him.
"I can't be in a relationship based on a lie, I know that. You won’t let me tell Rachel the truth. And you’re right,” he adds hurriedly when Harvey makes to interrupt. “Even if I did tell her, she’d never be okay with it.” He shrugs. “But I do want to be in a relationship. Because unlike some of us," he pauses to glare at Harvey, "I actually enjoy human contact."
“Oh, I have no trouble enjoying human contact,” Harvey says, resisting the urge to leer at Mike. Mike throws him a disdainful look anyway.
“You know what I mean. Something other than sex. Which is great, don’t get me wrong, it’s just...not everything.”
"Mike, for the love of god, will you get on with it?"
"So the way I see it, I have exactly five choices for my relationship partner." He stops and leans on the counter, holding up a hand, spread palm facing Harvey. "Five."
"Just how drunk are you, exactly?"
Mike frowns. "There may have been tequila," he says, then shakes his head. "Not important. The point is, there are five?" He sounds less certain now.
"Yeah, I think I got that."
"Good. Okay. Five.” Mike pauses again, then starts counting off on his fingers. “Trevor, Jenny, Donna, Jessica, and you."
"Mike - "
"Uh-uh, no, I'm not finished," Mike says, pointing a finger at Harvey to silence him. "So I sat down with a drink in my hand and thought how would Harvey resolve this situation."
"So I considered my options. "Number one, Trevor. Not really an option, given that I don't exactly talk to him anymore. And, you know, the whole betrayal thing. So Trevor's out," he concludes, nodding wisely.
Not a word, Harvey notes, about Trevor being a man. Interesting.
"Number two, Jenny." Mike sighs. "Jenny was pretty much the ideal choice. I really screwed that one up," he admits. He's quiet for a minute, clearly lost in contemplation.
"You really did," Harvey says, which effectively snaps Mike out of his reverie to glare at him.
"Anyway. Three is Donna - "
"I'm going to have to ask you to tread very cautiously here," Harvey interrupts.
"Oh, trust me, I know."
Harvey waves his hand. "Go on."
"Donna, while being gorgeous and an all-around wonderful human being, is somewhat -"
" - intimidating," Mike continues as if Harvey hadn't interrupted, "which is not the best
foundation for a relationship."
"You'd be her bitch."
"I would be her bitch," Mike agrees. He's smiling now, too-wide and a little silly, but Harvey can't help but smile back. Mike looks softer, younger, and although he's clearly still a little drunk, he's arguing pretty lucidly. Harvey's kind of proud of him.
"Which brings us to four."
"Jessica Pearson, Managing Partner of Pearson Hardman."
They're both silent for a minute as they contemplate that possibility.
"She'd eat you alive," Harvey remarks conversationally.
"There would be no remains," Mike agrees. He leans on the counter, elbows braced against
it so he's only a couple of feet from Harvey's face.
"Which leaves one option."
"Your powers of deduction are masterful. Really, very impressive, Mike."
"Shut up and let me finish."
"Did you just tell me to shut up?"
"Harvey, you're wearing sweats and a Yankees tshirt. I didn’t even know you owned sweats. You're not really in a position to pull rank right now."
Which is bullshit, Harvey could pull rank any time he likes, but Mike's breezing on with the conversation.
"It leaves you," he says. "Which at first, yeah, kind of terrifying. I mean, you're not as scary as Jessica - "
" - or Donna - "
"Shut up, you know it's true.” If Mike continues this habit of telling him to shut up at the office, Harvey’s really going to have to discipline him. “But you do have this whole," Mike waves his hand vaguely, encompassing Harvey’s apartment, then gestures towards Harvey himself, "James Bond thing going on, which I can admit, it's a little intimidating.”
"But,” Mike continues. “There are many things in your favour. I made a list.”
He pauses, looking proud of himself, as if he’s waiting for Harvey to compliment him on his organisational skills. Harvey, given the direction of this conversation, is willing to indulge him.
“Great, there’s a list,” he says. “Let’s see it.”
Mike shakes his head and taps his temple. “It’s up here. I memorised it.”
“Then let’s hear it.”
“Okay. Number one, you're hot. Not that you need your ego stroked or anything, but I mean, really, smoking hot. Two, you have a really nice place. Have I mentioned that? Yeah, I would not be opposed to spending more time here. Seriously, your entryway is the size of my entire apartment."
"You wanna use me for my apartment? I gotta say, you're not really selling this so me, Mike."
"It's not - look, I like you, Harvey. A lot of the time I'm not sure why, because you can be such a dick. You’re arrogant and opinionated and you dress like a pimp. But you're also awesome and you seem to think I have it in me to be something...more than what I am."
And just like that the whole mood changes. Mike's staring at him earnestly now and Harvey can't look away.
"And I know you like me,” Mike continues, softer now, “which possibly makes even less sense than me liking you. Donna told me what you did for me," he says, lowering his eyes. "And I don't really get it, why you’re so willing to go out on a limb for me.”
He looks up again, and smiles. “And I'm not unattractive, if you like, y'know," he gestures to himself. "And I think you do, I’ve seen you look at guys before. I’ve seen you look at - " He breaks off, blushing.
“Seen me look at what?”
“I’ve seen you look at me before,” Mike says, a little defiantly.
"Been paying attention to who I'm sleeping with, Mike?" Harvey asks, a poor attempt at deflection.
"A little," Mike admits. "Sometimes."
They're staring at each other across the kitchen counter now, the apartment quiet around them. It should be awkward, Harvey should feel the need to look away (or rather, intimidate Mike into looking away), but it’s not and he doesn’t. He doesn’t want to move at all.
"It's perfect," Mike say simply. "It's the 146th solution."
Harvey has to smile at that. "What are you really saying, Mike? What do you want?"
Mike leans forward, right across the counter, until their faces are only inches apart. He holds himself there, his eyes flickering over Harvey’s face as though he’s waiting for Harvey to stop him. When Harvey doesn’t, he closes the distance and kisses him. It’s an unremarkable kiss, just a brief, dry press of lips, but Mike’s lips are warm and soft and the reality is so, so much better than the few times Harvey’s imagined it. When Mike pulls back, he’s smiling.
“Okay?” he asks, and for all his earlier certainty, he sounds a little unsure now.
Harvey stands and makes his way around until he’s right in front of Mike. He wants to know for sure how much of this is the tequila at two am and how much is just Mike, whether Mike’s going to wake up tomorrow and run away, whether this is all a monumentally bad idea. But he can’t know, not completely, so he goes with his instincts.
“There are some flaws in your logic,” he says, stepping closer and looping an arm around Mike’s waist.
“My logic was perfect.”
“It’s not a perfect solution.”
“It’s the best I could come up with. I’ll try again when I’m sober,” Mike says and he’s grinning now, sliding his hands up Harvey’s arms and cupping his neck.
“No,” Harvey says, leaning in and kissing Mike soundly on the mouth. “No, this one will do just fine.”