Mike fumbled with his phone, nearly dropping it as he hit the ‘tweet’ button on his twitter application. Application. That was a funny word. A smile spread on Mike’s face and he giggled a little, saying the word out loud a few times. As he repeated the word, he rolled his head along the wall behind his chair in the waiting room, back and forth, the motion making his head spin pleasantly. At least until he caught sight of the old woman across the room looking at him with what was, even to his drugged up brain, clearly an expression of extreme judgement. Mike just grinned wider and waved with his bandaged hand.
“S’the drugs. They’re wonderful,” he whispered, drawing out the last word in a harsh whisper.
The woman’s eyes only narrowed more. “Seriously, you should try some. Looks like you could use a hit or two.”
Before she could respond, Mike’s phone went off. It took a few tries, but finally, he managed to get it unlocked and answer it.
Mike grinned. “Harvey? Is that you? Heeeeey.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, oh, I’m good, man. So good. Like. Good,” Mike babbled happily, feeling warm and tingly, though whether it was from the sound of Harvey’s voice or drugs they had given him was anyone’s guess.
“Where are you?”
“M’at the hospital. There was surgery and then drugs. Or...drugs and then surgery. Either way, there were drugs. Loooots of drugs. But only the legal kind, Harvey! Don’t be mad, okay? This is an allowed high. Mandatory, even.” Somewhere beyond the fuzzy, cotton-ball fluff of his mind, Mike worried that Harvey might be upset with him. He knew how much Harvey hated it when he was high.
“I’m not mad. Look, how are you getting home?”
“I think I called a taxi. I can’t remember. S’all fuzzy.”
A huff of what could have been either exasperation, amusement or both came through the line and Mike shivered as though he could feel the breath on his neck.
“Stay put. I’m coming to get you.”
Mike’s eyes widened and his heart skipped a beat. He wanted to see Harvey, of course he did, but he was vaguely aware of just how little control of his faculties he had right then. He could say or do something that he’d regret when he sobered.
“Harvey, you don’t have to-” The line cut dead and Mike’s words went unheard. Pouting to himself, Mike sat back in his seat and settled in to wait. A moment later an infomercial for some product called the Sticky Buddy had him giggling in fits and he forgot what he was worrying about.
By the time Harvey stepped into the waiting room, Mike was half asleep and quite possibly drooling. It was hard to know for sure since he was too out of it to focus on anything except the giddy joy that went through him when he saw Harvey standing in front of him.
“Haaaaarvey!” Mike tried to stand, but only managed to make it halfway before wobbling and flopping back into the chair with a snort. “Whoops! Oh, wow, you look...wow...”
It was only the second time Mike had seen Harvey in anything other than the suits he wore for work and he was wishing he was in better form so he could appreciate the sight properly. Harvey had on a grey, long-sleeved shirt and a pair of dark-wash denims that probably cost more than Mike’s monthly salary. Then again, who gave a fuck how much they cost, because they were clearly worth every penny for the way they hugged Harvey’s hips. Apparently something about Mike being incapacitated made Harvey wear normal clothes. It was the only logic that made sense to Mike right then and he made a promise to himself to get fucked up more often if this was the result.
“You do realize you said most of that out loud, don’t you?” Mike just furrowed his brow. Harvey snorted and held up his index finger. “Stay.”
“What am I, your puppy?” Mike asked, a smile forming at the very thought. He watched as Harvey moved to reception and spoke to the nurse there. It was too far to hear what they were saying, so Mike just spent the time focusing on the perfection of Harvey’s ass in those jeans.
Before long, Harvey was standing in front of him again and ordering him to get up. Mike did his best, but every time he managed to get to his feet, he stumbled and fell back into his chair. He’d always been a lightweight when it came to anesthetics. After about the fourth attempt, Harvey heaved a sigh and bent to wrap his arm around Mike’s waist, more-or-less heaving him out of the chair and against his body. It was all Mike could do not to whimper as the feel and scent of Harvey invaded his senses.
“You smell good,” he mumbled as his head lolled into the crook of Harvey’s neck. He pressed closer for a moment, breathed deep, and sighed. For a moment, he thought he felt Harvey shiver.
“Right,” Harvey scoffed as he tried to maneuver them around toward the exit. “Come on, Mike. Move your legs. Look, I don’t care how stoned you are, I’m not carrying your ass.”
Mike giggled at the mental image of Harvey literally carrying his ass around before he forced himself to concentrate on moving his limbs. Ten minutes of shuffling, giggling, and exasperated cursing later, Mike was poured into the passenger seat of Harvey’s BMW. The sound of happiness that Mike had managed to suppress earlier escaped as Harvey leaned across him to fasten his seat belt. The motion pressed Harvey’s chest against his and if he closed his eyes, he could almost pretend it was Harvey pinning him down in order to ravage him. Harvey froze against him for a moment and Mike slowly opened his eyes to stare dazedly at him. The look in Harvey’s eyes sent a bolt of awareness through the fog of his mind, but before he could say anything, it was gone and Harvey had already pulled away to slam the door.
Harvey didn’t look at Mike as he slid into the driver’s seat and started the ignition. They drove in silence for a long while, Mike staring at Harvey as he navigated through the city. He’d never be this bold without the drugs in his system, but now he had an excuse. Harvey’s eyebrows were furrowed and Mike might have said he was just concentrating on traffic if it wasn’t for the slight tick in his jaw. That only happened when Harvey was deep in thought, usually when he was trying to puzzle out the deeper aspects of a case.
“How did you know?” Mike murmured.
Harvey’s frown deepened and he darted a quick glance at Mike. “How did I know what?”
“About the surgery. I mean, I specifically scheduled it so that I wouldn’t have to ask for time off and I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention it before.”
Harvey’s fingers tightened slightly on the wheel and he gave a stiff shrug as he navigated a turn. “You twitted it.”
Mike smiled at the term. “I tweeted, Harvey. Tweeeeeted.”
“Tweeted, twitted, whatever. How did you even manage to type with one hand while you were this stoned?”
“I’m amberdex... ambidrex... I go both ways!” Mike proclaimed. Then his mind caught up with his mouth and he started giggling uncontrollably. “Both ways, heee!”
Mike watched through laughter-squinted eyes as Harvey’s neck flushed. After a moment, the corner of his mouth twitched into a half-smirk and Mike wanted to cheer with triumph, though what he’d won, he couldn’t quite grasp.
Silence fell again and Mike frowned as his brain tried to puzzle out what that meant. “Wait, you saw my tweets... but... you don’t have a twitter, Harvey. Do you?”
Harvey glanced at Mike and then pulled the car to a stop. “Stay here. I’ve got to go fill your prescription.”
Without another word, Harvey disappeared, locking Mike inside the car. Mike did his best to focus on whatever revelation he was sure lay beyond the fog of his mind, but before long, he had forgotten what it was he was supposed to be figuring out. Slowly, his head drooped down to his chest and Mike fell into a light doze.
Mike dreamed that he was floating, surrounded by a sea of warm muscles and the soothing scent of Harvey. He murmured softly, curling into the warmth with a happy sigh. As he dreamed, Harvey’s voice rose and fell and Mike murmured unintelligible replies. He was vaguely aware of the irritation lacing the rumble of Harvey’s voice, but it only made him smile and burrow closer.
A light scratching sound rose in his ears, followed by a curse and a bit of a jostle as Harvey’s arms shifted and tightened around him. Slowly the world came back to Mike; he wasn’t floating in a dream, Harvey was carrying him. The familiar scent of old Chinese take-out and wet dog wafted into his nose, mingling oddly with the scent of Harvey’s cologne, and Mike cracked an eye open to see that they were in the hall outside his apartment. The harsh light of the hallway stabbed into Mike’s head like a knife and he clenched his eyes shut again as Harvey cursed.
“I swear to fucking... how many goddamn locks do you have, Mike?” Harvey grumbled. The vibrations under Mike’s cheek were almost enough to have him settling back to sleep. Then Harvey finally managed to get the door open and nearly dropped Mike as he stumbled into something. Based on the rather loud crashing noise it made as it hit the ground, Mike guessed it was his bike.
“This is where you live?” Harvey muttered, disapproval laden in his tone.
Mike thought he should probably defend his tiny apartment - it was small, sure, but it had served him well enough the past few years. Instead, all he could manage was a garbled, “Thought you said you weren’t gunna carry me.”
He cracked his eyes open just in time to see Harvey looking almost fond. The expression turned to one of irritated exasperation as Harvey moved to set Mike on his feet. “Well, that was when you were still coherent enough to do more than drool on me.”
“How-” Mike stumbled on his feet and face-planted into Harvey’s chest. “Ow. How’d we get here? You’ve never been to my house.”
“Okay, first of all, this hole is not a house by any stretch of the imagination. Secondly, you were no help at all. I had to use your license to put the address into my GPS. Thank fuck for technology.”
“Mmm,” Mike replied. He felt this was a very important contribution to the conversation.
His eyes were closed, but Mike could practically hear Harvey rolling his eyes. He decided he didn’t really care. Instead of worrying about the fact that Harvey was in his shoe box-sized apartment, that he hadn’t cleaned up last night and there were boxes of congealing take-out on his coffee table, or that he had made a complete ass out of himself in front of his boss, Mike simply slid his arms limply around Harvey’s waist, favoring his injured one, and nuzzled closer.
The wall of Harvey’s body shuddered as he let out an unsteady breath. “Right, you need to sleep this off. Where’s the bedroom? Or do you even have one?”
Mike snorted. “‘Course I have one. ‘S around there.” He tried to point, but couldn’t really manage it. Still, Harvey seemed to get the idea. After all, there was pretty much only one direction you could go once you entered the apartment.
After a bit of shuffling - and a snarky comment about whether or not Mike’s bedroom could even legally be called a room - Mike found himself tucked into bed, his wrapped arm propped on pillows Harvey had brought in from the couch.
“There, you’re set,” Harvey said as he slid closer, moving along the tiny strip of floor that wasn’t taken up by Mike’s bed. Maybe he had a point about Mike’s bedroom. “Your pain medicine is here. I’ve left a glass of water next to it so you can take it when you wake up. Don’t take more than the bottle instructs. The nurse said it was pretty strong stuff.”
“Aw, look at you. Like my very own sexy Florence Nightingale,” Mike said with what felt like the world’s dopiest grin. Not that he cared at this point; he was tucked into bed, the drugs were still working their magic, and Harvey was frowning down at him without any real censure.
“I am not Florence Nightingale.”
“But you are sexy.”
It was hard to tell in the dim light of the bedroom, but it almost looked as though Harvey was blushing. Harvey cleared his throat and ran a hand through his hair.
“Exactly,” he said with a tiny smirk. “You should sleep. I’ll just-”
Harvey stopped mid-shuffle and looked back at Mike.
“Please? I can’t walk well and I barely remember what you just said about the pain meds. I could overdose.” Okay, that was a lie and the look Harvey gave him said he knew it. Mike tried again, making his eyes as wide and innocent as he possibly could. “My wrist really hurts.”
After a moment of consideration, Harvey nodded. “Okay.”
Tension Mike didn’t even realize he’d had left him and he sank back against the pillows, patting the bed beside him. Harvey gave him a guarded look, but gradually sank down to sit on the edge, his knees brushing the wall.
“Thanks,” he murmured, his eyes already slipping closed. “There’s the tv and I have books and stuff. Magazines. On the... in the... the room...”
Mike words slowly drifted into silence and, just as he slid into sleep, he thought he felt Harvey’s hand slide across his forehead in a gentle caress. Then again, it was probably just the drugs.
Harvey watched as Mike finally slipped into proper sleep, his fingers still wrapped around Harvey’s wrist. He used that gentle clutch of fingers as an excuse for the ridiculous amount of time he sat and just watched Mike breathe. As he watched, he wondered why Mike hadn’t told him about the surgery. Harvey knew he wasn’t always the easiest or most approachable person to talk to, but Mike was his friend and they’d been through a lot together. He cared about him. He had thought Mike had known that. So why hadn’t he asked him for help?
Glancing around Mike’s apartment - Harvey spared a moment to scoff once more at the undeserved title - he was reminded of just how alone Mike seemed to be. Before he’d come to work for Pearson and Hardman, Mike had had that jerk, Trevor, and that blonde girlfriend of his. But Harvey had taken care of one and Mike had tried and failed to date the other, effectively ending those relationships, as far as he could tell.
There was Mike’s grandmother, who was, by all accounts, equal parts lovely and formidable. But Harvey knew she was living in some sort of home for the elderly and there was no way she could have been there for Mike after the surgery. Mike didn’t have any other living relatives that Harvey knew of.
Most of Mike’s time was spent at the office (as dictated by typical associate standards) and at Harvey’s side (as dictated by Harvey), but Mike wasn’t an unlikable guy, so he should have friends from Pearson and Hardman. There was no one that Harvey had noticed. Well, there had been that paralegal, Rachel, for a time, but that something seemed to have happened to disrupt whatever friendship had been there before. Harvey’s gut twisted unpleasantly as the thought of Mike sleeping with her - and thus, causing a shift in their working relationship. He tried half-heartedly to reason it away as friendly concern, rather than the jealousy he suspected it was. He concentrated on the rise and fall of Mike’s chest until the feeling began to ebb.
Whether Mike had slept with Rachel-the-paralegal or not, the point was that they were obviously not on good terms. Which meant that, apart from Harvey, the only person Mike really talked to was Donna and she would have told Harvey about the surgery. Mike had apparently told no one and, as a result, had ended up alone at the hospital, strung out on pain and pain-killers, fully intending to take a cab home, and - based on how surprised he’d sounded when Harvey had called - he hadn’t even thought to call Harvey for help. Harvey had never been the kind of man to want others to depend on him, so why did it bother him so much that Mike hadn’t?
The fact that Harvey had found out about the surgery through Twitter, of all places, made the sting of it even worse. He didn’t want to find out his associate - his friend - was getting surgery after-the-fact through some dubious social network. Harvey wanted to be the one Mike called when he was having surgery and needed support. He wanted to be the one to bring him home and pour him into bed so that he could sleep it off.
Realization settled over Harvey as Mike snuffled and shifted slightly closer to him. He blinked in surprise, looked down at Mike’s fingers, still looped lightly around his wrist, and back up to his face.
It took a moment to regain enough composure to move and another to extricate himself from Mike’s hold - that loose grip became a proper clutch, complete with a pitiful whine, when Harvey tried to move away. Once free from Octo-Mike, Harvey went to the tiny kitchen and scrounged around a bit. Revelations like this always called for something alcoholic, preferably something smooth and with a nice vintage. All Harvey managed to find was a six-pack of Longboard. Hardly the scotch he was craving, but still, it was better than nothing.
The first two beers went down pretty fast, but by the third, Harvey had relaxed a bit and was leisurely sipping. He stood by the tiny window and looked out blankly at Mike’s fire escape as he processed his thoughts and assessed the situation. He had feelings for his associate. Feelings that made him want to take care of Mike and have him rely on Harvey when in need. He actually wanted the burden of being needed by Mike and the funny thing was, when Harvey thought of it, the idea didn’t seem all that much of a burden. Aside from the initial moment of panic, he felt remarkably calm. Now that Harvey knew what it was, he could decide what he wanted and act on it.
By the time he reached the bottom of his bottle, Harvey decided that he wasn’t going to freak out about it. Things were going to keep going as they always had when it came to work and if Harvey started to be a bit friendlier and more accessible, well, Mike should be happy, right? He was always going on about what a hard ass Harvey was, after all. Maybe it was time to show Mike the other side of him and see what happened. He could start with making Mike something to eat. After the fast the hospital certainly would have made him do before the surgery, and being too drugged to walk, let alone have the coordination to feed himself, he’d probably wake up starving.
Nodding to himself, Harvey got rid of the empty beer bottles and looked around the kitchen. The search didn’t turn up much; ketchup, a packet of ramen, an onion, a stash of single-packet condiments, half a loaf of stale bread, and a pile of take-out menus shoved in a drawer. The only things in the fridge were beer, a head of lettuce, and a jar of mustard.
“Wow, Mike, Grey Poupon. Aren’t you fancy?” Harvey muttered to himself, equal parts amused and appalled.
With a roll of his eyes, Harvey closed the fridge and grabbed Mike’s house keys. There was a corner shop just down the block. He could probably find everything he needed there. After scribbling a short note in case Mike woke while he was away, Harvey headed out.
Mike floated back to consciousness with a slight headache, a throbbing pain in his wrist, and a terrible case of cotton mouth. It took him a few minutes to remember why his wrist hurt - surgery, right - and another few to open his eyes and suss out where he was and how he’d gotten there. Avengers alarm clock. Right. His room, then. But he hadn’t biked. Leaving aside the obvious handicap of his injured wrist, there was no way he could have navigated the streets with the fog in his head and he didn’t remember taking a taxi.
The scent of something cooking wafted through the apartment. A deep baritone humming the chorus to Hellhound On My Trail rose in the air and brought back the memory of Harvey showing up at the hospital. The overall journey to the apartment was disjointed and incomplete, but as the humming became softly-sung words, there was no doubt in Mike’s mind that it was Harvey in his kitchen.
As if somehow summoned by his thoughts, Harvey appeared from around the corner, a dish towel slung over his shoulder and a steaming bowl in the other. He paused at the foot of the bed and his singing halted as he met Mike’s gaze.
“Oh. You’re awake. Good. Saves me from having to do it.”
Mike watched, certain he was still high from the anesthesia, as Harvey sidled down the tiny path to perch near the head of Mike’s bed.
“You’re here,” Mike said. Clearly he hadn’t quite regained his wit.
“You’re observant,” Harvey replied with a small smirk.
Ignoring the pleasant flutter of his heart, Mike slowly pushed himself up and nodded at the bowl. “What is that?”
“You made me soup?” Mike’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Yes. You didn’t have anything in the cupboards, so I went down to the corner store and picked up some veggies and chicken stock,” Harvey said as he grabbed a pillow and laid it across Mike’s lap. “I looked everywhere for some sort of tray to put it on, but then I remembered where I was.”
Usually, this was where Mike would make a face or come back with some witty retort, but he was still busy trying to process the situation. It was completely mind-boggling, trying to imagine Harvey wielding a chopping knife like one of the chefs off of Food Network. “You made me soup. You got me from the hospital and then stayed to make me homemade soup. I didn’t even know you could cook.”
Harvey scoffed and puffed up just a little at that. “Excuse me, but I’m Harvey Specter. I can do it all.”
The accuracy of the statement brought a smile to Mike’s face. “Of course you can. I’m just surprised you bothered to do it for me, that’s all.”
A tiny crease appeared between Harvey’s eyebrows as he laid the dishtowel over the pillow and set the bowl atop it. “Would you have preferred me to leave?”
“No! That’s not what I meant, I’m just...” Mike shook his head. “You know what, never mind. This looks great.”
Taking the spoon Harvey offered, Mike did his best to eat. His grip was a little awkward and he was propped up kind of funny. On top of that, having Harvey there, watching him, was proving to be a huge distraction. After the third near-spill, Harvey rolled his eyes and grabbed the bowl.
“Christ, Mike, I thought you said you were ambidextrous.”
Mike pouted a little and sighed. “I am, it’s just a bit hard to balance like this.”
“Which is exactly why you should have a bed tray,” Harvey said as he grabbed the spoon from Mike’s hand. His eyebrows rose when Harvey refilled the spoon with soup and brought it up to Mike’s mouth.
“What are you doing?”
“You know, I’m beginning to think those drugs did some real damage. What does it look like? I’m helping you.”
“But-” All protest was cut off by the spoon sliding between his lips. Mike swallowed reflexively and then moaned. It would have been embarrassing if he hadn’t been too busy savouring the food in his mouth to care. “Holy shit, that’s amazing.”
Harvey’s smirk was back, though this time, it was accompanied by a rather curious rise of color in his face. If Mike didn’t know better, he’d almost say that Harvey was blushing. Before he could comment, Harvey brought the spoon up again and Mike happily opened his mouth.
They continued like that for a while - spoon, open, swallow, repeat - the silence broken only by Mike’s constant sounds of appreciation and the occasional scrape of metal on porcelain. It should have been awkward, having his boss sitting on his bed, spoon feeding him soup like this - taking care of him - but somehow, it wasn’t. It was easy; almost peaceful. Right.
“You know, “ Mike said between bites, “the last person who made me soup like this was my grammy.”
“Oh? When was that?”
“God, ages ago. I was fifteen and had a horrible case of the flu. She made me a huge pot of her best chicken soup and my appetite went from non-existent to ravenous in seconds.”
“And is mine as good as grammy’s?”
“It’s running a close second. You’re good, Harvey, but no one can touch grammy’s chicken soup.” Mike hesitated for a split second before giving Harvey a shy smile. “The view is much better, though.”
“Is it?” Harvey drawled, his lips twitching into a smile as he lifted the spoon again.
Mike hummed around his mouthful and nodded, noting that the color had returned to Harvey’s cheeks. Unable to help himself any longer, Mike swallowed and leveled Harvey with a serious look.
“Why are you doing this?”
“Because you’re too inept to feed yourself,” Harvey said after a beat, the edge of his smirk looking far too forced to be real. “We already covered that, remember?”
Mike turned his head, refusing the next spoonful of soup. “That’s not what I meant and you know it.”
He looked back as Harvey lowered the spoon and sighed, any semblance of humor gone. He stared back at Mike for a long moment and then gave a jerky shrug. “We’re friends, aren’t we?”
The question took Mike aback slightly. Harvey had been his boss and mentor for over a year now and, while Mike often liked to think of himself as Harvey’s friend, he never knew if Harvey felt the same. Apparently he did and, judging by the way his expression began to close off, Mike had waited just a bit too long to answer him.
“Yes, Harvey, of course we’re friends.” Using the inability to lift his injured arm to form some point of contact as an excuse, Mike scooted over awkwardly until the line of his body was pressed against Harvey’s hip and offered him a tentative smile. “Have been for a while, at least on my end.”
“Then why didn’t you call me?”
The sudden, unexpected edge in Harvey’s tone made Mike’s heart skip a beat and automatic guilt settle in his gut. “What? When?”
“When you knew you were going to have surgery. You didn’t say anything about it. I only found out because you tweeted about it while waiting for a cab. Which, by the way, would not have helped you when you passed out. You think the cabbie would have carried your ass up all those stairs? I mean, you’re slim, but you sure as hell aren’t light.”
Mike gawked, completely shocked by how upset Harvey seemed to be. “I just didn’t want to bother you. You’re a busy guy and you’ve never really seemed that up for helping me out before. I mean, when I asked you to help me file a subpoena you told me to get my skinny tie out of your face. Asking you to drive me to and from my appointment on your day off is a hell of a lot more than asking you to show me how to do paperwork.”
“That was almost a year ago, Mike, and this is different. You were hurt!” Harvey blinked as if he just noticed how loud his voice had gotten. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Look, just tell me next time, okay? Friends do that.”
“Okay,” he said with a nod and a crooked smile. The tension seemed to ease from Harvey’s shoulders at that. Chancing his luck, Mike continued. “You know...friends don’t usually stick around to take care of each other like this. Pick each other up occasionally, sure, drag to the front door, maybe, but staying like this? I mean... Harvey, you chopped vegetables for me.”
Harvey was watching him closely now, his expression guarded. “And?”
Mike squirmed. “And it’s so much more than I would ever have expected. It just seems like...”
“Like what?” Harvey prompted when Mike’s resolve faltered.
Swallowing hard past the nerves, Mike met Harvey’s gaze and answered, “Like something more.”
Harvey hesitated for a beat. “Maybe it is.”
Heat bloom up Mike’s neck to his face, his heart pounding hard enough to have his wrist throbbing painfully. He ignored the ache and leaned forward a bit, his tongue automatically flicking out to wet his lips in anticipation.
In lieu of words, Harvey simply closed the distance between them. Whenever Mike fantasized about kissing Harvey - and he had, many times - it was always hot and hard and controlling. This was nothing like that. There was control, but it was easy, evident only in the gentle, firm press and glide of Harvey’s lips against his own as he guided the kiss. Mike didn’t know if was because Harvey was being careful of his wrist or if he was simply trying to ease Mike into the idea of kissing him, but he was hardly complaining. He met Harvey press-for-press, all thoughts of wrist-pain and soup gone. At least until he attempted to put his arm around Harvey’s neck.
“Ow! Shit, fuck, crap, ow.”
Harvey pulled away immediately and gently guided Mike’s arm back to its nest of pillows. “Idiot.”
“Your idiot,” Mike corrected, unable to rid himself of the goofy smile he knew was on his face. The darkening blush of Harvey’s cheek was more than enough to make up for it.
“Yeah. My idiot,” Harvey said with a smile, lifting the spoon to Mike’s mouth. “Now finish your soup.”