Harvey Specter is a man of many talents, amongst them the ability to sleep through almost anything. Now, some people might not count that as a talent, though Harvey would be inclined to disagree there. Undisturbed sleep is vitally important, and being able to distinguish even in sleep between, say, the sound of his cell phone ringing – important, better wake up – and the sound of loud music in the condo above him, or that of his direct neighbors remodeling – completely unimportant, not worth the hassle, keep sleeping – without involving any conscious part of his brain then yes, Harvey would count that as a talent, thank you very much.
A talent which incidentally comes in very handy once Mike becomes a more permanent fixture not only in Harvey's professional life, but also in his private space and his bed. Without this completely amazing ability, sharing a bed with Mike Ross, human octopus and regular source of a variety of snoring and snuffling sounds, would be a challenge. As it is, once Mike has gone through his nightly ritual of finding just the right sleeping position and finally lies still for more than three seconds, Harvey goes to sleep and stays asleep until the next morning.
There's only a few things that are able to wake him up at all. There's his alarm clock, of course, and the ringing of his cell phone. They're important sounds, and Harvey is immediately wide awake upon hearing them. Of course, Mike calling his name, or kissing his way down Harvey's neck and chest serve as pretty good wake-up calls, as well, but other than that there's very few things, much less random sounds, that are really able to tear him out of his sleep.
So it's unusual and extremely surprising when he suddenly finds himself awake in the middle of the night, way too early for his alarm to sound and with no ringing phone serving as an explanation for this interruption of his sleep. His brain takes a moment to catch up to the sudden change, but his body is wide awake, heart beating fast in his chest as he blinks into the darkness of the bedroom to try and find out what the hell is wrong. It wasn't a nightmare that woke him, that's the only thing he's really sure of. It's still dark, but there's enough light coming in through the large widows to outline the shapes of the furniture in his bedroom. Everything looks the way it's supposed to, and there's no further sounds that would suggest that anyone else is in the apartment except for Mike and him.
Besides, if Mike slept through whatever woke Harvey up, it can't have been anything really loud. Everything is quiet. Actually, it's too quiet. He can't hear Mike breathing beside him, and neither can he hear the soft snores and snuffling sounds Mike makes when he's fast asleep. Turning his head, he finds that the bed beside him is empty, though as he reaches out, there's still some lingering warmth on the sheets.
So Mike got up in the middle of the night, probably to go to the bathroom. Maybe he dropped something, or banged a cabinet door, and that's what woke Harvey up. Riddle solved.
Just as Harvey is about to sink back into the mattress and allow himself to drift off to sleep again, there's a sound coming from the bathroom, and this time Harvey is sure that he heard it. It's a dull thud, like the sound of a cabinet closing with a little too much force behind it, but what has Harvey out of bed and hurrying over towards the bathroom in no time at all is the pained moan that follows the sound.
There's no answer, but fortunately Mike didn't lock the bathroom door. The first thing Harvey notices upon opening the door is that the lights are on, and he has to blink a few times until his eyes have adjusted to the sudden brightness. Mike is on the floor in front of the sink, halfway between lying down and sitting up. He has one hand wrapped around the handle of the cabinet door beneath the sink, trying to pull himself completely upright.
The cabinet door explains the thud Harvey heard, but the thought barely registers before he is hurrying forward and drops to his knees beside the younger man. Mike's face is a pained grimace and he has his free hand pressed tightly against his forehead. It's the blood that's running out between Mike's fingers and down his hand that sends Harvey's pulse skyrocketing. Mike shouldn't be bleeding like that, not on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night. Nowhere and never if Harvey has any say in it.
"Mike? What the hell happened?"
As soon as he reaches Mike's side Harvey helps him into a sitting position and leans him back against the wall. Mike immediately lets go of the cabinet handle and presses his right hand on top of his left, his body rocking back and forth in pain. If he heard Harvey's question he doesn't react to it, and if anything that makes Harvey worry even more.
"Come on Mike, I need to take a look at that."
Mike is struggling against him as Harvey tries to pry his hands away from his forehead, and Harvey can feel his pulse racing underneath his fingers as his hands circle around Mike's wrists and gently try to pull his hands off.
"Mike, I need to take a look at your head to see how bad it is."
Mike doesn't react verbally, and the muscles in his arms continue to tremble against Harvey's hold, but after a moment he allows Harvey to pull his hands away. Harvey can't take a really good look because of all the blood, but he has played sports for long enough to see immediately that this is the kind of gash where some ice and a couple of butterfly bandages won't cut it.
He releases Mike's hands to pull the first aid kit out of the cabinet beneath the sink. His hands feel strangely large and clumsy as he rifles through the contents in search of some sterile gauze, and his hands are definitely not shaking as he rips open the package and takes out the gauze. No way his hands are shaking. He's a rational person, he doesn't do panicked reactions. That's simply not him, so he forces his fingers to stop trembling before he accidentally drops the gauze.
This time, Mike doesn't resist as Harvey pulls his hands away and places the gauze against the gash. He grabs a towel from the shelf on Mike's other side and places it atop the gauze before he reaches for Mike's hands and pushes them atop the makeshift bandage.
"Here, keep pressure on that for a moment, will you?"
Mike does, but as Harvey moves to shift away his head snaps up and he looks at Harvey with barely concealed panic showing in his one visible eye.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going to call an ambulance."
Because while Harvey doesn't know much about first aid, he's fairly sure that this wound is going to need stitches. Mike apparently hasn't come to quite the same conclusion, though. He tries to shake his head, grimaces as the movement causes the pain to flare up even worse, and settles on grabbing weakly for Harvey's arm with one hand.
"Harvey, no. I…I really don't need an ambulance."
Even Mike's voice is laced with pain, but still he's revolting against the mere idea of going to the hospital.
"Mike," he tries to keep his voice as calm as he can, even though up this close all he can see is Mike's blood-smeared hand against the white towel, and suddenly it seems almost impossible to remain calm. "That gash is going to need stitches, so we need to get you to the hospital. I don't have a car here, and let me tell you that cab drivers really don't appreciate it when you bleed all over their upholstery. So I'm going to call an ambulance now, and you can save your breath because no amount of arguing is going to change my mind about this."
He gives Mike's shoulder a reassuring squeeze before he gets up and goes back into the bedroom to grab his cell phone from the bedside table. The call to 911 is mercifully short, and assured that help is on the way he places another quick call to the lobby to let the doorman know to let the EMTs up, he hurries back into the bathroom.
Mike is still leaning against the wall, still pressing the towel against his forehead. He's looking pale, but he tiredly blinks up at Harvey as he hears him approach.
"The ambulance will be here in about ten minutes; the doorman is going to take them up. How are you feeling?"
"'m okay," Mike mumbles, but his voice is muffled, weak and less than convincing. Harvey sinks to the floor beside him and almost automatically wraps his arm around Mike's shoulder and relieves Mike from the task of pressing the towel against his forehead. Mike sags against him with a little sigh, and Harvey lets him. He makes sure to keep Mike's head steady, though, because quite frankly he has no idea how the hell Mike ended up bleeding on the bathroom floor in the first place and how bad his injuries really are.
"Can you tell me what happened?"
"I don't know," Mike rasps out, and he weakly reaches for Harvey's arm and wraps his fingers around his wrist. He probably smears even more blood on Harvey's skin, but Harvey is beyond caring.
"I went to the sink, I think," Mike continues, fingers tightening around Harvey's arm. "I must have slipped on the rug and hit my head, I think. I…I'm not sure. Sorry."
"It's okay." Looking around the room, Harvey can see the overturned edge of the rug where Mike must have stumbled over it. It's not all that surprising, since even though he turned on the bathroom lights, Mike has a tendency to walk around with his eyes half-closed when he's not properly awake. He probably hit his head on the bathroom counter, and it's no big leap to conclude that it was either the sound of that, or any subsequent cry of shock and pain Mike might have made, that woke Harvey up in the first place.
And what if he hadn't woken up? Mike could have been lying there while Harvey was sleeping just a few feet away. Hell, he could have bled out on the cold bathroom floor and Harvey would have only found him once it was time for his morning shower. Oh yes, he's practically boyfriend of the year material.
Almost unconsciously he pulls Mike closer and rests his forehead against the back of Mike's head. He's overreacting, he knows that, and he really needs to get a grip on himself because Mike doesn't need him to panic right now. He did wake up, after all, and that's the main thing. Mike wasn't unconscious after his fall, either; he could have called for Harvey once he realized that he couldn't get up on his own. And head wounds tend to bleed a lot. Harvey has seen his fair share of them in his years of playing sports, and he knows they almost always look worse than they are. Mike isn't showing signs of losing consciousness, and the ambulance should be here any moment now.
Mike is going to be fine. A few stitches, a clean bandage, and he'll be home in no time. It's going to be fine. Unless of course Mike somehow managed to hurt himself even worse during his fall.
"Other than your head, does anything hurt?"
"No. I…I don't think so. My head hurts really bad, but I don't think I'm hurt anywhere else. I…I'm sorry. It's all so fuzzy, I don't really know what to say. Sorry, Harvey."
"Hey, you don't have to apologize. You smacked your head pretty hard, it's normal to be confused." Harvey is surprised at the soft tone of his own voice, but it seems to do the trick and Mike relaxes marginally against him.
Where the hell is that ambulance?
Harvey is tempted to peek under the bandage to see if the bleeding has stopped, but he doesn't quite dare to ease the pressure just yet. By now Mike is holding on to Harvey's forearm with both hands, fingers digging into his skin so much that it almost hurts. It's the only sign of strength he's displaying, though. He's slumped against Harvey's chest, and Harvey can feel the tremors coursing through him. It's not really surprising, though. Mike is only dressed in a pair of boxer shorts and a t-shirt, and the bathroom tiles have to be cold against his skin. Harvey thinks about getting up to grab one of the bathrobes from behind the door, or the comforter from their bed, but he can't bring himself to let go of Mike and leave him alone, even if it's just for a few seconds. Instead, he pulls Mike yet another bit closer and tries to keep him as warm as possible.
Still, Mike's shivering only increases, and Harvey has no idea for how long they have been sitting on the cold bathroom floor when he hears the sound of footsteps and voices in the apartment.
"Mr. Specter? The EMTs are here."
It's Tom the doorman, and Harvey has never before been so relieved to hear the man's voice.
"We're in the master bathroom," he calls back, and though he tries to keep his voice down as much as he can and still be heard, Mike flinches against him. Harvey squeezes his shoulder, relieved that someone with more medical knowledge is going to be here to look after Mike now. It only takes a few moments, then the bathroom door opens and Tom steps through, followed by two EMTs with a gurney and bags of equipment.
The EMTs take in the scene with no discernible reaction, but Harvey can see Tom's eyes widening. He imagines they make quite a sight sitting there beside the sink, Mike's blood liberally smeared seemingly everywhere. This is going to be hell to clean up.
"Good morning," one of the EMTs said almost too cheerfully as he kneels down on the floor beside them. "My name is Jim Parker, and this here is my partner Gordon Wilson. What's your name, sir?"
In any other situation, it would be almost comical to hear someone who's probably the same age as Mike address him as sir, but as it is Harvey barely pays any attention. Neither does Mike, apparently, or he's simply too confused and in too much pain to even notice.
"Hello Mike. Can you give me the last name to go with that? Our administration really hates it when we leave blank fields in the paperwork."
It's not quite joking, but Harvey can feel Mike relax slightly against him at the lighthearted tone.
"Ross. It's Michael Ross. Mike."
"Okay, Mike." Jim smiles at Mike, though Harvey has the distinct feeling that it's entirely lost on Mike right now. "Can you tell me what's wrong?"
"I stumbled," Mike mumbles in response, and when he doesn't elaborate any further, Harvey feels the need to add the little he knows.
"I found him on the floor. He must have hit his forehead on the bathroom counter."
Jim nods but keeps his eyes on Mike. "Is that what happened?"
Mike shrugs, digging his fingers even harder into Harvey's forearm.
"I think so. I remember that I stumbled, and then my head hurt. I don't really remember the rest."
"That's okay, Mike. Now, other than your head, does anything else hurt? Your neck? Or your wrists and hands from bracing the fall?"
Mike tries to shrug, but aborts the movement with a small hiss of pain. "I…I don't really know. My neck kinda hurts, I guess. Shrugging hurts."
"Okay. Can you move your hands and feet for me? Just a little so that I can cross that point off my list."
Mike does as he's asked, and Harvey feels an icy shudder go through him as he realizes that the EMT is trying to figure out if it's possible that Mike injured his spine. He's been manhandling Mike around ever since he found him on the bathroom floor, what if he made things only worse in case Mike's injury is really something more than just a gash on his forehead?
"Any nausea or dizziness?"
"I'm a bit dizzy."
"Good. You're doing great, Mike. I just need to ask you a few more questions, and then we'll see about getting that gash in your head taken care of, okay? Do you have any allergies?"
"I don't think so, no."
"Do you take any medication? Prescription, over the counter meds, anything even if it was just something against a headache?"
"Good." Jim sits back on his heels and turns around towards his partner. "I need a c-collar."
Mike tenses against him, and Harvey finds himself wondering if that's standard procedure or if the EMT suspects that Mike hurt himself worse than it looks at first glance. He doesn't seem to be in any panicked rush, but then again as an EMT he probably does this every day, so Harvey can't really tell which is the case.
"Now Mike, we're going to put a brace around your neck that'll stop you from moving your head, just in case you hurt your neck in the fall. It'll feel tight, but it won't interfere with your breathing, okay? Then we'll put you on the gurney and take you to the hospital to get your head looked at."
For all his previous protests, Mike seems to have resigned to his fate by now and doesn't protest going to the hospital anymore. And then suddenly it all happens really fast. Jim approaches with the neck brace in hand, carefully adjusts the position of Mike's head and fastens the collar into place. Then he and his partner carefully move Mike over and place him on the lowered gurney. Harvey watches them move quickly and efficiently, taking Mike's vitals and replacing the towel atop the gauze with a new compress. He sees all those things happening, but all that really registers is that he suddenly feels cold now that Mike is no longer leaning against him.
One thing he does realize is that the EMTs are getting ready to take Mike down to the ambulance, and at that thought he's on his feet a lot faster than he thought possible. Mike looks small and almost lost with that large brace fastened around his neck, and the sight of half his face covered in blood is one Harvey honestly could have done without.
He steps up as closely to the gurney as the men's work allows him to.
"Where are you taking him?"
"Beth Israel," Jim replies. "I can't let you ride along, though."
Harvey's first urge is to protest, but the small rational part of his mind that is still working reminds him that he's only wearing the clothes he slept in, and he's not going to be much of a help for Mike if he ends up half-naked and barefoot in an ER waiting room.
"I'll get dressed and follow you in a cab."
"Good. You might want to pack some things for Mike, too. He's going to need clothes when they release him."
Harvey nods. Of course, Mike can't be released in shorts and a t-shirt, and those doctors better patch him up and not keep him in the hospital for any longer than absolutely necessary. The EMTs make move to push the gurney out of the room and Harvey is ready to get that bag packed as quickly as possible, but as the gurney starts to move Mike seems to realize that Harvey is not following.
It sounds so small and almost scared that Harvey is ready and willing to brush aside all arguments as to why he can't ride in the ambulance with Mike and force his way on board if he has to, protocol and appropriate clothes be damned. He brushes past Gordon and into Mike's line of sight.
"I'm right here. You heard Jim, they're taking you to the hospital. I'll pack some clothes and then I'll be right behind you, okay? You'll probably be high on painkillers by the time I get there, so don't you worry about a thing."
"I really don't like hospitals, Harvey."
"I know, and I promise I'll be right there, okay?"
Mike still seems anxious, and Harvey decides that he doesn't give a damn who's watching. He leans in and presses a kiss against Mike's cheek, in one of the few spots that's not dotted with blood.
"I'll be right there."
"'kay," Mike responds and Harvey steps back to allow the EMTs to push the gurney out of the room. Within a few moments, they're gone, leaving Harvey alone in his bathroom. There's blood on the floor beside him, on the bathroom rug, on the towel Harvey used as a compress, and though he doesn't quite dare to look at himself in the mirror, Harvey knows that he's probably smeared with blood, as well.
It looks like way too much blood, even if head wounds always bleed a lot. Too much blood, and Mike lost it right here, at home. Where he should have been safe. Not in the city, or out on his bike somewhere, but right here at home, while Harvey was sleeping without noticing a damn thing.
Harvey feels like throwing up.
"Are you all right, Mr. Specter?"
He has completely forgotten about Tom's presence in the apartment, and almost startles when the doorman addresses him. Turning towards him, he runs a hand through his hair and breathes a sigh.
"I…yes, thank you, Tom. I'm fine."
"If I may say so, you might want to clean up a bit before you go to the hospital." He gestures vaguely at his own face, confirming what Harvey already suspected. "I'll call you a cab in the meantime."
Harvey nods. "Yes, thank you, Tom."
"No problem, Mr. Specter. I'll have it waiting downstairs in twenty minutes."
He turns around to leave, and Harvey already hurries over towards his wardrobe to pick out some clothes. Almost as an afterthought, he turns back to call after Tom's retreating form.
"Make that fifteen minutes!"
He did promise Mike he'd be right behind him, after all.
Harvey takes what probably amounts to the quickest shower he's ever taken in his life. He washes the blood off his face and scrubs his hands thoroughly, but once that is done he's out of the shower, toweling off on the way back into the bedroom to save even those precious few seconds. He shrugs into the first clean clothes he can find, a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, even though the temptation to put on a suit is there. It's easier to hide what's going on inside of him when he's dressed like a lawyer, and not like the worried boyfriend of someone who stumbled over his own feet and split his head open in the middle of the night.
It's safe to say that Harvey is not operating at his best right now, and that has nothing to do with the fact that his well-deserved sleep was interrupted abruptly, and much more with the fact that he's…well, concerned. All right, he's worried, but that's only normal seeing as Mike's blood is liberally coating his bathroom floor right now.
It feels as if it takes a lot longer than it normally does to dress himself, but once he's done he quickly pulls his gym bag out of the closet, empties it out and starts to pack a bag for Mike. It's not like Mike keeps many clothes here, and Harvey doesn't have the patience to search for the few that he does have. He doesn't really care if the boxers, sweatpants and shirts he stuffs into the bag are his or Mike's. He's already halfway out the door when he realizes that he forgot to pack shoes and socks, and he barely remembers to put his cell phone and wallet into his pocket on his way back to the door.
That delay is the only reason why he doesn't meet his self-imposed fifteen minutes deadline. Tom remained true to his word, though, and the cab is already waiting in front of the building as he hurries out the door. The drive to the hospital is mercifully quick and silent, though, and Harvey is ready and willing to storm straight into the ER and through to where they brought Mike, but he only gets as far as the front desk before the nurse in charge foils his plans.
Her answer to his – impatient but still reasonably polite and completely justified – inquiry as to Mike's whereabouts is to put a clipboard and a pen into his hands and to point into the direction of the waiting area with a no-nonsense expression on her face which clearly tells him that whatever he's about to say is nothing she hasn't heard before, and definitely not something that's going to impress her in the slightest.
Harvey knows which battles to pick, so he makes a tactical retreat into the nearest chair within plain sight of the nurse's desk and starts to fill out the forms. It's a mindless task, one that doesn't require much conscious thought. It's not too long ago he and Mike put each other down as their medical proxies, and the paperwork for that was a legal nightmare that makes this admittance form seem ridiculously easy in comparison. It keeps him occupied for less than ten minutes, but even once he hands her back the clipboard, the nurse doesn't seem any more inclined to give him information on Mike's condition than she was before.
"The attending doctor will be with you as soon as there's news. Now please take a seat."
From what Harvey can tell, handing out clipboards and repeating those words over and over again to whoever approaches her desk for whatever reason seems to be the extent of what she's doing here. Harvey is sure that there has to be more to her job, but right now his world it too narrowed down to the thought that Mike is somewhere here on this floor, in pain and alone, and they won't let him in to see him. He really doesn't have any capacities left to worry about whether or not he's misjudging some nurse's abilities.
Still, she seems like the one obstacle between Mike and him right now, and Harvey doesn't see any way to get past her that won't lead to the security guard leading him out of the building, and that's not really going to get him any closer to Mike, either. No, all he can do is sit here and wait for someone to come out and tell him how Mike is doing, and knowing what Harvey does about perpetually overcrowded emergency rooms, that could take a while.
No matter which way he looks at it, he's going to be stuck here for the foreseeable future, and he doesn't quite know what to do with himself. It's not a feeling he has much experience with. He's used to being in charge of situations. Hell, he's someone who takes charge when the going gets tough, and he can't deal very well with sitting on the sidelines. He can't deal with that at all.
It's a quarter past three on a Tuesday morning, but Harvey doesn't even think as he pulls his phone out of his pocket and hits the number 2 on his speed dial. He's about to bring the phone up to his ear when he sees the red smudges all over the screen and stops short. There's blood all over his phone – Mike's blood – because he didn't exactly stop to wipe off his hands before he called 911 earlier. By now the blood has dried into red, crusty smudges all over the screen and back that will probably never come off again.
"It's three in the morning and I have to get up in two and a half hours. You'd better have a really good reason for this call, Harvey."
He hurriedly brings the phone all the way up to his ear, and while his brain is still scrambling to come up with a good response, his mouth is already one step ahead.
"I think I need a new phone."
Harvey doesn't know where the words come from. They most certainly don't take the detour through his brain before they tumble out of his mouth, and judged by Donna's exasperated sigh it's exactly the wrong thing to say.
"If you called me at this hour to tell me that you broke your phone, I'm going to hang up now. It still seems to be working well enough to make calls in the middle of the night, so it can't be that broken, and tomorrow morning we're going to have a talk about my duties as your assistant. I can give you a pointer – fielding random calls at 3 a.m. isn't one of them."
"I don't think I can get the blood off."
There's a rustling sound in the background as Donna sits up in bed.
"What happened, Harvey? Are you hurt?"
"I'm okay. I…it's Mike, he hit his head, and there was blood everywhere, and now they won't let me in to see him."
This rambling, incoherent mess isn't him, and Harvey doesn't understand when exactly he lost his ability to speak in straight, coherent sentences. He's been holding it together pretty damn well until now, and rationally he knows that Mike's injury isn't life threatening, that Mike is going to be fine, but somehow his brain seems completely unable to relay those messages to his vocal chords.
"Where are you?"
That answer at least is simple. "Beth Israel Emergency Room."
"I'll be there in twenty minutes."
Donna disconnects before Harvey can tell her that she doesn't need to get up and take a cab all across Manhattan in the middle of the night. He didn't call her to make her come here, though in all honesty Harvey can't really say why he did make that call. It doesn't matter, though, because Donna disconnects before he even has the time to think about any kind of response. Even though he feels bad for waking Donna up in the middle of the night, he has to admit that he feels slightly better with the knowledge that she's on her way.
He's tempted to go and find the nearest bathroom to try and get the blood off his phone, but there's no way he's going to leave the waiting room before there's any news about Mike. He's not going to move just one inch until someone comes through those doors to tell him that Mike is okay. He's going to stay right here.
So Harvey remains sitting in that uncomfortable plastic chair, occasionally throwing angry glares at the nurse behind her desk. He finally puts the phone back into his pocket, because quite frankly it doesn't really matter if another piece of clothing ends up with bloodstains tonight. It doesn't help that even though he thought he thoroughly scrubbed his hands earlier, there's still crusted blood underneath his fingernails, and no matter how much he tries to scratch and rub at it, it won't come off.
He tries, though, and he's failing miserably at it until seemingly out of nowhere a hand closes over his fingers and pries them apart. Looking up, he finds Donna standing in front of him, looking down at him with a worried expression on her face. She doesn't look like Harvey's call threw her out of bed a mere – what, fifteen, twenty minutes ago, either, although she is dressed unusually casually and is wearing no make up. Still, she seems wide awake and ready to grab whatever bull by the horn to get some results, and Harvey feels immeasurably better for having her here.
His voice doesn't really sound like his own, and maybe that's the reason why Donna keeps a hold of his hand as she sits down in the seat beside him.
"What happened, Harvey? Where's Mike?"
Harvey makes a vague gesture into the direction of the treatment area.
"I don't know. They didn't let me ride along in the ambulance, I didn't see him after I got here."
Harvey sighs and runs his hand through his hair. "I don't know." God, he sounds like a broken record. "He must have stumbled over the bathroom rug and hit his head on the sink. At least I think that's what happened. By the time I got there, he was already bleeding all over the place. And I have no idea how he's doing now because Nurse Ratched over there won't tell me a damn thing!"
He gestures pointedly into the nurse's direction, but the woman either doesn't see it or decides to ignore him. Donna squeezes his hand once more to draw his attention.
"If they're still treating him, she probably doesn't know anything about his condition, either. I'm sure they'll let us know as soon as there is news. Did he…I mean, was he unconscious when you found him?"
Harvey shakes his head. "No, no he was awake, and he told me that he didn't need an ambulance." A mirthless laugh escapes his lips and he lets go of Donna's hand to rub both his palms hard over his face. "He was bleeding like a stuck pig and told me that he didn't need an ambulance. And he kept apologizing, like it was somehow his fault that he stumbled and fell. Like…I don't even know, like him getting hurt was some damn inconvenience."
"You know what he's like, Harvey. And incidentally, I know what you're like, so don't even think about blaming yourself for this. This wasn't your fault, either. It was an accident, and short of taking the puppy for a midnight walk, there's nothing you could have done to prevent it."
"I know." Harvey sighs. "It just feels different. I almost didn't even wake up, Donna. That makes for an awesome headline, doesn't it? New York City's best lawyer sleeps on while his boyfriend bleeds to death ten feet away."
Donna merely raises an eyebrow at him without missing a beat. "Do you want me to call the associated press for your coming out press conference? I'm sure they have a room here they'd let us use for you to publicly wallow in your self-flagellation."
It dos the trick and brings a small smile to Harvey's face. "I'm sorry. That was overly dramatic."
"Just a bit. Listen Harvey, I'm sure waking up to find Mike bleeding over your bathroom floor was a shock, but he's going to be all right, okay? The kid has a hard head, and a stubborn streak a mile wide. It'll take more than the edge of a bathroom sink to take him out."
Harvey looks up at her and hopes that his expression conveys at least some of his gratitude.
"Thanks for coming, Donna. I…I'm not really good at all this," he gestures around the waiting room in an attempt to encompass the whole situation. Donna smiles at him and squeezes his arm.
"That's what friends are for, Harvey. Besides, my boss pretends that he's a hard-ass, but deep down inside he's a real softie. He'll understand if I show up a little bleary-eyed tomorrow."
Sometimes, in moments like this one, Jessica's words come back to haunt Harvey as he tries to imagine what his life would be like without Donna. It's a thought he doesn't really want to linger on because he knows he'd be hopelessly lost without her. He lets Donna's hand slide back into his and gives it a squeeze as they settle in for the wait.
He doesn't know for how long they sit there until finally somewhere on the other end of the waiting room a voice calls out "Family of Michael Ross?"
Harvey is out of his seat and halfway across the room almost without conscious thought. The doctor who called out for them is a man about Harvey's age, with a dark moustache and a tired look around his eyes. He waits for Harvey and Donna to approach before he shakes their hands, but Harvey doesn't have the patience to wait until the man starts speaking.
"How is Mike?"
"Good morning. I'm Doctor Millbrook, I've been Mr. Ross' attending doctor after he was brought here. May I ask what your relationship with Mr. Ross is?"
"I'm Harvey Specter. I'm…" – what is he, Mike's lover, his boyfriend, the guy who was holding a towel against Mike's head while he was bleeding all over Harvey's bathroom floor? They don't do this whole thing where they have to put a label to what they are to one another. "I'm Mike's partner."
It'll have to do by way of explanation, and it seems to be enough of an explanation for Millbrook. He nods and checks something on the clipboard he's holding.
"Ah, Mr. Specter. Mr. Ross asked for you. You can go back and see him in just a minute."
"How is he?" Harvey is doing his best to be patient, he really is, but he'd better get some answers really soon.
"He's going to be fine. The wound on his forehead required twelve stitches above his left eyebrow and the bridge of his nose, but it's the only external injury he received from the fall. He's showing signs of a very mild concussion, but we did a CT scan of his head to make sure that there's no internal bleeding and the results came back negative. He should take it easy for the next couple of days, but he should be fine."
Harvey breathes an inaudible sigh of relief. Mike is going to be fine. Some stitches and a mild concussion is something they can deal with.
"Can I see him?"
Millbrook nods. "Of course. There's just one more thing. Mr. Ross is very adamant to be released. I can't release him on his own, though. Someone should keep an eye on him for the next twelve to twenty-four hours."
Harvey finds himself nodding before Millbrook has even finished his sentence. "Of course. I'll take him home with me and keep an eye on him."
Millbrook nods. "Good. Now, Mr. Ross is probably going to experience headaches; that's perfectly normal after the blow to the head he received. He can take Tylenol, or any other over-the-counter acetaminophen against those. He shouldn't take any aspirin or ibuprofen, though, and of course not more than the recommended dosage. No strenuous activities for the next couple of days, but he doesn't need to be on bed rest. It's okay to let him go to sleep if he wants to, but if he does so during the next twelve hours, rouse him in regular intervals and check to see if he's still coherent. Else, he simply needs to take it easy for the next couple of days."
"Is there anything I need to watch out for? I mean, what if he gets any worse?" Because Harvey is not particularly keen on a repeat performance of holding on to a semi-conscious Mike while they're waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
"If he displays any signs of confusion, complains about double or blurred vision, or if you can't rouse him properly then have him come back here immediately. Now, he might experience some nausea, that's perfectly normal, but repeated vomiting is also a sign you should look out for. Generally, it's better to be safe than sorry, and head injuries are nothing to be taken lightly. If he displays any additional symptoms you're not sure about, don't hesitate to contact a doctor or bring him back here. He should come back in eight to ten days to have the stitches removed, and a nurse will instruct you on bandage changes and checking the wound for signs of infection. Mr. Ross can be released as soon as his paperwork is processed."
"Thank you, Doctor."
"You're welcome. Now, if you'll follow me, I'll take you to him, and we'll let you know as soon as his paperwork is done."
Harvey's head is buzzing with all the information, and quite probably he won't be able to remember half of it all once they're back home, but right now all he wants to do is finally see Mike with his own eyes and convince himself that he's all right. Donna is here, and Donna is not an incoherent mess, so there's a good chance that she's going to be able to remember the doctor's instructions.
They follow Millbrook out of the waiting area and down a corridor until he stops in front of a curtained-off area.
"He's through here. You can go right in, I'll send a nurse by with the paperwork and to instruct you on how to change the bandages."
Harvey stretches out his hand and Millbrook shakes it.
"No problem. Just remember, make sure he gets plenty of rest. That's really the best for Mr. Ross now."
Millbrook nods at Donna, and a moment later he's already hurrying down the corridor again. Harvey takes a deep breath and then steps through the curtain that keeps him separated from Mike.
Mike, to put it bluntly, is a mess.
He's pale, there is a square white bandage obscuring the entire left half of his forehead, and though someone apparently cleaned the blood off his face, he's still wearing his blood-stained t-shirt and boxers. He's sitting forlornly on the examination bed, but at the sound of the curtain being pulled open he looks up. Tired but alert blue eyes meet Harvey's gaze, and despite all of Doctor Millbrook's reassurances, this was what Harvey needed to see to be able to breathe again.
Behind him, he hears Donna gasp slightly, probably in reaction to either the blood on Mike's shirt or the bandage on his forehead, or maybe both, but the sound barely registers. Harvey drops the bag of clothes he's still holding and rounds the bed until he's as close as he can possibly get.
"Hey." He frames Mike's face with his hands and tilts his head slightly to get a better look at the bandage on his forehead. Mike leans into the contact with a tired sigh. "How are you feeling?"
Mike shrugs. "Kinda numb, and a bit dizzy. They gave me something against the pain, before…before they stitched me up."
He raises a hand as if to rub at the wound, and Harvey gently pulls his hand away by the wrist.
"The good news is that the doc says you can leave as soon as they're done with your paperwork."
"Awesome," Mike mumbles. By now he's almost nuzzling into Harvey's hand and his eyelids are starting to droop. "I'm tired."
Harvey chuckles and shifts one hand away from Mike's face to run it through his hair. "You can sleep when we get home, I promise."
"Good." Mike leans against Harvey's hand for a few moments longer, then he opens his eyes again and leans back. It's only now that he notices Donna's presence in the cubicle and gives her a fuzzy finger-wave. "Hey, Donna."
"Hey Mike. You gave us quite the scare."
"Sorry. But I…" He frowns, then winces slightly as the movement pulls at his stitches. "How did you get here?"
Donna smiles at him. "Harvey called me. Turns out he's not particularly good at handling hospital staff in the middle of the night. And to let you in on a little secret," she leans in closer to Mike, but deliberately keeps her voice loud enough for Harvey to hear. "I'm trying to soften him up to sign off on my two-week vacation, so I needed the brownie points."
It brings a small smile to Mike's face, but he's swaying a bit on the bed now that Harvey no longer has a hold on him. Images of Mike falling out of bed and splitting the other side of his head open right along flash through Harvey's mind – and really, he's had enough of that for one day, and quite probably for a lifetime. He quickly steps up to the head of the bed and wraps his arm around Mike's shoulder. Mike leans his head against Harvey's chest with a sigh, but keeps his eyes on Donna.
"Can't leave us alone for two weeks," he mumbles tiredly. "Harvey's horrible with temps, and he gets all grumpy when you're not there."
Donna smiles and pats his arm. "I'm sure you'll keep an eye on him for me. For now, how about we make sure he can take you home? Because let me tell you he's not exactly at his best if you're not around, either."
"Going home sounds good," Mike agrees. Harvey is merely glad that they seem to be done discussing his emotional state for now as if he wasn't even there. He reluctantly lets go of Mike and picks up the bag he dropped earlier.
"I brought you a change of clothes."
"And that is my cue to wait outside," Donna says cheerfully and reaches for the curtain around Mike's bed. "Just remember – the doctor said no strenuous activities, and those curtains are anything but soundproof."
Before Harvey even has the chance to come up with a reply to that, Donna has already pulled aside the curtain and left with a wink at Mike. Harvey just shakes his head and pulls open the zipper on the bag. Mike watches as he pulls out the clothes, his expression somewhere between confusion and amusement.
"Those are your clothes," he finally says with some confusion, but Harvey just shrugs it off.
"You should be glad I remembered to bring you a change of clothes at all. I nearly forgot to bring shoes and look – they're even yours." He holds out Mike's sneakers to illustrate his point before he drops them to the floor. "All right, let's get you out of the shirt first."
Mike tries to help, he really does, but in the end it's a lot easier to manhandle his arms out of the sleeves and then pull the shirt off himself. Harvey is careful not to brush against the bandage on Mike's forehead, and once he's done he drops the bloodied shirt to the floor without a second thought. There's no way they're going to take it home with them.
Getting Mike into the clean shirt is almost easier than getting him out of the dirty one was, and Harvey decides that the boxers Mike is wearing are clean enough to just pull the sweatpants over them. Mike needs to get up from the bed to do so, and Harvey is glad to notice that he seems relatively steady on his feet. It's only once the pants are up and he's tied the drawstring so that they don't slide off his hips that Mike starts to protest.
"I can put my shoes on myself."
Harvey seriously doubts that Mike is steady enough to bend forward as much as is necessary to pull on his socks and shoes, let alone tie the latter, but he also knows how much Mike hates being patronized. Instead of arguing, he holds up his hands and takes a small step back.
"You have twelve stitches in your head and a mild concussion. If you think it's a good idea to give yourself a head-rush on top of that, be my guest."
Mike glares at him, or tries to at least. He's so obviously struggling to keep his eyes open and his movements coordinated that the gaze is anything but forceful. Mike takes a deep breath and picks up one of the socks, and with a look of determination leans forward and lifts his left foot.
He doesn't even manage to get the sock anywhere near his foot before he's pulling back with a hiss, one hand against his forehead and wavering dangerously. Harvey is in front of him in an instant, hands on Mike's shoulders and gently pushing him to sit back down on the bed.
"Come on, sit down and let me do it. I assure you that I'm well aware that under normal circumstances you're more than capable of dressing yourself. You'd be doing me a favor, though, because the sooner we get you dressed, the sooner we can spring you out of this joint. And trust me, by now I'm pretty damn fed up with this place."
Mike nods and sits back on the bed as Harvey bends down to pick up the discarded sock. He's definitely not the mothering type and normally he would let Mike try to get things done on his own. Right now though he only wants to get Mike home as quickly as possible, and he doesn't care about anything else.
It reminds Harvey a bit of helping his younger brother dress when they were children. Though that was nearly thirty years ago it's easy to fall back into the motions, and if anything Harvey is grateful that it keeps him from thinking too much about everything that happened since the sound of Mike falling in the bathroom woke him up. The adrenaline is fading, and Harvey is sure that sooner or later he's going to feel the effects of that, but right now he can focus on taking this step by step.
He needs to get Mike dressed, and then he needs to get his release papers signed. He's going to take Mike home and get him settled, and only then is he going to deal with the fact that he was a complete and useless mess for most of the night.
Once Mike's shoes are tied and his legs are dangling over the edge of the bed again Harvey straightens up to find Mike looking at him, and the expression on his face is one Harvey can't really define. He steps closer and puts a steadying hand on Mike's shoulder.
"What's wrong? Are you feeling all right?"
Mike nods, his eyes never leaving Harvey's. "I'm okay. It's just…"
Harvey waits, but Mike doesn't continue right away. "Just what?"
"Earlier, when…before you got here, when he was stitching up my head, the doctor kept asking me all these questions about how I fell."
"So? What about it?"
Mike shrugs awkwardly. "I didn't really understand it at first, but he asked me a few times if I really fell, or if there was something else I wanted to tell them."
Harvey has a bad feeling as to where this line of inquiry was going, and while he absolutely hates the thought that someone saw Mike's injuries and immediately thought of him as a potential victim, he understands the reason behind the doctor's questions. The first thing Mike told the EMTs earlier was that he stumbled, and Harvey has the feeling that it's an explanation they hear all too often in their line of work.
Mike only shakes his head. "They thought that maybe I didn't fall at all, that someone pushed me into that sink. That you did that." He looks up at Harvey, and the confusion on his face is absolutely genuine. Harvey puts part of that down to the concussion, because while Mike might not be as jaded as Harvey is to the ways of the world, he's normally not completely naïve, either.
"They have to make sure, Mike. They can't know what happened, and with the things they probably see here every day, I'm not surprised that they asked you if you really told the EMTs the whole story."
And judged by the fact that nobody tried to keep Harvey from coming back here, they don't seriously consider him a threat to Mike's health. Which is a good thing, because he doesn't really want to imagine what he'd have done if anyone tried to keep him away from Mike. But he's seen enough domestic violence cases during his time at the DA's office to be thankful for every doctor who is attentive enough to ask.
"I didn't even understand what he meant," Mike says with a shake of his head, as if he can't really believe it. "Not until he outright asked me if someone else did that." He shakes his head again, but when he looks up at Harvey there's a small smile playing around the corners of his mouth. "I told him you'd make me proof mergers all week if you're pissed at me, not smack my head against the bathroom sink."
"Hey now. I pride myself with my ability to keep my professional and private life completely separate. I might make you sleep on the couch, or maybe burn your damn skinny ties if you really piss me off, but making you proof merger agreements just because we're fighting would be completely unprofessional. Not to mention unimaginative, since I can make you proof mergers every damn day at work if I so desire."
Mike gives him a small but tired smile and leans forward again until Harvey takes another step towards the bed and lets Mike lean his head against his chest again.
"You never make me sleep on the couch."
Harvey chuckles and runs a hand through the short hair on Mike's neck. "Yeah, people keep telling me that I'm too soft-hearted."
Mike makes a sound that could be a laugh if it wasn't muffled against the fabric of Harvey's shirt, but he makes no move to shift his head from its position against Harvey's chest.
"I really want to go home now."
Still, he doesn't move or shift away, and Harvey doesn't move, either. He holds him for a few seconds longer, and he might pretend that it's for Mike's sake, but in reality he is the one who needs this right now. Maybe, if he just holds Mike for a little longer like this, warm and alive and relatively unharmed, it's going to chase away the image of him bleeding and half-conscious on the bathroom floor that seems to have burned itself into Harvey's mind.
He has to let go eventually, though, because they're still in a public place with only a flimsy curtain shielding them from the gaze of whoever might be passing by. So he lets go, no matter how reluctantly, and waits until he's sure Mike is sitting steady on the bed and is not about to topple over before he pulls open the curtain and looks for Donna. He spots her at the nurse's station down the corridor, and a few moments later she's coming down the corridor in the wake of a nurse brandishing yet another clipboard.
It's almost anticlimactic from then on. The nurse instructs them on how to change the bandage – don't get it wet, change it daily, keep an eye out on the wound and consult a doctor if there's any sign of inflammation, the nurse rattles off the instructions in a voice that manages to sound both incredibly bored and yet at the same time extremely hurried. Her instructions don't sound difficult to remember, but considering that Mike is not exactly at his best right now, Harvey figures it's his job to pay attention so that at least one of them remembers these things later on.
All Mike seems to be waiting for is to finally sign his release papers. He does so without even so much as a glance at what he's signing for, so Harvey picks the clipboard out of his hands and quickly skims the papers, just to make sure that Mike didn't just sign his body over to science or anything. Once this whole mess is over, they're going to have a talk about the importance of reading things before Mike signs them. But that is for later. For now, the bureaucratic bullcrap is out of the way and Mike is free to go home.
Mike's relief once he hears the words you're free to go is almost palpable, but it's just as obvious that he's fading fast. For now, he still seems to be able to walk under his own steam, and judged by the determination with which he gets up from the bed it seems important to him to walk out of here on his own two feet. Still, Harvey sticks close to his side as they make their way down the corridor, and with Donna flanking Mike on his other side they make their way out of the hospital.
Fortunately, there's always a few cabs idling in front of the hospital, and Harvey carefully deposits Mike into the back of the nearest one before he turns back towards Donna. The phone call with which he called her out of bed seems almost surreal now. He still can't believe that he called her in the first place, never mind the disjointed stuff he actually said during the conversation. But still, Donna came over immediately, no questions asked even though it was the middle of the night.
It's a rare situation, but Harvey really doesn't have the words to express how grateful he is for that.
"Thank you, Donna. I wasn't really at my best when I called you…"
Donna raises her hand, and admittedly Harvey is glad that she stops him before he dissolves into another round of babbling she's undoubtedly going to hold against him later on.
"Say no more." She casts a quick glance at her watch. "It's past six now, so I'll drop by the office on my way. You get Mike home safely and make him get some rest. I'll reschedule your appointments for today, though it'll probably be best if you call Jessica yourself."
Harvey sighs and runs a hand over his face. Jessica is not going to be pleased if he doesn't come in today even though he's not the one who's sick, but she's just going to have to live with it. There's nothing in his current caseload that can't wait for until tomorrow, and right now Mike is more important.
"I'll give her a call once we get home."
Donna nods. "Good. Now, it shouldn't be a problem to clear your schedule today and most of tomorrow, but considering how long it took to set up your eleven o'clock with Jacobs tomorrow, I think you'll have to smooth some ruffled feathers if you cancel on such a short notice."
Harvey nods wearily. Jacobs is a pain in the ass, and the meeting is not half as important as he makes it out to be, but the man is used to thinking that everything revolves around what he wants and considers important. Canceling on him is really not worth the trouble it would cause.
"Keep his appointment and try to clear the rest of tomorrow, if you can."
"Will do. One more thing before I leave you to take Mike home to fuss over him. The Kershaw briefs. As far as I know, Mike wasn't done with them, and they're due on Wednesday. I'm sure Louis would hand them off to one or two of the other associates, but he absolutely hates that you're handling Kershaw in the first place, so who knows what he'll do to put himself in between."
Harvey really doesn't want to think about this right now, but Donna is right.
"Have them couriered over to my place. I'll proof them myself."
If anything, it will be something to keep him busy, because judged by how exhausted Mike looks, he's going to do a lot of sleeping for the rest of the day. Donna smiles at him as if she knows exactly what he's thinking. She probably does, but Harvey has long ago given up questioning these things.
"Just don't put Mike to work. He's hurt, he needs his rest."
"I won't. Once you're done at the office, treat yourself to breakfast and then take the day. Take tomorrow, too, I can handle Jacobs on my own."
Donna smiles and takes a step closer to brush a kiss against Harvey's cheek. "You're welcome. Now go and take Mike home before he falls asleep right where he's sitting."
Truly, Mike is tilted towards the car door with his eyes half-closed, as if he had wanted to watch Harvey's and Donna's exchange before fatigue crept up on him unexpectedly and he dozed off. If it weren't for the large white bandage on his head serving as a constant reminder of what this night has been like, the sight would almost be…adorable. Harvey shakes his head as if to clear away that thought and watches Donna get into another cab before he opens the door and slides into the back of the car beside Mike.
He gives the driver his address and leans back against the cheap upholstery.
It's time to take Mike home. He'll worry about everything else later.
Mike is quiet for the drive home. He's looking out the window, but Harvey knows that he's not watching the scenery as they drive by. He's blinking tiredly, constantly on the edge of nodding off, and Harvey thinks it's a small wonder that he's still awake by the time the cab pulls up in front of Harvey's building. It makes things easier though. Manhandling a dazed and tired Mike out of the cab and into the building is already hard enough, Harvey doesn't even want to imagine how much more difficult it would have been if Mike had actually fallen asleep.
Tom the night doorman is still on duty as they make their way into the building and across the lobby. He looks up as they pass him, and his eyes immediately turn towards the large bandage on Mike's forehead. Tom saw the carnage in the bathroom earlier, so it's only understandable that he's curious, but Harvey really only wants to get Mike into bed right now. So he nods at Tom in passing and hopes that that, along with the fact that Mike is walking upright on his own two feet, conveys the message that Mike is not as bad off as it seemed earlier.
Tom nods in return and lets them walk past him towards the elevators without further interruption. Harvey has never been more grateful for the fact that his building's elevator is a fast one, because Mike is leaning into him heavily, and even with his arm wrapped around the younger man's waist, Harvey doesn't know for how long he'll be able to stay upright. He leads Mike into the apartment and stops in the hallway.
"All right, bed or couch?"
Harvey knows Mike, and he knows that he has a tendency to insist that he's fine even when he clearly isn't, so he's fully prepared for Mike to try and argue his way into going to work today despite his injuries. Harvey is up and armed for this particular battle, so it takes him by surprise when Mike only blinks at him tiredly.
"What are you going to do?"
The question takes him aback, mostly because Harvey hasn't yet made any plans beyond getting Mike settled before he keels over.
"Me? I guess I'm going to clean up the bathroom first. Donna is going to send over the Kershaw briefs later, but that could be a little while longer. So, which is it going to be? Bed or couch?"
"Bed," Mike mumbles, and Harvey starts to lead him over towards the bedroom. He's pretty damn sure Mike's sudden decisiveness for one location is tied directly to the fact that Harvey is going to be just a few feet away while he cleans up the bathroom, but he knows better than to comment on it. Not now, when Mike is too hurt and exhausted to put up a single defense.
The bed is still rumpled and unmade, but Mike doesn't seem to care as he lets himself drop onto the edge of the mattress. He makes move to lean forward to untie his shoes, but seems to remember how that exact same movement didn't really work out back in the hospital and just kicks them off. He doesn't even bother to pull off his socks and leans back on the bed.
"Do you want to get changed?"
Mike shakes his head slowly and lies down with a sigh. "No, I'm good."
Harvey seriously doubts that Mike is anywhere near good right now, but he's no longer semi-responsive and bleeding, and Harvey is willing to take what he can get right now. He tugs the comforter free and pulls it up to Mike's chest while Mike shifts around until he has found a comfortable position. Harvey should really get started on cleaning up the bathroom, but instead he sits down on the edge of the mattress and puts a hand on Mike's leg on top of the covers.
"The doctor said it's okay for you to go to sleep, but you have to let me know if you feel worse. No heroics, okay? And I'll have to wake you up every once in a while, just in case the concussion is worse than the doctor assumed."
Mike nods, his eyes already dropping closed. "'kay."
"If you need anything, call me. That part is non-negotiable. I don't want to see you try and get out of bed without me watching out that you don't fall and split your head open again. I've had enough medical drama for one day."
Harvey tries to put as much authority as he can into his voice, though he knows that Mike has an ingrained tendency to ignore these things. Still, Harvey hopes that after everything that happened this night, Mike is going to listen to him just this once.
Mike merely nods again and settles further into the pillows. Just as Harvey is sure that he is about to nod off, he opens his eyes once more. It's just a sliver of blue beneath heavy lids, but Harvey could swear that there is amusement in the gaze.
"Just so you know, I think I'll sue you."
A few hours ago Harvey would have thought it was impossible, but that statement makes him laugh.
"Really? And what are you going to sue me for?"
"Negligence," Mike mumbles, his lips stretched into a small smile. "That rug is a public menace. It was very negligent to leave it lying around like that."
"Oh yes, a bathroom rug in the middle of the bathroom floor, I left myself wide open to litigation with that one."
"A multi-million dollar settlement," Mike says dreamily, and only half awake. "I'll be set for life."
"Sorry to burst your bubble, Mike. But the only negligent act I made myself guilty of is not taking the puppy for a walk before bedtime. PETA might listen to your plight, but I seriously doubt any court is going to waste their time with it."
"Damn." Mike doesn't seem overly disappointed, though, and Harvey leans forward to press a kiss against his forehead, right above the edge of the bandage.
"Get some rest now. I'm close by if you need anything."
Mike is already asleep, and if it wasn't for the large bandage on his forehead, Harvey could almost pretend that it was just an ordinary morning and nothing ever happened last night. He stays where he is for a little while longer and simply watches Mike sleep, chest rising and falling gently in time with his even breaths. He can't remain sitting here for the rest of the morning, though. There's things that need to be done, a call to Jessica right on top of that list, so he gives Mike's knee another squeeze through the blanket before he gets up and walks over into the kitchen.
He turns on the coffee machine first, though he's distantly aware that the last thing he needs is caffeine in his bloodstream in addition to all the adrenaline that's been keeping him on edge for the past hours. It's a morning ritual, though, and right now there's comfort in rituals and Harvey will take whatever comfort he can get. He takes his cup of coffee and his phone out on the balcony, sits down on one of the lounge chairs and pulls out his phone.
The call to Jessica is blessedly short. As Harvey predicted, she is not exactly excited when he announces that he's not going to come in today or tomorrow, but they both know that she has no real basis to stop him from taking two days, so she doesn't even try. Harvey is forever slacking in taking his vacation days, something Jessica has bemoaned more than once, so it'd be really contrary if she suddenly sang a different tune. Jessica tells him to wish Mike a speedy recovery and then they end the call. Harvey is glad that it's over and done with, but it also means that he has no reason to avoid going into the bathroom for any longer.
He really doesn't want to go and start wiping up the dried blood, but sooner or later Mike is going to want to use the bathroom, and once that happens Harvey wants all the traces of what happened there last night gone. So he puts his empty cup away and goes back inside. He digs around in the utility closet in the hallway until he has located the mop, and carries it over towards the bathroom.
Mike is still asleep by the time Harvey walks through the bedroom. In the few minutes that Harvey has been gone he somehow managed to shift almost diagonally across the bed, rolled up in a cocoon of blankets with his face buried in Harvey's pillow. He's snoring softly, a sure sign that he's fast asleep, but still Harvey takes great care to stay quiet as he walks across the room towards the bathroom, opens the door and turns on the lights.
It's not as bad as he thought it would be.
For some reason, Harvey expected large bloodstains on the floor, but fortunately that's not the case. There's smears of blood all over the tiles, most of it in the area around the sink and on the cabinet beneath it. There's the distinct imprint of a hand in one of the smears, and Harvey's fingers tighten reflexively around the handle of the mop as his eyes fall onto that stain.
He's not going to freak out over this now. He knows he's on the tail-end of an adrenaline rush that's fading fast, but he's damn well going to keep it together for a little while longer. He's holding on to the mop so tightly that his knuckles turn white, and for a long moment he simply stands there, unable to move because he's not quite sure that his legs will remain steady if he tries to move. He doesn't know how much time passes before he takes a few deep breaths and goes to get a bucket of water.
He's surprised at how easily the blood comes off. It's not like he has much experience with these things because nobody ever lost any significant amount of blood in his bathroom before, but somehow he thought it should be harder. He doesn't really even have to scrub, and a few minutes later the bathroom looks exactly the way it did before he and Mike went to bed last night.
The last thing he does is that he throws away the gauze wrapping and the blood-soaked towel. The mop will have to go as well. It might look clean enough now, but he's forever going to know that he used it to clean up Mike's blood, and the mere idea that his cleaning service is going to use it all over the condo is enough to make him want to throw the thing out. He'd burn it right away if it weren't bound to set off the smoke detectors, and in all honesty he's had enough drama to last for more than one night.
The worst task is done now, and Harvey experiences a quick moment where he feels at a complete loss. He doesn't really have anything left to do, and the courier with the files Donna is sending over probably won't be here for another few hours. He feels absolutely exhausted, but at the same time he knows that he won't be able to sleep anytime soon, and not only because he needs to be awake to check in on Mike every hour. Normally, Harvey never has any problems finding something to keep himself occupied. Hell, most days there isn't any spare time that he needs to fill.
Right now, though, he feels completely and utterly lost, and he stands there for a few long minutes before he can even muster up the energy and determination to leave the bathroom.
Mike is still fast asleep when Harvey comes back into the bedroom, but as Harvey sits down on the edge of the mattress he mumbles sleepily and immediately shifts closer. It pretty much answers Harvey's question as to what he's supposed to do now. He shifts until he's sitting fully on the bed, his back against the headboard, and in less than a minute Mike is completely pressed up against his side, face buried against Harvey's thigh. It feels only natural to drop his hand to the back of Mike's head and run his fingers through the short hair there.
When Mike only makes a content sound but doesn't wake up, it's a clear sign that he's truly and deeply fast asleep. Mike is asleep and Harvey is at the end of his rope, exhausted and with all his defenses completely worn down after everything that happened over the past couple of hours. That exhaustion is probably the only reason why he ends up speaking his next thought out loud.
"You scared me," he says, and his fingers momentarily still against Mike's scalp. "Don't do that again."
Mike makes another content, sleepy sound and shimmies yet another bit closer, nudging his head into Harvey's hand slightly as if to encourage him to keep running his fingers through his hair. He remains fast asleep, though, which is all the better, because he still has another half hour of sleep left before Harvey has to wake him up again.
Harvey is just going to stay here until it's time to wake Mike for his concussion check. And if Mike is still asleep by the time the Kershaw files are delivered – well, he can just as well finish proofing them on the bed, where he can keep an eye on Mike. For purely medical purposes, of course, and to make sure that Mike doesn't trip over any more rugs today.
All in all, Harvey thinks as he starts running his fingers through Mike's hair again, it could have ended a lot worse.