Chapter 1: Watching the sun rise
Mike kept staring at his phone. As if he could will it into ringing. He smiled. It was a sad smile. Making Harvey call him was impossible. Making Harvey do anything was impossible. Harvey was in control. Always. Something he loved and hated about Harvey. Like he both loved and hated almost everything about him. The confidence, the grace, the smile, how incredibly sexy he was, how he owned every room he entered. How he never lost his cool. There was never a crack in his armor. He hated it because it always made him feel inadequate. Made him feel that Harvey was so far out of his reach that imagining that he would ever love him was as useless as waiting for the sun to rise in the west.
Harvey cared. But Harvey didn’t love. Like some people don’t drink or don’t smoke. Harvey didn’t love. Mike had no clue why not. Maybe it was something that happened in his past or maybe it wasn’t even a conscious decision. Maybe Harvey just didn’t know how or maybe he just couldn’t. Like the sun couldn’t rise in the west.
But Harvey did care. He knew that. He cared about him. It was in his smile, in the jokes they shared. In the way they could finish each other’s sentences. But that was just a drop from the waterfall. Just enough to make you want to stay there because you knew that it would never taste any better. Nowhere. But it wasn’t enough to quench your thirst. It just made you want more.
He sighed and turned off his phone. It wasn’t going to ring and begging the universe wouldn’t help. Begging also never helped with Harvey. Asking nicely never really made any difference either. In the end you always did what you were told. Harvey did not expect anything else.
He shrugged his shoulders but halfway he suddenly stopped. ‘Maybe that’s it…’ Slowly he lowered his shoulders, walked to his bedroom and sat down on his bed. While the idea began to take shape in his head he laid down on the bed, closed his eyes and drifted off to a world where the sun would rise in the west.
Chapter 2: How to break down the wall
Mike was on his way to his cubicle when Jessica called him. He didn’t hear it at first. He was so caught up by the idea that had started to form in his mind yesterday. He figured that whatever the reason for Harvey’s armor was, there was no way he could get through it by just being his adorable self. He played with the idea of jumping him and kissing him, but first of all the thought alone made him very dizzy, both with fear as well as a with a very hungry lust, but secondly he probably wouldn’t have been the first to throw himself at him. Just another day at the office for Mr. Specter.
Getting him to talk about it was even more ludicrous. So Mike had decided that the only way anyone who wasn’t Batman could keep a part himself so well hidden for the world had to be in control. All the time. In fact it was Christian Bale who put the idea in his head in the first place. Well not literally of course, although Mike did meet him once or twice in a not so unpleasant dream. But in the movie the only way Batman was able to keep his secret was by learning to be in control. Always.
So to unveil the mystery, he had to break the control.
He could hear Batman in his mind: ‘You'll hunt me. You'll condemn me. Set the dogs on me. Because that's what needs to happen.’
“Mike!” A lot louder now. And sharper. Mike looked around startled. “O Jessica, I mean Miss Pearson, I am sorry, I was just…..”
“Just get in here and close the door behind you.”
He hurried into her office and closed the door behind him.
“Sit down Mike.” He sat down and looked up at her. She was a very forceful woman. He both admired and feared her. What could she possibly want from him?
“Harvey is dealing with a very tricky case. I can’t tell you the specifics and neither will he. But it is important that it is taken care of as quickly as possible. We tried to make it go away last week but that did not happen. That means that we have to speed things up before word about this case gets out. And that is why we need you. You have to help Harvey but without asking any questions and as fast and as brilliant as you can. I need you on top of your game with this one Mike. The case is starting to take a toll on Harvey and I cannot allow that to happen. I know he trusts you, so can I trust you to help him any way you can?” “Of course Miss Pearson.”
“Fine. She handed him a file. “Start with this. Harvey needs it by 11. All the questions we have are on the first page.” “Yes, Miss Pearson.” He closed the door behind him and walked down the hallway.
He put the file on his desk and smiled at Harold.
“Good morning neighbor.” “Good morning Mike.” Harold’s face always lightened up when he saw Mike. He handed him the coffee he got for him everyday at the coffee corner. “Is that the theme from Batman you’re whistling?”
Chapter 3: No hurry
Harvey was already irritated and now he was starting to get impatient. He got impatient very quickly lately. That irritated him even more. He didn’t like it when he felt that he was not fully in control. So now he was both impatient and very irritated. Not a good combination. He looked up and saw Louis approaching his office. ‘Oh God not him, not now’. Harvey thought that this might be the day that he would finally punch that annoying little man. But Donna had picked up on the mood her boss was in, so she intervened. Although she did momentarily entertain the thought of letting Louis walk in and let Harvey unleash his frustration onto Louis. That might be fun to watch. But one look at Harvey’s face made her realize that even Louis did not deserve this. At least not today. So she stopped him in his tracks.
Normally Harvey would have enjoyed watching Donna be fierce and Louis always shrinking a few inches when she threw her Donnalook at him but not today. He took a sip of his coffee and decided that even the coffee was filthy. He threw the cup in the wastebasket but he missed and the coffee poured over his briefcase.
He felt a smoldering heat rising inside him. His eyes went even darker and all his muscles tightened. He felt like hitting something or someone. He looked up but Louis was already heading back to his office with his tail between his legs. Smart move.
Behind him he saw Mike approaching. He didn’t actually walk. It was more like he strolled. While according to Harvey he should have been running since he was already 10 minutes late. Rachel walked up to Mike and started chatting. Mike smiled at her and leaned against the wall. As if he had no worry in the world. And no hurry.
Harvey pressed the intercom. There was no way he was going to get up and open the door for Mike. Donna would have normally told him something about him having two fully functional hands, but not this time. She got up, opened the door and hurried back to her cubicle, out of the line of fire.
“Mike. Here. Now”. It was not like he yelled. Yelling would have been okay. It might not have been very pleasant and probably would have scared a few people, but it would have been okay.
This calm and very low voice dripping with anger put the fear of God into people.
Rachel was out of sight within a second and even Donna took a sudden interest in something under her desk. She liked Mike but he was on his own now. She looked up at him and to her amazement he did not look at all like he was going to wet himself. In fact he looked quite unnerved by Harvey’s command. ‘Wow’ she was impressed. He was a lot braver then she had given him credit for. He walked towards Harvey and while calmly looking into his eyes he handed him the file. “No need to get all worked up over a file. This case really gets to you doesn’t it?”
Donna changed Mike’s status from brave to suicidal. For a moment she thought Harvey was going to hit him. Really hard.
Harvey was thrown off. But only for a split second.
“What did you just say to me?” He whispered softly. A whisper that screamed about an upcoming rage. Mike didn’t flinch. “I know you said that you needed it at 11, but that doesn’t mean I had to give up my coffee break did it? It’s only 10 past. Jesus, don’t be so uptight!”
The silence that followed was deafening. Harvey slowly lifted his hand, grabbed Mike by his collar and yanked him real close. “Don’t you….EVER….talk to me like that again” You could hear the rage touching the surface. Then he pushed him away, turned around and slammed the door behind him.
Mike closed his eyes and waited for the sound of shattering glass. But miraculously the door stayed in one piece. As calm as humanly possible he turned and walked away. Despite the fact that the fear of what he was unleashing almost made him throw up, he smiled. He had seen it in Harvey’s eyes. Somewhere buried deep behind the rage.
A crack in the steel armor.
Chapter 4: An invitation you can’t refuse
Harvey threw the file on his desk and forced himself to calm down. He never got violent with someone outside a boxing ring. Other then the time that he wanted to hit Louis. Mike had stopped him. He remembered that moment vividly. The force with which he held him and pushed him away had surprised him. And the effect it had on him had surprised him even more. He could feel the warmth of his grip and with Mike’s face so close to his he felt a sudden urge to kiss him. The only reason he could fight it off was because Louis was standing three feet away. And if anything could kill the mood it was the sight of Louis.
First he thought it was because he was high. That always made you feel things far more intensely then normal. But even if that was the case that still meant he wanted to kiss him.
The urge kept lingering just under the surface since that night. It had been hard for him to look at Mike without feeling that urge rising. Well, at least he did not have that urge this time.
He prided himself that he could read people as if their thoughts were printed on their forehead. But he could not guess for the life of him what possessed Mike to act like this. Did he do something to piss Mike off? Did Mike want to make some stupid point? It was so out of character for him. But then again, the fact that he grabbed and almost punched Mike, someone who was so close to him was also very out of character for himself. He sighed. This case was getting under his skin. Mike should not have done what he did. But that was no excuse for his reaction.
He pressed the intercom. “Donna, get Mike in here”
Donna stared at the intercom. The anger had subsided from his voice but she wasn’t sure she wanted to do what Harvey asked her. Instead of doing what he told her to do she walked in and closed the door behind her. She had to see how he was doing first.
Harvey looked up and immediately a frown appeared above those gorgeous brown eyes. “What is it? Is it ‘ignore everything Harvey wants-day’?”
She hesitated, took a breath and said: “No, it’s ‘let’s check whether some people will get devoured when they walk in here-day.”
The frown got deeper. “Don’t be ridiculous. Just get him.”
She wasn’t going to give in that easily. “Why do you want to see him?”
“None of your business.”
Donna said down in the chair in front of his desk. “Harvey, I have known you for a long time but apart from Louis, which is totally understandable, I have never seen you get so angry with someone. I want to make sure that you are not going to fire Mike, or do something even more stupid.” Harvey leaned back in his chair and looked at her. “More stupid then that stunt he just pulled?”
“Well, yeah, that was pretty stupid. But you know Mike. This is so not like him. He must have had some kind of black out. Or maybe he just did not understand the rush or maybe…. Well I don’t know why, but I just don’t want you to do something you are going to regret. And you are still way too pissed off to settle this now.”
She was right. As always. God, sometimes he hated the woman for being right all the time.
He sighed. “Ok, maybe it is too soon. Tell him that I want him to see him tonight. He can come over to my place. I expect him at 9.”
That she would gladly do. She immediately got up form her chair “I’m on it”
“He better not be late.”
When Mike saw Donna walk up to his cubicle he hardly dared to look at her. For a moment he thought she came to tell him that he could pack his bag, hand over his badge and was never to set foot in the building again. But she just shook her head and said “Mike what were you thinking?” He opened his mouth to say something but she continued. “No, leave it, I do not want to know. I may have to testify in court one day and the less I know the better. I just saved your ass back there rookie, so you owe me one.” He looked at her with those blue eyes, gratitude written all over his face. She couldn’t help but smile. ‘God he can be so adorable.’
“But you’re not off the hook yet. He expects you at his house tonight. Nine sharp. Don’t be late. And you better learn how to say sorry and plead for forgiveness in twenty different languages.”
Chapter 5: Lion’s den
Mike was standing in front of the building Harvey lived in. He tried to stop the rollercoaster of emotions that was engulfing him but he couldn’t. At first he had been sure that Donna was joking when she told him to go to Harvey’s condo. But she wasn’t. He really had to enter the lion’s den. The thought of being in that place together with Harvey made him feel a thousand different things, all at the same time. Pure lust to start with. He had been in his condo before, but only for a few minutes. Long enough to memorize the big couch in front of the fireplace. In his dreams he had seen that couch from every angle. He had bitten every pillow that was on it. A shiver ran down his spine when he relived his fantasies.
And then there was fear. He did not know whether Harvey had calmed down. He hadn’t seen Harvey since that morning because Donna had advised him to stay out of sight for the rest of the day.
Curiosity. What did Harvey want from him? What did he expect? An apology obviously, but was that it?
There was only one way to find out. He took a deep breath and entered the building.
Harvey had just taken a long, hot shower and put on a pair of black jeans and a simple black t-shirt. He walked over to his living room and turned the volume of the music down. He dimmed the lights and turned on the coffeemachine in the kitchen. While he waited for the expensive Italian machine to make him a very strong espresso his thoughts went back to the shower he just had. He smiled. That shower had certainly released a lot of the stress that had build up that day. And that was not just down to the soothing warm water. After he had told Donna that Mike had to come over to his place he had a slight tingling feeling in his stomach. That feeling slowly grew into a very hot fantasy. The anger over Mike’s actions this morning has subsided and instead he came to discover that this side of Mike actually turned him on. If Mike would have such a big mouth again he would use a very different way to shut him up.
No one ever really had stood up to him. He was just too damn good at everything he did. And he would win. Always. Maybe there had been battles that he lost but he always won the war. People knew that. So whatever he told them to do, they would do it. Especially Mike. So Harvey was very curious to find out what came over Mike this morning. He didn’t like it when he did not know what was going on in Mike’s mind. But he was sure he would find out tonight. No matter what measures he had to take. He smiled as he imagined what those measures might lead to.
The doorbell rang.
Harvey opened the door. “Good evening Mike.” He smiled his gorgeous smile that would have melted the icecap ten times faster then any climatechange ever could. Mike looked at him while he followed him to his living room. ‘God, there must be people working at Tom Ford whose only job is to design clothes that would fit this stunning body like a second skin.’ They were very successful. And they should get fired immediately.
Harvey turned around “Coffee?” “Yes please.” When Harvey handed him his espresso he could see his muscles move beneath the tight black shirt. The temptation to grab him was almost impossible to withstand
Harvey set down on the couch and with a simple gesture invited Mike to join him. Mike sat down and focused really hard on blocking out all the vivid dreams he had about this couch and the beautiful man next to him. Harvey was so close that he could smell him and feel the warmth of his body. Mike had to keep a clear head. He had to. ‘Focus Mike, Focus!’ he told himself. ‘There is a bigger plan here. You have to remember that.’
“So Mike,” Harvey put his coffee down on the table and sat on the couch sideways so he could look at him. “Do you have anything to tell me?”
Mike tried not to tremble when he put his coffee down and also turned sideways to face Harvey.
Harvey raised his eyebrows but there was also a twinkle of amusement in his eyes. “That is not the right answer Mike. Try again.”
“Well,” Mike really wanted to focus but he felt like he could not hang on much longer. “I....I guess I ….” He was absolutely lost for words. He couldn’t say sorry because then he would have lost before he even started. But it was impossible to resist this man.
“Let me help you.” A very sensual smile pulled up the corner of his mouth when he leaned in towards Mike. “Maybe you need to loosen up your tongue.” He pulled him close and kissed him.
The two sides of his brain immediately waged a war of nuclear proportions. The logical, reasoning, left part of his brain told him that this was a perfect moment to pull away. The intuitive, right part screamed in horror at this completely insane idea. Mike felt Harvey’s lips on his, he could smell him, taste him. Mike could not believe that a kiss could be like this. He felt it from the top of his head right down to his toes. Every part of his body was ready to surrender and the right side was about to throw a victory party. But unfortunately the left side was not about to wave a white flag just yet. When Harvey let go for a second to let him catch his breath, it immediately yelled at him. ‘If you let go now you will catch him off guard. Nobody ever turns down Harvey Specter. You’ll never get a chance like this again. If you give in now, you know you’re lost.’
With every ounce of self-control he could master he got up from the couch. He could not believe he was doing this. But he had to. Because it was true. If he gave in now, there was no way in heaven or in hell that he would ever be able to resist Harvey. In any way, on any level. So he forced himself to lie like never before. “I don’t think this is a good idea and I really don’t want to do this.”
Mike wondered if he could function with half a brain. Because the right side of it had just committed suicide.
The expression on Harvey’s face went from warm and inviting to dark and cold in a split second. He stood up, and without even looking at him he walked to the kitchen. While he poured himself a large whisky, he said with a voice that was drenched with sarcasm: “Well if you think so, then who am I to argue?”
He turned around and when his eyes met his, Mike could see that they were almost black and he felt like they pierced right through him.
“You get one more chance to explain yourself. Better use it wisely” There was an unmistakable threat in his voice.
“No, I really don’t see any reason to say anything. I think you’re the one that should apologize.”
He was sure he was about to throw up all over Harvey’s very expensive floor. His stomach turned and he felt like the temperature had just dropped below zero.
Harvey did not move. He just looked at him. And with that very same low voice that had everybody go into hiding this morning, he told him to get out. Now.
Mike did not push it one second longer. He turned around and walked to the door. It took everything he had left to keep himself from running
Chapter 6: The no-fly zone
When Donna walked to her cubicle the next morning she saw that Harvey was already behind his desk and the door to his office was closed. ‘Oh, this can’t be good’.
“Harold?” She didn’t have to yell. He immediately came running out of nowhere. “Yes Donna?” “Can you be a sweetheart, run downstairs and get me an extra large, extra strong espresso. It’s for Harvey.”
“Of course!” Happy that she had asked him to do something for his hero, he almost flew down the hallway.
Donna decided to wait for the coffee to arrive. It looked like she needed a good excuse to go in. Even with the door closed she could see how terrible his mood was. The frown above his eyes was deep and he oozed with frustration.
It took Harold only five minutes. “Thank you.” She smiled. Then her look turned serious. “Now get out of here. This is officially a warzone.” His eyes widened but he knew better than to ask any questions, so he just nodded and hurried back to his cubicle.
She knocked on the door and without waiting for an answer she opened it. He stopped her before she could enter. “You better have a damn good reason to come in here.” It was worse then she thought. She put the coffee on his desk and immediately headed out the door again.
He got up and followed her into the hallway.
“I absolutely do not want to be disturbed today, unless the building is on fire.” From the corner of his eye he saw Louis approaching. “And today there is a no-fly zone in front of my office. That applies to both Louis and my so-called associate. If they do enter, you better make sure you have 911 on speed dial.”
Louis’ face turned red. “You can’t talk to me like that Harvey. As the senior partner…”
“The?” Harvey’s angry voice dripped with sarcasm. “Really Louis, ‘The’ senior partner? Maybe if we were talking about your ability to be a dick ‘The’ would be the right preposition. You are king off the hill in that capacity. Hell, you even rule the fucking world. But as ‘A’ senior partner you don’t get to tell me anything. So shut up and get out of my sight, before I am going to seriously hurt you.” Louis was about to say something, but the look on Harvey’s face made him swallow his words. He turned around and headed back to his office, while mumbling something about how some senior partners turned the firm into a disgrace.
Mike had just sat down at his desk when Harold came in with a bewildered look on his face. Mike had the sinking feeling that the reason that Harold looked like a rabbit during hunting season had something to do with Harvey.
He hadn’t slept all night. Every time he closed his eyes he saw Harvey’s eyes filled with anger. He got up from his chair and walked to Harvey’s office, ignoring Harold’s warnings not to go there. When he came closer he could hear Harvey giving Louis a very angry piece of his mind.
Donna spotted him the moment he turned the corner and she immediately pushed him out of sight. “You come with me.” Before he could protest she dragged him to the elevator.
“The two of us are going to have a cup of coffee. Outside.”
They both got coffee and sat on a bench. Donna looked at him. “Now tell me Mike, what the hell happened last night?”
Mike stared at the ground, afraid to look at her. “He kissed me.”
Donna looked confused. ”Okay, surprise! But what on earth is wrong with getting kissed by Harvey?”
He remained silent.
“Mike, what is it. What happened?”
“I turned him down.”
Donna was not sure she had heard him correctly. “You did what?”
“I turned him down.”
Donna looked at him as if he suddenly had grown four arms.
“Why for God’s sake? Don’t you think he is attractive?” She was sure that was, by far, the dumbest question of the year.
Mike smiled a very sad smile. “I think he is the most attractive man I have ever seen.”
“Then what the hell are you doing? Whatever it is, you are playing with fire Mike. Men like Harvey don’t like to be turned down. But if he believed that you really weren’t interested, he would respect that. It would probably shock him, but he would respect it. So there must be more. Did you turn him down the minute he tried to kiss you?”
“No. I kissed him back at first. I couldn’t help myself.”
“Oh my God Mike! Don’t play games with him. You know him. Life is like this, he likes it like that”. She raised her hand a few inches.
“That is true for everything. His determination, his passion, his loyalty, his integrity. But it is also true when it comes to his anger. You have no idea how deep his rage can get Mike. I’ve seen it. If you push him too hard, he will retaliate and that is not something you want to get to know up, close and personal. Believe me. And I think that the fact that you, of all people, the one he trusts completely, is playing some sort of stupid power game, is not the only thing enraging him. There is something else. And I don’t like it. I am warning you Mike. You are pushing too hard.” He could see that she was dead serious and a little angry. But above all, he saw concern.
But wasn’t Harvey the one who said that you had to press where it hurts, to get to the truth?
“I am sorry Donna, but I honestly believe that I have to do this. For him.”
She raised an eyebrow. “For him?”
He looked at her and realized that he needed to tell her. She had a right to know. The three of them were a team and she needed to know why he was doing this.
“I love him Donna. And I don’t mean that I love him because he gave me this whole new amazing life, but I mean like he is the person I want to love, and make love to, every day. The one I never want to live without. I could say ‘the one I was waiting for my whole life’ but that would be ridiculous, because in my wildest dreams I could never have imagined meeting someone like him. He is everything I ever wanted and everything I didn’t even know I wanted. But I will never have that. That’s okay.”
He shook his head. “Well not okay of course, but something I could, although barely, live with. But the reason I can’t have it, is because Harvey won’t let himself fall in love. So that means he can’t have it too. And that is something I cannot live with. I want to break down the wall so he will open his heart. Even if it is out of rage. I just want to make him feel for once that even if your defenses are down, you will still be able to breath. The world won’t come to an end. Not even for the great Harvey Specter. And that maybe, when he realizes that, he will be able to lower them more often. For much better reasons. That’s why I turned him down. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. And part of me will probably never forgive myself. But I knew it would frustrate him. Not because I think I am that special, but I know that he is used to getting what he wants. I just wanted to change the rules of the game.”
She looked at him and part of her couldn’t help but smile. She knew Harvey better than anyone and she had seen it, even if Harvey himself hadn’t. Those two were made for each other. They brought out the best in one another. Not to mention that the thought of those two naked in one bed was enough to make even the angels grow a dirty mind. If there ever was one person who would be able to win Harvey’s heart, it would be Mike. And he sure was willing to do anything to make Harvey happy. But she was not convinced that this was the best way to get there.
She put her hand on Mike’s arm, looked deep into his eyes and said. “Listen Mike, I am very pleased to know that you love him as much as you do, and I think that the two of you would be perfect together,” Despite everything, his heart made a little jump of joy. “And although I agree that it would be absolutely wonderful if you could take his wall down, I still think that this is a very dangerous path you’re taking. Please be careful.”
She tightened her grip on his arm and her look became very serious. “Because if he ends up getting his heart broken, I’ll hunt you down. Believe me. I will.”
He had no doubt whatsoever that, like always, Donna would make good on her promise.
Chapter 7: One of those days
Meanwhile Harvey’s mood wasn’t getting any better when he discovered that Donna had disappeared. He picked up his phone and dialed her number. He could hear her phone ringing from behind her cubicle. ‘Where the hell was that woman when you needed her?’
He stared at the file on his desk.
The case was pretty straight forward, but he knew the opposing counsel, and he was sure that, at some point, they were going to pull a very annoying rabbit out of a hat. And he wanted to be prepared. So he needed someone who could find the rabbit hole for him. Unfortunately the only person, who could shift through so much information about similar cases in a very short period of time, was Mike. And then there was Rachel. She knew all the legal precedents on this matter. If he would let the two of them team up, they would be likely to find not only the rabbit, but also the carrot to lure it out of its hole. Then why didn’t he order them to do so?
There were two reasons. First of all, he really did not feel like talking to, or even looking at Mike today. Although he hated to admit it, when Mike turned him down it really had hit him hard. Of course he could not expect everybody on the planet to fall for him.
But Mike’s initial response to his kiss had been passionate, warm and welcoming. So why did he suddenly pull away? He could understand the ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea’ part. He was his boss and maybe he thought that it might complicate things. But the ‘I really don’t want this’ was the part that had hurt him.
His frown got even deeper. ‘Did I really use the word ‘hurt’ just now? Jesus, this day just keeps getting better and better.’
Then there was the second reason. And he really did not want to go there, because it had something to do with him being jealous of the pretty paralegal that got on with Mike just a bit too well for his liking. But he was not going to touch that with a ten feet pole. The use of both the words ‘hurt’ and ‘jealous’ to describe his own state of mind, was just too much for one day.
Jessica entered his office. She sat down on his couch. When she saw the expression on his face, she frowned. “Do I have to handle this case?”
“Harvey, I can tell you are not….”
“Don’t go there” he said. There was a sharp edge to his voice. “I will handle it.”
“I am not sure you can.”
She sighed. “How about the rabbit hole? Have you found it yet?”
“Then I will have Mike search for it. He can ask Rachel to help him. Those two will be able to find it. I will make sure they stay here until they do, even if that means working together all night.”
He closed his eyes. This day just kept on giving and giving.
“Fine. But he is not going to sit second chair with me on this one.”
“Nobody will Harvey, I will take it to court myself.”
He got up from his chair. “What? You can’t!”
“Since I am managing partner, I can.” She stood up and walked to the door.
“And Harvey, don’t even try to fight me on this. In my case ‘The’ is the right preposition.”
“Fine”, he grabbed his jacket. “Why don’t I just leave then. Seems like everybody is doing just wonderful without me.”
When he walked to the elevator the doors opened and Mike and Donna stepped out.
‘Sure. Why not? The grand finale to an already amazing morning.’
He ignored them and got in the elevator. It was a damn shame you couldn’t slam the doors.
Chapter 8: A big white rabbit
Rachel and Mike sat down on the couch in Jessica’s office. She leaned against her desk.
“Mike, I have asked your help on this case yesterday. Although I saw in the file that you came up with some useful suggestions, I am not very pleased with how you, let’s say, handed them over.”
He looked up to her. I am sorry. I…”
She cut him off. “I am really not in the mood to discuss it any further right now, but stop acting like a baby. Is that clear?”
He nodded. “Perfectly clear.”
“Alright then. Now back to this case. It is, as I already told Mike, a simple case, but highly sensitive. We have to win this. If we don’t, both Harvey and myself would consider that a personal defeat. The opposing counsel is very good and, to put it mildly, is not particular fond of us, so they will do anything to win. And I can’t have that. So I need the two of you to go through every piece of information that you can find. To look for any curveballs they might throw at us. I am taking this case to court myself and I really don’t like being ambushed. The conference room down the hall is all yours for today. I already send Harold to pick up all the relevant documents and books from the file room and the library. If you get hungry, you want coffee, or you need additional documentation, just call Donna. She will provide you with everything you need.”
She handed them the file. “I want you to drop everything you were working on and start immediately.”
They went through law books case files, legal documents for hours, but came up empty.
Rachel yawned and stretched her arms above her head. “I need a very large coffee or I am going to loose my focus.” She got up. “Do you want some?”
Mike didn’t react. “Mike?” Still nothing. She shrugged her shoulders. He was so caught up in reading that she didn’t want to disturb him.
Mike stared at the file in front if him. He did not hear Rachel because he was completely focused on the document he had just read. There it was. A big white rabbit. You just needed a hat to hide it in, pull it out at the right time, and you couldn’t lose.
If the other side had found it, and used it wisely, they would win. It would not be fair, but it would definitely do the trick. He stared at the rabbit. What was he going to do? Report it to Jessica? That was the only logical answer. She would be happy, Harvey would be happy and they would win the case.
But what if he didn’t report it? What if they lost because he missed it? They never needed to know. He just had to put the rabbit back in his hole and act like he overlooked it. Dumb, but honest mistake. Jessica would be very unhappy. But above all, Harvey would be unhappy. He would lose this case. And that would throw him off. And he was already on edge. Would it be enough to push him over? Mike could hear Donna’s warning echoing in his head, ‘I still think that this is a very dangerous path you’re taking. Please be careful.’
Rachel voice startled him. “Here you go sweetie, a cup of fresh coffee.” She handed him his coffee and sat down. “Found anything yet?”
He hesitated for a second but then he closed the file and threw it back in a box. “No, nothing yet.”
Chapter 9: Surrender
Harvey had spent a few hours at the gym to blow off some steam. Afterwards he ordered dinner from his favorite restaurant. While he sat on his couch, drinking a very expensive whisky, he thought about everything that happened since yesterday morning. After a while he came to a decision.
He walked over to his bedroom and grabbed a pair of jeans and a white shirt from his closet with one hand, while using the other to call Ray. He told him he needed a ride to the office.
He was not about to give up that easily.
Mike looked at his watch. It was already past ten in the evening. Rachel had gone to get another cup of coffee. Mike felt he already had so much caffeine that he probably would be staring at his ceiling for the next two nights. He picked up another file from the pile and wondered at what time they could throw in the towel and go home.
Then he heard a door opening. It sounded like it came from Jessica’s office.
He got out of his chair and walked to the end of the hallway. The door of her office was open and somebody had apparently used her shower, because there were small water drops on the floor. Curious, he followed the wet trail. All the way into Harvey’s office.
Harvey stood in the middle of his office, and when he heard Mike he turned around.
Mike gasped for air. His white shirt was unbuttoned. Mike’s eyes were drawn like a magnet to Harvey’s beautiful torso. He saw the warm golden skin, every sexy muscle, and there was a very thin line of hair that he followed with his eyes right down to the unbuttoned jeans. Mike thought he had two choices; Faint or drool. Or maybe he could combine them. Faint while drooling. He could not stop staring. “Mike?” The dark voice broke the spell. “I am up here.”
Mike looked up at that gorgeous face. Harvey had indeed showered and his hair was still wet.
“Have you and Rachel already found something useful?”
Mike had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Hell, he barely knew his own name anymore.
Harvey looked at Mike’s face and he could smell the victory. There was ‘surrender’ written all over Mike’s face. He knew it.
He slowly walked over to Mike until he was so close that their bodies almost made contact. With one hand he caressed Mike’s face and looked deep into those beautiful blue eyes. “You know what is going to happen if you don’t start talking.” He came closer. And then he whispered: “And if you don’t want it, you better get out now, or you will be all mine.” His lips touched Mike’s neck.
This time, logic and reason did not stand a chance. He kissed Harvey with a passion that he had been fighting off since last night. His hands were all over this incredibly sexy man, and even a fire alarm would not have been able to get his brain functioning again.
Harvey pulled Mike so close that he could feel every inch of his body. And Mike’s body told him that he wanted him.
Harvey shared his bed with many partners. Beautiful, sexy men and woman who gave him a lot of pleasure. But the overwhelming feeling that Mike gave him was new to him. Until now he really could not care less in which bed his lovers would end up next. But not this time. The only bed he ever wanted to picture Mike in, was his own.
With the same force that had surprised Harvey the first time he felt it, Mike pushed him down on the couch. This time it turned Harvey on even more. He groaned. God, he wanted him so badly.
Mike’s lips were making a path of kisses towards the unbuttoned jeans. He was going to make Harvey beg for him. And then he would beg Harvey.
Rachel looked up from her file. What was taking Mike so long? She got up from her chair and walked down the hallway, when she suddenly heard noises coming from Harvey’s office.
Her eyes widened and her cheeks flushed. ‘Oh my God, what is going on?’ She knew that was a very stupid question, because those sounds could only mean one thing. Very hot and steamy sex.
She hesitated. Should she just pretend like she didn’t hear it and try to look at Mike with a straight face when he would come back?
Or should she indulge herself and have a look?
She promptly decided on the latter and walked to Harvey’s office. “Oh God” she blurted out. She had to bite her hand not to scream.
That was a sight that would surely give her some very hot and pleasant dreams for a long time.
Chapter 10: May God have mercy
The next morning Mike arrived at the office early. He hardly got any sleep. But he didn’t care. While he relived every second, he could not tell which moment was the best. The way that sexy low voice begged him to go on, or the moment Harvey was all over him and he felt like he was going to explode in one million pieces, all of them bursting with pure lust.
But maybe the best part was at the end. When they lay on the floor. Next to each other, staring at the ceiling, both trying to catch their breath and waiting for the world to slowly come into focus again. Harvey had held his hand and somehow that was even more intimate than everything that happened before that moment.
Eventually Harvey had gotten up from the floor and put his clothes back on. Mike just watched, not ready to move yet. Harvey had reached out, grabbed his hand and pulled him of from off the floor. He had kissed him softly and smiled while he looked at him. “Now I still don’t know how the hunt went. Any bunnies?”
That broke the spell. ‘Oh Jesus, that stupid case!’ He had to lie. He already told Rachel that he hadn’t found anything. “No, nothing.”
“Great.” Harvey seemed relieved. “If the two of you can’t find it, then it just isn’t there. So we can get this case over with tomorrow.” He had kissed him again. A long, warm and soothing kiss. “I think it’s time that we both got some sleep.”
Mike had nodded. “Yeah, you’re right. He suddenly wanted to get out of this office.
Harvey insisted that Ray would drop him off at his house, because riding on a bike through the streets of New York at 2 in the morning was not going to happen. Mike had gladly accepted.
When he watched the car drive away from his house, he felt more satisfied and happier than ever before. But at the corner of all that happiness, there was another, very unpleasant, feeling creeping in. Like little teeth nibbling at his gut.
But this morning, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. Life was good. Life was fucking great. And the case? First of all, the chance of the opposite party finding the loophole was very slim. And even if they did, would that really be such a drama? He still believed that Harvey needed to learn that he couldn’t always win.
‘Yeah Mike, sure, you keep telling yourself that,’ he thought. The truth was that the little teeth seemed to get bigger with every minute.
There was a note stuck to his laptop. It was Donna’s: Report to me. NOW.
The O was a happy face. He frowned. ‘What’s with the happy face?’
“Good morning Mike!” Rachel’s voice was very cheerful.
“Oh my God Rachel!” He had completely forgotten about her.
She looked at him with a beaming smile. “Don’t you ‘Oh God’ me! The only one you get to ‘Oh God’, is Harvey.” Mike put his hand over his ears. “I am not hearing this!” “Yes you are. And so was I. The two of you can make a hell of a lot of noise!”
Mike was about to die of shame, so he grabbed the note from Donna, waved it at Rachel and run off. “Sorry, Donna needs me now.”
When he was out of sight, he slowed down and walked to Donna’s cubicle. Harvey’s office was still empty. Donna was sitting behind her desk. When she looked up at him, he immediately realized what the happy face was for. She knew! ‘Of course. Rachel!’
There was no use in hiding.
“Don’t you look tired sweetheart!” Donna’s eyes were beaming with delight.
“Donna, I don’t know what Rachel said she heard…”
“Oh but Mike, she did not just hear it…”
Mike looked at her in complete horror.
Donna nodded with a triumphant smile. “Since she got to see that very pleasant picture, she decided that it would only be fair if I got to tell you.”
Mike closed his eyes. He would never hear the end of this.
“Be glad it wasn’t me,” Donna said. “I would have used the camera on my phone.”
He wasn’t entirely sure she was just joking.
“But now on to more serious matters: I understand from Rachel that there will be no surprises in court today?”
He looked at her. She was the one person he could never really lie to. Somehow he always felt that she could see right through him. He was right. She did.
She got up from her chair and dragged him into Harvey’s office and closed the door behind them. “What is it, Mike?”
“Oh Jesus no, Mike! Don’t tell me that you found something. When in heaven’s name did you find it? You just got in…” While she spoke, he saw that she figured out the truth. And then he saw something that he had never seen on her face before. Panic.
“You. Stupid. Idiot!” That was new too. The incredible anger in her voice. She closed her eyes and tried to master the panic that came over her.
“Jessica has already left for the courthouse an hour ago. You go there. Now!” She pushed him out the door. “I will try to call everybody I can think of to try to stall this case.” She shook her head. “You have no idea what you have done, Mike. May God have mercy on your soul. Because I sure as hell won’t and neither will Harvey.”
Chapter 11: Welcome to your nightmare
When Mike arrived at the courthouse the panic that he had seen in Donna’s eyes was hitting him in waves. Something was going very wrong, Very fast. What if he had fucked up a case for one of the biggest clients of this firm? Although the case seemed trivial, maybe it had been a test case and if Jessica would lose, they would take all their business elsewhere. Maybe it would cost the company millions. ‘Oh God Mike, you stupid ass! What did you do?’ he asked himself while running up the stairs. When he looked around, he saw Jessica coming out of one of the courtrooms. He immediately saw it on her face. He was too late. They lost.
The frightening thing was that she not only looked angry, but she also looked sad.
She looked surprised when she saw him. She walked over. “What are you doing here?”
He hesitated. What was he supposed to say? ‘Sorry Jes, but I was so caught up in getting laid by Harvey that I just screwed over your entire firm?’
“I found the rabbit.”
“A little late, Mike. They found it first. We lost.”
Mike felt that this nightmare was just beginning to take shape.
“Why did you not see it yesterday? Did you give up too soon?”
He nodded. “Yes, I did. I gave up too soon. I am so sorry.”
She tried to decide whether to get mad at him or not. Not now. That had to wait. “I have to finish up some paperwork. I want you to go straight back to the office and tell Donna we lost.”
“Donna? Not Harvey?”
“No Mike, not Harvey. You go and tell Donna.”
When he walked over to Donna’s cubicle, he felt like he did two nights ago in Harvey’s condo. The temperature was freezing and he wanted to throw up.
He didn’t see her at first. Then he saw her in Harvey’s office. She was staring out of the window and Harvey was nowhere to be seen.
He entered. “Donna?” She immediately turned around and he could see the hope in her eyes die out when she looked at his face.
“Oh Jesus, Mike. Please tell me it’s not true.”
“I was too late”
She closed her eyes and shook her head in disbelief.
“Where is Harvey? Is he still not in?”
“He was. But he went home again.”
“I told him that you found the rabbit. But that you kept it to yourself.”
He could feel how the floor was starting to dissolve beneath his feet.
“What did he say?”
“He did not say a word. He just got up and left.”
Part of him couldn’t believe this was happening. What had been so goddamn important about this case?
Donna looked at him with a sad expression on her face. “Sit down, Mike. I will tell you exactly what you have done.”
She stared out of the window as she continued.
“You know this case was about a legacy. You probably figured that this was one of the high-ranked CEO of some important client of this firm. And they just want to keep it out of the public eye, and have it dealt with, without tarnishing anyone’s reputation.”
Mike slowly nodded, dreading what was to come.
She continued while watching him closely now.
“A wife who cheated on her husband, now sues her own son because she wants something that her husband, who has passed away a few years ago, left to his son. The son isn’t ready to give it up because he loved his father more than anyone in the world, and the legacy is something that is the very life of all they shared. Although probably worth some money, it’s not about the money. If that was the case, he could, and would’ve given her more than enough, just to get rid of her.
It’s about deliberately hurting her own son who, according to her, sold her out to her husband, because after watching her cheat on his father for years, he could not take it anymore and told him.”
Donna could see that the realization of what was going on, hit him with full force. All the color was drained from his face. It all made sense now. The secrecy, Jessica, why Harvey was so on edge lately, why Jessica believed that Harvey should not handle this.
Mike never knew that you could actually feel your heart hurt. But you could. He wanted her to stop talking. He did not want to hear what was coming next. He figured that as long as she did not say it out loud, it was not true yet. ‘Oh God please, please, this can’t be happening.’
But she showed no mercy.
“Harvey just lost the one thing he treasures most in this world. He has to hand over all this”, she pointed to Harvey’s record collection, “to his cheating mother. Who betrayed him and his father. They found comfort and consolation through their shared love of music, Mike. It was all he had left from him. And now it’s gone.”
She picked up a record and caressed it with one finger.
“You didn’t just tear down his wall, Mike. You used a sledgehammer on his heart.”
Then she looked him in the eye and opened the door to his own personal ride in hell. “And now you have to go over to Harvey and tell him that we lost.”
Chapter 12: The final blow
When he arrived at Harvey’s condo he found the door wide open.
With a heavy heart he walked to the living room. Harvey was standing on his roof terrace, overlooking the city. Mike stepped outside and looked at him. He soaked in every gorgeous detail. The curve of his neck, that beautiful mouth that he had kissed. He could almost feel the warmth of his skin. O my God, how was he going to live without ever seeing him again. Although Harvey hadn’t moved, Mike was sure that he had heard him come in.
He closed his eyes and took the ride.
“We lost the case.”
It was the final blow. Mike saw the rage falling apart. His armor fell in a million pieces on the ground. Although he knew that it was coming, the look in Harvey’s eyes when he turned around shocked Mike. Right in front of him a world of hurt opened up.
“Happy, Mike? You won….” His deep voice suddenly sounded fragile.
Mike felt like he was going to be sick.
Why in God’s name, did he push this beautiful man over his emotional edge? He wanted to stop the tears, he wanted to pickup al the pieces and give him back his armor. He wanted to turn back time, he wanted to just be content to be near this gorgeous man. To be able to learn from him, share jokes and always know that the great Harvey Specter had his back. He reached out but stopped in midair. What could he say? What could he do? Hug him? Tell him that it was all right? After he just destroyed him?
Harvey was wrong. Mike did not win. He lost. He lost the most important thing in his life. And he did that all by himself. No drunk driver, no Trevor, no one to blame but himself. While he looked at the face of the man he loved more then anything in this world, he felt the tears rolling down his own face. He wanted to say something. But what? Sorry? Mike had to bite his own tongue to stop himself from bursting out in hysterical laughter. He felt like he was about to scream. There was absolutely nothing he could say or do that would make this right again. Absolutely nothing.
Harvey hadn’t moved. He just stood there. Somehow he looked even more beautiful than before.
Mike wanted to run. But he knew he couldn’t. Not without trying to explain.
His voice trembled when he started to speak. He tried to look Harvey in his eyes while he spoke, but it was almost impossible to look at the pain that he had caused.
“Harvey, I cannot tell you how sorry I am that I did this to you. And I know and accept that you never, ever, want to see me again, but I have to tell you the reason why I did it.”
While he was talking, his voice became stronger. It was over. Somehow that calmed him down. Nothing to try and hold on to anymore. It was over. He had lost him.
“I know how it is behind the armor. I’ve been there; I’ve lived there for years. You believe it keeps you safe, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t shield you from disappointment or betrayal. It just shields you from your own heart.” He looked at Harvey. “You are the most amazing person I have ever met. You gave me a life. I fell in love with you. I wanted you to feel what that was like. To fall in love, to feel love. I wanted to set you free. But you are so strong and always in control, that sometimes it seemed that nothing would get you to open up your vulnerable side. I thought that maybe losing this case would make you realize that you don’t have to be invincible. The one who rescues everybody, but can’t heal his own hurt. I wanted you to stop being Batman.
But if I had known what this case was about, I would have never, ever, hidden the file. I would have come running, screaming, I would have plastered it on the wall. Hell, I would have kissed Louis if I thought it would help.
But I didn’t know. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t stupid.
But I never meant this to happen.”
There was nothing left to say. He was done. They were done. He bowed his head, turned, and walked away.
When he stepped into the cold night air, he hated himself as much as he loved Harvey.
Harvey looked at Mike while he walked out the door. He had seen the reflection of his own pain in Mike’s eyes. The pain that always came with betrayal. The pain of losing someone that was part of you. As if they pulled the rug right out from under you. But instead of hitting the floor, you fell into a pitch black hole.
He suddenly felt incredibly tired. He poured himself a large whisky, walked to his bedroom and sat on his bed. A feeling of utter loneliness engulfed him. He fell back in his pillows and closed his eyes while he tried to fight off the tears.
Outside it started raining. Mike didn’t notice. He picked up his phone. While he looked up and let the rain wash away his tears, he waited for someone to answer the phone. “Donna? Harvey needs you….”
Chapter 13: Rain down on me
Mike walked the streets for miles. He didn't know where he was going and he didn't care. He got soaking wet, but didn't feel the cold.
His phone rang.
He pulled it out of his drenched pocket. It was Rachel.
He hesitated for a moment, but then he answered. "Rach?" he could hardly speak. He felt that if he opened his mouth, all he could do was cry.
"Oh sweetie, where are you?" Rachel could hear how miserable he was, the noises from the street, and the rain pouring down. "I don't know....." "Well you better find out then, because I am walking to my car this minute, so I can come and pick you up."
He looked around. "I think I'm on 14th. I believe it's near that Italian place you love so much."
"Casa di David?" "Yeah, that's it."
"Stay put, I'll be there in 20 minutes."
When she arrived she found Mike, sitting on a bench. He looked so alone that it almost broke her heart. When he saw her coming, he got up and walked towards her. She held out her arms. He hugged her and they just stood there. He laid his head on her shoulder and while the rain poured down, he felt the tears running down his face.
Once they arrived at her house she gave him a towel and told him to take a shower. She got some clothes that one of her former boyfriends left behind, and made him a hot coffee.
He looked at her and tried to smile. "You really are my best friend in the world. Thanks Rach."
She smiled and kissed him on his forehead. "And now will you tell me what in God's name is going on."
"I will. But first I have a question: Why did you call me?"
"Because Donna told me to."
"Yeah, it was really weird. She suddenly had to leave to go to Harvey for some reason and she said, and I quote: 'Rach, I cannot be reached for the rest of the day. Not even when Louis suddenly grows hair." Despite everything, Mike giggled. There were three things that Donna would probably never loose, not even during an earthquake: her love for Harvey, her sense of humor and her dislike of Louis.
"And then she said: 'I need you to call Mike. But not yet. Wait another hour. I want him to feel really, really miserable.' I thought that was the most silly thing she ever asked me to do."
Mike thought that it was the kindest thing she ever asked.
"But she was dead serious. She looked pretty miserable herself actually. She made me promise that I would do exactly what she asked me to. So I did. But I don't understand it. At all. I just know that Jessica came to my office to tell me that she had lost the case, and that it was a shame that you did not find it sooner. Find what? What happened Mike? You didn’t find anything last night, and this morning you didn't even have the time to look at a file."
He put down his coffee. "Have you got anything stronger? And if you do, pour yourself one as well. You'll need it".
So he told her everything. He started by telling her what the case was really about. And about the rabbit he found the evening before. And then he went on explaining why he put it back in the box.
She did not interrupt him. Her eyes widened and she blurted out 'oh my God' a few times but she didn't interrupt.
He told her how much he loved Harvey. How he could see that, no matter how gorgeous or successful he was, he would never be really happy.
"I really believed that in some weird way Harvey was very insecure. I know that sounds ludicrous but I honestly thought so. I just wanted him to stop hiding and for once let someone get really close. But in order to do so, I had to make him vulnerable." He took a big sip from his drink. "That sounds god-awful. Like I wanted to hurt him. But that's not at all what I was after. But it's exactly what I got."
He fell back in the couch and rubbed his eyes. "You saw the case file Rach. How could I ever, in a million years, have guessed what it was really about? Do you believe, even for a second, that if I had known, I would have buried that stupid file?"
She shook her head. "We all know what those records mean to Harvey. Hell, even Louis knows. You wouldn't have done that."
"Of course not! I wanted to make him vulnerable. Not tear his heart out." He stared at the ceiling. "You should have seen him Rachel. He was so hurt."
"You don't look too happy yourself." She got up from the couch to pour them both another drink. "Why don't you stay the night Mike. You can crash on the couch. I don't think you should be alone now."
He gave her a kiss on her cheek. "Thanks. You're the best. And you’re right. I really don’t want to be alone right now."
Chapter 14: It makes all the difference
Donna sat on the bed and watched Harvey sleep. She didn't really want to wake him, but he had been sleeping for hours, and she needed to know how he was doing. And whether he would be able to face his mother the next day.
"Harvey," she whispered. "Harvey, it’s me."
He woke up. Slowly he opened his eyes. "Donna?" Reality immediately kicked in. He closed his eyes again. "Oh Jesus, I'm still in this fucking nightmare."
He took a deep sigh, got up and sat on the bed.
"What are you doing here?"
"Mike called me."
"Did he now? Isn't that sweet?" he said with cold sarcasm.
"Where is that little traitor anyway?"
She looked confused. "What's typical about him being with Rachel?"
"He always had a thing for her. So it's typical for the little traitor to run back to her."
She looked at him with a bewildered look on her face. 'Oh my God. He was jealous! Even after what Mike had done to him, Harvey was jealous.'
Harvey got out of bed. "I need a shower. Can you make me a coffee?"
"Sure. Anything to go with that coffee? Dinner, Whisky or a cookie?"
"Whisky sounds perfect."
She turned on some lights and poured both herself and Harvey a large whisky. When she heard him coming out of the shower, she turned on the coffee machine.
He walked into the kitchen and sat on a bar stool. She handed him his whisky and looked at him while he finished half his glass in one go. Although she had known Harvey for years and must have looked at him for thousands of hours, it sometimes just hit her all over again. He was so absolutely, devastatingly, gorgeous. If it had been her, she would have been a sobby mess. But Harvey managed to still look so damn beautiful.
He looked at the whisky, making waves, as he swirled his glass around. "I don't get it, Donna. What is the fucking point? All this, just to hurt me?"
She wished she had a good answer to that question, but she never even met his mother, and he mentioned her only twice, so she could only guess.
Harvey continued, "What did he want to prove?"
She raised her eyebrows. Did he just say 'he'? ‘Wow.’ She realized that she had underestimated Harvey's feelings for Mike, if he was higher on the ‘you have hurt me’ ladder than his mother.
"And now I also get the pleasure of seeing my mother again. I should introduce them to one another. They would probably get along great."
She handed him his coffee and gave his glass a refill.
"Why didn't you tell me about the case Harvey?" It was not until this morning, when Jessica told her before she went to court, that she had known what was really going on.
"Because I believed that we could make it go away. It was an open and shut case. My mother did not stand a chance. Jessica tried to buy her off, because she did not want me to have to deal with her. But my mother refused. So we had to take it to court. Should have been a formality. Five minutes.” He emptied his glass. “Well, at least I was right about the five minutes.”
She walked over to him, put her hands on his shoulders and kissed him on his forehead.
“You will get through this Harvey. Like you always do. And I’m right here with you. So is Jessica. And although I know you don’t really believe it, there are more people who really care about you. Not because you’re the divine Mr. Specter. But just because you’re Harvey.” She smiled, “We would all be lost without you. Even Louis wouldn’t be to be his usual obnoxious self.”
He couldn’t help but smile. “As long as I know you are in my corner, I guess I can’t really lose.”
He got up and hugged her. “Thanks Donna. And now go home, and get some sleep. I’ll be fine.”
“Will you be in tomorrow?”
“Yes, but probably not before four. That is when my dear mother comes by. Would not miss that for the world.”
“Neither would I. Can I slap her? Please?”
He laughed. “No.”
“Oh well, too bad.”
She picked up her bag. While trying to find her keys that were buried in there somewhere, she said: “Harvey. One more thing.”
“I wanted to kill Mike too. Believe me, I did. But he didn’t know. I know you’re mad and you want to blame someone. But he did not start this. He was completely blindsided. He just made a stupid mistake. But Harvey, unlike your mother, his stupid mistake came from love. And that makes all the difference in the world. The funny thing is, that I think that you actually might be able to see that difference now.” She gave him one last kiss. “Goodnight sweetheart.”
And she walked out the door, leaving Harvey staring at the bottom of his glass, while her words slowly sank in.
Chapter 15: Light on the horizon
Mike couldn’t sleep. He tossed and turned, but sleep wasn’t going to come anytime soon. And it was not even midnight yet.
He just couldn’t stop thinking about the case. Could he have somehow seen it? He knew the answer was a very simple: no. How could anyone ever dream up such a case? Than again; people did the most stupid, pathetic things, just to prove a point. Wasn’t he living proof of that! But why did Harvey’s mother do this? It could only be because she wanted to hurt him. She did not care about the records, she just…...’
He suddenly sat straight up.
‘That was it! Oh my God, that was it! If only I could…..’
A million things raced through his mind. He had seen a way out. And this was one big, gorgeous, fluffy rabbit he wasn’t going to hide. It would go on full display. But he could never do it alone. He looked at his watch. Only 16 hours before Harvey’s mother would show up. He needed help.
He walked over to Rachel’s bedroom and he kissed her on her cheek. “Rachel, honey? I need your help. And Harold’s phone number.”
An hour later the three of them sat in Rachel’s living room. While Harold was still reeling over everything he had just heard, Mike opened Rachel’s laptop. “I think I have found a way out. But it’s going to take time and money. Money is not the problem, I can get back my down payment on the apartment I bought. But it’s time that we need, but haven’t got.”
“What do you want to do Mike?
“You want to replace them all? But Mike, that is impossible. There are hundreds, if not more.” “1256 To be precise. I know them all.”
They both looked at him with big eyes.
“What? You know I have an eidetic memory. And I just like to know everything there is to know about Harvey.” He blushed.
Rachel shook her head in disbelief before she continued: “But not only is there no way on earth we could find them all, we sure as hell can never get them here in time.”
Harold looked at her with a big smile: “But then maybe we can give it to him for Christmas. That will give us enough time.”
Mike smiled at him. “No Harold, that’s the whole point. We need to make sure we get to keep the original ones. But we don’t need them all. Just a hundred would be fine. But several copies of each.” Harold and Rachel looked puzzled. “Why do you want to spend your money on the same records?”
“I’ll explain that while were working. Harold, you start searching for all the record stores in New York. Rachel, you find couriers to pick everything up first thing tomorrow. Oh, and I need boxes. A lot of boxes.
He smiled. There was light on the horizon.
Chapter 16: The best closer in the city
When Harvey got out of the elevator the next day, he stared at more than a hundred boxes that were piled up all over the hallway. In one of the open boxes he saw records. He was already in a very tense mood and this wasn’t going to make it any better. ‘Which idiot had been touching his records without his approval?’
And another thing: he had a lot of records, but never that many. He picked up one of the records from a box that was open on the floor. It was one of the records he owned. But it was not his copy. He knew every fold and wrinkle. He checked the next box. Also records he owned. But also not his. He looked up when he heard someone approaching. It was Louis, carrying another box. He sort of smiled at him.
Now he was sure the world was about to come to an end.
“Donna?” He found her in his office. With the utmost care she put the last of his records in a box. The same kind of box that were all over the hallway.
“What on earth is going on here? And why is Louis smiling at me? It freaks me out!”
Donna looked at him with a radiant smile. “Oh Harvey, I’m so glad you’re here. I tried to call you all day. But I guess you turned off your phone and you did not want to be disturbed.”
While she spoke she handed that last box with Harvey’s records to Harold. Harvey wanted to protest, but when he saw the care with which Harold carried the box, he kept his silence.
“Mike has come up with this crazy, but wonderful plan! It might actually work.” She beamed with delight.
Harvey felt like he walked into some sort of twilight zone. Down the hall he saw Jessica and Rachel piling up more boxes.
“Mike had a great idea? Does that mean that I better get ready to hand over the keys to my condo to my mother as well?”
“O ye, of little faith!” She looked at her watch. “She can be here any minute now. No time to explain. Just look as if you don’t give a shit that she is here. Please. That is all you have to do. Act like you don’t care. And let Mike do the talking.”
That was a bridge too far.
“Let Mike handle this? Are you crazy?”
At that same moment he saw his mother coming down the hall, with Mike walking next to her.
Harvey looked at Donna while wondering if the whole world had gone insane, but she just smiled.
She looked at Mike, then looked back at Harvey and winked at him.
“Hello Harvey.” His mother gave him a cold smile.
Harvey looked at the mother who he hadn’t seen for over 20 years. He then looked at Mike.
His blue eyes begged him to play along. Harvey suddenly had a vivid image of the two of them lying on the floor of his office. He remembered that he had never felt such a strong connection with anybody. And he remembered what Donna said: Mike does it out of love.
He had always trusted him. Should he give him another chance?
He leaned against his desk and looked at the woman standing in front of him. She had hurt him so much. He had expected that it would be very difficult to see her again. To his surprise, it didn’t. Not really. Maybe Mike had been right. You don’t just keel over and die, if you feel vulnerable. In fact, when he looked at the familiar faces surrounding him, he felt quite safe. Yes, he would let Mike handle it.
“Hi mother. How nice to see you.“ He even managed a smile before he continued. “Congratulations. You won. Since it concerns me, I thought it would be better if someone else would fill you in on the details. Mike?”
Mike had to fight really hard to push away the tears of relief. He looked at Harvey’s mother and cleared his throat.
“Well, as I already told you: we have a slight problem.”
She frowned. “The verdict was very clear. I get to the take all the records. And I have a list, so I will know when one is missing.” Her voice was as cold as Harvey’s was warm.
She was a very beautiful woman, but Mike thought she was one of the least attractive people he had ever seen.
“We fully understand. That is not the issue. The problem is,” he opened one of the boxes. “We all realized that, if this record collection was going to leave the building, it would be a loss for all of us.”
She raised her eyebrows.
He continued: “You see, we all like music. But obviously we don’t all have such a vast knowledge of it, nor do we have so many records. But luckily we could always count on Harvey. If we wanted to listen to music, he would not only advise us on what to listen to, but he also would gladly lend out any record that we needed.”
He didn’t even flinch when he said that. You could hear Louis making a very funny noise in the background. It took Harvey every inch of self-control to keep a straight face.
“But ever since you came up with that lawsuit, we realized there was a chance that you would win. And then we would lose this record collection. We really did not want that to happen. So we decided to replace it. In fact we almost all decided to get copies.”
Harvey suddenly realized where Mike was heading with this. He tried very hard not to smile. ‘You smart little angel’ he thought and he felt a sudden urge to hold him in his arms and tell him that everything was okay. That he forgave him.
He had suddenly realized how courageous Mike really was. It had taken a lot of guts to stand up to him. Risking his job. And now he took on his mother. And, by the looks of it, he was doing just fine.
Meanwhile Mike continued. “That brings us to the heart of the problem. We got all these copies and they are all in these boxes, ready to be handed out. But then some idiots also packed up Harvey’s records. And they forgot to label them. And now we really don’t know which is which.”
He looked at her with those honest, big blue eyes. He opened one of the boxes. “Look, here I have Pink Floyd’s The dark side of the moon. But there are five more copies and I really don’t have a clue which one is which. I really am very sorry for this unfortunate mix-up.”
“Then I’ll just take them all!” she said, her voice filled with anger.
Mike gave her his most innocent smile. “But you can’t! These are not all yours. You can have one of each. You get to choose which ones, of course.”
She opened a few boxes and started pulling records out, but she soon realized it was hopeless. She would never be able to tell which ones were Harvey’s. And if she just took boxes of copies it was useless. Odds were, he would still have the ones he wanted to hang on to. And that meant that her plan to get back at him after all these years, had failed.
Mike waited for her to put down the records and then he looked at Harvey. He wanted to let him close this case. After all, he was the best closer in the city.
“Maybe Harvey can spot the difference. But I don’t think so. It would be virtually impossible to recognize all these records. No matter how special they are to you.” He almost blurted out the word ‘bitch’ at the end, but stopped himself just in time.
Harvey wanted to just kiss Mike. He managed to keep a straight face while lying through his teeth. “I am so sorry mother. But I can’t. I really couldn’t tell.” Harvey had already spotted, from a mile away that the one Mike was holding, was his.
She opened her mouth to say something but there was nothing more she could say. She knew she had lost.
Jessica stepped forward. “Why don’t you come with me. I can understand this must be very upsetting for you. Let me take you out for a drink, and maybe we can see whether I might still be willing to settle this. Once and for all.”
Harvey’s mother threw one last foul look at Mike and Harvey and then walked away.
It worked. They won.
When the elevator doors closed behind them, they all screamed. Donna high-fived Rachel. “Oh my God, that was priceless! The look on her face!” While everybody was absolutely thrilled that it had worked, Mike suddenly felt very tired. He sat down on one of the boxes and closed his eyes. He couldn’t believe it worked. He had pulled it off. With some help.
Harvey looked at Mike. Donna had been so right. When he had watched Mike and his mother, it was like looking at two different worlds. In one world, someone was trying to break his heart, while in the other someone fought to keep it safe. When he walked over to Mike, everybody went silent and looked at them. Mike did not realize that Harvey was standing in front of him until he heard his warm voice. “Mike, that was brilliant” He smiled and pulled him up. “You were brilliant. From now on, you can lend any record, any time” He took Mike’s face in his hands and kissed him.
Donna reached for the Kleenex on her desk. One for herself and one for Rachel.
Mike looked at Harvey and couldn’t believe what he saw. The look in Harvey’s eyes was one he had never seen before. It was like he could look straight into his soul. And he saw that Harvey forgave him. That it was all right. Mike felt like he just wanted to stay there, get lost in those beautiful brown eyes, and in his strong arms, but then he realized they weren’t exactly alone.
“I never could have done it alone, Harvey. Everybody helped. Even Louis.” Mike threw Louis, who was standing at the back, pretending not to care, a radiant smile.
“But it would have been impossible without the help of Rachel and Harold.”
Harvey smiled and looked at Harold. “Well Harold, I guess that means I owe you a 18 hole round of golf at my country club next weekend.” Harold eyes widened and he looked like he was about to faint. He somehow managed to get a “Thank you Mr. Specter” out, while Donna petted him on his back and handed him a Kleenex.
“And Rachel,” He gave her a very warm smile. “Mike told me that you are already trying for months to get a reservation for that three star sushi restaurant in Manhattan. I know it’s normally closed on Mondays, but what if I could persuade the chef to open his kitchen. Just for the two of us. And you would get to taste everything you want?” “She gasped for air. “Oh, that would be just….Oh, my God, that would be amazing!” She jumped with excitement.
“And I guess that the three of you must have been working all night, so why don’t you go home and get some sleep.” Louis opened his mouth to protest, but one look from Donna made him change his mind.
They gladly accepted. But when Mike wanted to leave Harvey grabbed his arm. “Not so fast.” Mike raised his eyebrows. “Can’t I go home?”
“You’re coming home with me.”
Chapter 17: Set me free
During the ride back to Harvey’s condo they were silent. Mike rested his head on Harvey’s shoulder. He had his eyes closed and couldn’t stop smiling. It was amazing how your heart could go from total despair to total happiness in a matter of hours.
Ray was beaming behind the wheel. When Harvey and Mike got downstairs he had just finished reading Donna’s text message. He knew, maybe better than anyone, how much music meant to Harvey. Now Harvey not only got to keep his collection, but apparently also found himself a boyfriend. Ray was a very happy man.
When they arrived at the condo Mike fell down on the couch. He was so tired. The anxiety had taken a toll on him. Harvey handed him a whisky. And poured himself a glass before sitting next to him.
“Now you have to tell me two things. First: where on earth did you find all those records? There must have been at least a hundred boxes.”
Mike grinned: “Most of them were completely empty. And we put the boxes with your records in a specific order, so we would always know where they were. Then we filled up another ten with copies and placed them so that we could safely assume that those would be the ones she would open up.”
Harvey laughed out loud. “You bluffed!” He gave him a very long and passionate kiss. “You are very sexy when you’re daring. But how did you know she wouldn’t want to take a copy off all of them with her?”
“I didn’t. But I figured that she wouldn’t. From everything I ever heard about your father, he was an easygoing, kind and gentle man. And although you can be the sweetest man on the planet, you also have a side to you that will never settle for doing anything half. You do it, or you don’t. There is no middle ground. I figured that there was a pretty big chance that it was a quality you inherited form your mother.
Besides, the fact that she was willing to even begin this lawsuit meant that she wanted to make you suffer. And not halfheartedly. Knowing that you would hold on to, statistically at least 80 percent of the originals, made it a defeat for her. I figured she never would give you the satisfaction of watching her pick the wrong ones. Because of course she did not buy it for one minute that you couldn’t tell which ones were yours.” Mike smiled at him. “It was written all over your face.”
“God, you are so goddamn smart. And beautiful,” he kissed him in his neck. “And gorgeous.” Harvey pulled him closer. “And brave.” The kiss was long and full of promise of what was to come.
He looked at him. “Tired?” Mike shook his head. “No, all over now.”
Harvey smiled his very sexy smile. “Well, why I don’t make you tired then?”
“Should be no problem.”
He got up from the couch, grabbed Mike’s hand and walked to the bedroom. Mike pulled him close and started to unbutton Harvey’s shirt, while he let his lips follow his fingers.
Harvey pushed him onto the bed. He lay next to him. Leaning on one elbow, Harvey looked down on Mike and gently caressed his face.
“Thank you Mike. For everything you did. For opening up my heart.” He kissed him softly on his lips. “You want to come in?”
Mike thought he was going to die of pure happiness. “Oh yes, Oh God yes, I do Harvey.”
“But you know me. Once you’re in, I’m not going to let you out anymore. So you better be sure you want to stay.”
“I am. I love you, Harvey.”
And, as if it was the most natural thing in the world to him, Harvey replied: “I love you too, Mike.” Harvey felt that, instead of the hardest, it was the easiest thing, he ever said.
While he let Mike’s hands and mouth take him to a world of love and lust, he knew Mike was right.
Love did set you free.