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One thing Mike’s learned as an (il)legitimate member of the working masses is that, as a rule, Thursdays usually suck. The enticing allure of the weekend is like a mirage in the stifling desert heat and it’s usually the day that shit hits the fan with whatever case he and Harvey are working on and lands all over Mike’s dreams of 48 hours spent recuperating from the preceding week on the couch with nothing but take-out food and reruns of 3rd Rock from the Sun.

As Thursdays go, however, this one was pretty awesome. Mike had brought the wrath of God down on opposing council in a case that he and Harvey have been working on for weeks, forcing a settlement in their clients’ favor for an absurd amount of money; and now he’s enjoying the fruits of his labor which, in addition to the equally absurd salary the firm is paying him, also include being here, at a bar in Tribeca, sitting in a booth with Harvey.

The bar itself is all dark, sophisticated colors, with stylishly low lighting, and warm, spicy background music coming from a stage up in front where a piano player is accompanying a lone saxophonist. The music is cut with the light chatter of an upscale clientele, dressed in expensive clothes, probably stopping in for a drink on the way to condos much like Harvey’s, from offices much like Pearson Hardman. Harvey and Mike are seated in the back in what is no doubt the prime seating area which they were escorted to immediately upon entry and they’re just finishing their first round of drinks. Mike is supremely content as he slumps back into the sinfully soft leather of the cushioned booth and regards Harvey from across the table.

It’s been a long, crazy day — week, really — and while Mike’s certain he himself looks haggard at best given the grand total three hours of sleep he’s managed over the past two nights propped uncomfortably against a bookshelf in the Pearson Hardman library, Harvey is pulling off the haven’t-actually-slept-in-a-bed-in-a-couple-days look, spectacularly well. He looks casually ruffled and the way his eyes are drooping a little more with every drink he finishes just makes it look like he’s giving the whole room bedroom eyes. Mike chuckles and wonders if that’s something he learned at Harvard.

Harvey raises his eyebrows in question. “What’s funny?”

“I was just thinking of ordering a Long Island Iced Tea.”

Harvey picks up his drink and attempts a frown, but his facial muscles are so relaxed he ends up pouting at Mike over his glass. “Now why would you want to ruin perfectly good liquor with flavored sugar water?”

Mike clucks at him and drains the rest of his over-priced scotch. “Harvey Specter. Such a purist.”

Harvey opens his mouth, probably to start a rant about the finer qualities of expensive liquor, which Mike is saved from by the arrival of the lovely Jasmine, their waitress for the evening, whose timing, it turns out, is just as impeccable as the breasts she skillfully showcases when she leans over the table to retrieve their empty glasses. Harvey, ever the classy gentleman, appreciates the show without ogling and turns the full force of his charm on her in an instant, giving her a sleepy-eyed smile that Mike suspects has been the demise of more than one of New York’s finest.

Jasmine has rich olive skin that shimmers softly in the bar’s lighting, jet black hair that flows down her back in silky curls, and even in the modest black uniform it’s clear she’s got curves for days. Her hazel brown eyes lock onto Harvey’s and she smiles back, all cool, sexual confidence. She’s definitely interested, but not sold, which just increases her attractiveness ten-fold. Well played. Her gaze sweeps over Harvey and then over to Mike.

“What are you boys celebrating?”

“Being awesome,” Mike volunteers, smiling up at her and feeling the warmth of the liquor spreading through his system.

She throws her head back slightly and laughs. The sound, light and airy, makes Mike’s grin widen and he glances over at Harvey and winks at him.

Harvey is watching Mike with this little indulgent smile tugging at his lips. “We’re lawyers,” he says, turning back to Jasmine. “We won a big case today.”

“Actually, it was mostly Harvey,” Mike says, grinning at Harvey encouragingly, because he hasn’t slept in two days and from the way she’s undressing Harvey with her eyes right now, it’s pretty much in the bag.

“Well, Harvey,” she says.“ Congratulations on your win.” She turns to Mike and gives him a slow, sexy smile. “You two look like you make a great team.” Then, eyes back on Harvey, “More drinks?”

“Please,” Harvey says, regarding her with clear intent, eyes following as she heads to the bar to place their order.

Mike chuckles under his breath. “Oh my God, Harvey. You’re ridiculous. How are you, like, awake right now?”

“Are you kidding? She’s gorgeous,” Harvey says, spreading out expansively in the booth. He knits his fingers together, fitting his hands behind his head as he leans back, fixing Mike with a thoughtful look.
“Thanks for the credit, by the way, but today was all you. You did good.”

Mike feels himself flush at the unexpected praise.

“An un-coerced admission of my contribution to our success? Now I know you’re cracking under pressure.”

Harvey smiles at him and for a moment it’s so genuine and grateful that Mike can’t look away. Then the busboy arrives with their drinks, placing them on the table between them and breaking the spell.

Harvey watches Mike take a sip.

“Nice, right?” he says after Mike has swallowed, and it is nice, but Mike makes a noncommittal sound and shrugs.

Harvey shakes his head and brings his own drink up to his lips.

“Can’t take you anywhere,” he says into his glass.

“I’m sorry I don’t see the point of spending $300 -a-bottle for liquor that’s not going to get you any drunker than the $40 one.”

Harvey gives Mike a look that’s both resigned and exasperated. Mike stretches, long and lazy, and matches Harvey’s posture leaning back in the booth.

“Seriously,” he continues. “Why don’t you do something cool with your money? Like be Batman or something. New York could use a masked crime fighter. And besides, you totally have the jaw line for it.”

Harvey manages to look singularly pleased and completely unimpressed.

“I’m not that altruistic.”

“Fuck altruism, I’m thinking about the Batmobile, dude.” Mike grins at him. “I mean I know I’m no Lucius Fox, but I would make an awesome head of R&D at Specter Enterprises. I would build you all the cool stuff.”

Harvey rolls his eyes and attempts to hide his smile by taking another sip of his drink.

Taking Mike out for drinks has become sort of a thing Harvey does when Mike does exceptionally well on a case and Mike appreciates the acknowledgement, but this right here is Mike’s favorite part of these evenings. The easy back and forth. The way Harvey lets him in, just a little more. It’s been stressful at the office since Daniel Hardman waltzed through and shook-up the natural order of things. Harvey doesn’t tell Mike everything, but most days Pearson Hardman feels like it’s entered some sort of Cold War, and Mike can tell Harvey is struggling to maintain his air of unflappable confidence. Mike does his best not to fuck up professionally and also try to be the friend he knows Harvey would never ask for.

Mike is under no illusions that Harvey is some sort of damsel in distress in need of rescue from the crushing loneliness of being at the top. Harvey’s a grown ass man and if he walls himself off from people it’s because he wants it that way, but Mike knows that everyone needs the sort of human connection an endless stream of one night stands can’t provide. Man can’t live on rice alone and all that. So Mike pushes the boundaries, forcing Harvey to reveal more and more of his inner self, and for every inch Harvey gives Mike takes ten. It’s like carving Mt. Rushmore with a chisel and a hammer, but it’s all worth it for the comfortable intimacy of these moments and Mike smiles back at Harvey in the soft lighting.

“Women do love the whole secret hero thing,” Harvey concedes.

“If you tell chicks your secret to get them in bed, it’s not a secret, Harvey,” Mike scolds, and then lowers his voice as he sees Jasmine approaching over Harvey’s shoulder. “Besides I think you’re doing just fine in that department.”

“Everything all right for the big time lawyers?” she asks, with a sultry smile as she reaches the side of the table.

Harvey gives her a grin so seductive Mike catches a contact high.

“It’s perfect,” he says, and it’s clear he’s not talking about the drinks.

Jasmine practically purrs and her gaze slides over to Mike. Mike licks his lips as she looks him up and down like she’s considering him for dessert. She turns back to Harvey and produces a single napkin which she places in the middle of the table.

“Let me know if I can get you gentleman anything else,” she says, and floats off to attend to other customers.

Mike looks down at the napkin and reads the message, written in purple ink on its surface.

I’m off at 11
– J

Mike laughs, shaking his head.

“You’ve spoken less than 20 words to the woman and she might as well have left her panties on the table.”

“You have much to learn, Grasshopper,” Harvey says, giving Mike a sage look that morphs into a teasing smile. “Although to be fair, I don’t think I was the only draw.”

“Hey, teamwork makes the dream work,” Mike says, extending his hand for a fist bump, which Harvey eyes skeptically as a matter of course before granting. Mike explodes his palm with the appropriate sound effects, which makes Harvey roll his eyes. Mike checks his watch - 10:51 - stretches and prepares to leave. It’s late and the cab ride back to Williamsburg is going to be an hour minimum with the night-time construction on the Brooklyn Bridge. He drains his glass, sliding out of the booth and looking down at Harvey from the side of the table. “I trust you can take it from here.”

“Just a walk in the park, Kazansky.”

Mike smiles. Harvey always quotes Top Gun when he’s feeling sentimental. “You.” Mike sways forward, and presses a finger into Harvey’s chest. “You’re still dangerous, but you can be my wingman anytime.”

Harvey bats his hand away and raises his drink, toasting Mike with a self-assured grin. “Bullshit, you can be mine.”

Mike rides an hour and fifteen minutes back to Brooklyn in the taxi and he still can’t wipe the smile off his face.

```

When Mike gets to work on Friday morning, he goes straight to Harvey’s office but it’s empty, so he leans on Donna’s desk and waits for instructions. Donna finishes whatever she’s typing on her computer and then fixes Mike with that penetrating look that always makes him feel a little like fresh meat.

“So,” she says, leaning forward in her chair. “How was boys’ night?”

No shame. Mike can appreciate that.

“We braided each other’s hair and exchanged handmade friendship bracelets,” Mike says, with a grin. “By which I mean we went to a bar, had a few drinks, Harvey picked up the waitress, and I went home by myself.”

Donna feeds that through her decoder with a cryptic smile.

Mike rolls his eyes and nods towards Harvey’s office.

“Looks like the party boy’s getting a late start this morning.”

“Actually,” Donna says, heaving a stack of briefs over the desk and setting them in front of Mike with a flourish. “Jessica sent said party boy to Miami to close a deal and he won’t be back until Monday.”

Mike tests the weight of the stack and groans.

“And he left this for me so I wouldn’t get bored?”

“You know Harvey,” Donna says, already moving onto her next task. “Always thinking of others.”

Mike looks down at the briefs. There’s a sticky note on top with a single word written in Harvey’s crisp, precise cursive.

Monday

Great.

```

Mike spends the better part of the day holed up in the filing room with the briefs and his chosen instruments of war: a highlighter, sticky notes, and a couple of Red Bulls. It’s a tactical decision. Being tucked away amidst the rows and rows of boxed legal records reduces the likelihood that Mike will run into Louis in the event that he’s somehow found out that Jessica sent her favorite son to take care of important firm business. That’ll put him on the war path for sure and Mike doesn’t need the headache. Louis and Harvey’s little rivalry is like one of those Velociraptors from Jurassic Park. It’s so juvenile it’s almost cute, until it rips your head off, and Mike’s learned the hard way that it can have disastrous consequences for innocent bystanders such as himself so he avoids the theatrics when at all possible.

The tomb-like silence of the room makes it easy for Mike to fall into a rhythm and his mind shifts into a state of meditative efficiency. He complains about the work, mostly because all the associates do, but the reality is that nothing keeps his mind engaged quite like it. With the extra kick of the Red Bull powering him, Mike feels like his brain is firing on all cylinders and when the gnawing pain of hunger forces him to break for lunch around 2:00, he heads down to the carts outside the building, his mind buzzing pleasantly.

It’s only once he gets outdoors that Mike realizes he hasn’t seen sunlight since he got to the office this morning and after he gets a hotdog, he sits on one of the concrete benches, basking in the crisp but comfortable warmth of an early fall day in New York City.

“Well, if it isn’t the elusive Mike Ross.” Rachel’s voice comes from a few feet away, her words punctuated by the click of her heels against pavement. “Where have you been all morning?”

Mike takes a sip of his drink.

“Proofing briefs for Harvey. He’s-“

“In Miami. I know. Louis has been sulking about it all day,” Rachel says, rolling her eyes.

Mike laughs, squinting up at her in the afternoon sunlight. She walks the few remaining feet and sits down next to him on the bench. Leaning back on outstretched arms and crossing her legs in front of her she closes her eyes and presents her face to the sun’s warmth. He breathes in the scent of her perfume – something with a light, fruity tang – and examines her relaxed expression.

Mike’s relationship with Rachel has been fraught with the drama born of half-truths and false starts since the beginning and, as usual, things between them are complicated, but they’ve had a period of relative calm as of late. The situation with Tess had precipitated a huge fight between them during which Rachel had made it clear that she was furious with him, which Mike got – because it was a fucked up situation – but didn’t feel was entirely fair given that Rachel was the one who rejected him that afternoon. Mike had been grieving and he’d needed something Rachel couldn’t, or wouldn’t, give him so he’d called Tess. He regrets having sex with Tess for reasons completely unrelated to Rachel, but at the moment it had felt good, and shouldn’t he get a pass or something since he’d just lost his only living relative – the woman who took him in when he was all alone in the world and made him the man he is today?

Things between he and Rachel had been strained for several weeks after that but they see each other nearly every day at work and Rachel’s temper burns bright and hot but the cold shoulder is really not one of her strong suits, especially – Mike has noted with pleasure – when it comes to him. Now, several months later, their relationship appears to have regressed to the mean; existing in a kind of tentative equilibrium between the almost gravitational pull of their attraction to one another and the secret Mike promised to keep. It feels like a very real choice he makes between the potential he has with Rachel and his loyalty to Harvey; his instinct to protect the life he’s built that’s everything he’s always wanted and never expected he would have. It’s frustrating for both Mike and Rachel to have this secret wedged between them, and yet ironically there’s something about its very existence that heightens the intensity of their interactions, draws them closer together. Rachel is fun, sexy, and interesting and Mike finds her fiery independence irresistible. He can’t stay away and apparently neither can she. So here they are, locked in this dance, and there are times Mike feels like his back is pressed so tight against a wall with her he can barely breathe. He wishes he could just tell her the truth, but he knows Harvey’s right: there’s no guarantee that they’ll stay together forever, and Mike can’t take the risk that the firm might become collateral damage if they break up. Harvey and now Jessica have gone further out on a limb for him than he had any right to ask for, and he’s finally at a place in his life where he can breathe easy, so he’ll settle for friendship because it’s the only way to keep everything safe. But sometimes Mike wants her so badly he aches with it.

Rachel opens her eyes and flips her hair over her shoulder, regarding Mike with a curious expression. “So now that your weekend’s freed up, what are you doing tonight?”

Mike’s about to take offense at the implication that Harvey monopolizes his weekends, until he remembers it’s true. There’s a price to be paid for being the best, and the going currency is Mike’s free time. With Harvey out of town and his work for the day nearly finished, the weekend stretches out in front of Mike like a never-ending theme park. It’s an unfamiliar feeling.

“I- I don’t-“

“Well,” Rachel continues with a cautiously flirtatious smile. “If you’re interested, Shannon and I are going to a bar up the street after work. You’re welcome to come with.”

Mike considers the invitation. Shannon is the newest addition to the associates and Mike’s interaction with her has been minimal, but she and Rachel seem to have hit it off and Mike thinks Rachel’s a pretty good judge of character. While he’s not overly fond of the idea of spending his first Friday night off in a month with the one group of employees at Pearson Hardman who seem actively invested in making his life a living hell, he likes the idea of hanging out with Rachel and the thought of going back to his apartment where several loads of dirty laundry stare menacingly at him from the overflowing hamper is a little depressing. So Mike nods, smiling as Rachel’s hopeful expression turns openly pleased.

“Yeah, okay. That sounds fun.”

“Great!” Rachel gets up and starts toward the front of the building turning to look at him over her shoulder. “Meet you downstairs at 7:00?”

“7 it is.”

Rachel beams at him before she turns and walks through the doors and Mike can’t help smiling as he watches her through the glass until she disappears past the security guard.

```

The bar is called Bubble Lounge and it’s a younger, less sophisticated crowd than the one at the place Harvey took Mike to the night before. There’s no stage in sight and the hypnotic beat of house music comes through speakers at either end of the room. The lights are low and there are some booths and tables scattered about but by the time they get there it’s pretty much wall to wall with young professionals flooding from their jobs on Wall Street and the business district to let off the stress of the week. It’s loud enough that Mike has to yell a little to be heard over the noise. There are several other associates sprinkled around the place but he, Shannon, and Rachel stick close to the bar, open a tab, and start ordering drinks immediately.

Shannon, it turns out, is hilarious and Mike likes her instantly. She’s a beautiful, dynamic, Korean American girl who was born and raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and has all the attitude to prove it. Her lively personality fits perfectly into Mike and Rachel’s dynamic and after a few minutes in her company they’re both doubled over in laughter at her cutting commentary on the perils of being a lesbian in an office full of men who think they’re God’s gift to women.

After a few shots, Mike realizes with the clarity brought on by a really good buzz that he’s having an awesome time. It’s a different kind of awesome, one he hasn’t experienced in a while, and that’s when it occurs to him that he can’t remember the last time he was out with his peers. Well, of course he can, but it was a really long time ago. Long enough that it makes him pause to think about the fact that he’s been having so much fun with Harvey that he forgot to miss it. In a way, Harvey’s more his peer than anyone else could ever be, and he has the sudden urge to call him and tell him just that. Which probably means he should eat something, because all this liquor sitting on only the hotdog he ate for lunch, has him feeling like sharing his emotions and stuff; something he knows Harvey only allows during every other lunar eclipse. At the rate he’s going, he should probably think about activating that anti-drunk dialing app on his phone.

“Earth to Mike,” Shannon says, waving the cherry stem from her drink in front of his face.

“Sorry, I was just thinking we should grab something to eat. I’m, like, starving.”

Rachel smiles and says, “I know a place.”

The corners of her eyes crinkle up in amusement at Mike’s skeptical look. It’s cute and sexy at the same time.

“Don’t worry,” she says “You’ll like this, I promise.”

Mike signals the bartender and feels like a boss handing over his credit card to cover the tab. He’s only recently learned the joy of spending money without worrying if he’ll be able to pay his bills this month. Rachel goes to the bathroom and while they wait for the bartender to return with the signature slip, Shannon pins Mike with a look that reminds him of Donna.

“So Mike Ross, I hear you’re Harvey Specter’s personal project.”

“Well, Shannon Park, I prefer young protégé but, yes, you hear correctly.”

“So,” Shannon smiles and finishes her drink, placing her empty glass on the bar. She tosses her hair over her shoulder and looks Mike right in the eyes. Her tone is playful and low like she’s asking him to share a dirty secret, “What’s he like?”

Mike feels a warm pulse of pleasure and because he’s feeling loose and relaxed and Shannon is quickly becoming one of his favorite people at the firm, he replies, “Almost as cool as everyone thinks he is, and just as big of a pain in the ass.”

They burst into the giddy, delighted laughter of the newly drunk just as Rachel returns from the bathroom and when she asks what’s so funny, Shannon just gives her a warm smile and says, “I approve.”

Rachel flushes an enticing shade of pink, and the alcohol must have her feeling tipsy too, because she just laughs and says, “I knew this was a mistake.”

Mike can’t stop smiling. He’s high on the feeling of a Friday night in the company of two very hot women, and even if Rachel’s off limits, he’s happy just to hang out with her and Shannon getting drunker than they should and laughing like idiots.

Which of course is why when Mike turns around, he sees Kyle walk through the door to the bar. Shannon follows his line of sight and screws up her face when she sees who it is. Mike figures if she hasn’t had the pleasure of experiencing it firsthand, Rachel has already filled her in on what a tool Kyle Durant is. He’s flanked by an entourage of other associates – like this is a high school party or something – and as soon as he sees Mike he plasters a smirk on his face and cuts a swath through the crowd in his direction. Rachel rolls her eyes, crossing her arms across her chest.

“Ross,” Kyle says when he gets within earshot, giving Mike a smile that’s the opposite of friendly. “Long time no see. What, your boyfriend let you out of his sight for tonight?”

“Ah, you went with the gay joke,” Mike says. “How original.”

“And also ironic, seeing as you’re the one who rolled up in here with a bunch of dudes,” Shannon chimes in, gesturing toward the gaggle of male associates now looking varying levels of uncomfortable behind Kyle.

Kyle’s gaze focuses on Shannon and Mike can tell he recognizes her, so it’s just to be an asshole that he says, “And who are you?”

“Shannon Park, first year associate.”

“Well, Shannon,” Kyle says, stepping forward like he’s about to tell her a secret. “You’re new to Pearson Hardman, so let me give you some advice: don’t get stuck with the wrong crowd.”

Shannon looks Kyle up and down slowly, and then spares a glance at his entourage, several of whom have begun eyeing her and Rachel with keen interest. She’s not impressed.

“Well, we were just leaving,” she says, grabbing Rachel by the hand and wrapping her arm around Mike’s elbow. “So I don’t think that’ll be a problem.”

Mike has the overwhelming urge to yell “face!”, as Shannon pulls him past Kyle and towards the exit.

“I don’t think I caught your name,” Shannon says as she passes Kyle. He’s not particularly tall, so in heels she’s looking down at him a little.

He opens his mouth to respond, but Rachel cuts him off, “That’s ok Shannon, I don’t think you’ll need it.”

They manage to push past him and out onto the street before they dissolve into giggles.

Mike doesn’t think this night can get any better.

```

Rachel insists they go to this Puerto Rican restaurant and lounge she loves called Loca Luna, even though it’s in Spanish Harlem, 40 minutes in the opposite direction from home for all three of them. But because they’re drunk and happy and starving they hop in a cab and head uptown.

Mike’s stomach growls in protest. “There better not be a line.”

“Of course there will be a line,” Rachel says, looking affronted. “But don’t worry, I know the chef.”

```

True to her word, in spite of the crowd out front, Rachel has them seated and digging into a platter of tapas, including beef empanadas, spicy pork ribs, and skewered chicken that tastes like mana from heaven within 15 minutes of arrival. The place is packed and alive with energy. A live salsa band plays on a stage toward the back of the space and there’s a large dance floor in front of it that’s crowded with people moving their hips and feet to the music. After they eat, they have to give up the table but they continue the party at the bar getting a few drinks on the house, again courtesy of Rachel’s connections, and ordering several more. Soon they’re all comfortably toasted and the three of them laugh and talk about nothing and everything until Shannon gets distracted by a sexy Latina woman who seeks her out from across the room and asks her to dance. Rachel makes her promise before she goes that she won’t leave without telling them and there’s a lot of hugging and giggling and then Shannon is gone.

Mike turns back to Rachel.

“Hi,” she says, leaning in and giving him a warm, sexy smile. She’s a little flushed with all the drinks and she looks gorgeous in the restaurant lighting.

“Hey,” he replies, smiling back helplessly. “Thanks for inviting me out tonight.”

“We haven’t hung out in a while. I thought it would be nice.”

“Ah, so that’s what you were planning? You’re plying me with food and drink so we can … hang out?”

The way Rachel’s smile widens makes a mockery of innocence.

“Is that your way of asking about my intentions?”

“Well, a boy’s got to protect his virtue,” Mike says, plucking the toothpick stacked with olives out of her martini glass. “After all, I’ve got my future to consider.”

Rachel laughs and he feels his pulse quicken at the way her gaze drops to his mouth as he bites off an olive. They’re both drunk, and she’s there looking amazing and happy and Mike knows that the road to hell is paved with alcohol and temptation, but he doesn’t really care where he’s going right now, so long as Rachel’s along for the ride. She looks back up into his eyes, still smiling, and asks “How are you?” with such honest sincerity that Mike feels warmth spread through his entire chest.

There are so many questions packed in there. “I’m good,” he replies to all of them.

Rachel studies his face for a little while. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

She reaches for her glass, knocking back what remains of the drink, and hops off the bar stool.

“Good, because I want to dance,” she says, turning and tugging him toward the dance floor by the hand.

The energy in front of the stage is electric and the music is loud. Bodies in motion are everywhere. Rachel pulls him close and before he knows it they’re moving to the beat, his left hand low on her back to hold her to him. Mike’s no Eddie Torres, but he holds his own and even if the alcohol doesn’t help keep him on beat, it bolsters his confidence enough that it doesn’t matter. At any rate staying on beat is the last thing he’s thinking about right now.

He’d never realized how sensual salsa can be until this very moment. It feels like Rachel is pressed to every inch of his body and he can feel the undulating motion of her hips where his hand is placed low on her spine. It’s crowded and hot on the dance floor and they both break into a light sweat. The sheen of it on Rachel’s face makes her look radiant and it intensifies the scent of her perfume, enveloping Mike in a cloud of sensation that leaves him light-headed. After a couple of songs, a heat starts to build between them that has nothing to do with the temperature. They’re completely in sync and the rhythmic energy of the music is almost beside the point. Mike spins Rachel and she comes back into his arms, breathless and flushed and he has a sudden image of her spread out under him in his bed that makes him go instantly half hard. They’re pressed so tight together that he’s sure she feels his burgeoning erection against her leg but instead of stepping back, she pulls him to her with a hand around the back of his neck rolling her hips into his groin. Mike can feel her heated breath against his ear as she breathes his name, and it’s filled with such longing and unfiltered arousal that Mike lets out a small groan before he can stop himself.

Through the haze of alcohol and desire, Mike can hear warning bells start to sound in his head. They’re quickly approaching the point of no return, which is playing with fire because no matter how much he wants to take Rachel home tonight, sleeping with her will force him to choose. Sleeping with her is choosing because he won’t be able to pull away again and the very force with which Mike wants to take her back to his apartment and have hot, sweaty sex with her is proof positive that he’s in no state to make that decision. But, God, he wants. And the way she’s grinding against him, rubbing her thigh against his hard-on, there’s no doubt she’s into this. It would be so easy to just get a cab and worry about the repercussions in the morning. Maybe he should. No. He can’t. He won’t. The implications of it are too far reaching. Fuck. Mike needs to put some space between them before he loses control completely.

He steps back, pushing gently on Rachel’s hips to guide her away from him.

“Jesus, we have to stop.”

Rachel gives him a dazzling smile. “Why?” Before he can respond she leans in and speaks into his ear over the music. “I don’t want to stop.” She drapes her arms around his neck, pulling him to her again and rubbing her body against his. “Do you?”

Mike bites back the first three answers that spring to mind. “Oh my God, you wicked seductress, are you trying to kill me?” He disentangles himself from her embrace and takes another step back. “I need to go home and sit in a bathtub full of ice now, so, thanks for that.”

Rachel looks up at him from underneath her lashes. “You’re welcome.”

Mike laughs, but stands firm. “I really am going to head home though.”

“Party pooper” she accuses, pursing her lips into a pout when he shows no signs of breaking. “Well, if you’re gonna leave me hanging the least you can do is get me a cab.”

Shannon’s nowhere in sight so Rachel sends her a text that they’re leaving and they make their way to the front door of the lounge. Rachel grabs her jacket from the coat check and then they’re standing on the sidewalk outside Loca Luna and Mike hails a taxi that pulls up to the curb. “My lady,” he says, as he opens the door and motions her inside. Rachel looks up at him with something complex in her expression and Mike pulls her into a goodbye hug. She feels amazing against him, but in the cool fall evening air his head has cleared considerably so after a few seconds he tells her he had a great time and lets her go to get in the taxi. She stumbles a little and sort of tumbles inside giggling, “Thank God it’s Friday.”

Mike shuts the door behind her and thumps the roof of the car. As he watches it drive off he thinks, thank God, indeed.

```

By the time his own taxi rolls up outside his building in Brooklyn, it’s pushing on midnight. He’s leaning against the door to his apartment and fiddling with the keys when his phone starts ringing. The only person who calls him this late is Trevor, and that’s old news, so Mike feels a touch of apprehension as he pulls it out of his pocket to check the screen. He breathes a sigh of relief when he sees Harvey’s name.

“Harvey Specter,” Mike answers with more familiarity than is probably advisable but, fuck it, if Harvey wants professional then he shouldn’t be calling him at midnight on a Friday. “Shouldn’t you be out judging a wet t-shirt contest or something?”

“I’m here on business, Mike, not Spring Break ’95.”

Mike snorts.

“Is that the last time you went on Spring Break?” he says, shouldering the door open and flipping the light switch. “Seriously, it’s Friday night in Miami. Why aren’t you out on the town getting jiggy with it?”

“Are you drunk?” Harvey asks, but he sounds more amused than irritated so Mike responds in kind.

“I may be a little lubricated,” he says, snickering at the double entendre. “It is the weekend after all. You remember what that is Harvey, right?”

“Mm, I do have a vague memory of some archaic notion of a day of rest.”

“Days, Harvey. Plural,” Mike corrects with a smile as he flops down onto his couch, loosening his tie so he can pull it over his head and undoing the top few buttons on his shirt.

“So who let you drink at their bar?” Harvey asks, which is . . . not what Mike was expecting, but he only hesitates for a second before starting on the Sports Center highlights of his evening. Once he gets going it seems he can’t stop and he ends up telling Harvey all about Shannon and Rachel and the close call at Loca Luna. It feels good to talk about it and Mike figures Harvey will just interrupt him when he reaches his quota of things-that-aren’t-about-work-or-winning-preferably-both, but Harvey doesn’t seem in any rush to get to the point of his call so, when Mike finishes talking, he toes off his shoes and swings his legs up onto the couch, settling into the cushions with a contented sigh. “How’d it go with the client?”

Harvey groans and launches into a synopsis of the day’s events that evidently included an afternoon at the country club with Bret Summerville who as Harvey tells it is a total douche which, Mike thinks, with a name like that should be a surprise to exactly no one. Apparently his father, Chip Summerville – seriously people? – made a name for himself in marketing in the 50s and built a media empire, Summerville and Wright, Pearson Hardman’s long time client. Wright expired about a week ago and the elder Summerville decided he wasn’t getting any younger and wants to pass the family business down to his son. Harvey flew down to handle the particulars of the transfer, firm up the relationship, and “make sure that entitled asshole can’t destroy the company for the foreseeable future”.

Mike rolls his eyes as he listens to Harvey rant about Bret Summerville and the afternoon he spent drinking expensive liquor and riding around in golf carts in 75 degree weather with a light ocean breeze while Mike was holed up in the office grinding out briefs. When he shifts his hips to get more comfortable, Mike realizes he’s sprawled out on his couch with his phone wedged against his shoulder while Harvey tells Mike about his day. When did this happen?

Not that Mike is complaining. He’s still coming down from his encounter with Rachel earlier and Harvey’s voice in his ear has a depth and a timbre to it that has his whole body humming. He closes his eyes, relaxing into the sensation. Mike enjoys Harvey’s company. He has since the first day they met. He likes the easy push and pull dynamic of their relationship, the way Harvey keeps him on his toes and keeps his mind engaged, but what he enjoys most is the conversation, and he finds that sitting here late at night on the phone with Harvey is intoxicating in a way he hadn’t anticipated. Sure, they’re alone together several times over the course of any given day – in Harvey’s office, in the back of Ray’s town car, sometimes on the elevator – but this feels different, like he’s got Harvey all to himself, and Mike feels something hot rush through him at the intimacy of it.

He glances at the digital clock on his DVD player. It’s officially Saturday morning now and somewhere in the back of his mind Mike knows he should ask Harvey why he’s calling and say goodnight. He knows that staying on the phone feeling the pleasant warmth of the liquor flowing through his veins and getting high off the thrill Harvey’s voice is sending over the line is asking for trouble. But the angel on Mike’s right shoulder has already punched out for the night, and said liquor has the volume on his early warning system turned way down, so when Harvey’s story winds to a close, Mike readjusts the phone against his ear and says, “What are you doing?”

“I’m talking to you.”

“No I mean, like, what are you doing while you’re talking to me?”

“I’m lying down in my hotel room.” Pause. “What are you doing?”

“I’m lying on my couch. Wrinkling my suit pants.”

“You’re a menace to society.”

“I think you may have developed an unhealthy attachment to my suits,” Mike says, grinning against the phone. “In some circles, that’s called a clothing kink.”

“In some circles, that’s not unhealthy,” Harvey replies, and he sounds like he might be stretching. Mike wonders what Harvey looks like right now, relaxed, and casually dressed for a night in. A memory surfaces of the night Mike dropped the Morello trades off at Harvey’s apartment. The night he discovered that even Harvey in sweats, his hair untamed, was a sight to behold. Mike shivers at the thought and he closes his eyes, recalling the image perfectly in his mind.

“Mmm,” Mike hums, and before he can think any further on the matter, “what are you wearing?”

It’s cliché enough to give Harvey an out. Harvey’s got more than enough space to make a joke and shepherd the conversation back to safe territory and Mike’s horny enough to stay silent and see how this plays out.

Harvey’s quiet for a few seconds and then, instead of the skillful redirect Mike expects, he says, “A black button down and jeans.”

Mike rolls his eyes at the fact that Harvey’s wearing a collared shirt in the privacy of his own hotel room. He can hear amusement and a bit of challenge in Harvey’s voice and this makes him grin because, growing up with Trevor Evans, if there’s one thing Mike’s good at, it’s a game of chicken.

“No socks?” And Mike doesn’t have time to wonder at the moment about why the thought of Harvey’s bare feet sends a jolt of electric heat skipping down his spine.

Harvey chuckles and the sound, rough and gravelly in Mike’s ear, makes the heat pool in his groin. When Harvey doesn’t answer, Mike presses forward.

“How many buttons do you have open on the shirt?”

Harvey pauses like he’s looking down to check. “Three.”

“Nice.”

“You like that, huh?”

Mike smiles against the phone, his eyes still closed, and nods because, even though Harvey can’t see him, Mike can see Harvey perfectly. In his mind’s eye, Harvey is stretched out on the hotel bed, the deep blue denim of his jeans stretched tightly across his thighs, which are spread invitingly for Mike to crawl between, but they’ll get to that in a minute because right now Mike is focused on the enticing dip of skin at the base of Harvey’s throat that’s framed so nicely by the black fabric of his open shirt. Mike wants to lick it; to dip his tongue into that sensitive hollow of nerves and feel Harvey’s answering moan vibrate up from his chest.

Fuck. He’s more than a little hard in his pants now and he’s really hoping Harvey’s into this because if not it’s going to be like trying to stop an eighteen wheeler from barreling over a cliff at close range. It turns out he doesn’t have to wonder for long because the next thing Harvey says is, “Maybe you should get out of those pants.”

“Yeah,” Mike agrees, a little breathless. “Wouldn’t want them to wrinkle.”

He puts his phone down on the coffee table and struggles out of his pants, tossing them haphazardly toward the bedroom area. They land in a heap on the living room floor which kind of defeats the purpose, and Mike chuckles as he picks up the phone and arranges himself back on the couch.

“Pants gone,“ he announces.

“So, you’re down to what? Your ‘Hello Kitty’ underwear?” Harvey says, and his tone, simultaneously teasing and suggestive makes Mike feel warm all the way down to his toes.

“Kinky. But you can do better.” Harvey laughs softly and Mike feels closer to him than he ever has up until this moment so he says, “Take your pants off.”

He can hear Harvey suck in a breath. “Now you’re telling me what to do?”

But Mike can hear rustling on the other end of the line and he feels intoxicated with the power of Harvey being so . . . compliant. It’s unnerving and erotic at the same time and Mike’s cock feels full and heavy where it’s straining against the fabric of his boxers. This is already one of the hottest things that’s ever happened to him and he doesn’t even have his underwear off yet.

If someone had told Mike this morning that he’d be having phone sex with Harvey tonight, he would have told them they were crazy, but now that they’re here Mike can’t really say he’s surprised that they’ve reached this juncture. For all Harvey’s talk about the value of their professional relationship, he and Mike share a connection that goes far beyond their past and potential accomplishments at Pearson Hardman. Harvey grounds Mike, makes him feel like he has a place in the world where he’s supposed to be; and in return, Mike provides Harvey with a dependable constant who will always have Harvey’s back, no matter how far down the rabbit hole he chooses to go. In a way, they need each other, and there’s a level of personal vulnerability in that which takes the intensity of their relationship to the next level. They work exceptionally well together and, more importantly, they like and trust each other. Harvey’s pretty much the coolest, most attractive person that Mike has ever met. And given all the lines they’ve already crossed, it was really only matter of time before they ended up crossing this delicate boundary between personal and professional too.

Harvey’s breathing into the phone now and Mike imagines him settling back into the pillows on the expansive mattress of the hotel bed. Harvey’s legs are spread wide and he’s looking at Mike with dark, hooded eyes, daring him to take what he wants. Mike bites his lip around a moan. “Jesus Christ, you’re so fucking hot.”

“Do I make you hard?”

“Yes,” Mike answers immediately and Harvey lets out a pleased noise that makes Mike’s cock throb. He can feel himself leaking into the front of his boxers.

“Touch yourself for me.”

Harvey sounds so certain, so in control. Mike moans freely this time and reaches down to push his underwear over his hips. He grabs his cock with his right hand, his volume increasing as he strokes himself once, up and down, and feels a rush of pleasure flood his body.

“Tell me how it feels,” Harvey says, in a voice that’s two or three registers lower than Mike has ever heard it. He sounds turned on and if he keeps talking to Mike like that, Mike’s going to come all over himself before this even gets started.

“It feels so good. Is it good for you?”

“So good, Mike.” Harvey’s breathing gets heavy and then catches a little and the image of Harvey spread out on the bed with his cock in his hand stroking himself while Mike tells him how good it feels makes Mike groan loudly and he feels a little more warm liquid spill out onto his fingers.

“Fuck, Harvey,” he says, squeezing his cock at the base with a firm ring of fingers to pull himself back from the edge a little.

“Yeah that’s right,” Harvey whispers into the phone, his voice a ragged wreck. “Say my name.”

“Harvey,” Mike gasps, and Harvey moans, loud and free, like it’s the hottest thing he’s ever heard and Mike squeezes his cock harder at the wild abandon in it. Hearing Harvey so uncontrolled, so uncensored, is almost hotter than seeing it, although Mike’s imagination does a fine job of supplying a visual approximation. Mike is so hard it hurts and he can feel his orgasm coiled tightly in his groin, waiting to overload his senses with pulsing waves of pleasure.

“Harvey,” he says, when he finds his breath again, pleading. “Harvey, I’m so close.”

“Come for me, Mike. I want to hear you.”

Mike lets out a desperate gasp at the permission and grabs his cock firmly in his palm, hiking up his shirt to bare his stomach. It only takes three strokes before he’s coming all over his belly in hot, wet splashes. Between his own loud moans and the rush of blood in his ears, he hears Harvey let out a strangled groan as his own orgasm hits and the sound spikes the heated rolling waves, prolonging Mike’s climax.

Mike floats for a while, catching his breath and relaxing in the warm, cozy space of post orgasm bliss. When he comes back to himself he can hear Harvey over the line taking in deep, calming breaths. For a few minutes, they just lay there listening to each other breathe. It’s comfortable and intimate in a way that’s both completely new and strangely familiar. After a while Mike inhales deeply, sighs and says, “Not bad.”

Harvey breaks into peals of breathless, giddy laughter which are so out of character and contagious that Mike can’t help joining him and they laugh for several moments, until they’re both out of breath again, fueled, no doubt, by the cuddle hormones raging through both of their systems.

When Harvey finally catches his breath a second time, he simply says, “You’re an idiot.” But he sounds so fond, Mike can’t wipe the stupid grin off his face. Mike figures now’s as good a time as any to make a graceful exit, while they’re both still basking in the afterglow and before Harvey can start the awkward conversation about how they’re going to handle this new development on Monday.

“Night, Harvey.”

Harvey takes one last deep breath and lets it out in a rush. “Good night, Mike.”

Mike hangs up the phone and drags himself to the bathroom to wash off the uncomfortably cool and rapidly drying come on his stomach before collapsing in bed with a contented sigh. He falls asleep with a smile on his face.

```

Mike’s proud to say he’s a total adult about it for the first twelve days.

When he wakes up Saturday morning he’s got this nervous, giddy energy simmering that he refuses on principle to let develop into full on pining. He’s not sure exactly how Harvey’s going to react to their little encounter the night before, but he’s pretty sure it’s not going to be with a declaration of undying love, so Mike puts a lid on whatever he’s feeling and resolves not to think about it.

He spends Saturday cleaning his apartment from top to bottom and on Sunday he leaves his phone at home and spends the day with Bertha, Grammy’s old partner in crime, at her house in East Brooklyn. She was Grammy’s best friend and Mike spent so much time with her growing up that he’s kind of like a surrogate grandson. She’s certainly not a replacement for the woman who raised him, but visiting her has helped him cope with Grammy’s death over the past couple months. Grammy and Bertha had a lot in common, not the least of which was their ability to read Mike like a book and after she schools him in checkers for the third game in a row, Bertha gives him a knowing look and says “You wanna talk about it?”

But by that point Mike has done such a good job suppressing that he’s only half lying when he shakes his head and tells her it’s nothing.

```

He doesn’t hear from Harvey for the rest of the weekend and when Harvey shows up at the office on Monday acting for all the world like he and Mike didn’t have totally awesome phone sex two days ago, maybe Mike’s ego is a little bruised but he’s learned not to wear his heart on his sleeve around Harvey so he files his emotions away for future processing and follows Harvey’s lead, throwing himself into the new case they’re working on.

Things are a little awkward at first but Harvey’s poker face is a thing of legend and by Tuesday afternoon it’s almost possible for Mike to ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

Almost.

The problem is that even though Harvey’s acting like phone sex didn’t happen, Mike knows that it happened. More importantly, Mike’s brain knows that it happened and it won’t stop playing the audio back in Dolby Surround Sound.

Mike can hear every moan, every hiccup in Harvey’s breathing, every word Harvey said in that low, sexy voice that Mike is quickly developing a bone deep craving for.

Like an addict. Mike’s addicted to Harvey after just one hit, which is ridiculous because it’s not like Mike’s never had phone sex before. For the record, Mike has had great phone sex before, but the experience with Harvey blows the other encounters out of the water.

Harvey, who’s currently going for a Day Time Emmy with his portrayal of unphased and unaffected. It’s driving Mike insane because even if the first thing he’d done was to divest himself of any notion that Harvey would allow a repeat performance, he’d still been expecting to have a conversation about it. He’d kind of been preparing himself all weekend for a moderately uncomfortable lecture from Harvey first thing Monday morning detailing the 17 reasons why it was unprofessional and could never happen again, so Harvey’s complete lack of acknowledgement of the situation has taken him by surprise.

Mike knows Harvey enjoyed himself, the evidence is playing on a loop in his head. But, what happened between them is complicated. Maybe Harvey regrets it and doesn’t want to talk about it. As theories go, however, that seems unlikely; to say Harvey’s not the type to shy away from a difficult conversation would be the understatement of the century. Which leaves the possibility that Harvey wants more as much as Mike does and isn’t quite sure how to deal with it.

Once Mike reaches that conclusion, the idea of maybe actually having sex with Harvey, of Harvey wanting that, turns him on so much that it’s hard to think about anything else. He finds himself perpetually distracted, and even when he’s focused on work his mind feels like it’s running a background program that’s taking up valuable processing power.

Which is why he doesn’t see Donna until it’s too late and she’s already cornered him at the espresso machine in the break room. To be fair though, Donna is also a ninja.

“Donna, you look stun-“

“What’s going on?” She says smiling in a way that’s both sweet and vaguely threatening. Mike can tell from her tone that she’s already asked Harvey the same question and got nothing which is . . . interesting.

“What’s going on with what?”

Donna tilts her head and her smile widens, as though Mike’s attempt to feign ignorance is cute, but ultimately fruitless. She crosses her arms and leans against the counter.

“You and Harvey,” she replies, speaking slowly. “What’s with you two? What happened this weekend?”

Mike swallows.

“Harvey was in Miami th-“

“I know.” Donna narrows her eyes like it helps her see into Mike’s soul better, and looks him up and down slowly. If Mike were a lesser man he would be sweating through his undershirt right now. As it is, he sort of smiles awkwardly and clears his throat, taking his cup from the espresso machine and moving to leave.

Donna produces a brown case folder and presses it to his chest, blocking his path. “If Harvey should ask you to recite this backwards, in Pig Latin tomorrow morning, you will be able to. Capiche?”

Mike nods and she leans in close, looking him in the eyes with a serious expression. “Whatever’s going on between you two, that’s your business. But you know you can talk to me, right?”

Mike’s conflicted. On the one hand, he’s about to explode with all the thoughts running through his head; he needs someone to help him process all this and he’s woefully short on friends at the moment. On the other hand, while Donna’s the perfect confidant because she knows and cares about both Mike and Harvey, she’s also friends with Rachel, and while Mike knows she would never actually tell Rachel, he still feels kind of weird talking to one of Rachel’s good friends about it. In the end though, the fact that he might actually die if he doesn’t tell someone wins out.

He shifts on his feet, speaking in a low voice. “Harvey called me on Friday night.”

She furrows her brow. “And you had a fight?”

“Actually . . . we had the exact opposite of a fight,” Mike says, watching understanding dawn as the pieces click into place. Just to be sure though, he lowers his voice to a whisper and adds, “We had sex, like, over the phone.”

Donna’s eyes widen . “Oh my God, Mike.” She looks surprised but it’s cut with a layer of something shrewd that makes Mike wonder how long she’s known this was going to happen.

“I know,” he says, running a hand through his hair. “I’m kind of freaking out.”

Donna makes a pacifying sound and grabs his arm, steering him over to the table. They sit down on opposite sides. “If Harvey talked you into this, I swear to God I’ll kill him.”

“What?! No!” Mike says, alarmed at the suggestion. “In fact, I was the one who initiated things.”

Donna’s looking at him intently and something in his expression must reassure her because she visibly relaxes.

“He was powerless to resist my devilish charms.” That earns him a smile. “Anyway,” he continues. “Now I can’t stop thinking about it and Harvey’s acting like it never happened.”

Donna rolls her eyes and blows out a breath. “Honestly, do I have to do everything around here?”

Mike gives her a pleading look. “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”

“Only if I get to be Ewan McGregor, not Alec Guinness.”

This woman never ceases to impress him. “Deal.”

She smiles and settles back into her chair. “What do you want to happen?”

Mike can think of about four things off the bat, but he suspects those aren’t the kind of things Donna’s asking about. He opens his mouth and then closes it. His first reaction, of course, is to want more, but he hasn’t exactly had time to weigh the pros and the cons yet. Up until this moment in fact, Mike had been taking his cues from Harvey, and had been under the impression that exploring this thing further, while attractive, wasn’t a realistic option. Donna’s managed to blow his mind and open up a world of possibilities with just one question.

She simply nods at his confusion like the Jedi master she is. “Decide what you want before you do anything. Just remember, you’re not the only one affected by what you choose.”

Mike can tell from her pointed look that that’s her plug for Rachel which – of course he’s thinking about Rachel. In a crazy, ridiculous way, the events of Friday night all started with her. Mike wonders if he could ever really choose Harvey over Rachel that way. If that’s even an option. He groans and leans forward, burying his face in his hands. This is heavy shit for a Monday.

“I think my work here is done.” Donna gets up to leave, looking down on his panicked expression with fond exasperation. She pats him on the shoulder as she passes. “May the force be with you.”

“Thanks.”

```

Later that night, Mike lays in bed thinking about the situation he finds himself in. It’s almost 1:30 in the morning and he should have been asleep an hour ago but his mind won’t stop churning the details.

His feelings for Rachel aside, no matter how enjoyable it would be, sleeping with Harvey is a dangerous proposition. The two of them have one too many secrets to keep at Pearson Hardman as it is, and adding that to the mix could well be a recipe for disaster. Mike loves his job, loves working with Harvey too much to let anything jeopardize that; and after everything they’ve been through, after everything Harvey’s done to keep Mike working there, the idea of Mike and, worse, maybe even Harvey getting fired because they couldn’t keep their hands to themselves seems ridiculous. So Mike decides right then and there that whatever this thing is that he and Harvey have between them, it has to stop right where it is. For both of their sakes.

Still, the prospect is enticing. Mike has always been reasonably hetero-flexible so he’s been with his fair share of men. But ever since that phone call the idea of letting Harvey fuck him gives Mike a special thrill in all the right places and he only feels a moment’s hesitation before he lets his mind run free with the fantasy.

Mike feels the blood rush southward as he contemplates what it would be like to have Harvey on top of him, pressing him into the mattress, skin to skin. Harvey approaches everything he does with a kind of passionate energy and the thought of being the subject of all that focused heat makes Mike groan and reach under the covers to grab his cock, lazily stroking himself to full hardness with images of Harvey’s face playing behind his eyelids. He can hear Harvey’s voice, thick with arousal, telling him how good he feels, how tight he is, how well he takes it.

Mike’s skin feels prickly hot all over so he tosses the sheets to the side, pulling down his boxers and arching into his fist with a loud moan. Jesus, he feels like his blood is on fire, the molten flames pounding through his veins, generating a load roar in his ears that’s eclipsed only by the sound of Harvey’s voice curling through Mike’s chest and snaking down to his groin where it grabs him by the balls until he’s panting, sweating, gasping for breath.

Mike hears the deep guttural moan Harvey made when he came, full of a primal sort of pleasure, and it’s crystal clear, like Harvey’s right there in the room with Mike, watching Mike get off to the idea of being fucked by him. Then Harvey’s on top of Mike, skin glowing with sweat in the city lights that seep through the blinds; looking at Mike with that sharp intensity, telling Mike to come for him, that he wants it, that he needs it. And just like Friday night, Mike comes on command.

He closes his eyes tight as the rush of pleasure explodes out to every cell in his body, moaning as the aftershocks hit, the heated ache of them curling his toes.

Afterward, he feels warm and drowsy so he wipes himself off with the top sheet, rolls over, and falls asleep immediately.

He sleeps like a log.

```

“Stop fidgeting.”

Mike straightens his tie for the hundredth time that morning and glares over at Harvey. They’re in the back of Ray’s town car stopped while Ray gets gas on their way to a meeting with Julian Carrollton, the owner of an overseas rum distillery who’s renegotiating his distribution contract with Harvey’s client, Ironworks, a major U.S. liquor distributor. They’re closing them today and it’s a multi-billion dollar deal. Mike spent much of the first part of this week studying U.S. liquor law and the proposed agreement to make sure it was air tight, but right now it’s the last thing on his mind. It’s been four days and Harvey still hasn’t flinched.

“Sorry, I guess I’m a little distracted,” he says, giving Harvey a pointed look, which is completely wasted on him because he doesn’t even look up from where he’s been doing some fidgeting of his own, compulsively checking his email since they left the office.

“Well, you better get undistracted before we get to the restaurant because there’s a lot of money on the table.”

Mike lets out an exasperated breath through his nose. Then because they’re alone and he’s a little hopped up on caffeine and nerves he says, “Are we seriously just not going to talk about it?”

Harvey turns to look at him and his gaze is heavy, searching. At least he has the courtesy not to pretend like he doesn’t know what “it” is.

“What’s to talk about?”

How amazing it was. How unbelievably sexy you are. “How it can never happen again.” Mike hadn’t meant that to sound so much like a question. He swallows and maintains eye contact with Harvey whose expression is unreadable.

“Good,” Harvey says, finally. “I guess you have learned something.”

Just then, Ray gets back in the car, Harvey goes back to his Blackberry, and the moment is gone. They ride in silence for the rest of the way. Mike turns toward his window, watching the cityscape zoom by, and tries to shake the feeling that he’s just lost something.

```

Two minutes at the restaurant and it’s clear that Julian Carrollton is every bit the international playboy Harvey’s file on him had suggested he would be. From what Vanessa had gathered, up until two years ago, Julian had just been one of a gaggle of filthy rich twenty-somethings, heir to this or that fortune, who travel the world getting high on designer drugs and pissing away their parents’ money. But then, his mother having died when he was young, his father’s unexpected death of a heart attack had made Julian the sole owner of a multimillion dollar rum business, Trinidad’s Carrollton Rum Estates, at the age of 25.

Apparently Julian’s attendance at Wharton hadn’t been a complete waste of time, because, along with the help of his father’s loyal general counsel, he’s been able to successfully run the company since his father’s passing. But Julian is still a party animal at heart, and when he isn’t attending board meetings, he’s gallivanting around the globe leaving hangovers and heartache in his wake. Being young, handsome, and conspicuously wealthy doesn’t help him stay out of the tabloids, and a Google search revealed countless pictures of him in various states of undress with a slew of beautiful people of both genders.

Those pictures, it turns out, don’t even begin to do him justice. The man is ridiculously good looking. He’s tall with a strong, athletic build, piercing green eyes, and a sensuous smile that Mike finds a welcome distraction. Mike’s pleasantly surprised to note that Julian takes an immediate interest in him, eyes locking on his as soon as Harvey and Mike enter the private dining area where Julian and his lawyer are waiting. When Harvey introduces Mike, Julian looks him over in a way that makes his intentions plain and extends his hand in greeting. He looks Mike in the eye with a smile like they’re sharing a secret and says in a British accent tinged with the lilting sing-song of the Islands, “It’s my pleasure.”

And that’s when things start to go sideways.

In addition to being criminally handsome, Julian has a magnetic personality that Mike connects with immediately. The four of them eat lunch before discussing the contract, during which Julian and Mike hit it off famously, discussing the difference between American baseball and cricket and Mike has to make an effort not to giggle breathlessly when Julian praises his knowledge of the British game with a wink and a pleased smile. Harvey drops in a comment or two, but is unusually quiet throughout the meal. At first, Mike thinks Harvey’s just letting him work his magic. Until he realizes that Harvey is stewing.

With all the time Mike and Harvey have spent together, it’s by no means the first time Mike has been hit on by someone with whom he and Harvey are working in a professional capacity. Harvey usually just rolls his eyes and uses it to press their advantage, but this time he seems to take special exception to Julian’s shameless flirting. The idea of Harvey actually being jealous of anyone, ever, and of someone hitting on Mike specifically is so unexpected and exciting that Mike can’t help pressing his luck. Harvey’s kneejerk possessiveness is both a turn on and a relentless tease because Mike knows it won’t last and he thinks this is his opportunity to return the favor for all the tortuous confusion of the past couple days. So he laughs at all of Julian’s jokes, smiling when Julian offers to give him a personal tour of the Trinidadian rum distillery – emphasis on personal – and watches with a kind of aroused schadenfreude as Harvey becomes increasingly irritated. By the time they get around to the business portion of the meal Harvey’s mood is stormy beneath a veneer of perfect professionalism and Julian is looking between Harvey and Mike with a curious expression.

Mike adds perceptive to Julian’s list of admirable qualities.

Harvey nods at him and Mike produces the contract from his messenger bag, handing it across the table.

“As we discussed over the phone,” Harvey begins. “With the increase in price per barrel we’ve conceded, even with the additional import fees, your company stands to make 20% more in bottom line profits over the next five years.”

Julian’s lawyer opens his mouth to respond, but before he can, Julian cuts in. His entire demeanor has changed, the teasing, playful tone he was using with Mike is gone, and now he’s all business, a look -Mike can’t help noting – which is equally attractive on him. “Mr. Specter, you and I both know those fees are exorbitant at best and there’s no way I’m signing the agreement as it stands. We have a quality product, and your client wants to sell it.” Julian gives Harvey a cool smile. “So let’s get down to business and talk about what else you’re willing to concede.”

Julian’s lawyer looks shocked and surprise registers on Harvey’s face for about a millisecond and then he presses his lips into a thin line of annoyance. “Mr. Carrollton, I was under the impression that this meeting was just a formality. We could have sent the final documents to you by courier, but my associate and I are here as a courtesy.”

“That was very courteous of you and your associate.” The implications abound. “But you can tell the people at Ironworks – who, by the way, I noticed couldn’t be arsed to make this meeting – that when they’re ready to talk real numbers they know where to reach me.”

At that point Mike comes to his senses and immediately starts crunching numbers in his head. He can see that this deal is entering an epic nose dive and that’s kind of what he’s there for, to be the emergency floatation device under Harvey’s seat. But before Mike can even formulate a proper response to Julian’s dismissal Harvey’s pushing back from the table and preparing to leave.

“Next time you want to waste my time Mr. Carrollton,” Harvey says, buttoning his suit jacket with icy precision. “At least come down to my office.”

Mike stumbles to his feet in stunned solidarity. He’s seen Harvey strong arm people infinitely more disagreeable than Julian Carrollton so he can’t actually believe Harvey’s going to leave a deal of this magnitude on the table because of a little push back over import fees. On the other hand, Harvey does have to discuss any changes to the contract with the CFO of Ironworks, so maybe this is some sort of play to get Julian to rethink his position by storming out.

“I’m sorry for the inconvenience, Mr. Specter,” Julian replies, not looking sorry at all. Then he turns and considers Mike with a small smile. “I’ll be here in New York City until this deal gets sorted out.”

Mike starts to respond but Harvey cuts in with a curt, “We’ll be waiting for your counter offer, gentlemen.” Then he grabs Mike by the elbow and steers him out of the room. Harvey doesn’t let him go until they’re past the Maitre d’s desk and headed to the exit and Mike is too flustered by the fact that Harvey is manhandling him out of the restaurant to fight it. By the time Mike gets his bearings Harvey has already let him go and is powering past him through the doors out to the street. Mike follows him, indignation and confusion warring for supremacy.

“What the hell was that about?” he demands, approaching Harvey from behind.

Harvey ignores him and just continues his call to Ray.

When Harvey hangs up and still doesn’t respond Mike continues, “What happened to ‘there’s a lot of money on the table’? I could have gotten Julian on board, Harvey. You didn’t even let me talk.”

“As I recall, you were talking plenty.” As soon as the words leave his mouth, Harvey looks like he regrets them, which is nearly as disorienting as the words themselves.

“W-What?” Mike sputters, no longer sure what they’re talking about.

Harvey steps to the curb and hails a cab. When it pulls up he opens the door and looks at Mike expectantly and when Mike doesn’t get in immediately, he says, “You need to get back to the office and start on the Boreaga motion to dismiss.”

Mike stares at him.

“And where are you going?”

“To clean up this mess,” Harvey replies. His expression is cryptic and Mike holds eye contact for several moments, trying to puzzle it out, before he gives up and gets in the taxi. Harvey closes the door behind him without another word. Mike gives the office address to the driver, watching Harvey’s reflection shrink in the side view mirror as they drive off.

```

After that, things between them get weird.

They’re out of sync and the sensation is unsettling. Harvey spends a lot of time out of the office over the next week and leaves Mike there more often than not, even for meetings they both know he should be there for. When they are working together Harvey’s extremely irritable and Mike feels like he’s walking on eggshells. Donna even gives him a sympathetic look or two when he passes her desk on the way back to his cubical.

Thing is, Mike’s having a hard time wrapping his head around this turn of events. He knows that deciding not to pursue anything beyond what’s already happened between them is the responsible thing to do. And he knows from their conversation in the car that Harvey agrees. But having Harvey react like Mike stood him up for prom wasn’t exactly on his list of possible outcomes. It’s so at odds with the Harvey Master-of-the-One-Night-Stand Specter he knows that he’s kind of in shock for the first couple days. Once that passes, he starts quietly freaking out about the implications.

He allows himself the thinnest sliver of time to consider the possibility that Harvey wants more than just sex from him; that Harvey has feelings for him, which sends Mike into a tailspin of emotions so intense that he shuts down that line of thinking almost immediately and focuses on the immediate impact of Harvey’s behavior. His relationship with Harvey is easily the most important and enjoyable one in his life right now, maybe ever, and right now it seems seriously fucked. What if they can’t go back? What if things between them will be permanently off-kilter, all because of one late night phone call?

Harvey doesn’t broach the subject again, and Mike suspects that bringing it up himself would only complicate things further because despite his bad attitude, Harvey doesn’t seem to be wavering on the question of whether or not to take Mike to bed, so Mike just battens down the hatches and waits for the storm clouds to pass; which of course they don’t. And by the following Wednesday Mike’s patience is wearing thin.

This is a combination of Mike’s increasing irritation with Harvey’s passive aggressive approach to the situation and the fact that he’s been having spectacular orgasms to thoughts of Harvey fucking him every night for the past week. He tried to stop, but it turns out that even an insufferable, brooding Harvey is excellent fodder for fantasies. Not surprisingly, seeing the real Harvey every day, a Harvey who, for all intents and purposes, appears to be pining over their lost connection, has Mike’s sexual frustration at an all time high. All of this, combined with Harvey’s absenteeism conspires to create the perfect storm and everything comes to a head on Wednesday night.

It’s common knowledge around the firm at this point that Mike works exclusively for Harvey. Even Harvey and Louis seem to have come to a grudging agreement on the subject – no doubt aided by Jessica – and even though Louis occasionally dumps work on him to make a point, in his new capacity as senior partner he spends the majority of his spare time making Harold’s life miserable so even those requests have been few and far between. Truth be told, Mike spends most of his days either out on the road with Harvey or working in his office and it’s been so long since Louis gave him an assignment that Mike dared to dream Louis had forgotten about him completely. He’s rudely awakened when Louis darkens his cubicle entrance bright and early Monday morning with a stack of briefs so high it nearly obscures the shit-eating grin he has plastered on his face. He leaves instructions to have them proofed by Wednesday. Mike knows better than to complain to Harvey that Louis is bullying him so he just folds the proofing into the daily list of tasks he’s been receiving from Harvey by way of Donna.

It’s already late evening by the time Harvey gets back to the office from his afternoon wine and dine with Max Drovek, creator of a popular new gaming website. The sky outside is dusky purple with the fading light of the day and the people who are still there are in various states of winding down to go home or gearing up for a long night. Mike breathes in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting from the break room next to the bull pen and contemplates getting a cup. He’s probably got a couple more hours before he can call it a day. Fucking Louis. Just as he takes his headphones out of his ears, preparing to get up, Harvey rounds the corner looking moderately less irritated than he has all week, which must mean things went well with Drovek. The shift in activity in the bull pen is perceptible as Harvey approaches Mike’s cube. Mike can practically feel the other associates circling like sharks that smell blood in the water.

It’s the first time Harvey has been to the bull pen since they had phone sex and Harvey doesn’t come around the cube wall and sit on the other end of the u-shaped desk facing Mike like he usually does, nor does he drape himself casually over the partition. He just sort of stands on the other side looking down at Mike, like he’s trying hard to make this as awkward as possible.

“Hey,” he offers.

“Hey yourself,” Mike says, and then clears his throat, acutely aware that the entire room is eavesdropping on their conversation. “How’d it go with Drovek? Did you wow him with your knowledge of Atari?”

Something like a smile plays at the corners of Harvey’s mouth and Mike feels an irrational burst of elation. “No, we talked about – what’s that game all the kids are playing these days? Y-Box?”

Mike ducks his head and snorts. It’s the closest they’ve come to their normal dynamic in days and it feels so good Mike has to bite his lip against a giggle.

“Drovek won’t be paying me for my Halo 3 skills, he’ll be paying me for my legal ones.”

“So you signed him?”

Harvey gives him a look.

“Donna said she hadn’t gotten the engagement letter from you yet.”

“Oh shit, give me like 30 minutes and I’ll email it to you.”

Harvey’s nostrils flare the way they do when he’s annoyed.

“I asked for that before I left at 1 o’clock. What have you been doing all afternoon?”

Mike bristles at Harvey’s tone and looks around. With all the tension that’s been building between them over the past week, they’re probably due for a knock-down, drag-out, but he’d rather not have an audience, so he takes a deep breath and keeps his tone neutral as he replies, “There were other things on the list that I thought needed to be prioritized. Not to mention the fact that I have other work-“

“Other work?” Harvey says like the concept is completely foreign to him. “What other work?”

“Louis asked me to proof some briefs for him earlier this week and they have to be done by today.”

Harvey’s expression darkens, his jaw working overtime, and any trace of the light moment they just shared vanishes.

“So you chose to prioritize Louis’s work over mine.”

“What? Harvey, I-“

“Finish the letter and then meet me in my office.”

Harvey leaves Mike sitting there staring at the spot where he was just standing. Mike huffs out a bitter laugh. Unbelievable, he thinks as he grinds his teeth. He sits for several moments with his head in his hands, rubbing his temples to dispel some of the red hot frustration that burns in his chest. When he looks up, Kyle is strolling past his cube with a look of unadulterated joy on his face.

“Trouble in paradise, Mikey?”

And that’s all it takes. Mike’s patience goes up in flames, burning bright and hot and he’s up in Kyle’s face so fast, Kyle takes a step back in surprise.

“Fuck you, Durant.”

Kyle’s shocked expression feels better than it should. Mike looks around at the other associates pretending to mind their own business in hushed silence, squares his shoulders, and heads for Harvey’s office. His mind is racing at a million thoughts per minute. He can’t believe Harvey. Mike’s been tiptoeing around him for over a week now, patiently waiting for him to take his own advice and get the fuck over it. Instead, Harvey seems to be having some sort of existential crisis that, in addition to being a gigantic pain in the ass, has resulted in him treating Mike like crap in the interim. Mike is irritated beyond belief because he’s trying to do the right thing here. His nightly fantasy sessions notwithstanding, he’s trying to move on like a big boy because he thought – and Harvey agreed – that it was the best thing for all involved and Harvey, of all people, is making it exceptionally difficult.

Mike’s level of irritation reaches a fever pitch as the elevator doors open onto the partner’s floor and he storms down the hallway to Harvey’s office. Donna’s already gone for the day, so he walks right in, closing the door behind him. Harvey is sitting at his desk, palming a baseball and looking at something on his computer screen. The blues track he always listens to when he’s coping with his emotional constipation is playing in the background. Mike rolls his eyes. Sometimes Harvey is such a teenage girl.

He opens with, “What is your problem?”

Harvey’s expression when he looks up at him is fiery. Good. Shots fired.

“I thought we talked about you barging into my office.”

“You told me to meet you here.”

“Do you have my engagement letter?”

“No.”

“Then what are you doing here?”

“I’m here to talk about what’s going on with you,” Mike says, crossing the room to stand in front of Harvey’s desk.

“What’s going on with me,” Harvey replies, eyes flashing. “Is that I’m without an engagement letter because you decided Louis’s request was more important than mine.”

As with everything else, Harvey deflects with such style and grace that Mike finds himself momentarily distracted.

“Harvey, it’s a copy and paste job.”

“Then it should already be done.”

The room feels charged with a heated energy that should probably make Mike back down, but he feels like they’re really communicating for the first time since everything went to shit.

“Jesus Christ, Harvey. You know, maybe if you hadn’t left me in the office while you deal with whatever the hell it is you’re dealing with, Louis wouldn’t have had a chance to give me work in the first place.”

“I don’t care if I leave you on the moon,” Harvey says. “When I ask you to do something, I expect you to do it.”

“You know what Louis can do to me if I refuse to handle his work. How is that fair, Harvey?”

“Because you’re mine,” Harvey snaps, regarding Mike with such fierce intensity that Mike’s response catches in his throat. The air in the room suddenly turns heavy and hot.

It’s not even really an answer to the question Mike asked and for a fraction of a second, Harvey looks surprised, as if it were someone else entirely who spoke the words. Mike tries to remember how to breathe while he watches Harvey visibly pull himself together.

“I can’t stop thinking about that phone call,” Mike says, before the moment can pass completely because now seems like the time for confessions. “And I don’t think you can either, which is why you’re acting like a total douchebag.”

Harvey pinches the bridge of his nose and huffs out a laugh.

“So what, you’re a mind reader now?”

“Yeah, Harvey, I have this special super power. It’s called logic. Now stop deflecting because I think we should talk about this.”

“Talk about what?”

“About us, Harvey!” Mike yells. “About how we broke the seal on something we can’t put back in the box.”

Harvey comes around the desk and stalks up to Mike, who would be turned on if he wasn’t so fucking pissed off.

“It has to go back in the box, Mike. Anything else is not an option.”

“Harv-“

“Go home, Mike.”

“I-“

“Go home!”

Mike stands there glaring at Harvey for a few seconds before he turns and leaves. An exit made much less dramatic by the lack of a slammable door.

He pedals back to Brooklyn in a state of numb rage and he makes it in record time. As soon as he gets upstairs a wave of exhaustion hits him and he passes out on his bed still fully clothed.

```

Mike stares out at the twinkling lights of the city from the floor to ceiling windows in Harvey’s penthouse and whistles at the way the cars crawling down Park Avenue look like toys from up here. Waking up and falling asleep every day to a view like this could give a guy a God complex. Obviously.

The cars are slowly clearing the way for the bike race starting at the corner of Park and 10th. The black pavement illuminates in sections, lighting a path through Manhattan, that Mike can follow for several blocks before he loses it against the brightness of the buildings at night. He watches the crowd gather at the starting line; tiny black dots against a white background. A single gunshot sounds and they spill out onto the route, becoming one amorphous wave that flows down the city’s streets, lapping at the sides of the buildings as it passes. Mike can feel their energy pulsing through him. He turns around and calls for Harvey; he’s going to miss it.

Harvey’s there in an instant, wordlessly handing him a glass of scotch as he joins him at the window. They’re silent for several moments as they observe the scene below, the only sound in the room the clink of the ice in their glasses. Harvey’s standing so close Mike can feel his body heat radiating off of him in waves; can smell his cologne. Mike’s heart is beating a hard rhythm in his chest.

“What do you want me to do, Mike?” Harvey asks, and when Mike turns to look at him he looks more earnest than Mike thought Harvey was capable of being.

“Just tell me what you want,” Mike replies. “Forget about Jessica. Forget about the firm. Forget about being a lawyer. Just tell me what you want.” Mike raises a hand and pokes Harvey right in the middle of the chest. “You. Harvey. Reginald. Specter.” The saxophone player on the small stage in the corner starts to croon out a soft melody. Mike can feel the roar of the crowd outside.

Harvey laughs softly and licks his lips and he’s so close Mike can’t stop himself from gazing at his mouth. When he raises his eyes back up to meet Harvey’s, Harvey is looking at him with tempered heat, a little shy and uncertain in a way that sends frissons of electricity through Mike’s entire body.

“The things I want,” Harvey says, his voice a low rumble. “They’re dangerous.”

“Danger is my middle name.”

Harvey pulls a face. “Austin Powers?”

Mike smiles and shrugs, but he doesn’t get a chance to respond because Harvey’s stepping closer, impossibly close, boxing Mike in against the glass with a serious expression. The window feels warm to the touch, alive, and it intensifies Mike’s reaction to his proximity. Harvey just stares at him for a while, eyes skipping all over his face, like he’s studying him, memorizing him. Mike’s mouth is dry. “I’m listening,” he says, his voice rough with anticipation.

“I want . . . this,” Harvey says like he’s making a decision, and leans in to kiss Mike softly. It’s chaste, really. There’s no tongue and it only lasts for a few seconds, but Mike moans and chases after Harvey’s lips when he pulls back. Harvey steps in and pins him to the glass, pressed against him from head to toe, and Mike’s body lights up with sensation. He lets out a wild sound and arches his back, rubbing against Harvey like a cat. “And this.” Harvey captures Mike’s lower lip between his teeth and pulls on it with the perfect amount of force, before he claims Mike’s mouth, groaning as he pushes his tongue inside, plundering like he wants to take up residence there. Mike moans into the kiss and spreads his legs so Harvey can fit more firmly between them. He starts riding Harvey’s thigh, pressing his erection into the firm muscle, and it’s almost like he can’t control his own body. He’s drunk on the waves of pleasure that crash over him with every thrust of his hips.

Harvey pulls back and he looks gorgeous. His cheeks are flushed, his lips are wet and swollen red, and he’s looking at Mike with the focused intensity that Mike sees only in his fantasies.

“You want to be mine?” he asks. Mike shudders all over and nods.

Harvey leans in until his mouth is right next to Mike’s ear. He licks along the shell and Mike can feel his breath, hot and humid, turn cool along the edge as it dries. He hears a rush of white noise as the crowd’s excitement boils over.

“Say it,” Harvey demands. “Say you want to be mine.”

Mike is riding the edge of orgasm and he wants to say it. In his mind, he’s screaming it, but he can’t find the words to say it out loud and Harvey lowers his mouth to Mike’s neck and sucks hard, and then perhaps in punishment or maybe in encouragement he bites down and Mike goes wild against him, yelling out, “Yours, I want to be yours!”

Mike wakes with a strangled gasp, humping the tangled bed sheets, still in his clothes and drenched in sweat. Lingering in the space between dreams and reality, he hugs the pillow and rubs off against the bed, coming in his suit pants with a desperate moan muffled by down.

He turns onto his back with a heaving sigh and stares at the ceiling while he wills his heart to stop pounding. When he catches his breath, Mike gets up and strips out of his damp clothes, dumping them on the floor next to the bed before flopping back onto it and letting the sweat air-dry off of his bare skin.

“Fuck,” he whispers into the room. He’s totally screwed.

```

He’s in a full on confrontation with the fax machine the next morning when Shannon walks into the copy room.

“You look like shit,” she observes with a wry smile.

Mike gives a tired laugh and pushes another few buttons in random succession. “So we’re skipping right past the pleasantries, huh?”

Shannon shrugs and comes around to stand next to him in front of the fax machine, muscling him out of the way. She pulls his fax out of the document feeder, opens and closes the side panel with a loud slam, and restarts the machine.

“You’re one of the few people at Pearson Hardman who I actually like,” she says, like that explains everything. The machine whirs back to life with a few miscellaneous beeps. “So, what’s goin on?”

Mike sighs. What’s going on is that Mike has a total hard on for Harvey who, by the way, is avoiding him like the plague at the moment. After five years of being best friends with Trevor and Jenny, it’s not like Mike is any stranger to having to control his baser urges, but the way Harvey had looked at him in his office last night, like he wanted everything Mike had to give, like he didn’t want to ever share any of Mike with anyone, has shattered Mike’s resolve so completely that he feels overwhelmed and raw. He’s torn between his carnal desire for Harvey and his anger at Harvey’s refusal to talk about the situation and just the memory of the dream he had makes him swallow and take a slow, deep breath. But of course he can’t tell Shannon any of this, so he settles for, “I’ve been trying to do the responsible thing about something, but I don’t think I can do it anymore.”

Shannon nods thoughtfully as she places the paper back in the feeder and retypes the number into the machine. The sound of the fax line ringing fills the room.

“Sometimes the responsible thing isn’t the right thing.”

Mike watches the paper as it’s pulled into the feeder.

“What if I don’t know what the right thing is?”

“I think you do. But if you don’t,” Shannon says, pulling the original off the machine and placing the confirmation page on top. “Just do what feels right.”

She turns toward Mike, handing him the stack of paper, and giving him a knowing smile.

“Wow, you’re like Donna 2.0.”

Shannon tosses a thousand watt grin over her shoulder as she turns to leave, looking genuinely pleased. “Thank you.”

```

Mike decides on a course of action around lunch. It takes him another couple of hours to work up the nerve to enlist Donna’s help. Around 2:30 he meets her as she exits the women’s restroom, caramel swirl latte in hand, because she’s not the only one with super stealth skills. She doesn’t look at all surprised to see him.

“Mike, glad to see you’ve finally come to your senses,” she says as she accepts her bribe. “How can I be of service?”

Mike breathes a sigh of relief, falling into step beside her.

“All I need you to do is text me when he’s getting ready to leave the office tonight.”

Donna comes to a dead stop and gives him a long once over. Evidently satisfied, she says, “Ok. But,” and then she’s pushing him with surprising strength into one of the windowless interview rooms along the hallway and closing the door firmly behind them. “I would be remiss not to threaten you properly.”

Mike swallows as she steps close and grips his tie in her hand. She doesn’t tug at all, but she doesn’t have to.

“You’re a sweet guy, Mike; sweeter than Harvey’s had in a long, long time. He deserves you and, more importantly, I like you. But if you’re not serious about this, then walk away. Because if you hurt him, I will personally wipe your burgeoning legal career from the face of this earth.” She gives him a winning smile. “Are we clear?”

“Crystal,” he croaks.

“Good.” She smoothes his tie back into place and takes a sip of her latte. “Now make sure to bring your A-game tonight, because if I have to endure one more day of his ridiculous teenage angst, I can’t be responsible for my actions.”

Mike feels a surge of affection.

“Oh my God, Donna, I love you.”

“I know.”

```

Mike spends the rest of the afternoon trying to keep his mind distracted and by the time the text comes from Donna at 8:05 he’s wound so tight the vibration of his phone on the desk top makes him jump.

show time ;-)

Mike takes the stairs up to the partners’ floor and paces by the elevators while he waits for Harvey to arrive. He’s decided that leaving things the way they are between them is not going to work. It means choosing Harvey over Rachel, letting her go for good, but Harvey’s not just his boss, he’s his best friend; he’s been the source of pretty much everything good in Mike’s life for the past year and change and what feels right is to see this out to its final conclusion. He gets that it’s risky. He gets that it could all blow up in his face – in both their faces – but then, the best things in life are worth a little risk, right? Harvey doesn’t see that yet, but Mike will bring him around. He always does.

Harvey appears from around the corner and when he sees Mike his expression locks down before Mike can read his reaction. He strolls up to the panel and pushes the down button.

“That dwelling in Brooklyn you call an apartment may not be livable by modern standards, but there’s no loitering at Pearson Hardman so you should think about going back there.”

“Hey, I like my apartment and we can’t all live in super awesome bachelor pads in the sky. We plebeians require something called rent control.”

Harvey cracks a smile at that and Mike feels good to be on familiar ground. Just then the elevator arrives and they step inside, each of them pressing their backs to opposite walls. Harvey presses the button for the lobby and they start their downward descent. Mike’s got to work quickly. “I had a dream about you last night.” He surprises even himself with that opening, but it looks like he’s got Harvey’s attention so he rolls with it. “You told me you wanted me.”

Harvey closes his eyes and leans his head back against the wall behind him, but says nothing. He looks as emotionally exhausted as Mike feels. Mike has learned more about poker under Harvey’s tutelage than from all the books he’s ever read on the subject, but the most important thing he’s learned is when to go all in. “You pressed me up against the glass in your condo and you kissed me and it was . . . really hot. And then you asked me if I wanted to be yours.”

“Mike,” Harvey says, and Mike’s not sure which way he means it so he presses forward.

“Wanna know what I said?”

Mike crosses the space between them and steps right up to Harvey, not touching, but close enough that he can feel Harvey’s body heat, see the five o’clock shadow that makes him look a little rugged, even in his expensive suit. Harvey opens his eyes and they look glazed as he brings his head down to look at Mike properly. The barely concealed desire in them sends a thrill through Mike that makes him take in a sharp breath.

“On the list of the stupidest things we could do right now, this is definitely top five,” Harvey says, and he sounds so resigned that Mike can’t help but smile at him.

“I know. But it’s gonna be so good.”

Mike leans in, closing the distance between them slowly, giving Harvey time to move away. But Harvey doesn’t move an inch and his gaze just flicks down to Mike’s mouth and then back up to his eyes. He looks so conflicted Mike would think it was an act if he’d ever known Harvey to show indecision in the face of life changing events. “Trust me,” he murmurs against Harvey’s lips, and then he kisses him.

It starts out sweet, so sweet Mike’s toes curl in his shoes and he grabs the lapels of Harvey’s jacket to keep himself steady. Harvey opens his mouth to breathe and Mike takes the opportunity to slip his tongue inside, exploring all the caverns and dips, learning the shape and feel of Harvey’s tongue against his own. Suddenly it’s like Harvey wakes up and he’s starving. He grabs Mike’s face with both hands and devours his mouth and Mike moans as the kiss turns wet and filthy. Harvey lets out a sound like he’s dying when Mike sucks on his tongue and then the elevator chimes to let them know they’ve reached the lobby.

They separate before the doors open but if Mike looks anywhere near as flushed and disheveled as Harvey, they’re not fooling anyone. He follows Harvey out to the curb where Ray is waiting against the car.

“Hey, Harvey. Mike,” Ray says with a nod and opens the back door. “Detour to Williamsburg tonight?”

Mike turns to Harvey who looks Mike right in the eye and says, “No, just take us to my super awesome bachelor pad in the sky.”

```

With Ray driving, the trip to Harvey’s feels like riding in the back of his parents’ car with his teenage crush, except nowhere near as innocent because in between polite small talk, Harvey’s looking at Mike like he’s picturing all the unspeakable things he’s going to do to him when they get there. Mike can think of a few unspeakable things of his own, he’s got almost two weeks of fantasies to draw from, and the possibilities make him dizzy with arousal.

When they get to Harvey’s building, Mike has to remind himself to walk, not run, but once they’re inside Harvey’s private elevator, all bets are off. It’s desperate and hot and Harvey’s hands are everywhere and Mike feels like he’s coming out of his skin with sensation. Harvey sucks at his neck and pins him up against the elevator wall and Mike’s reminded of his dream. He lets his head fall back with a thud and moans and Harvey drags his teeth up Mike’s jugular to his ear, biting gently at the lobe.

“You know I haven’t been able to get that sound out of my head since I heard it over the phone that night?” Harvey pulls back to look at Mike with dark, hungry eyes. “I couldn’t stop thinking about what you would look like making it.” Harvey thrusts his hips, grinding their erections together, and Mike can’t help it, he moans again as if on cue. Harvey sucks in a breath and looks at Mike with such naked lust that Mike shudders from head to toe. ”Beautiful.”

He feels high under Harvey's gaze. He's always enjoyed the heady pleasure of Harvey's undivided attention, but seeing Harvey look at him like this, like Mike has the power to satisfy his every desire, is so intoxicating that Mike knows in that instant he'll never be able to go back. He pulls Harvey into another kiss and when they separate Harvey starts loosening Mike's tie and unbuttoning his shirt like he's desperate to see what's underneath.

"I've been fantasizing about you pretty much every night since," Mike confesses while they're on the subject.

Harvey's about halfway through his shirt but he stops, looking up at Mike. "What did you think about?"

"Mostly about you fucking me."

Harvey lowers his mouth to nip at Mike's collarbone and groans. "Mike Ross. The things I'm going to do to you. That's only the beginning."

When the elevator arrives in Harvey's living room, they make their way to the bedroom, leaving a trail of clothes in their wake and Mike makes a comment about Harvey reinforcing bad habits to which Harvey responds with a swift slap to Mike's bare ass. By the time they get to the bedroom, Mike is completely naked but Harvey’s still wearing pants, and when Mike goes to rectify that situation Harvey bats his hands away and pushes him onto the bed. Mike chuckles as he scoots up toward the pillows. Of course Harvey would be as controlling in the bedroom as he is at the office. The thought makes Mike shiver with anticipation.

For now though, he just lays back and enjoys the view, stroking his erection lightly while he watches Harvey strip. Harvey’s not ripped by any stretch of the imagination, but his daily gym sessions have him well toned and the natural tan his skin holds sets the picture off beautifully. Mike watches him pull his boxers and pants down in one go and his cock – perfectly proportioned, impossibly hard, and a little wet at the tip – bounces as Harvey steps out of them and walks toward the bed. Mike licks his lips, drags his eyes up to Harvey’s, and groans.

“Harvey, you have to stop looking at me like that or this isn’t going to last very long,” he says, gripping himself a little tighter.

Harvey smiles.

“Looking at you like what?”

“Like you want to eat me.”

Harvey’s smile just widens into a wicked grin that makes Mike arch his back and spread his legs a little wider on the bed. He fully expects to wake up from this wet dream any minute now.

In the space of two weeks he’s gone from having an extremely satisfying professional, albeit increasingly personal, relationship with Harvey, to being naked in his bed about to have mind-blowing sex with him. Talk about taking it up a notch. In retrospect, it’s pretty clear that all roads have been leading to this point from the beginning. Since they met, their relationship has been marked by a special brand of mutual adoration that really only needed a small spark to turn sexual. Mike’s not clear on exactly what it was about the confluence of circumstances when Harvey called him that night – the lingering high of the win that week, Mike’s close encounter with Rachel, the alcohol – but it was enough to ignite the whole damn powder keg. As a direct result of that phone call, Mike’s laying here watching Harvey crawl on top of him like a predatory jungle cat and the way the tip of Harvey’s cock drags over Mike’s balls and along his shaft makes it impossible to regret anything.

Mike arches up into him letting out a sound of ecstatic relief at the feeling of skin on skin. Harvey sucks Mike’s bottom lip between his teeth and bites just to the edge of pain, raising both of Mike’s arms above his head and pinning them with a hand across his wrists.

“I thought I told you this wasn’t an option,” Harvey says, with just enough authority to make Mike moan and rub his cock against Harvey’s stomach.

“What are you gonna do?” Mike asks, licking at Harvey’s lips. “Spank me?”

“Smartass.” Harvey reaches down to pinch Mike’s left ass cheek with the hand that’s not holding his wrists. Mike laughs and squirms which Harvey quells by pressing the full weight of his body into him and taking his mouth in a kiss that that makes the laughter dissolve into a groan. Harvey kisses like Mike expects Harvey would kiss, overwhelming and possessive in a way that makes Mike feel claimed and it’s such a pleasurable feeling, Mike never wants it to stop.

Mike’s cock is rock hard where it’s trapped in the space between their bodies and he spreads his legs wide trying to gain leverage to increase the friction. Harvey makes a helpless sound and pulls back, creating space between them, and laying wet, open-mouth kisses down Mike’s jaw to his neck, and down his chest. It’s not until Harvey’s licking into his belly button, that Mike realizes the full weight of what’s about to happen and he can only look on slack jawed as Harvey sucks Mike’s dick into his mouth, and then Harvey is blowing him and Mike stops breathing.

Mike has jerked off thinking about himself and Harvey in a lot of sexual situations over the past two weeks. He’s thought about Harvey fucking him, about giving Harvey head, about fucking Harvey. But amidst all those fantasies, it had never occurred to him to fantasize about this. It turns out it doesn’t matter though, because nothing he could think up could possibly be as good as the reality of Harvey sucking his dick.

Of course it feels wonderful. The suction and pressure is just right and the way Harvey uses his tongue, licking at the sensitive spot under the head, is perfect. But Harvey doesn’t do anything he’s not good at, so that’s not what surprises Mike. What takes the blow job to the next level for him is how much Harvey appears to be enjoying himself. He looks wasted; he’s flushed, looking up at Mike with heavy lidded eyes, and he’s making these pleased humming sounds around Mike’s cock like it’s as good for him as it is for Mike. Mike shoves up onto his elbows and alternates between staring down at the way Harvey’s lips look stretched around his cock and taking in the blissed-out expression on Harvey’s face. He lasts for about a minute before he feels the tug of his orgasm deep in his groin and it builds so quickly that all Mike has time to do is grab Harvey’s hair with one hand in the universal sign for “if you don’t stop I’m going to come down your throat”. But Harvey just sucks him deeper and wraps a palm around the base of his cock, jerking him in counterpoint to the bob of his head.

“Harvey! Fuck!” Mike tightens his grip in Harvey’s hair, and Harvey just moans and swallows as Mike comes in his mouth. Mike has to shut his eyes as his orgasm explodes outward, every nerve ending in his body alight with pleasure and Harvey sucks him through it, letting Mike’s cock slip from his mouth only when Mike whines at the overstimulation.

Mike collapses back on the bed, sucking in air by the gasp-full, and when he catches his breath and regains his speech he stutters out, “S-sorry.”

Harvey crawls up his body and when Mike raises his head to look at him, Harvey looks wrecked. His hair is a disaster, his pupils are blown, and he’s breathing just as hard as Mike is.

“About what?” Harvey kisses him, quick but deep, and Mike groans at the taste of himself on Harvey’s tongue. “You’re not done yet.”

Mike’s limbs are loose and pliable and Harvey manhandles him onto his stomach, arranging a pillow under his head, and reaching into the top drawer of the right bedside table. He pulls out what looks in Mike’s peripheral vision to be a box of condoms and some lube and, even though Mike just had an orgasm, when Harvey positions himself between Mike’s legs, pressing them further apart with his knees, Mike feels a thrill run through him at the mere suggestion that Harvey might fuck him. Even though he only just started thinking about it two weeks ago, it feels like he’s been wanting it forever, and he’s sure he’s going to love it whether he comes or not. And Harvey told him he’s going to come again, so that pretty much seals the deal.

Mike’s brain is floating in a bath of oxytocin as he listens to Harvey maneuvering behind him. He feels warm and cared for and he sighs in contentment when Harvey runs his fingers over his ass and down the backs of his thighs several times. Harvey separates his ass cheeks, exposing him to the air, and Mike clenches involuntarily, expecting the cool sensation of a lubed finger. What he gets instead is the wonderfully soft heat of Harvey’s tongue against his asshole. Mike jerks, his whole body going taut in surprise, and then he melts against the bed because it feels so fucking good. Once he relaxes, Harvey pulls his ass cheeks further apart and goes to town, licking and probing Mike’s hole until Mike is sopping wet and humping the comforter between desperate moans. Jesus Christ, Harvey is eating him out and it’s so unexpected and intimate and dirty that soon Mike feels like he could come again just from this. He wants Harvey to fuck him though and it takes a while before he can pull together enough brain power to beg for it. When he finally gets the words out, his voice sounds so broken and hoarse he can barely recognize it as his own. “Please Harvey.”

Harvey pulls back just enough that Mike can still feel the puffs of cool air when he speaks. He sounds drunk, “Please what?”

From the way he says it, Mike can tell Harvey knows exactly what, he just wants to hear Mike say the words and it’s so Harvey that Mike can’t help smiling into the pillow even as he moans, “Please fuck me.”

Harvey groans and springs into action. In no time he’s adding lube to the wet mess of Mike’s hole, pushing first one, two, and then three fingers inside in rapid succession. He’s worked Mike so thoroughly with his tongue that Mike just opens up around him, moaning and pushing back onto his fingers when Harvey presses them deep enough to stroke his prostate. Mike can hear him putting a condom on and running a lube slick hand over his dick before Mike feels the light press of the head against his hole.

Mike pushes back on to him but the angle is wrong and Harvey’s cock slides along his crack, setting off a hot cascade of pleasure that travels all the way up Mike’s spine and makes him shudder. Harvey lets out a sound like he’s choking and leans forward, holding Mike in place with broad hands spread across his lower back and wrapped around his hips.

“Look at you,” Harvey says, and he sounds almost reverent. “So desperate for it.”

Then Harvey is pushing into him and he doesn’t stop until he’s in to the hilt and Mike feels wonderfully full. Harvey stretches out on top of him, chest to back, and Mike can feel him everywhere. He can feel where Harvey’s heart is beating a frantic rhythm in his chest, can smell the woodsy scent of his cologne mixed with sweat, can hear his breath where it’s rushing out hot against Mike’s ear. In this moment, Mike feels totally and completely connected to Harvey and it’s overwhelming and just right at the same time.

When Harvey starts to move, it feels so good Mike can’t even make a sound until Harvey presses his lips to Mike’s ear and says in that rough, sexy voice that been playing on repeat in Mike’s head, “Let me hear you.”

Then it’s like Mike can’t stop moaning and begging Harvey to fuck him harder and deeper while Harvey murmurs encouragements in this tone of pleased awe that’s driving Mike insane with desire. Mike’s glad he’s already come once tonight because it takes the edge off; allows him to enjoy the slow build of a beautiful tension inside him, until he’s strung out and gasping for it. They’re sweaty and hot and this is the most intense, most amazing sex Mike has ever had. Of course it’s with Harvey.

Harvey slows down, fucking him in long, deep strokes. He bites at the juncture of Mike’s neck and shoulder until Mike is sure there’ll be a mark there in the morning but Mike is so far gone all he can do is moan into the pillow. Harvey laves the skin with his tongue and Mike can feel his orgasm right under the surface; his whole body is buzzing with it. Harvey pushes up onto his arms and Mike laments the loss of Harvey’s body heat against his back, but the new position means Harvey’s hitting Mike’s prostate with every thrust and Harvey brings his head down next to Mike’s and says into his ear, “I knew you’d be perfect.” Mike’s climax crests like a tidal wave and he comes with a sob, rocking forward into the comforter on Harvey’s down thrust as the sweet ecstasy of a powerful orgasm surges through him arching his back and whiting out his vision. Harvey gets in a few more strokes before his hips stutter and he buries his face against Mike’s nape, moaning from deep in his chest as he comes.

They lie there for what could be anywhere between a few minutes and several hours. Mike’s concept of time is completely shot to hell as he comes back down to earth. Eventually, however, it becomes apparent that Harvey may actually be planning to fall asleep on top of him, and while Mike has no objections to that in theory, there are some insurmountable logistical concerns, like breathing, so he registers his complaint with a weak groan and Harvey startles back to consciousness. Harvey leverages the majority of his weight off of Mike with one hand, reaching down with the other to hold the condom around his softening cock as he slips out of Mike’s ass. Mike lets out a sound of protest at the sensation and Harvey makes a vaguely apologetic shushing sound and kisses the skin above Mike’s shoulder blade as he gets up off the bed.

Mike watches a butt naked Harvey pad across the room to the trash can and then out into the living room area and feels better than he’s felt without drugs in a while. He’s got this peaceful contentment that’s settled firmly in his chest and it’s a little bit of a paradox because he’s just made what will probably turn out to be the biggest decision of his adult life. It could very well be the numbing effect of the post-sex endorphins but Mike feels supremely confident it was the right one and he stretches his limbs as he relaxes into the bed. Without Harvey’s body heat keeping him warm and oblivious, Mike soon becomes aware that he’s lying directly in the wet spot and he sleepily maneuvers under the covers, sighing with pleasure at the feel of 700-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets against his skin. He could get used to this.

Harvey appears in the doorway with a tall glass of water and a plate in his hand. A complicated expression passes over his face at the sight of Mike making himself comfortable in his bed.

“You’ll be happy to hear I now understand the appeal of quality sheets,” Mike says, burrowing deeper under the covers.

Harvey smirks at him, walking over to the bed and handing Mike the water.

“Are you telling me I can fuck civilization into you?”

Mike communicates his lack of amusement by narrowing his eyes at Harvey over the glass as he drinks, which makes Harvey chuckle as he walks around to the other side of the bed, balancing the plate carefully as he gets under the blankets.

“Hey,” Harvey says reaching over and snatching the now ½ empty glass from Mike mid-gulp. “Sharing is caring.”

Mike sputters and bursts out laughing. “I’m sorry, did you just quote Care Bears at me?”

Harvey just rolls his eyes and sets a plate of chips with salsa and melted cheese down on top of the comforter and Mike’s stomach growls on cue. He hasn’t eaten since this afternoon and he bites into a chip and moans in gratitude.

“Hashtag, winning,” Mike says, and breaks into a happy dance, or at least the best one he can do in the reclining position.

“Don’t talk with your mouth full.” But Harvey’s looking at him with pleased amusement so poorly contained it’s in danger of spilling out onto his face at any moment. Mike just smiles up at him until Harvey breaks out into a grin and drops Mike’s gaze, grabbing a chip. “If you get crumbs in the bed, they will never find your body.”

They eat the rest of the plate in comfortable silence and Mike notes the way Harvey lets him have all the cheesiest chips and wonders how eating nachos in bed with Harvey became real life. Harvey seems content for the moment to ignore the implications of the situation for both of their personal and professional lives so Mike doesn’t bring it up, happy to exist in the space, no matter how interim, where they’re two friends who just had awesome sex followed by an equally awesome late night snack.

When they finish eating, they share the rest of the water, and then Harvey places the plate and the glass on the bedside table and fingers a touch screen on the wall next to the bed that plunges the room into darkness. The city lights twinkle outside the glass for a few moments before they’re obscured by some sort of tinting function in the windows and Mike snorts, “Seriously, Harvey, you are about one tricked-out ride away from being Bruce Wayne.”

Harvey chuckles as he scoots down in the bed and raises his arm in invitation to Mike. “Come here.”

Harvey Specter’s a cuddler. This information pleases Mike immensely. He maneuvers into the warmth of Harvey’s body, pressing his face into Harvey’s chest and sighing when Harvey wraps his arm around him, tangles their legs together, and strokes his fingers through the hair at the base of Mike’s skull. Mike lets his mind wander as he feels Harvey’s breath even out.

People think Harvey’s a risk-taker, but Mike knows Harvey, knows he only bets on sure things. He prefers absolute certainty to playing the odds, so having sex with Mike is an uncharacteristic gamble for him because it’s extremely risky. There are so many variables that neither of them can control. Lucky for both of them, before Mike met Harvey, he’d perfected the art of flying by the seat of his pants, and now that he knows what this feels like, he’s got a powerful motivation to protect it, because there’s no going back from here.

Yeah, Mike thinks, as the edges of his consciousness close in around him, he’s totally got this.

~'~