Three months to the day after Mike's last drug test, Louis tests him again. And three months after that. Mike can see a long stretch of this in his future, one of Louis's petty vengeances.
Given everything, and Mike doesn't even know how to enumerate "everything" at this point, it's humiliating. But it's a momentary humiliation and if he has learned anything from the last six months, it's that a lawyer's life is a series of triumphs and humiliations.
But when he arrives to be tested, this time, Harvey is emerging from the bathroom.
"Take good care of that," Harvey says pleasantly to the lab tech, jerking his thumb at the shelf where the urine samples are supposed to be left. The man ticks Harvey's name off on his clipboard and offers Mike a cup.
"Do me proud," Harvey murmurs sardonically, clapping Mike on the shoulder and shoving him towards the bathroom.
Harvey doesn't seem bothered, but it's obvious they had him come in for testing because Mike is coming in, and that makes Mike irrationally angry. He gets that the drug testing is there for a reason, and Harvey doesn't care, so why should Mike? But he does, because there's a nasty implication that Mike is somehow dragging his boss down with him.
But there isn't anything he can do about it, so he pees in the cup, washes his hands, and goes back to the zillions of pages of merger contract he was proofing when Louis sent him down.
It nags at him.
Finally, though, he's done with the proofing and can leave the contract with Donna and bug out for the night, even for the weekend -- it's a Friday and Harvey's caseload is momentarily light, so Mike gets a rare free Saturday to do as he pleases.
Donna is leaving too, but she locks the contract in her desk and tells him that Harvey said he can leave if he wants. Harvey, on a phone call in his office, gives Mike a nod when he sees him talking to Donna, then goes back to his conversation.
Stepping outside into the cool air of New York in the fall, Mike inhales and tries to calm the hell down. Don't Bike Angry is a firm rule (along with Don't Bike Stoned) and he doesn't want to die because of Louis Litt's attitude problems.
He buys himself a coffee and sits down on a bench near the racks, sipping contemplatively, waiting to stop being quite so furious. He watches people pass. He watches a young guy in a suit like himself pause by the rank of bike messengers at the edge of the plaza, watches a deal go down -- probably coke, maybe E -- and wishes he could buy a dime bag and make the world go away for a night. It's not happening; his life now is too precious to him to risk it, and he made Harvey a promise. Even if the risk is pretty minimal...
"Penny for your thoughts," someone says, and Mike looks up. Harvey is standing there, briefcase in one hand, phone in the other.
"You'd be overpaying, and you don't actually care," Mike answers easily. Harvey sits, stretching out, resting his arms along the back of the bench.
"You're right, but it's my prerogative as your supervisor to know what you're thinking at any given time, in case it's accidentally intelligent," Harvey informs him. Mike turns to squint at him.
"Donna sent you," he concludes.
"She says I should pretend to care more often or she's going to have me charged with child neglect," Harvey replies. He glances at Mike. "You were quiet today. Talk to me. What are you thinking?"
Mike glances away. "I'm thinking about getting high."
Harvey raises his eyebrows, not surprised so much as prompting. Mike shrugs.
"Are you going to?" Harvey asks.
"Nope." Mike sips his coffee. "But I'm thinking about it. They can't test me for another three months. No work tomorrow. Today sucked. Perfect night for it."
Harvey is quiet for a while. When Mike looks over, his face is contemplative.
"What's it like?" he asks. Mike blinks at him.
"You've never smoked up." Mike knows he sounds skeptical, but come on.
"I have many sins in my history," Harvey says. "Drugs...never one of them. What's so alluring about it?"
Mike studies his coffee.
"Look, it's not something I can't live without," he says. "I meant it. I'm not going to. But sometimes, when your brain works like mine does..." he breathes out slowly. "It's nice to turn it off. That's the easiest way. And when you don't have a lot of distraction, or you don't think you've done anything worthwhile with your life, or you think you can't ever, it's pretty appealing."
"You think you could do that?" Harvey asks. "Get high tonight, give it up again tomorrow?"
"It's not heroin, Harvey," Mike drawls. "Besides, I don't need it anymore. I like myself for the first time in a long time. But it would be nice, all the same," he adds wistfully.
Harvey is silent again, until he takes a breath and sits forward.
"Come on," he says, tugging Mike up by the sleeve.
"God, don't tell me we have another brief -- "
"Nope." Harvey puts his phone to his ear. "I'm calling Ray."
"My bike -- "
"Don't worry about it," Harvey orders. "Ray, hi. Yeah, ten minutes." He hangs up and then points to the ground below Mike's feet. "Stay." And he walks away, down the street, phone still at his ear. Mike watches, head tilted, vaguely worried about leaving his bike overnight but more concerned with what Harvey's doing.
This is, very possibly, the best weed Mike has ever smoked, and that's saying something.
He thought, when Harvey bundled him into the car, that they were getting dinner or something. Then Harvey said "Home, please, Ray" which was weird, but whatever, maybe Harvey was going to stage a one-man totally unneccessary intervention. Then, halfway there, at an intersection, someone tossed an envelope through Harvey's open window. Mike startled, but Harvey just gave him a look and tucked the envelope in his pocket.
They got to ride up to Harvey's penthouse in the cool glass elevator, which was pretty fun, but still very confusing. And when Mike stepped out into Harvey's totally sweet condo, Harvey turned and tossed him the envelope.
Inside were two thick, expertly-rolled joints.
Mike studied them warily as Harvey set his briefcase down, pulled off his tie, and shed his jacket.
"I know a guy who knows a guy who owes me," Harvey said, indicating the envelope.
"Is this some kind of test?" Mike asked. Harvey disappeared into the bedroom. "Because I was serious!" he called. "I'll flush these right now if you want."
"No test," Harvey called back. He reappeared in the doorway and went to the kitchen, taking a bottle of juice out of the fridge.
Mike stood at the kitchen counter, watching him across the wide expanse of granite. "You want to share your game plan with me?"
Harvey shrugged and sipped the juice. "You think you can take one night, now's your chance to find out."
Mike held out the envelope. Harvey took it from him slowly.
"Besides," Harvey continued, fingers toying with the flap of the envelope, "who's not a little curious?"
"You think I should get high."
Harvey gave him a small smile.
"With you," Mike concluded. "Who are you and what have you done with my boss?"
"One night," Harvey said. "Letting off some of that steam you built up over Louis trying in his own tiny-minded way to play head games with us. You honestly don't want to, you can say no, no respect lost here. Otherwise..." he opened a kitchen drawer and took out a gold zippo lighter. "Stick around."
"You don't have to," Mike said, as Harvey calmly tucked one of the joints between his lips and flicked the lighter open.
"I rarely do anything because I have to," Harvey replied, and lit the joint. He inhaled. Unlike most newbies he didn't cough, which vaguely annoyed Mike in some way he couldn't identify. Maybe Harvey used to smoke cigarettes.
"I'll pay your cab fare if you want to go," Harvey said, and offered him the joint.
Which is how, Mike thinks, they ended up here on Harvey's couch, almost all the way through the first joint. Harvey is laughing, honest to God crying with laughter, while Mike struggles with Legend of Zelda on the Wii that he still can't believe Harvey owns.
"No don't -- " Harvey starts, and then laughs again when Link tumbles over the edge of a cliff. "How are you so bad at this?"
"You got me high," Mike reminds him. "I can't believe you have a Nintendo."
"I have hobbies!" Harvey protests.
"Legend of Zelda?"
"It's a good way to unwind."
"I always thought you were the zen yoga type," Mike says, as his little green man on the screen runs in circles uncontrollably.
"Zen yoga," Harvey murmurs, snorting. It's one of the most bizarre sights Mike's ever seen: Harvey, practically poured into the sofa, slouched and relaxed with his cufflinks out and his sleeves rolled up, collar undone, dividing his attention between Mike and the television screen. Mike pauses the game with difficulty (so many buttons) and turns to him.
"How do you feel?" he asks, momentarily intrigued by how someone as in control as Harvey is coping with half a joint of incredibly strong pot.
Harvey closes his eyes briefly, as if that will help him think. After a while, he just nods, which Mike is pretty sure he'd find funny even if he wasn't stoned. Mike pats him gently on the leg and gets up, the world all soft and simple, to get something from the kitchen.
"You did this all the time?" Harvey asks, opening his eyes.
"Nearly every day," Mike answers. Harvey has all the food ever in his fridge. It's pretty impressive. Mike sniffs some cheese and then decides on sandwiches.
"How did you function?" Harvey seems to find words a little difficult. Mike can't blame him.
"Well, I didn't," Mike answers, locating a loaf of twelve-grain bread, which is kind of gross but sandwiches sound really good. "Obviously."
"No kidding," Harvey says, wriggling deeper into the couch cushions. Mike can't figure out why he's having trouble getting the bread bag open, until he notices he has the end of the joint still clenched in one hand. He relights it, takes a hit, and then carries it over to Harvey, who finishes it without burning his fingers (asshole always has to be good at everything) and leans forward, dropping it carefully into the empty juice bottle. Satisfied, Mike is turning away when he notices Harvey blowing a smoke ring on his exhale.
"I knew it," he says, returning to the kitchen. Two hands, no waiting for sandwiches.
"Knew what?" Harvey asks.
"You're a total ex-smoker."
"Cigarettes. Jessica made me quit," Harvey replies.
"Where'd you learn to blow smoke rings like that?"
Harvey turns his head to watch Mike, cheek rubbing against the soft nap of a sofa cushion. He's a long time in answering.
"Pal of mine," he says. "He taught me how. He said...pretend you're giving a blow job and then puff."
Mike giggles, which is incredibly undignified. "A blow job, huh?"
"Like I said," Harvey replies. "Many sins in my past."
Mike is busy very, very carefully slicing cheese and onions and an organic tomato and ooh, Harvey has leftover roast chicken in his fridge, so it doesn't hit him for a while what exactly Harvey is getting at. When the penny drops, he glances over, but Harvey has closed his eyes again, fingers drumming along the back of the sofa.
"You want some mustard?" he asks, because he can't figure out how to ask anything else.
"What?" Harvey asks, not opening his eyes.
"On your sandwich. Mustard?"
Harvey's eyes open. "Sandwiches?" he asks interestedly. Mike grins.
"Mustard, Harvey, keep up," he says.
"Oh. Yes," Harvey answers. He looks confused but pleased. "There's chicken -- "
"I'm on it," Mike points to the chicken he is, again, very carefully slicing up. Harvey nods his approval and Mike can feel his gaze as he finishes the sandwiches (they are epic, they have layers, this is awesome) and brings them out to the sofa.
"This," Mike announces, as Harvey sits up to take a huge bite, "is the munchies, by the way."
Harvey nods, absorbing this as if it's important case law. He swallows and ducks his head, studying Mike.
"Everything's..." he starts, then hesitates.
"Yeah, that's normal," Mike says.
"Please say you never rode your bike like this," Harvey manages.
"Nope. One of the big rules. Don't Bike Stoned."
"Good." Harvey devours the rest of the sandwich like it personally offended him. Mike watches, amused. He feels nice -- there's the familiar thick-headed sensation, and the inability to remember things from minute to minute, but for Mike that's something of a welcome relief. He's momentarily glad Harvey's not feeling paranoid, because sometimes that happens. Harvey looks genuinely happy, which of course leads to a sort of overall warmth. It's sweet, watching someone get high for the first time, and there's this whole...cultural...oral history thing that people pass along when they smoke together that makes you, you know, bond.
Okay, this is really good weed. Mike's not generally into glorifying stoner culture; that was Trevor's thing.
He picks up the second joint from where it's lying next to his sandwich plate and casts around for the lighter. They have lost and found it about five times already. Harvey holds it up and snaps it open elegantly, so Mike leans forward and lets him light the smoke.
"You're a gentleman," he says. Harvey grins. The warmth -- for Harvey, who saved him, and who is here now doing this for whatever reason -- the warmth spreads. Mike knows the gut-punch of affection is the pot talking, but at the moment he doesn't care. "Want to see a trick?" he asks. Harvey nods. "Open your mouth."
"What?" Harvey asks, but Mike has taken a second hit and Harvey's mouth is open, so he leans forward quickly and exhales, lips barely half an inch from Harvey's. Harvey inhales, surprised, and then he does cough.
Mike, torn between laughter and dismay at the coughing fit, picks up the empty juice bottle and then puts it down, looks for a place to put the joint down, whacks Harvey on the back, then puts the joint in his hand and gets up to get him some water. Harvey accepts it gratefully, allowing Mike to recover the joint while he sips.
"Smooth," Mike remarks, leaning back. Harvey rolls his eyes.
"You have to promise," he says, and then pauses. For a really long time.
"Promise?" Mike prompts. Harvey narrows his eyes.
"What?" Mike asks. "I have to promise?"
"Yes," Harvey says gravely.
"Promise what?" God, it's like an Abbot and Costello routine.
"That if I run for public office someday," Harvey says, "You're not going to sell this story to the press."
Mike grins and offers him the joint. "Who'd believe me?"
"Good point." Harvey inhales cautiously. "So?"
"What was that?"
"Oh! That was shotgunning," Mike says.
Harvey takes a second, deeper drag and leans forward, clearly determined to master the process, and Mike obediently opens his mouth, inhaling when he hears Harvey exhale. Along with the smoke he can smell Harvey's cologne, and suddenly he's reminded why this might have been a truly bad idea, because he's fast approaching a happy place where someone could smile at him and he'd be theirs for life.
He and Trevor never, ever, ever talked about it. Mainly because they often didn't remember it very clearly, and also because it was cheating on Jenny, but Mike knows it did happen. He remembers laughing the first time he saw Trevor's sex face. He remembers hazy sex on Trevor's couch.
Harvey hasn't leaned back.
"How'd I do?" he asks, slightly glassy eyes fixed on Mike's.
"Magnificent," Mike says. "As usual."
Harvey's smile is self-satisfied as he settles back into the couch. Mike skips a few hits -- Harvey doesn't notice -- but then absently takes it when it's offered and forgets to give it back. He smokes and listens to Harvey humming some old soul song, the affection settling low in his belly. Harvey is cute -- way cuter than Trevor -- and kind of godlike sometimes and he always seems to be hauling Mike's ass out of trouble, which Mike greatly appreciates.
He finishes off the joint, drops it next to its brother in the empty juice bottle, and leans in over Harvey, one hand on the couch cushions. Harvey opens his mouth and Mike exhales, but their lips brush and a spark runs through Mike's body.
"I don't think I remember words," Harvey says wonderingly, leaning back. Mike wants to say something smartassed but can't think of anything, because the urge to climb all over Harvey and get him out of his clothes is dizzying, overwhelming. He knows there are reasons he shouldn't, but he can't actually remember what they are, so he shifts carefully and slids his knee across Harvey's thighs until he's straddling them properly, looming a little over Harvey.
"Hi," Harvey says softly, and Mike kisses him.
Harvey responds lazily, arms still spread on the sofa's back, mouth invitingly open. When Mike stops for breath, Harvey asks, "So what is that? French shotgunning?"
Mike giggles again, burying his face in Harvey's neck, sliding closer (oh -- Harvey has a hand on his back, is pulling him closer) and enjoying the feel of Harvey's arms under his hands.
"That's my good boy," Harvey murmurs, turning his head to nudge Mike's face out of the soft, comfortable place where neck meets shoulder so they can kiss some more. Mike goes absolutely lax in his lap at the tone of his voice, depending on Harvey's hands to keep him steady. He's not sure if Harvey's still actually talking, but he's making noise, and the tone of his voice is approving.
Mike can't remember where he was going with this idea, what his goal was, but for once in the past half a year the goal seems less important than the moment. Harvey's tongue is slick in his mouth, kisses domineering like he's not the one being pushed into the sofa.
And Mike wants. Without urgency, but he wants all the same. He knows some of it is lowered inhibitions, some of it is the way he always gets when he's high, but it's Harvey and he wants Harvey and he wants Harvey to care and if he can't make Harvey care he can at least make Harvey want like he wants.
The last of the pot hits him right then in a gentle wave, and Mike moans and nuzzles down into Harvey's throat again. His body curls, arches, hips twitching forward; Harvey is so still, except for the arm tight around Mike's waist and his cheek rubbing against Mike's hair now, lips on his temple.
"Baby, what I couldn't do with you," Harvey murmurs in his ear, cheesy enough to be hilarious but also a straight shot to Mike's dick. Then without warning he moves, turning, pushing Mike down, so that they end up sprawled on the sofa with Harvey's thigh pressed up against his cock, both of Harvey's hands in his hair. Mike laughs and hooks a leg around Harvey's to keep him there so he has something solid to rub against, careless that he can't feel Harvey's dick, that Harvey maybe isn't getting as much out of this, because otherwise why would Harvey still be there kissing him, sliding a hand down to pet his ribs and dig his fingers in --
Mike squirms, startled, back arching, and it feels so good he arches again, and then it's Harvey's teeth against his neck, Harvey's hands, Harvey breathing hard into his collarbone.
He wants to say Harvey, I don't want to come in my pants, can we please get naked but what comes out is just his name. Harvey raises his head -- eyes hazy, strands of hair falling over his forehead -- and his smile curls just right and Mike is gone.
He's aware, eventually, that he did in fact just come in his pants, that Harvey is still on top of him and he still has him pinned there with a leg, and that Harvey is biting him. Gently, affectionately, but unmistakably biting him, a little line across his collarbone, nips in the soft skin of his throat. He eases his leg away and pets Harvey's hair. It's remarkably soft.
And, when Mike shifts his hips a little, wondering whether a handjob is appropriate or whether a blowjob would be more the thing -- stoner sexual etiquette 101, he thinks, and snickers -- he finds that Harvey's dick is soft, too. Harvey moans into his skin when he rubs his palm between them, but other than that, there's no reaction.
Mike knows guys who get that way after smoking, sure, but none of them have ever held Mike down and made out with him. Most wouldn't have had the initiative.
"Hey," he mumbles.
"It doesn't matter." Harvey slides up a little, still...what is that, is he tenderizing Mike's neck? "Just want to touch you."
Mike is flattered, but vaguely concerned.
"Wanted to...all the time, I want to," Harvey continues, and he is -- a hand flat on Mike's thigh, the other drifting over his shoulder, up to the sensitive skin behind his ear and back down again. It's weirdly more intimate than sex, not the touching so much as the admission.
On the other hand, seriously, Mike is uncomfortably damp.
"Okay, okay, but, off for a second," he says gently, and tilts and rolls. Harvey tumbles to the floor between sofa and coffee table, laughing. It's delightful, seeing buttoned-up Harvey Specter, on his back, on the floor, laughing.
Mike climbs over him with a grin and walks into the biggest god damned bathroom he's ever seen, leaving his clothes in a heap on the tile, cleaning himself up with a washcloth that probably cost more than his bike. Harvey appears behind him in the mirror, eventually, and his hands come to rest on Mike's hips, slide around to his stomach, run down to his thighs. Mike leans back against him.
"Come on, I bet you have an awesome bed," Mike mumbles, and Harvey pulls, bodily tugs him into the bedroom, drags him down onto the bed before shedding his shirt and pants. Mike squirms back to make room and they lie there, foreheads touching, Harvey's arm settled on his waist.
"Feel okay?" Mike asks quietly, because most people he knows would freak out at a little incidental impotence.
"One night stands," Harvey says, which is irrelevant but interesting.
"Never get close," Harvey continues. "Just take the edge off and move on. Keeps it uncomplicated. But it's all sex, it's not..."
He's silent for a while. Mike opens his eyes.
"We're complicated anyway," Harvey concludes. "No escaping your complication."
"I like sex. But sometimes I want to touch," Harvey finishes. There's an almost immeasurable sadness in his face. Loneliness. The idea of Harvey finding bedmates because he just wants some kind of contact, the idea of him making do because he can't get what he really wants, doesn't think he can ask for it -- it makes Mike ache in sympathy.
Mike inches closer, flattening his palms on Harvey's chest, arms tucked in. Harvey's whole body gets involved in the sigh that follows, a mixture of relief and contentment, and Mike barely spares a second for the idea that he's still kind of hungry before he falls asleep.
The morning should be the game-changer, and Mike expects that when he wakes. Harvey is still asleep, sprawled against him, and Mike isn't inclined to move because he knows what's coming. With Trevor, it was denial; they pretended it didn't happen, not in any hurtful fashion, just in an unspoken "what happens when you're high stays there" way. Mike, guiltily silent because he didn't want to hurt Jenny, knew that for Trevor there was also the added shame of being with another dude. Trevor isn't the most enlightened closeted bisexual on the planet.
Every time, they ignored it, even if they woke up naked together. That's the shameful part for Mike, that he let Trevor ignore it, because it's perilously close to having let Trevor use him.
With Harvey, Mike thinks it will be more about decorum. Harvey knows better than to pretend it didn't happen, so he'll bulldoze through it: it might have happened but it shouldn't have, and they can't, and he fucks strangers for a reason, and he respects Mike but thinks they're better off as co-workers (not colleagues -- actually Mike is looking forward to hearing how Harvey will define them in a way that elegantly but clearly delineates Mike's subordinate position, workwise) especially since Mike shouldn't expect this will make Harvey care about him.
Harvey shifts, finally, coming awake. His fingers tighten a little on Mike's ribcage. He raises his head, Mike waits for the shocked recollection to hit him --
And then Harvey quickly jerks his head away, turning his face into his own shoulder, and sneezes prodigiously.
Mike can't help it. He cracks the shit up laughing.
"The correct response is gesundheit," Harvey replies, his dignified tone somewhat diminished by his sniffling. He turns to Mike, who's still laughing, and narrows his eyes. But he doesn't move his arm from where it's splayed across Mike's chest. "Are you still high?"
"Maybe a little," Mike answers, considering things. Probably he is, or he'd be way more tense about the upcoming rejection.
Harvey's eyes drift down to his hand, curled into Mike's skin. He runs the hand up over his chest, along his arm, light touches.
"So do you want to give the 'it shouldn't have happened' speech, or should I?" Mike asks quietly. Harvey studies him. "I know we broke about a million personal and professional rules last night."
"You mean aside from the actual laws we broke?" Harvey asks. "Well, that's another notch in the belt of experience, anyway."
Mike stares at him, because he thought Harvey might be impersonal but he didn't expect him to be cruel.
Harvey grins. "I meant the pot, moron."
"You did that on purpose," Mike accuses, butting Harvey's head with his own.
"Yeah, maybe a little." Harvey's gaze goes back to his hand. "Is this all right?"
Mike nods, slowly. "It's fine," he says, running his own hand up Harvey's thigh, knuckles brushing the start of an erection. "Do you want more?"
Harvey's hips cant forward, but otherwise he seems immune to Mike's groping. "I meant it. I like my life uncomplicated."
"But?" Mike asks, tugging at his underwear.
"You were a complication anyway." Harvey jerks as Mike grasps him and a hissed Jesus escapes his mouth. "And I wanted you. I want you. So there's no logical -- fuck, stop for a minute -- " he's breathing heavily, and not just from Mike's hand on his cock. Mike pulls back, but Harvey grips him to keep him from going too far.
"There's no logical reason to deny myself," he finishes. "We were always going to be messy."
"Is your brain permanently set on pornography?" Harvey inquires.
"When I'm high I get horny," Mike says innocently, flirty even, but that gives Harvey pause for some reason -- oh Mike, you dipshit, way to ruin the moment.
"And when you're not?" Harvey asks carefully.
Mike bends in, kisses him. "Do you want me to blow you or not?" he asks. "Because I can go make breakfast instead. But your condo probably reeks of pot, so I'd rather stay here."
"You're an asshole and I have a very good air filtration system," Harvey replies, and Mike kicks the sheets down and away from them. Now that he knows what Harvey really wants, that contact is as important as orgasm, that touch is like food for a starving man, he knows to work his way down Harvey's body slowly, letting Harvey's fingers drift from shoulders to throat to the crown of his head. Harvey's surprisingly gentle, or maybe not that surprising -- he's always fitted himself to any situation, and Mike has seen him be reassuring and kind to scared clients at least as often as he's seen him be a heartless jerk to his adversaries.
Maybe they're both trying to draw this out, to get as much of what they need as they can before reality sets in. Maybe whoever brings reality into it first loses.
Well, neither of them are going to do that in the middle of a blowjob, and Mike thinks he's pretty good at this, though he only has subjective feedback to go on. Harvey seems to be appreciating it; his fingers tighten in Mike's hair, he moans softly, Mike can see him struggling not to buck up into it. He tips his head a little, and one of Harvey's hands falls to his face, fingers drifting across his cheek. Mike can feel the moment Harvey goes lights-out, game-over, and leans back and surges upwards, hand stroking his cock those last few breaths to orgasm while Harvey wraps his arms around Mike's shoulders. Harvey comes with Mike's skin under his hands, Mike's mouth on his.
When Harvey drops down from his bliss-out a little, he presses his face against Mike's shoulder and murmurs, "Thank you."
Mike had been expecting a remark about swallowing or possibly some kind of smart crack about associates who make messes, but that's all he says. Thank you.
They're cleaning up last night's debris -- Mike's clothes into a laundry bag while he borrows a pair of Harvey's khakis, the sandwich plates into the sink, the roach-ends of the joints carefully down the garbage disposal -- when there's a knock at the door. Mike freezes; Harvey just hurries to the door and opens it, grabbing a paper bag and a newspaper sitting on the floor outside.
"Standing Saturday brunch delivery," he says, when Mike stares. He begins unpacking bagels, fruit, a bottle of juice sweating slightly but clearly fresh-squeezed. Mike feels, obscurely, that he's betraying his roots, but he could get used to sleeping with a super-rich lawyer, or possibly being one himself someday. He's reaching up into a cupboard for plates when Harvey slides an arm around his waist from behind, nuzzling into his hair.
"Are you always going to be this handsy?" Mike asks, taking the plates down.
"Not at the office," Harvey assures him.
"Oh, well, that keeps me from being ass-grabbed, what, fourteen, fifteen hours a -- " he breaks off sharply when Harvey growls into the back of his neck. And bites him again, still gentle, right at the nape. Then lets him go and reaches around him for the plates.
They eat -- bagels and lox, mimosas, sliced banana -- at a table next to one of Harvey's stunning floor-to-ceiling glass walls, looking out on Manhattan. Mike's so absorbed in the view he barely notices Harvey watching him.
"So why'd you really do it?" Mike asks finally, without looking away from the window. "I assume it wasn't a pre-planned seduction."
"I told you. I was curious," Harvey says. "I wanted to know the appeal."
The admission is unspoken: I wanted to understand why it mattered to you.
"And?" Mike says.
"And that part can't happen again," Harvey answers.
That's reality settling in. (Which means Harvey loses, something Mike will bring up another time, many many other times.) Mike knows he can't get high again; he's okay with that, on one level, though there's a sadness in admitting finally that it's not something waiting for him, that it's a part of his life gone forever. Being this person, whoever this person is, means giving up part of who he was. Perhaps other parts will fall away, in time, as he figures out his life. He knows now that he's tough enough to hold onto the parts that matter.
This was never any part of Harvey. Just an experience he wanted, to be had and set aside. Still, there's something different in Harvey now, beyond the hair that's not gelled into place and the suit he's not wearing -- there's a chill that's blown away. Maybe letting someone see you that way, uninhibited, means a hell of a lot more to a guy like Harvey than it ever did to a goofball like Mike.
"The successful control of power," Harvey continues, and Mike realizes he's been silent too long, "is about two things: discipline and indulgence. We have a responsibility to be wise. There are so many temptations -- you can be a bully, an addict, a lecher -- "
"I'm sorry, did you just say lecher?" Mike asks, turning to him, amused. Harvey frowns.
"Quiet, I'm imparting wisdom here. You can be those things, but they won't last. You have a drink, you have some sex, you make sure douches get the asskicking they deserve. But those are pleasures, controlled by discipline. You own them, not the other way around. If you have no discipline, they disappear faster than you can breathe. But if you don't have any pleasure at all...what's the point of life?"
Mike cocks his head. "So I'm a pleasure."
"You're an indulgence," Harvey says. "As such, to be treasured."
Mike meets his gaze, which is serious and dark, and then starts laughing again. Harvey bows his head, sighing.
"Dude, you're a romantic. I knew it. I knew it!" Mike crows.
"I warned you about calling me dude."
"I bet you want to cuddle," Mike continues. "I bet you want to take long walks on the beach. Hey, you want to meet Gram? Will you wear a sweater-vest? Are you secretly a sensitive soul, Harvey? Because I could get used to being wooed -- "
"How about I tie you up and make you beg to come?" Harvey asks, and Mike, inhaling to continue with ruthless mockery, chokes on his breath, startled and turned on.
"Yeah, that's what I thought," Harvey adds, smugly.
It would be wrong to say nothing changes at work.
Most things don't, true: Harvey's still ruthless, all teeth and hidden blades looking for weakness, still the closer he always was and Mike's glad of that because if he broke Harvey of that, he wouldn't be Harvey anymore. He's still a demanding ass sometimes, too. Mike still tries hard and fucks up a lot, still disagrees with things and gets himself into trouble and cares more than he should.
But Harvey smiles more. He's always loved his job, Mike knows, but now he comes into the office in the morning with the kind of enthusiasm that Donna says, in an unguarded moment, reminds her of when Harvey was an associate and acted like a puppy on speed all the time.
And Mike is learning control, learning discipline, learning sometimes to be hard, if perhaps never to be as ruthless as he should be. He'll be his own person, though, and fuck Kyle and Louis and everyone else who thinks litigation means waving your dick in the other guy's face until he folds. (If that were literally the case, law would be a lot more entertaining, especially since Mike has natural advantages in that area, too.)
There are days when they snap and snarl at each other, or days when Mike has to stay like, five hours later than Harvey does. But on other days, better days, they get in the elevator together and Harvey rests a hand in the small of Mike's back, a little desperate, enough to convey want. Mike likes that, and they don't really talk about it, but as soon as they're alone Mike slides his own hand up the back of Harvey's neck into his hair and rubs, gently, like Harvey's his favorite pet. Which is more or less the case.
Harvey's eyes slide shut and he breathes out a sigh, and it's still amazing, every time. When his eyes open again they're warmer, and he curls into Mike, and from there the night can go a thousand different ways.
Mike knows Harvey's secret, but Harvey doesn't know Mike's (yet -- someday, someday). Switching his brain off worked, when he was the pothead douche who got kicked out of college, when he was the guy taking tests for assholes who didn't deserve law school, when his life was barely in his control and he couldn't buy his grandmother the care she needed. The constant endless whirring behind his eyes drove him crazy half the time, and he was high the other half. Maybe more than half. But the point was that he needed the emptiness, needed to stop thinking.
Harvey has the reverse effect, like a stimulant, but there's order there -- the whirring stops, things click into place, and with blissful relief Mike feels clarity. Never more so than when Harvey leans into him and the mask drops away.
And now you know I'm only human
Instead of all the things I'd like to be
The world is just a simple circle
You've got to keep on turning
Or down you fall
-- Gil Scott-Heron