When they start dating, Mike knows he’s going to have to be careful. If Harvey was any more emotionally stunted he’d be in danger of becoming a cliche, and Mike knows he’s just the opposite. He loves cuddles and endearments and stupidly sweet kisses. He doesn’t hold back--tries to but can’t and it’s ruined more than one relationship with perfectly normal people. Add in Harvey’s emotional repression and the already precarious codependence of their professional relationship, and Mike knows he’s in trouble.
He soon learns that Harvey will invest anything into the relationship at long as it doesn’t involve actual words or discussion.
He wants to say I love you after that first kiss, but he sees Harvey’s shaken. He’s not ready to hear it, but Mike needs to say it, so he whispers it later, quietly, while Harvey sleeps.
(He never gets a chance to say those words aloud, but he faithfully whispers them, every night they’re together, and thinks Harvey will probably figure it out.)
He should doubt this, but he doesn’t. He’s made so many mistakes, so very many, but none of them have the name Harvey Specter attached to them. Accepting a job offer from Harvey was the best choice he’d ever made. Some might argue, the only smart decision of his adult life. With that precedent, how can he doubt that this new thing between them will turn out good--better than good, perfect?
Harvey never calls him his boyfriend or his partner, and the one time Louis calls them lovers, he grimaces like there’s a sour taste in his mouth. Mike’s not really offended; he knew this would be a problem when he started dating Harvey. Commitment is too dangerous to ask for.
So Mike doesn’t ask. He shows up at Harvey’s apartment one day, holding a box of household items: an ugly lamp, his clock radio, and a box of plates and glasses, and informs Harvey that he needs help with his couch. He doesn’t really need any of the stuff he’s brought, and he knows Harvey will end up throwing it all out, but it’s symbolic. Here am I with all my junk. All my baggage. Let me stay.
Harvey doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t encourage him, but he doesn’t turn him away. He moves impassively to help Mike with his couch, and lamp and even brings in the last box. And if Mike knows anything about Harvey, it’s that Harvey doesn’t do anything that he doesn’t want to do. So he grins and knows it speaks for both of them.
With Grammy’s death he’s surprised to discover that they both believe in heaven. He knows Harvey’s not religious (Mike isn’t either), but he kisses Mike at her funeral and tells him she’s in a better place. Mike knows this; he knows that Grammy’s up there beating angels at poker, and watching Mike’s life like it’s her favorite tv drama, laughing at the funny bits. He doesn’t need Harvey to tell him, but it’s nice to hear anyway.
"My father was a catholic", Harvey tells him, somewhere during a lull in Mike’s tears. "He’s dead, too. People die Mike. It happens." He says it matter-of-factly, his tone only slightly sympathetic, but Mike know’s it’s his attempt at comfort.
Mike laughs. "You’re really bad at this."
They fight. Over stupid things like ties and whether cheese pizza is an appropriate meal for an adult. Harvey forgets Mike’s birthday and tries to make it up to him with two new suits and silver cufflinks and a new watch and thousand dollar bottles of scotch and his favorite chocolates. Which is all very nice, but what Mike really wants is an apology. They fight over how much time Mike spends with Rachel, over how Harvey can’t stop flirting with their waitresses. Over whether the streets are too dangerous for Mike to ride his bike.
(Which is funny, because when it happens, Mike’s not on his bike.)
They fight and forgive and then they have makeup sex which is better than angry sex but not nearly as good as victory sex. They have a lot of sex. Harvey’s always very willing to show Mike how good he can make it, how hot and fast. How smooth and giving. He holds Mike’s hands over his head and slides in deep, says, "you love it don’t you; no, don’t come yet. So good, no, not yet; hold on for me".
There’s an endearment in there somewhere, hovering between them. There’s a darling, dear, sweetheart, love that Mike can feel in Harvey’s grip, and in the way he brushes his hand down Mike’s cheek.
(When it happens, they’re in a car, one of the cushy ones from the car club, with airbags and auto-break and parking assist. Safe as you please. It’s funny, like one of those anti-jokes he used to giggle at with Trevor:
What did the boy with no arms and no legs get for Christmas?
Mikes glad, that the last moment is a happy one. They’ve just secured another client, and Harvey’s high on the victory. They’re heading home, and there’s a bottle of champagne in the backseat. Harvey’s tapping his fingers on the steering wheel, telling Mike exactly what he’s going to do him when they get back. His promises include rope and chocolate strawberries.
That’s the image he holds in his mind: Harvey smiling, a real one with teeth and wrinkles in the corners of his eyes. Mike grinning through a blush.
Harvey tells Mike his brother’s coming to town next week. He says it casually, and Mike knows it’s not but he plays along, says he can’t wait to meet him.
(He wishes a lot of things, but he really wanted to meet Harvey’s brother)
He’s not sure what happens, but he thinks someone runs a red light. There’s a car coming towards him, and then everything goes black.
He opens his eyes and Harvey’s standing there. Mike doesn’t have anything to say, and he hates talking about the future, especially when there’s not going to be one. So Mike says “you cared”--a statement, not a question, and closes his eyes, before Harvey responds. He doesn’t need to hear it.
Mike dies, but he already know's Harvey's answer.