Chapter 1: Prologue
If there was one thing that had been a running standard between their letters, it was that they would meet in Harvard. Or rather, in the world of Law; but the sentiment was the same. One day Harvey would meet Mike Ross, and everything he was would be flipped on its’ head.
It had started, rather unusually, with a Big Brother/Little Brother project, at school. Initially, the very idea of the whole thing seemed a little ridiculous to seventeen year old him, writing to some snot-nosed little brat was not on his list of ways to entertain himself. He had lived in that cloud of denial until he had received his first letter, sent by his ‘Little Brother’. The kid was nine, but for a nine year old he was incredibly talented and a complete smartass.
It made him smile fondly, thinking back to that first letter, detailing how Mike was bodily forced to do this by Mrs. Perkins, and could Harvey please not treat him like a kid, because he was actually somewhat of a genius, thank you very much.
Harvey tapped his pen on the surface of his shiny new desk, the sleek wood varnished to perfection, when he was interrupted from his reminiscing.
“Harvey, Colton’s here for his meeting.” Donna, his wonderfully resourceful secretary, called in a mechanical buzz through the intercom. Quickly closing down his personal email, he nodded to her to let him in, trying not to let on that he’d been distracted.
But he had been distracted, increasing amounts, recently. And it was all the fault of his long time penpal. The boy whose quick wit and lovable charm had somehow wormed its’ way into Harvey’s affections long ago, and refused to leave even when he had to become a hardass lawyer.
And now, that very same endearing kid he had first written to twenty years ago was finally going to Harvard, starting this summer, in fact. The very place they said they would meet. Harvey couldn’t help but feel like the life he had built for himself was crumbling down around him, a little.
He nodded at intervals in his client’s speech, a routine meeting to report the progress of his company, and inform him of the profits it had reaped within the six months since they had last met. In the dying light of the New York sun, streaming onto the lavish furnishings of his office, Harvey shook the man’s hand and quickly flicked on his laptop once more.
Warm orange rays caressed his skin as he reread the email that he had spent hours just staring at, rather dumbly according to Donna.
Dear Harvey, it read;
His heart beating in his chest and a scowl at Donna’s knowing eyebrow quirk through the glass, he typed out a reply.
Mike Ross was freaking out, and pretty sure he was on the track to hyperventilating. He grabbed his best friend, a beautiful bouncy blond named Jenny, and dragged her in the closet of their shared part time job.
“Jenny, Jenny, I’ve just done something really, monumentally stupid and I need your help!” He breathed out, at a pace the girl could barely keep up with. Searching frantic blue eyes, the girl only hesitated for a moment before answering.
“O-kaaay crazy Mike, what’s up?” Her smile was supposed to be reassuring, he thought, but definitely ended up nervous, instead. Mike understood, he was usually a calm kind of guy, and anyone who really knew him knew there was only one reason he’d act this way. So, it wasn’t really all too surprising when Jenny’s small voice murmured, “Is it about Harvey?”
Worrying his already tortured lip, Mike nodded. Oh God, he thought, trying to erase the last few emails from his memory, though he knew that wouldn’t help. He must think I’m such an idiot, and he’s only meeting me out of pity.
Of course it wasn’t true, Harvey had this earnest, no bullshit personality. If he thought something of someone, he’d come right out and say it, their feelings by damned. It was one of the things Mike loved about him.
Not that Mike was in love with him, or loved him, or… Shit, I’m so screwed. He thought, practically clinging to Jenny. “We’re meeting, Jenny.” He announced dejected into her shoulder, his own frame hunched awkwardly as though he’d just he was on death row. “I asked him to meet me.”
Silence greeted him, but he was too afraid to look up. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to focus solely on his friend, tried to shut down his brain from the thousand thoughts flying through it. So when, after a while of waiting, Jenny finally responded to him, he felt rather than heard her response, “Wait, isn’t that a good thing? Years and years of skirting each other and you’re finally meeting! It’s like a dream come true, or something! You should be happy you’re finally gonna meet your Prince Charming!”
And he should, Mike should be ecstatic. He knew that, in his heart he definitely knew that, but it wasn’t so much meeting Harvey that was the problem, or the cause of his current depression. “A-about that, Jenny, ahh… There might be a problem.”
A small hand cupped his chin, forcing his face up. If there was one thing Jenny could read, it was the many faces of Michael, “Mike~” She drew out his name, like a mother scolding her child. “What did you do?”
It wasn’t that she was angry at him, it was his own life and Jenny knew that, but Mike knew she just wanted him to be happy, and until now Harvey always had. They knew everything about each other; Harvey had been there for him the year his parents had died, and had talked him out of befriending Trevor, the resident troublemaker of his class. It was like the man was his guardian angel, always guiding him on the right paths in life. He’d even tried to help when Grammy had fallen ill, sending cheques for the bills and offering to pay tuition for Harvard classes for him. Mike had refused, not wanting to live on someone else’s merit. He constantly deluded himself into believing he was a strong, independent person, even if he depended so wholly on Harvey.
But then, Harvey didn’t know the truth, the one thing they had always been with each other was honest. And when it came down to it, the biggest part of their relationship, Mike knew he had screwed up. “I- God, Jenny. I lied to him. And I can’t take it back, because it was a long time ago, but he wanted to know what I looked like, a-and I just too skinny and had acne everything and god I just. The picture he sent me! He’s perfect, Jenny, I just couldn’t…”
“Couldn’t what, Mike?” She questioned, though by the look on her face she already knew.
Looking at the worn, tatty sneakers, Mike whispered miserably, an image of Harvey’s blond, sun-kissed hair and blue eyes flashing before his eyes.. “I couldn’t let him see me.”
Chapter 2: The Plan
Thank you for all the kudos, I really appreciate it! :) I'm going to try and make the chapters a little longer and more substance-y once it kicks off at Harvard, because at the moment it's all planning on Mike and Harvey's parts. I've also decided on Ryan Gosling as the face for Harvey's brother, Marcus, as he's only been mentioned in the series and has no picture. So yeah. Gregory is who Gregory was in the series. Anyway, enjoy the chapter and let me know what you think, kay? x
“You did what!?” Was the resounding shout that echoed from the closet door of the restaurant, making a few passers-by jump. Inside, Mike grimaced, looking at Jenny miserably and trying to defend his case.
“Look, I was young, okay? I didn’t know what else to do when he send me the photo! God Jenny, he was like something pulled from a magazine!” He chewed his lip, a nervous habit he really needed to kick. “It wasn’t a big deal..”
“Wasn’t a big deal?” She echoed, Mike didn’t have to be a genius to figure she was pissed. “Your one chance at happiness, and you send him some random person’s pictures and write it off as ‘not a big deal’!?”
He shrinks inside the darkened space, feeling too hot suddenly. “Look, it wasn’t some stranger. I’ve known Gregory for a long time, and yeah, I paid him to be me in these pictures, but I was scared, Jenny…”
At first, Greg was someone Mike never thought he could get along with, let alone come to be friends with. It was true that they weren’t the closest, but it was better than being the object of Greg’s bullying like he had been in elementary school. However, he and Gregory had eventually bonded through high school, being some of the only openly gay students, and also over their passion of law (obviously nothing like he and Harvey had bonded, not even close). So, when Mike had asked his friend for a paying favour, it wasn’t too farfetched. And it was… nice, having someone he could go to for advice on things, even if Greg was a bit of a playboy. He was undeiably handsome, and could have any guy he wanted, so why not?
Sorrowful blue eyes trailed up to meet fierce brown ones, and all of a sudden Jenny anger fizzled. In that moment, Mike was once again the scared kid that had lost his parents all those years ago, when they’d first met. Jenny truly hated seeing this insecure side of him, and could never resist trying to help fix his mistakes when it came to this.
“So.. Gregory, Mike, do you still keep in contact with him?” At Mike’s hesitant nod, she blanched. There was something else, something he was hiding.
“That’s the other problem.” He whispered, once again averting his eyes. “Gregory is going to Harvard, this year. He finally passed his LSATs.”
After work was sorted for the day, Donna dismissed after more ribbing of his situation, Harvey knew he had a very important call to make. He sighed, pulling up the picture on his phone of the black haired boy. This… This was Mike. His thumb ran over the picture for several moments, before he sat back, cell phone still grasped loosely in his hand.
Mike had always been a good, honest kid. Even when he was nine, he told it like it was (even if he was a little shit about it). But Harvey, well, he was a professional liar, though he had never felt quite so bad about lying to anyone else aside from Mike.
Casting an absent glance at the photo framed on his desk, his eyes trailed over the blond haired figure in the photo next to him, blue eyes full of mischief. Marcus’ graduation photo, where Harvey was smiling on like the proud brother he had always been.
Hands gripped tighter around the small black cell, nervous white knuckled fingers jabbing out the numbers he knew by heart, and, swallowing his pride, Harvey worked up the balls to press ‘Call’.
It wasn’t two rings before he heard the tell-tale, “Bro?”
“Marcus.” Harvey grit out in lieu of a greeting, “I need your help with a little problem… You’ll be near Cambridge next month, right..?”
There was a pause on the other end, before Marcus answered. “I can be. Why, what’s up Harvey?”
He’d told Marcus about Mike before, of course he had. But the thing is, when it was finally suggested by either he or Mike, he couldn’t really remember which of them it was, Harvey had been going through a... stage, of sorts, and hadn’t exactly looked like the man he did today. It wasn’t as though he wasn’t damn happy with how he looked now (because, of course, he was), but, well, back then his little brother had definitely seemed like a more viable option to send a picture of.
“It’s Mike, Marcus. He wants to meet, at Harvard.” The lawyer rubbed at his brow in frustration hunching over on the phone as though it would brace him for what was to come. Because Harvey Specter was nothing if not to the point, “I sort of lied to him about how I looked, way back when, and I need you to help me fix it.”
More silence. Marcus was never the most eloquent at the best of times, but after a couple more moments of dead air Harvey got his question, “Why me?” The Specter boys were smart, Harvey knew Marcus would figure it out before he had to tell him, and by the tone of his voice he definitely had.
Harvey sighed, closing his eyes as he revealed forlornly. “Look, we agreed to swap pictures while I was in my rebellious mullet phase, Marcus. I was not about to send him a lifetime of blackmail material. That mullet was god awful, okay? So yes, you seemed like the better choice at the time, sue me.”
Both mention of his past hair disasters and his last comment drew sniggers from the other end of the line, but as much as Marcus loved him Harvey knew there would be reluctance. “Harvey, didn’t you say this kid valued honesty above all things? …Are you sure you want to do this to him?” ‘And to yourself’, was the implied addendum, and both brothers knew it. But there was no going back from this, Harvey knew that from the moment that picture passed through his hands. He just had to find out whether Mike was truly as forgiving as he said he was in his writing.
“I’ve booked you a ticket to fly in for their orientation meet, and the associate selection. It’s in one week, Marc’.”
Days had already passed since Mike’s talk with Jenny, but he was no less calm about the whole thing. She had told him to contact Gregory and tell him about it, which he had, but she had also told him to come clean to Harvey… He couldn’t. There was no way he’d be able to face the man after years, literal decades, of lying to him.
Consequently that’s how Mike found himself here, sat drinking a coffee and awaiting the arrival of an old friend. Soon enough, a shout of “Mike!” announced Greg’s arrival, Mike’s blue eyes looking up to meet Greg’s as he waved nervously. Gregory was the only person besides Jenny who he had ever told the whole truth, after the black haired boy had demanded of him to know what exactly the photos would be used for.
He’d never minded Mike’s lies, because it was the basis of their friendship that Mike had approached him for those photos. Also, it was one of the only things he had ever deceived anyone on, so it wasn’t like he was a horrible human being or anything.
“Greg!” Mike called, and stood up as they hugged. It should have been awkward, but they somehow made it seem totally comfortable, as though it hadn’t been years since they’d seen each other. “Good to see you.” And Mike really meant it. Yeah, Gregory could be an asshole at times, but it was nice having somebody who knew every dirty detail about him, and didn’t judge him for it. They relaxed over coffee, Mike catching the other man up on all the things that had happened over the past week, telling him of the meeting he so stupidly set up and his plan. “Look, I just need you to pose as me while I try and think of a way to confess to him, okay..? We’ll swap nametags at the mixer, which is where we’re set to meet up, and I’ll give you pointers and information about Harvey, just please, please do this for me, Greg…”
He chewed his lip as his companion deliberated; all the smarts in the world wouldn’t help him if Gregory didn’t say yes. However, after another sip of his half-drunk latte, the black haired man seemed to reach a mental decision. “You’ll owe me. I expect to get paid for this, Mike, and you do my homework if there’s a party I want to go to. Deal?”
Frantic nods met all of Greg’s demands, a relief flooding through Mike as he accepted the offer. “Thank you, man, I am eternally in your debt!”
A raised eyebrow met his statement, and Greg sighed into his coffee. “Look, Mike, I know it’s not my place to say, and I know I’m getting a lot out of this but... Wouldn’t it just be best to tell him? You’ve got a couple of days ‘til we move to Cambridge, and I’ve seen the letters this Harvey guy sends you. He really likes you, y’know? I’m sure he would forgive you being a little insecure. Just think about it, okay? I’ll see you in a week.” With that, Greg drained the dregs of his coffee and left, not so much as glancing back at his childhood friend.
Chapter 3: The Dare
The days rolled into one; before Mike or Harvey could protest it the lawyer was on a plane with his brother, and Mike was moving his stuff in to his new flat share with Gregory. The orientation mixer, where the potential future employees meet their potential futures employers, was tomorrow.
Mike sighed, hauling the last box into the flat and sitting on it, turning to his new flatmate. With flushed red cheeks from the exertion, he called, “Favourite colour?”
“Blue!” Was the answering shout, an answer which made Mike smile fondly at the memories. He would never forget them exchanging that information, how Harvey simply refused to divulge his favourite colour, until Mike had told him the colour of his eyes. Then, of course, it had to be blue, because that way every time Harvey thought of his favourite colour he’d think of Mike.
“Mike, you’re grinning like a fool you know that, right?” Said fool’s head shot up, looking to Greg in embarrassment. He couldn’t believe he’d been so wrapped up in thinking about Harvey that he hadn’t even noticed Gregory had finished up, too.
“Right! Uhhh… My favourite colour?” He asked, rather sheepishly. They’d been going back and forth with these questions since their rendezvous over coffee, trying to prep Greg for his imminent meeting.
With a roll of his eyes, he replied with, “Also blue. For Harvey’s eyes which I will stare soulfully into as I recount about his pet dog Tricksy who had to stay with his mother in Oregon, his dad is dead but was a professional sax player in his heyday, I shouldn’t mention their relationship because it was rocky. He used to play baseball before he threw out his shoulder, he was good enough to consider the minors before he did, but always had law as a back-up plan. He’s a hard-ass but knows a surprising amount of movie references and has a secret caring side. Now, do I pass your tests, Obi-Wan, or are we going to be here all day and sleep on boxes tonight?”
Mike smiled, nodding, but couldn’t help the painful twist in his heart at the thought of Greg going out tomorrow to meet his Harvey. He stood to go to his room, mentally admitting the man was a quick study, even without the eidetic memory. “Oh, one more thing,” Mike called, looking at Greg with a guilty expression once more. “Harvey doesn’t know about the freak brain thing.”
He watched his friend’s body freeze, before a fierce glare met him. “Mike! How the hell did you not manage to admit to your freaky memory thing the twenty years you’ve known this guy!?”
Shrinking back, the blond mumbled at the floor, “Look, I was having a hard time at school, this asshole was bullying me about it,” At this, he looked pointedly at Greg, even if they both knew it was water under the bridge now, “And he knows I’m a genius, okay? He just doesn’t know how or to what extent, really!”
A snort came from the silence, after a moment’s pause, before Greg stated: “A lie of omission is still a lie, Michael. You wanna call yourself a lawyer some day?”
A laugh and a sock bundle launched at his face was the only response Greg got, before they both went back to sorting their shit to move into their respective rooms. At least the awkward tension had dissipated, they both thought as they arranged things around their new space.
Similarly, on a plane headed to Cambridge, the Specter brothers were having their own discussion as preparation for tomorrow.
“So,” Harvey started, looking to his brother, “I bullshitted you coming on this trip with Jessica as a ‘test to see if the applicants’ character’, so if any Harvard staff ask you are here posing as me to test if the rookies act differently and incriminate themselves around someone, namely me, that they don’t feel the need to suck up to. Okay? Now, let’s debrief about the situation.”
Marcus actually laughed at him, throwing his head back to the plush headrest of his first class seat. “Bro, you are nothing if not thorough, huh? It’s fine! I’ll charm the pants off Mike, the little hottie that he is, and then you guys will go back to being weird, awkward penpals.”
The glower Marcus got for his joke was beyond venomous. “There will be no charming any clothing off, Marcus. I’m serious right now, me and Mike aren’t like that-“
“But you’d like to be!” Marcus interrupted, earning himself a smack for his troubles.
“-and I’d really appreciate you not acting like yourself. Be like your awesome big brother and we’re golden, okay?” Not to say that Harvey hadn’t bedded his fair share of people in his life, but at least he did it with tact. And less risk of disease.
Sighing, Harvey shoved the detailed folder on all things Mike into Marcus’ hand again. “Just… Please read it again.”
He almost started at the squeeze of his left arm, before he looked away from Marcus and to Donna, letting his mask slip a little to show his nerves. He wanted her to reassure him that this was the best idea, that he wasn’t being an idiot for sending his carefree kid brother into one of the most important meetings of his life. He could easily try and delude himself into thinking that this would all be an easy way to judge Mike’s character before stepping into something serious, a test of sorts. Except, how does one lie to a professional liar? He couldn’t even mentally bluff himself.
He closed his eyes as the flight attendant’s tinny voice announced their imminent arrival, closing his hand over Donna’s and trying to force his feelings down.
“Harvey, it’ll be fine, okay? The kid’ll love you, no matter what crap you pulled a million years ago.” The redhead’s smile would have been comforting, had Harvey had the drive to open his eyes. He knew Donna well enough to know that behind her devilish ways, she really did care for the people close to her with the ferocity of a mother tiger, or something equally as terrifying.
The descent into Logan International Airport was smooth, which is all Harvey could have hoped for considering his current mood. Thankfully, Marcus had started flipping through the booklet given to him, which he was sure he had a scowling Donna to thank for. Before he could fathom, they were being ushered out of the somewhat stuffy plane and brisk breeze of the Massachusetts Fall, which would only bring a smile to his face as he remembered the first time he’d set foot on this soil, for his own journey to Harvard all those years ago.
At the airport, he managed to type out a quick email to Mike, smiling and blaming his sleep deprivation and travel fatigue for the tawdry use of Gone with the Wind references, of all things. Oh well, he knew Mike would at least laugh at his expense, if not with him.
“Harvey!” Donna called, her hand snapping his laptop down immediately after he had hit ‘Send’. Right, they had a tight schedule, and he had to somehow rein Marcus in, lest he get lost in a place he’s supposed to know like the back of his hand, according to his very emails to Mike. He grabbed the headphones from his brother’s head that had somehow migrated from his neck in the journey through the airport, and spoke unnecessarily loud into the man’s ear. “Right, Marc’, this is how it’s going to go down. We’re headed back to the hotel now, but after that we will be touring this place. You will note all the points of interest down, places I have said I would take him.”
Harvey pointed to the folder, once more. “In there it will detail information on my experiences in these places, anecdotes, crap like that. Stick to the script, and I give you roaming privileges in your free time. Otherwise, you will be confined to the hotel room, under Donna’s watch. You understand?” He didn’t let Marcus reply before added a final, commanding “Good.”
Rolling his eyes, Marcus dragged the headphones back over his blond locks. At least he’d had the good sense to bring the suits Harvey had bought for him over the years, and keep himself shaved. Harvey ruffled the back of Marcus’ hair, pushing his sibling’s head down in what Donna would later inform him was an affection manner, before grabbing as many bags as he could manage and exiting the airport to the awaiting car.
Mike grinned as he read the Gone with the Wind reference, immediately recognising it. It was almost midnight by now, but he’d so nearly finished unpacking and really, how the hell was he supposed to sleep when tomorrow he’d be seeing Harvey in the flesh? Him and Gregory had cracked open their crate of beer and sat on the couch in their little shoebox apartment feeling completely self-accomplished.
“We’re here.” Mike breathed, closing the laptop and figuring he could reply later, buzzing from the alcohol and excitement and not really trusting what he might spill to Harvey while he was like this. “We’re actually at Harvard.”
The blond looked to Greg, whose eyes were cloaked by flashy sunglasses and whose grin matched his. They laughed, clinking their bottles together and cheering amongst themselves. “M~ike, we need to do something!” Greg called, stumbling up off the couch with a little drunken giggle to himself, “A dare, to commemorate our mutual victory!”
It was something they used to do a lot of, as teenagers. Daring each other to do stupid, reckless things when they were both too enebriated to realise exactly how idiotic they were.
Mischief flashed in Mike’s blue eyes, looking up at Greg challengingly. “What did you have in mind, Greg? You know I always win this shit.”
Mike was not one to back down from a challenge, especially when drunk. He had found out the hard way that drunk-him was willing to do a hell of a lot to one up people. Hell, he even conceded to wearing drag once, on Greg’s provocation.
The almost devilish smirk made Mike feel a little uneasy, though, as Greg spoke. “Then you won’t lose if I dare you to streak through our lovely new campus, singing Ten Thousand Men of Harvard?”
Truthfully, if he were less drunk at the moment, Mike could have strangled Greg with one of his silky, trust-fund kid ties. Nevertheless with the copious amounts of beer clouding his senses, Mike’s only response was a cheeky wink at his friend as he threw his t-shirt over his head, headed to the door. Their flat was just off campus, and it was definitely late enough that no-one was around.
Poking his blond head out their door, he made sure the coast was clear for certain before taking off his pants, leaving only plain blue boxers covering his modesty. Before setting off in a run to the edge of campus, he shouted a parting ‘I’ll get you back!’ to Greg.
It was brisker than he remembered it being earlier, was the first thing he noticed, his exposed flesh almost instantaneously forming goose bumps even with his beer jacket in effect. Sighing, taking a brief moment to reflect on his own idiocy, he finally reached the edge of the campus. Drawing in a deep breath, he stumbled out of his boxers, steeled himself , and ran.
Sneaking out from under Donna’s nose had been easier than Harvey imagined, considering he was shirking helping her unpack. Marcus could always help her if she needed, and there was no way Harvey could be expected to sit in some stuffy hotel room less than a day before he was supposed to be ‘meeting’ Mike. He’d taken himself down the luxurious halls of the hotel and out to the streets, wanting desperately to clear his head. Without even thinking he had lead himself to very familiar territory, and as he looked around he couldn’t help but admire the fond nostalgia it provided.
It had been too long since he’d set foot on Harvard’s grounds, though he was always unwilling to praise his time here in the presence of Jessica (because really, it was a place full of pretentious idiots), the campus held a beauty that had always relaxed him in the nights before big tests, or essay hand-ins. It was a remarkable place, the lawyer thought to himself as he lowered himself unto the well-kept grass, his tired eyes sliding closed.
Like many pleasures in Harvey’s like, his peaceful escape was short-lived. It felt like no time at all he’d parked himself in the gardens, before a rather obnoxious rendition of the Harvard fight song drifted through the chill air and assaulted his ears. Snapping his eyes open, annoyance welling up inside him, he immediately found the source of the sound.
A kid, by his evaluation, streaking through the grounds and quite clearly drunk as hell. The blond boy hadn’t even noticed Harvey was there, intoxicated as he was. He was skinny, and so obviously freezing it the almost whiteness of his already pale skin was any indication. The lawyer watched in half-amusement, half-horror as he stumbled his way around, belting the lyrics without a care in the world.
By now they were only a few metres away from each other, not that it was Harvey’s doing, and he could see the kid’s stunning pale blue eyes as they darted about, as if filing everything away, but still didn’t land on Harvey. So he took a moment to appreciate the sight before him, it had been too long since he’d seen someone with such flawless ivory skin; New York socialites were becoming too obsessed with a ‘healthy’ tan, this kid’s skin was natural and extremely tantalising. Brown eyes travelled down the skinny torso, taking in the smattering of light hair, and scanning down to where slim hands were covering Blue Eyes’ modesty.
Harvey smirked, thinking about what treasure would lie under those long fingers, before finally shaking himself out of it. Mike was here, he couldn’t let himself get distracted by pretty young streakers, especially since this one was probably way too young for him, anyway. He enjoyed the show he was getting for a few moments more before the blond finally lost his balance, falling ten feet from where Harvey was. Sighing, the older man finally decided he should probably help him, he was obviously drunk and if he didn’t aid this idiot he’d probably end up in the emergency room the morning of orientation.
“You know,” He called, liking the way the blond’s head shot up instantly, deer in the headlights look in full effect. “You really should learn the full song if you want to ‘represent’ for your school.”
The boy groaned, face flushing bright red. An expected jolt of lust ran through Harvey, watching the blush travel down his pale neck. Unshaken, or just plain ignorant, by the heated gaze thrown his way, the blond boy sat up, hands still covering his modesty as he looked towards Harvey. Those blue eyes slid over him, a pink tongue coming out to nervously moisten wind-chapped lips before Harvey finally got his response, “What are you, the lyric police? I think my rendition was lovely, thanks, a real show stopper. I’m thinking of pitching it to Harvard’s board of directors as the official rewrite.”
Cheeky was definitely this guy’s forte, Harvey thought as he smirked at the antics. Drunk or no, he had a feeling this one would keep up with his banter. And, as much as he wanted to see Mike, he did need to pick a potential associate in the next couple of years. He couldn’t well pick Mike, anti-fraternisation policy aside he’d just be too much of a distraction, so maybe this blond guy could be it…
“Well I’m sure they would definitely take it into account, given the nature of your demonstration.” Smirking, Harvey gestured to his companion’s lack of dress, convinced he’d forgotten in his drunken stupor.
And forgotten he had, because that pretty pink blush had come back full force, as did a full body shiver as the wind picked up. With a sigh, the older man shrugged out of his jacket; a baggy Harvard hoodie he had bought when he was larger in college and one he wore now for the nostalgia.
He pulled it off, offering it to the other. “C’mon kid, you’ll freeze if you stay out here. I’ll help you home, okay?”
Mike hadn’t really been expecting to see anyone; it was the night before orientation after all, and then a week until they actually started classes. So running into an incomparably gorgeous man while naked and drunk was something he couldn’t really comprehend. Especially when said ‘gorgeous man’ was obviously highly intelligent, witty and kind of a hidden softy, if the offered hoodie was anything to go by.
So Mike smiled, genuinely grateful as he slipped the hoodie on with a small, “Thanks.”
He slipped on the soft worn fabric, obviously from a loving home by how well kept it was, and tried not to groan by how good it smelt. Expensive cologne filled Mike’s senses as the baggy material covered his body. It was big, bigger than it looked on mystery man, anyway. Thankfully, the hoodie came down to cover his unmentionables and held some residual warmth from the other’s body. After it was safely zipped up, the younger man attempted some semblance of a standing position. It would have been successful, Mike was sure, if the ground hadn’t insisted on spinning like that.
“Whoa.” He cried out, steadying himself on mystery man’s arm with a drunken laugh. “I feel like I’m in a kaleidoscope, dude.”
His escort sighed, guiding him in the direction he had emerged from.
“So,” Came the voice conversationally from beside him, and Mike pulled his heavy head up to look at the man the voice was attached to. “Where exactly do you live?”
With very little flourish, Mike gestured towards his apartment, not realising how close they had gotten to it before he spotted his blue boxers on the floor and could see the outline of his and Greg’s block of flats over the way. “Hey sweet, my boxers.” He laughed, sweeping down and grabbing his boxers, one arm still braced by his unlikely companion. “My flat and my asshole roommate are just over here!”
He smiled at the man, tugging his handsome stranger along as he went. The man chuckled, a low rumble that Mike knew he was privileged to hear. After all, he seemed like a pretty serious guy to take responsibility for a naked, half-frozen drunkard without any qualms.
“Whoa there, kid, slow down!” The guy said, a barely hidden smile as Mike grinned lazily at him but kept up their fast, fumbling pace. The blond could feel his cheeks flushing with the exertion, but this was fun. This was kind of how he had always pictured being with Harvey, his penpal’s blue eyes sparkling with laughter like hot guy’s were now.
The errant thought made him stop, crashing into his new friend, his chest clenching with guilt. He hadn’t even thought about Harvey, too busy flirting with this guy. And it was stupid, really, because as much as he knew Harvey and he weren’t involved, it still felt like he was cheating on the guy.
“Look, can I bribe you with candy or something if it’ll get you home, kid?” The amused voice breathed from behind him.
Mike laughed, shooting back, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker!”
They both looked at each other, smiling. Oh God, he was doing the quote thing; his and Harvey’s thing. And this stranger got it, asking, “Ogden Nash, really? You don’t seem like a poetry guy.”
And it made Mike burst into laughter, trying to get out between hitched breaths, “Willy Wonka, actually, not a fan of Nash’s stuff but Wilder made it his own.”
A raised eyebrow was his only response, to which he threw back a cheeky smile and a shrug, continuing on the fifty yards to his house.
It was only when they reached the door that he even realised mystery man was still following him. Mike knocked on the door, knowing Greg would be waiting up for him, before turning to the other, showing him the folded blue material of his boxers before tucking them into the man’s pocket.
“For tonight,” he explained, “a souvenir of sorts.”
Behind them the door opened and Greg stepped out. Mike took the man’s shocked silence as a chance to grab Greg and beat a hasty retreat, slamming the door behind them both.
Harvey stood, stunned. First, the kid had been flirting rather outrageously with him, and then he’d been brilliant, and intelligent and quoting Willy Wonka of all things. If Harvey had been a less honourable person at that point, and god knows he usually was in these cases, he would have taken the kid back to his hotel and shown him a very good time.
But then, something absolutely insane happened. The blond’s ‘asshole roommate’ opened the door, and there he was. Mike, in all his glory, there for a split second before he was dragged inside by the other boy. Harvey stood in front of their door for a long while just staring, barely even registering anything with his lips slightly parted as though he would speak, a thousand words on the tip of his tongue.
And suddenly, it was him that seemed drunk. Years of waiting for this moment, and Mike had looked straight through him like Harvey knew he would. He sighed, turning from the house. He’d known the consequences of this the moment he sent his brother’s picture, he had to deal with it like an adult and figure a way to come clean.
And put all thoughts of Mike’s distracting blond roommate from his mind.
I was watching Dirty Dancing for the millionth time again while writing this, and gosh darn I wanna do a Suits Dirty Dancing AU so bad now after this fic is done. Harvey as Johnny and Mike as Baby and Donna as Penny and god damn I'm in over my head already. I promise I shall finish this before I start it, tho, guys. XD
Chapter 5: The Orientation
Pain was the first thing that registered in Mike’s being as he was unwillingly brought from his sleep by the blaring of Greg’s 6am alarm. He groaned, throwing the blanket off him, and padded to Greg’s door. He took a moment to realise he’d passed out on the couch, and one more to realise he was still wearing the baggy, muted red hoodie from the night before. At least he’d managed to slip some boxers on in the interval between running into the house and passing out.
Rapping loudly on the door, Mike shouted irritably. “C’mon man, ‘Wham!’, really?!”
He heard laughter from behind the crappy wooden door, before it opened to reveal an equally dishevelled Greg who was grinning too mischievously for this early in the morning, before starting to belt out: ‘Wake me up, before you go-go!’
Rubbing his sore head, Mike charged across the room and grabbed Greg’s phone and muting the alarm. “Seriously, you are lucky I didn’t throw it out the window. Now go make yourself look hot, you’re meeting Harvey today remember?”
Looking up at Greg, he sighed. It wasn’t fair that his friend was someone who could look effortlessly good even after a night out (or in, in their case). Mike got an ‘aye aye, sir!’ for his efforts, before both of them cleared off to get outfits and respective showers. An hour later saw them dressed in their best suits (in Greg’s case, a designer label fitted perfectly to him and in Mike’s, a hundred dollar suit that he felt was an extortionate amount anyway) and, having soaked up some of the alcohol with some dry toast, were ready for the breakfast meet.
They’d been advised that this meet was incredibly important, much more than the casual mixer with the company reps later on in the evening. First impressions have to be lasting, something Mike had to admit he was a little nervous about. A lot of these kids were not only a lot younger than him, but were trust fund kids. He felt a little silly stood next to Greg, let alone in a room full of these people.
“Dude, stop worrying,” he heard from his side, “your freak brain will impress everyone for sure.”
They both shared a nervous laugh, as they signed in and inconspicuously switched name badges. One last time, he reminded Greg what Harvey looked like and that they agreed to meet as soon as possible. So they split up, mingling with the crowds of fellow students and awaiting the arrival of their prospective employers.
Grabbing an elegant looking china cup and filling it to the brim with coffee, Mike startled as he heard a voice behind him, “Gregory isn’t the best stripper name, Mr. Boone, ever thought of changing it to something more appropriate? Candy, maybe.”
Cringing, Mike turned around to see the charming smirk of the man from last night, and if drunk-Mike thought he was hot, well, sober Mike was floored. Gone were the jeans and worn t-shirt; the man was wearing a suit that looked like it cost more than Mike could make in a year, and it fitted his form perfectly. Looking down, trying not to look at the guy’s expensive shoes as he groaned, “Oh God, please don’t tell me you’re one of the sponsors here today.”
A smile was his only response, no give or take. Suddenly, he felt incredibly nervous, falling into his usual babble of attempted wit without meaning to, “And anyway, I’m a streaker, not a stripper, very different professions. Anyway, like you’re really one to talk, Mr. Bond.” Mike snorted, gesturing to the tailored suit and the guy’s afternoon drink of choice.
“This is scotch.” The guy was clearly affronted, a slender eyebrow raising as he held the glass up to show Mike. And of course, he waiting until Mike was taking a swig of his coffee before adding, “But of course if I’m Bond you could always be my Pussy Galore.”
Mike choked on the warm liquid in his mouth, trying desperately not to get coffee down his only suit. He sputtered a little while, trying to figure out if he was being flirted with, or whether it was just a harmless joke. He probably didn’t stand a chance of being hired by this guy after his mortifying display last night…
Before he could quip back, Mike saw something out of the corner of his eye that had him excusing himself from the other’s company in a hurry.
Harvey, his Harvey, was here. The main door had opened, and everything else seemed to fade away. Mike looked to Greg, who until this point had been talking himself up to a rep from a reputed firm and gestured for him frantically to finish up. Thankfully, Greg politely bowed out a moment later and re-joined him, following Mike’s gaze to the blond man at the entrance.
“Ah, that’s Harvey, yeah?” Greg breathed to him, eyeing the man up and down in interest. Oh God, Greg liked what he saw, this wasn’t good. Greg and Harvey’s eyes met from across the room, recognition and attraction flaring as Mike watched in silence horror. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as they crossed the room, Harvey stopping in front of Greg without even looking at Mike.
“Hey.” His long time penpal and crush spoke, looking at Greg with a smile. God, he was good looking: all flawless, expensive suit and perfectly style blond hair.
“Hey to you, too.” Greg replied, looking up through his lashes at the man. Mike was about to speak up, blurt out their whole goddamn mistake and hope that coming clean wasn’t a big horrible mistake, when suddenly he noticed something he hadn’t before. Harvey’s nametag, which stated his full name and company:
Harvey Specter, Senior Partner at PearsonHardman.
It made him falter. PearsonHardman, seriously? Mike was aware Harvey and he hadn’t really divulged where he had worked, but did it have to be for the best law firm in New York? Immediately he felt inadequate, shrinking back and excusing himself from a conversation he was never a part of, not that Greg or Harvey noticed.
He couldn’t believe it. After all these years, Harvey talking about the how he was in the running to be a named partner, how proud he was when he made senior partner. All these years, and Harvey never once mentioned it was all for Pearson freaking Hardman.
Placing down his coffee, Mike tried not to stare at Harvey too much, mingling with the firm representatives and generally schmoozing in an effort to impress the big-wigs.
Harvey watched the cute blond kid go, smiling at his reactions. He didn’t even notice someone behind him before he heard the conspirator. “He’s cute.”
He didn’t need to turn to see Donna’s knowing smirk, and to growl out a warning ‘Donna’. This was so not a road he was going to go down, especially not after catching Mike out of the corner of his eye. He was talking to streaker kid, and his tailored suit made him look very nice indeed.
“I’m just saying, out of the two of them, we both know Pretty Woman is more your type.” Donna stated, waggling her eyebrows and spitting her gin.
Harvey smiled, remarking, “He’s a streaker, Donna, not a hooker or a stripper. Apparently, there’s a vast difference. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
Crossing the room with Mike and streaker boy in his sights, he’d nearly made it to them, fully intending to introduce himself to Mike as the guy who’d saved his room-mate, when something made him stop.
Marcus came over, completely on cue, and began chatting with Mike. Everything was on schedule, but it wasn’t Marcus or even the stunning form of Mike that caught his eye. Instead, he looked to Pussy Galore kid and stopped.
The blond boy looked like everything he wanted had just been handed to him, and then ripped away. His face was ridiculously easy to read, but what Harvey wanted to know was why.
He was looking at Marcus. Staring directly at him with that Bambi’s mom just died look, before bolting off to the other reps. Curious, he flashed a look to Donna, mouthing to watch Mike and Marcus while he traipsed the room for his enigmatic new acquaintance.
“So,” He spoke, closer than he’d intended to get to the boy. “What was all that about?”
The kid flinched, following Harvey’s own line of sight to Marcus, before letting out a tired sounding laugh. “You’d never believe me if I told you.” The tone of his voice was sad, like he really needed to get something off his chest. A look he saw quite a bit in the pro bono cases he was forced into by Jessica. That pathetic, kicked puppy look was, as why he found himself speaking out: