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the island of conclusions

dancing on the legs of a newborn pony (Suits fic, Harvey/Mike, pg-13)

the island of conclusions

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dancing on the legs of a newborn pony (Suits fic, Harvey/Mike, pg-13)

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Harvey and Mike
Happy Suits renewal day, folks! For whatever reason, this is the longest thing I've written in quite some time.

Title: dancing on the legs of a new-born pony.
Pairing: Harvey/Mike
Rating: pg-13 (barely)
Genre: h/c. straight-up and shameless.
Spoilers: maybe a tiny one for 1x06, certainly takes place before 1x07
Word count: ~7.7K
Disclaimer: not mine, no profit.
a/n: for the “broken bones” square on my hc_bingo card.
a/n: many thanks to [personal profile] linaerys for the extremely helpful beta.
a/n: title from “U.R.A. Fever” by The Kills because apparently this vid has joined song and show inextricably in my mind

Summary: In which Harvey breaks his arm and Mike has a caretaker streak as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Harvey had just managed to find a good spot on the wall—one that when he focused on it the room actually stopped spinning—when someone tapped on the door.

“Harvey?” a voice whispered, soft, solicitous, and annoying as hell.

“Christ, Mike, I’m not dying. Come in and drop the condolence-call voice already.”

“Uh…Okay.” Mike shuffled into the room and arrayed himself at the foot of Harvey’s bed, an old Thomas Pink shopping bag held in front of him like a shield. “You sure? ‘Cause you look—“

“Mike—“ Harvey tried to put enough warning into his voice to get Mike to shut up. He had no desire to hear how Mike thought he looked, in a hospital gown, hair stiff with dried blood and sweat, casted arm propped up beside him. It almost worked.

“Because Donna said they brought you in on a helicopter, and they usually only do that when things are really bad.”

Mike made it sound like something exciting and dramatic, not the most embarrassing thing that had happened to Harvey since the fifth grade.

Fuck Hamiliton Gere and his newbie’s desire to climb routes in Devil’s Chasm that were clearly out of his league. Though maybe Harvey had been the bigger idiot, for letting Ham talk him into it. It had seemed worth the risk for a while: the early autumn air crisp and cool that high in the Catskills; the adrenaline rush of climbing washing all the week’s worries away. But then a missed hand-hold and a rope too slackly held had bounced Harvey hard off the rock face and left him halfway up the falls with a broken arm and a mild-to-moderate concussion. Harvey was pretty sure he could’ve gotten himself up and out, and Ham could’ve just driven him to the nearest ER, no fuss, no drama. But Ham had panicked and called the EMTs. And then thrown his weight around a little about the superiority of Manhattan hospitals. Hence the helicopter ride to Lennox Hill instead.

Oh well. Hamilton Gere might be an over-confident, narcissistic asshole, but he wasn’t a jerk. He’d stuck around until it was clear Harvey wasn’t going to need surgery, and then only left because a major client’s will was being read that afternoon. Before going, he’d punched Donna’s number into Harvey’s phone and held it up to Harvey’s ear so he could talk to her.

Donna had been suitably sympathetic, and had heroically refrained from making fun of Harvey for falling off a cliff first thing Sunday morning. She’d even offered to come back early from visiting her parents upstate, but he’d talked her out of it.

Apparently she’d called Mike instead.

“Donna asked me to pick up some clean clothes for you,” Mike was explaining needlessly, holding up the bag. “Bet you’re glad you got that extra key made now, huh?” He smiled awkwardly, and Harvey had a weird, not entirely unpleasant, flash of Mike going through his closet, Mike’s long fingers on his neatly folded shirts. Pain meds fucking with his head, no doubt.

“I brought some pajamas, too, and a toothbrush. We weren’t sure if they were going to keep you overnight.”

“Mmm? No. No. They’re not. Should be letting me go any minute now—“

“You sure?” Mike said again, finally daring to move closer, coming along the side of the bed, fingers twitching like he wanted to straighten the sheets or something. “’Cause you look—“

As if on cue, Harvey’s doctor appeared at the door.

He nodded at Mike, and rustled through Harvey’s chart for a moment. “I’d rather keep you here for a few more hours at least, Mr. Spector,” he said without looking up. “Due to the concussion, we can’t give you the level of pain medication we’d like to for your arm. I think you’d be more comfortable here. But if you insist, I’m willing to release you now. Do you have someone who can stay with you tonight? You’ll need to be awakened at two-hour intervals, just to make sure there’s no bleeding into the brain.”

“Of course, the firm has an agency it uses—“

But the injuries to his arm and head must have done something to his voice, because before Harvey could get any more words out, he heard Mike telling the doctor, “I’ll stay with him.”

Harvey gaped stupidly. Though he should have seen it coming. Because of course Mike had a caretaker streak as wide as the Grand Canyon. His devotion to his grandmother and his perennial fuck-up of a drug-dealer best friend, not to mention any halfway pretty plaintiff who came around, were ample evidence of that. Harvey should’ve warned Donna not to let Mike anywhere near him when he was in this condition.

The doctor ignored Harvey, looked Mike over and seemed to decide he was up to the task, despite the fact that the old jeans and faded Bob Marley t-shirt he was wearing made Mike look like the fifteen-year-old stoner he truly was. “Thank you, Mr.--?”


“Ross. You’re a good friend. Uh, partner. Or is it husband?” he amended, mouth catching up with the new New York State etiquette.

Mike shook his head and grinned, while Harvey died a little on the inside. “Employee.”

The doctor’s professional demeanor cracked for moment and he grinned back. That happened a lot with Mike. “Employee, then. I’ll have them get the paper work going.”

“You don’t need to, Mike, you really don’t,” Harvey said, as soon as the doctor had left, wishing he had something better than this weak thread of a voice to work with. “Donna will find somebody.”

Mike looked at him as if he thought Harvey was trying to be brave and self-sacrificing. Which Harvey really, really wasn’t. “You don’t have to be all heroic about it, Harvey. It’s no trouble. You’ll feel better without some stranger in your apartment all night.”

No, Harvey wanted to say, I really won’t. I’ll feel better with a highly trained professional. Preferably a large, heavily-muscled man with only a few words of English and a degree from a reputable massage school.

But apparently even the effort of thinking that was too much. His arm throbbed and the pain made his stomach twist, and by the time he’d gotten the nausea under control a nurse had appeared with the discharge paperwork and aftercare instructions.


At least there was one advantage to having Mike on the scene, Harvey decided, closing his eyes against the pain in his arm and head as Ray—summoned, like Mike, by Donna’s magical long-distance powers—seemed to hit every one of New York’s potholes. Mike’s perfect recall had effortlessly absorbed the nurse’s instructions about medication schedules and follow-up appointments while Harvey had been busy trying to make the objects in the room stay still.

Harvey thought Mike was recapping things now, but he wasn’t sure. It was mostly just a blur of noise, only one word in three coming through clearly: “Tylenol 3,” “physical therapy,” “emotional imbalance.” He opened his eyes and dug in the pocket of the clean trousers Mike had brought for his phone.

He pecked at it one-handed, grateful that the broken arm wasn’t attached to his dominant hand. It took about five more tries than usual, but eventually he got to the screen listing his messages: one from Donna—telling him she’d sent Mike and Ray, no doubt; three from Jessica—Donna must have called her, too, or maybe Ham had; and one each from his dad in Pittsburgh and his brother in L.A.—that would be Jessica’s doing, the two of them were a bit much even for Donna.

He started to try calling them back, but the phone’s tiny keyboard wavered and prismed in front of him, no matter what distance he held it from his face.

A hand curled over his own, blocking the screen.

“Leave it, Harvey,” Mike said. “They can wait ‘til tomorrow. Or I’ll call them if you like.”

Mike had moved close enough that their thighs almost touched. He smelled like maybe he didn’t wash his weekend clothes often enough, like last night’s beer and the weed from a few months ago. Like a lazy Sunday watching the game on TV and eating Doritos. But his hand was warm and steady and Harvey let him gently pull the phone away.


Between the two of them, Mike and Ray got him up to his apartment with minimal hassle. And as Harvey had expected, the muted lights and high-thread-count sheets in his own bedroom were infinitely better than the hospital. He laboriously got himself out of his street clothes and into his oldest pajamas pants—too much work to worry about getting the top around his arm—and relaxed into the extra-firm mattress with the one thought of sleeping until the cast came off. He was exhausted. It was barely five now, but the day had started with a 4am drive to the Catskills and ended with a helicopter ride and a fuckton of x-rays.

But here was Mike again, not letting him sleep.

“Hey. They said you could have another round of pills now, but not on an empty stomach,” he said, leaning on the doorway of Harvey’s bedroom. “All I can find in your kitchen are some Japanese rice crackers and some flavor of ice cream I’ve never heard of. Which do you think would go down better?”

“Crackers,” Harvey said, trying to push himself up further on the pillows Mike had stacked behind him, because all of sudden more pain medicine didn’t seem like such a bad idea. “And make up a grocery list for Fairway, wouldja? They’ll deliver. The doorman knows the account number.”

Mike nodded and left. Harvey sent out a prayer to whatever gods were listening that he wouldn’t wake up tomorrow to a larder full of double-stuff Oreos and pizza pockets.

He made himself eat a few of the crackers Mike set in front of him. The concussion must have affected his taste buds as well as everything else, because the crackers felt like old cardboard on his tongue and then like lead going down, even when rationally he knew there was nothing in them but rice and air. Duty done, he reached gratefully for the pills. He was asleep before Mike had even pulled the blinds on the floor-to-ceiling windows.


It seemed barely minutes before someone was jostling his shoulder and whispering his name.

“—the fuck?” he muttered in a kind of groggy fury. Who was dragging him out of a peaceful slumber? And who was twisting his forearm in what felt like the worst kind of Indian burn?

“Whoa.” Mike stepped back from the bed, hands raised in mock-defense. “Take it easy. I just have to make sure you’re not slipping into a coma. Doctor’s orders, remember?”

With a thud, Harvey did remember. He remembered what Mike was doing in his apartment, and why his arm was a swollen, aching bundle of pain.

“Yeah,” he said, and winced at the way his voice bounced off the walls of his skull. The room was dark now, except for the bedside lamp and the ambient light of the city behind the shades.

“Do you know what day it is?” Mike was crouched next to the bed at a respectful distance, like he didn’t want to jar Harvey any more than necessary. Or maybe like he was a little bit afraid of him.

“Sunday? It was Sunday when I went to sleep anyway.”

“It’s still Sunday, about 8:30 at night. Okay, who’s the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?”

That one took a little longer, but it surfaced eventually. “Roberts.”

“Good.” Mike was starting to smile. “What’s the statute of limitations on insider trading?”

Harvey blinked at him. He didn’t know. It was an easy question, but he didn’t know. He thought the answer might be darting around somewhere in the pools of his mind, but he couldn’t get at it—it was like plunging for those tiny fish in ocean shallows. He swallowed bile that was pure fear. For the first time it occurred to him that the rock might have truly knocked something loose in his head. Something that could never be put right. And where would he be then? If his brain stopped working, what would he have left?

He swallowed again, felt his heart speed up and his face get hot.

“Shit.” Mike got closer, knelt right next to the bed and put his hand on Harvey’s good shoulder. “It’s okay. I’m just messing with you. I’m surprised you even know your own name right now, what with your arm and your head and all. The rest is bound to be blurry. Shit. Just breathe for minute, okay? It’s alright if you don’t know.”

“I know it’s alright, you little fuck.” Harvey shrugged out of Mike’s hold. No way was he going to panic in front of Mike Ross, no goddamned way. “They read me the riot act about head injuries, remember. So if we’ve established that I’m not in a coma, which I think we have, maybe you can let me go back to sleep now.”

“Yeah.” Mike started backing away. “Of course, Harvey. Try to get some rest.”


But he couldn’t.

Now that he was awake his arm was really starting to throb. Circles of pain radiated outward from the lump over his left ear. He tossed restlessly, trying to find a position where everything wouldn’t hurt so much, but whatever was better for his head was worse for his arm, and vice versa. He thought about calling Mike back, demanding more meds and damn the consequences. But the idea of doing any more damage to his brain frightened him far more than dealing with the pain. So he tried to stay very still and breathe shallowly and think of absolutely nothing.

He must have lain like that that for hours, because when Mike next came in he was still awake.

“Quiz time again already?” Harvey asked, and Christ, he really did sound like he was dying now.

“How come you’re not asleep?” Mike stood over the bed, peering at him worriedly. He was barefoot now, Harvey noticed, and his hair stood up in spikes as if he’d been tugging at it. “Jesus, Harvey, don’t tell me you’ve been awake this whole time.”

Harvey grunted noncommittally.

“Are you hurting?”

“What do you think, genius?” It wasn’t that Harvey wanted to snap at Mike. He didn’t. It’s just that the level of unabashed sympathy in Mike’s voice would have driven a saint to sarcasm.

Not that his tone put Mike off. “Aw, man, I wish I could give you some more of those pills. But they’re supposed to last six hours, and it’s only been about four. Can you hold out? You want me to call your doctor?”

“No, it’s fine. I’m good.” Shut up, he said silently. Go away.

But Mike leaned over and fussed a little with the duvet. “I’m gonna get you some water, at least. You want the TV on? Maybe the distraction—“

Harvey let out an involuntary groan. Even the idea of tinny electronic voices ratcheted up the pain in his head about two degrees.

“Okay, so no TV. I could—well, I could read to you. You have some decent novels out there—“

“Jesus wept, Mike, what do you think this is, Little Women? No, I don’t want you to read to me. All I want is for it to be quiet and dark and for you to stop bothering me.”

Harvey stopped. He was making his head hurt all by himself now. He sounded whiny. He sounded querulous—which was just whiny for grown-ups. And Harvey Spector did not do whiny in any age group.

Mike, at least, had the good grace not to yell back. Or to offer any other forms of comfort. He just looked, not to put too fine a point on it, forbearing. “Fair enough. Let me just get you some water and I’ll leave you alone.”

True to his word, Mike turned off the bedside light and closed the door as soon as Harvey had finished the glass. On his own again, Harvey twisted around some more, trying to get comfortable. He ended up in a hot tangle of sheets instead.

Stupid, he told himself, stupid. He should have stayed in the hospital. Then, at least, he could have railed at the nurses without the niggle of remorse railing at Mike was beginning to generate in him. Or he should have insisted on a professional. Harvey conjured up his heavily-muscled private nurse again. He was from Bavaria, he decided arbitrarily. And he was an expert in twelve different kinds of homeopathic pain relief, learned at that reputable massage therapy school of his, though he used only his hands to explain them, never words.


That happy image finally sent Harvey into a deeper sleep. But he didn’t dream of strong and silent nurses. He dreamt he was back on the rock face in Devil’s Chasm, broken arm dangling uselessly at his side, head spinning. Only this time Ham had completely dropped the rope, and the only things holding Harvey up were his toes and the fingers of his good hand. Which were slipping, slipping—and now his toeholds were gone too, and he was falling through thin air, the rocky stream at the bottom of the canyon rising up to meet him, panic like a noose around his throat.

Someone put a hand on his chest, arresting his fall. “Harvey,” a voice said firmly, “stop thrashing around like that. You’re gonna hurt your arm all over again.”

Harvey coughed and pried his eyes open, somehow expecting to see his imaginary Bavarian. Instead, Mike’s boyish, narrow-chinned face looked down on him.

“You’re American,” he said, before he could stop himself.

“Yeah, I’m American. Brooklyn’s still part of America, right? Snap out of it, Harvey, you’re freaking me out a little here.”

Mike was sitting on the side of the bed now, his hip pressed into Harvey’s thigh and his hand heavy over Harvey’s heart as though he were seriously trying to hold him down. Harvey watched Mike’s hand rising and falling to the rapid pace of his own breath.

“Were you dreaming?” Mike asked. “I think you were dreaming. You’re awake now, right? You’re okay?”

“Mmm,” Harvey murmured, but he wasn’t. The room was doing a lazy spin around him and each loop made the churning in his stomach worse.

Abruptly, he pushed himself up over Mike’s knees, and was sick all over Mike’s bare feet.

Mike made a sharp little noise of surprise, but he didn’t stand up or even try to pull away. On the contrary, he put a steadying hand on Harvey’s back, rubbing his thumb over the nape of Harvey’s neck. “You,” he said, almost admiringly, “are so fucked up.”

“Sorry,” Harvey gasped, still slung across Mike’s thighs, riding out a spasm that threatened to become another round of retching. “Sorry.”

“No worries. You should’ve seen some of the spew fests I’ve lived through.”

“If this is going to end with you comparing me to Trevor, you need to stop right now,” Harvey managed weakly.

Mike laughed, and threaded his fingers into Harvey’s hair, drawing the sweaty weight of it off his forehead . “Okay. I’ll leave it up to your imagination. You good now? Or you gonna go again?”

“I’m good.”

“Alright, then. You’re going to have to get up for a minute so I can clean up. Sorry.”

Ensconced in the bedroom chair, his rarely-worn terrycloth robe pulled tight around him, Harvey shivered a little and watched Mike change the sheets. Mike had already gotten Harvey cleaned up, handled the floor, and washed himself off. Harvey felt a pang—the nature of which he was unwilling to examine too closely—thinking about how Mike had come to be so unfazed by dealing with vomit in the middle of the night. Maybe it was an ability he’d been born with, Harvey consoled himself, like the photographic memory. Nothing to do with the deadbeat, debauched company he’d been keeping.

His jeans ruined, Mike had changed into an old pair of Harvey’s track pants. They were just about the right length, but too loose around the waist. They slipped down as he worked, exposing a pale flash of skin at the top of his hip. Mike hiked them up. A minute later, they had slipped down again. Harvey blamed his severely compromised state for the fact that he couldn’t make himself look away.

“There you go.” Mike put the small trash bin from the master bath next to the bed. “Just in case. And guess what? You can have another couple of those happy pills now.”


Mike must’ve woken him a few more times in the night, but Harvey didn’t register it beyond a bleary exchange of words. The next time he really surfaced, early morning light was bleeding through the blinds and Mike was fussing with the pill bottles and glasses on the nightstand.

“Hey.” Mike smiled at him when he saw that Harvey was awake. “How you doing?”

“Better, I think.” Harvey didn’t quite dare move yet, but he was pretty sure that was true. He felt light-headed and his arm ached, but it was nothing like the roiling onslaught of nausea and pain of the night before. Most of the mental fog seemed to have cleared away, too.

“Good.” Mike was still wearing his old t-shirt and Harvey’s track pants, but he smelled of Harvey’s Bumble and Bumble shampoo now, and his hair was damp and flat above his ears.

Mike followed Harvey’s eyes, patting self-consciously at his temples. “Uh, yeah—I hope you don’t mind –I, uh, used your stuff. That’s a nifty shower you’ve got there. Though I’m not sure I figured out how to get the programming right. And, uh, it took me a few tries to figure out the coffee maker, too.”

“It’s German,” Harvey told him, “And I don’t mind.”

Then he was blindsided by a vivid image of Mike behind the smoked-glass panels of his custom-fitted shower, arching and turning his torso to get the best angle on the massage jets, rivulets of water snaking down his ribs. He wondered whether Mike was just skinny under his shapeless clothes, or whether he had those lean muscles, the kind that gave you strength without the bulk.

Harvey mentally slapped himself. Maybe he wasn’t quite as cogent as he’d thought.

“Thanks.” Mike went back to arranging stuff. “Donna found someone to look in on you—they’ll be here in a couple of hours. I need to go into the office, though. Those briefs, y’know? Anyway, the doctor was very clear that you should take it easy for a day or two, so I’m trying to set things up so you don’t have to hunt around too much….”

Mike trailed off. He seemed tired, Harvey thought—pale and puffy under the eyes, voice rough. Harvey wondered where he’d slept—the apartment had a guest room, of course, but he hadn’t thought to tell Mike to use it. And besides, he’d been dealing with Harvey all night, hadn’t he? Harvey moaning and bitching and then, oh God, throwing up all over him.

“Sorry,” Harvey said abruptly. “About last night. That was probably more than you’d bargained for. I probably would’ve put me in an ambulance and shipped me back the hospital about twenty minutes in.”

Mike looked at him, something wary in his eyes. “Don’t worry about it. Just a rough night, that’s all. Glad you’re feeling better.”



They watched each other for a few moments longer, Mike shifting from foot to foot, Harvey feeling exhaustion creep up on him again.

“So, um, I’m gonna go now. Good thing you taught me to always keep a change of clothes at the office, huh? The grocery guy came, so there’s plenty of stuff in the fridge. And Donna’s person should be here at ten. But if you need anything just call—your phone’s right here--. And, uh, I’ll check back in on you after work—“

Mike said the last part tentatively, as if he expected a curt dismissal, and in truth, Harvey expected himself to give him just that, but instead he found himself saying, “Yeah, okay, thanks—“

Mike manfully kept the surprise out of his voice. “Good. Okay. See you later, then.”

“It’s five years,” Harvey called after him as Mike left the room. “The statute of limitations on insider trading—it’s five years.”

“Give the man a law degree,” Mike’s voice floated back.


Mrs. Laurene Wilson was neither male, silent, nor Bavarian. She was a tiny woman in her sixties, late of Kingston, Jamaica, presently from Springfield Gardens, Queens. Her grey hair was cropped close to her head and she hummed gospel songs in a sweet soprano as she worked. Harvey tried hard to hate her for dealing the deathblow to his fantasies, but he couldn’t. He found it nearly impossible to hate anybody who was good at what they did, and Mrs. Wilson was a miracle of order and efficiency. She had Harvey cleaned up, medicated and sitting on the couch dutifully ingesting an extremely bland and nourishing bowl of chicken soup before he really knew what hit him. He hoped Donna was paying her enough of his money to keep her permanently on retainer. Knowing Donna, she probably was.

He watched Mrs. Wilson moving around the kitchen, tidying up the rather extraordinary amount of mess Mike had managed to create. It’d been years since Harvey had been laid up at home like this, maybe not since he’d torn his ACL playing basketball, the first year he was in the DA’s office. It was fine for right now, mostly because he still couldn’t look at a page of print or the television screen without his stomach doing back flips. He’d be going out of his mind soon, though. Maybe even by this afternoon. He was pretty sure he’d be back in the office tomorrow, whether he was still seeing double or not.

The firm had sent a flower arrangement that managed to be both beautiful and ostentatious, and Donna had sent a box of pastries from his favorite bakery. She’d called, too, to let him know that she’d rescheduled all his meetings for next week, and smoothed the feathers of all the clients who were outraged that he’d had the audacity to injure himself. As if he’d ever doubted she’d have everything under control, he told her, and she made pleased noises over the phone. He missed her.

“So, Mike looked after you last night, huh?” she’d said. “How’d that go? Did he manage to break your other arm?”

“Nah, he was fine. Even when I threw up on him.”

“You threw up on him?” Donna sounded slightly more delighted by this than was strictly polite. Also surprised. Harvey had a brief flash of gratitude that Mike hadn’t shared his indignities around the office.

“Just once. Nothing to get excited about. Nothing dramatic.”

“Get some rest, Harvey,” Donna said affectionately, and rang off.

Harvey spent some more time staring into space, starting to feel vaguely bored. Mrs. Wilson was chopping vegetables now, accompanying herself with a muted but heartfelt rendition of “Jesus on the Mainline.” Harvey wondered what Mike was doing. Poring over endless briefs for Louis, no doubt. Working on his sixth cup of coffee and running anxious fingers up and down his scalp.

Harvey hoped Mike wasn’t too wrecked by his sleepless night. And then immediately scolded himself for worrying about the wellbeing of an associate—keeping associates up all night was the whole point of having associates. Except maybe not keeping them up all night throwing up on them and then making them change the sheets. Even to Harvey, that seemed a little above and beyond.

Maybe he should have told Mike to take the day off. Or let him crash in the spare bed for a few hours before heading to work. It would have been almost nice to have Mike around, he realized. It would have distracted him from the pain and the work he was missing. Would have made things less boring.

In the early afternoon, Jessica came by, bearing a basket of perfect grapes and clementines that Harvey still didn’t have the stomach to eat. She must have been on her way back from a client lunch, dressed in a perfectly cut burnt orange suit, her autumn-weight cashmere wrap practically floating around her.

“Look at you,” she said, surveying Harvey, still laid out on the couch in sweats and a Henley, one sleeve flapping uselessly over his cast. He even had a throw over his knees, courtesy of Mrs. Wilson. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. Now he just felt ridiculous.

Jessica settled herself on the other end of the couch and patted his knee. “How’re you holding up?”

“Fine. Good.” Harvey tried to put some confidence into the words. “I’ll be back in the office tomorrow.”

“Harvey,” she said. “We’re old friends, so I can say this: you really don’t look so good. Don’t push things, huh? Louis can handle any pressing cases.”

“Louis?” Little sparks started dancing in his vision. “Aw, Jessica, don’t. Don’t do that. I’ll be in tomorrow.”

“We’ll see.” She patted his knee again. “Did you call the Coach yet?” She meant his father, who’d coached minor league ball for most of his life, and still hadn’t quite forgiven Harvey for being better with words than he was with a bat.

He shook his head.

“Call him. He worries. We all do.” She leaned over and pressed cool lips to his cheek. “Get some rest.”

Mrs. Wilson left soon after, with assurances that there was something for dinner in the oven, and that she’d back at the same time tomorrow.

“Thanks, really, but I’ll be back in the office tomorrow.”

“Of course you will, darling,” she said, giving him a warm smile and a pat on the hand. “Of course you will.”

Left alone, he cowboyed up and called Pittsburgh. It wasn’t too bad, though his dad did yell at him for about ten minutes in his usual profanity-laced mode of concern before Harvey could convince him the situation didn’t warrant an emergency trip to Manhattan.

“Love you too, Pop” Harvey was finally able to say. He ended the call, exhausted.


Harvey woke with a start some indeterminate amount of time later. A glance at his watch told him he’d slept through the afternoon into evening, which was annoying. But the numbers weren’t dancing around anymore on the watch face, so he was forced to put the nap down as a good thing. Even the ache in his arm had subsided.

Unfortunately, he was also feeling better enough to realize how stiff and itchy he was from spending the whole day on the couch. He levered himself upright—relieved that the room stayed still around him—with the thought of getting himself into the shower. But by the time he’d made it to the master bath and wrestled himself out the Henley, that project, which involved finding something waterproof to put over his cast, seemed too ambitious. He could shave, at least, he decided—that would get rid of the some of the itch. Mrs. Wilson had offered to do it for him earlier, but he’d foolishly put her off.

Leaning over the bathroom counter to get his shaving stuff out of the cabinet, he understood why everyone had been questioning his readiness to go back to work. The face that looked back at him in the mirror was pale and panda-eyed, with—fuck—about a dozen new fine lines on his forehead and around his mouth. The lump on his head actually also involved a broad shallow scrape across his right temple—still red and raw-looking thirty six hours later. And his hair was an irredeemable mess, flopping forward over his ears. He sagged a little at the sight.

Then he rallied. If he was going to be a haggard sonofabitch, he’d at least be a clean-shaven haggard sonofabitch. He lathered his face with his good hand, ran the razor under hot water, and set determinedly to work.

A few strokes in he heard the front door click open.

“Hey, something smells good,” Mike called. “Harvey? Harvey, you in here somewhere?”

“Bathroom,” Harvey called back.

“I take it you’re feeling better,” Mike said, pausing at the bathroom doorway. He wore his work clothes now, but he’d shed his suit jacket somewhere already—probably over the arm of Harvey’s couch—loosened his tie and untucked his shirt. “But isn’t that a little—“ he gestured at the razor in Harvey’s hand. “Shouldn’t you--? I mean, you want any help with that--?”

“Kid, the day I can’t handle shaving one-handed is the day you actually grow a beard,” Harvey told him. But there was no venom in the words. He was struggling with an absurd little pop of pleasure that Mike had followed through on his plan to come by.

“Right,” Mike held up his arms, smiling. “Okay then. Far be it from me to interfere with your plans to cut your own throat.”

“Ha ha. Mrs. Wilson left some kind of casserole in the oven—help yourself.”


But Mike didn’t leave. He pushed himself up onto the Italian marble countertop next to the sink and sat there, dangling his legs, watching Harvey, his expression half amused and half something else entirely. Harvey was suddenly acutely aware that he was naked to the waist.

“Oh, you think I need supervision now?” Harvey tore his eyes away from Mike and back to his own half-shaven face in the mirror.

“Maybe. Your track record hasn’t been too good so far this week.”

Mike didn’t say anything else, nor did he leave. He just followed the dip and sweep of Harvey’s razor with his eyes as Harvey drew it carefully across his skin. Harvey had left the hot water running in the sink, and as he watched Mike watching him in the mirror, he saw Mike’s cheeks gradually go pink from the steam, his lips begin to part slightly. Harvey’s legs began to shake slightly under him, and his heart rate sped up in a way that had nothing to do with the strain of recent injury.

“There,” he said, after what seemed like a long and breathless span of time. He put down the razor and patted himself clean with a towel.

“You missed a spot.” Mike lifted his fingers to Harvey’s face, wiped away a bit of shaving cream on the corner of his jaw.

The touch was warm, electric, and, light as it was, it knocked away the remains of Harvey’s already precarious balance. He staggered sideways, half falling into Mike. Mike reached for him, one hand closing around his bicep, the other, since Mike was trying to avoid the cast, on his bare waist.

And then there they were, smashed up against the bathroom counter in a tangle of arms and legs, their faces so close they could have---

And maybe Harvey was imagining it, but he thought Mike started to lean towards him--.

Harvey pushed himself upright with his good hand on Mike’s chest. “Go get yourself something to eat,” he said. “Mrs. Wilson is an excellent cook.”

Harvey thought a flash of real hurt might have passed over Mike’s face, but it was gone before he could really register it.

“Okay.” Mike hopped own from the counter, recomposing his expression as he straightened his clothes. “You go back to bed and I’ll bring you some—you seem like you’re pretty much done in for the day.”

“God, you’re worse than a girl about this motherhenning shit, aren’t you? Worse than any girlfriend I’ve ever had, anyway.”

“Wait. Some girl actually put up with you long enough to try and look after you? Hold the phone.”

“Mike,” Harvey tried again, struggling to address this thing in a more adult way. “Look. You don’t have to. I mean, I know you do have to, that you have this crazy urge to take care of people, maybe because of the way you grew up, or maybe it’s just genetic or something, I don’t know. And your grandmother, sure, and Trevor, well, the less said about that the better. But you don’t have to do it with me. I don’t need it, for one. And it’s a terrible quality in a lawyer—people don’t pay us to take care of them—they pay us to see justice done.”

Mike stared at him. As if out of all the things Harvey had said and done to him in the past two days, this was the one that was really going to piss him off. “It’s a terrible quality in a lawyer?” he repeated slowly. “Are you for real? That’s why you think I’m here? Because I have some kind of uncontrollable caretaker complex? Shit, Harvey, I’m here because—Oh, God, just—just never mind.”

He shoved Harvey’s arm out of the way and left the room.

Harvey stood there for a moment, caught off guard, and feeling about three mental steps behind where he’d usually be by now. What had he done to make Mike so mad? Worse: was Mike mad enough to leave? The thought upset him more than he would have expected.

“Go lie down before you fall down. It’ll be ready in a minute,” Mike called from the kitchen, and Harvey let out a breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding.

He made his way slowly out through the bedroom. The bed looked inviting, but he wasn’t ready to succumb just yet. He grabbed his robe off the chair, pulling it around his shoulders because he couldn’t be bothered to deal with his arms.

The casserole did smell good, Harvey realized, vegetables and cheese and some kind of tomato sauce, the scent stirring the first genuine hunger he’d felt all day. Mike was struggling to scoop portions of it into bowls as Harvey came into the kitchen, drops of sauce and bits of vegetables scattering all over the previously clean counter. He was just popping a piece of fallen squash into his mouth when he noticed Harvey’s presence.

“Hey, I thought I said lie down,” he said, mouth half-full.

“Bossy girlfriend, too,” Harvey muttered.

But he obeyed, settling himself onto the sofa again, happier than he liked to admit to be off his feet. He closed his eyes and leaned his head back. Everything was starting to ache again, but it seemed like too much trouble to get up and search for his pills. The fleeting look of hurt Mike had given him before they argued replayed itself behind his eyelids. Had he been hurt because they’d almost--? Or because they hadn’t?

He blinked his eyes open. What if that were true? What if Mike were here, had been doing all this, not because of some caretaker streak but because he had some kind of crush on Harvey? It certainly made everything make more sense. And it wasn’t like that kind of thing hadn’t happened to Harvey before.

And furthermore, in the interest of full disclosure, hadn’t Harvey been having the same kind of thoughts about Mike all day. So, maybe, why not, he wondered, with a giddy little thrill of freedom. Getting into something like that with an associate—correction, a fake associate—wasn’t the greatest idea, probably, but Harvey had made worse object choices in his life and lived to tell the tale.

Still, it was Mike, and the kid was so earnest about everything. He’d be bound to take things far too seriously. And that kind of trouble Harvey could live without.

“Here you go.” Mike disrupted his reverie. He actually found a tray somewhere, and a cloth napkin.

Harvey reached up, pulled Mike down, and kissed him.

His depth perception was still off, or maybe his aim was, because he landed a little wide of the mark, and had to slide his mouth around a bit to get where he wanted to be. Still, it was good when he got there, Mike’s lips surprisingly soft and full under his, the contact a heady rush of feeling.

He felt Mike freeze for a moment, suspended awkwardly over the tray now balanced precariously on Harvey’s knees. Then he parted his lips minutely under Harvey’s, leaned into him with an almost-sigh.

Emboldened, Harvey let himself tongue into Mike’s mouth, tasting black pepper and oregano. He slid his good hand under Mike’s shirt: skinny, after all, the ladder of his ribs easy to climb. His skin was satiny and warm, and Harvey lost himself in it almost instantly, enjoying the way the lean muscles of Mike’s stomach start to tremble under his exploring fingers.

So he’d guessed right, Harvey thought, congratulating himself a bit on his perceptiveness: this is what Mike had wanted all along. The idea that Mike might have been thinking about him the way he’d been thinking about Mike him sent a shiver down his spine, and he shifted a little, trying to get a better angle on the kiss, pushing up off the couch to get at more of Mike’s body with his hand.

And then things went promptly to shit.

The tray on his lap flipped over with a crash. Sauce and vegetables spilled down one leg of Harvey’s sweats and the plate shattered on the floor.

“Fuck,” Harvey hissed, pushing Mike away and standing up so fast his head spun. “Ow.” He shook his leg, futilely trying to get the hot food away from his skin.

“Oh, you’re kidding me.” Mike stared at him, flushed and aghast. “Here—get those off.” He bent down, tugging at the waistband of Harvey’s pants.

“Leave it alone, Mike—just—leave it.” Harvey batted at him one-handed until Mike let go. The ruined pants slid down to pool around Harvey’s ankles.

Mike held his hands up in appeasement, and backed off. But the catastrophe wasn’t over yet: an unlucky step on a patch of fallen casserole sent him sprawling to the floor, his head hitting the coffee table with another sharp crack.

And then there they were. Harvey standing naked, only the robe around his shoulders, and Mike flat on his ass, both hands pressed to the back of his head.

Harvey tensed, expecting a stream of invective at best. Mike started laughing instead.

“That,” he said, “was officially the worst kiss ever.”

“Was not.” Harvey gathered the robe around him, trying to salvage some dignity. “I’m a fantastic kisser.”

“Harvey, you’re covered in cheesy vegetables. And you’re handing out concussions like you think everybody needs one.”

“Hey, you fell all on your own. And I’d be a fantastic kisser even if I were covered in Kraft macaroni and cheese.”

“Oh my God, Harvey.” Mike’s laughter took on a slightly hysterical edge. He moved one hand to cover his eyes. “Thanks for the visual. I think I’m scarred for life now.”

“You okay?” Mike was starting to sound punch-drunk or worse.

“Yeah. Yeah, I think. Give me a hand up, willya?”

Harvey did, but they couldn’t have put together one decent sense of balance between the two of them now, and they swayed and teetered a bit before they collapsed side-by-side on the sofa, staring at the mess on the floor.

“But, come on, you were into it, I could tell.” Harvey said after a minute, not daring to look at Mike.

“Yeah.” Mike finally sobered. “Yeah, maybe I was.”

“And that’s why you’re here, right? You got the hots for the boss?” Harvey meant the words to be mocking, but to his dismay they came out as a question instead, and a plaintive one at that.

“No.” Mike shifted so he could look Harvey in the eye. “I mean, yeah, a bit. But what I meant before was, well—we’ve known each other for a little while now, right? And you got hurt—and I didn’t want—. I mean, I wanted--. Shit, Harvey, all I wanted to say was I’m here for you. Can we just leave it at that? Aside from all the sex stuff and whatever, I’m here for you.”

Just as Harvey had feared, Mike looked horribly earnest. And usually, that kind of declaration raised nothing but contempt in Harvey, contempt and an overwhelming desire to leave the room. But this time it didn’t. Because there was something else there in Mike’s eyes, some kind of deep affection that had nothing to do with lust. When Mike smiled at him questioningly, Harvey couldn’t help smiling back.

“So what you’re saying, then, is that you want to go again?” Harvey asked, only slightly embarrassed to hear his voice reflect the little swell of happiness going on in his heart.

“Yeah, about that,” Mike answered,light, teasing, his face relaxing into a kind of amused relief. “I think I’m gonna take a raincheck. I mean, I’m sure you’re amazing and all when everything’s working, but right now you’re a little—how can I put this? Sloppy.”

“Sloppy? I’ll give you sloppy, boy. You’re the one who’s going be sloppy when I’m done with you. Come on, I could go twelve rounds right now.” But it wasn’t a challenge, just a good-natured grumble as he let his head fall back against the sofa cushions.

“Raincheck, Harvey, raincheck.” Mike laughed. But he slung an arm across Harvey’s chest, warm and solid, like a promise.

the end
  • :DDD
  • This is lovely! I'm enjoying Suits, so I thought if anyone can write a fic I would enjoy, it would be you, my friend.

    “Harvey, you’re covered in cheesy vegetables. And you’re handing out concussions like you think everybody needs one.”

    Heh. My favourite line.

  • Awwww! That's delightful. So warm and intimate and in character. Yay!
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And especially that you thought it was in character--my first try at writing these guys--

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • This was totally fantastic!!
  • AWWWWWW. This whole thing was like one big hug! Loved it :)

    (and I can just imagine Harvey making good on his promise to make Mike sloppy. UNF)
    • hee! I imagine Harvey will do an excellent job of that once he gets his wits about him*g*

      Thanks for reading and commenting--I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
  • This was great! Loved Harvey's thoughts and Mike's comment about Harvey handing out concussions.
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It was fun to get inside Harvey's somewhat addled head for this one.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • Oh, God, all the lovely affection and details and Mike taking care of Harvey and Harvey being torn between liking it and being wary of it. I love it all so much!
  • This was wonderful! You really got the characterization right for everyone. I hope you write more in this fandom! :D
    • Thank you--I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And that the characterization felt right--it's my first try with these guys.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • OMGOMG. When I saw this post on my flist, I seriously busted out with an "oh, shit." As in, "oh shit, this girl wrote suits fic and it's h/c and it's going to be AWESOME."

    And boy was it ever. <3

    I had the silliest grin on my face, like the entire time I was reading this fic. I love slightly off!Harvey and your Mike was pretty much spot on. I also really loved the fact that Mike wasn't there because of his crush, he was just there because he CARES about Harvey. You did a great job of capturing their mutual friendship in addition to the slight hints of slashiness.

    ALSO, I"M SO HAPPY YOU MADE HARVEY/HARVEY'S DAD FROM PITTSBURGH. My god. It's mah town and I love it. I love that it's in there and it's my new suits head canon. <3s forever

    This is pretty much the Suits fic for me, lady, but you know, I don't think I'll be too upset if you decide you want to write more. :P
    • Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it1 I was hoping you would, since I remember you said you were hoping to see some h/c in the fandom--and I'm glad the non-porny take worked okay.

      And glad you approve of Pittsburgh :) I've never been there, but from what I know it seemed right--and Harvey seems like more of a convert to NYC than a native.

      Thanks so much for the lovely feedback!
  • *happy sigh* This is fic is everything I love about them, and also h/c. I want to wrap myself up in it like a blanket and never leave.
    • Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it--and that something of what makes them so loveable came through in it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
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    • Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it--thank you for the lovely feedback. Mike does seem to have something of a canonical caretaker streak.

      Glad the warmth and affection between them came through, though--thanks for reading and commenting!

      They are fun to write, but I have some many other things I'm supposed to finish that I'm not sure when I'll get back to them--
  • (no subject) -
    • aw, thank you for the lovely,lovely comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed the fic--especially if h/c isn't your usual cup of tea. If I can figure out how that raincheck would go, I promise to write it :)

      Thanks for reading!
  • Squee! This made my fangirlish heart do the snoopy dance. ^_^ So cute and heartfelt.
    • Yay! I'm thrilled to hear it made your heart do the snoopy dance--glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading!
  • I had to look up this show on imdb.com to even know what it was about, but I still really enjoyed how you wrote these characters. You have gorgeously vivid writing and a gift for dialogue. :D
    • Aw, thank you for reading! It's a show that definitely has its moments--glad the fic made some sense even without knowing the show.

      (I'm going to read your thing this week--sorry it's taken so long--"vacation" has been much more hectic than I thought it would be :()
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