|sam_storyteller (sam_storyteller) wrote,|
@ 2011-09-01 10:30 am UTC
|Entry tags:||ao3, suits|
Fandom: Suits (some minor Mike/Harvey)
Summary: After a client pukes on Mike and dies, Pearson Hardman is put under quarantine. The Associates go feral, the Paralegals build a fort, and Mike ends up in Harvey's office watching Inherit The Wind -- at least until Harvey notices something is wrong...
Notes: Written for the kinkmeme. I'm gonna need a Suits icon if this keeps up....
Now available at AO3.
"Can I hide in here?" Mike asked, putting his head into Harvey's darkened office.
He was, at the moment of asking and in order of importance:
1. Somehow to blame for everything.
3. Shirtless, and wearing a pair of baggy scrub pants.
It was a better look than earlier, though, Harvey thought. Earlier, when Fransz DeWitt -- jet-setting world traveler and one of Harvey's most annoying clients -- had shown up unannounced at five in the evening and, while waiting for a minute of Harvey's time, puked blood all over Mike's shirt (and pants, and shoes). That had been a top-five bad-looking-moment for Mike Ross, Harvey was sure (briefcase full of pot, still number one).
Or when Mike had been standing, naked and shivering, in an emergency decontamination shower the CDC had set up, while men in head-to-toe protective gear, looking like giant walking condoms, had assured Harvey that his associate was almost definitely not going to die. Which had been right before they locked down the building and put everyone inside in quarantine because DeWitt had died.
Mike had carried it off with poise, despite being showered down in front of God and the staff of Pearson Hardman. Still, it hadn't been a fun moment for anyone.
And now Mike was standing in his doorway, asking to hide out with Harvey, who really had been looking forward to going home, having a drink, and watching one of the many Shark Week specials he'd DVR'd.
"No, I'm sleeping," Harvey said, without getting up from the couch.
"No you're not. You're listening to the Staple Singers and staring at the ceiling," Mike pointed out.
"Yes, I am. You're hallucinating this," Harvey replied.
"Why, what did you do?" Harvey asked, pushing himself up on his elbows. Mike gave him a guilty look.
"I might have picked the lock on Louis's office," he said. "And then the lock on his liquor cabinet."
"Why would you do that?"
"The associates decided if we're all going to die while bleeding from every orifice we should have an end of the world party," Mike explained. "Apparently as patient zero it was my job to cater it, and Louis left before they quarantined us."
"So why are you not partying?"
"They're playing Never Have I Ever," Mike said darkly. "Truth or Dare can't be far behind."
"So? Aren't you a young person who enjoys party games?"
"Harvey, have you ever played Never Have I Ever with a bunch of Harvard Law associates?"
"Point," Harvey said.
"Also the paralegals won't let anyone into Rachel's office where they've build some kind of sleepover fort. They're hogging the good booze."
"Go away, Mike."
"I bring snacks as a bribe," Mike offered, apparently taking Harvey's frustrated glare skyward as an excuse to enter and begin unloading his pockets onto the coffee table. "I broke into the vending machines."
Harvey, sighing, sat up and accepted a chocolate bar.
"The things I do for you," he said, unwrapping it. "I'm surprised they let you roam around, you're probably getting your supervirus germs everywhere."
"I think they figure if I'm sick after that very thorough decontamination, probably everyone is and we're all going to die," Mike said complacently.
"Heartening." Harvey bit into the chocolate bar, then rose and went to the elegant little cart in the corner where he kept a choice selection of alcohol. "If you're going to stay here and keep me awake with your trauma, we should try to get some work done."
"My files are back at my cubicle," Mike said. Harvey didn't reply. "Harvey?"
"Is Donna in the sleepover fort?" he asked.
"I think so. They're laughing and it scares me."
"She took my scotch," Harvey said.
"How do you figure that, Sherlock?" Mike asked.
"Who else would dare?" Harvey contemplated the place where the scotch should be, then turned to Mike. "Go get your files. I'm going to parlay with the paralegals."
"You'll be sorry," Mike warned.
"I already am," Harvey said.
When Mike got to the bullpen, everyone was still in Louis's office, which he had to pass to get to his cubicle; there was a cry of welcome from inside, where most of the associates were getting quickly plastered on Louis's considerable supply of alcohol. Kyle darted out and grabbed him as he returned from fetching the files, pulling him into the office.
"Come on, Hot Zone," he said, closing the door behind Mike and leaning against it so he couldn't leave.
"Kyle, I never knew you felt that way," Mike told him, which drew laughs from the others.
"Michael," Greg intoned, from his seat on Louis's desk. "Young Michael. You haven't had your turn."
"Yeah, I'm not really big on spin the bottle," Mike said. One of the female associates, Jean, slung an arm over his shoulders.
"Never have I ever," she said. This was met with cheers. Mike looked at her warily. "Never have I ever...slept with a partner at this or any other firm."
Kyle shoved a bottle of gin into Mike's hand expectantly. Two other associates did quick shots, which drew wolf whistles. Mike stood there staring at them, wondering if the associate program was, in fact, actually Lord of the Flies.
"Come on, Mike," Jean crooned.
"Um?" Mike said, looking at her.
"Do a shot."
"I don't know what you guys have heard," Mike said slowly, "but I haven't slept with...anyone here."
"Liar," Kyle said.
"Not really," Mike whimpered, wondering if the punishment for not having slept with a partner was swift or slow.
"TRUTH OR DARE," Greg proclaimed. "Mike."
"Guys, I really have to -- "
"Mike! Truth or dare!" they chanted.
"Oh my god you children," Mike said. "Settlement offer. If I do this, you let me leave this den of pain."
Kyle considered it from his post as door guard. "Fair."
"I told you I'm not doing deals with you, Kyle," Mike snapped. "Everyone here is witness, Kyle has to let me go."
They all raised their hands in salutes.
"Truth or dare, Mike?" Greg repeated.
"Truth," Mike said. They were lawyers, but on the other hand most of them weren't very good lawyers yet, and truth would be faster.
"Tell us, young Michael, do you want to sleep with a senior partner?" Greg asked.
Oh, for the love of God. Mike considered him with narrowed eyes.
"Okay, in answer to that, I'd like to cite Mike Ross v. Never Have I Ever." This drew everyone's interest. "Never have I ever wanted to sleep with Harvey Specter."
Kyle took the gin back from him and did a shot. So did everyone else.
"And now I take my leave. Try not to form tribes and go to war before morning," Mike said, elbowing past Kyle.
Harvey was aware that the price of his scotch was almost certainly going to be his pride, but that was a passing thing and in the morning he would dominate this firm, as the only sober survivor of the quarantine.
Rachel or possibly some of her co-conspirators had managed to locate a series of large paper printouts, which they had taped over the glass wall of her office. When he knocked on the door, someone yelled out "What's the password?"
"The password is Harvey Specter wants his scotch back," Harvey called through the door. He stepped back a little when it was opened by Rachel, who looked like she might already have drunk it.
"That's not the password," she said.
Harvey peered into the office. They'd stripped couch cushions from everywhere and procured blankets; the effect was of a large bed covered in paralegals and secretaries, male and female both. It looked like the start of a Fellini orgy.
"Is the password Please can I have my scotch back?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"Should we let him in?" Rachel asked. The others seemed to agree, and Harvey was shown into the Sleepover Fort.
This would never have happened pre-Mike, he was sure of it.
"Donna," he said sternly. Donna looked up from where she was curled in a corner with one of the admins. "Booze. Now."
"I could destroy you," she said.
"Yes, I know, but I need a drink and you have mine."
Donna scowled, but produced the (still mostly full) bottle of scotch.
"I think you should know," Rachel said, as Harvey carefully took the bottle back, "we took a poll."
"Regarding what?" Harvey asked.
"Hottest senior partner. You came in second."
"Well, that's very -- wait, second?" Harvey demanded. "Who was first?"
"Jessica," Donna said, and they all started giggling.
Harvey squared his shoulders. "Technically she's not a senior partner. She's a managing partner."
Rachel patted his cheeks. "You're very pretty, Harvey. Now go."
"That was traumatic," Mike announced, returning to Harvey's office. Harvey poured him a generous glass of scotch. "Thank you. Apparently all the associates want to bang you."
"Well, I'm me," Harvey pointed out. "How did this come up?"
"I repressed that part."
"Liar," Harvey said with a grin, and Mike shuddered. "Okay, pass me the Markis Holdings file. Did you pull DeWitt's records before he puked on you?"
"No, but they're in the system," Mike said, handing Harvey his laptop. "He has a will."
"I'll start contacting the concerned parties in the morning." Harvey sipped his scotch. "Let's get Markis Holdings tidied away and see what we can do with that indemnification suit, and if you're a good little associate after that we will have a classic film festival."
"Inherit The Wind?" Mike guessed.
"And Twelve Angry Men."
"Sweet!" Mike said, and set to his work.
They worked quietly, the only noise the Staple Singers in the background. When the album ended, Harvey got up to flip it to the B-side, watching Mike as he did so. He'd been watching him for a while.
Mike was working diligently as usual, but he was restless; fingers tapping on his legs or twiddling a pen against his lips, shifting his weight in his chair every few minutes, picking up and putting down the files he was working on as if he couldn't figure out where to connect everything together. Without a shirt on he looked even scrawnier than usual, weirdly breakable. Mike glanced up, curiously.
"You okay?" Harvey asked.
"Not nuts about being Ebola-bombed, but I'll live," Mike said, looking down again quickly.
Mike didn't change position. "What?"
"Eyes up," Harvey ordered. Mike reluctantly looked up. "Everyone is freaked out. You think the paralegals are having an orgy because they're actually attracted to each other? No. People are drinking and playing stupid games because they're scared."
"So why are we here?" Mike asked, gesturing at the files.
"Because we're scared," Harvey said, switching off the record player, "but we're not willing to lose our heads over it."
"Are you?" Mike asked. "Scared?"
Harvey settled in on the couch, shutting down the files on his laptop. "Yeah, well, you can't get a virus thrown out on insufficient evidence," he murmured. "C'mere. Movie time."
Mike put his files away -- neatly, marking where he'd ended -- and clicked off the lights, then shifted onto the couch next to Harvey. "You keep these movies on your work laptop?" he asked.
"What, you don't sometimes jones for a dose of Spencer Tracy?" Harvey asked.
"Your couch is freezing," Mike remarked, which wasn't relevant, but did duck the question admirably.
"Well, you're shirtless," Harvey pointed out.
"Someone sent his spare for dry-cleaning," Mike answered.
"Not my job to dress you," Harvey said, but he did magnanimously allow Mike to huddle up against his shoulder. The opening credits of Inherit The Wind, with its haunting hymn, began to play.
Harvey had seen Inherit The Wind about a million times, and it was like a familiar place or good comfort food. He could recite half the lines before the actors said them, and even the cheesy, badly-acted parts were...endearing, in a way. So he wasn't paying attention to Mike when he curled closer and let his head drop onto Harvey's shoulder, and he didn't really notice when he'd automatically shifted his arm around Mike's shoulders so they'd both be more comfortable.
It was easy to forget, because Mike did have a lot of experience of the world and was gratifyingly independent, that he was also someone almost completely without a support network. Even what little boat-anchor-like support Trevor could have offered was absent, now that Trevor was (thankfully) off codepending on other people in Montana. Harvey knew Mike hadn't called his grandmother about the quarantine, because he didn't want her to worry, and he suspected "don't let anyone worry" was a policy in Mike's life. It worked well with Harvey's "don't care about people" policy, most of the time, but once in a while Harvey suspected the pair of them conspired to get Mike the short end of the stick.
He lifted his hand from where it rested on Mike's shoulder and ruffled his hair affectionately. Mike didn't respond, other than to butt his cheek against Harvey's shoulder a little.
They were almost halfway through the film, and Harvey was just beginning to realize he was actually uncomfortably warm with Mike pressed up against his side, when Mike said, "When did they colorize Inherit The Wind?"
"I don't think they ever did," Harvey said, perplexed. "Why?"
"But it's in color," Mike nodded at the screen.
Harvey glanced down at him. "No it's not."
"Yeah it is. Why did they make Dick York green?"
"It's not in color," Harvey said, sitting back. He looked at Mike, whose eyes were almost unnaturally bright, and then pressed a hand to his forehead. "Jesus, Mike, you're burning up."
"No, I'm freezing," Mike said.
"You're delirious." The realization hit him. Mike's sick. "I need to call the CDC."
"Don't -- " Mike blurted, burrowing his head into Harvey's chest. "I'm so cold, Harvey, don't go."
"You're running a fever," Harvey said, pulling away from Mike's clingy grip. He found the card the CDC guys had handed out in case of emergency and dialed -- while Mike collapsed on the couch, breathing heavily and shivering.
"This is Harvey Specter, we spoke earlier," he said into the phone.
"Mr. Specter, we've already told you, we're clearing people to leave starting as far from the epicenter as we can. It should only be a few more hours -- "
"Mike Ross is running a fever," he said. "He's delirious."
There was a click on the line. "I'm sending someone up now. Keep him isolated and stay with him, try to keep him calm."
Harvey wondered, as he hung up, who was supposed to keep him calm.
By the time the giant condom guys showed up, Harvey had put his suit jacket around Mike's shoulders and coaxed him into the doorway. Mike was full-body shuddering now, pressed up against him for warmth, Harvey's arm slung around his waist to hold him upright.
"He's hallucinating," he said, while they started wrapping Mike in some kind of protective gear. Mike was terrified, visibly distraught, and kept trying to turn back to Harvey.
"Okay, we'll get him looked over," one of them said. Harvey made to follow them and got a white-gloved hand on his chest.
"You can't come," he was told.
"But I -- "
"Harvey!" Mike wailed, struggling.
"It's okay, Mike," Harvey called. "Listen, you can put me in gear, but -- "
"Nobody but the sick or dying leaves the building. Standard procedure."
"We shared a glass," Harvey blurted, before he thought about it. It was a lie, but he'd lied to far more dangerous people than the CDC. The doctor stared at him through the faceplate. "Mike. We had a drink, shared a glass. If he's infected -- "
"What is wrong with you people?" the doctor demanded, but he called for a second suit. "Somebody get this guy down to transport and let them know we have two, not one."
They made him strip and shoved him into one of the condom suits (which constituted one of his own top five bad-looking-moments) but when they got him down to a CDC quarantine van -- and made him strip again -- they let him sit next to Mike, who grabbed onto him even while they were trying to get Mike's vitals.
"It's okay," he said, as Mike shivered against him. "You're gonna be fine, Mike, I'm here."
Mike came awake slowly. He was lying down, comfortable and warm. It was bliss, especially since his last memory was of being forcibly removed from Harvey and kidnapped into a dark, cold place by orange monsters.
When he opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was Harvey. He was sitting crosslegged on a bed, staring at Mike with a look of fierce concentration. And he was dressed all in white. The whole world was washed into whites and greys.
Oh. He was dead. He was dead and Harvey Specter was God. He owed God money. That couldn't be good. On the other hand, Associate to God, that was pretty awesome.
He licked his lips and tried to sit up, but vague aches worked their way through his muscles and he was fairly sure once you died you didn't get cramps anymore.
"Am I dead?" he asked Harvey, but his voice cracked.
Harvey didn't answer; he slid off the bed and crossed to Mike, bending over him, one hand resting on his head.
"Say again?" Harvey said softly. Mike cleared his throat.
"Am I dead?" he asked. "Are you God?"
Harvey grinned, looking delighted. "You're not dead. I know I do a pretty good impersonation, but I'm not actually a deity."
"Oh. Good," Mike said.
"We're in a hospital isolation wing," Harvey continued. "They think I'm contaminated so they put me in with you."
"Contaminated with what?" Mike asked, but even as he spoke the memory rolled over him: bloody puke, quarantine, Never Have I Ever, Inherit The Wind, and then the monsters came. "Oh, shit. Ohh, shit."
"Relax, you'll survive," Harvey said drily.
"Listen, before I die -- "
"You're not dying, rookie, you have -- "
"I think you should know I totally lied when I told Kyle I didn't want to sleep with you," Mike blurted.
"...a mild viral infection," Harvey finished. "Which is responding well to treatment."
Mike stared at him. "I don't have Ebola?"
"No," Harvey said.
"But DeWitt -- "
"Had a depressed immune system due to pre-existing Valley Fever, so they tell me," Harvey replied. Apparently they were going to ignore the part about Never Have I Ever. "They don't know what he gave you but they're pretty sure it's not life-threatening. Your fever broke a few hours ago."
Fragments of memory were surfacing, which was a terrible feeling; Mike remembered everything, and knowing there was missing time was really starting to freak him out. He remembered crying, fruitlessly, for Harvey; sitting in some dark moving place and clinging to Harvey's arm while the monsters poked him; moments of lucidity in the grip of fever, begging for water or for Harvey not to go away again.
Wow. Apparently admitting he wanted to sleep with his boss wasn't even at the top of the "Embarrassing things that have happened to me in the last two days" list.
Harvey's hand was still resting on his head, and he lifted it to stroke Mike's hair, which was pretty weird.
"We're in here for another day and a half," Harvey said. Mike could hear rattling noises, like doors opening and closing, but he wasn't sure what they were. "How do you feel?"
"Like I got hit by a bus," Mike said.
"Is anyone else sick?"
"No. They think you were the one who got puked on, so you were the only other patient."
"But you're -- "
"Like I was going to leave you alone in here?" Harvey asked. "If I had to work they were going to give me Greg to replace you. Besides, this is...restful."
Mike's brows knitted. "You don't do restful."
"I can do restful if I want," Harvey said, annoyed.
At that point an orange monster loomed over Harvey's shoulder and Mike spent a second or two screaming before he realized it was a doctor in a decontamination suit.
"Mr. Specter," the doctor said politely. Harvey let Mike catch him rolling his eyes before he backed off, allowing the doctors to do terrible things to every part of Mike's anatomy.
Quarantine was boring.
He'd been there for five days. Aside from sheer brainless panic about Mike, which surfaced every time the doctors came in to tend his fever or Mike broke through the delirium briefly to cry out for him, Harvey hadn't had much to do. They'd been pretty good about bringing him books and even some work (he suspected Jessica had a hand in that) but he missed his office, his condo, the gym, the car club, his phone, meetings...
Plus the food was awful. He was ready to do a lot of really undignified things for a rare steak.
Once Mike was lucid again, it got better. Between visits -- Donna, Jenny, Rachel, Jessica, even Louis -- they quizzed each other on law, invented mock-cases to mock-argue, and bickered about the Yankees.
He wasn't sure if Mike remembered saying he wanted to sleep with him, but if he did he wasn't bringing it up again, and Harvey wasn't going to mention it until Mike did. It felt like the most frustrating game of chicken ever, but he was going to have to negotiate carefully around their working relationship, plus figure out a way to broach the topic of all the sleeping-together they could do without giving Mike precedent in the "Harvey Actually Cares" brief he was sure Mike was preparing.
So for now, they sat side by side on the edge of Harvey's bed, waiting for the all-clear and debating what stance Clarence Darrow would have taken on The Authors Guild et al. v. Google Inc. should he have been appointed ruling judge.
"The first thing I'm gonna do when I get out is order a pizza," Mike said wistfully, when Harvey had thoroughly crushed him in the debate. "Then I'm going to get into bed and sleep for like another week."
Harvey couldn't blame him. Mike was pale, he'd lost weight just in the week they'd been here, and there were dark creases under his eyes.
"What about you?" Mike asked.
"Have a nice meal, get some rest, head in tomorrow," Harvey said. Mike stared at him. "Hey, I'm not the one who came down with Viral Fever 22A4Z7. There's a lot of catch-up to do, and my associate isn't coming in again for another week."
"I can -- "
"Don't, Rookie. Just...don't," Harvey said.
"Sorry," Mike mumbled.
"Not your fault." Harvey glanced at him. "You got someone staying with you?"
"Jenny said she'd check in." Mike twiddled his fingers together. Harvey cocked his head.
"You could crash at my place," he said finally. Mike frowned. "My guest room is bigger than your apartment."
"Nobody likes a show-off, Harvey."
"Everybody likes a show-off if you do it right. That way I can bring you files if you want to do some work in the evenings."
"Oh, I see, this is the Harvey Specter Plan to keep me working despite bed rest?"
"Something like that," Harvey said, slinging an arm over his shoulders. Mike, to his pleased surprise, leaned into him. "Besides, we never got to watch Twelve Angry Men, and at home I have Compulsion, too."
There was a knock on the glass observation wall; on the other side, two doctors finally not in orange suits were standing, flanking Jessica. One of them put two sets of scrubs through the pass-box, and Harvey got off the bed to fetch them, tossing a pair to Mike.
When they were dressed and ready, the doors slid open and Harvey totally heard Aretha singing Freedom! in his head as he accepted a welcome-out-of-quarantine hug from Jessica. Mike, lingering behind him, got a headpat and an order not to show his face in the office for a week.
"So, I'll stay at your place, but we're still getting a pizza, right?" Mike asked, as they climbed into the car waiting outside the hospital. Harvey laughed.
"Yeah, okay," he said, and sat back for the drive home.
Staple Singers: Brand New Day
Inherit The Wind: Old Time Religion
Aretha Franklin: Think (Freedom)