|Doing Things By Halves
Author: Phoenix on cloud nine PM
"Copy my breathing, okay?" Harvey deliberately made his breaths slow, even and over the top.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Hurt/Comfort - Harvey S. & Mike R. - Words: 3,102 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 128 - Follows: 19 - Published: 09-16-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7385978
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So, at first this was just random free-writing, before I realised that I love me some bromantic hurt/comfort ;)
It was a decidedly average day at Pearson Hardman, Mike decided, as he filed another brief and shoved it into the folder by his elbow. He didn't have a case of his own, and Harvey didn't have any cases. He did, however, possess a stack of briefs that he wanted sorting and filing. Mike had gone into his boss's office that morning with the intention of lounging on the comfortable couch all day and arguing/bantering with Harvey. The older man was either not in the mood to listen to Mike or busy with something he didn't want to share with his associate. Either way, Mike was pushed out of the office as soon as he walked in, only with the addition of several heavy files.
He re-read a line of the document and frowned. He didn't recognise a name in it, and that was because of one of two things. Either - he had missed a name as he was reading or simply forgotten a name; which was impossible. Or, more than likely, there was a part missing, which meant he would have to go to the file room and find the right one in the many boxes of dust and paper.
Sighing, Mike pushed his chair away from the desk and left, hoping that it was quiet in there today. He couldn't concentrate if there was anyone else in there. He rounded the corridors and toyed idly with the thought that one day he would find the Arc of the Covenant just down the hall. Dispelling these ideas from his head, he opened the door to one of the rooms and stared about at the sheer multitude of folders. He shouldn't be surprised; every time he came down he remembered just how many files were housed in the law firm.
He didn't need to glance down at the file already in his hand to remember the name, case, year, lawyer, even serial number of what he was looking for, but it helped. He liked to think he was normal occasionally. So he glanced down at the file anyway and skimmed through the text already etched onto his brain. He glanced around and saw the markers on the metal shelves that indicated the alphabetical order and then serial order of the folders.
Mike liked order. When he was four he memorised the Dewey Decimal System at the library, and his parents; whilst slightly freaked out, humoured him by saying a number, and he would immediately tell them which books were housed there.
Mike had always felt safe surrounded by order - and the law firm was full of that. Whilst he knew he could thrive off the chaos in a courtroom like Harvey did, he liked knowing he had everything straight and right, and was forever thinking one step ahead.
However, although the order and familiarity the file room brought to him made him feel safe, he would soon learn that accidents can happen everywhere.
He had just found the section he needed, and frowned as he saw that the file he needed was right at the top. He found the step-ladder that was housed in there for this very reason and unfolded it, setting it up next to the shelf he needed. He climbed up it, wincing as he heard it creaking menacingly underneath him. He tried to calm his nerves as he remembered he had seen Devon climb up here before; and whilst Devon wasn't large, he played football, and the muscles he had easily outweighed Mike's entire bodyweight.
Mike pulled the folder from the shelf gently, knowing that a cloud of dust would be expelled from it like nuclear fallout. He was right, and instinct took over as he closed his eyes and choked on the remains of whatever the hell had died up there and become fossilized before crumbling into dust. He continued to cough as he pulled the file out, and his eyes watered when he opened them to see if it was the right file. Thankfully, it was, so he pushed back another folder than had become dislodged. More dust scattered over him, and he started to choke and wheeze, not ready for it.
His frame shook with the choking as he tried to push the folder back. Unfortunately, his hand slipped and the file slipped with it, catching him in the chest and forcing him backwards.
He fell slowly, it seemed to take him forever to actually fall all the way, but he finally found himself reaching the floor. He heard a twang as his head caught the shelf behind him and then immediately had whatever breath was left in him forcefully pushed out when he fell on his back, both folder hitting him on the chest.
He wheezed, trying and failing to catch his breath, drawing in desperate breaths that weren't helping him, that weren't relieving the pressure in his chest. He felt his face going red as he spluttered and gasped, ignoring the pain from his head that had been issued by the heavy metal shelving.
Just as he thought he was getting a handle on his breathing, he heard the door open and panic set in. His oxygen-starved brain assumed that it was another associate, maybe Gregory or Kyle, who would stand on his chest and laugh as he got weaker and eventualyl pass out from the constriction in his windpipe.
He struggled and tried to stand, but his breathing became even more shallow, and his panting and heaving were starting to freak him out. He realy hoped that whoever had come in the door had basic first aid knowledge. Or a defibrilator.
"Donna, will you send Mike in?" Harvey asked from his position at his desk. He stretched and grabbed his baseball, throwing it lazily between one hand and the other.
"He's not answering his cell," Donna replied with an unamused tone. "And I don't think he's at his desk."
Harvey huffed and put the baseball back on his desk. He hoped Mike wasn't in a sulk. It was impossible to work with him when he was. Surely the kid wasn't that mad at him? Harvey was feeling stressed, and Mike had bounced into the room with a beam that was way too bright for a morning and happily launched himself at Harvey's couch, settling in for what looked like a long time. So he had merely passed the kid a huge stack of briefs that would bore him and pushed him out of the room; without any words being exchanged between them.
He stood up and buttoned his jacket, walking out. Donna glanced at him. "I need to make sure he's done those briefs," he told her, feeling the need to explain himself as his assisstant smirked at him.
"Of course," she said brightly, with a tone that indicated exactly what she thought of his bullshit. "Would you like me to find a nice vase of flowers as a peace-offering as well?"
He glared at her and walked away. He wasn't going to find Mike to apologise. And neither was he going to make sure the kid wasn't sat pouting because he had been rejected that morning. He was simply going to see if his work had been done. He quirked an eyebrow to find that Mike was indeed absent from his desk.
"Mr Specter," by now incredibly used to associates trying to get his attention and do his work, he turned around. An associate he had never seen before was smiling greasily at him. "Mr Specter," he repeated. "I was wondering if maybe you needed some help, seeing as Mike isn't here."
"Is that so?" Harvey said with a clear uninterested tone. He hid a smirk as the associate wavered, flustered at the unusual answer. "Do you know where Mike is?" He asked.
"Uh, I think he might have gone into the filing room," the associate told him.
Harvey left without a backwards glance.
He walked down the stairs and into the now unfamiliar maze that was the filing room. It had been a long time since he needed to be down here; having Mike just meant he could pawn his paperwork issues off to the younger man - even if half the time Mike had no idea what to do with the paperwork.
He glanced into various rooms, seeing no one else down there. He knew that when left alone, Mike would fall into his own world when working, and would make virtually no sound. Which Harvey wished he would do when they were both in his office, working late. Mike went crazy being confined in one place for too long and when that was twinned with a late night, Harvey could never get the kid to shut up. But if it was during the day and Mike was completely on his own, he seemed to almost disappear. Harvey knew he had no chance of finding his associate if he was simply listening for him.
These thoughts instantly flew out the window as he heard a choking fit followed by a crash. He rolled his eyes and upped his pace as he just knew that the noise had been made by his associate. None of the others were as clumsy or accident prone.
He opened the door to the room it had come from and his eyes widened to find that Mike was not only lying on his back with some folders on top of him, he was also struggling to breath. He seemed to be struggling as well, trying to get up and onto his feet, wheezing more. In fact, to Harvey it looked like Mike was having a panic attack.
"Mike," Harvey said smoothly, going over to him. He pulled the files off Mike's chest and knelt over him, wondering what the hell had happened.
"Ha'... v'y..." Mike gasped out, his eyes wide. Harvey struggled to pull him into a sitting position.
"You never do things by halves, do you?" Harvey asked him, wondering what the hell he should do.
"There was... dust," Mike gasped, shuddering. "And... hands... slipped - dropped the... file..."
Harvey nodded; like all those times in his office late at night, when Mike had gone crazy without sleep and started babbling to him and Harvey had simply sat there and nodded, barely paying him any attention but still managed to retain small nuggets of information that Mike had given him. "Mike, you're going to have to relax, okay?" Harvey asked him, pulling Mike further so they were both sat on the floor.
Mike shook his head. "Can't... breathe... wind... knocked out..." Mike tried to tell him.
"Just don't try and breathe as fast," Harvey instructed him. "Copy my breathing, okay?" Harvey deliberately made his breaths slow, even and over the top. He started to breathe in through his nose and then out through his mouth, making sure that Mike heard the sounds of his breath.
Mike tried valiantly, he did, but as soon as he pulled a deep breath in he realised he needed more, and started to panic all over again. Muttering darkly, Harvey pulled Mike around and held him awkwardly, so that his head was resting on the older man's chest. "Listen to my breathing," Harvey instructed him, holding Mike's head close to his chest as he gripped Mike's back with his other hand. "Just follow it and copy, okay?" He made the exaggerated breaths again, and Mike closed his eyes, listening closely, copying the breaths and was soon drawing even, deep breaths to match Harvey's.
Harvey held Mike to his chest for a few more seconds afterwards before letting go, allowing his associate to shakily push himself up on his own.
"Are you going to tell me what the hell that was about?" Harvey asked him, standing up to brush the dust off his suit and give Mike a half-hearted look of disgust before buttoning his jacket back up.
"I was trying to get a file down," Mike told him, feeling drowsy. "But the dust made me cough, and so then my hand slipped and the file hit me, so I fell backwards and hit my head, and then fell on my back so all the wind was knocked out of me," Mike was babbling again, Harvey noticed.
"Wait a second - you hit your head?" Harvey asked, frowning.
Mike shrugged. "It's not that big a deal, I can't even really feel - ow," he winced, touching the tender part of his head that had hit the shelf.
Harvey rolled his eyes, but felt a sting of fear inside him. What if Mike had blacked out from his head wound and then not been able to breathe properly? What if Harvey hadn't felt the need to check up on his associate and Mike had passed out from the lack of oxygen? What if Mike had died?
"Let me see," Harvey grumbled softly, moving Mike's neck so that the younger man looked away, so that Harvey could take a look at his head. There was a swelling setting in, and there was a dark patch amongst Mike's hair that felt bloody to the touch. When Harvey pulled his hand away he saw red on his fingertips. "How does one get injured looking for some files?" Harvey asked exasperatedly.
Mike shrugged. "I'm just lucky, I guess," he carefully touched the cut on his head, causing Harvey to pull his hand away.
"Hey, didn't your mother ever teach you to look with your eyes, not with your hands?"
Mike frowned. "How am I supposed to look at it? It's on the back of my head."
"That's what I'm here for then," Harvey said, cocking his hand to make sure Mike followed him. "Lucky me."
"Mike, you have dust all over you," Donna said disapprovingly as Mike followed Harvey into his office.
"Donna, will you go get some ice from the partner's fridge, please?" Harvey instructed, even though he phrased it as a question. Her eyes widened and she did as he asked, even though she was dying to know what had happened.
Harvey pushed Mike to go sit on the couch and sat next to him, gently pushing strands of hair away so that he could see the cut more closely. "So what's the prognosis, Doctor?" Mike sniped, closing his eyes and wincing.
"It's not too deep," Harvey muttered, mostly to himself. "But you keep up that attitude and I can assure you it can get worse," Mike snorted, unafraid and let Harvey poke and prod until Donna came back. Harvey took the ice that she had wrapped in a hankerchief and pressed it against the swelling.
"Keep that there," he ordered, going back to his desk. "I think it's stopped bleeding, and the ice should keep the swelling down."
"Thank you," Mike mumbled, before opening his eyes and smiling slightly at Donna. "And thank you, Donna."
She hummed in reply, before leaving. Her face all too clearly stating that she demanded to know what happened as soon as Mike was out of the office. Silence had fallen in there for a minute or so as Harvey read through one of the files that Mike had finished and kept giving small glances over to his associate.
"How's your chest?" Harvey asked cooly, as if he couldn't be less bothered.
Mike didn't seem to buy the tone and gave a wry smile with his eyes still closed. "It's okay - I've fallen onto my back a bunch of times; I'll be fine."
"You didn't seem fine in there," Harvey said, surprised to hear it come out as a growl. "Why were you panicking so much?"
"Have you ever been unable to breathe, Harvey?" Mike asked him wearily. "I think if you were lying on your back in a small room without being able to breathe, you might panic a bit too."
"Why didn't you call for help?" Harvey wanted to know. The thought that if he had gotten there a few minutes earlier once more crossed his mind and he balled his hands into fists.
"No signal down in the filing room," Mike told him. "Besides, who was I going to call?"
"Me!" Harvey told him, standing up. "You're my responsibilty, Mike, and if you're in serious trouble you call me!"
Mike blinked. "You sent me away from the office this morning," he argued. "I would have been better off calling Louis! At least if I actually need him, he's there!"
Harvey's eyes darkened. "Oh, like how he was there just now? How he was walking to find you and came and helped you breathe? Like how he took you back to his office to make sure you were okay? I'm sorry I've got such an ungrateful associate," Harvey snarled. "Feel free to take the ice with you when you leave."
Mike felt his anger slipping away at Harvey's words. "I'm sorry," he muttered, knowing Harvey wouldn't accept an apology but he liked to try anyway. "I'm really glad you came by when you did."
"As you should be," Harvey shot at him, the fire in his eyes lessening. "And don't ever feel like you need to go to Louis rather than me. Got it?"
"Aye, Captain," Mike replied, closing his eyes again as he slouched more into the couch, giving a small sigh of contentment. "Your couch is awesome," Mike informed him.
"You drool on it and you pay for another one," Harvey said, now reading the file again.
Mike gave a small smirk and sank further onto the couch, sliding down it happily. "You know which Star Trek was the best?" He said, ready to get some banter going. "Deep Space Nine."
"What are you, high?" Harvey countered. "Have you never seen the original series?"
"I'm not that old," Mike replied cheekily, grinning as he felt a baseball hit him in the stomach.
A/N So I have no idea where this was going or what this arose from. Please feel free to review, I just thought we could do with a bit more h/c :3