Not So Heartless
It had been another all-nighter and Mike Ross was exhausted. No, maybe exhausted was putting it too lightly. He was dead on his feet, swaying dangerously with every step. Twice, he found himself at his cubicle or in another office without remembering how he got there. His head swam whenever he rose from his chair and when he was called, he snapped to attention too quickly, proving to himself that he had been on the verge of falling into sleep.
He now found himself in the bathroom, looming in front of the sink, his reflection glaring back at him with heavy-lidded eyes, red-rimmed and accessorized with dark, heavy bags underneath. His face seemed too pale against his unshaven chin. He bent forward over the sink, squeezing his eyes shut at the expected wave of nausea due to the movement of his head. He moved two leaden arms onto the counter to cup water in his hands to splash against his face. The cold went unnoticed and he found himself starting to doze where he stood, his head bumping against the facet. He straightened as his vision swam and thoughts scattered and dabbed his face with a paper towel before returning his gaze to his bedraggled reflection.
He needed sleep. He couldn't keep fighting it. Even if it was only for a few minutes, he needed to close his eyes and just slip into the dark. If he didn't, he feared he would become a speed bump on the office floor.
But he needed a safe place to rest so that he wouldn't get caught and get into trouble.
Mike stumbled out of the bathroom and looked blearily about.
"Michael?" a voice asked.
Mike turned to see Donna come up beside him cautiously, peering up at his face with a mixture of confusion and concern swirling in her dark eyes.
He made a sound of acknowledgement.
"God, are you ok? You look like hell," she said, eyeing him up and down and taking in his slumped shoulders, haggard expression and wrinkled suit.
"Just a little tired," Mike answered, voice coarse.
Donna looked him over once more but if she wanted to say something, she didn't. Or maybe she did. It wouldn't have been the first time Mike had blacked out that night. "Well, wake up. Harvey wants to see you."
Mike nodded obediently but groaned inwardly. Just what he needed: a talk with his narcissistic and heartless boss who was undoubtedly summoning him just to throw a pile of files in his face to complete.
But he couldn't disobey Harvey, nor could he keep him waiting. Both actions were likely to result in a long, sarcastic lecture about how Mike needed to pull his weight and do whatever the "big dog" told him to do. He stumbled to Harvey Spector's office, oblivious to the sympathetic gazes and mocking chuckles that followed him.
He knocked on Harvey's door and invited himself in before receiving an answer. But when he looked up, he found the office to be empty. Perhaps Harvey went to get another file to add to the pile, or a coffee, or had just forgotten he had asked to see Mike. Either way, Mike figured it was safer to just stay and wait for Harvey to return than to leave and risk being reprimand by him.
He shuffled in, closing the door behind him. He stood for a moment, swaying on his feet. Then a presence seemed to beckon him and he turned to look at the couch.
He had never seen anything so beautiful. He didn't know how he didn't notice it before: the sheer splendor, the soft cushions, the plush back.
He cast a furtive glance outside the glass door before stealing over to the couch. He reverently lowered himself and sighed as he fell back into heaven. Had the couch always been so comfortable? It was fantastic and Mike knew he was grinning like an idiot. He was glad that Harvey wasn't in the room to see him.
With a sigh of absolute content, Mike sank further into the couch until his neck rested against the back of the couch, his arms splayed out beside him, one leg extended and the other keeping him from sliding right off the couch. He allowed his eyes to slip close and the darkness swarmed over him, offering him comfort and warmth.
He was just about to pull away from the physical world when he felt a slap against his shoulder.
"Hey," a hard voice interrupted, pulling Mike away from the dark, "no sleeping on the job. If you get caught, it becomes my problem."
Mike blinked blearily to see Harvey standing before him, flipping through a file in his hand, the same file he had smacked Mike with.
With a disgruntled grumble, Mike pushed himself away from the couch and struggled to his feet respectfully.
"That's better," Harvey sniffed, still looking at the file. "Now, I have a job for you to do. Mr. Gorgin's lawyer is playing dirty so I'm going to need you to –"
And that was all Mike heard.
He teetered on his feet and started to tip to the side, his legs failing him.
"Hey!" came Harvey's surprised exclamation before Mike felt himself fall into strong arms. He collapsed into the one that supported him.
Harvey staggered as Mike's full weight was suddenly in his hands. He panicked slightly as the youth nestled against his chest, sinking more towards the ground.
"Mike," Harvey called, shaking the man in his arms, "Michael. Stand up."
His demands went unheeded as Mike's legs started to fall out from under him. Harvey had to set him down before the kid fell straight to the floor. In a desperate attempt to prevent having a man collapsed on his floor (and to avoid all the awkward questions that would come with it), Harvey dragged Mike back to the couch and eased him onto it. Mike sank into the cushions with a sigh, one arm dangling over the side to join his feet on the floor.
Then he was lost to the physical world.
Harvey blew out a huff of air as he examined the unconscious man slumped on his couch. The kid had been working nonstop since the previous night. Harvey knew, he had been working too. But, unlike Mike, he had taken a break during lunch to sleep. Mike had kept plugging away and it seemed exhaustion had finally taken over.
Harvey sighed. Mike wouldn't be helping him tonight. He doubted the youth would wake even if the building threatened to collapse around him. Fine, he'd let the kid sleep for now. But his pose didn't look very comfortable.
With deliberate, careful movements, Harvey eased Mike onto his back, his head pillowed by the armrest, his legs hanging over the opposite armrest, his arms at his sides. Lastly, Harvey removed his jacket and spread it over Mike, tucking it under the man's chin. Sometimes the office got cold when the thermostat went unregulated. That was all.
With his associate snoring gently, Harvey retired to his desk with his file. He looked over the contents once more, looking up periodically to check on Mike, and smiling fondly at the man asleep on his couch. Any visitors were immediately quieted to not risk Mike being disturb. He ignored the curious stares of the leaving visitors. Their opinions meant little to him. He needed his associate well rested for the work ahead.
Mike woke and instantly felt the pain of the stiffness of his limbs. He groaned as he lifted his head, his neck sore. He placed leaden feet on the floor and sat upright, bones creaking and joints cracking as he stretched. He rubbed at his eyes, still sore from staying open so long. Sleep still clung to him but he brushed it away stubbornly.
A jacket tumbled down into his lap.
Mike looked at it quizzically as he then surveyed the couch that had served as his bed and the office that had housed him. It was Harvey's office and, if he wasn't mistaken (and he rarely was), Harvey's jacket. How did he end up here?
The night before was a blur, and it had surely been the night before since sunlight streamed through the windows in the office now.
And then he saw a white shirt taut over a curved back, illuminated brightly in the sunlight. Curious, Mike stood, jacket in hand as he approached the body slumped over onto the desk, arms folded under a sleeping head.
And he smiled with recognition.
Carefully, so as to not wake the sleeping man, Mike draped the jacket over the owner's shoulders, gently plucked the file out from under the man's arm, and quietly left the room to continue his work.
Perhaps his boss wasn't so heartless after all.
Glad the "Suits" category was finally made. After watching the show and the blooming bromance between the two main characters on the show, many ideas have come to me. And I'm clearly not the only one.
While I may not always be interested in the legal cases the episodes revolve around, I love the relationship between Mike and Harvey. Mike seems to be one of the only people who get to see the soft side of Harvey; one of the only people privy to his care. Needless to say, it is that relationship I will be depicting in my works.
Thanks for reading. Reviews and constructive criticism, and pointing out typos are always appreciated.