Wow, this one got long O.o
Okay, a quick, important note about this story: I know some of the symptoms may seem a bit extreme and overly dramatic but I'm writing this from a personal experience. A friend of mine really did chug a Redline energy drink and end up in the hospital because of it. He kept complaining about chest pain and trouble breathing and honestly thought he was having a heart attack for a while. This stuff is hardcore! If you ever drink it, just be really careful O.o Its seriously not something to play around with!
Anyway, PSA over ^.- Hope you guys like it! :D
I own nothing! =/
Mike stifled a yawn, rolling his shoulders a bit before hunching back over the desk. He drummed the hi-lighter balanced between his fingers against the stack of folders to his right, the marker making a dull thumping sound with each impact. His eyes scanned over the paragraphs carefully, checking for any inconsistencies or mistakes. He'd been at if for hours and the stack of folders on his desk seemed like it hadn't gotten smaller at all. Every time he thought he'd made a dent in the work load, he'd look over only to see that not only did he still have plenty left to go through, the pile wasn't nearly as small as he'd hoped.
Harvey had given him the first pile early that morning, telling him they needed to be on his desk no later than 8 am the next day. Mike had worked steadily on them for most of the day, working through lunch and late into the afternoon to finish. He was nearly done when Louis came by, dropping another armful of folders onto his desk with a nasty little smirk. He told him they needed to be proof-read and editted and on his desk by the next morning as well. Mike wasn't sure how he'd managed to not only double his workload but land two deadlines at the exact same time. He was more loyal to Harvey than he was to Louis but he couldn't take the risk of not having the work done either; if Louis had anything on him he would hound him with it forever.
He looked over at the clock, squinting at the small black numbers. It was 7:18 and he was nowhere near done. With a heaving sigh he realized he'd have to take the rest of the files home and finish them tonight if he had any hope of getting them all done in time. He closed his eyes for a second, squeezing the bridge of his nose wearily in an attempt to ward off the headache and fatigue that had been hanging just on the edge of his consciousness for the past two hours.
"What's the matter, rookie?" A snarky voice asked from behind him and Mike opened his eyes and turned to see Greg leering at him. "Can't keep up with the work load?" There was a nasty, biting edge to his voice that always irritated Mike.
"No, actually, I can." He said, smiling at the other associate and sitting up a bit straighter. "In fact, I think I've cleared more cases today alone than you have all month." His smile grew a bit at the faltering expression on the other man's face. "I guess that's why they keep handing the work off to me."
Greg sneered and rolled his eyes. "They're trying to weed you out, that's why they keep giving you all the work. They do it every year to all the new associates. They think if they wear you down enough you'll eventually give up and leave this job to the real professionals."
"Like you?" It was all Mike needed to say. Greg huffed and rolled his shoulders back to make himself appear bigger and more in control, a classic defense mechanism.
"Watch yourself, Ross. You won't be Harvey's lap dog for long. Sooner or later you're going to screw up and he's going to kick you out of this building just as fast as he brought you into it." He smiled nastily and flipped one of the folders onto the floor. "Make sure all of those are done in the morning." He said before turning on his heel and walking out the door.
Mike made a rather nasty gesture at his back and picked the folder up off the floor. He settled it back on top of the others and glared back down at the one he'd been working on. He was only about halfway through and there were still at least eight more to go through before the end of the night. He sighed heavily and grabbed his bag, stuffing the folders into it uncermoniously. There wasn't much more he could accomplish here that he couldn't do in the comfort of his own home. With one more weary sigh, he turned off his desk lamp and trudged toward the door, his bag heavy and mocking on his shoulder. It was going to be a long night...
It took an all-nighter and several cups of coffee but Mike managed to get through every single folder before the next morning. He tucked them securely into his bag and changed into a fresh suit, combing water through his hair and splashing it over his face to make him appear more awake than he felt. His brain felt like reading-mangled mush and his back hurt from hunching over the coffee table all night but he'd finished them all and that's what mattered.
Despite the fatigue, Mike felt good about himself as he walked through the front doors of Pearson Harden. He was proud of himself; he knew Harvey wouldn't say anything about it and he was definitely sure Louis wouldn't either but he was satisfied with his work on the files and nothing anyone said could change that.
"Oh good, you finished." Louis muttered, barely looking up from his desk as Mike dropped the folders in front of him. He reached into the top drawer and pulled out another stack, handing them to the associate without so much as a glance up. "Have these finished and in my office by the end of the day."
For a second Mike just stared dumbly at the new stack of folders he'd just been handed. He didn't think he could go through one of them at the moment let alone multiple by the end of the day. He wanted to say something snappy along the lines of "why am I doing all of your work for you" but held back. He still didn't need Louis holding something over his head and he knew for a fact the older man would just say something shitty like "because I told you to." So instead, Mike took the folders with a disgruntled mutter and trudged off to his desk.
No sooner had he sat down and laid the folders out in front of him did Harvey appear in front of him, a manilla envelope secured in his hand. "We have a new case. I need you to do research on the health code regulations of Harris and Fields Pharmaceuticals. Have it to me by this afternoon, we meet with the client first thing tomorrow morning."
Mike didn't even have time to protest before Harvey strode off, leaving him open-mouthed and gaping in his wake. For a long time Mike just stared at the piles of paperwork on his desk, a sinking feeling of despair boiling in the pit of his stomach. There was no way he'd be able to finish all of this by the end of the day, not even if there were two of him.
He dropped his head into his hands, rubbing frustratedly at his tired eyes and groaning aloud. He hadn't gotten any sleep last night and only a few hours more than that the night before. Not only that, he'd had about six cups of coffee last night to keep him awake enough to catch any mistakes in the files and the excess caffeine was making him antsy. He groaned again, rubbing his temples slowly. More files...just what he needed...
"Trouble keeping up with the big dogs, Ross?"
Mike felt his fists clench. He wanted nothing more than to hit Greg with nearest blunt, heavy object he could find but instead he just let out a huge, heaving sigh and leaned back in his chair. "Yeah, actually." He said finally, hating to admit it to anyone, especially when that person was practically a mini-Louis. "I'm up to my wisdom teeth in files and there's no way I'm going to be able to finsh them all by the end of the day."
There. It was all out there in the open; he practiaclly just admitted defeat to the one person he hated working with more than Louis himself. He was waiting for Greg to start gloating, to make some snide little remark on his behalf, but it never came. Instead, Greg reached into his bag and pulled something out, dropping it onto Mike's desk.
"Don't tell anyone I gave this to you." He said, looking around conspiratorially like it was all a big secret. "I've used it in the past to help me get through long days like this. Its about the only thing that works as well as a straight shot of adrenaline."
Mike frowned, looking down at the can the other associate had put on his desk. It was dark blue with bold, white, blocky letters written up the side of it. Redline. The can was a bit smaller than a soda bottle and looked innocent enough sitting there among his pile of papers. Too innocent. He looked up at Greg and narrowed his eyes a bit. "What is this?"
"Its an energy drink, man. One of the best on the market." Greg gave him a smile that was practiced and well rehearsed and Mike vaguely wondered if he used it on clients. "I used it all the time when I was in college, it really helps you stay focused."
Mike thought for a minute before shaking his head. "Nah, I think I'll stick with coffee, thanks."
Greg rolled his eyes as if he expected Mike to say that. "Coffee just keeps you awake. This stuff actually helps you focus, it helps you concentrate. Hell, its got like fifty vitamins and minerals in it so you're actually getting healthier just from drinking it."
Mike hesitated again, picking up the can experiementally and weighing it in his hand. He held it like he was waiting for it to explode all over him. "Why are you giving me this? Why are you suddenly trying to help me out?"
Greg smiled and shrugged. "Because I remember what its like to be in your shoes. Yeah, I give you a lot of shit but I remember trying to get my foot in the door as well. These guys will run you ragged up here and sometimes a secret weapon isn't so bad."
The younger man still looked unsure, glancing from the can back up to Greg. "Is it safe?"
"Oh yeah." The other associate answered quickly, nodding his head reassuringly. "I used to drink a few every day. I think Randy over there even adds it to his coffee in the morning. Its completely safe."
Mike looked down at the can again, reading the ingredients. They all seemed pretty normal, nothing too out of the ordinary that he'd never seen before. The label looked a lot like other energy drinks he'd seen as well, warning about the risks of drinking it if you were pregnant or sensitive to caffeine. All in all, it looked almost exactly like something he used to drink in college. He looked up at Greg again. "You're sure?" He asked one more time, carefully watching the other man's face just to be safe.
"Absolutely man. Look, try it out today and if you hate it then you never have to take it again." Greg looked sincere enough so Mike shook the can before opening it and peering inside. He sniffed the lid, making a slight face. "Yeah, it smells kinda rank." The other associate chimed in helpfully as Mike pulled away. "Its just the vitamins though."
When Mike brought it to his lips hesitantly, Greg held out a hand to stop him. "Uh, you might want to knock it back pretty fast. That shit's incredibly bitter thanks to the caffeine so if you try to drink it slow it'll probably make you gag." He shrugged a bit, looking every bit like the helpful attendant behind a GNC counter. "Also, the faster you drink it, the faster it gets into your system. Gives you the boost you need, you know?"
Mike hesitated for only a second longer. He took a deep breath, held it, and tipped his head back letting the drink pour into his mouth. He swallowed thickly a few times, wincing at the bitter taste that slid down the back of his throat. The drink was thick and syrupy, the flavor an odd sachrine mix designed specifically for the purpose of blocking out the other flavors of the drink. He swallowed again, suppressing a gag, and finished the drink in one final gulp. He coughed a bit into his sleeve, looking at the can accusingly.
Greg was grinning widely above him and reached down to pat him on the back. "Not bad, right?"
Mike coughed again, the bitter taste lingering in the back of his throat. He made a sickened little face for a second before nodding. "Yeah, after a few seconds the after taste begins to fade." He gave the other associate a small smile. "Thanks for the help, man."
Greg nodded and stepped away from his desk. "Anytime." He turned, walking across the open halls back toward his desk. "Let me know how it works out for you."
Mike was fidgeting, bouncing his feet beneath the desk and tapping his pen rapidly against the pile of folders next to him. He blazed through another section of the file he was reading, flipping the page a bit more forcefully than he normally would and slapping it down on top of the others. He could feel the caffeine in his system, the instant kick that he needed. He felt a bit jittery but it was definitely having the desired effect: he was more alert, had more energy, and had already gotten through two of the files he'd been handed that morning.
It was hot though; that was his only complaint. He'd loosened his tie a few times to relieve some of the discomfort he felt, tugging idly at the knot with each release. His clothes were sticking to him, the back of his shirt damp against his skin and he went through waves of hot flashes. His face felt entirely too warm and the air conditioner in the office felt like it had been turned off completely.
He flipped another page, wiping his sweaty palm on his pants leg and then dragging his hand through his hair. He could feel the sweat on his scalp and that pass through his hair had probably just given him an even more ruffled appearance but he didn't care. He was on a roll and if he could get through all these files by the end of the day then he'd be home free.
Rachel passed by, stopping and back tracking to look at him. She frowned, shifting her weight into one hip. "Are you okay?"
"Fine." Mike snapped almost automatically, barely glancing up to look at her. "Why do you ask?"
Rachel's frown deepened and she leaned in closer. "Because your face is all flushed like you've been working outside for three hours." She took in his appearance, the disheveled hair and flushed features and shook her head. "Jeez, are you sick or something?"
"No, I'm not sick." The words came out sharp and biting and Mike had no idea why he was suddenly so irritated with her talking to him. He took a deep breath, loosening his tie again before he went on. "I'm not sick. Sorry, I'm just right in the middle of something and I'm trying to get all of this done by the end of the day or Louis and Harvey will have my ass."
Rachel looked unconvinced but let it go. "Alright. Just asking." She said shortly, stepping away from his desk and walking away.
Any other day Mike would have chased after her to apologize but not today. He didn't have time today. He needed to get this done. He needed to keep working. And why was it so fucking hot in here?
He finished the file he was reading through, tucking it back into the folder and sliding it to the edge of his desk with the others. He'd barely picked up the next one and started going through it when Louis appeared at his desk. "I'm going to need you to staple these packets for me." He said, passing a ream of paper the size of a textbook over the top of the cubicle. "There needs to be at least 75 of them in the file room by five o'clock or-"
"Can't." Mike said, not bothering to look up at him as he kept reading.
Louis stopped talking, frowning a bit and looking down at the younger man. "Excuse me?"
"I said I can't. Not if you want all of these files done by the end of the day as well. Find someone else." There was a cutting edge to Mike's voice, one he hardly ever used, but he wasn't afraid to pull it out today.
Louis looked at him incredilously for a few seconds, his mouth drawing into a tight line. "I don't recall this being negotiable, Michael. You do what I tell you, when I tell you, and we all live happily ever after. If you have a problem with that-"
"Maybe I do have a problem with that!" Mike snapped, jumping to his feet so quickly his chair fell over backwards. The low drum of chatter died almost instantly in the surrounding cubicles and everyone was looking over to Mike and Louis. "I've been busting my ass all week trying to get your shit done and every time I make a dent in it you come up with something else you're too lazy to do on your own! Why don't you give the packets to someone else? Why don't you give them to Greg? I'm sure he'd just about piss all over himself trying to get it done for you! Hell, he'd probably wipe your ass for you too if you asked him!"
Greg appeared in the hallway a few seconds later, an indignant look crossing his face. "What the fuck, Mike-?" He started but Mike cut him off with a glare.
"Oh, don't act like you wouldn't! You've got your head shoved so far up Louis's ass you're practically wearing him as a hat!"
Greg's eyes widened and Louis had turned an unusual shade of purple. "Mike, I think we should go have a talk with Jessica-"
"Why?" Mike asked, gesturing wildly with his hands. "So you can go tell her how mean I'm being because I won't do your work for you? So you can pull the seniority card and keep handing your grunt work off to me?" He swayed unsteadily on his feet, another hot flash threatening to knock him over. He was dizzy, blood roaring in his ears, and it was so God damn hot!
"What the hell is going on in here?" A familiar voice demanded from somewhere up the hall. Louis and Mike both turned to see Harvey walking toward them, an irritated look plastered across his face.
"Harvey," Louis said slowly, his voice dripping with barely controlled outrage. "Get control of your associate or I'm going to call security and have him escorted from the premises."
"Ohhh, something else you can't do on your own!" Mike retorted behind him and the wall separating Mike's desk from the hallway was probably the only thing that kept Louis from jumping across it an throttling him.
Harvey stepped forward then, walking behind the wall and grabbing Mike by the scruff to the neck like he was a disobedient puppy. "My office. Now." He said in a low, sharp voice, dragging the irate associate behind him. He looked back to the other employees watching him walk away. "Back to work, all of you! Don't you have something you should be doing?" There was a small commotion as people walked back to their desks and returned to what they'd been doing before Mike's outburst.
Harvey breezed past Donna's desk, Mike's shirt still secured firmly in one hand. "Donna, hold my calls." He snapped, opening the door to his office, dragging Mike inside, and slamming it loudly behind him. It wasn't until he'd forcefully shoved Mike onto the couch did he let him go and actually look at him. "What the hell is your problem?" He demanded, a cold expression carving itself onto his face.
"Nothing!" Mike snapped, jumping to his feet and swaying a bit. "Nothing is my problem! Louis is my problem!" He pulled at his tie again, practically ripping it off in his frustration. "Louis showed up and started tearing into me about some stupid ass packets he wanted and- God, why is it so fucking hot in here?" He gasped to no one in particular, his breath coming in loud, uneven pants.
Harvey frowned, stepping forward until he was nearly chest-to-chest with Mike. He looked at him carefully, taking in the younger man's flushed, sweaty features and dilated pupils. He was breathing fast and uneven and he looked like his skin was the only thing keeping him from literally bouncing off the walls. "What did you take?" He asked, his voice cold and biting like the blade of a knife.
"Take? What? I didn't take anything!" Mike retorted defensively, trying to take a step back but Harvey just followed him.
"Bullshit." The older man snapped, grabbing a handful of his shirt to hold him still. "You're completely strung out on something. Now what is it? Pot? Meth? I wouldn't take you for someone with track marks but I've been wrong before-"
"Jesus, I didn't take drugs Harvey!"
"Then what was it?" Harvey demanded, shaking Mike just enough to get his point across.
Mike let out a loud, overly exasperated sigh. "I had an energy drink this morning, okay? Happy now? I chugged an energy drink about an hour ago so I could focus on the files I had on my desk! Its just putting me a little bit on edge, okay?"
"No. A healthy dose of cocaine would put you 'a little bit on edge.' You're about to pole vault over a Goddamn cliff." Harvey frowned then, releasing his hold on Mike a bit. "What kind was it?"
Mike gave a short, breathless little laugh. "Why the hell does it matter what kind it was?" He asked, gripping Harvey's arm for support. He was dizzy and hot and the outburst had taken more out of him than he thought. He swayed a bit but forced himself to stay upright.
"It matters, alright?" Harvey muttered, pushing him back down on to the couch effortlessly. Mike practically tumbled onto the cushions. "Now tell me what you drank."
Mike couldn't see the point in this, he really couldn't, but he also couldn't see straight and sitting down on the couch was probably the safest option he had right now. "Uh...something in a blue can." God, it was hard to think. "Red Stripe? Red Drive? Something like that..." He shook his head, trying to clear some of the spots from his eyes. That was a new development, something he wasn't entirely happy with.
"Redline?" Harvey asked above him cautiously. His voice sounded muffled and really far away thanks to the roar of blood in Mike's ears.
The younger man nodded slowly (at least he thought he nodded) and took a deep, shaking breath. "Yeah, Redline. Greg gave it to me this morning. Why?"
"Jesus." Harvey mutttered, dropping onto the couch next to Mike and grabbing one of his hands. He flipped it over, pressing his fingers to the inside of Mike's wrist and holding them there. "How much did you drink?"
"The whole can...why? What are you doing?" Mike asked breathlessly, looking to the side at the older man. There were still a lot of black dots flodding his field of vision but it wasn't nearly as bad now that he was sitting down. Yep, the couch was definitely a safer option.
"I'm checking your pulse, genius." Harvey muttered, his eyes glued to the watch wrapped around his wrist. "You're sitting right in the middle of a caffeine overdose and I'm trying to make sure you don't have a heart attack in my office."
Mike blinked in confusion. "I'm not going to have a heart attack." He muttered but his voice sounded unsure in his ears and judging by the rush of blood drowning out the rest of his senses and the constant waves of dizziness, he wouldn't dismiss it as a possibility.
Harvey said nothing, his fingers still pressing into Mike's wrist as he watched the second hand tick by on his watch. The younger man's pulse was racing beneath his fingertips, the rhythm little more than a rapid flutter. He cursed softly, dropping Mike's hand back into his lap. "180." He said grimly, leaning forward and looking at his pupils. "Your heart's beating like you just ran a marathon."
Mike shook his head slowly, squeezing his eyes shut. "That's impossible...I've never had a problem with energy drinks before. Fuck, I used to live off of RedBull and Gummi Bears in college!"
Harvey rolled his eyes and pushed him down until he was laying flat on his back on the couch. "You don't get it, idiot." He said above him, standing slowly and walking toward the door. "Redline is like an energy drink on steroids. Redline is RedBull's dark, mustache-twirling brother that likes to tie other energy drinks to train tracks and leave them there. It has about ten times more caffeine and twice the kick of other drinks." He adjusted the thermostat on the wall, dropping it a few degrees. "I'm guessing you drank coffee before work this morning too?"
Mike nodded, staring up at the cieling. "I always drink coffee in the morning. I had a lot last night too."
"Well, there you go. Your body was already trying to process the caffeine from the coffee in your system and you went and flooded it with the equivalent of ten cups of espresso. You overdosed yourself." He leaned out the door, catching Donna's attention. "I need some bottles of water." He told her and she nodded, disappearing down the hall to the kitchen.
Mike scrubbed at his face with his hands, noticing for the first time that his hands were shaking so badly he could barely hold them still. "The hell...?" He muttered more to himself than anything, staring at his shaking hands with morbid curiosity.
"Its the caffeine." Harvey said, suddenly reappearing next to him with a bottle of water in one hand and few more tucked under his arm. He handed him one of the bottles of water and set the rest on the floor next to the couch. "Drink that. You need to dilute the caffeine in your system."
Mike sat up and tried to take a drink but just succeeded in spilling half the bottle all over himself. It was cold and felt amazing on his flushed skin but it was making him shiver which just made the shaking in his hands worse. "Shit..." He muttered, dropping the bottle into his lap in frustration.
"Lay back down." Harvey told him and Mike looked at him curiously.
"Because I said so, that's why." He muttered, grabbing the back of Mike's shirt and pulling him back down. He reached down, unbuttoning the kid's jacket and pulling it away from his chest. Whether his shirt was soaked in water or sweat, Harvey couldn't be sure but he didn't like it. He unbuttoned the top three buttons of Mike's shirt, pulling it open a bit as well. "I need you to stay still and quiet. The more energy you exert the worse you're going to feel."
"Feeling pretty shitty right now..." Mike muttered, his voice quavering as he spoke due to the tremors that were wracking his body.
"I know, kid." Harvey muttered sympathetically, standing up once more.
"Where are you going?" Mike asked, watching as he walked across the room toward the door.
"I need to take care of something." He replied shortly, casting a glance over his shoulder at his shaking associate. "Stay on that couch and do not get up. I'll be back in a minute." And with that he stepped outside and closed the door, leaving Mike alone.
Greg was staring intently at his computer screen, carefully scrolling through the most recent updates on Facebook. He had a smug look of satisfaction on his face that had been there for the past thirty minutes. With any luck Harvey was in there ripping Mike a new one and about two seconds away from firing him. The kid was annoying as hell, the Golden Boy of Pearson Harden, and he wanted him gone. Sure, telling him to down an entire can of Redline might've been a little extreme but if got the job done that's all that mattered. Greg was all about getting results and it was time the other lawyers saw that.
There was suddenly a hand gripping his shoulder painfully and he was spun around to face a very angry Harvey Specter. "What did you give Mike?" He asked, his voice a low, deadly whisper.
Greg blinked stupidly for a few seconds, his mind drawing a blank. "N-Nothing..." He muttered weakly, unconsciously shrinking back away from the senior partner. "I didn't do anything to him."
"Don't lie to me." Harvey warned him sharply, keeping a firm grasp on the arms of the chair to prevent the other man from running. He knew full well what Greg had given Mike but, ever the diligent lawyer, he needed a confession. "I know you gave him something this morning and unless you want me to have you brought up on personal harassment and injury charges you will tell me right now."
"Okay, okay." Greg said quickly, holding his hands up in self-defense. "I gave him a Redline this morning and told him to chug it. I told him it would help him get things done." The look in Harvey's eyes scared him more than a potential lawsuit. "I just wanted to shake him, you know? Knock him down a few pegs."
"Yeah, well your 'shaking him'? Your little prank? The kid's about one good jump away from having a heart attack in my office thanks to you." His voice dropped lower still and he practically growled the next part. "Your lucky I don't call the police right now and have you arrested." It was all a bluff; Harvey knew the cops wouldn't do anything even if he did call them. Greg didn't know that though.
"Jesus, I'm sorry alright? I'm sorry! I'll never do anything like that again! I swear!"
Harvey let go of his chair, pushing him roughly back into the desk. "If you ever, ever, sabotage my associate again I will have you out of here so fast your chair will still be spinning. Understand?"
Greg nodded shakily, his face pale and panicked. Harvey tossed an armful of files onto his desk, pointing firmly. "That's all the work Mike is missing out on because of what you did. You will have every single file read, editted, and in my office by the end of the day. And if I find even so much as one comma out of place, I will fire you myself. Is that clear?"
The associate nodded again, immediately grabbing one of the files and flipping it open onto his lap. Harvey gave him one last glare before turning on his heel and walking away.
Mike was still on the couch exactly where he'd left him when Harvey got back to the office. The younger man was still shaking violently, every muscle in his body trembling with jolts of suppressed energy. He'd grabbed one of the pillows from the couch and was holding it tightly against his chest, gripping the edges of it like it was the only thing keeping him there. He looked absolutely miserable.
"How ya doing, kid?" Harvey asked, dragging a chair up next to the couch and sitting in it, watching his associate carefully.
"I feel like my body is trying to tear itself apart." Mike chattered, his grip tightening on the pillow ever so slightly. "I'm freezing but I think I've sweated more in the past hour than I have in the past year..." Another shiver shook through his as if to emphasize his point and he squeezed his eyes closed. "God...this sucks...!"
"I know it does." Harvey mumbled in response, leaning back in the chair. "Unfortunately the only thing you can do is wait it out. I could take you to the hospital but they'd just pump your stomach and tell you to wait it out there."
Mike made a pathetic little noise somewhere in the back of his throat and Harvey couldn't help but smirk. He got up and crouched next to him, pulling a handkerchief from his pocket (and who the hell still carried a handkerchief? Mike wondered idly) and wetting it slightly with one of the bottles of water. He wrung it out and draped it over Mike's eyes, his smirk widened a bit when the kid flinched. "Keep that there and try to get some rest."
Mike laughed once but it sounded like a cough. "Fat chance...I don't think I could sleep even if I wanted to..."
"I never said anything about sleep." Harvey corrected him, walking over to his desk and grabbing a stack of papers."I said rest, there's a difference." Mike made some kind of non-commental noise and laid still, a few tremors still causing the couch to vibrate beneath him. His breathing was still too fast, too uneven for Harvey's liking but there wasn't much he could do other than make sure it didn't stop.
Tucking the papers under one arm, Harvey walked back over to the chair and took a seat again. He cast one more glance at Mike and spread them out across his lap, reading through them only half-heartedly. If he was going to have to wait for the kid to detox he might as well make himself comfortable.
"I think I'm going to be sick..." Mike mumbled about forty-five minutes later, his voice coming out as a weak groan. Harvey barely had time to slide a trash can next to the couch before Mike doubled to the side and emptied the contents of his stomach into the bin. He gagged and wretched, the muscles in his back going rigid with each wave of nausea.
"Oh God...it smells like sugar-coated death..." He muttered into the trashcan, his voice sounding hollow and far away. "Ugh...I think I just threw up my liver..."
Harvey winced in sympathy and shook his head. "Could've kept that to yourself." He muttered, waiting for Mike to finish before he pulled the trash can away. He carried it to the door, holding it far away like it was a bomb ready to explode. He asked Donna to call for the janitor and closed the door, walking back over to his miserable associate.
Mike was still shaking but most of that could have come from him just heaving his guts up into the trash can. Harvey crouched down next to him again, absently brushing the sweaty hair off his forehead. The younger man was pale, his cheeks flushed and livid, and he looked like fresh hell. "If you could beat me to death with a stapler...I would greatly appreaciate it..." He muttered, allowing himself to basically be manhandled back onto the couch by Harvey.
"Nah, that would be a bit counterproductive to what I'm trying to accomplish." Harvey responded, dabbing at his face gently with the handkerchief and handing him one of the water bottles. "Besides, I already told you how much I hate hiring new associates. You're in it for the long haul." He grabbed Mike's wrist again, his fingers resting against his pulse.
"How's my heart?" Mike asked groggily, blinking wearily up to the ceiling.
"Not nearly slow enough for my liking." Harvey answered honestly, frowning. It was still too fast, the beats still bounding and uneven, but once again he figured a lot of that had to do with Mike throwing up. He let his hand go and walked back to the chair."Well, the good news is I think you just purged your system of the excess caffeine." He said, taking a seat and picking up the paper he's been reading over.
"Lucky me." Mike groaned miserably, dropping the water bottle onto the ground and tossing his arm over his eyes in an attempt to block out some of the light from the office. Harvey noticed this and got up, turning off the lights and dimming the windows behind him. There was still enough light coming through for him to read comfortably but it wasn't nearly as bright as it had been before. Mike murmered a weak "thank you" and Harvey just nodded in acknowledgement. He sat back down, picked up the paper and went back to reading.
Greg appeared at his door at 5:30, quietly dropping off the folders Harvey had given him and scurrying out of the room before he could say anything. Harvey barely acknowledged him, his attention directed at the file in his lap. He was nearly finished and he wasn't going to let some pissant associate break his concentration. Well, any pissant associate but his own.
Mike had gone quiet and whether he was asleep or unconscious Harvey couldn't tell. He was still breathing though, Harvey had been listening to it carefully for the past hour. The tremors had finally started to subside, coming fewer and further between than they had been earlier in the day. Mike vomitting had probably been the best thing for him as it seemed to have gotten a good majority of the caffeine left in his stomach out and gone. The rest was just a matter of letting it works itself out.
Harvey finished the file, making a few notes in the margins to go over the next day. He glanced at his watch, cursing when it read 6:27. Most of the employees had started to leave for the night, the cubicles and desks outside in the halls empty and dark. He figured it was time to call it a night as well; there wasn't a whole lot he could accompish now anyway. He stood, stretching awkwardly, and walked over to his desk, dropping the file he'd been working on on top of the stack Greg had brought him. He played with the idea of going through them just to see if he did everything right but decided against it. He was tired of being at the office and he had other things on his mind at the moment.
He walked back over to the couch, tapping Mike's arm lightly. The younger man jumped, his arm flying off of his eyes and sitting up with a jolt. Harvey rolled his eyes. "Easy, killer." He said as Mike seemed to come to his senses and looked around blearily. "Work day's over, time to go home."
Mike nodded slowly and stood, his legs still shaky and unsteady beneath him. Harvey didn't reach out and grab him but he stayed closer than he normally would just in case he decided to take a header before they got to the door. He walked beside him, waiting patiently as Mike grabbed his bag and cleaned up his desk, his hands still shaking a bit as he reached out to turn off the light. The bigger tremors were gone now but there was still a residual shakiness that wouldn't be going away for a while.
When the elevator bounced to a stop on the ground floor, Harvey frowned when Mike turned in the direction of the parking lot. "Where the hell do you think you're going?" He asked, his voice echoing in the empty lobby.
Mike frowned in confusion, one shaky hand pointing toward the parking lot. "My bike is out there." He said simply like it was the most logical answer in the world.
Harvey rolled his eyes. "You're not riding your bike." Upon seeing the even more confused expression cross the younger man's face, he elaborated. "Mike, I've seen Parkinson's patients with more stability than you have. You get on that bike, you're going to crash and I'm going to have to scrape you off the sidewalk." He nodded in the direction of the parking garage. "Come on."
"But...someone could steal it..." Mike argued, hesitating to follow.
"Then I'll fucking buy you a new one." Harvey sighed in exasperation, walking over and grabbing a handful of Mike's sleeve. "Either way, you are not riding that bike tonight." That was that. Mike said nothing as Harvey dragged him through the lobby and into the parking garage, only letting go of him when they got to the car.
He got in wordlessly, letting himself sink into the soft leather seats. He still felt like death warmed over, his body trembling ever so slightly even as he sat still. Maybe Harvey was right and riding his bike wasn't such a great idea. He could accept a ride from him tonight, it wouldn't be so bad. "You can just drop me off at my apartment." He said as they pulled away from the building and got onto the main street.
"No dice, kid." Harvey muttered, scrolling through his phone absently and checking for new emails.
"I said no. You're not going home tonight." Mike started to protest but Harvey cut in to stop him. "Look, I'm relatively certain most of that shit is out of your system by now but if by some twist of fate you end up relapsing and going into cardiac arrest then you'll be much better off if I'm there to do something about it than dying alone in your apartment, got it?" He glanced at him before sliding the phone back into his pocket. "I'm responsible for you and whatever mess you get yourself into. You're a reflection of me, remember? It would look really bad if I dropped you off at your apartment and you up and died the minute my car pulled away."
Mike said nothing but he smiled a bit. Despite his tone and word choice, he guessed this was the closest he could get to having Harvey admit that he actually cared what happened to him. They didn't speak again until they'd reached Harvey's apartment.
The older man ushered him into the elevator and down the hall when they reached the correct floor. Once they got inside, Harvey disappeared into his room and returned a few minutes later, handing him a change of clothes and strongly urging him to take a shower. Mike smirked a little and complied, eager to get out of his sweat-damp clothes.
The hot water helped center him and seemed to take away some of the shivers he hadn't quite managed to get rid of. For a long time, he stood motionlessly under the spray, allowing the water wash away most of what had transpired in the day. He was in no hurry to ever feel that way again and was strongly considering giving up caffeine all together for a while.
He changed into the fresh clothes and walked out into the living room to see that Harvey had already made up the couch for him. The older man was standing next to the couch, a large glass of water sitting on the table next to him. "I'll send your suit to the cleaners in the morning." He said by way of greeting, walking by and patting Mike on the shoulder as he passed. "Drink that water before you go to sleep and try not to die if you can help it. I'll come check on you later."
Mike smirked as Harvey disappeared into his room and closed the door. He walked over to the couch, dropping down onto the cushions with a sigh. He felt a bit steadier now than he had all day and now that the caffeine had pretty much left his system he realized how tired he was. He picked up the glass, drinking half of the water in one gulp. Tired and thristy, not the best combination in the world but he'd take it.
He laid back on the couch and had just enough energy to wonder how much Harvey paid for this apartment on a monthly basis before sleep claimed him and he knew no more.
Harvey got dressed quietly the next morning, taking a bit more time than he usually would so he didn't risk waking Mike. The younger man was sprawled across his couch looking every bit like a crash test dummy but at least he'd gotten to sleep. Harvey had been wondering if he'd be able to sleep at all thanks to the residual caffeine but it looked like it hadn't affected him as much as he'd thought.
He stepped out into the living room, adjusting his tie a bit. He still had to meet with the client this morning, that couldn't be avoided, but he didn't really have the heart to drag Mike off the couch and back to the office. He knew for a fact the kid had pulled an all-nighter the night before and probably the night before that so a catch up day would probably be the best thing for him right now. Besides, Harvey needed him to be on top of his game if he was going to be any help to him. He had no use for a brain dead associate.
He stopped by the couch, looking down at the younger man for a second. His breathing was slow and even and he looked more relaxed in that moment that Harvey had ever seen him. He reached down and touched his wrist, checking his pulse one last time out of habit from the day before. It felt normal, sleep-slowed and even, and he let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. At least now he felt like he could leave Mike on his own without him dying the second he stepped out the door. He pulled out a pen and scribbled a quick note on a post-it.
Left to meet with the client from Harris and Fields Pharmaceuticals. Meet me at the office at 3 o'clock.
P.S. Nothing but decaf for you. Ever.
He walked back over to the couch and stuck the note to Mike's forehead before turning toward the door and stepping out into the hall. He knew that Mike needed to sleep but that's not why he was letting him come in late: he needed him rested enough to focus on their case without the aid of coffee or any other kind of stimulant. The was it. Its not like he cared about the kid or anything.
Lol, poor Mike ^.^ Hope you guys liked it! :D