A/N: The conclusion, folks! I'm so sorry it took me so long to post this last part - I ended up re-writing the whole chapter, and then I uploaded it to my LJ account and sort of… forgot… to upload it here. Sorry! I'm a scatterbrain! At any rate, I REALLY appreciate all the wonderful, kind comments that people have left me about this fic - you've made it so fun and rewarding! Thank you!
Mike knows he wanders around Pearson Hardman looking more than a little dumbstruck for about a week after he and Harvey have sex for the first time – in his defense, getting fucked senseless by Harvey Spector tends to shift one's internal geography a bit. Mike's preoccupied with redrawing borders, redefining where his life stops and Harvey's begins, where they're irrevocably, impossibly tangled up in one another. It's new, and strange, and confusing even without taking into consideration the mind-blowing sex.
They already have a complicated relationship – Harvey is his boss, his mentor, his co-conspirator, his friend, and now… this. Mike doesn't know what to call this. They haven't really talked about what they're doing with each other – lovers is too flowery, too cliché (it tastes like grape candy when he says it, too sweet), but fuck buddiesdoesn't even come close to encompassing what's between them. He feels like he should be bothered more by the fact that this is so ambiguous, so up in the air, but he'snot. Even more oddly, Harvey doesn't seem to be, either.
Mike had half expected Harvey to present him with some sort of relationship contract, a notarized and iron-clad agreement addressing all the pertinent details:
Each party shall agree that it is the responsibility of both parties to provide regular sexual contact to the point of mutual orgasm, no less than three times a week. Mr. Ross may keep up to three spare outfits and five essential toiletry items at the residence of Mr. Spector, with no more than one skinny tie allowed on the premises at any given time. Failure to abide by this stipulation may result in a justified withholding of the aforementioned sexual contact until the ratio of skinny-to-acceptable ties has been rectified.
But Harvey doesn't draft any legal agreements, doesn't put any boundaires or limitations in place. In fact, Harvey seems… relaxed. More relaxed than Mike's ever seen him, voice smooth, undulating waves of color that rarely spike into the sharper shapes of stress these days.
Harvey's newfound joie de vivreis apparently noticeable to other people, as well.
Donna deduces that they're sleeping together within twenty seconds of seeing them their first Monday back at the office.
"Oh, thank god," she says (with, Mike thinks, more theatricality than is probably called for), "The unresolved sexual tension in this office was smothering me. I mean really. I was beginning to be embarrassed for you both. Even Louis picked up on it. Louis. I was days away from creating a PowerPoint presentation outlining all the reasons you two should be legally required to fuck, which would have seriously cut into my free time, so thank you for pulling your heads out of your own asses and relieving me of that task. Also, did you know there's a betting pool going on in the mailroom about when you two would finally make The Beast with Two Backs?"
"No there isn't," Harvey says, smiling indulgently at Donna while Mike, aghast, pictures seventy year-old Leonard down in the mailroom placing bets on Harvey sodomizing him. "Everyone knows that you control the gambling at Pearson Hardman, Donna," Harvey continues, "Leonard knows better than to mess with your turf."
"Damn right he does," Donna says with mock seriousness. She's not fooling anyone. Her voice is happy, happy teal, like blue-green bubbles that honestly look stunning with her red hair. Mike should tell her about the synesthesia, he thinks, so he can tell her how perfectly suited her colors are.
Donna adopts a fond, teasing look and raises one slim hand for a high-five. "Still," she says coyly to Harvey, "let me be the first to congratulate you on tapping Mike's sweet ass, boss."
Harvey rolls his eyes and walks into his office, ignoring Donna's indignant gasp as he leaves her hanging.
Mike flushes pink from his collar to his hairline, still trying to wrap his brain around the use of the phrase Mike's sweet ass,but when Donna winks and offers up a celebratory first-bump, Mike grins and reciprocates without hesitation.
Somehow, they figure it out without ever really having to figure it out. Everything just fits the way it should. Eventually, Mike spends more nights at Harvey's place than his own. A few toiletries in the medicine cabinet turn into more than half his things scattered throughout the condo – well-read books and scruffy Chuck Taylors and a plethora of skinny ties that make Harvey roll his eyes and purse his lips disapprovingly.
Mike expected his stuff to look out of place here – too dirty, too cheap, too lacking in shine. But their two worlds sort of blend, in a way that makes it all different and better than it was before. Mike brings color to Harvey's world, and there's a certain kismet in that. Mike's books have friction-softened corners that curl, but they flesh out Harvey's sparse shelving into something that is less clinical, more intimate. Mike's shoes are tread-worn pops of color in the otherwise uninterrupted black parade of Harvey's Italian leather, happy punctuation that says you're not alone here.Mike's ties look thin and cheap on the rack in Harvey's closet, but Harvey still makes room for them there.
Mike smoothes over Harvey's too-crisp edges. Harvey polishes out Mike's rough spots.
They just work.
Four months after Mike stopped thinking of his old apartment as home, Pearson Hardman acquires Alexi Blancovtiz as a client. He's the heir to the Blancovitz Textiles empire, looking to revitalize the company after his father's passing. Aleix's brought Harvey (and therefore Mike) on as new counsel on retainer, for a sum that is frankly mindboggling. Mike wants to go cross-eyed just thinking about how much money the man is paying.
Mike had a hand in bringing him in to PH, so he gets to sit in on the meeting. (It might also have a little something to do with the enthusiastic blow job he woke Harvey with this morning, but it's mostly the research he spent all of last week doing. Really.)
Alexi is young and rich and powerful and he carries himself like a prince, all high chin and broad shoulders and the expectation of what he wants, when he wants it. Even his voice is money-green, piney and sure and far-reaching. He wears suits that are (dear god) possibly even more expensive than Harvey's - they look tailored down to the millimeter.
Sitting in the office watching Harvey and Alexi review the paperwork, Mike feels like a peasant.
Their voices ripple through the room like circling koi fish, evenly matched in power and capability, and in the rare moments when Mike speaks, his smoky blue words look like guppies trying to frantically avoid the vortex their tones create.
And Mike's never seen so much preening and adjusting of creases and cuffs in one room. It's like watching GQ magazine's 3D edition, or maybe some bizarre urban version of a nature show – Powerful, Suave Men in their Natural Habitat. He can practically hear David Attenborough narrating.
And Jesus, if either of them unbuttons and then re-buttons their jacket just one more time, Mike might scream.
Luckily he manages to maintain his composure for the duration of the meeting, only sighing and tugging at the itchy collar of his suddenly cheap-feeling suit afterAlexi has glided from the room like a fucking dancer. Mike suspects that the man would manage to look graceful while falling down a flight of stairs, and it only makes him feel more awkward as he slumps against Harvey's desk.
"Good god, it was like a two-man Fashion Week in here, Harvey," he exclaims (voice wavering from smoke blue to exhausted navy). He can't help fidgeting with the crooked knot of his tie, suddenly hyper-aware of how off-center and sloppy it looks. "I half expected Tim Gunn to pop out of the ficus or something."
Harvey rolls his eyes (he does that a lot, which is funny because he's so fond of calling Mikechildish, and Mike's pretty sure eye-rolling this often officially makes Harvey a pre-teen girl).
"Alexi happens to understand the value of a well-made suit," he says, stepping forward, knocking Mike's hand away from his tie, and tugging the knot out entirely. His lips are curled fondly as he begins to re-tie it, clever fingers sliding expertly over the fabric. He makes a soft, amused sound low in his throat as Mike squirms, and it's cherry red and quick, like a flower petal on a breeze.
"I felt like the ugly duckling stuck in a room with two swans," Mike says, chuckling, even as the truth of that statement makes something ache inside him.
Harvey's fingers pause, the tip of one clean, manicured nail smoothing the divot below the knot. He looks up at Mike, all the smugness gone from his mouth.
There is a moment of silence between them, empty of sound and color, then:
"He looked cheap next to you," Harvey says.
He shimmies the tie gently until it's snug against Mike's collar, smoothes the body of it against Mike's chest with the backs of his fingers. Mike looks down at himself, the off-the-rack suit, the polyester tie (the yellow one with little green owls that Harvey hates). He starts to ask Harvey if he's kidding,if this is meant to be sarcastic, but Harvey is looking at him with an expression that is absolutely certain, no trace of humor or mocking.
Mike's mouth goes dry and his chest tightens with an emotion he can't name, delicate and new and full of so much potential.
"Oh," he says weakly, and the sound drifts off like dandelion fluff. Because he's pretty sure Harvey just told him I love you(in his own strange, smart, emotionally constipated way). Harvey just told him that despite Mike's cheap suit and shitty shoes and lack of diamond cufflinks, Harvey sees something in him that is worth more than anything Alexi could wear or buy. It's touching and surprising (but sort of not, when he thinks about it) and breathtaking, and it takes Mike a moment to recover.
"And don't call me a swan," Harvey says, patting the side of his neck affectionately and moving away. His voice trails after him like a comet tail. "Swans are essentially just pretty turkeys – loud and annoying and stupid. All they do is squawk and shit everywhere. If you're going to compare me to an animal, go with something stunning but dangerous, like a panther."
Mike blinks at him for a moment, overwhelmed with the sudden desire to pin his back against the wall and kiss him. But this is Harvey's office, with glass walls, and while Donna would surely appreciate the show (seriously, the woman has no shame), they don't do this here where people could see and use it against them. This is something that they keep for themselves – a shared secret so much better than Mike's falsified qualifications.
So Mike just smiles at Harvey and tells him "A falcon. You'd be a falcon."
"Oh?" Harvey asks wryly, "And why is that?"
"Because," Mike says, "They're my favorite."
And judging by the fond way his lips curl up at the edges, Harvey gets the message.
Harvey's voice is a deep, rich red.
When he laughs, it's like magenta fireworks. It's brick red and umber with worry when he scolds Mike to take your damn pills, you're like a lemming, no sense of self-preservation. Best of all is the deep, sweet, wet red of freshly cut strawberries when he buries his face in the soft junction of Mike's jaw and throat and says good morningin a tone that means yes, Mike is about to have a verygood morning, indeed.
Sometimes his voice tries to sound steely and blood red, but then his eyes shift to Mike and the color shifts to something more like sun-warmed crimson velvet, all the harsh tones bleached out of it.
When they fuck, the noises they make ripple out in red-blue-red-blue coronas, vibrant purple in the spaces where their voices overlap in harmonizing tones. Harvey lights up Mike's senses like Mike's brain is lined with phosperous, too bright to look at, burning hotter than anything he's ever felt, and so sogood.
Sometimes at night, Harvey's voice is little more than a whisp of smoke bracketed by their lips pressed together in wet kisses, just enough hue to bridge the distance.
These are the moments that Mike likes best - when everything disappears but their two voices twined together, the whole night stretching out before them like a blank canvas, just waiting to be filled with color.
A/N: Thanks again for reading! I'm going to step away from this AU for a fic or two, just to get some space and cleanse my palate, so to speak, but then I'm planning on writing a tag to this fic from Harvey's POV, so stay tuned. :)