A/N: First of all, to all you amazing people who reviewed/favorited this story: THANK YOU SO MUCH. You guys cannot even begin to know how happy you've made me. Seriously, thank you. *hugs*
Second, this chapter is dedicated to all you reviewers/favoriters out there, but most of all to Destiny J. Adams and TkMomijiOXkisaHiro as thanks for their suggestions and encouragement when it came to adding a second chapter.
And third, well thats pretty much it. Just thank you, thank you, THANK YOU all again, so much! And I hope you enjoy this second chapter. :)
The day Mike finally shattered, Harvey literally had to catch him to keep him from falling.
Harvey had come in to the office earlier than usual, wanting to go over some briefs before meeting with a new client later that afternoon. He'd been surprised to find that Mike had gotten there before him before he realized that Mike had spent the yet another night at the office - this made two in a row, Harvey knew - doing some work for Louis that the kid hadn't had time to finish the day before.
I'm going to have to talk to him about that, Harvey thought, and he wasn't sure if by that he meant he was going to talk to Mike about too many all-nighters in a row or to Louis about always dumping all his "boring" work on Mike. Probably both.
Some part of Harvey thought about sending Mike home with strict orders to get some sleep (and he should probably add in something about eating a decent meal, too. No one should be that damn skinny). But he needed Mike in the meeting this afternoon, so he shoved the I'm-so-not-concerned feelings away and motioned for Mike to follow him to his office.
When Mike stood in front of his desk, swaying slightly and looking far paler than any living person had the right to, Harvey reconsidered not sending the kid home. He was literally halfway through the process of calling Ray to come and drive Mike home - because no way was Harvey letting the kid ride that damn bike while he was this tired - when Mike's own phone rang.
Mike was on the other side of the office, but Harvey still somehow managed to make out what the person on the other line was saying.
"Mr. Ross? I'm calling about your grandmother. I'm so, so sorry..."
That was all it took. The phone slipped from Mike's hand and to the floor with a clatter while the man himself made a horrible sound that Harvey never wanted to hear again, some agonizing mix between a sob and a scream. Then it all came crashing in and Mike's knees buckled, sending him sinking to the floor along with his phone.
Harvey was across the room in a literal flash, diving to catch Mike before the associate fell completely. "Mike?"
But all Mike could do was make another half-sobbing sound and stare at Harvey with a look that so screamed help me! that Harvey felt like something in his chest was going to shatter.
"Donna, call Ray," Harvey said calmly, glancing up at his assistant as she entered with a worried frown. "And clear my afternoon."
Mike just continued to sit on the floor, not even reacting when Harvey picked up the discarded cell phone to finish speaking to the woman on the other line. He didn't react when Harvey pulled him to his feet or walked him out of the office and towards the elevators. He didn't react when Harvey gently shoved him into the waiting town car or when he realized that they were at Harvey's condo instead of his own apartment.
It wasn't until Harvey sat him down on his posh leather couch that Mike stirred, and even then it was only to look up to meet Harvey's gaze.
And suddenly Mike was clinging to Harvey, sobbing into his jacket while his hands gripped the expensive fabric as though it were a lifeline.
And maybe it was. Because Mike had just lost the most important person in his world. He clung to Harvey because the older man was all that kept him from being entirely alone. He clung to Harvey because Harvey was the only person he had left.
And Harvey let Mike cling to him. Leaning forward, he wrapped an arm around Mike's shoulders while his other hand carded gently through the younger man's hair. He heard himself murmur things that he assumed were supposed to be comforting, though he knew that Mike wouldn't hear a word of it anyway.
"I know," Harvey murmured.
"I know, Mike. I know."
"She was all I had left."
You've still got me.
Harvey didn't say it aloud, but somehow Mike heard it anyway, and it only made him sob harder and tighten his grip on Harvey even more.
"Shhh," Harvey soothed, and later he would wonder at himself and wonder when the heck he'd suddenly come to care this much about Mike and where the need to comfort this kid in his arms had come from. "I've got you, Mike. I've got you."
And that promise was the only thing that kept Mike from breaking completely. You've got me. I've got you. It wasn't much, Harvey knew, but he hoped that, for now, it would be enough.
It didn't taken long for Mike to cry himself out and for him to finally slip into an exhausted sleep. Harvey stretched him out across the couch, carding his finger's through Mike's hair again before covering him with a blanket. He sat in a chair across from the couch then, watching his sleeping associate with a worry and a fondness that he would never allow himself to show if Mike were awake to see him.
Harvey had always known that someday Mike would shatter. He'd watched for it, waited for it, feared it, and now it was here.
And Harvey waited, sitting with Mike as he slept. And whenever the associate - his associate, the kid with the big blue eyes and the too-big heart that had somehow wormed his way past Harvey's armor -started to toss and turn in a nightmare, Harvey was there to squeeze his hand until Mike's subconscious realized he was safe again and fell back into sad but restful slumber.
Mike was broken, all the burdens he bore having finally crushed him beneath their weights. But Harvey was there, and while he knew it would take a long, long time, he was determined to do what all the King's Horses and all the King's Men hadn't been able to do.
And it did take a long time for Mike to be okay again. It took days for his smile to be genuine, weeks for his laugh to be real and countless, countless hours for his eyes to lose the deep shadows and sorrows that only a person who has seen too much can have.
It took forever for life to get back to a point where Mike could answer that he was fine and it not be a lie. But through all those weeks and days and countless hours Harvey was always there, occasionally in the forefront and often in the background, but always there, picking up the pieces and slowly putting Mike back together again.
And he never told Harvey this, never even told the older lawyer that he remembered that Harvey had ever even said it, but Harvey's promises to be there were often what got Mike through the hard days of grief following the loss of his grammy.
You've still got me. I've got you.
It wasn't much, but to Mike it was everything.
To Mike, it was more than enough.
A/N/2: Please be kind and leave me lots of lovely reviews again, even if you hated it (which I hope no one did). You guys are my inspiration for writing and hearing from you only feeds the muse. :)