Maybe you're not even human 'cause,
Only an angel could be so unusual
Sweet surprise, I could get used to
It happened on a rainy day.
A hurricane had come up from the south. Most people below North Carolina would call it a rain storm as it was barely a category two, but the whole of New York was in an uproar about it. Harvey thought it was stupid, work still had to be done. Jessica was of his mind and unless the storm strengthened everyone had to come in to work.
The storm spun itself out before it even hit land and was nothing more than a depression by the time it went over Manhattan. That said it unleashed biblical amounts of rain, turning gutters into mini rivers till the sewers seemed full to the point of bursting. Harvey was watching the rain from behind his desk when he looked up to the sound of wet squishy wet leather. Mike stood in the door, soaked, looking like a half drowned dog.
"Why didn't you catch a cab?" was the first thing Harvey asked.
"It hadn't hit before I left this morning," Mike made a face at him. That surprised Harvey, the storm had hit early in the morning. He wondered where Mike had gone before coming in to work. "By the time I hailed a cab it wasn't even worth it," and he wiped a bit of water off his brow.
Harvey frowned and glanced out the window, it was still coming down in buckets. "Where's your spare suit?" he asked looking back a Mike.
"At the cleaners," Mike frowned unhappily. "I can tough it out. What do you need me to do?" he carried on as though his dripping suit wasn't a problem.
His chair creaked slightly as Harvey stood up and crooked his finger at Mike, signaling him to come closer as he walked over to a tall, narrow, door nestled between his record collection. Mike shuffled over, trying not to get wet everywhere as Harvey opened the door to what was ostensibly a closet. "Oh," he heard Mike say. "You're actually going to let me wear one of your suits?" he almost seemed in awe that he was even allowed to touch them, let alone wear one.
Harvey just shrugged, "It's an old one, don't get too excited," he said.
"Right," and Mike instantly schooled his features. Or at least, he tried to. His lips kept twitching.
"Here," Harvey handed him the suit and went over to the glass wall that separated his office from the rest of the firm and pressed a button for the automatic blinds. From her station Donna cocked a brow at him, questioningly but Harvey ignored her.
When Harvey turned back around he saw Mike had shrugged off his sodden jacket and shoes and was undoing his belt. Harvey looked away, though he desperately wanted to catch a peek, even just a little one. But no, he wouldn't. He had more respect than to act like a peeping Tom. She he kept his back to Mike and listened to the sound of shuffling wet clothing.
It occurred to Harvey then that Mike was putting on the pants first. Usually it was the other way around. He heard the belt clicking into place and Harvey hazard a glance now that Mike's lower half was carefully concealed by Harvey's spare pants.
Mike was half turned to him, unbuttoning his shirt with a strange sort of determination. Off went his shirt and then, more slowly, he started to peel off his undershirt. Harvey was just glad to see he was wearing an undershirt. "Harvey," Mike's voice cut through his staring, because yes he had been staring. How could he not? Mike was creamy pale with surprisingly broad shoulders and arms that looked like he worked out.
"Hmm?" Harvey managed.
Mike licked his lips before saying, "Could you turn around?"
"Huh? Sure," and Harvey did so. A feeling nagged at him though. He'd expected Mike to ask Harvey to turn around when he'd changed pants. He hadn't though, Harvey had just done so on his own, but Mike hadn't even seemed worried about it. Now Mike was just changing his shirt. He was hiding something, that was for sure. As he heard Mike gathering up the clean shirt Harvey felt himself turning, just slightly, to see what it was Mike would hide from him. Maybe it was a tattoo, or a birthmark or—
Harvey stared as Mike was about to pull on his shirt, facing a bit away from Harvey. Starting just below the top of his shoulders and descending to almost the middle of his back were twin scars about the width of two fingers and had obviously been sewn shut as if he'd undergone some medical procedure. Only they were big and despite the sewing seemed almost touched with violence as smaller scars lightning out of the two larger ones.
"What the hell happened?" he blurted out before he could stop himself, a trait he thought he'd stamped out. But apparently not.
Mike whirled, eyes huge, and quickly yanked the shirt on and now Harvey caught another scar he hadn't seen before. On his pelvic done there was a thin diagonal scar that he'd missed because Mike was already pretty pale and the scar was pale too. Mike stared at Harvey for a second, shirt open, before his face turned a deep red and he quickly buttoned his shirt up, grabbed the jacket and tie and practically ran out of the room, leaving behind his shoes.
Harvey stuck his head out of his office to see Mike marching down the hall, head down. "What did you do?" he looked over at Donna who had that 'you better not say something that will displease me'.
"Nothing," Harvey said truthfully. Donna gave him another look, the 'did you touch your puppy inappropriately?' look. "I didn't do anything," Harvey scowled at her.
"Then why did he leave like a man on a mission… and is he not wearing shoes-" now she sent him a 'fix it' look he knew very well when it came to Mike when he'd done something he probably shouldn't have. Pushed too hard, been a bit too cold, asked a bit too much. Harvey just rolled his eyes at her. He hadn't done anything wrong, all he'd done was look at Mike, he shouldn't have to fix anything. He opened the blinds and walked back to his desk, dutifully ignoring the little half glares Donna kept sending him.
Once Harvey had seen the huge scars on Mike's back he found he couldn't stop thinking about them. Mainly where the hell they'd come from. He didn't know and knew Mike would never tell him, not from his reaction the first time he'd seen them.
At first he thought they were surgical scars from an operation, but he couldn't think of any procedure that would require such a large incision, and two of them at that. They weren't even over any particular part of the body so it wasn't like it was back surgery, as they ran parallel to his spine.
Next he contemplated scars from the car accident his parents had been it. They said it was a miracle Mike had lived through it when it had killed both his parents. But that wasn't it either. The scars were too perfect to be a random act. And again, they were huge, he would have bled out in the time it took the paramedics to get there.
Then there was the other strange scar on his pelvis. It was thin and long, longer than his hand at least and perfectly strait, like Mike had cut himself with a knife.
That led to the third, and most concerning theory. That the wounds were self inflicted. Who knew if Mike had other scars, places where he'd cut himself, Harvey hadn't seen. But if he could do that to his back he knew there had to be more. The idea made his skin crawl that Mike, his Mike would even ever think of doing that to himself. It was improbably though. Mike was a happy young man, sure a little stressed, but not psychotic and he knew Mike wasn't on any drugs.
In short, he speculated but had no real answers, and very well couldn't just ask Mike. When he'd seen Mike again he'd just acted like nothing had happened, which had put Mike at ease. He couldn't ask, because he'd acted like it wasn't a big deal. That didn't mean he didn't want to know though, or didn't think about why they were there, why Mike had needed to cut into himself like that, self inflicted or not (though he was betting on the not).
The event never happened again. Mike seemed extra careful to always have a spare suit in the office if he needed it, and they never spoke of it again. After a few months Harvey was convinced he'd honestly just imagined the scars and they'd been tattoos, or those scarifications that were becoming popular again. Either way he put it out of his mind since worrying over it got him nowhere.
Instead he focused on their cases, mainly, winning them, as well as making sure Mike didn't worry his head off about their secret being exposed. Between work and Mike's antics it was easy to forget, easy to pretend it never happened.
Harvey found he genuinely liked Mike's company, and after the scare with Trevor, knew they worked as a team both in and out of court. That made a small part of Harvey smug because, of course they would work well together. Harvey had trained Mike from the ground up how to be a big boy lawyer after his first few months of trying not to blow his own cover by being a bit inept. Because of that he kept finding himself finding reasons to spend time with Mike. Sure he had a bit of a thing for Mike, he was attractive. But that didn't mean too much for him.
Harvey liked pretty things, things that were hard to get and were worth the effort in getting, it was why he liked rare, fast, cars, records you couldn't buy at the local dime store and food served only by some of the best chefs in the city (not even expensive, but just the quality of the food). So yeah, he was interested in Mike. He was just slightly out of reach and had a brain that sometimes threatened to give him a hard on when it spit out information of such a eureka that even he was impressed. He was also Harvey's opposite. He cared so much, even if Harvey had tried to get him to stop, where Harvey pretended to not care about anything but winning. The attraction was like when two magnets of opposite poles came near and Harvey just couldn't shake his desire to know Mike better. Better as in spread out on his sheets without a scrap of clothing where Harvey could enjoy the sight of his pretty pale skin and discover if he had any more scars—
Damnit. He'd thought he'd gotten over Mike's scars.
It was a nice restaurant, low lit, with soft music played through hidden speakers, something orchestral with long, vague, violin, parts. Mike sat across from him, chattering banally, not that Mike was ever had anything exactly boring to say but he was really just talking to talk and Harvey didn't mind listening. He only shut up when their food arrived and Harvey was half amused, half horrified, at the rate he consumed his food. Mike was pretty thin, skinny even, but he always seemed to be eating, Harvey didn't know how he did it and he was the one who worked out. Harvey couldn't count the number of times he'd seen Mike eating at his cubicle, picking chips or crackers out of a bag one at a time like a bird. He certainly didn't eat like one though.
They'd been doing this for a while. Every week Harvey would make an excuse to drag Mike out to eat or just out in general. Donna had stopped giving him all knowing, smug, looks at least like she had the first few weeks. She, of course, knew exactly what he was doing. Mike seemed oblivious though, or at least Harvey thought so, and was obviously putting it up to Harvey just being nice, something he would normally tease Harvey about. But Harvey doesn't mind the teasing because, though he hates to admit it, he does care. He also cares about getting what he wants, and what he wants is Mike, as terribly selfish as that sounds.
Once Mike's finished his meal he starts talking again and Harvey makes appropriate comments between his own bites since Mike eats at a speed a human should be incapable of. He asks after dessert, and Harvey gently reprimands him, reminding him he's still eating and Mike just flushes in embarrassment. Harvey likes when Mike blushes, there's something terribly innocent about it. For a second he has a flashback to when he told Jessica, to distract, that Mike was a virgin. He wonders than if Mike actually is. He's never even thought of it before and it does uncomfortably warm things to his insides. As if he wasn't already Mike will obviously be the ruin of him.
Dessert came and went and Harvey tried to get the idea that Mike is a virgin out of his head. But it's a persistent little idea and refused to leave quietly. He told himself that, rationally, Mike has surely been with others, man, woman, who cared, he couldn't be a virgin. Not a guy like him at that age. He tried to recall, as he ate his dessert, Mike ever mentioning boyfriends, or girlfriends. While he didn't have a memory like Mike it was still pretty good and he honestly couldn't recall him ever saying anything of them of the sort.
"Thanks for the meal Harvey," Mike said as they left the restaurant. "I feel like I don't have the pallet to appreciate it though," he added sheepishly as Ray pulled up to the curb and hopped out of the car.
Harvey rolled his eyes a little, "Why do you think I take you to these types of places Mike? To learn to appreciate the good things in life."
"But I do," Mike insisted, "I mean, I appreciate you," and he smiled widely.
Harvey blinked at him a moment and offered an almost-smile to him, "Get in, I'll have Ray drive you home," and he put his hand on Mike's back to guide him in. His brows arched up when he felt Mike flinch for just a second before moving forward quickly and ducking into the car. Curious, Harvey followed and Ray closed the door after him. "Everything all right Mike?" he asked as Mike buckled himself in and seemed to subconsciously scratch his back and Harvey wondered if the touch had reminded Mike of the scars. That sent a sick amount of pleasure down Harvey's spine.
He had thought he wasn't obsessive, but really, Harvey had a bit of an addictive personality. Once he found something to wonder about or do he didn't stop. He kept his interest carefully in check though. Fast and exotic cars, records, autographed sports paraphernalia, law, attractive men and women, good food, things he could be addicted to comfortably without it spiraling out of control. He'd never figured he'd have a thing for scars though. He'd once slept with a woman who used to cut herself, and while he hadn't been turned off, they hadn't excited him either, they'd just been part of the landscape. Mike's scars were different. For starters they were huge, and for another they were mysterious. Harvey liked to weasel secrets out and figure things out, but he couldn't figure these out and the thought of the unknown was exciting because it meant he got to do what he did best, figure it out.
"Huh? Yeah, fine," Mike grinned at him as Ray entered New York traffic. "Just an itch," his grin turned a bit strained. Bad connection with them probably. He scratched again, as if now that it had been brought up he couldn't stop. Harvey just watched a moment before reaching over slowly and fitting his hand behind Mike's back to get the place he looked desperately trying to reach. Like before Mike flinched, though it was barely noticeable like before, Harvey only noticed because he was looking for it now. After that momentary hesitation though Mike seemed to relax a bit. "Uh, thanks," Mike said awkwardly when Harvey pulled away, flushed again. Harvey just shrugged like it was no big deal.
When Ray pulled up to the front of Mike's apartment Harvey tried very hard not to be judgmental. It was difficult though since it wasn't exactly the nicest building, it wasn't even in Manhattan. He frowned slightly looking out the window at it. "Thanks for the ride Harvey, Ray," Mike said and Harvey looked away from the building where Mike was getting out of the car.
Something caught at the corner of Harvey's eye. "Have a nice night Mr. Ross," Ray was saying as the door opened. Instinct made him grab Mike as he was about to swing the door open and get out and pull him back into the car. As he did an SUV zoomed past without any worry about what was going on.
"The hell!" Mike yelped, realizing he'd been a second away from a smear on the road and against the car if Harvey hadn't grabbed him. Not to mention the damn SUV would have torn the door clear off. He looked around wildly, half splayed across the back seat, head barely brushing Harvey's chest.
"You okay Mike?" Ray called from the front, sounding the only one actually panicked in the entire car.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Mike said patting himself before looking up at Harvey, "Thanks," he said.
"Clearly without me you would have died by now," Harvey said giving him a little shove upright and got out sidewalk side and motioned for Mike to follow. "Since you can't navigate a street," he as good as ordered and Mike scrambled out of the car. "Need me to make sure you don't fall up the stairs and hurt yourself?" he asked, only half joking.
Mike opened his mouth, closed it, then said, "I've obviously been in greater danger than just walking up to my apartment. But maybe it's better to be safe than sorry," and Harvey had to hand it to the kid, that was probably the most interesting way he'd ever been invited up to someone's apartment, even one as ramshackle as Mike's.
Harvey leaned into the car's open door as Ray was getting himself comfortable again after closing Mike's door. Ray could obviously take care of himself and didn't need Harvey to make sure he wasn't run over. "Ray, take it around the block, I'm making sure our princess doesn't kill himself on the stairs," he joked and sent Mike a teasing smirk, Mike just made a face at him. Ray chuckled and nodded and Harvey closed the door.
"Princess? Really? What are you six?" Mike asked and bounded up the stairs of his stoop like he was lighter than air. It was a strange sight since usually Mike seemed so heavy footed, so solidly grounded. Yet he seemed to walk on air here. He unlocked his front door and held it open for Harvey.
"What floor are you on again?" Harvey asked looking up the flight of stairs.
"Top floor," Mike said cheerfully. Harvey did his best not to blanch. Mike's building was six stories tall.
"You drag your bike up and down these every morning?" Harvey asked, starting up after mike who always seemed half a flight ahead of him. Harvey wasn't out of shape by any means but even he hated stairs. Mike didn't even seem to notice them though, he just seemed to float right above them, getting more chipper the higher they went.
"Yep," he said waiting at the third floor for him. "Tired?"
"Please," Harvey rolled his eyes, Mike just laughed and continued up to the forth floor. Harvey furrowed his brow trying to figure it out. Mike was usually a pretty cheerful guy, but as they reached the fifth floor he seemed to practically glow and unlike Harvey wasn't out of breath in the slightest.
They reached the sixth floor and Mike fished out a little silver key and unlocked the knob and deadbolt in his door. "You want some water or something before you go back?" Mike asked before opening his door.
"Yeah, sure," Harvey could honestly have used it. He wasn't used to stairs, it was an entirely different workout he wasn't used to.
Mike opened his door, "Make yourself at home, I'll get you something," he said as he held open the door. Harvey walked in expecting a mess, as Mike's cubicle was rather messy and while amazing his proofing was somewhat chaotic. He was surprised that that wasn't the case in Mike's apartment.
He'd expected something kinda old and ugly and claustrophobic with brick walls and looked cold and run down. Mike's apartment was just a one room, clean with cream colored walls and a large bed pushed up against a pair of large windows with white drapes. There were hooks on the wall for his bike and a door to the bathroom and off to the side was a kitchenette where Mike was rummaging in the fridge for something. The floor was hardwood and for some reason Harvey got the impression of being inside a cloud. It probably had to do with the bed, which was heaped with clean, white, bedding and pillows like a nest and Harvey got the feeling that in the daylight the place was bright and airy. Maybe more than his own apartment, and he had outer walls made of glass.
"Here you go," Mike's voice startled him slightly and he looked over at Mike who was holding a glass of water for him.
"Thanks," Harvey said and took it. "Not too bad rookie," and he motioned to the apartment.
Mike laughed and walked over to his bed and sat on it. Harvey noticed off to the side was a small couch and a TV that was collecting dust. "I like it," he agreed, toeing off his shoes as Harvey took a sip of his water. "You can sit if you like, it's kinda weird just having you standing in my apartment," Mike said with a slight face. Harvey consented to leaning against the kitchen counter, but nothing more.
"I honestly expected something worse from the building," Harvey took another sip.
"Heh, yeah, everyone says that. I fixed it up though. I like it cause it's the tallest building in the neighborhood and I get the sun right through my window in the morning," and then he was hopping out of bed again, somehow having lost his socks. Harvey's brows rose a little when he saw strange marks around his ankles, as the pants were a bit too short on him.
It was fascinating to watch Mike move around his apartment. At work he always seemed slightly jumpy; happy, but jumpy, always careful like someone was going to find out their secret. He sometimes seemed lost too, like he didn't know quite what to do with himself and that everything was a new shiny something to poke at an examine, but always with the distanced knowledge that he couldn't appear too naive about their work or he'd get found out. Here it wasn't anything like that and he moved around confidently. Like Harvey had noted in the stairs he was light on his feet, floating over to one of the doors and opening it to a closet.
Harvey's brows went up a little as Mike removed his jacket and put it on a hook before undoing his tie. "Do you own any real ties Mike?" Harvey asked, noting a collection of them hanging from the door.
"Hey, these are fine," Mike sent him a look.
"Barely," Harvey snorted and took another drink, casting his eyes around the room before they zeroed back in on Mike who was bustling about. He sort of seemed to have forgotten Harvey was there as he straitened this, and rearranged that and muttered to himself as he took a cutting of flowers (white ones with long speckled petals, Harvey hadn't noticed them before) out of a vase and threw them into the trash.
"Hey Harvey," Mike suddenly interrupted his quiet watching, Harvey just gave an acknowledging head nod. "What's your favorite color?"
Harvey was so floored by the question, which was out of left field, that it took him a few seconds to come up with a response. "Blue," he said even though it wasn't; it was orange. But with Mike staring at him curiously all he could think of was the color of Mike's eyes, those big dull blue things they were. Mike didn't have bright cheerful blue eyes like you'd expect someone like him to have, they were muted and pale and like the color of the sky just before rain. Christ he needed to stop, he was starting to sound like a hormonal teenager over their crush.
"Hmmm," Mike said thoughtfully and tilted his head to the side for a moment, looking curious at the same time before nodding. "Did you want anything else before you left?" he asked and Harvey glanced down, his glass was empty, when had that happened?
Harvey thought about that a moment, "No, nothing," he said even though he did have some things to say. Some things he wanted to know. For starters what was up with that fucking random question. Still he had a feeling he'd find out, so he said nothing.
"Okay," Mike smiled widely at him. "I'll see you tomorrow Harvey," and he walked Harvey the few steps to the door, opening it for him and waving after him as Harvey walked down the stairs from the top floor.
The walk down seemed to take no time at all and he only had to wait a moment before Ray came around the corner and parked in front of the building. He didn't get out as the traffic was a bit too hectic for it and Harvey just slid into the back seat without complaint and settled back as Ray turned on the blinker to merge into traffic.
Harvey sat back and tried to make his brain just stop. He needed to not think about things sometimes. But alas, it was not so and he kept replaying what had happened in Mike's apartment over and over again. He'd never ever seen Mike like that in the months (almost a year now) he'd known Mike like that. Maybe when he'd been high it'd been close, that sort of strange uplifting sense where he was invincible. He knew since Mike had started working for the firm he'd moved, so this place was a new place. He wondered what Mike had been like in the other one. Was it the same? Different? It seemed the higher he got off the ground the lighter he became, till he almost seemed to glow and-
Harvey rubbed the bridge of his nose. He really needed to stop with the romantics. It could never work out. Harvey was Mike's boss for starters. For another he didn't even know if Mike was interested in him, and even if he was… the entire thing was just bad and could be effortlessly filed as sexual harassment if Mike ever decided it wasn't fun anymore. Not only that but Mike seemed gun shy. He had no problem dropping trou and changing in front of Harvey (it had only been his pants and Harvey had been trying very hard to not look at how good Mike's ass had looked in those red briefs of his (which was an entirely different thought process he wasn't going to have right now)), but he'd freaked when he'd started to take off his shirt. Which was ass backwards if Harvey knew. Harvey didn't blame him for that of course, those were some nasty scars on his back. But still, gun shy, and if he didn't want people to see them casually what chance did he have to see them intimately?
He really to just stop thinking about it and move on, worry about something else. Or he would but there was nothing pressing right now. None of his clients had made fools of themselves. There was nothing for him to fix. So for with lack of real things to thing about he was fixated on Mike.
Harvey groaned under his breath and closed his eyes. He could really use a drink.