A/N: Part of the fic dump. Again, sorry if you've read.
Also, written before I had watched any full episodes, so discrepancies may occur (like how I thought Harvey's office was on a balcony that overlooked the associate's area so that he could *fandom-head* spy on Mike).
Title: Devil Cats, Migraine's from Hell, Mentholated Mike and Awesome Cologne...
Summary: Mike has the mother of all migraines...
Characters: Mike, Harvey, Donna, minor Greg and Rachel
Warnings: None spoilerish, but be warned: There is quite a bit of cursing and blasphemy.
Disclaimer: Suits and the characters are not mine. No infringement intended.
He doesn't get them often. A few times a year at the most. Usually when he's tired or stressed. More so when it's both. For all he knew, it had started sometime while he was asleep, creeping up and watching him slumber until it found it's way in, slinking smoothly. Once in place it had set itself rigid, clamping down hard with sharp claws and waiting to claw his eyes open.
Maybe that's why he had started to with a sudden flinch. Some devil cat had inhabitated his soul, licked through the crevices and swiped at the back of his eye sockets when it didn't like what it saw.
He had ignored it at first. Dry swallowed some pills (extra strong), downed a gazillion cups of coffee – probably not the best idea with the already pulsating head that threatened one hell of a rebellion with just the thought of work – and begrudgingly left.
He had hoped the fresh air, as he zipped through and merrily mocked slow moving traffic, would freshen himself up and clear away whatever had settled over him. Only it wasn't fresh, the stale air and smog clogging up his resistant body. Each move of his legs, causes strain through the rest of the body, arm muscle straining his neck, pulling at the ache that had now encased his entire skull. Even his bag, adding to the pull, sounds loud against his ears.
As slow as he was, he still made the journey to the firm in good time, arriving before most of the other associates and mercifully before Harvey. He had intended to go straight to his cubicle, but seeing the break room empty, made a sharp turn instead. The fresh smell of coffee was overpowering but he ignored it in favour of glugging away at the water dispenser, hoping rehydrating himself would help shift the pain.
A few minutes later and he found himself slipping into his cubicle and dropping heavily into his chair with a poor attempt of suppressing a groan. The Hendrickson file, that Mike knew had to be done by lunch, sat and mocked him silently in as much the same way as the god-damn silent devil cat that sat inside his skull.
He shuffles up to Harvey's office, at Harvey's request, around half an hour later. Harvey tells him he wants Mike to proof more files after finishing the Hendrickson one and promptly dumps a fresh new pile into Mike's lap. Harvey, though, gets to play with the big boys and wont be back for a couple of hours. Mike, of course, is not cordially invited.
Mike smiles tightly, mumbles a disgruntled comment that's nowhere near his usual vocabulary skills and makes to leave.
Harvey gives him a once over, catching him by the arm, and frowns.
Normally Mike enjoys it when Harvey frowns. At him, that is, because that usually means Mike's done something to make him frown. Mike likes it most when it means I don't care, but I do, more than you fucked up pup, now I got to clear your piss poor mess up...
It hurts to think though, so he quirks his head at Harvey, despite the pain and slowly forces out a "I'm fine."
Clearly he's not though because Donna slips something into his hand as he passes.
"For your head," she tells him.
It's some kind of herbal balm to rub against the forehead.
He wants nothing more to drop to his knees and bang his head repeatedly against her desk but manages a mega-watt smile.
Mike's been staring at the same page for nearly ten minutes now. Most of the file, as in most cases, have been typed neatly, but this one page has not. An addendum that's not quite reached the relevant administrator, Mike wonders if it's his job to do so and eyes his keyboard wearily, fingers curling reflexively.
The page is a problem, not so much because it is handwritten, but because of the handwriting itself. It is ramrod straight, in a squint sideways way, as though the person tried to fit the words between invisible lines. The lines of words, a whole page of them, blend into one mess of a contortion in front of his tired eyes. It's eyeballingly revolting and he's sure his brain is bleeding with the intensity of it.
He brings a hand up and rubs at his eyes, blinking several times in the hope that the words untangle themselves and right themselves to a more reasonable angle. Instead he finds that some color has made it's way in.
There's some nausea too, settling in a flutter against his rib cage, and he rubs at his throat in a gesture that he hopes is comforting to whatever evilness is prowling about within him. There's a bit of panic too, because the only thing worse than a motherfucking devil migraine from hell is actually falling physically ill in front of your colleagues. If he was home? Fine, he'd have no qualms of sobbing into his cereal and hanging on to a blanky, and waiting it out.
Mike, while sat tense, hopes that trying to wipe out the pain will diffuse the nausea. He rummages around in his draw until he finds the small cylinder of balm that Donna gave him. Opening it, he sniffs it, baulking at the eye-watering mentholated aseptic smell. The small instructions at the side say to rub a small amount across his forehead but Mike guesses the intensity of his pain, and the fact it's a freakin' migraine and not just an ache, warrants a more thorough approach and proceeds to slather it across his forehead, over his temples, right up to his hairline, and around his ears.
It's an odd feeling, like he's rubbed an ice cube across his face – which really sounds inviting right about now – feeling the coldness burn across his skin.
He feels tingly mentholated. It would have been a nice feeling if he wasn't still in pain. Because hello, it's still there. Only now it's tingly and mentholated and the pain, or the cat's claws, still want to be felt because everything is shifting – building up behind his eyes and settling into his teeth and the back of his jaw.
If it wasn't for the fact that he was still breathing he might think one of Ripley's face huggers had settled over him.
For some ungodly reason, other than to make his ears bleed along with his brain, someone is playing soft music from what he guesses is an Ipod. He thinks it's Greg and the next cubicle over. It's not loud, nor unusual, and it's normally clicked off when someone more senior stops by. Today, though, it is grating on his already frayed senses.
Trying to distract himself, he blinks the mentholated sting from his eyes, and dares another look at the piece of paper. He's still on that damn Hendrickson file and the handwriting from hell. The menthol must have dislodged his reluctant dislike of color (during an episode) because the page is suddenly awash with it and twirling off the pages. Like some hideous 4D movie, he swears waves of color and tinted words float up and around him, some touching his lips.
Unsurprisingly, they taste of a minty menthol.
Mike's not just in pain now. He's irritated too. Might as well poke him with a stick while they're at it.
The ice-cold burn and tingling has lessened and a new, tighter pressure has built. It's coiling down him from the tip of his head to his stomach, tightening into a knot. The music is still softly playing.
As soft as it is, it burns against his ears, each light octave and breath change causing light to spark behind his eyes.
He's fully given up on the files now and has planted his face against the cool desk, cheek pressed against offending files. When a different song moves into place, slightly more thrashier and too emo for Mike to stand, he closes his eyes and winces.
"Will you shut the fuck up!" he hisses out between clenched teeth.
He hadn't meant to sound so pissy.
There's a second or too of silence, and for those precious seconds Mike thinks blissfully that Greg has actually complied with his request, only for the music to click back into play, volume slowly and cruelly cranked up.
The increase in volume coincides, or causes (Mike is not entirely sure, because any form of rational thought had floated away with the swirls of the page) the sudden increase of pain around his head. His jaw locks, teeth spark and somewhere along the highest point of Mount Mike a volcano erupts.
With it, he half-stands abruptly before sliding down to his knees with a guttural groan. He swipes at the desk as he goes, hands clenching around some of the files, and pulling them down around him in a shower of paper. He plants his hand firmly on the floor in front of him, panting hard as the papers swim in front of him. Fingers find edges of paper and curl tightly
The tingly sensation mocks him... You can't have me, yet.
"What the fuck, Ross?" Greg says somewhere over his shoulder. He hasn't had the decency to stop the incessant music.
"Mike!" Someone shouts to his right.
From his position, hunched on the floor, he sees feet hurrying towards him. He blinks and sees one pair, two pair, three pair's of feet until they move back into one. Rachel.
She falls to her knees by him, slender arms touching him awkwardly.
Her voice is too shrill for Mike and he manages to mutter 'Inside voice...'
"Are you okay?" she asks, too loud in his ear.
"Does he look okay?" he hears Greg ask. Mike can just imagine him peering over the wall of his cubicle.
"Hmm..." Mike can only say in response, what little vocabulary he had all but gone.
"What can I do?" Rachel asks. She's holding him awkwardly, reluctant to get close... or was that him pulling away? - her arms feel too bony and an elbow juts into something too tender. She smells of caffeine too. It makes him want to gag.
What he really wants is his Grammy, because fuck, jesus christ on a pogo-stick, this one's bad and he thinks he might actually be having a aneurysm right in the middle of Pearson and Hardman.
What comes out of his mouth is a garbled 'Harvey...' as it hisses painfully as two hard syllables. ('Har... Vee...'). A little bit of despair kicks in though because Harvey's probably still at his meeting. And he doesn't quite understand why it should freak him out so much.
Where's this freakin' need coming from?
Rachel's being too loud in his ear again. He's not sure if she's as shrill as what he's hearing. He hadn't pegged her for being someone who shrieks, but then there's also a lot of static building. And was that white noise on the horizon?
Color rises in front of his eyes until there's an implosion of white. He feels, rather than sees Rachel lean away for a second before she completely lets go. He's left feeling suspended on new-born limbs and feels himself teeter before something, or someone else, wraps themselves around him.
One hand braces against his chest while the other slides around his waist.
Hmm, much more comfortable.
The staticy whiteness fades and a new voice fills the hole.
"Mike," a voice says warmly against his skin. It's smooth and washes down him. Harvey.
He blinks in surprise. Eyes prick. How much time had he lost?
He instinctly lifts one of his shaking arms and clamps grasping fingers into the bent thigh by his side.
He shuts his eyes, feeling a sway of nausea as angry tears slide out between closed eyelids.
"How you doing, kid?" Harvey asks, breaths brushing over his hair. Shit, he's close. So close, Mike can smell Harvey. He's an assortment of scents and not one of them sets off his gag reflex. The fresh smell of barber-shop hair gel, smooth cotton linen, and ridiculously overpriced cologne.
"It hurts," he moans miserably, pathetically, lifting his head with great effort and sliding it sideways so it rests against Harvey's shoulder. He must be high on Donna's head balm because why else would he be planting himself against Harvey.
He feels Harvey shift against him, imagines him looking down at him with disdain and a roll of the eyes, before he feels Harvey move his head, feeling his body strain as he turns slightly. All the while, Mike's still being carefully manoeuvred.
"Turn that shit off," he hears Harvey parrot, a bit more polite than Mike's version. It's firm and angry but at a tone that's kept partially reasonable.
Harvey settles back into place.
Mike nods his head slightly against Harvey's neck and groans a confirmation.
It seems to stir something in Harvey because suddenly he leans forward slightly, sniffing at the tip of Mike's hair.
"You smell mentholated."
"And you smell awesome," Mike says, giddy and all sorts of out of it. Maybe extra strong painkillers, coffee, and minty menthol balm were not a good combination.
Harvey half lifts, half drags Mike back to his office and dumps him on the rather plushy couch. Donna's there with a wet cloth. He wants to say 'Marry me' again but ends up giving her a lopsided grin which of course was more of a grimace.
Donna just rolls her eyes and plants the cloth, from the goddess of wet cloths against his face, holding it up against his eyes until he clumsily takes hold of it.
He buries his face in it, planting elbows on his knees, and hears Donna say "Play nice with the pup."
It takes a few more minutes of Mike wallowing in the coldness of the cloth before he hears Harvey clear his throat.
"Is this really a migraine?" Harvey asks, "Or do I need to call for an ambulance? Because you have this really annoying way of saying your fine when clearly your not."
Mike works hard and somehow loosens his vocabulary.
"Sorry about that," Mike mutters, lifting his head. Harvey's leaning against his desk and staring hard at Mike. The frowns back. "But I was fine, when I said that."
"Said the associate who face-planted in his cubicle."
"I didn't face plant. I slid to my knees. Gracefully."
His vocabulary is back but he's talking in small bursts, energy spent.
"Am I talking about the floor?" Harvey asks, shrugging with a smirk. The frowns had shifted though so that the smirk lingers in concern.
"What are you talking about?"
Harvey simply rolls his eyes and pushes off the desk.
"Doesn't matter," he mutters, reaching down and lifting Mike's hand with the cloth back to his eyes. "You still face planted. Get some shut eye so you can get back to work sometime today."
Mike feebly protests, but Harvey's pushing him further down into the couch, and it's still rather too plushy and soft to resist. He ends up sinking further into it, feeling heavy eyes start to drag him under.
He thinks tingly and mentholated feels quite nice coupled with the pull of sleep.
"You better be house trained, pup," he hear Harvey's voice drift away. A click of a light being turned off a second later.
Just be thankful I didn't puke.
When Mike awakes, the cloth is mildly dry, and the room awashed in darkness. Some light came in from the big glass that Harvey liked to be encased in.
He shifts himself and shakes the sleep out of his weary body and shuffles out of the office. Donna's at the desk when he appears and he tries to stifle the gigantic yawn that lazily slips out of him. It easily moves into a lazy smile and he forgets where he is for a second as he roughly rubs a hand through his hair.
Donna eyes him and his bedraggled hair.
"Oh, look the puppy's awake," she says bemusedly.
Donna just nods with her head in the direction of the cubicles down below them and confused, Mike goes to glass panelling to look down. Sure enough Harvey's sat at Mike's cubicle. He's leaning right back, abusing the hinges, moving from side to side but never enough to dislodge his feet that sit crossed over each other squarely in the middle of Mike's desk. He has his cell phone plastered to the side of his head and easily throws and catches a round ball of elastic bands that Mike insisted he had painstakingly made and did not, in a million years, buy from the stationary store down the road. He is dumbly aware that the discarded papers have gone from the floor and there's a neat pile near Harvey's feet. Suspiciously smaller than they had been earlier.
Mike blinks. And blinks. And blinks until he hears Donna speak from behind him.
"He had a load of calls to make. They may or may not have involved a lot of shouting," Donna explains from her desk. He turns to look at her. "And he didn't want to disturb you. But if he asks, you didn't hear it from me... He saw you ages ago by the way. When you practically passed out on the Hendrickson briefs."
Mike stares at her in bewilderment and simply says with a grin "He cares?"
Donna stares back, face blank."You're funny."
Her phone rings then and she answers it with a professional aplomb that only Donna had. Face moving from cool blankness she smiles and lifts the phone out to him.
"It's for you."
He steps forward and takes it from her.
"Can I have my office back now, rookie?" Harvey's voice demands, bright in his ear. He turns suddenly to try and stretch out to see the desks below.
"Because I seriously need a chiropractor after that," Harvey finishes as he appears out of nowhere, dropping his phone from his ear.
Mike can't say anything but grin. Harvey moves past him with a roll of the eyes.
"You care..." Mike declares as Harvey moves off. "Admit it."
"Shut it, pup," Harvey throws over his shoulder as he disappears into his office. His voice floats back. "You've got hell of a catch up. Oh, and sort the hair out."
Inspired by my work-related headaches and my obsessive need for 4head (natural pain relief balm).