Mike had been feeling like he was coming down with something the past couple of days. Instead of addressing the feeling directly he tried to bury it underneath paper work. They were working a case that was all hands on deck at the firm and he simply couldn't afford to be sick, so he opted to use the ignore it and it'll go away method.
Only it didn't go away, and now, back at his apartment, it was impossible to ignore. He'd feel like he was burning up one minute and then the next he'd feel like he was in the arctic tundra. He also had a blinding headache to boot that wouldn't even so much allow him to even look at the work sprawled out across his coffee table let alone actually get any of it done.
He dug through his medicine cabinet and took whatever he could find and hoped that it would at least alleviate his symptoms enough for him to get some work done. The papers were due on Harvey's desk first thing in the morning and Mike was pretty sure Harvey would still expect it there even if he were on his deathbed.
Unfortunately the medicine only made him drowsy and he passed out on the couch not long after taking it.
The sleep was restless however, he tossed and turned, kicked blankets off of him, only to pull them up tight to his neck not long after. He kicked them off one final time when he had to sprint to the bathroom, feeling like he was going to throw up. He didn't, but the feeling didn't go away so he thought it best if he stay close. That, and he didn't have the energy to keep running back and forth despite the small distance from the couch to the bathroom. So he settled for laying down on the cold tile of the bathroom floor and closing his eyes.
His eyes opened when he heard the sound of his phone ringing in the distance. He felt infinitely worse when he dragged himself off of the bathroom floor where he had fallen asleep.
By the tone of Harvey's voice when he answered the phone, it wasn't the first time the phone had rang.
"Where the hell are you?"
"I'm uh, " Mike stammered before being cut off.
"You're uh, not here. Where you're supposed to be. An hour ago"
"Don't apologize. Just get here. Now."
Mike moved his mouth to stay something but closed it when he heard the click of the phone on the other end.
He tried to fight back the feeling of nausea that was overwhelming him along with the headache that had only seemed to get progressively worse since last night as he haphazardly gathered everything from the coffee table and jammed it into his messenger bag before heading out the door and catching a cab into Pearson Hardman.
"You're late," Harvey reiterated to him the second he had come through the office door.
"I know, I just-"
"What the hell are you wearing?" Harvey interrupted when he brought his eyes away from the laptop screen in front of him up to Mike.
"You said to get here, so I got here as fast as I could."
"You look like you got mugged on the way here."
"Look Harvey, I didn't get a chance to finish the papers."
"What do you mean you didn't get a chance to finish the papers? You come in late, you look like you're allergic an iron and showers and don't have anything to show for it. Remind me why I hired you again?"
"I'm sick, Harvey."
"You're sick? Well why didn't you say so? Why don't you just go home and get some rest."
"Wait..what? Are you serious?"
"Of course. In fact, get me my pen and paper and I'll write you an excuse card to give to Jessica saying that Mike Ross can't work today because he's got a case of the sniffles. I'm sure she'll understand."
"Right. Very funny."
"Client will be here in two hours, I need those papers before they step foot in the door, Mike. This is important for the firm, so suck it up and get it done."
Mike nodded and left Harvey's office promptly.
The fact was, this was important, not just for Harvey but for the firm as a whole, and if Harvey didn't think that Mike was the only one that could complete the task in the time frame, he probably wouldn't have been so tough on the kid, and probably would have even sent him home, not really because he cares, but because Mike didn't look too hot, and Harvey certainly didn't want to catch whatever it was Mike had. Yeah, that was why.
An hour and 45 minutes, and 3 back and forth bathroom trips later, Mike had finished and was dragging himself back down the long hallway and into Harvey's office and tossing the papers onto his desk.
"Did you breathe on these?"
"No, Harvey. I didn't breathe while I worked just to make sure you don't get my germs."
"That's all I ask of you," Harvey replied, before picking up the papers and leafing through them.
Mike stood back and watched Harvey go through the papers, caught somewhere between hoping he did every little thing right and not giving a shit if he didn't. He was feeling like death was around the corner for him at this point anyway so what did it matter.
"This is great, Mike. Thank you."
"Okay, I think I'm getting delirious. What did you just say to me?"
Harvey smiled and got up from his desk. "Come here," he said to Mike.
Mike only moved slightly, so Harvey closed the gap before reaching his hand out and laying the back of his hand against Mike's forehead.
"What are you doing?"
"Stealing your soul, what do you think I'm doing? I'm checking your temperature."
"Oh," Mike said simply.
"You're burning up. I want you to go see a doctor and then go home and rest."
"The company will pay for it if that's what you're worried about."
"Harvey, no. I just..I just need some sleep. That's all."
Harvey seemed to think on it for a moment. "Fine. Go home and get some sleep. But stop at the store first and pick up some medicine to get that fever under control. That's an order not a request."
"Thanks, Harvey. I really do appreciate it."
"Would you get out of here before you turn this into a moment and I change my mind?"
"Right. I'm going."
As much as Harvey tried to refrain from it, he couldn't stop thinking about Mike throughout the day. Things like, I wonder if he made it home okay. I bet he didn't even get the right medicine. Ah, he'll be okay. He's just sick it's not like he's dying. Maybe I should just call him to check in..but wouldn't that be weird?
He tried to get Donna to call Mike for him at one point, but she refused, saying that he needed to stop being such a wuss when it came to Mike. Harvey rolled his eyes and pretended he had no clue what she was talking about before going back to his own work and letting the same thoughts replay.
As Harvey was getting ready to go home he decided to give Mike a call. The phone rang but nobody answered. And Harvey wasn't worried, not really, Mike was probably just sleeping. It made sense. But maybe he should just swing by and check for himself. Mike was his responsibility after all.
Mike was startled by the knock at the door. He had been drifting off and on since he got back to the apartment. His intention had just been to ignore whomever it was at the door but they knocked again. And again.
"Mike, open the door."
'Harvey?' Mike mouthed to himself before pulling himself up off the couch and moving towards the door and swinging it open.
Sure enough, Harvey was standing on the other side, brown paper bags in tow.
"It's almost.." Mike says before look at his wristwatch. "It's almost 9 at night, what are you doing here?"
"I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd swing by," Harvey lied.
"You were..in my neighborhood? Doing what? Fighting crime?"
"Nice to see sickness didn't effect you being a smartass," Harvey said as he pushed past Mike and into his apartment.
Mike closed the door behind him and padded back over to the couch, flopping back down. Harvey sat down next to him and placed the brown paper bags on the coffee table.
"Did you get medicine like I told you to do?"
"I told you I just needed sleep."
"And I told you to get medicine before you came back here. You still look feverish. Let me feel," Harvey said reaching for Mike's forehead once again.
"You still feel a little warm," Harvey said before Mike swatted his hand away.
"Harvey, I'm not a little kid."
"Good, then you won't be disappointed that I couldn't find you grape flavored medicine," Harvey said as he searched through one of the brown bags and tossed a box of medicine at Mike. He reached into another bag and pulled out a can of Sprite, opening it and holding it out to him.
Mike was genuinely confused, but he grabbed the box and proceeded to open it and take the dosage of medicine suggested on the box because with Harvey sitting there he really didn't have any other options.
"Did you eat anything?" Harvey asked.
"No. I mean, not really."
"Since you're completely incompetent I figured as much and brought you some soup and crackers too."
"Okay Harvey, why are you doing this?"
"I just told you, because you're completely incompetent."
"I'm being serious, Harvey. This morning it seemed like you didn't want to be around me without being in a Hazmat suit and now you're in my apartment with medicine and food. What's going on?"
"I called your phone and you didn't answer and I may have gotten a little…I don't know..worried, I guess."
"See, this is what I was afraid of."
"My caring, it must have been contagious, because you have a serious case of it right now."
"Did anybody ever tell you that you're completely unbearable when you're sick? Because you are."
Mike laughs. He might still feel like crap but somehow it's not as bad as it was before Harvey knocked on his door.
"Well, I guess I'll get going and leave you to it," Harvey says as he starts to stand up.
Mike grabs his arm and stops him, "Did you eat yet? Because there's a lot of soup here that needs eaten. That is, if you're not afraid of getting sick."
"As long as you refrain from kissing me I think I can stay."
"I'll try to keep it to mild groping."
"Then you've got a deal," Harvey says, sinking back down onto the couch next to Mike.
They spend the next couple of hours eating soup, and talking over a movie on tv that both of them won't admit is only there as background noise to their conversation.
Mike starts telling a story of why he doesn't like to go to the doctors or hospitals and Harvey drinks in every detail that Mike's willing to share with him, because he might not have the memory Mike has but he remembers everything Mike is willing to share with him.
Mike's words grow further and further apart and his sentences are scattered with yawns and Harvey feels Mike's head heavy against his shoulder. He thinks about moving, but the thought passes as quickly as it had come and he just resides to letting Mike use him as a pillow for the night.
When Mike starts to shift in his sleep Harvey shushes him softly and tells him to just go back to sleep and Mike does.
From a logical standpoint it's probably a bad idea for Harvey to be around Mike when he's sick, but in this moment Harvey can't bring himself to care about logic because he can't think of any place he'd rather be right about now.
He doesn't know how Mike is going to feel in the morning, or how he is going to feel in the morning for that matter, but he thinks maybe they'll both take a sick day.