"Harvey, I think we took a wrong turn," Mike observed, glancing nervously at the alleyway around them.
"No shit, Sherlock, considering we're trying to find our hotel, not a crime scene." Harvey was irritated. A client meeting brought the two of them to one of the more dangerous parts of Detroit. That might not sound like the worst thing in the world, but
It was midnight.
They were lost.
They were lost at the corner of Murder Drive and Turn Back Whilst You Still Can Avenue.
All of these factors combined led to Harvey being an unhappy man and Mike being extremely nervous.
"I'm going into that convenience store to ask for directions. You stay here and flag down a cab."
"We haven't seen a taxi in an hour. Scratch that—we haven't even seen a person that wasn't a felon in an hour."
"Stop being a baby. You have your rape whistle, right?"
"Harvey, this is a bad idea!" Mike called after his boss, but he got no response. Now he was alone under orders to hail some nonexistent mode of transportation. Sitting down on the curb even though he knew Harvey would kill him for wrinkling his suit, the associate waited and watched.
Suddenly he wasn't alone anymore. Mike jumped up upon hearing footsteps and whirled around to see two men, one fifty and the other easily seventy-five pounds heavier than himself.
"You got a wallet, kid?" one asked.
"No, I don't. I left it at home," Mike lied.
"Search him," the smaller man commanded the larger, "and just so you know," his face so close to Mike's that his breath was hot on his cheek, "we're less gentle with liars."
"Harvey!" Mike yelled, but his boss was still inside the building, out of earshot. Two huge hands began patting him down and he punched the man in the face. Within seconds of that (probably pretty stupid, in retrospect) action, he was pinned to the ground getting the shit beaten out of him.
Ribs ribs ribs, rapid attacks, kicking, he realized.
Head, head, and that was the last thing he felt before blacking out.
While Mike lay unconscious, the muggers took his wallet, phone, and shoes; by the time he woke up, they were gone. Mike picked himself up and made his way, wobbly and staggering, to the convenience store. As he walked further, the world began to swirl around him, and by the time he was in the doorway, he could barely see straight. His mouth filled sickeningly with blood from his lip, and he spat on the sidewalk and opened the door, vision dimming.
"Harvey," he called, and the man looked up from the map he was studying with the clerk.
"Jesus," Harvey grumbled, making his way to Mike and easing him to the ground just as his knees gave out. "What the hell happened to you?"
"Uh, I got my ass kicked."
"I can see that. Did they take anything?"
Mike gestured towards his feet. "No, I just came to Detroit without shoes," he deadpanned, sarcasm dripping from the words. Harvey rolled his eyes.
"Cut the crap, Mike, this is serious. Did you see which way they went?"
"No, I was unconscious."
"…They knocked you out." Mike nodded. "God damn it. You're such a mess."
"I told you it was a bad idea to split up."
"You're a grown man, how was I supposed to know you still needed the buddy system?"
It was during this part of the conversation that the adrenaline began to wear off and Mike began to feel the full extent of his injuries. He groaned and clutched lightly at his ribs, and Harvey unbuttoned his shirt.
"What are you doing?" he asked, starting to sound a bit drunk from the pain and the probable concussion.
"Trying to see how badly you're hurt." Mike seemed to accept that answer and nodded, allowing his boss to slowly and carefully take off his dress shirt and lift his undershirt, revealing a bruised mess of a torso that promised several cracked ribs.
"Stop poking them, you'll puncture something," Harvey commanded, swatting Mike's hand away. "So, they broke your ribs, messed up your face, and knocked you out. Any other injuries I should know about?" Mike closed his eyes and shook his head. "Good. Don't fall asleep."
"The whole 'sleeping with a concussion puts you in a coma' thing is a myth. If your head injury is bad enough to induce a coma, it's going to do it regardless of whether or not you're asleep."
"I know. I just refuse to carry you into the taxi."
"Well that should work out okay, considering we're in the middle of nowhere and won't ever get a taxi."
"I had the clerk call one for us."
"Oh, that's smart." Mike took two beats to connect the dots. "Wait, if you called for a taxi, why was I out there?"
Harvey's eyes darted away from the younger man's, breaking their gaze. Mike realized that his boss felt guilty, but before he got a chance to milk it for all it was worth, he took too deep a breath and instinctively doubled over in pain, putting so much more pressure on his rib cage that the pain was unbearable. Blackness overtook him like a train entering a tunnel.
"—call for an ambulance?" an unfamiliar voice asked.
"Yeah, that'd be good. I thought taking a taxi to the hospital would suffice, but this might be worse than I thought." That one was Harvey, no doubt. Upon shifting, Mike realized his head was in Harvey's lap. "Mike, you awake?" Mike's attempts to sit up to answer the question were quelled by a stern, "Don't move. You might have broken ribs. Just sit tight, an ambulance is coming."
"I don't need an ambulance, Harvey."
"Oh really? The two times you've fainted in the past twenty minutes would beg to differ."
"The first time I was knocked out. The second time was fainting."
"Either way, you've got a head injury and maybe some broken ribs. We're not taking chances with a cab."
Mike nodded and fought to keep his eyes open, but the concussion was a Siren, lulling him to the world of sleep.
"Stay. Awake," Harvey barked, and Mike moaned childishly.
"M'tired. And if there's an ambulance coming, you won't have to carry me."
Harvey was forced to admit to himself that the reason he did not want Mike to sleep was not, in fact, that he didn't want to pick him up, but because the thought of the man being unconscious again made him nervous.
"Just stay awake or you're fired."
"That's not fair!"
"Good thing I don't have to be fair."
Mike sighed. "Help me sit up."
"You can't have it both ways. Either I lie down and fall asleep, or I sit up." After a brief moment of hesitation, Harvey helped guide Mike upright. It wasn't long, though, before his breaths became shallow and a thin sheen of sweat slicked his face. "This is a lot worse," he informed, looking at Harvey.
"Sorry. Just stay awake until the paramedics get here." A pause, then, "shit, I should have thought of this 20 minutes ago."
"Wait here," Harvey said, standing up. He returned a few minutes later holding two newly purchased ice packs. "This should help. It'll lessen the pain and keep you awake."
Mike held one of them to his injured ribs and smiled a little in relief.
"This one is for your face, to keep the swelling down. You're starting to get a black eye."
"Great, I guess that means you won't let me meet with the client tomorrow?"
"You probably won't even be out of the hospital by the time our meeting starts."
"Wait, I'm going to have to stay overnight?"
"With a head injury? I'd imagine so. Is that a problem?"
"I don't like hospitals."
"Nobody does, but they'll give you some meds and you can sleep until they let you check out, then we can both get out of this hell hole of a city."
The ambulance arrived at that moment, and Mike was whisked away.
"Are you riding with him, sir?" a paramedic asked Harvey, and Mike looked away with a slight flush to his cheeks, which Harvey read as "I want you to say yes but I sure as hell am not going to ask," and the older man stepped into the vehicle as an affirmative.
"Thanks, Harvey. You didn't have to do this," Mike said, obviously embarrassed.
"If you noticed, the taxi still isn't here. I don't want to wait for it."
"Yeah, it would be a really stupid idea to be all alone outside in a neighborhood. Nobody in his right mind would think that's okay. Oh wait."
"I apologized for that."
"No you didn't!"
"I did; you're concussed."
"Concussed with an eidetic memory."
"Fine, I'm sorry. If I'd known you couldn't fight your way out of a paper bag, I wouldn't have left you alone outside."
"You suck at apologizing." Mike was fighting to stay awake, so Harvey didn't say anything, and the associate was unconscious in a matter of seconds.
That's it guys! Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it. There may be a chapter two, if you all want it.