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Cosmic Law

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Harvey is having the weirdest day.

The blond man passes him before he can catch another glimpse of his face, but he could have sworn that he just saw Mike, and not for the first time today.

For the fourth time, actually. It is, of course, impossible – Mike is still in Seattle and Harvey is still in New York, and even though they haven’t exactly talked a lot lately, he’s fairly certain that he would have heard about it if he’d come by for a visit.

That’s what he likes to tell himself, at least.

He shrugs the strange sense of déjà-vu off and berates himself for letting it get this far. Clearly his mind has started playing tricks on him after one too many nights of little sleep and one too many thoughts about the man who, upon moving to another state, seems to have unlearned how to use his phone.

Harvey shakes his head at himself and takes another sip of coffee – the new place around the corner is just as overpriced as the last one, but at least they fill up the entire cup – and does his best to be awake and alert.

“You look tired,” Donna says when she strides into his office a while later, so he’s clearly not doing a good job of it. She bends down and kisses him, evidently not giving a shit about the people just outside those glass walls. This – them – is still new to him, and he has yet to get used to, well, all of it.

“Maybe you wore me out,” he says and swivels in his chair to face her.

She snorts. “Yeah, or maybe that lifestyle of barely sleeping and drinking too much alcohol and coffee is finally catching up with you.”

“Ouch.” He clutches his chest. “I’m wounded.”

“I’m sure you can handle it,” she tells him dryly and pats his shoulder before she drops a file on his desk and turns to go.

Behind her, he sees a bird flying past the window backwards.

He blinks at the sight, then shakes his head. Must have been some really strong coffee. Maybe she does have a point about his caffeine intake.

He’ll be damned if he’s going to do anything about it, though.

*

Harvey is having the weirdest week.

He spent the better part of the morning looking for his shoes all over the apartment, only to find them in the first place he looked, where they should have been all along. Then a glance in the mirror revealed that his tie was on backwards, however the hell that happened, and now he’s going to be late for the partner meeting because the street outside is flooded, and he means flooded.

It didn’t even rain last night.

He squeezes his eyes shut and rubs them before opening them again, and the water has disappeared, not leaving as much as a single drop on the entire sidewalk.

The sound of a horn startles him, and when he turns to look, he finds Ray leaning out of the window of his car, giving him a funny look. “You coming, Harvey?”

“Yeah,” he murmurs, shaking his head. “I’m coming.”

As much as it pains him to admit, it seems that old age is finally catching up with him. It’s the only explanation he can find – it can’t be caffeine, he hasn’t had any coffee yet today, and a lack of sleep and a bit of stress never affected him like this before.

Maybe he’s been overstraining himself a tiny bit for just a little too long, though.

He was tired before, after all, and now Donna has been staying at his place for three nights in a row, which means that he didn’t exactly get more sleep than before. That must be why his mind is playing tricks on him again.

Several of those in one day, too.

More than a few times he could have sworn that the building he was walking past was upside down, complete with the furniture and the people inside he could see through the windows. But every time he turned to take a proper look, everything was exactly as it should be.

He does wonder where all this is coming from so suddenly, but since he has no way of explaining it, he simply writes it off and promptly forgets all about it.

At least the next day everything seems to be perfectly normal. Until Harvey unexpectedly gains an hour, that is. He walks out of the office at six, and he arrives home at six, and it’s not because he just lost track of time and accidentally left an hour early without realizing. Harvey knows this because he sent a text to Donna at precisely 6:02 – he has the timestamp to prove it and everything, it’s right there on his phone – and he arrived home at precisely 6:03, startling her when he opened the door.

“When you said you’d be home soon, I didn’t think you meant that soon,” she says, and he frowns because he took the long way home to clear his head and was just about to apologize for being late, but then his eyes fall on the clock behind her and all protests die on his lips unspoken.

He knows that there was exactly an hour between the text and his arrival, and he knows with absolute certainty that he did not dream the events of the past sixty minutes up; couldn’t have, since he can hardly teleport from the office to his apartment in the span of one minute.

Only that he did, apparently.

He notices that he’s still staring at the clock only when Donna throws him a look and asks if he’s alright, and he shuts his mouth with a click and nods because what could he tell her, really? It’s not like she would believe him. He wouldn’t either, if he didn’t have undeniable proof. Which only makes things worse, because rationalizing what happened becomes impossible after that, and what else is there to do?

In the end Harvey puts it down to a technological glitch that somehow must have affected all phones in the general area, and it just so happens that no one else noticed.

Yeah, sounds about right.

*

Harvey eats a bag of gummy bears for breakfast, which taste uncannily like chicken, and that’s not the strangest part of his day.

He puts on his sports gear to go into the office and no one seems to think it weird or unusual. His clients give him advice on a business he doesn’t have, he tells Gretchen that she has a dental check-up in the morning, and he goes to grab cereal for lunch at four in the afternoon, none of which strikes him as particularly unusual.

It’s only when he hands the barista a coffee and receives money in return, walks out of the shop, realizes halfway down the block that something wasn’t quite right there, looks down at his hands and finds a half-empty cup of coffee that he’s sure he didn’t drink, that he starts to wonder.

Donna greets him with a kiss and asks if he remembered to bring her a latte.

He doesn’t even remember that she asked for one.

*

This entire month has been so weird that Harvey doesn’t even consider the curious incidents around him strange anymore, not until they start getting really weird.

The coffee shop is so crowded that he’s beginning to regret his decision to pop in, but now he’s already in the middle of the line, and he’s not about to leave without some desperately needed coffee.

“What can I get ya?” the kid behind the counter asks when it’s finally his turn, and Harvey narrows his eyes at him but tells him his order, hoping to god that he won’t mess it up. He’s waited too long to not get what he wants.

“Oh, and a small latte as well, please,” he adds, remembering Donna’s order this time.

“Wrong,” the barista says.

Harvey stares at him. “Excuse me?”

“Wrong.”

“What the hell is that supposed to-“

“Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong-“

He just keeps going. Harvey stares at him in shock, not having the first idea of what’s happening or, more importantly, how he could stop it.

He doesn’t know what’s worse; the endless repetition that almost sounds like a threat by now or the blank look on the kid’s face, like he’s not even aware he’s talking.

“Fuck, what the- jesus, just stop!” he snaps when he can’t take it anymore, and to his surprise he does, his eyes boring into his in a way that makes him feel utterly transparent.

You stop,” the barista says, and then he blinks and the hollow expression is gone as quickly as if it was never there at all.

But it was. Wasn’t it?

Harvey is staring at the kid, who is raising his eyebrows, shaking his head questioningly.

“What the fuck was that?”

“What was what?” he asks, frowning.

Harvey shakes his head, then turns to the people behind him.

“Did anyone else hear that? No?”

He swallows, taking his eyes off the faces around him, ranging from mildly confused to annoyed because he’s holding up the line, to look back to the barista. “Alright. Never mind. I’ll… skip the latte, then.”

The barista rolls his eyes and mutters something about entitled customers that Harvey doesn’t have the energy to respond to and then asks him for 27 dollars.

He doesn’t even think about refusing to pay.

*

Donna and he spend the day at the park. They never spend the day at the park, but today they do, apparently.

Harvey takes in the bushes and trees around them from the picnic blanket they’re sitting on and tries to remember what choices led him here, exactly.

He turns to Donna, but she’s reading, looking perfectly content not talking to him on this little date of theirs, and Harvey represses a sigh and plucks the grass next to him, blade by blade.

He should have brought something to do. Or at least a pillow so he could use the time to take a nap, because god knows he needs it.

Alas, he has to content himself with watching his surroundings and trying his hardest not to get too bored.

They are not the only people here by far, which is strange because it’s a fairly cold day and there’s a slight drizzle of rain that comes and goes. He wonders why they all came. He wonders why he and Donna came. He can’t remember the reason.

There’s a family of four right next to them, the youngest child just old enough to sit up on its own, happily munching on a purple flower.

A little farther away, on the path surrounding them, are two men holding hands, and after them two more doing the same, and then another couple, and Harvey thinks, That’s pretty unlikely, and then he thinks, Good for them.

His eyes catch on a guy walking past the meadow who looks strangely familiar, and Harvey frowns as he stares at him, the realization setting in a moment later: he’s looking at himself.

Well, he’s looking at a guy who looks an awful lot like himself, but still.

He’s even wearing the same damn suit he’s wearing (and why is he wearing a suit for an outing to the park?), and Harvey stares at him, fascinated, until a group of bikers blocks his view and he loses sight of him.

No, that’s not quite right. They ride past him, and once they’re gone the man is too, like he vanished into thin air or was never there at all.

At this point, he doesn’t know which option is more likely.

His eyes search the general area a little longer, but the man is gone, and eventually he returns his attention to the other people around. The little family has started unpacking their food, unbothered by the unusually high amount of insects surrounding them. There’s a bee that Harvey’s gaze catches on, flying around them in a perfect circle again and again before it stops right in front of him.

Not just that - the bee is staring directly at him, or so Harvey thinks, given that he can’t make out its eyes, and then flies off to land on the shoulder of a nearby child, making it squirm with laughter when it stings.

He blinks, and the bee vanishes, but the child still laughs, and Harvey wonders.

Wonders if it’s him that’s losing it or just the entire world around him.

“Doesn’t the world seem a little more fucked up to you than usual?” he asks, breaking the silence between them.

Donna doesn’t even look up from her book, shrugging.

“It’s always fucked up, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Harvey mutters.

Just him, then.

*

Mike comes back from Seattle, and any thoughts about what’s happening around him immediately dissolve as Harvey’s entire mind is occupied by the man in question once more.

He’s only visiting, for a case, and he leaves and takes another piece of Harvey’s heart with him when he storms out after their fight, but that’s okay, it wasn’t whole anyway.

Harvey’s mother dies not long after. He feels weird about it, the entire funeral is weird, like the whole day’s just off somehow, but Mike comes back from Seattle again, and Harvey stops trying to make sense of anything else and holds on to that.

They spend some more time together, less fighting, more working as partners again, and it feels different than it used to but god, Harvey will take it.

Mike goes back to Seattle by the end of it, and Harvey and Donna make the decision to do the same.

“I think we deserve to ride off into the sunset together,” she says, and if her voice sounded a little like Mike’s just now, Harvey sure as hell isn’t going to mention it.

Delta Airlines doesn’t seem to share her opinion, as their flight gets delayed on the day of their departure, then delayed some more, delayed so much that Harvey forgets the last time he slept, and finally canceled entirely.

They catch another flight eventually, but both of them are tired and grumpy and altogether this new chapter of their lives couldn’t be off to a worse start.

Any hopes of whatever has been going on lately being tied to New York somehow are destroyed upon his arrival in Seattle, when he steps out of the airport and finds before him a street full of horses and carriages rather than cars.

He stares, and he turns to look at Donna to check if she’s seeing the same thing, but she’s occupied with her purse, and when he looks back the image is gone and he’s confronted with cars, a whole lot of them, and no sign of horses anywhere.

“Did you just…” he begins, but trails off when she glances at him, not looking all that interested in what he has to say.

“Never mind,” he mutters. “Let’s get to our apartment.”

He keeps quiet the next time he sees something weird – it doesn’t take long – and the time after that too, deciding that since she doesn’t care and he couldn’t begin to explain it in a way that makes sense, there’s no point in making a fuss.

They move their things into the new apartment (he steps into it twice, because the first time it looks exactly like the apartment Mike bought for his grandmother all those years ago; when he backs out and walks in again it looks like it should), and they start working at the new firm, and it’s all rather exciting, except Harvey can’t really let himself enjoy the novelty of it because something else is going on constantly.

Since he has no idea how to talk about it and thus simply doesn’t, letting it all build up inside him instead, it’s no surprise that barely a week after starting the new job he bursts out, “This is gonna sound crazy, but have you noticed something… weird going on?”

Mike looks up from his file, throwing him a suspicious glance, and whatever he finds in Harvey’s anxious expression must mean something to him because he sits up straight, dropping his voice as he says, “I’m so glad you’re asking.”

Harvey raises his eyebrows. “So you know what I’m talking about?”

“If you mean the weird things I keep seeing all the time but no one else ever does, then I sure as hell do.” He narrows his eyes. “Wait a minute. Why are you bringing this up now?”

“Well, because there’s another Mike just behind you, for a start.”

Mike glances over his shoulder, and Harvey holds his breath, half expecting him not to find anything.

“Oh, yeah. I’ve seen him there before.”

At Harvey’s look, he elaborates, “He’s always just out there, working, and then disappears. Haven’t been able to figure out any regularity to his appearances. Or to the others, really.”

“The others?”

“Well, I’ve seen myself a few times. You too, actually.”

“And you just… carried on like nothing out of the usual was happening?”

“I mean, I did bring it up, but once it became clear that other people had no idea what I was talking about... I figured I was better off not making them think I’d lost my mind.” He shrugs. “I thought I was experiencing an extremely strong caffeine high, to be honest.”

“For several weeks?”

“Months, really.” He pauses. “Which doesn’t make it sound any less crazy, I know.”

It doesn’t, but at least Harvey knows now that he’s not in this alone.

“So, if we’re both seeing… things, and it’s clearly not a mass hallucination, then what the hell is it?”

Mike lifts his shoulders.

“Fuck if I know.”

They’re on the same page, then. Even so Harvey feels a little lighter for knowing that someone else is in the same boat as him – and Mike, of all people. He can’t think of anyone else he’d rather lose his mind with.

“I’ve seen you too, you know,” Harvey says. “And myself. No one else, though. I mean, I’ve seen other people doing weird shit, but never anyone else out of place like you and me.”

“Yeah, me neither.”

“Weird.”

“I’ll say.”

They regard each other. Mike purses his lips.

“Should we get back to these briefs then? They aren’t gonna proofread themselves, you know.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Harvey agrees with a sigh. He looks over Mike’s shoulder, but the other version of him is gone just like he predicted.

They return to their work in silence.

*

A glitch in the matrix, Mike jokingly calls it when they literally run into themselves rounding the corner, and the expression sticks.

Harvey still has no idea what’s going on, but he’ll be damned if he lets it get him down, and it’s nice – more than that, it’s comforting – to be able to share his experiences with Mike.

What is happening cannot be described as normal in any way, but they adjust to the fact that it is happening. There is nothing to do but accept it, and after a while it becomes surprisingly easy to live with.

They see the two of them together again – this time they’re sitting across from them having lunch, looking very relaxed and very happy, a fact that makes Harvey’s stomach twist in a way he can’t quite explain – but this time it’s different, because when Mike makes a comment about the state of Harvey’s tie (there’s nothing wrong with it, of course, even his parallel self or whatever the hell it is knows how to dress himself) they both halt and turn their heads, looking straight at them.

He freezes, and Mike stops as well, blinking at their mirror images.

“This is… new,” Harvey states slowly, and he feels more than sees Mike nodding next to him, eyes still fixed on himself.

“Do you think they can hear us?”

“Looks like it. But why aren’t they saying anything?”

It feels strange to talk about someone sitting an arm’s length away from them like they aren’t there, but it’s not the strangest thing about this situation by far, so Harvey doesn’t waste another thought on it. The gaze of their counterparts is too piercing, too sharp to pay attention to much else.

“Wrong,” they say at the same time. Then they disappear into thin air.

The hair on the back of Harvey’s neck rises.

“Well, that was odd,” he gets out, sounding much calmer than he feels.

Odd doesn’t begin to describe it, really.

*

They see the two of them again. Harvey can’t be certain, but he feels like it happens more often now than it used to before they talked about it. Definitely more often than before he came to Seattle. There must be a hint in there somewhere.

If only he knew what it was.

“You’re not even listening, are you?” Donna’s voice cuts through to him, and he realizes that he’s spent the better part of their dinner gazing at a point just over her shoulder where he saw Mike and himself having the same dinner for almost five minutes before they disappeared. He shakes himself and tries to return his attention to her, but finds his thoughts drifting again and again until he gives up and just makes a noncommittal sound now and then, hoping that it’ll pass her by.

It doesn’t, but Harvey doesn’t have it in himself to fight with her. He just nods as she reproaches him, hoping she’ll be done soon. His mind is still on his parallel self and Mike. They looked like they were having fun.

He sure wishes that were him right now.

At least he gets to ‘enjoy’ parallel-Harvey and Mike’s happiness again, even if only from afar. He sees them again, and again, everywhere he goes at the most random times.

He’d almost be used to it by now, if the next time he sees them they hadn’t been in the middle of a full-blown make-out session.

For the span of a painful heartbeat, Harvey can do nothing but stare. The blood is rustling in his ears, his cheeks burning, his heart pounding in his chest like it wants to get away from him, but he barely notices any of it.

He doesn’t notice anything but the scene before him.

They sure look like they’re having a good time, grabbing at each other like their lives depend on it, their mouths only leaving each other to move on to other body parts, the sounds of pleasure they’re letting out traveling over to Harvey crystal-clear.

He’s entirely helpless against the sudden desire shooting through him, so visceral that he sucks in a sharp breath. The familiar guilt stabs him in an instant; reminding him that he shouldn’t want this, that he can’t want it anymore.

By god, he does though. And no matter how often he tells himself to turn around and leave, he can’t bring himself to even look away until the scene evaporates before his eyes, leaving him shook to his core, feeling deprived and like some kind of perv at the same time.

It takes him a while until he can face the outside world again, going on like nothing out of the ordinary has happened, pretending he isn’t still thinking about… all of it. Whatever the hell that was.

One hell of a glitch, that’s for sure.

*

“Hey, can you grab that blue book on my desk on your way back?”

Donna rolls her eyes, more good-natured than annoyed. “Of course, your majesty.”

“Thanks. You’re the best.”

“No.”

Harvey glances back up, raising an eyebrow.

“No?”

“No.”

“What are you… oh, god. Not again.”

“No.”

He swallows, taking in her frozen expression with a strange mixture of discomfort and curiosity.

“You can’t hear me, can you?”

“No.”

“Okay, that one’s on me.”

“No,” she repeats before he can think of anything else to say. It’s probably best to sit it out anyway. The other times something like this happened, it was over in a matter of seconds.

“No. No. No. No. No.”

A few seconds can feel like a long time, Harvey is beginning to realize.

“Okay, I got it,” he tries, but she carries on, the short syllable not even sounding like a word anymore.

“Donna.”

“No. No. No.”

“Please. Can we just… not do this?”

“No,” she talks right over him. “No. No. No.”

On and on, and on, and on, until Harvey presses his hands against his ears, trying to block out the hateful sound.

“No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. N-“

“God, just- stop!”

She falls silent, turning to him with a look in her eyes that makes him feel entirely bare, like she can see straight into his soul, and god, isn’t that a frightening thought?

“We have to stop,” she says.

Whatever the hell that means.

The silence stretches. Swallowing, Harvey asks, “Donna?”

It’s over in a second, but he could have sworn Donna just flickered like a hologram.

No.”

The lights turn off before coming on again. Donna blinks, shaking her head a little.

“Sorry, were you saying something?”

Harvey stares at her.

“No,” he says weakly.

She frowns at him, then shakes her head. “You’re being weird,” she says on her way out.

Yeah. He is, isn’t he?

*

“God, the world is going to shit,” Harvey mutters, closing the newspaper with disdain. The red ink stares back at him, impossible to look away from, spelling out the latest catastrophes for everyone to see. There have been a lot of those, lately.

Whoever decided red was an appropriate choice really needs to get fired yesterday.

“The world’s always going to shit,” Donna remarks.

“Yeah, but more so than usual. I mean, look at this. Wildfires in the Arctic. How is that even possible? Or here, pet hamsters going rabid and attacking kids.”

“Morbid,” she comments without looking up.

“The unemployment rate is at an all-time high, almost twice the amount we had last year,” he carries on. “There’s a mysterious new computer virus that no one knows anything about except that it slips past every firewall and destroys everything within twenty seconds. Nine out of ten couples that got married in the US this year have already filed for divorce. Ninety percent, Donna.”

“Well, we’re still here,” Donna says. “That’s all that matters, isn’t it?”

Harvey clenches his jaw.

“Don’t you think all this stuff is… weird?”

She just shrugs. “It is what it is.”

“Right.”

Not very satisfying, that.

“I gotta get to the office,” he announces abruptly, rising from his chair.

“This early?”

“Yeah,” he says, even though he doesn’t have to be there for another hour. He’d rather leave by himself and clear his head a little than go with her.

“Fine. See you later.”

“Yeah,” he repeats, rolling his eyes.

He doesn’t exactly manage to clear his head – hasn’t managed that for several months now, so no surprise there – but at least his mood improves the instant he gets to the office, because Mike is already there.

“You’re early,” he greets him.

“Trying to leave a good impression with my boss,” Harvey says, joining him on the sofa in his office. “What about you?”

“Trying to leave a good impression with my employees,” Mike gives back.

“Hm.” They regard each other. “Rachel didn’t want to do the same?”

The corner of Mike’s mouth lifts. It looks more like sneering than smiling. “She inspired me to come here early in the first place, so… no.”

Harvey hums again. “Well,” he says, “looks like we both had a great morning then.”

Mike huffs, opening his mouth to respond before something catches his eye over Harvey’s shoulder. He blinks, looking mildly impressed as he says, “Evidently not as great as them, though.”

Harvey frowns and, turning around, promptly freezes.

“Oh.”

There they are, their parallel-selves. Making out enthusiastically without a single care in the world.

Though this time it’s more than a make-out session. This time they’re really… at it.

“Really,” Mike says, “right here in the office.”

Harvey swallows, tearing his eyes away with great difficulty when parallel-Mike pulls off his underwear. He’s affected enough as it is, he doesn’t need to make things any harder. Pun unintended.

He’s sure his expression must betray how he feels about the unabashed display, but it’s still preferable to being haunted by memories of things he had no business ever seeing. Searching Mike’s face to distract himself, finding nothing but a look of perfect concentration on there as he watches the scene, he remarks, “You’re not surprised.”

“Neither are you,” Mike points out, averting his eyes with a slight delay to look at him.

“No,” Harvey agrees. “So you’ve seen them do that before too. I thought it was just me.”

“Well, not that exactly, but… close enough. Man, they’re really at it,” he adds under his breath, his eyes glued to the proceedings. If Harvey didn’t know better, he’d say that he was intrigued.

“Well, enjoy the show,” he says dryly, resolutely looking ahead.

Mike seems to have no qualms about doing so.

They disappear eventually, but not before Harvey has caught a few glimpses against better judgment that are probably going to torture him forever now.

Unfortunately, that’s not even the end of it.

They show up again when they head out for lunch. Again when they go home the following night. Again the next morning, practically waiting for them on the sofa in Mike’s office.

“Oh, come on. You have got to be kidding me,” he says, stopping in the doorway. “Just where I wanted to sit down.”

Curiously enough, Harvey has no idea if they could sit down, if they could touch these other versions of them. They were never close enough to find out. He’s not quite sure if he wants to, though.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m sensing a pattern here,” he remarks, deciding to keep watching from the door for now. So far parallel-Harvey is the only one who has his private parts out, and he’s recently gotten some practice with keeping his composure upon seeing a semi-naked Mike. He can handle this.

Mike next to him clearly isn’t above staring. Licking his lips, he mutters, “I know, right? It’s like the universe is trying to tell us something.”

He only half sounds like he’s joking, and half like he’s deeply intrigued by the notion.

Harvey doesn’t know what to make of that. Then again, he doesn’t know what to make of anything these days.

Just another Tuesday, really.

Just another Friday, he thinks to himself when he almost runs into himself on the street, except it isn’t, because the other Harvey looks haunted.

“I figured it out,” he gasps, panting like he ran all the way from god knows where.

Harvey frowns. “What?”

“Why all of this is happening. You’re not surprised to see me, so clearly it’s been happening to you too.” He inhales sharply, holding his sides. “The universe is collapsing because something went wrong.”

Okay, so the world has been more fucked up than usual. He knew that wasn’t just his imagination.

“What went wrong?” Harvey asks breathlessly and against better judgment. Something tells him that he doesn’t really want to know, but he just has to.

Harvey – the other Harvey – only gives him a look. “Haven’t you figured it out yet?”

Harvey opens his mouth, then closes it again. “I wasn’t… I suspected. It’s been getting increasingly on the nose lately. Kind of hard not to take the hint.”

“Yeah, for me too.”

“Are you… I mean, you’re sure? That that’s what it is?”

“Wasn’t exactly rocket science.” The other Harvey narrows his eyes. “You’re the one who messed it up, aren’t you? That’s why I keep being pulled into this universe or whatever it is. This is where it went wrong.”

Harvey swallows. “I… guess. Though I’m not sure what I did. Mike and I aren’t- together, but we’re friends.” He hesitates. “What about you? In your- universe? Are you and Mike…?”

“No. At least not yet. But Donna and I aren’t either.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. Oh,” the other Harvey echoes, looking at him like he’s the world’s biggest idiot. Harvey has used that look on countless people. He’s intimately familiar with it. He just never expected to find himself on the receiving end of it. “There’s your answer.”

“That’s… quite the avalanche I triggered by marrying the wrong person,” Harvey remarks, and it’s the first time he’s saying it out loud, admitting it to someone else apart from himself (though technically he still hasn’t), but it doesn’t feel as wrong as he thought it would, it doesn’t feel wrong at all.

It feels liberating, actually.

“Look, I’m not sure about the details, and I’m not sure how much longer I have before I’m pulled back into my world. All I know is that Mike and I- or you, in this case, not being together is wrong somehow. Not wrong enough to tear apart the fabric of the universe, but you and Donna getting married on top of that… is, apparently. So I need you to fix that, because I’m tired of being dragged into this shithole of a universe.”

“Hey,” Harvey says, mildly affronted. “Come on now.”

“I stand by what I said.”

Harvey sighs. “Fine. I’ll admit it’s… not ideal. I’ll figure something out.”

The other Harvey gives him an incredulous look. “What’s to figure out? Just goddamn do what you have to do and stop-“

He disappears before he can finish, but Harvey doesn’t need him to. He knows exactly what he was going to tell him.

Staring at the coffee he got on the way, he sighs and dumps it in the nearest bin. He’s lost his appetite. Not to mention that it tasted like chicken broth anyway.

When he arrives at the firm an hour later, having spent most of that time wandering around aimlessly, Mike is already in his office, working on one thing or another.

Harvey takes a moment to really look at him before he gathers his courage and steps inside, not bothering to knock.

“I know what’s going on.”

“Good for you,” Mike mutters, not looking up.

“No, you’re not listening. I know what’s happening with the matrix. I know what’s causing the glitches.”

That catches Mike’s attention. “You do?” he asks, sitting back. “How’d you figure it out?”

“I told myself. Well, some version of me did. But I more or less figured it out without his help too. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and… it makes sense.”

Mike lifts his eyebrows. “Well?” he asks when Harvey doesn’t continue. He’s still standing in the doorway, hovering uncertainly before he decides to sit down.

“This is gonna sound weird as hell,” he warns. And then he tells him everything.

Mike listens quietly, his eyebrows raised the whole time, but he never once interrupts.

“So the fabric of the universe is falling apart because you and Donna got it on,” he summarizes when he’s done.

“More or less.”

“And because… you and I didn’t?”

“I’m not so sure about that part. The other Harvey said that we’re apparently supposed to. If we’re following the law of the universe or whatever. But if we don’t, it’s not enough to… cause all the shit that’s been happening lately. Unlike my marriage, apparently.”

“Huh.” Mike sits back, tilting his head as he considers that. “This is pretty wild.”

“I’ll say.”

“So what do we do now?”

Harvey exhales slowly.

“Well, I don’t know about you. Since we don’t technically have to do anything – together, I mean, I suppose you can just carry on as per usual. I, for one, am going to get a divorce.” He sighs. “I texted Donna on my way here that we need to talk. That’s going to be a fun conversation.”

Mike gives him a sympathetic look. “You gonna be alright?”

“Yeah. It’s not… thinking about it doesn’t leave me heartbroken. And I guess that tells us everything we need to know.”

He’s scared of losing her, as he undoubtedly will after this disaster of a marriage, but not in the way he should be. Not in a way that translates to anything more than everybody leaves me.

Probably not a good basis for a relationship, in hindsight.

Anyway, he’s not alone. He’s got Mike. Maybe not in the way he wants, but still. That counts for something.

“Yeah. I guess it does.” Mike purses his lips, narrowing his eyes as he stares ahead before he shakes his head and announces, “Okay, well, I don’t want to.”

Harvey’s stomach sinks.

“What?” he asks, even though he doesn’t really have any desire to hear the answer. He can take a wild guess.

“Carry on as per usual.”

“That’s… wait. You don’t- what?”

“You heard me.”

Harvey blinks at him. “But- what about Rachel?”

“Yeah, that’s… not gonna work out either. To be fair, it’s not a tearing-apart-the-fabric-of-the-universe kind of catastrophe, but… close enough.”

Harvey takes a moment to process that.

“I had no idea.”

Mike shrugs. “You had your own problems to deal with. And I didn’t wanna acknowledge it for a long time, but that doesn’t make it any less true. And if you’re gonna own up to your failed marriage, then so can I. Besides, now that I know there’s some great cosmic plan that apparently requires us to get our shit together, and I assume that means you actually do want that, with me, I don’t see why we should deprive ourselves of that any longer.”

Harvey belatedly realizes that his mouth is hanging open and shuts it with a click. Frowning, he holds up a hand, shaking his head.

“Wait a second. You… want this. You want to be with me. Romantically.”

“And otherwise. If you’re amenable.”

Well, he sure as hell isn’t going to say no to that. Still, this is… a lot to wrap his head around. And that’s saying something, considering the months behind him.

“Since when?”

Mike sighs.

“Longer than I care to admit, to be honest. What about you?”

“Pretty much the same,” Harvey says after a slight pause.

Would you look at that. It could have been so easy, but instead the world practically had to end first before they got the message.

Figures. Mike and he never could do anything straightforwardly.

Except now they can, apparently.

Mike tilts his head, giving him a thoughtful look. “Well, I guess it’s about time we did something about that, don’t you think?”

Harvey still hasn’t quite processed that this is happening, but it clearly is, and he’ll be damned if he’s going to stop it.

“Yeah, seems like as good a time as any,” he agrees.

Mike huffs out a laugh. “Yeah. It sure does.”

Scooting over until they’re right next to each other, he pauses for another look. Whatever he sees on Harvey’s face makes him smile. He seems to be taking this much better than him.

“Hey. I know this seems like just another thing in a long line of improbable developments, but you can start believing it. This is happening.”

He leans in before Harvey gets the chance to respond, closing the distance between them.

And then they kiss.

And for one perfect, entirely detached moment, the world seems right again. More so than it has in years, long before all this started.

It’s right. And Harvey has no idea how he could ever think anything else would do.

Mike kisses him with intent, leaving no doubt about his desires, but the warm pressure of his lips is gentle all the same. All things considered, it’s a rather unspectacular kiss. As far as Harvey’s concerned, it’s the most outstanding one in the universe. In all of them, really.

It can’t have lasted longer than a few seconds, though the ability to track time has long eluded him when Mike draws back, licking his lips.

“Hm,” he makes.

Harvey lifts his eyebrows.

“Good?”

“Definitely. Worth a repeat performance either way.” He lifts his chin. “Well? Do you think it was a success?”

“Personally? Absolutely. Cosmically? I think it might have been, yeah.”

“Me too. But… I don’t know. Shouldn’t there be some big bang or something?”

The corner of Harvey’s mouth lifts.

“There was. Didn’t you feel it?”

He doesn’t look around, doesn’t check to see if there are any bird flying backwards or other versions of themselves that shouldn’t be there. He doesn’t need to in order to know that they’re gone, that they restored whatever order of the universe they turned into chaos before.

He looks at Mike, and he thinks about the fact that this is real now, that he gets to be with him and touch him and see that smile for the rest of his life if he’s lucky.

And if the whole goddamn universe wanted them to be together, then maybe he really is.

Harvey smiles too, because the world isn’t ending anymore, and while they may have some tricky conversations ahead of them, there really isn’t anything that could ruin this moment for him.

Things are finally right again. In fact, there’s just one thing missing from making them absolutely perfect.

Determined to redeem that, Harvey takes Mike’s face in both hands and leans in to kiss him again, and he’s quite happy to go on for a long, long time.