He was a fucking idiot, and he’d really ditch Trevor this time if he just made it out not-arrested. He’d go respectable- after he got the money. Someone that someone could be proud of. Maybe he’d start looking again.
Except he wouldn’t. He could have done it before. Could have had a job good enough that he’d have twenty five thousand in savings without resorting to this. He wasn’t likely to fix it now. He was a fuck up.
He ended up in a place he almost seemed to fit in. A bunch of men about his age in suits, even if they were nicer and fit better than his. And one woman. An interview for something stuffy. The redheaded woman clearly was more in charge and wasn't one of them.
And now the woman thought his name was Rick Sorkin and that he was late for his interview, and really, this crappy day had been enough.
“Look, I’m just trying to ditch the cops okay? I don’t really care if you let me in or not,” he said. He could think more quickly than anyone else he’d ever encountered. But sometimes his mind shut off and just let his mouth talk freely anyway. Getting in the interview room would be smart, and he could fake his way through whatever it was. His guess was lawyers- summer associate or first year, from the ages. He could work with that.
She obviously thought he was amusing and let him in. Rick Sorkin, probably a lawyer. Easy.
Hot, slick type lawyer looked at him, bored and skeptical. Probably because of his cheap suit that was too wide at the shoulders. Mike decided he’d try to be not boring.
“Well? Donna implied you’d be interesting?”
“Oh shit fuck. Sorry I’m me.” Mouth over mind.
Harvey had always sort of assumed his soulmate was male. He finally got the words when he was eleven, so he knew they were a lot younger than he was. And he already knew all of those words, so he knew they had a foul mouth, and it was probably because of that he figured they were probably a guy. Most girls didn’t say ‘shit’ and ‘fuck’. Though he would later meet and enjoy the company of many who did. The guy apologizing for being himself seemed to cement that further. Some people were still ashamed of having a same-gendered soulmate.
But probably he’d never meet the guy anyway. Particularly with them being so far apart in age. When was he ever going to meet someone that young? He’d be so old before they were even legal. When Harvey was nine, his father had given him the talk about having a significant age gap with his soulmate, and that if he wanted to pursue her, he’d have to wait until his soulmate was at least eighteen before he should have an intimate relationship with her. He’d said ‘her’ and Harvey hadn’t questioned it. Eleven was worse than nine. He’s be twenty-nine when they were eighteen. What if he wanted to be married and- maybe have kids before then? Did he even like other boys? He didn’t think he really liked other boys or girls. He liked baseball.
But, if he ever did want to find them, he noted the day he’d know they were born. And the time as soon as he remembered to check. His mother had said this was a way to help find someone. He really should have noted the time down to the minute. Should have a good approximation of the seconds even. For his mother, it had happened to her when she was too young to know, and her parents didn’t know how long she’s had it before they’d noticed. Harvey didn’t know where his mother’s words were, but he knew his father hadn’t said them. They had a good relationship anyway. The words didn’t have to matter.
Oh shit fuck. Sorry I’m me.
His soulmate wouldn’t think he’d want them- thought Harvey wouldn’t want him.
That night he tried out what two of the boys had been talking about at baseball practice before coach heard them and got mad.
Harvey pictured himself being a really famous baseball player. A world class pitcher and hitter, but no one knew he was a good hitter, because he’s a Yankee’s pitcher, and they use a designated hitter because they can, and because the coach said so. Until they’re in the World Series and they win, and Harvey hit a home run.
And afterwards, he meets the guy who caught his ball, all the way outside of the park, someone who loved baseball but could never afford a ticket. Harvey doesn’t picture a face, just younger and maybe thin. And male. Harvey’s really muscular.
Harvey offers to sign the ball.
Oh shit fuck. Sorry I’m me.
Harvey kisses him right then. Eleven year old Harvey wished he’d used a sock like one of the boys had suggested.
When Harvey is sixteen, he catches his mother cheating on his father. He doesn’t say anything. He wonders if the man said his mother’s words. He wonders if it matters. He wonders if he can get married to someone not his soulmate. He wonders if he could get married at all. He probably wouldn’t meet his soulmate. Most people never did, and they got married and had kids anyway. He was most of the way grown, and his ‘soulmate’ was in kindergarten.
“Ah… Rick?” the man asked.
He’d actually met his person. He never thought he would. Ever since he got himself tossed out of college, he’d avoided anyone named Donna as thoroughly as possible. Before that, he’d tried to meet all Donnas and get them to set him up with people. He wouldn’t tell any of these Donnas his exact words, of course. His soul mate was older than Mike, so he didn’t even know their birthday. Usually a Donna agreed to set him up with a few people, and they would try to say his words- always saying Donna in the phrase- maybe trying to make it lead into their words too. His words sounded like the other person would speak first, waiting for him to talk. None of the guesses were ever close.
Mike’s parents had been soulmates and had found each other. He had always hoped to do the same. After they died, it became even more important to him. He was an interesting guy, after all, and one day, some Donna would know that and would introduce him to his soulmate. Probably one of her female friends, but maybe a man- Mike wouldn’t turn down a man- wouldn’t care what they looked like, or how much money they had, or how old they were- as long as they were his soulmate.
After Mike got himself kicked out of school, he stopped trying. He finally lost his virginity. And then had some more sex. Women, men, whomever. All of it meaningless.
His soulmate had just talked to him, and he was standing there like an idiot.
“Not even close. I’m Mike- Mike Ross. There’s a bunch of pot in this briefcase. And some police officers disguised as hotel staff looking for someone who fits my description. I’m a colossal fuck up. It’s worse because I had so much potential. I’m sorry you’ve had to meet me.”
Young Harvey had wondered if his soulmate was insecure about a physical disfigurement. He tried not to be shallow in case…
Harvey blew out his shoulder… a second time, withdrew from college even though he was most of the way done, and ended up working in a mailroom. College players rarely make it anyway. He would have maybe gotten to Triple-A, trying to drag himself up for his moments of glory in the big league that he would never get. And when he was done, he’d be thirty something with no savings to speak of, and no future. Maybe if he hadn’t had that first injury in high school. But now all he had to show for it as most of a fucking history degree, a path he’d picked because it was easy. Some of it was interesting, sure, but mostly it was easy to give him the maximum time to do conditioning and practice, and still get easy A’s. Mostly easy anyway. It was a worthless degree that wasn’t even worth finishing. He should have at least done Business. Not that a general business degree was worth anything without connections. And he had always thought he knew everything he needed to know about business without listening to some stuck up academics who hadn’t cut it in the real world.
He hadn't really expected his life to be perfect since he was sixteen, but the arm injuries had really done it.
Harvey had never had any intention of waiting for sex until he found his soulmate. Less than one in twenty ever find theirs, even with most people searching. It wasn’t really rare to happen, but wasn’t likely. And his soulmate was so much younger than him anyway. He’d understand. He’d have to if they were really compatible.
Harvey only had sex with women after his shoulder was gone for good.
On good days he thought that a history degree wasn't useless if you made it not useless. Lots of his classmates had been going to apply to law school. Some of them would get in. He got the job in the law firm mailroom and started picking up more than someone would think. And he read law books. And contacted his school again. He had gotten a medical withdrawal. The four teachers he had had the semester before let him turn his incompletes into passes. He got an academic scholarship almost as good as his athletic one had been, and staying part time during the semester at the mailroom covered the rest. And he had a bit of savings.
Still, he knew he’d probably just get an office job that just required some kind of college degree when he was done. Maybe in banking- follow the money. He read everything he could that seemed practical. Law school is fucking expensive and plenty of people don’t get high paying jobs after. Then he found that associate breaking the law by backdating that paperwork, and he ended up in Jessica’s Pearson’s office. Because she knew his name and had told him that he was making the right decision when he had reduced his hours to thirty instead of forty a week and gone back to school. She probably didn’t know how many classes he was taking, some at the community college so he could go over a full load. He was almost done by then. He demanded she force the firm to fix the illegal activity, or he would make it public.
She fixed it and sent him to law school with her own money. And told him to buy one nice suit.
Harvey entertained a few thoughts of his soulmate-occasionally- after his injury. He’d always assumed before then that they wouldn’t think they were worthy because Harvey was just so great. Because Harvey was arrogant. But maybe they just thought they were such a fuck-up. Harvey went through a long phase where he decided his soulmate was probably- definitely- a prostitute. She was usually female in this scenario, flirting his him at a fancy bar with her mannerisms before he says her words and she freaks out. It’s hotter when the prostitute he imagined is male.
All of it was weird when his soulmate was just a little kid. Finally a teenager. Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen is the legal age of consent in New York. Soul mates were essentially never prosecuted for statutory rape anyway. Soulmates were allowed to marry at absolutely any age, and could have ‘consenting’ sex any time ‘after puberty’. It was archaic. It would be wrong. Sometimes things were wrong even when they weren’t against the law. Sometimes things against the law weren’t really wrong. He wouldn’t say that part out loud.
When he was rich enough to pay Jessica back- and insisted upon it until she let him- Harvey decided that he would be a successful enough person that star baseball players will need his help, and anyone impressed with them would be equally impressed with him. It was a childish thought that he only allowed himself sometimes.
By the time Harvey was twenty nine and two months, he didn’t want to register the birth of his soulmate and hope. Wasn’t worth much anyway. Lots of people were born all across the word every day, every five minutes. Many of them didn’t register. All he knew was that if they ever met, they would say that to Harvey in English. Didn’t even mean they spoke English now.
He’d seen plenty of soulmate marriages break… maybe he had sought out the stories to know most of them… but the legal fallout was usually particularly nasty.
He didn’t talk to anyone of the right age when he could help it, which got harder as his soulmate got older.
His mother had not only cheated on his father, but she’d broken up a marriage of soulmates. Words hadn’t mattered to that man. Words didn’t automatically mean anything.
For someone who actively tried to not meet his soulmate… Harvey thought about him a lot.
And now he was here… looking at the man. Definitely not disfigured.
“Harvey Specter,” Harvey introduced himself. “And I’ve had those words on me for… quite a few years now,” Harvey laughed. “I most often pictured you as a prostitute.”
“I would have done just about anything short of killing someone to get twenty five grand in two days. Pot is just what I had a connection for. A crappy connection, as it turns out.”
“What do you need the money for?” Harvey asked.
Mike looked at him so… defeated, sprawled in a chair that too many boring Harvard grads had sat in that day.
“To send my grandmother to a nice place instead of a state run facility where she’ll just… I can’t send her there.”
“And no one else in your family has the money or cares enough,” Harvey summarized. Harvey believed him. Wasn’t a bad kid, just in a tough situation. Then again, he wasn’t really a kid anymore, which Harvey knew very well.
“My parents died when I was a kid. Gram raised me. No other family.” Definitely couldn’t have afforded tickets to a World Series game. He thought about that first, stupid fantasy.
“What was your plan in ducking into this room?” Harvey asked, curious, and needing to say something. To make sure he wasn’t being played, maybe. Because the skinny man with the awful suit and the beautiful blue eyes was going to leave with a check with Harvey’s name on it for twenty five grand. Anything that he said after this point would just determine how much Harvey would hate himself for it. And if he grabbed the man’s ID to make sure the name wasn’t a lie.
“Getting away, hiding for a few minutes- maybe half an hour,” Mike answered.
“And what made you think I wouldn’t throw you right back out when it was clear you weren’t my law school graduate applicant for a personal associate?”
“I know more than enough law to fake my way through an interview,” Mike said. “I’m a lying sack of shit. You’ve caught me rather off my game.”
“You really think you know enough to bluff your way through an interview as a lawyer?” Harvey asked, curious.
There was a bit of fire in Mike's eyes now. Much better.
“That’s a Barbri Legal Handbook right there, right?” Mike asks. “Open it up. Read me something,” Mike dared. “Anything.” And the way he said it would have already been ten times more interesting than anything one of his other applicants had said, if they hadn’t already started so unbelievably.
Harvey opens at random. “Civil liability associated with agency is based on several factors-”
“-including the deviation of the agent from his path, the reasonable inference of agency on behalf of the plaintiff, and the nature of the damages themselves,” Mike finished the sentence. It was basic stuff, but not something famous that Harvey had ever heard anyone quote before.
“How do you know that?” Harvey asked.
“I’ve read that book. When I was studying for the Bar Exam. Not that I’d pass the Ethics board. But I could pass the test. I can recite every word in that book from the beginning if you wanted.”
“Do you understand what you’re saying?” Harvey asked. “Can you take principles and apply them to situations they resemble?”
“Yeah, I can. I read- I understand- I remember. I can’t… repeat a conversation across the room I was half-paying attention to, don’t know what the weather was like on a given day last week any better than you do. But if something grabs my attention, I will never forget it- and most things that I really read fall into that category. And most things a few people say. I couldn’t pass the LSAT if I couldn’t follow logic. And I’ve taken the LSAT four times a year for the past… six years- and a few times before that. Only once with my name on the page, so to speak. Mine was perfect- none of the others were- too much scrutiny over perfect scores, but I got exactly the scores I intended, always. I also took… the MCAT, PCAT, GRE, and GMAT… none of them with scores under my name, but I took them often- take them, I guess. The last was just last week. It just sort of feels like my life’s over and I fucked everything up years ago. Is your life good? I really don’t want to fuck up your life. I- probably was supposed to be your perfect match before I fucked it up.”
“May I see your wallet?” Harvey asked.
“Uh- I guess,” Mike asked, fishing it out and placing it on the desk. He still held the briefcase that Harvey fully believed was full of pot. Really, it could have been worse.
“You have an old expired drivers license tucked away in a credit card slot and no current valid identification,” Harvey observed after a moment. There were loyalty cards to a few small restaurants. No credit cards. Under ten dollars in cash.
“Well, I don’t drive, and don’t really do anything that requires an ID except drink, and I’ve never had enough trouble to make it worth getting a new one. I’ve gone to the same tiny, family-owned market since I was eleven, so they don’t card me- and I don’t go to bars much.”
“What’s the name of the facility your grandmother needs to be in?” Harvey asked.
“Prescott Nursing Home,” Mike answered, suspicious.
He watched Mike as Harvey pulled out his checkbook.
Mike closed his eyes.
“Serious?” Mike asked in a whisper, eyes still closed.
“I wouldn’t tease something like that,” Harvey answered.
“I wouldn’t accept it if it didn’t mean a difference in my grandmother’s happiness and life expectancy. She’s used to living on her own once I moved out. And now, even if I moved back in... I couldn’t take care of her well enough. If it were just a matter of learning, I’d do it. But they have more people, all the right equipment, years of experience that just can’t be learned in a few days. I’ll pay you back,” he promised.
“Not by selling drugs,” Harvey said firmly.
“No I can… do something better, legal. I’m smart enough. I have to do it now for Gram. Just… when it was just my life I was fucking up, I could just… I told you I was- am a fuck up. I did feel bad about my soulmate but… what were the chances I’d really find you? You never registered my birthday- not that I’d blame you- and were definitely better off without me. You have a good life, yeah?”
“I have no major reason to complain,” Harvey said, as he wrote the check. “And my words- your words, I suppose- weren’t ones that would be said by someone looking up the registry and calling me blindly,” he said. Because he’d thought of that countless times. It was what stopped him from registering in the moments when he wanted to.
“Mine either, really,” Mike admitted. He was looking at Harvey now, when Harvey glanced up.
“What- did I say to you exactly?
“‘ Well? Donna implied you’d be interesting?.’ I talked to a lot of Donnas trying to convince them I was interesting, and getting them to introduce me to their friends. Before I stopped looking.”
“When you decided you weren’t worthy of your soulmate,” Harvey confirmed.
“Basically, yeah. I’m also a pothead- and had some stupid unprotected sex.”
“Have you caught anything permanent?” Harvey asked.
“Never caught anything. But it was stupid.”
“I made some stupid mistakes when I was twenty one. I wouldn’t have recovered this well without help,” Harvey admitted. “A lot of financial help, and connections more valuable than that.” He tore out the check and took out his own wallet. Grabbed some cash and put the check in Mike’s wallet, still holding the cash. “Can you promise me you won’t spend it on drugs?” Harvey asked. He wasn’t one to usually dictate anyone else’s life choices. And it could be easily argued that alcohol’s effects were far more damaging than marijuana’s, and Harvey certainly drank… but it seemed a shame to him for any substance to dull this fascinating mind. And anything illegal was not what Mike needed right now.
“I can’t take your money for me,” Mike objected. “I can for Gram, but not for me,” he said.
“I’ve seen plenty of soulmate relationships not work out. Including the one my mother broke apart by sleeping with a married man. My parents weren’t paired, but her second husband was to someone else. I’ve refused to meet the man.”
“That sucks,” Mike said. His eyes were gorgeous and expressive.
“Do you like baseball?” Harvey asked.
Mike seemed taken aback. “Um… I like stats- have looked into baseball stats a fair amount. I admire a lot of things about the game, and I wish the Yankees well. I love this city and seeing it excited. I haven’t been to a Yankees game- some Cyclones games a long time ago- I’m from Brooklyn. Never really played. My hand-eye coordination isn’t very good. I- bike- I’m a bike messenger, actually- when I’m not committing test fraud, and played soccer as a kid, and ran cross country.” Honesty, at least to his soulmate, seemed to be Mike’s thing.
Do you have any tests lined up to take for people in the future?” Harvey asked.
“Ah, yeah, two,” he said.
“Can you cancel them? Actually, more pressingly, is anyone going to try to harm you if you don’t deliver this briefcase?” Harvey asked.
“I can cancel the tests. They haven’t even seen my face and haven’t paid me. The briefcase… I don’t know,” he shrugged. “I needed money fast.”
“You have some idiot friend who got you in on this?” Harvey checked.
“Yeah,” Mike said.
“What’s his name?”
Harvey traced Mike’s throat swallowing with his eyes.
“Trevor,” Mike said.
“Call him,” Harvey instructed. “I want to talk to him. Please,” he added.
“I- will do... just about anything you really want. But... not that I want you to, because I need to take care of Gram, but... you’re better off ditching me to the cops,” the man said. Harvey didn’t like seeing him like this. He knew there was fire in Mike, when he wasn’t beaten down like this. It made him really angry at Trevor.
“Not going to happen,” Harvey said tightly.
“Mike? Done? What happened?” the man on the other end of the phone asked. Confirmation of it being the idiot friend.
“Your briefcase is going to be abandoned in the locked second stall of the first floor men’s restroom of the Chilton. I suggest you find it before hotel staff find an interesting surprise,” Harvey said, finally popping the thing open.
“Who the hell are you?” Trevor asked. Harvey really didn’t like him.
“Upon further consideration, the briefcase itself will be leaving with us, and the bags of pot will be inside the tank of the toilet of the second stall. Hope your bags are good. And then you are not going to call, text, or approach Mike ever again. If Mike reaches out to you in the future- know that you don’t deserve it,” Harvey said and hung up.
“So… what’s happening?” Mike asked.
“There’s security cameras in the hallways. You’ve already been seen with that briefcase and looked suspicious. In this story, you were sneaking into this interview, even though you are not a qualified lawyer, because you saw me and felt drawn to me. Stories about that come up. And if it comes up, you borrowed that briefcase from your friend, and if it ever had pot in it- yesterday or a week ago for cops to find residue- you definitely don’t know anything about that. I’m going to check that the coast is clear, you’re going to sneak to the bathroom and lock yourself in the handicapped stall. I will be there in a minute, and we will arrange everything, and spend about ten minutes in the bathroom- the exterior door does lock,” he said, putting some blank legal pads in the briefcase on top of the pot and closing it again. “And hold this thing any way that you need to to make sure it doesn’t fall open. It’s a piece of crap,” Harvey instructed, holding out the briefcase.
“And the rest of the ten minutes in the bathroom…” Mike non-asked uncomfortably.
“Just for show. Unreliable sentimental nonsense or not, I’m not going to undress my soulmate for the first time in a hotel bathroom avoiding arrest.”
“I’m a fuck up. I know I’ve said it before, but you don’t seem to be caring. You’re better off with someone else. Maybe a gorgeous lawyer.”
“You could pass as one right now. Some faked records, some coaching on the parts that aren’t in books… you could be the best first year associate who ever lived,” Harvey said, imagining it. He was still supposed to pick one of the dull Harvard graduates.
“I… could, yeah. And that sounds… really enticing, but it would also get you in major legal trouble when we were caught. And even if I could convince a court that you knew nothing, all your cases that I touched would be called into question.”
“And yet, I might have been tempted by it. I really can’t tolerate another interview with another Harvard clone,” Harvey admitted. It would be a thrilling disaster, having that mind with him every day at work. “But you- being my soulmate complicates things. I’m going to check outside. Can you hold it together?” Harvey asked.
“The briefcase or my life?” Mike joked. Harvey wanted to kiss him.
“The briefcase,” Harvey answered, even though he’d clearly meant the other. He considered adding something overly sentimental about how he would keep Mike’s life together. It was too much, and not at all a Harvey Specter emotion. He wasn’t a nurturer.
“Thank you,” Mike said, grasping Harvey’s hand. They hadn’t even shaken hands yet, as he would usually at the start of an interview.
“Hallway is clear of authorities. You might not want to make eye contact with Donna. Unfortunately, the bathroom is in sight of her, but not the hopeless Harvard idiots she’s going to send home.”
“All of them Harvard?” Mike asked.
“We only hire from Harvard Law,” Harvey informed him.
Mike looked skeptically. “That's really not a normal law firm thing. You are missing a lot of great candidates, and making it easy for other firms to try to sabotage your future by hiring the best Harvard graduates they can.” Yeah, Mike was interesting.
“I didn’t make the policy,” Harvey said in not quite a snap. He checked the hallway again, getting a weird look from Donna and the six Harvard graduates. “Go,” he said, dipping his head back in. He cleaned up his area. He sure as hell wasn’t doing any more interviews today, shoving everything back into his own briefcase.
Donna’s eyes might have popped out of her head when she saw him walking towards the bathroom with everything packed a minute later. Nothing surprised Donna.
Harvey hurried into the bathroom, assured himself that it was empty besides the one closed handicapped stall, and locked the exterior door.
“I’m going to have to tell Donna something,” he said. “She’s not going to be impressed with me for this. Especially because she likes you already. And there’s a decent chance a Rick Sorkin has arrived for an interview that he’s definitely never getting.”
“Tell her whatever you want?” Mike shrugged. He was putting the bags of pot in the tank of the second stall. Harvey had been here earlier, and noted the home- look of the toilets rather than a more typical modern public toilet. Mike drained it of water first, and rigged it to not refill to leave room for the pot, and put the lid back on. Whoever’s weed it was certainly wouldn’t want it there. The plastic bags might leak. But it wasn’t his problem. And he would make damned sure it wasn’t Mike either.
“Should I lock the door?” Mike asked. He would have to crawl on the floor under the stall. The suit was already atrocious, so there wasn’t a loss there. It was probably from a second hand store. Even the shirt was too big. Awful. Though, him wearing a too-big shirt of Harvey’s held intense appeal. His shirt and nothing else. And him out of those clothes. Fucking hell, they were maybe not even Mike’s. Maybe even Trevor’s. Harvey hated Trevor.
“No, that will just look more suspicious. No one is likely to use the second stall when it’s not in demand, not closest to the door, or the roomier handicapped stall. And if they use it, they probably won’t notice anything wrong. And if they do, they’re not going to mess with a public toilet, and probably won’t inform staff. And if I want to tell Donna that I found my soulmate?” Harvey asked, responding finally to Mike’s earlier statement-question.
“Well, her name’s been on my skin all my life,” Mike said, reaching up to the front of his shoulder. “Seems like she would be the one to know what they say- if you want- regardless of what you tell anyone else.”
“Can I see it?” Harvey asked.
“Ah- yeah,” Mike said, reaching for his tie. He loosened it and brought it over his head, and placed it on the counter, and his jacket next to it. “You really don’t like this suit, yeah?” Mike asked.
“It belongs in the toilet with the pot,” Harvey answered.
Mike laughed, and it was beautiful.
“Is it the idiot’s?” Harvey asked when the laugh was done. He wouldn’t interrupt that.
“Ah- yeah,” Mike shrugged. “Sorry?” he said uncertainly.
“He’s not getting it back. Do you-” Shit, Harvey couldn’t breathe. He hadn’t realized how much he cared. “Do you live with him?” Harvey let out.
“No,” Mike said quickly. “I live alone. I’m single, and I’ve never been more than friends with Trevor. Best friends- like- since I was really young and still had parents, and- he was there for all the years after but… I can... objectively assess that he hasn’t actually been a good friend since we were… eighteen, maybe. Are you- it’s not my business- I’m still trying to convince you I’m not worth it but… I’m going to flip on that stance after like one more try, because I’m.. breaking. Are you single?” Mike asked, and there were tears gathering in his eyes.
“I was an hour ago. You tell me if I am in another hour,” Harvey said and leaned in for a kiss. It was damn smooth. Mike was eager, and passionate, and hard already. In pants that Harvey really wanted to get him out of. Harvey broke the kiss first, and Mike tilted his head down into him. They were the same height, approximately. Harvey kissed the forehead now bent down in front of him.
“And what would be a reasonable reason to come into a bathroom when we had a private hotel room already?” Mike asked.
“Condom machine,” Harvey pointed easily.
“Oh, fuck,” Mike hissed. He was so hot.
“Not actually happening. Even if the dispenser sold lube, which it doesn’t. Which Donna will probably also think of and think I’m an ass, but I’m not telling her about the drugs, so she can just think I’m an overexcited, inconsiderate ass.”
“In this theoretical situation where I saw you walking here this morning and was convinced I was your soulmate, I came prepared, but you didn’t trust the condom that had been sitting in my wallet for months,” Mike supplied. “Or I didn’t bring one at all, but you insisted on being safe.”
Harvey blinked twice. “That would be more considerate than the spit I was contemplating.”
“Or you wanted a condom for a blow job,” Mike offered instead. “I am clean, by the way,” Mike said. "I… haven’t… seen anyone in a while. Emotionless sex lost its appeal to me pretty quickly.”
“I- kept having it anyway,” Harvey admitted.
“That’s fine. Now, I believe a moment ago, you were warring between a sense of propriety of not getting me naked in a hotel bathroom, and a strong desire to both get me out of this apparently awful suit, and to see your words.” Harvey’s words, on Mike’s skin. Harvey’s words.
Harvey kissed him again instead. Mike’s arms found Harvey’s neck, but Harvey kept enough space between them to start working on the buttons of Mike’s shirt.
Mike pulled away slightly. “Not fair,” he moaned. “I don’t want to mess up your hair or clothes.”
“Later,” Harvey promised.
Mike’s moans might as well have happened around Harvey’s dick. So fucking hot.
“The story that we had sex in the bathroom really isn’t going to sell if we’re too fucking hard to walk out the door,” Mike complained.
“Mind on other things. After I see those words,” Harvey said, opening the shirt. He almost had to ease it off his arm to see them. His handwriting. Harvey had known that was part of it, but it hadn’t seemed real. There was an option at the centers, to put up a photo of your words as a handwriting sample, but most people didn’t want to reveal their words, because then how could someone know that it was really their soulmate and not someone just saying the words, if you know each others.
Harvey touched Mike’s words… his words... tentatively, and then backed off. “You need to straighten up,” Harvey instructed. “As much as possible in that awful thing.”
“Yes, yes, I need to get presentable. As if your cock isn’t ruining the lines in those pants right now,” Mike muttered.
“Future,” Harvey said, not addressing that somewhat true assessment. Ruin was a harsh word for something so temporary. “You could be a kickass paralegal tomorrow. Jessica- managing partner- would have to know about you being kicked out of school, but not about any illegal activity- because you’ve never been caught for anything?” Harvey checked.
Mike shook his head, eyes wide.
“And really, getting kicked from school was years ago, and the reasons wouldn’t be public. I should- would be able to make her see the advantages to having you. But, you’d have to prove to everyone that you deserved to be there, and then some, because this encounter is going to get around, because there’s six Harvard graduates who will figure out that we will be in here too long. Harvey’s phone had already alerted him of one text. Could just be a coincidence, but it was probably Donna already suspicious.
“I- that’s a lot...”
“It’s just one option. You can go back to school. A good place will take you. I’ll make sure. Can go to law school, can make it pass the ethics committee. People with actual criminal records can make it through, they wouldn’t stop you because you sold one test- well over ten years ago at that point. And they don’t need to know that you ever did anything else. And if you want to become a- doctor- investor- kindergarten teacher, astrophysicist, whatever. You can do it,” Harvey said.
Tears slipped down Mike’s cheeks. He was so damned beautiful.
“I- haven’t done anything to deserve those compliments,” Mike said.
“I’m offering a lot more than compliments, Mike. I’m offering financing. And if you want to pay me back in… fifteen years, you can, but you don’t have to.”
“I- don’t know how to accept that,” Mike said, pulling the tie over his head. Harvey thought about snatching it away, but he wouldn’t force Mike to look that disheveled.
“I didn’t either. When I was twenty-two and Jessica told me I had too much potential to be working in the mail room, and sent me Harvard after I finished my last semester of a history degree at NYU that I didn’t really care about most days. Because most days I was wallowing and still pissed that I’d blown my shoulder out twice and couldn’t play baseball- couldn’t even see if I was good enough to make it.”
“And is your… offer in the same spirit that Jessica’s was?” Mike asked.
“Jessica expected me to one day return to her firm- which she intended to be running like she is now. But she wouldn’t have made me come back- if I enjoyed working at the District Attorney’s office enough, I would have stayed there, and just… paid her back with interest and thanks, and a good working relationship with nothing improper or illegal going on. This… could be like that, if that’s what you wanted- now or in the future. I believe we both want somewhat more. But I think you had better get out of this bathroom before we go down that line of questioning again, or we’re never going to leave.”
“You still have my expired drivers license,” Mike mentioned.
“I know. Now, I would love to introduce you to Donna- later, but I believe it is wiser now for you to avoid eye contact and meet me one block west after I make my excuses and leave.”
Harvey checked his phone as Mike slipped out the door, briefcase in hand.
Harvey, what the hell?
Harvey, I know you wouldn’t be doing what it sure as hell looks like you’re doing!
Who the hell is that, because it isn’t Rick Sorkin.
His words are ‘Well? Donna implied you’d be interesting?’ Harvey sent back.
His name is Mike.
Mike needs you right now.
Harvey hurried out of the bathroom sooner than he intended, hardly remembering to grab his own briefcase. He wondered if he could walk out unquestioned with the pot in it, but he was better off not risking that.
He walked past the waiting room of seven Harvard graduates and Donna, all now standing and blocking his way. Useless idiots- except Donna- who looked very worried at him.
Mike was pressed against the wall, cheek distorted uncomfortably, hands gripped behind his back. Briefcase with the few empty legal pads open, abandoned on the floor.
“Get your hands off of him this instant , and I suggest you return his personal property. Whatever or whomever you’re looking for, it isn’t either of us. And you have ruined a relatively discrete exit with your assault. Who the hell are you?”
“Please move along sir,” the man said to him. “We are with the NYPD, and this is a suspect in an ongoing investigation,” he said.
“Police brutality , are some nasty words, and I am friends with most of the DAs office and many of the judges. He hasn’t done anything wrong, and your friend is twisting his arm. Not to mention the emotional trauma on top of an already eventful day that he’s had.”
“Sir, I need you to move along. If you are this man’s attorney, you are welcome to meet us at the station. “This man is being placed under our custody.”
“The hell he isn’t,” Harvey insisted. “You have no grounds. You checked his briefcase and found literally nothing. Sure, he was acting unusually. He snuck into my interviews. He wanted to find me, because he saw me, and had a feeling, and he was right about it, and it’s really none of your business. I am the best lawyer in this city, and I suggest you don’t arrest my soulmate for looking suspicious. Now, we have a lot to discuss, and would like to leave to do that,” Harvey said.
“Of course, sir,” the disguised police officer said, but he was eyeing Harvey’s case.
“It has confidential documents in it,” Harvey mostly lied. It had information on the applicants that he had skimmed through. “If you’re looking for paperwork, you’re going to need a warrant. You’re looking for what- drugs? Weapons?” he asked, looking at the face of the man in front of him critically. “Drugs, then, I see,” he pretended to deduce it from the man’s face. “I’ll open the case to show there is nothing of the sort, and then we will leave, and I probably won’t bother suing you for assaulting my soulmate,” Harvey said firmly, opening the case, filled with files, lifted most of them to make it clear, and snapped the case shut.
“Sorry to bother you- sirs. Congratulations,” the man who had held Mike said uncomfortably.
Harvey grabbed and shut the other briefcase, handed it to Mike, and steered the other man out of the building with a hand around his waist. He could be protective.
When Harvey smiled at him, it was like everything was right in the world.
And really… maybe everything was right in his world. Harvey clearly thought his life wouldn’t be over from the… pot thing. The police didn’t even have his name. His grandmother was going to stay somewhere where they could take good care of her. His… his soulmate didn’t think he was a total fuck up. In fact, Mike was reasonably certain they were going somewhere private to talk more. Or- not talk. That sounded really good too. But also he wanted… he wanted to take Harvey to meet his grandmother. He wanted to meet all of Harvey’s family that he was speaking to. He wanted to meet Donna and Jessica, and to be someone worthy of… standing next to Harvey.
“You know- the whole, reaching around someone to teach them how to swing a baseball bat- the idea totally got way hotter in the last hour. I might want a lot of instruction,” Mike prompted, slipping his hand over Harvey’s, which was still on Mike’s hip.
“I’d like that,” Harvey said, looking over at him, right in the eye, their noses almost touching. Mike would have sworn that Harvey was at least an inch taller than him, but they seemed the same height now, walking down the street on a surprisingly lovely day.
“Where are your words?” Mike asked, realizing he didn’t know.
“My left hip,” Harvey answered.
“Hip,” Mike repeated. “Actually on the side of your body, or are you saying hip because you don’t want to say they’re totally on your ass?” Mike asked, grinning widely.
“They are primarily on my hip,” Harvey maintained.
“Totally on your ass,” Mike said, letting his right arm settle around Harvey, and then shift down and grab his ass.
Harvey startled forward hilariously, left arm still pulling Mike along with him.
“ Not where they are,” Harvey hissed. That’s not even my left side,” he said.
“Yeah, but that side already has my claim on it. Maybe I want to claim the other,” Mike said.
Harvey stared at him. “Juvenile,” he finally said.
“You know you like me.”
“You are incredibly interesting,” Harvey declared.
“Are we walking to your place?” Mike asked what he’d been wondering since they left the hotel.
“We’re getting a cab,” Harvey declared, raising his right arm to hail one.