Runaways & Promises
"Mike, what are you doing here?" Harvey opens the door, looking more tired than he had earlier in the day. Either that, or it was the fact that seeing him in chinos and a Henley shirt made him always seem a little less... sharp.
"I came here to apologize." Even to his own ears, Mike sounds a little too anxious. As if he's afraid that Harvey might lash out at him. Not that he would blame him for it.
A little smile edges onto Harvey's features which he quickly tries to hide. "You already did." He nods back into the general direction of his condo. There's music playing, and Mike doesn't have to be a genius to know it's Gordon Specter.
Mike nods, returning the smile. He sobers quickly. He needs to do this. "Not in person."
Harvey steps back from the door, allowing Mike to cross the threshold. After the week they've had, this small step seems to bridge a mile-wide gap.
Mike leans back against the door, closes his eyes and exhales slowly. When he looks up again, Harvey is in his immediate personal space, all but pinning him to the door. "I'm sorry, Harvey."
Harvey looks at him for a long moment, long enough to make Mike squirm a little. "You want a drink?"
"I can't stay long."
"It's just a drink, Mike."
"That's what they always say."
Harvey grins at that, the tension between them evaporating. He pushes himself off the door and walks back into the condo. Mike follows him, stripping out of his suit jacket on the way.
They remain quiet while Harvey fixes their drinks. It's one of those comfortable silences that settles between them; a silence in which they navigate easily and without pressure.
Mike walks over to the old reel-to-reel player where the tape is spinning in lazy circles. It’s one of those players that come in a portable case, and for a moment Mike thinks it’s one of those retro pieces but then realizes that it’s an original. Maybe even the original.
He isn't familiar with the song but even on these raw recordings, it sounds enticingly beautiful.
Harvey steps up to him, hands him a glass of Scotch, then takes a sip from his own.
"Thanks for the tapes."
"They were yours to begin with. Besides, who on earth still owns a tape player?" Mike throws Harvey a sideways glance which the other doesn't return. "Buying them just out of spite was below the belt."
"Yes, it was." Harvey says it without weight.
Mike knows he should just let it go but he can't. This is too important to him. "I know what you did wasn't personal. You only went to Gillis to protect me, and..."
Harvey's hand goes to the back of Mike's neck, into his short hair and right to the spot that always makes him shut up immediately. "It's okay, Mike." Then he presses a gentle kiss to his temple. "Now shut up and listen."
Harvey sits on the couch with his feet on the coffee table, nursing his second refill. Mike is lounging in the armchair across from him, his legs over one of the armrests. He knows Harvey hates it when he does that but tonight, he lets it go without comment.
They listen to the tape, listen to Gordon go through the same part of the song over and over again. It's the same few chords again and again but they sound different every time. In between takes, there's people talking in the background, discussing the tempo and timbre. Sometimes there is laughter and chit-chat.
Mike glances over to Harvey, catching him with his eyes closed and a slow smile on his face.
"That's your dad, right?" Mike asks, pointing at the player when a man laughs wholeheartedly at some joke, and Harvey blinks at him. There's a solemn quality to that look and he just nods as an answer. "He's got a good laugh."
When Harvey still doesn't answer, and Mike understands why, he gets up and walks over to the couch. With one knee next to Harvey's, Mike leans down and kisses him. Slowly. As he sits down next to him, he knows he's a little too close.
Once more, Harvey's hand goes to the back of his neck, running a finger along the base of his skull.
"I hate this," he finally says. He says it quietly as if he is talking to himself. "I hate what this is doing to you." After a long breath, he adds: "To us."
Mike wants to turn to look at him but Harvey's albeit light grip on him keeps him in the same position. "We knew it would come to something like this eventually."
"Doesn't mean I have to like it."
Mike doesn't know what he is supposed to say to that.
"I don't want you to become me."
Now Mike does sit up to look at Harvey, bringing a bit of distance between them. "What are you talking about?"
"We said we wouldn't let this come between us, but as long as this case is going on, there is no way for us to avoid just that," Harvey says matter-of-factly, like he is reciting some pre-written statement. "Sooner or later it is going to happen, and when it does there might not be a pile of dusty old tapes to patch things back up." He pauses long enough for the silence to be heavy and uncomfortable.
Mike doesn't want to say what he is about to put into words. If he reads this right... "Harvey, are you... is this your way to end this? Because if so, you..." Before he can stutter more words that barely make sense, Harvey leans in and kisses him.
"Promise me something," Harvey says against his mouth.
Mike pulls back a little, searches the other's eyes. This spontaneous visit has taken a very strange turn and he is trying his best to keep up.
Harvey grins. "Don't ever stop being an idiot."
Mike huffs a little relieved sigh. "You know you're not really making sense, right?"
Harvey stands and takes a few strides across the room to the tape player. He watches the reel spin for a few seconds. "I am not trying to end this, Mike. All I am saying is that just because we are going up against each other, we have to fight with the same weapons. And you can't win this case if you work this like I would." He turns to find Mike standing only half a step away from him. "If you want to win this, you have to be you."
Now it's Mike's turn to kiss the words away from him. "You know, you're actually kinda hot when you're being a wuss."
Harvey doesn't respond to Mike's light tone. "I'm serious. Don't sell your soul for this."
"I won't," Mike replies, now serious. "I promise."
Their kiss is slow, almost a dance to the song Harvey's father is playing now.
"You're still a wuss." Mike says as they pull apart. He worms his fingers beneath Harvey's shirt. "Who needs to get laid."
"Definitely, but not tonight. I'm not getting in bed with the enemy."
Mike laughs, and it feels good to do that again. "How long have you been sitting on that one?"
"Ever since." Harvey gives him a quick peck on the mouth. "Sometime soon, though?"
"Definitely." Mike give Harvey's shirt a little tug, bringing a little more dishevelment to his look. "I gotta go now. Walk me out?"
At the door, Harvey's hand closes around Mike's wrist and he pulls him in again. "I miss you."
It does take Mike by surprise, hearing Harvey say that. But it's a good surprise, one that washes over him in a warm chill. One that will make his way back to his place seem a little less dire. "Me, too."
They linger with each other for a moment longer before Mike leaves.
They don't say goodbye. They never do.