Title: I Can Barely Say
Fandom/Pairing: Suits, Mike/Harvey
Summary: There are certain times for which words could never be enough.
There are times in life where words, for all their powers and versatility, are not enough. Not even close to enough. There are times where words mess things up. They make life awkward and painful and sometimes it hurts to talk.
It’s painful to force meaningless words into a thick silence. They just don’t belong. Sure there’s honest emotions behind them, but that doesn’t mean that words are enough. You can say and say and say whatever you want, but who you are is so much more than that. Just because you have something to say doesn’t mean that you’re right, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you’re helping.
The night Mike’s grandmother dies is so loud. It’s too loud. Too much.
Harvey spends the night with Mike on the apartment floor. They sit side-by-side, backs against the wall and sides touching. It’s summer and all the windows have been thrown open.
It’s loud outside but it’s so quiet in the apartment. Harvey doesn’t sleep all night but he feels Mike nod off for an hour against his shoulder. They’re silent. So silent it hurts but what is Harvey supposed to say? I’m sorry?
Sorry won’t help and it won’t fix anything. He feels like he can’t even speak. Harvey doesn’t know what he’d say even if he could say something.
So he says nothing. He sits next to Mike all night and says nothing.
When Mike looks him in the eye in the morning, eyes red and puffy, Harvey knows he made the right decision.
Mike isn’t the best at manipulating people. His threats need work and he schemes are seriously lacking. But he does know people.
If there’s only thing he knows about people, it’s how to help them. He know what to say when, and he has this unconditional need to help everyone around him.
When Harvey’s father has a heart attack, Harvey doesn’t tell him. He doesn’t tell anyone. Donna and Jessica are the only ones who know, and Jessica only knows because Donna tells her. Donna tells Mike out of concern for Harvey and Mike thinks she made the right decision.
Mike finds Harvey standing at the windows in his office. He doesn’t acknowledge Mike at all when he comes in. Mike doesn’t say anything and he doesn’t need to.
Sometimes this is what you have to do. Instead of offering clichéd platitudes and words that couldn’t possibly contain the magnitude of your feelings, sometimes you have to do this. You have to just be there. Even if it’s in silence.
They stand at the window until a janitor looking to vacuum kicks them out. Harvey squeezes Mike’s shoulder on the way out and it’s more than Mike ever expected.
The first time Mike spends the night at Harvey’s apartment, Harvey can’t find him in the morning. He searches the bathroom and the kitchen. Mike’s pants are still in the hallway where they were removed, so he doesn’t worry that Mike disappeared. He finally finds Mike in just his boxers on the balcony.
It’s so early, and the city is still dark. The world’s still sleeping. It’s quiet and Harvey can’t remember it ever being this quiet.
He slips an arm around Mike’s waist and keeps quiet. Harvey’s starting to learn how much the silence means. It’s cold but they’re so close and it’s so simple. Harvey can’t imagine being anywhere else. Can’t think of any other place in the world. How could he ever not be here?
They stay on the balcony, wrapped around each other, until the sun rises. When it finally does, Mike leans over and presses their faces together. They don’t kiss, they just breathe each other in, noses rubbing with each inhale.
It’s so silent and intimate and they’re both shaking a little. Harvey’s fingers tighten a little on Mike’s waist and he has a moment of disbelief. It’s so quiet and god, it’s so perfect.
When Mike wins the next mock trial, Harvey doesn’t congratulate him. He doesn’t shove it in anyone’s face or tell Mike how he did good but could’ve done even better. He doesn’t say that he’s proud of Mike or that he’s glad Mike is finally getting his shit together.
He doesn’t say anything at all.
When Mike wins his second mock trial against Kyle, Harvey smiles. He smiles and kisses Mike’s cheek and it’s better than any congratulations anyone could give.
He does it right in from of Mike’s cubicle and even though no one is paying attention, it means more than anything Harvey could say.
Mike doesn’t say anything either. They just look at each other in the middle of the room and when Mike breaks out in a huge smile, Harvey laughs a little.
How could anyone ever want words over a laughing Harvey?
When Trevor overdoses and ends up in the hospital, Mike is furious.
He’s seething and Harvey had no idea Mike was capable of such anger. Harvey tries to empathize in his own head. Tries to imagine what it would be like to have a friend like Trevor. What it would be like to try to help someone over and over and over again only to watch them almost kill themselves. When the hell had Trevor started doing heroin anyway?
Harvey doesn’t know how to deal with this. He can comfort and he can hold Mike in silence for hours but this? This is something he isn’t capable of handling.
Mike is furious and Harvey doesn’t know what to do. When Mike swings Harvey, Harvey doesn’t stop him. He doesn’t stop him and he doesn’t say anything.
He wakes up with a black eye and Mike kisses his eyebrow three times. He knows Mike never meant to hurt him and when they get up, Mike almost opens his mouth to apologize.
Harvey squeezes his hand. He doesn’t regret it at all.
Sometimes they do use words though. It’s rare and confusing but they save words for the special things. The things that you prove everyday with your actions but say anyway for clarity. There are certain that should be communicated, even when you can spend so much time in silence.
They don’t need words. Don’t need them for each other, don’t need them to create labels. They’ve become so accustomed to each other and their silence that they’ve learned how to live around words.
Sure they speak, but they don’t need to. Between nods, clasped hands and eyebrows, they have a whole new language. Sometimes they use it in public, but Donna is the only one who can come close to translating their nonsense into English so they usually speak.
They save up their silences to be used like treats on rainy Sunday mornings or the rare occurrence when they finally take a vacation. They spend hours curled around each other in bed without saying a word. Without making a sound. Just quiet warmth and breathing.
When they finally do use words though, it goes something like this.
“Yeah, I know. Me too.”