Tripping the Line

Tripping the Line
by templemarker

Notes: BINGO! For the “authority figures” square of my 2011 [community profile] kink_bingo card. Thank you to [personal profile] samjohnsson for being the wonder beta.

***

They were investigating a fraternity in Ohio for the case they were working, some idiot rich kid who lost a lot of the family’s money on an investments deal gone bad. Rich Kid blamed the deal on a member of a rival fraternity, but Rival Fraternity Rich Kid was nowhere to be found, so they’d spent most of the last hour parked in front of Omega Chi Delta watching stuck-up looking preppies in ties and sweater-vests wander in and out of an oversized house.

Harvey had surprised him by making him take point. “You can talk to these mouth-breathers more effectively than I can,” he’d said. “You only look a day out of undergraduate, anyway, and if you go in pretending to be an alumnus from the Harvard chapter, maybe they’ll lead you to where this punk is.”

So Mike had been fitted for a spectacularly ugly blazer, immediately poked a hole in the lapel to put in a little Omega Chi pin, and was working up the script in the car while Harvey reviewed Rich Kid’s deposition on his iPad.

“Just go in there, Mike,” Harvey said, not looking up from the screen. “Go talk to these kids so we can get the hell out of Ohio.”

“I’m going, I’m going,” Mike protested; taking a deep breath, he opened the door of the Town Car and strode as confidently as he could manage towards the house.

Forty-five minutes later, he’d been warmly welcomed by at least a dozen firm handshakes, had been offered a beer no less than five times but settled in the common room with water, and was resigned to trying to make shit up about how amazing and rewarding law school was for the fraternity’s president, Evan. He tried not to look at his watch, and kept trying to steer the conversation back to Rival Fraternity Rich Kid. He just needed to get a lead and get out of there, not be stared at like some poster child for life after commencement.

“And do you think Torts I or Admin Law would be better in the first semester?” Evan asked, leaning forward in his chair with expectant interest written on his face.

“Uh,” Mike said intelligently. “You know, they both have their pros and cons–”

The front door opened and in strode Harvey; all the frat boys looked from him to Mike.

“Mike,” Harvey started, and Mike knew that all the stupid small talk he’d been going through for the last hour would be completely useless if Harvey tried to do his whole “I’m a big fancy lawyer, you must listen to me because my weapon is the threat of litigation” schtick on these guys.

“Harvey,” Mike said, trying to convey “go with it” with his eyes. “Guys, uh, this is Harvey. My–my assistant.”

“Hi, Harvey,” a red-haired kid said, overly solicitous smile on his face. “Want a beer?”

Harvey glared at Mike, and Mike shrugged. What was he supposed to say? “Hi, here’s my boss, and I’ve totally been lying to you this whole time because I’m trying to figure out if one of you entitled Rich Kids bilked my client out of a hundred grand!” Somehow, he didn’t think that would go over well.

“I’m afraid I need a moment of Mr. Ross’ time,” Harvey said smoothly, as if nothing had ruffled his composure. “Please excuse us.” He gestured for Mike to follow him, and Mike scrambled out of his chair, waving Evan off when he tried to get him another bottle of Ty Nant.

Outside the fraternity house, Harvey’s frown was palpable. “What the fuck have you been doing in there, rookie?” he asked, voice in a half-whisper. “I sent you in there to get information, not chat up Harvard Law with a bunch of half-drunk kids!”

“I’m trying!” Mike said, crossing his arms in front of his chest. “They’re just, they’re persistent, okay. Apparently being an Omega Chi alum from New York is a big deal or something.”

“Try better,” Harvey said, hands tucked in his trouser pockets either the way they were when he was so pleased he didn’t want anyone else to know or so frustrated he refused to show it.

“Alright, alright,” Mike huffed. “Sheesh, boss, remind me not to call you my assistant again.”

Harvey smiled, not his nice smile but the one he reserved for poorly-fitted suits and over-watered drinks. “I won’t have to remind you,” he said, and spun on his heel to return back to the Town Car, which was idling on the curb in complete defiance of greenhouse gas emissions.

After another twenty minutes of making shit up about Cambridge and humming the first couple of bars of the stupid Harvard song, the rich kid Mike needed to grill finally showed up. A quick chat and a few mildly spurious legal threats later, Mike had the details he needed about the scheme Original Rich Kid had been stupid (and drunk) enough to fall for.

Mike left the guy thinking seriously about his life choices and promising to return the money, which probably wouldn’t happen but they at least had enough to press charges. He walked down the front walk towards the Town Car, straightened his tie in the reflective car windows, and got inside.

“I got the–” he started, but before he could finish his sentence Harvey had him pressed up against the door he’d just closed and was a good three inches from Mike’s face. He did not look happy.

“I told Mark to take a little walk around the block and come back to the car after he had a nice long smoke break,” Harvey said; that explained why the window between the back and the front of the car was still open, then, but not why Harvey was redefining personal space in the back of their rented Lincoln.

“I just want to be clear, here,” Harvey said, his voice as smooth as it was during opening remarks, eyes clear, focused entirely on Mike who was doing his best not to twitch. “In no situation, not even the ones in which we use alternate methods of investigation or persuasion, should I ever be referred to as your ‘assistant.’” His hand tightened on Mike’s tie, right where the knot met Mike’s throat, and Mike couldn’t help but swallow just to feel the pressure against his windpipe.

“Do I make myself clear?” Harvey asked, his low voice like a megaphone in the close space between them.

“Yeah,” Mike said, ignoring how breathy his own voice sounded. “Yeah, Harvey, I’m clear.”

Harvey smiled, and this time it was just on the knife’s-edge of congenial. “Good,” he said. “And Mike.”

“Yeah?”

“You should always be clear who’s in charge here,” Harvey said, and tilted his head to slant his mouth over Mike’s, a closed kiss at first until Mike let the surprise and pleasure and want come out in a guttural noise and Harvey deepened it with an exhale of breath.

Mike’s hands spasmed at his sides, hovering in the air, unsure what to do with them, but then Harvey’s free hand circled Mike’s wrist, brought it to his chest for Mike to clutch at his shoulders. They made out like college kids at the campus they were on, fogging up the glass behind them and feeling each other through their clothes. The moment Mike went for the knot of Harvey’s tie, Harvey pulled back, red-faced and breathing heavily and looking insufferably smug.

“No,” he said, adjusting his tie back to perfection and smoothing down his collar. “I’m not fucking you for the first time in the back of a car like some horny, uncultured teenager. I don’t care if it’s a Town Car, that’s just too crass.”

Mike didn’t move from his sprawl over the seat bank, fingertips moving over his lips, feeling where they’d been bitten and bruised. He smiled behind his hand, but he was pretty sure Harvey saw it anyway. “I thought you liked things just a little bit crude.”

Harvey stared at him for a long moment, and the corner of his lips quirked up in the smile that meant Harvey had judged him and found him worthy. “Good point, rookie,” he said, leaning back in his seat and crossing his legs just as Mark returned to the car and opened the driver’s side door. “That’s something to keep in mind for later.

“Where to, Mr. Spector?” Mark asked, peering in the rearview mirror and studiously not looking at Mike. “The airport?”

“No,” Harvey said, pulling his iPad into his lap and tapping at it. “Let’s go downtown. I’ll have a reservation at the Crowne Plaza by the time we get there.” He looked over at Mike. “Maybe you should roll the window down so my associate can get some air.”

Mark made a quiet noise, probably laughter, and said, “Whatever you say, Mr. Spector.”

“Hey Harvey,” Mike said under his breath, pushing up with both hands to sit upright. Harvey looked at him again, fingers pausing above the screen.

Mike grinned. “If this is what I get for usurping your authority,” he said, “now I know what to do when I want your attention.”

Harvey’s gaze turned hot and knowing, and with a seemingly careless motion, he dropped his free hand to Mike’s knee and squeezed.

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