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Fic: "Lit Up" 2/4, Suits, Harvey/Mike NC-17

August 15th, 2011 (03:56 pm)

 Title: Lit Up
Chapter: Two
Genre: H/C, slash
Word Count: Roughly 10,000 at current count (but later chapters need some editing).
Warnings: Language, overuse of color adjectives, descriptions of a medical issue (epilepsy), graphic sexual content of the slash variety.
Summary: Mike has synesthesia, which turns out to be a blessing, a bit of a curse, and an unconventional way to finally get his boss naked.

A/N: This chapter contains the H/C.  Enjoy!  

Chapter One

____


Despite the childhood pain of being different, despite the sometimes added complexity of having synesthesia, Mike has never seen it as a curse, a disorder, or something to fix or eliminate. He can't imagine being without it. It’s another dimension of life, an extra sense that colors the world around him with a depth and a richness most people are blind to. He also knows he owes his incredible recall to the synesthesia – when he reads, the words come alive with color and texture that live in his memory with far more permanence than flat, black lines on a page ever could. The unique shades of individual voices paint pictures in his memory that don't fade. All of the science says that people with synesthesia are also much more likely to have near-photographic memory than the general population, and without his memory Mike would never have made it to Pearson Hardman (and therefore never would have made it to Harvey).

So he's grateful.

There is, however, one aspect of his unique brain that he wishes (desperately) to eradicate. In addition to improved memory, people with synesthesia are also much more likely to suffer from epilepsy. And Mike, being the thorough individual that he is, can check off that box on his list of unique qualifiers as well.

He knows how much worse it could be – he rarely has seizures, maybe four or five times a year at most, and he is able to control his condition with a relatively low dose of medications. He knows the science, the stats – knows how many people are incapacitated by seizures and tremors and the dulling, dry-mouth, shakiness of high-dose meds.

Compared to life-threatening seizures and brain surgery, two pills a day and the inability to drive seem like nothing. Technically speaking, his epilepsy is so well controlled that he could get a license, but he cannot bring himself to risk what might happen if his meds failed him while he was behind the wheel.

He cannot risk taking from someone else what was taken from him.

He lets Harvey believe that he bikes because he's broke, or health conscious, or unwilling to deal with NYC traffic, because this, too, is something he never wants Harvey to know about.

Unfortunately for Mike, in this instance the choice is taken out of his hands.

It's been a long, tiring week. Harvey is snappy and watches him with a look that almost dares Mike to fuck up, just to give Harvey an excuse to tear him down. Mike feels no better, and is almost tempted to pick a fight just so they can both let off steam. There is still an uneasy tension between them, leftover from the mock trial fallout, and while they seem to be moving back into the familiar equilibrium of their strange partnership, there is still hurt and resentment on both sides.

It doesn’t help that neither of them have had much sleep, and Mike’s head has been pounding all afternoon. The colors of his peers' voices are too bright, like lasers shining in his eyes. Later on it'll be easy for him to look back at this as the warning sign it is, but in the moment all he knows is that he's tired and hungry and would rather be anywhere than here in Harvey's office, buried under a metaphorical mountain of paperwork for the Hillshire suit, Harvey’s dissatisfaction like a physical presence in the room.

“Do you have the transcript for the board meeting on the 8th?” Harvey asks him, rubbing at the bridge of his nose. His voice flashes across Mike's vision like a strobe light of red and white, sending a spike of pain straight through his brain.

Mike presses the heel of his hand against his eye socket, grimacing and suddenly pissed off. He feels off-kilter, and his mouth tastes like pennies.

“Mike.” Harvey says, red and bright and excruciating.

“Jesus, Harvey,” Mike snaps, even as he recoils from the electric blue of his own words, “Why does your voice have to be so fucking bright? Will you just – can you please just shut up?”

Mike's brain feels too big for his skull, his lungs too big for his chest, like his muscles are tightening into vices.

“Excuse me?” Harvey's voice is low, confused, angry (red, red, red). “I cannot possibly have heard that right, because it sounded like you told me to shut up, Mike, and unless you want to find yourself out on your ass so fast you-”

“Harvey-” Mike interrupts, because he's looking down at his right hand and his fingers are tapping, tapping against the table in a staccato rhythm that is horrifyingly familiar. His vision is washing out in sickly lime green, the taste of pennies is rising in the back of his throat, and he knows what this means, knows what's coming...

Shit, Harvey,” he gasps, staggering to his feet. He's gotta get out of here, only there's no time, and he never told Harvey what to do, what this is. “Don't call 911, okay? I'll be fine.  Just- just-”

“Mike,” Harvey says, confusion and concern washing the anger from his face, “What are you talking about? Why would I call 911?”

“Five minutes,” Mike says past his thick tongue, trying to make Harvey understand, trying to draw the line between don't panic and panic. “Less than five minutes, don't c-c-c-c-”

He feels his toes curl violently, the muscles in his legs going painfully taut, and then he's falling.

He hears Harvey shout “Jesus, Mike-” and the color of his voice explodes through Mike's vision, too much, too much, a blinding spectrum that bleeds into pure white.

And then there's no color at all.

__

Eighteen years ago, a pickup truck plowed into Gregory and Lisa Ross’s sedan and crumpled it like it was made of tin.

Gregory’s head bounced off the door frame hard enough to fracture his skull, breaking his neck and killing him instantly.

Lisa lived for twenty minutes after the crash. She was awake for ten of those minutes. Then her lungs filled with blood and she died quietly, leaving her nine year old son, Michael, an orphan.

Mike remembers only pieces of that night. He remembers more than he wants to.

When he woke up four days later in the pediatric ward of the hospital, he could see sounds. His own voice rippled out before him in desperate, white-hot waves when he cried out for his mother. The nurses’ tones were all pastel with sympathy and sadness when they talked to him. It felt like his senses were raw, overwrought, and Mike hated it.

But two weeks later (after they let him go home with Gran, after his parents had been put into boxes and buried), Mike sat in the closet in his new room, hugging his parent’s answering machine to his skinny chest. Over and over, he pressed play and listened to his parents’ voices, the cheesy recording, the mundane little messages they left for each other, the way his mom always said I love you boys, be good when she called to say she was running late. He watched awestruck as their voices unfurled into the dark around him, full of color and so alive, and all he could feel was grateful for the chance to see it.


__

Mike wakes up gradually, like floating on the surface of long, gentle waves.

Awareness builds, snatches of color and sound and sensation, then fades back into indistinct darkness. Each swell of consciousness brings him closer to the surface, and eventually he can understand the words behind the colors that are swirling inside his skull.

“Mike, wake up,” the voice says.

It's red, smooth, familiar. Safe.

“Come on, Mike. Right the fuck now. Wake up, or I don't give a shit what you want, I'm calling 911.”

Mike doesn't want 911. He can't remember why, but he knows he doesn't want it. He makes an annoyed little humming sound deep in his throat and musters the energy to crack open his eyes.

“Thank god,” someone says. Their voice has an orangey tint of worry. Mike can tell, even though all the colors are muted and blurry. “Mike, can you hear me?”

God, he's tired. Why the fuck is he so tired?

“No, keep your eyes open. Stay awake for me.”

Someone taps his cheek and he moans, trying to shift away, but that only awakens a thousand aching hurts in his body. His muscles burn and his head throbs in time to his heartbeat. There's something familiar about all of it, but he can't place it. He just wants to go back to sleep, but the voice is bouncing color off the back of his eyelids again.

“Open your eyes and talk to me, Mike. Come on.”

Mike heaves a giant sigh of consternation and blinks blearily up at the face above him, trying to make the blurry pieces focus into something recognizable. Gradually a pair of worried brown eyes coalesce, as well as a purple silk tie and slicked back hair. He knows those eyes, that tie. That hair.

“Harvey?” he says, or tries to, at least. It comes out more like a mangled slur, a huffy H sound and a drawn out veeeee.

“Yeah, kid. It's me. You with me now?”

Mike's sleepy brain fumbles its way through the question, bewildered and unable to figure out why Harvey is waking him up in the middle of the night asking him stupid things.

“Why're you...” he mumbles, and loses his train of thought. “Harvey?”

Harvey sighs and drags a hand over his face.

“Mike,” he says with an uncommon amount of patience, “Do you know what happened?”

“Y'woke me up,” Mike says, and even he's unsure if it's an answer or a complaint.

“You had a seizure,” Harvey says slowly, pointedly.

Oh. No wonder Harvey looks worried.

“You're damn right I'm worried,” Harvey says, and Mike spends a befuddled few seconds terrified that Harvey has gained mind-reading abilities before he realizes he's spoken his thoughts aloud. “You told me not to call 911, but I need to know if you need an ambulance, Mike. Do I need to call for help?”

“No,” Mike slurs, grabbing clumsily at Harvey's sleeve. He blinks heavily at Harvey, fighting against the sleepiness that blankets him. He misses Harvey's sleeve twice before Harvey clasps his wrist in his hand and anchors him.

“Do you have medication I need to get?” Harvey asks, and his voice is like crimson velvet, fluttering and swirling like a ribbon in wind. Mike follows the color as it fades, spirals deeper, going down, down, down into darkness like-

“Mike!”

Mike jerks back into awareness, Harvey's hand like a vice around his wrist.

“Stay awake, damn it. I swear, if you pass out again I'm calling an ambulance. Now, do you have any meds you need?”

“No,” Mike sighs, watching the blue of the word float between them like a bubble. “Wanna sleep.”

No you're not going to stay awake, or no you don't have meds you need?”

“Meds.”

“Okay,” Harvey says, dragging his hand over his mouth again. He looks more flustered than Mike has ever seen him. “Okay. Let's sit you up. We’re going to get you coherent again, and then you’re going to tell me what the hell just happened.”

Harvey slips an arm behind Mike's shoulders and heaves him upright, and all the colors around them bleed like bad dye. Mike feels the soft fabric of Harvey's office sofa against the back of his neck when Harvey leans him against it, Harvey's hands hard like stone where they grip his shoulders to steady him.

The world won't stop slipping and spinning, and Mike feels suddenly, overwhelmingly sick.

“Harvey,” he manages to moan, swallowing convulsively around the sound, “M'gonna...”

A metal trash can is thrust into his hands, and Mike grips it desperately as he curls forward and gags. He vomits weakly, each heave sending spikes of pain through his eyes and brain. He wants it to stop, doesn't understand why this is happening, doesn't understand what is happening. His brain is slipping sluggishly from thought to thought, chaotic, fluttering around the edges of a dark, blank space where there is no color, no memory of what happened to make him hurt like this.

He moans, a string of bloody drool dangling from his lips. Harvey pulls a crisp white handkerchief from his breast pocket and folds it, carefully wiping the blood and puke and spit from Mike's mouth. Later, Mike will be humiliated by this, but right now he's confused and tired and achy and so, so grateful for the gentle way Harvey is touching him.

“I think you bit the inside of your cheek,” Harvey tells him. “Your mouth is bleeding a little. Does it hurt?”

Mike doesn't understand why Harvey thinks he would do something like that. Why would he bite himself? None of this makes sense.

Frustrated tears well up in his eyes but don't fall. His mouth tastes awful, like blood and puke and metal, and he tries to remember what he said that invoked such a terrible flavor so he can remember to never, ever say that word again.

“Harvey,” he says instead, because Harvey's name tastes clean and chocolately and full of spice that covers the awfulness. “Harvey, Harvey.”

Harvey turns to sit next to Mike, snaking an arm around Mike's shoulders and pulling him against his warm, solid side. Mike's head flops to rest on Harvey's shoulder, his breath puffing out erratically against the smooth merino of the older man's suit.

“We're at the office,” Harvey says slowly, voice a soothing cinnamon red from just above Mike's scalp. “It's Friday, about eleven o'clock. You had a seizure about fifteen minutes ago, and that's why you feel confused. But you're okay, kid, I've got you. You're going to be okay.”

Mike’s brain follows the words sluggishly, struggling to put meaning to them. Singular words drift into his awareness – office, seizure, okay – and he starts to get a picture of what happened.

Oh, shit – he had a seizure in the office. And did he tell Harvey to shut up? Shit. Shit.

“Sorry,” he mumbles against Harvey’s wide lapel, “Harvey, I’m sorry.”

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, I’m sorry I puked in your trash can, I’m sorry I let you down. Again.

Harvey cups a warm hand around the back of Mike’s head, thumb brushing over the top of Mike’s ear.

“Don’t be,” he says gently. “Just – I need to know what happened, alright? You scared the shit out of me, rookie, and you know me well enough by now to know how much I dislike being caught off guard. I’m assuming this has happened before. I need you to be honest with me - are you an epileptic, Mike?”

“Synesthete,” Mike tells him. He feels the confused way Harvey twists to look at him, probably trying to decide if Mike is speaking gibberish or not. To be honest, Mike didn’t mean to say that in the first place. But he’s always thought of the seizures as simply a part of his synethesisa, and his brain is always scattered and awkwardly lacking in filters after a seizure. He nods shakily against Harvey’s shoulder in lieu of trying to clarify, feeling the hand on his head brush over his hair as he moves under it. He shivers, and Harvey presses him almost imperceptibly closer.

“Okay,” Harvey sighs. “What do you need? How can I help?”

There are so many layers of answers that Mike wants to give him, so many things he wants desperately to ask for, but he bites down on them and struggles to sit up.

“I gotta – I just need to sleep for a while, I’ll be okay,” he assures Harvey, head nodding on his neck as he struggles to keep his eyes open. “Can I – can I have a ride home, maybe?”

“You’re not going home,” Harvey tells him sternly, disentangling himself from Mike and standing. He hooks his hands under Mike’s arms and pulls him up onto the couch, where Mike wobbles and blinks stupidly at him.

“No, Harvey, I don’t need a hospital,” he insists, yawning and rubbing at his eyes clumsily, “Please?  I hate the hospital.”

“I’m not going to take you to the hospital unless you have another seizure,” Harvey explains, moving away to gather up his briefcase. “But I’m not leaving you alone tonight, not while you’re so out of it.”

“Huh?”

“I’m taking you to my place, genius.”

“Oh,” Mike says, trying to wrap his head around the idea of Harvey taking him home with him. It makes his head hurt and his chest tighten and his belly pool with warm fondness and something else he can’t think about right now. “I am a genius, technically speaking,” he tells Harvey, just to try to regain some normalcy in the situation.

“Of course you are,” Harvey says wryly, looping his free arm around Mike’s waist and easing him to a standing position. “You’re a special, special snowflake. Now, do you think you can walk?”

Mike feels his forehead crease with mild offense. “Of course I can walk,” he mutters. “I’m not fucking helpless. And I’m not a fucking snowflake, either.”

And here is the post-seizure crankiness, right on schedule. Seizures make his moods swing wildly between confused neediness, weary depression, and a touchy sort of irritation that tends to lash out at whoever is helping him.

Harvey is quirking an eyebrow at him.

“I’m sorry,” Mike says again. “I get moody after these things. So I’m sorry if I’m being bitchy. But you really should try not to be a condescending prick right now, too. That would be helpful.”

Yup, still firmly in the “PMS” phase of his post-seizure brain chemistry rollercoaster ride.

“Well,” Harvey says with a surprising amount of amusement in his tone (cherry red), “I suppose I’ll just have to work on that, won’t I? You just focus on staying on your feet and calling me out on any further incidents of prick-like behavior, and I’ll make sure we get home in one piece, alright?”

“Yeah,” Mike sighs, “Okay.”

It’s a slow, laborious process to get from Harvey’s office to the street. Mike’s legs feel heavy and exhausted, as though he’s been running all day. His back aches, his head throbs, and he can’t decide if he wants to cry, scream, pass out, or ask Harvey for a hug. Possibly all of the above, in that order.

By the time they manage to hail a cab and Harvey has maneuvered Mike into its back seat, Mike is nodding off again, moving restlessly on the seat even as his eyelids dip shut. He feels anxious, unsettled. Confused.

When Harvey slides in next to him on a wake of Clive Christian scented air, Mike can’t help but curl his body toward the reassuring warmth and mars-red rumble of Harvey’s voice. His fingers come to rest on the vinyl of the seat just beside Harvey’s sleeve, curling against the bare edge of the hem. His brief swell of irritation is receding, leaving an exhausted sense of hopelessness in its stead. This is the part of his seizures he likes least (less than the embarrassment, less than the danger) – the weighted-soul sensation of despair that seeps into his core. It elicits memories of long, confusing nights after past seizures, full of regrets and an overwhelming awareness of his myriad failures as a person, a son, a grandson, and a friend.


God, he hates this. He hates the confusion and the helplessness and the fact that Harvey, of all people, is witnessing him in this state of disarray and pitiable weakness.

He turns his face into the seatback, eyes clenched shut as Harvey relays his address to the cabbie.

“Hey, Mike?” Harvey says a moment later, “Are you alright?”

The worry in his voice makes Mike’s heart constrict in ways far too complex to analyze in his current state. He is horrified to feel hot, fat tears leak from the corners of his eyes. Biting back a breathy sob, he nods and tries to cover his face with a trembling hand. Even his fingernails hurt.

“Alright,” Harvey says softly. Gentle fingers wrap around Mike’s wrist and pull his hand away. “Come on, kid – you’re alright.”

There is a muted rustling from beside him, then Harvey is draping his obscenely expensive suit jacket over Mike’s shoulders. Mike feels his fingers trace over the lapels, tugging the jacket more snugly around Mike’s frame. It’s still warm with Harvey’s body heat - the mingled scent of expensive cologne and Harvey’s clean, natural smell wash over his senses and warm him almost as much as the jacket itself.

Mike sighs deeply, wraps his fingers in Harvey’s shirt, and let his head drop against Harvey’s bicep.

He’s asleep within moments.
__

Chapter Three

Comments

Posted by: Davey (ruggerdavey)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
GK Brad teeth [exorcizamuste]

Oh, man, this continues to just be AMAZING. The colors, the vivid imagery, the description of the seizure and confusion and Harvey's reaction and all of it. Just SO SO GOOD.

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)

Thank you so much! I'm really happy you're enjoying it. :)

Posted by: Do you expect the Spanish Inquisition? (novoamor)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)

OH MY GODDDDDDDD

I JUST FLAILED SO HARD WHEN I SAW THIS WAS UPDATED.

,snf,dsnf this is go good, I love your descriptions, this is just amazing h/c. Can't wait for the next part. :'D

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)

LOL thank you! It makes me happy to induce flailing in people! I should be updating again tomorrow. :)

Posted by: Lola Feist (lolafeist)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)

This is so unique. I really love the way you're writing Mike's POV.

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)

Thank you! :)

Posted by: Maia (semirose)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
Binoculars

Ahhhh, update! You ma'am are brilliant and I tell you it was torture driving home from work before reading the new chapter, I almost just sat in my car and read it on my phone. Can't wait for more!

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)

Aw, thanks! I know the feeling of being super excited to read a new chapter of a story I like, so your comment makes me all tingly. :)

Posted by: jumpfall (jumpfall)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:14 am (UTC)

There are many, many reasons to love this story, but I fell hard for this line: "He cannot risk taking from someone else what was taken from him." It's perfectly understated and yet hits hard at the same time.

The juxtaposition of Mike collapsing in Harvey's office with him dealing with his parent's deaths was so fitting, and so well described (the detail "the way his mom always said I love you boys, be good when she called to say she was running late" was an especially nice touch!)

There's a special place in my heart for snarky-but-concerned!Harvey, which “Come on, Mike. Right the fuck now. Wake up, or I don't give a shit what you want, I'm calling 911” filled wonderfully, I want to hold it close on cold days!

Your descriptions are so visceral without being cheesy, and the characters hitting all right notes without breaking characterization, and I'm incredibly excited for the rest of this! :)

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)

Thanks so much! I always really appreciate detailed feedback on what works for readers, so it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that you took the time to tell me. :) I adore snarky-but-concerned!Harvey as well, and I was worried about making him appropriately worried without turning him into caricature, so I especially appreciate hearing that I didn't take him too far out of character. I always worry about characterization, because nothing irks me more than reading a story with great plot but shitty characterization LOL!

I should be posting the next part tomorrow evening/afternoon, so stay tuned!

Posted by: the only sour cherry on your fruit stand (walksbyherself)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)
artemis - loves her stupid hat

I love this story so much; it pushes all of my buttons. Hearts in my eyes, man. I can be no more articulate than this.

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)

Aw, thanks! <3

Posted by: nyogu (nyogu)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)

Oh. my. goodness. You have a gift for description. Please tell me Mike tells him at some point? Please?

“Harvey,” he says instead, because Harvey's name tastes clean and chocolately and full of spice that covers the awfulness. “Harvey, Harvey.” This line is GORGEOUS. In fact, all the color, dialogue and description and everything is just wonderful, alright? Keep it up. For all our sakes. <3<3<3

Posted by: Your Omniscient Empress (ladyknightanka)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
Suits

This is so, so amazing! In fact, one word can't even do it justice, because it's so beautifully written, and the descriptions come alive in an almost poetic way. I'm really eager for more. ♥

Posted by: modern_elegy (modern_elegy)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)

*flails again*

Thiiiiiiiiis. *sighs in rapture* This is so perfect. I'm so happy that you're writing this! :D :D :D

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 06:34 am (UTC)

*flails with you*

Thanks! It makes me all tingly that people are enjoying it! LOL

Posted by: engimaforum (engimaforum)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)

Annnnd once again I'm in love. Seriously your use of detail is amazing . I can literally see all of this in my head. I think you handled the after effects of a seizure remarkably well. I loved Mike and Harvey's reaction to it all was wonderful. And also very in character imo. :)

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 06:37 am (UTC)

Thank you! The whole post-seizure bit I based on my own post-seizure experiences - I would get super cranky and weepy and generally confused for HOURS. I actually told my mother she was being a suffocating bitch once :o. LOL luckily she's a nurse and didn't take it personally. Still I couldn't resist making Mike a bit of a post-seizure cranky bitch, too XD.

Posted by: Danaya ChocolateBear Chandler (nayahchan)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
Happy

Im like, Im Im... **FLAILS** sdsidjisjdidj. This story makes me so happy.. I feel so lucky to have found it, that you decided to write this.. Its so amazing. The emotions are so powerful I feel them.. and.. Oh I need more. The oh-so familiar (Due to my own usage) TBC nearly killed me.

My words arent enough to express my love for your writing, so I'll stop there and anxiously await the next chapter.

Thankyouuuu for sharing! I love finding a good piece of writing, MAKES ME SO HAPPY C:!
~Nayah

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)

Thank YOU, for taking the time to leave feedback! I'm so glad you're liking it. :) There will be more tomorrow! :)

Posted by: laylabinx (laylabinx)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 05:14 am (UTC)

God, this is so incredibly beautiful!! I read the first chapter on FF.net and followed the rest over here! This story is amazing in every way, I absolutely love it!! XD

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 06:42 am (UTC)

Yaaaaay! I'm so glad you like it, BB! Though really this is just an attempt to cement our co-dependent, intensely unhealthy, symbiotic relationship once and for all. (Is it working?) @.o

Posted by: laylabinx (laylabinx)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)

Oh yes, its completely working! I can literally see the things you write, not just read them @.o I think we're close to becoming conjoined lol!

Posted by: wolfqueen24 (wolfqueen24)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 05:23 am (UTC)

I love the details you've put into this, they really bring the story alive and make it real for me. You write the characters so well that this is one of the most in-character stories I've read.

I think the part that has stuck with me the most from this chapter is the scene about Mike's past and the aftermath of his parent's death. I've re-read that part an uncountable number of times and each time it breaks my heart.

Overall, this story is one of the greatest and I will be waiting eagerly for your next update.

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 06:43 am (UTC)

Thank you, that's so kind! I actually got a little teary writing the scene about his parent's death (I'm a sap like that). :)

Posted by: uhus_shrew (uhus_shrew)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 07:41 am (UTC)

This story is so beautiful! You describe Mike's situation so well, the god and the bad sides of his condition, I feel with him. I try to contain myself but this story may become my new obsession. Thank you for writing it.

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)

Thank you! :)

Posted by: mrsreynolds13 (mrsreynolds13)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 11:21 am (UTC)

OK, so I didn't think anything could possibly top the first chapter, and then you do this to me. Not only a painfully accurate description of Mike's seizure (clearly from experience, hugs in sympathy), but a beautiful resonse from Harvey. His concern is touching without slipping out of character at all. The flashback to the accident where Mike sat and listened to the answer machine made me cry, and Mike saying Harvey's name to cleanse his mouth was perfect.
I really hope you're planning on a career in writing, because you are incredible.

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)

Thank you (again!)! Seriously, your comments made my morning! I'm so glad that the characterization works for you (I'm always worried about that!). Sorry for making you cry! *hands you tissues*

I dream of a career in writing, but am actually working toward a career in psychology. Personally I think the two are very related and learning more about psych has made me a better writer, so who knows - maybe someday I can do both!

Posted by: mrsreynolds13 (mrsreynolds13)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)

See, this fic totally resonated with my fascination for the human psyche, so the fact that you're studying psychology really doesn't surprise me at all. Maybe that's why I loved it so much :)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)

HELLO AWESOME READER!

Thank you SO MUCH for such a kind comment! Wow, I really appreciate you taking the time to leave such lengthy and specific feedback! I always love hearing exactly what works (or doesn't work!) for people, so thank you. :) I'm really glad that you're enjoying it so far, and yes - Harvey/Mike lovins are coming soon *coughnopunintendedcough*. I did my best to make them appropriately steamy. Though, those two men together is a level of hotness I'm not sure can be truly captured in words! *melts with you*

Posted by: Mika (meeks00)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC)

Oh my gosh. I love every word of this, the entire plot, your writing style, the dialogue, everything.

I read your author's note describing the concept of your story and pretty much was yours then and there before ever even beginning the story. And then I read the first few paragraphs and had to take a break because I knewI'd love this story beyond measure, and it just continued to get better with each new paragraph and scene - which is crazy. People should have a sort of cap to how much love for something they have, but apparently things don't work that way.

I'm so happy that there are two more parts to this fic, and I'm already lamenting that it will be over soon. This is the type of story I wish I could just live in, watch everything go by with these sorts of words and that tone. Absolutely brilliant.

Fic-specific comments (/non-flailing incoherent gushing):
- I love that we can taste the colors Mike sees. Color itself is a wonderful descriptive tool, but that you add taste to these things Mike sees and experiences adds just another layer of tangibility to everything. It's really amazing, and I've never read a story like that.
- The condition is one I've never even heard of, so that alone is made this story so appealing. That you have firsthand experience with it is also incredible, and I think it's so wonderful that you wanted to apply that to a story. I think this could be original fiction, yet you kept to the characters so wonderfully - transcribed the canon characters into the written word absolutely perfectly.
- The backstory is insane. Really clever and heartbreaking and seamlessly integrated into the series' events. Awesome.

I just loved everything! How Mike sees people (just fits exactly right!) and how he's tied to Harvey by that thread of red and oh gosh your Donna and Harvey interactive scene was brilliant and hilarious.

I can't wait for the rest! (Um. SORRY for the novel of a comment! I can't help but gush. I might explode if I don't!)

Posted by: phreakycat (phreakycat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)

Oh my god, please don't apologize for the long comment! Specific feedback is like CRACK to me! LOL I spend so much time writing and editing and second-guessing and agonizing over my stories that by the time I work up the courage to post them I generally have no idea rather or not they even make sense!

Thank you so much for your kind words - they really mean a lot to me, and it makes me so happy to know this story made YOU happy!

I'm working on editing the third chapter today, but it's giving me grief because it's the PRON chapter and I have very little experience writing graphic sexual content so I'm being incredibly picky and neurotic about it LOL. Posting the porny bits always feels a little stepping outside buck naked to me, so it takes me a while to actually be satisfied with how it's written. Plus with the synesthesia aspect, I'm having to work hard not to get bogged down in repetitive descriptions. There are only so many ways you can write "Harvey's voice is red" without it starting to sound tired, you know? :)

But thank you, again, for taking the time to leaves such kind and detailed feedback! I truly appreciate it!

PS: There are only four parts to this story, but I'm considering writing a tag to it from Harvey's POV once it's done (maybe after a small break for a meme fill or something, just to cleanse my pallet LOL). I don't know if people would be interested in that, but I sort of want to write some of what Harvey was thinking/seeing/experiencing as well, so I'll probably at least TRY writing i,t and if it feels right and I can manage to write Harvey in character, I'll do it. So to summarize my long-winded rambling - there may be more after this one. :)

Posted by: Mika (meeks00)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)

You've now invoked my prolific commenting abilities. No turning back now! ;)

Posting the porny bits always feels a little stepping outside buck naked to me -- This is funny, because it is so true! And I can't imagine the work it takes to include the synesthesia bit. As for the number of ways to say "Harvey's voice is red," you're doing a fantastic job! It's seriously new every time that Mike takes note of it, because how he sees it is also affected by his mood and frame of mind at the time, which is really great.

Re a tag in Harvey's POV. Oh, man. That would just be wonderful. It would be interesting to see how he perceives the same events with the added detail of Mike's synesthesia! PLEASE DO write that tag!!! There really ought to be more Harvey POV fics. ;)

Posted by: bloody_beary (bloody_beary)
Posted at: August 16th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)

The more I read this, the more I fall in love with this story. You have a skill with writing that takes most authors years to cultivate. (i'm sure drawing on experience helps, but it's still damn impressive) I am eagerly awaiting more!! :D

Posted by: rebbie13 (rebbie13)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 05:57 am (UTC)

i am really enjoying this story so far. the vivid descriptions of the colors and everything just make it so much more. it's definitely unlike any other story i've read. please update soon.

Posted by: Liz (lizf22)
Posted at: August 17th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)

jeez Louise this is UNbelievably good! what descriptiveness and feeling you color everything with! i feel like i'm on the 'brain chemistry rollercoaster ride' with Mike! the best part is the way Harvey is caring for him and ofc we 'see' the depth of his sincerity bc of the way the colors manifest themselves..brilliant! i just want to hug this story and never let it go! xo

ps. this? > 'He watched awestruck as their voices unfurled into the dark around him, full of color and so alive, and all he could feel was grateful for the chance to see it.' << made me weep, omg

Posted by: cigarettelover (cigarettelover)
Posted at: August 18th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)

Hoooooly crap, this fic is absolutely perfect. You should feel so proud of yourself!

Posted by: middi (middivampira)
Posted at: August 19th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)

Someone rec'd this on tumblr and I can't believe I've not read this, because oh my god.
This is beautiful and amazing and spot on and I think something I'll come back to over and over and over again.

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