Ian swallows hard, preparing himself for what Mickey’s about to say to him.
Of course Mickey would have gone out and fucked somebody else, if thought he’d been cheating on him, Ian thinks miserably. He would have done the same fucking thing.
He wishes he could go back in time, have Mickey tell him what was wrong before he reacted to it, hell, he'd go back to the fucking day he messaged Josh first and get rid of that stupid fucking app instead.
He watches silently, blinking back tears, as Mickey takes several deep breaths to steady himself, his chest heaving as he lowers his hand away from Ian’s mouth and down to his chest, before pulling it away entirely. He’s clearly steeling himself now, clenching his teeth before he says whatever he has to fucking say, and he can’t even look Ian in the eyes beforehand.
Ian wants to ask, “how bad is it?” but he can’t, he’s pretty sure he can’t say anything at all right now, without his fucking voice breaking. How could he get around this? Knowing Mickey was with someone else? Just the thought of it made him feel sick.
Mickey finally stops pacing nervously around the bus station, and stands still in front of Ian. He nods his head slowly, as if to reassure himself, before he raises it to look Ian directly in the eyes.
Ian searches each of his blue eyes sadly, waiting to hear what he knew would fucking kill him to hear, and then he closes his own eyes, thinking maybe it will hurt less if he doesn’t actually see Mickey saying it.
He hears Mickey let out a rush of air, here it comes…
“I fucking love you, alright?”
Ian opens his eyes, blinking rapidly in disbelief. He stares at the boy in front of him, not comprehending what he thinks he might have heard, because Mickey Milkovich, would never, “You…?”
“I love you” Mickey repeats quietly. And then, running his fingers over his own bleeding knuckles, “I’m in love with you”.
Ian grips his red hair, “What?” he chokes out, bewildered, as he stares at the other boy. Mickey looks so vulnerable right now, like he just handed Ian a loaded gun and now he’s pointing it right back at him, and Ian scrambles to gather his thoughts.
Mickey speaks again before he has a chance to. “I know you probably don’t feel the same fucking way. Especially after how I’ve been acting the past couple days, the past few days, like such a fucking asshole, but… I’ll do anything, to fix…” Mickey trails off, staring at the ground now, his sad eyes still pooling.
Ian finally manages to find his croaky voice, “I fucking love you too. I just didn’t think, you would actually feel the same way” he breathes, staring at the dark-haired boy across from him in a new light.
Mickey quickly looks up in disbelief, “You do?”
Ian’s shoulders sink weakly, “Yeah, Mick… I’m in love with you”.
“Fuck”, Mickey says quietly, brushing his hand over his eyes roughly as Ian does the same.
He then asks a little more strongly, as he looks around, like maybe he'll find an answer here among the graffiti and initials scratched into the metal and glass of the bus shelter, “Well, what the fuck do we do now?”
“I don’t know” Ian answers numbly, his breath showing in the cold air, “I don’t think I’ve ever been in love before”. Mickey laughs but it's not a very humorous one, “Well I haven’t either, so how the fuck do we know that’s what this even is?”
Ian shakes his head firmly as he thinks about it, “I know… because I’ve never felt like this before. Fuck, I just know”, Mickey nodding in agreement as he speaks, “Yeah…I haven’t either”.
Ian looks up at him, the weight of the past few days now rapidly lifting from his shoulders, “What we do now? We go home, we find somewhere we can be alone, and you let me kiss you, and make up for these past few shit days”.
Mickey tips his head, gazing back at him with a look that Ian’s actually seen several times on him before, and just never recognized it for what it was.
“I can do that”.
As they walk home together, Mickey remembers and turns to him, saying sincerely, “Thanks for bailing me out back there, after I was such a fucking asshole, surprised you did”.
Ian shakes his head to show it was nothing, “Well I could tell something was fucking wrong, and technically it wasn’t bail, you’re still a juvenile. I just paid for the turkey”.
Mickey laughs, “Well it’s all the same, thanks man”. Ian does admit though, rather disappointingly, “I spent all the money I was saving to get you a Christmas present on it though, so I’m not gonna have anything for you. Hope that’s okay”.
Mickey looks over at him incredulously, “Are you fucking kidding me? Don’t spend your money on me Ian, seriously, I don’t need anything”. Ian quickly glances around the empty street, before he reaches over to squeeze Mickey’s hand briefly, “I wanted to get you something”.
“Just be with me, that’s all I want” Mickey says quietly, and Ian fights to urge to just kiss him right then and there, even as someone pulls into the street in their red Sedan.
“Why would you even take the damn thing?” Ian finally asks in confusion, adding, “Fiona said she’s keeping it by the way”.
“The turkey?” Mickey asks, “Uh, well, not all of these are from you Private Ryan” he says teasingly, pointing at the fresh wounds on his face. “I was sort of getting it for someone else”.
Ian doesn’t find that funny though, and instead feels his jaw clench in irritation, “Your dad made you go and steal your fucking Christmas dinner? He couldn’t just be the fucking degenerate that he is and go get it himself? No offence” he adds quickly, seeing Mickey raise his eyebrow at the degenerate part.
“He’s away now until tomorrow, visiting my aunt, so he said I had to. And it’s whatever, can we fucking drop this please? Not like I don’t already steal shit anyways” Mickey says, and his warning tone does make Ian drop it, although he does so reluctantly.
After a moment of silence, Mickey suddenly looks over at him thoughtfully, like he’s just remembered something, as he pulls his cellphone out of his coat pocket, “You busy tonight?”
Ian shakes his head no and raises his eyebrows curiously, but his unspoken questioned is answered as the person Mickey is calling answers their phone. He can’t hear her, but he can tell Mickey is talking to his sister Mandy.
“Hey, are you gonna stay at Viv’s tonight?” He pauses and listens to whatever Mandy is saying, impatiently, “It doesn’t matter why, just answer the damn question”.
Mandy apparently continues to argue because Mickey adds, “Cause I’m having a fucking girl over, that’s why!” He looks over at Ian sheepishly, who tries not to chuckle.
“So unless you wanna hear us bangin all night, I suggest you stay there”. Ian shoves his fist against his mouth to keep from laughing, and Mickey finally gives him a thumbs up.
“Yeah, okay, I’ll see you tomorrow. We’ll deal with him then. Bye”.
Ian chuckles at him as he hangs up his phone, “Having a girl over? Nice save Mick”.
Mickey rolls his eyes, “It worked, didn’t it? Besides, if you were a girl, I wouldn’t be gay” he winks, and then adds, “So you wanna stay over tonight? We don’t actually have to bang all night, I was just trying to get her to fuck off. We can cuddle and shit if you want”.
Ian grins, “Was I just invited to a sleepover?” Mickey presses his lips together and then laughs, “Fuck you is what you were invited to”.
Ian sticks his tongue out at him playfully, and Mickey tips his dark head somewhat gently towards him once he’s done laughing, “But yeah. I wanted to, you know, be with you tonight, after we said all that stuff”.
Ian sends Fiona a text to let her know he’ll be back home tomorrow for Christmas Eve, as they arrive at the empty Milkovich house. It’s dark inside, silent, and Mickey flips on a few light switches to brighten the place up after he carefully locks the front door, adding the chain lock as well. “Case Mandy changes her mind or something, I have to come let her in” he explains.
Smart. Ian wanders off to Mickey’s room while Mickey heads into the kitchen. He pushes the door open past the STAY THE FUCK OUT sign, and raises his ginger eyebrows in surprise as he looks around the bedroom.
Mickey had clearly trashed the place, punched a hole in the wall, and there were several empty Jack Daniel’s bottles scattered on the floor. He turns to look at Mickey somewhat guiltily as he enters the room behind him, “Uh… I was kind of upset” Mickey says, scratching his head in embarrassment.
Ian helps him pick up the whiskey bottles and straighten up his room a bit, “I would have been too” he says as he does, trying to make Mickey feel better.
It seems to work, because Mickey says after a while, more cheerfully, “That song you sent me, I didn’t answer because I thought, you know, he’s texting me this shit while he’s out fucking other guys, but…”
He then seems unsure of how to finish his sentence, so Ian tries.
“…But now that you know I wasn’t, you like it?” Mickey nods, slightly embarrassed again, “I mean it’s cheesy as hell, but yeah I kind of do. I’m just, I don’t know. I’m really fucking happy that you feel the same way”.
Ian walks over to him and holds Mickey’s face in his hands, giving him a long and slow kiss. “Of course I do”.
Mickey smiles up at him, relief once more appearing in his blue eyes, “Okay. Why don’t we order a pizza for dinner, and then after we eat you can get to all that kissing and making up for shit you promised back at the police station”.
As much as he likes the suggestion, Ian bites his lip, “I don’t have enough money left to split Mick”.
Mickey punches his shoulder playfully, “Ian, don’t be stupid. You think I’m not gonna pay for my boyfriend’s pizza after he bailed me out of jail?” He steps back and laughs, but stops when he notices Ian staring at him. “What?”
He beams, “You called me your boyfriend”.
Mickey glances around the room uncertainly, his mouth slightly open, “That’s… what you are, aren’t you?”
Ian grins, nodding, “Just like hearing you finally say it”. Mickey rolls his eyes, but he glances back at Ian affectionately before he starts to leave his room to order the pizza.
Ian calls after him to confirm, “So we’re-“
Mickey, without looking back, answers before he even has a chance to finish his sentence.