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Two Friends Like Us

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Ian Gallagher shifts onto the last empty seat at the very back of the school bus, pleased to see that he gets the whole thing to himself after being the last student in line waiting to get on. He tosses his backpack onto the empty space on the seat beside himself and stretches his neck a bit to look up to the front of the bus, where his teacher, Mrs. Lowry, is still trying to shush the chattering of all her excited students. Finally, she manages to raise her voice over the commotion.

Alright 11th Graders! If I can have your attention for a moment please, yes- that means you too Mitchell, please be quiet. So, our field trip today to the Oak Forest Campgrounds is going to be- Mickey?” the teacher sighs, looking down the bus steps at someone who has apparently arrived late. “Mickey, you never brought back your signed form, you can’t go on the trip without it”.

Ian watches as Mickey Milkovich comes bounding up the bus stairs, waving a crumpled and bent sheet of paper in his hand as he does. He belches loudly, “Here”. He thrusts the paper at the unimpressed teacher.

She rolls her eyes as she looks at it, knowing like the rest of the class that he had probably forged the messy signature on it, but she apparently decides not to waste any more time arguing about it, “Please take a seat Mickey, we’re just about to leave”.

Mickey saunters down the aisle of the school bus, past all the full seats, until he narrows his eyes at the very last empty space behind Ian, who has been watching him approach with some interest. “Move” he says to Ian, who picks up his backpack to make room beside himself. “No Gallagher, move over. I’m taking the window side”.

Ian scrambles across the seat awkwardly as Mickey bends over slightly to squeeze past him, Ian’s eyes widening slightly as he does. Mickey, who of course didn’t see that, throws himself down into the seat and stares out the window with his arms crossed casually, shifting down into the seat comfortably as Mrs. Lowry continues speaking to the class.

“As I was saying, it’s about an hour drive to the campgrounds, so while you can talk to your neighbors during the trip, let’s keep the volume to a reasonable level so our driver can concentrate please!” The perky teacher finally takes her seat at the front of the bus, behind the driver, who pulls the bus into motion, drifting slowly out of the parking lot before hitting the road.

Ian cradles his heavy backpack uncomfortably on his lap before putting it down on the ground in front of himself, thinking about the boy now sitting beside him on the bus.

Mickey Milkovich was a year older than him, but because he’d been held back a year before for skipping too often, he was in the same grade as Ian. Mickey lived near Ian’s neighborhood in the South Side too, so he saw him around often. But they rarely, if ever, talked. Sometimes Mickey would come bug him for answers during class, but other than that they didn’t interact much. Not that Ian wouldn’t like to, he thinks, as he sneaks a shy glance at the dark-haired boy sitting beside him.

“Um, why didn’t you bring your backpack?” Ian asks awkwardly, trying to think of what to say. Mickey glances over at him, eyebrow arched, surprised Ian is talking to him. His vivid blue eyes are breathtaking up close…

“Don’t need to” he shrugs, yawning.

“We’re camping overnight”, Ian reminds him. “Yeah, I know. Can ya shut up please? I’m hungover, need to sleep”. And with that Mickey closes his stunning blue eyes, and leans back against the seat, his legs spread apart slightly as he eventually starts to breathe more slowly and deeply.

Ian glances around the rest of the school bus. The rest of his classmates are all busy chatting with each other and tossing stuff across the bus, like notes and snacks. The two kids directly across the aisle from him are absorbed into their portable Nintendo’s. Ian pops his headphones in and turns on his iPod to listen to some music, but after a while he can’t help but look over at Mickey again, who is now definitely asleep.

His arms are still crossed across his dark grey tank topped chest, putting his impressive biceps even more clearly on display. The hand that has “FUCK” tattooed onto it by Mickey himself is facing Ian, and he runs his eyes slowly over each black letter on the boys slightly dirty hand, before shyly glancing at his face again.

His dark black hair and eyebrows stand out in an attractive contrast against his pale white skin. His blue eyes are closed of course, but Ian notes the delicate eyelashes resting against his face. Ian continues travelling down Mickey’s face, noticing there are some very light brown freckles around his nose and cheeks.  His nose is narrow and strong, his entire face angular and yet somewhat round at the same time. Ian’s green and curious eyes then flicker towards the boy’s mouth. His pink and perfect lips are parted slightly as he continues to doze.

Okay, Ian feels a little creepy staring at Mickey like this, but it’s the only chance he’s ever gotten being this close to Mickey without Mickey being able to swing a punch at him for staring. It’s weird seeing him this peaceful. It’s actually probably the longest that Ian’s ever been around Mickey without hearing him swear or threaten someone.

Ian smiles inwardly to himself at this amusing thought and starts to turn away from Mickey, sure that someone will notice him staring if he continues. But as he forces his eyes away from Mickey’s face and tries to face forward, they pass over a very noticeable bulge in Mickey’s baggy jeans on the way. Ian gulps, and quickly glances around the rest of the bus, making sure everyone is still completely unaware of what’s going on in the back seats, before turning his gaze back onto Mickey’s jeans.

Jesus... he must be at full fucking mast to be showing like that in those loose jeans... Ian wonders what Mickey is dreaming about, and he bites his lip, feeling his own dick starting to stir with interest in his jeans. He quickly moves his backpack to cover his semi. Lucky he did too. The bus suddenly hits a pothole on the road and sways, bouncing all of the students in their seats. Mickey jolts awake from the impact, “What you starin at?” he asks, rubbing his eyes, as he squints up at Ian.

Ian quickly looks away, “Uh nothing. You said something in your sleep, I was just- I just looked over at you when you said it”.

Without looking he can tell Mickey is quickly straightening up in the seat and then rearranging himself. Mickey just grunts in response to Ian’s explanation and Ian’s racing heart starts to slow as he realizes Micky hadn’t caught on to what he was actually looking at. Phew that was close.

The school bus pulls into the Oak Forest campgrounds and the teacher stands, asking for volunteers to help her unload the tents from underneath the bus. Only two kids volunteer, and she looks at Ian hopefully, as he is usually one of the more helpful ones in class. He squirms a bit, hoping Mickey won’t think he’s a loser as he gets up. To his surprise though, Mickey follows him off the bus, and helps their teacher pull out the heavy bundled tents from the bus’s under storage compartments.

His cooperative mood apparently ends there though, as he pulls out a smoke and a lighter from his pocket, and sparks up in front of the teacher as the rest of the class piles off the bus around them.

She sighs, “Mickey, you can’t be smoking here. Give me that please”. Mickey blows smoke at her, “Bite me”. “Mickey, remember that English essay you never handed in that I very kindly allowed you to skip? Unless you want to actually write it, I suggest you hand me the rest of your cigarettes”. Mickey glares at her, those ice blue eyes looking like they could turn someone to stone, but she doesn’t budge at all. He slowly pulls the packet out from his jeans and slaps them into her hand.

“Good. Alright students, we are going to start out by the lake with some canoeing! Everyone find a partner, or form a group of three please”.

Ian turns to Mickey, asking as casually as he can, “Wanna be my partner?” Mickey looks at him doubtfully, so Ian quickly adds, “I already know how. Cadets”. He nods, “Yeah sure, whatever”.

They walk down to the lake in pairs and trios and Ian watches, impressed, as Mickey lifts one of the canoes over his head and carries it over to the water’s edge, his stocky form solid, his muscles bulging. “You comin’ Gallagher?” he yells back behind himself.

Ian hurries over and shoves the canoe partway into the water, tossing his backpack in the middle. “Get in” he tells Mickey, who obediently climbs into the front seat, albeit awkwardly. “You need to balance your weight, get- get on your knees” Ian tells him.

Mickey shoots him a look, but Ian suddenly pretends to be very concerned with getting into his own place, and Mickey follows his example of how to balance in the canoe. He can’t lie, telling Mickey Milkovich to get on his knees gave him a wicked thrill. And the fact that he actually fucking did it? God.

Ian shoves his oar back against the bottom of the lake, hard, and pushes the canoe forwards into the water. “Paddle on the right side, like this” he tells Mickey. Mickey tries to look behind himself and see how he is doing it, but he’s obviously somewhat nervous about tipping the canoe, as it wobbles in the water.

Still, he figures it out, and they get a solid momentum going, working together in unison. The other students have all entered the water as well, mostly in pairs and some in groups of three. Mrs. Lowry sits in her canoe in the middle of everyone else’s, “Alright class, great job! How about a little competition? Let’s see… who can get to water’s edge by that red cabin first?”

Ian glances across part of the lake to where a red cabin sits, some grey smoke curling out of it’s chimney. He tenses his muscles, “Alright let’s do this…Milkovich”, he teases. He knows even without looking that Mickey is raising an eyebrow at the way he had addressed him, and Ian is delighted by it.

“Alright go !” the teacher yells.

Ian and Mickey immediately put their muscles to work paddling and find their rhythm again, their bodies working in unison incredibly well. They glide across the lake, and quickly pass and then lead the entire class, beating them by a landslide. Mickey turns as they hit the shore, and laughs, looking behind himself with pride as he sees all the other students still struggling to paddle their canoes. His blue eyes are alight with amusement, and Ian feels a strange squeeze in his chest as he looks at him.

Mickey sticks out his tongue childishly at the other students as they also begin to pull up against the shore, who roll their eyes in response. Ian can’t help but laugh. The teacher addresses Mickey and Ian as she arrives, “Wow, good job you two… great teamwork. Which works out well, because we will be staying in these teams for the rest of our trip, okay class?” Everyone seems pretty happy with that, considering they were allowed to choose their original teams. Ian sneaks a glance at Mickey, who seems fairly neutral in response to the announcement. Ian supposes Mickey is feeling friendlier towards him after their victory.

“We are going to canoe back, have lunch, and then we have a two-hour class with one of the nature specialists that works here, before free time”, she adds.

Mickey rolls his eyes at the mention of the class, but helps Ian to set off the canoe again and Ian can tell he is enjoying himself as they glide back across the lake. And what’s not to enjoy? It’s warm and sunny, the lake is beautiful, and they are surrounded by nature. It’s very peaceful here.

That is, until they are approaching the shore and suddenly slam into a huge rock hidden underwater in the dark lake. One that Mickey had apparently failed to spot and avoid paddling directly into. The canoe rocks and sways dangerously from the impact, Ian laughing wildly as Mickey says “Fuuuu-“ *splash*       “-ck!” They both end up in the lake, that is somewhat cool due to it being September.

 Luckily, they are at a shallow enough place in the lake that they can walk the rest of the way to the shore, pulling the canoe along after themselves. They are both pretty soaked from falling out of the canoe though.

 “Way to go Gallagher” Mickey grumbles, shaking droplets of water from his dark hair. “Me? You’re in the front, you’re supposed to be spotting! Fuck, hope my cigarettes didn’t get wet”, Ian complains. Mickey looks back at him in interest as they walk back up the sand and towards the grass, dumping the canoe in the sand on the way, “You got cigarettes?”

 “Well yeah but I kept them hidden in my backpack, not like your dumb ass” Ian smirks. He loves the easy back and forth between them that’s been developing throughout the day. He never would have imagined, even this morning, that he would end up feeling like Mickey Milkovich’s friend today. Of course, his interest is secretly a little more than friendly.

Mickey flips him off, “You gonna share?” “I’m not gonna be a douchebag and smoke in front of you all night without offering you one, if that’s what you’re asking” Ian chuckles. “Oh yeah, we’re partners” Mickey remembers aloud. Hearing Mickey say that, partners, makes Ian’s stomach flip, and he smiles nervously, “Yeah, we are”.

They drop onto the grass, away from the rest of the class to dry off in the sun, and Ian peeks inside his bag, “All good. I love army backpacks, water-resistant. But”- he bats Mickey’s hand away- “Not getting these taken away. We’ll fuck off from the rest of the class during free time, and smoke then”. Mickey nods and Ian hears his stomach grumbling as he does, again wondering why Mickey didn’t bring a lunch, or even a backpack today.

Then again his dad, Mr. Milkovich, didn’t seem like the best provider, or the nicest guy. Ian pulls out his sandwiches and tosses one to Mickey, knowing that if he asks Mickey if he wants one, he'll just say he’s not hungry. It's a poor kid pride thing. They both tear into their sandwiches, and afterwards, while Ian is absentmindedly tearing up handfuls of grass from the ground, he feels Mickey’s eyes on him. He slowly looks back up into them. He’s not sure what’s hidden in that blue hazy expression, but Mickey tips his head slightly and looks back down, before saying “Thanks".

Ian sort of gets separated from Mickey and ends up sitting a few rows behind him, as the class plops down inside one of the campground cabins for their lesson with one of the nature specialists who works there. Ian barely listens to the boring talk of ecosystems and pollution effects, his own mind polluted with thoughts of Mickey Milkovich. He keeps moving around awkwardly to try and steal glances of the other boy, but all he can see is his dark head until Mickey stretches at one point, thrusting his toned arms upwards and yawning loudly.

Ian appreciates the sight of his muscular arms, until his own muscles begin twitching in response, and he quickly looks away before he has to deal with another awkward semi. He notices one of the girls sitting beside him, Becca, is also glancing at Mickey with interest and he purposefully knocks his elbow into her.

“Sorry” he whispers to Becca with sort of a bitchy smile as he says it, hoping it doesn’t give him away. She just looks at him in annoyance, but her attention is now averted away from Mickey, and Ian is satisfied with that.

He is pleased when Mickey approaches him as soon as the class is over, instead of it being the other way around as he was expecting it to be. “Alright, you said during free time you’d whip out the smokes” Mickey says, standing there and looking impatiently at Ian. He smirks, “Yeah, yeah. Come on”.

They leave the cabin among the other students also milling outside, and Ian heads into the forest, Mickey trailing after him. Ian stops once the rest of the class is out of sight and sits on the forest floor, kicking away some leaves and rocks from the immediate area before he falls back. Mickey leans against a tree across from him, the sunlight dappling his skin through the treetops, he looks like he is glowing a little bit. Ian's heart thuds against his chest.

Ian wordlessly hands Mickey a cigarette, and watches Mickey put it into his mouth and light it, immediately taking a long pull from it. Ian fights the sudden urge to stand and hold Mickey against the tree, burying his hands into that dark hair as he kisses up his pale neck. Mickey is looking down at him too, as he smokes the cigarette languidly, now savoring it. Fuck, he’s beautiful. Ian slowly stands up and approaches Mickey, breathlessly wondering if, if maybe he could-

“Hey guys! We’re gonna play Sardines while it gets dark before dinner, wanna join?”

One of their classmates, Brent, that Ian sometimes hangs out with at school has just come crashing through trees and found the two of them. Ian at first irritably thinks, no, I’d like for you to fuck off, but when he glances back at Mickey and sees his jaw is clenched, he thinks it’s probably better if he clears his head, and avoids pushing any boundaries with Mickey. He’s obviously straight, and would probably beat the shit out of Ian if he even guessed that he might be gay.

“Yeah, sure”. Mickey and Ian follow Brent back out to where the rest of the class is gathering on the grass in front of one of the cabins. “Alright, rules. Sardines is where one person hides and the rest of us all search alone. When you find the person hiding, you join them, and so on. Like fucking cram yourself in, like a sardine. It’s getting dark out so this should be fun”. He grins, “Um we need a sardine to start us off with… Ian?” Ian shrugs, “Sure”. “Alright, we’ll give you ten minutes and we won’t look where you go. It’s a large space to hide, too large… so let’s just say, anywhere past the lake's edge is out of  bounds”. Ian nods and then runs off from the group without looking back at Mickey, hoping to shake off his strong attraction to the boy.

Ian’s a fast runner, in great physical condition from his cadet training, and he also has a keen eye for strategic games like this. He comes across the perfect place to hide, there’s a wood pile near a cabin that’s quite tall, but there’s also a big fucking rock in front of it. Perfect place to squeeze in behind. If he lays down, he’s completely out of sight, unless someone really comes looking. He gets on his belly and waits, panting slightly into the ground, the smell of earth and grass strong in his nostrils.

Ian eventually checks his watch, it’s been fifteen minutes and still nothing. Maybe he had hidden himself too well… but then he hears, “Fuck!”  He freezes.

It’s Mickey’s voice. Sounds like he tripped over something. Ian thinks quickly, and then clears his throat, loudly. “Hello?” Mickey says, uncertainly. Ian realizes he probably sounded more like an animal than a person clearing his throat, and he laughs, picturing Mickey standing there thinking he stumbled across a fucking bear or something.

“Gallagher?” Mickey comes around the boulder and behind the logs, and then peers down at Ian’s prone form, impressed, “Holy fuck”. Ian looks back up at him, “You found me”.

“Kind hard not to, after hearing your gigglin’ ass back here”, Mickey frowns, but he is obviously amused. “So uh, I’m supposed to what, hide with you now?” he asks. Ian scrambles onto his side, pressing his back against the cabin wall, trying to make room for Mickey to lie down beside him. “Hurry up, get down” Ian whispers, remembering the game.

Mickey crouches and crawls in awkwardly beside him. He peeks over the rock once more, “I don’t see anyone anywhere fucking near here” he informs Ian, but then he lowers himself down against the grass.

His back is clearly uncomfortably wedged against the log pile but even so, he is entirely pressed into Ian’s body, as they lay chest to chest in the narrow space. Ian looks at Mickey Milkovich, jammed against his body in this small space as the night falls, and the whole thing seems almost ridiculous, just too good to be true.

He pinches his nose with two fingers, trying not to smile, but he can’t fucking help it. “What you smiling like an idiot for?” Mickey asks, but then he starts smiling too, and they both crack up. The two of them stifle their laughter the best they can for a moment or two before it dies down, and then Ian gazes into Mickey’s eyes thoughtfully, now appearing dark in the lack of daylight.

Mickey stares back at him, both of them panting slightly into the damp night air after their burst of laughter. Ian suddenly feels a strong wave of arousal wash over himself, as he feels Mickey’s firm and muscular body pressed against his own, his sexy eyes and perfect lips just inches away… fuck.

Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Ian’s eyes widen as he feels a raging hard on rise in his pants, pressing right into and against Mickey’s own crotch. Mickey’s eyes flutter away from Ian’s at the unexpected sensation and he glances down. His eyes come back up very slowly, his expression unreadable, as Ian barely breathes. The two of them are completely jammed into this tiny space, alone in the middle of spread out campgrounds…

Ian wonders briefly if Mickey Milkovich will kill him.

But then Ian feels an unexpected resistance against his own hard on, and glances down himself, to see the bulge in Mickey’s pants he had noticed this morning on the bus now returning with a vengeance, straining hard against his own.

The two of them dart their eyes back up at each other, both breathing heavily against the dewy grass. Aggressively waiting to see how the other boy will react, what the other boy will do. Mickey reaches out with a tattooed hand and grabs Ian’s throat, and Ian thinks, here it comes.

But instead of choking him out, Mickey only puts a gentle pressure on Ian’s throat with his hand, before sliding it around to grip behind his neck. And then he pulls Ian’s face in towards himself.

Ian feels Mickey’s hot lips against his own a second later, and they breathe shakily into each other’s mouths as they come together and apart, over and over again. Mickey darts his wet tongue into Ian’s mouth and slides it across Ian’s tongue teasingly. Ian trembles and presses his fingers into Mickey’s bicep for something to hold on to in response, his brain short-circuiting from disbelief, heat, and the absolute sparks flying between them. Mickey kisses him more aggressively then, and Ian pushes back into the kisses with insane want.

There’s no routine to the making out, it’s unsteady and heated and all over the place, both of them consumed with lust. Ian bites Mickey’s lip, and drags it slightly away from his mouth, earning him an appreciative and carnal growl from Mickey in response. The sound drives Ian wild, and he begins to grind his hard on against Mickey’s, who responds by pushing his hips forwards into it more. Forcing them closer. Ian groans slightly into Mickey’s mouth as he feels himself approaching a brilliant orgasm. It earns him a low groan in return from Mickey, who is apparently extremely turned on by Ian’s pleasured vocalizations.

A female laugh nearby makes them both yank apart and glance around wildly, as they freeze in panic. They hear voices in the near distance and then relax slightly, realizing they haven’t been spotted.

“Where the hell is he?” the girls voice says. “I don’t know, but Mickey managed to find him, haven’t come across him in a while” another girl answers. A guy laughs, “Maybe Mickey beat him up and took his money”. Ian notices Mickey grimace beside him. He recognizes Brent’s voice next, “Fuck, I have no service. Mrs. Lowry told me we have ten minutes to get them to the campfire for dinner”. Ian glances at Mickey, who quickly nods. “We’re here!” Ian calls out.

The boys stand and come out from their hiding place, revealing it to several of their surprised classmates. “Jesus, good spot. How’d you even find him Mickey?” Becca asks. Mickey shrugs, “Oh you know, he talks to himself a lot”. Ian slugs his shoulder and Mickey pushes him back playfully.

Brent looks at them uncertainly, obviously wondering when the hell they became friends. “Okay well… campfires going. Hot dogs are ready. C’mon”.

Ian and Mickey meld back into the group, and head towards the campfire separately. Ian grabs a couple hotdogs and slathers them in ketchup. He sits down in front of the fire and watches as Mickey covers his own hotdogs in everything, and then sits down on the opposite side of the fire from Ian.

Beside Becca.

Ian looks down at his hotdog, suddenly feeling his cheeks flush with embarrassment. What the hell was that back there? It was obviously a one-time thing for Mickey, who is now happily laughing at something Becca has said.

Oh, so now she’s some fucking comedian?

Ian’s heart throbs with disappointment, and he looks up to glare across the fire at Becca. But as he raises his head, he sees Mickey’s blue eyes are already regarding him from across the flickering fire. Mickey takes a slow sip of coke from his can, without taking his piercing eyes off of Ian.

Ian feels his stomach make an odd flip, and he watches as Mickey finishes off his hotdog and drains his coke, licking his lips when he’s done. Becca leans over and touches his bicep as Mickey looks back at her, the same one Ian had been squeezing less than an hour before, while their tongues had danced. Alright, he’s had enough of this shit, that’s for damn sure.

Ian gets up, and goes to grab a tent from the pile with frustration, then he walks off with it to go set it up near the lake. He gets about half way through setting it up before he decides he wants a drink, and heads off towards the cabin with the coke machine inside. He’s approaching it when someone suddenly comes out of the dark beside him and slams him against the wall of the cabin, making him jump.

It’s Mickey. Ian starts, “Look I-“

Mickey cuts him off, driving his lips into Ian’s so roughly that their teeth scrape. They kiss heatedly for a moment before Mickey steps back, wiping his mouth against the back of his hand. “Watching you pitch a tent made me pitch one” he says, arching an eyebrow teasingly. Ian gestures with his hand in confusion, “I don’t understand. You- you’re gay?”

Mickey smirks, “Was it me rubbing my boner against you, or pulling you into a kiss just now? What gave me away?” Ian is baffled, “I just thought, I mean, you’re so…” “So, what?” Mickey frowns, “Not gay? You think any one would guess that you’re gay? You’re seriously one to talk”.

Ian closes his mouth, it’s a good point.

“C’mon. I’ll help you finish with the tent, Lowry says I’m bunking with you tonight. Then we can get back to the fire”. Ian can’t help himself, “You gonna sit with me this time, or Becca again?”

Mickey raises his dark eyebrows, seeming confused. “What? I didn’t know that would piss you off. Sorry, I guess? I just needed a bit of time to chill out after that”. Ian relaxes, slightly embarrassed at his obvious jealousy, “Oh…okay”. They finish setting up the tent and then return to the fire together.

The teacher, and several of the other students, have already gone back to their tents to go to sleep, by the time they arrive. A classmate's joint is now being passed around the fire, and Ian and Mickey both take a few pulls before continuing to pass it along. Their guards now down from the high, they sit fairly close to each other. Ian smiles when Mickey purposely knocks his knee against his own every so often.

Ian finally reaches down into his backpack as the last few stragglers leave the fire, the boys now sitting alone, “I got something else too”. Mickey arches his eyebrow, looking down into the bag with interest. Ian pulls out a couple beers.

“Damn Gallagher, you’re full of surprises….” Mickey takes the beer Ian is offering him and they both shotgun, draining them quickly and then belching in unison. Mickey wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, and looks over at Ian, illuminated by the glowing firelight. The heat dances on their skin. This whole night has been like a fucking wet dream to Ian, and he wonders for a moment if that’s all it is before Mickey speaks again, “….a good man to have around”.

Mickey grips his hand into Ian’s shoulder and pulls him again, Ian closing his eyes to meet the kiss. Fuck... Mickey’s lips are wet, and especially hot, from sitting so close to the fire. He tastes like beer, with a hint of marijuana in there. Ian bites his own lip and forces himself to push away, earning himself a look from Mickey. “What?”

Ian tips his head back towards the tents filled with their classmates. Mickey quickly nods in agreement, “Yeah good point. I’m stoned”. The two of them sit there for a bit, watching the fire. “Let’s go to the tent” Ian offers, bravely. He hopes he’s not pushing his luck.

Mickey looks up at him uncertainly for a moment, but then smiles, “Okay”.

They walk slowly back to where they had set up their tent, just off from the rest of the group, who were randomly clustered across the campgrounds. Ian had purposely set up the tent so that if the door was unzipped, he would be looking out over a moonlit lake. He leaves it open when him and Mickey get inside, there’s no tents in front of them and he wants moonlight to be their only source of light. Anything else inside of the tent would show off their silhouettes…and anything they maybe, possibly, happened to be doing.

Mickey crawls inside of the tent first and pulls off his shirt eagerly. Ian drinks in the view, still barely believing that Mickey is letting this happen, wanting it to. His body is toned and firm, but he’s also got the slightest bit of a tummy, something that makes Ian want to cover his stomach in kisses.

“C’mere”

Ian crawls over to Mickey at the command, and they begin to kiss while they are on their knees. Mickey pulls Ian’s shirt off over his head as they do, and then immediately pulls him back in. Their bare chests press against each other and stick slightly, as they both begin to sweat.

They yank their pants down, letting both of their erections continue to expand freely inside of their loose boxers. They knock against each other, and Ian begins grinding his dick against Mickey’s again, just like he had while they were hiding. 

“Suck my dick” Mickey pants, and Ian immediately obliges. Pulling his boxers down entirely, he admires Mickey’s stiff dick for just a moment before taking it into his mouth, starting with working just the thick tip. Mickey looks down at him through blown eyes, and weaves his fingers through Ian’s red hair as Ian begins to take him deeper, working the rest of his shaft with one hand as he does.

The lake flickers quietly under the moonlight, illuminating their firm bodies as they shift and work against each other with a feral heat.

“Okay, okay… stop” Mickey eventually sighs, and Ian pulls away reluctantly, tasting some precum on his tongue as he does. Mickey pulls a condom out of his wallet, and puts his hand on Ian’s shoulders and starts to turn him around, and Ian is so caught up in the moment that he doesn’t say anything.

He doesn’t really bottom, like ever. And he’s a little disappointed that he doesn’t get to put his dick in that perfect, surprisingly plump ass. But is he gonna tell Mickey Milkovich that and ruin the whole damn night? Fuck no.

Besides, he thinks, glancing back as Mickey lines himself up behind him, stroking his cock with leftover saliva and precum, that’s one guy he’d like to take it from. Mickey hisses as he slowly pushes himself into Ian, and Ian bites his lip in pain.

He’s not used to the stretch, and he moves his shoulders, willing himself to relax. It does start to feel good, but his fucking body is still fighting it, regardless of how slow and gentle Mickey is being with him. “Fuck ” Mickey breathes, as he pushes all of the way inside Ian. But he can obviously tell how tense Ian is, because after a few pumps he stops. “Gallagher?”

Ian looks back, “Yeah?”

“You seem… you don’t seem…. Are you a virgin? Like an ass virgin?” Mickey’s blue eyes actually look concerned and Ian almost laughs as he shakes his head, “No Mickey, I’m a practiced gay if that’s what you’re asking. It’s just…” He looks up at with Mickey with some embarrassment, who is still inside of Ian and just not moving anymore.

Mickey raises his eyebrows, “Just what? You don’t want to fuck me?” “No! No, it’s not that at all! I want, I want to fuck you. But I’m a top”. Mickey pulls out, obviously surprised. “I’m sorry” Ian hastily adds. Mickey smirks, a dark grin spreading across his face, “You know what, Ian?”

Ian shivers as Mickey finally says his first name.

“You know what I like to do?” He approaches Ian, who had turned and sat down with his legs stretched out in front of himself, and straddles him slightly. He's not sure if Mickey's confidence is stemming from the weed, or how far away from home they are, but he doesn't care.

“What?” he breathes, looking at Mickey’s fucking amazing body, now resting on top of his own. Mickey shows Ian his fingers, “I like to put these in my ass, and stretch myself. Before I bottom ”. Ian gulps, oh fuck. He’s pretty sure his own dick is slick with precum by now, this couldn't get any better. “Show me” he whispers.

Mickey holds out his fingers and Ian sucks them for him, getting them nice and wet for Mickey, before he slips them down towards his ass. Mickey groans as he begins to stretch himself, and Ian watches with absolute interest through hooded eyes. This is hotter than any fucking porno he’s ever seen. Any awkward bang he’s ever had.

Mickey continues to work himself open with his fingers as Ian pulls him against his chest to make out, Mickey making small grunts into Ian’s mouth as he does. “Get the fuck in me” he finally moans against his lips. He gets off Ian’s lap and lays down on the floor of the tent, propping his ass up under a pillow for better access.

Ian quickly gets behind him, but hesitates, “Can I…can I eat your ass?”

“What?” Mickey looks back at him, eyebrows raised.

Ian blushes even from behind his straining hard on, “You know, can I lick your-“

“-Yeah, I know what it is”, Mickey looks at him with interest, “Just never done it before”.

 Ian licks his lips, “Let me show you…”

He lowers himself down and spreads Mickey’s ass cheeks apart, before he licks a stripe from his balls upwards, causing the dark-haired boy to shudder in pleasure. Ian presses his tongue back down and rims the tight muscles around Mickey’s hole, loving the heat coming off of it. He continues to work his tongue in circles, and then back down to Mickey’s balls before Mickey speaks again, his voice now hoarse and strained, “Fuck me”.

Ian licks his lips and quickly comes back up, after quickly grabbing a condom from his own wallet, he uses one hand to guide his dick against Mickey’s asshole, and the other to grip Mickey’s shoulder for leverage. He pushes the tip in first, which Mickey’s ready ass greedily takes, but he meets more sweet resistance as he continues to slowly slide in, the walls of Mickey’s ass constricting tightly around him. Mickey arches his back slightly and pushes his ass back, doing just as much work as Ian is. Yeah, he’s definitely a bottom.

He’s tight as fuck, and it’s glorious. Ian wonders when the last time was that Mickey had an actual dick in his ass and not just fingers, as he finally gets balls deep. He's just so fucking tight. Then again, he doesn’t really want to know. This ass, this perfect round fucking ass, is his right now. He slaps one of the cheeks gently, knowing they have to be quiet. Mickey remembers the same thing and lowers his face down into a pillow to moan.

Ian closes his eyes for a moment and works into a steady pace of thrusting before opening them again to stare at the back of Mickey’s dark head. He can’t believe who he’s giving it to right now, even just the thought of fucking Mickey Milkovich spurs him on harder.

He lowers himself down to lay flat on Mickey’s back, sweat slicking between them, and moves the hand that was previously on his shoulder back down over Mickey’s tattooed hand, looping his fingers through the U-UP.

 He breaths hotly into Mickey’s ear who shudders in response, and rolls his blue eyes back to look at Ian. The blown out look in them sends Ian over the edge, he quickly moves his other hand around to start jerking Mickey off, who lifts his hips slightly of the ground so he can.

“I’m gonna cum” comes strangled out of Ian’s throat, and Mickey growls, thrusting his ass back harder, as Ian slams directly into his prostate.

Ian feels cum start to shoot out over his hand as he jerks Mickey off, and his own orgasm follows suit as he gushes into Mickey’s ass.They both pant as they lay against each other’s bodies for another moment. Damp with sweat, cum, and the heavy night air.

Ian slowly gets up, pushing off of Mickey’s strong body for support. He grabs his dirty t-shirt and uses it to wipe off his hand before offering it to Mickey to clean up with, knowing he doesn’t have any spare clothes. They finish and then partially redress in their t-shirts and boxers, before remaking a sleeping space inside the tent. They lie down beside each other on their sides, facing each other.

Ian’s looks into Mickey Milkovich’s stunning blue eyes and thinks, I’ve never seen them more calm or peaceful than they are right now.

He wants to kiss Mickey goodnight, and he hopes he doesn’t mind, but before he does, Mickey stretches towards him and presses his lips against Ian’s, softly this time.

It’s a long, slow kiss, and when Mickey finally pulls away and lays back down, closing his eyes to the world, Ian wonders.

Is it possible to fall for someone in one day?

Chapter Text

Mickey Milkovich digs through the bottom of his old backpack impatiently, looking for his forgotten permission slip. Giving up, he flips the entire bag upside down, dumping all of it’s contents out onto his bedroom floor so he can see them better. Smokes, some pencils, a porno mag, a sweater, and a couple battered notebooks fall out. Ah, and the permission slip. He flattens the paper out onto his bedroom floor and quickly scrawls his Dad’s signature onto it.

Mickey hadn’t initially planned on going on some stupid school trip, where his entire day would be dictated by rules, but Terry had ended up going on a bender last night and Mickey figured it would be better to just get out of the house for a day or two, as the trip was overnight. Some campground thing, he remembers. He glances at the alarm clock near his bed, shit!  It’s already 8:25?

Mickey quickly looks around for something to throw on with his jeans and spots a semi-clean grey tank top hanging out of his dresser drawer. He grabs it and yanks it on, pausing only to pick up his permission slip, his wallet, and his pack of smokes before he hurries out of the house. He jogs the few blocks to the school, and sees a school bus still waiting in the parking lot. Awesome. He stops running and walks the rest of the way to the bus, pausing at the foot of the stairs.

Mrs. Lowry, currently in the middle of lecturing the students about the day’s plan, stops and looks down at him. “-Mickey?”  She looks disappointed to see he’s shown and he grins in response. “Mickey, you never brought back your signed form, you can’t go on the trip without it”. Bitch. Mickey bounds up the stairs and waves the permission slip in her face, “Here”. He adds a burp to end of his statement just for good measure.

She frowns at his forged signature but decides to let it go. Smart woman, Mickey thinks, ‘cause he wouldn’t get off the bus anyways. “Please take a seat Mickey, we’re just about to leave”. The bus is pretty full, but Mickey gravitates towards the back anyways, preferring to sit as far away from the rest of his annoying classmates as possible. There’s only one empty spot left that he can see, and he approaches it confidently. It’s beside Ian Gallagher.

Maybe it’s a good thing he decided to come on this dumb trip after all, Mickey thinks. Ian’s some tall awkward ginger in a few of Mickey’s classes, but he’s actually pretty cute. Not that it matters, Mickey thinks as he reaches the seat, Ian never talks to him, “Move”. Ian immediately moves his backpack out of the free spot. “No Gallagher, move over. I’m taking the window side”.

Ian slides across the seat towards Mickey so he can have the window seat, but he doesn’t get up, so Mickey has to bend and pass over his lap to get to it. If he thought Ian was gay, he might exaggerate the movement a bit, but that would of course be fucking pointless.

He throws himself down into the seat by the window and settles in to get comfortable. The teacher continues after her interruption by yours truly, “As I was saying, it’s about an hour drive to the campgrounds, so while you can talk to your neighbors during the trip, let’s keep the volume to a reasonable level so our driver can concentrate please!”

The bus starts to pull out of the lot and Mickey wonders how much sleep he can manage to squeeze in before they get there.

“Um, why didn’t you bring your backpack?” Mickey looks over beside himself. 

Ian Gallagher’s apparently talking to him, which surprises Mickey a little. They are technically neighbors, and classmates, but Ian never seemed to be too interested in talking with him before. When Mickey came up to him in class to ask for answers, Ian would just shove them towards him without saying anything.

But Mickey didn’t really need the answers, he just wanted to talk to Ian.

He yawns, and shrugs his shoulders at the question, “Don’t need to”.

“We’re camping overnight”, Ian reminds him. “Yeah, I know. Can ya shut up please? I’m hungover, need to sleep” Mickey answers, feeling a slight headache coming on. Once Terry started going off the wall last night, Mickey himself had started throwing them back to chill out a bit. Alcohol. That was how the Milkovich’s usually dealt with conflict, that, or violence. Mickey stretches out a little more comfortably, and falls asleep to the gentle rhythm of the bus’s movement…

Mickey jolts awake some time later when the bus hits a pothole and bounces him in his seat. He feels stiff and uncomfortable, and he glances up to see Ian’s face hovering nearby, staring at him. “What you starin at?” he asks, rubbing his eyes, as he squints back up at him. Ian quickly looks away, “Uh nothing. You said something in your sleep, I was just- I just looked over at you when you said it”.

He didn't know he talked in his sleep. Mickey glances down at himself, and realizes the stiff feeling is entirely stemming from his gigantic hard on. Jesus Christ. He quickly sits up in the seat, trying to move it in his jeans to be less noticeable, as he grunts at whatever explanation Ian gave. At least he hadn’t seen this shit. How would he ever live that down?

When they get to the campgrounds, Mrs. Lowry looks around at the students as she asks for help unloading their tents from underneath the bus, and Mickey doesn’t miss how she glances hopefully at Ian, who slowly gets up to help. Well fuck, Mickey thinks, as he looks around at all the pansy guys in the class, what kind of guy doesn’t help a woman with heavy lifting? He follows Ian off the bus to help.

Mrs. Lowry looks surprised to see him there, and as soon as the tents are unloaded he takes the opportunity to remind her that he still doesn’t like her, and lights a smoke in front of her. She sighs, “Mickey, you can’t be smoking here. Give me that please”. He blows smoke at her, “Bite me”. “Mickey, remember that English essay you never handed in that I very kindly allowed you to skip? Unless you want to actually write it, I suggest you hand me the rest of your cigarettes”. Fuck, he had Lowry for English class too. He didn’t think this through. He glares at her but she doesn’t back down, so he reluctantly hands over his cigarettes. He really, really hates writing essays.

“Good. Alright students, we are going to start out by the lake with some canoeing! Everyone find a partner, or form a group of three please”.

Ian turns to Mickey, asking, “Wanna be my partner?” Mickey glances him over, wondering why he was asking him, but Ian misinterprets the look as doubt and adds “I already know how. Cadets”.

He nods, “Yeah sure, whatever”. He already knew Ian was in cadets, he’d seen him in his army uniform before, running drills in the neighborhood or on the high school’s track. Sometimes Mickey would watch him as he smoked under the bleachers at lunch, appreciating the way his muscular body moved as he ran.

He can’t help but feel a little bit like he has to prove himself to Ian, so he goes off ahead and picks up the canoe by himself while all the other students go and get their partners to help. It’s long and heavy, a little awkward, but he manages to carry it over to the water fairly easily. Where the hell is the ginger though?  “You comin’ Gallagher?” he yells back behind himself.

Ian hurries over and shoves the canoe partway into the water as Mickey drops it, tossing his backpack in the middle. “Get in” he tells Mickey, who tries to get into the front seat but tenses as the canoe wobbles with his weight. “You need to balance your weight, get- get on your knees” Ian tells him.

Mickey immediately flashes into his mind an image of him on his knees in front of Ian Gallagher, who’s wearing his army uniform, Mickey tugging down his pants to get to his-

Mickey shakes his head and shoots Ian a look. Why’d he have to say that??

Ian pushes the canoe forward with his oar as Mickey sits there awkwardly, unsure of what to do. “Paddle on the right side, like this” Ian says behind him. He tries to look back at what Ian’s doing but it’s not easy, every movement seems to threaten to tip the canoe. He gets enough of a glance to get the general idea of it though, and after a few minutes they start to move really smoothly.

The teacher calls out as she paddles into the middle of the group, “Alright class, great job! How about a little competition? Let’s see… who can get to water’s edge by that red cabin first?”

Mickey’s eyes drift towards the red cabin, some grey smoke curling out of it’s chimney where it rests across part of the lake.

“Let’s do this… Milkovich” Mickey hears Ian say from behind him. He doesn’t look back but raises his eyebrow at Ian’s teasing tone. Ian must not realize how flirty he seemed, he sure as hell wouldn’t want to intentionally come across as gay, would he? “Alright go!” the teacher yells.

Mickey immediately puts his strong arms back to work and he can tell Ian is too by the way they shoot forward in front of the rest of the class. Hell yeah! Douchebags, Mickey thinks, proudly, as he and Ian reach the shore first. He turns around to gloat when the rest of class finally approaches, and they roll their eyes in response. Mrs. Lowry arrives and turns to the two of them in surprise, “Wow, good job you two… great teamwork. Which works out well, because we will be staying in these teams for the rest of our trip, okay class?

Mickey can tell Ian is looking at him, and he hopes he’s not annoyed. Mickey generally isn’t anyone’s first choice as a partner, and he knows why. He’s bold, brash, and maybe annoying sometimes. Just how he is. For his part, he’s glad Ian’s stuck with him for the rest of the day. He is actually, surprisingly, having a lot of fun with him. And it doesn't hurt that he's attractive, either.

“We are going to canoe back, have lunch, and then we have a two-hour class with one of the nature specialists that works here, before free time”, she adds.

Mickey and Ian start to canoe back across the lake, still leading the class, but paddling less frantically now that there is no sense of urgency. The lake is beautiful and still as the canoes gently part through it's waters, but Mickey’s mind drifts away from natural beauty of the lake towards something else’s.

So, how did Ian’s white ass skin manage to tan to such a nice light golden color in the summer? He’s a ginger, what’s that about? Thought they couldn’t tan at all.

And his eyes are so green, like very green. They rival any of the shades displayed in the natural settings around- slam.

The canoe slams up sharply against a large rock they had paddled directly into, and Ian starts to laugh wildly as it sways dangerously to the side. Mickey’s first reaction is his most common one, “Fuuuu-“ *splash*       “-ck!” They are both dunked right into the cool lake as the canoe flips them out of it.

The lake bottom is shallow enough where they are that they can walk the rest of the way towards the shore, dragging the canoe along behind themselves. They are both pretty soaked from falling in the lake though.

“Way to go Gallagher” Mickey grumbles, shaking droplets of water from his dark hair. “Me? You’re in the front you’re supposed to be spotting! Fuck, hope my cigarettes didn’t get wet” Ian complains. Mickey looks back at him in interest as they walk back up the sand and towards the grass, dumping the canoe in the sand on the way, “You got cigarettes?”

“Well yeah but I kept them hidden in my backpack, not like your dumb ass” Ian smirks. It sounds like an insult, but Ian’s tone is almost affectionate. He’s starting to feel like… a friend, almost. Mickey’s not sure how, but he’ll take it. He's never really had a good friend before. 

He flips the redhead off playfully, “You gonna share?” “I’m not gonna be a douchebag and smoke in front of you all night without offering you one, if that’s what you’re asking” Ian chuckles. “Oh yeah, we’re partners” Mickey remembers aloud, wondering exactly what that meant for tonight’s arrangements. “Yeah, we are” Ian says, with an awkward smile.

They drop onto the warm grass, away from the rest of the class, and Ian peeks inside his bag to check on the status of his cigarettes, “All good. I love army backpacks, water-resistant. But”- he bats Mickey’s hand away as he reaches towards them- “Not getting these taken away. We’ll fuck off from the rest of the class during free time and smoke then”.

Mickey nods, shifting uncomfortably as his aching stomach starts to grumble. There hadn’t been any food at home for him to even bring on the trip, and bringing an empty backpack seemed pretty useless, considering he didn’t have enough time in the morning to steal anything before he got to school.

Ian pulls out some sandwiches from his bag and tosses one to Mickey, who catches it in surprise, but tears into it appreciatively. The Gallaghers really did seem like nice people, Ian especially, Mickey thinks as he chews, glancing at the redhead.

Yeah, they got into trouble all the time, just typical south side shit, but they looked out for each other. Mickey admires that, you gotta look out for your people. He watches Ian tear up handfuls of grass absentmindedly, until he feels Mickey’s stare and looks back up at him. Mickey holds it for another moment before looking away, unsure of what to say, so he just says, “Thanks”.

Shortly afterwards, Mickey sort of gets separated from Ian and ends up sitting a few rows in front of him, as the class plops down inside one of the campground cabins for their lesson, with one of the nature specialists who works there. It’s boring as hell and Mickey traces his tattoos repeatedly as the nature specialist drones on about ecosystems. Finally, he lets out a loud yawn and stretches his arms upwards, feeling about ready for a nap.

As soon as the class is over, Mickey turns and spots Ian’s red hair a few rows back and heads directly for him, now craving fucking nicotine like there is no tomorrow. He rarely went this many hours without a smoke. “Alright, you said during free time you’d whip out the smokes”, Mickey reminds Ian, standing there and looking impatiently at him.

Ian smirks, “Yeah, yeah. Come on”. Ian leaves the cabin and heads into the forest and Mickey follows him until they are just past the tree lines, where Ian stops, brushing away a place for himself to sit. Mickey leans against a tall tree across from him.

Ian is giving him some weird sort of look but hands him a cigarette, and Mickey is craving one so badly that he doesn’t bother commenting on it. He lights it and takes a long pull, feeling the sweet smoke filling his lungs like a comforting blanket. He blinks a few times and then looks down at Ian, sitting near his feet.

Ian’s one of those rare guys that can be adorable as hell one moment, and hot as fuck the next, Mickey thinks, as he looks at the redhead’s chiseled jaw, twitching as he looks back at Mickey. He looks like he is fighting something, but then again, Mickey is too. Ian stands, and starts to approach him slowly and Mickey drops the cigarette from his mouth, letting it dangle between his fingers.

“Hey guys! We’re gonna play Sardines while it gets dark before dinner, wanna join?”

One of their douchebag classmates, Brent, is now standing in front of them, waiting expectantly for an answer to his question. Ian glances back at Mickey and they make awkward eye contact for a moment, “Yeah, sure” Ian answers.

He was probably getting annoyed by Mickey hanging around him, Mickey thinks, bumming cigarettes without having anything to give back. He follows them back to their rest of their classmates, feeling rather subdued.

Brent addresses the entire class once everyone is crowded around him, “Alright, rules. Sardines is where one person hides and the rest of us all search alone. When you find the person hiding, you join them, and so on. Like fucking cram yourself in, like a sardine. It’s getting dark out so this should be fun”. He grins, “Um we need a sardine to start us off with… Ian?” Ian shrugs, “Sure”. “Alright, we’ll give you ten minutes and we won’t look where you go. It’s a large space to hide, too large… so let’s just say, anywhere past the lake's edge is out of bounds”.

Ian nods and takes off, everyone else closing their eyes as he does. Mickey opens his just a tad to peek, and sees Ian heading in the direction of some of the cabins, and then closes his eyes again. He hoped Ian wasn’t irritated with him being his partner and all, it would make the rest of the trip fuckin awkward, but he feels drawn to him. The rest of the class starts to shift impatiently and Brent calls it, “Alright everyone, split up. Go find Ian”.

Mickey immediately heads off in the direction he had last seen Ian, while the rest of the class mostly heads in the opposite direction. He’s been wandering around in the dark for a while, feeling completely lost and uncomfortable when he trips over a hidden fucking rock.

Fuck!”  he winces in pain, kicking at the stupid thing. He hears a strange sound come from towards either one of the cabins or the treeline, and freezes.

Were there fucking bears here? Did Mrs. Lowry tell them that? Why the fuck didn’t he listen on the bus this morning?  “Hello?” he calls out nervously, immediately chastising himself. Like a fucking bear would answer, oh yeah, hey Mickey how’s it going?  Fuck he could be stupid sometimes.

But he hears someone laughing, a familiar and warm laugh. One he’d enjoyed hearing several times already today, and he follows the sound around a large pile of chopped wood beside one of the cabins. “Gallagher?” Mickey comes around the pile and peers down at Ian’s prone form, impressed by his hiding place, “Holy fuck”.

Ian looks back up at him, “You found me”. There he is, looking stupid adorable again.

“Kind hard not to, after hearing your gigglin’ ass back here”, Mickey tries to frown but he isn’t sure if it comes across that way or not. “So uh, I’m supposed to what, hide with you now?” he asks, remembering the game. Ian scrambles onto his side, pressing his back against the cabin wall, trying to make room for Mickey to lie down beside him. “Hurry up, get down” Ian whispers at him.

Mickey crouches and crawls in awkwardly beside Ian. He peeks over the rock once more, “I don’t see anyone anywhere fucking near here”, he informs Ian, but then he lowers himself down against the grass, going along with the game. His back is jammed against the pile of chopped wood, it roughly digs into his tank top, but he can’t move forward any more. He’s already pressed into Ian’s body, they are chest to chest in the small space. Fuckin sardines alright.

He looks at Ian, who is now pinching his nose as he tries to control a goofy smile. “What you smiling like an idiot for?” Mickey asks, but then he feels himself smiling too, and they both totally crack up. The two of them stifle their ridiculous laughter the best they can for a moment or two until it dies down, and then Mickey notices Ian is now gazing more seriously into his eyes.

They are both panting slightly against the damp earth, recovering from both their burst of laughter and their adrenaline, from hiding. Mickey looks back into Ian’s dark green eyes, the dim light making it hard to see his face clearly. But he is pressed so tightly against him, his muscles feeling hard and solid against his own, that he can’t pull his eyes away from Ian's, that are now widening. Until he feels something pushing against his crotch.

He glances down, and sees Ian is sporting a raging hard on, that is pressing insistently into his own dick. He slowly looks back up, feeling himself start to harden in response. Is this… could this be… is Ian…?  If he's not, Mickey's in trouble. They stare at each other as they continue to pant, both nervous and agitated, waiting to see what will happen next. But Ian doesn’t move.

Fuck it.

Mickey reaches out his hand to Ian’s throat, feeling his hot pulse underneath it. He swallows, and then moves his hand around behind Ian’s neck, before pulling him in towards himself.

He presses his hot mouth against Ian’s, who’s lips are trembling slightly. They both breathe shakily as they move their mouths against each other, opening and closing them to let their tongues sneak in and explore the other boy’s mouth. Mickey’s mind buzzes, numb with arousal and unexpected pleasure, and he slides his tongue across Ian’s teasingly. Ian shudders slightly from excitement and presses his long fingers into Mickey’s bicep, holding onto him to steady himself, as they lay together in the damp grass.

Ian seems to break out of his shock and Mickey does the same, as they start to kiss more aggressively. It’s slightly sloppy, like they can’t get their lips together fast or hard enough. Ian bites Mickey’s lip and drags it slightly away from his mouth, and Mickey hears a growl rise in his throat. The sound appears to egg Ian on, as he bites harder and begins to grind his erection against Mickey’s. Mickey tries to move in even closer in the impossibly tight space, letting the friction between their straining erections bring them some relief. Ian groans from the sensation, sounding like he is dangerously close to coming as he breaths more erratically. The sound makes Mickey see red, and he groans uncontrollably in response.

A sudden female laugh nearby makes them both instantly yank apart, glancing around wildly, as they freeze in panic. They hear voices in the near distance and then relax slightly, realizing they haven’t been spotted yet.

“Where the hell is he?” the girls voice says. “I don’t know, but Mickey managed to find him, haven’t come across him in a while” another girl answers. A guy laughs, “Maybe Mickey beat him up and took his money”. Mickey frowns at the comment, he wasn’t that much of an asshole.  It’s Brent’s voice next, “Fuck, I have no service. Mrs. Lowry told me we have ten minutes to get them to the campfire for dinner”. Ian glances at Mickey, who quickly nods back in response. “We’re here!” Ian calls out.

The boys stand and come out from their hiding place, revealing it to several of their surprised classmates. “Jesus, good spot. How’d you even find him Mickey?” Becca asks. Mickey shrugs, thinking of how to answer, “Oh you know, he talks to himself a lot”. Ian slugs his shoulder and Mickey pushes him back playfully.

Brent looks at them uncertainly, obviously wondering when the hell they became friends. “Okay well… campfires going. Hot dogs are ready. C’mon”.

There’s nothing Mickey would love more than to walk back with Ian, laughing and playing and shoving each other, but he feels a little overwhelmed too, and decides to keep his distance for a bit. First of all, it was entirely unexpected for him that Ian Gallagher was gay, and second of all, that he might be interested in Mickey back? He honestly never would have guessed that. Ian was attractive as hell, smart, and the girls at school liked him.

And as a general rule, Mickey would never hookup with anyone he went to school with, hell, he wouldn't hook up with anyone that could get the word out back home, that he was gay. But it was too late now.

He hangs back as Ian grabs a couple hotdogs and slathers them in ketchup before going to sit in front of the fire. Mickey covers his own hotdogs in everything, hungry as hell now, and then sits down in front of the fire where one of their other classmates, Becca, is already sitting. He’s far enough away that he can control himself and calm down, but close enough so that he can still look at Ian.

Ian is currently focused on his hot dog, and Mickey watches appreciatively as the crackling fire illuminates Ian’s red hair. He looks sexy as hell in that light, his green eyes shining, his lips reddening from the warmth of the flames…

Becca taps Mickey on the shoulder, pulling his attention away, “You got ketchup on your arm. Or is just a battle wound?” Mickey glances at his arm and laughs, “Ketchup I think”. He glances across the fire at Ian again. Becca squeezes his bicep, and he looks back at her as she wipes the ketchup off his arm. When he looks up again, Ian’s gone.

He ditches Becca and wanders around until he sees Ian’s tall form by the lake, alone as he starts setting up the poles for his tent. Mrs. Lowry passes by him, “Mickey, you’re gonna share a tent with Ian tonight, why don’t you help him?” Mickey nods as she leaves, but continues to watch Ian with his arms crossed, wondering how to approach him. What he could possibly say. But as he watches Ian bend to stomp one of the spikes into the ground to anchor the tent, he decides he doesn’t fucking care.

He starts towards Ian, who at that same moment gets up and begins to walk towards one of the cabins in the dark. Mickey walks faster to catch up to the taller boy, and reaches him just as he gets to the cabin. Mickey cuts him off from the side, and uses his strength to push the surprised boy up against the wall of the cabin. Ian starts, “Look I-“  Mickey cuts him off, driving his lips into Ian’s so roughly that their teeth scrape.

They kiss heatedly for a moment, Ian softening under him, before Mickey steps back, wiping his mouth against the back of his hand, reminding himself someone could show up any minute.

“Watching you pitch a tent made me pitch one” he says, arching an eyebrow teasingly. Ian gestures at Mickey with his hand, clearly confused, “I don’t understand. You- you’re gay?” Mickey smirks, “Was it me rubbing my boner against you, or pulling you into a kiss just now? What gave me away?” Fuck, he's throwing all his rules out the window now.

Ian looks baffled, “I just thought, I mean, you’re so…” “So, what?” Mickey frowns, “Not gay? You think any one would guess that you’re gay? You’re seriously one to talk”.

Ian closes his mouth, looking like he can’t argue with that logic. Mickey smiles, “C’mon. I’ll help you finish with the tent, Lowry says I’m bunking with you tonight. Then we can get back to the fire”. Ian frowns slightly, “You gonna sit with me this time, or Becca again?”

Mickey is surprised by the comment, and raises his eyebrows in confusion. Did Ian… actually care? About him? He certainly seemed jealous... “What? I didn’t know that would piss you off. Sorry, I guess? I just needed a bit of time to chill out after that”. Ian relaxes during his explanation, eventually saying softly, “Oh…okay”. They finish setting up the tent fairly easily and return to the fire together.

The teacher and several of the other students have already gone back to their tents to go to sleep by the time they arrive, only a small group is still sitting there. Mickey is glad to see Becca is gone, happily avoiding any opportunity to possibly make Ian feel uncomfortable.

A joint is now being passed around the fire, and Ian and Mickey both take a few pulls before continuing to pass it along. Slightly stoned, Mickey feels more relaxed and doesn’t hesitate when Ian slides in to sit closer beside him. He purposely knocks his knee into Ian’s every so often, feeling a little silly for flirting until he notices that Ian blushes and smiles every time he does. 

The last group of three finally leaves the fire to head to their tents, and Mickey looks over at Ian as he starts digging into his backpack, “I got something else too”. Mickey arches an eyebrow with interest, waiting to see what Ian has. Ian pulls out two cans of beer from his backpack.  “Damn Gallagher, you’re full of surprises….”

Mickey takes the beer Ian is offering him and they both shotgun, draining them quickly and then belching in unison. Mickey wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, and looks over at Ian, illuminated by the glowing firelight. The heat dances off their skin as they sit so close, and Mickey finishes his sentence from earlier “...a good man to have around”.

He can’t help himself, Ian’s fucking glowing. Everything about him is like a flame, and Mickey’s a fucking moth. He grips Ian’s shoulder and pulls him in again for a kiss, hot and slow. The taste of beer and the scent of marijuana passes between their mouths as they open them to each other, Mickey falling deeper and deeper into the kiss before Ian pushes him away a bit. Mickey gives him an uncertain look. Did Ian change his mind? Decide that yeah, he could do better than Mickey?

“What?” Mickey asks, worrying.

Ian tips his head back towards the tents filled with their classmates. Mickey nods in agreement, shit he was being stupid tonight, “Yeah, good point. I’m a little stoned”. The two of them sit there for a bit, watching the fire. “Let’s go to the tent” Ian offers after a while, sounding a little nervous.

Mickey looks up at him uncertainly for a moment, is Ian really ready to fuck?

Mickey’s not really used to hooking up with someone he actually had some interest in as a person. The whole gay thing is actually still somewhat new to him too. He only recently let himself indulge a bit in what he really liked, after hiding it from himself for so long. But he reminds himself that he’s far from home, and the fag beaters and haters like his father are back there in the South Side. It’s just him and Ian right here, right now. He smiles, “Okay”.

They walk slowly back to where they had set up their tent, just off from the rest of the group, who were randomly clustered across the campgrounds. They had a perfect view of the lake in front of them, moonlight dancing across the dark water as it rippled gently. Ian leaves the door unzipped so they can keep the view, and the light.

Mickey crawls inside of the tent first and pulls off his shirt. He feels a tiny bit nervous, like it’s some awkward first date. But as Ian stares at his bare chest with a familiar look in his dark eyes, want, Mickey feels his heart start to race with need.

“C’mere”

Ian crawls over to Mickey at his command, and they start to kiss while they are on their knees. Mickey feels Ian’s fingers crawl around the back of his head, running through his dark hair, and he pants against Ian’s neck before deciding he needs to see his naked chest too.

He leans back a bit to pull off Ian’s shirt, and then immediately presses back into him for another kiss, feeling Ian’s hard and muscular chest against his own. The skin contact feels even better than it did when they were hiding there in the damp grass while they played Sardines. Ian’s hot, bare skin is now touching against his own, his nipples hard and pressing into him, and they begin to sweat from the heat between them. 

They both struggle to yank their pants down, letting each of their straining erections continue to expand freely inside of their loose boxers. They knock against each other as they come together again, and Ian begins grinding his dick against his. Mickey closes his eyes for a moment as he sees red, lust washing over his entire body.

“Suck my dick” he pants, opening his eyes to look at Ian darkly.

Ian immediately leans downwards and pulls down Mickey’s boxers entirely, stopping for a moment as his gaze finally meets Mickey’s cock. It’s rock hard, pointed directly at Ian, and Mickey is so turned on it’s hard not to just keep grinding against Ian’s face. But Ian doesn’t hesitate, and he slips his lips around the head of Mickey’s dick, enveloping them into a wet warmth. Mickey's stomach tightens at the sensation, and he looks down at Ian through blown eyes, weaving his fingers through his beautiful flaming red hair.

The lake flickers quietly under the moonlight, illuminating their firm bodies as they shift and work against each other with a feral lust. Ian begins to take Mickey deeper into his throat, working the rest of his shaft with one hand as he does. Mickey’s never had a blowjob like this before, from any male or female, and his thoughts are tripping over one another as he feels a familiar tension rise in his balls. As much as he doesn’t want to, he taps Ian’s cheek, “Okay, okay… stop”.

Ian pulls away reluctantly, some precum stringing from his lips as he does, and Mickey closes his eyes, willing himself not to cum prematurely as he grabs a condom from his wallet and starts to turn Ian around. He positions himself behind Ian, stroking his cock to get himself as firm as possible before lining himself up to Ian’s hole. He feels a hiss escape from his lips, as the tip of his dick presses inside of Ian’s ass, it’s so ridiculously tight he can barely get in there. He goes as slowly as he can, struggling to control himself so he doesn’t hurt Ian, even though he wants to fucking wreck him.

He manages to get all the way in but Ian still hasn’t relaxed, something that Mickey hasn’t experienced before, when topping. Usually after the initial stretch the guys are ready to go and begging for it, but Ian is still tense. Mickey stops, “Gallagher?”

Ian looks back at him, some normal tears from the initial stretch pricking his eyes, “Yeah?”

For some reason those completely normal tears bother Mickey when they are in Ian’s eyes. “You seem… you don’t seem…. Are you a virgin? Like an ass virgin?” Ian laughs and shakes his head, “No Mickey, I’m a practiced gay if that’s what you’re asking. It’s just…” He looks up at with Mickey with some embarrassment, who is still inside of him and just not moving anymore.

Mickey raises his eyebrows, suddenly feeling self conscious, “Just what? You don’t want to fuck me?” Ian shakes his head vigorously, “No! No, it’s not that at all! I want, I want to fuck you. But I’m a top”.

Mickey pulls out, completely surprised. “I’m sorry” Ian hastily adds, missing Mickey’s new excitement at this piece of information. Mickey smirks, feeling a naughty grin spreading across his face. “You know what, Ian?”

Ian shivers as Mickey finally says his first name. “You know what I like to do?” He approaches Ian, who had turned and sat down with his legs stretched out in front of himself, and straddles him slightly. His confidence is bolstered from both the weed and being so far from home, and the fact that he's already thrown the rest of his rules out the fucking window tonight.

His body is buzzing with excitement, yeah, he woulda happily fucked the shit out of Ian, but he had bottomed twice before and knew it was for him. He usually topped just because of trust issues, but he had continued to get himself off by pushing into his prostate with his fingers ever since then.

“What” Ian breathes, looking at Mickey like he’s some sort of God. Mickey shows Ian his fingers, “I like to put these in my ass, and stretch myself. Before I bottom ”. Ian swallows hard, “Show me”, he whispers.

Mickey holds out his fingers and Ian obediently sucks them for him, getting them nice and wet for Mickey, before he slips them down towards his ass. Mickey groans as he begins to stretch himself past the initial burning sensation, and Ian watches with absolute interest through hooded eyes. Mickey continues to work himself open with his fingers as patiently as he can as Ian pulls him against his chest to make out, Mickey making small grunts into Ian’s mouth as he does.

“Get the fuck in me ” he finally moans against Ian’s lips, once he’s managed to get three fingers inside of himself. He gets off Ian’s lap, and lays down on the floor of the tent, propping his ass up under a pillow so Ian can have better access to it.

Ian quickly gets behind him, but then hesitates, “Can I…can I eat your ass?”

“What?” Mickey looks back at him, eyebrows raised. Gallagher was throwing all kinds of surprises his way today.

Ian blushes even from behind his straining hard on, “You know, can I lick your-“

“-Yeah, I know what it is”, Mickey interrupts, looking at him with interest, “Just never done it before”. He’d jerked off to it in pornos several times before, but he hadn’t been with a guy yet that he actually wanted to something that personal with. Even when he bottomed those two times, he was fairly reserved, and only let that  happen because he was extremely drunk.

Ian licks his lips, “Let me show you…”

He lowers himself down and spreads Mickey’s ass cheeks apart, before he licks a stripe from his balls upwards, causing Mickey to shudder in pleasure at the new sensation. Ian presses his tongue back down and rims the tight muscles around Mickey’s hole, and the unfamiliar hot and wet feel of his tongue drives Mickey wild. He feels so unbelievably sensitive to every single swipe of Ian’s tongue, and forces himself not to start humping into the pillow. When Ian licks down near Mickey’s balls again he can’t hold out anymore. “Fuck me” he whispers, his voice hoarse and strained.

Ian licks his lips and stretches a condom on as Mickey glances behind himself, and quickly comes back up, using one hand to guide his dick against Mickey’s asshole, he takes his other hand and grips Mickey’s shoulder with it for leverage. Mickey loves being held down in this way, like he has no control over the situation. But he’s got it all.

As Ian starts to push his tip in, Mickey feels his ass constrict around it uncontrollably, and Ian continues to push in just a little too slowly for Mickey’s need. He arches his back slightly, feeling his muscles roll, and starts to push back against Ian, forcing him in faster. His ass is still tight, it’s was a while ago that he last bottomed, but he wants it so badly that his muscles relax enough to let Ian in. Ian grunts as he finally gets balls deep in Mickey, who is in weird way proud that he could take Ian’s entire cock, as it’s not lacking in any length or girth.

Ian slaps one of his ass cheeks gently, and Mickey feels his blood rise to the surface at the impact, making his hairs raise on end. He lowers his face down into a pillow to moan, wrecked from the combination of sweet pleasure and prickling pain.

Ian works into a steady pace of thrusting, each one bringing Mickey a wave of pleasure throughout his entire body. His eyes prick with tears from the sensation, but it’s a magnificent one. He feels Ian press his chest down against his back as he lowers himself to lay over Mickey, their sweat dripping onto each other. Ian’s hand moves from Mickey’s shoulder down to his hand, gripping his fingers firmly as Mickey holds on tight.

Ian breaths hotly into Mickey’s ear and he shudders in response, rolling his blue eyes back to watch Ian pounding into him. Ian’s pupils expand as he gazes back at him, and he then quickly moves his other hand around underneath Mickey’s ass to start jerking him off, who lifts his hips slightly off the ground so he can.

“I’m gonna cum” comes strangled out of Ian’s throat, and Mickey growls in pleasure, thrusting his ass back harder for a stronger impact, as Ian starts to slam directly into his prostate.

He starts to cum without the usual warning that he gets in his gut, as Ian continues pumping into his ass and onto his dick with his free hand. He feels the condom flood with warmth inside himself as Ian gasps slightly, and he knows Ian’s coming too. He presses himself down on Mickey as he finishes, momentarily exhausted.

Ian slowly gets up from his back, pushing off of Mickey’s strong body for support. He grabs his dirty t-shirt and uses it to wipe off Mickey’s cum from his hand before offering it to Mickey to clean up with. They finish cleaning up and then partially redress, Ian grabbing his clean t-shirt and boxers. They rearrange the pillows and blankets to make a new sleeping space inside the tent, and then lay down beside each other on their sides, holding a comfortable eye contact.

Ian’s beautiful green eyes are now hazy with release and contentment, and Mickey wonders what he sees back in his own blue eyes. Can he tell what I’m feeling right now, what I'm thinking? Mickey wonders.

He’s known he was gay for a little while, but he’s never felt this drawn to anyone in his entire life before. He sees Ian start to shift towards him, but before he does Mickey leans in first and kisses the redheaded boy.

It’s a long and slow kiss, Mickey wordlessly trying to pass along to Ian his intense feelings of comfort. It just feels right, the two of them here, right now. He holds one final gaze with Ian before he pulls away to go to sleep, his exhausted body aching for rest.

He knows he’ll dream of those emerald green eyes tonight, and for a very long time afterwards.

 

Chapter Text

Ian watches Mickey awkwardly get onto the school bus on Saturday morning with some satisfaction, but also a little guilt, realizing he’d left the other boy feeling a little sore and uncomfortable. They haven’t, and don’t get, a chance to talk about anything regarding the previous day, as they have been surrounded by their classmates since daybreak. They ride back to school in relative silence on the bus, Ian unsure of what he can or should say. Mickey was not just some one night stand to him, but the situation was obviously new for both of them, and neither one knew how to react.

When they arrive back at the high school, many of the students had their parents ready and waiting to pick them up in their cars and SUV’s, but neither Mickey or Ian of course has that. Mickey doesn’t comment on Ian walking up beside him, but he defends himself anyways, “We live in the same neighborhood, going the same way anyways”.

Mickey looks over at him, “Yeah I know”. Mickey takes the route than leads to his house first, but Ian follows anyways. They don’t talk much, but it’s not exactly awkward, just sort of a comfortable yet uncertain silence, about what to say. Ian is pretty happy just being close to Mickey though, and offers him another cigarette on the way. “Thanks Ian” Mickey smiles as he takes it, and he feels his stomach do a flip.

He stops as they reach the Milkovich house, realizing he’s just walked Mickey Milkovich home. “See ya” Mickey says, starting to head towards the front door. “Wait!” Ian calls, and Mickey turns, eyebrow raised. He comes back to where Ian is standing, “What?” “Can I, have your number? You know, to like text you sometime?” Ian breathes out. Mickey glances up at his house uncomfortably, “Uh…yeah. Okay. Got your cell? Mine’s inside so”.

It’s clearly not an invitation to come in, so Ian nods and takes his cellphone out of his bag, and hands it to Mickey. Mickey takes the phone and punches in some numbers, adding the contact name as “Mickey”. Ian smiles as he hands the phone back to him. “See ya” Mickey says again, and this time Ian lets him go.

He walks back home smiling to himself like a fucking idiot, and he knows it. He keeps opening his phone and checking to see if Mickey’s contact info is really in there. He reaches his own house on Homan Ave and comes inside to find it full of commotion, as per usual. Carl is holding up a lighter in the living room to one of Liam’s plastic dinosaurs, and Debbie is scribbling on her sketchpad, doing a funny doodle of Liam, who is eating Cheerios in front of her.

“Hey Ian”, Fiona smiles warmly at him from the kitchen as she notices him, “How was your trip?” Ian feels himself blush, “It was… really good”. She looks at him knowingly, “Really good? Did all the girls go swimming in the lake in their bikinis or something?” She laughs, and Ian shakes his head, again wishing he could just tell everyone he’s gay. It would make things so much easier.

He goes up to his room and Lip’s sitting in there, reading some mechanics manual, “Hey, how was the trip?” he asks. Ian pushes it a bit further this time, “Good. I was partners with Mickey the whole time”. Lip frowns at him in confusion, “Mickey Milkovich? How is that good? Did he shoot your dinner or something?” He laughs and Ian does too, “Nah, we’re friends now though”. Lip looks surprised, “Well stranger things have happened I guess. Better to have him as a friend than an enemy”. “Yeah. I guess” Ian shrugs, wishing Lip could know.

He tries to ignore his phone all day, not wanting to text Mickey too soon. Not wanting to scare him away. And how did he even know if Mickey actually liked him? Well he gave you his number, he reminds himself that night, as he lays in bed. He listens to his brothers snoring for a while, unable to sleep. 

But maybe he only did that because he just wants to fuck again, that’s a possibility too. Not that Ian didn’t want that, too, but he didn’t know if he could just fuck Mickey. He’s thinking about kissing him and laughing with him, just as much as the other stuff. Finally, he gropes for his phone in the dark, pulls up Mickey’s contact info, and sends “Hey”. And then after another thoughtful moment, “It’s Ian”.

His phone lights up, “Sup?

Ian quickly types in, “Just layin in bed, you?”. He bites his thumbnail until he gets another one, “Boring. Having a smoke on the porch”.

He pictures Mickey sitting on the porch in front of his house, smoke curling from his perfect lips. “Oh, wish I was there”.

Mickey doesn’t answer for a while, and Ian feels really stupid until his phone finally lights up again, “Me too. See you at school on Monday”. Ian Gallagher falls asleep that night with the biggest fucking smile on his face.

On Sunday morning Ian sends Mickey a friend request on Facebook before he goes into work at the Kash and Grab. During his shift, he tells Kash who tries to argue with him at first, that he doesn’t want to sleep with him anymore. Kash eventually drops it when Ian reminds him he is both married, and sleeping with an underage employee.

The friend request to Mickey isn’t accepted until that night, but Ian’s phone pings to alert him when it is. Ian quickly goes to his page, and is disappointed (but not surprised) to find it quite bare.

His profile picture isn’t even of himself, it’s some band’s album cover and logo with a middle finger flipping off anyone who looks at it. Most of his statuses are months and even years back, but every so often he’d shared a song. Ian listens to every single one. He’s uploaded very few pictures, the last one being two years ago of a dog, with a very young Mickey sitting beside it, his arm wrapped around it, that says, “RIP Bandit”. He looks so innocent and small, smiling cheesily into the camera while the dog’s tongue lolls happily out of it’s big mouth beside him.

It's funny seeing Mickey so little. Ian vaguely remembers seeing that little boy playing in the street sometimes when they were younger, though he never joined him.  

Luckily, Ian finds a couple more recent pictures in his tagged photos from his sister Mandy’s account.

One’s from his last birthday, he’s got one hand stabbing into his cake with a fork and the other flipping off the photographer (his sister) “It’s douchebag’s birthday! Have a good one fuckhead ❤” the caption reads. Ian smiles at the picture until Carl comes into their room, and he hastily puts his phone away.

He doesn’t see Mickey at school the next day until Biology class, and he takes a seat beside him, Mickey of course sitting at the very back like he usually does. “Hey” Ian says, putting his bag down, as he puffs slightly. “Hey” Mickey says back, and then the teacher comes in.

It’s annoying and difficult to try and focus on the class about genetics, while Mickey is right there beside him, who is quite clearly a perfect example of good genes. He feels something touch his foot and looks down to see Mickey nudging it with his own. He blushes as he looks over at Mickey, who winks at him before pulling his foot away, and suddenly pretending to be very interested in the class.

Ian laughs at his ridiculous expression, and the rest of the class turns back to look at him, the Mrs. Lowry raising her eyebrow, “Something to share with class Ian?” she asks. He reddens, “Uh, no. Sorry”. Without looking, he knows Mickey is smirking beside him.

He texts Mickey at lunch, “Where are you?

Under the bleachers” comes back almost instantly, and Ian rushes across the high school grounds, to the bleachers by the football field. Sure enough, Mickey is sitting underneath them, smoking a cigarette.

He nods his head at Ian as he approaches. Ian playfully slugs his shoulder as he sits down beside him, dropping his backpack, “Thanks for getting me in trouble today”.

Mickey grins, smoke curling out from his nose, “I like making you laugh”.

Ian looks over at him, and Mickey smiles back, almost shyly. It’s fucking cute, a word he would have never thought of applying to Mickey Milkovich before. He offers Ian a drag from his cigarette, and Ian takes it, but it’s not what he wants. He glances around quickly to make sure they have privacy, before he leans in towards Mickey to kiss him. Mickey pulls back sharply, “What are you doing?”

Ian is surprised, “There’s no one around, I looked”. Mickey shakes his head, “Ian…” Ian feels his heart sink as he takes in Mickey’s tone and expression. “Out there, it was okay. This was okay. But I've been thinking, and we’re home now, back to reality”. He looks over at Ian and noticing his crushed expression his own eyes sadden, “It’s not that I don’t want to Ian, fucking believe me. I… I really like you”.

Ian swallows hard, “I really like you too. I don’t expect… us to be, you know, out of the closet or anything. I’m not either. But what about in private?”

Mickey shakes his head, “It’s dangerous Ian. You think I can kiss you in private, and then act like you’re nothing in front of everyone else?” Ian looks into his serious blue eyes, and realizes Mickey’s feelings for him might just be as strong as his own. He’s not sure if that makes this better or worse.

“I still wanna hang out with you, be your friend. But I can’t be more than that” Mickey says quietly, looking down at his feet. His cigarette dangles from his fingertips, now forgotten. Ian nods, clenching his jaw, as Mickey looks back up at him apologetically. “Sure, okay” Ian says, but he gets up and exits the bleachers, leaving Mickey sitting there alone.

He’s not mad at Mickey, he thinks to himself, as he lays in bed that night. He understands what he’s saying, it makes sense. He’s probably right. But it’s fucking unfair. He feels a tear gather in his eye, and brushes it away angrily. You’re being ridiculous, he tells himself, you’ve spent a couple days being close with him. You’re not in love. You’re fine. It doesn’t matter.

He sees Mickey’s name light up on his phone and opens the text quickly, hoping the other boy will have changed his mind.

"I'm sorry."

Ian presses his fist to his forehead, swearing silently in frustration. He bites his lip, and deletes the message.

He’s at school the next day, standing at his locker and putting his books away, when he sees Mickey coming down the hallway, directly towards him. He quickly slams the locker shut and turns into the bathroom off of the hallway, desperate to avoid him. It doesn’t work. Mickey comes flying into the bathroom a moment later, seeing Ian standing in there alone, with red eyes.

“Why are you being like this?” Mickey pleads, looking around the empty bathroom in agitation. Ian shakes his head, “I’m not being like anything. You’re right. But I can’t be around you at all, and pretend that you’re nothing, that’s the difference between me and you”.

“You can’t even be my friend?” Mickey clarifies, looking up at Ian through pained blue eyes. Ian grits his teeth, forcing the words out that he doesn’t want to say, “No”. He leaves Mickey standing there alone once again, making his way to his next class with determination. He's not sure what it is about Mickey, or that night at Oak Forest, but nothing is the same, and everything is different for him now.

Avoiding and ignoring Mickey works for about a week, a miserable and long week, until Mrs. Lowry tells her Biology class they are going to do group projects on what they learned about ecosystems at Oak Forest Campgrounds. “Everyone get back in the pairs or groups you had there, please, and start discussing idea” she tells the class. That sort of fucking throws a wrench in Ian’s plans.

He tenses as Mickey approaches him, and sits down beside him. He seems very subdued though, unlike his usual brash and boisterous self. He rests one hand against his cheek and waits, looking at Ian through questioning blue eyes. Ian finally sighs, accepting the unavoidable situation. “Alright… poster board?” he asks. Mickey shrugs, “Whatever you think is best”.

Ian nods, continuing, “Okay. Well, we can probably just do something about the endangered species there or something. My sister Debbie has a ton of poster board and art stuff, we can work on it after school”. Mickey looks up in interest, “At your house?” He hesitates, hoping Mickey isn’t getting the wrong idea, “Yeah… to work on the project, Mickey”.

Mickey finds Ian right after school and walks back to the Gallagher house with him and Lip, after Ian explains to his older brother that they are working on a school project, who seems puzzled by their odd silence afterwards. “Thought you two were friends now?” he asks, and Ian notices how Mickey’s eyes dart towards him. “Yeah” he says, without confirming whether he is referring to what Lip thought, or whether Mickey and him are actually friends now.

Mickey stops and looks around when they enter the Gallagher house, taking in the mess and commotion with accepting eyes. Ian figures his own house is just as bad. Fiona raises an eyebrow at their guest, and Ian addresses her unspoken question with, “Mickey’s here to work on a school project. Where’s Debs?” Fiona nods at Ian’s explanation, turning back to the dishes she's scrubbing, “In her room”.

Debbie hands Ian her art supplies and a blank poster board without comment, and he brings Mickey back to his empty room and closes the door behind them, dropping the poster board on the floor. “Okay, you write” he says to Mickey, who grabs a black marker and nods. Both of them seem to be in an unspoken agreement to keep things civil. It's kinda nice being him around him again though, Ian admits to himself. 

He holds the laptop and starts googling. He watches as Mickey writes on the board, “Oak Forest Endangered Species- By Mickey & Ian ”. He takes an especially long time tracing out their names, Ian notices. He looks away and frowns at the scratched computer screen and the information in front of him, “I know we definitely saw these little frogs, Wood Frogs, but I don’t remember seeing any of these other things”.

Mickey looks up from the board with concern, and Ian continues, “Red-Headed Woodpeckers? Did you see any woodpeckers there?” Mickey nods vigorously, “Ya, I saw one Redheaded Woodpecker”. Ian frowns at him, wondering why Mickey hadn't pointed it out while they were there. “Where?”

But then he notices Mickey’s dirty grin, who gestures down at his crotch as he lifts a dark eyebrow. “You- fuck off Mick” Ian aims a light kick at Mickey who starts laughing, and Ian can’t help but join in. God. He missed this, he thinks, as he aims another gentle kick at Mickey, who scrambles back from it and then launches forwards, pulling him into a wrestling match.

Ian rubs Mickey’s dark head with his fist playfully, “Oh I’m a redheaded woodpecker, am I?” He glances at the list of Oak Forest’s endangered species on the laptop and grins, “Well I guess that makes you a Black-billed Cuckoo, doesn’t it?” Mickey laughs, “My hair’s black, not my mouth, dumbass”. Ian tips Mickey's chin upwards with one finger, playfully frowning as if he can't remember whether that's true or not, “Let me check”.

He holds Mickey there for a moment, who's looking back up at him through blue eyes shining with amusement. His eyes flicker down to Mickey’s smiling mouth and he feels more serious. Mickey’s smile falters, and his eyes drop down to Ian’s own mouth. Ian starts to lean in without thinking, but catches himself, pulling his face away from Mickey’s. “I- we, can’t” he reminds himself, shaking his head. Mickey nods bitterly, and retreats back across the room to the poster board. They hear a knock, and Fiona opens the bedroom door.

“You staying for dinner Mickey? I’ve got an extra box of mac and cheese I don’t mind making”. Mickey bites his lip and looks at Ian hesitantly before answering, “Sure… thanks”. She smiles and nods, closing the door behind her as she leaves. Ian scowls at the computer screen once she’s gone, suddenly feeling irritated, and he hears Mickey say quietly after a minute, “I can go if you want me to”.

Ian looks up, “No, no I don’t want you to go. Okay, Mickey? Do you not get how fucking annoying this is for me? How frustrating it is?” Mickey throws up his hands in disbelief, “You think it isn’t for me? I have to pretend to be someone I’m not every fucking day, at home, at school. Which wasn't all that fucking difficult until you came along".

“So do I” Ian hisses back through gritted teeth. “Yeah? Would Fiona fucking shoot you, or strangle you, if you told her you were gay?” Mickey glares back at him.

“Lower your fucking voice!”

Mickey comes closer and jabs a finger into Ian’s chest, “Don’t tell me what to do”. “Fuck you” Ian says, breathing heavily through his nose as he tries to keep himself from punching Mickey, or from- he kisses him.

He fucking grabs Mickey, and kisses him with everything he’s got. Mickey shoves him off almost immediately, “I told you not to do that” he says, pleading with Ian through his eyes, “I can’t-"

The door suddenly opens and Debbie is there, “Dinner’s ready” she says, looking at both of them in confusion as she takes in their rattled appearances. Ian quickly nods, “Thanks Debs”.

Ian shakes his head and without another word to Mickey, leaves the bedroom. Mickey follows him downstairs, and quietly eats with his family, but Ian stops him from following him back upstairs afterwards. “No” he says quietly, making sure his family, still talking and eating dinner in the kitchen, can’t hear him.

Mickey raises his eyebrows in confusion, and Ian continues, “I told you. I don’t want to just be your friend. If you want a friend, you need to look somewhere else. It’s too... it’s too hard for me. Go home”. Mickey starts to protest, and Ian presses his hand into his chest harder, “Go home Mickey”.

Mickey glances back to the rest of Ian’s family, now starting to notice that something is going on by the stairs, and he raises his hands slightly in frustration, “Fine. Fine, Ian. Bye”. He storms out of the house, and Ian quickly shuts the door behind him, and then runs up to his room, slamming the door shut behind himself angrily.

He ignores Mickey for the next week entirely, even when it’s time for them to present to the class. The project Ian had finished on his own, after ignoring Mickey’s texts asking about when they would finish it. “You didn’t have to do it by yourself” Mickey whispers to him, as they prop the poster board up against the blackboard.

Ian doesn’t answer, and Mickey sets his mouth in an angry firm line. He doesn’t say a word during the presentation, just stands there glaring while Ian presents, and Mrs. Lowry frowns at him the entire time. As soon as Ian is finished speaking, she says, “Well done Mickey, another project you obviously didn’t contribute to”. Ian glances over at Mickey, and sees his eyes are now lit up like blue fire.

He points a finger at the teacher as Ian and the rest of the class watch curiously, but they didn’t expect the following explosion, “Fuck you. Stupid fucking trip. FUCK YOU!” He grabs the poster board from behind himself and snaps it cleanly in half over his knee as Ian’s mouth drops open in surprise.

Mickey glances back at Ian with eyes filled with rage and hurt, and then storms out of the classroom, kicking the metal door and denting it as he does. The teacher sighs as Ian continues to stare at the now empty doorway, “Don’t worry Ian, you’ll still get an A. I don’t need to see the board”.

Ian doesn’t answer and instead drifts to the classroom doorway, looking down the empty hallways for any sign of Mickey. But there isn’t one.

Chapter Text

Mickey doesn’t come back to school for several days, and every day as he stares at the empty place where he used to sit, Ian begins to feel worse and worse about the way he had acted. Was he being too hard on Mickey?

He had thought that this was best for them, both of them, but maybe it wasn’t. He finally caves and texts Mickey on the weekend, “Are you gonna come back to school?” Mickey doesn’t answer for a few hours, and then only answers with one word, “No”.

Why?” Ian texts back.

Fuck you, that’s why”. Ian bites his lip, “I want to see you”.

Mickey answers back almost immediately, “Why”.

Ian can almost feel the defiance in the text, and instead of telling Mickey why he answers with, “Meet me in that quarry by Rogers Street. Concrete building that has fuck spray painted over it, guessing that was you”.

Ian heads to the abandoned and crumbling site and waits inside the building he had specified. Mickey hadn’t texted him back, but he had a feeling that he would show up anyways.

He does.

“What the fuck do you want Gallagher?” Mickey asks when he shows up, sniffing as he drags a hand over his nose. He glares at Ian, who shrugs, “To figure this out. Want you to come back to school, it’s not fair that you don’t go because of me”.

Mickey sneers, trying to appear careless, “You think it’s because of you? "

Ian sees right through the tough guy act, as shitty as it makes him feel that Mickey feels the need to put it on. “I know it is”.

“So what”, Mickey says, looking down at the ground, defeated. He kicks at some rubble casually. Ian watches him, “I was being… too hard on you. I’m sorry. I miss being your friend”. Mickey looks up and Ian continues, clearing his throat, “School sucks without you, not the same as it was for me before we were friends. And yeah, I want more, but I’ll take what I can get. I understand now”.

Mickey looks at him like some sort of scared animal, wondering if he should trust Ian, and it makes Ian’s chest hurt. What was he doing, getting himself involved with Mickey Milkovich? He must act the way that he does for a reason… but Ian decides in that moment, that it doesn’t matter. He knows Mickey better now, knows he’s more than just the tough exterior he shows in public.

“I want more too. I broke all my rules for you that night”, Mickey says hoarsely, “But I can’t have more”. Ian blinks. Mickey could have him. He could have all of him. But he knows what he really means.

 “…I know. C’mere, can I at least have a hug? A friend hug” he clarifies, as Mickey looks at him nervously. Mickey comes over and hugs him uncertainly, like he doesn’t fucking know how to, so Ian wraps his arms around him and pulls him into a bear like hug until he hears Mickey finally start to relax, and then laugh. It’s a beautiful sound.

He pulls away, and smiles, looking at Mickey’s face, “What’s that from?” he asks, pointing at Mickey’s split lip. Mickey touches it, “Don’t remember. Iggy? Terry? Myself?  Who knows” he laughs. He looks lighter than he has in weeks. Ian rolls his eyes and slings his arm around Mickey’s shoulder, “Got an A on our ecosystems project”.

Mickey nods, lighting a cigarette, “Good for you”. “I told Mrs. Lowry that it wasn’t your fault what happened, that I pissed you off before we went up there, and that you did help me with it. She said she’d only give you a B though, because of your attitude”. Mickey laughs, “Can’t complain, thanks Ian”. Ian turns to him and beams, “What are friends for?”

 

“What’s your dad like?” he asks Mickey, a few days later at school, as they sit under the bleachers during lunch. Ian had realized that’s where Mickey spent most of his lunch periods, to smoke without getting caught and chastised by the teachers, and now automatically goes there to find him. He doesn’t miss the group of acquaintances that he used to spend his free time at high school with, a strange mixture of jocks and nerds.

Mickey raises his eyebrow at Ian, and he continues, “You said to me, would Fiona shoot me if I told her I was gay. I’m guessing you were thinking about your dad”. Mickey’s eyes flicker downwards to the dirt by his feet and he doesn’t say anything.

Ian presses him lightly, “C’mon Mick. He might not be happy, he wouldn’t kill you though”. Mickey takes a drag from his cigarette, “Just come over for dinner tonight”. He is about to accept the invitation until he remembers, “I have cadets til five”.  

“Come over after then”.

He knocks at the Milkovich’s front door that evening, and a built and angry looking man with white hair answers the door a moment later, a sneer already on his face. He glares at Ian’s army uniform, “Who the fuck are you?”

Before Ian can answer Mickey comes up from behind his dad and opens the door fully, “Ian. I already told you, my friend Ian was coming over for dinner. I made spaghetti” he says, looking at Ian meaningfully. Ian nods, “Uh, yeah. Sounds good. Thanks for having me over” he says to Mr. Milkovich, who ignores him in response.

Ian follows Mickey into the dingy house, and realizes his own house actually looks pretty decent compared to this one. It’s dark and filthy, and he sees guns lying around on more than one surface. Mickey’s sister Mandy is already sitting at the kitchen table with some food, but his half brothers are nowhere in sight, and it looks like they won’t be joining them for dinner. Mickey dumps spaghetti onto some plates and puts one down in front of his dad first, and then one in front of Ian, serving himself last. He scrapes his chair up to the table and starts eating.

It’s fairly quiet, Terry just complains every so often about ‘work’ that day, which didn’t sound like a legal job to Ian, or about the ‘shit dinner’ that Mickey made. Ian is still looking at Mickey in  confusion as he eats, wondering why he had invited him over. How did this answer his question? His dad was clearly a dick, yes, but a murderer? Then again, there were several guns in the house... Mickey notices Ian’s expression and bites his lip and raises his eyebrows, before turning to his dad.

“Ian looks pretty good in his cadet’s uniform, doesn’t he dad?”

Mandy drops her fork in surprise, and Ian’s eyes widen, as Terry slowly turns towards his son, his face reddening. He strikes Mickey without warning, right in the face, backhanding him so hard that Mickey’s chair scrapes back against the floor with him still in it. Mickey barely reacts, as Ian watches on in horror, and just calmly pulls his chair back up to the table.

“Say something gay like that again and I’ll shove a Glock down your fucking throat. You should be more like your friend here. Be a man, get a uniform” Terry growls. “Dad, you hate officials”, Mandy reminds him, now also apparently completely unfazed by his assault on her brother. Ian just sits there awkwardly, partly in shock, partly trying to control himself from either hugging Mickey, or punching Terry. Terry grunts in response to Mandy’s comment, and continues eating.

Ian feels terrible as Mickey walks him back home after dinner. “I didn’t know”, he says weakly. It’s clear to him that those types of altercations are common in the Milkovich household, based on the entire family’s reactions to it. He'd heard rumors about what Terry Milkovich was like, but he'd always taken them with a grain of sand before today.

Mickey shrugs nonchalantly, “It’s okay”. Ian shakes his head, “No, it’s not. I want you to stay at my place tonight”. He wonders why Mickey couldn’t have just explained to him what his dad was like, but Mickey clears it up for him before he has to ask.

Mickey laughs, “Oh, no, Ian. I just wanted to show you that I’m not making up shit to avoid anything with you. I really fucking gotta watch how I act, all the time. And it’s fine, honestly. If he actually thought I was gay, he would have shot me in the face right in front of you”. He laughs, but Ian cringes at the thought.

“I’ll see you tomorrow?” Mickey asks him happily as they reach the Gallagher porch, and Ian looks at him dejectedly, watching the pale skin around his cheek and eye already bruising, “Yeah of course, night Mick”. “Night”, Mickey nods at him and then turns back the way they had come from. Ian watches him walk down the sidewalk until he’s completely out of sight.

 

Going forward, Mickey and Ian start to spend almost all of their free time together, but only at the Milkovich residence when Terry is gone, of course. It’s easier that way.

Mickey comes over to the Gallagher house on school mornings. When Ian steps outside he always finds Mickey on the front porch, having a smoke, while he waits for Ian to come outside.  Lip raises his eyebrows at this at first, but never says anything about it. His younger siblings don’t seem to mind Mickey’s new presence either, and he’s surprisingly not bad at helping out with younger kids, once he starts tagging along when Ian has to babysit. He’s even quicker at breaking up Debbie and Carl’s spats than Ian is, and he carries Liam sometimes when he gets tired.

They find each other at lunch every day at the highschool, and sit beside each other in the classes they share, biology, math, and sometimes combined gym classes. They walk home together after school, with Lip too of course, and text each other sometimes during the night about something funny they had seen while they were apart. To everyone else, it appears like they are newfound best friends. And they are but, of course, there’s more to it. Even if they don’t talk about it anymore.

Mickey’s attendance at school starts to skyrocket, much to his teachers’ surprise and pleasure. Gone are the days of him skipping school several times a week, the very reason he was held back last year. His grades start to go up too. Mickey doesn’t tell him this, but Ian peeks and sees the B’s and occasional A’s that get handed back to him in class. He wonders why though, since Mickey had completely stopped asking him for answers after that class trip.

So, one day in math, he asked Mickey why he didn’t anymore.

Mickey laughs at the question, “I never needed the answers man”. Ian frowns at him, confused, “Then why would you ask me for them...?” He turns around and stares at him as if it’s painfully obvious, “…So I had an excuse to talk to you, dumb ass”.

Ian flushes with pleasure at his admission, but it’s also sort of a painful reminder than Mickey has feelings for him too. Feelings that he continues to bury. Maybe Mickey notices the change of expression on his face, because he smiles at Ian sadly before turning back to his equations.

It’s more than just feelings, too. Ian had never picked his fling with Kash back up, not even when he realized he and Mickey wouldn’t be having sex again. He didn’t pursue any one else to have sex with either. The only things he ever masturbated to now were either thoughts of his and Mickey’s night together at the campgrounds, or imagining himself and Mickey in the pornos he watched, doing what the actors were doing. It's preferable to anything else he could dream up.

Sometimes he tries to bait Mickey into complimenting him or acknowledging him, as childish as it makes him feel, he just likes getting attention from Mickey. He uploads a picture of himself to his Facebook on one unusually hot October day, shirtless and “headed to the pool”. It gets several likes, mostly from his female classmates, but not one from Mickey. Ian is irritated until he gets a text from him later that day.

We should go swimming”.

He immediately perks up, and texts back quickly, “Taking my siblings again tomorrow to the public pool, u should come :)His phone lights up, “Sure, I’ll come over in the morning

Ian hollers through the house, “DEBBIE, CARL, LIAM, POOL TOMORROW!”

His younger sister and brothers are eager to go to the pool the next day, as the weather is still pleasantly warm, and Mickey helps him herd them there. Mickey blows up an inflatable ring for Liam while Ian slathers sunscreen on his siblings, and then Debbie and Carl take their youngest brother into the pool with his ring. Ian smiles at them until he turns to see Mickey taking off his shirt, and his mind immediately flashes back to him doing that that night in the tent, right before they fucked.

He feels himself getting hard almost immediately, it’s been a long while since he did anything but jerk himself off, compared to how he used to be. It used to be so easy, just going in to work and fucking Kash whenever he wanted to get off. He stares at Mickey’s bare chest, unable to pull his eyes away from it, wishing he could touch it like he did that night.

Mickey notices him staring, and glances down at his crotch. He quickly looks away from Ian, as he yanks his own shirt off, who can see Mickey is clearly fighting his own burgeoning arousal. They both jump into the cold pool immediately, and avoid each other for a few minutes, until Mickey comes back around to splash Ian with some chilly water.

Ian splashes him back, “You fucking drive me crazy” he whispers, blinking water from his green eyes. “Oh yeah?” Mickey asks, laughing. “Yeah you’re fucking annoying”. Mickey does an exaggerated pout, like he is offended, and Ian splashes him again, laughing as he swims across the pool.

He drops his siblings back off at home for Lip for watch, when they are done at the pool, now done with his babysitting shift for the day. Mickey invites him back to his empty house to hang out for a couple hours, and Ian of course agrees.

When they go inside he starts to head to the living room, where they always hang out and play video games or watch movies, but Mickey hesitates to follow him, “Do you wanna see my room?” he asks. Ian turns in surprise at the offer, “Yeah, sure”.

He had wondered why Mickey didn’t invite him in there before, and figured that he was just very private, due to the “STAY THE FUCK OUT!” sign on the bedroom door. But as Mickey swings open the door, he sees it’s a fairly normal bedroom for any angsty teenage guy.

The walls are covered in posters, some offensive symbols and words, and lots of odd sketches that he assumes Mickey did himself. Mickey watches Ian move around his bedroom with curiosity. “Must be nice not sharing” Ian laughs, thinking of his own crowded bedroom. Mickey tips his head in response, “Yeah, I guess”. Ian sits down on his red bedspread and Mickey stares at him before shaking his head, clearing some unshared image from it, “I’m getting a beer, want one?”

“Yeah sure” Ian says, still looking around the room, taking in the details. He pictures Mickey sitting in here at night, texting him, doing whatever else he does, sleeping. Mickey leaves the room, and Ian’s eyes drift over towards a magazine that’s fallen between the bed and the nightstand. He picks it up to put it back on the nightstand, and smirks as he sees it’s a straight porno mag. He thumbs through it casually, wondering what guys inside of it are Mickey’s type. Muscular? Blonde? Black? Tattooed? Tall?  Something flutters out from between the pages of the magazine, to the floor, as he flips through it, and he leans down to pick it up.

His mouth drops open when he sees what it is. It’s a picture of him, the picture he had posted yesterday on Facebook of himself, shirtless. Mickey must have printed it out. Speaking of Mickey, he suddenly comes back into the room. He stands there, reddening in embarrassment, as he sees what Ian is staring at.

Ian blushes in return as he looks back at his best friend, “I just saw the magazine on the floor, and this fell out”. He waves the picture slightly and then sticks it back inside of the magazine, slapping it shut and putting it back where he found it. 

Mickey is still blushing furiously, clearly at a loss for words, but Ian shakes his head casually. “I don’t care Mick, seriously. It’s cool. You think I don’t jerk off thinking about that night?”

Mickey approaches him slowly with the beers, and Ian doesn’t add that it’s all he jerks off to, as he accepts one of them. He just hadn’t thought of using a picture yet, it's a good fucking idea. They sit there in silence for a moment, drinking their beers on Mickey’s bed, and Ian can’t keep himself from continuing, “It was hot as fuck”. Mickey laughs darkly, “Yeah”.

Just knowing Mickey still wants him too spurs Ian on, and he texts him that night as he sits in his room, too horny to focus on his English homework, “You should update your Facebook”.

What do you mean” Mickey sends back. Ian bites his lip, sending, “Upload a pic”.

Lip suddenly speaks from his bunkbed across the room, apparently forgetting about his own homework. “Are you trying to fuck Mandy Milkovich?" The question startles Ian and he drops his phone, “No? Why the fuck would you ask me that??”

Lip shrugs, “I heard a rumor. You spend a lot of time over there. I know you’re Mickey’s friend and all but I suggest you don’t try and bang his sister, he’ll still probably kill you”. Ian hesitates to respond, “I’m… I’m sort of…. I like someone else”.

“Like? The girl you’re obviously texting right now?” Lip teases, smirking at the childish term.

Ian burns red with embarrassment, and desperate, tries to probe his older brother for some wisdom. “I dunno. Like if it’s a crush, or something else, how the fuck do you even tell?” Lip shrugs, “Fuck if I know. I fuck, that’s what I do, Ian. That’s what you should do. Don’t get feelings involved”.

Ian shakes his head at the pointless suggestion, he’s way beyond that point. There were probably feelings involved from the very moment Mickey sat beside him on the bus that day.

“Does she know how you feel?” Lip asks, noticing the troubled look on his brother's face. Ian thinks of how badly he wants Mickey, how he tried to stay away but just couldn’t, taking anything he could get from the other boy, as shitty as being friend zoned was. “Yeah… they know”.

“Doesn’t feel the same way?” Lip adds, still trying to understand why he's frustrated. Ian looks up slowly, thinking of the picture he found in Mickey’s magazine, of what Mickey had told him underneath the bleachers, “No, they do”. Lip laughs, “then what’s the problem?”

Luckily, he’s missing the sadness in Ian’s eyes as he looks away, “It’s complicated”. He feels his phone vibrate and looks down at it, “Don’t like taking pics of myself”. Ian quickly types back, “Why??”

Shy about shit like that”. Ian sighs in frustration, ignoring the look Lip gives him, but his brother tries again to impart some of his wisdom.

“Ian, if you’re trying to get a nude from a chick, you gotta make her comfortable. Tell her she’s got an amazing fuckin bod, you can’t get it out of your head, shit like that. They eat it right up”.

Ian hesitates, wondering if the same principles apply to gay guys, but decides to take his older brothers advice, even though he’s not trying to push Mickey for a nude. Yet.

Shouldn’t be shy. I’ve seen you, nothing to be shy about. Trust me” he sends to Mickey. His phone stays silent for a while and he tries to focus on his English book again, but about half an hour later he gets a notification from Facebook that Mickey’s updated his profile picture.

He quickly opens the app, shaking his phone as the photo loads sluggishly.

It finally finishes loading. Mickey’s sitting on the front porch of his house, and it’s pretty dark out, so his face is dimly lit. But he’s sitting there, smiling slightly at the camera, his dark hair slicked back. Fuck he looks good.

Ian immediately presses like.

Happy now?

Ian smiles at his phone and texts back, “Yes”.

He finds Mickey under the bleachers at lunch as per usual the next day, but he doesn’t sit down beside him like he usually does, and Mickey looks back up at him with an eyebrow raised questioningly.

“Do you wanna grab lunch today?” Ian asks, fingering the straps of his backpack. Mickey frowns, “Like….?” “Like grab lunch” Ian rolls his eyes, “It’s not a date. McDonald’s or whatever. I forgot to pack a lunch”. That’s a downright lie, he purposely didn’t pack one, but he knows Mickey will go if he thinks Ian doesn’t have another option.

Sure enough, he nods and stands, brushing off his jeans.

They walk to the nearest McDonald’s about five minutes from the school, and get in line. “What do you usually get?” he asks Mickey, casually adding, “I’m not sure what I want, need ideas”. Mickey shrugs, “I’m not exactly picky man. I’ll get something cheap”.

He glances around at some of their other classmates sitting in the restaurant as Ian approaches the cashier, deciding it doesn’t matter, “Two Quarter Pounders with cheese, fries, and cokes please. To go”. Ian can feel Mickey staring daggers into his back as he takes out his cash, and he ignores it completely. He takes the greasy bag from the cashier and heads outside, Mickey following him out of the restaurant closely.

Why did you do that ?”, Mickey hisses, as soon as they get outside. He looks embarrassed, “I didn’t ask you to buy me anything”.

“Friends buy each other food sometimes Mick” Ian shrugs, casually. Too casually. “Bullshit. I can pay for myself! I’m your friend, not your bitch !” Mickey spits. Ian looks back at him, hurt.

Mickey glances away angrily again, pinching his nose tightly between two fingers before his expression softens. “I’m sorry. I sound like a dick. It’s just, we agreed…” he trails off.

Ian looks down, suddenly not hungry at all anymore. He was definitely pushing it, first with the picture and now this...he just couldn’t help himself. “You’re right, I’m sorry”. He walks over to the garbage and tosses his own food into it. Mickey’s eyes widen in surprise at his wastefulness, “Ian, what the hell did you do that for?”

“I’m just not really hungry. Big breakfast” Ian lies, shrugging.

Mickey’s shoulders droop slightly, obviously feeling guilty, “Well, you’re splitting with me then. Come on, we’re gonna be fucking late”. Mickey starts to walk back towards the school and Ian follows him, jogging a little to catch up.

“Hey, our gym classes are doing combined rugby today” Ian remembers, as he sees his coach gathering some students on the field already. They must have missed the bell.

“Yeah, guess lunch is over, here”. Mickey hands Ian the burger from his bag, and starts scarfing down the fries himself, while they head towards the locker room. They get changed quickly beside each other, Ian carefully not looking at Mickey. Okay, maybe he sneaks a glance. Just one though. Mickey looks back at him with an eyebrow raised in warning and he looks away.

Mickey in a rugby uniform… is fucking hot. Ian can barely keep his eyes off his best friend as they get to the field. They end up on the same team, and its probably lucky Ian is placed as a prop in the front, with Mickey slightly behind him as a flanker, or he’d never be able to focus on the game.

But Ian doesn’t see what Mickey is doing as the game starts, and in fact after a while he is entirely lost in the game and the head to head competition, as he slams into the other players, forcing back their defense. His competitive side thrives during sports, and his physical training as a cadet makes him a formidable opponent.

About halfway through the game Ian lines up across from another player though, Tyler, who makes a dirty move, and ends up headbutting Ian in the stomach with his helmet. Ian drops like a stone, gasping as he clutches at his stomach in pain.

The rest of his team immediately starts to complain about the foul, but one teammate takes it a step further, and comes charging past him, tackling Tyler, and slamming him into the ground. Ian doesn’t have to look twice, he knows it’s Mickey. He can’t draw enough breath to shout at him, but he can see Mickey is clearly in a blind rage, straddling the other player to the ground as he knocks his helmet off and begins delivering punch after punch to his head.

The rest of the players on both teams surge forward and get involved in the fight, the excess of teenage male testosterone taking over as the coach blows his whistle furiously, trying to get them to stop wailing on each other.

Ian gets up, wincing, the only player not involved in the chaos, and watches as Mickey’s gaze flickers upwards from Tyler, who he’s still currently pummeling on, and lands on Ian. He’s drenched in sweat, wide eyed and slack jawed, as he starts to calm down from his blind fury. He continues to look up at Ian, his eyes now unfocused, until Tyler takes advantage of him being distracted, and slams a fist upwards into his nose.

The coach reaches them a second later and yanks Mickey off of Tyler, screaming into his ear as he does, “MILKOVICH! YOU ARE SUSPENDED FOR A WEEK, GET OFF MY FIELD”. Mickey flips him off and holds his gushing nose calmly, walking away towards Ian as he does. Ian shakes his head as soon as he arrives at his side, “Jesus Mickey”.

Mickey grins, blood running down into his teeth, “What?”, he asks innocently. He clearly lives for this shit. 

“C’mon”, Ian puts his arm around his best friends’ shoulder and heads back to the locker room with Mickey, finding him a clean towel for his nose, “You better go home”.

Mickey nods, his voice muffled from underneath the towel, “Yeah. Guess I got a week off”. He laughs, entirely unfazed by his wrecked nose, and Ian fights the urge to kiss his sweaty head.

Chapter Text

Ian feels a little disappointed when he goes outside the next morning to head to school, and doesn’t see Mickey sitting there waiting for him, like he usually does. Mickey of course has no reason to be there, after being suspended for a week, for wailing on one of their classmates during rugby practice. A classmate who was being a dick and hurt Ian first.

Even Lip’s heard about it by morning, as they walk to school together he says to his younger brother, “Saw Mickey’s status, that why he wasn’t waiting on our porch this morning as per usual? What did Tyler do?” Ian looks at him, remembering what Mickey had posted to his Facebook.

Suspended for a week, Coach Green can kiss my ass. And fuck u Tyler

“Yeah, I don’t know, they got in a stupid fight during rugby practice. Mickey beat the shit out of him”.

Lip laughs, “Why? Did Tyler look at him funny?” Mickey’s known for being a hothead.

Ian shrugs, not wanting to get into it. He finds it a little funny how Mickey is so worried about not being anything more than friends, but then he goes and does something like that. An obvious display of how much he cares.

Or maybe it’s just obvious to Ian, because no one comments on it when he gets to school. He sees Tyler in the hallway on his way to class and notes his black eye and split lip, but Tyler doesn’t seem annoyed to seem Ian at all, clearly having forgot why the altercation started in the first place. He actually nods at Ian as he passes, and Ian touches his still tender stomach as he walks to math class.

Instead of sitting in his usual seat, he takes the one Mickey usually sits in. He listens to his teacher explain what will be on their next math test, but his attention fades and his green eyes drift down to the desk’s surface, where years of scratches and initials done by other highschool students lie. He scans over all of them until he narrows down onto one in particular. MILKOVICH.

Ian traces it with his finger, wondering when Mickey did it. He glances up to see if his teacher is paying attention, but he’s writing on the board now, his back to his students. Ian takes his pen and begins to scratch into the desk’s abused surface, on a small clear space about an inch underneath where Mickey’s last name is. GALLAGHER.

He isn’t sure what to do with himself at lunch. He sees a group of students he is sort of friends with heading to the cafeteria, and he’s sure they wouldn’t mind if he joined them, but he doesn’t really want to. He heads to the bleachers by the field and plops down on the ground where Mickey is usually sitting at this time of day. He sighs, watching some grains of dirt drift away from him as he does. The wind is cooler today, the weather having taken a sharp turn into fall, as the warm days of late summer vanished. He sees a cigarette butt by his feet and picks it up in his fingers. Marlboro. One of Mickey’s.

He drops it and pulls out his phone. “How’s the suspension?

Mickey answers back about a minute later, “Boring. Just playin video games. Could use a second player”. Ian thinks for a moment, “Want me to come over?

Well yeah, but you’ll get in trouble” Ian stands up and brushes off his pants, “Idfc”.

He smiles when Mickey opens the front door to let him in, “How’s your nose?”

Mickey touches his slightly swollen nose gingerly, “I’ve had worse, come on”. He waves Ian inside, and heads back to his spot the couch. An open bag of chips is resting on the couch beside him, and he tosses Ian an extra controller, “Cod?”  “Yeah sure” Ian loves any FPS style video games, which maybe isn’t surprising, given his interest in the army. He’s a lot better than Mickey, who tries but fails to control his frustration as Ian destroys him over and over again.

Mickey’s player falls to the ground, clutching his chest as blood sprays from a stab wound delivered by Ian’s character. Mickey snaps, “Will you fuck off? Quit screen peeking”. Ian adamantly argues back, “I’m not screen peeking!”

“Bullshit you’re not, how come the fucking second I come around a corner, you’re already fucking waiting there?” “You’re just shit at the game Mickey” Ian laughs. Mickey shoots him a dirty look. Ian bites his lip as he glances over at his cranky crush, and purposely fudges his aim the next time he runs into Mickey on the map.

“A-ha! Take that ginger” Mickey crows, clearly pleased with his kill. Ian doesn’t answer, pretending to be annoyed, and plays progressively worse, just slowly enough so that Mickey won’t suspect anything, until Mickey wins. He turns to Ian, his blue eyes flashing with delight. Ian feels a sudden urge to pull him into a kiss, but before he leans over, the front door opens and Terry comes in.

Mickey’s smile vanishes, and he turns and scowls at the tv screen as his dad heads into the kitchen. They hear him banging around in there and starting to swear, and Ian turns to Mickey, “I better head home”. Mickey nods, chewing the inside of his cheek, watching as Ian walks out the front door.

Fiona pounces on him as soon as he gets home, “Why weren’t you at school after lunch period??”

Ian hesitates, and decides to play dumb, “I was”. She looks at him in exhaustion, “Yeah, the school called, Ian. Come on, tell me”. He shrugs, “I wasn’t doing anything bad. Mickey got suspended because of me so I went over to hang out with him, keep him company”. Fiona groans, “You’re skipping school because of Mickey? I don’t like that Ian, don’t like it all”. He holds up his hands in defeat, “Fine, I won’t do it again. Sorry”.

The next day at lunch Mickey texts him, “Okay so I’m thinking melee, one vs. one”

Ian sighs, slowly typing back, “Can’t skip again, Fiona was super pissed”. He kicks at the grass by his feet until Mickey answers again, “Oh, okay”.

Ian puts his phone away and heads towards a group of his classmates that he sees passing by, Brent and Becca being in the mix, “Hey guys. Mind if I chill?” They shrug, “Nah course not”. He listens to them talk about the usual stuff, shitty teachers, who’s fucking who, just typical highschool gossip, and misses Mickey’s preferable company terribly. “So, why do you hang out with Milkovich?” Ian looks up suddenly at Brent’s question.

“He’s hot” Becca laughs, and Brent rolls his eyes, “I didn’t ask why you’d hang out with him, I asked why Ian would. He’s kind of a greaser, isn’t he?” He laughs meanly and Ian fights the anger bubbling inside of him, he’d like to punch Brent right in his smug face. Thinks he’s so fucking great with his Adidas sneakers and AE t-shirts. Douchebag probably doesn’t even realize Ian’s dressed in hand me downs half the time too.

But he can't do any of that. “Mickey’s actually really cool” he tries to say casually, “We’re friends”. Brent nods, “Whatever you say, man. But you can hang out with us instead whenever, you know that, right?” Ian cocks his eyebrow at him, “Oh yeah? Can Mickey hang out with you too?” Brent hesitates, and it’s enough of an answer for Ian. He coldly ignores him for the rest of the day.

He tries to call Mickey when he gets home that night, but Mickey declines the call and sends him a text instead, “Sorry, dad’s around. Just text”.

Ian chews the inside of his cheek, sitting back on his bed, he looks up at the ceiling blankly for a moment before texting back, “Wanted to hear your voice”. Mickey doesn’t answer, and Ian tosses his phone to the end of his bed in annoyance. It was probably stupid for him to text that, what was Mickey supposed to even say to that? He digs through his backpack for his math homework and works on it until he hears Fiona holler for him from downstairs, “IAN”.

He sighs and closes his math textbook, dropping it on his bed before he comes down the stairs two steps at a time, “What?” he snaps, irritably. His frown immediately lifts when he sees Mickey standing there in the living room, lifting a hand in hello.

Fiona tips her head at Mickey and heads back to the kitchen, clearly feeling somewhat cool towards him after Ian’s skipping the previous day. “Wanna hit the store with me?” Mickey asks, “Gotta get smokes”. Ian nods quickly, “Yeah sure”. He grabs a light coat and follows Mickey outside.

Mickey pulls out a packet of cigarettes as soon as they get outside and offers one to Ian, who takes it in confusion. “Thought you needed…?” Mickey shakes his head, “Nah, but I wasn’t gonna say in front of your sister, wanna go for a walk? Sounds fuckin gay man”.

Ian lets Mickey light his cigarette, “So you did just wanna go for a walk?” Mickey chuckles, “You tell me, texting me shit about wanting to hear my voice. Figured seeing me in person was better than a fuckin phone call”.

Ian blushes, and looks at Mickey shyly. “Sorry, school was just really shit today without you”. Mickey holds his cigarette between two fingers, taking it away from his mouth, “Yeah?”

“People talking shit, same old". Mickey raises an eyebrow, “Who’s ass do I gotta kick?” Ian laughs, shaking his head, “No one’s. Just miss hanging out with you at school”. He nods, “Yeah it’s boring at home too”.

They reach the baseball field and climb over the locked fence, before going to sit in the dugout. Mickey leans back casually on the bench, and Ian notices him shiver slightly in the cool fall air, dressed only in a tank top. Nights especially are getting cold now. Ian looks at the goosebumps on Mickey’s arms, and without thinking, drifts a hand over and runs his fingertips over Mickey’s pale skin, causing even more bumps to rise under his fingers. Mickey swallows hard and looks at Ian nervously, “What-what the fuck are you doing?”

Ian takes his hand away and gets up to sit back down beside him, putting his arm around Mickey, who looks up at him, his blue eyes pensive.

“You’re cold” Ian murmurs, as Mickey tips his head back, leaving it to rest in the crook of Ian’s arm. They look at each other for a moment, Mickey biting his lip, Ian searching his blue eyes for a sign. Ian moves his face an inch closer to Mickey’s, who’s pupils darken in response. He shivers as a strand of red hair falls from Ian’s forehead and brushes against him, as Ian closes the gap between them, pressing his lips to Mickey’s, feeling like the rest of the world is entirely shut out in that moment. Ian shivers himself, not from the cold, but from the sensation of finally fucking having Mickey’s lips against his own again.

But it doesn’t last.

Mickey struggles out from underneath him, and backs away from Ian and the bench. “Why did you fucking do that?” he pants, angrily. Ian glares at him, “Don’t ask stupid fucking questions, you know why. You know damn well why, and don’t fucking tell me you didn’t kiss me back, because I felt it!”

“We’re friends Ian!” Mickey yells. Ian stands up from the bench, now raising his own voice, “Friends who wanna spend every fucking minute of every fucking day together? Friends who beat the shit out of someone when the other guy is perfectly capable of doing it for himself ? FRIENDS DON’T MASTURBATE TO EACHOTHER’S PICTURES MICKEY”.

Mickey’s mouth drops open in shock, and he struggles for a moment with what to say before he hisses, “You said that was fine”.

Ian jabs a finger at him, “Of course it is, I fucking jerked off to your picture last night! But not in a ‘friendly’ way!” Mickey pushes Ian’s hand away from him, “What, do you just want to fuck me or something? Is that the fucking problem Ian?”

Ian is furious now, “No I don’t want to just fuck you Mickey. I want to kiss you, I want to hold you. I want you to fucking admit that you want that shit too!” Mickey shakes his head, and lets out a shaky laugh. “I can’t fucking do this right now Ian, I really can’t. I gotta go home, I’ll talk to you later”. Ian watches as Mickey scales the fence easily and takes off into the night, trembling with anger as he does.

He spits into the dirt and combs his fingers through his red hair sharply. He takes his phone out of his pocket and scrolls deep into the hidden apps he has buried in his Extras folder. He taps on Grindr, a hookup app he hasn’t used since the past summer. He sniffs as his profile pops up, and he selects within two miles. He swipes no on several attractive guys, not sure what he’s looking for until he sees it.

Josh, 18.

His hair is black, but slightly longer, although it’s jammed mostly under a ballcap. His eyes are bright blue. His profile just says Hit me up! and the green icon says he’s online.

You bottom?” Ian sends, still panting from anger.

Josh answers back almost instantly. “Yeah I do ;) Wanna come over?

“Fuck” Ian throws his phone to the ground, and kicks the fence in front of himself, swearing as it rattles from the impact. He shakes his head, and then he picks up his phone again and sends another message.

 “Yes, send address”.

 

Chapter Text

Ian double checks the address on his phone, before walking up to the front door and knocking on it aggressively. A dark-haired boy answers it after he waits there for about a minute, with his hands in his pockets, and holds it open to let him inside. Ian doesn’t ask if Josh is his real name or not, and he doesn’t really give a fuck. His own profile says that his name is Curtis.

“Thanks” he says as he comes inside, panting slightly from exertion. Something Josh doesn’t fail to notice. “Jesus, did you run here or something? Couldn’t get here fast enough?” Josh winks at him.

“Sure, whatever. We doing this in your room, or here?” Ian asks as he glances around, knowing he probably sounds like an asshole. But he just doesn’t care. Josh just laughs, apparently unfazed by Ian’s obviously foul mood. Maybe he’s one of those guys that gets off on comforting strangers, Ian wonders briefly. Josh reaches over and yanks his jacket off, “Well if you’re in such a hurry, here will do”.

He leans in to kiss Ian, but he turns his head, avoiding it. Josh frowns slightly but lets it go, “You not much of a kisser Curtis?” he asks, as he undoes his pants. Ian shakes his head as he undoes his own belt.

He pulls down his boxers partway and spits into his hand a few times before putting his hand to his own cock. It twitches in interest after a moment and starts to harden, and he tips his head at Josh, indicating he should lean up against the closed front door, feeling like he’s underwater. Josh starts some dirty talk, trying to egg him on, but Ian’s ears are ringing and he’s not hearing anything anymore, as he grabs a condom from his wallet. He tears it open and slides the condom on, pressing one hand into Josh’s shoulder as he leans up behind him, getting ready to fuck him.

He pauses, looking at Josh squirm slightly in anticipation below him.

He looks at the back of Josh’s dark head, and finally notices that his hair isn’t naturally black, not like Mickey’s.

Mickey

He suddenly feels sick to his stomach and he backs away from Josh, picking up his jeans as he does.

Josh turns around in confusion and disappointment, “What are you doing?” Ian shakes his head harshly, “I can’t do this right now, I’m sorry”. He yanks his jacket back on and pulls open the front door roughly, ignoring Josh’s what the fuck expression as he runs past him out of the house and into the night.

He is almost sobbing by the time that he gets home, he is so angry and pained, and he sees a figure sitting in the dark on the front porch as he approaches, a haze of smoke around them. “Mickey?” he calls, his voice strained. “Uh, no? Just me”.

It’s Lip, Ian sees as he gets closer. Sitting out there having a cigarette. He looks up at him from the porch step in concern, “What the fuck happened to you?”

Ian looks up at the dimly lit house and then down at his older brother, “I… fucked up. I almost fucked someone”. Lip looks confused, by both the almost, and the fact that fucking someone could be a problem, “Uh…?”

He tries to explain, “Not the person I told you about, the person I, have feelings for”. Lip turns his hands up slightly, “So? You’re not dating”.

Ian swallows hard, “It feels wrong”. It did, every nerve in his body was buzzing with agitation, like he had offended them in some way.

“Then why’d you almost do it?” Lip asks, handing him a cigarette. Ian shakes his head at the offering, turning it down, “I was pissed off”.

“Well, it sounds like you have some weird fucking thing going on. But a chick that doesn’t put out can’t tell you not to fuck anyone else either, little bro”.

Ian almost laughs, this conversation is so fucked up, but then he feels slightly sick again as he thinks of Mickey’s face, how he looked at the dugout tonight. “How am I supposed to tell them what I did?” Lip butts out his cigarette, “You don’t. You don’t owe her anything if you’re not dating. Forget about it, it’s not like you actually did anything”.

Ian’s heart rate starts to settle as he considers this. If he could avoid talking about this with Mickey, would that be so bad? Lip had a point, they weren’t dating… but he knew it would change things anyways between them if he told Mickey. Still, he didn’t actually go through with it. For once, he’s glad for the radio silence between him and Mickey. He doesn’t text him that night at all, instead letting his mind flood him with guilt over what he'd almost done, and the look that had been on Mickey’s face, while he had yelled at him in the baseball field.

To his surprise though, when he comes outside in the morning to go to school, Mickey’s sitting there, smoking a Marlboro on the porch, just like any other day.

Mickey turns at the sound of the door opening, “Ian”. He stands up and then reaches back down for the two to-go coffees he had resting on the stoop beside himself. “Got you a coffee” he says, offering it to him. Ian takes it uncertainly, “Uh… thanks”. He walks down the rest of the steps, “I gotta go to school”.

Mickey looks back at the house, “Is Lip going to school today?” He shrugs, “Nah, he’s still sleeping”. Ian’s not sure if he would rather have Lip here or not right now, because he’s pretty sure Mickey is about to give him shit for the way he acted last night. Not that he can blame him, but he’s scared Mickey will tell him he doesn’t want to hang out with him anymore, if he can’t keep his feelings to himself. And he really doesn’t know if he can do that. He keeps trying, and failing.

Mickey nods, “I’ll walk with you”. Ian glances at him, “Okay”.

He takes a tentative sip from the coffee Mickey brought him as he settles into a steady pace beside him, gripping his fingers into the protective sleeve. Ian looks at the ground, ignoring the embarrassment he feels, as he opens his mouth to apologize- “I’m sorry about yesterday”. They both said it at the exact same time, and him and Mickey turn to each other in confusion.

“What are you sorry for?” Mickey asks, looking at his best friend in disbelief. Ian grimaces, “You’ve told me more than once not to do that shit, but I keep trying to. I mean, it’s not surprising I pissed you off”. Mickey scratches the back of his head, “Well… you had a point last night Ian. I say that shit but then I cross those lines too, but I got rid of that picture okay? I shouldn’t have been using that”. He laughs awkwardly, clearing embarrassed.

Ian’s eyes widen and he says without thinking, “What? No Mick I wanted you to-“ 

He suddenly reddens as Mickey turns to him with his dark eyebrow raised, “You wanted me to wank, to pictures of you?”

They stare at each other rather seriously for a moment, and then they both break into peals of laughter. This whole thing is just ridiculous. “Well, I’m just gonna have to send you a new picture then” Ian teases, checking to see what the dark-haired boy’s reaction will be to his prodding.

His lips twitch, and his eyes flicker with an interest that he can’t hide, if he was even trying to. “Of course, I would need one in return…” Ian drawls, and Mickey jabs him in the chest with his finger playfully, before suddenly stopping on the sidewalk, “Well, have a good day. Not allowed on school grounds, so”.

He looks like he wants to say more but doesn’t, and Ian looks behind himself at the highschool, he hadn’t even realized that they were here already.

He continues to think about the look that had been on Mickey’s face before he left, like there was something just on the tip of his tongue that he couldn’t share, and it drives him nuts while Mrs. Lowry lectures the class about watersheds. His phone vibrates in his pocket while he’s in class, but she’s looking over at him too often and he can’t check it until after.

It’s from Mickey, and his eyes widen as he reads it, and then two more times, wanting to make sure he’s getting every word right. It’s probably the longest text he’s ever gotten from him.

You were right about the rest of it too. I do wanna spend all my time with you, and I want all that other shit too. And I already fucking reprinted that picture of you, needed it haha

Ian feels a flush of pleasure rush over himself as he tries to think of how to answer, torn between trying to get Mickey to elaborate on wanting all that other shit, and addressing ‘using’ the picture. But he’s a teenage guy, and he goes for the second one, the easier one to deal with for the time being. “I’d like a pic of you, Mick. Something for me to look at tonight”.

He sees the typing bubble appear and disappear a few times and he knows he’s gonna be late for his next class but he doesn’t give a shit, he’s almost holding his breath. “I’ll do it” appears on his screen, and then, “Like the chest one you have on your Facebook. But just for you”.

Ian doesn’t even care that it’s not going to be a full nude, the just for you part makes him hard within seconds, and he quickly types back, “Don’t know if I can wait til tonight”.

Mickey texts back, “Nice try Gallagher, not sending that shit while you’re at school”.

 Fuck.

 Ian tries to think of cats and old people and boobs and whatever else he can before he heads back into class, forcing his raging boner to take a chill pill.

He practically runs home after school, and heads right upstairs to the bathroom, breathlessly yelling hi back to Fiona as he breezes past her confused expression. He locks the door and pulls out his phone.

I’m home” he sends Mickey.

Ok

A picture pops up on his screen a moment later and Ian frowns at it… it’s some wooden box or something…? “Think you sent the wrong pic?” he texts Mickey. He gets back, “No, that’s my chest lol”.

Ian rolls his eyes but laughs, as he hammers his thumbs into his phone, “Fuck off Mick I’m practically standing here with my dick in my hand don’t do this to me”. Another picture loads onto his screen and Ian scrambles to pull his jeans down with one hand as he grips his phone in the other. He doesn’t peel his eyes from the picture of Mick’s bare chest as he starts to stroke his cock, impatiently squeezing some lotion onto it from one of the bottle lying on the counter.

He ignores the text that pops up on his screen, “Is that one okay?

He groans at the sensation as he begins to stroke himself with a tighter grasp, taking in every single detail of Mickey’s body like it’s a piece of precious fucking art.

Mickey’s flexing his biceps slightly in the picture, each muscle curving smoothly against his white skin. He has a stocky build, and his shoulders are broad and strong, perfect to hold onto when you’re fucking him, Ian thinks. One of his thick arms is covering his stomach partially, but not entirely, and Ian is again reminded of his strong urge to cover that fucking stomach in kisses, right down to his treasure trail and then some. But it’s his face, his fucking face, that does Ian in.

Those piercing blue eyes that could reduce someone to nothing with one glare, that mouth that could tear someone to shreds without Mickey even lifting a finger. Mickey.

Uhh, Jesus” Ian gasps, as he shoots his load out messily onto the bathroom sink.

He’s fucking spent.

He wipes his sweaty forehead off with the back of one of his arms, and panting, turns on the sink faucet. He tries to swirl his cum down the drain with the rest of the running water, as he cleans up his mess. He finally wipes down the sink with a dry towel, and then finishes drying his hands.

Ian?” His phone is lit up with another text.

Ian picks up his phone and texts back, “Fuck Mick, I don’t even know what to say”.

He has no way of knowing, but he’d be willing to bet any amount of money, that Mickey was sitting in his bedroom when he got that text back, and that after reading it he was blushing, with the biggest fucking grin on his face.

 

Chapter Text

Ian gets a text from Mickey the next morning, letting him know that he has to spend the rest of his suspension on a road trip with his dad and brothers to pick up an ‘order’ and redistribute it in Wisconsin.

Ian was less disappointed than he was worried, about what Terry might be having Mickey do for him. He didn’t trust that asshole, and he couldn’t even check in, because he knew it wasn’t safe to text Mickey when his dad was sitting right beside him in the car. Any text could be taken the wrong way, and he never wanted to be responsible for Mickey receiving another strike like he did that day in the Milkovich kitchen.

He was worried, and maybe it was selfish, but not even being able to text Mickey makes him feel lonelier than ever. After the first day or two he beings to wonder how he ever got through the empty days before Mickey was really in his life. Sure, he’d had acquaintances at school, and his older brother Lip to hang out with sometimes. He had his other siblings, and there was always something to help out with at home. He even had Kash, and the other occasional hookup to fill his needs.

But those days seem blurry now, as he tries to remember them, and what they were like. Like washed out watercolors, they were forgettable. He’d wake up those mornings and go through his routines, do whatever the fuck he felt like throughout the day, without giving it much thought. Without much meaning. But Mickey had changed all that, had changed him.

His days ever since that trip at Oak Forest Campgrounds were fucking brilliant, and bold, bursting with color and life. Mickey was now the centerpiece in all of his thoughts, his actions, without ever asking to be. He just belonged there, from the moment they sat beside each other on the bus that day.

They might be fucking confusing together, even abstract sometimes, but Ian didn’t ever want to look back.

He’s reminded of this during the following long days that are just plain grey without Mickey’s presence. Empty, pointless, dull.

Until he steps out onto the porch one morning to head to school, and sees Mickey there, having his morning cigarette while he waits for Ian, kicking at some of the fall leaves on the ground. He didn’t know that he’d be here today.

All of the greys suddenly bloom back into color, “Mickey?”

Mickey smiles at him, turning at the sound of his name, “Hey”. Ian steps towards him as Mickey stands up, and he touches his arm gently, “You didn’t tell me you were home yet”.

Mickey grins, “Wanted to surprise you”.

Ian takes his hand away and shakes his head, “I’m… I am surprised. I missed you ”. The words come out so easily, as heavy as they feel, and he sees a strange flicker in Mickey’s blue eyes when he says them.

Happiness?

“I missed y-“ The front door opens and Lip steps out onto the porch with them, unknowingly interrupting their important moment. “Hey Mickey, suspension over?”

Mickey pulls his eyes away from Ian and his unfinished sentiment, “Yeah”.

Lip nods, and glances at the pack of Marlboro’s in Mickey’s hand, “Cool. Hey, can I bum a cigarette? I’m out”. Mickey nods and hands Lip a smoke while the three of them pile out onto the sidewalk to walk to school.

Ian can’t talk to Mickey about what he really wants to talk with him about, so he instead asks him about the road trip with his dad and brothers, and the ‘deliveries’ he made. But Mickey clearly doesn’t want to talk about that either though. He gives vague answers to anything Ian asks, and glances meaningfully at Lip every so often as he does. Ian finally drops it as they arrive at the school, and they split ways to go to their separate homerooms. 

As much as Ian fucking wants to talk to Mickey about their ground-breaking text conversation last week, that ended in a suggestive picture, after an admission that yes, Mickey did want those things too, the kissing, the holding, all that shit, he has to make do with just sitting beside him in second period again. Until lunch rolls around, and he can finally leave the third period class he doesn’t have with Mickey.

He practically runs to the practice field, and leans agilely around the metal bars to get underneath the bleachers as quickly as possible without stopping. Mickey of course, is already there. He watches Ian approach him through blue eyes filled with interest, and maybe some nerves.

“Okay so,” Ian drops his backpack to the ground, “We need to talk”. Mickey chuckles lightly, tapping ash from his cigarette into the dirt. “Yeah, guess we probably should” he answers, his breath visible in the cold November air. Ian stares at him for a moment with expectation and Mickey laughs uncomfortably, “What?”

He answers impatiently, “Well you tell me, you’re fucking hot and cold Mick”. Mickey raises one of his dark eyebrows teasingly, “You think I’m hot?” Ian groans, “Can you fucking be serious for once please?”

Mickey flips him off in response, and Ian purses his lips, but then laughs before more seriously saying, “You, you said that I was, you know, right about everything”. He waves his hands slightly as he speaks, trying to get his point across. He can see that Mickey’s nervous about spilling his feelings out, but he isn’t as sympathetic as he maybe could be, after waiting so long for this.

“Yeah, alright”, Mickey pauses for a second, but he looks so thoughtful that Ian doesn’t interrupt, even as he bites his lip impatiently.

Mickey starts again, “There’s so much I could fucking tell you, but here’s the thing I guess, things have been different, I’ve been different, since that fucking day at Oak Forest. Since that night with you”.

Ian hangs onto every word coming out of Mickey’s mouth, his mind buzzing slightly as Mickey finally opens up to him, telling him the words he’s wanted to hear for weeks on end now.

“What do you mean, you’ve been different?” he presses, seeing Mickey start to hesitate again. Mickey frowns at him in annoyance for just a moment before taking a deep breath, and continuing, “I’ve, never felt this fucking way before. Never wanted more than just banging from someone. I don’t know what it is about you, or us, but you’re under my skin man. I thought I could just move on from that night, just be your friend. But…”

He looks up at Ian, his blue eyes now solemn, “I can’t stay away from you. And I don’t just want to be your friend anymore. I want you to kiss me, and I don’t want to force myself to pull away”. He tenses his fist as he speaks, nervously, the dark tattoos especially prominent on his skin that is now slightly pink from the cold.

Ian barely breathes, his heart thumping rapidly in his chest as he stares at Mickey. “You… want me to kiss you?”

Mickey stands up, tipping his head slightly. “Or I could kiss you. Would you like that Ian? Would you like it if I fucking kissed you?” There’s a raw and deep sexuality in his tone, and Ian stares into those electric blue eyes that pull him right in, every single fucking time as he warns him, “If you kiss me right now, I’m not gonna be able to stop”.

The sounds of other highschool students nearby still reach them underneath the bleachers, bringing them back to their senses, and Mickey nods in agreement. Clearly feeling the same way as he considers the possibility of someone walking in on them.  

Ian searches his brain rapidly for a solution, and then it hits him. “After school. Rogers Street, where I told you I’d be your friend” he says firmly, as Mickey raises one of his eyebrows at him in question. Ian continues, knowing Mickey will be there,

“That’s where you’re gonna tell me that you’ll be more”.

Chapter Text

As Ian runs towards Rogers Street after school, leaving without Mickey for one of the very first times since they became close, and climbs over the small piles of rubble in the abandoned mess of construction as he approaches the spray-painted building, his heart is pumping a million fucking miles a minute.

He trips more than once, and picks himself right back up, ignoring how one of his knees throbs slightly from the repeated contact with the ground.

Mickey’s name and the fucking thought of him floods through all of his veins and thoughts in tandem, seizing every movement he makes and propelling him forwards to where he knows Mickey will be waiting for him. He practically slides into the concrete building with fuck spray-painted over it when he finally gets there.

He sees Mickey inside from where he stands in the doorway, standing and leaning against the cracked back wall, a cigarette pressed to his perfect lips. He doesn’t look nervous anymore. Ian stops and pauses there, his chest still heaving from his rush to get there, as he stares at the dark-haired boy.

He watches as Mickey immediately throws his half finished cigarette to the damp ground and strides towards him, “Tell me Mickey, tell me you-“ Mickey grabs his face and pulls him in, cutting him off, and their lips come crashing together after so many weeks of one them or the other fucking fighting it.

Ian’s brain instantly sparks at the contact, every nerve in his body humming with appreciative electricity as Mickey Milkovich holds him in his strong arms like he never wants to let him go, and kisses him like he can’t breathe without Ian as his air. But it’s not enough, “Tell me” he gasps.

“I’ll be more, Ian” Mickey finally murmurs into his lips, breaking the kiss, “I’ll be whatever you fucking want me to be”. Ian runs his hand around behind Mickey’s strong neck, anchoring himself in, as he presses his lips against Mickey’s neck, comforted by the promise. “I want you to be you”.

Mickey laughs softly and pulls himself away just slightly from the embrace to look into Ian’s heavy green eyes, “I can do that. I don’t know why you fucking want that, but I can do it”. He looks so doubtful in himself, and it makes Ian’s chest hurt.

He licks his lips slightly, “You have no fucking idea, do you Mick? What you are”. He shakes his head in disbelief, “You really don’t”. Before Mickey can even try to respond to that, Ian’s phone starts to ring, and he looks down towards the sound of the harsh tone, yanked out of his reverie.

His screen is lit up impatiently, flashing repeatedly with, Kash & Grab- Calling

“Fuck” Ian curses, jamming his phone in his pocket, “I totally fucking forgot, I’m late for my shift!”  Mickey’s eyes widen in disappointment at this news, “You’re fucking leaving?”

Ian looks at him, painfully telling him, “I have to Mick. I can’t lose this job, I’m already on thin ice with my boss. I’ll text you on my break”. He leans in to kiss Mickey goodbye but Mickey prevents him from leaving after just a quick peck, and deepens the kiss.

He looks down at Ian’s belt, I want you, so fuckin bad”. He grinds slightly against Ian’s leg, and Ian feels Mickey’s erection pressing into him urgently, as he looks back up towards him, his eyes filled with need.

Fuck… Mick. Don’t make this harder for me", Ian forces his eyes away from Mickey’s blue ones. His own head is swimming with arousal, but he forcibly jams his thoughts of responsibility over it.

He gives Mickey another quick kiss and then tears out of the collapsing concrete building, yelling behind himself, “I’ll text you!”, as he makes a mad break for his part time job.

He arrives, sweaty and panting, almost half an hour late for his shift, his cheeks flushed from the cold fall air. Kash glares at him as he comes charging inside, “Ian, I was supposed to take the boys to their soccer game! Now Linda is giving me massive amounts of shit. Do you not care about this job?”

He doesn’t add, do you not care about me?

Ian bites his tongue, knowing damn well that if he was still fucking Kash he wouldn’t be making half as big a deal out of this. He’d been late before. He’d quit right fucking now if he didn’t NEED to help Fiona keep their fucking electricity going, and his responsibility to his family keeps his mouth shut.

He ignores Kash bitterly throughout his shift, thinking of how he had to leave Mickey standing there like an idiot after he made him confess his fucking feelings to him. He pinches the bridge of his nose in agitation just picturing it. He fucking hopes Mickey understands, and isn’t too pissed off at him. He takes his break as soon as he is allowed, at seven thirty, and immediately checks his phone, seeing that he has one message from Mickey.

A picture message.

Ian feels a hot flush rise over himself, knowing what it probably contains. He quickly goes into the stock room after locking the front door, Kash now having had retreated to his home above the shop, means he has complete privacy. He closes his eyes tightly, and says a quick and frantic prayer to God, asking for it to please be a nude.

He hesitates for a moment. Is that sacrilegious?

But then he shakes his head vehemently, who the fuck cares? He was never fucking religious anyways.

The picture loads.

Fuck. Maybe he’s religious now.

Mickey’s face isn’t in the picture, which Ian would have liked, but it’s still amazing. It’s a shot from below, his thick cock is in the forefront with his hand wrapped tightly around it, filling most of the camera’s view with FUCK spelled out over his fingers.

Ian can still see Mickey’s perfect chest and stomach behind it all though, and he isn’t sure where to look first, his eyes darting around the entire picture, taking it in greedily. His own dick is now straining against his jeans.

He texts Mickey, “Dick move, sending me that at work. What am I supposed to do now?

Mickey texts back, “You left me standing there like a dick with a throbbing hard on, just thought I’d show you”.

Ian bites his lip, wondering how far he should take this while he’s here at work, “Yeah? Did you take care of yourself?

Am right now, why don’t you send me something to work from”. Ian hastily undoes his boxers, he’s already rock hard from the pic Mickey had sent him, and now from the thought of him stroking himself as they speak. He takes a picture of his cock and sends it to Mickey.

The responding text is appreciative, “Fuck! didn't think you actually would. Aren’t you at work?

I’ve got twenty minutes left of break” Ian quickly texts back.

Jesus Gallagher. I’ll be there in five”.

Ian quickly yanks his pants up and hurries to the front of the store, peeking out from behind the partially covered windows for a sign of the dark-haired boy, but then he gets another text a few minutes later, “Back entrance! Open the fucking door!!

Ian runs back into the stock room to hear someone hammering on the delivery door and he yanks it open, Mickey practically falling into him from behind it as he does.

Ian catches him and steadies him, and Mickey immediately turns to slide the door shut behind himself roughly. He pants as he turns back around and looks at Ian, his blue eyes lit with an unspeakable fire that gives Ian a delicious chill. He points down at himself, “Left me there, left me hard”.

Ian lifts an eyebrow, enjoying this, “I did, didn’t I? Guess I have to fix that”. He grabs the front of Mickey’s jeans and yanks him forward roughly, the other boy doing nothing to stop him. “S’only fair” Mickey smirks.

Ian stoops to his knees, and Mickey reaches down and plays with his red hair affectionately while Ian undoes his jeans and slides them down, Mickey’s boner still pitching a tent in his boxers. “You’re amazing”, Mickey says lazily, still running his fingers through Ian’s red hair. Ian kisses his dick through the fabric of his boxers and Mickey shifts in agitation from the initial contact, “Fuck Ian”.

Ian looks up, smiling, and continues to gently kiss his dick through his boxers, as Mickey looks down at him through heavy eyes. Ian reaches both hands up and slowly pulls the boxers down, letting Mickey’s exposed dick hit his lips as it bounces back upwards insistently. “I could kiss you forever” he murmurs, but instead, he opens his mouth and runs his tongue along the length of Mickey’s shaft without warning as Mickey answers with, “I’d fucking like that”.

He presses his lips back to the tip of Mickey’s dick in a kiss, but then opens his mouth to let Mickey’s dick slide in over his tongue. “God” Mickey chokes, as the foreplay quickly spins into oral, gripping into Ian’s now tousled hair more tightly. Ian gags slightly from the fullness as he takes Mickey too quickly at first, being somewhat out of practice after the several weeks of abstinence. He shivers at the feeling of Mickey’s hands pulling in his hair, a strangely pleasurable sensation.

He pulls back a bit, and finds a more comfortable depth to build a rhythm to, Mickey cursing under his breath the entire time in ecstasy. The sound fills Ian’s ears like music, spurring him on.

Ian slides his fingers over Mickey’s thick thighs to hold onto him better, and flattens his tongue against the slit of Mickey’s cock, already tasting a thick dribble of precum.

It’s been too long, too fucking long.

He feels Mickey’s thighs begin to tense underneath his fingertips after a few minutes, and Mickey’s rushed warning doesn’t come as a surprise, “I’m gonna-“ Ian grips into his thighs harder in response and doubles his speed, causing Mickey to lose his balance and fall back against the wall, loudly knocking over a stack of recycling as he spurts his release into Ian’s mouth.

Ian swallows it all, and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand in victory, as he looks up at Mickey, who’s now leaning against the wall for support, his legs shaking slightly. He looks absolutely wrecked, a sight that brings Ian as much erotic pleasure as his own orgasms do. His own cock is straining against his pants, but as he quickly remembers where he is and checks his phone, he realizes he’s already well past his break, and probably pushing it.  

He stands up and kisses Mickey’s lips, squeezing his strong arms as he does. Mickey presses his sweaty forehead against Ian’s weakly, a silent thank you. “I have to get back to work” Ian says gently.

Mickey looks at him apologetically, “But you didn’t get to-“ Ian cuts him off, “I can wait. I don’t want to rush it, I wanna enjoy every fucking minute when I finally get to fuck you again”. Mickey nods wordlessly, although he already looks like he’d rather not wait. “Text me when you’re done work” he says anyways, opening the back door again to leave. Ian smiles, “Course”.

Ian practically floats through the rest of his shift on cloud nine, hardly able to believe the way things can change in a matter of days.

Mickey… Mickey is his now.

Mickey Milkovich. The boy who could rule the South Side with an iron fist when he wanted to, who would never fucking back down from a fight, or back down from a challenge. The boy who seemed like he wasn’t fucking scared of anything, who seemed like he didn’t care about anything, until he met Ian.

The boy who was now his best friend, his lover, and… the boy he thought he might be falling for.

Chapter Text

Now, Ian did say he could wait, and it’s not like Mickey was holding out on him, but circumstances had prevented them from having privacy for long enough to get anything in but a sneaky kiss here and there for the past several days, and it was starting to drive him a little crazy.

Before they were together, they still spent a ton of time hanging out with each other, but as friends you don’t consider these things as much. How many minutes it might take you to finish, what the chances are of someone walking in on you are, how dangerous it could be if they did. Privacy in the Gallagher house is just hard to find, with at least one of your five siblings constantly bursting into your room.

Both Ian and Mickey are more than aware of this though, so they try to keep things somewhat similar to how they were before, to avoid tempting each other too much to make a stupid decision. A decision that might end up in a younger Gallagher walking in on them. They continue to act like they are just friends still, but both of them also carry the knowledge that they are more now, and are just waiting for the right opportunity to act on it.

And to be honest, as much as Ian did want to have sex with Mickey again, it had been a couple months since their first time together at Oak Forest Campgrounds, and that had also been unplanned, spontaneous. Away from home, it was easier out there.

The fact that they’d grown so close since then was also putting a certain sort of pressure on Ian’s shoulders, that he wasn’t sure Mickey was aware of.

What if he couldn’t make him feel as good as he did the last time?  What if it was awkward this time, or he did something wrong?

There would be two months of buildup before this time, and last time there was just a day. As much as Ian wants to have sex… fuck, just being around Mickey is enough to get him going sometimes, he’s actually almost glad for the initial lack of opportunities, because it gives him some time to get over his mounting nerves.

Mickey is a fucking force of nature sometimes, everything about him is raw, and Ian can’t think of anything worse than fucking things up, after their first time was so perfect.

Especially now that they’re actually together.

 

Mickey and him walk home together after school as per usual the following Wednesday, with the exception of Lip not being there with them like he usually is. The three of them had been standing outside of the school, having a smoke before they headed home, when one of Lip’s classmates had approached them.

Jenna Briggs. Typical pink loving blonde girly girl, but hey, Lip’s not picky.

Maybe she’s a real catch and Ian just can’t tell because he’s gay. Who fucking knows. But this girl approaches Lip in front of his brother and another fucking guy and flat out says, “I got a new mattress, want to help me test it out?”

“Really?” Lip had turned to his brother and Mickey to see if they were actually fucking hearing this, and of course they were, so Lip just shrugged, a big grin on his face, “Sure”. As soon as they were gone, Mickey and Ian had just laughed at the exchange, and continued on home by themselves.

When they get to the Gallagher front porch (Mickey prefers to drop Ian off first before heading home), they both stop, and stand there slightly awkwardly for a moment. It’s hard saying goodbye when you can’t openly actually hug or kiss the other person, and they haven’t quite figured out their routine yet.

“Well… I better head home” Mickey finally says, extending his slightly dirty fingers out to brush against Ian’s as he does. Ian smiles, fucking wishing he could kiss the boy in front of him, “See you”.

He heads inside, and joins Fiona at the table, where she is counting out some bills and loose change. She immediately looks up at him in concern, “Hey Ian, did you get your paycheck yet this week? I’m short for hydro again, something’s not adding up”.

Ian shakes his head, grabbing an apple from the bowlful resting on the kitchen table, “I didn’t put my share in yet. Kash docked me for being late last week, I’ll have the rest soon”.

Fiona raises her eyebrow at him, “Why were you late?”

Ian thinks for a moment, what the fuck would Fiona even say if he just flat out told her, “Yeah I was late because I was kissing fucking Mickey Milkovich in an abandoned building, as he admitted that he has feelings for me and wants to be with me.”

Fiona pushes him in his silence, “Were you off with some girl? Jesus, don’t be like Lip, Ian. He’s gonna fuck himself over if he keeps thinking with his second head and not the one on his shoulders, and you will too”. Ian shrugs without answering her actual statement and just says, “I’ll have it. Don’t worry”.

Lip comes into the house just then, momentarily distracting Ian at least, because he’s actually supposed to be at some girl’s house, but he just mouths as he passes by, ‘Her mom was home’. He heads upstairs, and Ian turns his attention back towards his older sister.

Fiona nods at him, trusting him to pull through like he usually does, and turns her head to holler throughout the house, “Dinner’s early tonight kids! I’m doing tables at 5!”

“What’s for dinner?” Ian asks, as Fiona starts rummaging through the cupboards. “Ramen” she answers, slapping several packages of it onto the counter. “Oh, healthy”, Ian teases. She hits the kettle, “I’ll put frozen peas in it. There’s your fuckin healthy”.

Ian laughs and feels his phone vibrating in his pocket. He pulls it out to read the text from Mickey on the screen, “Hey, dad’s going out tn. Got the place to myself :) Come over?

His gut tenses slightly, and he types back after a moment, “Yeah… just gonna eat dinner. Be there in an hour”. Then as an afterthought he adds, “:)

Woah, okay.

This is happening. This is happening soon. “I’m gonna go have a shower” he mutters to Fiona, who, without looking up, answers with, “Alright, yours will be in the microwave”. He passes Lip on the stairs as he is coming back down and grabs his shoulder to get his attention, “You’re watching the kids while Fiona’s at work”. Lip raises his eyebrow, “You goin to see a girl?” Ian rolls his eyes, “Just fucking do it”. Lip winks at him knowingly and they both continue going in opposite directions on the stairs.

Ian closes the bathroom door behind himself and quickly strips his clothes off, cranking the shower dial on, he waits for about a minute for the water to warm up, before stepping into the stream.

The water rains down soothingly on his skin, as he scrubs himself clean. He stands in there a little longer than is necessary, once the soap is rinsed off.

You’re fine, he tells himself, don’t be nervous.

It’s Mickey.

Beyond that, he tries ignore any other invading thoughts in his mind.

He gets out of the shower, and wraps a towel around himself as he goes to stand in front of the sink. He leans against it, looking at his reflection in the mirror uncertainly. He grabs a comb that’s resting on the ledge and runs it through his red hair, trying to get it to lie in a more attractive way. Okay, that’s good enough, he hopes. He finishes drying himself off, and rolls on some deodorant before getting dressed again.

He runs downstairs to eat quickly so he’ll be there on time. He’s glad now that dinner is light, he thinks, as he slurps up the ramen, sitting beside Carl who is doing the same. His nervous stomach doesn’t want anything more than that right now. He carries his empty bowl over to the sink and leaves it there.

“Alright, I’m heading out” he tells Lip, who’s hovering over Liam while he eats.

“Alright, good luck. See ya later” Lip says, without taking his eyes off his little brother. Ian nods anyways, and grabs his coat and gloves before heading outside.

Chapter Text

Ian walks down the sidewalk quickly, checking his phone multiple times as he does. He’s huffing slightly as he hurries along, thinking he probably shouldn’t have spent so much time dicking around in the shower. He arrives a little late at the Milkovich house, hoping that Mickey isn’t annoyed. He knocks on the door a few times before Mickey answers.

He grins at Ian, clearly not noticing the minutes that he’s late, and Ian can tell he’s admiring him as he steps inside the house.

“You look good” Mickey says appreciatively, and then seems thoughtful as he looks down at himself in slight annoyance a moment later. “You look good too” Ian reassures him.

Mickey hadn’t changed or cleaned up since he’d last seen him, and was now obviously somewhat self conscious about it after seeing that Ian had, as much as he might seem like he didn’t give a shit about stuff like that. Quite frankly, Ian doesn’t give a shit about that stuff himself. He likes Mickey just the way he is.

Mickey’s grin returns at his compliment, as Ian shifts out of his heavy coat and drops it onto the floor beside his boots. The Milkovich house is cold, but warmer than it is outside, as winter rapidly approaches Chicago, and Ian’s pale skin pricks slightly from the temperature change.

“Soo…. My room?” Mickey finally asks, and Ian nods, swallowing hard as he follows Mickey towards the back room. He pushes past the “STAY THE FUCK OUT” sign and steps inside Mickey’s bedroom. He notices that Mickey had obviously cleaned up his room a bit, and his bed is made, the familiar red blanket spread out over it.

“I didn’t get any fucking candles going or any of that other shit, but ya know, hope that’s okay” Mickey laughs lightly, as Ian glances around his room. He sits down on the bed and Mickey’s expression changes as he takes in Ian’s presence on his bed, no longer shaking away the image forming in his head, as he had forced himself to do a couple of months ago. When he had thought that he couldn’t possibly have this.

Mickey crosses the room towards him, and leans across the bed, pressing his hands into the mattress as he kisses him, who opens his mouth to accept the kiss. He’s hanging back a little bit though, and after a moment or two Mickey realizes that.

He pulls back, his blue eyes searching Ian’s green ones, that try to avoid looking back at him. “Ian… do you not want to fuck? We don’t have to” Mickey says softly, mistaking Ian’s hesitation for disinterest.

Ian quickly shakes his head, “No, it’s not that at all. I just… feel, I don’t know, nervous I guess” he says finally, still not looking up at Mickey. To be honest, he’s actually fucking embarrassed now.

He feels Mickey’s hand under his chin, who tips his face upwards gently, “Nervous to be with me? We’ve done this before”.

“Yeah once” Ian says, biting his lip slightly, “And it was fucking amazing. What if I can’t turn you out like that again? You gonna want to keep seeing me?”

Mickey’s face curves into a grin, “Ian, I seriously doubt that will be a fucking problem. And even if it was, yeah, I’d still want to keep ‘seeing’ your ginger ass”. Mickey starts to laugh, but seeing Ian’s still uncertain expression adds more seriously, “But I don’t want you to be nervous either, what would make you more comfortable?”

Ian thinks for a second, grateful Mickey is so understanding. It’s already making some of his nerves disappear. It’s not like he’s a virgin or anything, far from it, but he’s never actually cared like this before, and it’s clearly fucking with his head.

“Maybe I can just start out going down on you and then when I get more comfortable we can go from there” he offers. Mickey kisses the top of his head, “I’m not gonna fucking argue with that, but you don’t have to do anything. Don’t fucking feel like I expect shit from you Ian. If you want we can just go play video games”.

Ian finally laughs warmly, shaking his head, and then he directs his gaze back into Mickey’s eyes, reminded of his deep affection for him, “Fuck that, c’mere”. He pulls Mickey over him onto the bed, laying on his back as he does, and he kisses the other boy heatedly. Mickey’s weight feels perfect over his body, like a comforting blanket, dissolving all of his nerves.

They kiss like that for a few moments and Ian feels both of them getting hard quickly, their crotches resting against each other as Mickey lays on top of him. He shifts slightly, “Pull down your pants” he tells Mickey, who immediately moves upwards and starts to unbutton his jeans.

He climbs off of Ian to shimmy out of them, and then sits on the edge of the bed, watching as Ian gets off and leans down in front of him.

“Wanna take off your shirt?” he asks, eyeing Ian hopefully. Ian grins, “Only if you do”. They both yank off their shirts, and Ian feels a hot fire rise in his chest, any fears of awkwardness now long forgotten as he lowers his mouth down over Mickey’s cock, drawing an appreciative hiss from the other boy.

Mickey lowers a hand to the back of Ian’s head as he slides up and down on his cock, but he doesn’t push him downwards, just lets his hand rise and fall with each of Ian’s gentle movements, his hand a pleasant weight on the back of his head.

Ian wants to pleasure Mickey for as long as possible, as each swipe of his tongue and suction of his mouth pulls another groan from the other boy, but he can’t hold out any longer, and he removes his mouth with a pop as he stands to finish undressing.

Mickey, already naked, watches as Ian tears off his jeans and grabs a condom and a packet of lube from his wallet, “You comfortable now?” he asks, trying to be sincere, even as he strokes his cock to give himself some relief.

But Ian feels an animal-like need inside of himself now, and all he wants to do is fuck the other boy, niceties aside, “Fuck off”.

Mickey laughs, and lays on his bed on his back, resting his head on his pillows. Ian crawls back onto the bed a moment later and hovers over him, “This how you wanna do it?” Mickey’s eyes glance down to Ian’s erection and then back up again to his waiting face, “Fuck yeah, wanna look you in the face this time”. He bites his lip as he looks back up at Ian.

Ian nods, and starts to spread lube over his fingers, but Mickey shakes his head, grabbing his hand to stop him. “I’m already ready”.

Ian frowns at him in confusion, “Huh?” Mickey blushes, his cheeks turning a light shade of pink as he explains, “I already used my fingers to get ready before you got here. I’m fuckin good to go”.

Jesus Christ. Ian closes his eyes for a second to imagine it, “Fuck that’s hot”.

He opens them again to look down at Mickey, his eyes now hooded with want as he lines himself up against Mickey’s still tight hole. He watches every movement on Mickey’s face closely as he slowly pushes inside of him. How his eyes flutter, how his lips twitch, listening intently as the other boy lets out a low groan, before forcing his eyes back onto Ian’s.

Something in that look, and the sounds Mickey is making, just fucking sets him off, and the pent up sexual frustration inside of him is suddenly unleashed from behind it’s floodgates.

He can barely control himself as he is consumed with it, and he immediately snaps his hips back and then thrusts forward harder, lowering himself to Mickey’s chest so they can make out while he fucks him hard, missionary style.

Mickey doesn’t complain, his own cock is getting plenty of attention from the friction between their stomachs, and he moans quietly into Ian’s lips after a couple of minutes. In response, Ian feels a warning tension in his stomach and his balls.

He pants back against Mickey’s lips, feeling sweat start to bead on his forehead. “I have to slow down, or I’m gonna cum” he apologizes, immediately slowing his pace significantly. Mickey shakes his head, indicating the apology isn’t necessary as he continues to wordlessly enjoy every stroke Ian delivers, too deep in the sensation to speak.

Ian lifts his body slightly and his eyes flicker downwards towards Mickey’s stomach, that perfect fucking belly that he loves looking at so much. There’s just something about it, it’s softness, the hint of abs just underneath it, the pale white skin.  

He rises off of Mickey’s chest and, continuing to fuck him slowly, bends downwards to finally fulfill his fantasy of covering Mickey’s stomach in kisses, as he presses his hands on the other boys thighs. It’s an intimacy he is comfortable with expressing, now that they are together.

Mickey groans slightly as Ian begins to pepper his sensitive stomach with soft kisses, and he reaches a hand down to stroke Ian’s red hair in return, his very own apparent kink. Ian continues like this for a while, until the combined sensation of slowly fucking Mickey, and the pleasurable feeling of having his strong fingers running through his red hair begins to feed the fire in his stomach once again.

“Gonna fuck you hard again”, he grunts. Feeling himself slowly approaching his now unavoidable peak, he moves his mouth away from Mickey’s stomach and back towards his lips, shifting inside of him slightly as he does.

Mickey gasps at the movement, “Fuck man, you’re hitting my spot” and then he groans, his voice much lower, “Ian...”

Ian’s ears buzz in response, the sound of Mickey’s overwhelming pleasure driving him wild.

He immediately pulls back, and then slams into Mickey repeatedly with a strengthened conviction, each thrust bringing a wave of building pleasure over him as he approaches his own orgasm and knows he is bringing Mickey closer to his.

He lowers himself back down against Mickey's chest, both of them gripping onto each other’s shoulders for support as they move faster in unison, and both of them grunting from the effort.

Ian brings his mouth back to Mickey’s, but their making out is erratic now, teeth sometimes scraping, their lips ending up on chins and cheeks just as often as the other boy’s mouth. He feels sweat start to roll from his stomach down to Mickey’s cock, which is pressed between their two stomachs again, the shifting movements serving to jerk him off.

It was only a matter of time now, and Ian hears a familiar groan building in Mickey’s throat, a low rumble, before he suddenly cries out, cursing, and Ian feels a thick wetness spread between their stomachs, making them slippery.

The warm wet heat of Mickey’s cum against his stomach triggers his own orgasm, and he comes himself in several short bursts, timing each one with another decisive thrust into the other boy, until he is finished.

As he draws back a little bit, slowly, to look at Mickey’s face as he pulls out, that really answers the question for him, he can’t help himself from asking it anyways, “How was that?”

He pants slightly, watching as Mickey raises a sweaty eyebrow at him in disbelief. “How was that ? Are you fucking kidding me, Gallagher? Get over here”. Mickey uses his strong arm muscles to pull Ian’s longer body up beside himself, pressing their sweaty foreheads together as they lay side by side. He kisses Ian’s lips, murmuring, “You fucking turn me out like nobody ever has before”. Ian feels himself grinning at the compliment, he can’t help it, and he feels a sense of pride.

He nuzzles his head into Mickey’s neck slightly, enjoying his comforting warmth and his familiar scent. They lay there quietly for a while until Mickey breaks the silence, “Hey, it’s snowing”. Ian pulls his head upwards to look out the window with him. Sure enough, the first snowfall is arriving in Chicago’s South Side, as small flakes drift lazily towards the ground outside.

Ian kisses Mickey’s collarbone, “That means hot chocolate, snowball fights, and cuddling”. Mickey raises his dark eyebrows, shifting his head slightly to look at him, “Cuddling? That’s fucking gay”.

Ian bursts out laughing, “I just fucked you in the ass!” Mickey erupts into his own laughter at the incredulous look on Ian's face, before finally managing to get out, “I know, I know. Just fucking with you”.

Ian beams, “Was gonna say, what the fuck do you think we’re doing right now?”

Mickey grins back at him, “Guess we’re fucking cuddling”. “Fuck yeah we are”, Ian says, roping his arm around Mickey’s back.

“And you know what?” Mickey adds, looking at Ian with amusement in his blue eyes, “I fucking like it”.

Chapter Text

Ian glances over at Mickey as they walk home together after school, hanging on to every word he says. They’ve been together for a few weeks now, and are now settled into a more comfortable routine of spending time together as more than friends. Of course, to the outside world, that’s what they continue to appear as.

Just friends.

Mickey’s laughing now, his perfect teeth flashing, as he tells Ian about someone in class today asking if Florida was part of Canada or not. He’d apparently been kicked out of class for saying “No, dumbass, it’s a part of Mexico”.

Ian laughs and shoves him gently, “You’re an asshole”. “Oh yeah?” Mickey bends down, his ears tinged pink from the cold winter air.

Ian continues to walk ahead without noticing that Mickey had fully stopped a few feet back, until he feels a cold and wet whap on his back. He whips around, his eyes flashing in a challenge as he sees Mickey already packing together another snowball.

“Ian, there’s something on your back” Mickey says, innocently. He tosses his next snowball upwards and then catches it in back in his hand, winking at Ian.

Ian quickly breaks into a run as Mickey aims and prepares to fire again, scraping up some snow by his feet on the go for return fire. He can hear Mickey chasing after him as his second snowball misses, and Ian turns while he knows he’s still out of ammo and aims his own, hitting the other boy in the arm, “Oh yeah, there something on my fuckin back Mick?”

Mickey laughs, and darts behind a car parked on the side of the road, for cover. Ian turns right around and jogs back towards him to hit him with another, faking a move and then diving behind the car to render Mickey’s cover useless. Mickey shakes his head like a dog as Ian’s snowball smashes into the back of it, but he’s still laughing, and runs up the sidewalk away from Ian, who’s already grabbing more snow.

The unfamiliar neighbors out on their on their driveways and yards watch them run past, laughing into the cold winter air like children as they chase each other. Adults are shoveling their driveways and the sidewalks, and kids are out dragging their sleds, making snow forts and snow families.

The boys’ cheeks are red, their exposed skin cold, but their hearts are warm as they play like nobody’s watching. It’s times like this Ian knows he has a best friend for life in Mickey, and its one of his favorite things about being with him.

To be honest, he’s mostly going easy on Mickey, aiming light snowballs in return at his back or his chest, until Mickey ups his game and fires three snowballs back in succession, the last one hitting him square in the face.

Ian sputters through the cold snow, and scrunches his face, “Oh, you’re going down, Milkovich”. Mickey is currently standing in front of a yard where most of the free snow has been taken up by the two kids building a snowman on it, and he’s totally vulnerable.

Ian grins as he rapidly gathers up a pile of snow into a massive snowball, pulling the snowball back to use his pitcher’s arm and aim as Mickey scrambles around uselessly looking for cover, yelling, “Bring it Gallagher!”, even as he does.

Ian fires, and the snowball shoots forward faster and harder than he had even expected it to, like a lethal weapon. He’s actually impressed by his own handiwork. It soars towards the other boy, pegging Mickey directly in the face, he stumbles and falls, the impact knocking him right off his feet.

Directly into the snowman the kids were making in their front yard.

Mickey falls through the fucking thing and blows it completely apart, snow spraying the two kids standing there in disbelief as Ian bursts out laughing. He jogs over, and sees Mickey laying there in the snow, his entire body shaking. The two kids are now looking down at him uncertainly.

He’s face down, and his back is covered in snow from the snowman casualty. Ian’s laugh falters slightly, “Mick?”

He leans down and brushes some snow off of Mickey’s back before grabbing him by the shoulder and turning him over. His face is red and wet, his eyes shut as he makes weird gasping noises. “Mick are you laughing or crying?” Ian demands, now worried and feeling guilty as fuck. The two kids take off running towards their front door and into their house, probably worried they’ll get in trouble for the dying teenager on their front lawn.

Mickey opens his blue eyes, and Ian sees they are filled with amusement, not pain. He’s laughing so fucking hard that he can’t even get a proper sounding laugh out, and his face is just wet from melted snow, “Ian- fuck- I can’t-”.

Ian breathes a sigh of relief, kicking more snow at Mickey as he does, he’d almost given him a fucking heart attack, “You fucker, I-“

Mickey reaches up and grabs the edge of his coat, pulling him down towards the pile of snow with him. Ian flails but lands partially on Mickey, and partially on the snowman’s remains, swearing the entire time.

Mickey’s giggles finally settle into a level that he can speak through, “Me fucker? You fucker, you long legged ginger b-“ Ian shoves snow into his mouth, cutting him off.

Mickey spits the snow out, rubbing more snow into Ian’s red hair in response.

They give up on using the snow as a weapon and instead wrestle each other in it for a few minutes, holding each other at arm’s length until Mickey finally manages to roll Ian and hold him down.

They are both still giggling, their faces scrunched from it, both cold and damp from the snow. Mickey stops giggling and closes his mouth, but his eyes are still creased at the edges as he looks down at Ian affectionately. He leans down and kisses him, Ian blinking in surprise.

Mickey is back up just as quickly as he went down, but his face is still lit with happiness. Ian shuffles his jacket slightly as Mickey lets him up, and he glances around the street. Nobody had seen. Nobody was watching over here anymore.

But Mickey hadn’t even looked, didn’t even check before he did that. And from the fucking smile on his face right now it looks like it didn’t even cross his mind that he should of, that someone could have seen. Ian doesn’t know how to feel about it, the gesture was sweet, but who knows what the consequences could have been…? But there weren’t any, and we’re fine, Ian reminds himself, smiling inwardly.

He turns to Mickey and tousles his dark hair, now wet from the melted snow. He glances up at the grey sky as the snow starts to fall harder, “C’mon. Let’s go home and get something hot to drink, before we both get fuckin pneumonia”.

Carl whines as Mickey and Ian come in the front door, taking in their appearances, “You had a snowball fight without me??”

Ian looks at him somewhat apologetically but mostly with amusement, “Sorry bud, wasn’t really planned. SOMEONE pegged me with a snowball and it just escalated from there”.

Mickey turns to him, eyebrows raised. “Well, SOMEONE pushed me into an innocent children’s snowman. Children, Ian. You’re a goddamn monster”.

Ian shoves him playfully, heading towards the kitchen, “Mess with the bull, you get the horns”, he teases. Mickey rolls his eyes and stands there in the kitchen beside him, dripping, as Ian hits the kettle.

Fiona comes out from the washroom off of the kitchen and purses her lips at them, “Ian, what the fuck! You two are dripping all over the floor, go upstairs and change!”

Ian glances at Mickey, who shrugs back in confusion. Fiona rolls her eyes, “Really Ian? It’s not rocket science, give Mickey some of your dry clothes”. Ian pretends that he doesn’t notice Mickey lift his head in interest at the suggestion. “C’mon”, he tips his head at the stairs and Mickey follows him up.

Ian is pleased to find his shared bedroom empty, Lip must be out. He closes the door behind himself and Mickey, and goes over to his drawer to start pulling stuff out. He grabs a pair of Lips’s sweatpants for himself first, and a t-shirt, and then he turns to Mickey, “What do you want to wear?”

Mickey shrugs, coming over to peer down into the drawer. Ian holds up a shirt, “This ok?” Mickey looks at it, “Is it yours?” Ian squints at it, “Nooo…Lip’s I think”.

He’s used to sharing clothes with his slightly older brother, as they are about the same size. Mickey shakes his head wordlessly, and Ian raises his eyebrows in surprise but doesn’t comment on it, as he pulls out one of his own t-shirts and a pair of sweats for Mickey to wear.

Ian turns slightly, not from shyness, but from habit of sharing a room with his brothers, as he struggles out of his wet jeans. He looks up slightly into the mirror, balancing against the wall somewhat across from him, and sees Mickey standing behind him, holding the t-shirt up to his nose, breathing in. His eyes are closed.

Ian gets a warm, weird feeling in his chest when he sees that, and he smiles to himself. Mickey is now pulling off his wet shirt, and he stands there for a moment, glancing at Ian with interest.

Ian takes off his own wet shirt as he turns around, and then his damp boxers, throwing everything into a soggy pile on the floor. He steps into his sweats, watching while Mickey starts to struggle out of his jeans, the material clearly sticking to his wet skin. Ian can’t help himself, he steps towards him, and Mickey stops struggling, he straightens up completely.

Ian reaches out and touches his stomach, Mickey tensing it slightly in response. His skin is cold and rubbery feeling, like Ian’s own. He kisses Mickey’s forehead, and rubs one hand up Mickey’s arm to get his blood flow moving faster from the friction to warm him, Mickey letting out of sigh of contentment in response. Ian moves in closer and presses his bare chest against Mickey’s, letting their body heat pass through to each other. “That feels pretty good” Mickey says into his neck, and Ian feels a light kiss on his collarbone.

The bedroom door starts to open, and Ian backs away from Mickey instantly, grabbing his t-shirt defensively in the same moment.

It’s just Debbie, “Fiona says hot chocolate is ready, and to bring your laundry downstairs. Mickey’s too” she adds, looking at Mickey, who is pulling on a dry t-shirt. “Thanks Debs, be down in a minute” Ian says, smiling awkwardly at her. She heads back downstairs and they finish getting dressed in warm, dry clothes before heading down into the kitchen.

Mickey joins the table full of Gallaghers, and sips at his hot chocolate, while all of them talk casually about Frank, their bills, and something that Carl got in trouble at school for that they all find hilarious. Stuff that leaves Mickey slightly out of the loop, not intentionally, but he doesn’t seem to mind anyways.

His gaze drifts from one Gallagher to the next as they chatter excitedly, and he looks very content. His phone starts to ring, and Ian watches him answer it.

“Hello?”

It’s not on speakerphone, but they all quiet down so he can hear the person on the other line, and they end up hearing it all too, even though they pretend they don’t.

It’s his sister, Mandy. “Hey shithead, power’s out at home, company says for the next day or so. It’s fucking freezing. Dad and Iggy and them are staying at his friend Bill’s house, but they said there isn’t enough room for anyone else”.

Mickey frowns at this news, taking another drink of his hot chocolate, “Where are you staying?”

“Devin’s”

“Who the fuck is-“ Mickey glances over at Liam who is also sitting at the table, and he starts over, “Who is Devin?”

“My boyfriend”

“Uh-huh”

“Shut up assface. Anyways, find somewhere else to stay”.

She hangs up, and Mickey grimaces as he hears the dial tone, and then he hangs up too, putting the cell phone back into the pocket of his borrowed sweatpants.

Ian clears his throat, and pretending he doesn’t know, asks, “What was that about Mickey?” Mickey shrugs nonchalantly, “Nothin”. He doesn’t look up from the table. Ian raises one of his eyebrows and shoots Fiona a look, who tips her head back at him.

He stares at her, and she stares back for a good solid minute before she finally gives up, asking, “Mickey, would you like to stay here tonight?”

Chapter Text

Mickey looks up uncertainly at Fiona’s offer, and then over at Ian questioningly, who of course nods at him encouragingly. They won’t be able to sleep together, but he hasn’t even slept near Mickey since their class trip to Oak Forest, and he had loved waking up next to him then.

Mickey nods, “Okay, um, sure. Thanks Fiona”. Mickey never seems quite sure how to act around Ian’s older sister, and Ian has a sneaking suspicion it might be because of her motherly role in the house, something he wasn’t entirely familiar with.

Fiona smiles back at Mickey, and it seems genuine enough. “Anytime. I’m going to take the kids to the grocery store, stock up a bit on some non-perishables in case our power goes out too. You guys comin’?” She glances from her redheaded brother, to his dark haired ‘friend’.

Normally Ian is all for helping out his older sister, but she will already have Debbie and Carl to help, so he doesn’t feel too bad about shaking his head no.

“I’m beat Fiona. I think we’ll just watch a movie or something on the laptop upstairs”. Mickey shifts in his chair just slightly at the suggestion, but Fiona just nods, “Alright. Well, c’mon you guys. Debbie, get Liam dressed, ok?”

Ian stands up and takes his and Mickey’s empty cups to the sink before grabbing the laptop from the living room, and heading up the stairs towards his room, Mickey following after him as the rest of the Gallaghers get ready to head out.

They both sit on his bed, backs against the wall, and Ian pulls open the laptop as he places it on his lap to search up a free movie website on Google. A moment or two later, they hear the front door slam, the entire house now eerily quiet from the unusual lack of Gallaghers.

Mickey turns to him immediately, “We actually watching a fuckin movie, or?” Ian laughs, “Fuck no, we can do that later”.

He puts the laptop down beside himself on the bed, and then immediately turns back around to climb over a grinning Mickey, who settles his hands over Ian’s thighs as Ian presses his mouth against his, resting on his lap.

Mickey hums into the kiss after they’ve been making out for a minute or two, and removes one hand from Ian’s thighs to reach for the loose crotch of his sweatpants. He begins to stroke Ian’s cock through the thick fabric.

Ian feels his semi getting harder in response to Mickey’s touch, and Mickey’s own dick is now pressing up insistently beneath him. He swings one knee around, and gets off Mickey’s lap, to scoot upwards on his bed. Laying down on his bed normally, he pats the empty space beside himself for Mickey to come over.

He does, and they both pause to look down at the pitched tents in their sweatpants as they are head to head.

“Think we have enough time?” Mickey asks, licking his lips. Ian considers, “Probably, yeah. If I go fast”. He winks at the last part, before stretching to reach down into his night table drawer, pulling out a condom and a packet of lube as he comes back up.

He looks at Mickey, who is now pulling down Ian’s own sweatpants that he had borrowed, and feels a strange pull inside of himself. “Hey…” he looks at Mickey with consideration, “Do you want to suck my dick first?”

It’s only just now striking him that although he had sucked Mickey off several times, he’s never received a single blowjob back from Mickey. He loved sucking Mickey’s cock, the euphoric look on his face during it was reward enough alone for Ian sometimes, but seeing that perfect mouth he suddenly feels that he’s been missing out.

Mickey hesitates, “Well…how about later, we don’t got a lot of time. If you fuck me we can both get off”.

“Oh yeah, good point” Ian remembers, nodding his head and rolling on the condom. He puts some lube on his fingers and approaches Mickey, who’s now positioned on all fours, waiting for him. He thumbs the outside of his hole gently first, but noticing Mickey clenching his jaw impatiently, he thinks, fuck it, and slides one finger in right away. Mickey doesn’t whine or complain at all, something that Ian fucking loves about him.

He knew himself that bottoming wasn’t easy, he’d never actually achieved being one for more than a minute or two before giving up, but Mickey was a fucking champ and would take everything he had to give, and then some. He slips another finger inside his ass and moves them apart slightly, stretching Mickey just enough so that he won’t hurt him. “You good?” he asks, his own dick now annoyed at his slow pace. “Yeah”, Mickey breathes out.

Ian bends to kiss his spine, and then straightens up, and pushes inside of him steadily. He forces his dick through Mickey’s strong muscle contractions that attempt to thwart his progress. “Fuck, you’re tight” he says appreciatively, knowing Mickey is grinning.

He presses his own thighs up against the back of Mickey’s as best he can. Doggy style is the fastest and easiest way to fuck, but it prevents him from having as much skin on skin contact as he’d honestly like to have, with Mickey.

Still, he’s not complaining, as he drives into Mickey with a building pace.

“Help me”, he pants after a while, and Mickey looks back over his shoulder, eyebrow arched, “Alright Gallagher”. He tips his dark head downwards and begins to push against each of Ian’s thrusts, shoving him deeper inside of his ass with each movement.

Some strange sound of pleasure slips from Ian’s mouth, and he’s more than aware that most of what’s coming out of it now isn’t coherent, as the combination of him thrusting and Mickey pushing back nears him to the edge.

One or both of them moves a little too forcefully as they begin to fuck harder, and they suddenly tip sideways, unsteadily, their combined weight landing on the laptop Ian had left on the bed. There’s a loud cracking sound and Mickey looks back in alarm, but Ian doesn’t give a fuck about the computer right now, and he grabs it with one hand to toss it to the floor.

Keeping one hand pressed on Mickey’s ass, he moves the other hand back around to grab his cock, finding it already pleasantly wet with precum. He doesn’t need any extra lube to pleasure him, and his bicep tenses as he begins to work Mickey’s cock with his hand in a pace that matches his thrusts into the other boy’s ass.

“I’m gonna cum”, Mickey warns him hoarsely after a minute, “Hand me something”. Ian glances around desperately, not wanting to pull out, but there’s nothing close enough for him to grab without pausing.

Fuck it.

“Catch it in your hand”, he says, groaning, as he approaches his own orgasm. Mickey lowers his own hand just in time as Ian feels cum begin to spurt out over his hand, Mickey catching the excess as Ian groans through his own orgasm, although his is neatly collected into the condom he’s wearing.

“Fuck”, he pants after, “We better clean up”. He pulls out of Mickey slowly and heads towards the bathroom, rolling off the filled condom. He wraps it in toilet paper and hides it in the garbage as Mickey joins him in the bathroom to wash his hand off.

His cheeks are flushed and red, and he leans in to kiss Ian as he washes his hands too.

They get dressed again quickly enough, sweatpants going on more easily than jeans, just in time too, because the house is filled with a chorus of sounds again about ten minutes later. Carl comes bounding up the stairs into the bedroom he shares with Ian and the rest of his brothers after a minute or two, and he immediately looks down at the smashed laptop on the floor.

“FIONA!” he bellows, “IAN BROKE THE COMPUTER!”

Ian looks down at the laptop, now remembering it, and reddens. “Carl shut the fuck up!” It’s too late though, and Fiona appears in the doorway a minute later, “What?”

She looks down at the computer in disbelief, “Ian, what the fuck! You know how long it’s gonna take for us to afford another one?” Ian stands there, mouth opening and closing as he thinks of what he can possibly say, but he comes up with absolutely nothing.

How the fuck did you manage to do this?” she demands, crouching and prying open the smashed laptop, “Did you fucking jump on it or something?”

Ian glances over at Mickey, who very quickly looks away, and he stifles a laugh. “It was an accident” he answers. She sighs, dropping the trashed computer back to the floor. “Have fun explaining that to Lip, he uses that more than any of us, for school”, she says bitchily.

Clearly trying to make him feel guilty.

“He uses it more than any of us for porn ” he snaps back, but Fiona just flips him off as she leaves the room and heads back downstairs towards the kitchen, presumably to put away the groceries.

Ian shoves the broken laptop in a drawer under his bed, still grousing. He’s not sure why he’s even annoyed, because it was totally his fucking fault, but he sure as hell wasn’t gonna tell them it’s broken because he was banging Mickey so hard that they fucking landed on it.

“Let’s go for a smoke” Mickey mutters, and Ian nods, thinking it’s probably a good idea for him to chill out right about now.

They sit outside on the front porch and Mickey pulls out his wallet, carefully taking out a roach. He lights it, and takes a few tiny puffs before passing it over to Ian, who does the same.

He feels a comfortable haze start to settle over his mind. “I want McDonald’s” he mutters, a few minutes later. Mickey laughs, “You’re fucking stoned”.

Ian peers over at the other boy’s red eyes, “You fucking are too”. Mickey shrugs jovially, “Not gonna argue with that. C’mon, let’s go get your munchy ass a burger”.

By the time they get back home from their burgers and milkshakes, it’s late, and Ian isn’t high anymore, but he still sort of feels like he is. As Mickey leaves the bedroom to use the bathroom, the two eldest Gallagher brothers now starting to settle into bed as the others are already asleep, Ian realizes it’s just the comfortable feeling that settles over him when Mickey is around.

He doesn’t even bother telling Lip about the laptop, he’s not even sure he’ll care as much as Fiona thinks he will. His older brother passes out before Mickey even returns from the washroom, and Ian watches contentedly as Mickey starts to spread out the odd assortment of blankets and pillows the Gallaghers had been able to spare for him, in some sort of a nest, directly beside Ian’s bed.

The lights are turned off soon after by a passing Fiona, and he feels his own eyes begin to droop as he listens to the sounds of his brothers, and possibly Mickey, sleeping. He dangles his hand slightly over the edge of his bed, not sure why he even is. But a few moments later, he feels Mickey’s fingers reaching upwards into his hand, and then squeezing it, and he realizes that’s exactly what he was hoping for.

He falls asleep like that, without knowing that Mickey had waited until he knew for sure that Ian was asleep, before taking his hand away and going to sleep himself.

Chapter Text

Ian wakes up in the morning with a smile already on his freckled face, as he opens his eyes lazily. Knowing Mickey has been sleeping just below him for the past several hours gives him an indescribable feeling of comfort, and it will be nice not to have to text him to say good morning for once. He dangles his hand over the edge of his bed again, waiting to see if Mickey takes it or not.

He doesn’t. Must still be asleep.

Ian rolls over on the bed, and pulls himself to the edge to look down and admire Mickey’s sleeping form.

But he isn’t there.

Ian frowns at the small pile of awkwardly folded blankets on the ground beside a couple of pillows, where Mickey had fallen asleep the night before.

He grabs his phone to check the time as he glances around the bedroom at his still sleeping brothers. It’s 7:30 a.m. The entire house is apparently still asleep, based on the overall quietness.

He gets up from his bed, careful not to make any noise, scratching his chest as he stretches slightly before padding down the hallway towards the bathroom.

No sign of Mickey in there either. Ian still feels half asleep as he takes a piss, wondering where Mickey had wandered off to.

He heads down the stairs slowly, towards the kitchen, hearing the coffee maker gurgling happily as a fresh pot of coffee is being made. The scent of the coffee makes his mind perk up slightly, in anticipation of caffeine.

“Fiona?” he asks, rubbing one of his eyes with his hand. But as he steps fully into the kitchen he sees it’s Mickey standing there by the fridge, holding a brush and a dustpan filled with various pieces of cereal and dirt from the kitchen floor in his hands. 

Ian looks at him in confusion, raising his eyebrow at the unexpected sight. Mickey shrugs slightly defensively as he explains himself, “I woke up early, couldn’t fucking fall asleep again. So I came down to clean up a bit. I made you coffee”. Ian looks at the coffee maker, the pot now filled to the top with fresh coffee, and then back at Mickey. “You’re ama-“

“Oh sweet, who made coffee?” Fiona comes tumbling down the stairs and into the kitchen with them, impossibly light and beautiful even in the mornings. Mickey looks up at her somewhat shyly from behind his coffee cup, and Ian can’t believe how fucking adorable he can be sometimes.

“Mickey did”, Ian says, causing Fiona to turn and look at him in surprise.

“Oh, thanks” she says, as she takes the coffee cup that Mickey is offering her.

“Are you two like…” she glances between the two of them thoughtfully, and Ian sees Mickey’s eyes widen as his own heart begins to race, “… best friends now?” she finishes, taking a sip of her coffee. Ian nods his head vigorously and Mickey does too.

“Yeah, I was kinda wondering why you were always hanging around now” she laughs, looking at Mickey. He doesn’t answer, and instead just takes another drink of his coffee. “Yeah well, we sorta became friends on that field trip at the end of September” Ian explains, edging around Mickey to reach the toaster.

“Any friend that cleans the house and makes coffee is a fucking good one. Always welcome here, Mickey” Fiona adds, although she is looking at the dark-haired boy with a strange expression on her face, like she just can’t figure him out.

Ian can’t really fucking blame her though. Mickey’s standing there in their kitchen with FUCK U-UP tattooed onto his hands, and he’s sporting a slow healing split lip from another fight at school that took place not so long ago. At this point, Ian doesn’t even ask half of the time what a new scrape or bruise is from.

He’s just got a reputation and this- him cleaning up the Gallagher kitchen and making them coffee- doesn’t really fit it.

But Ian’s quickly learned that there’s a lot more to Mickey Milkovich than meets the eye, and he hopes Fiona eventually does too. He might be tough on the streets, or with outsiders, but he’d do damn near anything for someone he fucking cared about, something that really drew Ian to him.

He looks at his older sister wistfully as she begins to butter some of the toast he had made. This is the kind of thing he’d love to be able to talk to her about...

“Mandy texted me and said the power’s back up. I better head back home, have to grab my bio assignment.” Mickey eventually says, glancing towards the front door. “I’ll see ya at school Ian, and thanks for letting me stay over Fiona”.

She turns to look at him in surprise, “Oh, no problem. If the power goes out again just come back”. Mickey blushes slightly at the invitation, nodding his thanks, and Ian’s heart gets a warm stupid feeling from his sister’s words. For some reason, he just really wants his family to like Mickey, even if they can't know they're together. He waves as Mickey heads out the front door, wishing he could do more to say goodbye.

His phone lights up a few seconds later.

 *kiss* cause I couldn’t give you one

Ian smiles at his phone, squeezing it in his hand. Fiona hands him a plate with some toast on it, “You know, I think maybe I misjudged that kid before” she says thoughtfully.

Ian tries to answer casually, but his heart thumps slightly at Mickey being the topic of discussion, “Oh yeah?”

She nods, chewing a bite of her toast, “I honestly thought he was just a shit disturber, I mean who doesn’t think that? Milkovich’s are flat out crazy. But he seems nice enough when he’s around here”. Ian practically beams at his sister, and he feels another urge to tell her how he actually feels about the boy that she thinks is just his best friend.

Instead, he clears his throat slightly, and says, “He’s actually a really good friend to have, surprisingly enough”.

Fiona tousles her younger brother’s red hair with her free hand, “I’m glad to see you hanging out with friends your age Ian. You’re a good kid, you know that? Always helping me out at home. But you spent too much time on your own before. Everyone needs that one friend, you know? Like I have V”.

Ian swallows, remembering the lonely truth of that, “Yeah. I’m lucky to have a… friend, like him”.

Mickey ends up running late for school by the time he gets home and texts Ian to let him know, so Ian doesn’t see him again until second period. He pauses in the doorway of his classroom for a moment before heading over to the empty desk beside Mickey, no one being a rush to sit beside him at any given time.

Works out well for Ian.

“Hey” he says, looking down at what Mickey is scratching into his desk with his pen cap.

FUCK

No surprise there.

Mickey looks up from his handiwork to nod his head back, and as he turns slightly Ian notices that he is still wearing his t-shirt that he had borrowed under his unzipped hoodie, even though he’s wearing his own jeans now.

It’s just a plain dark blue t-shirt, no one else would ever even notice that it was Ian’s, but Ian let himself pretend during class it was a clear symbol that Mickey was his, to anyone else that might think otherwise.

When he heads to the bleachers at lunch he sees Mickey has a milkshake in his hand, and another one sitting on the ground beside himself. Ian takes the second one without asking, he doesn’t need to, he knows its for him. “Strawberry” Mickey says, taking a sip of his own, “Was fuckin craving another one after yesterday”.

“Thanks” Ian smiles, taking a sip of the thick and sweet drink, “When did you have time to get them?” Mickey yawns and stretches slightly, “Skipped third. Took a fuckin nap and then went and got these”.

Ian shivers slightly as he takes another sip of the milkshake. Frankly, it’s a little fucking cold out for the icecreamy drink, but he still appreciates the gesture.

He feels a little hotter as he watches Mickey suck on his straw with a final long and hard pull, reaching the bottom of his milkshake with a loud suctioning sound. Ian grins, “So, what do you think about maybe doing that to me after school?”

Mickey glances back at him, “Huh?”

Ian copies Mickey’s action on his own milkshake’s straw, and Mickey blushes slightly before looking away.

He doesn’t say anything, and Ian teases, “Well?” Mickey coughs uncomfortably into his hand, “Don’t know how”.

Ian frowns in confusion, “You mean, you’ve never-“ Mickey cuts him off, “No, I fucking haven’t”.

Chapter Text

Ian isn’t quite sure how to respond to Mickey’s confession, so he ends up just saying,

“Oh”.

Mickey looks back at him again, trying to gauge his expression.

Ian tries to keep his face blank as the other boy stares at him. He’s surprised, but he probably shouldn’t be. He knew Mickey had much less experience than him, he’d admitted before that he’d only bottomed twice before Ian, and neither experience sounded particularly intimate. According to Mickey, both had occurred during a haze of alcoholic intoxication.

Ian finally says, trying to be encouraging, “Well, you’ve gotten a fuck ton of them. It’s not hard, I can show you”. Mickey raises an eyebrow at him, “You wanna teach me how to suck your fucking dick?”

Ian would be lying if he said that didn’t give him at the very least a semi.

“Think it could be fun” he answers, as Mickey shifts uncomfortably. He smirks as he adds as an afterthought, “I mean, I love sucking yours”.

This finally earns him a grin from Mickey, and he tips his dark head slightly, looking back at Ian as he lights a cigarette. He answers with it still between his lips, “Okay”.

Ian drops the topic for the rest of the school day until him and Mickey are walking home, and then he brings it up again, “We should probably just go right to the fucking construction site, we know we’ll have privacy there”.

He doesn’t want to waste any time running between the Milkovich and the Gallagher houses, hoping for one of them to be empty.

“Oh…yeah…” Mickey answers.

He’s still clearly not as excited as Ian is for this. They turn onto Rogers street instead of continuing on towards Ian’s house, and head into the crumbling building with fuck spray-painted over it’s empty doorway.

That’s kinda symbolic, isn’t it?  Ian thinks, as he passes underneath it, Mickey just behind him.

He starts to unbuckle his belt, and Mickey laughs nervously as he watches him, “Maybe you should suck mine again instead, show me how to do it right”.

Ian presses his lips together as if he’s impatient, but he’s more so amused, “Mick, it’s not that bad. Seriously, you’re overthinking this”.

Mickey snorts, “Alright Ian, Jesus. I’m not swallowing like some goddamn pornstar though".

Ian just looks at him and Mickey waves his hand impatiently, "Pull down your fucking pants”.

He immediately obliges and Mickey runs his hand down over his mouth, scratching his chin as he looks down at Ian’s dick thoughtfully.

Ian takes off his backpack and leans his shoulders up against the concrete wall, dropping the bag down in front of himself. “Kneel on that” he says, trying to make Mickey more comfortable.

Mickey does kneel, and looks up at him once more, uncertainly, now an inch away from his semi. Just knowing that it’s about to happen is already getting Ian hard, but the cold is keeping him from getting all the way there just yet.

He holds his cock out with one hand and wiggles it slightly in front of the other boy’s face. Mickey immediately glares up at him, flipping him off, “Fuck off”.

Ian looks at him teasingly, “Just put your mouth on i-“

He shivers as Mickey suddenly surprises him by slipping his lips over the tip of his cock, effectively shutting him up, even as he continues to flip him off.

Mickey closes his eyes as he slowly but steadily takes Ian further into his mouth, lowering his hand to Ian’s thigh as he does. Ian’s cock is enveloped deeper into an incredible hot wetness, that is in stark contrast to the cold winter air hovering inside of the empty building’s concrete walls.

He makes sure he stands very still as Mickey starts to actually suck him off, clearly trying to remember and copy some of the actions he had used on him before. He feels his dick resting over Mickey’s tongue like a heavy weight, and it makes him feel very dominant in the moment. 

The other boy gags slightly as Ian approaches the back of his throat, and his eyes flicker open immediately, looking up at Ian for reassurance.

He strokes the other boy’s dark head comfortingly, “So good Mick, feels so fuckin good”.

Mickey nods slightly and continues. He grips Mickey’s hair gently as his cock twitches inside the others boys mouth, the sensation already causing an orgasmic tension to creep into his balls.

It’s literally been fucking months since he had a blowjob, but as he looks down at Mickey sucking him off, he feels it’s totally fucking worth it. It’s taken him about ten minutes to get over his initial awkward exploration of giving his first blowjob, but in Ian’s opinion, he’s owning it now.

Mickey’s electric blue eyes drift upwards towards Ian intently again, who feels his own eyes getting heavier as he fights wave after wave of pleasure, controlling himself from humping into Mickey’s mouth when the other boy opens it slightly, attempting to speak around his cock.

It’s hard to understand what he’s saying, his voice is muffled by the dick in his mouth, but the mischievous glimmer in those gorgeous and heated fucking eyes helps to translate.

“I likeh itd”.

Ian groans, pressing his head back against the concrete wall, trying not to cum.

Was that dirty talk? Felt pretty fucking dirty, felt pretty fucking hot…

He forces himself to look back down after another minute at the other boy, “You like it, don’t you…sucking my cock”. He’s breathing heavily now, watching intently as Mickey nods his yes, not bothering to stop for even a moment to answer him with words.

Mickey reaches a tattooed hand upwards to grasp the base of his shaft, jerking him off as he continues to suck his cock, and Ian steps backwards, feeling slightly dizzy.

The cold concrete against his ass cheeks steadies his attention immediately though. “Mickey…I’m gonna cum” he whispers, scratching the top of Mickey’s dark head slowly, Mickey briefly closing his eyes at the pleasant sensation.

He pulls his mouth off of the tip of Ian’s cock, but continues to jerk him off, his bicep flexing from the motion. The shock of the cold winter air on Ian’s wet cock gives him a strangely erotic sensation, and he begins to jizz past Mickey’s shoulder onto the grey concrete behind him,“Fuck Mick”.

He straightens to pull up his pants once he’s finished, his sensitive and softening cock now feeling the harsh effects of the cold winter air.

Mickey licks his bottom lip, looking at him intently. Ian leans forward and presses his lips into the other boy’s, perceiving a mild taste of his own precum there. He groans slightly, closing his eyes, and brings a hand up to Mickey’s cheek to hold his face reassuringly.

He hears Mickey swallowing nervously, and he opens his eyes again to look into the other boy’s. “That was fucking amazing” he tells him, seeing a brief but definite flash of pleasure in Mickey’s blue eyes at the compliment.

He tries to brush it off like he doesn’t care anyways, “Didn’t know what the fuck I was doing, but whatever”. Ian smirks, is Mickey trying to fish for more compliments?

It’s pretty fucking adorable that Mickey Milkovich, the ‘thug’ of the southside, wants some more positive feedback about his dick sucking skills.

“Your mouth did” Ian answers, winking. Mickey blushes, and flips him off in response as he takes out his Marlboros.

“Hard to believe you’ve never done it before” Ian says, nodding his head in interest at the cigarette pack. Mickey hands him one, “Why is that hard to fuckin believe? I’ve only been with two other guys”.

Ian frowns, his train of thought now directed onto a new path, “I thought you said you’d only bottomed twice before”.

Mickey raises his eyebrow back at him, “Yeah, I did. When I was fuckin plastered. I fucked both of em more than once though”.

Ian feels a strange sense of jealousy come over him as he hears this, which seems ridiculous, because he’d fucked more than two guys before Mickey. He just hates the fucking thought of anyone other than him being with Mickey.

“Well, did you like it? Fucking them?” he tries to ask casually.

Mickey shrugs, taking a pull from his cigarette, “Yeah, course. What’s not to like?” He laughs after he says that, shaking his head, and Ian looks down at the ground.

Ian feels a light and playful punch on his shoulder, and Mickey’s looking at him sincerely now, “I like this better though, a lot better”. Ian just can’t seem to drop it though, “Were you dating them?”

Mickey laughs harshly, “Fuck no. Didn’t spend more than two weeks hooking up with either of them before I couldn’t stand em any longer”.

Ian nods. He not sure if that’s what this is, dating, but it feels like it’s more important than whatever Mickey is describing. Still, he feels a little down and jealous now, picturing Mickey with two other guys. Wondering what that was like, how they made him feel...him fucking them.

Mickey’s hand comes underneath his chin, turning his head towards his face so he can look into Ian’s green eyes, “Hey, why do you got that look on your face? You told me you weren’t a virgin our first time”.

“I wasn’t”, Ian answers honestly, “I just kinda wish… I was your first time I guess, that’s all”.

Mickey shrugs, “Why? Not like it was fucking special. What was your first time with a dude like, anyways?”

Ian thinks back to the first time Kash had propositioned him at work, when he’d been restocking boxes of Cheerios in the back room of the Kash & Grab. It had been exciting, hot even... but not special. “Good point”. 

Mickey nods in an I-told-you-so kind of way, but doesn’t ask for any more detail on Ian’s first gay experience. He grins after a moment though, “Course, if my first time was with you, maybe it would have been, I dunno”. He winks as he takes a pull from his cigarette.

Ian feels his good mood returning, and he turns and grabs Mickey to give him a playful noogie. “Maybe?” he teasingly demands, rubbing his knuckles into Mickey’s dark head. 

Mickey laughs, trying to shove him off, “Alright, alright. Course it would have been special. You realize I’ve been fuckin hooked on you since Oak Forest right? Dumbass” he adds, affectionately.

Ian releases his hold on the slightly shorter boy, “That’s more like it”. Mickey runs his hand over his black hair once he is released, flattening it back down after Ian had messed it up, as the redhead moves in front of him.

“Kiss me” Ian says.

Mickey leans in and happily obliges, a small smile of amusement on his face as he does.

Chapter Text

Ian had just about choked when Mickey had told his younger sister Mandy to fuck off and leave them alone because he needed ‘tutoring’ from Ian. “For what?” she had demanded, like Ian also wondering since when did Mickey give enough of a shit about school to ask for tutoring?

“MATH” Mickey had yelled out, slamming his bedroom door shut.

His math grade is better than Ian’s.

Ian hears Mandy’s own bedroom door slam shut a minute later. Milkovich siblings, one usually screeching at the other, regardless of the fact they would do anything for each other. Ian smiles as it reminds him of his own siblings.

Mickey turns and approaches where he is sitting on the bed, “Pull down those fuckin pants Gallagher”. Ian grins, raising his ginger eyebrows, and Mickey continues defensively, “I need practice”.

He smirks as Ian quickly undoes his belt buckle and slides down his pants, enough for him to have access to his dick.

Mickey’s hesitation is completely gone this second time, and he attacks Ian’s dick almost aggressively with his mouth and tongue, Ian letting out his breath in a hiss in response. Mickey is using a lot more force and suction this time, going at it eagerly, like he’s fucking starving.

Mandy starts blasting music from her room, and both boys pause and look up for just a minute at the sound.

“Ah, ah…” Ian presses his hand against Mickey’s forehead, pushing him off slightly. Mickey looks up at him, an eyebrow cocked in annoyance at the interruption.

“Gentler, watch your fuckin teeth man”. Mickey rolls his eyes, but continues more carefully, although he keeps up his zealous pace.

Ian bites his lip and tries to keep from groaning, “You gonna swallow this time?” he asks, his voice hoarse. Mickey shakes his head no, leaving Ian feeling just slightly disappointed. It would be really fucking hot to watch Mickey swallow his load, but it doesn’t really impact the actual blowjob all that much.

Hands to Myself  blasts from Mandy’s room next, and Ian closes his eyes as he listens to the well-timed song while Mickey goes down on him.

So come on give me a taste, Of what it’s like to be next to you, Won't let one drop go to waste. You're metaphorical gin and juice.

Mickey is quiet now, and it looks like he’s listening to the fucking song too.

Can't keep my hands to myself. My hands to myself…

He swallows hard as Mickey takes a cue gets his hand involved again, the sucking and stroking proving too much for him to handle. “Well you better get something ready then” he warns, trying to hold out from orgasming but getting dangerously close to it.

Mickey removes his mouth from Ian’s cock and looks around his bedroom, but Ian’s eyes glaze as he takes in his side profile, his strong jaw, his perfect fucking mouth…

His stomach jerks and he comes all over Mickey’s dark shirt, who slowly looks down at it as he turns back around. “Sorry” Ian breathes out.

He grins apologetically as Mickey yanks off his shirt and tosses it into a pile of dirty laundry on his floor. “Don’t be sorry” Mickey says, leaning in to kiss his forehead. Ian takes advantage of his higher stance to kiss his chest, and then his stomach.

Mickey bites his lip, “Don’t get me fuckin going before you go to work. Already got a chub”. Ian stands and does his belt back up, “Well guess you’ll have to take care of it without me”, grinning as Mandy cranks the volume some more from her room.

The doctors say you're no good. But people say what they wanna say. And you should know if I could,
I'd breathe you in every single day.

Mickey flips him off, but then leans in tenderly and kisses him, “Have a good shift Ian”.

Ian is sitting at the Kash & Grab a few hours later, bored out of his skull, listening to the radio numbly as not a single customer has arrived in well over an hour. He nods his head to the song on the radio, and then decides to bug Mickey to entertain himself, texting him a lyric from the song without explaining it.

Yeah, I think about the end just way too much 

His phone immediately lights up with, “Wtf Ian?? 

And then, “Mandy still has her radio on you douche, I’m listening to the same fucking song”. Ian laughs, typing out the next line “But it’s fun to fantasize ”.

Mickey surprisingly then plays along, “All my enemies who wouldn't wish who I was .

Ian grins, and manages to type out the fun to fantasize line again and send it right as a customer comes in. He puts his phone down, and forgets about the game until the end of his shift, when he sees one there was more line sent by Mickey from the song.

Oh, I'm falling, so I'm taking my time on my ride ”.

 

Fiona asks Ian about two weeks later on a Saturday if he’ll keep an eye on the kids for her. Christmas is now rapidly approaching, and she had only just scraped up enough money to get the younger kids some gifts, after he and Lip had helped pitch in of course.

Ian hesitates at her request, normally he is always willing to help out, but, “Well I sort of had plans with Mickey already today”.

She frowns at him, “Ian, I need to get this shit done. Christmas is less than a week away, and I don’t have anything for the kids yet. I’m working doubles to even pay for this stuff this week, and you’re on holiday”. He stifles a sigh, trying not to look too disappointed even though he’s a little irritated, “Alright”.

She laughs at him like he’s stupid, “Ian, just invite him here. You can still hang out, just keep an eye on things, on Liam”. Ian nods as she pulls on her coat and begins winding her scarf around her neck, before she heads out the front door.

He types a text out to Mickey. “Gotta babysit, sorry. Fiona says you can come here though. Do you mind?”

His phone lights up, “No lol. Can I come now though? Dad’s home”.

Get your fine ass over here” Ian adds a kiss face emoji to the end of that one, knowing it will piss Mickey off. He laughs out loud as he reads Mickey’s response, “You can’t see it but I’m flipping you off right now Gallagher”.

Mickey seems to be in a good mood anyways as he shows up at the Gallagher’s front door, though his cheeks are flushed from the cold. It’s snowing again, adding to the heavy piles already shoveled onto the front yard.

He takes Liam from Ian’s arms, who’s struggling to both balance the three-year-old and also close the door behind Mickey. “Sup little man” he says, and Liam shyly smiles back at him.

“Wanna play peek a boo?” Mickey asks, covering Liam’s eyes with his hands for a moment. Ian looks at him in absolute surprise until Mickey leans over and kisses him while Liam can’t see, his cold lips warming against Ian’s warm ones.

“Good job buddy”, Mickey takes his hands away, and Liam giggles. Ian heads back into the kitchen with Liam trailing after him as Mickey takes off his coat and drops it by the door, kicking off his snow-covered boots.

He comes into the kitchen just as Debbie and Carl come traipsing down the stairs. “We’re bored” Carl complains, looking at Ian expectantly. “And that’s my problem…why?” Ian asks. “Fiona said you’re watching us, so it is your problem” Debbie tells him, sounding very matter of factly.

Ian looks up at Mickey, expecting him to be regretting coming over, but he seems pretty content, he’s just leaning against the kitchen counter and watching the exchange between the Gallagher siblings. “They got a point” Mickey says, noticing Ian looking at him.

“We should go sledding!” Carl yells, looking out the window at the falling snow outside.

“Uh…” Ian glances over at Mickey, who shrugs and makes a casual face indicating that he doesn’t care.

Ian caves, “Alright, alright. You two get your own shit together though, takes forever to get Liam in his snowsuit”. He watches his siblings run for the front closet to grab their winter coats. “Toss me Liam’s stuff” he yells. Multiple articles of clothing are flung into the living room a moment later.

Mickey heads towards them and pulls his own coat back on, glancing back as Ian says, “Can you please go with them to the shed in the backyard, and get their sleds? I’ll meet you in the front in a few minutes, after I get me and Liam dressed”.

Mickey rolls his eyes just slightly, but heads outside anyways with the other two Gallagher siblings, as Ian finishes dressing Liam and then himself.

He comes outside to find Mickey and Carl arguing as Debbie stands there impatiently.

“No, I’m not lugging your fuckin ass around in a sled. Your sister can walk, so can you”.

Carl is already sitting in the sled though, apparently refusing to move, “Why are you even here if you’re not gonna help Mickey?” he sneers, the older boy flipping him off. Nothing that Carl isn’t already used to though.

Ian laughs as he comes over, “Carl, you know you’re too fucking old for this right? Look, I can only pull one and Liam’s got that spot taken”.

Mickey looks down at the quiet little kid in the snowsuit beside him, kicking gently at his small sled. “I’ll pull Liam” he offers, glancing back up at Ian.

Ian grins. Does he not realize that he’s making me fall for him faster than I even fucking want to?

He hands Mickey the rope for Liam’s sled. Debbie walks beside her older brother through the piles of snow, as him and Mickey drag his other sibling’s sleds through the snow.

Carl starts chucking snowballs at Mickey from behind, as he sits in his sled, and Mickey looks back to shoot him a warning glance, his eyebrow raised aggressively. Liam starts to giggle though, and Mickey’s expression softens just a bit before he turns back around, and spits off to the side.

“You fuck off back there” Ian says, chuckling, coming to Mickey’s defense, and Carl begrudgingly ceases fire.

They reach the park near their house where there is a perfect hill for sledding, and Carl jumps out of his sled immediately, and takes the rope from Ian to run up the hill with it. Debbie chases after him, “We’re sharing butthead, wait for me!”

Mickey pulls Liam over to the lower part of the hill, and turns his sled around when he gets to the top. “Ready?” he asks, Ian coming up beside them.

Liam shakes his head.

Mickey looks at Ian and whispers, “Is that a fucking yes or a no?” Ian looks at his younger brother. “No” he confirms and he crouches beside him, “What’s up Liam?” Liam looks back behind himself and points at Mickey, his eyes shy but happy.

“He wants you to go down the hill with him” Ian clarifies.

Mickey looks flummoxed, “You go down with him”.

Liam shakes his head and Ian laughs, “Can’t. You’re the fucking chosen one”. Mickey frowns, “Jesus...alright then”. But he doesn’t seem all that fucking annoyed as he gets on the sled that’s really too small for him, and extends his legs out around Liam.

“Give us a fuckin push Private Ryan” he says, starting to realize none of Gallaghers filter themselves around their younger siblings.

Before Ian can oblige, Debbie comes running up to them, tugging at his arm. “Can I use your phone? Carl and I want to take pictures of us sledding. Pleaseee”.

Ian hands her his phone and then crouches, giving Mickey and Liam a push. He watches happily as they drift down the hill, Liam’s little laugh floating back upwards towards him. Mickey gets off to pull him back up the hill after they reach the bottom, and he’s got a stupid big grin on his face. He tries to hide it when he sees Ian looking at him, instantly makes his face blank, but Ian didn’t miss the happy look on his face.

He fucking loves it. “Did you get a pic of that Debs?” he calls, seeing her aiming the phone towards them. She gives him a thumbs up, and snaps some more pics as Mickey comes over to Ian, missing the fact that he’s being photographed.

Mickey gently touches his fingers, and Ian pulls his hand away, tipping his head towards Debbie casually.

“Shit” Mickey mutters, even though Debbie obviously didn’t catch on to anything. Ian slugs him in the shoulder playfully so he’ll relax, and lines up Liam’s sled again.

They spend the entire morning at the park, until well past lunch time actually, taking turns using the sleds and going down the hill. At one point, they line up both sleds to make a line and all five of them go down at once, all of them laughing like crazy the entire time.

When they finally go home, cold and snowy, their noses running, and more than ready for a hot drink, Ian realizes that he was really lucky Fiona had asked him to stay home today, and look after his siblings with Mickey.

He couldn’t have chosen a better day for himself.

Chapter Text

Mickey and Ian come traipsing back into the Gallagher house with Carl, Debbie, and Liam in tow, after spending several hours sledding on the snowy hill down the street.

They all stomp off as much snow from their boots onto the porch and the doormat as possible, before coming inside and kicking off their boots and peeling off their wet winter coats. “I’m colddd” Debbie says, hugging herself, as she heads into the living room to wrap a blanket around herself.

Ian is still struggling to get Liam out of his snowsuit as Mickey bends down to help, and together they manage to get a relatively dry Liam undressed before stripping off their own winter coats. “Guess it’s time for hot chocolate” Ian says, heading into the kitchen and filling up the electric kettle before turning it on.

“You want one too?” he asks Mickey, pulling out mugs from the cupboard. Mickey rolls his eyes, “What kind of fucking question is that Ian, seriously”.

Ian laughs, flipping him off in response before handing him the tin of no-name hot chocolate powder, “Alright, well, you get them started. I’m gonna run upstairs and get a hoodie, it is fucking cold in here”. He pauses for just a moment to turn up the thermostat before he bounds up the stairs towards his bedroom.

He digs through his dresser drawers for a while, before finally finding the grey hoodie he wants, and he yanks it over his head as he heads back down the stairs towards the kitchen. He pauses before he reaches the bottom step though, hearing Liam’s little voice drifting up towards him, who rarely talks.

“There’s words on your hands” he’s saying, and Ian silently goes down another step to peek into the kitchen. Mickey’s sitting at the table beside Liam, with his back to Ian, so he doesn’t see him there.

Liam is touching Mickey’s tattooed hands, who flattens them to let him. “Yeah there is” he answers, a smile in his tone. Liam beams at him, and swings his legs as he takes a sip of his hot chocolate. Ian quickly says, forgetting his stealth position, “Did you put ice cubes in that for him? It’s too hot for him to have right away”.

Mickey turns around in his seat to give him a look, eyebrow raised, “I’m not fucking stupid Ian, I tested it before I gave it to him”.

Ian relaxes, scratching his head slightly in embarrassment, he should have known better, “Sorry”. Mickey shrugs, smiling, as he lifts his own chipped mug to his lips.

Ian glances over at Carl and Debbie, who are having theirs in front of the TV in the living room, before joining Mickey and his little brother at the kitchen table. “So, Fiona’s Christmas shopping?” Mickey asks casually.

“Yeah, who told you?” he asks in return, but from the look on Liam’s face it’s obvious, and Mickey’s tip of his head towards the little boy is unnecessary.

Mickey lowers his voice slightly, “So, what do you like, want?” Ian looks at him, confused, “For Christmas?” Mickey nods, but his gaze is fixed on the table, not Ian.

Ian is somewhat baffled, “Nothing, I don’t need anything”. Mickey raises his head and shoots him a look, so he reluctantly promises, “I’ll think of something, and let you know”, which earns him a more accepting nod from Mickey. After a while he says, “Does he need a nap or something? Kid looks beat”.

Ian looks up from his phone at his little brother, his big brown eyes now drooping slightly. “Yeah, probably wore himself out at the park. C’mon Liam”, Ian stands and waves his younger brother towards the stairs, who sleepily joins him, Mickey following behind.

He tucks Liam into his little bed, and then stretches out onto his own, Mickey joining him to sit on the bed beside him. They both scroll on their phones lazily for a while, until he looks over and notices Liam is passed out. He taps Mickey’s elbow, who looks down and seeing the opportunity, leans to kiss Ian slowly.

It’s a tender kiss, drawn out and warm, each of them transferring their affection to the other one. Ian sighs slightly in contentment as they pull away.

“Hey, let’s look at the pics that Debbie took on my phone” he whispers, remembering his younger sister taking pictures of them at the park. Mickey nods in agreement, and Ian opens his recents album and begins to scroll through the pictures from earlier that day.

The first several are of Carl and Debbie, mostly goofy ones, but a few really good shots he’ll have to send to Fiona, he thinks.

Then him and Mickey start to appear in the background, and Ian’s heart does a funny swoop as he sees one shot of Mickey and Liam flying down the hill together on the sled, both of their faces stretched into happy smiles, both of them laughing.

“He… really likes you” he says quietly, and Mickey looks over at the little boy sleeping across the room. “He’s a good kid. Not annoying”. His words are somewhat casual, but his tone has an unmistakable hint of affection in it.

Ian feels a strange burst of affection of his own, both towards both his youngest brother and Mickey, but doesn’t comment on it, to be honest he’s not really sure what it is or how to describe it.

The next picture is of him and Mickey standing beside each other, and it’s the moment Mickey had gently touched his hand, thinking it would go unnoticed. Mickey raises his eyebrow at the picture, “Didn’t realize we had fuckin paparazzi”.

Ian laughs softly, “I’ll keep that one hidden on my phone, promise. But I wanna keep it”. Mickey doesn’t argue, and the next few pictures of them are really good shots, both of them either smiling or laughing, cheeks flushed in the winter air, they look like they’ve been best friends for a very long time.

Ian drinks in each picture with interest, the firsts he’s had of Mickey and himself. Mickey doesn’t seem to be as openly affected by them, just shows an initial curiosity for each new picture, but as he reaches the end of the roll Ian has an idea.

“This might be stupid, but for Christmas, can I use one of these pictures for my profile picture? One of me and you?”

Mickey looks at him like he’s crazy, “The fuck do you mean, can you ? I mean, as long as we don’t look fuckin gay in it or anything I don’t care. And that’s not a present Ian”. He pokes Ian in the arm as he makes his last point.

Ian repeats firmly, “That’s what I want. And this one, this one doesn’t look gay at all”.

Mickey looks at him in exasperation at first, but then his expression softens as he looks at the picture, “Okay… if that’s what you fucking want”.

“It is” Ian says, and he hears Fiona start to call for him downstairs. “She’s gonna wake up Liam” he hisses, quickly standing up. “Change my profile pic for me” he says, tossing his phone at Mickey, before stepping out of the room and pulling the door closed behind himself.

He goes down the stairs quickly, “Fiona, shut up! Liam’s sleeping”.

“Oh, shit. Whoops” she puts one hand over her mouth apologetically, “I need help carrying this stuff to my room”. Ian nods, “Yeah sure”. He takes a few of the bags and follows her back upstairs into her room.

“What’d you guys do today? Where’s Mickey?” she asks, opening her closet to sort some of the gifts before jamming them inside.

Ian sits on the edge of her bed, “Took everyone sledding, had a blast. He’s in there with Liam still”.

“Oh, that’s nice” she says, standing back with her hands on her hips as she looks at her overstuffed closet. Ian grins, “Yeah, got some great pics, wanna see them?” She turns and smiles at him, “Duh!”

He reaches into his pocket, but finding it empty, remembers, “Oh! I left it with Mickey. Be right back”.

He crosses the hallway towards his own room, but as soon as he reaches the door to pull it open, Mickey is already coming out. He shoves Ian’s phone at his chest, “Here” he says bluntly, “I gotta go”. He doesn’t even look up at Ian as he says it.

Ian frowns at his sudden change in attitude, “You don’t wanna stay for dinner? I-“

“No, bye” Mickey cuts him off, and pushes past him, hurrying down the stairs.

Ian is baffled as he heads back to Fiona’s room, but shakes his head, figuring Mickey probably got a phone call from his fucking asshole of a dad or something. He quickly hides the one slightly unusual photo of Mickey touching his hand in a different folder, and then hands Fiona his phone to scroll through the rest of the pictures.

Her brown eyes widen and shine with delight as she looks through them, “I love these! You all look so happy! Oh my gosh, look at Carl here. Debs is taking these right?” She reaches the one picture of Mickey and Liam that had made his own heart swell with an unfamiliar feeling, “Oh my God this is cute”.

He nods, wishing he could say more.

“Send me all of them pleaseee” she says in a sing song voice, handing him back his phone. “Sure thing” he salutes her jokingly, and then heads back into his own room, quietly closing the door behind himself so he doesn’t wake up Liam.

He pops in his headphones, and works on some readings for English that he was assigned to do over the holiday break, and texts Mickey about one of their math assignments. When Liam wakes up he takes him downstairs, and they both help Fiona make dinner. When he finally gets back to his phone before he goes to bed, he notices Mickey hasn’t answered him.

That’s a little strange, more often than not, he answers Ian’s texts as soon as he can. Mickey’s probably just tired from pulling Liam around in the sled all day though, Ian guesses, so he just sends one more little text.

Goodnight :*

He falls asleep before he gets an answer, and in the morning, all he sees on his phone is a single text from Mickey, delivered around 3 a.m. “Night.

Ian scratches his head slightly, unsure of how to reply to that in the morning. He scrolls through Facebook on his phone, pausing again to admire his new profile picture. Him and Mickey, together in a picture. Publicly on Facebook. It might be stupid, but it made him feel good, having that out there, anyone could see that they were close. It means something.

His phone is silent all day, and as he goes for a jog later on he listens to a song that makes him think about missing Mickey a little bit, and he send him a text of the lyrics, part of the game they’ve kept up since that day he was bored at the Kash & Grab.

“I have been trying to find him, want to give what I got. He lit a fire, but now he’s in my every thought. Where could that boy have gone?”

Maybe it’s a little cheesy, but he thinks it’s sorta cute. Sometimes they send each other songs like that. Mickey never answers though, and he starts to get annoyed by that night, sending him one more text to see if he answers before he gets really agitated.

Hey you, what’s up” They’d had a great fucking day yesterday, and now he was sort of ruining for Ian by giving him radio silence for no apparent reason...

Mickey doesn’t answer the text.

Ian gets right to the point, now pissed off, “Why the fuck are you ignoring me”.

Chapter Text

Ian feels just about damn crazy when he wakes up the next morning and still sees no response from Mickey. He has an ugly feeling in his gut that something is definitely wrong now, and that it’s something he did, but he has no fucking clue what that could be.

He heads downstairs just to get some coffee, his stomach is too knotted for breakfast, and sees Fiona is already whipping up some of her classic pancakes. His attention is immediately caught by the fridge behind her, a new collage of pictures from the printer now adorning it.

He swallows hard as he sees the picture of Mickey and Liam on the sled together, and Fiona notices his stare. “Liam wanted that one up. Such a great picture, isn’t it?” She turns back to the stove, not noticing how Ian gently touches the photograph.

He feels his phone vibrate in the pocket of his sweatpants and quickly yanks it out, suddenly hopeful once he sees it’s a text from Mickey.

I’m busy”.

Ian frowns at the text, wanting to send another of his own, but also feeling slightly snubbed and like he should just ignore Mickey back for a while, see how he likes it. The I’m busy line is the ultimate copout when you want to avoid someone, Ian knows that.

But what the fuck did he do?

He wracks his brain that night as he lays in bed, and all he can think of is that right before Mickey left the Gallagher house acting all weird, Ian had asked him to upload that picture of them together to Facebook.

Is that it? Is that the big fucking problem? He was embarrassed by that, or thought Ian was pushing him too much? Ian burns with both embarrassment and anger as he ruminates over these thoughts, that had to be it, because he was fucking fine before that. He falls asleep gritting his teeth over what an asshole Mickey is being.

He marches over to the Milkovich house the next day, not giving a damn if Mickey knows he’s coming or not. He’s not gonna send another text that he knows he won’t fucking answer.

Ian knocks at the front door aggressively, blanching just slightly when Mickey answers it, his expression catching him off guard. Mickey grimaces slightly, as if he’s in pain, as he looks at him, “What are you doing here?”

Ian feels his anger rising, despite the fact that Mickey’s tone was soft when he asked the question that Ian completely brushes off. “Why the fuck are you ignoring me?” he demands, stepping closer to the other boy, their faces only an inch apart.

Mickey’s own face reddens with a flush, now looking pissed off as well, and Ian hears Terry in the background, but he’s too angry to give a shit right now.

Mickey doesn’t answer him.

“Fine, be a little bitch” Ian spits, and he sees Mickey’s hand ball into a fist but he snaps upwards and punches him first, knocking him straight in the chin. Mickey falls backwards slightly into the door from the impact.

In every fight Ian’s ever been in, including the hundreds with his older brother, he’s learned never to take the first punch, if you can see it coming.

He is then momentarily distracted by Terry appearing behind Mickey, looking in confusion and anger at whoever had the fucking nerve to show up at his house and punch his son, but he looks even angrier as he sees who it is, and he glares at Mickey. He lifts a ham like hand to the back of Mickey’s head, and shoves him forward, “You gonna take punches from this prick like a little bitch? Maybe he’s right about you”.

He sneers, and Ian takes a blow to the face just seconds later, feeling Mickey’s fist connect with his jaw ruthlessly. He immediately throws his arm up, blocking the next punch, as Terry begins to mutter about Mickey being a goddamn useless waste of space before he leaves the doorway, heading back into the house.

Ian stares at Mickey once they are alone again, fuming, and sees Mickey’s own normally pale face is reddening with anger, and, are those tears in his eyes? He drops his guard slightly at the unexpected sight, and Mickey spits, “Fuck off Ian” before slamming the door in his face.

He stands there for another moment, before walking home like a zombie, absolutely bewildered about what had just happened. Literally, what the fuck had happened ?

They were happy, things were good, and then a couple of days ago Mickey had done a complete 180 in just a matter of minutes.

He just doesn’t understand, did that picture get Mickey in trouble with his Dad? If that was it, why didn’t he just ask him to take it down? Or is Mickey really just a fucking prick like everyone at school says, and Ian was just blind to it before…?

He is still mulling over the unknown reasons for Mickey’s anger towards him when he arrives at the house, and Fiona is waiting by the door expectantly for him. “What?” he grouses, trying to push past her into the house.

She glares at him, blocking his entrance. “We were supposed to get the food for our Christmas dinner, I told you that and you took off without even answering me. Where the fuck did you go?”

Her frown shifts slightly into a more concerned look as she continues to stare at him, “Were you in a fight?” “No” Ian says, touching his jaw gently, now feeling very subdued. He doesn’t even remember Fiona saying anything to him this morning. “Sorry… let’s go now”.

He follows Fiona around the grocery store in a daze, letting her pile multiple things into the basket he’s carrying. She tries talking to him a few times, but realizes it’s pointless after a while as she keeps having to repeat herself after he says, “Huh?” over and over again.

They finishing shopping and leave the store, and are about half way home before Fiona suddenly yells out, “Shit!” startling him out of his reverie. He jumps, and then frowns at her in annoyance, “What?”

“I left my fucking purse back there! We have to go back!” she starts to hurry back the way they had came, swearing, and Ian jogs slightly to catch up to her.

“Your shitty mood was distracting me” she complains a while later, as they start to cross the parking lot, heading towards the front entrance of the grocery store.

“Oh, it’s my fault?” he asks, annoyed. She scoffs, “Well, yeah Ia-“

They both stop and stare, as someone comes tearing out of the grocery store, with a frozen turkey tucked underneath their arm, clearly stealing it. 

The person is coming right towards them, blindly running, and Ian blinks as he realizes who it is, “Mickey?”

Chapter Text

Mickey looks at the two of them, wide eyed, and immediately shoves the turkey into one of Fiona’s mostly empty grocery bags.

Before anyone has a chance to say anything about this bizarre scenario, two security guards come running out of the store and head straight for Mickey, who tries to throw them off by dodging around one of the parked cars.

Unfortunately, with two guards, he still ends up somewhat cornered between the vehicles.

“You know this kid?” one of the guards demands, as he paces around Mickey, glaring at Fiona and Ian who are still standing there, absolutely bewildered as they watch this shitshow unfold.

“NEVER SEEN EM BEFORE IN MY FUCKIN LIFE!” Mickey quickly hollers, flipping off the guard as he does.

You little shit… well then why the fuck is there a turkey right there, hmm ?” He points at Fiona’s bag accusingly, where the large turkey is still partially sticking out and clearly visible.

Fiona shoves the turkey farther into her bag. “Excuse me? This is my fucking turkey, I paid for it” she says, sounding utterly offended.  

It’s a South Side rule, you don’t fucking snitch.

“Well then where the fuck is his?” the guard turns and yells back, and Mickey takes advantage of this momentary distraction to leap over the dented hood of the car blocking his escape, and continue running.

“Fuck you!” he yells behind himself, as the two guards abandon Fiona and Ian to pursue him. He doesn’t get halfway through the parking lot, before a police car shows up, and between two police officers and the original two security guards, Mickey is caught.

Ian can still hear him swearing, and watches him struggle as he is thrown into the backseat of the police car roughly before they drive away with him it.

Fiona turns to him slowly, “What…the fuck…just happened?” Ian is still baffled, “Fuck if I know”.

After a long moment of silence Fiona speaks again, “Well I’m keeping this turkey, we couldn’t have afforded one any other way” she says firmly.

Ian doesn’t argue, and finally comes back into his senses. He has to go see Mickey. “Fine, look, I’m gonna go to the police station, you go get your purse ok?” He tries to hand her his bags but she argues with him, “No, I can’t carry all this stuff by myself! You want to eat, you help carry the groceries”.

Ian groans, pulling his wallet out of his pocket, “Here” he hands her a ten-dollar bill. “Take a cab, then you don’t have to carry anything”. She accepts the preferable deal happily, “Alright!

Ian watches for a moment, as his sister dumps the heavy bags into a grocery cart and heads back into the grocery store to get her purse, and then he breaks into a steady jog towards the police station. He’s well acquainted with it’s location, due to several less than legal Gallagher family habits.

It takes him about twenty-five minutes to get there, and regardless of his good physical fitness, he’s huffing slightly when he arrives at the front counter.

“Mickey Milkovich?” he asks breathlessly, as soon as the police officer looks up at him from behind his computer.

“Turkey kid?” he asks. Ian nods.

The officer, who’s badge says Officer Rawlins, shrugs, “He’s in holding”.  Ian pants, “He’s seventeen, you have to either charge him or let him go”.

The police officer smirks, “You his lawyer? Listen, he’s on camera stealing it and he won’t admit to it, so we’re gonna keep him”. Ian tries to keep calm, “You’re gonna arrest a poor kid, for stealing a turkey, at Christmas. Are you fucking serious?”

Rawlins sighs, “Listen kid, I don’t want to be sitting here filling out paperwork for another petty theft either. But the grocery store says he’s a repeat offender, and from our other files on him here, that’s very likely true”.

Ian wracks his brain, “What…what if I pay for it? I’ll pay for it, you can give the cash to the manager, and then you can let him go. It won’t be stolen anymore”.

The officer purses his lips thoughtfully, “Well… I suppose that would be fine. As long as they are compensated for it. It’s 27 dollars though”. Ian just about drops his wallet, “For a goddamn bird? Fuck…”

He flips through his wallet and practically empties it, and he’s only got a few dollars left when he’s done, between that and the money he gave Fiona for a cab. The officer counts the cash out carefully and puts it in an envelope that he scribbles something onto, “Alright, wait here”.

Ian bites his lip as he waits, and Mickey is led out from the holding area about five minutes later, looking extremely pissed off. He doesn’t say a word to Ian as they leave, who waves his appreciation to Officer Rawlins as he hurries out the door after Mickey.

As soon as they are outside, Ian puts a hand out in front of Mickey’s chest to stop him from going any further, completely expecting him to just shove through and keep going, but he doesn’t. He stops.

He doesn’t look up, but Ian sees his face is more scratched than he remembered it being this morning, and he’s dirtier than usual too. 

“What the fuck is going on with you?” Ian demands, “Why have you been acting, for the past few fucking days, like I don’t fucking exist?”

His voice almost breaks at the last word, and as Mickey finally looks up directly into his eyes, the look in them is cold enough to make Ian shiver. “Who’s Josh? ” he spits, shaking with anger.

Ian takes a step back, absolutely surprised by the question, “What… how did you…?”

Mickey clenches his jaw, “I fucking knew it! FUCK!” He balls his hand into a fist, and Ian flinches as his hand comes flying past him and smashes into the metal parking sign beside him, Mickey apparently choosing at the last second to hit the metal sign instead of him, his hand begins to bleed from the impact.

Ian waves his own hands uselessly to try and get Mickey to calm down as he tries to figure out what to say, but he’s just so fucking confused, “I don’t know how or what you think you fucking know, but-“

Mickey lowers his voice, his face creasing into harsh lines as he splutters, “You- you- fuck you Ian! Make me think I’m your fucking boyfriend or something while you go out and fuck other guys!” Mickey stalks away from him angrily, and reaches the sidewalk before Ian snaps out of his shock, and runs after him, grabbing Mickey’s arm to stop him.

Mickey looks close to tears now, like he’s in shock himself after his outburst, and Ian quickly takes advantage of his stupor to pull him into the bus stop beside of them for some more privacy, as he tries to explain.

Mickey blinks quickly as he looks around himself and realizes he is no longer on the sidewalk in front of the police station. Ian looks directly into his eyes, trying to show how earnest he is, even through his distress, “Mick I didn’t…I haven’t fucked anyone, since I’ve been with you. Not since that day at Oak Forest”.

“ Fucking liar” Mickey immediately hisses back, Ian taking a few steps away from his harshness.

“You got a nice fucking message from Josh while you had me on your phone uploading a picture of US to your fucking Facebook so everyone can see that Mickey Milkovich is a fucking bitch for you! You show that pic to everyone on your fucking hookup app too, have a nice laugh?”

He laughs bitterly at his ugly joke. Ian’s face pales as he realizes that he thinks he knows what the fuck Mickey is actually upset about, and rightfully so, even though it’s just a big fucking misunderstanding.

“Mickey, you have this all wrong ”, he pleads, “I haven’t used that app to hook up with anyone since the summer. I should have deleted it, but I didn’t, I didn’t even think of it”.

“Give me your fucking phone” Mickey snarls, and Ian hesitates as he hands it over, feeling like Mickey is going to smash it into the ground. Instead, he swipes quickly through the folders on Ian’s phone and pulls up the Grindr app, and then his conversation with Josh, and shows it to him. 

Ian looks back up from the screen without reading it, remembering that day very clearly, he doesn’t need a reminder, “I didn’t go through with it! I was upset, I was being fucking stupid and I was upset after you turned me down, but we weren’t even together then!” Ian says, his voice strangled.

The look Mickey gives him next is so venomous that he feels angry himself again, repeating, “We weren’t together then…you’re being ridiculous”.

“Keep lying to me Ian, see what happens. I broke all my fucking rules for you, asshole. And if you didn’t fucking go through with it, then why did he send this to you a few days ago?” Mickey says, his voice like stone as he turns the phone screen back towards Ian.

Ian scans the screen with his eyes quickly, seeing a message on ‘read’ that he had never opened, because Mickey would have had his phone when the notification was delivered.

From: Josh, 18.

Hey you, how bout we go for round 2? ;) I think we can do a lot better this time lol

 

Mickey had apparently replied with, “Kill yourself” to which Josh had never answered.

Ian slaps his hand to his forehead, “Oh… God, no. No. Mickey, I honestly think that he was drunk when he sent that to me, and I obviously never saw it. Just… just listen to me. That night at the dugout, after you ran away from me, I was fucking upset, and angry. I opened this stupid app, that I’m deleting right now ”, he tips the phone towards Mickey to show him, who sniffs slightly as he watches the app disappear from Ian’s screen.

“And looked for someone to help me forget about you. And yes, I went to his house”, he admits, regretfully.

Mickey suddenly looks up to the sky, and Ian can’t see his eyes anymore.

He quickly continues, “But I didn’t go through with it. I didn’t even kiss him, I swear to fucking God, Mickey. That’s why he said we could do a lot better. It wouldn’t be hard to, because I didn’t do anything the first time. When I was there with him, I realized that all I wanted was you”.

Mickey finally pulls his eyes away from the grey sky and back onto him, his guard now obviously lowered. He searches Ian’s face to see if he can find any hint of a lie as Ian stands there somberly, letting him look.

“All I want is you” Ian adds sadly.

Mickey rubs one hand down his face, blinking rapidly, “That was before we were together? And you didn’t fuck him? You aren’t using that app to fuck other guys now?”

No ” he answers weakly, his voice breaking.

Mickey pinches the bridge of his nose, and Ian feels himself fighting tears just as hard as the other boy clearly is.

“FUCK!” Mickey suddenly yells out, jamming his bleeding hand over his eyes to cover them, “I’m sorry” he chokes out. “I’m so fucking sorry, I hit you… I fucking ignored you, I thought…”

Ian swallows hard, shaking his head vigorously as he interrupts him, his voice is thick “I’M sorry! I’m sorry I hit you first, if I had any fucking idea what was going on in your head… fuck, I’m-”

Mickey yanks his battered hand away from his eyes, and quickly covers Ian’s lips with his fingers, “Shut up, shut the fuck up”.

His blue eyes are still glazed with tears, but he looks like he’s fighting something other than his previous emotions now, and as his voice grows quiet, Ian begins to worry.

“I need to tell you something Ian”.

Chapter Text

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.

Love.

“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.

“Together”.

Chapter Text

 “Ian! Pizza!” Ian hears Mickey call, and he stretches slightly on the other boy’s bed before getting up. It’d been such a crazy day, and he hadn’t slept well for the past couple while he’d been having a rough patch with Mickey, so he’d laid down and passed out while Mickey was ordering the pizza, who must have let him sleep until it got here.

He finds Mickey with the pizza in the kitchen, who offers him a cold beer as he appears, “Hey sleepy head”.

Ian grimaces at his slightly mangled and outstretched hand as he takes the beer from him, “Jesus Mick, that looks bad”.

The hand Mickey had punched the metal parking sign with was bruising purple and black over his knuckles and tattoos, and although he’d stopped bleeding, the dried blood made the whole thing look worse.

Mickey just shrugs and takes a swig of his beer, but Ian puts his own down, and takes Mickey by the wrist, gently.

“C’mon, let me clean it”.

“I’m fine Ian”, Mickey argues, but he winces as Ian leads him into the bathroom by the wrist.

Ian turns on the sink faucet, and makes sure the water isn’t too hot before he puts Mickey’s hand underneath the stream to rinse off the blood. He pats it dry when it’s clean, with a questionably stained hand towel, and then digs around until he finds a very old first aid kit under the sink. Everything’s probably expired, but it’s better than nothing, he figures.

He puts some hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball, and pauses before he touches Mickey with it, “This might hurt”.

Mickey laughs at his warning, and takes a sip of his beer, but he almost chokes on it when Ian starts to dab at his knuckles with the burning antiseptic, “Fuck Ian!”

“Look, see it bubbling! It was gonna get infected Mickey” Ian insists, and Mickey grouses but takes another drink of his beer, using it to wash down the two Advils that Ian hands him next.

His mood improves considerably as Ian finishes his first aid and lets him take the box of pizza over to the couch. Mickey digs through a pile of what looks like mostly stolen DVD’s in a box on the floor, before selecting one and holding it up for Ian’s approval, “John Wick?”

Ian shrugs, “Sure, haven’t seen it”. He watches as Mickey shoves the DVD into the player and then steps back, and he moves to make room beside himself on the couch.

“I’m fucking starving” Mickey complains, dropping down onto the couch and grabbing a slice of pizza from the box. Ian himself is as hungry as he is tired, and that’s very.

They are both pretty quiet as they watch the movie, content to just be near each other while they eat, until the cute puppy is killed by the Russian mobsters.

Ian looks over at Mickey, slightly annoyed by the upsetting scene, “Jesus, a heads up would have been nice”.

Mickey raises his eyebrow at him, “Sorry, seen worse though. That really bother you…? C’mere”.

Ian moves the pizza box off of the couch and comes over to Mickey’s outstretched arm, resting his head against the other boy’s chest sleepily.

When Mickey gently pushes him awake again, he sees the end credits of the movie have finished rolling, he’d fallen asleep less than halfway through it.

“Hey” Mickey says gently, “Let’s go to my room”. Ian nods tiredly, but asks “Can I borrow a toothbrush?”

Mickey grins, “That’s gross” but he lets him anyways, and they both use the bathroom at the same time to get ready for bed.

Mickey hands him a pair of his sweatpants and a t-shirt to sleep in, that Ian takes gratefully, even though the sweatpants are a little short on his longer legs. His own clothes were dirty, and smelled like sweat after the significantly stressful day. Mickey changes too, and then gets into his bed and lays against the wall to make room for him.

He crawls in beside Mickey and faces him, feeling slightly more awake now, he notices some smaller writing on the wall behind Mickey. He reaches over the other boy and traces over the words that had been carved into the wall, that hadn’t been there the last time he had visited.

Can you save my heavy dirty soul?

Ian draws away from the wall and gazes down at Mickey, who is laying on his side and looking quietly back up at him. His injured hand is resting carefully on the bed in front of him, his face is littered with small cuts and scrapes, and even though he looks perfectly content now, Ian’s heart feels heavy as he looks at him.

He carefully picks up Mickey’s injured hand and presses his mouth to it, expecting Mickey to complain, but he doesn’t. He just swallows hard, from emotion, not pain. Seeing that it doesn’t hurt him, Ian moves Mickey’s entire arm behind his back so he can move in closer, until his chest is pressed against the other boy’s. Both of them sigh in contentment from the warmth and intimacy, and Ian gives Mickey one last tender kiss before he closes his heavy eyes.

He’s still somewhere between states of consciousness several minutes later as he feels Mickey begin to stroke his hair with his uninjured hand gently, and he can’t remember ever feeling more safe or comfortable.

Until he hears Mickey whisper quietly, right before he gives in to sleep’s alluring weight, “I love you so much Ian”.

 

When he wakes up again, it’s still dark out, and he turns his head slightly to glance at the digital clock on the shelf above Mickey’s bed.

4:27 a.m.

He gets up very carefully, placing Mickey’s arm back down on the bed gently so he doesn’t wake him, and goes to take a piss. When he gets back, Mickey’s awake now anyways, silently watching him come back to bed in the dark.

Ian slides back into the bed beside him, no longer tired, and feels his heart pound more heavily in his chest as his face comes to about an inch away from the other boy’s. Sometimes, Mickey just has this effect on him, this pull, that is indescribable, and it turns him on immediately.

Closer now, he can hear Mickey breathing shakily with arousal too, and he closes the gap between them to press his lips to the other boy’s, who leans forward into it.

He wants Mickey so badly, wants to find comfort in his body, and he moves his lips away from his soft mouth to his hot neck, tracing it with kisses. Mickey mumbles something incoherent, and the two of them shift upwards onto the bed a minute later, Ian moving over Mickey slowly as he gently lifts the other boy’s shirt up.

They are both already hard, but he wants to take his time, and enjoy every minute with his boyfriend, both of them needing some reassurance from the other after the past few unsteady days. Neither of them says a single word as he lowers his mouth down to Mickey’s chest, and caresses it. He moves very slowly down towards his stomach, feeling Mickey’s ab muscles react underneath his gentle touch.

Mickey waits for a few moments before he reaches up and tries to pull Ian’s shirt off with his one hand that isn’t hurting him, and Ian stops what he is doing to help him toss it to the floor, before returning to his exploration of Mickey’s body in the dark.

He pulls down the elastic waistband of Mickey’s black sweatpants with his fingers just enough to kiss the other boy’s hipbones, who lets out a light groan in response. Ian wants to love him, not tease him, so he pulls down the sweatpants more, lowering his mouth down over the other boy’s erection once it’s exposed.

He gently glides his mouth up and down for a while, before he fights over his gag reflex, and takes Mickey entirely, the tip of his nose pressing against the other boy’s pubic hair, as he breathes in Mickey’s scent. He feels an appreciative and damp hand reach down to the side of his face, and then run its strong fingers through his red hair.

He continues to work Mickey’s hard-on with his mouth for another minute or two, humming into it, until Mickey’s strong arms reach down towards him and pull him upwards insistently, although he’s clearly avoiding using his one hand more than is necessary.

Mickey pulls Ian right up to his mouth and kisses him desperately, both of them cradling the back of the other boy’s head to hold him impossibly closer. Mickey starts to struggle underneath him to pull off his sweatpants, and Ian lifts his body just long to take off his own and toss them to the ground too, before returning to his boyfriend’s lips. He breathes out shakily into the other boy’s mouth, and then turns his head away for just a moment to wet his fingers with his mouth, Mickey watching him through hooded eyes.

As soon as Ian removes his fingers from his own mouth, Mickey presses back into it, his wet tongue darting back in and finding Ian’s. Ian focuses on the heated rhythm of their exploring tongues, as he lowers his hand down to prep Mickey with his fingers.

It takes Mickey a while to relax, his muscles contracting tightly around each finger Ian inserts, but Ian feels his erection leaking slightly against his stomach, as he leans over the other boy, and when Mickey hands him a condom from his shelf, he knows that he’s ready.

The house, quiet except for the sounds of their heavy breathing and small intimate sounds of need, lets them find safety in each others bodies as Mickey lets Ian push inside of him, slowly and carefully, drawing another long and slow groan from his throat.

All Ian wants is to make Mickey feel good, translate how much he cares, how much he loves him

They’ve never really made love before, hell he’s never made love before, and he’s not really sure he knows what it means. Bu then he has no doubt that’s what this is, as he gently rocks his hips against Mickey’s, pushing deeper inside of him.

Mickey reaches his tattooed hands upwards to hold on behind Ian’s neck, who lowers back down wordlessly to kiss his stomach again, that is still beautifully pale even in the dark, appreciating it while the rest of Chicago is sleeping.

After Ian lavishes the other boy’s stomach in affection, he stretches back out over him as he was before. With their chests pressed together, he can feel every muscle in Mickey’s body tensing as he arches into him over and over again with a building fervor.

Ian had closed his eyes, as it was quite dark in the room anyways, but he feels a sudden urge to look down into Mickey’s blues, and they flicker open again.

Mickey is already looking directly into his own green ones, like he’d been waiting patiently for this.

Ian looks down at Mickey’s face, even in the dark, he thinks he could describe the other boy to any stranger perfectly.

He could tell you about his strong and angular, but still slightly rounded, face, that can give him an inappropriate appearance of innocence at times. About the light shadow of facial hair that he didn’t allow to grow, but that still served as a faint reminder of his approaching adulthood. He would mention his perfectly pointed nose, above full lips that looked so sweet, you wouldn’t believe the obscenities that would pour from them so easily at times. And he would tell you about those dark and arching eyebrows, that displayed his emotions as clearly as the stunning eyes below them did. Those eyes, he would tell you, protected only by dark lashes, hold an ocean of blue emotions, always just below the surface.

Ian feels a little emotional himself, as he thinks of all of these things about his lover while he looks down at him, and he knows what Mickey is waiting for.

He lowers his lips down to the other boy’s ear, pressing them into a gentle kiss before telling him quietly, “I love you. I love you, I love you…”

He feels Mickey’s back arch immediately upwards from the mattress as he moans out in response, “I fucking love you Ian ”.

His erection digs into Ian’s stomach just once more before he begins to cum, and Ian cries out shakily against Mickey’s shoulder as he joins him in ecstasy, releasing deep inside of his tight warmth.

They stay where they are for a long moment, before Ian draws backwards to pull out of his lover slowly, tying the filled condom with a knot to seal it before dropping it to the floor. As he looks back at Mickey, still naked, he sees him now holding his injured hand awkwardly away from his body.

“Let me get you some more Advil” Ian murmurs, Mickey nodding back at him complacently.

He brings back two more of the small red pills from the washroom, and a glass of water, both of which Mickey takes gratefully, after the previous dose had clearly worn off. He shoves the empty glass onto the shelf above his bed haphazardly when he’s done, and then curls into the slightly rumpled bed contentedly as Ian climbs back in beside him.

He pulls the red blanket back up over them and then wraps his arms around Mickey, holding him carefully close, as they drift back into a peaceful sleep.

Chapter Text

 

I made a Video Trailer for Two Friend Like Us! :) I think it's pretty cute. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UirOfBlLi7I
Watch it and let me know what you think? :)

****

Ian wakes up to the feeling of soft warm breath drifting across his bare chest. As he looks down, he realizes Mickey must haven fallen asleep there at some point during the night after he had rolled onto his back. He smiles down at him for a moment before he lifts a hand to Mickey’s dark hair, running his fingers through it gently.

“Mmmm” Mickey makes a small sleepy sound as he begins to stir in response to Ian’s touch, his eyebrows arching. “I can’t stay all morning” Ian says gently, “Your family’s coming back today”.

Mickey scrunches his mouth into a grimace as he opens his eyes “Thanks for the fuckin reminder”.

Ian smiles at him apologetically, “Sorry”. He slaps Mickey’s shoulder playfully when he still doesn’t make a move to get up, “Wakey wakey”.

“Do you not see my open fucking eyes? I’m awake”, Mickey grins, stretching his arms upwards. “Just checkin” Ian teases, poking him in the ribs.

Mickey crawls over him to get off the bed, swatting his hand away. “We probably have time to make breakfast” he says thoughtfully, looking at the digital clock on the shelf above his bed.

Ian hesitates and Mickey offers “Or, we could go out and get breakfast”. Ian nods, “Probably safer”.

He stops Mickey before he opens the front door, once they are dressed and ready to head out.

“Wait”. He closes his eyes and gives the other boy a long kiss before they have to enter back into the façade they put on for the rest of Chicago to see. Mickey touches his fingers gently before he steps back, and pulls open the from door, both of them blinking at the brightness of the snow that greets their eyes.

Ian huffs slightly in the cold air, and pauses in confusion when they reach the end of the walkway to the Milkovich house, and Mickey heads in a different direction than the closest breakfast joint. Mickey glances back at him, “We have to take the El and go farther away from our neighborhood”.

Ian shrinks slightly, remembering, “Oh, right. Right”. Even if they don’t do anything to show they are a couple, it still might seem a little weird if they are just getting breakfast alone, he considers. It’s definitely a pain in the ass to have to travel just to get some scrambled eggs though.

At least the train is warm, he thinks, as he gently knocks his knees together in boredom while the train zooms past several stops. Still, he’s content being near Mickey even in moments like this.

Mickey finally stands up six stops away from the one closest to their neighborhood, and Ian follows his lead, shuffling back outside into the cold. “Cora’s is good” Mickey says, licking his lips as he squints at the sign down the street, once they reach the sidewalk.

He smokes a cigarette outside, while Ian goes in first and gets them a table. “Hey sunshine” the waitress says, smiling at him. He looks up into her friendly and rosy face, “Just waiting for my friend”. He tips his head outside towards where Mickey is standing, smoke curling from his mouth. “But can we get two coffees to start?”

“Sure thing”.

Mickey finishes his smoke and comes inside as she disappears into the back of the empty diner. “You order yet?” he asks, glancing down at the menu in front of his own seat. Ian hesitates, “No…”

He still feels bad that he doesn’t have any money of his own to pay for anything, and makes a mental note to ask Kash for some extra shifts. He’ll have to, to be able to pay for his part of the next electricity bill.

Mickey frowns at him, reading him like an open book. “Don’t worry about me spending money on you, seriously. Makes me feel like shit. Order whatever the hell you want”.

The waitress comes back over and places two coffees in front of them, “This your friend, sunshine?” She smiles at Mickey and then adds, “What can I get ya?”

Mickey looks at her uncertainly, and then down at the menu, “Uh… the Rise and Shine. That come with extra bacon or whatever?” She nods and then looks over at Ian, who hands his menu to her, “Same please”.

As soon as she walks away Mickey looks at him with his eyebrow raised, “Sunshine…you know her?” Ian shakes his head, “No. People just talk to me like that sometimes, have since I was little. Not sure why”.

Mickey grins, “It’s cause your all… red haired, and happy, and bright. I don’t know”. He blushes slightly as Ian starts to laugh at his attempt to describe him, “Mickey everyone talks to little kids that way, but yeah, now maybe it’s the red hair”.

Mickey shakes his head, “No they don’t Ian. Soon as I walked into a store they’d turn to my dad and say, Hey Terry, you better keep Mickey from pissing on anything this time or you can’t come back in here”.

Ian chuckles, “That was a thing with you when you were little, wasn’t it? I think I remember you pissing on first base back in Little League. I’m pretty sure I was on your team”.

Mickey grins, “Yeah that’s how I mark my territory”. “Better not piss on me” Ian warns, taking a sip of his coffee.

“Thanks for the idea” Mickey winks, and after Ian sticks out his tongue at him playfully in response, they both happily turn their attentions back to their hot cups of coffee.

Ian takes out his phone to catch up on some Facebook notifications as they both fall into a comfortable silence, and passing over his profile picture, he looks up thoughtfully at Mickey, who notices, “What?”

He bites his lip, “You know, I thought before that maybe you were mad or whatever, because I made my profile picture that pic of us”.

Mickey stares at him as if he’s stupid, and he shrugs apologetically, “I didn’t know what else it could be”. “Why would I be mad at that?” Mickey asks incredulously, “I… love that picture”.

Ian blushes, “I do too”. “I’m not really big on that social media bullshit or anything Ian, but I’ve pulled open my Facebook like a hundred fucking times just to look at it. Even when I was mad at you”, Mickey admits, closing his mouth as the waitress returns with their plates.

Ian wants to say more to that, a lot more, but he contents himself with just digging into his warm breakfast as Mickey does the same.

“You know, we probably could have just eaten back closer to home” he says gently, as they begin to finish up.

Mickey nods, “Yeah, probably. I don’t know, I’m just overthinking shit I guess. Sorry”.

Ian shakes his head, “Don’t be sorry. I was just thinking, everyone already knows we’re best friends, so it’s not really that crazy that we would hang out. I really don’t think that anything about either of us”- he glances down at Mickey’s FUCK U-UP tattoos as he lowers his voice, “screams, we’re gay for each other!”

Mickey snorts as he lays out some bills and change on the table for the waitress, “I don’t know Ian, sometimes you make me scream, in a pretty gay fuckin way”.

Ian grins at the dirty joke, and slings his arm around Mickey as they get up to leave the diner.

They take the El back home, but Ian really doesn’t want to say goodbye, once Mickey walks him back home first and prepares to leave.

“Maybe you could stay here tonight?” he asks, hopefully.

Mickey gives him a reassuring look, “I’ll be fine Ian. He’s gonna be plastered tonight anyways. Plus, I should be with Mandy you know, it is Christmas”. Ian nods, feeling a little guilty for forgetting about Mandy.

“Okay, well, will you come over tomorrow? I don’t think anyone here would mind”.

Mickey brightens “Yeah, course I will”, he pulls out a cigarette for his walk home, “Have fun with your family Ian”. He turns and Ian lifts one hand to say goodbye before he heads into his own house.

The Gallagher house is warm, with cheery Christmas tunes playing as he steps inside, and the smells of Christmas dinner already greeting him. Liam comes running over and gives him a hug as soon as he sees him.

“Hey! You ready for Santa?” Ian asks him, rubbing his back. Liam nods and then looks behind him, “Is Mickey coming?”

Ian’s heart softens, “Um, tomorrow Liam. He’s gotta be with his own family today”. Liam nods quietly, a more standard form of communication for him, and Ian heads into the kitchen.

Fiona beams at him as soon as she sees him, “I will have to get that Milkovich kid a damn thank you card or something, look at the size of that fucking thing!” She points to the oven with her gloved hand, and Ian grins at the sight of the turkey inside. It’s true, it would stretch for a couple meals in the Gallagher home.

Lip comes down into the kitchen from upstairs just then, and Fiona’s face gets more serious as she sees him. Lip tips his head at her expectantly.  

“What?” he asks anxiously, looking between them. Lip scratches the back of his neck, “Uh, well, Frank and Monica called. They want to do a get together tomorrow”.

Ian frowns at the mention of their parents. Monica had stepped out on all of her kids long ago, and Frank had joined her in just the past year. To be honest though, it was a relief that he was gone now too. The Gallagher kids always did better on their own.

“You said no, right?” he asks apprehensively. “Well here’s the thing” Fiona starts, “Yes, we don’t want to see them. But we have to consider the rest of the kids…maybe they should see their parents on Christmas Day”.

He glances at his older brother, annoyed, “And you agree with that?” Lip shrugs, “I don’t know Ian, honestly. Frank said Monica was doing well, she’s been on her meds for a while now I guess”. Ian shakes his head firmly, “No. We can’t risk exposing them to their bullshit again”.

“Ian, we waited to get your opinion on it, but you’re outnumbered here. It’s just for an hour or two, a short visit. We had our years with them, but they didn’t” Fiona tries to reason with him.

He raises his voice this time, “And look what it fucking did to us! I’m not… letting them see the kids, until I see for myself that they are okay”.

Lip and Fiona look at each other thoughtfully, and Fiona agrees to that as Lip nods. “Well…that sounds fair. You can meet with them first and if they are sober and decent, bring them back. They won’t stay long, we already laid down the rules”.  

Ian nods himself in agreement to the plan, and pushes the thought of Frank and Monica from his mind for the rest of the night.

You might think it would be lonely on Christmas Eve to have a house full of kids with their parents long gone, but in the Gallagher home, this had long been the norm. The house was happy, and warm, and filled with love that night. They all sat at the table together and Debbie insisted on singing Christmas carols before they dug into their Christmas dinner, the fat turkey Mickey had stolen being the centerpiece on the table.

Snow drifted down gently outside as Ian set up a Christmas movie for his siblings to watch before bed, and then he joined his older sibling upstairs afterwards to wrap they few gifts they had been able to save up for and purchase for their younger siblings. They drank ridiculously boozy cups of eggnog, and laughed non-stop as they tried to wrap the presents decently afterwards, Fiona being particularly bad at it once buzzed, something her brothers teased her about relentlessly.  

Ian felt warm and happy that whole night, even as he went to sleep, but a small nagging part of him wished that Mickey was here too, where he knew he would be safe and loved.

Chapter Text

Ian wakes up in the morning to the sound of Carl screaming in his ear for him to wake up, and he shoves him off in annoyance.

“Ian wake the fuck up, it’s Christmas” Carl taunts, throwing a handful of dirty laundry at him. “You buzz off, or I’ll throw your presents in the snow” Ian grouses as he gets up, taking Liam’s waiting hand to bring him downstairs.

As they reach the hallway he sees Debbie dragging Fiona out of her room, and Lip was apparently awake before any of them, as he is already downstairs when they get there. He’s reheating some breakfast food from the restaurant he works part time at waiting tables. Liam stops and does a little happy dance when he sees the presents under the tree, and the rest of the Gallaghers burst out laughing at his antics as they gather around the tree.

The older siblings exchange packets of cigarettes and small bottles of alcohol with each other, and watch as their younger siblings unwrap the actual toys, clothes, and candy they had saved up to get for them. There’s not a lot to unwrap, really, but it feels like a lot to them. They finish everything by ten a.m., and their excitement dies down enough for them to eat the breakfast Lip had prepared.

Ian is on the last forkful of his scrambled eggs when they all hear a knocking at the front door. “They aren’t supposed to come here first” he whispers, looking at Lip and Fiona warningly.

“They didn’t” Fiona answers firmly, “It must be someone else”.

Ian quickly gets up, suddenly remembering that Mickey was supposed to come over today. He had probably been texting Ian to let him know, but with the festivities of Christmas morning he had completely forgotten his phone upstairs.

Sure enough, Mickey is standing in front of the Gallagher’s front door, gripping the straps of the backpack he’s wearing. His breath is showing in the cold winter air, and he peers past Ian to see if anyone is close enough to hear before he says “Hey you, Merry Christmas. Guess what?”

Ian lifts one eyebrow curiously, “What?”

“Two things actually” Mickey says, “One, this is for you. All of you actually”. He slides off the backpack he’s wearing and pulls out a rectangular package from it.

“All of us?” Ian asks in confusion, taking it. It’s pretty heavy. Mickey nods.

“Wow, okay. What’s number two?” Mickey grins, and turns to look around at the snow behind himself for a moment, looking confused. “Um...” He whistles sharply, “Mo! C’mere boy!”

Ian’s eyes widen as a large black and white dog comes tearing out from the side of the house and towards Mickey. “I got a dog. Well, my dad did. Sort of. He was my aunts, dad wanted a fucking guard dog for his runs, but I’ll be taking care of him”.

Mickey beams, patting the dogs head as he comes to a full stop beside him.

Ian crouches and pets the dog, who sniffs him in response. He thinks of he first time he had creeped through Mickey’s Facebook, a few months back, and saw a picture of him and his old dog, one of the few things he had cared enough about to share publicly.

“His name is Mo?” he asks, looking for a non-existent tag on his leather collar. “I named him” Mickey says, and then adds dead seriously “It’s short for Homo”.

Ian looks up, “You’re fucking joking”.

Mickey bursts out laughing, “No I’m not. It’s fucking hilarious hearing my dad call for him”. Ian shakes his head and starts laughing too, “You’re fucking nuts, you know that? Come inside”.

Mickey starts to trail inside after him, but makes the dog stop on the porch, “Mo wait here”. The dog sits obediently but Ian shakes his head, “Nah, he can come in. It’s too cold out. Not like we have perfect furniture for him to wreck anyways”.

Mo pads inside the Gallagher house after Mickey, wagging his tail as he sees the new group of people inside.

“Hey guys” Mickey waves awkwardly at everyone, “Merry Christmas. This is Mo, he’s friendly as long as I tell him to be” he says, noticing how Liam looks apprehensively at the large dog before he comes over.

He gives Mickey a quick hug and then reaches his hand out to the dog, who sniffs him, causing Liam to shriek with laughter.

Fiona raises her eyebrows at her youngest brother, being the only Gallagher left to miss out on witnessing the rare effect Mickey had on their shy sibling, other than seeing the picture of them sledding together. Ian lifts up the package to break the awkward silence, “Mickey got us something”.

Mickey blushes slightly as the rest of the Gallaghers come over, eyeing him in confusion. Ian smiles at him apologetically, feeling slightly guilty that his family’s first reaction is to not really trust him.

They let Liam unwrap it, because he’s the youngest, but it’s not something that interests him all that much, being that he’s only three. “What is it?” he asks.

Mickey looks up at Fiona and Lip. “A new laptop, cause I…well, I was there when the other one broke” Mickey says, catching himself and reddening.

Ian looks up at him in disbelief, along with the other two oldest Gallaghers, “Mickey, you didn’t have to-“

He lifts a hand casually to interrupt him, “It’s not like, a great one or anything, so don’t fucking thank me too much. But it’s better than nothing I guess”.

Fiona’s got that look on her face again like she just can’t figure Mickey out, and Ian can’t blame her, because he almost feels the same way. He’s just full of surprises… something Ian loves about him more and more each day. He knows Mickey would have had to get the money for it working for his dad, and Ian feels slightly guilty about that, but he’s also really touched.

He wishes he could kiss him right then and there, in front of everyone. Instead he clears his throat, making sure his voice isn’t hoarse as he says, “Thanks Mickey”.

He smiles, “No problem man. Hey, how was the turkey?” he jokes, turning to Fiona. She clears her confused expression quickly, “Oh! It was great! Yeah, thanks for reminding me, you have to stay for dinner tonight, we have lots of leftovers. Mo too”, she adds, glancing at the dog laying quietly on the floor.

“I think I have a tennis ball in my room, that Mo can play with while he’s here” Ian says pointedly, motioning subtly for Mickey to follow him upstairs.

As soon as they get into his shared bedroom, he closes the door behind himself, and grabs Mickey’s arms to pull him into a kiss. He quickly drops them and pulls away when Mo begins to growl at him, hackles raised, but Mickey lifts a warning hand above the dog, “No, bad dog Mo! We don’t fucking growl at Ian”.

Ian hesitates to reach for Mickey again, lightly joking, “Sometimes you do”. But Mickey pulls him again, grinning, “That’s fucking different. And he’s fine. He’s a guard dog, right, so he just has to get used to me telling him who’s okay and who’s not. I’m teaching him how to be a normal dog when we’re not working”.

Sure enough, Mo continues to eye them at first, but then loses interest and begins to sniff around the room curiously as Mickey moves his mouth against Ian’s, who holds the back of his head as they begin to kiss more passionately. After a few minutes, he feels an uncomfortable strain against his pants, and finally pulls away before someone comes upstairs, breathlessly.

Mickey blinks a few times to clear his head, as Ian does the same.

“So what do you want to do today? Stuff with your family?” he asks, after a minute or two.

Ian grimaces, remembering. “I actually have to go out, on my own, and meet with Frank and Monica”. Mickey frowns at him in confusion, “Your parents? Why? I thought they-“

“They did, they are, whatever you’re going to fucking say. But they are gonna be here for a short visit tonight, and I need to make sure they can fucking handle it, before they come over”.

Mickey nods his understanding, noticing Ian’s rapidly returning stress over situation. “I can go home”, he offers. Ian shakes his head, “I’d rather you stayed here, if you don’t mind, just be here when I come back with them. It’s not…it’s not gonna be fucking easy”.

“If you need me, I’m here” Mickey answers, as if that’s all there is to it.

He kisses Ian on the forehead reassuringly later than afternoon, who tries to draw strength from his boyfriend, who always seems to be a pillar of it, before he heads downstairs and then out to meet his parents.

Lip and Fiona had told him again he didn’t need to do this, and Mickey was doing his best to hide his worry, but he needed to go.

As he takes the El towards the coffee shop Frank had texted him to go to, he sits in silence, and ruminates over the memories of his shitty childhood while they were around. His phone lights up, and he squeezes it in his hand as he reads the message from Mickey.

Thinking bout you. Love you

He arrives at the coffee shop first and sits down nervously as he waits, for once in his life ordering a tea instead of a coffee, so he can try to relax. He’s blowing on it to cool it down, when he hears a woman’s familiar childlike voice, “Ian?”

He looks up from his cup and sees his mother approaching him tentatively, but he feels no pull to say hello to either her or his father, who is coming in behind her. He nods at them as they sit down. “Merry Christmas baby” Monica says, smiling at him as Frank plays with her blonde hair. He ignores the comment, getting straight to the point “Look, I’m just here to make sure-“

Frank cuts him off in annoyance, “To make sure your mother and I are worthy of seeing our own children, on Christmas? You always were the most ungrateful of the bunch”. Ian rolls his eyes, “Shut up Frank. Either of you been drinking today? Take any pills?”

Frank flips him off as Monica giggles nervously, “Just the legal prescription kind”. He watches them closely for a moment or two, and they seem sober. Ian presses his mouth into a line, “Fine”. They’ve passed his test, but now he has nothing else to say to them, and frankly it’s pretty fucking awkward until Monica tries again to make conversation.

“How’s school? You have a girlfriend in your life?” Ian glances away before looking at her, “Uh…sort of? It’s not… we’re not public with it”.

She reaches forward to pat his hand and he manages to keep himself from pulling away. “You should be. Don’t ever be ashamed of the person you are with, or you’re with the wrong person”. She smiles over at his pathetic excuse for a father, and Ian tries not to roll his eyes in disgust.

His hand feels funny where she’s touching it, like he should feel something, some affection maybe, but he doesn’t. “Not ashamed. Just complicated”.

“You make everything complicated” Frank points out as she takes her hand away.  

“Fuck off” Ian grouses, “You don’t even know what you’re fucking talking about. And how could you? You were never around”. Frank starts to argue but Monica pulls on his arm, “No Frankie, we are keeping it happy today, remember? Just happy stuff”. Frank looks like he wants to protest, but doesn’t.

As Ian rides back home on the El with them, worry begins to gnaw at his stomach about what Mickey might think when he sees these two. Crawling over each other like teenagers, clear addicts, regardless of what they may do or say.

Ian was a product of them, so what did that make him?

Chapter Text

Ian tries to smile as he comes back into the Gallagher house with his parents, for his younger sibling’s sake, but from Mickey’s expression as he approaches him, it didn’t come across that way. “You look like you’re in fuckin pain” he mutters quietly, as Monica and Frank flock over to the younger kids.

“Close enough” Ian whispers back. He glances over at Lip and Fiona meaningfully, but doesn’t say anything.

But maybe they were right, he thinks, watching the smiles on their faces as Debbie, Carl, and Liam take their gifts from their parents. They all seem fairly comfortable with this unusual situation, possibly because they haven’t really known much else though.

“How old are you now?” Frank suddenly asks Carl, who looks confused as he answers. And no shit, his parents should fucking know this, “I’m eight”.

“Old enough” Frank shrugs, pulling a small bottle of vodka from his coat and handing it to him.

“Hey! Hey! No, absolutely not” Fiona marches over and snatches the bottle from her younger brother’s hand.

Ian quickly glances over at Mickey, who was watching the whole interaction closely. What must be going through his head as he sees this bullshit, Ian wonders. Mickey turns to him as if he can hear his thoughts.

“Well, my older brothers never took my bottles away from me. Course, I probably would have tried to kick their asses if they did”, Mickey grins.  Ian bites his lip, picturing it. Of course Terry would have pulled this shit too.

Debbie had gotten up to use the washroom, where Mo had apparently been kept for the initial greeting, because as soon as she opens the door he comes charging into the room, and immediately goes for Frank, teeth bared.

Mickey launches towards the dog as everything goes to shit.

“DOWN!” he yells, pulling Mo off of a flailing and cursing Frank. Frank finally notices that Mickey is there, “What’s that fucking mutt doing here? And what the fuck is a Milkovich kid doing in MY house?”

“It’s not your fucking house” Ian yells back angrily, as Mickey reddens slightly.

“He’s done more for us in the past few months than you have asshole” Fiona says harshly, “And Liam loves him. He even replaced our broken laptop, that YOUR sons needed for school”.

Mickey steps back, awkwardly holding Mo back by the collar as the Gallagher siblings rush to his defense, clearly not used to having anyone defending him. And clearly not wanting to get involved in this family feud.

Frank sneers, “Big fucking deal, he sold some coke and bought you a shitty laptop. I know his dad, alright? This one will turn out just like him”. Monica smacks Frank’s arm at his comment, and as Ian looks over at his boyfriend, he looks like he’s just been punched.

“Like you’re one to fucking talk Frank” Lip says, rolling his eyes. Only Ian has noticed the effect his dad’s words have had on Mickey though, and he feels a red-hot anger flare up inside him.

“GET OUT! Get the fuck out!”

The rest of his siblings look over at him in surprise at his outburst, except for Liam, who runs over to hide behind Mickey.

Frank scoffs at them, as his mother covers her mouth, upset. “I see how it is. Fine, you think you don’t need your fucking parents? We’ll leave”.

Monica stands up with Frank, clinging to his arm as she looks back at her children apologetically, “I’m sorry kids. I’ll call”. 

She won’t.

Ian huffs as they walk out the front door, Frank slamming it shut behind them.

There is a tense silence in the room, until Fiona turns to Mickey, “Sorry about that”. He just shrugs, looking resigned. “It’s whatever, asshole’s right anyways”.

Ian looks over at him, mouth open, trying to control himself from having another outburst. He manages to just say, “You’re nothing like your dad”.

Mickey just looks down, and Lip, sensing the tension, offers “You guys wanna have a smoke? Could use one after that debacle”.

They go upstairs to their shared bedroom, and Lip opens the window as Mickey shuts the door closed behind them. Lip starts to roll a joint, jokingly saying, “You’re a drug dealer, and you don’t have any weed?” Ian cuts in before Mickey has a chance to, “His dad is”.

Mickey shrugs, “Technically, when I deliver I am too. He’s says weeds a fucking waste of time though, sticks with selling hard shit, less often”. Lip nods, “More profitable”.

Ian feels a little sick as he realizes just what ‘working for his dad’ meant when Mickey was gone for a few days here and there every month, and he takes a long drag off of the joint when Lip passes it to him. No wonder his dad wanted a fucking dog for security.

He's a little dizzy and too stoned after a while to say much, so he leans back on his bed to just listen while Mickey and Lip talk. “Your sister single man?” Lip is asking, to which Mickey frowns. He coughs as he answers, “Why the fuck do you care?”

“She’s pretty hot” Lip answers, shrugging. Mickey rolls his eyes, “I recommend you don’t fuck with her. A, she’s fucking nuts. B, I’ll have to kick your ass if you hurt her, and I kinda like you Gallaghers”.

Lip grins, “I’m just fucking with you. She is hot though, got that bad girl thing going on”. “Says you and every other douchebag at school.  Can’t keep up with the fuckin lessons I gotta teach them” Mickey laughs.

“Yeah, Fiona’s got a bad habit of sleeping with assholes too. Though, we don’t usually go after them” Lip says thoughtfully. Ian mumbles from the bed, “We went after Dan Bealer”. Mickey glances back at him, “You alright Ian?”

Lip looks at his younger brother and laughs, “He’s just a little greened out. And yeah we did Ian, but that’s only because he really fucked her up. She was crying for like a solid week after that one” he tells Mickey, who nods, understanding. If they didn’t look out for their sisters, no one would.

By dinner, Ian is no longer dizzy and fills his plate, so much so that Lip and Mickey start to laugh at him, “You’re supposed to puff puff pass Ian, not puff puff puff” Lip points out. Ian grins, still stoned, “I’m hungry”.

“Yeah, no shit”, Mickey teases, reaching past him to put some stuffing on his plate. Liam had chosen, not surprisingly, to sit beside him and he tugs at his arm, pointing down at Mo.

Mickey looks at him for a minute in confusion, but before Ian can translate, Mickey says, “No let me figure this out by myself, I gotta get used to it”.

Ian smiles at the innocent comment, and Mickey snaps his tattooed fingers a few second later, “Yes, you can give Mo turkey”. Liam nods and drops pieces of turkey down to the dog, who snatches each one up appreciatively, wagging his tail.

“He’s really well trained, and he can do some tricks”, Mickey says, “You wanna see?” Liam nods, his eyes shining with interest, as the rest of Gallaghers watch on too. He stands up, pushing his chair back, and stands back a bit so they can see. He runs through the usual tricks with Mo, sit, stay, lay down, speak, before he turns to Liam, “C’mere Liam, you get him to do one”.

Liam hesitates as he comes over, and Mickey whispers something in his ear, before going over and opening the door in the kitchen that leads to the back yard. He leaves it that way and steps back.

Liam clasps his hands together, but doesn’t do anything else. “You have to say it out loud Liam, or he doesn’t know what you want him to do. Mo, look at Liam” Mickey points, and the dog follows his finger towards the little boy.

Liam says, his voice small, “Close the door Mo”. Mo runs over to the door and jumps against it, pushing it closed with his front paws. “Good job Liam!” Fiona calls out, beaming at the excited look on her little brother’s face. He pets Mo eagerly as he returns, and Mickey gives him high five before they return to their seats.

“He knows attack too, but I didn’t think that would be so good to show” Mickey laughs, awkwardly, scratching his head.

“I volunteer Lip” Ian says lazily, grinning at his older brother, who flips him off.

The five Gallaghers, and the one Milkovich, along with his dog, spend the rest of the evening stuffing themselves with leftovers, making fun of each other, and setting up the new laptop for the upcoming semester.

That night, Ian looks around at his smiling brothers and sisters, and his unusual but loving boyfriend with his guard dog, and thinks it’s the best fucking Christmas he’s had in a long time.

Chapter Text

Ian unfortunately doesn’t get to see Mickey again after that night until New Year’s Eve, which Mickey had promised him he would be available for. The Milkovich house was apparently full with his own family right now, including many half siblings, and it was hard for him to get away.

Ian doesn’t give him a hard time about it though, as much as he prefers to be around Mickey, as long as he’s not out working for his dad, he’s grateful. Still, he feels a little down after the first three days, and lonely, even as Mickey tries to cheer him up with lyric texts here and there, one of Ian’s favorite games.

And when I ask him, is he doing alright? He’s a rollercoaster, and yeah, he’s a fire in the night

Ian just sends back a simple smile emoji. He’s struggled with feeling down before, from time to time, usually for no apparent reason, but it’s pretty clear to him why he’s feeling that way this time.

It’s clear to Mickey too, who texts him again, sensing what’s bothering him. “Miss you too. I’m gonna come see you real soon. What do you want to do for New Years? Other than get fucking wasted lol

The question reminds him of something, and Ian bites his lip as he types out, “Be with you. Fuck you”. He’s thinking of something else too though, he’d had a strange dream the other night. One that left him having to change out of his boxers in the morning, and although he hadn’t been able to shake it from his mind, he still felt too shy to mention it to his boyfriend.

Mickey texts back, “Yeah? What if I was there right now?

Ian thinks for a moment, there’s a lot he would like to do… “I’d fuck you so hard Mick. Make you call my name”.

Fuck, you’re making me hard, Gallagher. Why don’t you send me a fucking pic or something, help me out here?

He grins as he unbuttons his jeans. Mickey just knew how to fucking cheer him up, like no one else ever could.

 

Ian gets a text from him on New Year’s Eve around 9 p.m., and heads over to their secret place on Roger’s Street after he stuffs a flashlight and an old outdoor blanket for them to sit on into his backpack.

He hears Mickey swearing inside as he turns on his flashlight, catching the other boy off guard. “Sorry” he says, as he turns the beam of light onto where Mickey is sitting, illuminating him, “Should of said I was on my way”.

“Can you get the fucking searchlight out of my eyes? I’m gonna go fuckin blind” Mickey complains, blocking his face with his hands, as Ian notices he’s actually got some facial hair growing right now. He lowers the flashlight, “Where’s Mo?”

“At home with my dad. Wanted privacy” Mickey grins, as Ian gets closer.

Ian laughs, “He’s a dog Mickey”. “I don’t care, I don’t want him to watch me getting fucked” Mickey says, frowning, as Ian sits down beside him, taking the blanket from his backpack and shoving it underneath them to block the cold.

“Missed you” Ian says, changing the subject and pressing his mouth against Mickey’s. He breathes out shakily as Mickey’s tongue finds his, and he moves his hand around to hold the back of his head before he lowers it to stroke his cheek. “You didn’t shave” he murmurs, pressing his lips against it.

“Yeah, it’s been hard to get into the bathroom for more than five fucking minutes with so many people over. Haven’t even been able to fucking jerk off in days, Iggy’s been sharing my room” Mickey complains.

Ian brushes his cheek against Mickey’s, testing out the unfamiliar prickle of the stubble against his skin. “You must be horny as hell” he says suggestively, and Mickey shifts slightly as he turns to look at him, “You could fucking say that”.

Ian answers casually, “Well… you can jerk off now”. Mickey raises his eyebrow in interest at the coy suggestion, “Yeah, guess I can”. He looks directly at Ian as he lifts upwards and lowers his jeans, and Ian sees he’s already hard.

Mickey sits back down, licking his bottom lip after he wets his palm with his tongue, and lowers it to his dick. Ian swallows hard, watching as his boyfriend begins to stroke himself, he feels himself growing harder by the second.

Mickey presses his head back against the wall after a couple minutes, closing his eyes, and groaning with pleasure. Ian watches for another minute with extreme interest before he shifts upwards and begins to pull down his own jeans, Mickey opening his eyes at the sound and looking at him with his eyebrow raised.

“Wanna get in you before you cum” he pants, knowing Mickey won’t last long after holding it in for the past few days.

Mickey closes his eyes again and grins, “Get the lube bitch”.

Ian leans over him to reach into his backpack and feels around until he touches some familiar metallic condom and lube packets. He tears them open and gets to work preparing himself, spreading the lube over his dick impatiently.

“Better hurry Gallagher” Mickey warns, pausing his hand movements. Ian sees his dick twitch, already leaking.

“Get against the wall” he demands, positioning himself behind Mickey as he does. He leans forward and licks the other boys neck hotly, feeling Mickey shiver underneath him. “Fuck” he breathes.

“How do you want me?” Ian murmurs as he pushes slowly into the other boy, too impatient to loosen him beforehand. Mickey doesn’t complain though, the lube was sufficient enough to surpass any serious discomfort. “Hard and fucking fast” he answers.

Exactly what Ian wanted to hear.

He kicks the blanket away from the wall and arches his back as he leans in, and then thrusts into Mickey. Over and over again, the sounds of their pleasured grunts and moans echoing slightly in the abandoned building.

“Just like that” Mickey tells him repeatedly, gasping as he does. Ian buries his nose against the back of Mickey’s neck, breathing in his familiar scent deeply, as he begins to sweat from exertion.

He notices then what Mickey is doing, and pulls his boyfriend’s hand away from his dick and presses it against the concrete wall, pinning the other boy by the wrist. “Don’t touch yourself” he says aggressively. Mickey’s eyes shut, “I’m gonna cum anyways” he answers, shuddering.

Ian presses into him harder, aiming for his prostate, and he can tell he hit it directly as Mickey moves unsteadily beneath him and begins to curse loudly. He looks down and watches, as Mickey begins to ejaculate onto the wall and ground. He slows his thrusts, but Mickey leans his head back, giving him an encouraging look as his eyes shine with release, “C’mon Gallagher”.

Ian doesn’t need to be told twice, and picks up his punishing pace again, making harsh noises in his throat as he approaches his own orgasm. Mickey sends him right over the edge when he demands, “Cum for me” and Ian does just that, shaking as he empties his load deep inside of the other boy.

“Fuck”, he runs his hand over his sweaty forehead and through his red hair as he pulls out, “That was fucking good”.

Mickey hikes up his jeans as Ian does the same, “Man, I fucking needed that”. He presses his lips against Ian’s in a messy kiss, both of them absolutely spent. Ian tosses the condom and moves the blanket to a different area of the wall, one that isn’t currently dripping in jizz.

He checks his phone afterwards, and it’s already ten. “Can we crack open those liquor bottles I felt in your backpack?” he asks, feeling both thirsty and festive. Mickey grins, “Fuck yeah. Whiskey, or vodka?” “Whiskey” Ian answers, knowing Mickey prefers it.

Mickey cracks the bottle open and takes several long gulps from it before he passes it Ian, who does the same, gasping slightly as his eyes burn from the alcohol’s intense strength while it runs down his parched throat.

They pass the bottle back and forth for the next hour, draining it, and Ian feels a heavy buzz settle over his mind as him and Mickey begin to laugh at absolutely nothing.

“You’re fucking trashed” Mickey says, grinning at him as he stumbles to the corner to take a piss. He hiccups after he says it though, and Ian bursts out laughing. “You’re fucking trashed, whatchu talkin about Milkovich”.

He settles back down beside Mickey on the blanket once he’s done, gripping the cold whiskey bottle between his fingers. But his dream from a few nights ago, and the same thought, keep running through his mind, over and over again. Teasingly.

Maybe it’s because he’s intoxicated, but he feels like now’s a good a time as any to bring it up. “You remember that time you told me about how you… fucked those other guys?”

Mickey groans as he looks over at him, “Ian, I’m fucking drunk. You wanna nitpick at something do it when I’m sober”.

“No” Ian burps, “I’m not- I’ve been thinking about how you said you liked it”. Mickey interrupts him, “Not as much as I like getting fucked”. Ian presses his hand to his mouth to make him shut up so he can continue, “Right but you did like it, and God, I love fucking you, so I was thinking… maybe you should fuck me”.

Mickey looks over at him in surprise, but then shakes his head. “You’re fucking drunk Ian”. “Well, yeah, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while now” Ian answers honestly.  

“I thought you didn’t like bottoming?” Mickey asks, raising his eyebrow at him. “I don’t, but I never really tried and I think I might with you. I love you” he turns his head to look at his boyfriend more directly. “You want me to fuck you?” Mickey repeats, sounding like he doesn’t believe him.

“Yeah, don’t you… want to?”

Ian feels self conscious all of a sudden, and Mickey bites his lip, “Of course I fucking want to”. Ian starts to struggle out of his jeans but Mickey shakes his head and stops his hand, “Not now though, we’re both fucking wasted. I don’t know if I can be gentle”. Ian is disappointed, feeling stupid for even bringing it up now. He knows it’s partly the alcohol making him act slightly dramatic, but he checks his phone again, 11 p.m., and drops it. He doesn’t want to go into the New Year arguing with Mickey.

He gets even quieter as he begins to sober up over the next half hour, and Mickey bites his lip as he eventually looks over, clearly worried that he’d upset him. Ian glances back at him, “I trust you, you know”.

He’s still sporting a semi, unable to shake the scorching thought from his mind, as he leans in to kiss his boyfriend with want. Mickey opens his mouth to the kiss, and slips his tongue in past Ian’s hungrily, still clearly horny as hell too.

They can already hear booming fireworks starting to go off outside from a few streets away, and through some broken parts in the concrete walls, they can see the sky filling up with bright and colorful streaks of light. The loud sounds outside add to the thrumming in Ian’s eardrums, and he feels even more heated.

The alcohol might be part of it, at least making him confident enough to say it to Mickey, but he knows it’s what he fucking wants. He breathes shakily into the other boy’s mouth, who groans in response. “I want you so bad” Ian says into his lips, “Please”.

Mickey looks up at him, his pupils large and dark with want, and says, “What if I finger you? It takes time for you to be ready to get fucked anyways, Ian”. Ian bites his lip, thinking, and Mickey adds, “If you still want me to when we’re both totally sober, I’ll fuck the shit out of you, alright?”

Ian nods in agreement, and pulls out another packet of lube from the backpack and hands it to his boyfriend, who tears it open as carefully as he can, even in his still slightly drunken state. Mickey spreads it over his fingers and leans over Ian, who is already taking his pants off.

“Spread your legs a bit” Mickey tells him, and Ian immediately does. Mickey kisses him, a long and slow kiss, and Ian closes his eyes as Mickey’s hand lowers down towards his ass. He soon feels a finger gently probing him, and he moans into Mickey’s mouth again, “I want you so fucking bad”.

He feels one finger slide inside of him slowly, and he jerks his head back at the mostly unfamiliar, but pleasant sensation. “Yeah that’s good, you’re so relaxed” Mickey tells him warmly, moving his lips down to Ian’s neck to kiss along it.

He puts in a second finger and Ian groans, making Mickey immediately stop his motions.

“No, keep going!” Ian urges. Mickey nods at his demand, and returns to his gentle massaging inside him. He spreads more lube over his fingers before he goes for a third and final entry, and Ian sees Mickey watching his face closely the entire time for any sign of pain. He begins to stroke his cock while Mickey fingers him, and soon the combined and overwhelming sensation has him writhing on the ground.

“So fucking hot” he barely hears Mickey say, over the booming fireworks outside. As the hour passes midnight, Ian comes so hard that he sees fireworks, even as he closes his eyes. 

Chapter Text

Ian yawns loudly as he steps outside on the morning of the second semester. Back to school, back to early mornings. The only thing that makes it better is seeing Mickey waiting there on the front porch for him again, smoking his morning cigarette.

Mo is there too, taking a piss on the fence, and Ian gestures at him, “He coming too?” Mo looks like he’d probably like to, and Ian can’t think of more intimidating sight for some of their classmates than seeing Mickey Milkovich stroll through the school halls with his guard dog. Of course, if you knew either of them well enough, it’s a very different story.

Mickey glances at the dog, “Nah, just brought him for a walk. He knows his way home. Lip coming?”, he asks, standing up and slinging his backpack on over his shoulder.

Ian shakes his head, “He’s got a first period spare this semester”. Mickey grins as he joins him on the sidewalk, “Oh yeah? So I can flirt with you the whole way to school now?” “Carry my books, bitch” Ian teases.

Mickey laughs, “Fuck off”. He tosses his cigarette butt into the snow. “Go home Mo. Home!” The dog turns and takes off in the opposite direction towards the Milkovich home, and Ian grabs Mickey’s attention again by poking him in the shoulder as they start walking to school. “Did you get your schedule yet?”

Mickey rolls his eyes, “Yes, you only bugged me to do it like five fucking times”. “Well, what do you have?” Ian asks, hoping they have some classes together again.

Mickey pulls a crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket and scans it. “Homeroom is Chem with Richards, then Religion with Dolly, third period lunch, fourth period mechanical shop with Moreau, and… last period is History with Clark”.

Ian peers at the page too, “We have Chemistry together! And History, so first and last, together”.

Mickey smiles at him in a funny way, and Ian asks, “What?” But Mickey just shakes his head. Ian thinks about his own schedule, “I have Religion second period too, with Quinn though. Fourth period construction instead of mechanical, with… Robinson I think”.

“Quinn’s a bitch, had her first year. Robinson’s good” Mickey informs him, Ian nodding at his advice.

It’s the first time either of them have taken a chemistry class, and Mickey and Ian look around their homeroom with interest before choosing a station at the back of the room. It’s set up differently than most classrooms, with several blocky stations lined in two rows for students to sit in pairs.

“You know how easy it’s gonna be to text in this class?” Ian says, patting the lab station. “Teacher can’t see anything back here behind these things”.

Mickey shrugs in disinterest, “Who the fuck am I gonna text? You’re here”. Before Ian has a chance to answer, Mr. Richards comes in and waves at his class of around twenty students.

“Hey everyone, welcome back. I’m guessing you all realize that whoever you are sitting beside now is your lab partner for the semester, but if anyone wants to switch, now’s the time”.

A few students who hadn’t initially realized this get up and shuffle around, and Ian is surprised as Brent comes over to him, “Partner?” he asks.

“Will you fuck off?” Mickey immediately answers, before Ian has a chance to say anything, leaning over the high work station to get a perfect view as he flips him off.

“Jesus, sorry. Thought he might want to pass the class” Brent sneers, and Ian frowns at him, “Seriously Brent, fuck off”. As soon as he’s gone, Ian turns to Mickey, “I don’t know what his fucking problem is with you”.

Mickey rolls his eyes, “I do. He used to make fun of me when we were younger for always wearing fuckin hand me downs, so I beat the shit out of him one day. Actually, I made his life hell for an entire year before I got bored with it”.

Ian grins at his boyfriend, “Good for you. Doesn’t make sense why he wants to be friends with me though, I’m kinda in the same boat”. Mickey lowers his voice to answer as the teacher begins his first lesson, everyone else having finished choosing their seats.

“Ian, you’re the poor kid that doesn’t belong with the poor kids. You’re smart, you’re good looking, you’re nice. You actually have a future”. Ian stares at him, “You know you’re all those things too, right? As much as you try to hide it sometimes”.

Mickey stifles a laugh and shakes his head, but the teacher stares at them directly as he continues to speak, so both boys clam up, recognizing his warning glance.

Mickey was at least right about Mrs. Quinn, Ian decides, as she begins to lecture the class during second period. She’s supposed to cover at least some major religions that are prominent in Chicago, but as a devout Catholic it’s clear that the focus of her entire class will be about her own religion, something Ian really couldn’t care less about.

He hopes it’s at least an easy A. Mickey must have had her for English, one of the other courses she teaches, because there’s no way he would have been able to sit through this bullshit as patiently as Ian could.

He is surprised to see that Mickey isn’t underneath the bleachers during lunch. He texts to him to see where he is, but doesn’t get an answer.

Confused, Ian wanders around outside the school grounds for a bit, looking for him, before he heads back inside. As he passes by the front office, he sees a familiar dark headed boy sitting on one of the chairs inside.

He pushes past a poster advertising the upcoming school dance on the office’s glass door, and turns his attention directly towards Mickey instead of any of the secretaries or other admin workers inside. “What’s up?” he asks, confused. Mickey shrugs casually, “I punched Brent in Religion”.

“Why…?” Ian asks, trying not to laugh at his nonchalant stance.

“He’s a fucking douchebag that’s why” Mickey answers, crossing his arms. He then lowers his voice as he glances from the secretaries back to Ian, “And he tried to steal my fucking lab partner this morning. Shoulda seen it. Unbelievable, fucking prick”.

Ian really does laugh then, and the vice principal of the school comes over to them, “Mr. Gallagher? Can I help you?”

He shrugs, “I’m waiting for Mr. Milkovich”. Mickey snorts, and the vice principal raises her eyebrow but ignores Ian’s slightly impertinent statement, choosing instead to deal with the student in front of her.

“Mikhailo, do you think we could ever get through the first day of a semester without you ending up in my office?”

He touches his chin thoughtfully, “I don’t know Ms. Allway. Do you think we could get through one normal day without you calling me Mikhailo?”

She purses her lips at him, “It’s your name”. “My name is Mickey, everybody fucking knows that” he snaps back.

 “I suggest you watch your tone and your language, unless you want a suspension” she warns, and Mickey reluctantly closes his mouth, noticing how Ian holds his breath.

Ms. Allway clears her throat, “You’re free to go for now. But there’s already one strike on your name for detention, keep in mind”. Mickey starts to open his mouth to make some sarcastic comment, but shuts it as he sees Ian shake his head at him.

 Ms. Allway nods her head approvingly at Ian’s suggestion, and Mickey follows Ian out of the office a minute later.

Lunch is almost over, so they head towards the back of the school where their separate shop classes are, and they pass Brent in the hallway on the way there.

Mickey punches a locker as he goes past, and Brent flinches. Mickey laughs, and Ian grins as they keep going, “You just can’t fucking help yourself can you?”

“No”, Mickey answers very seriously, “His face just calls to my fist. Can’t explain it”.

The first day of construction class is boring to Ian, it’s all about safety procedures and going over the various tools they are allowed to use without direct supervision. He peeks over the heads of his classmates, to steal glances at the window separating the shop classes, hoping to see particular dark haired boy.

He doesn’t, but he does hear the teacher yell out in annoyance half way through class, “Jesus Christ Milkovich! Will you put that thing down??”

Ian grins to himself as the rest of the class looks over to the window, and he wishes he had taken mechanical shop instead, just so he could enjoy Mickey’s antics a little more. They certainly made high school more interesting.

Mickey is considerably more reserved by the time they reach last period history class anyways, partly because there’s less opportunity for him to move around and actually annoy their teacher. Also partly because Brent isn’t in this class, or any other of his particularly disliked classmates, so he’s fairly calm.

Ian had tried to switch into his shop class at the end of the day, saying he had more of an interest in mechanics than woodworking, but the guidance counsellor had told him the class was full.

Still, he thinks, as he walks home with Mickey after school, laughing at his story from shop class that day.

As long as he gets to start and end his days with him, he’s happy.

Chapter Text

“Mickey, your character has been running into the wall for the past minute” Ian points out. Mickey blinks and looks at the TV screen more closely, as Ian starts to laugh. “You’re fucking wasted” he teases, looking at his boyfriend affectionately.

Mickey had invited him on over on a Friday night when he had the house to himself, and even though he’d already been throwing back the beers before Ian got there, he insisted he could still beat him in a Call of Duty match.

Which of course, he couldn’t even do when he was sober.

Mickey frowns, “You wouldn’t know that if you weren’t fucking screen peeking”.

Ian shoves his foot at him playfully, “Always bitching about screen peeking, I do not”. Mickey tosses his controller away from himself, onto the battered coffee table, and laughs, “I can’t fucking see the screen right anyways, it’s all moving and shit”. He waves his hand around to demonstrate.

Ian grabs the bottle of whiskey from the table and takes several long gulps, determined to catch up to Mickey’s level of intoxication. He was a fucking riot when he was drunk, but nothing beat when they both were. He’s getting there too, he can feel it.

“Watch a pro at work” he commands Mickey, exiting one vs one mode and heading into a multiplayer lobby. His boyfriend gets up and stands almost directly in front of the TV, staring at the screen, trying to follow the fast animated movements.

Ian’s character chucks a frag grenade, and then takes cover behind a destroyed car before shooting at another player that runs into the abandoned Afghani street in front of him.

“Ya fuckin got him” Mickey says, pointing at the screen as one of the soldiers hits the ground. Ian stares at the screen as it reddens and corrects him, “No, that’s my guy”. The two of them just about drain the Jack Daniel’s as he continues to play, and after a while he hears Mickey say appreciatively, “You look hot as fuck right now”.

He doesn’t take his eyes away from the screen, he’s drunk now, and it’s hard enough to focus already. “Huh?”

His boyfriend comes over and crouches in front of him, and as Ian looks down he sees a naughty look on his face. He immediately forgets about the game.

Mickey starts to tug at his pants, “I want to swallow this time”.

“Oh…” Ian breathes, perking up slightly with interest, and his dick does too as Mickey starts to suck his cock. After about a minute he opens his mouth. “Do that thing with your finger” he says, his inhibitions lowered, thanks to the whiskey.

Mickey pulls his mouth off of his dick with a pop, “You always wanna do ass stuff when you’re shitfaced Ian, you realize that? You’re a bottom drunk”.

“I have whiskey dick” Ian answers, looking down at himself, Mickey’s mouth no longer covering it. Mickey starts to laugh so hard that he loses his balance, and falls back against the coffee table in front of Ian. He lands on his ass and stays there.

For some reason that’s fucking hilarious too, and they both start laughing again.

Ian tucks his dick back inside of his boxers as carefully as he can once he calms down, jokingly whispering to it, “When you wake up, we’re gonna wreck Mickey”.

Mickey grins at the suggestion “Well stop fucking drinking then, Gallagher”.

Ian waves his hand like Mickey’s being ridiculous, but he smiles as he does, knowing he should probably slow down anyways. It takes a lot for him to get whiskey dick, it’s a pretty fucking rare occurrence.

They both sit there contentedly for a while, until Mickey burps and then immediately afterwards says, “I have an idea”. “What’s that?” Ian asks, as he slouches down more comfortably onto the couch.

Mickey looks confused by the statement, “It’s when you… you know, you fucking think of something”.

“No I mean… what the fuck Mick?? I mean what’s your idea ”. Ian holds his stomach as he breaks into giggles and Mickey crouches in front of him again, a different kind of mischievous look in his blue eyes this time.

“You know where Brent lives?”

Ian stops laughing and nods, wiping a tear from his eye, “Yeah, maybe like twenty-five minutes from here”. Mickey grins, “I’m gonna go piss on his house”.

“No you’re not” Ian tries to poke him but Mickey stops his hand, “Watch me”. He winks and heads for the door, grabbing his coat on the way.

Without really thinking about it, Ian gets up and follows him, and once they are outside Mickey looks at him expectantly, “Lead the way, Gallagher”.

He considers it for just a moment, before he decides it would be hilarious to see Mickey pissing on Brent’s house. Even if they used to be friends, Brent is a dick. He does lead the way, and they sing drunkenly the entire way there, with more than one neighbor telling them to shut the fuck up on the way.

Shhhh ” Ian whispers loudly, once he sees the house. He’d been here once or twice before, for parties in grade ten that Brent had thrown when his parents were away. He had tried to get Ian to hook up with a girl at them more than once before, and he always had to come up with a good fucking excuse not to, which was a bit of a chore.

Mickey raises his eyebrows, looking at the house questioningly, and Ian nods. Mickey pats him on the back, “Stay here”. He obediently sits on the curb, and watches Mickey run across the dark street towards to the house. He stops about halfway across their lawn, “BRENT” he calls.

Ian stifles giggles and Mickey hollers again after a few moments of silence, “BRENT, ya fuckin pussy, open your goddamn window!”

A window does open, and it is Brent’s, “What the fuck are you doing here dumbass?”

Mickey unzips his jeans and starts to piss on the front lawn in response, and Ian loses it as Brent starts to loudly swear at him.

Mickey finishes and flips him off before he zips his fly back up. Brent slams the window shut, and Mickey comes jogging back across the street to where Ian’s waiting for him. He stands up immediately, and joins Mickey as they tear down the street, laughing their asses off the entire time.

“I didn’t think you’d actually fucking do it!” Ian manages to get out as they both eventually slow down, finally approaching Mickey’s street.

“When do I ever say I’m gonna fucking do something and then not do it?” Mickey asks, sounding like he is actually wondering.

Ian looks at him. He’s ruggedly handsome, catching his breath in the cold night air on the empty street, his coat unzipped, his cheeks flushed from both the running, and the winter air. Without answering, Ian reaches forward and grabs Mickey, pulling him into a heated kiss.

Mickey doesn’t fight it, and turns and pushes him against the street light, hard, as they make out.

He soon feels the words come tumbling out of his mouth again, into Mickey’s.

I want you to fuck me ”.

He doesn’t know what it is about them. Almost every time they’re drunk they sort of switch roles over who’s more aggressive, but every fucking time Mickey has turned him down, saying he has to ask when he’s sober. He doesn’t, because when he’s sober he’d prefer to fuck Mickey maybe 90% of the time, and the other 10% he’s too fucking shy to ask.

Mickey pulls away from the kiss reluctantly. He presses his forehead against Ian’s, shifting slightly and licking his lips.  

Ian can tell he fucking wants to, and he pushes him with both his words and his hands, “Fucking kiss me”.

Mickey immediately snaps his head up, and pushes back, pressing his mouth into Ian’s with conviction. He’s all muscle, all strength, all… everything. He’s everything, Ian thinks. He makes some strange weak noise in his throat, unintentionally, as Mickey lowers his mouth and begins to suck on his neck.

“I fuck really rough Ian” Mickey says quietly, warningly. “You think I can give it, but can’t take it?” Ian says back, feeling a bead of hot sweat roll down his back. “Not at first, no” Mickey says, regretfully pulling away.

He doesn’t trust himself, Ian can see it.

Mickey sniffs before he kisses him gently, “I don’t want to fuckin hurt you”. But Ian shakes his head. “I know you wouldn’t hurt me”. Mickey just grabs his shoulder, changing the subject. “C’mon, let’s go inside. We’re lucky no one came out”.

Ian feels as sober as Mickey now looks, and he follows him back inside of the Milkovich house without argument.  

Mickey goes into the kitchen and pours a tall glass of water from the tap, and hands it to him. Ian takes it without protest, but raises his eyebrow until Mickey gets another for himself. “What do you mean really rough?” he asks curiously, knowing he gets pretty fucking rough with Mickey sometimes.

Mickey looks at him with amusement, clearly thinking the same thing. “There’s just no in between with me Ian. Either I’m gonna bottom and enjoy getting fucked, or I go the other way and I go hard. Or I don’t get off in the same way”.

“Why are you being weird about it, just tell me” Ian says, annoyed by how he keeps dodging the question. Mickey sighs, “Because I like getting fucked better anyways! But alright, don’t look at me like I’m a fucking monster when I do though”. Ian frowns, but lets him continue.

“Last time after you told me you wanted me to fuck you, all I could think was the last time I fucked people, I liked leaving bite marks, choking em, shit like that. And girls especially didn’t like that shit, you know, back when I was trying to… you know. Anyways, they told me to fuck off with it”.

Ian feels a strange heat in the pit of his stomach, he’s never done anything like that before, but thinking about Mickey doing those things to him excites him.

A lot.

He looks down at his pants, his hard on straining against them. “Whiskey dick’s gone” he says casually.

Mickey bites his lip in interest, “Think you promised you were gonna wreck me when it was”. Ian raises his eyebrow suggestively, “I did, didn’t I? But that’s not what I’m hard over right now”.

Mickey looks at him uncertainly. “You’re sober enough now, I am too” Ian points out.

Mickey still hesitates though, and Ian feels annoyed again. “I’m not some fucking girl, alright? I’m not gonna break. Fuck me, dammit! How many times do I have to fucking ask you?” Mickey grins while Ian bitches at him, and raises his dark eyebrow once he’s done.

“I guess that’s the magic number”.

He comes right up to him, and Ian isn’t sure what to expect, but it sure as hell wasn’t Mickey picking him up, and throwing him awkwardly over his shoulder to carry him into his bedroom.

He can’t help but laugh as Mickey tosses him down onto the bed.

“Alright Ian Gallagher, I’m gonna fuck you”.

Chapter Text

Ian lays down and looks at Mickey, who is standing beside the bed, stroking himself. He bites his lip, and Mickey raises his eyebrow, “Still wanna do this Gallagher?”

Ian feels himself nodding, and answering with “I love you”.

“I love you too. We’re gonna do this right though. Not like my first time” Mickey says, going over to his dresser drawer to pull out a hidden bottle of lube and a condom. He doesn’t elaborate on what he means by ‘not like his first time’ and Ian decides not to ask, in case he ends up freaking himself out.

He’s completely calm about this right now, and he wants it to stay like that. He just wants Mickey and that’s the only thing going through his head, as Mickey comes over to the bed and leans over him.

Ian reaches up and holds on to his thick arms, that are pressing into the bed, feeling his strong muscles flex as he supports his weight. “You wanna listen to music or something?” Mickey asks. Ian nods, smiling, and Mickey reaches past him to grab his phone, pulling up the Spotify app.

“What do you feel like?” Mickey asks, looking doubtfully at his mostly hardcore playlists. “Something romantic” Ian grins, but Mickey doesn’t laugh, and just taps on a “You & Me” playlist before putting his phone back on the shelf.

Mickey lowers his head and kisses him, unhurried, and Ian closes his eyes as he listens to the slower song, relaxing him even further. They stay there just like that and kiss for a very long time, until he whispers into his boyfriend’s lips, “I’m ready”.

He hears a bottle snap open, and he opens his eyes to watch as Mickey squirts lube out onto his fingers. A lot of it.

“Can’t use too much” Mickey says, looking at him and reading his expression. As much as he said he liked rough sex, there’s nothing rough in his eyes right now, just gentleness and love. It makes Ian want him even more.

Mickey rubs his inner thigh for a moment to relax him, and Ian tenses slightly in anticipation as Mickey slowly circles his hole, and then slides a finger in him. The motion is fluid and smooth though, and Mickey clearly knows what he is doing, as there is no discomfort. Ian immediately feels himself getting hard from the incredible sensation as Mickey gently massages into him with second finger.

“That ok?” he asks, looking straight into Ian’s blown eyes. “Yea” Ian manages to get out, marvelling at the unfamiliar but still orgasmic feeling creeping over him as Mickey works him open. He already feels precum leaking out of his dick, and as he looks down at it he can see how hard Mickey is too, and it makes him groan without thinking, “I want you so bad”.

Mickey bites his lip, closing his eyes for a second, “You’re almost there. ‘Nother minute or so”.

He reaches onto the bedspread and grabs the condom he’d left there, taking it up to his teeth and tearing it open. He rolls it over his dick with one hand and uses the other to continue working Ian open, who feels his eyes rolling back.

If fingers could feel this fucking good, what would his dick feel like?

He’d clearly never approached this in the right way before.

“I get why guys laughed at me when I said bottoming was awful now” he says, somewhat sheepishly as he continues to groan in pleasure. Mickey smiles at him knowingly, “Fingers are the easy part Ian”.

“I’m ready” he insists, and Mickey presses into his prostate teasingly in response, making him cry out “Don’t stop!” Mickey grins and shifts to position himself properly, while Ian reaches for his face, aggressively kissing him as Mickey takes his fingers out and rubs his dick against his ass instead.

“Don’t tease me” he growls, opening his eyes to look at Mickey warningly, as he clings to him. Mickey bites his lip, “Alright”.

He carefully pushes inside of him, and Ian feels his entire body immediately tense into the initial panic he’s associated with bottoming. “Let me know if you wanna stop” he hears Mickey say. Ian shakes his head, and realizes Mickey knows how to handle him through the initial burn, edging in centimetre by centimeter, watching Ian’s face the entire time as it shifts from initial pain to interest, and then deep pleasure.

He splashes more warm lube down onto Ian’s hole once he gets fully inside. He’s not moving anymore though, has just gotten through the long initial process of working himself in, and he pauses again. Ian shifts slightly from underneath him, impatiently telling him, “Fuck me ”.

“I’m gonna go gentle” Mickey says firmly, both to himself and Ian. He starts out that way, slowly pulling partially out and then edging back in, but the sensation is teasing to Ian, as he revels in a fullness he’s never felt before.

He opens his eyes after several minutes and looks back up at Mickey, who is leaning over him, his strong arms pressed into the bed, as he slowly fucks into him. His eyes are dark, his hairline is sweaty, and his cheeks are red as he struggles to control himself from being too amorous. 

“Harder” Ian demands, knowing he can handle it.

Mickey looks full of gratitude as he starts to pump faster, and he starts to swear repeatedly with pleasure after a few minutes of this, with Ian’s name mixed in among the curses.

Ian hears himself making sounds  that he never has before as Mickey works into a rougher pace, Ian pushing him the entire time with calls of, harder ! It feels fucking amazing as Mickey passionately drives into him, but even hotter than that for Ian is watching his face as he fucks him.

He’s hot and sweaty, almost entirely gone in ecstasy, until he lowers his piercing blue eyes directly into Ian’s. He lowers his mouth down to his neck, nuzzling into it slightly.

And then Ian feels his teeth.  

There’s the slightest prick of pain as Mickey bites him, but mostly it drives Ian crazy, and he feels himself leaking onto the bed more heavily in response.

Mickey removes his teeth from his neck, and pants into it heavily before lifting himself back upwards, and glancing down at Ian’s leaking cock.

Without stopping, he looks back up at Ian’s face, triumph in his eyes. His teeth clench as he continues to fuck Ian hard, who let’s his body rock with the waves of pleasure as he groans and cries out at different spots.

Mickey sounds feral as he approaches his breaking point and he cries out “I fucking love you Ian ”.

Ian feels himself lifting a hand in response, thinking of what Mickey had said to him earlier. He wraps his fingers around Mickey’s neck, and then delivers enough pressure to choke him just slightly.  

Mickey’s eyes glaze at his action, “I’m gonna fucking cum ”.

He is too focused on what he is doing to move a hand down to Ian’s cock, so he does it himself, closing his eyes at the overwhelming and electric pleasure flooding throughout his entire body as he jerks himself off simultaneously while Mickey fucks him in the ass.

“Fuckkk…” Mickey suddenly moans, jerking into Ian unsteadily as he comes, Ian’s own orgasm releasing upwards onto him just second later. “I’m…I can’t…” Mickey is drenched in sweat, his face red from exertion, as he struggles to get his words out, a look that brings Ian a deep satisfaction.

He finally just shakes his head happily, and pulls out as slowly as he can, Ian’s eyes suddenly widening at the unfamiliar sensation, is he…?

“You’re fine” Mickey tells him firmly. He collapses beside Ian on the bed, “That fuckin weird feeling is normal. You didn’t, you know-“  “Shit myself?” Ian grins, wiping his hand over his stomach, damp from both sweat and cum.  

Mickey breathes out in amusement, “No”.

Phew. He’s relieved to hear that sensation is normal, as much as he loves Mickey, that would be pretty fucking embarrassing to deal with.

Mickey interrupts his thoughts a moment later. “Fuck that was amazing. I never enjoyed fucking someone as much as I did right there” he says, looking at Ian in wonder. “Well I never thought I’d enjoy getting fucked” Ian tells him. “Did you?” Mickey pants, suddenly looking concerned.

Ian points at his messy stomach teasingly, “Clearly, I fucking loved it”. He kisses Mickey firmly, and then presses his sweaty forehead onto the other boy’s. “I feel gross now though, can we shower?”

Mickey nods, and they both get up from the bed slowly, Ian feeling slightly awkward as he walks behind him towards the bathroom.

“You alright?” Mickey says, glancing back at him as he leans to crank the shower dial on. “Hurts a little” Ian admits, “But mostly it’s good”. “Takes time to get used to it, if you want Advil or anything, lemme know” Mickey says, stepping under the water.

Ian shakes his head, happily getting into the shower after him, “We’ve never done this before. Showered together”. Mickey moves to make room for him under the stream of hot water, “Guess not. It's a night of firsts”.

“Another time, when I’m not so tired, we’ll have to…” Ian trails off suggestively, and Mickey grins, “Yeah, yeah. Give yourself a break for tonight, Gallagher”.

He nods and presses his forehead to Mickey’s, water running like comforting rain down over their backs. They stay like that for a while, until he whispers, “I love you so much ”.

Mickey kisses his wet lips and then runs his hand down over his arm, squeezing it gently, “I love you too”.

He’s quiet for a while, and then he adds, “You know, sometimes it scares me how fuckin much”.

It’s a sentiment that Ian can understand completely.

Chapter Text

Ian paces across his bedroom anxiously, pausing every so often, and shaking his head at the stupid ideas he keeps coming up with. Eventually his brother Lip sighs in annoyance from his bunk bed, “You wanna tell me what’s got you all worked up?” He puts down his advanced calculus textbook and looks at him impatiently.

Ian considers his older brother’s offer, and decides it couldn’t hurt to try and get some ideas from him. Lip had been dating since he was nine after all, so maybe he could be of some practical use here. “So, Valentine’s Day is this Friday” Ian says, offhandedly.  

Lip chuckles and looks up at him is disbelief, “That’s what has you pacing around our room like a nervous fucking race horse?”

That’s exactly what has Ian pacing around his room like a nervous fucking race horse. On Monday morning, the school hallways had been decorated with cheesy hearts and cupids in preparation for Valentine’s Day, something Ian had noticed every previous year but never really paid attention to.

Until Mickey had turned to him at lunch later that day and said, “So, are you like my fucking Valentine or whatever?” “I guess so” Ian had answered, even though he was pretty sure neither of them actually knew what that fucking meant.

He flips his brother off in response, and Lip holds up his hands in mock apology. “Sorry bro, didn’t even know you had girlfriend. Maybe if you told me about this shit once and a while…” Ian shakes his head uncomfortably, “I don’t. It’s…my friend does. And wants to know, what they should get for…uh, for…”

Lip interrupts, seeing what he’s getting at, “…Flowers and chocolate, duh. Pretty simple shit Ian. Girls don’t care if it’s cliché, they fucking love that stuff”.

Ian scratches the back of his neck, “Well, I don’t know if this girl would. She’s not really girly. Like at all”. He thinks of Mickey, who had gotten a detention the other day for spitting at Brent in Chemistry class, because he laughed when Mickey answered the teacher’s question incorrectly.

He can’t really picture himself giving that boy flowers and chocolate, and it going over all too well.

Lip is quiet, frowning at this new piece of information, like he isn’t sure what to do with it. “Well, what would you want from someone, on Valentine’s Day?” Ian asks, trying to reroute the conversation.

His brother shrugs, “I don’t really buy into that shit, but I guess if I had to choose…blowjob, or anal. Whatever she was holding out on before”.

Well that doesn’t fucking help either. He sighs impatiently, “That’s not…he loves this… girl”.

“Then he should fucking know what to get her” Lip says, laughing, “I don’t know why you’re asking me, or he’s asking you, about what his own friggin girlfriend would want. Sounds like he’s a dumbass”.

He returns his attention to his calculus, effectively shutting his younger brother out. Ian reddens slightly, even though his brother doesn’t realize he’s insulting him. He decides to drop the subject, going back to sit on his bed in defeat. He picks up his Chemistry book and skims over the pages like he is studying, but really, he’s still wracking his brain.

He’s never really had a boyfriend before, but everyone else with boyfriends and girlfriends at school has been talking all fucking week about what they are going to do for their partners on Friday, and it seems like he should probably do the same, even if him and Mickey are just a couple in secret. They do little things for each other all the time, and it’s easy, but as soon as you put a name on a day like that, the pressure mounts.

He approaches Mickey near the end of the next school day while he’s rooting through his locker, and stares at him after he says hey, looking for some hint of what to get him.

What would be special enough for Mickey Milkovich? No flowers, no chocolate, and as much as Mickey would probably like cigarettes or booze, that doesn’t seem right either. In fact, it’s probably better to avoid something wrapped entirely, Ian muses. That way there’s no evidence to be found by his dad, or anyone else, that Mickey might have a partner in his life.

Mickey shuts his locker, and as they head towards history class, he finally notices that Ian is still staring at him. He looks startled, “What the fuck are you looking at?”

Ian quickly looks away, and casually shakes his head. “Nothing”.

Mickey seems to accept that response, much to Ian’s relief, and rubs at a dirty spot on his hand before looking back at him again hopefully, “Wanna hang out after school?”

As they sit down in their seats for history class, Ian reluctantly answers with, “Can’t. Working, remember?”

He’s distracted that night at the Kash & Grab anyways though, thinking about Mickey. It would be so much easier if he could just take him out, like a normal boyfriend would, on Valentine’s Day. Grab dinner, see a movie…but even if they just went out as ‘friends’ that night, it would look weird, wouldn’t it? Why would two straight guys, especially with one of them being a notorious thug in the South Side, go out for dinner together on Valentine’s Day, of all days?

Fuck it. Ian has just about given up hope on what to do for Mickey, when his gaze suddenly drifts across the rack of magazines in the Kash & Grab, and something catches his eye.

He goes around the counter and over to the rack, picking up one of the copies of National Geographic and flipping through it’s pages until he finds what was advertised on it’s cover. He nods his head as he looks at it, and smiles. He had figured out what he was going to do. It’s not going to be wrapped, and no one will ever see it, but everyone will. It’s perfect.

Valentine’s Day

Ian doesn’t see Mickey in the morning like he does most days, because he has his monthly early morning meeting with the other members of his cadets program, so they could discuss what their next charity fundraiser would be.

They finally agree a program, Ian nursing a to-go cup of coffee the entire time, and as they leave the ROTC building to head to school, he hears one of the other cadets swear, and someone else demanding, “Who the fuck did that? That wasn’t there this morning!”

Ian lifts his sleepy head to find out what everyone else is staring at, and feels his face break into a grin once he sees it. Someone had done a fresh spray-paint on the wall just outside the front entrance of the ROTC building.

It’s a crude, dripping red heart with ARMY sprayed inside of it.

When he gets to school, he sees Mickey waiting by his locker, who grins as he approaches.

Ian wants to grab him and sneak him off into the bathroom, so he can kiss him all over for his unconventional valentine, but as he gets closer he just ends up staring at him curiously.

Mickey looks… different. He’s completely scrubbed clean, his hair is neatly combed, and his outfit isn’t dirty, torn, or even offensive in any particular way. Huh...

“You have fun at cadets, Army?” Mickey laughs softly as Ian reaches him. He immediately forgets about his slightly unusual appearance and grins, “I had a great time. Made my day, coming out and seeing that”. He doesn’t even care that he’ll probably be the one that has to scrub it off the wall next time he’s in, but he does wish it could stay there forever.

He’s still in a good mood over it when he finds Mickey underneath the bleachers at lunch.

“Just so you know, I have something for you too. But you have to wait until tonight to get it” he informs his boyfriend, who’s tossing one of his cigarette butts away.

Mickey sort of laughs uneasily, “I wasn’t really fucking expecting anything. All I did was spray paint on a wall.... and not to sound like a dick, but you know I can’t really bring anything home, that would be pretty fuckin obvious”.

“It’s not something you can bring home” Ian glances around. Luckily, because it’s cold out, most students are completely avoiding the icy field, and he doesn’t see anybody nearby.

“I wanted to get you something. And I could afford to this time, not like Christmas”. He presses his lips against Mickey’s, who hums slightly into the kiss.

“Is my present you, firecrotch?”

Ian feels his face break into a smile, and he leans down to nuzzle his boyfriend’s neck, but then quickly pulls away. “What is that??” he asks, bewildered.

Mickey frowns in annoyance at his unexpected reaction, “What is what?”

“You don’t smell like you, at all! What… are you wearing cologne??” he stares at Mickey, who reddens slightly. He huffs defensively, “What’s wrong with fucking cologne?” “Well you never fucking wear it, for starters. And you’re dressed differently too” Ian points out.

Mickey looks disappointed now, and he quickly lights a cigarette to give himself something to do, “Thought maybe you’d like it if I looked, better, I don’t fucking know. Aren’t you supposed to make an effort and shit on Valentines’ Day?”

Ian’s shoulders droop slightly, he’s just too fucking adorable. “I do like it, but better? Nah, you look amazing all the time. And honestly, I like the way you normally smell better, it’s so-”. Mickey holds up his hand to make him shut up, “Alright Gallagher, Jesus. Sorry for fuckin trying”.

He rolls his eyes as he says it though, and Ian is pretty sure he sees a flicker of pleasure in there too, “You’re a handsome motherfucker, makes me think I should try and fucking keep up with you”, Mickey grins.

Ian holds his boyfriend’s hand and swings it gently, “Honestly Mick, when I saw you this morning, it threw me off at first. But you do look…really fucking good. I wish I could have kissed you right there at my locker…” he trails off thoughtfully for a moment. The bell suddenly rings, and Mickey raises his eyebrow at Ian as he continues, even as they abandon the bleachers.

“It’s really not fair, everyone else today is going around fucking kissing and hugging their boyfriends and girlfriends, and I have to hide under the bleachers just to hold your damn hand”.

They are crossing the school grounds and heading back towards the main building, now an appropriate distance apart, when Mickey says rather guiltily, “Sorry”.

Ian shakes his head, “It’s not your fault. Just wish we could do… normal couple shit. So everyone could see how much I care about you”.

He stops in front of the door to his shop class once they get there, and looks at Mickey, who clears his throat before he heads into his own class, “Well…see you later I guess. And Ian, I want that shit too. Just so you know”.

Ian nods his understanding before he goes inside his own class, and takes a seat. He’s really not trying to make Mickey feel guilty, or blame him, at all. As much as it sucks, they are both in this shitty situation together.

And he thinks together, is the most important part of that equation.

Chapter Text

Ian parts his lips just slightly, watching the thin stream of smoke escape from between them and drift upwards into the night sky, separating and fading in front of the stars.

It’s a brisk night, but he finds the cool February air just as refreshing as the bird’s eye view in front of him. He is waiting patiently for Mickey to arrive at the construction site on Roger’s Street, but instead of their usual building on the ground, with fuck spray-painted over it, he has chosen a much taller one with an accessible rooftop for tonight, for a very particular reason.

He soon gets a text from Mickey saying that he is there, but Mo finds him first, letting out a friendly woof that Ian turns at the sound of. He must have tracked him through the staircases of the building by his scent. Mo comes up to where he is sitting at the edge and gives him a lick in greeting.

He’d become a lot friendlier towards Ian, once he had realized that Ian was not only not a threat to his owner, but also clearly loved by him.  

“Careful Mo, watch the edge” Ian murmurs, as Mo sniffs at it curiously. He scratches the dog’s fuzzy head until Mickey appears at the top of the stairs, smoke drifting away from his perfect mouth as he tosses away his finished cigarette.

That little smile shows up on Mickey’s face, the one that always appears when he first sees Ian. But then he looks curious, “So why exactly did I have to wait until it was fuckin dark out Gallagher? And what’s wrong with our usual spot?”

“C’mere”.

Ian gestures for Mickey to sit down beside him, and Mickey obediently crosses the rooftop to join him at the edge. For a moment or so, the two of them just sit on top of the tall skeletal concrete building, dangling their legs over the edge comfortably, and appreciating the view.

Ian can tell Mickey is still somewhat impatient though, so passes his cigarette over to Mickey, who gladly takes it, while Ian digs in his pocket for the paper he had carefully folded into it earlier.

He hands Mickey the paper once he extracts it, and Mickey takes it from him, leaving his cigarette propped in his mouth as he inspects it.

His eyes scan over the page once, before he reaches into his pocket to take out his phone and use its screen as a flashlight.

He reads from the paper aloud once it’s illuminated, “Binary Star Description - Binary star is a system of two stars… where one star revolves around the other. Both stars may also revolve around a common centre. These stars are very bright… and visible from any point on earth”.

Ian had been looking up at the night sky, drinking in its depths, but he feels Mickey’s eyes on him, and he turns to see Mickey’s blue eyes now following his own. The dark-haired boy looks surprised, his eyes blinking rapidly as he looks out at the night sky in disbelief.

“You got me a star?”

His sharp eyebrows lift just slightly as he looks back down, and rereads the paper, his mouth a little open. Ian had been a little worried Mickey might think the idea was lame but he actually looks… touched. “Well, us. I bought us two stars, actually” he answers, tapping on the binary part of the description.

He’d liked the idea from the moment he saw it, the notion of the two stars revolving around each other, or sharing a common centre, but after today especially…after a day spent hiding their affection for each other…it felt even more right.

This, their system of two stars, was visible anywhere on earth, even if no one could see Mickey and Ian together.

“Where are they?” Mickey asks, his eyes roaming over the dark sky, and the vast expanse of stars curiously.

Ian answers rather sheepishly, “Well the coordinates are on there… but I don’t actually know. Don’t have a telescope or anything to actually find them with”.

He kicks himself internally as he realizes maybe he should have considered that.

Mickey shakes his head, “Doesn’t matter dude. It’s up there. They’re up there, together”. He turns to Ian and puts his arm around him, holding him close, who asks, “You don’t think it’s dumb?”

Mickey shakes his head adamantly, “I think it’s really fucking cool. Really…special. No one’s ever done something like that for me before”.

Ian sighs with relief and grins, his boyfriend doing the same, as they look down at the dark ground, so far below them. “Makes your head rush, doesn’t it?” he asks. “Mmm”, Mickey looks back at him, and Ian can’t help himself. “I brought a blanket, I thought maybe we could spread it out…look up for a while”.

Mickey raises his eyebrows, noticing the subtle undertone in his voice, but not verbally commenting on it, other than whistling for Mo to go home without him. The dog had been sniffing around the rooftop until then, but now obediently takes off down the steps stretching throughout the building towards it’s exit.

Mickey gets up and joins Ian, as he takes the blanket out from his backpack and lays it flat on the concrete.

“Lay down beside me” Ian puts his hand down on the empty space as he looks upwards, and he feels Mickey shifting onto the blanket beside him.

Something about being up there, unable to see anything but the never-ending sky, brimming with stars, and the feeling of having Mickey beside him, makes his heart race, and he turns his head to look at him.

He reaches forward and runs his fingers through Mickey’s black hair, moving his hand to cradle the back of his head, drawing him close.

Mickey doesn’t protest, rolling across the blanket to rest on top of Ian’s chest. Ian soon feels his tattooed hand reaching underneath his jacket, to rest over his heart while they kiss.

His heart begins to beat faster, and he kisses Mickey harder, who grips the sleeves of his jacket in response, tugging them downwards.

Neither one of them open their eyes as they undress each other, only stopping when they feel completely bare skin.

Ian’s eyes flicker open to see Mickey laying over him, naked, their toned chests touching as they work into a more fevered pace of kissing. He looks over Mickey’s body appreciatively, drinking in the details, just as he did with the night sky.

His pale skin, marked with scrapes and scars, and faint freckles. His incredible body, and strong muscles. His dark black hair, cut short, and now spiked erratically from Ian’s hands running through it, after he had so carefully combed it. And his sharp eyebrows, that are now completely relaxed as they perch above thoughtful, but concerned blue eyes. Mickey seems to be taking Ian in with the same deep thoughts, and he wonders briefly what Mickey thinks when he looks at him.

“I don’t deserve you” Mickey whispers, answering his unspoken question.

Ian reaches a thumb up to his beautiful eyes, and brushes away the start of an unfallen tear, “Don’t talk like that. You’re fucking amazing”.

He leans upwards and kisses Mickey’s neck lovingly, holding the side of his face and tracing his jawline with fondness as Mickey forgets his fears and kisses him back.

Even though it’s cold out, the heat both of them are giving off while they work into each other keeps them pleasantly warm, their temperatures spiking higher as the loving kisses turn into more passionate ones.

Ian stretches his arms around Mickey, pulling him against his chest more tightly as he sits up, the other boy now resting in his lap.

“I want you to ride me” he murmurs into Mickey’s ear, who bites his lip and rolls his neck slightly at the sound of Ian’s husky voice.

Ian supports the dark-haired boy with his strong arms as he rests over his thighs, positioning himself over Ian’s erection carefully.

He looks down into Ian’s hooded eyes lovingly before he slowly lowers himself, and both of them groan as they connect. Neither one of them want to pull their lips away from each other, so they kiss passionately for a while as Mickey momentarily stays there, reveling in the fullness, Ian in the warm tightness.

Mickey leans back slightly to start moving up and down, and Ian reluctantly lets his lips go, but he wraps his arm around the other boy’s back, spreading his hand across it to support him while he moves. Mickey holds onto one of his thighs for balance too, as he works into a steadier pace, using Ian’s cock to pleasure himself in just the right way.

Ian can’t move, because of the way he is sitting beneath him, but he doesn’t need to thrust upwards anyways, because Mickey is working him perfectly. He’s getting off just watching Mickey do the same, both of them starting to pant more heavily.

“So good Mick, you’re riding me so fucking good” Ian moans, closing his eyes. Without having to worry about thrusting or pushing into the other boy in a certain way to maximize Mickey’s pleasure, he can completely focus on his own, incredible, pleasure.

He hears Mickey gasp in response, as he moves himself down more harshly, purposely rubbing into his prostate with Ian’s cock. “Are you close?” Mickey chokes out, clearly struggling to hold on.

Ian bites his shoulder gently, nodding his head in confirmation. He brings his free hand to his mouth and spits onto it, before moving it down to Mickey’s cock that is wedged in between their stomachs. He strokes it firmly, using the spit for lube.

Mickey immediately shifts into his finishing pace, and Ian closes his eyes for each explicit and wonderfully tight final sliding movement on his cock. He feels hot wet stickiness explode over his hand and onto their stomachs, and with a final groan and a Fuck! he spills his seed inside Mickey, who is now exhausted, from doing all of the incredible work.

Ian kisses his forehead lovingly as Mickey slowly gets off of him, shaking slightly from the loss. Sweaty and no longer moving quickly, they both start to feel the cold and redress, Ian moving the blanket to drape over their shoulders while they huddle together.

They sit there quietly for a long time, looking up at the stars in the sky appreciatively, thinking about where theirs might be. This is the first real Valentine’s Day that he’s ever had, Ian thinks. That he actually shared with someone he loved. He never would have expected it to be this special.

Mickey suddenly clears his throat, and Ian looks over at him as he speaks.

“I actually got you something too Ian. After we talked at lunch, I was thinking about what you said, and…” He pulls two tickets out of his pocket and hands them to Ian. His eyebrows raise as he looks at them, “The school dance?”

Mickey nods, looking a little nervous. “I know we can’t go as like a couple or anything, but I thought maybe it would sort of make up for it, if we could go as friends, at least”.

Ian beams at his boyfriend, “I can’t wait”. Mickey relaxes, “I don’t fucking dance though Ian, just so you know”.

He just grins, not worried, “Bring some booze, you’ll dance”.

They turn their gazes back up to the sky, looking at the stars again.

“Can’t believe you got me a star” Mickey says after a while, and as Ian looks over he sees he is smiling at the sky once more in disbelief.

Ian’s feeling especially cheerful now, and he can’t help but tease the adorable guy in front of him. “Valentine, you’re my hole world”.

Mickey doesn’t get it at first, until Ian bursts out laughing, and then he slugs him in the shoulder as he begins to laugh too.  “I fuckin love you Gallagher, you know that? You’re my best friend”.

He knows.

Chapter Text

Fiona struggles to balance Liam on her hip as she watches Ian paw through the suits on the sales rack. “That one looks nice” she says, pointing to one. Ian takes it off the rack and pulls out the price tag, holding it up for her inspection.

Finally, a suit they can agree on.

She shakes her head, “That’s a little more than I was thinking”.

Damn.

He’s a little disappointed, but he puts it back without argument. He’s grateful she agreed to help pay for a suit to begin with, because he'd drained all his savings on Valentine's Day. Fiona of course, doesn't know that though.

She looks sincerely apologetic, “I do want you to have a nice one, I know these school dances are important. It’s just, you grow so fast, you’re already getting taller than Lip”.

“I know”. He tries not to sound like he’s complaining, but it’s a little difficult.

Lip’s going to the school dance too, it’s for grade 11’s and 12’s, but he doesn’t need a new suit, and gets to avoid the stress of trying to find a new (affordable) one. It makes Ian’s budget slightly higher, but he is still severely limited, as he just got a new one last year.

He doesn’t remember seeing Mickey at that dance, but then again, he probably didn’t even go to it, Ian thinks.

They finally give up on the men’s clothing store, and go to a thrift shop instead, where Ian eventually finds a suit in his budget range. It’s not too bad, he thinks, looking at himself in the mirror, although he’s not sure he’d go as far as Fiona’s “Amazing!!” to describe himself.

He waits somewhat nervously for Mickey to show up on Friday night, while the rest of his family hovers in the living room around him and Lip, who are both in their tuxes and ready to go.

Lip keeps joking about his date, Jenna Briggs, that he had refused to pick up at her house beforehand, so she wouldn’t think it was anything serious. Apparently he had eventually been given the opportunity to test out her new mattress with her, and it had led to a second date.  

Fiona just rolls her eyes at Lip, and turns her attention to her younger brother instead. “You’re so handsome Ian. I don’t understand why you didn’t ask a girl to the dance, I bet any one of them would have been happy to go with you.”

He’s not so sure about the handsome part of that statement. He cleaned up nice, sure. But he still spent a good solid half hour glaring at the freckles he hadn’t outgrown in the mirror, while he was getting ready, and wishing he had a skin tone somewhere in between the current shades of pale, and red. Both of which he felt contrasted rather unfortunately with his bright red hair.

As for the second part of her statement, he is ready with a response that he had thought up before he had even told them he was going to the dance.

“If you go with a girl, you’re stuck with just her the whole night. Go solo, and have your choice when you get there”.

Lip nods approvingly at him, “Thatta boy, little bro. See? He gets it”. Ian grins, glad his excuse has completely thrown them off his trail.

“Don’t bring a girl, got it” Carl makes a mental note to himself out loud as he listens to his older brothers attentively, and Fiona rolls her eyes again, right as they hear the doorbell ring.

Debbie’s standing closest to it, and opens the door.

Mickey’s standing there, a slight smile on his face as he nods at Debbie.

 

*Mickey’s POV - earlier that night*

Mickey lets out a nervous rush of air from his mouth as he checks over his appearance one more time in the mirror. Not too shabby...

Lucky for him, one of his cousins had a wedding in the summer, and the suit he’d worn to it still fits him perfectly, highlighting his broad shoulders and chest. He’d been telling Mo to fuck off for the past hour, trying to avoid getting any stray dog hairs on it. He’s already done everything else he needs to do to get ready.

He’d ironed his white dress shirt (it took him three times to get it right). He’d dug out his semi-casual dress shoes from their deeply buried place in the front closet. He’d carefully brushed and combed his black hair into a style he felt suited him.

But as he considers his reflection anxiously in the mirror, something still feels off. 

A tie!

That’s it, a fucking tie. He digs through his closet some more, and pulls out a various assortment of ties, holding each one up to his neck in the mirror and dropping the rejects to the ground. The blue one looks alright he thinks, sorta makes his eyes look good. Ian’s always going on about his eyes.

He glances at his final appearance. Fuck, why’d he have to be so goddamn pale. Pale white skin looks good on Ian, but Mickey had always felt his own made him look drawn out. His blue eyes look sharp, and nervous, and he tries to relax his face. He really, really, doesn’t want to do this. Dances are not his thing. School events, are not his fucking thing.

But Ian, Ian’s his thing, and Ian wants to go. So he’s going.

He puts a tiny dot of cologne on his neck before he leaves his bedroom and goes to the kitchen, carefully filling his silver flask with whiskey from the top of the fridge.

He heads towards the front door once he's done, pausing behind his dad, who is sitting on the couch and watching a football game while he waits. Aunt Sylvie is coming to pick him up, and he is staying at her place for the weekend. Good fucking riddance, Mickey thinks. He had told his dad last week that him and Ian were going to the dance to pick up chicks to bang, and his dad had grunted approvingly from behind his beer bottle, but made no other comment.

Mickey stares at the back of his thick neck and head, and flips him off. He heads outside without saying a word to him, knowing he couldn’t care less about what Mickey was up to tonight. He didn’t even take a picture of Mandy in her fucking dress before she left the house with her excited friends, so Mickey fucking did, seeing how disappointed she was.

It’s cold as tits out as he walks to the Gallagher's house, not as cold as it was a couple months ago, but still not quite spring yet, and he regrets not bringing a jacket. He starts to reach into his pocket for his cigarettes, but reluctantly puts them away before he brings one to his lips. He doesn’t want to show up smelling like smoke.

He doesn’t know much about these things, dances, dating, whatever. But he knows that he wants it to be perfect for Ian. All he’s wanted, since he met that goofy fucking ginger, was to make him smile.

He takes a deep breath, and tells himself to calm the fuck down before he knocks on the door. He can hear the Gallaghers from inside already, sounds like they’re all right behind the fucking thing.

Jesus. Alright, here it goes.

He raps on the door with his tattooed knuckles, and it swings open a moment later. He’s was right, they are all standing there…but he only sees him.

Ian.

He looks incredible. Mickey had been so worried about looking good for his boyfriend that he’d completely forgotten to let himself look forward to seeing him in a suit, too. Ian’s dressed in a classic black suit, like Mickey, with a white dress shirt underneath, but his tie is grey and striped instead of blue.

But really, he could be dressed in anything, and Mickey would always be in awe seeing him.

He loved everything about that boy, his ivory skin, his emerald green eyes, his flaming red hair, his shy smile. His laugh, the way he shifted in place when he was nervous, like right now. Mickey’s heart squeezes at the sight of him, as he quickly reminds himself to nod at Debbie for opening the front door.

 

*Ian’s POV - right now*

Ian’s eyes fall on Mickey… and then everything feels like it’s in slow motion. He looks…amazing.

He’s wearing a classic black tux with a white dress shirt underneath it, and a tie that matches the ocean blue of his eyes, although nothing fabricated can ever truly compare to the color of them.

His dark black hair is neatly gelled and combed too, but he still has that flicker of rebellion underneath it all, especially pronounced by the prominent FUCK U-UP  tattoos on his hands.

His dark eyebrow twitches just slightly as he takes in Ian’s appearance, a note of approval in his eyes.

Fiona ushers him into the house, “Mickey, you look amazing!”

He looks like he doesn’t even notice her, as he goes to stand beside Lip, and Ian, who is still speechless.

“Look at you two, all nervous to go to the dance and get the girls. You look great, you’ll have so much fun” Fiona reassures them.

She waves her hand to get the three of them closer together, “Let me get some pictures!” Mickey goes along without protest, and stands with the two Gallagher brothers patiently for several shots. Liam even gets in one of them, with Mickey and Ian both leaning on one knee while he stands in between them, beaming with pride to be standing with the two older boys.  

Mickey surprisingly obliges to do some of the more stupid poses Fiona requests, like the James Bond, or one of him and Ian pretending like they are gonna beat up Lip. He actually starts to laugh at the last one, and Lip shakes his head after. “Alright, alright. Gonna grab a smoke real quick. Be ready for a cab in ten”.

He heads out onto the porch, and Fiona addresses Ian and Mickey, who are still standing there.

“Now a couple of just you two. Ian and his wingman! You guys will steal all the other suckers dates” Ian feels himself grin as Mickey throws a heavy arm over his shoulder.

 Yeah, wingman. Wish she knew Mickey is my fucking date, he thinks, as she gives them a thumbs up and takes a picture.

Chapter Text

Lip ditches the two of them as soon as they get to the school to look for his date, but Ian and Mickey linger outside for another moment, looking up at the gym’s doors together.

One of them is propped open just slightly, giving them a preview of what's going on inside. Although it’s fairly dark, with the regular lights turned off, there are still strobes of colorful light flashing throughout the gym from the DJ's table. Pulsating music pumps through all the speakers and the teenagers dancing inside.

Ian looks over at Mickey, who takes his flask out from his jacket and takes a generous drag of whiskey before he nods and heads into the gymnasium. Ian’s heart beats faster as he’s enveloped into the typical highschool dance scene as soon as he steps foot inside, but this time… it feels different.

He’s not here alone, and it is different. Better somehow. He follows Mickey through the groups of students, spotting several that he knows along the way. He sees Brent and Becca’s group dancing close to the stage where the DJ is set up. Brent’s flashing a cocky smile at the girls dancing near him. Ian makes a mental note to avoid that area for the night, now wondering where exactly Mickey is headed, because he sure as hell seems sure of where he’s going.

He fights the urge to grab Mickey’s hand and let himself be led through the crowd, instead of tagging after him like a puppy. Of course, Mickey would probably smack his hand away if he tried. He sees Mickey’s sister Mandy dancing with her friends and wonders briefly if that’s his destination, but he continues on past her towards the back wall, leaning against it comfortably and taking another drink from his flask when he gets there.

Ian stops directly in front of him, “What are you doing?”

Mickey looks at him like he’s stupid, “Uh, drinking?” He shakes the flask in his hand subtly, eyeing where the teachers are positioned around the gym.

“Yeah I see that. It’s a dance Mickey, let’s dance” Ian gestures behind them to all the other students already dancing hard to the Rihanna hit, and then looks back at Mickey challengingly. There’s no way he’s gonna let Mickey just be a wallflower tonight. His suit was too damn expensive.

Mickey rolls his eyes, and takes another long pull from his flask. But then he tucks it back inside his jacket.“Fuck. Fine Gallagher, you win”.

He heads back out the dancefloor, and Ian grins as he joins Mickey where there’s just enough free space for two people.

He lets the beat guide his movements for the next song. Dancing is easy for him, natural. It always has been. The music moves his body, and he just lets himself go. It’s a little harder for Mickey, who keeps trying to glance around subtly to see what everyone else is doing.

Ian knows that he doesn’t like looking like a fucking idiot unless he’s actually trying to, like he does in class sometimes on purpose just to piss off their teachers, and right now he looks very uncomfortable.  

“Hey”, Ian yells to him over the music, “Focus on me. Just focus on me”. He gestures to his own body, and how he’s dancing, to lead Mickey.

Mickey nods slowly, and watches him more closely, copying his moves. They aren’t the only pairs of best friends, male or female, that are mixed in among the entire large group of students, and they don’t stand out.

But Mickey stands out to Ian, he’s all that he sees.

The stocky, dark-haired boy takes off his jacket and loosens his tie as they both begin to sweat, the humid heat in the gymnasium rising as the night goes on. Each time the strobe passes over him and illuminates his face, Ian feels an incredibly strong pull towards him.

He eventually tries to move in a bit closer, but Mickey instantly moves away, like he’s alarmed by the possibility of Ian’s touch. It stings a little but Ian’s not surprised, and pretends he doesn’t notice. Obviously, he crossed some line there. It’s hard not to, with this unbelievably hot guy dancing in front of him, but at least no one had noticed.

Mickey takes his flask out a while later, taking another heavy gulp before he offers it to Ian. He drinks from it greedily, thirstier from dancing than he is eager to get drunk.

“Put that shit away!” Mickey yells a moment later, and Ian looks over his shoulder to see Quinn, their religion teacher, rapidly approaching them, a scowl on her wrinkled face. He shoves the flask down his pants before she reaches them.

She looks suspiciously at his hands as she arrives, and continues on once she finds them empty, but not before shooting them both with a disapproving look.

Mickey grins at Ian, who laughs, even though it can’t be heard over the music. Electric Love is blaring through the speakers now.

Ian feels himself loosening up even more from the alcohol and dances with more exaggeration.  

Mickey is apparently feeling the same effect. “Baby you're like lightning in a bottle, I can't let you go now that I got it !” he yells at him with the song. Ian goes next, beaming as he sings, “All I need is to be struck by your electric looooove !”

They both laugh happily once he is finished, and Mickey shoves him playfully, his eyes shining. The look on his face makes Ian forget himself, again, and he moves in for a kiss.

“What the fuck are you doing!” Mickey immediately shoves him away, and Ian blinks, looking around in nervously as he remembers himself, but luckily no one had seemed to notice. He touches his chin in embarrassment, as Mickey chews the inside of his cheek awkwardly.

He looks at something past Ian, eyes narrowed, and his expression changes. “I’ll be right back”.

Ian turns to watch him go talk to his sister Mandy, who looks completely shitfaced.

He keeps pointing at the door and talking animatedly to her more sober friend. Finally, he nods his head and returns to Ian, telling him “She’s staying with her friends tonight, can’t hold her fuckin liquor” right as the song fades into a slow one.

The mood inside the gymnasium immediately shifts to a more romantic one.

Mickey scratches his neck awkwardly, and then goes to stand against the back wall again.

Ian reluctantly follows him. He bites his lip. Instead of talking to his boyfriend, who seems content to have his own lips pressed to his flask, looks at all the couples slow dancing.

“Come if you remember the way.
If not then I will find you this time,
Wishing you had stayed

Foreheads touching, slowly swaying together. Lips meeting in tender kisses, I love you’s being whispered…Ian sees it all with an aching longing in his chest.

“The heart, the heart
It wants what it wants 

Their classmate Becca suddenly comes up to them out of nowhere, and turns to Mickey specifically.

“Come dance with me? You can’t just stand back here during a slow dance, like a loser”. Ian looks down at her low cut shimmery red dress with distaste as she ambushes his boyfriend.

She smiles coquettishly, and Mickey freezes, “Uh…” He looks up, and Ian joins his gaze to see Brent staring at them from across the room, “…sure”.

Ian bites his tongue, and watches them walk away together bitterly.  Another one of his classmates, Teresa, approaches him almost instantly, seeing him alone and seizing her chance. “Ian? Wanna dance?” He turns to her and shakes his head apologetically, “Sorry. Don’t feel well”.

He doesn’t have the fight in him right now to pretend. She nods, looking disappointed, but moves on. He returns his gaze to where Mickey and Becca are on the dancefloor, now slow dancing together.

"The heart does
It wants what it wants, the heart, the heart

It feels like something inside Ian is breaking, as he watches him hold her close. Her eyes are closed, a content smile resting on her face as she leans her head against Mickey’s shoulder. That’s supposed to be him in Mickey’s arms, not her…

Mickey has some sort of forced smile plastered on his face too, and even though Ian knows it’s for show, it still makes him feel sick. In that moment, he hates Becca more than he has ever hated anyone before. She is exactly where he is supposed to be, he thinks, as he turns his eyes to Mickey again.  

“So how do I forget this my love,
And when do I belong here?
If trouble is a pathway we build,
Then I’m a pioneer”

Ian feels himself tearing up, and before he knows it, he’s out of the gymnasium, and running down the street.

Chapter Text

*Mickey’s POV- from just before*

Mickey presses his back against the gymnasium’s cool wall, noticing Ian joins him there without comment. Well there’s really not much to fucking say, he supposes, it’s not like they can slow dance together in front of everyone.

He unscrews his flask and takes a sip, chancing a look over at Ian while he listens to the song. Something about a heart wanting what it wants. Accurate, he thinks, looking at the handsome redhead standing next to him. Ian’s not looking back at him though, he’s looking out at all the couples slow dancing together in the gym. Mickey follows his gaze.

It would be nice to slow dance with Ian like that, maybe. He doesn’t know. He’d ended up enjoying himself a lot more than he fucking thought he would earlier, watching Ian’s body move to the beat. Ian had that effect on him, making him do shit he never would have before, and he did it just because he loved him.

He couldn’t ignore the fact though, that Ian kept fucking forgetting himself and almost making a move on him in front of everyone. Lucky for them, no one in their highschool gives a shit about anybody but themselves and nobody had been looking to notice. It could have been bad though, if they fucking had.

As much as it killed Mickey to pull away and see Ian’s disappointed face afterwards, he knew he was doing what was best for both of them in the long run. He might be standing up against the wall right now, unable to touch his boyfriend, but Mickey still feels proud knowing he showed up with the best date out of everyone else in the school.

Even if they don’t realize it. Who cares what these assholes know?

Speaking of assholes, Becca’s now standing in front of him. One of Brent’s preppy friends.

She looks at him flirtatiously, “Come dance with me? You can’t just stand back here by yourself during a slow dance, like a loser”. Mickey freezes “Uh…”

Dancing with her is the last fucking thing he wants to do right now, but he feels eyes on him, and he looks up to see Brent staring at him. Shit, of course. Mickey knows objectively that she’s an attractive girl. He unfortunately used to fuck girls when he didn’t realize he had any other options, so he does get what makes a good one, even if he’s not interested in them. His hesitation probably doesn’t look too normal.

“…sure” he answers. She smiles triumphantly, and leads him by the hand to the dancefloor, Mickey forcing himself not the curse the entire fucking time. He hadn't really expected it, but he was kinda hoping Ian would say something to help get him out of it. 

He stops in front of her once they get in the middle of all the other couples. She raises her eyebrow at him, so he raises one back. “Put your hands on me Mickey” she admonishes, guiding them to her sides. He awkwardly leaves them where she places them, and she wraps hers over his shoulders eagerly, as they begin to slowly sway to the music.

This feels too fucking weird, Mickey thinks. She’s too small, too soft, and she smells like fuckin cherries or something. And why the fuck are her nails so long?

Why do girls do that anyways, get those long spiky looking motherfuckers that make their hands look like claws, Mickey wonders. Is that supposed to be attractive? Is he supposed to find that attractive?

He glances over to where Ian is still standing, and sees another girl talking to him. Good, Mickey thinks, maybe he’ll feel less awkward if he dances with a girl too. He stares at Ian and pretends he’s dancing with him, not her. It makes him relax a little.

But Becca’s leading the dance, and turns him away from facing Ian. He tries to force his way back around, but she doesn’t let him. “You’re going too fast” she complains, “It’s a slow dance”.

He realizes that he’s scowling, and forces his face back into some dumb fucking smile in case anyone’s looking. Becca rests her head against his shoulder in contentment, and he looks down at her long brown hair uncertainly, wishing it was short and red, and belonging to Ian Gallagher instead.

The fuck is this girl acting like she’s his fucking girlfriend for anyways?

He risks another glance over to where Ian is standing, but instead of Ian, he sees an empty space on the wall where he was before. His eyes quickly dart around the room, searching, and he sees a flash of red hair and then Ian running towards the gym doors. He disappears outside, and Mickey gets a brief glimpse of his face.

He immediately drops his hands from Becca, and starts to walk quickly away from her. But she grabs onto his hand with a vicelike grip, stopping him. “What the hell Mickey?”

He’d like to yank his fuckin hand away from her goddamn claw, but he knows that would probably hurt her. He glances back at the gym doors desperately, thinking of Ian’s face, screwed up with tears, before quickly coming up with an excuse.

“Song’s almost over. Gotta take a piss, like now”.

She frowns, but drops his hand, and as soon as he’s released Mickey exits the gym as casually but as quickly as he can.  He’s gotta find Ian. As soon as he steps outside, he spots him running down the sidewalk and away from the school, and Mickey immediately breaks into a fast paced run, willing himself to catch up to the taller boy as he yells.

“Ian! IAN!”

 

*Ian’s POV- right now*

Ian hears Mickey calling after him, and he stops, looking back through teary eyes as Mickey catches up.

“I want to go home” he says, his voice strangled.

“What’s wrong? What did I do?” Mickey asks, worry flashing in his eyes. Ian tries not to cry as he points back at the gym, far enough away now that no one can hear them.

“You’re my boyfriend! You’re my fucking boyfriend and I can’t even hold your hand, or kiss you, fuck I can’t even dance too close fucking close to you! And everyone else in there, they all get to… and that bitch, she gets to…”

He cuts himself off, choking slightly on his thick emotions as he looks at the defeated boy in front of him, his normally broad shoulders now drooping, his blue eyes filled with guilt.

“I’m sorry Ian. I thought…you’d like this… We knew before we came that we wouldn’t be able to dance together. You were okay with that”.

Ian sniffs and wipes his nose slightly on the back of his hand. “Yeah, I know that. But it bothered me a lot fucking more than I thought it would”.

Mickey clears his throat, his own voice sounding hoarse as he speaks, “Wish I could fucking hug you right now. The look on your face is killing me”. He shakes his head, “Let’s just go home. You said Mandy isn’t gonna be there tonight? Can I stay?”

Mickey nods, clearly eager to please him, “Yeah, of course. Dad’s away for the weekend… Let’s go”.

They walk home in their tuxes, ties loosened and their shirts slightly undone, even in the cold night air. It’s refreshing and cooling to both their sweaty skin, and their heated emotions, although they barely say a word to each other as they walk home.

Ian’s exhausted, from both the hours of dancing and his breakdown, and he suspects Mickey is in the same boat. Mickey smokes almost the entire way back, and Ian goes through a couple too. He’s not mad at Mickey. He knows he was trying to do something nice for him. But maybe Mickey's mad at him, because as soon as they get in the door, Mickey turns to him. “Go wait in my room. Close the door”.

Ian looks at him in confusion, “I-“

Mickey cuts him off, “Please, just wait there. I’ll get you in a few minutes”.

Ian is bewildered but also too tired to argue, and he goes into Mickey’s room, shutting the door behind himself and sitting down on the bed obediently. He hears Mickey moving around impatiently between the kitchen and the living room, blinds being dropped, drawers being opened, and his brow furrows with confusion as he tries to guess what the hell is going on.

Finally, after about ten aggravating minutes, he hears Mickey call for him. “Okay. C’mere Ian”. Ian hears music start to play and he freezes, listening closely.

You and me, we got ourselves a problem. I can see, this better than I solve em”

He quickly pushes open the bedroom door and walks into the living room, his mouth opening slightly as he takes in what’s in front of him.

“I believe, I found a way around it. I will leave, this better than I found it”.

Mickey had drawn all of the blinds, enveloping the living room into a warm privacy, along with the dimmed lights and the flickering candles that he had had scattered over the coffee table and on top of the TV.

“There’s too much smoke to see it
There’s too much broke to feel this
I love you, I love you
And all of your pieces

He looks up at Mickey as he hears the words to the song, who raises his eyebrows just slightly as Ian stares at him.

“Will you dance with me?” Mickey’s voice is shaky and uncertain, filled with apology.  

Ian crosses the room towards his and kisses him with so much love he feels like his heart could burst inside his damn chest. “I wish everyone could know how amazing you are” he whispers, pulling away to look at Mickey’s face.

He really is in wonder of him. Even a year ago, not in his wildest dreams, would he have imagined Mickey Milkovich doing something like this for him. Hell, not even during that night at Oak Forest.

“Is that a yes?” Mickey asks, a tentative smile appearing on his face.

Ian laughs softly, and accepts Mickey’s waiting arms, holding him close as they begin to slow dance, who still tries to apologize, “I know this isn’t the same thing, but-“

Ian cuts his boyfriend off, “It’s better. It’s just you and me”.

“I love you, I love you. And all of your pieces. All of your pieces”.

“So, you aren’t mad that I danced with Becca?” Mickey asks a little while later, his voiced edged with concern. Ian feels himself grin, “No. Just fucking hate her that’s all. You’re my man, and she needs to find her own”.

Mickey looks at his face and laughs, “Jesus. Never thought I’d have two people fucking fighting over me”. Ian responds teasingly but confidently, “There’d be no fight. I’d win”

“You would” Mickey reaches one hand up and gently brushes away a strand of straying hair from Ian’s forehead. He presses his soft lips against Ian, who opens his mouth slowly to the kiss, pressing his tongue in against Mickey’s, taking it a step further.

Mm, Gallagher…” Mickey hums into his mouth as Ian works open the kiss, bringing his hands to the side of Mickey’s face.

It takes both of them a moment to realize they’ve stopped dancing, and Mickey looks up at them, his blue eyes sincere. “You wanna keep dancing?”

Ian shakes his head, “I want to go to your room”.

He takes Mickey’s hand and leads him back into his bedroom, shimmying out of his tux once they get there. He grabs Mickey’s tie and pulls him in again, to an open-mouthed kiss filled with want. Mickey reaches up and undoes his tie, Ian doing the same, as they both start to take yank off their dress shirts and pants.

Ian grabs Mickey again and backs him up against the bed as he kisses him more feverishly, lowering his head to suck on Mickey’s neck gently, drawing out a low moan from the other boy.

I love you, I love you ” he whispers, returning to his lips.  Mickey’s eyes flicker up into his heavy gaze as they crawl back onto the bed, Ian mounting himself over the other boy.

And all of your pieces ” Mickey says back quietly as Ian lowers his hand to start working his lover open. Mickey gasps slightly from the initial entrance, and Ian can tell every nerve in his body is buzzing, as he reacts instantly, and strongly.

“Please just get in me” he moans, closing his eyes and tensing his forehead.

Ian leans over him, pressing against his shoulder for support as he lines himself up. He draws a rush of air from the other boy as he pushes inside of him, and he lets out a small cry of pleasure himself as Mickey’s walls envelope him into a welcoming and tight warmth.

Mickey’s body has a certain familiarity to him now, one that he always wants to return to. Even though Mickey would occasionally top him now, they had both agreed that this was the way they were meant to be together. There’s no doubt in his mind about that, as he looks down into Mickey’s hazy blue eyes.

He turns his head to the side to rest his cheek against Mickey’s for a moment, his body spent but still wanting to give more. He sees their dress pants and shirts spread out onto the floor, their jackets abandoned haphazardly, and his mind spirals forward towards a certain special night that he would see the same sight, if it ever came to be.

Even that night, with Mickey fast asleep in his arms, and Ian drawing in his comforting scent, he wonders.

Could there ever be a happy ending for two guys like them, living in the South Side of Chicago?

 

Chapter Text

Ian wakes up first the next morning, and as his eyes flicker open he remembers he’s in Mickey’s room instead of his own. He glances over at the boy sleeping next to him, they’d rolled apart at some point during the night. He’s torn between kissing the other boy awake, or making him breakfast, wanting to do something nice for him after his sweet gesture the night before.

He decides to go with the latter, carefully climbing out of the bed and over Mickey, who mumbles in his sleep, “Fuck off”.

Ian stifles a laugh, wondering what he is dreaming about, as he finds his boxers in the mess of clothes on the floor and pulls them on.

He heads into the kitchen, and quietly opens the cupboards and fridge to see what he has to work with. There’s about a half carton of eggs in the fridge, and a bag of bread with three pieces left in it shoved into one of cupboards. He turns on one of the stove burners, all of them badly in need of a scrub, and swirls the eggs around in a pan with a fork to scramble them, unable to locate a spatula in the haphazard Milkovich kitchen.

After putting the bread into the toaster he sets up the coffee maker, listening to it gurgle absentmindedly as he leans against the kitchen counter, watching the coffee slowly drip into it’s pot.

He feels like someone is watching him after a while, and he turns around hesitantly, knowing Terry wasn’t supposed to be back until this evening.

Thankfully, it’s just Mickey. He’s leaning against the entrance to the kitchen, his arms crossed over his chest, with a happy smile on his face as he takes in the scene in front of him. He raises his eyebrow as Ian turns to look at him.

Ian groans, “Shit. I was gonna bring you breakfast in bed”. Mickey laughs, “Why? I got fuckin legs”.

“That’s not the point” Ian gestures at him with the fork, “You got a spatula? Can’t find anything in this kitchen, and I thought ours was bad”. He turns back around to the stove to attend to the eggs that are now almost finished cooking. Mickey comes up to him, but instead of helping him find the spatula, he wraps his arms around him from behind. “Gotta say, I like waking up and finding this in my kitchen”.

“This?” Ian grins, continuing to scramble the eggs.

“You. Shirtless, making me breakfast. A guy could get used to this, you know”. Mickey releases his hold on him and pulls open one of the drawers beside himself, handing Ian a spatula. He starts to butter the toast once it pops but Ian edges him out of the way.

“Will you please just sit the fuck down? I want to do something nice for you too”.

Mickey rolls his eyes but sits at the kitchen table as requested, Ian bringing him a coffee a moment later. Mickey can’t help but shake his head in amusement, “All I need is a fuckin newspaper”.

Ian smirks as he brings their plates over, “How was your day honey?” He puts his hand on his hip like a 50’s housewife, exaggerating the movement.

“Fuck off”, Mickey grins as he starts in on his eggs. And a mouthful later “Fuck that’s good, thanks Ian”.

“You’re welcome” Ian sips at his coffee happily, he couldn’t think of a better way to start his day than this.

“You gonna stay here this weekend?” Mickey asks, chewing on his toast. He thinks for a moment, “Well I only have my tux here, but if I can borrow some clothes, I’ll run home and pack a bag”.

“Cool. Mandy will be here, but Dad’s not back til tomorrow night”. Ian nods his head, understanding the gist of what Mickey’s telling him. There’ll be no sleeping together, probably no messing around. That’s fine though, he’ll be happy just to spend time around him.

They finish their breakfast, and Mickey turns to him. “Want Mo to go with you? I’m gonna stay here and shower and shit, she said she’s on her way”.

“Yeah, sure”. Ian heads into Mickey’s bedroom to get dressed, picking the longest pair of sweats he can find and a t-shirt. Mickey’s clothes are all just slightly too small on him, but not enough to really be noticeable.

Mickey lets Mo out of his dad’s bedroom, where he’d been put last night so they could be completely alone, and the dog follows Ian to the door, wagging his tail as Ian kisses Mickey goodbye. “See you soon”. “Wait, take a fuckin coat Ian” Mickey grabs his own coat off the rack and shoves it at him, Ian taking it gratefully.

He steps into his own home with Mo about fifteen minutes later, the dog passing him to go and say hello to his siblings, who are all at the kitchen table having lunch. They had a later morning at the Milkovich house than he'd realized.

Fiona looks up at him as he enters the room, “Hey, how was the dance?”

“Good, really good. Crashed at Mickey’s, actually I’m heading back there. Gonna chill with him and Mandy until Sunday night if that’s alright”. He carefully adds Mandy’s name in there, thinking it couldn’t hurt to mention a third person’s presence.

She nods, “Yeah I figured, that’s fine. You wanna check on Lip when you’re up there? He’s still passed out”.

“Sure”. Ian continues up the stairs to his bedroom and sure enough, Lip is passed out in his bed, a bucket beside him. Ian wrinkles his nose at the smell, “Lip?”

His brother groans, “What?” “I get that you wanted to sleep by the floor, but if you puke in my bed, I’ll kill you. Keep it in the bucket”. Lip cracks his eyes open and squints at him, “Where’d you end up last night?”

“Mickey’s”. Lip nods his head slowly, “Yeah, better place to bring a girl back. No damn privacy here”. Ian stares at his brother, but he seems to be done talking now, so Ian just shakes his head and throws some things in his bag as his brother falls back asleep.

Ian passes through the kitchen on his way to the front door. “Lip’s fine, just hungover. C’mon Mo. See you guys tomorrow”. He heads out the door and walks back to Milkovich house, but Mandy answers the door this time instead of his boyfriend.

“Hey Ian”. “Hey, um, did Mickey tell you-“

“That you’re staying here? Yeah come on in”. He follows her inside the house somewhat awkwardly, not wanting to be rude but after a minute deciding to ask anyways, “Where is he?” She laughs, “I sent him out to get me some tampons”.

Ian raises his eyebrows, “And he went?”  Mandy smiles, “Yeah. Mick’s an asshole sometimes, but he’s really not that bad. He’d do pretty much anything for his family. You’re his only friend really, but I’m guessing it’s the same for you”.

Ian nods his head, and she gestures to the tv, “Wanna play cod?”

“Yeah, sure”. He takes the controller she offers him, and they play for a while. He’s having fun, and it’s kinda nice to finally spend some time with her. She’s Mickey’s family, and he’s intrigued by her, never having spent too much time around her before.

Mo barks as Mickey comes back into the house, “Here’s your shit”. He tosses a box at Mandy, and Ian tries not to laugh at the thought of him carrying a box of tampons home in their neighborhood. Of course, who would make fun of him? And Mickey really didn’t give a shit about what people thought anyways.

He joins them on the couch, and because they can’t play with three people, they take turns gaming, and before they know it, it’s late. They end up ordering a pizza for dinner, and they are almost finished demolishing it between the three of them when Ian feels Mickey’s eyes land on him and stay there.

He flickers his own towards the other boy, seeing Mickey lick his lips slightly as he looks at Ian’s mouth. “Uh, you got something…” he points to the side of his own mouth, and Ian wipes at his, but finds nothing on his hand when he pulls it away. Mickey must have caught himself and come up with an excuse.

He’s still thinking about this when Mandy glances over at them. She has sort of a funny look on her face, so Ian quickly looks away.

He ends up sleeping on the couch that night, but he doesn’t actually sleep. He keeps looking up at the ceiling, and tossing and turning, restless. It’s driving him crazy knowing Mickey is in just the other room, sleeping in his bed alone after they had spent the previous together. He wishes he could sneak in there and gather him up in his arms, maybe mess around for a while.

He sends Mickey a probing text to see if he’s awake.

I can’t sleep… ;)

…But he doesn’t get an answer. He eventually gives up and closes his eyes, willing himself to fall sleep. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a long fucking night. He’s just about there, when he suddenly feels someone pulling on his sweats, and he jumps, feeling a warm hand cover his mouth a second later.

His eyes dart around in confusion, but he settles as soon as he sees it’s Mickey. Mickey licks his lips and gives him a look, the look, that drives Ian wild.

He blinks as Mickey uses his other hand to work his sweatpants down, exposing Ian’s already semi erect cock. Keeping one hand pressed firmly over Ian’s mouth to keep him quiet, Mickey moves his own mouth down towards it.

Ian groans into his tattooed hand with satisfaction as he feels Mickey take him into his warm mouth. The other boy wastes no time with foreplay, and is blowing him like he needs to, eagerly. He sucks his cheeks in and makes small sounds deep in his throat that vibrate against Ian’s cock, turning him on even more.

He presses his tongue against Mickey’s hand, but the other boy doesn’t let go, and laps at his slit teasingly in response. Ian can barely stay still on the couch, and he rolls his hips upwards into Mickey’s mouth, instantly getting some relief. “Mmm, mm

His words are completely muffled by Mickey’s hand as he feels himself rapidly approaching a powerful orgasm, but at the exact second he’s about to cum, Mandy’s bedroom door swings open.

Mickey immediately pulls off but at the same moment, Ian comes straight onto his face, unable to stop his orgasm in time.

Neither of them move, terrified, as Mandy shuffles towards the bathroom sleepily. She shuts the door behind herself, and Mickey immediately rolls to hide behind the couch, in front of Ian, who tries to pretend to be asleep, even as his heart threatens to pound out of his chest.

Mandy comes back out of the bathroom a minute or two later, and goes back into her bedroom, closing the door behind her. Both boys sigh in relief, and Ian gives Mickey an apologetic look, “Sorry” he whispers.

Mickey blinks, wiping his dripping face with his hand, and then grins, “You’ll sleep now Gallagher”.

Mickey goes to the bathroom to clean up before he heads back into his own room, and as soon as Ian’s heartbeat slows, he does.

“Do you drink coffee, ginger?”

Ian scrunches his face as he wakes up that morning, feeling someone hovering over him as the voice pulls him from his slumber.

He opens his eyes and almost falls off the couch, Mandy is leaning in so close to him. She cackles, “You’re jumpy”.  “Ugh” he wipes his hand across his face, remembering last night.

“Is that a yes?”

“Yes, coffee, yes. Please”. He scratches his chest as he gets up, and trails after her into the kitchen, where she offers him an already poured mug. He takes it, and joins her at the kitchen table. “So, Ian, tell me a little more about yourself” Mandy says this playfully, as if she is doing a mock interview.

Ian looks at her nervously, what is she getting at… “What do you want to know?”

“Well, I dunno. Just Mick’s never really had a good friend before, so I’m wondering what you guys have in common. He won’t talk about you much”. She takes a casual sip of her coffee and Ian relaxes.

He wonders why that is. Maybe Mickey’s worried about what he can say.

“I uh, work part time at a grocery store. I do ROTC too. Have a lot of brothers and sisters”. She nods, “Yeah. I’ve seen your older brother at school before, Lip. I think I’ve even had a class or two with you before”.

“Yeah in grade nine for sure, I think you were in my English class”. He thinks back to his early days in highschool, when he was an awkward virgin, scared to even try hitting on any of the guys at his school. Kash had been at least been a sort of release for him, as awkward as he feels about those days now, they did make him confident to pursue guys a little bit on his own after that first time.

Of course, no one else knows about that. And Mandy doesn’t know that he’s fucking her brother.

Speaking of her brother, Mickey comes into the kitchen just then, yawning.

“Did you save some coffee for me?”

Mandy rolls her eyes, “Yes douchebag. Would be fresher if you got up before noon”. He flips her off but pours himself a cup, scraping out the chair beside Ian. The three of them sit there and drink their coffees fairly quietly, and Ian vaguely wonders what mornings at the Milkovich house are usually like when he’s not around.

Mickey and him end up spending most of the day at the construction site on Roger’s street, and then roaming the quiet surrounding streets. Mickey had wanted to spread his graffiti tag onto a few new, uncovered choice spots.

His tag is just MM, his initials, but it’s hobby of his that Ian doesn’t question. He thinks back to Mickey’s artwork on the front of the ROTC building, the red heart with ARMY sprayed inside of it, and it makes him fond of the practice. Mo explores, while Mickey works and Ian watches, and they don’t go home until much later.

Unfortunately, Mickey’s dad is there when they get back. He’s just smoking in the living room, and doesn’t acknowledge either of them right away when they come in. Ian awkwardly follows Mickey into the house, who he notices is immediately tenser and more agitated than he had been just moments before.

Terry gets up and follows them into the kitchen, calmly approaching Mickey, who doesn’t pay any attention as he gets a beer from the fridge. “Where’s your dog?” Terry asks coolly. Mickey shrugs without looking at him, “Outside?”

Terry nods and backhands Mickey, hard enough to make him fall into the fridge door. “Teach your damn dog not to shit in the house or I’ll make you eat it next time”. Mickey rubs his jaw, glaring, but clearing unwilling to take the bait for a fight.

“Sorry. I left him inside too long I guess”.

Terry grunts, “Yeah well. Mandy’s gonna have to watch him the next few days. You’re doing a job with me in Ohio, so your fucking friend here needs to go. We’re leaving in ten”.

Ian isn’t sure whether he should leave or not, so he waits and watches to see how Mickey will react. He frowns, “I have a big test on Tuesday”.  

Mr. Milkovich laughs, a real laugh, filled with amusement. “Listen shithead, your dumb ass isn’t going to gain anything whether you’re there or not for a few fucking days. You actually think you’re gonna go to fuckin college someday? Grow up.”

Ian feels his own anger starting to rise, but Mickey’s eyes flicker towards him warningly before he turns back to his dad, “Alright, okay. Let me pack some shit”. Ian takes Mickey’s hint and follows him to his bedroom, who turns to give him a serious glance as he grabs his backpack.

“I can see you getting ready to tell him off. Don’t. Seriously, let it fucking go. I’ll be back in a few days”.

He responds indignantly, “It’s not about me not seeing you for a few fucking days Mick. He’s always making you do this shit and it’s dangerous. And you do have something to gain by being at school, don’t listen to that shit, alright?” He follows Mickey around the room as he tosses a few items of clothing and some smokes into his backpack, waiting for an answer.

“Hurry up!” Terry growls from the living room.

Mickey slings his backpack over his shoulders carelessly, “Who knows Ian. Sometimes I think he’s right”.

Chapter Text

*One month later*

Ian smiles into the camera, poking Mickey until he does the same, although he pulls more a goofy smile than Ian currently is. Ian snaps it and saves it, “Good one. I love it. I’m putting this on Instagram”.

Mickey frowns at him, “What the fuck is Instagram?”

“It’s kinda like Facebook, but it’s only for pictures” Ian explains, trying to think of a caption. “Well then why the fuck wouldn’t you just put it on Facebook?” Mickey asks, lighting a cigarette.

Ian shakes his head and chuckles. Mickey is surprisingly out of the loop sometimes, considering the fact that as much as he tries to ignore it, he’s still surrounded by all of the social media crap in their high school.

Ian posts the picture with, ‘what the fuck is Instagram ? ’-Mickey Milkovich.

He grins as Lip likes it a few seconds later, and Mandy comments on it, “Jesus my brother is stupid”.

Mickey peers over Ian’s shoulder at his phone when he laughs, “She has it too? Tell er to fuck off”.

Ian presses his lips together, unimpressed, as PrincessBecca16  then comments, “Hot. Who’s your friend? ;)”

“She clearly doesn’t realize she’s barking up the wrong tree” he points at the comment, annoyed. Mickey reads it, but just shrugs, “Well that’s a good thing, right? Everyone thinks we’re friends, that’s it”.

“Yeah, except it leaves girls like her thinking you’re available” Ian grouses.

Mickey stares at him, “You think it’s just me? Have you not noticed Emily is fucking obsessed with you? She likes every fucking thing you post, I swear, and she gave me the bitchiest look when you chose me as your lab partner”.

Ian frowns, “Emily Richerson?”

He had never even fucking noticed her, to be honest. The girls at school did approach him a lot, but he usually thought it was just them being friendly. Of course, they could be throwing themselves at him, and if they weren’t Mickey, he wouldn’t notice... or care.

 

Ian’s scrawling the date, March 25th 2016, onto the top of his notebook with his pen in Religion class when his teacher, Ms. Quinn, addresses the entire class.

 “Alright 11th graders, due to some changes in school policy, we will be splitting our class for sexual education this year, as we’ve had some issues with maturity in the past”. She glares at several students in particular, although Ian manages to avoid her scathing glance.

“Males and females will now be in separate classes, and we will be combining with Mrs. Dolly’s second period class, for number purposes”.

Ian perks up slightly. That’s Mickey’s class.

She continues, “All females in this class, please head down the hall into Mrs. Dolly’s class, room 413. Boys will stay here, and Mrs. Dolly’s male students will be joining us in this room”.

The girls all gather their stuff and head out of the room, leaving it mostly empty while the guys quietly whisper and make sex jokes, Ms. Quinn pointedly ignoring them.

A few minutes later, the group of male students from the other class arrive and start to spread out across the room in the free seats. Ian feels himself grin uncontrollably as Mickey shows up in the doorway.

His eyebrow flickers just slightly, his lips twitching as he throws himself down in the seat beside Ian.

“Gallagher” he nods, just slightly, purposefully being overly formal.

Ian tries not to laugh as he tips his head back, "Milkovich".

Quinn fixes her gaze towards them, “Oh…lovely. Mr. Milkovich, nice to have you in my class again. Her tone is like venom, laced with sarcasm.

“Is it?” Mickey grins. He loves this shit.

Her eyes flicker away from him disapprovingly, “Well I suppose everyone is here now. That’s…18 of you? I have of course, been assigned to teach sexual education this year to the boy’s group, whereas Mrs. Dolly has been assigned to teach the girls”.

Mickey interrupts loudly, “Why is a chick teaching the dudes this stuff? And I’m pretty sure the entire class knows how to bang anyways”.

The entire class stifles laughter, but she doesn’t falter. She’s a tough, mean old woman, and she’s been dealing with students like Mickey her entire life. Or so she thinks.

“Boys like you are the reason pregnancy and STD’s are rampant among the teenaged population in our society”.

Ian hesitates, wondering if Mickey will flip out, but he just laughs. “Alright Quinn, checkmate. Go ahead”

He waves his hand for her continue with her lesson, and she purses her lips but ignores him as she begins to hand out a stack of papers to the entire class.

“Why do I need a drawing of a dick? I can just look down my fucking pants. I don’t need to see this shit” Mickey complains when he gets his, flipping it over to frown at the other side, a complete diagram of the female reproductive system.

Ian kicks him from under the table and Mickey’s eyebrow twitches, but he shuts up.

“We will be starting with basic biology today” she explains to the class, before she begins to lecture. Ian scrawls down everything she says, as he always does in class, until Mickey frowns over at him.

“Why are you writing this shit down? You’re not gonna get anyone pregnant”.

Before Ian can answer, they both notice their classmate, Whitley, looking over at them with a funny expression on his face. Mickey quickly explains, “Pussy uses condoms fuckin religiously with his girls”.

Whitley nods, looking at Mickey like he’s stupid. “Yeah, I do too. Don’t want a fucking kid man”.

Ian turns to Mickey, “See? I’m being smart”.

Mickey nods like he is serious, but as soon as Whitley turns away he crumples his paper into a ball and tosses it across the room into the garbage can by their teacher’s desk.

“10 points!” he yells.

Mickey gets kicked out of class less than five minutes later.

He comes over to the Gallagher's house after school, because Ian had agreed to babysit his younger siblings while Fiona and Lip were working afternoon shifts. They all sit in the kitchen at the table, eating sandwiches Ian threw together to feed them.

“Alright, you guys go watch your little brother. Watch TV with him. We’re gonna study upstairs” Mickey says to Carl and Debbie as soon as they are done, his tone making sure they don’t argue.

Ian looks at him in confusion as his siblings agreeably head towards the TV, and Mickey says confidently, as if it’s obvious, “We’re supposed to study those diagrams from religion, remember? Well, one of them anyways”.

Ian grins and heads upstairs, wrestling Mickey playfully on the way to his room. As soon as they get there, Mickey shoves him onto the bed and kicks the door closed behind himself. He points at the ground, “Pants down Gallagher”.

“Man, I fuckin love tutoring you” Ian teases, as Mickey gets on his knees in front of him. Mickey flips him off but takes his cock into his mouth eagerly, not wasting any time with teasing.

“Fuck…” Ian rests his hand on the back of Mickey’s head and gently guides it up and down, working him into the exact orgasmic pace he needs to finish quickly.

“Mmmm” he groans, as quietly as he can. Mickey rubs the side of his thigh gently, and Ian feels his hairs stand on end. “Want me to tell you when I’m gonna cum or should I surprise you with a throat coat?” Mickey snorts into his junk and Ian grins, closing his eyes in pleasure.

“You did say you wanted to swallow” he reminds him, half teasing.

Mickey removes his mouth, catching his breath slightly, “That’s when I was fucking drunk”. Ian tips his head as if he’s disappointed, but he lets it go when he sees the unimpressed look on Mickey’s face.

“Ohh alright”.

Mickey’s mouth returns to his cock, and he feels his muscles tighten as he approaches his orgasm.

As much as he doesn’t want to, a few minutes later he grips into Mickey’s hair with his fingers and tells him, “I’m about to come Mick, pull off”.

But instead of pulling off, Mickey’s eyes flicker upwards to him, a hot and determined look in them.

“Oh…” Ian groans. He keeps his hand where it is, and pulls Mickey’s hair as he comes, finally releasing into his boyfriend’s throat for the first time.

It’s as hot as he imagined it to be, and his eyes feel glazed as he watches Mickey remove his mouth from his cock once he’s done.

His lips are puffy and wet, a small dribble of cum leaking from the corner of his mouth, that he wipes away with back of his hand.

“Was that so bad?” Ian grins, as Mickey raises his eyebrow at him.

“Nah… you taste pretty fuckin good”.

He laughs, remembering what Mickey had said to him before his first blowjob, and he can’t resist roasting him a bit, “Swallowed like a goddamn pornstar Mick”.

Mickey flips him off, but rolls his eyes affectionately.

 “Only for you Gallagher”.

Chapter Text

Ian walks down the hallway towards his boyfriend the next day at school, who doesn’t seem to notice him approach. He is leaning against his locker, his dark brows twitching as he watches another student down the hallway like a hawk.

“What’s up?” Ian asks, once he reaches him.

Mickey’s eyes pull away from the other boy and land on Ian, his expression softening.

“Luke owes me, been fucking avoiding me”. Ian grimaces, knowing what that means. “How much?”

“Enough”.

He doesn’t ask what for, he’s pretty sure he knows, and both of them try to avoid the topic of Mickey dealing drugs for his dad as a source of income. It’s become a touchy subject on more than one occasion already.

Luke finishes talking to his friend, and exits through the nearest door, heading towards the smokers’ area outside of the parking lot. Most students hide while they smoke, to avoid getting shit from the teachers. Luckily the bleachers have remained Mickey’s territory, giving Ian and him privacy at lunch.

“I gotta deal with this” Mickey strides down the hallway towards the exit, and Ian follows him.

He’s tagged along before on this sort of thing, even joined in once or twice if one of the guy’s friends tried to gang up on Mickey. He didn’t need the help, but both of them sort of got a dumb teenage thrill from fighting. It was another thing they did extremely well together.

Mickey cracks his knuckles as they approach Luke, who’s sitting on the ground beside his old Honda, smoking a joint. His eyes flicker nervously between them as they halt in front of him.

Ian hangs back just slightly; his help won’t be necessary this time. Luke’s a scrawny stoner, and dumb enough to get himself roped into coke while he’s still in highschool. Not a real threat, just an annoying problem.

“Time to pay up bitch”.

Mickey smiles sadistically as Luke starts to wave his hands in protest.

“Listen, we can work something else out, right? I can sell for you man, I know a lotta people who will buy”.

Mickey presses his lips together in an unimpressed line, “I don’t need a fuckin seller, what do you think I do dumbass? Give me the money, or I’ll beat it out of you. Last chance”.

Luke doesn’t make a move to take out any cash.

Stupid choice, Ian thinks, shaking his head, as Mickey pulls back his leg and delivers a brutal kick with his work boot.

Luke grunts in pain, and Mickey waits, but seeing him still unwilling to offer any sort of payment, continues. He grabs Luke and shoves him back to the ground when he gets to his feet and tries to scramble back into view of any possible passersby.

A wallet flops out of his jacket pocket and to the ground, and Mickey snatches it up, raising his eyebrow. “Got no money, huh?”

He flips through it, but frowns as he finds it mostly empty.

He turns to Ian, “Goddamn tweaker spending money he doesn’t have”. Ian scratches his head, and Mickey pulls out two stiff pieces of paper from his wallet.

“What’s this?”

Luke pants, holding his side, “Concert tickets. Fuckin take them. Was supposed to take my girlfriend” he grumbles.

Mickey inspects them and frowns, “The Killers? I don’t think so, I know like two of their songs. Doesn’t make up for $250”.  Ian clears his throat, his attention caught by the band’s name, “Um, I kinda like them Mick. Think it’s a fair trade”.

He’d actually really like to go, but he’s careful of what or how he says it in front of Luke. He can’t interfere with Mickey’s reputation as an unforgiving dealer, whether he stands by that profession or not.

Mickey raises his eyebrow slightly at Ian’s comment, but eventually nods.

“Alright…I’m fucking taking these. But I still need $100 from you by next week. I got a guy to pay too”. Luke stands up, backing away from Mickey, now that he’s letting him retreat.

“Okay, okay. It’s just, that’s a lot of money. Hard to get on short notice”.

“Gave you a fuckin week, didn’t I? Go suck some cock or something I don’t give a shit, fag” Mickey jams the tickets into his pocket and tips his head at Ian, the two of them leaving the parking lot and Mickey’s latest target behind them.

“When’s the concert?” Ian asks. Mickey still looks surprised at his interest, “This Saturday…the United Center. You really wanna go?”

He nods his head enthusiastically, “Yeah Mick, it’ll be fun”.

“Alright, alright”.

Ian tries not to smile as they walk to class. He feels like he’s unintentionally got Mickey looped around his finger, and there’s something satisfying on having that effect on the notorious Milkovich of the South Side.

Mickey borrows his brother Iggy’s car on Saturday night, although they have to take the bus to his mom’s house to pick it up. Mickey’s half brothers rarely stay at his house with him, Mandy, and their dad, Ian’s noticed. Not that he blames them, Iggy’s mom’s house seems considerably nicer.

Mickey nods at his brother appreciatively, “Thanks for the car bro, I’ll bring it back tomorrow alright? Gonna be late”. Iggy nods, “Yeah no problem dude. Don’t forget our deal though, you’re taking over Zablotnov and his crew for me. Bring a piece when you collect”.

Ian’s eyes flash over towards Mickey in alarm at the statement, but he doesn’t react with surprise, “Got it, see ya later”.

He jingles the keys to a little 2000 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback, and Ian can’t help but open his mouth once they get inside.

“I didn’t know you had to do something for the car Mick”.

His boyfriend shrugs as he starts the engine, “Most Milkovich’s don’t do shit for free Ian. I take over his problem customer, he loans me his car. I’ll get it more than once, don’t worry”.

“That’s not what I’m worried about”.

Ian looks out the window as they drive away, a weird mixture of anxiety and excitement for the concert mixing in his stomach. Mickey focuses on his driving, and doesn’t seem to notice how quiet Ian gets.

He feels worse the closer they get, and as soon as they are at the venue and Mickey parks the car, Ian quickly gets out to gulp some of the night air deeply into his lungs, and steady his stomach.  

“Here we go”, Mickey looks ahead of them at the massive crowd outside of the venue with satisfaction, “Should be fun”.

Ian can’t answer, and Mickey looks over at him, a dark eyebrow arching in concern. “Hey…you alright? You look like you’re gonna puke. My driving that bad?” He laughs but Ian shakes his head, “I don’t feel well”.

“You sick?” Mickey comes over to his side of the car, looking at him in concern. He touches Ian’s forehead, “You don’t have a fuckin fever or anything”.

Ian can’t explain it, but he feels overwhelmed as he looks at the crowd, “I…need to get out of here”. He yanks the car door back open and gets inside, he wants to run actually, but he fights it, trying to regain control over himself amidst his confusion.

“We just got here!” Mickey exclaims as he clambers back into the car beside him, “You fucking wanted to do this Ian! I gave up a hundred and fifty fucking dollars for this shit and you’re not even gonna go inside?”

Ian blinks, strangely feeling tears threaten to fill his eyes. “Please don’t yell at me”. He doesn’t feel like himself at all, and it’s terrifying.

Mickey softens, now looking at him with concern. “Okay, okay. Sorry. It’s fine Ian…you’re alright”. He puts a hand on Ian’s back tentatively, and rubs small comforting circles once he realizes Ian won’t tell him to fuck off.

Ian watches as everyone outside pours inside the concert hall as soon as the doors open, emptying the streets. He starts to feel better eventually, the sick feeling in his stomach and the overwhelming thoughts in his head abating. He’s tired, but he feels fine other than that.

He looks at Mickey in confusion, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened”.

Mickey shrugs, “It’s okay, as long as you’re okay. You were freaking me the fuck out”.

Ian feels himself grin, and repeats himself, “I’m sorry”. Mickey’s face breaks into a relaxed smile as he sees Ian return to normal.

 “Stop fuckin apologizing” He grabs Ian’s head and brings it in to give him a playful kiss on the top of it, “Wanna see if we can still get in?”

 Ian glances at his phone, “It started a half an hour ago, I don’t think they’ll let us in”. Mickey nods, “Okay, well. I’ll take you home?”

“Or, we could go for a drink. On me, feel guilty as hell for wasting your tickets” Ian offers.  

Mickey turns the key in the ignition, “I don’t give a shit about the concert. I’ll take the money from my cut, no worries. As long as my dad gets his, it’s fine”.

That actually makes Ian feel more guilty as Mickey pulls out of the lot. Here he was, extravagantly wasting his boyfriend’s money, and his asshole dad would still pocket a profit.

He looks over at his attractive boyfriend, admiring his strong jaw and muscular body as he raises an expressive eyebrow to check for traffic before pulling onto the main road.

He leans across the seat and downwards, Mickey frowning at him, glancing down and then back up at the road as Ian fiddles with the button on his jeans, “The fuck are you doing?”

“Making it up to you” Ian murmurs, pulling his cock out from his boxers. Mickey laughs nervously, “That’s not…you don’t need to…oh…”

He shuts up as Ian takes him in his mouth.

Fuck…” Mickey swears as Ian laps at his slit, deepening the blowjob afterwards. The car swerves slightly.

“Focus on the road” Ian mumbles around his cock, wondering how much of that Mickey managed to understand. Enough, apparently.

“I’m fuckin trying to, not easy with you fucking blowing me at the wheel” He doesn’t seem to be complaining though, Ian sees a blissed-out look on his face as he glances upwards. He fights a smile and focuses on what he’s doing, carefully working Mickey with his tongue and throat.

He’s starting to pull significant groans from the other boy, when they hear sirens going off just behind them.

“Fuck, fuck!” Ian immediately pulls upwards and off, both of them panicking as Mickey tries to pull over.

“Do up my fucking jeans!” Mickey yells, so Ian slides over and fumbles desperately with them, but his boner is in the way. Mickey stops the car, and shoves him out of the way, trying to lean back so he can slide them upwards.

But it’s too late, a cop is now at their window, a flashlight illuminating them as they struggle with Mickey’s pants.

Mickey looks pale as a ghost as he rolls down the window at the cop’s tapped request.

“Mikhailo?”

Great, the cop fucking knows Mickey.

He looks absolutely surprised, “You know how dangerous what you two were doing is? You were swerving like crazy back there, did you even notice? You almost edged another car out of the next line. They were honking at you and everything”.

Mickey finally returns to his normal skin tone and then reddens past it, “I didn’t hear it”.

The cop looks at Ian, who isn’t sure what to fucking say or do. He glances back and forth between them, taking in their panicked faces, and landing on Mickey in the end. “I’m surprised, not gonna lie. Didn’t even know it was you, thought this was Ignatius’ car”.

“It is…I was borrowing it. We were supposed to be at a concert, Ian got sick” Mickey stammers.

It’s the first time Ian’s seen him totally undefensive and cooperative, he’s clearly shitting his pants in fear.

The cop sighs, “You’re not drunk…so I’m not gonna charge you. But you need to be more careful”.

Mickey turns to him, pleading, “Please don’t tell my dad”.

The cop shakes his head, “Mik, I’ve been dealing with your old man a long time. I remember doing house calls to pick him up since you were just a little guy. I know what he’s capable of, and I’m not going to say anything. We aren’t friends you know. But for your own sake, I suggest you keep this…” he gestures between the two of them, “Private. You know he’s been arrested at least five times for beating on… guys like you”.

Mickey looks absolutely relieved; the same way Ian feels, “I know. Fuck… thank you. Seriously”. The officer tips his hat at them, “Alright. Have a good night guys. Be safe”.

Mickey is still so shaken though that it takes him a long time to be able to pull back onto the road, and he drives back slowly and carefully when he does.

Neither of them say a word to each other on the way home, and once he is back home in his own bed, Ian worries about this new crack in their secret, threatening its containment.

 

Chapter Text

Ian had been fraught with nerves the entire day after the incident, something that Fiona didn’t fail to fucking notice. She kept asking if he was feeling alright, and he would snap at her to leave him alone, because ‘he was fine’.  

Internally, he kept thinking about what might happen if Mickey’s dad found out, and that it would be his fucking fault if he did. He was the one that had made the move on Mickey while he was driving.

And he knew it was a stupid thing to do, even in the moment. He just thought it would be hot, and fun. Mickey didn’t seem mad at him, at all, but the tension between them was palpable until a few days later, when they both finally relaxed, accepting that if he hadn’t already, the cop wasn’t likely to open his mouth about what he had seen.

They had spent a good night together, and that was what ultimately allowed them to put the fear of something being said behind themselves. It was hard to worry about anything when they were wrapped up in each other’s arms. It was the one place Ian felt safe, and completely free to be himself. And he knew Mickey felt the same way. He could tell by the way Mickey looked at him, and how much softer Mickey’s expressions and body language were when they were alone together, compared to when they were around other people.

He’s holding Mickey in his arms the next day as they spoon in his bed at the Milkovich house, fully clothed and watching a movie on Netflix, when Ian realizes it’s almost Mickey’s birthday. They aren’t home alone, Mandy had come home from her friend’s house, so they hadn’t chanced trying to bang. Most of the time, Mickey got too fucking loud to risk it, whether he was fucking or being fucked. Not that Ian would complain, he loves it.

And he loves moments like this. He nuzzles against Mickey’s neck, feeling him grin in response. “So… your birthday is later this month”.

“Yeah?” Mickey looks back and poses it like a question. Ian is a little taken aback, “You don’t care?”

Mickey turns his attention back the movie on his phone. “Not really man, it’s not a big deal”.

“Eighteen is a pretty big deal” Ian argues, but he realizes birthdays at the Milkovich house probably go mostly uncelebrated. Gallagher birthdays are the opposite, loud, with lots of food and booze, and everyone has a great time, even though there aren’t usually any gifts.

They hadn’t had a party in a while, come to think of it. He was pretty sure none of his siblings would argue against having one for Mickey. He’s over there often enough.

“How about we celebrate at my place? Only, it has to be early I guess. Probably this weekend”. He thinks of his hefty work schedule while Kash is away the next week and a half.

Mickey yawns contentedly, “If you want. No fuckin balloons though, you gotta promise”.

Ian chuckles, “You’re scared of balloons?”

Mickey frowns over his shoulder at him, “No dumbass, if Mo pops one and eats it, he’ll choke. I saw that happen before at my aunt’s house”. Ian stops grinning. Leave it Mickey to turn something like a balloon into something serious.

 “Oh. Okay, no balloons. I’m not budging on cake though”.

Mickey’s face blooms into a smile, “You gonna make it yourself?”

Ian thinks of his rather dismal culinary skills. “Do I have to?”

“Yes, you fucking do”. Mickey rolls to face him, resting his head against Ian’s warm arm with his eyebrows raised, waiting.

Ian laughs gently before he presses his lips to his mouth in an affectionate kiss.

 

*******

Ugly.

There’s no other way to describe the cake Ian had made. He’d botched it somehow, even out of a box, but he’s out of time to make another. Mickey’s gonna be here in half an hour.

“Help” he turns to Fiona desperately as she passes through the kitchen, and she takes one look at the cake and hands Liam over, trading Ian for the frosting knife.

“You can hide all the lumps and cracks with the frosting. It’s like glue, see?” She patches up the cake more evenly, and it actually looks half decent by the time she’s done. “Want me to write on it?”

He shakes his head, “No, I can handle that I think”. “Help” Liam says, pointing at the cake.

Ian considers it, he doubts at this point Mickey would mind. He hands Liam a tube of frosting and lets him squeeze out random globs of blue icing over the cake, while he writes 18 on the side of it himself. He smiles at his little brother when it’s done, “Looks good Liam, let’s hide it in the fridge. It’s supposed to be a surprise”. He takes the cake and pushes it onto the shelf on the fridge, while more of his siblings pile into the kitchen.

“Pizza’s on it’s way!” Debbie calls, sailing through the kitchen. “Mandy’s coming right?” Lip asks, winking as he puts plates out onto the table. “Yes, Mandy’s fucking coming. Perv” Ian jokes, slugging his brother in the shoulder.

The doorbell rings, and Carl goes over and yanks the door open. “Sup Mickey”.

He fist bumps him as he comes inside, and Mickey blushes as the rest of the Gallaghers exclaim over him, many birthday wishes coming his way.

“It’s not my actual fucking birthday yet” he laughs, but Fiona shushes him, “It’s close enough!” He nods and looks behind himself, “Uh, this is my sister. Mandy”.

He gestures to her awkwardly as she comes in after him, and she takes in the house with interest, licking her lips slightly as she sees Lip checking her out from the couch.

V and Kev come in the door behind them about two minutes later, and Mo gets more excited as the house fills up, taking the opportunity to jump on everyone.

The dinner portion of the birthday party is actually fairly tame, they all just eat pizza and mill around the house while the music plays loudly from the stereo. It’s more about a get together than Mickey turning 18, which he had insisted on, uncomfortable being the center of attention.

But he can’t avoid being in the spotlight when the cake comes out after dinner, and Ian carries it over to hold in front of him, eighteen candles glowing. He raises his eyebrows at the sight of it, and laughs with what can only be described as delight as Liam comes up to him and raises his arms.

Mickey pulls him into his lap. He doesn’t notice Mandy start in surprise at that.

“You help with that little man?” Mickey asks, pointing at the cake.  Liam nods proudly, and helps him blow out the candles a few seconds later. “Looks great” Mickey says, grinning. His eyes meet Ian’s, and there’s a moment of nothing but pure happiness between them.

After dinner, Mickey announces loudly that it’s time to take Mo for a walk, and they take the chance to escape while everyone else is busy cleaning up. It’s dark out now, and they go to the dugout because it’s closer to the house that the construction site.

Mickey leans up against Ian as soon as they are in the privacy of the dugout, pressing his forehead against Ian’s, but withholding his lips. Ian feels his hands lower from the small of his back down to his ass, Mickey stretching his hands wide to grab handfuls of it.

“Oh, in that kind of mood tonight?” Ian teases, even as his breath hitches at the thought of it.

Mickey nods his head wordlessly, licking his lips slightly before he says, “Turn around”. Ian drops his pants and leans against the fence, listening to the sound of Mickey undoing his belt and his pants falling to his shoes. He feels Mickey’s strong hands gripping into his thighs, and then stretching him open expertly. He defies the odds by being an amazing bottom, and an incredible top.

Ian gasps as Mickey pushes inside him a few minutes later, and hearing Mickey moan in pleasure at the connection makes his blood rush to his ears. “Fuck I love you” he groans, his head rolling slightly as Mickey fucks him with one hand on his hipbone to guide his movements, and the other hand on his throat.

“I…love…you…too” Mickey pants out between deep thrusts. The chain link fence shakes with each of his movements, jangling loudly into the quiet night. “I wanna fuck you” Ian blurts a couple minutes later, suddenly feeling a need to change positions as the heat in his chest rises. He wants to give, not take.

They are celebrating Mickey’s birthday, after all.

Mickey pulls out, “Switch positions”.

He stops to kiss Ian sloppily, before leaning against the fence and lowering his head past his shoulders, presenting his perfect ass to Ian as he bends.

Ian looks with a deep satisfaction at the sight, “M’ gonna give it to you. Happy birthday, you fucking king”. Mickey lets out a breathy laugh that dies in his throat as Ian enters him, immediately snapping back into the quick pace Mickey had left off at.

Each loud moan, grunt, pant, and cry of pleasure that Mickey lets out with no regard for the amount of noise he is making drives Ian more passionately, and he drills into the other boy steadily, biting his shoulder through the cloth of his shirt as he does.

“Ah fuck Ian, I’m gonna cum” Mickey groans, his voice dripping with satisfaction and pleasure.

“Yeah? Cum for me, c’mon” Ian moves a hand to grip Mickey’s strong jaw as he delivers his final thrusts directly into his prostate. He watches Mickey shoot white ribbons onto the dirt by their feet with a moan, releasing his own load inside of him just seconds later.

***

When they get home the party has already turned into a real one, with the inhabitants of the house making more of a ruckus as they see the birthday boy return. Him and Ian cheerfully join Lip and Mandy in the kitchen to chug some beers.

“Think you can get 18 down?” Lip asks Mickey, teasingly. He slings his arm around Mandy’s shoulder, and Mickey raises an eyebrow in amusement, “Think you can get your arm off my sister? And let’s fucking find out”.

He cracks open another beer and gets on it, Ian cheering him on as Lip races to outdrink him. Kev joins them in the kitchen to get a refill and turns to Mickey, “Hey, come get a drink on me next time you’re near the Alibi. Happy birthday bud”.

He slaps Mickey on the back, who grins as he finishes his beer first, “Thanks man. I’ll take you up on that”.

Mickey’s got this look on his face as he turns back Ian like maybe, maybe 18 will be his year. Maybe it’s time things change for Mickey Milkovich.

Chapter Text

Terry comes bursting through the unlocked front door of the Gallagher house less than ten minutes later.

“You little shit!” he bellows, everyone freezing at the unexpected intrusion. He spies Mickey and comes barreling through the house, knocking people out of his way as he flies towards him in a blind rage.

Mandy comes to her senses first, “Dad, what the fuck are you doing!”

Her scream knocks Ian out of his confused daze, and him and Mandy both move to block Terry from Mickey at the exact same moment. The entire house erupts into an uproar as Terry knocks both of them out the way and grabs Mickey roughly by the throat. Mick snaps out of it and grabs him back, both of them swearing and shouting angrily at each other.

Terry’s voice is louder, and his furious outburst is heard above the commotion, “The money was fake you fucking idiot! You took a worthless payment and you’re gonna pay, you shit. Everyone. Thinks. We. Are. A. Joke”. He aims a punch with each word, Mickey receiving about half of them as the kitchen swells with people trying to stop the altercation.

Lip, Ian, and Kev are trying in unison to haul them apart while Mandy screams and aims kicks at her dad’s legs. He turns for a brief second and shoves her, and Mickey’s face goes blank as he lunges forwards past Lip’s controlling arms and headbutts his dad in the face.

Blood begins to spray as Fiona’s screeching finally reaches above the noise, “Get the fuck out of my house! All of you, NOW! Or I’m calling the fucking cops!”

The noise quiets enough after her outburst for all of them to finally notice Liam screaming and crying from the stairs, and Mickey looks over at him, his eyes looking wild with shock as blood drips from his face.

“Liam…it’s okay” he starts to try and say reassuringly, but Terry grabs him by the arm firmly, halting his advance.

“We’re leaving. You’re coming with me, both of you”. He jerks his chin at Mandy, who meekly follows her dad and brother to the door.

She pauses as they both go outside ahead of her, and she turns to look back at them, her eyes filled with tears. “I’m so sorry. I told him we were coming here, I had no idea…” Fiona is just shaking her head, clearly in shock, “Just…go”.

Mandy sniffs, and nods, closing the door behind herself after she leaves.

“Ian, you alright?”

Ian turns to the sound of Lip’s voice as he watches her go, feeling like he is underwater. “I…just...what happened?” The atmosphere inside the Gallagher house had changed so fast that his head is spinning.

“Terry Milkovich happened” Lip answers, shaking his head, “Guy’s a fuckin psycho, I feel sorry for those two. What did Mickey do? What was he saying, he took a worthless payment?”

Ian blocks each one of Lip’s questions, unable to process them at the moment. He does take the beer that Lip offers him though, and gulps from it numbly.

V and Kev start cleaning up the mess, and Fiona ushers the younger kids upstairs to calm them down, but Ian feels like throwing up. He tries to call Mickey, but he doesn’t pick up, so he messages Mandy on Facebook.

Please explain, are you guys ok?? Should I call the police?

He sees the typing bubble appear and disappear on his phone a few times before a message actually shows up.

hey Ian, we’re fine. I’m so sorry. Mickey apparently took over a big client a few days okay, and they realized he was a bit of a rookie and ripped him off. He lost dad a couple grand, and he’s fucking pissed

Ian’s stomach churns as he remembers Mickey taking over Iggy’s problem client a few days ago.

He quickly types out ‘He’ll fucking kill him Mandy!!

 ‘He won’t. needs his help to fix it. I know we look fucked up, but this is how things are in my family Ian

There is a finality in her message that makes Ian put his phone away. He actually does need to throw up now.

He goes into the bathroom off of the kitchen and retches, beer and undigested pizza coming up noisily.

He can’t live like this, in constant fear for Mickey’s safety. Whether Mickey likes it or not, it’s time for him to put his foot down, and give him an ultimatum. This drug business was stretching past his world and into Ian’s, into his family’s, and he couldn’t let that happen. He couldn’t put them in dangers way because of his relationship.

Ian tries to get a hold of Mickey that night, sending him anxious texts about what had happened, but he doesn't get a single response. He sighs as he rereads Mandy's messages, 'This is what our family is like, Ian '.

Fiona lets him stay home the next day from school after he tells her he’s sick, because he’d been off even before the chaos of the previous night. “Hope Mickey’s okay” she says gently, before leaving his room. He appreciates the concern, and he waits until Liam is napping upstairs before sending Mickey a text to come over so they can talk.

Mickey shows up at his doorstep with a black eye and a nasty cut just beneath his hairline, looking very guilty. The second Ian opens the door he starts to apologize, “I couldn’t answer my phone last night, he was on my ass until four in the fucking morning yelling at me. Mandy told me she told you I was okay though”.

Ian shakes his head passively as Mickey comes inside, “Yeah, and I’m really glad you’re alright. But that’s not what we need to talk about”.

Mickey looks over at him nervously, as Ian closes the door and heads into the living room to sit on the couch.

He clears his throat as Mickey sits in the chair across from him, “Listen, I get that this is how you’ve chosen to live your life, make your money-“

Mickey interrupts, “I didn’t fucking choose this Ian”.

Ian glares at him, trying to keep calm as he brings up the touchy subject. “Let me fucking speak”.

Mickey shuts his mouth, looking like he wants to argue more, but seeing how serious Ian is, he lets him continue.

“You’ve known since the beginning that I didn’t like this, we’re not talking about fucking weed here, this is serious shit. I never did like it, but I put up with it because it was a part of your life before I even knew you. So I’m not gonna ask you to change for me, because that wouldn’t be fair”.

Mickey relaxes at Ian’s last sentence, prematurely. Ian shakes his head before he continues.

“But I can’t be with you if this is how it’s gonna be”. He sees Mickey’s eyes flood with panic, and he feels sick again so he quickly adds, “I don’t want to end things, I don’t. But you need to decide, if it’s gonna be me or this business you do with your dad. Because last night Mickey, it came into my house, and it put my family in danger. I won’t let that happen again”.

Mickey sniffs, looking agitated. “I know. I’m so fucking sorry Ian- I-“

The baby monitor on the coffee table goes off, as Liam wakes up early and starts to call for Ian, pulling both of their attentions away from the heavy conversation.

Ian heads upstairs, and doesn’t tell Mickey not to follow.

He peers into the bedroom anxiously while Ian grabs Liam. Liam notices him there, and looks at Mickey uncertainly, before he buries his face into Ian’s shoulder. Mickey’s eyes look dangerously close to tears as he stammers out, “Liam… I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you last night”.

Liam lifts his face to look at him again, and after a moment, says quietly “Mickey”. He reaches away from Ian and towards the sad boy in the doorway.

Ian hands him to Mickey, who carries him back downstairs with them. Ian sets up Liam with a bottle, and puts on a show for him to watch quietly before he turns his attention back to his boyfriend.

“You can see why, right? I know you care about my family too”.

Mickey rubs his forehead in agitation, “Yeah, I do. I care about you, and them, more than anything”.

Ian’s relieved, “Good, so promise? You’re out?”

Mickey nods his head, “I’m out. Promise”.

Chapter Text

Ian rubs his hands over his face the next day at school in frustration.  

Him and Mickey had an important lab to do today, one that he wouldn’t be able to complete in time without a partner. Not to mention Mickey’s grade would take a nasty hit if he didn’t participate, but Mickey hadn’t shown up at the Gallagher house that morning, and he was nowhere to be found at school.

Ian decides to send yet another text message before he heads to his first period chemistry class that’s due to start in ten minutes.

Where the fuck are u??

Mickey finally answers with one word. “Sick

Ian knows that’s bullshit. If Mickey was sick, he would have told him in the morning that he wouldn’t be there, and when he left the Gallagher house in the afternoon yesterday, he’d been fine.

Really Mick?? Come to school!

You’re gonna be pissed

Ian’s stomach sinks as he reads that. “Why? Wtf did you do

He can almost sense the hesitation in Mickey’s response. “I told you I was out, and I am. But I had to do one more thing last night to fix the fucking problem I started

What does that mean!

Ian sends the text as he heads into his classroom, gathering the supplies alone that they will need for their lab to save time. He doesn’t get another response, but Mickey does show up for Chemistry class.

Twenty minutes late, and Ian can plainly see what he meant.

He’s covered in dark bruises, and his face is cut in a dozen different places. He looks like someone tried to fucking kill him, and several students gasp when he enters the classroom, even as he tries to nonchalantly hide his face beneath his hood.

Ian’s own jaw drops as Mickey casually walks over to his stool beside him, simply saying, “Hey”. He won’t look Ian in the eyes.

Hey? What the fuck happened!” Ian hisses, fighting himself to keep from running his hands over Mickey in concern. He knows there’s at least a couple pairs of eyes on them still.

Mickey tries to rub the side of his nose casually, but he winces at his own touch. “I had to go with dad and Iggy to get the real payment last night. But it got fucking ugly. Iggy was right, those guys are fuckin nuts”.

Ian blinks back tears as he looks at him, whispering, “You better really be out Mick. I mean it. I can’t watch you kill yourself”.

“I said I was fucking out” Mickey snaps. He grabs his protective goggles from beside Ian roughly and yanks them on, clenching his teeth in pain as the bands snap over his bruises. He’s put up an invisible brick wall telling Ian the conversation is over.

He tries to focus on the lab, but Ian notices his boyfriend’s hands are shaking as he tries to hold the beakers still. Mickey barely says a word to him the entire time, until he suddenly stands up and mutters, “I’ll be back”.

He leaves the classroom without asking, and Ian looks at their teacher, who’d had a look of intense concern on his face ever since Mickey entered the classroom.

“Can I go with him?”

Mr. Richards nods, and Ian bites his lip to keep his face neutral as he hurries out into the hallway after Mickey. He sees him disappearing into the boy’s bathroom, and Ian bolts down the hallway and into it after him.

He grabs Mickey as soon as he’s inside and pulls him into his arms.

The two of them hold each other for a long time, sniffling back tears. Ian kisses the bruises on Mickey’s face, “I’m sorry I was so angry. I was just scared. I love you”.

Mickey nods into his shoulder, his voice muffled. “I love you too. And… I was fuckin scared too, to be honest. Thought they were gonna fucking kill me last night Ian, but my dad saved my life. Everything’s okay now though, we got the money back”.

The words twist nastily in Ian’s stomach, Mickey wouldn’t have been there if his dad hadn’t made him go.

But he decides to let it go, and just nods, “We better head back, or Richards is gonna send someone out to look for us”.

They both take a minute to shake off their emotions before they head to class, but the principal is waiting in there when they arrive, along with two police officers.

The whole class stares at them. “Mikhailo, I need you to come with me” the principal says firmly.

His eyes dart from her to the cops, “I didn’t fuckin do anything”.

“Let’s not do this in front of your classmates” one of the officers says.

Mickey glances back at his and Ian’s desk, “Well…I have a lab”. Mr. Richards looks at him kindly, “Don’t worry Mickey, it’s okay for you to miss one”.

One of the officers grabs Mickey’s arm gently, and his mouth opens slightly, but he doesn’t protest as they lead him out of the classroom.

Ian stands there in mild shock, looking after them until he sees his teacher in front of him.

“Ian? Can I talk to you in my office please? Class, continue with your labs. No talking about anything other than the assigned material, I mean it”.

Ian follows his teacher into his office located off of the classroom blindly, feeling overwhelmed. “Please, sit”. He obediently takes the seat across from him.

Mr. Richards voice is soft and sympathetic as he speaks. “I know Mickey is your friend, so I’m sure you are more than aware, as the school is, of his general…situation. At home, and with the law”.

Ian nods uncertainly, and his teacher continues, “When he showed up this morning, it was quite clear to me that he needs some help. I can see that you are very concerned for his wellbeing also, so I will fill you in on some things. I spoke to the principal once you two left the classroom, who called the police, and it turns out they already had Mr. Milkovich, Mickey’s father, in custody for a crime committed last night”.

Ian’s heart thuds in his chest as he takes this in, having a bad feeling about this.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss details with you, but he was arrested this morning shortly after Mickey arrived here at the school. The problem is, he implemented Mickey in the crime as well, and the evidence is apparently there to support that statement. The police were already on their way here to arrest Mickey”.

Ian buries his face in his hands in frustration, his voice muffled, “His dad is such a fucking asshole”.

His teacher clears his throat, “It is rather surprising for a parent to involve their child in this type of situation. I just want you to know I’m here if you need someone to talk to, and I hope this turns out okay for Mickey too”.

Ian nods, biting his lip as he wonders where the hell Mickey is now.

 

*Mickey’s POV- shortly after*

“Don’t worry… Mikhailo? I already have a plan in place to get these charges against you dropped”, Mickey’s appointed lawyer assures him as he sits in the interrogation room, stunned.

He can’t believe his dad actually sold him out, landing him with drug and assault charges.

Even if it was his fault, you don’t fucking snitch in the South Side, especially against your own blood. Mickey had been raised with that mantra in his brain from day one in the Milkovich home. From Terry himself. And now he was gonna fucking go back on it?

“I’ve made sure you will have access to a speedy trial, and it will take place this Thursday. Unfortunately, that means for the next two days you will be in custody”.

Mickey rubs his forehead, “I need to call someone. My sister”. His lawyer nods, “You can once processing is done”.

 

*Back to Ian’s POV- that afternoon*

“Mandy?” Ian asks into the phone. Her voice is crackling. “Yeah it’s me, hold on”.

He hears her shuffling around, and then her voice clears.

“Piece of shit Walmart phone… Mickey asked me to call you, cause he only got one. They are gonna hold him until his trial, well it’s not really a trial, he’s still seventeen, but it’s this Thursday. His lawyer got it marked as special circumstance, whatever that means…Mickey didn’t know either”.

Ian breathes into the phone, “Can we go see him?”

“No. Well not until before the trial, but I’ll see you there on Thursday, yeah?” He hesitates, “Mandy?” “Yeah?”

“What if… what if he goes to jail?”

He can’t see her, but he can almost feel her shrugging. “Ian, it’s happened before. He’ll be fine either way, try not to worry”.

Worry is all Ian does for the next couple days as he lives in radio silence. His whole family goes to the family court house with him on Thursday afternoon in support of Mickey, and they are allowed to see him before he goes into the courtroom. As a juvenile, they are doing a very small and closed trial, with only his appointed lawyer, a social worker and a judge being present.

Mickey enters the waiting room with his lawyer, uncuffed. He’s dressed nicely, wearing dress pants and an ironed blue button down, but he still looks pretty rough underneath his bruises and cuts.

Ian immediately goes over and gives him a reassuring hug, something no one in the room can judge him for underneath the circumstances. Liam notices everyone’s concern, and even though he doesn’t understand what’s going on, he wants to give him a hug too. Mickey does his best to smile for him as he does.

“We’re rooting for you Mickey” Fiona says encouragingly as he stands, trying to emanate some strength towards him. “Yeah man” Lip adds, the rest of the Gallaghers nodding their heads.

They all felt a sense of responsibility, after the ugly night at their house, and the fact that Mickey was around and helpful enough to feel like another family member at this point.

Mickey nods his thanks, pulling his lips in over his teeth as he tries to appear confident, and strong. “It’s time to go in Mikhailo” his lawyer says, her tone firm and self-assured.

“See you guys later” Mickey says, walking towards the door, but Liam grabs his hand to follow him in. Mickey stops and crouches beside him, and patting his arm reassuringly, “Listen, you gotta be a big man and wait outside, okay? You can’t come in. I’ll see you soon”.

Liam nods sadly as Fiona scoops him up, blinking back tears herself. Not one of them feels good about seeing Mickey in this situation, as much as they are all used to being bounced around between the legal system and social workers, it never gets easier.

Carl takes a step forward right as the lawyer opens the door to escort Mickey inside of the courtroom. “Mickey!”

Mickey turns to look back at him, eyebrow raised.

“Tell them to piss off!” Carl grins.

Mickey laughs before he steps inside, and disappears behind the door.

Chapter Text

*Mickey’s POV*

Mickey clears his throat as he sits down beside his lawyer in the courtroom. He feels calm now, good. It’s not just because his lawyer seems confident that she can get him out of doing time either.

On the other side of that door are people who love him. And Mickey’s never had that before.

In the past, if him and Mandy were getting along well, she’d sometimes be out there, calmly waiting to hear the judge’s verdict. But there was never anyone else.

And now there’s an entire family out there that cares about him, Mickey Milkovich.

He’s been in a lot of trouble already in his relatively short life. Sometimes it feels like it follows him wherever he fucking goes. So, he doesn’t expect understanding from the world anymore, or for anyone to give a shit about him. He’s just damn grateful that some people do now.

As his lawyer, the judge, and the social worker debate back and forth, the talk of Mickey’s past, formal legalities, and Terry’s abusive history and role in the crime blur together for Mickey. He’s heard all of this shit at least a hundred times, and he soon allows his mind to wander to a place he would much rather be than in court right now.  

Somewhere with Ian.

He thinks of his secret boyfriend, and the day they really met for the first time, at Oak Forest.

Fuck if he knew how important deciding to go on that stupid trip would be at the time. It was funny how Ian had always sort of been there in the background his life, whether a few streets away, or at the same fuckin school, but their paths had never really crossed before in a meaningful way. Not until he had decided to go on that dumb class trip back in September.

It was probably the best decision of his life.

“Do you understand what we’re saying to you Mr. Milkovich?”

Mickey blinks out of his train of thought and redirects his attention towards the voice.

The judge is looking at him with concern, her brow furrowed, and Mickey looks back at her in confusion, wondering what he had missed.

His lawyer clears her throat, “He was struck in the head a few times during the assault”.

Mickey glares at her, “I’m not fuckin retarded, I was just thinking”.

The judge, one Mickey hasn’t seen before, ignores his expletive.

“No one is saying you are, Mr. Milkovich. Ms. Davis and Mrs. Pennington, the social worker assigned to your case, have made it clear to me jail is not the place for you, not anymore. It doesn’t solve the underlying issues contributing to your criminal history”.

Mickey grins in relief, turning to his lawyer and nodding, “Nice”.

The judge continues, ignoring his casual response. “So, my decision stands along with their recommendations that you and your sister be immediately removed from the home, as your father is now temporarily incarcerated, and be put into foster care”.

Mickey spins around towards his lawyer, “Wait, what? What the fuck did you say to her!”

Terry was going away for a while, so what? Mickey and Mandy had lived on their own plenty of times before when he got locked up!

Why the fuck couldn’t these people mind their own goddamn business?

“Mr. Milkovich, please” the judge reprimands. “You will be going to a foster home along with your sister. It is rather far away, but due to your criminal history you were hard to place. Luckily, we did find one couple willing to take you both in. They live in Memphis”.

“Memphis! Are you fucking kidding me?” Mickey roars, getting up from his seat, “Well fuck you, as soon as I turn eighteen in a week and a half I’m fucking leaving! And I’ll be right back here and there’s nothing you can fucking do about it”.

She shakes her head, “Actually, you will both remain in foster care as wards of the state until you are twenty-one. Due to your circumstances, we feel it would beneficial for you to have ongoing guidance in your life. By twenty-one you will be finished high school, and starting a career”.

Mickey’s head swims as he falls back onto the chair. “I’ll do time instead. Here in Chicago” he says bluntly.

She smiles at him, trying to soften the blow. “This is not a punishment young man, rather it is meant to be a transformative experience, although there will be some conditions in place. Namely, no trouble with the law, you must stay in school, and no leaving the state of Tennessee. A caseworker in Memphis has been assigned to your case to monitor these stipulations. If they are broken, you will be charged, and your probation will end, resulting in in incarceration. In Memphis”.

Mickey looks up at her, his face now pale and drawn, “Please don’t do this”.

She closes her case file with an air of finality.

“You and your sister deserve a life away from abuse. And that’s my final decision”.

 

*Ian’s POV*

The social worker comes out of the courtroom first, and brings Mandy back inside without addressing any of them. Ian tries to stretch his neck to get a glimpse of Mickey as they pass through the door together, but he doesn’t see him.

She comes back out with Mickey and Mandy about ten minutes later, who both look angry as hell, and absolutely miserable. Ian’s stomach sinks as he realizes Mickey is going to do time.

But why is Mandy so upset, he wonders, looking at her face. She didn’t seem too concerned about Mickey getting put away earlier.

The worker addresses Fiona, “Miss Gallagher, if you don’t mind, they have requested to spend their last night in Chicago at your house rather than in our care. As long as you are okay with it, as they have agreed to be picked up in the morning without argument, I will allow it. They are not allowed to return to their home without supervision”.

Ian’s mouth drops along with his siblings as they all start to speak at once, “Last night in Chicago?” Fiona demands, her large brown eyes filled with concern.

The social worker nods, “They are being transferred to a foster home in Memphis tomorrow. I think they would prefer to discuss the details with you though, being that they are both old enough to understand their cases”.

She nods, bewildered, and the Gallaghers all circle around the two lost looking Milkovich’s and give them hugs. They take a van taxi home in silence, and Ian and Mickey take off as soon as they get home, leaving Mandy to explain everything to the rest of the family. They both feel guilty leaving her there, but neither one can bear to be around anyone else for another moment.

“I don’t understand, why so far?” Ian asks, blinking back tears as he sits on the front porch of the locked Milkovich house with Mickey. They had come to retrieve Mo from the backyard, and the dog bounds between them, trying to comfort them even though he doesn’t know why they’re upset.

Ian’s not surprised they had decided to take the siblings away from their psychotic father, but why this?

“No one else anywhere nearby would take us. We’re both almost 18, and I’ve been arrested a dozen times” Mickey answers dully, kicking at some dirt on the ground by his feet.

Ian is trying, he’s trying so fucking hard to be strong for Mickey right now, but he’s terrified, “Please don’t leave me”.

The words fall out of his mouth without his permission, and Mickey looks back at him with tears in his eyes, “I don’t fucking want to, Ian”.

It’s the final straw, “How the fuck am I gonna live without you now? You’re a part of everything in my life. You’re my best fucking friend. I love you” Ian sobs, burying his face into his knees. Mickey’s voice is hoarse and gravelly as he answers, “I don’t know what you want me to fucking do Ian. They’ll put me in jail if I try to run, and not here either. You think that wasn’t my first fucking idea?”

Ian can’t answer, he blindly digs his hand into Mo’s fur for comfort as he comes to sniff at him in concern. “C’mon”. Ian feels Mickey grab his arm and he opens his blurry eyes to see Mickey dragging him behind the house and into the mostly empty tool shed where they keep Mo sometimes, instead of a doghouse.

Mickey wraps his arms around Ian tightly as soon as they are inside, cradling his head, trying to give him strength he doesn’t have himself.

“I’m gonna come back Ian, I swear. You know that right? It’s…it’s a few years. That’s all”. His voice cracks at the end, and Ian can tell his cheeks are streaked with tears as he hugs him closer, “Will you… wait for me?”

Ian pulls back, looking into Mickey’s reddened eyes, “Mickey…”

Mickey steps back, nodding, covering his teeth with his lips as he steels himself for the rest of the sentence.

Ian shakes his head, “How could you even ask that? Of course I’ll fucking wait”.

Mickey grabs him in relief, and the two of them hold each other for a very long time.

 

Mandy sleeps in Debbie’s room that night and Mickey sleeps on the floor beside Ian’s bed, like he does whenever he stays over on a normal night. But it wasn’t a normal night.

It had been very quiet and solemn in the Gallagher house, with no one saying much. No one knew what to say. The Gallaghers had been in and out of foster care before, but never like this. Never so far from home, and everything they knew.

Ian’s hangs his hand over his bed late that night, waiting. Everyone else is asleep, but he doesn’t think Mickey will be. He feels Mickey’s warm hand reach upwards and fill the empty space in his, and he squeezes it tightly, his chest heaving as he struggles to keep it together for his boyfriend’s sake.

He holds Mickey’s hand for hours until they finally fall asleep, and their hands fall apart.

When Ian wakes up in the morning, Mickey isn’t there, and he immediately panics.

Did he decide to run?

He hurries downstairs, and he sees Mickey coming back in the front door just as he gets there, his face looking pinched and exhausted.

Ian runs and pulls him into a worried hug, “I thought you left”.

Mickey sniffs, shaking his head.  “Just went for a walk”. He tries to give a reassuring laugh, but it comes out weakly as Ian pulls away from him, the rest of the family starting to come down the stairs.

They soon hear a car pull up, and the doorbell rings shortly after.

As promised, the social worker is standing at the front door, looking in the house expectantly as Fiona opens it. She nods her head at Mickey and Mandy, wordlessly telling them it’s time to go.

Mickey looks for a moment like he seriously wants to bolt, but Mandy places her hand on his shoulder and squeezes, and he blinks back into the moment right as Mo comes up to them, wagging his tail, ready for wherever they are going.

The social worker looks down at him uncertainly, “He…can’t come with you. You know that, right? They didn’t say anything about you having a dog. We can drop him at the shelter if you’d like”.

Mickey eyes widen, “No! Fuck no!” He turns to Ian, his eyes pleading, “Will you…can you please take care of Mo for me?” Ian nods, unable to speak.

Mickey turns to the rest of the Gallaghers, “Um…I’ll miss you guys. Thank you…for everything”.

Liam comes up to him and several of the Gallaghers look away, hurting too much to watch as Liam says goodbye to his best friend outside of his brothers and sisters.

“Be good. Take good care of Mo for me, alright?” He ruffles Liam’s curly hair with his tattooed hand as he pulls away from the hug, and the rest of the Gallaghers stay inside while Ian follows Mickey and Mandy out to the car.

Ian has to hold Mo by the collar to keep him from jumping inside, when the dog starts to struggle as he realizes something is wrong. Mickey gives Ian one last hug, and Mandy does too, before they get into the car.

Mickey rolls his window down. As the car drives away, Ian hears him calling back, not giving a fuck that Mandy is in the car beside him.

“I’m coming back Gallagher, I promise”.

 

Chapter Text

Ian brings Mo back inside the Gallagher house, and as he closes the front door behind himself he sees his whole family looking at him in silence.

“Ian-” Fiona tries, but he immediately cuts her off.

“I don’t want to fucking talk about it”. He pushes past her abruptly and heads right up to his room, slamming the door closed behind him, he doesn’t even let Mo follow him in.

He wants to fucking break something, smash something into fucking pieces, and he paces in agitation for a moment or two before he breaks down, shoving his face into a pillow to mask the sound as he releases his frustration and sadness.

Ian eventually wears himself out, and he hears a tentative knock on the door a few hours later as he lays on his bed, completely exhausted by his silent ranting. He makes his face carefully blank as Lip comes in, and quickly grabs a magazine that he pretends he’s been looking at this whole time.

“Alright if I come in?” Lip asks.

“You’re already in” Ian answers rudely, unable to keep his foul mood from entering his tone.

Lip shrugs, “Yeah well, I can leave if you want. Listen, I’ve never really had a friend like that I guess, but I’m sure it hurts like a bitch losing one”.

Ian nods and bites his lip, feels his agitation cool into sadness again.

“Yeah…it does”.

It’s all he can get out.

When he goes to sleep that night, he invites Mo up to sleep beside him in his small bed. The dog sprawls out beside him on the bed, and Ian runs his fingers over his black and white fur as his brothers sleep. Ian feels tears running down his cheeks as he looks at the dog, who seems just as down as he is.

“You miss him too, don’t you?” Ian whispers.

Mo lets out a big sigh in response.

Ian nods, feeling like the dog is the only one he can even speak honestly to. “You’re all I’ve got left of him now”.

When Ian is home alone the next day, he texts Mickey to call him, knowing he will have had at least half a day to settle into his new house already. Mickey calls a few minutes later, and Ian answers immediately.

But before he even says anything, he immediately hears “Hey you”.

Mickey’s voice sounds tinny, and far away. Ian closes his eyes at the sound of it.

“Hey. What’s the new place like?”

Mickey clears his throat, “Different, live right in the city pretty much”.

Ian nods even though Mickey can’t see him, “What are your foster people like?”

“I don’t fuckin know, nice I guess? I’m not gonna start any shit though, promise. Gonna get out of here as soon as I can”.

Ian laughs softly, “Yeah. Wonder how long that will last”.

He can tell Mickey is grinning on the other side of the phone, but then he hears him clear his throat again. His voice is much softer now.

“I miss you Ian”.

Ian rubs his hand over his face, feeling his gut wrench as he fails to avoid to the painful emotions from flooding back up. “It’s only been a day” he weakly jokes.

“Doesn’t matter. I already fuckin miss you, not gonna lie and say I don’t”.

Ian feels tears spring into his eyes, and he can’t help himself.

“Please come home”.

Mickey lets out a shaky sigh after a moment of silence, “Don’t do that Ian, that’s not fuckin fair”.

“I know… I just… I don’t know what to fucking do Mick”.

“Just, pretend I’m away for a couple days. On a run again, you know?”

Ian sniffs, “I’ll try, I don’t see that fucking working too well”.

Mickey laughs, and the beautiful sound that usually makes Ian feel lighter, makes him feel worse. “Yeah, I know. I gotta go though, got a fuckin new social worker to meet. Mandy’s waitin for me outside. Talk to you later...love you”.

“I love you too…”

Ian holds the phone up to his ear even after Mickey ends the call, listening to the dead tone for a moment before he finally whispers, “Bye Mickey”.

Ian’s family was quieter than usual for the first day or so after Mickey was gone, but then they slowly went back to their normal selves.

And Ian, well, he couldn’t. He was stuck in limbo, unable to move forward, and unable to go back.

For the first several days, he tried to pretend that Mickey was just doing a run, like he told him to. He went to school, went to work, and he followed a repetitive routine of getting up in the morning, showering, and going about his day like he needed to, blocking out all thoughts of reality.

But Mickey had never been gone for more a few days before, and that imaginary situation soon fell apart, because Mickey kept texting him too.

Something he’d never been able to do around Terry.

It was like Mickey was always there, in the back of his mind, on his shoulder, but he wasn’t there. He wasn’t there at all.

Ian was beginning to feel like he was dragging a very heavy weight. Like an actor in a shitty play, he was trying to pretend his whole world hadn’t of just been rocked. And even though he knew it wasn’t fair, he quickly started to resent Mickey for it.

It’s not like he could just go back to his life before Mickey was in it, he was stuck in a life that was much different now. Alone, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and no one around that he could even talk to about it.

Ian feels a little guilty, but after the first week or so he stops picking up the phone all the time, and doesn’t answer Mickey’s texts as often, because every time he does it brings him right back to the dangerously low feeling. Every time a phone call ends, he sits around fucked up over it for at least the next two hours.

One night he forgets to get back to Mickey before he falls asleep, and he wakes up in the morning to six different worried messages from him. He sighs at first, but then as he looks on the date on his phone his gut wrenches, and he quickly calls him.

Mickey picks up instantly, “Ian? What the hell is going on? I’ve been fucking worried all goddamn night”. Ian presses a fist to his forehead, immediately apologizing. “I’m so sorry Mick, I crashed last night. Happy Birthday!”

Internally, he swears. He just wasn’t himself, there’s no way he’d forget about something like this normally.

Mickey’s tone softens, “Thanks… and about that, I know it’s hard for you to get time off from work and school, but do you think you could maybe take a bus up for a visit or something? I’m not allowed to travel from Memphis, it’s part of my restrictions for now. But fuck Ian, I’d kill to see you just for an hour even”.

Ian bites his lip. It’s not like he doesn’t want to see him. But he’s worried about coming back from it... how hard it will be. And there’s no way he can swing a trip like that anywhere near often enough to keep both of them happy.

But it’s Mickey’s birthday…and if that’s what he wants…Ian looks up the tickets on his phone and his eyes widen at the price… the best deal he can find is $80 each way. The entire trip will cost the same as entire weeks worth of groceries at the Gallagher home, and he’s gonna have to borrow, and ask for an advance. There’s just no other way to afford it.

But it’s for Mickey. “Okay…how about next Sunday? I have it off. It will literally be a couple hours though, it’s like 11 hours each way…”

Mickey’s tone immediately brightens, “Yeah, yeah that’d be great! Fuck, I can’t wait to see you”.

Ian answers quietly, “Yeah”.

Mickey sounds a little less enthused as he presses him through the phone, “You alright Ian? I feel like you’re just sitting there waiting for me to talk lately…phone works two fuckin ways you know. You can call me up anytime”.

“Uh, yeah. I’m fine, sorry Mick. Um… Mo’s good” Ian struggles to make normal conversation, wishing he could just reach through the phone and make this easier. The pretending like everything is fine is just exhausting.  

Mickey’s tone relaxes again, “Yeah? I miss him too. Glad you guys can take care of each other while I can’t”. He laughs somewhat bitterly, and Ian looks out the window dully.

“He misses you too”.

 

Ian’s normalcy act quickly falls apart over the next few days. The thought of a visit, if anything, has made everything worse. Ian feels like it’s just gonna be another painful goodbye.

After three days of barely leaving his bed, and barely eating, Fiona tells him she wont let him stay home from school sick anymore unless he actually goes to a doctor. So reluctantly, Ian agrees, even though he knows he’s not sick.

The doctor’s gonna tell him he’s fine and to go back to school, he’s sure of it.

“I think you’re suffering from severe depression Ian”.

The doctor’s eyes skim over his test results again, “There’s nothing physically wrong with you. But based on what your sister is telling me, and my interpretation of you right now, it seems a likely conclusion. Was there a recent loss in your life?”

Fiona quickly jumps in, “Yes! His best friend moved away to Memphis, it was…not under good circumstances. Foster care”. Ian glares at her for sharing this personal fact. She had insisted on coming in after he had refused to offer up any information himself to the doctor, playing the role of the concerned parent.

The doctor nods, “That will do it. Loss can be a triggering point for mental illnesses that have been lying dormant as well. Are there by any chance any other members in the family with a history of mental illness?”

Ian and his sisters’ eyes flicker over to each other, “Our mother” they say together. Ian feels horrified, what the fuck did that mean for him?

“Ian any other symptoms maybe you would like to mention that your sister didn’t? Any heart palpitations, nausea, racing thoughts?”

Ian nods, feeling all of those things starting up right as they speak. He doesn’t want to be in the office anymore. He wants to run.

“Well I think anxiety might also be affecting your behavior. The two are often comorbid. But-“ she scrawls something on her piece of paper, “These two medications should help. The first one you take every day. The second one is only for panic attacks, mind you”.

She tears off the prescription and hands it over, Fiona taking it after Ian refuses to.

Chapter Text

*Two and a half weeks after Mickey left*

Ian had been told that the medication wouldn’t help right away, but he hadn’t expected to feel worse after taking it. Walking around with that small bottle of pills in his pocket for emergencies makes him feel like a basket case, and swallowing the other one every single night is worse.

Like he’s broken, unable to function without the fucking things. Mickey was gone, and now this.

By the time he boards his bus on Saturday night, Ian is beyond lost.

He’s determined to go through with the visit for Mickey’s sake, but part of him feels it would better for Mickey if he just didn’t go at all. He’s not the person Mickey fell in love with anymore, he’s broken. Useless, already falling apart after a few weeks.

And apparently this problem had always been there, just waiting for when he was at his lowest to show up?

How would he be after years? After being unable to move forward in life, and unable to go back. Just waiting. And then Mickey would come back to someone he wouldn’t even want anymore.

The bus to Memphis leaves that night and stretches into the morning, the trip is long and exhausting. Ian only brings his backpack with a few things in it, one being his small bottle of pills for anxiety attacks, but he’s not bored during the eleven hours. There’s a lot swirling around in his head.

Fear, uncertainty, and guilt.  

He gives Mickey updates on how far away he is as requested, and when he sends the “One hour away” text he gets back,

! :D

Ian’s legs are wobbly and sore from sitting still for so long when he finally gets off the bus at the Memphis station, but right as he begins to stretch on the pavement he gets the wind knocked out of him by an exuberant tackle.

He doesn’t even see Mickey right away, he’s just tangled in his arms. But then Mickey pulls away to look at his face, and Ian smiles softly at the massive grin on it.

“Fuck man, I missed you so much”.

Hold it together, Ian reminds himself.

“I missed you too” he answers honestly.

Mickey looks like he’s been stressed out lately, with dark circles under his eyes, but he’s all smiles now. There’s a strange tug in Ian’s stomach as he looks at him, and Mickey tips his head, noticing something’s off.

“You feeling okay?”

Ian tries to shrug it off, giving Mickey a smile. “Um, yeah, think I just need to walk around for a while. Stiff, been on a fuckin bus for eleven hours, y’know?”

“Yeah, sure. Come on”.

Mickey leads Ian out of the bus station and down the street, but he stops suddenly in front of a motel, and turns to lift his eyebrows at Ian suggestively.

Ian looks at him uncertainly, “You wanna get a room? Can’t we just go to your house?”

“No fuckin privacy. Wouldn’t even be able to hold your hand, and I wanna do more than that. Sides, I already rented a room. Belated birthday present to myself” Mickey shows him the keycard and grins, and Ian feels himself smile for real this time.

Whatever else was going on, he knew sex would always been an escape for them.

It’s a decent little room. Mickey goes in first, inspecting the bed while Ian goes to the bathroom to take a piss, and he hears Mickey rambling from the bedroom, “Would have liked to show you around Memphis a bit, but since you’ve only got like four hours I figured this might be better”.

Ian comes up behind him once he’s done, wrapping his arms around Mickey and letting out a contented sigh as he feels the boy underneath him soften. “It’s perfect”.

Mickey lays back onto the bed, holding out his arms and saying softly, “C’mere, I just wanna hold you for a while”.

Ian crawls onto the bed and they curl up together, warmth and comfort radiating between them. Ian remembers, “So, you’re 18 now. How’s it feel?”

“Terrible” Mickey answers truthfully, looking up at the ceiling, “Until now”. He looks down at Ian, and presses his lips to him, his eyes closing at the touch. Ian feels an ache in his chest as he kisses him back, “Tell me about it?”

Mickey shakes his head through the kiss, “I’m not in Memphis right now Ian. I’m in Chicago with you, alright?” Ian is confused for a second until he realizes what Mickey is saying.

“Okay...we're home". 

He feels Mickey deepen the kiss, and then his tongue flickers in against Ian’s, each movement laced with need. “I missed you so fucking much” he breaths into Ian’s neck, nipping and kissing it as he reaches a hand down to palm at Ian’s dick.

Ian feels himself respond instantly, even though he’d been too sad to be horny until now. His body switches on like a light at Mickey’s touch, electricity suddenly arcing between them as they both struggle to get each other’s clothes off.

“I need you” Ian whispers into his mouth, messily kissing him as he backs him off the bed, feeling sticky from the long bus ride. “Where you goin?” Mickey pants back.

“Shower” he answers, pulling away to head to the bathroom. He remembers wanting to do that a long time ago, a flashback to a better time.

Mickey nods and quickly follows him in, both of them jumping in the shower before the water’s even hot so they don't have to wait to come together again. It runs like icy rain down their backs as they pant and push against each other, not able to get their hands and mouths on each other enough.

The water turns, and the bathroom fills with steam.

“I fuckin love you” Mickey pants, turning around. Ian grabs his shoulders, kissing between the blades as he lines himself up, pressing his fingers into Mickey first to hastily stretch him. Mickey lets out a low moan, and Ian murmurs “I love you too”, as he pushes his cock inside the other boy just moments later.

Mickey’s hands reach back and try to pull him impossibly closer as Ian fucks into him, the sounds coming out of him unreal.

Ian wonders if he had even jerked on since he got here, doesn’t seem like it. He’s writhing at his touch, moaning at each thrust. Ian closes his eyes and imagines he’s back in September, inside a tent, with Mickey by his side. The beginning of it all.

After they both finish, they stay in the shower for a while, water pouring down over them as their foreheads press together in silence. Ian doesn’t know what Mickey’s thinking, but as he stands there, he’s glad Mickey can’t tell whats running through his mind.

Tears sneak out from his eyes, mixing with droplets of water from shower, and hitting the tiled floor by their feet. 

 

“I wish you could stay longer” Mickey says, studying the bus schedule flashing across the electronic board.

Ian takes his momentary distraction as an opportunity to sneak a pill into his mouth, letting it dissolve underneath his tongue. He’s desperate for some mental relief.

Mickey looks back at him, more serious now, and Ian nods in response, feeling his throat close up with emotion.

This is exactly what he had been afraid of, the crushing pain of saying goodbye, and not knowing how long it would be until they could see each other again.

Mickey checks the time on his phone, “You better board Ian. Unless you want to stay here of course, which I’m totally fuckin cool with by the way. Fuck school, and work”.

He grins as he teases Ian, but Ian just shakes his head, “I’ll board. I just want you to know that…I love you. Ok? Don’t forget that”

Mickey smiles at him, pulling him into one last hug goodbye. “I love you too, so much. Thanks for comin out Ian. I know it wasn’t cheap, and it was probably a major pain in the ass, but it means a lot to me”.

As Ian gives him one last weak smile goodbye, and gets on the bus, he realizes something as he looks back through the window at Mickey. The visit has done completely different things for each of them.

Mickey is glowing, his happiness renewed by it. But Ian is trembling as he takes his seat, feeling overwhelmed and crushed by brutal emotions.

And he realizes, he can’t do this again. He can’t keep saying goodbye, it hurts too fucking much.

It hurts too much pretending each day that Mickey’s coming back soon, because he’s not. He’s not. The most Ian would ever be able to afford would be a couple visits a year.

The bus driver closes the door right as Ian moves to get up, and without thinking Ian immediately takes out his phone and sends, “I’m really sorry. I can’t do this anymore”.

He watches with a sick feeling in his stomach as he sees Mickey pull his phone out, checking the text his phone had alerted him to. His glowing face falls as he reads it, and he looks up at the moving bus with his mouth opened in surprise, and then hurt crashes down over his face.

Ian chokes out a sob as Mickey paces by the stop, seeing his mouth moving, Ian can tell he is swearing even though he can’t hear him. He answers his ringing phone tentatively, knowing he at least owes Mickey that.

This isn’t how he wanted to do this.

“Don’t do this” Mickey begs, getting smaller and smaller as the bus drives further away.

Ian can barely see him, and he struggles to keep his voice down as he answers, “I have to Mick. I’m so fucking sorry”.

He wants to try to explain, try to tell him why, as he hears Mickey huff into the phone, but there’s nothing he can say to make it better. He’s weak, and he’s giving up, and that’s all there is to it.

It might be selfish, but he can’t keep pretending anymore. He can’t live in this limbo of desperately missing Mickey, and waiting for him to come back. And whether Mickey would understand it or not, it’s better for him too. He deserves a normal boyfriend to go along with his new, normal life. He could be out here.

“That’s it huh? You really gonna fucking do this?” Ian can hear the pain in Mickey’s voice and he chokes back tears at the sound of it, even though he’s one of the only people on the bus.

“Yeah” is all he manages to get out.

He can tell Mickey is fuming as he asks, “So what, you want me to just fuck off?”

Ian gulps, his racing mind quickly numbing from the pill, “I…think it will be better if… look, this isn’t how I wanted to do this, and it wasn’t really planned... but isn’t it better at least that I came to say goodbye in person?"

“Fuck you Ian”. The line goes dead.

Ian stares the phone in his hand for a long time before he puts it away.

By the time his bus gets to Chicago, he feels like the rollercoaster ride has come to a stop, and even though he’s dizzy now, he’s only got to worry about moving forward.

No more looking back.

 

Chapter Text

The thing about moving forward is, you have to have a destination. Something you want to reach, or attain. And Ian didn’t have that anymore. He was lost.

As soon as he gets home and lays in his own bed that night after ending things with Mickey, he feels that overwhelming fear start to rise up in him again, and before he knows it he’s up again and on his knees in front of the toilet, retching loudly while his head spins.

What did he do?

Mo startles him by pushing the bathroom door open with his nose, and he sits there whining until Ian puts his arms around him, holding onto him for support. He remembers what Mickey said, “Glad you guys can take care of each other while I can’t”.

“My backpack, Mo. Backpack” Ian says weakly, enormously grateful for the dogs training as he comes padding back into the bathroom a few minutes later with it.

Ian pulls out that small bottle of “emergency pills” and carefully tips one out, jamming it under his tongue and closing his eyes until he feels the panic begin to subside.

The pills, for the week and a half they last, keep him numb as he takes them every day, ignoring the doctor’s advice and not allowing himself to feel anything.

But when he goes back in, desperate to get a refill prescription, his doctor tells him he can’t keep taking them every day, or he won’t be able to get anymore. It’s an addictive substance apparently.

“You should seek counselling for your depression and anxiety. I have some resources I can direct you to” she offers. Ian bites his tongue to keep himself from telling her to fuck off.

Fuck sitting there and crying to someone over Mickey in counselling. What good would that do?

None of them knew Mickey like he did.  

 

Late June (around two months later)

Ian walks home from school on the last day of Grade 11 alone.

He’d eventually managed to get back to work, and school. But Kash wasn’t pleased with his absentmindedness during his shifts, or how often he would take smoke breaks. And the school hadn’t of been pleased with the drop in his grades, or how often he was kicked out of class for not paying attention.

He started relying a little more on alcohol and weed, and he got caught sipping vodka from a water bottle in chemistry class on one of the last days of school. Fiona had been furious with him, and even Lip had looked at him strangely when he heard about it.

“Just...why?” was all he been able to say, and Ian couldn’t even answer him. Because he felt better when he drank or smoked, he guessed.

Because it was easier to get through the days that way.

He’d barely scraped by through that last month of school.

But lucky for him, because he’d been a good student before, his teachers had gone easy on him and allowed him to pass.

Ian ends up downtown one day after a full day at ROTC, and feeling a bit peckish he heads towards the first café he sees. He doesn’t realize where he is at first, not until the waitress comes over and he hears,

“Hey sunshine. Where’s your friend?”

Ian’s mouth drops open as he looks around himself and realizes he is back at Cora’s, where him and Mickey had gone to get breakfast together on Christmas Eve.

He feels tears welling into his eyes as he blinks up at her familiar face, lamely coming up with “He’s gone”.

She looks at him tenderly, clearly feeling awful for bringing it up, “Oh…I’m so sorry honey. Let me get you a coffee and a slice of apple pie. On the house”.

As summer soaked into the city of Chicago and its streets, the essence of Mickey seemed to dissipate from them. Mickey hadn’t walked these sidewalks for a few months now, hadn’t left cigarette butts underneath the school bleachers. No one had received a Milkovich beatdown, or a snide remark from his direction. Ian hadn’t heard his voice, his laugh. Or felt his hands, his lips.

In the beginning, he thought it would be easier for him, without the constant reminder of what he had lost.

But Mickey was everywhere. He was Chicago, he was the highschool bleachers, he was the South Side. He was everywhere and nowhere to be found, off making his mark in Memphis while Ian stayed behind and lived with only the ghost of him.

With more free time on his hands now that school was out, Ian had begun looking for Mickey in places without realizing it at first.

He had spent half a day underneath the highschool bleachers, somehow wondering if maybe Mickey would be there when he showed up, like he always used to be. Of course, there was no one there when Ian had arrived, and he had just sat there in the dirt for hours, thinking.

He goes to the abandoned construction site on Rogers Street next. He brings Mo with him this time, who bounds ahead of him eagerly. He seems dejected once they actually go inside the building with fuck spray painted over it, and find it empty.

Ian hadn’t brought Mo here at all since Mickey had left, so maybe the dog had thought they would find him here.

“He’s not here Mo” Ian says gently, his voice echoing slightly in the empty room as he looks around. He hears Mo bark and Ian turns to see him sniffing intently at something. An old can of spray paint lying forgotten on the floor.

Mickey’s brand.

But Ian’s eyes are quickly drawn to the wall above it, where a new piece stretches across it in bold red letters.

I fucking love him

Ian immediately walks up to it in wonder, running his fingers over the dry paint. It hadn’t been here the last time him and Mickey were here together.

Was it possible…?

Ian runs to the Milkovich house with Mo.

The dog is easily outrunning him, although he keeps looping back to Ian, picking up on his excitement and running with it.

Ian’s heart sinks when they get there and he sees the house still sitting just as it was left, hollow and empty. He suddenly remembers Mickey showing up on the morning he had left, after Ian had though he had taken off. He said he was coming back from a walk. He must have done the graffiti then.

Ian goes up the door anyways and knocks tentatively, but it’s useless. The padlock is still there too.

He goes around the side of the house to peek in Mickey’s old bedroom window, just to look at the bed they once shared, but the blind is drawn, and he can’t see anything.

When Ian comes back around to the front yard Mo is whining and pawing at the locked door, and Ian realizes it’s cruel to keep searching for Mickey this way. It’s hurting Mo, and it’s hurting him.

He doesn’t go back, as the summer goes on.

And things slowly change.

Fiona had pointed out one day that he was starting to neglect Mo, forgetting to walk him and sometimes even feed him, leaving her to pick up the slack, and it made Ian feel fucking awful.

Mo was all he had left of Mickey, and he hadn’t done anything wrong. He didn’t deserve this.

At first, he started out just making his days about the dog. Getting up and going out for walks, playing with him in the yard, buying him stuff. And then he started making days about himself too.

The days get longer, and hotter, and Ian finds himself getting through them a little more easily. He spends more time with his siblings, and he helps around the house more. He goes to work, and sticks with ROTC, taking advantage of their summer programs. His training there helps keep him healthy and in shape. His weight had continued to drop for some time since April, but he was finally more stable now, and he made an effort to eat better.

It becomes sort of a hobby for Ian, cooking up healthy meals for himself and looking into the nutrition information. Lots of fish, and chicken. Lots of veggies. Fiona’s thrilled when he makes dinner for them all, but less than thrilled when she sees the grocery bills, so he cuts back a bit.

He does all these things to distract himself as much as possible during the day, to keep himself moving forward instead of falling apart. He’d been dangerously close for a while.

He takes Mo on runs with him through the neighborhood sometimes, carefully avoiding areas that reminded him of Mickey. He had learned to avoid setting himself off, avoid giving in to the crushing sadness whenever he could.

Some nights, it still took his hold on him, and he felt more alone than ever as he silently cried, wishing he had done things differently.

There was one night that he almost gave in and sent Mickey a message, but he let himself look at Mickey’s Facebook page first, and he was surprised to see a new picture of him. He hadn’t uploaded it of course, it was Mandy’s, but he was tagged in it. It was a picture of them at some bar with what looked like a new group of friends.

Mickey didn’t look thrilled, but he did look okay. It wouldn’t fair to send him a message just because he was feeling weak. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt him any more.

It was especially hard when Liam would occasionally bring up Mickey, as he rarely talked at all, so it was clear he never left the little boy’s mind either. Liam would make scribble drawings and say they were for Mickey, and Ian carefully stored each one in a binder hidden in his dresser.

He wonders if someday he’ll be able to give them to Mickey.

 

Ian’s sitting on the porch one night, having a cigarette in the stifling summer heat with his free hand roaming lazily over Mo, when Lip comes out and joins him. He tips his head at the box of cigarettes, an unspoken question.

Ian hands one to his outstretched hand, and Lip takes it, scratching Mo’s head afterwards. “He’s a good dog, eh?” he says around the cigarette.

Ian nods, “Yeah”.

Lip looks at him for a long moment, “Still miss him, don’t you?”

He doesn’t have to say the name. In fact, most of the Gallaghers other than Liam usually avoided talking about Mickey now.

Ian’s eyes flicker upwards at the mention of him, named or not.

“Yeah”.

Lip takes a pull from his cigarette and tousles Ian’s red hair with his hand afterwards, “Never had a friend like that I guess. But you know, life goes on, doesn’t it?”

Ian doesn’t know what to say.

Chapter Text

*Beginning of August*

Ian lies in bed, once more unable to sleep. Nights are usually the hardest for him, because it’s so difficult to shut off his mind, and the distractions that he’s established of the day are gone.

He hears the loud hum of a motorcycle passing on the street, and listens to his brothers’ restful breathing for a while after, trying to convince his body to follow their patterns. It’s useless.

Eventually he gives in, and he shoves Mo over slightly on his bed, who lets out an exasperated sigh in response. Ian sticks his hand under his mattress and digs around until he feels the small stack of photographs he hides there.

Lifting his bedsheet over his head to keep it from waking his brothers, he flicks on his phone light to look at them. The first one on the stack is the picture of him and Mickey just before the dance, one of his favorites.

He touches the photo softly, gently running his finger over Mickey’s form as he feels a tear roll down his cheek.

Some nights, when he’s feeling better, he uses the pictures for other purposes.

The thought of being with anyone else still makes him feel sick, and even though just jerking off to pictures of his ex boyfriend makes him feel like a bit of a fucking loser sometimes, it’s all he really has an interest in. Anything else would still feel like cheating to him.  

But most nights are like tonight, when his lonely thoughts keep him up, drilling into his mind. As much as he tries to force them away, they are always there, and just waiting to appear in quiet moments.

When something funny happens, he still wants to tell Mickey about it, and hear him laugh over it too. When he has a frustrating day, there’s no one he’d rather bitch to. When he has a nightmare he still reaches out, sweating, hoping Mickey’s there.

And when he wakes up, he realizes he’s still in one.

He sits with a group of kids from ROTC the next day, exhausted from a lack of sleep and zoning out while they chatter excitedly about something. The only thing he’s caught on to is them talking about Kim, one of the other members from their group. She’s a year older, and had graduated in June, so they wanted to throw her some sort of party before she moved for post secondary school next week.

Apparently, she had decided to accept an offer at a university in Canada, so she’s going a month early to get acclimated. This is what Bradley is explaining to all of them very animatedly, anyways.

Bradley is the like only fucking openly gay kid, not only in ROTC, but also at their school, and he’s known for throwing amazing parties. Nobody gives him a hard time about being gay, because his dad’s a tough local cop, and his mom’s an incredible doctor.

He comes from a good family, with good connections, and apparently that makes it okay.

Ian will never understand these things.

“Ian?”

He blinks and turns towards Bradley, noticing everybody is getting up and getting their stuff to leave. “Yes?”

“Are you paying attention at all? I’ve asked twice if you’ll make sure Kim comes to my place tomorrow”.

Ian rubs his face tiredly, “Yeah…okay. Wanna run over the plan with me again? Sorry, I didn’t sleep well…last night”.

He hadn’t slept well in months.

“Sure, I’ll walk back with you, kay kay? My dad’s patrolling your neighborhood today and I’m meeting up with him for brunch after anyways so”.

Ian winces at Bradley’s tone. He’s so over the top sometimes. He is literally the reason Mickey used to beat up fags, although he’d avoided Bradley himself for the same reasons everyone else did. Ian can just picture what Mickey’s face would look like if he was sitting here listening to this, and it makes him smile.

Ian walks home from ROTC with Bradley, listening to him talk about what he thinks they should organize for the party. Ian mostly nods his head, not offering much feedback. Even though it sounds like it might be fun, he’s just not really in the headspace for partying.

And somehow, he had gotten roped into this too.

“You just gotta make sure she doesn’t find out about it” Bradley tells him excitedly, “Keep her distracted tomorrow, and bring her to my house when I tell you to”.

Ian eyes flicker away, distracted himself, as a motorcycle comes down the street and revs right past them, before circling back and going back the way it had came.

“Ian?”

He turns back to Bradley, making himself smile, “Yeah. Sure. I can do that”.

He has to work the next day, but he texts Kim afterwards to tell her they have an impromptu ROTC meeting at Bradley’s house and, ‘could he meet up with her before? because he wants to ask some questions about the school she got into, he is interested in going there some day’ he lies.

Maybe a bit of an awkward invite, but she agrees anyways, so Bradley won’t be able to give him any shit.

He’s walking to her house when he hears a motorcycle revving up behind him, and as he turns to squint at it he notices it’s the same one from yesterday. Some sort of modified street Enduro, mostly black with orange-red markings.

He frowns at it as it slows behind him, edging beside him on the sidewalk. “What the fuck is your problem?” he demands, glaring at the dark helmet, “Fuck off”.

 The driver doesn’t answer, but grips their gloved hands more tightly onto the handles of the bike before they drive away.

“Asshole” Ian mutters, continuing on his way.

An hour later, Ian brings Kim up the sidewalk to Bradley’s house, and he rolls his eyes as he realizes it won’t be much of a surprise.

People are already shitfaced, and the party has extended to include what looks like a decent chunk of the highschool.

Kim laughs, “Was this supposed to be a surprise party?”

“Supposed to be”.

He heads up the stairs with her, and as soon as he brings her inside everyone starts cheering and calling out to her. She was pretty fucking popular, so the walk over had been a little award, with Ian not being sure what to talk to her about.

Ian didn’t really fit in anywhere at school, he was mostly a drifter before he met Mickey.

And now here he was again.

Ian finishes the beer Bradley had handed him when he walked in the door and grabs another one, heading through the throng of people and towards the door. He’s glad for the excuse to disappear once Bradley takes over leading Kim around.

Ian sits on the front porch and drinks his beer, watching the groups of drunk teenagers come and go.

He squints at one of the girls as she passes, she looks incredibly familiar. He must be seeing things. He rubs his hand across his face and looks again.

It can’t be… he’s not even drunk yet…

He calls out, “…Mandy?”

The girl turns back, and it is fucking Mandy. Ian’s mouth drops open as she looks at him uncomfortably. “What the…what are you doing here!”

She sighs, “Uh, well. Terry got out early, and made an appeal. He got custody back”. Ian’s head swims, that means Mickey’s back too!

“When?” he asks, standing up shakily.

“Yesterday”. She looks back at her group of friends, looking like she would rather be anywhere else but talking to him, and it confuses him.

“Where…where’s Mickey? I thought, I can’t believe he didn’t tell-“

She interrupts him. “Listen, I know okay?”

Ian’s heart catches in his throat, “You know what?”

She looks at him and laughs in disbelief, but there’s no humor in it. “I’m not stupid! I know he’s in love with you. I don’t think you feel the same fucking way though”.

He practically stutters as he answers, in shock, “I do- how the hell do you know? Did he tell you?”

Mandy laughs bitterly, “No, he didn’t tell me anything. In fact I didn’t even tell him I know”.

“Then how did you…”

“Oh come on, I’ve seen you two together. I’ve seen him look at you. I remember you spending the night at our place, and I knew he was out there with you. He never sleeps with his bedroom door open. Not to mention the, ‘I’m coming back Gallagher, I promise’ when we were leaving home in April. Mickey hasn’t cried in front of me in years Ian. It was about more than just leaving Chicago”.

Ian stares at her, not sure whether to be embarrassed, shocked, upset, or worried. Maybe relieved?

Mandy misinterprets his silence for fear about their secret rather than shock about Mickey being home.

“I didn’t say anything. I wont. I don’t want either of you to get hurt. But you really fucked him up while we were in Memphis. He was fine until that day he went out and said you were in town for a few hours. He was so happy when he left. When he came home he was a fucking mess, for months”.

Ian’s heart feels like it’s in his throat as he chokes out his response.

“I hurt him. I didn’t mean to…but it was so hard being here without him…I’m, I had to go see a doctor, I was so bad... I think I broke his heart, Mandy”.

He’s never been able to say any of these things, to anyone before, and even just scratching the surface is terrifying.

Her expression softens, and she shakes her head at him before she walks away, “Ian, he’s a Milkovich, and he’s gay. He was born with a broken heart”.

Chapter Text

Ian practically runs to the Milkovich house as soon as Mandy disappears from sight, trying to call Mickey the entire time.

He doesn’t pick up, each call goes directly to voicemail, and when Ian gets to the house, he hammers on the door, not giving a shit if Terry answers. But no one answers, and even the though the padlock is gone now, the house is dark and silent.

No one is home.

Ian sinks down on the front steps, rubbing his hands over his face in disbelief.

It had been close to four months, but it felt like a lifetime since he had last seen Mickey. He thought it would be years…three years, and now Mickey was back.

Just like that.

And Ian had given up, so easily, and so early on. He feels like a fucking asshole, and he’s terrified Mickey won’t forgive him. Won’t understand.

He’s not sure how long he sits there, too fucked up to move. But eventually he hears the loud growl of a motorbike coming down the street, and he watches as it slows front of the house, the rider revving the engine to get it up over the curb.

They are blasting loud music from their phone, adding to the noise.

Ian stares in disbelief as they kill the engine right in front of him. It’s the same fucking Enduro and rider he’d told to fuck off earlier today.

It couldn’t be though… Mickey didn’t have a motorcycle…

The driver hesitates as they lift their head upwards from the ground to look directly towards where he’s sitting, and Ian’s eyes flicker down from the black helmet, to the bare hands that are tightly gripping the brakes.

FUCK U-UP

“Oh my god” Ian whispers, standing up.

He must have dreamed about seeing Mickey again a hundred fucking times.

The tattooed hands reach up, and slowly pull off the helmet.

Ian’s eyes fill as he finally sees Mickey standing right in front of him, banishing all of the ghosts that had made him just a memory.

His beautiful jet-black hair, slightly matted down from the pressure of the helmet. His soft and familiar mouth, as he pants shallowly. His piercing and uncertain blue eyes, flickering back over Ian.

They both stare at each other for a long moment, until Mickey finally breaks the silence, yelling over the music.

“Mandy texted me, said I should go talk to you. You weren’t at the party, so I figured you’d be here”.

He kicks the stand on the bike and gets off, holding the helmet in his hands as he leans against it.

Ian nods, unable to find words at first. And then he looks around the open street, and considering Terry could come back any time, he yells back, “Can we go talk somewhere?”

Mickey turns off his music, and coughs lightly into the uneasy silence of the night, looking up at his house with an indiscernible expression.

Finally he answers with, “Yeah”.

Mickey kicks the stand away from the bike, climbing back onto it swiftly. He tosses the helmet back at Ian, who catches it uncertainly. He had assumed they would just walk somewhere.

“Get on”

Ian pulls the helmet down over his head, trying to get used to it’s unfamiliar tightness as he gets on the bike behind Mickey, wrapping his arms around his middle as Mickey starts the engine.

Mickey turns the radio app back on his phone and without looking back says somewhat seriously, “Hold on fuckin tight alright? If you need me to stop, do like… two quick squeezes”.

Ian nods into his shoulder, unable to answer with words.

It’s maybe a little cliché that this moment between them has a soundtrack, but as Ian listens to the Coldplay song that comes on right as Mickey pulls back onto the road, he wonders if Mickey chose this radio station on purpose.

For a second, I was in control
I had it once, I lost it though
And all along the fire below would rise

And I wish you could have let me know
What's really going on below
I've lost you now, you let me go.

But one last time

Tell me you love me, if you don't then lie, oh lie to me

Remember once upon a time, when I was yours and you were blind
The fire would sparkle in your eyes and mine

So tell me you love me, if you don't then lie

Of course, Mickey couldn’t have had control over the song playing on the radio. And Coldplay wasn’t really his type of music.

Ian doesn’t really believe in God... but he bites his lip and wonders if maybe he’s punishing him by making him feel even guiltier. This song just happened to come on the radio as drives away with his ex, getting ready to explain why he gave up on them?

Seems like a little more than chance.

But it doesn't fucking matter, he reminds himself, and his heart thuds in his chest as he thinks about what Mickey must be feeling like right now.

Mickey doesn’t seem to even notice the song though. He seems completely focused on the road. Regardless, Ian feels a little more comfortable when the song ends, the next indie hit being a little more upbeat. A little less possibly directed at him, and he is more able to focus on what he is experiencing once it's over. 

Ian had never been on a motorcycle before, and he feels breathless as Mickey revs the engine again and they speed through the dark streets, everything whipping past them. Lights and signs and houses and streets, become one ongoing film reel. Chicago becomes a blur, and Ian doesn’t know where he’s going.

But he doesn’t care where he’s going, because he’s going there with Mickey.

And more than that, his arms are around Mickey again. He sinks into the feeling, allowing himself to enjoy it even if he’s not sure he deserves it, his heart beating wildly in his chest the entire time.

But it’s not panic now. It’s like…blooming. Like watering a flower that you thought was dead, just to realize it’s still got some fight in it. Like watching a sunrise come up after a long and dark night.

It’s the first time in months that Ian’s felt a little hope.

Mickey finally drives up to the South Side docks, which Ian recognizes, and rolls the bike more slowly down a small hill towards the water, eventually coming to a full stop right in front of it.

He gets off the bike, and drops the stand before he heads over to one of the covered boats, taking out a pack of hidden cigarettes.

“Was here earlier” he explains, casually putting one in his mouth as he takes his phone out of his pocket and turns off the music.

Ian stares at him as he sparks his lighter, and gently puts the helmet back on the bike after he removes it.

He almost feels like a statue, unsure of what to do next. Consumed with both guilt, and relief from just seeing him, even though Mickey won’t look him in the eyes.

“Want one?” Mickey asks, holding out a cigarette in his general direction. Ian takes it, but instead of lighting it, continues to drink in the sight of him. Something he had missed, so unbelievably much.

Mickey finally looks up at him after a while, and as the moonlight illuminates his face Ian realizes there’s a few paler streaks on his face from dried tears, the rushing wind from the ride having pulled them downwards as soon as they had formed. Maybe he was listening to the song on the way here too.

Ian finally blurts out, his shoulders sinking slightly as he does, “I’m so fucking sorry. I was selfish as hell Mick, I’ve been fucked up. Really fucked up. I didn’t mean to hurt you”. 

Mickey scoffs, “You thought telling me that you didn’t even want to fucking talk to me while I was stuck in Memphis thinking I wasn’t gonna see you for the next three years, wouldn’t fucking hurt?”

“How much did Mandy tell you?” Ian asks hesitantly, wondering how to approach the subject of his decline. He had made a point not to tell Mickey before, not wanting to admit to this part of himself, not wanting to scare him away.

Mickey blows smoke out from the corner of his mouth. “Nothing. She just told me she saw you at a party and that you needed someone”.

Ian’s heart does a little flip. That was all it took for Mickey to come find him, maybe it wasn’t too late to fix things...

He has to dive right in to the truth, he owes Mickey that at least. He can’t leave Mickey thinking he doesn’t love him...whether the truth scares him away or not. 

Ian takes a deep breath, “They put me on medication after you left, and I have to take it every day. I was so… so lost, and sick. I didn’t know what to do, and I wasn’t myself. And I thought, well, you deserve better. Someone that’s not, like me”.

Mickey suddenly looks angry, and he starts ranting. “What the fuck are you talking about Ian? Medication for what? Are you okay? Why the fuck did nobody call me and tell me that you were sick?”

Ian shakes his head, trying to calm him down, “Not sick like physically sick, sometimes it makes me feel that way though... Sick like depression and anxiety, Mick. I’m okay…now”.

Mickey starts shaking his head too, now focused on a different part of the conversation as he raises a hand in confusion.

“What the fuck do you mean not like you?”

“Crazy” Ian spits out bitterly, tears welling in his eyes as they reach the part of the conversation he’d been dreading.

It was the fear always lingering in the back of his mind, ever since he’d been at that doctors office, being compared to Monica. Ever since he’d been given those pills. As close at they had gotten over the months, as much as he knew Mickey still loved him, why would he want to be with someone like that?

Why would anyone?

Mickey immediately drops his cigarette and walks over to him in two short strides, pulling him into the tightest hug Ian had in months, “C’mere”.

Jesus Christ ” Mickey whispers to him as they stand like that, almost one. “You’re not fucking crazy Ian. Shoulda seen me these past few months”.

“I didn’t know what to do without you” Ian chokes out, “And I fucking hate myself for letting you go like that, because I’m in love with you. I never stopped being in love with you”.

Mickey suddenly stiffens and awkwardly pulls away from the hug, and when Ian looks at his face he sees there’s a wall up again.

“What?” he asks softly, searching his darkened face uncertainly.

Mickey’s words sound civil enough, but there’s the slightest hint of bitterness in them. “You don’t need to get into this again, it’s probably not good for you. You’ve moved on, I get it. I want you to be happy”.

Ian looks at him in confusion, “What the fuck are you talking about? You make me happy”.

Now it’s Mickey’s turn to look confused. “Bradley?” he asks, looking at Ian like maybe he is crazy after all.

Ian laughs, a weak and shaky laugh, but it’s a laugh.

“We go to ROTC together. That’s it. I can’t fucking stand that kid... that’s why you drove away yesterday, isn’t it? You came up and saw me with him. And I didn’t even know it was you”.

Mickey rubs the back of his neck, now looking slightly embarrassed but also very obviously relieved. “I thought like, I’d surprise you or some shit that I was back. But then I saw you walking home with the only other fuckin gay kid I know and thought, well fuck, didn’t take that long for you to get over me. So I didn’t want to talk to you at first”.

Ian looks back at Mickey through solemn green eyes, “I don’t think I'll ever 'get over you'. I told you I’d wait, and I did... And I know I fucked up by letting you go, but can you… d’you think you could ever forgive me for-“

Mickey cuts him off with a wave of his hand, “Look, I forgave you the day it happened Ian. It was hard, and yeah I was fucking mad and upset, but I could also see how much you were hurting the entire visit. You think I didn’t notice that shit? I know you Ian. That’s why I agreed to fuck off so easily... I thought it would be best for you”.

Ian tries to comprehend what he’s saying, hesitant to get to the real question. “So… you don’t hate me”.

Mickey’s face finally splits into a grin, his response automatic at first, “I love…”

But he catches himself, and looks a little wary, before beating Ian to what he had really wanted to ask. 

“Well are we fucking getting back together?”

Ian nods his head quickly, “Yes! I mean, if you want to. Of course I want to, I just, you know, because I-“ Mickey cuts him off again, but this time his voice is soft, and loving.

“Jesus Gallagher, shut up and fucking kiss me”. 

Ian doesn’t need to be told twice, and him and Mickey both move forward at the same moment, past merging into present as Ian kisses him desperately, praying to God that this isn’t some sick dream he’ll wake up from in the morning.

Chapter Text

Ian’s not sure how long they stay like that for, their lips tentatively exploring each other after so long apart, until they find their familiarity again, and the kisses deepen.

It feels like coming back home after being away for far too long, and Ian runs his hands over every inch of Mickey’s body that he can, reacquainting them with Mickey’s very real presence after dreaming about this for what seemed like forever.

He feels Mickey’s soft white skin beneath his fingertips, and the smooth bulge of his biceps as he lifts his arms to wrap his hand around the back of Ian’s head, pulling him closer. He feels Mickey’s narrow nose pressed against his own, and he feels the prickle of his short black hair as he reaches back to hold Mickey’s head too, cradling it, as he presses his tongue inside the other boy’s mouth.

He feels it all, and he hears it too. He hears Mickey’s labored breathing as he gets excited, and the sound his leather jacket makes as he moves against Ian’s body. He hears the water lapping up against the boats just a few feet in front of them, and he hears the faint wet sound of their lips coming together again and again.

And then there’s Mickey’s scent. Something Ian had missed just as much as the sight of him, and he buries himself into it, letting all of his senses reunite with their favorite things.

He’s breathless by the time Mickey finally pulls away from him, biting his lip as his blue eyes roam over him appreciatively.

“I don’t wanna say goodbye to you tonight” Mickey admits, looking at him softly.

“You don’t have to” Ian promises, “Fuck, we can sleep right here for all I care. I want to make things up to you, and I’ll do whatever it takes”.

He feels drunk just being around Mickey again, his senses are intoxicated by him and all he wants is more…

Mickey looks out over the dark water, the boats bobbing gently in place where they are tied up at the docks.

“Right here, huh?”

Ian looks at the ground around them, confused over Mickey’s hesitation. He never was one for creature comforts before.

“Yeah? It’s August, definitely warm enough”.

He realizes what Mickey is getting at as he turns back around to look at him, and sees his eyebrow twitching just slightly before he raises both of them and tips his head.

“Ohhh” Ian says, feeling the corners of his mouth of his mouth curve into a smile. He knows Mickey’s body language so well, that a simple movement of his eyebrows is enough for him to pick up on what Mickey’s thinking sometimes.

Mickey bites his lip, “So you wanna make it up to me?”

Ian lifts his eyebrow suggestively, feeling his cock stir in response to his tone, “Yeah I do Mick”.

“Fuck me hard enough to make up for four months of me having to make love to my fucking hand” Mickey jokes. But there’s no joke about the bulge Ian sees straining against his pants.

“Lucky hand” Ian whispers, pulling Mickey back to him and pressing his chest up against the other boy’s as he goes in to kiss him again.

Ian pulls away just enough to lower one hand down to stroke Mickey through his jeans, and to search his neck for a moment to find Mickey’s pulse point before he presses his mouth to it. He nips it lightly with his teeth, and then runs his tongue over it. 

Jesus…” Mickey groans, rolling his neck at the hot and wet sensation.

He shivers even in the August heat, and Ian turns him roughly around, pressing him up against one of the boats.

Ian reaches forward and undoes the button on Mickey’s jeans from behind, tugging his pants down a moment later. “Want me to eat your ass?” he asks hopefully, undoing his own belt with a snap.

Mickey seems torn as he shifts on the spot, “Yes. No. Later. Just fuckin get in me” he says impatiently.

Ian strokes himself and smiles, he missed Mickey being bossy with him. He presses up against him teasingly, kissing Mickey’s neck again from behind.

He’s just about to slowly push inside the other boy when he suddenly remembers, and he groans in disappointment.

Mickey glances over his shoulder, “What? Did you fuckin come already?”

Ian would laugh at the suggestion, but he’s so annoyed at himself that he doesn’t really feel like it.

“I don’t have any fucking condoms on me. Did you bring any?” he asks hopefully.

“No” Mickey says, still looking back at him.

There’s a moment of silence before Mickey says, “Ian… I trust you. We don’t really fucking need one. You trust me, right?”

Ian turns Mickey’s face around with his hand so he can look him in the eyes when he answers. “Of course I do. To be honest…I’ve wanted to do this for a really long fucking time. Just feel you against me, with nothing between us”.

It’s true. There were many nights, even before Mickey had left, that Ian had masturbated just to the thought of fucking him without a condom on. Coming deep inside Mickey, and seeing his own jizz come dripping out later. He shivers just thinking about it.

“Me too...wanna feel you inside me” Mickey admits, biting his lip as his eyes flicker back down to Ian’s hard on. Ian leaves one hand on his face to hold him there as he kisses him again, and uses the other hand to guide himself up against Mickey’s hole.

Fuck.

He’s pretty fucking tight after a few months, but as soon as Ian manages to start sliding in he gasps.

It’s incredibly hot, with just skin against skin, and he feels every ribbed muscle and contraction of Mickey’s walls so much more intensely without a condom dulling any of the sensations.

He is so overwhelmed by the incredible sensation at first that his blood rushes to his ears, and he doesn’t even hear Mickey starting to make his trademark sounds of pleasure, one of which is releasing a slew of curse words.

As soon as Ian snaps back into the movement, and starts to thrust in and out of Mickey hard, the sounds he’s making make it even harder for Ian to keep it together.

It’s almost too much…

The perfectly tight and hot hole he’s fucking into, the sounds of Mickey’s moans, the feel of him against his lips, each moan vibrating deep into his open mouth…

The coming too soon thing is suddenly a very real possibility, and Ian stiffens, quickly reaching around desperately to grope for Mickey’s dick, not wanting to leave him hanging.

But as Mickey pushes back to allow him to, Ian’s insides tighten like strings and he sees white for a moment as an incredible heat travels through his entire body.

“Shit…shit !” he fails to stop the volcanic-like orgasm from rolling through him so hard, it almost knocks him on his ass.

 “Fuck, I’m sorry” he pants when its over, slightly annoyed at himself for coming too soon.  

“Don’t worry bout it” Mickey grins, turning around to look at him. He’s still stroking himself, and as Ian watches his chest jerk inwards unsteadily, he realizes he’s close to the edge of his own orgasm.

He quickly gets to his knees and knocks Mickey’s hand away, taking him into his mouth eagerly.

“Fuck yes” Mickey says appreciatively, reaching down to comb his tattooed fingers through Ian’s red hair, Ian closing his eyes in bliss at the familiar and comforting sensation.

As Ian continues to suck him off, he feels Mickey’s chest heaving as he gets close to blowing his load, and he can’t seem to shut up.

“Thought about you every single day. Every single day Ian. Fuck I missed you…I missed you so much…”

His voice gets unsteady, and Mickey comes without warning into Ian’s mouth. He swallows it all without a complaint.

To be honest, he had even missed the taste of Mickey.

He comes up smiling, but then he sees a pained look on Mickey’s face.

He realizes his chest isn’t just heaving because of his orgasm. “God…I’m so sorry” he whispers, pulling Mickey close again. He uses his thumb to brush away the hot tears that are trailing down Mickey’s handsome face.

“I’m fine…I’m fucking fine” Mickey argues, more to himself than Ian. “I just was thinking about what it was like those months, and…fuck. Look at me cryin like a fucking girl” Mickey laughs shakily, but Ian shakes his head, not willing to just brush it off as a fucking joke.

Even if it would be easier.  

“I don’t expect you to just to get over it Mickey. But I hope you know, it wasn’t because I didn’t fucking love you”.

“Yeah I know” Mickey admits, his voice very low, “But I’m back now, and I’ve gotta take care of you, so I need to get over it”.

Ian winces and pulls away just enough so he can look Mickey in the eyes. “You don’t have to take care of me. Just fucking be there. That’s all I need, that's all I want. Just like I’m gonna be there for you”.

Mickey smiles at him, looking much calmer now, “I’m your fuckin boyfriend Ian. I’m gonna do both those things, because I fucking want to. Not because I fucking have to”.

Neither of them says anything else, and Ian feels a rush of gratitude as they hold each other in silence for a while, before laying down on the grass together to give in to their mutual exhaustion.

Not just because Mickey’s by his side again either, back home where he belongs.

Ian’s grateful that for whatever reason, the universe decided to let Mickey Milkovich love him.

Chapter Text

Ian groans as he wakes up, his back feeling stiff from sleeping directly on the ground with nothing but green grass for cushioning. The discomfort is nothing though compared to the joy he feels when he opens his bleary eyes and sees Mickey beside him.

He sighs deeply with relief as he is reassured it all wasn’t just a dream.

Mickey really is beautiful he thinks, appreciating the way the gentle morning sun caresses his sleeping face. He looks so gentle when he’s asleep, like he’s completely at peace.

Ian remembers the very first time he saw Mickey sleeping, on the bus ride to the class trip at Oak Forest after Mickey told him to shut up. He smiles to himself at the memory of it as he looks out at the wooden docks and the Chicago Harbour, watching the same boats still float in place from last night.

He does try to be patient, and he feels like a bit of a dick for giving in and waking Mickey up, but he doesn’t want to wait to hear his voice again after missing it for so long. He grins as Mickey grumbles his complaints about being woken, until he opens his eyes and sees Ian hovering over him.

Mickey closes his eyes and his face immediately breaks into a contented smile, one that prompts Ian to lean down and plant an affectionate kiss on his lips.

“Good morning” Mickey mumbles happily, opening his eyes again to look up at him sleepily. Ian looks into the brilliant blues, “Yes it is”.

He gives Mickey one more kiss before he stands up to stretch and take a morning piss, but he feels a little dizzy when he does.

He presses his hand against to his face, closing his eyes, and it fades quickly. “You alright?” Mickey asks, leaning up against his elbows to blink at him while his eyes adjust to the morning sunshine.

Ian nods hesitantly, “Yeah…but I need to go home. I didn’t have my medication with me last night, so I missed a dose”.

Mickey immediately gets up and goes to his Enduro, pulling the helmet off to hand to him, but Ian just smiles, lowering it with his hand reassuringly.

“You don’t have to race and break any fuckin speed limits, okay? It’s not a big deal, and I gotta take a piss first anyways”.

Mickey looks at him for a moment, and then nods, “Alright. Piss and then we go”. He unzips his jeans and heads towards the river. “Swordfight?” Ian asks playfully.

“Fuck off” Mickey grins, even as he redirects his stream slightly to indulge him, both of them living in the moment where they are best friends just as much as they are lovers. Mickey finishes and zips up shortly after Ian does, “Alright. Let’s get you home Gallagher”.

He hands Ian the helmet again, who hesitates before he puts it on. “Shouldn’t you be wearing it Mick?” Mickey grins, “My entire fucking life I’ve been told I’m hard headed and thick skulled. Not gonna take the chance that you are too”.

Ian presses his lips together in concern, slightly annoyed by his boyfriend’s habit of always putting himself in second place. “Mickey that’s not exactly-“

His boyfriend cuts him off, waving his hand casually. “I know, I know. I’m fuckin joking. I’ll get another one. But for now, put that on your fuckin ginger head, or I’ll put it on for you”.

Ian can’t help but laugh as Mickey, true to his word, pushes the helmet down over his head, and as he gets on the bike behind Mickey and wraps his arms around him, squeezing him tight, he can’t stop. Mickey grins as he looks back over his shoulder at him, amused by his delight.

“We haven’t even started yet and you’re signalling me to stop? What’s up giggles?”

Ian just lifts his shoulders in happiness, lighter than he’s felt in months, and he lifts his helmet to tell him “I’m just happy Mick”. Mickey quickly licks his lips and leans back to give him a kiss.

“I am too. Hold on tight”.

As they ride back through Chicago, Ian can’t wipe the smile off his face, and even though no one can see it, it belongs there. He takes in everything rushing past them with accepting eyes as he’s hit again by the truth.

Mickey was so much more than just a boyfriend to him. He was his first love, and his best friend.

He was everything.

They pull up in front of the Gallagher house around twenty minutes later, and Mickey stalls the bike for a moment, looking up at the house with an indiscernible expression on his face as Ian gets off first. As soon as Mickey kills the engine he quietly tells him, “They missed you, know. All of them did. Fuck, Mo’s gonna lose his shit when he sees you”.

Mickey nods, getting off the bike slowly and kicking the stand before following Ian up to the house wordlessly. They go inside together, and it takes a moment before Fiona comes over to investigate who’s at the door. Her eyes widen like saucers as she realizes it’s Mickey standing there with her younger brother.

“You’re back!” she exclaims, looking at him in disbelief. Fiona then immediately pulls him into a hug, which Mickey clearly didn’t expect, because he freezes for a moment before tentatively putting his arms around and her, and then hugging her back tightly.

The rest of the Gallaghers start to appear by the front entrance to check out what all the commotion is about, and the house is filled with calls of “Mickey!” as they all pile into the hug, Ian joining in last.

Mickey looks a little overwhelmed at first, but then this look of peace comes over his face. “Where’s Liam? And Mo?” he asks happily, looking around himself for the missing individuals.

“Liam’s napping upstairs, I’ll bring him to see you when he wakes up. God he’s gonna be so happy Mickey. He never stopped talking about you” Fiona tells him, giving Ian a knowing smile.

Mickey looks back at him as if he’s looking for confirmation, and Ian nods.

“I honestly have about a hundred drawings stored away that he did for you” he tells him.

Mickey nods and sniffs, suddenly looking emotional, and Ian quickly tells Carl, “Go get Mo”. Carl runs to the back door and yanks it open, and the black and white dog comes padding into the kitchen a few moments later, wagging his tail at Carl in thanks for being let in.

It takes a moment for the dog to look towards the living room where all the other people are standing, and he freezes in place comically as he notices Mickey standing there.

It takes just a second before he comes bounding through the living room, knocking over a kitchen chair on the way, it clatters loudly to the floor. Mickey immediately crouches to greet him, laughing and petting him as the dog attacks him with exuberant licks, whining and making small barks the entire time. Mo is clearly beside himself, and Mickey has a similar expression of joy on his face.

He finally stands up after a long few minutes of reunion, and grins at the dog. “He got fat” Mickey says teasingly.

Ian scratches the back of his head, saying somewhat apologetically, “Yeah I may have been too generous with the treats”.

Mickey laughs, and his bright blue eyes roam over the house affectionately. “It’s so good to be home” he says, without thinking. He reddens slightly as he looks up at the rest of the Gallaghers, quickly clarifying with, “I meant like in Chicago”.

They just smile at him and laugh, no one thinking much of it, and finally Ian pushes past the rest of his family, remembering to take his makeup dose. “I gotta get something” he tells Mickey, expecting him to wait downstairs.

But as he reaches his bedroom and grabs the bottle of pills from his bedside table, he sees Mickey appear beside him, holding a glass of water. Ian’s phone begins to ring before he has a chance to say anything, so he quickly clears his throat and answers it, putting the pills down in meantime.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Mr. Gallagher?” The voice is loud enough for Mickey to hear as well, and Ian turns his head slightly in embarrassment as he recognizes the number.

“Um, yeah. It’s Ian” he mumbles.

“Hi Ian, it’s Mabel from Dr. Morrow’s office, I’m just calling to remind you of your appointment with us tomorrow at 11a.m. Dr. Morrow wants to do an evaluation of your current mental state and see if the medications are working for you, okay?”

Ian turns red with embarrassment as he picks up the bottle of pills in his hand, “Yeah... I’ll be there. Bye”.

He hangs up and after looking at the bottle for a moment, chucks it across the room angrily.

It hits the wall and then bounces to the floor with a loud rattle. Mickey goes over and picks it up without saying anything, coming to stand beside him as Ian says bitterly, “You deserve to be free. Not stuck with me, and my mental bullshit”.

Mickey hands him the bottle back, and crouches down in front of him, holding his face so he can’t look away.

“Ian… what you and I have makes me free, alright?”. He watches quietly as Ian resigns to tipping out a pill, and then offers him the glass of water he brought upstairs with him.

Ian takes it and swallows the pill, feeling awkward again after his little meltdown. He’s gotten used to his mood swings, and he’d always been temperamental, but somehow it was different for Mickey to see them. Embarrassing. 

But Mickey just glances over at the other bottle at his bedside before rubbing his back comfortingly.

“Ativan huh? That’s good shit”.

Ian rolls his eyes, feeling himself start to laugh. “Yeah, it is”. Somehow Mickey knew just how to break the awkward silence, and he glances over at him appreciatively, “Thanks for being so cool about this. Sometimes it just really gets to me that this is my fucking life now”.

 Mickey puts his arm around his slumped shoulders.

“It’s honestly not a big fucking deal to me, you’re still you Ian. And I’m proud of you for getting your shit together and getting help. My mom never did”.

Ian interest is caught by the mention of Mickey’s mom, he’d never really talked about her before. She was always sort of a non-entity. But hearing that Mickey is proud of him, also suddenly makes him want to reach out instead of pushing him away so much, as much as that’s his first instinct.

“I have…I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow” he says hesitantly, “Would you maybe… go with me instead of Fiona?”

“Sure”

He turns to look at Mickey’s eyes to see if there’s any hint of him being uncomfortable, but he sees only sincerity in the blue of them.

They end up back downstairs with the rest of the family after Carl comes up and starts harassing them, wanting Mickey to tell stories about being in Memphis, and Ian’s younger brother just about loses his goddamn mind when he sees the motorcycle, running over to look at it in amazement.

Carl drops onto the grass beside the Enduro, “Holy crap Mickey! Is it yours? Can I ride it? Wow…”

Mickey laughs, “It is, and fuck no you can’t. But tell you what, I’ll take you for a spin when I find a helmet that’s the right size”. Carl nods in slight disappointment, still running his fingers over the red marks on the bike in admiration.

A small voice suddenly catches their attention, “Mickey! Mickey! Mickey!”

The three of them look up towards the house at the sound, and Ian sees Liam in Fiona’s arms, struggling to be released as soon as he sees Mickey.

Ian’s heart does one of those beautiful flips as she lets Liam go and he comes running down the path, a ridiculously big smile on his little face.

Mickey crouches and meets him in a hug, a more subtle, but undeniable smile on his face too.

He was home. 

Chapter Text

Ian is a little reluctant when Mickey says it’s time for him to head home that night. He says it’s just because of Terry, but even Mickey knows his dad is an idle threat right now, and nothing he hasn’t dealt with before. 

Mickey searches his eyes as they sit on the front porch together, picking up on his thoughts. He’d been putting off leaving for the past hour, seeing how worried Ian was.

“I’m coming back, alright? First thing in the morning” he promises.

Ian nods, but he still feels down. He can’t help but worry that he won’t see Mickey again for a very long time, and even though he knows it’s just the anxiety gnawing at his mind, it feels real. He’s not sure he could handle losing him again.

Mickey drapes his arm over Ian’s shoulder, pressing his forehead against the side of his face for a brief moment, “I’ll come pick you up before?”

“Might as well take the L” Ian answers dully, jingling the loose change in his pocket as Mickey gets up. “Okay, sure. Maybe we can go for breakfast after?” Mickey asks, kicking away the stand on his bike.

A promise for the morning is reassuring, and Ian finds himself nodding in agreement, “Sounds good to me”. His green eyes land on Mickey, standing there by his bike, and he tries to etch the image into his mind.

Mickey gives him one more smile before he pulls his dark helmet over his head, covering his face from view as he climbs on his Enduro. He pauses before he starts the bike, and then lifts his visor and hollers, “CARL!”

Ian turns to look behind himself as Carl comes out onto the porch a few moments later, looking confused until he sees Mickey on the bike.

Mickey turns on the engine as soon as he sees him and Carl yells, “Hell yeah! Give er Mick!”

Mickey winks and drops the visor down before he grabs the throttle and twists hard, the motorcycle roaring to life in response.

He twists it repeatedly, each successive roar louder than the last, as Carl laughs in delight.

And before Ian knows it, he’s speeding away down the street.

Mickey’s out of sight within seconds.

Ian blinks up at Carl to see him still looking down the street in awe.

“He’s soo cool” his younger brother finally says to him, too young to care about complimenting another boy in that way.

Ian finally grins, always glad to hear his family unknowingly complimenting his boyfriend. “Yeah. Yeah he is”.

When he gets ready for bed that night, sitting on his bed and pulling off his t-shirt, he sees his phone light up with a text from Mickey.

Hey, forgot to tell you I love you today

“...I fucking love you

Ian smiles at the double text, typing out “You showed me. Love you too. See you tomorrow :)

He falls asleep easily but has some dream that he can’t quite remember in the morning, only knowing that it made him feel uneasy again. He quickly gets up and gets dressed, opting only for a short shower and then skipping any sort of breakfast before he heads to the front door.

Ian hesitates before he opens it, steeling himself.

Mickey might not show up…he might decide it was too much, that he didn’t want to sit in an office and hear about everything that was wrong with his boyfriend. Ian wouldn’t blame him if he did.

He feels a flood of relief once he does open the door, and sees Mickey standing out there, smoking a cigarette in the brutal August heat.

“Hot as balls” he complains as soon as he sees Ian, wiping some sweat away from his brow.

“Why aren’t you wearing shorts?” Ian asks as he comes down the steps, deciding not to let Mickey know relieved he is that he actually showed up.

Mickey’s eyes flicker over Ian’s own shorts, pausing at his legs before he answers.

“Don’t have any”.

Ian joins him on the sidewalk, and the two of them head towards the closest L station. “We’ll have to fix that” he thinks aloud.

“Oh, okay. We gonna go shopping like a couple of queers Gallagher?” Mickey asks sarcastically, a hint of a laugh in his tone.

“Yeah, or we can just rip your jeans up like you do with all your t-shirts, fuckin animal” Ian teases, tugging on his black homemade tank top in the place where his sleeve used to be.

Mickey smacks his hand away playfully, “C’mon Ian, everybody fuckin knows you love this animal”.

Ian smiles back a little sadly, “Not everybody”.

Mickey presses his lips together in a line and nods, his eyebrows raised at the truth of it as the playful mood shifts to a quieter one.  

They sit beside each other on the L on the way to the doctor’s office, Mickey knocking his knees against Ian’s until he feels himself smiling. Just like he did back at the campfire on their class trip.

That past Mickey had no idea what he was getting himself into, Ian thinks.

He stiffens once they get to the doctor’s office, again feeling like a medicalized stigma as he sees the posters in the waiting room advertising a new medication for chronic anxiety. He bounces his leg up and down nervously until Mickey notices and puts his hand on his knee, stopping it.

“You’re fine” he says, gently. Ian takes a deep breath and nods.

Usually it doesn’t bother him being here like this, but it’s suddenly very different with Mickey here. Here to see him acting like a freak…he grits his teeth at the thought of it. This was a bad idea, a very bad idea bringing Mickey here. But he knows his boyfriend, and there’s no way he’ll leave the office now.

By the time Ian’s sitting in front of his doctor, he’s hostile and jittery.

“Where’s your sister?” his doctor asks, looking at Mickey questioningly, who had chosen to lean against the closed door rather than sit down.

“She’s not here” Ian snaps, knowing he sounds rude but unable to control it. He wonders if Mickey is standing there by the door so he can leave faster. So he can separate himself from being with Ian in any way.

Mickey clears his throat, “I’m here for Ian instead today. That alright?”

She nods, “That’s fine as long as Ian doesn’t mind”.

Ian swallows hard, his leg starting to bounce again. “I wouldn’t have brought him in if I minded” he lies, still feeling uncomfortable with how far away Mickey is.

“Ian, you seem much more agitated this visit than you have been in previous ones. Would it maybe be better if your friend waited outside?” His doctor looks at him with concern, and it pisses him off as he blurts out, “He’s not the problem, I am. I’m the fucking burden”.

Mickey comes away from where he’d been leaning against the wall and sits down beside him, wrapping one arm around him comfortingly, which surprises Ian. 

Mickey completely ignores the doctor and addresses him as if she isn't even there, “You are not a burden Ian. You are the best thing in my life. And I get that you don’t believe it right now, but I’m going to remind you every fucking day until you remember”.

There’s a long silence before the doctor speaks again, her eyes flickering between them thoughtfully. Ian doesn’t look up to watch her say it, but he can tell Mickey is.  

“Sometimes…living in secret, not allowing ourselves to be who we are, makes us feel trapped. It can make things worse” she says delicately. “Anyways Ian. I’d like you to stay on the dose you are currently on, and do contact me if it gets any worse, but first consider making some changes in your life that may reduce unnecessary stress”.

Ian notices that Mickey nods just slightly at her before they leave, like Mickey had caught something that Ian missed...

*Mickey’s POV*

Ian is silent and moody as they walk down the sidewalk towards the breakfast place, and Mickey is so deep in thought he lets him stay like that for a while.

Mickey knew when he sat beside Ian and said that shit in the doctor’s office that he was making it obvious that they were more than friends, or whatever the fuck she probably thought they were when he came in with Ian. But he meant it, and he fucking needed to say it, regardless if she was right there.

He’d be damned if he let a day go by not letting Ian know he loved him.

He feels some guilt gnawing at his stomach too, ruminating over what she said had said about said living in secret. Something about how Ian not allowing himself to be who he was might be making things worse for him. Really thinking about it, that was probably the most prominent stressor in his life.

Being in the closet was as much his decision as it was Mickey’s, but a big part of him keeping it that way was probably due to Mickey’s own dad being such a fucking homophobic psycho. He hated his dad especially for that.

It wasn’t like he didn’t want to be more open with Ian. He looks over at the redhead next to him and feels his heart swell with unbridled affection.

Even when Ian’s being a grumpy ass, like right now, there’s no one he’d rather be spending time with.

Mickey had known from the beginning that there would be problems when he came back from Memphis. He knew it wouldn’t be completely simple to just ease back in to things, even when the time apart was cut short.

But he hadn’t expected this to be honest. Ian was different than he was before. More on edge, less trusting.

Less sure of Mickey’s love, even though he was fine with showing his own. And that sort of hurt, his lack of confidence that he'll stick around.

He’s just gonna have to show him that he’s not gonna fuck off and leave him, and that he’s in this for the long run.

Mickey makes up his mind and before he has chance to change it, he sticks his hand out and awkwardly grabs Ian’s, who immediately turns to him in surprise.

“What-what are you doing?”

“Holding your hand, what’s it look like?” he answers firmly, giving it a squeeze. He fights the automatic urge to push Ian away just because people are around, because he’s been living that way for so long, giving nothing more than brief and imperceptible public displays of affection.  

“Mickey, we’re in public” Ian reminds him, looking like he feels the same way.

Mickey takes a deep breath, “I fuckin know that. Look where we are, nobody here even knows us, it's safe. But if you don’t want to hold it, then drop it. I won’t be mad”.

He waits nervously, but Ian doesn’t drop his hand. He sneaks a glance over as they continue walking and notices than Ian’s face isn’t as dark as it was a few moments earlier.

He seems more relaxed.

Good, okay. That’s good.

Mickey points at the sign for Cora’s, “Hey it’s that place we went to on Christmas Eve, remember? Let’s get you some pancakes sunshine”. He teases Ian to lighten his own nerves, dropping Ian’s hand to open the door.

But he had done it.

He had held Ian’s hand in public, where everyone could see. And people did see. Some did a double take at the unusual couple. But knowing they weren’t in any danger here… instead of being agitated and afraid, Mickey actually felt… proud, to be seen with Ian.

Ian grins and follows him inside, going right the same booth they had last time. He looks around the restaurant and seems very content, and Mickey drinks in the sight of him as he does.

Fuck he’d missed that boy. More than he ever would have thought was possible.

He knows it’s gonna take time for them to get back to normal, but he’s pretty sure he’ll never take being close to Ian for granted, ever again.

It was like a fucking nightmare, being stuck there in Memphis, wondering every day where Ian was…what he was doing…who he was maybe with, trying to get over him.  

Mickey had burned with jealousy whenever he had thought about it, and he had punched more than one hole into the walls of his foster families house when he lost it.He knew he’d been a raging asshole for the last couple months of his stay with them, and as much as they had tried to help, they just didn’t fucking understand that nothing they did could or would help.

Nothing could bring Ian back to him, if he didn’t want to be there.

But now, knowing what he knows, and seeing him this way... he just hates himself for not being here with Ian. 

For allowing him to fall apart.

He watches as Ian studies the menu, and feels a lump form in his throat. Even if he didn’t have a say in going away… he should have never gotten involved with his Dad’s shit. It was just a way for him to make money, and to be close to his dad in some fucked up way, the only way he knew how. And it was a mistake, because his dad would never fucking love Mickey no matter what he fucking did. He knew that now, as much as it hurt, and as much as he would never fucking admit to hurting over it.

Mickey never used to think about the future much. It was always black when he tried to picture it, empty. He could never see anything there, not since he got old enough to understand the reality of his situation.

But then he met Ian. And Mickey meant what he said, he was the best thing that had ever happened in Mickey’s shitty life. Now he can sort of see the future, his possibility of one.

But he had to have the balls to start getting him and Ian there.

The waitress comes over and smiles at both of them, looking surprised to see Mickey sitting there. He quickly brushes away his heavy thoughts and nods at her. She beams at Ian, who smiles back, blushing.

“Sunshine! Your friend is back!”

Ian starts to nod happily, and Mickey takes one last long look at the redhead before taking a deep breath and letting the words leave his lips.

“Actually, I’m his boyfriend”.

Chapter Text

*Back to Ian’s POV*

Ian’s mouth drops open, and he sits there dumbly, letting Mickey order for both of them while he tries to absorb what just happened.

“Mickey!” he hisses as soon as the waitress disappears, “What the fuck!”

Mickey just looks at him, “What?”

He seems so unbelievably calm, that he must not have realized what he just fucking said, Ian realizes. Must have been a slipup.

“You told her you were my boyfriend” he informs Mickey, waiting for him to freak out.  

“Yeah, cause I am” Mickey answers, taking his iced coffee with a thanks from the waitress as she quickly appears again with their drinks, giving Mickey an extra smile.

Ian waits until she leaves, remembering their conversation from the last time they were here together.

“What happened to not screaming that we’re gay for each other?” he asks, his heart still pounding in his chest from Mickey's admission. He seems awfully pleased with himself, while Ian’s just sitting here, confused as hell.

Mickey takes a sip of his coffee and sighs in satisfaction, letting out a burp afterwards. “That was hardly a fuckin scream. I was just testing it out, seeing what it was like to finally say it out loud to someone other than you”.

Ian stares at him, trying to figure out what the fuck he’s playing at. “Why…?”

Mickey clears his throat, looking down at the table, “Cause I’ve been thinking…”

Mickey pauses, and when he finally looks up at him again and continues, he looks serious.

And a little nervous.

“Ian, I’ve been thinking… and I think we should tell your family about us”.

Ian tips his head, are those pills making him fucking hallucinate? Mickey would not suggest something like that. He would not.

Seeing he’s not going to respond, Mickey continues. “I know what you’re probably thinking. But I think we can trust your family to keep their mouths shut. They know what my dad’s fuckin like, they wouldn’t want either of us getting killed or some shit. We’d still have to act the same in our neighborhood and stuff, but at home you wouldn’t have to hide anymore”.

Ian finally finds his voice, although it comes out slightly raspy, “Why now? I don’t understand. We’ve been fine just doing what we’re doing”.

Mickey tips his head, “Not really though”.

Ian considers it.

He’s not really sure how his family would react. He knows they wouldn’t hate him, not like Mickey’s dad would…but how would they treat him after?

Especially Fiona, and Lip? But… it would be really nice to hide so much anymore. He could just be himself at home…and he could talk, really talk, when he needed to, about Mickey. Ian imagines what that would have been like while Mickey was away in Memphis, maybe he wouldn’t have fallen apart so much if he could have explained that he wasn't just missing his best friend, he was entirely heartbroken.

“I don’t know” he finally answers, entirely caught between the two possibilities.

Mickey looks at him gently, “Ian, it’s been our secret for so fuckin long, and your doctor was right, it’s not good for you living like this. It’s time someone else knows. And at some point your family is gonna wonder why you’ve never brought home a freakin girl. Stories like that night at the school dance won’t cut it forever”.

The waitress brings over their food at that moment, and both of them are momentarily distracted by it. Ian realizes he’s starving as he gets a whiff of the buttery pancakes, and while they are both silent he starts cutting them into pieces.

Mickey still seems to be mulling over what he’s already said, maybe thinking of another argument to convince him with, when Ian remembers.

He decides it’s a good a time as any to talk about it, since they are already on the topic.

“Mandy knows” he says through a mouthful of pancakes, watching Mickey closely.

Mickey shakes his dark head confidently as he dumps maple syrup generously onto his pancakes. He likes them sweet.

“Nah, she doesn’t”. He seems very sure. 

Ian’s surprised. She never did tell him.

A little annoyed that Mickey had caught him so off guard by coming out to the waitress without warning, he decides to be blunt about it. “Yes, she does. She told me. Your sister knows that you’re gay, and that you’re in love with me”.

Mickey just about spits out his coffee across the table at him, choking on it for a moment before he finds his voice and starts to splutter.

“How did…fuck...she never…I didn’t!-”

He keeps going with his nonsense rant until he eventually trails off and frowns, looking annoyed and embarrassed.

“Maybe we should go talk to her first” Ian suggests, swirling his pancake in a little more syrup.

That’ll at least be somewhat of a distraction for him until he figures out what to do about Mickey’s new idea, telling Ian’s family, which he seems pretty fucking set on.

They go back to the Milkovich house instead of the Gallagher one once they finish their breakfasts, and after Mickey does a quick check around to make sure Terry’s not home, he comes back out to the porch and grabs Ian’s hand, quickly pulling him inside.

Ian follows him, raising his eyebrows, as Mickey bursts into Mandy’s room without knocking. He’s been agitated ever since they left the restaurant.

She glares at him from her bed as the door swings open, in the middle of painting her nails with a matte black polish.

“Jesus Mickey! Knock much asshole? Hi Ian”.

Ian waves at her awkwardly from the doorway.

“Talk much asshole? The fuck you telling Ian I’m gay for?” Mickey demands.

This was not exactly what Ian had expected, but then again, he probably should have. 

 “Aren’t you?” she counters, just as much a Milkovich, and just as unwilling to back down.

“None of your damn business” he sneers, leading them to lock each other in a death stare, with neither one willing to look away first.

Great, this is going just great. At this rate he won’t ever have to worry about Mickey telling his family. But this is ridiculous, because Mandy already knows.

“So much for telling people” he coughs, both Mickey and Mandy immediately turning away to look at him, Mickey’s eyebrow twitching in agitation.

He might have thought he was ready, but clearly that Milkovich line of defence was just as strong as ever.

Ian blushes slightly as they stare at him, “Just saying”.

Mickey finally groans, putting his hand to his forehead in defeat. Mandy looks absolutely delighted, “Mickey! Oh my God!” she squeals, putting her hand up over her mouth. It was one thing for her to know it, another thing for him to finally fucking admit it.

“Oh yeah let’s have a big my brother is a homo moment. Someone call Hallmark” Mickey says sarcastically, waving his hands with a very fake air of excitement.

Mandy runs over to her dresser, yanking out and then chucking a roll of rainbow colored ribbon at him.

Mickey catches it out of instinct, and her and Ian burst out laughing, even as Mickey rolls his eyes in annoyance, throwing it back at her.

Maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad thing, Ian thinks, the people they care about knowing... His laughter softens, and quiets, even as Mandy continues to laugh and Mickey continues to flip her off.

Even when he’s cranky, there’s no one Ian would rather be with. He goes over to Mickey and hesitates for just a second before kissing him on the cheek.

Mickey blinks and then softens, turning to look at him as Mandy makes some feminine sound of excitement from her bed, her laughter completely disappearing.

But Mickey seems to have completely tuned her out.

“You feel better, don’t you...being free”.

Ian bites his lip and looks into his sincere blue eyes for just a moment, before admitting to himself and Mickey with a nod of his head that he does.

He doesn’t need the whole world to know. Fuck, he doesn’t want them to. But if his family could know that he’s with Mickey, that he’s in love with the greatest guy he’s ever met, his best friend…that would be…. really great.

“I think that settles it, huh?” Mickey asks, brushing away some of Ian’s hair from his face. He’d been sweating more than he had realized, not just from the brutal heat, but also from nerves and excitement. He turns to Mandy and blurts, “I’m in love with your brother”.

It feels so good to say it out loud.

She nods, a big smile spreading across her pretty face, “I know you are Ian. I’m sorry I gave you shit at the party when we got back. Come here”.

Mandy offers her arms out in a hug, which Ian accepts gratefully. He thinks back to the day she was quizzing him at the kitchen table, and he wonders if she really knew then, or if she was just guessing.

Either way, she knows now.

“This is…really good” he finally says, pulling away from the hug to look at Mickey, who is standing there looking somewhat annoyed still, but mostly relaxed.

Ian continues, “Now you have someone to talk to other than me about this stuff. Feelings, you know. Someone to bitch to when I’m being a dick”.

He laughs again, and Mickey finally joins in, “Yeah. Yeah, well I’ve got months to make up for don’t I? Mandy, this guy is annoying as shit. He’s perfect and it drives me fuckin nuts”.

Ian feels himself blush as Mandy gives him a knowing look, but his excitement dampens just slightly with nerves as Mickey turns to him, and slinging an arm around his shoulder says, “Alright! Your family’s next Gallagher”.

Shit.

Chapter Text

“Just breathe Ian, we got this. It isn’t a big deal. You know your family, they probably won’t even give a shit” Mickey reminds him as they reach the Gallagher house, and Ian abruptly stops on the sidewalk.

“Yeah well they might! And it might change things, do you really want that?” Ian asks, trying to stall him.

They had walked home from Mickey’s house as slowly as humanly possible, but he still felt they had gotten here too quickly.

Mickey raises his dark eyebrows at him, gripping his shoulder firmly as he speaks.

“Yes, I do. Ian this is for you, alright? Whether you fucking see that or not, this is gonna happen. You can’t keep hiding and fucking pretending to be something you’re not”.

Ian sighs, feeling his stomach complain nervously. “How the fuck am I supposed to do this?” he asks, looking up at his house reluctantly.

Mickey shrugs as he starts to walk up to the house again, “We do this. Together. Go in and tell Fiona we have something to tell them. I’ll be right beside you”.

Ian follows him right up to the door before he stops again, opening his mouth to argue, “This isn’t really fair you know. You didn’t actually have to tell Mandy, she already knew. And that was only one person, I have five”.

He never would have thought Mickey would be the one itching to come out, to have everyone know what they were. But from the moment he had opened his mouth to the waitress and told her he was Ian’s boyfriend, he seemed sure of it.

Done with pretending.

“Quit bitching” Mickey says, winking at him before opening the door and stepping into the familiar Gallagher commotion.

Debbie sees them first, turning around from her place on the couch at the sound of the door opening. “Hey Mickey, hey Ian”.

“Hey Debs” Ian answers nervously. Mickey leans over and whispers to him as she turns back around, “Like a fuckin band-aid. Get it over with fast. Don’t overthink it”.

Ian nods, he can do that, can’t he?

Right. Quick and painless.

“Um…Fiona?” he asks, approaching her in the kitchen while Mickey stands about a foot behind him, “Can we call like a quick family meeting? I want to tell you guys something”.

She looks at him, her brown eyes softening in confusion, but then she nods her head and calls in the direction of the stairs, “Gallagher family meeting! Living room!”

“Fuck” Ian mutters as he follows Mickey into the living room.

The rest of his siblings start to pile onto the couch in front of them, joining Debbie who had already been sitting there, and less than five minutes later everyone is waiting for him to start talking. But Ian doesn't start right away, as he tries to think of how best to say this. 

“What’s this about?” Lip asks, frowning at the two of them standing there like they are about to give some fucking elementary school presentation.

“I…just wanted…” Ian looks over his family’s expectant faces, and falters.

Fuck, no. Nope. Can’t do it.

“...I just wanted to know if Mickey can stay over tonight for a sleepover”.

Ian watches their faces turn into confused frowns, right as Mickey groans. He’d been standing a short distance away from Ian, slightly off to the side to give him the floor.

“You called a family meeting, for that?” Carl complains.

“I thought somebody died” Debbie says, looking around at them wide eyed.

Fiona just stares at him, an indiscernible expression on her face.

Mickey raises his voice above their confused din, “Alright, alright. That’s enough. Fuck, Ian just do it or I will. Jesus”. Ian looks back at him uncertainly, but then he sees Mickey giving him gentle and encouraging smile as he nods his head, telling him to go for it.

He takes a deep breath, trying to work up the courage give it another go before he feels himself going red in the face, and then he just blurts it out before he has a chance to make up another lame excuse for why they’re all sitting here. 

Like a band-aid, quick and painless...

“I wanted to tell you guys that…I’m gay”.

It’s dead silent in the room for a moment, and Ian feels himself going even redder before Mickey chimes in from behind him.

“I’m fuckin gay too, and I’m in love with your brother”.

Ian's eyes flicker over to his proud boyfriend and that’s when the noise starts up, with everyone trying to say something at once.

Mickey shushes everyone, “Everyone shut the fuck up. You wanna ask questions? You gotta do it one at a time. Look at your damn brother”.

Ian hadn’t even noticed he was starting to tremble a bit with nerves until then, and he clears his throat and tries to straighten up, telling himself he did it. He did it. He came out.

Carl raises his hand first.

“Yes?” Mickey asks when Ian doesn’t acknowledge him, sounding wary.

“So you guys like, have sex and stuff?”

Mickey stares at him, and then looks at the rest of the Gallaghers, “We really doin this? Yes. Next fucking question”.

Carl nods, “Cool”. Debbie elbows him, “You don’t even know what that means. I don’t have a question but I have a comment”. She looks at Ian but he finds himself unable to respond, so she directs her attention back to Mickey, who has accepted his role as interviewee after a few questioning glances at Ian, who appears to be tongue tied.

“Well what is it?” Mickey asks her, crossing his arms impatiently.

Debbie looks thoughtful. “Well I think it’s good you two are together. My teacher, Mrs. Ferguson, says you should fall in love with your best friend. Mickey, you’re Ian’s best friend”.

Mickey nods, a small smile forming on his face, “Your teacher’s a smart woman. Next”.

“Gay” Liam says, beaming at them, with no clue what he’s even talking about as he just repeats what he had heard both his older brother and Mickey say.

“Uh…yes” Mickey says slowly, unsure of how to address that. “Well I have a fucking comment too” Lip interjects.

“Go for it?” Mickey asks, lifting his hands in confusion at Lip’s accusing tone. Lip aims his stare directly at him as he says it, “Yeah okay. Mickey, gay? Sorry, I don’t buy that. What is this actually about?”

Mickey just flips Lip off, not really giving a shit about what he thinks, but Debbie reaches back and slaps her brother on the knee, “You can’t just say someone’s not gay Lip”.

He shrugs, “Sorry Deb, I’m just sayin. I think this is a joke”. Mickey goes to roll up his sleeves, but then remembers he doesn’t have any, so he settles for pointing a finger at Lip warningly instead.

“I am fuckin gay you asswipe”.

Lip looks around at his brothers and sisters, “Does no one else think this is a joke? It’s a joke ! Mickey Milkovich people, come on. There’s no way he’s gay. Good one guys”. He laughs as he looks around at the rest of them in disbelief.

Ian bites his lip, this is not going in the direction its supposed to he thinks, as he notices a couple of his siblings starting to look confused, like maybe this is a joke.

Fiona doesn’t look like she thinks it’s a joke though.“Shut up Lip” she mutters, readjusting Liam on her lap.

Mickey breathes out through his nose, pressing his fingers to his temple as he stares at Ian’s older brother. “You know, for a genius, you’re pretty fuckin dumb sometimes, PhiLip”.

“Whatever, then prove me wrong” Lip says, challengingly, still clearly thinking this whole thing is just a game. 

“Excuse me?” Mickey says, tipping his head to the side aggressively and resting his fingers on his chin like he doesn’t quite believe what he just heard.

“I said fuckin prove it. Kiss my brother, if you’re so in love with him”.

Lip looks so certain that Mickey won’t do it, with a big stupid grin on his face, and Mickey just stands there for a moment, his mouth opening and then closing as he tries to register what Lip just to him.

Ian looks over at his older brother nervously, wishing he could find his voice to tell him to shut the fuck up already, even though he knows his brother doesn’t mean any harm. He’s sure Lip isn't the only one in the neighborhood that would find it absurd that Mickey Milkovich was gay, just from knowing him and what he was like. 

Hell, even Ian had been in disbelief that day Mickey had grabbed him and kissed him at Oak Forest. But right as Ian opens his mouth to say something, Mickey comes over and slams his lips onto his, not giving a fuck about their audience of Gallaghers.

The kiss starts out hard, but both of them soften after a few seconds, and Ian’s heart is pounding in his chest as they slowly come apart, Mickey searching his eyes for reassurance that he did the right thing.

Ian rests his forehead against his for a second before he looks over at Lip, who’s now red with embarrassment. He looks genuinely surprised too. 

“Wow. I’m am…so sorry man. Jesus, I just thought you were yanking our chains. Fuck I’m an asshole. Sorry Ian…Mickey”. Mickey raises his eyebrows at him and then nods his head in mild annoyance, getting over the mild speed-bump in their confession once Ian starts to speak.

His other siblings had all seemed a little surprised too, but his eyes were on his older sister now. Now that it was clear to everyone that he was gay, and this was for real, her eyes were filled with tears. 

Just what he’d been scared of…he’d let her down.  “Fiona?” he says, feeling miserable.

Fiona puts Liam down Debbie’s lap, before coming up to Ian and pulling him into a tight hug.

“I am so proud of you” she whispers into his red hair, “I’ve been waiting so long for this day…I was starting to think it would never come”. Ian pulls away from the hug, feeling his own eyes start to fill with tears, “What do you mean waiting? You… knew? Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Yeah, how the hell did you know?” Lip asks, everyone else in the living room nodding their heads in mutual confusion, except for Liam, who just looks happy. He waves his chubby arm at Mickey, who awkwardly waves back.

Fiona smiles at Ian, brushing back his red hair gently from his face. “I didn’t know for sure until Mickey started coming around more. But there were a lot of things. And I didn’t say anything because it was for you to decide when you wanted to tell me”.

“Things like what?” Mickey asks, curiosity getting the best of him even as he tries to appear offhand about the whole thing. Ian’s wondering the exact same fucking thing to be honest, he’d thought they’d been so careful.

Fiona smiles at Mickey, still holding her arm around her brother but now looking at the dark-haired Milkovich instead.

“Like the fact that Ian lights up whenever you’re around” she says, “Or how the happiest pictures I have of him are the ones that you’re in too. Or how my brother cried himself to sleep for months after you left, thinking everyone else was already asleep…and I’m not saying that to make you feel bad Mickey. We all missed you. But the way Ian missed you…that’s not how you miss a friend. That’s how you miss someone you’re in love with”.

Mickey nods slowly, his gaze drifting over to Ian. “I’m in love with him” Ian whispers as he looks back at him, the words reluctant at first to come out in front of so many people.

“I’m in love with my best friend… I’m in love with Mickey. I missed him so much ”.

Fiona nods, her brown eyes filling with tears again, and he soon feels more warm bodies pressing up against him and Fiona as his siblings all join into the hug.

He hadn’t realized how hard it must have been for them to see him struggling so much, so low, while Mickey was gone. He hadn’t realized that he probably had scared them at times.

But now they understood.

As nervous as Ian had been to do this, to come out to his family, the second those words left his mouth, he felt…free.

Chapter Text

*Mickey’s P.O.V*

Jesus.

Ask Mickey a year ago if he would ever blurt out that he was gay, let alone in love, to a room full of people, and he would have told you that were you were fucking crazy.

In fact, he’d probably punch you just for suggesting it, and then redouble his efforts to appear so threatening, that no one would ever suggest it again.

But now here he was, helping to set the table at the Gallagher home as they all prepared for dinner, and all of them now knew his secret.

That he was gay, and he was in love with Ian.

Was that even enough to describe it, though? Being in love with him?

Mickey’s not sure.

As he looks over at the redhead sitting down across from him at the table, his heart does a familiar flip. One that used to terrify him, but now reminds him of what it means to be human, and in love.

Vulnerable. Something he had to learn to accept when it came to loving Ian.

And it wasn't easy for Mickey. No matter how hard he tried to only show Ian his brave front, it scared him shitless sometimes how hard he'd fallen for the him. How easy it was for Ian to sink into his all his fucking thoughts, and his lonely heart, from day one.

Like he was what was missing in Mickey's shitty life all along. Ian came along and gave life meaning, made Mickey want to be a person that could show love.

That could be loved back. 

And Mickey didn't even have anything to compare being in love to. The only other type of love at all he ever really had in his life was what he got from his sister, Mandy.

And then a more heavily watered down version of that from his half brothers who, growing up in different homes, never even connected all that much with him.

Mickey just knows, that from the moment he really spent time with Ian that day back in September, almost a year ago now, Ian made him not only to want to live his life again, but to enjoy it. To treasure every second of it he had with him.

He'd come to love not only Ian, but his family too, and he knows that he doesn’t want to lose him, ever again. Doesn’t want to put him in danger ever again.

He’d die before he’d fucking let that happen. Mickey clears his throat, a little reluctant to bring up what he knows he has to.

The fact remains that they still live in the South Side, and Terry still exists. The important part had been done anyways, with Ian’s family and Mickey’s sister now knowing about them, and that had to be enough for now.

Mickey’s tone is firm, not allowing any room for argument as he addresses the rest of the Gallaghers.

“So, if it’s not fucking clear already, you guys can’t go around telling people about us. Any of you, to anyone. This stays in the family alright? It’s for Ian’s own safety”.

Ian shoots him a reprimanding look, and Mickey sighs, adding, “Okay, Ian. And mine. You all remember what my dad is fucking like. He will come for me, and he will come for Ian, if he ever finds out. And he won’t stop this time either”.

A sad and tense silence falls over the table as they all remember the horrible night Terry came barging into their home to grab Mickey and take him away over his botched drug deal, beating him in the process.

There’s no doubt in Mickey's mind that his dad would murder him if word went around town that his son was a faggot.

It would destroy his business and it would destroy the little faith he had in his son, based on the idea he held of Mickey being a tough criminal, and nothing more.

His bigger fucking concern anyways is that his dad would hurt or maybe even kill Ian too. Again, he’d die before he let that fucking happen.

Just the thought of someone hurting Ian makes him want to drive his head into a wall.

The Gallaghers slowly nod, and then Mickey nods too, satisfied that they all understand the gravity of the situation.

The table is still quiet though, and Mickey feels shitty about bringing the mood down until Ian speaks again, trying to alleviate the awkward tension.

And it is awkward, explaining to your boyfriend's entire family that because you like to fuck the guy sitting across the table from you, that because you love him, your dad wants to kill him and you.

Not pleasant stuff.

“So… Fiona, I still can’t believe you knew all this time. Crazy, you never acted like you knew” Ian says, twirling pasta around on his fork as he smiles at his sister, hopeful that this will get everyone on a new, more pleasant train of thought. 

Fiona hesitates to respond at first, “Well…maybe it wasn’t all sisterly wisdom. I may have seen some things”.

That sure as hell gets everyone on a new train of thought.

Mickey immediately reddens as a few utensils around the table are dropped, his mouth opening slightly as his eyes flash towards Ian, who quickly asks, “What do you mean you saw things?”

Out or not, Micky burns with embarrassment at the thought of being caught getting fucked up the ass. Liking what he likes doesn’t make him a bitch, but it doesn’t make him a fucking show off either.

Lip groans in disgust, interrupting his thoughts. “Jesus, have they been fucking in my room?”

“Yeah, on your bed you twat” Mickey snaps, both embarrassment and worry going out the fucking window.

It was a downright lie of course, but that didn’t halt his satisfaction at Lip’s annoyed look in response.

Fiona laughs, “No…I found pictures under Ian’s mattress when I was changing the sheets… Not pictures like that Lip! Pictures of them together, a lot of them. Also, whenever Mickey stays over and sleeps on the floor beside Ian’s bed, they…they fall asleep holding hands”.

That’s not so bad, Mickey thinks. He can live with her seeing that. Although, he’s a little caught of guard by the discovery that Ian keeps pictures of him right under his mattress.

Maybe because he does the same thing.

“Oh my God!” Debbie squeaks, “That’s so cute!”

“Pretty fuckin cute” Lip admits, Mickey glaring at him for referring to him as doing something cute.

Lip might be Ian’s big brother and all, but he’s the same age as Mickey and there’s some sort of weird alpha male thing that sometimes springs up between them.

He can't help it, it's a Milkovich thing.

Carl speaks up, “Sometimes Ian moans when he’s sleeping and he says Mickey’s name”.

Ian’s eyes immediately widen as he rounds on his little brother, “Carl! Shut the fuck up !” His face is red with embarrassment, but Mickey is actually a little pleased to hear that.

Hearing Ian found him attractive, sexy, even when he wasn’t around, was reassuring. Carl doesn’t understand why his older brother is upset anyways.

“What? I didn’t know what it means. Does it mean you’re gay?” he asks his brother, looking between Mickey and Ian in confusion. Lip answers, a slight smirk on his face.

“Yeah Carl, generally speaking, moaning and jerking yourself over another dude means you’re gay”.

Ian groans, unable to even eat his dinner anymore. “You happy now?” he grumbles, shooting Mickey a dirty look, “We’re gonna have to put up with this non-stop”. Mickey shrugs, and then laughs, “They’ll get bored with it eventually”.

Ian raises his eyebrow at him, “Yeah, well somehow, I don’t think you’ll find it as fucking funny while Mandy’s harassing you at home”.

Mickey shuts up. He has a point.

Fiona looks between them in surprise at the mention of Mickey's sister, “I thought-“

“Mandy figured it out too, a long time ago apparently. She knows better than anyone not to say anything. She’s…happy” Ian tells her.

“Can we have a party?” Debbie suddenly asks, looking up at her older brother hopefully, “My friend Sara had a party for her big sister when she told them she was gay”.

Mickey tries not to show how much he hates that idea while Ian tries to let her down gently, “Erm…no Debs. It’s not a big deal okay, we just were tired of pretending we were just friends, that’s all”.

Mickey snorts, tipping his head at Debbie, “You and my sister would get along great”. He can just imagine the fucking rainbow cupcakes.

And knowing Mandy, there’d probably be penis shaped straws for their drinks too, or something else just as fucked.

He smirks to himself at the thought of it.

The night goes on, and eventually the Gallaghers, other than Ian, all sort of look around awkwardly as they start to clear up to house to get ready for bed, and Mickey’s not sure what to do with himself.

Was he supposed to go home? Were things different now that they were a couple?

Ian finally looks at his older sister, addressing the awkwardness. “Mickey can still sleepover, right? You’re not gonna tell me he can’t sleep here now, are you?” he asks warningly.

She raises her eyebrow at his tone, “Well no Ian…but that was also before”.

“You already knew we were together!” he exclaims, looking around to see if anyone else finds this ridiculous. Mickey chews the inside of his cheek as Ian reaches him, casually averting his eyes.

It would really fucking suck if he couldn’t stay here anymore. The Gallagher house was like an oasis for him in their shithole of a neighborhood, an escape from Terry and the dark and dirty Milkovich house.

Not because it was a fantastic house itself or anything, but because... it was warm, and inviting or some shit. He felt like he belonged here. 

Fiona just smiles, blushing in amusement at Ian’s little freak-out. “Calm down. I didn’t say he couldn’t stay here! Just, if you’re going to share a bed-“

“No fucking” Lip interrupts, finishing the sentence for Fiona in a more blunt way, “I’m not listening to you two bang all night”.

Ian rolls his eyes and Mickey grins, thinking he would too, just to spite him. But there’s also gonna be Carl and Liam in the room, and tonight’s not about fucking anyways.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m gonna shower, and then I’m going to bed. With Mickey” Ian says pointedly, heading upstairs, his brothers soon following. Mickey starts to follow them up too, last in line, but Fiona grabs his arm gently and stops him, leading him back into the kitchen.

He looks at her nervously, wondering if she’s going to ask him to leave. Cause what the fuck could he say to that?

Instead, she just looks at him for a long moment before letting go of his arm. “Thank you” she says quietly. Mickey swallows hard, looking back into her brown eyes for a moment.

“I really do love him” he tells her.

“I know” she says softly. Fiona smiles, but he sees tears in her eyes, and he’s not sure what to fucking do. Should he comfort her? For what? But she answers his unspoken question for him.

“There were days I thought I was going to lose my little brother while you were gone. He was… so different, Mickey. He never smiled. He barely ate. He cried every-“

Her voice breaks, and Mickey feels tears in his own eyes as he pictures it, his throat getting thick with emotion.

She finds her voice again, “Every night. And I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to help him. But now…it's just so much better. Thank you for loving him, for letting him know he could trust us with this”. Fiona nods her head, getting more confident as Mickey nods back, unable to respond with words.

It scares him shitless just thinking about what she’s inferring. That Ian could have been gone when he came back home. "Please don’t go away again” she finally says, laughing gently as she wipes away the tears from her eyes, giving him a big smile.

Fuck it. Mickey finally goes for it and just gives her a hug, realizing him and Fiona maybe aren’t so different after all.

Like him, she carried the weight of the world on her shoulder sometimes. He makes a mental note to start helping out more when he's around, and he pauses before he heads up the stairs, knowing Ian will be waiting for him now.

“I'm not going anywhere” he assures her, glancing back just to make sure she heard.

From the smile on her face, she did.

~

Ian is already laying down on his bed, and he watches Mickey through loving eyes as he heads into the boy’s bedroom, his dark hair still slightly damp after his quick shower. He can tell Carl and Lip are both sneakily watching them, even though they both pretend to be busy with something else, Carl with his Gameboy and Lip with his phone.

Ignoring them, Mickey tilts his head slightly, looking down at Ian thoughtfully as he reaches the edge of his bed. It’s the first time he will have spent the night without having to make a bed for himself on the floor.

For some reason though, he still feels like needs permission. Needs to be told it’s okay, and that he’s wanted there.  

And Ian, after wanting to for so long, wordlessly invites Mickey into his bed, moving over onto his side to make room for him. Mickey slowly eases onto the bed, shifting and then laying down on his back beside him.

He puts one arm behind his head, and then looks over at Ian, who is laying on his side.

They look into each other eyes for a long moment before Ian lifts his own arm and puts it over Mickey’s chest, feeling his heartbeat beneath it.  A few seconds later Mickey curls his other arm around Ian’s back to hold him even closer.

The room is peacefully quiet, and all eyes are shamelessly on them now, as even Fiona comes in to switch off the bedroom light for them.

But Ian and Mickey don’t notice the lack of sound or light, and even in the dark they continue to look at each other for a very long time, until Ian finally lowers his head to rest it in the crook of Mickey’s arm, and closes his eyes, both of them exhausted after the emotional roller-coaster of the day.

To them as they drift off to sleep, there’s no one else in the room.

Chapter Text

*Back to Ian’s P.O.V* 

Ian shifts slowly as he comes to in the morning, feeling a warm and solid presence beneath the side of his face.

He breaths in deeply before he opens his eyes, Mickey’s comforting scent against his nose being a pleasant surprise.

When he opens his eyes a few seconds later, he feels his heart race and he immediately pulls away from his boyfriend, realizing he’s in a bedroom filled with his brothers. He remembers yesterday right as Mickey wakes up from the loss of his weight, blinking and rubbing his eyes as he asks sleepily, “What’s wrong?”

Ian relaxes, letting out his breath slowly as he sinks back onto the bed, “Nothing”.

Mickey opens his eyes and looks at him for a moment, catching on to the reason for his initial panic even in his sleepy state. “We’re good Ian. C’mere”.

Ian moves back onto him and Mickey presses his lips against him, giving him a warm and comforting kiss. Ian deepens it, lowering his hand underneath the light bedsheet covering them to reach for his boyfriend’s morning wood.

His boyfriend doesn’t protest right away while Ian rubs his cupped hand against it, but after a while he shakes his head, “Not gonna be able to go back to sleep if you keep fucking doing that”.

Ian takes his hand away, glancing over at his brothers to see if he can get away with at least going down on him before they wake up, but then he notices Liam is awake now too.

He blushes as Liam stares at them, even though the toddler doesn’t know what’s going on.

Mickey looks over at him too, Liam giving him an excited smile and banging his hand on the guardrail of his bed.

“How about you get Liam going and meet me downstairs after? I gotta take a piss first” he tells him. Ian nods and removes his arm from Mickey’s chest so Mickey can get up and go to the bathroom. He puts his finger to his lips to remind Liam to be quiet, not that it’s necessary, Liam rarely talks, as he pulls Liam out of his little bed and over the guard rail. He dresses his little brother in some light summer clothes and then heads downstairs with Liam, balancing him on his hip.

Ian goes over to fridge and starts to pull out some things to make breakfast. A frying pan, some eggs. Where the hell is the bread, he wonders, frowning as he searches through the cupboards for it.

Mickey wanders downstairs just as he finds it, still dressed in his boxers and his loose muscle shirt.

He grins as he comes over and leans in to give Ian a quick kiss as he breaks the eggs into the frying pan, Liam reaching over to grab his ear as he does.

Mickey touches the spot where the little hand was on his ear and laughs, taking Liam from Ian’s arms so he can manoeuvre around the kitchen more easily. He takes Liam over to the kitchen table and puts him in his chair, Liam smacking his arm gently.

Ian looks over at the two of them and a realization slowly dawns on him, as he stands there with the spatula in his hand, forgetting about the eggs.

Maybe it was the domestic morning, maybe it was because his family finally knew about them, or maybe it was because Mickey had finally slept in his bed with him. Whatever it was, Ian's mind is no longer denying what he's probably known for a while. 

This is what he wants.

This. Mornings with Mickey, after nights with Mickey.

And Liam might be his little brother, but watching the toddler interact with his boyfriend makes a strange thought form in his head.

Would he… ever get to be a dad? Would Mickey? Did he even want that?

Would they ever have mornings like this down the road, with their own kids?

Even though Ian used to think of himself as having kids one day, he’d sort of brushed it away as an impossibility as he got older and realized there was no way he could live a straight life.

He watches as Mickey nods to a hungry Liam, assuring him he’ll have breakfast soon.

But it wasn’t impossible. Even if he got to live his life the way he wanted to, with a man as his partner. With Mickey. There were ways. And now that him and Mickey were out to his family, it suddenly felt more plausible. 

Ian’s never thought this far and this seriously into a future with Mickey before. His heart beats a little faster a little with the intensity of his thoughts, and the implications of them. Things were different since Mickey got back from Memphis though... more serious since he’d realized what life was like without him. 

Mickey suddenly pulls him from his thoughts, now standing right in front of him and waving a hand in front of his face. “Ian? Ian! You’re gonna burn the eggs. Here gimme that”.

He takes the spatula from Ian’s dangling hand, and edges in front of him so he is standing in front of the stove instead, scraping the eggs to salvage them and rearranging them in the pan.

Watching his boyfriend as he focuses on making their breakfast, Ian leans just slightly behind his shorter boyfriend, and rests his chin on Mickey’s shoulder in contentment. He decides to keep his thoughts to himself for now, letting them dissipate as he focuses on the present, a good place to be.

Neither of them say anything, and just stand there like that for a while as Mickey cooks, Liam happily playing at the table with a book Mickey had handed him to keep him entertained before he came over to help.

They don’t notice the rest of the family starting to trickle into the kitchen at first, until Carl scrapes his chair loudly away from the table, pulling them from their quiet moment.

“Hey”, Ian says, looking over at his younger brother. “Are you making eggs? Can I have some?” Carl asks, peering over at Mickey at the stove as Debbie heads downstairs too.

Mickey points at him with the spatula, “Get your little brother some milk and you can”. Ian was expecting Carl to argue, but he just does it, coming back over to the stove when he’s done.

“Plates” Mickey says without looking at him, tapping the spatula against the pan as he finishes up. Carl gets a stack of plates and Debbie gets utensils without being asked. She’s helpful like that.

They all move around the kitchen, filling plates and setting up places at the table, Ian pouring coffees as Lip and Fiona finally wander downstairs last.

Fiona smiles softly at the sight of them, something Ian doesn’t miss.

He looks over at his boyfriend, who’s offering Liam a bite of eggs, and smiles back at her. Fiona nods her head, not saying anything. Not needing to. She joins them at the table at then looks around at all of them as she takes her first sip of coffee.

“So, I was thinking. It’s a beautiful day, and it’s supposed to be super hot, so how about we all go to the beach? Long beach”.

Ian looks at her in surprise, wondering why she chose a beach over an hour away in Indiana instead of any of Chicago’s as the rest of his siblings excitedly agree.

Fiona clears her throat, noticing his look. “It would be nice to do a family outing. And then you guys can, you know, not worry about anyone we know being there”.

Mickey looks up from his plate, his eyes shifting from her over to Ian, who asks, “You want to Mick?”

He’s touched his sister suggested it, including Mickey as part of the family.

Mickey shrugs, a little smile on his face. “Do you?” Ian feels himself nodding, “Yeah…yeah that would be fun. Thanks Fiona. We gonna rent a van?”

It’s gonna be a Gallagher family road trip, and there’s no way they’d get all the way there on a bus without getting kicked off.

Fiona smiles, “I already asked Kev to drop one off for us in an hour”.

“An hour?” Mickey says, “Shit, I better run home and get my trunks and stuff. Be back soon”. He gets up from the table and stops to kiss Ian awkwardly on the hairline before he goes upstairs to get dressed.

The family continues to eat quietly until he comes back down and leaves, and then Fiona puts her hand over her mouth to cover her smile. Ian looks from her to Debbie, noticing her smiling too as she swings her legs against her chair.

“What?” he asks.

“It’s just…funny seeing Mickey like that. Maybe funny isn’t the right word” Fiona admits, shrugging apologetically as Debbie nods her head in agreement.

“He’s like that all the time” Ian informs them, grinning as he finishes his breakfast and heads to the kitchen sink. Lip stops beside him while he’s rinsing off his plate, leaning around to get his attention.

“Smoke in five? Wanna talk to you” he says, raising his eyebrow pointedly.

“Ten” Ian answers, wanting to jump in the shower and get dressed first.

He wonders what Lip is on about as he joins him on the front porch closer to fifteen minutes later, popping a cigarette in his mouth as Lip is close to finishing his first one.

He looks pensive, and a little agitated, as he taps some ash into the grass beside the steps.

“What’s up?” Ian asks.

Lip glances over at him and then looks down at his feet, “Why…why didn’t you tell me man?”

Ian looks at his older brother in surprise, he hadn’t been expecting that.

At all.

“A lot of reasons” he finally answers, lamely. Lip shoots him a look, “Yeah? A lot of reasons why you lied to me so many times too?”

Ian suddenly feels uncomfortable, as he’s put on the spot. “I didn’t really lie…just left things out. It wasn’t easy for me Lip, I wanted to tell you guys a lot of times”. It was true, especially in the beginning when he was first falling for Mickey, all he wanted to do was tell someone about him. 

Lip takes a long and heavy pull from his cigarette, “We grew up together Ian. I thought I knew you, everything about you. And it turns out I don’t know you at all”.

The look on his face hurts Ian deeply, as he realizes his brother is hurting too. This was the last thing he had expected to arise from his coming out.

He says a little shakily, “I’m still me Lip. Still your brother. I’m just…gay”.

Lip lets out a deep sigh, finally saying with a little smile, “So all those times…when you came home practically in tears because you almost slept with someone other than the girl you thought you were falling for, when you were bugging me about what to do for a girl on valentine’s day, when you told me you were hooking up with a girl after the dance…”

“All Mickey” Ian confirms, scratching his neck awkwardly as he realizes how many times he had avoided telling Lip the truth. He lets out an uneasy laugh.

Lip butts out his cigarette, looking serious again. “Okay. I just…wish you had trusted me I guess. I don’t know what I did to make you think you couldn’t. I love you Ian, and I don’t care if you’re gay. I just want you to be happy”.

Ian feels a lump in his throat as he pulls his older brother into a hug, “It wasn’t about you, I promise. I love you too. Honestly it was more about Mickey’s dad over time, and our neighborhood. It was just safer that way, you know what I mean? And Lip, he makes me…really happy”.

He feels Lip nod into his shoulder, and as he pulls away, he’s relieved to see his older brother looking at him just like he used to, but with a little something else in his smile too.

Happiness for his little brother.

Chapter Text

 “Move your butt” Mickey says, shoving the heel of his palm against Carl so he’ll move to the window seat, “I wanna sit beside your brother”.

Carl grins and scooches over, Mickey climbing into the van once he does.

Ian stands behind him, waiting to get in next, and he bites his lip as he tries not to appreciate the ass in front of his face too much.

Although it is pretty damn perfect.

Debbie had called shotgun and was sitting up front with Fiona, who was driving, and Liam and Lip had the first row of seats. That left Ian, Carl, Mo, and Mickey to share the back row.

Fiona looks back as she starts the van, “Alright, everybody in? Carl, no throwing the beach ball while I’m driving. I’m serious! Mickey, please keep an eye on him”.

Mickey smacks the plastic beach ball away from Carl and into the open trunk space behind them, Carl sticking out his tongue at him in response.

Even though the van is big enough for all of them to spread out a bit, the AC is apparently broken, and the ride to Indiana is brutally hot, even with the windows rolled down.

They all quickly drain the water bottles that were supposed to last them the entire day, and about halfway to the beach Fiona pulls up in front of a grocery store so they can get another case.

“If you guys come in and help me, we can get popsicles for the cooler”.

An enticing offer in the August heat.

Ian starts to follow his siblings out of the van, but he feels a sweaty hand touch his and he looks back to see Mickey gazing at him intently.

His hair is slightly slicked back with perspiration, and his cheeks are flushed from the humid heat in the van, and something about seeing him like that is hot as hell. He opens the door beside him “Go for a pee Mo”.

Mickey’s dog leaps eagerly out of the van at his command and runs over to the small patch of trees just in front of them, content to sniff around for a bit in the fresh air.

Ian slams the van door shut as his siblings all head into the grocery store without them, and immediately turns to Mickey, giving him an open-mouthed kiss.

Mickey moves forward against his lean body, running one hand up underneath Ian’s loose tank top that he had chosen specifically for the beach, dressed similarly to his boyfriend. 

There are some small beads of sweat running down his chest and through Mickey’s fingers as they make out for a few minutes, but Mickey doesn’t give a fuck and neither does he.

If anything, it turns them on more.

Ian glances down at Mickey’s swim shorts and groans, noticing his enticing hard on.

He glances back at the store desperately, but he sees Fiona already heading for the door, carrying Liam while Lip carries the case of water bottles, and Debbie and Carl carry the cooler.

“Fuck” he says in annoyance, rearranging himself and pulling off of Mickey to sit back in his own place.

Carl shows up at Ian’s door, expecting to crawl over both of them and Ian snaps in frustration, “Go around to the other side dope”.

Mickey sucks on his teeth awkwardly as everyone else gets back in the van, Mo jumping in last, his wagging tail providing a pleasant moment of fanning for them.

“Why didn’t you come in with us?” Fiona says, turning the engine back on, “It’s a hundred degrees in here. Store had AC”.

“We’re fine” Ian lies, feeling Mickey’s hand settle back over his on the car seat.

“We got popsicles” Debbie says, turning around to look at them, “Want some?”

“Fuck yes” Mickey answers, stretching forward to take the ones she passes back for them.

Fiona pulls back onto the road as everyone else unwraps their popsicles and tries to cool off, Ian and Mickey in particular.

But when Ian looks over and sees his boyfriend licking the dripping popsicle before shoving it into his mouth, he feels even hotter than he did before, and small sound of interest escapes from his lips before he can stop it.

Mickey’s eyes flicker over in amusement, and he sucks on his popsicle a little more aggressively just to get him going. Ian shoves him, subtly gesturing at his swim trunks that are starting to show his excitement again.

Fuck off” he whispers.

Mickey just sticks his tongue out playfully and then goes back to his popsicle, with Ian very pointedly not looking over at him again until he is done and tossing the wooden stick to the floor.

By the time they get to the beach, everyone is hot and sweaty and more than ready for a refreshing swim in Lake Michigan.

Mickey yanks off his shirt as soon as they get out of the van and Ian does the same, tossing them both back into the backseat of the van before giving Mickey a playful shove and taking off on the sand towards the lake.

He hears Mickey let out laugh and Mo a bark, before his boyfriend comes tearing down the beach after him, reaching him right as Ian arrives at the edge of the lake.

Ian feels Mickey launch onto his back, and he shoves his arms under his boyfriend’s stocky legs to hold him there as he charges into the lake.  

“Ándale, ándale! Vámonos!” Mickey teases, reaching back to give him a firm smack on the ass. Ian laughs and releases Mickey as soon as he gets chest deep, dropping both of them underneath the cool water just as Mo goes swimming past.

“Ahh” he sighs as he comes back up, his hot skin prickling pleasantly in the lake water. Mickey shakes his head like a dog as he comes back up, before panting and grinning at Ian.

“What?” Ian asks, smiling back as he treads water gently.

“C’mere” Mickey tips his chin at him suggestively, and Ian swims towards him, meeting him halfway in the kiss.

They hold each other and sink slightly before they naturally float up again, using their legs to keep themselves in place instead as their hands are now busy gripping onto each other’s arms.  

They make out for another moment or so before they hear, “This is a public beach ya know” as Lip goes swimming past them, splashing at them teasingly.

Ian and Mickey release each other at the exact same time to splash him back, joining Lip in what quickly becomes a swimming race. Ian of course easily out swims both of them, and makes it back to the sand first.

Mickey soon joins him as Lip goes off in a different direction, and they collapse onto the warm sand back where Fiona is waiting for her turn to go for a real swim, instead of just wading in the lake with Liam.

Carl and Debbie are running down the beach chasing seagulls with Mo, and Lip had apparently found some cute girl getting her tan on to talk to.

That leaves Ian and Mickey on babysitting duty, and they each sit on either side of Liam as he digs into the sand with a plastic shovel.

Ian hangs back a bit, and watches Mickey help his little brother fill up his small bucket with sand and then tip it over, making a semi-decent sandcastle.

“But see, the best part is tearing it down Liam. Give it a good kick. Yeah! Just like that. Badass” Mickey offers a Liam a high five, and he smacks his little hand against Mickey’s, keeping it there.

Mickey runs his white thumb over the back of Liam’s chubby dark brown hand, using his other hand to shield his eyes as he looks down the beach. He turns to squint at Ian, “Did Fiona put sunscreen on him?”

He shrugs, “Yeah, probably. She wouldn’t have left him out here if she didn’t”. Mickey nods, “Okay. Did you?”

Ian scrunches his face in amusement, wriggling his toes in the warm sand, “No mom”. Mickey rolls his eyes, “Fuck you. Bet your white ass burns like a motherfucker”.

Ian laughs, “Well maybe you can check it out for me later”.

His boyfriend doesn’t even look over at him, just grins to himself.

“Maybe I fuckin will”.

It’s more of a promise than a threat.

They sit there in a happy silence for a while, as Ian stretches out in the sand, letting his skin soak up the sun while Mickey keeps Liam entertained.

“Mick?” he asks after a while, wondering how best to approach the question on his mind.

It had still been hovering around ever since earlier that morning, when he was making breakfast.

“Sup?” Mickey answers, handing Liam a water bottle to take a sip from.

“Have you ever thought about having kids someday?” Ian looks up at the bright blue summer sky, giving Mickey the privacy of whatever facial reaction he’s going to have before he answers.

Not that he even really knew how he felt about it himself. He was just curious to know what Mickey did.

Instead, Mickey just answers his question with another question, “Where the fuck did that come from?”

Ian shrugs, “I don’t know. I’m just curious I guess. Have you?” He glances over to see Mickey scratching his head and frowning.

“I don’t know man”.

Something about his expression tells Ian he has thought about it before, although he can’t tell in what context.

“Have… you?” Mickey asks back uncomfortably, playing a little less enthusiastically with Liam.

Ian nods the back of his head into the sand, feeling it grit into his red hair. “Yeah, not a lot, but I have. Way down the road I guess”.

Mickey trails his fingers through the sand casually, squinting into the bright sunlight reflecting off the lake.

“Like what? Finding a chick to have your baby? Adopting? What?”

“I don’t know” Ian answers honestly.

All he knew is that he used to want to have kids someday when he was younger. He always pictured having his own family. And even though that dream had gone away for a while, it had come back when he came to terms more with his sexuality and the different possibilities of his future.

There were even times he’d had a flash of a thought of him and Mickey taking care of a baby, just like they took care of Liam sometimes.

Of course, he would never tell Mickey that.

A gay relationship was not as black and white as a straight one, and with him and Mickey especially because of their situation, there was no clear-cut trajectory, no obvious path for them.

No guaranteed future even, really, as sad as that thought was for Ian.

Fiona comes back over to them, dripping from the lake and tossing her wet brown hair in their direction, distracting both of them.

Mickey reacts to getting hit by the spray like he’s greatly offended, but she just kicks her foot at him teasingly.

“Thanks for looking after Liam guys, you can take a break now though”. Mickey ruffles Liam’s hair as he gets up, coming over to offer Ian a hand. He pulls him to his feet, and Ian slings his arm around his boyfriend’s shoulders as they start to walk down the beach together.

It’s still quite hot out, but being right by waters edge, it feels breezy and comfortable, even with the extra warmth of Mickey underneath his arm.

They walk for quite some time, leaving the main beach and entering into a quieter area around the bend where no one had set up yet.

Opportunity knocks at Ian’s teenage brain as he looks around. He still hasn’t gotten off, not with interruptions already coming up twice today.

He gazes over at his boyfriend’s bare toned chest, and his soft stomach with just a hint of a treasure trail, and he feels a familiar pull in his junk.

Ian nuzzles over to give Mickey a soft kiss on his neck, and then nips his earlobe. Mickey touches his ear where Ian had bitten him, laughing in disbelief.

“Frisky motherfucker”.

“I’ve been wanting to fuck you all day, ever since I got into the van after you and had your perfect ass in my face for a solid minute” Ian grins, raising his eyebrows as Mickey looks over at him in amusement.

“That so?”

Instead of answering with words, Ian stops walking and trails his fingers over the waistband of Mickey’s swim shorts, the dark-haired boy shivering in response. Mickey wants him just as bad, he can tell, so Ian teases him a little more, letting his fingers roam over his shorts and pausing at his crotch.

He can feel Mickey’s semi soft cock underneath the material stiffening at his touch. Mickey bites his lip, shaking his head at him, “What the fuck are you doing Gallagher?”

Ian leans in and kisses his neck, resting his lips against his pulse point, “Not doing anything”.

“I bet to fuckin differ” Mickey says breathily, leaning in for another kiss, but Ian puts one hand on his chest and pushes him down onto the sand, lowering himself at the same time.

Mickey leans back against the hot sand as Ian straddles and hovers over him, looking down at his handsome face.

A seagull screams as it flies over them, adding to the sounds of the lake lapping up against the shore.

The other beachgoers are too far away now to hear, and they are lost in their own private moment. The August heat’s got nothing on them.

The sand is burning and gritty against Ian’s skin where it touches, but in other places he feels Mickey. He’s hot to the touch as well, but he’s soft and inviting too…

He lowers his hips slightly, grinding into Mickey’s crotch and igniting his semi again. He starts to lower himself slowly but Mickey reaches up and grabs the back of his neck, rolling and pulling him down faster, bringing his lips into Ian’s desperately.

“You want it? You want me?” Ian asks, his words shaking into his boyfriend’s mouth as he practically trembles with need, pleasantly caught off guard by how quickly Mickey came around.

Mickey nods, opening his mouth to slide his tongue in and against Ian’s, as he arches his back upwards and presses his hard dick against Ian’s leg.

Ian nods back, wordlessly telling Mickey he’ll take care of him as they both reach down to lower their swim shorts. Ian finishes first and helps Mickey yank his down next, turning him onto his side afterwards. He spits into his hand generously, before lowering it to rub into Mickey’s hole, loosening him with his finger at the same time.

Fuck….” Mickey sighs, and then groans, shifting back into his hand. Ian rests his chin on the side of Mickey’s neck, looking down at his face to watch his pleasured reactions as he fingers him.

And then as he presses into him with his cock.

Mickey bites his lip and grunts, nodding his head slightly in affirmation even as his eyes are closed from the stretching sensation.

Ian fucks into him slowly, cautious because even though they are out of sight, it’s still bright daylight and they are out in public, so someone could always come exploring this end of the beach.

But he doesn’t worry about that for long, as he sinks more deeply into the feeling, Mickey laying on his side making it an especially tight squeeze. Ian lowers one arm down over Mickey’s chest, his boyfriend immediately grabbing onto it as he arches his back even more.

Ian works him with an easy pace, slowly building both of them as Mickey’s eyes keep closing and his mouth keeps opening in quiet pleasure. He moves his arm from Mickey’s chest downwards slightly so he can stroke his cock at the same time.

Mickey doesn’t complain, and Ian jerks him to the same pace of his gentle thrusts.

They are much quieter than usual, perhaps because they are in such a public place, but Ian does hear a little whimper from Mickey right as he watches his now reddened cock shoot his release into the sand.

Mmhhh ” Ian presses his lips together and grabs the top of Mickey’s hip, fucking him a little harder for his own release.

He sighs happily as he comes, pulling out slowly and placing a loving kiss on Mickey’s spine after he’s finished.

Mickey rolls back around in the sand. He kisses Ian on the lips, and then on the forehead, not caring about the sweat and the sand that’s sticking to him, because he’s just as bad.

“I’m a mess” Mickey says softly as he pulls away, smiling at him.

“I know” Ian answers, smiling back a little more eagerly as he comes up with an idea.

“Race you to the water?”

“You got it Army”.

The two of them yank their shorts back up and run for the lake, throwing themselves into it as eagerly as they throw themselves into each other.

 

Chapter Text

“What’s this?” Ian asks, as his family pulls up in front of the Gallagher house that night after their day long trip to the beach. There’s music blaring from the house, and the lights are all on, peaking his interest.

He turns to look at Mickey to see if he had anything to do with it, but he seems just as confused as Ian is, and simply shrugs his shoulders.

Fiona turns around in her seat to lean towards them, “Okay so, I know you said no coming out party, but this is just a regular party. So you can’t say anything”.

Ian grins at the overly innocent look on her face, “That just happens to take place the day after I came out”. He laughs, “Is that Kev and V in there?”

She nods, beaming at him. “I asked them to come over and get things started before we got back”.

Fiona waves her cellphone in front of his face, showing him a very brief text conversation in which V had instantly agreed to bring over booze and music.

Mickey suddenly clears his throat, “What exactly did you tell them?” Ian looks back to see his boyfriend’s face is darker now, with worry lines creasing his forehead, and his own excitement dulls slightly.

Fiona looks back at him with a reassuring smile.

“I didn’t tell them anything about you two. But I want you to know Mickey, neither one of them would ever say anything. V is my best friend, and they love us Gallaghers too, believe it or not”.

Ian rubs the top of Mickey’s hand with his own, trying to convey his trust, and he feels him relax slightly.

“Alright…they can fuckin know I guess. But only cause I don’t wanna play ‘friends’ with Ian all night. No one else though...fuck I’m dying for a beer. Let’s get out of this shitbox”.

With Mickey’s go ahead, they all pile out of the van and head into the house, Fiona digging around in the kitchen drawers for noise cancelling headphones for Liam so he can still go to bed on time.

When she comes back downstairs alone she claps her hands together in determination, “Let’s do this!” She dances over to V, who is already moving to the music, while the rest of them go to get some drinks.

Ian breezes past his boyfriend to quickly go to the bathroom, and when he comes back out he spots him standing across the living room, shot gunning beers with Lip by the fish tank.

Mickey smiles into his beer can as Ian heads over, and he gestures with his finger, Ian coming in close so he can transfer the can to his mouth without making a mess.

He drains the beer from the slit Mickey had cut into the can, and Lip hands each of them another one once he’s finished, still looking amused at the sight of them together.

Ian’s lips feel chapped and dry after spending the entire day in the sun, and he chugs his second beer eagerly, feeling a nice buzz settle over him. He has to be a little more careful with his drinking because of his medication, but he’s tested his limits and he knows he can handle it if he takes breaks here and there.

“Should I invite Mandy over?” he asks, tapping Mickey on the shoulder to get his attention. It only seemed fair, considering she also played a role in their coming out.

“Go for it” Mickey answers, looking at something behind him thoughtfully.

Kev comes over to them, and Ian’s eyes flicker past his boyfriend’s to see his sister and V dancing on each other. They always did shit like that.

It was so much easier for girls that were friends to be physically affectionate with each other, and nobody ever thought anything of it. If only him and Mickey could be like that around the people they still had to fool in public.

Kev puts one large hand on each of their shoulders, pulling Mickey and Ian in on either side as they start to laugh. Kev’s a fucking goof, but he’s a good guy, and everybody loves him.

“Cheers for queers!” he hoots, raising his beer to them.

Ian smiles as Fiona yells back “Wooo!”, everyone else raising their drinks to them.

Mickey’s eyes gleam with a heat that Ian recognizes as he takes two more of the shots that V brings over, dumping them down his throat and then licking his lips before he moves in closer, Ian grinning as the distance between them closes.

Alcohol was one sure-fire way for Mickey to be more open with his actions, and he wonders if it’s also a way for Mickey to fight his own nerves about being openly affectionate with him in front of everyone.

The doorbell rings, and there is the briefest of interruptions as Mandy comes in and says a quick hello to everyone before going to get herself a drink from the kitchen, Lip trailing after her like a dog. Everyone else gets back to their dancing and the house loud is and exuberant again, filled with life and laughter.

Mickey’s eyes flicker after them briefly before he decides he’d rather focus right now on what’s right in front of him.

Ian.

Ian, who leans against Mickey’s firm and solid body, running his hands down his boyfriend’s sides as he begins to dance on him.

This was all he had wanted to do at the school dance, but he would take getting to do this now without complaint.

And Mickey giving in to it was even better.

He’s a few shots and drinks deeper than Ian is, and in a more of a “I don’t give a fuck” state after all the big steps he’s taken over the past two days.

The mood is playful at first, and Ian moves behind him, keeping his hands on Mickey’s thick hips as he gently grinds against his perfect ass. He’s know he’s acting like a horny kid at some middle school dance, but it’s just too tempting not to.

And sober Mickey might tell him to fuck off.

Smashed Mickey does not. “Baby grind on mee…” he sings drunkenly, before he bursts out laughing, feeling Ian pressed up suggestively against his ass.

Between the friction and heat, the mood isn’t playful for long, and soon they are dancing like they are at a club, surrounded by strangers… but with no one else in the room.

With one hand still clutching his fresh beer, and the other outstretched into the space beside them, Mickey turns around and presses his forehead to Ian’s, and lets him dance against him, lets him run his hands over his toned and solid body, and he touches him back.

As everyone gets more trashed, nobody even pays attention to what they are doing anymore, and Ian presses his junk against Mickey’s thigh again, grinding into him more needily. He knows Mickey can feel his hard on now, and there’s nothing subtle about it anymore.

Mickey licks his lips and leans in slowly towards him, pausing for a second before he presses his lips to Ian’s.

His lips are dry and chapped too, but he tastes like beer and sunshine, and he smells like the beach. Ian kisses him back, moving into him even more.

He can’t hear Mickey moan over the blasting music, but he feels it in his mouth, the sound travelling through him like fire.

“I want you so bad” he murmurs into Mickey’s ear, watching the goosebumps appear on his pale skin as his boyfriend licks his lips again.

He reaches a hand down subtly to Mickey’s crotch and brushes against the boner he had apparently tried to hide, by tucking in into his waistband when Ian wasn’t looking.

“Mmm” Ian says, nodding as Mickey looks into his eyes, a deep need reflected in their blues. He takes Mickey’s hand and leads him upstairs, away from the rest of the party.

He brings him straight to the bathroom, knowing Liam is asleep in his own room. He doesn’t want to be gentle, he doesn’t want to be quiet.

He just wants.

Ian kicks the door shut behind them as him and Mickey stumble into the bathroom, tangled into each other, all open mouths and groans. He kisses down Mickey’s neck, and after moving his hands to grasp onto his hips, he turns him around again and yanks down his swim trunks.

Mickey drains his beer and drops the empty bottle into the sink with a clatter as Ian pushes him up against it from behind, rolling his hips and pressing his hard-on up against Mickey’s hole.

The music reaches them right upstairs, but he can hear Mickey in here too.

Can hear the sounds of want he makes.

“Fuckin tease” Mickey moans breathily, looking up into the mirror to catch the reflection of his eyes. Ian’s dark eyes flicker back up at him in the glass as he kisses his neck again.

Mickey hangs his head and bites his lip until Ian starts to stroke his cock with one hand, and then he looks back up into the mirror, both of them watching each other’s faces.

Ian loves it, getting a wicked thrill from being able to watch Mickey’s changing expressions as he begins to scissor his fingers into him.

The way his cheeks flush and his pupils widen and darken, the way he loses control over his mouth, and the way it opens and closes as he swallows hard with pleasure, shaking his head in denial over how good Ian can make him feel.

Ian…”

Ian moves his hand from Mickey’s cock onto his shoulder, gripping it tightly as he takes his fingers out of Mickey’s ass and pushes into him with his cock instead.

“Fuckk…”

It’s strange, and insanely hot, eye fucking his boyfriend in the mirror while he actually fucks him.

And Mickey is just giving him all the control, letting him do what he wants, as he just fucking lets go and allows himself himself be dominated.

“Mickey” he gasps, sliding his hand down from his boyfriend’s shoulder to wrap his arm around his soft abdomen instead, holding him closer.

He watches his own eyes darken and expand, his eyelids getting heavier with sexual intoxication as he fucks into Mickey hard, slamming him up against the sink repeatedly.

He gives it to him rough, catering to both their moods.

And Mickey’s eyes, he sees the orgasm building in them, and he watches breathlessly as the pupils dilate and expand even more, his mouth opening and grimacing as he’s hit by it.

Sweat beads on his forehead just below his dark hair, and his brilliant blue eyes roll back a bit as he finally pushes back against the sink violently and shoots his load to the floor, untouched as he finishes.

Ian’s mouth opens and his eyes close, as he continues to hump into Mickey, arching his back and clenching his teeth as he feels his own orgasm roll through him, practically knocking him on his ass. He pulls out and jizzes onto the floor too.  

He’s spent, and panting.

Mickey slowly turns and looks their come on the floor, and then at him, shaking his head in disbelief, “That was fucking amazing”.

“You’re fucking amazing” Ian answers, giving him a sloppy kiss that almost misses his mouth, “I’ll clean up. You can go down first if you want, just so it’s less you know-“

“Obvious that you fucked the shit out of me?” Mickey laughs, panting slightly. “I need a drink. See you downstairs”.

He gives Ian another satisfied kiss before he heads out of the bathroom, pulling the door closed behind himself.

Ian’s shoulders drop after he leaves and he looks at himself in the mirror for a second, his damp and sweaty red hair pushed up messily on his head, his cheeks flushed, his expression happy.

Mickey was the best anti-depressant that he could have.

When Ian comes back downstairs a while later, after he finishes cleaning up, he sees Mickey had gotten even deeper into V’s shots of vodka, as he dances beside her with abandon.

“Iannnn... there’s Ian” he says, raising his hand to point at him in excitement. V laughs, “I know honey, look at that handsome redhead”.

Mickey nods his head, biting his bottom lip, “He’s all mine. Fuck he does me good”.

Ian blushes as he grabs another beer for himself, noticing the surprised and amused look on Lip’s face at Mickey’s drunken admission.

Mickey notices too.

“I’m gonna mmm… someday…” he mumbles and trails off as he addresses Lip, “…Your brother”.

“Is that so?” Lip chuckles, amused, “Ian what the hell where you doing for so long upstairs? He’s fuckin trashed. Pretty sure he did the last entire tray of shots”.

“I was…thirsty” Mickey says defensively, laughing at himself afterwards and trying to wink at Ian.

Ian pulls his eyes away from Mickey, trying not to smirk.

“Cleaning…something”.

Ian and Lip both turn in surprise, and then start to laugh, as Mickey suddenly forgets about their conversation, and starts to sing along with the song that’s currently playing,

“Got girls to my left, drinks to my right, how can you doubt it, this is gon' be one of them nights. Whatever you neeeed is on the dance floor….can't wait anymore because it don't last forever…No-oh whoa..” he nods at Ian as he dances, who frankly is enjoying the hell out of this.

Drunk Mickey was fucking fun.

Mandy comes over to smirk at her older brother after watching him sing along with the song blasting through Fiona’s speakers, but seeing him past his normal point of public intoxication, she turns to his boyfriend instead.

“Ian, can you help me get him home tonight? Dad’s not there, so you can stay over if you want”.

Before Ian can even answer Mickey butts in, “This is…a fuckin party. Mandy”.

She rolls her eyes, and giggles. “Yeah, and I get you’ve grown some serious balls over the past couple days, but I’m sure the Gallaghers don’t want to deal with your drunk ass all night”.

He just shakes his dark head, and Mandy looks over at Ian for help, who seeing her point quickly steps in with, “Well okay, you can stay here then. I guess me and Mandy will just go back to your place and maybe I’ll see you tomorrow”.

Mickey scoffs as he turns to his sister, who had initiated the conversation.

“I’m coming too. With Ian. I go where he goes” he tells her.

He’s too trashed to notice the small smile on Ian’s face as him and Mandy help to prop him up with their shoulders, and walk him home.

Chapter Text

Mickey burps loudly and groans as Mandy readjusts his limp weight on her shoulder, and she grimaces, warning him as they approach their house.

“Mickey, you better not fucking puke on me. I swear. I’m already covered in your nasty sweat”.

Ian is about to defend his boyfriend by saying they are both just as sweaty, it’s hot as balls out, but Mickey is already opening his mouth, presumably to argue back.

Instead of arguing back, he hurls onto the sidewalk in front of the Milkovich house, with the splashback hitting both Ian and Mandy, who cringe but continue to support him.

“Oh for fuck’s sake” his sister grumbles, dragging him over to and then dumping him on the front steps of their house, “That’s disgusting Mick”.

She turns to Ian and shudders dramatically, “He’s your fucking problem now”.

Ian scratches the back of his head, observing Mickey who is now leaning back against the steps and closing his eyes.

“He doesn’t usually get this drunk”.

Mandy shrugs, “Not with you maybe. This is Mickey trying-to-act-like-he’s-not-scared-about-something drunk. You get used to it, living with our dad. I’ve seen him like this more times than I can count”.

Ian nods, “I get it. Terry won’t find out, I promise”.

As much as Mickey’s bravery in coming out to Ian’s family and encouraging him to do the same meant to him, he was under no illusion that it would all be sunshine and rainbows for them going forward.

They’d still have to watch themselves in public, and he would have to try and avoid being around while Terry was home. But still…it was worth it for the moments they now could share.

Mandy looks back at her older brother and her expression softens slightly, “I hope not. I’ll do my best to help you guys. And Ian? Thanks for helping take care of him”.

Ian just grins at her, “It’s what we do”.

It was true, growing up with a houseful of siblings, he was always helping take care of someone or another. Mandy laughs and heads inside, and Ian smiles down at his passed-out boyfriend.

What’s a little puke from the love of your life?

He crouches down beside Mickey and grunts as he picks him up, finding his solid weight significantly more taxing while he’s unconscious.

Ian straightens up slowly, and kicking opening the door as he steadies himself, brings Mickey inside the house, all of his arm muscles straining as he carries him into his room.

He puts Mickey down on his bed as gently as he can, stretches, and then pulls off Mickey’s shoes and his dirty shirt before he heads into the bathroom to get a bucket and a washcloth. That was exactly what Fiona had done for him the first time he was hungover.

Ian gently wipes Mickey’s face clean with the cloth, paying extra care around his mouth before he pushes the bucket over to the floor in front of him, and quietly leaves him there to sleep for a while.

Noticing that Mandy had already gone to bed, but not feeling tired himself, Ian wanders around the house for a bit, hoping he’ll feel tired soon.

There’s not much for him to do. He could make a field day of cleaning the place, but he’d rather not, and it would probably piss Mickey off anyways.

Curiosity grabs him when he reaches Terry’s bedroom door, and he stands there for a moment, thinking.

What made him such a hateful bastard? How could Ian hate someone so much he had barely even spoken to?

He hesitates at first, almost completely walking away, but then curiosity gets the better of him and he pushes open the bedroom door, looking around the mostly dark room with inquisitive eyes as some light spills in from the hallway.

Ian doesn’t leave what feels like the safety of the doorway as he scans over the bedroom, his breath shallow.

It’s pretty plain.

A mess mostly, is his first impression.

There are a few posters of half naked women taped onto the walls, including a pinup calendar that’s five years out of date, some clothes are strewn around on the floor, and there’s a collection of handguns resting casually on top of the dresser. He spots at least two ashtrays too, and a lot of empty bottles.

The interesting thing is the mess is it’s almost entirely on just one side of the room.

Even the bed is a mess on one side, and neatly made up on the other.

What the fuck is that about? Ian leaves the doorway, switching on the bedroom light to get a better look. Seeing some picture frames on the walls, he heads towards them first.

Family photos…

Ian moves closer to them, touching the dusty frames gently with his fingertips.

The first one is a lineup Terry and all his kids, but the second one catches his interest more.

It’s one of those generic family photos that you get taken at the photo studio in the mall, where you all pose together and smile, and it’s clearly well over a decade old, because Mickey and Mandy don’t look any older than four or so in it.

Ian zooms in in on the little boy in the photo. Mickey. He’s got a big toothy grin on his face, and his freckles are much more prominent than they are now.

His blue eyes look more happy than piercing at that age, but there’s still a hint of his stubbornness in them that Ian recognizes now. He was a cute kid.

Terry, Mickey, Mandy, and the beautiful dark-haired woman.

Mickey’s mom. She had to be.

Ian can see the resemblance. With her arching eyebrows, her dark and shiny hair, and her deep blue eyes, it’s not hard. Frankly, she’s stunning.

She could be a model, Ian thinks. But she also looks kind, and he notices she’s resting one delicate hand on each of her two children sitting in front of her.

Mickey looks so different, so innocent… but it’s still him.

Ian looks at the little boy in the photograph and wonders what happened between the time the photo was taken and the time that he really started getting to know Mickey, almost a year ago now.

The room is a strange parallel of loss, Ian realizes, as he steps away from the photo and looks around himself again.

One side showing the departed, all of her things reverently kept just how she had left them. And the other side careless… angry and abandoned.

Ian shakes his head, some realizations dawning on him.

He’d almost feel sorry for Terry if he didn’t know what a psychotic prick he was.

And he’d always been that way, even when he had a beautiful family that he should have appreciated. He was the one that had pushed his wife to her breaking point, no doubt.

No. The only people Ian feels sorry for are Mickey and Mandy. Sorry for the father they were given, and sorry for the mother that couldn’t hang on for them.

They deserved better than they got.

Ian lets out a shaky sigh as he leaves the room.

He closes the door quietly behind himself and goes out to the front porch, badly in need of a cigarette. He feels a little guilty for snooping through Terry’s room, even though he hadn’t learned much he couldn’t have guessed on his own.

He just feels like he stumbled onto something private, something he wasn’t supposed to see.

The secret of the Milkovich house.

Loss, and loneliness. Etched into all it’s walls, trapping each of them here.

Ian’s own parents deserved no awards, they were cowards, and cared next to nothing about their children. But Frank and Monica never went after them the way Terry Milkovich went after his kids, using them as his punching bags to let out his deep-set anger and grief.

The Gallagher home was warm, and filled with love, even without a set of perfect parents. And even though Ian had hidden who he was from his family for so long, he knows now that he didn’t need to.

Because they would always be there for him, no matter what.

He was lucky to have that, luckier than he had realized.

Ian butts out his cigarette and heads back inside, quietly locking the front door behind himself before he heads into the kitchen to get a glass of water for Mickey to grab in the morning.

He closes Mickey’s bedroom door behind himself too, and turns around to take off his puke sprayed shoes, and leave them at the door before he goes over to the bed.

“Hey”.

Ian turns at the soft sound of Mickey’s groggy voice, surprised to see him awake.

Mickey still looks a little out of it, but a lot better than he was before. He’s laying on his side against the edge of his bed, and he smiles gently at the sight of Ian as he stands by his bedroom door.

“Hey” Ian says back quietly.

Seeing Mickey laying there like that makes him involuntarily think of the little boy in the picture, and he feels a little lump form in his throat.

Ian always had Fiona and even Lip to help take care of him when he was growing up.

But who had taken care of Mickey when he was younger, and actually sick? Who made sure he went to bed on time? Or that he got to school safely, ate his dinner, or did his homework?

It might be hard to imagine Mickey Milkovich, tough as he had become and making a name for himself in the South Side in the process, as ever being just a lost and scared little kid.

But who had made sure that little boy went to bed at night, knowing that someone, anyone, loved and cared about him?

Mickey speaks again, pulling Ian away from his troubled thoughts and into the present moment, too out of it to notice anything different.

“Will you stay with me tonight?”

Ian lets out his breath, “Of course”.

He carries the glass of water over to his boyfriend and presses it into his hand.

Mickey sips from it as Ian crawls over him onto the bed to lay beside him, and once he’s finished drinking he shoves it onto the bedside table and turns to look at him apologetically.

“Sorry I fuckin puked on you”.

Ian smiles, “It’s okay”.

“And thanks for staying”.

Ian leans forward to kiss Mickey’s forehead, but as he pulls away he sees Mickey’s already fading again.

“Thanks for letting me love you” he whispers, right as Mickey closes his eyes, and gives in to sleep.

Chapter Text

Ian’s surprised to open his eyes the next morning and find Mickey already awake, sneakily taking a picture of him.

Ian blushes and covers his face with his hands, “What are you doing”.

Mickey laughs, shaking his head slightly, also a little embarrassed. “Nothing. You just look good when you sleep”.

“Oh, just when I’m asleep. I see how it is” Ian teases, rolling off his back to tickle his boyfriend. As soon as he moves though, he grimaces in pain. “Holy fuck you’re burnt” Mickey says, raising his eyebrows disapprovingly as he sees Ian’s back.

“Jesus Christ it stings” he answers in annoyance, trying to turn his head enough to get a glimpse of the damage.

“Well maybe you should have listened to me and not spent an entire day at the beach without wearing fucking sunscreen” Mickey chides him, climbing off the bed as he is flipped off.

He wanders out of the room and comes back a few minutes later holding a small bottle, tipping his head at Ian, who’s now sitting on the edge of the bed.

He’s not looking forward to putting a shirt on over his heated skin, and the burn is making him pissy.

Mickey tilts the bottle in his hand, “Stand up super ginger”.

Ian does as he’s told, frowning in confusion until he feels a cold cream being spread onto his back.

“Fuck that’s cold!”

“Quit bitching, it’ll help with the burn. And at least it’s just your back” Mickey says affectionately from behind him.

Ian shuts up and closes his eyes as Mickey gently spreads the lotion across his entire back. He has to admit; the relief is almost instant.

Mickey’s quietly humming to himself, his actions almost rhythmic, and without the distraction of the pressing burn, Ian remembers last night.

He suddenly feels nervous. His decision to go snooping in Terry’s room was a little more questionable now that he’s entirely sober.

He tries not the let the anxiety build, but it’s a bit of a losing battle, and when Mickey finishes up and comes around, he frowns at the look on Ian’s face.

“What? That should have helped”.

“It did” Ian answers, going to rub the back of his neck but then wincing as he remembers his burn, “I’m just feeling…bad” he finishes lamely, not sure how to explain himself.

“Bad like you did something, or bad like you’re…you know, not feeling well. Because I’m pretty sure you were here all night, so I don’t think you did anything fucked” Mickey says, smiling at him reassuringly.

Didn’t do anything fucked.

Didn’t go snooping in his crazy dad’s room just because he was curious.

“No it’s just me being nervous for no good fucking reason, as per usual” he lies overly cheerful, trying to brush it off.

His tone doesn’t fool his boyfriend, or himself.

“Aw… c’mere”.

Ian lets Mickey hold him for a while, before Mickey eventually pulls away and gives him a kiss, rubbing the sides of his arms reassuringly.

Ian clears his throat, trying to figure out how to ask Mickey about his mom without upsetting him.

It was possible he wouldn’t care at all, but Ian felt that was unlikely.

No matter what, he had to know. Otherwise it would just keep bothering him, especially after what he had seen last night. Although he’s not going to tell Mickey about that part.

He also feels like a bit of a dick for letting his boyfriend comfort him when he’s most likely about to piss him off.

“Mickey? Can I ask you something?”

Mickey props a cigarette between his lips and lights it, offering Ian one in the process. “Sure”.

He turns down the cigarette and tries to look at the floor instead of his boyfriend as he says it, but he ends up looking up anyways.

 “What happened to your mom?”

Mickey’s face and expressions immediately change, and Ian can tell he’s going to be agitated and defensive right off the bat. But he presses anyways, needing to know.

She had been sick like him apparently, depressed. He remembers Mickey telling him that, something about Ian taking the steps she never did, to get help, but that was all he had ever said about it.

“You never told me about her really” he says, trying to draw out a response.

“She’s dead” Mickey says bluntly, taking a deep drag from his cigarette, trying to appear overly casual.

“I know that” Ian says gently, “What happened? I’m sorry for asking but I just keep thinking about it”.

Mickey narrows his eyes at him at first, but then he shakes his head, trying to control whatever emotions Ian had caused to resurface.

Ian knows damn well his first impulse was probably to punch him, but Mickey’s been testing himself since day one with him, learning how to love someone properly.

That’s how Ian knew he was nothing like his dad.

He seems reluctant to speak at first, but then it’s like the words are coming out on their own, and he seems dazed, “She…was never happy I guess. I think my dad loved her in some fucked up way, but he was always on her, everything was her fault. She got depressed and fucking scared all the time, like you are sometimes…but she never got any help. She wouldn’t. And then things got worse. He’d come home drunk and smack her around, right in front of us. So she got even worse”.

He looks up at Ian and makes this face like the whole thing doesn’t matter, but it clearly does.

“What was she like? Before that…” Ian asks, trying to bring up her picture in his mind.

Again, Mickey gets defensive, and Ian can tell his anger is building.

“I don’t fucking know Ian. She was a mom. She cared, at least I thought she fucking did”.

“I think she did care” Ian says cautiously, thinking of the photograph hanging in her old bedroom, now occupied only by Terry.

Thinking of the way her hands rested on her children. There was love there, he could see it.

“How the fuck would you know?” Mickey suddenly snaps, “You don’t leave someone if you care about them. You don’t fucking kill yourself and leave your two fucking kids with an asshole like him if you fucking love them!”

He had gotten up in Ian’s face by the last part of his outburst, his red face just an inch away from Ian’s, with angry tears threatening to fall from his pained blue eyes as it all boiled to the surface.

Ian just looks back at him, trying to keep his own emotions from spilling over.

The house is dead silent, and he can tell that Mandy shut off her music when she heard them yelling.

“Why the fuck would you bring this up today? Ruined everything. Get the fuck out of here, go” Mickey suddenly snaps, turning his back on him to stare out the window.

He’s practically shaking he’s so worked up, and it looks like he’s trying to control himself from lashing out anymore.

Ian hesitates, every instinct in him telling him to hold Mickey, to make it better, to take away his hurt. But he can tell that’s not what his boyfriend wants right now, so he leaves the room, closing the door behind himself.

He doesn’t go far though, in case Mickey needs him.

Mo follows him out the front door, looking at him somewhat suspiciously after hearing his owner yell at him so passionately. Ian was surprised he hadn’t gotten bit, or punched for that matter.

He sits on the porch steps and waits.

About ten minutes later his phone starts to ring and he picks it up, waiting for Mickey to speak first.

He’s not mad, because he knew that he lit the match that started everything. But it was one of those things he knew they’d have to talk about sooner or later. He wanted to get it out sooner.

“Please come back” Mickey says into the phone, sounding miserable.

Ian bites his lip, looking at the house behind himself.

 “I never left”.

He hears muffled noises over the phone and then the front door opens about thirty seconds later.

Ian turns to look at the sound, and sees Mickey standing there, his eyes still red, but no longer angry. Just sad.

“…I’m sorry” he says, a pained grimace on his face.

Ian stands up and walks over to him, coming back into the house as Mickey wordlessly holds the door open for him.

“You don’t need to be sorry. I just wanted to know”.

Mickey holds up his arms and shrugs as he closes the door, gesturing around the house. “Well now you do”.

*Mickey’s POV*

He’d felt cornered, threatened, and he’d taken it out on Ian…who didn’t deserve it.

There was a reason he never talked about his mum though.

It hurt. It hurt like fucking hell, and he’d buried it a long time ago so he wouldn’t feel that way ever again.

Having it wrenched back out without warning had made him lost his shit, but he felt guilty now for screaming at Ian like it was his fucking fault.

He’d be embarrassed for tearing up too, but it was Ian standing in front of him now, nothing but sympathy and love emanating from him.

Mickey bites his lip, looking at his boyfriend and shaking his head.

“She would have loved you” he says, feeling his voice break, “Because I love you. She wasn’t like my dad”.

He truly believed that. His blurry memories never included her agreeing with any of the hateful or homophobic things Terry said, even when Mickey was too young to understand what he meant himself.

She was always gentle with him, loving, the way he thought parents were supposed to be. But he couldn't help being angry with what she'd done. 

Ian nods, knowing what he means by that, and Mickey looks away so he doesn’t have to see the tears in his eyes as he tries to give Ian some of the answers he’s looking for.

“I…I’m the one that found her” he finally says, sadly.

The force of the hug Ian grabs him into almost knocks the breath out of him, and at first his entire body stiffens defensively, but then he relaxes, and lets himself be held.

What the fuck would he do without Ian?

He’d never understood what his mother had done until the day he thought he had lost him, back in Memphis. Then it suddenly made sense, carrying so much pain that you didn’t want to carry it anymore.

But Mickey was a fighter, always had been, and he couldn't have hurt Mandy like that. 

Ian just made him soft. Well, not just that. He made him weak in some ways, but stronger in others. And he knew he’d have to be strong for Ian, always, so he would never sink the way his mum did.

Nothing had scared Mickey more than the moment Fiona had admitted to him with tears in her eyes that there were days she didn’t think Ian would make it after had left.

Part of him, deep down, is glad he never had to see Ian that way, because he remembers what his mum was like before…but the rest of him hates himself for almost letting it happen again.

 “Ian…” he chokes out, “Don’t ever-“

Ian shakes his head vehemently into his shoulder, “I won’t. I promise. I’ll get help if I ever get that bad again”.

Mickey nods his head into his chest, deciding to trust him. “Good. You’re the love of my fucking life man. I need you”.

Chapter Text

 

You are now leaving Chicago’

The road sign feels like a slap in the face to Mickey, and he grits his teeth as they drive past it, trying desperately to keep his surface appearance cold and uncaring.

In reality, he’s filled with a tornado of both anger and misery, and each emotion fights the other for dominance in his troubled mind.

He is sullen and silent during the day long drive from Chicago to Memphis, sharing the backseat of the Volvo with his equally subdued sister.

She had started out glancing over at him every few minutes after he had yelled out to Ian as they drove away, but he kept his eyes trained on the back of the seat in front of him, refusing to acknowledge her curiosity lest she read in to it.

Finally, she had looked away.

Their social worker insists on making pit stops to use the washroom every couple of hours, but Mickey never gets out of the Volvo with her and Mandy, and he doesn’t eat any of the food Mrs. Pennington brings back for him either.

The only thing he can stomach to consume right now is cigarette smoke, and he doesn’t get out of the car because he doesn’t trust himself not to start running as soon as his feet hit the pavement.

Their social worker tries telling them about half-way through their trip how lucky they are to have found a couple who would take them both in.

Mickey sits there in an aggressive silence, unable to form a sentence scathing enough to get his sentiment across, and Mandy responds in kind for both of them.

“Shut the fuck up”.

When the car finally slows that night in a fairly wealthy suburban neighborhood of Memphis, both of them look out the window with… not interest, not curiosity, but more so a simple and bitter acceptance.

The house they pull up to is nice, Mickey begrudgingly admits to himself, but any idiot could see that. Very nice in comparison to what they had come from.

It’s painted a pleasant green color, and it’s spread out across a large property, accompanied by a double wide garage with ivy arching over both of it’s doors. There’s a massive tree in the front yard too, planted in the middle of a healthy green lawn.

Mo would have loved it here. Mickey feels an ache in his gut as he thinks about the dog he had to leave back home.

But what hadn’t he left behind?

He feels like an intruder on the property as soon as the social worker prods him and Mandy out of the car, and he’s embarrassed as hell carrying his things to the front door like he’s some fucking beggar looking for a home, when this is the type of place he would have robbed before.

In the past of course. Before Ian.

He dumps his shit on the front steps and lights a cigarette while the social worker knocks on the front door, Mandy shoving his shoulder until he gives her one too.

A woman answers the door, a fairly pretty brunette. She’s younger than Mickey would have expected, maybe in her mid thirties.

Foster people were usually old as fuck, in his experience.

She smiles at them, seeming genuine enough. “Hey guys. Welcome…home? I guess that’s sort of a fucked-up thing to say, isn’t it? Call it what you want, but what’s ours is yours”.

Mickey, Mandy, and the social worker all stare as she turns and moves over in the doorway, so the man that appears behind her can join her there too. He’s taller than she is, but has the same color of hair she does, with a confident smile and a stubborn chin.

She jerks her chin towards him, “This is my brother. Rob. And I’m Camille. Probably should have started with that”.

Mickey raises his eyebrows at Mandy, who shrugs back, and their social worker addresses the confusing situation for them.

“Excuse us for our… reactions, but we were expecting a couple… Mr. and Mrs. Connolly? Is that you two?”

They nod together.

“Jesus Christ, they loaded us on some incest twins?” Mickey grumbles, tossing his cigarette butt onto their lawn and grinding it down with his foot.

Rob laughs, “Not incest and not twins. Brother and sister, which was understood by the fostering agency. There must be a typo somewhere in your paperwork”.

Mrs. Pennington nods, scanning over her clipboard again.

“I, yes. My apologies. Well, here are Mikhailo and Miranda Milkovich, your two foster children”.

Mandy snaps, “Mickey and Mandy. And we’re not children either”.

“Mickey and Mandy, got it. Why don’t you all come inside?” Camille offers coolly, holding open the door for them to come in.

“That would be lovely, but I have to get back to Chicago to finish the paperwork on their file before they are legally passed over a new social worker here in Memphis, first thing tomorrow morning” Mrs. Pennington says, stepping away from them and patting both of their shoulders before she heads back to her car, “In the mean time, please call if you need anything. Good luck!”

Mickey yanks away from her touch like it’s poisonous, but Mandy just starts to follow Camille inside. Mickey tries to follow her too, but Rob stops him in the doorway.

“You look like you want to punch something kid. Here, have another smoke before you come in”.

Rob takes a packet of cigarettes out of the breast pocket of his plaid shirt and offers Mickey one.

“Viceroys are shit” Mickey says, taking out one of his own Marlboros.

They stand there and silently smoke together, Mickey unsure of what to think or even say.

He’d never been dumped on anyone for more than two weeks before. And none of them seemed this chill about having a known juvenile delinquent and his questionably dressed sister show up at their doorstep.

Rob butts out his cigarette and waits for Mickey to finish his.

“Alright, come on. Camille’s probably waiting for us” he finally says, waving him inside.

Mickey steps inside the house after Rob, and is greeted by cool AC, the pleasant smell of dinner cooking in the oven, and a friendly but slightly overweight tortoiseshell cat that tries to wind around his legs.

He subtly shoves the cat away with his foot before he follows Rob into the living room, where Mandy is already sitting on the couch with a Coke, looking just as uncertain as Mickey is feeling.  

He quickly goes over to his sister, the only familiar thing in this entire fucked up situation. He’d never felt so comforted by her presence before.

“Did we interrupt you girls?” Rob asks, sinking down in one of the empty armchairs beside his sister.

“No” Camille laughs, “Mostly waiting for you guys. Mandy filled me in on a few things, but I guess it’s our turn to talk now, right? Because we already know about you two” she says, now addressing Mickey and Mandy.

Mickey exchanges a look with his sister.

“Right. So you know I’ve been arrested a shit ton, and that Mandy’s a bit of a slut. Why exactly did you want us again?”

He ignores the eye roll Mandy gives him, and the following shove. She’d never been in denial of it before. In fact, she took some pride in sleeping around, which always annoyed the hell out of him.

Trying to defend her ass to dudes that she too easily gave it to in the first place. Like he didn’t have enough shit to deal with already.

“It’s a long story I guess, but we’ve been in your place. We saw your file and it felt right to have you two here” Camille answers, her brother nodding in agreement.

“You’ve been in our place” Mickey says, looking around the pleasant house. “Hi-larious”.

Camille frowns slightly, “We’ve worked hard to get where we are. Rob and I spent years in the system before we were old enough to be out on our own and take charge of our own lives, to turn them around. It wasn’t easy, but that’s sort of the point of why you’re here, with us. Why we were approved to foster you two in particular”.

“Fuckups fostering fuckups” Mandy says sarcastically.

“Pretty much, but we stuck together and we redeemed ourselves” Rob says, shrugging. “Listen, we don’t expect you two to be fine with all of this right away. We’d be weirded the fuck out if you were. But you don’t need to be on your guard here, alright? We’ll leave you alone at first if you want, until you feel more comfortable. Just don’t fight it tooth and nail, ok guys? We all have to get along for the next three years”.

Mickey closes his eyes for a second, it was true. And he had promised Ian that he’d stay on the straight and narrow, not get himself in any trouble while he was here, so he could come home as soon as possible.

He nods just slightly in agreement.

Camille clears her throat. “Your rooms are upstairs…Mandy you’re on the left, Mickey, you’re at the end of the hallway. Would it be too much to ask if you’d have dinner with us tonight?” She looks at their faces and then nods understandingly.

“Totally fine. I’ll bring up some plates”.

Without another word, Mandy and Mickey grab their bags and trudge up the stairs Camille had pointed out.

Mickey pauses at Mandy’s doorway as she does, peering inside.

A vanity set, a solid oak dresser, a queen bed, and a window with flowing curtains that looks out over the backyard greet his eyes. It’s painted in various shades of light feminine blues and pastel lavenders.

Total chick’s room.

“Out” Mandy says gruffly, pushing him out of the doorway so she can close the door to her room without sealing him in with her.

He’d flip her off if he had the energy to, but instead he continues on to the end of the hallway, reluctantly pushing open his own new bedroom’s door.

Mickey sinks against the doorframe weakly as soon as he looks inside, his eyes filling with tears as they scan over the room.

All of the walls are painted the same rich, comforting and warm, familiar orange.

The wall he’d been building brick by brick since he got in that Volvo back in Chicago, crumbles in an instant.

Mickey drops all his shit and yanks the door closed, immediately running back down the stairs and right out the front door.

He runs down the street until he’s breathless, with no idea what’s he doing until he hears a car pulling up next to him, what feels like over an hour later.

He looks over at the car with wide and confused red eyes.

Rob looks at him and sighs, resting his arm on the steering wheel. “I’m sorry you’re hurting man. I really am. But you can’t run from this”.

Mickey wants to swear at him, kick a dent in his car, but instead he just ends up choking out, “I know”.

Rob drives him back home, and Mickey immediately goes back upstairs without a single word to Camille, going right past Mandy’s still closed door and into his own bedroom.

The color of the walls make him ache, surrounded by something he wants to be held by. All of the pristine furniture in the room, without a single scratch, is everything he’s not. He doesn’t belong here, with all this nice shit. He doesn’t even want it.

Mickey sinks onto his large bed, burying his aching head in his hands. Part of him wants to cry, but he feels empty at the same time.

Hollow.

Exhaustion that he hadn’t known he was carrying washes over him, and even though he thinks he’s going to lay down for just a moment and close his eyes, he doesn’t open them again until morning.

He jumps as soon as he sees the Memphis daylight flooding his orange bedroom, and he immediately checks his phone.

There’s a text from Ian telling him it’s okay to call now if he wants to, asking if he’s settled in.

Mickey’s heart is thudding, and he pauses before he hits the call button, listening.

He opens his bedroom door and peeks around, to make sure nobody is nearby before he goes back into his room and steadies himself, pressing the call icon on the screen.

He has to be calm, and cool. Otherwise he’ll just set Ian off too.

The second Ian answers the phone he says “Hey you”.

“Hey” Ian answers, “What’s the new place like?”

Fuck… he sounds so far away.

Mandy suddenly opens his bedroom door without knocking, and he glares at her, jabbing a tattooed finger at his phone.

Mickey clears his throat, trying to remember what the streets he had taken off on last night looked like. “Different, live right in the city pretty much”.

His boyfriend sounds painfully casual as he attempts to make normal conversation. “What are your foster people like?”

“I don’t fuckin know, nice I guess? I’m not gonna start any shit though, promise. Gonna get out of here as soon as I can”.

He hears Ian laugh softly, “Yeah. Wonder how long that will last”.

The sound makes him smile, for the first time since he’s gotten here. He looks around at the orange walls of his room and waves his hand for Mandy to go away.

As soon as she does, he clears his throat, trying to keep his voice steady.

“I miss you Ian”.

There’s a slight pause before he hears Ian’s weak response, “It’s only been a day”.

Mickey shakes his head, even thought Ian can’t see it.

“Doesn’t matter. I already fuckin miss you, not gonna lie and say I don’t”.

The next thing Ian says catches him off guard, causing a deep and almost unbearable ache in his stomach, because he feels so fucking powerless, so guilty.

“Please come home”. He sounds desperate, scared even.

Mickey lets out a shaky sigh after a moment of silence, squeezing the bridge of his nose between his fingers. “Don’t do that Ian, that’s not fuckin fair”.

“I know… I just… I don’t know what to fucking do Mick”.

Mickey quickly searches his brain for some type of instant solution for Ian, seeing Mandy at his bedroom door again.

She mouths, “Social worker. Let’s go”.

“Just, pretend I’m away for a couple days. On a run again, you know?” Mickey tells Ian, trying to sound confident as Mandy disappears again.

Ian sniffs, “I’ll try, I don’t see that fucking working too well”.

Mickey laughs, picturing Ian’s probable look of annoyance right now.

What he wouldn’t give to see it in person.

“Yeah, I know. I gotta go though, got a new fuckin social worker to meet. Mandy’s waitin for me outside” he says reluctantly, “Talk to you later...love you”.

“I love you too…”

Mickey feels a little better after that phone call. It didn’t matter how far away from Ian he was, his love for that man was stronger than ever.

They could make it through this. He knew they could.

 

*One Week Later*

Mickey was kept busy as hell at first under the new social worker’s nagging, him and Mandy had to go back to school right away to complete their grades, as well as check in with her daily until she was satisfied they were readjusting.

Readjustment.

That wasn’t what it was at all though.

It was acceptance, and waiting. For Mickey and his sister. They knew that someday they would be able to go back home, and that was the light at the end of this tunnel. In the mean time, Mandy had adopted an attitude similar to Mickey’s.

Put up walls, act as if everything is fine, and do what you have to do.   

Going back to school is rough. It’s an unfamiliar space to Mickey, and he can’t find any of his classes at first. But he keeps going, remembering his promise to Ian whenever he wants to fuck off and look for a dealer to get high from instead.

He texts him all the time too, hoping it will help Ian remember that he’s always thinking about him. That he’d rather be there, or anywhere, as long as he was there too…

Mickey notices about a week into his time in Memphis, but tries to deny it to himself, that Ian’s not answering him all that often anymore.

He’s busy, he tells himself, stop fucking bothering him.

But he jumps like a fucking teenage girl whenever his phone buzzes, snatching it immediately to see if it’s a message from Ian.

Hearing from him is like eating when you’re fucking starving, and that’s what being in Memphis is like. His entire body immediately relaxes and sinks into relief as soon as he does.

But when he doesn’t hear from him, he’s on edge, and it’s all that’s on his mind.

Camille and Rob try to talk to him about his rapidly upcoming 18th birthday, but he shrugs every time they ask him what he would like to do, feeling more and more distant from Ian.

He can’t do what he’d like to do, and that’s pretty fucking obvious. He wants to go home.

Eventually he just grunts, “Cake”, so they’ll shut the fuck up already.

It doesn’t hit him what he really wants until he’s walking home from school one day, and he sees a gangly teenager get out of a car parked on the street ahead of him.

All he sees is the back of a red head, and he feels himself yelling out, “IAN!” Before he can stop himself.The boy turns around, an unfamiliar face, and Mickey reddens.

Of course it wasn’t him. Fucking idiot. Ian being here would be too good to be true.

Ian being here…

Mickey tries getting a hold of him multiple times that night with his idea, but he never texts back, or even picks up his phone.

Mickey’s heart sinks as he leaves message after message, starting to think the worst.

Ian had been harder to get a hold of lately…. But what if something had happened? What if he was hurt?

Mickey watches as the digital clock in his bedroom flashes 12:00 a.m. that night, and glances over at his phone again.

Still nothing.

He was 18 now. He thought he’d feel something when he reached that age, happy, excited, at least more free…but he still feels empty aside from the worry gnawing at his stomach.

He bites his nails and chain-smokes viciously until he finally falls asleep around 4 in the morning.

The sound of his purposely left on full volume ringer makes him jump in the morning because it’s so harsh, and he grabs his phone as soon as he’s aware of what’s going on, fumbling with it for a second before he answers.

“Ian? What the hell is going on? I’ve been fucking worried all goddamn night”.

He sounds like shit as he answers, “I’m so sorry Mick, I crashed last night. Happy Birthday!”

Ian’s tone at the end is a little more enthused, a little lighter, and Mickey feels himself soften, relief flooding through him that at least Ian’s okay. And now he can he tell him about his idea.

Mickey can’t remember the last time he asked for something for his birthday. Maybe because he knew he’d never get it, whatever he asked for. But this year was a little different.

This year Ian Gallagher was in love with him, and all he wanted was him.

“Thanks… and about that, I know it’s hard for you to get time off from work and school, but do you think you could maybe take a bus up for a visit or something? I’m not allowed to travel from Memphis, it’s part of my restrictions for now. But fuck Ian, I’d kill to see you just for an hour even”.

There’s a very long silence, and Mickey waits with his mouth slightly open for a response.

Say something…anything, he thinks, a bitter taste rising in his mouth as the seconds of silence tick by.

“Okay…how about next Sunday? I have it off. It will literally be a couple hours though, it’s like 11 hours each way…”

Mickey lets out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding in in relief. Thank God.

“Yeah, yeah that’d be great! Fuck, I can’t wait to see you”.

Ian answers quietly, “Yeah”.

Mickey feels a little less enthusiastic, and maybe a little bitter as he asks, “You alright Ian? I feel like you’re just sitting there waiting for me to talk lately…phone works two fuckin ways you know. You can call me up anytime”.

He wished Ian would call him first sometimes. Or at least send a text.

It seemed like he was always the one reaching out lately, and honestly it sort of made him feel like shit, like he was bothering Ian or something. Like maybe Ian didn’t miss him all that much.

“Uh, yeah. I’m fine, sorry Mick. Um… Mo’s good” Ian says, sounding more reassuring.

Mickey relaxes again, picturing the large black and white dog. “Yeah? I miss him too. Glad you guys can take care of each other while I can’t”.

He laughs somewhat bitterly, but it’s sort of nice, thinking of them together. He misses his dog a lot too.

The fucking cat here was named Frank, if you can believe it. Mickey never told Ian that of course, just referred to the cat as “that fat fuck” whenever it came up in conversation.

It was no substitute for his loyal canine.

“He misses you too” Ian answers.

They keep talking for a while, and Mickey gets more and more excited thinking about Ian’s visit.

After he hangs up the phone, he pumps his first into the air, and that night he eats two slices of the chocolate cake Camille makes for his birthday.

He events compliments her on it.

 

That night is the first time he’s been horny since he’s been here. He doesn’t bug Ian about it, but he scrolls through his phone until he finds a particularly hot photo of him to jerk off to.

It’s good, it’s really good, but it makes him feel lonely.

It’s confusing, being half turned on and half sad. He scrolls through his photos some more until he finds one of Ian kissing him on the lips. Ian had taken the picture.

He bites his lip and keeps going to that picture instead, and he gets close, but he ends up feeling tears pricking the corner of his eyes, so he stops.

God… he can’t wait to see Ian again.

 

*The Day of Ian’s Visit~ Over 2 ½ weeks since Mickey left for Memphis*

Mickey paces around the bus station, rocking on his feet and stretching to look over the heads of some taller fuckers standing annoyingly in front of him.

He checks his phone again for a new update from Ian, but there was still only the last one, “One hour away”.

That was an hour ago.

A new bus pulls into the Greyhound lot after several others, and Mickey glances up at the flashing destination board on it.

‘Chicago’

Fucking finally! Mickey strides over to the opening doors, and the second he sees Ian pass through them, a relief floods through him like no other, and he grabs with him everything he’s fucking got.

He pulls away to look at his face, and an uncontrollable smile forms on his own.

“Fuck man, I missed you so much”.

It feels like an understatement to him, with Ian in front of him, everything else sort of just melts away.

Ian smiles at him, “I missed you too”.

Mickey tips his head as he really takes in his boyfriend’s face after his initial excitement. He looks…not so hot. Not as in he’s not attractive, he always is, but there’s dark circles under his eyes, he looks especially pale, and he’s maybe a little thinner than he was a couple weeks ago.

“You feeling okay?”

Ian smiles again, stretching out his long arms playfully. “Um, yeah, think I just need to walk around for a while. Stiff, been on a fuckin bus for eleven hours, y’know?”

Of course. “Yeah, sure. Come on”.

Mickey leads Ian out of the bus station and down the street, eventually stopping in front of the motel he rented a room in to surprise Ian with. He turns to lift his eyebrows at him suggestively.

Ian looks at him uncertainly, “You wanna get a room? Can’t we just go to your house?”

Mickey shakes his head. “No fuckin privacy. Wouldn’t even be able to hold your hand, and I wanna do more than that. Sides, I already rented a room. Belated birthday present to myself”.

He doesn’t mention that his foster parents don’t know that he’s gay, and there’s still the problem of Mandy being around too. He did tell her Ian was visiting to check out Memphis for a few hours, but he had acted very nonchalant about it.

Mickey shows Ian the key card and grins, and Ian suddenly looks a whole lot lighter. Whatever else was going on, sex would always be an escape for them.

Mickey goes into the room first, and inspects the questionable motel bed while Ian heads into the bathroom to take a piss.

“Would have liked to show you around Memphis a bit, but since you’ve only got like four hours I figured this might be better” Mickey calls out to him, hoping he’s not disappointed.

Ian comes up behind him once he’s done in the bathroom, wrapping his arms around Mickey, who sighs and softens underneath him.

“It’s perfect” he hears Ian say. Mickey pulls away from him to lay on the bed, holding out his arms and saying softly, “C’mere, I just wanna hold you for a while”.

Ian crawls onto the bed next to him and they curl up together, warmth and comfort radiating between them.

Mickey closes his eyes for a moment, pretending they are back in his old bedroom. The musty smell of cigarettes in the motel helps a bit.

Ian says out of the blue, “So, you’re 18 now. How’s it feel?”

“Terrible” Mickey answers truthfully, looking up at the stained ceiling, “Until now”. He looks down at Ian, and presses his lips to him, his eyes closing at the precious touch.

“Tell me about it?” Ian says gently.

Mickey shakes his head through the kiss, mumbling, “I’m not in Memphis right now Ian. I’m in Chicago with you, alright?”

He hopes Ian gets it, before he has to lose the image in his mind by explaining it.

“Okay...we're home" Ian whispers back into his lips.

He gets it.

Mickey deepens the kiss, and then flickers his tongue in against Ian’s, each movement laced with need.

“I missed you so fucking much” he breaths into Ian’s neck, nipping and kissing it as he reaches a hand down to palm at Ian’s dick.

He hasn’t gotten off since he’s arrived in Memphis, well over two weeks ago now, and his body is practically buzzing with a need for release.

Ian responds instantly to his touch, like he’d flicked on a light switch. Electricity burns between them as they both start to struggle to get each other’s clothes off.

“I need you” Ian whispers into his mouth, messily kissing him even as he backs away from him off the bed.

“Where you goin?” Mickey pants back, his body already aching from the loss.

“Shower” Ian answers, pulling away to head towards the bathroom again.

Mickey nods and quickly follows him in, drawn towards the redhead like a magnet.

Both of them jump into the shower before the water’s even hot, so they don't have to wait to come together again.

The water runs like icy rain down their backs as they pant and push against each other, not able to get their hands and mouths on each other enough.

The water turns, and the bathroom fills with steam.

“I fuckin love you” Mickey pants, turning around to give Ian access to his ass. Ian grabs his shoulders, kissing between the blades as he lines himself up, pressing his fingers into Mickey first to hastily stretch him.

Mickey shivers at both that sensation and the whispered feeling of his lips against his back, practically shifting in place as he waits for more from Ian.

Mickey involuntarily lets out a low moan as Ian’s fingers retract, and he hears Ian murmur “I love you too”, right as he pushes back inside of him with his hard cock instead.

All of the nerve endings in Mickey’s entire body spark at the welcome and sorely missed stretch.

Fuck…yes.

So fucking good.

Mickey’s hands reach back and try to pull Ian impossibly closer as he fucks him just right, the sounds he hears coming out of himself unreal. His skin jumps at every touch from Ian, and he moans with abandon at each pleasurable thrust.

There’s no buildup for him, the entire experience is orgasmic.

He thinks this is how addicts must feel, getting a hit after they’ve been itching for it.

Mickey had ached for this more than he had known, his entire mind pretty much preoccupied with missing everything else about Ian until now.

After they both finish, they stay in the shower for a while, warm water pouring down over them comfortingly as they press their foreheads together in silence.

The fears Mickey had had about annoying Ian, about Ian wanting space, not wanting him, all of that stupid shit, was gone now.

This, exactly this, was all he would ever need. And he could wait for that, some people would wait a lifetime for something like this.

And he had it right now. So he would enjoy every second of it until he could have it again.

 

*A Few Hours Later* 

“I wish you could stay longer” Mickey says, studying the bus schedule flashing across the electronic board.

He hears what sounds like a pill bottle snap shut and he glances back at Ian, but he’s just standing there, his eyes looking unbelievably sad as he nods back.

The tortured look makes Mickey uncomfortable, guilty almost, for making him say goodbye again, and he tries to shove it from his mind.

He checks the time on his phone, “You better board Ian. Unless you want to stay here of course, which I’m totally fuckin cool with by the way. Fuck school, and work”.

He’s maybe only half joking. If Ian could stay, he’d willingly stay in Memphis forever.

Ian just shakes his head, “I’ll board. I just want you to know that…I love you. Ok? Don’t forget that”

Mickey smiles at him, pulling him into one last hug goodbye. “I love you too, so much. Thanks for comin out Ian. I know it wasn’t cheap, and it was probably a major pain in the ass, but it means a lot to me”.

It did. It meant everything to him, having this reminder of what he had to hold onto while he was stuck out here, of what he’d eventually have to come back home to.

Ian gives him one last weak smile goodbye before he gets on the bus heading back to Chicago, and he stares through the window at him as he sits down.

Mickey smiles back at him, a warm feeling in his chest.

As sad as he was Ian was leaving, he couldn’t help but feel like everything was going to be alright as long as he could still see him once and a while.

It looks like Ian is about to get up and maybe move seats, but the bus driver closes the doors and Ian sits back down, immediately pulling out his phone.

Mickey watches, still smiling softly to himself as he feels his phone buzz.

Ian’s name flashes across his screen. He grins, expecting some cheesy message about missing him already.

It takes him half a second to absorb what he reads.

I’m really sorry. I can’t do this anymore”.

As soon as he does, he looks up at the bus in shock, feeling his mouth fall open as he searches for Ian’s face in the window again.

He sees him, and starts swearing uncontrollably, looking down at his phone in panic as the bus starts to move away from him.

With Ian in it.

What the fuck? What the fuck! What did he mean he couldn’t do this anymore?

After all that, he was a fuck and chuck?

Mickey wishes he could be strong, and take the blow with dignity, but he can’t. He can’t let himself be dumped like this.

He immediately calls Ian, trying not to cry into the phone like some bitch as he stares at the back of the Greyhound bus.

 “Don’t do this” Mickey begs as soon as Ian answers. He can barely see him anymore, as the bus gets farther and farther away.

“I have to Mick. I’m so fucking sorry”.

He has to? He has to say goodbye?

Mickey huffs into the phone. “That’s it huh? You really gonna fucking do this?” His voice cracks and he hates himself for it.

He hates the way he presses his ear to his phone, praying to hear, “No…I changed my mind. I didn’t mean it”.

Please say no. Please say no.

“Yeah”.

Mickey doesn’t know what to think. He wants to argue, but all he can picture is the tortured look on Ian’s face as he said goodbye.

“So what, you want me to just fuck off?”

Ian practically stutters out his excuses “I…think it will be better if… look, this isn’t how I wanted to do this, and it wasn’t really planned... but isn’t it better at least that I came to say goodbye in person?"

Mickey can’t take anymore.

“Fuck you Ian”.

He hangs up the phone and smashes it into the cement at his feet. But then he stands there and waits, for hours, for what he doesn’t know.

For that bus to turn around maybe.

When he finally goes back to Rob and Camille’s house, Mandy and them are in the living room, and Mandy has this strange grin on her face until she sees the look on his, and he hurries up to his room, slamming the door shut.

He paces angrily for a moment, before slamming his fist through the wall a few seconds later.

He watches the orange crumble around his fist until his eyes blur, and he hears someone yank the bedroom door open and approach him.

“Mickey, what happened?”

Rob’s voice.

Mickey doesn’t answer, breathing out so heavily his lungs shake.

“Listen, I don’t know what happened, but you need to calm down, okay? Remember your probation rules”.

Probation rules? How could they matter anymore? He didn’t have anything to go home to anymore.

Mickey heaves a sob, smashing his head into the wall next.

He feels Rob grabbing him by the shoulders roughly a second later, and pulling him back, constricting him in a half hug, half restraint.

“Mandy told us you went to see your friend from Chicago, that someone was visiting today. Was it your girlfriend? Did you get some bad news from back home?” he asks, as Mickey struggles against him.

He was about to smash his head back into Rob’s face to get him to let go, but he stops when he hears that.

He wrenches himself free to turn around and stare the man down, his eyes flaming as he whispers harshly, “I’m fucking gay. Okay?! I’m gay. Kick me out, fuck me up, I don’t give a shit anymore”. He throws his arms up to emphasize his point.

Rob looks at him in surprise, lowering his tone to match Mickey’s.

 “Your file didn’t say…but, it doesn’t matter to us. Hell, our next-door neighbors are gay. Why would you say that?”

Mickey stares at him, his nostrils flaring as he breathes out heavily. There’s a lot he could say, a lot he could explain.

But he doesn’t want to explain any of it.

“Nobody can know” he hears himself saying, numbly. His lack of control over his emotions drives him crazy, and he’s tempted to punch the wall again, but Rob stops his pending strike by grabbing his wrist.

“Stop”.

“He fucking… he left me” Mickey whispers, looking down at his shaking hands in disbelief.

It was over.

Him and Ian were over.

 

Memphis House

(The Connolly's House- Mickey's room is the one with the large window over the attached garage)

Chapter Text

 Time seems to stand still at first. Mickey walks around stunned, like he’s in a daze, for the first few days after Ian breaks up with him.

Numbly, he checks his phone every so often, praying that he’ll see Ian’s name lit up on the screen.

A missed call, a short text, anything. Anything telling him that Ian had changed his mind.

He sits at the dinner table night after night, staring at whatever meal Camille puts down in front of him, unable to stomach anything.

As the days go by, he notices the worry starting to crease across her and Rob’s face, and then even Mandy’s.

So after several days in limbo, he sits down at the table one night, and mechanically puts forkful after forkful of food into his mouth, noticing how visibly relieved they all are as he does. He’s not used to people caring that much.

Mickey has never been so passive and docile in his entire life as he was those first few days, but it doesn’t last long.

As soon as the shock wears off, he starts going through cycles of rage, where his bedroom walls take a beating and only Rob comes near him, and then cycles of being miserable, where all of them walk on eggshells around his closed bedroom door.

During both cycles, Mickey lays in his big empty bed at night looking at pictures of him and Ian together, looking for the missed warning signs.

Why he didn’t he see it? Why didn’t he see this fucking coming?

What shocked him the most was how it turned out that he needed Ian much more than Ian needed him.

He never thought anyone would ever have this sort of affect on him, saturating his life so deeply that he didn’t know how to fucking function without them.

Mickey Milkovich was not someone who needed anyone. Or at least that’s what he always thought.

He jams his face into his pillow so no one hears him crying like a bitch at night, his breath at first always hitching louder than he can control.

But as time goes on, the cycles slow, and then stop.

He’s still heartbroken, but his tears fall silently now, and less often, as he resigns himself to his new situation. Because what else can he fucking do?

Ian doesn’t want him anymore. And can Mickey even blame him?

He had failed him. He had fucked up, ever getting involved with his dad’s shit.

And now he was paying the ultimate price for it.

A life far away from everything he had ever known, a life without Ian.

 

*Early June*

“I’ll remember your heart. Warmer than the sun, taught me how to love. Hold my hand, hold my hand when I need you. I just close my eyes and I can see you-“

“Can you turn that shit off?” Mickey grunts, sorely fucking tempted to throw something at the cheap radio perched on top of Rob’s construction table.

Rob rolls out from underneath the dented car he’s working on, raising his eyebrows at him. “You can’t get up and do it yourself?”

“For the rest of my life, I'll reminisce of you. Why'd you leave so soon-“

Rob blinks as he hears the song playing on the radio and quickly gets up, shutting it off without making another comment.

He was smart enough to know that ‘he didn’t know anything’ after Mickey had announced to him in private right after Ian had broken up with him that he was gay, and that he had lost his boyfriend.

It was a moment of fucked up emotional weakness for Mickey, and one that he deeply regretted.

Ever since then he’d been on edge constantly, until he finally realized Rob wouldn’t try and force him to talk about it. Even though it had happened well over a month ago, he still didn’t want to talk about it.

He didn’t even want to think about it.

He’s currently sitting on the floor of Rob’s garage, smoking a cigarette and passively watching as Rob goes back to working on the dented vehicle in front of him. He does modifications and vehicle repairs as a hobby, but his full-time job is being a cop.

Mickey never thought he’d meet a pig that he didn’t mind spending time around.

Camille’s nice enough too, but while Mandy spends most of her time around her, Mickey prefers Rob’s more cool and collected masculine company. It helps keep him grounded.

He’s assuming that’s why him and Mandy were paired with these two anyways.

Their checkered pasts and their success stories were supposed to inspire them or some shit, in the foster agency’s mind. But Rob and Camille never treated them like they had anything to change about themselves, just invited them into their lives and showed them how they did things.

It was an interesting dynamic, that was for fucking sure, two pairs of siblings living like this.

Mickey and Mandy never talked about it, but they both knew now that they were lucky to get paired with these two, being in their situation.

Mickey himself was under no illusion that anyone else even half as decent would want to take them in, an eighteen and a sixteen-year-old with issues and a history like theirs.

It could have been worse. It could have been a lot worse.

The next time Rob invites Mickey to hang out with him while he works in his garage, there’s a motorcycle in really rough shape propped up in there, his previous project sold and gone.

“The fuck is someone getting that fixed for?” Mickey asks, biting his lip as he looks at it.

It looks beyond fixable. He takes his usual spot on the concrete ground and taps a cigarette out of his packet of Marlboro’s.

Rob crouches down beside the Enduro, answering thoughtfully. “I bought it, actually. Needs a lot of work done. But I was thinking you might like to have it, as a belated birthday present”.

Mickey’s interest is caught, but he sniffs as if he doesn’t care.

“Looks like a piece of shit” he says around his cigarette.

“It’s a little broken down, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be repaired” Rob says, laughing softly as he inspects the breaks.

“Fix it and I’ll think about it” Mickey answers, ignoring his philosophical shit.

Rob shakes his head, “Nah. You’re fixing it. Don’t waste both of our times pretending you aren’t interested in having it either”.

Fuck this guy was annoying sometimes. Still, he did want it.

Mickey gives in, standing and brushing his hands off on his torn jeans.

“Yeah, yeah. You gonna keep talking or are you gonna shut the fuck up and show me how to fix it?”

 

*Late June*

Mickey reluctantly follows Camille and Rob over to their next-door neighbor’s backyard barbeque. They’d all been invited over to celebrate the end of the school year, which somehow, Mickey had managed to get through.

He’s enticed only by the promise of grilled steak, whereas Mandy is happy to go just to gawk at Jeff and Louis.

They’re both hot, whatever, Mickey can admit that. To himself. Mandy can go fuck herself.

He’s not sure why she says shit like that to him sometimes, stuff about guys being hot. Like he’s some fag.

Which he is, but she doesn’t fucking know that.

He settles for giving her dirty looks whenever she makes her little comments, as well as telling her to find someone else to talk to, someone who gives a flying fuck.

He’d met Jeff and Louis before in passing, realizing very quickly that they were the gay neighbors Rob had referred to in the past.

What had surprised him was the fact that they had a kid. She looked maybe six or seven, and her name was Melissa.

He sees her zooming around the backyard as soon as they arrive, and once Rob takes over at the grill Jeff and Louis join her in her game.

Mickey takes a beer from the cooler by the patio and eases onto one of the lawn chairs towards the back of the property, watching them all play together out of the corner of his eye.

He had mixed feelings towards Louis and Jeff. Some annoyance about how fucking freely they live their lives together, some jealousy that they can.

Some sadness as he thinks about who he’d like to be here with right now.

Mickey had been determined to leave Ian alone, to barely even think of him since that day at the Greyhound bus station.

He’d excelled at the first part of his plan, but was failing miserably at the second. He wasn’t blind…he could see Ian was struggling when he had visited.

The idea that he was making him feel that way was brutal, and it made it a lot easier to fight the urge to text or call him. Because he would never want to hurt Ian.

But not thinking about him…that was impossible.

Mickey gazes across the backyard, to where Jeff is now tossing Melissa in the air playfully, and he squeezes his eyes shut, gritting his teeth to force away the image forming in his head of him and Ian having some stupid fucking barbeque like this with their kids some day.

“Hey”.

Mickey opens his eyes to see Louis sitting down next to him, offering him a fresh beer.

Mickey relaxes and takes it wordlessly, setting his empty bottle down beside his chair in the grass. “How do you take your steak?” Louis asks, cracking open his own beer.

“Bloody” Mickey answers, scratching the back of his neck.

Seeing Louis isn’t getting up to leave right away, he decides to ask as casually as he can.

“So, is Melissa like your kid, or Jeff’s?”

“She’s both of ours” Louis answers, laughing, “We’re together”.

“Yeah no shit. Not fucking blind. I just meant like, how did…you get her?” Mickey takes a gulp of his beer, hoping he doesn’t sounds stupid, or like he really cares. He doesn’t.

Louis nods, “Oh, I get what you mean. We had a surrogate. Jeff is her biological father”.

“That doesn’t bother you? That she’s not both of yours?” Mickey asks, now noticing the physical similarities between Jeff and the little girl.

The other man shrugs. “No. I mean, in an ideal world she’d be half mine and half Jeff’s, but as soon as I held her in my arms, it didn’t really matter anymore. She was ours”.

Mickey nods, taking a cigarette out of his pocket as Louis gets up to leave to help Jeff put together some plates.

He wasn’t sure why he was even asking about this shit. Not like he was ever gonna have kids.

The only kid he’d ever even liked was Liam, and maybe that was because him and Ian usually took care of him together…

The thought makes him uncomfortable, and sad as hell for some reason, so he quickly pushes it away.

 

*July*

Taking the MATA down to Beale Street was not Mickey’s idea of a perfect Saturday night, even though it probably should be.

Beale Street was sort of a tourist destination in Memphis, but the locals love it as well. It’s a downtown hotspot, filled with music, neon signs, bars and attractions.

It’s where everyone else his age is happily going tonight.

Mickey himself is only going because Mandy had bitched at and then teased him mercilessly for barely leaving the house, which was true.

And he could use a drink.

Maybe being around other people would help him get his mind off of Ian for a bit too. That would be a welcome fucking distraction.

He thought things would get better over time, easier. But they never did.

He missed Ian each day just as much as he had the day before.

Mandy and Mickey get off the Memphis city bus and walk down the crowded street to the bar where her friends had agreed to meet them.

Finishing the school year had been less difficult for Mandy than him.

While he had struggled with mood swings, and barely scraping by with a pass, she apparently had the time to make friends.

Not that he was the type to go and look for fuckin friends anyways, who needs that shit? He’d been happy with having just one best friend, who had also happened to be his boyfriend.

“Mands!”

They both turn towards the sound of the high pitched female voice, and while Mandy takes turns giving a hug to each one of her new friends, Mickey hangs back and does an awkward wave with a jerk of his hand.

Fuck. He feels like a fucking loser standing here, tagging along with his sister and her friends.

This was a bad idea. He already wants to turn around and go home.

Mandy must have noticed the look on his face, because she grabs him by the wrist, and yanks him inside with her friends, not allowing him to take off.

Mickey frowns but gives in, and sits down at the bar between her and her friend Angela, who tries talking to him about some club she went to last night.

He couldn’t give two shits about DJ this or that, but he nods his head to her story out of politeness, for Mandy’s sake, as he skips beer and goes straight for whiskey instead.

Eventually Angela gives up on trying to talk to him as he gives all of his attention to his drinks, and they all head over towards the pool table without him.

Mickey had declined his invite to join, ignoring Mandy’s look of reproach, and instead ordered another drink.

Now sitting at the bar alone, he takes a gulp of it and grimaces, pulling out his phone.

He finds himself opening his photo album and pulling up a picture of himself and Ian taken around Christmas, almost mechanically.

He stares at it for a long moment, touching Ian’s face on the screen just briefly before he forces himself to put his phone away again.

“Fuck” he mumbles, pressing his hand into his forehead. He feels a slight headache coming on from downing too many drinks too fast, and he edges off his stool to go find the bathroom and splash some cold water on his face.

Standing in front of the sink in the bathroom a few minutes later, he takes in his expression in the mirror. It’s not great.

He tries to wipe off the slightly sad expression on his face with something more aggressive, or at least more neutral.

“Hey”.

Mickey turns towards to the guy who had just come into the bathroom.

“Hey?” he answers, frowning as he quickly moves his arms off the sink, trying to appear as if he wasn’t just having an vulnerable movement.

Who the fuck tries to make conversation in a bathroom anyways?                                                         

The guy doesn’t make a move towards any of the bathroom stalls or even the urinals.

“You uh, down to have some fun?” he asks bluntly, making it clear he’s not here to take a piss. Mickey’s eyes widen at the bold question, and he turns with his eyebrows sharply raised.

“The fuck did you just say to me?”

The other boy holds up his hands in innocence at his aggressive response.

“Listen dude, I saw you in the bar a few minutes ago. Looking at that pic on your phone. You and your ex, right? I just got dumped too…”

Noticing his mouth is hanging open a bit, Mickey shuts it and continues to stare at him aggressively, not sure what to say. He feels like he got caught in a very private moment, one that he hadn’t been aware of having an audience for.

The guy continues, and as he talks Mickey’s eyes run over him.

He’s attractive, no doubt about that. Taller and pretty buff too… fuck he’s drunker than he thought.

“All I’m saying is, I could help make you feel better. Take your mind off it for a bit. God knows I could use a break from thinking about my ex”.

The blond laughs and runs his hand through his hair. Normally Mickey would tell any asshole like this to fuck off, even before he’d been with Ian. But tonight, he’s a little lost… and a little drunk.

Still, he finds himself looking away.

“I don’t think you can”.

He watches from the corner of his eye as the other guy approaches anyways, noticing as he gets closer the boy is around his age.

Mickey doesn’t move away, and instead feels his body turning towards him, aching from loneliness and want.

“Let me try?” the blond says softly.

Mickey looks back up, feeling defeated, and as the other boy presses his lips against his, backing him up against the bathroom wall, he doesn’t stop him.

He feels a hot tongue pressing against his urgently, and he pushes back with his own, squeezing his eyes tightly shut.

Ian. Ian…

There’s nothing he’d love more than to forget. Even for just one night.

But as the other boy starts to reach down and grope for his dick, pressing his own hard on against Mickey’s leg, he accepts that he’s picturing Ian right now.

He’s pretending this guy is Ian.

It makes him feel sick.

Mickey shakes his head violently and pushes the other boy off, who seems to think he’s just pushing him away passionately to get undressed, as the blond starts to undo his own jeans.

“No” Mickey says, and then seeing he’s not understanding what he means, “Cut it the fuck out alright? Not gonna happen. I’m not…”

The guy is clearly offended as soon as he realizes Mickey is rejecting him, and Mickey knows he should just brush off what he says next, but he can’t.

The blond zips up his jeans, his tone no longer soft or comforting. “The guy is a fucking idiot! Forget about him. You deserve someone who’s gonna make you feel right, treat you good, I know because-“

Mickey’s fist slams into his nose a second later.

“You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about” Mickey hisses, watching the blood drip down onto his shirt, “You don’t know Ian, and you sure as hell don’t know me”.

The blond clutches his nose, looking at him in shock, “Fuck you, you fucking psycho! No wonder he dumped you!”

He spits before he hurries out of the bathroom, leaving Mickey panting there angrily.

Mickey presses his tattooed fingers into his eyes, willing himself not to lose control. He stumbles out of the bathroom a few moments later and hurries out of the bar and onto the street, not stopping to tell Mandy he’s leaving.

He wanders past the neon lights and the Saturday night bar hoppers, the happy couples, and the groups of friends, completely alone.

He walks until he’s lost, far away from the extravagant lights and music on Beale street.

A sign tells him he’s at Wolf River Harbourfront, but those words don’t mean much to him. He’s not from here. He just feels drawn to the water because it reminds him of the Chicago harbourfront back home.

No wonder he dumped you” rings through his head on repeat, making his heart throb.

Mickey sits by the water and gazes down at his ashen reflection as he lights a cigarette.

He’s never going to get over him, is he?

It’s only been a few months since Ian had ended things, but something deep inside tells him this is not a temporary feeling.

This ache is not going to go away, no matter what he does.

Mickey blows cigarette smoke out the side of his mouth, looking away from his reflection and out over the water, at the rapidly blurring warm white lights twinkling across the nearby bridge.

“Fuck I miss you” he whispers.

 

*Early August*

“Is Rob in?” Mickey asks, looking sideways at the cop sitting at the front desk. No matter how many times he’d been around the station where his step parent worked, Rob was still the only cop Mickey really trusted.

He’d come a long way though, since moving to Memphis.

Back in Chicago, he was very much ‘known to the police’. And not in a good way either.

Here in Memphis, even with his questionable tattoos, he was just Office Connolly’s foster kid.

It was a bit of a breath of fresh air, not having everyone tense up when he walked into a room.

“Yeah, hold on Mickey”.

Officer Bovay pages Rob, who comes out from the back of the station a few minutes later.

“Hey Mickey, what’s up?” Rob asks, looking at him curiously. He didn’t usually come into the station of his own volition. He was too excited to keep this to himself though.

“Wanna show you something” Mickey answers, heading back outside. He waits beside the parked motorcycle proudly until Rob comes out and nods at it, clearly impressed.

“You finally got it running, nice job. Course, legally you can’t drive it home unless you have a helmet. I could even charge you for driving here without one” Rob says, punching him lightly in the shoulder.

Mickey shakes his head and laughs, brushing away his hand. “Fuck off”.

“Seriously though, you can’t drive it home. Hang out here for a while, my shift’s done in two hours. I’ll take you to get a helmet after” Rob says, looking at him intently. He’s not gonna let this one go.

Mickey stares at him, finally sighing and giving in. Knew he fucking should’ve just ridden it back home. 

The dispatch radio strapped to Rob’s waist suddenly goes off, “Officer Connolly please dispatch to Adelaide and Forest Drive. Public disturbance reported among three youths, medium priority”.

Rob tips his head at Mickey, walking across the small parking lot as he does.

“C’mon. We gotta go”.

“You want me to fucking come with you?” Mickey asks in disbelief, following him over to the police car.

Automatically he goes towards the back door at first, but he catches himself and gets in the passenger side instead.

“Yeah why not? Ride along. It’s a learning experience” Rob says, laughing slightly as they pull out of the parking lot, “Seatbelt”.

They drive along for a while before Mickey finally comments, “Never been in the front before”.

“Most people haven’t. Hey, you ever think about being an officer after highschool?” Rob asks.

Focusing on the road, he misses Mickey’s look of incredulity.

“Ha. Hi-larious” Mickey drawls, resting his arm on the window as they pull up in front of the ‘public disturbance’. It’s two younger teenagers beating on a third, who’s already on the ground.

Mickey watches from the car as Rob immediately gets out, quickly separating them and giving them a stern lecture for the next ten minutes or so. The kid that been on the ground is allowed to leave and he runs down the road towards his house in relief.

Seems like Rob knows the two troublemakers from previous altercations, and Mickey hears him finally let them off with a strict warning, letting them know he’ll back if the kid’s parents decide to press charges.

“That was fucked up” Mickey says as Rob gets back into the police car, “Two on one like that. But maybe he deserved it”.

He thinks of the few occasions he’d teamed up on a victim before out of necessity. From this angle though, it doesn’t look so good.

“No, he didn’t. He’s a good kid” Rob answers, “And I wasn’t joking about earlier. People like us, we already know the system Mickey. And we know what it’s like to be the people you get calls about”.

“Dude, I don’t know what you’re fucking talking about. I’ll be lucky if I finish highschool” Mickey says in annoyance, before remembering his exact situation here.

The rules of his probation.

“You will finish, and you will start thinking about your future career” Rob says firmly, “And you can look into whatever you’d like next year, it was just a suggestion”.

Mickey shrugs passively and Rob drops the subject, instead eyeing the car in the lane next to them, checking the license plate.

Officer Milkovich.

Mickey laughs to himself as he lights a cigarette, flipping Rob off as he turns and raises his eyebrow at him, but he leans and blows his smoke out the cruiser’s window anyways.

When they get home a few hours later, there’s a strange and nervous energy in the house that Mickey picks up on the very second he walks inside.

It’s the feeling he used to get when he’d come home right after Terry had gone on a rampage, and Mandy was waiting out the storm.

Mickey spots Camille and Mandy sitting in the living room, when normally she’d be out with friends or holed up in her room around this time of day. He frowns.

“Rob, can you come in here?” Camille calls out, “Mickey, you too”.

As he sits down on the couch beside Mandy, Mickey wonders what the fuck is going on.

He feels a strange sense of déjà vu sitting on the couch like this, it reminds him of his first night here.

“We got the letter Rob, and the phone call” Camille says, addressing her brother quietly. She hands a piece of paper over to him, and Robs face falls slightly as he reads it.

“What fucking letter?” Mickey says, tempted to snatch it out of his hands.

Rob looks up at both of them slowly and sighs, “Listen guys. We fucked up not telling you about this earlier, but we really didn’t think it would go through”.

“What wouldn’t go through?” Mandy demands, Mickey nodding in agreement.

He feels more agitated suddenly, picking up on their foster parent’s moods.

“Your dad got out of jail a few weeks ago, and he began filing for custody. It went through” Rob says.

Camille adds a little more quietly, “You guys have to go back home. On Thursday”.

Mickey’s heart feels like it’s in his throat, his immediate reaction being joy. But then fear quickly creeps in, and then anger, and then who the fuck knows what else.

He doesn’t know how to fucking feel.

First off, he can go home, and see Ian again. He’s pretty sure Ian only ended things because he was supposed to be stuck in Memphis for the next three years, but what if Ian doesn’t want to see him again?

And why the fuck did Terry do that anyways, file for custody back? His ingrained but fucked up sense of loyalty to his family had gone out the window as soon as he threw Mickey under the bus after his arrest.

And clearly, Rob and Camille aren’t too thrilled with this outcome.

Mickey is a bundle of nerves for the rest of the night, and he sits up in his bedroom, leaning out his bedroom window and smoking his fifth cigarette in an hour.

He hears a knock at his door.

“Ya” he calls out, thinking it’s Mandy.

It’s Rob.

“Hey, how you feelin?”

Rob doesn’t mention the fact that Mickey is breaking one of their few rules to not smoke inside the house.

Mickey shrugs, “I don’t fucking know” he answers honestly.

Rob nods, looking like he wants to say more.

“Spit it out” Mickey says, not in a particularly patient mood. He had wanted to text or call Ian right away, telling him he was coming home, but he’d held himself back. 

He’s pretty sure they will find a way to fix things. They’re Mickey and Ian. It’s what they do. But just in case, he tries to stop his thoughts from running away with him. It’s not safe to hope for too much yet.

Rob clears his throat, “Listen, I don’t know how’d you feel about this, but you’re 18 now. You could…if you wanted to…well I’m trying to say that we’d be happy to have you stay”.

Mickey lets out his breath. He hadn’t been expecting that.

He butts out his cigarette and turns around to look at Rob, feeling slightly guilty.

“I’m sorry man but I want to go home. And I could never let Mandy go without me anyways”.

Rob nods his head again, “That’s what we figured, me and Camille. Just thought we’d offer anyways. Well…have a good night, see you tomorrow bud”.

Mickey watches him leave his room, his heart thudding in his chest.

He couldn’t believe they actually wanted him to stay.

But more than that, as he looks around the warm orange walls in his room, he finally allows himself to openly think about Ian.

Fuck, he missed him. He can’t fucking wait to see him again.

 

*Thursday*

Saying goodbye to Camille and Rob hadn’t been the easiest thing in the world, and Mickey never even thought he’d be part of a foster family he’d actually even care to say goodbye to.

But he did care.

Before he’d left, Rob had pulled him aside to talk to him in private, and Mickey had allowed Rob to give him a hug goodbye.

“I hope you find what you’re looking for back home” he says quietly, patting Mickey firmly on the shoulder as they pull apart.

“It’s him man. He’s all I want” Mickey answers, finally addressing what he knows Rob is really talking about.

The other man nods, “I know. Good luck”.

Mickey doesn’t eat or even get out of their new social worker’s van on the way back to Chicago, the same as he had done when he was leaving home, because he’s nervous as hell, thinking of what he’ll even say to Ian.

He tries to just sleep during the trip to make it go faster, but he can’t keep his eyes closed, so he sits there with his headphones in instead, indulging himself by listening to every single song that reminds him of Ian.

When they get home very late that night, Terry doesn’t even try to pretend he’s happy to see them.

He just grunts a hello from his place by the tv, and Mickey and Mandy bring their stuff back into their bedrooms.

It’s well past midnight, but Mickey immediately goes back outside without unpacking and picks up the motorcycle he’d dumped on the Milkovich front lawn after unloading it from the back of the van.

He drives all the way to the Gallaghers house without a thought in his head, it’s almost automatic for him to go there, but once he arrives his mind explodes with nagging worries.

What the fuck is he even supposed to say, he wonders, as he kills his engine in front of the house.

Ian had left him, not the other way around.

But maybe there’s not much to say. Maybe they just need to see each other again.

Mickey looks up at the quiet and dark Gallagher house, at Ian’s bedroom window.

He’s sleeping just inside there, so close… every part of Mickey wants to shout, tell Ian to come outside and love him again.

But he can’t.

He’s not sure how long he sits out there on his bike, looking up and thinking, wishing and waiting.

But this isn’t how he wants to fucking do this, calling or texting Ian and hoping he wakes up and comes outside.

Mickey revs his engine back to life and drives back home, taking the long route to put off seeing his dad again for as long as possible.  

Tomorrow. He’ll see Ian tomorrow.

He drives towards the Gallagher house with conviction the next day, determined to lay his cards out on the table. He’s home now, and he won’t let him down again.

Mickey thinks of what he’ll tell Ian, ‘I thought about you every day’…’I missed you so fucking much…’

Nearing Ian’s street, he slows his bike a bit as he sees two guys walking on the sidewalk ahead of him, his attention caught by the back of one of their heads.

Red hair. That warm and comforting orange he’d missed so much.

Ian.

He nears the two boys, drawn towards Ian like a magnet, but his heart slams against his chest once he sees Ian laughing with the boy he’s walking next to, and who it is.

Bradley Henderson. The only openly gay kid in their entire school.

Fuck. Fuck!

Mickey immediately turns his motorcycle around and quickly drives away, the engine roaring as he speeds down the street away from what he’d just seen.

Everything he had wanted to say to Ian had immediately died in his throat as soon as he saw him laughing with Bradley.

He was too late. Too fucking late…Ian had moved on in just a few fucking months.

He’d been in Memphis, crying like a bitch over him, and Ian had been back home fucking someone else.

He’s done. Fucking done.

Or so he thinks.

Mickey is driving around on his motorcycle aimlessly the next day, for so long that he finally gives up and puts gloves on his wind-whipped hands, when he sees a familiar redhead walking down the sidewalk again, alone this time.

He can’t stay away.

He wants to, but he fucking can’t. He’s dying to see Ian again, so he drives right up to him, his blue eyes wide and sad behind the safety of his darkened visor.

So close…he wants to jump off his bike and just grab Ian, pull him into a hug and tell him how much he fucking missed him…how much he still needs him.

He’s about to when Ian turns and glares at him, noticing how close he is to the sidewalk.

“What the fuck is your problem?” Ian demands, “Fuck off”.

Mickey knows that Ian doesn’t recognize him underneath the darkened helmet, but he still feels like those words are exactly what Ian would say to him if he knew it was him, now that he’s moved on.

Mickey’s face burns red and his eyes sting, and he’s glad Ian can’t see his face. He’s glad Ian doesn’t know it’s him.

He grips his hands tighter on the handles of his motorcycle, and drives away, doing exactly what Ian said to.

He’ll fuck off. Just like he told Ian he would back when he had dumped him in Memphis.

Part of him wishes he never left Tennessee now. Being here, seeing Ian with someone else, especially during school in September, would fucking kill him.

Mickey goes home and holes himself up in his room, destroying his walls with graffiti and blaring angry music.  

Hours later, his phone goes off, and he reads a text from Mandy that makes his heart beat faster in his chest.

Hey…I just saw Ian at Kim’s party. He’s not okay right now. He needs someone”.

Even just seeing his name was setting him off. Mickey sniffs, rereading the message twice before he answers.

K” he texts back.

She answers immediately. “Mickey, go. Before he takes off.

“Fuck” he whispers, rubbing his hands into his burning eyes.

Mickey goes outside and gets on his motorcycle, revving the engine.

As he drives out into the night, he’s determined to find Ian.

It doesn’t matter if Ian’s with someone else.

He might not love Mickey anymore, but Mickey still fucking loves him.

And if he needed someone… he’d be that someone.

 

 

And I never felt peace like that, it was safety as I'd never known. Oh, I knew nothing, I was sick, and I don't blame a thing that you did. It doesn't have to hurt anymore. No, it doesn't have to hurt anymore.

Got a picture of the look when I knew I'd lost you. And I know when you feel trapped, you're gonna do what you have to. You see the problem was us. Tried to bend love to the picture we had in our heads.

Oh, that's not nothing, but there it is, and it won't kill us breathing it in. It doesn't have to hurt anymore
No, it doesn't have to hurt anymore.’

 ~The End is Beautiful (This song reminds me of Mickey forgiving Ian for giving up on him while he was in Memphis)

enduro (Mickey's Enduro)

Chapter Text

Ian stretches out across Mickey’s bed when he wakes up in the morning, realizing he’s extended his long arms out just a bit too far when his hand hits Mickey in the face.

Jesus Christ” Mickey grumbles as he wakes up instantly, shoving his hand away in annoyance. Ian stifles a laugh as he looks over at his boyfriends scrunched up face.

He’s fucking adorable when he’s irritated over something stupid.

Mickey opens one eye and trains it on him, “I’m trying to fucking sleep. Quit fucking giggling”.

With a shake of his ginger head, Ian crawls over to him and sits on top of him, resting his legs on either side of Mickey’s waist. He’s clearly already awake anyways, why not take advantage of it?

“I don’t want to sleep anymore”.

“You’re like a fucking five-year-old sometime, you know that?” Mickey says admonishingly, even as he moves his hands to grip Ian’s ass and take a squeeze.

“Pffft” Ian answers, humping his stomach teasingly.

“Alright, alright. I’m getting up. Jesus” Mickey groans, but there’s an undeniable smile on his face as he motions for Ian to move.

“What do you want for breakfast?” Ian asks, as he climbs off his boyfriend.

Mickey rubs his eyes with his hands, letting out a big yawn. “Coffee and a cigarette”.

“Oh that’s real fuckin healthy” Ian answers sarcastically, rolling his own.

“Perfect start to the morning. Shower with you wouldn’t hurt either” Mickey says with a suggestive twitch of his eyebrow.

Actually, that does sound pretty perfect.

“I’ll put on the coffee” Ian offers, noticing Mickey smile in amusement at how quickly he gives in.

He smacks his boyfriend’s firm ass as they both get up and head to different rooms of the house, Mickey heading to the bathroom for his morning constitutional before he does anything else.

Yanking open the cupboard he now well knows the Milkovich’s always keep their coffee grounds in, Ian hums to himself happily as he sets up the old coffee maker.

The pot gurgles and then groans when it’s done, and Ian pours out two steaming cups of coffee. He leaves enough in the pot for whenever Mandy decides to surface from her bedroom as well.

“Porch” he calls out to Mickey, before he carries the mugs outside, letting the front door bang shut behind himself.

Mickey joins him a few minutes later on the front steps, and looks him up and down appreciatively as he takes the cup of coffee Ian’s holding out to him.

They sip at their morning coffees and smoke their cigarettes contentedly, enjoying each other’s company as the morning sun begins to heat up the sidewalk in front of them.

“Good coffee” Mickey comments after a few quiet minutes, raising his eyebrows as he lifts his cup to his mouth again.

“You bought it” Ian answers in amusement, butting out his cigarette. His boyfriend’s response is simple.

“I just like how you make it”.

Ian looks over at him. “I love you too” he says thoughtfully.

Mickey blushes slightly and lowers his head, “Mmm. How about that shower though?”

He tips his dark head towards the front door as he stands up, and Ian grins as he follows him, waiting until they are just inside the safety of the house to grab his hand.

He kisses Mickey slowly all the way to the bathroom, backing him through the house carefully until they arrive in the bathroom and he can reach for the shower dial, turning on a stream of hot water that shudders and spits before it steadies.  

Mickey’s mouth tastes like coffee and his Marlboro cigarettes, and Ian savors the taste, letting his tongue explore for more of it as they undress without coming apart, until they absolutely have to, yanking off their shirts last.

Fully stripped just a few seconds later, the two of them climb into the shower together and Mickey pulls the shower curtain shut as the water jets down onto them and sprays erratically off their skin.

They lazily kiss for a while underneath the stream, and as they do Ian’s mind involuntarily flashes back to the one day he had visited Mickey in Memphis.  They hadn’t showered together since then, and he wonders if Mickey is thinking about that day right now too.

He doesn’t seem to be.

Ian looks down through the water falling like rain past his face and sees his boyfriend’s hard on just an inch away from his own.

He seems to be thinking about the right now, and Ian just wants to make him feel good.

Pulling his lips away from Mickey’s softly, Ian slowly lowers himself down to his knees, using his hand to guide Mickey’s hard cock into his mouth.

He already tastes the familiar salty and thick taste on the head of his dick, and he licks the precum up quickly before the water washes it away.

Blowing Mickey is almost like a relaxing routine for him, because he knows how to do it just right, but he keeps it slow for now anyways, not wanting to make him cum too soon.

He glances up at Mickey standing above him, his eyes closed and his lips parted in pleasure as Ian continues to slide his cock up and down in his mouth, sucking his cheeks in for added sensation.

Mickey creases his forehead as Ian moves one hand around Mickey’s thigh and rests it just underneath one of his perfect ass cheeks, gently stroking it with his finger.

Mickey moves to spread his legs slightly in response to the teasing.

Taking his lead, Ian slides his finger up more, carefully probing his asshole before slowly pressing his finger inside of him.

One, and then two fingers, he’s encouraged by the now leaking cock in his mouth.

By the time he reaches the third finger, Mickey moans uncomfortably, now insanely hard inside his mouth as he struggles not to hump into it.

“You’re making me fuckin dizzy” he complains, reaching a hand down into his wet hair for support.

Knowing what he wants, Ian nods and pulls his mouth off his dick, slowly standing back up in the shower.

His knees ache slightly from being pressed into the hard bathtub, but he turns Mickey around and kisses the top of his shoulder without comment before he slowly slides his cock into his tight asshole.

It’s like edging into perfection, and Ian gasps slightly at the initial sensation. Water isn’t the best lube, and he’s sure it’s a bit of a painstaking process at first, but Mickey never complains.

He just rolls his head slightly and leans his hands up against the shower wall, arching his back so Ian can go deeper.

Taking his lead, Ian starts to roll his hips harder, carefully aiming himself inside Mickey to rub against his prostate.

Jesus Christ” Mickey moans, lowering his head between his shoulders in pleasure as Ian hits his mark.

All of a sudden there’s a loud knock on the bathroom door that makes both of them jump, and Ian pulls out so fast that he unintentionally makes Mickey wince in pain.

“Mickey?”

Fuck, fuck!

It’s Terry’s voice!

Ian immediately feels Mickey’s wet hand clamp over his mouth, hard.

“Yeah?” he calls out, his voice hoarse.

“You locked the fucking door, I need to take a piss”.

Ian’s eyes widen as he looks over at Mickey, who looks just as panicked.

“Uh, can’t you use the other one?” He’s looking around the bathroom like he’ll find some sort of solution to his problem hidden here.

“Your sister is in it. Hurry the fuck up you little shit, I need to get going”.

Mickey hesitates for just a second before he very reluctantly climbs out of the shower, and carefully pulls the curtain closed behind himself.

Ian stands there alone, almost trembling as the water continues to run over him. It’s still hot, but it suddenly feels like ice. His heart feels like it’s launched right into his throat as an excess of adrenaline pumps through his veins.

“I’m unlocking it. Just give me a second to get back in the shower” he hears Mickey say firmly.

Ian hears the lock on the bathroom door click next, and half a second later Mickey is scrambling back into the shower with him, his face tense and dark as he looks up at him.

Please don’t make fucking sound” he mouths, putting his hand back over Ian’s mouth and positioning himself in front of him protectively.

Hidden behind the thick shower curtain, they don’t see Terry enter, but they hear him.

He shuffles in towards the toilet, grunting as he unzips his fly and releases his stream into the bowl.

Ian realizes that Mickey is practically shaking, and he reaches out with his own trembling hand and grabs Mickey’s free one, squeezing it tightly between his fingers.

They stay there like that for what feels like forever, but it’s only about a minute.

Terry finally finishes and flushes the toilet, and Mickey shuffles a bit in place to make it sound like he’s actually showering.

“Heading back out. Make sure dinner is ready when I get back tonight” Terry says gruffly as he finally leaves the bathroom.

“Okay” Mickey answers weakly.

They hear the bathroom door shut, and Mickey takes his hand away from Ian’s mouth, flipping off the direction his dad had just left.

Jesus Christ” he whispers. He glances down at Ian.

“You’re still hard?”

“Panic boner” Ian whispers back apologetically.

Mickey shakes his head, “Fuck. Give it ten minutes and I’ll see if he’s gone. Then we’re getting the fuck out of here”.

They both stand there underneath the running water without another word until Mickey finally gets out again to poke his head out the bathroom door.

“Coast is clear” he says a moment later, looking extremely relieved as he pushes the shower curtain away to turn off the water.

They both dry off and get dressed, and sure enough, only Mandy is in the house when they venture out of the bathroom.

She looks close to tears as they head into the kitchen together.

“Oh my god, oh my god. I tried texting you!” she says to her brother, her face creased with worry.

Mickey goes over to her, looking like he wants to pull her into an awkward hug, but he stops himself. “It’s fine, we’re good. I left my phone in my room anyways”.

“You guys need to be more fucking careful” she says, glancing between them, her voice still hushed even though it’s no longer necessary.

Mickey scratches the back of his head, “I wasn’t thinking. I knew he was in town but he said he wouldn’t be back until tonight”.

“Well you can’t take chances like that” Mandy says firmly.

Ian stands there awkwardly as they talk, feeling like it’s his fault for some reason. Maybe because Mickey was only comfortable being who he was around him.

He knew Mickey well enough to know even if they weren’t together, he wouldn’t be bringing any other guy over to his house for a sleepover, or to shower with in the morning, or anything else for that matter.

Ian could be the reason why Mickey receives who the fuck knows what from the wrath of his father, and the thought makes him feel terrible.

“You okay Ian?” Mandy suddenly asks, pulling him from his thoughts.

Mickey looks over at him too and softens at the expression on his face, “Don’t be upset. We’re good, alright? Not your fault either. I know what you’re fucking thinking”.

Ian nods and bites his lip, “Why don’t you just come stay at my place tonight?”

“Sure, sounds good. Can I bring Mo?” Mickey asks, looking over his shoulder before he heads towards his room to pack a bag.

Ian finally feels himself smile, “Yeah of course”.

He waits with Mandy while Mickey gets his shit together, who smiles weakly at him as she pats his shoulder.

“My brother is stupid in love with you” she says softly. “I know” he answers, just as quietly.  

He says it with gratitude.

Mickey comes out of his bedroom a few minutes later with his backpack slung over his shoulder, and he hands it to Ian to put on as he passes by him, Mo following both of them out the front door.

“See ya later Mands” Mickey yells.

“Have fun” she calls back, disappearing back into her bedroom.

Mickey pulls his bike over to the road, again handing the helmet to Ian who by this point doesn’t argue with him.

Mickey gets on the Enduro first and Ian slides onto the seat behind him, carefully checking around himself before he wraps his arms around Mickey a little tighter than necessary to hold on.

“I fucking love you” Mickey says, barely glancing back behind himself.

“I know. Let’s get the fuck out of here” Ian answers, closing his eyes slightly as Mickey turns the key and brings the motorcycle to life, vibrating and humming beneath them.

Within seconds they are leaving the Milkovich house behind, with two empty coffee mugs and an ashtray left forgotten on the porch.

Chapter Text

“Turn that up” Mickey says, nodding his head to the music as Ian’s Spotify playlist changes to a new track. They'd been sitting together having sandwiches that Ian had thrown together for lunch while the rest of his siblings were out, on a typical hot and lazy August day. 

Ian nods his head to the song too and turns up the volume on his phone as Mickey stands behind his chair in the kitchen and sings behind his head playfully, “Can I sit next to you? Can you sit next to me ?”

Get the stars out your eyes. Come and bring them to me ” Ian sings back, feeling a smile creep across his face.

When he’d seen Mickey’s bedroom for the first time, he’d noticed the Spoon poster beside his bed right away, and that night he had done what any other person with a crush would do, went home and listened to all their songs.

He watches with amusement as Mickey lets loose in the Gallagher kitchen, joining him in the next part of the verse, he stands across from Mickey like they’re having some kind of a sing off.

I been down so long, I've been working on a plan, yeah, It's just that I been down so long. I gotta give me my mind what I can. Can I sit next to you? Can you sit next to me?”

Spoon was one of Mickey’s favorite bands, not Ian’s, so he didn’t remember all the words perfectly but at least hummed along until he heard the next part of the song, to which Mickey just kept going.

I walked to Memphis alone, 'Cause you'd do it for me. Ooh, I know you would ”.

Ian stops smiling and looks away as he listens to that part, and Mickey not catching on, grabs him by the arm and tries to get him into it again, but he can’t.

“C’mon Ian! Usually you’re the one that won’t stop fuckin singing and dancing and now you’re gonna let me be an asshole in your kitchen by myself?”

Usually that would be true, but this time Ian just frowns. “It’s the song Mickey. ‘Walked to Memphis alone’?” he repeats, suddenly annoyed at himself. 

Mickey shakes his head, trying not to lose his playful mood. “This was one of my favorite songs long before that Ian”. He points at the ceiling and nods his head in agreement as Spoon croons the next line, “I put all that aside, concentrate on you ”.

"See?"

Ian still feels uncomfortable though, and Mickey gives him a shy smile, cocking his head.

“Honestly Ian, this song does remind me of you. Not the Memphis part though. ‘Sitting next to you’…like that day on the bus, remember? And listen to the lyrics man, it’s about being down for so long and then life finally giving you a fucking break”.

Ian finally feels himself smile a little, Mickey’s own being happy one being contagious. He would probably always feel a little guilty about the Memphis thing, but he needed to try and be more like Mickey, leaving the past in the past.

He's not sure how he does it, or if he could even be that forgiving himself.

But it was a pretty good feeling, knowing that Mickey felt he was reason his life had gotten better.

“Fuck, I don’t deserve a boyfriend like you” he says, grabbing Mickey in a playful headlock and rubbing his dark head with his knuckles.

“Fuck off” Mickey laughs, forcing himself out of Ian’s grip.

He glances over at the stove, “Hey, when’s your ROTC thing again?”

Ian blinks and glances over at the clock too. He’d asked Mickey for a ride yesterday, but had completely forgotten about his training session at one today.

“Shit, shit, shit! I’m gonna be late, it started ten fucking minutes ago!” he swears, bounding up the stairs to yank on his uniform. He’d have to skip the shower before training today, and he knows that showing up late with a disheveled appearance won't win him any brownie points with his sergeant. 

Mickey jogs up the stairs after him to quickly get dressed as well, calling out, “Don't worry about it, I'll get you there”.

After he finishes pulling on his jacket over his olive green t-shirt, Ian turns to see Mickey standing his bedroom doorway, pulling his jeans on over his round ass. He has to do a little jump and a wiggle to pull them up all the way quickly, and Ian watches with interest, unable to help himself.

He's already late...he bites his lip, and Mickey laughs as he notices him staring, “After. C’mon Ian”.

Reluctantly, Ian quickly follows him back down the stairs and out the front door after firstly letting Mo out into the backyard and giving him a bowl of water. The rest of his family was out for a good chunk of the day, so he didn’t want him to be stuck inside on his own.

By the time he gets to the front yard Mickey is already ready and waiting for him, and he tosses Ian his helmet and brings the motorcycle to life, pulling onto the road the second Ian sits down and wraps his arms around him.

Even though Ian’s ROTC uniform with the jacket is a little heavy for the late August heat, the wind whipping past him and Mickey as he speeds towards the ROTC training facility keeps him fairly cool. He actually loves riding with Mickey.

While his boyfriend focuses on driving he can take in all the sights, and he feels absolutely free.

Not to mention he always found Mickey waiting for him outside anywhere on the motorcycle insanely hot. He might know Mickey better now, but some part of him will always think of and be attracted to Mickey as the badass at school and in his neighborhood that was nothing but trouble. 

When they arrive at the ROTC center, Ian gets off to say a quick and subtle goodbye, and he takes an extra long look at Mickey sitting on his bike before he heads inside.

He couldn’t wait to come back out to that after training. He readjusts himself in his boxers and shakes his head to clear his mind as he jogs through the building and into the yard training area where he was due almost twenty-five minutes ago now.

“Gallagher! You’re late! 25 push-ups for 25 minutes, then get your ass back into formation!” his drill sergeant yells out the second he sees him.

Ian groans quietly to himself but then quickly drops to the ground to do his push-ups, still thinking about Mickey as he does.

 

*Mickey’s POV*

Mickey sits out in the parking lot on his motorcycle and lights a cigarette, inhaling deeply and letting the smoke curl out his nose while he thinks.

He catches himself biting his lip as he thinks about Ian in his uniform, and he wipes the expression from his face as some lady gets out of her car and walks past him to go into the building. 

Fuck, he’d always had a thing for Ian in his camo.

Even way before they had talked, any time he'd been hidden underneath the bleachers having a smoke during school and Ian Gallagher had happened to be jogging around the high school racing track in his uniform, he’d found an excuse to go through several more cigarettes before leaving.

It had been damn near impossible to turn down that look in Ian’s eye this morning, but he’d been spending more time at the Gallagher house lately and he didn’t want to be the reason Ian got in trouble or anything.

He was sure the ROTC lieutenants or whatever were all a bunch of hard asses.

Mickey finishes his cigarette and ditches his bike to wander around to the side of the building. Finding a damn fence blocking any chance of getting a good view, he goes back around and heads into the building instead.

“Sup” he address the woman at the front desk,  who is also in uniform, but he notices her camo is a different shade than Ian’s. He glances over at a 'we want you!' poster on her desk for some job training little kids that want to be cadets.

“Can I help you?” she asks.

He nods as he turns to look at her, surprising himself by how openly he asks, “Can I uh, watch the training session or whatever?”

“The current one? Do you know someone participating in it?” she asks, checking over the schedule.

“Yeah. Friends with Gallagher, just wanted to check him-it out” he stumbles over his words and then reddens slightly before clearing his throat and scowling.

Fucking idiot. 

She looks up at him and nods, “That’s fine. Through that hallway and to the left. Stay behind the fenced area though, you don’t want to interrupt. Sergeant Mathews would not be understanding, Ian was already twenty five minutes late". 

Mickey salutes her, only slightly sarcastically saying “Sure thing mam”. His curiosity is outweighing just about everything else by now.

Following her directions, he finds himself now inside the closed off training yard, several feet away from where about twenty kids his age, mostly boys, are running drills in front of a pissed off looking sergeant.

Mickey spots Ian almost immediately, doing a few more push ups before he stands up and gets in line with his peers, his red hair a dead giveaway.

Settling in against the brick wall of the building comfortably, Mickey allows himself to gaze across the field at Ian. He’s glad Ian is far away and busy enough that he doesn’t notice him standing there. He doesn’t want to distract him or anything. He probably already got enough shit for being late.

Watching Ian do all sorts of training shit like tire runs, assembling and reassembling guns, and jumping jacks, is a prime form of entertainment for Mickey.

Not because it’s funny.

But because it’s hot as fuck.

He can tell Ian is working hard and sweating, and he has to readjust himself in his pants after a while. Maybe it’s immature or whatever, wanting to pretend his boyfriend is a soldier as he plows him, but he’s had that fantasy since long before he and Ian were actually together.

He wouldn’t actually want Ian to be a solider though.

That thought crosses his mind too as he watches, and he chews the inside of his cheek a bit anxiously as he considers it. Why would Ian do all this if he didn’t plan on joining the army someday though?

But if he did join the army... what did that mean for them? 

*Ian’s POV*

Ian’s sweating like a pig by the time his drill sergeant calls it a day, and he peels off his jacket immediately, knowing his shirt underneath is soaked with sweat. He picks up his water bottle and dumps it out over his head, shaking his head like a dog as water and sweat goes flying. 

Using the jacket to mop up his forehead, he turns to walk off the field, but as he gets closer to the ROTC building he sees Mickey standing there, a strange expression on his face. He bites his lip as Ian approaches.

“Hey” Ian says in surprise, “Didn’t know you were here”.

Mickey had only dropped him off twice before since he got back from Memphis with a vehicle, but he always left right after. He's happy to see him though.

“Uh, yeah. Wanted to…watch” Mickey says awkwardly, scratching the back of his neck as he watches the rest of the cadets leave. He glances up and down at Ian again slowly before he looks away, tipping his head to the side.  

“Wanna get out of here?”

Ian’s eyes fall from Mickey's face to his crotch, where there is a very noticeable bulge. “Fuck yeah. But I gotta shower first Mick, I’m gross”.

Mickey glances around to make sure they are alone before he answers.

“Nah man. Want you just like this. I'm horny as a motherfucker”.

Noticing the heated and impatient look in Mickey’s eyes, Ian feels himself smirk, “Okay. Come on”.

His boyfriend follows him back inside the building again, out through the front doors, and around the side of the building where Mickey had originally gone hoping to get a peek.

“Where…?” Mickey starts to ask, clearly confused as he tugs on his crotch again to rearrange himself. He's stupid turned on at this point.

“Just back here” Ian answers, the edge of a small forest coming into view a moment later. He jogs into the privacy of the trees, and after they get several feet deep Mickey grabs his arm, pulling him back towards and then up against him. 

He moves his mouth up against Ian’s impatiently, who opens his mouth to let his tongue in, closing his eyes at the heat coming off of him.

“Jesus Christ I want you so fucking bad” he hears Mickey moan into his neck, biting his collarbone as he starts to yank on his belt.

He feels a tongue swipe across his skin a second later, tasting the salt and sweat eagerly. He opens his eyes again and looks down at Mickey, who’s now got his own cock out and is slowly stroking it.

“You want me to fuck you?” he asks rhetorically, slapping Mickey's hand away to undo his belt himself. “Yeah” Mickey answers impatiently.

His boyfriend swats a mosquito away from himself in annoyance. The one downside of fucking in the bushes.

Ian leans forward to kiss Mickey again, but Mickey turns his head away from the intimacy, surprising him.

“Just…just be rough with me, alright?" Mickey says, panting. Ian raises his eyebrows slightly in surprise, “What about prep?”

“Don't want it. Just fuck me good Army”. Mickey turns and leans against a tree, and after a quick shrug, Ian grabs him the hips, yanking his ass back closer towards himself.

Ignoring Mickey’s initial request, he uses a finger to stretch him just a bit before he plows into him, not wanting to actually do any damage.

“Fuck” Mickey moans, his forehead creasing from the initial pain as Ian sinks completely inside him.

Still overheated from working out, Ian doesn’t waste any time leading up to anything, and he fucks him hard from the get go, listening to Mickey rotate between panting and moaning out “Gallagher” and “Army”.

Thinking he might be catching on to something, Ian bites his lip and then slaps Mickey’s ass, cautiously saying, “That’s Sergeant Gallagher to you, Milkovich”.

Mickey jerks forward the second the words leave his lips, fighting his orgasm hard. “Yes” he gasps out.

Ian suddenly pulls roughly out to turn him around, and presses Mickey up against the tree again, "Wanna see you".

“Lift your legs” he orders, lowering his arms to lend him the support.

Balancing Mickey up against the tree trunk, Ian holds up his boyfriend's thick legs and after a minute or two of poking around aimlessly at his ass with his dick, manages to find his hole again and sink into it.

“Fuckin… Gallagher” Mickey manages to get out, his eyes hooded and his mouth falling open in pleasure as Ian rocks his entire body up against the tree.

Ian fucks into him even harder, grunting from the effort to both support him and fuck him properly at the same time. It’s so worth it though, seeing how turned on Mickey is, he’s fucking leaking everywhere.

He’s quickly realizing this is a legit kink of Mickey’s, and more than just an attraction to him in his uniform. Leaning his face forward again, Mickey reaches out and grabs Ian’s dogtags with his teeth, biting onto the chain as Ian works up to his climax.

“Mm Milkovich. Think I’m gonna cum in your ass”.

“Fucking do it” Mickey almost spits, closing his eyes for a second in ecstasy. He starts coming a few seconds later, spurts of thick white jetting out over his thighs, Ian’s arms, and Ian’s t-shirt.

Ian grits his teeth through his own orgasm, trying to keep his strength enough to continue holding Mickey up. The second he’s finished orgasming he drops him, Mickey quickly catching his own weight and balance and then helping him to stay standing.

“I’m…wrecked” Ian mumbles, feeling like he’s a hundred degrees as Mickey supports him. He’s entirely overheated and exhausted now, but satisfaction floods every pore of his body.

Sliding down against the tree trunk, he lets Mickey kiss him for a while, so tired he can barely move his lips, but his love for this boy is stronger.

“Fucking love you Army. You’re amazing” he hears Mickey say, as he starts to nod off a while later, the two of them resting in the shade with their backs up against the trees.

Excluding the first part of it, this is the best summer he's ever had. 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                  

Chapter Text

“Ian, can I talk to you?”

Ian turns to look up at his boss, he’d been crouching in front of the stack of no-name soup cans, stamping them with reduced price stickers as per their weekly sale.

“Yeah, sure” he answers, quickly checking his watch. Mickey was supposed to come on his break and bring him something to eat for dinner, but he’s still got at least fifteen minutes.

Following Kash into the back room of the store, Ian notices the excited look on his face, and the slight nervousness in his mannerisms.

 Something’s going on.

“What did you want to talk about?” he asks uncertainly, playing with the price gun in his hands.

He always found it awkward working with Kash ever since he’d ended their hooking up back in September, and he has a feeling he knows what this is about.

Kash puts his hands together in excitement, “Well Ian, Linda and I are getting a divorce. Finally, it’s official!”

Okay, that wasn’t exactly what Ian had been expecting. He had been thinking more along the lines of Kash propositioning him again, but he’s glad he doesn’t have to deal with that awkward conversation.

Kash looks delighted, and Ian finds himself feeling sorry for Linda and his two kids.

It wasn’t his place to, especially since he used to be the one Kash was fucking behind her back, but that didn’t mean that he ever felt good about it. It was just his way of getting off at the time, with someone who wanted to hide their sexuality just as much as he did.

“Congrats?” he says awkwardly.

“Thanks Ian. Anyways, I was thinking, now it wouldn’t really be wrong, you know?” Kash looks at him hopefully.

Ian, looking for any excuse not to talk about this, or to even think about his past as a homewrecker, starts loudly moving around some of the boxes he still has to unpack and restock the shelves with. If he acts like he didn’t know what Kash is talking about, or he’s not willing to discuss it, maybe he’ll let it go.

He really does not want to go down this road again, or even think about it.

Unfortunately, Kash does.

He feels the older man come up behind him and stroke his arm before gripping his shoulders, massaging them slightly.

“Kash” he says warningly, shaking his head.

“Relax Ian, don’t you remember how good it was? Me and you back here, it was amazing. You made coming to work fun”.

Ian turns to say something rude in response, but as soon as he does, he sees Mickey standing in the doorway of the back room, watching them.

Fuck. When he did he get here? How much did he hear?

Ian hadn’t heard him come into the store over the noise he’d been purposely making unpacking, and he had never told Mickey about him and his boss hooking up before they’d gotten together.

“The fuck did you just say? Me and you back here?” Mickey demands, jabbing his finger towards Kash.

Well, he’d arrived in time to hear that.

“Mickey relax, it was before you” Ian says, knowing it’s a long shot that Mickey will actually calm down. What he doesn’t realize right away is that Mickey’s anger isn’t stemming from jealousy.

“Yeah, I heard the remember part” Mickey spits, ignoring him and turning his rigid body completely towards the older man, practically shaking with anger.

“How fucking old are you, Curry? 40? And how old was Ian? He told me he got this fucking job when he was 14”.

“It’s none of your business. And Ian was more than capable of giving cons-“

Mickey cuts Kash’s weak and embarrassed explanation off with a brutal punch to the nose, an instant loud crack filling the backroom right before the blood begins to pour.

He lunges forward and shoves Kash hard against one his shelves, who stumbles and falls to the ground, and Ian quickly moves around in front of him, trying to push Mickey away from the older man as Kash starts yelling about calling the police.

“The fuck are you protecting him for?” Mickey snarls, trying to dodge around Ian’s flailing arms, “You want to fuck him again?”

“Don’t be fucking stupid, I’m protecting you!” Ian yells back, “You want to go to jail over this? It’s not worth it”.

Mickey’s eyes are filled with anger, and he grinds his jaw as he looks over at Kash, absolutely fuming. “He deserves it” he says, spitting in Kash’s direction.

“Yeah, he does. But Mickey, I need you. Please. Don’t do this”.

The thought of losing Mickey again to prison is terrifying to him, and he has no problem begging in this instance.

Mickey looks torn, glancing back from Kash and then Ian again, finally wincing as though it pains him to give up this opportunity.

He points a tattooed finger at Kash, “Call the fucking cops on me and I’ll rat you out for being a pedophile you piece of shit”.

Kash glares at him, and then at Ian, “You’re fired Ian. Both of you, get out of my store”.

Mickey starts to swear and advance on him once more, but Ian yells right over him, blocking Mickey with his arm again. “I’m happy to fucking go! Take your stupid apron. Mickey’s fucking right about you”.

“Oh yeah? Then why did you stay!” Kash spits, trying to mop up the blood pouring from his nose with the sleeve of his shirt.

“Because I needed the fucking money for my family!” Ian screams back, jabbing at his own chest as he throws his apron to the ground. Losing all his cool, he turns on his heel and storms out of the little grocery store, hearing Mickey follow him.

He rounds on his boyfriend as soon as they are outside, “Why the fuck did you need to get involved? Now I have no fucking job and no way to help out with the bills!”

“He’s a fucking pedophile Ian!” Mickey shouts back, bristling defensively.

“I could have handled it myself Mickey, I’m not a fucking scared faggot that you need to protect all the time!”

Both of them blanch slightly at the ugly words as they come out of Ian’s mouth, surprising even himself.

“I…was just trying to help” Mickey says, looking taken aback.

Ian sighs, wiping his sweaty face with the back of his hand.

He’s not sure if it’s the heat or fucking Kash that made him snap like that.

“Yeah. Yeah I know that Mick. But now I have no job, and my family needs to eat”.

“I’ll-“

“No” Ian cuts Mickey off before he even starts, “No fucking drugs”.

“Well then I’ll help you find something else” Mickey says, shrugging. He’s trying not to show it, but Ian being mad at him clearly has him shaken.

“Like what? I’m not qualified for anything” Ian says, breathing out through his nose as he starts to get frustrated again.

Mickey’s quiet for a moment, but then he looks excited. “ROTC! When I was there the other day I saw a poster at the front desk or some shit, aren’t they looking to hire one of you guys to help run the little kids class or something?”

Ian answers slowly, “Yeah…they are”. He remembers Sergeant Mathews telling his class about it too.

“So? Apply for it! You’re a fucking shoe in Ian”.

Mickey looks so happy with himself that Ian can’t stay annoyed with him, but he’s still not sure he’s found a solution to his problem.

“Mick, that’s a good idea and everything but I probably won’t get it. That’s why I didn’t apply in the first place”.

Mickey shakes his head, coming over to give him a kiss in the dark. “Ian, don’t fucking doubt yourself. You can do this”.

Ian thinks for a moment, finally nodding his head hesitantly. “Okay… I’ll go in and apply tomorrow”.

It couldn’t hurt, he thinks, at least trying for it. He’d been needing a new job for a long time anyways, and he was sick of trying to avoid Kash as much as possible at work. Not that he even had that as an option anymore.

“Sweet. You got this…babe” Mickey says, giving him another encouraging kiss.

Ian grins at the term, and looks down at the wrinkled and smushed paper bag that Mickey had been clutching in his hand this entire time, only noticing it just now.

“That my dinner?”

Mickey looks down at the bag in his hand and wrinkles his mouth apologetically, “Uh, yeah. Turkey and ham from Subway”.

“Hand it over, I’m starving” Ian says, taking it from him gratefully.

They sit on the curb together as Ian eats his messed up but favorite kind of sandwich, feeling his mood improve as his stomach is filled.

Mickey notices the change in his mood too, as Ian starts to hum quietly as he eats.

“Were you just fucking hangry that whole time? Damn Ian”.

Ian laughs around his mouthful of food, “Maybe a little”.

There’s a slight smile on his face as Mickey grumbles around his cigarette, “Lucky you’re fucking cute”.

*

Mickey drops Ian off at the ROTC building in the morning to inquire about the job, but as he’s waiting inside on his own to see his sergeant, Ian gets an apologetic text from him.

Gotta go pick up Mandy’s stupid ass across town. Sorry. I’ll come by your place when I’m done. GL, love you

That’s fine, he can take the bus home. “Thanks, love u too” Ian texts back, standing and putting his phone in his pocket as his sergeant comes out of his office.

“Gallagher, what brings you in today? There’s no training sessions today” he says, glancing at him.

“Uh, I’m actually here to apply for…that job” Ian points at the poster on the wall Mickey had been referring to the night before.

He’s still feeling a little anxious, even after Mickey and Fiona had helped to coach him all morning for what he might be asked during his interview. He’s not sure what to expect, because Kash had just offered him a job, he never even applied.

Sergeant Mathews looks at the poster behind himself and nods. “Oh, excellent. Come into my office Ian”.

He seems friendlier now, so Ian relaxes as he sits down across from him, letting out a deep breath.

He’s surprised by how casually his sergeant addresses him.  

“Actually Ian, I was hoping you’d apply for this position. Other than your little mishap of being late the other day, you’re an excellent cadet. Top quality. And I hear you have a lot of siblings”.

“That I do” Ian laughs awkwardly, “I’m used to dealing with kids”.

He fiddles with his hands a bit, expecting to be grilled a little more. But Mathews surprises him yet again, clearly out of his drill sergeant mode.

“And you are very familiar with our operations of course. Well Ian, there’s been a lot of interest around this job, but none of the other applicants felt just right to me. Whatever made you change your mind about applying, I’m glad did. The job is yours”.

Ian grins in disbelief, “That’s great! Thank you so much. When do I start?”

Sergeant Mathews stands up and shakes his hand.

“We’ll have to have you in the for next few days to train you for the position properly. I know you have school coming up, so after that we’ll keep it to a couple shifts a week. How does $12 an hour sound? I’ll see you tomorrow. 8 a.m. sharp Gallagher”

“Great, that sounds great. I won’t be late. Thank you so much. See you tomorrow” Ian garbles, still in disbelief as he backs out of Mathews office.

He takes the bus home, bouncing his knee with excitement the entire time, and as soon as he steps inside his house he sees Fiona poke her head out from her place on the couch with Liam.

“Well?” she asks anxiously.

Ian losing his job had been bad news for the entire family, and his older sister had not been impressed with him getting himself fired, although he had lied and said it happened because he came in late too often.

“I got it!” he says, grinning as she offers him a high five.

“Thank God Ian, what a relief” she says, a big smiling stretching across her face.

“Yeah, and I make more than I did at the Kash & Grab”.

An extra dollar an hour wasn’t a lot, but it would make a difference, and this was a job he could be proud of.

He hears Mickey’s motorcycle coming up the road and he quickly turns to Fiona, “Pretend like I didn’t get it!” He can’t give up the opportunity to mess with him.

His sister laughs, “You’re mean Ian”.

He grins but then wipes the smile off his face and tries to look sad as Mickey comes inside a couple moments later, holding a milkshake from Mcdonald’s in his hand.

Mickey pants slightly as he looks at him, shutting the door behind himself.

“Hey, sorry about that. Mandy couldn’t get a ride home from her stupid friend’s house and the bitch wouldn’t lend her money to take the El. How’d it go?”

Ian casts his eyes down, sighing deeply. “I didn’t get it”.

“Oh...fuck. I’m so sorry, fuck. Here, I uh, got you this to cheer you up just in case”.

Mickey awkwardly thrusts the milkshake in his hand out to him, and Ian takes it as a smile creeps onto his face.

“What?” Mickey says, looking from him to Fiona, who at this point can’t hide her smile either, “Sorry it’s melted and shit, had to hold it between my legs on the way here”.

Ian beams at him, no longer trying to hide his excitement. “I got the job Mick”.

“You- fuck you! Give me that fuckin milkshake back!” Mickey says, pretending like he’s going to grab it back as Fiona and Ian start laughing.

Instead, he grabs Ian, kissing him on the corner of the mouth and lifting him off the ground for a moment before putting him back down and slapping him on the back.

“Proud of you man. Would have been either way”.

Ian grins and leans his elbow on his shoulder, “Well, I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for you”.

For Fiona’s sake, he leaves it sounding like it’s only about Mickey believing in him, not about him beating the shit out of Kash for fucking an underage boy.

“You guys are too much. Too much!” she says happily, repeating it to Liam in a playful voice.

Ian smiles at his boyfriend. He could never get enough of too much.

Chapter Text

Mickey lays on Ian’s bed with his legs spread and watches as Ian irons his ROTC uniform. It’s a lazy Saturday, the very last one of summer, and they’ve been enjoying their time together as a couple at home immensely before they have to go back to school and the best friends act.

Not that either of them has a huge problem with that, because they are best friends as much as they are a couple, but the freedom that summer had afforded them had been nice.

Ian carefully irons over the “GALLAGHER” printed on his uniform, noticing Mickey eyeing him. “You think maybe next time we can switch things up?” he asks without turning his head.

Mickey raises his eyebrow sharply, “Like I put on your uniform?” Ian laughs, “Well, maybe. I was more thinking I wear it and you fuck me”.

Mickey’s expression immediately changes, “Let’s do it”.

“Not now, I just fucking cleaned and ironed it. You know how long it took me to get your jizz stain out? Fuck Mickey”.

“In my defense, you fucked me real good” Mickey grins, closing his eyes and putting his hands behind his head.

“Yeah well I had to tell some little kid in my class it was from yogurt” Ian complains as he turns back around, missing the resulting smirk on his boyfriend’s face.

Propping the iron back up once he’s finished, Ian unplugs it and then heads over towards Mickey on the bed. “You can still fuck me without the uniform you know”.

“Oh, you don’t say?” Mickey laughs, grabbing him and wrestling him on the bed for a minute or two until he gets him laughing too.

“You know Ian, I wanted to ask you something though”.

Ian’s laughter slows and he raises his eyebrow at Mickey playfully, “Yeah?”

“Yeah. So, what’s like…your plan, with the ROTC thing. You actually planning on joining the army or what?” Mickey asks quickly, casually, but his eyes aren’t on Ian.

Even though he’d been enjoying the last week or so of his new job, the question catches Ian off guard, and he frowns as he leans back against his wall, stretching his legs out over Mickey.

Truthfully, in the back of his mind, he had somewhat always planned on joining the army. But he hadn’t thought about it seriously in a very long time now. What that would actually be like.

He still liked ROTC, but he wasn’t sure if the idea of actually joining the army was all that appealing anymore.

“I don’t know” he answers honestly.

 Mickey nods, but his expression is still guarded.

“It’s what I always planned” Ian continues, “But now I’m not sure”.

“Well it’s not cause of me, is it?” Mickey asks, suddenly looking annoyed, “Cause I’m not gonna let you give up your dream for my ass”.

“Your ass is my dream” Ian teases, trying to give him a kiss, but Mickey’s lips are firm and ungiving as he does.

“What?” he sighs, pulling away.

“I’m trying to be serious here Ian. If you plan on joining the army, that’s next year”.

Mickey’s blue eyes look dark, and as much as he’s trying to keep his expression neutral, Ian sees worry in them.

“I don’t think I want to join the army anymore Mickey. That’s the truth. I just don’t know what else I would do” Ian says, his own green eyes sincere.

Mickey nods, but he doesn’t look too reassured. “Okay. Well, whatever you want to fuckin do, just do it, okay?”

The words he leaves out are, if you want to leave, I’ll understand. And maybe even, but I don’t want you to.

“Okay” Ian answers softly. He knows Mickey would probably wait for him, that’s not why he’s changing his mind. He’s just not who he used to be anymore, not the Ian he was when he signed up for ROTC eventually planning to join the army.

He doesn’t want that solo life anymore, far away and on his own. He wants a life with Mickey, them together, no matter where they end up.

This is a conversation he isn’t really ready to have either way, and he’s pretty sure Mickey isn’t either.

Every pair of highschool sweethearts eventually has to face the facts by the end of grade 12, and decide if they are going out into the world together, or if they are going apart.

Most couples don’t make it. Ian knows that. Mickey probably knows that. But neither one of them wants to think of a life without the other anymore.

Fiona suddenly walks into the boy’s room and seeing them sort of sprawled over each other on the bed, immediately turns back around, covering her eyes.

“Did I interrupt something?”

“No” Mickey answers, gently shoving Ian off of him, “What’s up?”

She turns around, and seeing them fully clothed and not in the act of messing around, relaxes.

“Debbie and Carl were talking about this fair that’s about an hour and a half away, they’d really like to go, and I was thinking it might be nice to celebrate before everyone goes back to school”.

His mind immediately leaving their previous conversation, Ian hesitates. “Well… what if someone from our school is there?”

Without looking at Mickey, he can tell he is probably considering the same thing.

“It’s pretty far Ian, and even if there is, it’s a big place. Plus, you could just be two friends going to the fair, that happens”.

Fiona looks so sure of herself that Ian turns to Mickey, hoping he’ll agree to go. He absolutely loves rides and everything else about fairs, but he knows Mickey doesn’t.

“Uh, it’s not really my thing. Why don’t you just go?” he says, looking around himself for a lighter.

“No smoking in the house Mickey, or lean out the window” Fiona says, “Ian?”

“Well I really want to go but I want Mickey to come too. C’mon Mick there’ll be ribs, and cotton candy, ice cream… all that sweet shit you love”.

Mickey blinks over at him, his stomach clearly doing some thinking for him. Mickey’s not chubby, not even close, but he’s definitely softer and thicker than him, something that Ian fucking loves about his boyfriend.

Ian pokes at his soft belly teasingly, “Come on, do it”.

“Fuck off. Alright, I’ll go” Mickey grumbles, smacking Ian’s hand away from his stomach.

Kev and V come by that evening, all of them carpooling in the same van to head to the fair, and needless to say, it’s jam-packed with people.

Being one seat short, Liam ends up in Ian’s lap, but stretches and pulls away until Ian gives up and passes him over to Mickey. He curls one arm around Liam protectively, holding him like he’s a human car seat, but Liam doesn’t complain.

“Give me the aux” Ian says after he passes Liam over, leaning forward to take the cord from Veronica as she offers it.

After putting on some upbeat track by Imagine Dragons while Fiona carefully pulls onto the street and drives off down the road, Ian turns to smile at Mickey.

“What?” Mickey asks, frowning slightly. He always starts out this way when he agrees to do something solely because his boyfriend wants to, but he’s yet to not come around.

“Nothing. I’m just happy you’re here” Ian answers, leaning in over Liam’s head to give him a kiss.

“Awwww” Veronica calls out, clapping her hands as she looks back at them through the mirror.

Mickey blushes and rolls his eyes like he’s annoyed, but Liam looks back at him with a big smile, and Ian triumphantly notices Mickey can’t cover his own all too well.

As they pull into the fairground parking lot about an hour and a half later, Fiona tries to organize everyone before they all take off.

“Lip, do you mind keeping an eye on Carl and Debbie?”

“Nope” he answers, around his freshly lit cigarette.

“Okay, and obviously Ian and Mickey you’ll do your own thing…but, hey, Mickey would you mind taking Liam too? If you don’t want to go on any rides anyways…”

Fiona looks at him hopefully, and then over at Kev and V, who are holding hands a few feet ahead and waiting for her to come with them.

“Sure, whatever” Mickey answers, taking Liam back from her.

“Sweet, thank you! I owe you one” she says, quickly running after her friends before he could possibly change his mind.

“You didn’t have to say yes” Ian tells him, as they start walking towards the fairgrounds after everyone else.

“I don’t really care, she needs a break anyways. You can do your rides and shit, me and Liam will get some deep fried snickers bars or something like that, won’t we Liam?”

Sure enough, by the time Ian gets on the travelling Mighty Mountain rollercoaster and whizzes past where all the spectators are waiting, he sees through the blur Mickey and Liam holding cotton candy, and a bunch of other junk food.

They both wave at him the second time around, and when Ian gets off he feels exhilarated and dizzy, but happy.

He goes from ride to ride for the next hour or so until he gets off his second round on the Spinner and sees Liam fussing and giving Mickey a hard time.

“What’s wrong?” Ian asks, reaching out to Liam as he rejoins them and receiving a sticky hand to the face, “No hitting, Liam”.

“He’s bored” Mickey answers, looking flustered. “Don’t fuckin blame him”.

“Well, there’s rides we can take him on too. What do you think Liam? Merry Go Round?”

Liam nods his head happily, until Mickey tries to hand him over. “No Ian” Liam says, frowning.

“Ouch” Ian laughs, “That means you’re up Mick”.

Mickey gives him a look, “I’m not going on the fucking Merry Go Round. No. Sorry Liam, not happening”.

Normally Liam’s the type of kid to quietly accept a no, but he immediately starts to scream, which surprises the hell out of Mickey.

“What the fuck” he says, uncertainly.

“You got him all hopped up on sugar, how much crap did you give him?” Ian answers, trying to hide his smirk as Mickey starts to redden in embarrassment while Liam keeps going, throwing his head back against Mickey.

“Alright alright, I’ll go with you. Shush, everybody’s looking at us” he says to Liam sternly, his brow furrowed.

The toddler immediately quiets and smiles, and Mickey rolls his eyes as they go over to the Merry Go Round, forking over what he clearly feels is a ridiculous amount of cash for the ride.

Now that it’s Ian’s turn to watch, he’s not sure what he enjoys more. Seeing Mickey in dad mode certainly catches his interest, and he makes sure to take a picture almost every time they go around, Mickey flipping him off in more than half of them.

“Hey!”

Ian turns to see Lip, Carl and Debbie standing behind him.

“Hey guys, what’s up?”

Lip shrugs, and then looks over towards the ride in interest. “We’re gonna start heading back soon, ran into Fiona like five minutes ago. Jesus, never thought I’d see Mickey Milkovich on a Merry Go Round”.

“Neither did I” Ian grins, “Liam’s got him wrapped around his finger though”.

“Want me to take him?” Lip asks Mickey as they get off the ride a minute or two later and head back over to rejoin the group.

Mickey shrugs and doesn’t seem to care either way, but Ian nods. “Yeah. Would like to get Mick on at least one ride with me tonight”.

Mickey gives him a look, “Ian, give me a fuckin break. I just went on a fucking Merry Go Round”.

“We were just discussing that actually” Lip teases, giving him a playful slug on the shoulder, “The Ferris Wheel is pretty romantic though, whatcha think Ian?”

Ian looks over at the gigantic Ferris wheel that’s several feet away from them, mostly empty, but with a few cars occupied by couples.

Against the night sky, with all the lights below, it does look pretty romantic.

“Please?” he asks, looking around out of habit before he takes Mickey’s hand. Mickey presses his fingers to his temple for a moment before he sighs, “No point in arguing with you is there?”

“No” Ian answers, as they walk over to the ride operator. He glances down at their joined hands, and Mickey immediately gives him such an aggressive look that he looks up and away, like he hadn’t noticed anything at all.

“8 dollars”.

Mickey slaps Ian’s hand away when he tries to hand over some of his cash in payment, “If I’m doing this, I’m doing it right”.

He hands over the money for both of them and Ian raises his eyebrow in amusement, but doesn’t say anything as he gets in the car beside his boyfriend, letting him rest his arm around his shoulders.

As their car makes its slow rounds through the sky, Ian looks out over the widespread fairgrounds, enjoying the view while spotting his siblings below, and his older sister and her friends waiting by the van in the parking lot too.

He points out various things to Mickey, who mostly just nods, until their car stops at the very top of the Ferris Wheel.

“Was waiting for our turn” Mickey says, turning to him with a grin.

Ian closes his eyes as he feels Mickey’s lips press against him slowly, and he reaches his hand up to stroke the side of Mickey’s face, conveying his affection wordlessly.

He’s thinking about a lot of things as they kiss up there, suspended high above it all.

How summer is ending.

How he felt when it started out, and how low he had been, only to feel high again when Mickey came back, like he was aching after a drug and going through withdrawal.

How worried he knew Mickey probably was deep down that he would be the one to leave this time, moving away by choice for a job.

How he didn’t want to make any promises yet, but was now determined to find something he liked better than the army.

More than anything, as their Ferris wheel car jerks just slightly as it starts to descend again, Mickey slowly pulling away from the kiss to look him in the eyes and smile, he thinks about how in love he is with Mickey Milkovich.

Chapter Text

 Ian tapes up the last box of his brother’s belongings and carries it downstairs, resting it on top of a stack of a few others.

“It’s going to be weird without you here” he says, looking up at his older brother with some sadness.

“It’s gonna be weird not having to share a room, who am I gonna tell to shut the fuck up at night?” Lip answers, laughing. “But I’ll be visiting so often, you’ll be sick of me”.

Kev comes into the house just then and stops in front of them, looking at him expectantly. “You ready to go, College Man?”

“University Man” Lip corrects, shrugging, “Ready as I’ll ever be”.

Between the three of them, they carry all of Lip’s things out to the van Kev had volunteered to drive him up to his new school in.

Lip’s classes started a few days after the high school’s, which were starting up tomorrow. This way, he would have some time to get used to everything and find his away around campus. That was Fiona’s line of thought anyways.

Lip goes around and gives each of his siblings a hug before he leaves, Fiona tearing up slightly as she pulls away. “I’m so proud of you” she says quietly. He goes to Ian last, “Take care of yourself little bro. Tell Mickey I said fuck you”.

Ian finally laughs as he pulls away from the hug. For Mickey, that was pretty much a term of endearment, and they all knew that. “Will do” he promises.

But as he stands there with the rest of his family, watching and waving as Kev and Lip get in the van and drive away, he feels a strange sense of loss in his chest.

All he’d ever had in life were his siblings and Mickey. And even though he knew he’d still see Lip often enough, his older brother finishing high school and moving away was a reminder that they were all growing up, and life still had a lot of changing to do.

*

He still feels a little off the next day, on his first day of grade 12, until he steps outside in the morning and sees Mickey waiting for him on the porch, having his morning smoke.

Ian pauses for a moment, taking in the sight. “Fuck” he whispers, remembering the months he went without seeing him during grade 11.

He had come outside every single morning hoping by some miracle he’d see this exact sight. 

“Morning” Mickey says, standing up and looking at him with a strange expression on his face. He could read Ian like a book. “You okay?”

“Yeah…I guess I’m just…I don’t know” Ian answers, going down the porch steps and past his boyfriend.

“Lip?” Mickey offers, following him.

“Yeah” he admits, “And last year. You have no idea how much I missed seeing you out here every morning”.

“You have no idea how much I missed smoking on someone’s porch every morning. The Connolly’s didn’t fucking have one” Mickey laughs, as they walk to the sidewalk together.

Ian’s eyebrow raises slightly in interest at the mention of his foster parent’s names.

He didn’t know much about Mickey’s time in Memphis, other than the fact that he’d been miserable apparently, which Ian didn’t need to be told. He already knew, because he’d been the same way.

It seemed like it hadn’t been the typical foster experience from what he could gather, with shitty foster parents only in it for the money, but Mickey never offered anything up about his time away, and Ian wasn’t sure how to ask.

He wasn’t sure what he wanted to know either. He has a feeling most of the details wouldn’t make him feel too good about himself.

*Mickey’s POV*

Ian seems pretty quiet today, like there’s a lot on his mind, and it worries Mickey a little. 

That he might be sinking back into his depression or something, and Mickey’s not sure how he’d deal with that.

Not that he would leave or some shit, but not being able to help was a terrible feeling. He remembers that about his mother clearly.

He’s relieved to notice that Ian perks up by the time they get to school, and he relaxes slightly, hoping he just needs to readjust to the new school year and the changes at home.

Saying a casual goodbye to Ian at his locker before his boyfriend heads to his homeroom, Mickey heads back outside and lights a cigarette, pulling out his cellphone.

He’d chosen not to answer a call from Rob this morning while he was waiting for Ian. Not because he didn’t want to talk to him, but because he sort of felt like keeping a line between that part of his life and now.

Taking a long drag from his cigarette, Mickey calls him back and waits while the phone rings.

Mickey. How’s it going ?” Rob's voice. 

Mickey nods to himself, “Good. Missed your call earlier, what’s up?” He watches as some stragglers hurry up the stairs past him.

Nothing really, I just know it’s the first day back at school and I wanted to say good luck for grade 12 and I hope it goes really well for you. You’re a smart kid Mickey, don’t forget that ”.

Mickey bites his lip. His own dad hadn’t said shit about him going into his last year of high school today.

His decision to come back home was never one that he regretted, but he did sometimes wonder what it would have been like if he stayed in Memphis. He would have been set up to live a very different life. A good one, maybe. 

But if it was one without Ian, he wasn’t fucking interested. And he was pretty sure he'd always be a Chicago boy, through and through. 

“Thanks man. I…uh, hope everything’s good there too. How’s Camille?”

It is. She actually has some exciting news, but since she’s not here I’ll tell you. She’s engaged ”.

Mickey frowns, “What?” She hadn’t even had a boyfriend that he had known about.

Yeah. They met while you were here actually, but she didn’t want to bring him into your lives and have another person around so early on for you to get used to. Whirlwind romance I guess ”.

Huh.

“Oh. Well that’s cool I guess. Tell her I said congrats”.

Will do Mickey. Anyways, shouldn’t you be in class right about now ?”

Mickey laughs, “Yeah. Just need to get a schedule change done”.

Alright. Well, any time you need anything I’m a phone call away. Bye Mickey ”.

“Talk later, bye”.

Mickey hangs up his phone and heads back into the school, breezing into the front office.

The secretary looks at him apprehensively, but he just hands out his schedule. “I need to change my second period class”.

“Okay… let me get the VP for you”.

Mickey frowns and waits for Ms. Allway to appear, and she crosses her arms at him when she does.

“It’s the first day Mikhailo”.

“I’m wasn’t fucking sent here, I need a schedule change” he shoots back.

She takes a sharp breath through her nose and waves him into her office briskly, Mickey shaking his head in annoyance as he sits down.

Why the fuck did everyone think he was only capable of starting shit? To be fair, he loves to do that, but he’s not a complete fucking idiot either.

“What’s the switch you’re requesting, Mr. Milkovich?”

“Second period Math with Halls to second period Chem with Richards”.

Ian’s class. Mickey could tell he’d been disappointed that they didn’t have any classes together, and he thought it’d be a nice little surprise to show up for second period.

She shakes her head, “Well, Mikhailo, Math is a requirement to graduate. Grade 12 chemistry is only a requirement for certain college and university programs”.

“I can do math in another slot” he says, not understanding the problem.

“What I mean to say is, why are you taking Chemistry?” she asks, typing in her computer with a frown on her narrow face. Fucking bitch... Mickey glares at her, “You think I can’t go to fucking college? I can if I want to”.

“Watch your tone. I’m trying to be realistic to help you with your future goals. Do you really think you will go to college?”

“I don’t know…maybe” he answers defensively.

Ms. Allway gives him a look of such doubt that he bristles in anger, but instead of arguing she just shakes her head and types into her computer again.

“Okay. You’re in Mr. Richard’s second period Chemistry class. Which starts in ten minutes by the way, so you should get going. I see you’ve missed first period entirely”.

Mickey ignores her comment and just says acidly, “Thank you”. 

He slings his backpack over his shoulder and heads over to his Chemistry class, chewing on the corner of his lip as he scans the room. No Ian.

He grabs their old spot at the back of the classroom, not worried about anyone taking the seat next to him until he sees Becca and Ian enter the classroom at the same time, both of them heading towards him.

Ian’s face had lit up at the sight of him, and Mickey couldn’t help but grin, which Becca seemed to think was aimed at her, so he narrows his eyes at her and calls out, “Gallagher. Sit your ass down over here motherfucker”. He ignores wherever Becca goes in disappointment, and instead tries to hide his over the top happiness at successfully surprising Ian, who slides onto the stool next to him.

“Something in your pants or are you just happy to see me?” Mickey mutters quietly, leaning in towards him slightly.

Ian blushes, “Happy to see you. You switched in?”

“Course I did. Think I’m gonna give up the best lab partner in this shithole?”

Nothing brings Mickey more happiness than seeing he’s brought Ian some, so he sits there very pleased with himself while Mr. Richards begins their first class on volatile chemical compounds and lab safety. He vaguely notices Ian scribbling notes, although he isn’t sure why, this all review, until Ian shoves a crumbled ball of paper at him a couple minutes later.

Mickey takes it from him in confusion, but as he unwraps it he grins.

The guy sitting beside me in Chem is pretty hot

“Mr. Gallagher, Mr. Milkovich, do you have something to share with the class? A new chemical compound perhaps? Why don’t you read that note out loud for us” Mr. Richards says, raising his eyebrow in annoyance at them for their interruption.

Mickey hears Ian gulp beside him but he stands up confidently, holding the paper in front of him as if he’s reading it.

“Sure thing Richards. It says ‘fuck you. It’s none of your goddamn business’”

The class stifles laughter, but Mr. Richards just rolls his eyes.

He’s one of the better teachers, one Mickey wouldn’t usually like to fuck with, but he’s not gonna read out the actual fucking note no matter who’s fucking asking.  He jams it deep into his pocket and heads for the door before Richards even tells him to.

“Office?” he asks as he breezes past.

“Office” the teacher confirms.

Mickey steals one glance back at Ian before he leaves, who looks relieved but a little guilty, so Mickey throws him a quick wink before he heads down the hallway to the office.

He yanks open the front office’s glass door and swaggers inside, throwing up his hands slightly as Ms. Allway looks up at him from where she’s standing beside the secretary.

“Miss me?” he asks.

She sighs, “First day Mikhailo, first day”.

Mickey laughs, why break tradition?

Chapter Text

Ian pauses in the kitchen of the Gallagher home and looks out into the backyard at his brothers and sisters after he grabs two cans of Coke for himself and Mickey from the fridge.

It was their first weekend since the beginning of the new school year, and his brother Carl had dug out their old sprinkler so he could take advantage of the still hot early September weather. It hadn’t taken long for Debbie and Liam to join him, and then for Fiona and her new boyfriend Leroy to head out and supervise.

The cans of Coke are beginning to sweat in Ian’s hands, so he heads back upstairs to his bedroom, where Mickey is sitting on the floor, chewing on the end of his pen cap while he frowns at some of his chem homework.

Grade twelve was going to be their hardest year academically, that much was clear to both Ian and Mickey by this point, but neither was complaining yet. They had each other, and after going without last year, the rest of it all seemed sort of easy now.

“Everyone’s busy outside” Ian says happily, opening his Coke and taking a sip after he hands Mickey his.

“Yeah?” Mickey answers absentmindedly, narrowing his eyes at his Chemistry textbook like maybe he can intimidate it into giving him some fucking answers.

Ian rolls his eyes and heads to the bathroom, cranking on the shower dial. He then goes back into his bedroom and yanks off his shirt and throws it at his boyfriend, which finally gets his attention.

“What the fuck?”

“I said. Everyone. Is busy. Outside” Ian says, staring at him with each emphasized point.

Mickey finally gets it and grins, his dark eyebrow lifting in interest. “Well fuck homework then, get that ass in the shower”. He pushes Ian playfully back towards the bathroom.

“I’ve got half an hour before I have to get ready for work” Ian informs him, stripping down and stepping into the shower once he’s done. “Yeah, yeah” Mickey answers impatiently, stepping in behind him.

Ian passes him the bar of soap, planning to at least get his actual shower out of the way beforehand so he’s ready for work. “Do my back”. He hears Mickey snort as he takes the bar, “Okay princess”.

He closes his eyes as Mickey’s strong hands rub into his back anyways, massaging him just as much as he’s cleaning him. “Don’t drop the soap” he teases, groaning a little in pleasure as Mickey works out a stress knot.

“You’d fucking love that” Mickey shoots back, leaning in against his soapy back and passing one slippery hand down over his butt cheek.

“Mmm” Ian answers, letting Mickey grope at his ass for a while as he lifts his chin and lets the shower head spray down his chest. He feels an unmistakable poke from behind after a minute or two, and he smirks in response. “I think you want to fuck me” he hums, raising his eyebrow to the tiled wall.

Mickey kisses the back of his wet neck, once again pressing his erection up against his ass.

“What makes you think that, hmm Gallagher?”

His deep and husky tone makes Ian shiver slightly with want. Mickey might be able to take it without lube sometimes, but he still topped most of the time, and was much less practiced at taking it up the ass. “Get the Vaseline from underneath the sink”.

Mickey clambers out of the shower and then gets back in with an overly generous glob of Vaseline on his hand, tipping his head towards him. “Bend over a bit”.

Ian lowers himself a bit and bites his lip as Mickey pushes a slippery but warm finger inside of him very slowly, “How’s that?”

“Good” Ian answers, reminding his body to relax. It’s only the initial part that’s hard for him, as soon as Mickey starts reaching for his prostate with his fingers and then his dick, he’s a goner, begging for more.

He glances back over his shoulder to watch as Mickey gently fingers him open, his blue eyes focused and serious. His dark hair is wet and slicked down, with some stray black locks splayed across his forehead. His broad chest and his strong shoulders, muscles moving as he shifts his arm, are peppered with droplets of water as new ones form and old ones roll down his skin.

He’s beautiful.

“I’m ready” Ian tells him, Mickey glancing up at the sound of his voice.

Removing his fingers from inside of him, he grabs Ian’s hips and then leans forward to give him a kiss, before he lines himself up with his hand and gently pushes the head of his cock into his ass first.

Ian turns back around to face the shower wall and hisses as he goes the rest of the way more quickly, before his voice lets go into a low moan.

He can feel Mickey get harder from the sound, panting, “Ahhh, fuck”.

What Ian can’t see is Mickey standing behind him, his eyes running down every inch of Ian’s body appreciatively, pausing especially long at his flaming red hair.

He pushes harder, pulling Ian closer towards him with each thrust as he works into a steady rhythm.

Ian shifts slightly where he’s standing, and moans into his arm as the position change sends a jolt of pleasure throughout his entire body.

Mickey’s style of fucking is very different from his, less refined, usually more rough, but when they are both in the mood to switch things up, it’s fucking amazing.

“Jerk my cock” Ian breathes out, feeling one of Mickey’s hands immediately leave his hip in response and move to stroke his dick expertly. It had been hanging heavy and neglected, teased by the inner stimulation alone.

The combination of both sources of pleasure soon has him grunting and closing his eyes in ecstasy. “I’m gonna come soon” he breathes out.

Ian hears Mickey let out a proud moan behind him, and he bites his lip, knowing what will get Mickey off faster.

“Fuck me harder”.

“Babe” Mickey gasps out, really giving it to him now. Ian grits his teeth as he is jerked forward from each thrust, “Fuck that’s good. Jesus Christ”.

The feeling builds and builds and builds inside him until his orgasm rolls through him so hard that it makes him feel weak in the knees for a moment, his cum shooting straight over Mickey’s tattooed hand and for the drain.

“Just another…” Mickey sorts of verbalizes behind him, but it’s mostly incoherent until he starts his chorus of “Fuck’s” a few moments later, moving his hand back to Ian’s hip as Ian feels a flooding warmth released inside him.

“God damn” Mickey swears appreciatively as he pulls out, Ian turning around to give him a kiss. He wipes a mixture of sweat and water off his forehead, accepting the loving kisses Ian gives him and talking in between them about how he needs to do this more often.

And then Fiona’s voice is at the bathroom door, “Ian? Is that you in there?”

“Jesus Christ, have we ever had a shower where someone didn’t fucking interrupt?” Mickey complains quietly.

“Yes” Ian answers in amusement, and then repeats it louder for his sister, “Yes!”

“Is…is Mickey in there with you?”

“Yes” Mickey answers in annoyance, “Why?”

“Well I was gonna ask if Liam could use the toilet but I think we’ll just go back downstairs” she says, sounding amused.

“We’re done, just a second” Ian answers, stepping out and wrapping a towel around himself, Mickey doing the same.

The two of them walk out of the bathroom still dripping with towels slung around their waists, “Sup little man” Mickey says, as he passes by Liam and Fiona.

“Ian! Put away the Vaseline next time!” Fiona complains from the bathroom a moment later. Ian grins at Mickey as he closes the bedroom door behind them, “That was all you”.

Mickey shrugs, “Your house dude”.

“Alright, well I gotta get ready for ROTC. Wanna give me a ride?” Ian asks as he starts to pull on his uniform after patting the rest of his body dry.

“Just did” Mickey teases, and then adds slightly more seriously, “But yeah, I’ll give you a ride”.

 

*Mickey’s P.O.V*

When Mickey first got his motorcycle, he never really considered having a passenger on it half the time, but something about riding with Ian made it even more freeing.

Although, with the one helmet, they were limited to where they could go. No busy roads, and no highways of course, because Mickey wasn’t looking to get charged again.

But he has an idea for Ian’s birthday, to get him his own brand new one.

The only problem is, helmets are fucking expensive, and it’s only a week away now, so it’s time to figure out how to get that cash. His dad isn’t in the game right now, and even if he was, he did promise Ian he’d stay out of it, but robbery was just as risky.

He thinks about other possible options as he drives Ian to the ROTC training facility for his shift, and he watches with some pride as Ian gets off his bike, looking handsome in his uniform.

He didn’t care if people knew if they were a couple or not, he fucking knew, and he knew he was a lucky guy.

Some kids getting dropped off run over to Ian right away, as soon as he takes the helmet off and hands it to Mickey.

“Ian! Ian!”

“Hey guys! High fives? Nice!” Ian passes around his raised hand and accepts the high fives from the kids happily, turning to smile at him. The look on his face causes a warm twist in Mickey’s chest, a feeling he can never quite explain, but one he just gets when he sees Ian happy.

He’d felt like shit for losing him his job at the Kash & Grab, but this was so much better for him anyways. He loves kids, he’s good with them, and he knows how to run the class easily, so he gets anxious much less often now. What could be wrong with that?

Mickey also notices how two of the little girls look at Ian, and he smirks to himself. Little kid crushes, he can recognize that. His boyfriend is a heartthrob, and the thought makes him laugh softly to himself.

The kids notice him too, and Ian says, “This is my best friend. Mickey”. Mickey raises his hand and waves at them casually, but the kids are clearly more interested in Ian.

“Have a good shift” Mickey says, giving him a subtle wink as Ian starts to head inside with the portion of his class that’s gathered around him.

“Thanks, see you later”.

Mickey waits until he’s inside and out of sight before he pulls out his phone, making a call to the only person he can think of that will help him out with his financial dilemma.

“Rob? Hey…I have a favor to ask”.

“What’s that Mickey?”

“It’s Ian’s birthday next week. I want to get him his own helmet, but they’re expensive as fuck man” Mickey tells him, chewing the inside of his cheek.

“Yeah but don’t skimp on them, you need a good solid helmet like yours to be safe. Even with those, it’s risky. And do you mean to be telling me you’ve been letting him ride around without a helmet all this time?” Rob’s voice suddenly shifts to concern.

“No! Of course not. I give him mine”.

“Jesus Christ Mickey, you’re giving me chest pains”.

“Shut up, you’re not old” Mickey laughs, “But I wanted to ask, I only have about half the money in savings for another one, could I take a loan from you for the rest? Cause I helped you fix your cars and shit when I was out there”.

“You worked for it, so yes. And no more not wearing helmets Mickey. Where are all the cops in Chicago anyways?”

“Busy with their thumbs up their asses, anywhere but the South Side” Mickey laughs, “Thanks Rob. Appreciate it man”.

“I’ll transfer it over to your account. Get a good one. Anyways I gotta get back to work, talk later?”

“Sure. See ya man”.

Mickey hangs up his phone and puts his own helmet back on. It’s a bit of a drive to the nearest motorcycle repair and parts shop, but he knows they have helmets there too.

He takes a while choosing one he thinks Ian will like, while also selecting from their top of the line safety picks, and pays for it with his debit card that Rob had helped him set up while he was in Memphis, letting out a small breath of relief when the charge goes through.

Mickey rests the bag on the handle of his motorcycle and drives home with it, taking it out again to carry in his arms as he goes inside his house.

He sees his dad in the kitchen as he goes in to get a drink, and grabbing a pop for himself, he looks back at Terry thoughtfully.

Rob had come through for him, just like that. He gave a shit. How come this prick never could?

The older Mickey gets, the less he wants to be like the dick in front of him. He had two people to thank for that really. Ian, and Rob.

“Hey” Mickey says challengingly to his dad, taking a obnoxious slurp of his pop as Terry looks up at him in annoyance.

He braces himself, but he smiles even as he says it.

“You’re a fucking asshole”.

The smack upside the head was worth saying it to his face.

Chapter Text

Ian grins as he comes downstairs in the morning to find all of his brothers and sisters, already sitting at the kitchen table, enthusiastically shouting “Happy Birthday!” at him.

“Thanks” he says, taking a seat as Fiona slides a plate of pancakes in front of him and gives him a kiss on top of his head. She ruffles his hair as she pulls away, “How’s it feel, being seventeen?”

“Even better than sixteen” Ian answers, checking the time. “You let me sleep in”.  “It’s your birthday” she snorts, looking at him like he’s being ridiculous.

“Mickey here yet?” he asks, even as he glances around the table and confirms the answer for himself.  

“Nope, but I’m sure he’ll be by soon” Fiona answers, taking his plate once he’s finished. “Hurry up guys, you’re gonna be late for school!”

Ian grabs his backpack and slings it over his shoulder as his younger siblings race upstairs. Fiona looks up at him as he heads for the front door, “Hurry home after work alright? Barbequing starts at seven, with or without you, birthday boy”.

Ian laughs as she winks at him and bounds up the stairs after his younger siblings.

As he opens the front door and steps out into the September sunshine, he sees Mickey outside waiting for him, holding a rather large and beat up looking box. Just the sight of him causes a warm glow in his chest.

“Turn around, and go right back inside” Mickey immediately says, walking up to and then backing Ian right back into the house. “…Why?” Ian asks in confusion, looking behind himself so he doesn’t trip over anything as Mickey quickly closes the front door.

“So I can do this”.

Mickey puts the box down on the ground and then reaches for Ian’s face, holding it with both his hands as he pulls him into an incredibly soft and tender kiss, that ends with a little more urgency. Ian feels breathless as he pulls away, and his eyes flutter back open to look into Mickey’s blue ones, who’s smiling so big his eyes are crinkled in the corners.

“Happy birthday”. Ian grins, “Thanks”.

Really, this right here would have been enough for him. If only he could have known last year that just a few days after his sixteenth birthday, Mickey would take him by surprise on a school field trip, and that they would fall ridiculously hard for each other no matter how hard they both tried to fight it.

“That’s your gift, but save it for tonight eh?” Mickey says, pointing at the box and dragging Ian from his thoughts.

He nods at the box, “Okay…we have to get going for school anyways. Come on”.

Ian gives Mickey one more kiss before they head out the front door again together, the last thing Ian wanting is for either of them to get a detention for being late on his birthday. If he didn’t show up for his own party, Fiona would probably kill him.

His school day is fairly typical, although Fiona had given him some money to go out for lunch with Mickey instead of bringing something from home, so they get burgers and cokes together after Chemistry class.

“You should have booked the day off” Mickey says pointedly, taking a long pull from his drink as he finishes up his food.

Ian shrugs, “Party’s not til later anyways, and we can always use the money at home”. Celebrating any birthday always put a dent in their funds. His boyfriend nods, “Yeah, I get that. I’d pick you up after but Fiona asked me to come help set everything up”.

“Best not to piss off my sister” Ian laughs, “Mandy coming?” “Do Milkoviches ever turn down free food and booze?” Mickey answers, wiping his mouth and clearing up the wrappers from their food as Ian stands up to leave.

They walk back to school together, and Ian says goodbye to him happily at his locker before he heads to his next class. Planning to carpool to ROTC, he won’t see him again until that evening, and he already can’t wait to get off work.

 

*Mickey’s POV- That evening*

“Tape, Liam” Mickey directs. The little boy grabs the tape in his small hand and hands it towards Mickey, who mutters thanks as he tries to hold all the newspaper in place before he tapes it down.

They didn’t have any fucking wrapping paper at home, but he’d been banking on the Gallagher’s having some. Now he’s stuck with fucking newspaper.

It didn’t really matter what it was wrapped in anyways, but to be honest he’s little nervous now for Ian to open his gift. He had felt it was a really good idea before, but had started having doubts the past hour or so. It was his bike, not Ian’s, and Ian didn’t even have a license….so what use did he have for a helmet unless he was being driven around by Mickey?

Maybe he should have gotten something more practical… He finally tells himself to shut the fuck up silently, because Ian will probably fucking love it, and he’s likely getting worked up for nothing.

He just wanted Ian’s birthday to be perfect, that was all. He’d spent almost forty minutes just deciding what to wear for his party, before finally settling on a black dress shirt that Ian had always liked and some semi-casual dress shoes.

“Mickey honey, can you take this?” V asks, shoving a bowl of potato salad at him as her and Kev come in the front door.

“Sure” he grunts, ignoring Mandy’s amused look at him being helpful, he takes it and slides it onto the kitchen table. Fiona looks up and then makes her typical girly shriek at the sight of her best friend, running over to give her a hug while Kev just goes straight for the beers. Which isn’t a bad idea, Mickey thinks.

Ian walks in the front door just a few minutes later, and Mickey feels himself finally relax at the sight of him. He looks a little worn out, and his uniform is a bit dirty, but he seems happy at the sight of the full house and the decorations.

Ian crouches down to pet Mo as the dog heads right for him, wiggling his backside against Ian’s legs until he gets some attention and scratches.  “How was work?” Mickey asks, coming over to touch him on the arm too. “Tiring” Ian admits as he stands up again, “I’m starving”.

“We’re doing steak” Debbie informs her older brother as she joins them in the living room, followed by Carl. “Barbeque! Hell yeah!” Carl exclaims, turning to run for the backyard and the grill. Mickey immediately strides after him, “Hands off the fuckin grill, I’m cooking tonight”.

Knowing Carl, he’d probably blow them all to pieces if he touched that thing.

Mickey’s focusing on the sizzling burgers in front of him not long after and absentmindedly listening to the conversations of everyone behind him, all sitting in lawn chairs and across the deck, when he feels someone come up behind him.

He smiles to himself even before the long arms wrap around his stomach, giving him a squeeze around his middle. “Do I gotta wear a fucking kiss the cook apron or are you gonna take a hint?” Mickey says, raising his eyebrows and turning to look at his grinning ginger boyfriend.

“I would pay to see you in that apron” Ian answers, but he leans in and gives him a kiss that deepens as Mickey turns away from the grill and towards him, holding on to Ian’s arm as he kisses him more passionately.

“They’re gonna burn!” he hears Debbie yell beside him a few moments later, causing everyone to look over at them. Mickey blushes as he pulls away and flips the burgers, not realizing how long he’d kept the kiss going.

*Ian’s POV- A little while later*

Ian grins as he squeezes a ketchup heart over a burger and slides it over to Mickey with the top bun on the side, who shakes his head at the sight of it. “Shouldn’t I be making yours?”

Ian licks a smear of ketchup off his hand, pleased with his cheesy gesture. “It’s not too late”.

He sits down beside his boyfriend a few minutes later and contentedly eats the similarly decorated burger Mickey hands him while his family and their friends all chatter happily in the backyard.

There’s a gentle gust of wind that dances through the backyard while they are sitting there after dinner, and it rustles the trees softly, catching his attention. Ian looks up and notices the sun going down, and he takes in a deep and happy breath, leaning his head against Mickey’s, who reaches over and takes his hand, gently grazing it with his thumb.

“I love you” Ian says thoughtfully, and he feels Mickey squeeze his hand.

“I love you too Gallagher”. He hears Mo start to bark from inside the house, and Mickey stands up, “Gotta be your cake”.

Ian looks after him, baffled, as he heads inside.

“He ordered me a cake?” he asks Fiona, frowning.

“Yeah he insisted on it” she says, laughing until they hear Mickey swearing inside, “What the fuck is this?” And then what must be the delivery guy, “T-that’s the cake you ordered sir”.

“No it’s fucking not! I said happy birthday Ian, are your bakers fucking dyslexic or something?”

Ian quickly gets up and heads inside, sensing an argument about to break out. “What’s going on?” he calls ahead of himself, before he joins a very annoyed looking Mickey and a very flustered looking delivery guy at the front door.

“Don’t fucking look” Mickey says, “We’re not taking this one”. Ian glances at the cake anyways. “Happy Birthday Ann” is delicately handwritten across it in chocolate icing.

Ian bursts out laughing, “Oh my god I love it”.

The delivery guy practically lets out a sigh of relief, glancing just one more at Mickey’s FUCK U UP tattoos before he takes the opportunity to back out of the house and make a beeline for his van while Mickey is still distracted.

Mickey looks at Ian uncertainly, “It’s not what I asked for”. “It’s fine!” Ian exclaims, sticking his finger in the icing beside the A and dragging a line to make an I. He adds a couple more n’s at the end too.

Happy Birthday IAnnnn

He pops his finger inside his mouth, “Mmm”. That’s damn good icing.

He takes another swipe of it with his finger from the edge of the cake and sticks it out for Mickey to try, who rolls his eyes but tries it anyways. “Jesus” Mickey says, shaking his head, “At least it’s fucking good”.

He carries the cake into the kitchen where the rest of his family laughs at the misspelling too, and Debbie carefully places in his seventeen candles, Mickey pulling his lighter out of his pocket to light them all.

“Make a wish!” Fiona reminds Ian as he leans in in front of the cake and they all watch him prepare to blow out his candles.

Ian stops and smiles, looking at his cake for another moment before he looks back up across from it at Mickey’s handsome face, illuminated by the delicate candlelight.

His blue eyes flicker back up into Ian’s, and he smiles too, nodding his head just slightly as if to tell him to go for it.

Ian closes his eyes for a moment and makes his wish, blowing out his candles all at once with one huge gust of air.

After his cake, which Mickey claims was worth the damn money, and it was a pretty delicious chocolate and caramel cake with a vanilla bean buttercream frosting, Ian starts to open his presents from his family, Mandy, and then Kev and V.

All in all, he rakes in sixty dollars, new work boots, and a new pair of decent headphones. And then Mickey hands him the box he’d seen that morning, except now it’s wrapped in newspaper.

“Um?” Ian asks, laughing as he takes it in his hands.

“What? I didn’t have any fuckin wrapping paper” Mickey says, grinning.

He leans in behind Ian’s chair and rests his hands on his shoulders as he tears off the wrapping paper, and then cuts open the box with his pocket knife, still in the pocket of his work pants.

“Jesus Mickey” he hears Lip say, who’s standing beside him and can see into the box the second he opens it.

Ian pulls out the brand new, sleek motorcycle helmet, and turns it in his hands. He breathes out as he looks at it, recognizing the helmet. He’d gone looking for one himself once so Mickey wouldn’t always need to loan him his, but he’d had to turn around at the $400 price tag.

It’s the same helmet, one of the safest in the line, an AGV dual sport. And printed in small custom lettering on the left side, right where his jaw would be, is ‘Gallagher’.

He doesn’t know what to say, and as the rest of his family whistles or makes impressed comments, Ian just looks at it, running his finger over the engraving until he hears Mickey’s slightly worried voice behind him.

“If, um, if you don’t like it-“

Ian turns around and swallows the lump in his throat, “I love it”.

The rest of his family starts talking again, filling the kitchen with volume, and Mickey leans in beside Ian’s head, whispering happily into his ear.

 “Now we can go anywhere”.

Chapter Text

“Did you have a good birthday?” Mickey asks, wrapping his arms around Ian. Ian nods wordlessly, still too happy to speak. Mickey pulls away and presses his forehead against his, holding it there for a moment before he leans in and kisses him again, his lips softly opening again Ian’s.

Ian closes his eyes to accept the kiss, falling deeper into it until they hear an impatient voice from the other room.

“Mickey! Hurry up!”

Mandy.

Mickey reluctantly pulls away, and smiles at Ian once more before frowning in the direction of his sister, “Coming! Chill the fuck out”.

He gives Ian one last kiss who follows him to the door afterwards, where Mandy pulls him into a quick hug. “Thanks for coming” he says, smiling at her when she lets go.

“Thanks for having me. And happy birthday Ian, you’re a pretty good brother-in-law” she teases, her eyes flashing towards her older brother as she does.

Mickey and Ian both blush slightly, and Mickey rolls his eyes as they step out of the house, hurrying her along. “C’mon Mands. See you tomorrow Ian”.

“See you tomorrow” Ian answers, watching them leave from the doorway. He notices that Mickey waits until they are on the sidewalk before elbowing his sister just slightly while whispering something in annoyance. Whatever he says, she just laughs at it and puts her arm on his shoulder as they disappear down the road.

Ian closes the front door and heads back to the kitchen where Fiona is now cleaning up, and sits down at the table, picking up his new motorcycle helmet in his hands again.

He admires it some more and then smiles to himself as he thinks about what Mandy said. Brother-in-law. He wonders if Mickey has ever said something to her about…about maybe…

The doorbell rings and Ian looks up as Fiona goes to answer it, wondering if Mickey or Mandy had forgotten something and came back.

The voice that he hears at the door immediately makes his stomach turn, and his head jerks towards the sound.

“Where’s Ian?”

It’s his mom’s voice, and Ian immediately tenses. They hadn’t been in touch since last Christmas, regardless of her promise to call.

“F-frank, Monica…we talked about this. No surprise visits” he hears Fiona stammer in surprise. “It is our son’s seventeenth birthday” he hears Frank answer in annoyance, and then he hears them coming into the house, ignoring Fiona’s protests.

Ian sits there at the table and stares, his jaw set as his mother and father comes into the kitchen and act all excited to see him. Well, his mother more than his father.

“Happy birthday baby!” Monica coos at him, “What a cool helmet”.

Her heavy eye makeup is a little smeared, and it looks like maybe they got caught in the light rain that fell an hour or so ago.

“What are you doing here” he responds coldly, more of a statement than a question.

“It’s your birthday!” they both answer, as if it’s more than obvious. Ian stares at them with incredulity, did they really think he wanted to see them? Or were they just bent on pretending that they cared this time?

The rest of his siblings, also hearing the commotion and recognizing the voices, slowly trickle into the kitchen and stare at their parents as well, other than Liam, who is still upstairs sleeping.

But Ian’s recognized this look on his parents a million times before, and his older siblings have as well. They are definitely high, or drunk. Maybe both.

“I don’t want you here” he answers acidly.

Fiona bites her lip, “Really, you guys shouldn’t just show up. It’s Ian’s birthday, and I don’t think-“

“We are the reason you are even alive” Frank says, sneering and leaning in towards him. Ian smells the beer on his breath, and he’s vaguely aware of Monica stepping away from beside his dad and heading up the stairs quietly, but he’s too agitated by the man in front of him to really register it.

“Thanks for the fucking favor. Now do me another one and fuck off” Ian spits, trying to push Frank out of his way so he can leave the kitchen. Instead of moving, Frank punches him right in the jaw, sending him flying back into his chair.

Ian hadn’t been expecting the swing at all, and he hits the ground hard, spitting out the blood that  begins to gather around his teeth. His mouth tastes like copper.  Lip immediately grabs Frank by the front of his coat and backs him out of the kitchen even as he’s swearing and yelling, and Fiona quickly moves in front of Carl and Debbie protectively.  

“Get out!” she says angrily, “Every fucking time I swear…and where’s Monica? Monica it’s time for you to leave!” she yells, looking around the house in annoyance.

Ian holds his jaw and glares at his mother as she comes back down the stairs, “I just wanted to say to Liam” she whispers softly, pausing at the bottom step.

She looks so childlike, so lost, that Ian just shakes his head. “Please just go” he says, turning away.

“Ian…” she comes towards him and crouches beside him on the floor, reaching out to run her hand over his head tenderly. Ian wants to pull away at first, but he doesn’t, instead looking at her through eyes threatening to let tears form.  

“I love you” she says, her own eyes watery. Ian shakes his head, “If you did, you wouldn’t do this over and over again. Please leave”. He says it as calmly as he can, but there’s a storm brewing inside him as he tries to act like he doesn’t care.

Monica’s eyes drift over him once more before she gets up and looks at the rest of them, “I love you guys” she says, before heading to where Frank and Lip are still struggling by the front door. She nods at Frank and then grabs his t-shirt gently, and he immediately stops fighting Lip.

Lip follows them outside to make sure that they really leave, and the door slams behind the three of them.

As soon as it’s closed, Fiona turns to him, her brown eyes filled with apology.

“Ian…I had no idea-“

“I know you didn’t” he snaps in annoyance. Like he was stupid enough to think anyone would invite Frank and Monica over.

She sighs, turning away from him. “Kids…bedtime. I’m sorry this shit happened again”.

With a shaking hand, Ian rummages in his pocket for a cigarette while the rest of them head upstairs, but when Lip comes back and tries to follow him, he tells him he just wants to be alone.

Smoking does nothing to help Ian’s agitation though, and after his second useless light, he grinds the cigarette into the ground angrily, swearing as he heads back inside.

His head is starting to swim, and he feels the stress starting to spill over. When he comes inside, Fiona is sitting in the kitchen with her head in her hands, pulling at the roots of her hair gently in distress.

Her worried expression deepens as she looks at him, “Ian…you look sick”. “I’m…I’m not…” he struggles to get the words out of his dry mouth, sitting down at the table and shaking his head in annoyance.

“I’ll get you your Ativan” she immediately says, jogging up the stairs.

Ian bites his lip and waits, badly in need of the relief. He didn’t need them too often anymore, but when he did, he really did.

He hears Fiona call down a minute later, “Ian, did you forget to renew your prescription? The bottle’s empty”.

“No?” he calls out in confusion.

 “There’s nothing in it” she yells back, “I’ll look, maybe you have another bottle”.

“Never mind... I don’t have another” he answers slowly.

It dawns on Ian all at once as he sits there alone at the kitchen table.

Empty pill bottle. Frank starting a fight. Monica sneaking upstairs. Empty pill bottle.

Did they really come over under the guise of celebrating his birthday, just to steal from their kids?

Without thinking, Ian grabs his backpack and shoves some shirts from the laundry pile in the living room into it, pulling out his phone and texting Mickey at the same time. “I need you. Please, I need you”.

Without Mickey questioning it, he gets back, “On my way” within a minute, and Ian grabs his helmet and goes to sit on the front porch, his leg bouncing up and down against the wooden step.

Mickey comes tearing down the road on his motorcycle about ten minutes later, and he brakes in front of the Gallagher house, slowly taking off his helmet as Ian comes over to him, practically in tears.

“What the fuck happened Ian?”

“I don’t want to talk about it. Can we just go?” he begs, looking at his boyfriend through desperate eyes.

Mickey looks up at him in concern, “Go? Go where? I don’t think-“ He glances up as Fiona comes out onto the front porch, looking at them and holding her hands like she doesn’t know what the fuck is going on.

“You said we could go anywhere. You said that. Did you mean it or not?” Ian demands, wiping the tear that falls without permission from his left eye.  

“Yeah, of course I did” Mickey answers more softly, nodding at Fiona, who just shakes her head and heads back into the house in exasperation.

Mickey bites his lip and then looks at him, lifting his shoulders slightly. “Where to?”

“Anywhere. Fucking far away from here”.

Mickey nods as Ian pulls the helmet down over his head. It fits perfectly, and Mickey pushes his own helmet back down over his head as Ian gets on the bike behind him, holding him so tightly he knows it’s probably uncomfortable for his boyfriend.

But he doesn’t complain, he just starts his motorcycle again and wheels the bike around before he takes off down the road.

To who knows where. Anywhere.

Ian can’t even see inside his helmet after a while, it steams up a bit and condenses over his visor. Mickey tries to pull over about an hour later, feeling Ian shaking slightly behind him, but Ian just chokes out, “Keep going”.

It’s muffled from behind his helmet, but Mickey nods from underneath his and then keeps going.

A few hours later, Mickey slows the bike again after they pass a sign for Iowa, and this time Ian doesn’t stop him right away.

He sits there on the bike until Mickey gets off and forces his helmet off after he removes his own. He wipes away some of the mess of tears and sweat of Ian’s hot cheeks and says firmly. “I’ll take you anywhere Ian. But I need to know you’re fucking okay first”.

“I’m okay…I just need to get away. They stole my pills” Ian says, staring at the ground.

“What? Who… Your fuckin anxiety pills?”

Ian nods, feeling it starting to rise in his chest again as he admits bitterly, “My mom and dad”.  

*Mickey’s POV*

Mickey shakes his head and spits onto the pavement angrily, he can’t believe what he’s hearing. He’d grown up around the same shit, sure, but the thought that someone could do that to Ian…

“Fucking assholes…no Ian, we need to go back. You need that shit”.

“No I don’t” Ian suddenly yells at him, “I need to not be there. That’s what I fucking need Mickey. Are you coming with me or not? Cause I’ll find a fucking bus if I need to”.

“Shut the fuck up” Mickey says, grabbing him. He gives Ian such a hard kiss, he has to catch his breath again when he pulls away. “You know I’m coming with you”.

“Then let’s go” Ian answers firmly, putting his helmet back on. Mickey doesn’t hesitate, and gets back on his bike, driving until he’s nearly out of gas.

He’s getting more and more tired, but he’s determined to be whatever Ian needs him to be, and right now it’s a getaway. When his gas gauge gets alarmingly low, he pulls into a gas station to fill up his bike. Ian doesn’t protest, and instead waits there quietly while Mickey fills up the tank.

Mickey checks his phone, seeing the screen lit up with notifications. It’s already five in the morning “Your sister called me a few times. Can I call her back?” He thought they had an understanding when she went back inside back at the Gallagher house, but now she was clearly worried.

He’s relieved when Ian nods, seeming much calmer now. Mickey holds the phone up to his ear and yawns until he hears Fiona’s strained voice on the other line, “Mickey?? What’s going on? Please tell me he’s still with you”.

Mickey glances back at Ian, who’s head is now drooping inside his helmet. “Hey Fiona. Yeah he’s with me. I think he just needs a break… he said something about Frank and Monica taking his shit”.

Fiona groans into the phone, “I didn’t realize…fuck. When are you coming back?” Mickey shrugs, looking around at the unfamiliar surroundings. “I don’t know…but I’ll take care of him. Promise”.

She sighs, clearly giving in to her exhaustion. “Fine…please keep in touch with me if he won’t. And Mickey? Please stay with him”.

“Don’t worry, where he goes, I go. Talk later Fiona” Mickey hangs up his phone and looks at Ian, who just looks lost. “I’m sorry” the redhead whispers quietly.

“Don’t be sorry” Mickey answers, “I’m here for you. Always. You and me together. Right?”

Ian eventually nods, “Right. Listen, it’s not safe if you drive while you’re tired. I have enough money for a motel for a night or two. Let’s try and find one”.

Mickey shrugs, thinking it over. “Ian, it’s still warm as hell out. Save the money, we can camp outside”. He’s not sure exactly what Ian’s thinking, or what he wants from this trip, but he’s in it.

“Okay” Ian yawns. It doesn’t take them too long to find a quiet and empty road where they can camp out a few yards away underneath the open sky.

The grass is soft enough, and Mickey lays down on his back, offering Ian his arm for a pillow, which Ian takes gratefully, resting his own arm across Mickey’s chest.

The two of them are exhausted after their long day, and pass out within minutes.

Chapter Text

*Ian’s POV*

Ian comes out of the convenience store and waves the bag of turkey jerky in his hand towards Mickey, who taps his cigarette against his motorcycle and raises his eyebrow as he gets closer.

“Trying to bribe me Gallagher?”

“No. You’re already coming with me”, Ian smiles, “But I did get some of your favorites”. He hands Mickey the Snickers bar next, which earns him a soft smile in response.

“And I got this” Ian adds, digging through the plastic bag filled with snacks again and pulling out a road map next.

Mickey puts his cigarette in his mouth and takes the map, unfolding it over his bike. The two of them run their eyes over it, and Mickey turns to Ian.

“Well, where we headed Gallagher?”

Ian shrugs and smiles as he looks at the map, trying to decide. Realistically, he narrows in a zone that’s feasible for him and Mickey to travel to on a motorcycle, and then considers how long he can make his money stretch.

He finally places his finger on a point on the map, tapping it. “There”.

Mickey drops his finished cigarette butt to the asphalt, squinting at the map as he does. “Ephraim? Why, what’s there?”

“I don’t know” Ian answers, “That’s just where I want to go”.

On their road map, it’s a location close to the very end of a slice of land that edges narrowly into lake Michigan.

“Probably cottage country” Mickey muses, looking at the map. “Trip’s probably about eight hours I think, so we better split it or our asses are gonna be too sore after to do any exploring”.

“You’re gonna have a sore ass, but it’s not gonna be from your bike” Ian answers, not looking away from the map until he hears Mickey start to laugh.

It’s a beautiful sound.

 “I’m gonna fuckin hold you to that” Mickey answers, one eyebrow lifting expressively as he slides on his helmet and swings his leg back over his bike.

He turns back to Ian, and pushes up his visor. “You coming Gallagher?”

Ian grins, shoving his helmet back down, he climbs on the back of the bike and wraps his arms around Mickey, giving him a thumbs up.

“Let’s ride” he says, knowing without looking, that Mickey’s smiling too.

 

*Mickey’s POV*

 The Enduro hums underneath their combined weight as Mickey pulls back onto the road, quickly finding the 151 highway again.

They can’t really talk while Mickey drives, because it’s hard to hear anything over the loud motorcycle engine and the occasional cars whipping past, but there still unspoken communication between them during the entire journey.

Like how Ian squeezes Mickey every so often to say I love you, and Mickey nods his helmet, I love you too.

They pass through rural roads and small towns, busier highways, and over bridges before they reach Madison around four hours later.

Mickey’s starting to get a little tired again, because unlike driving in a car, travelling on a motorcycle requires both riders to be focused and alert, especially attentive to their surroundings, and to sit with their body in a particular position.

He’s glad to pull over in Madison, seeing a small and cheap looking diner with promises of fresh pie and coffee right off the main road. He stretches and groans a bit as he gets off his bike, hearing Ian do the same.

“Bring your helmet” Mickey tells him as they head towards the diner, glancing over in surprise when Ian takes his hand. It’s warm, and Mickey raises his eyebrow, but secretly… he’s pretty pleased.

He pushes the diner door open casually and him and Ian find a table in the corner, both of them sinking into the comfortable booth seats happily. The second the waitress comes over, before she even opens her mouth, Mickey yawns and swears “Fuck I need a coffee”.

Her eyebrows lift just slightly in response, “Alright…coffee, and for you?” she turns to Ian who nods in agreement, “Same for me please”. 

Returning with their cups of coffee, she’s hit with their orders almost instantly, including slices of pie for dessert, and she returns with those almost as quickly.

Mickey starts to dive in right away, moaning as he gets his burger to his mouth, he’s so fucking hungry. But Ian stops eating after a little while and is just looking across the table at him, some unreadable expression on his face.

“What?” Mickey asks through his mouthful, frowning slightly. Was he changing his mind about doing this?

Ian lets out a deep breath, “I don’t know. I just, can’t believe you agreed to do this with me, drop everything and go just because I asked you to”.

Appreciation. That’s the look on his face. That and a little awe.

Mickey swallows hard, wiping his mouth a bit on his napkin before he answers. “Ian”, he lowers his voice, “I would do anything for you. You know that, right? That’s what love is man, good times and bad”.

“Yeah well, you make the bad times good” Ian answers, reaching across the table for his hand again.

Mickey looks at the pale hand holding his own slightly dirtier one, his aggressive tattoos standing out in sharp contrast against their skin.

The thing was, it wasn’t hard for Mickey to drop everything and follow him, because Ian was his everything. He’d never had someone in his life before that truly made him feel like he wasn’t going through it alone.

He squeezes Ian’s hand back, smiling as Ian goes back to his food. Mickey’s soon too full to even finish his pie, but Ian eagerly does it for him, even licking his fork when he’s done.

Full and satisfied, Ian pays their bill and they head back outside, Mickey pulling out the folded map from the pocket of his jeans to check their route again.

He glances over towards Ian, who is few feet away lighting one of his occasional cigarettes, but his glance quickly turns into a gaze.

There’s just something about the way the sunlight hits Ian Gallagher’s red hair that makes Mickey’s heart feels like it’s on fucking fire. Makes him feel like he’d go to the ends of the fuckin earth for this boy, without a second thought.

Ian blows out some smoke and comes over to him, studying the map Mickey had been meaning to. “We need to stay on the 151 for a bit longer, but then let’s switch and take the exit to… highway 26, past Lake Winnebago”.

Mickey looks at the route he’s pointing out, “Alright, then 41 to Green Bay. If you wanna stop then, let me know, but if we keep going it’s 57 all the way to the place and we’ll be there in like four hours man”.

The smile on Ian’s face is enthusiastic as hell, considering they don’t even fucking know anything about Ephraim, but Ian seems to be sticking to his initial decision.

“You gonna call your sister?” he asks, reaching for his helmet and then pausing as he remembers his promise to the eldest Gallagher sibling.

Ian thinks for a moment before he nods, pulling out his cellphone and wandering a few feet away while he waits for Fiona to answer.

Mickey can only hear half of the conversation of course, but Ian is all smiles and nods to himself as he starts telling his sister they are going on a road trip together, and that he’ll come home soon.

Mickey’s not quite sure what he means by soon, but he watches with interest as Ian hangs up his phone and comes back over, before leaning in towards him.

He closes his eyes as Ian surprises him with a passionate kiss, reaching with his hand to stroke the side of Mickey’s face gently. He feels one finger separate from the rest and run across his jawline more strongly, and he shifts on his bike to hold Ian back, pressing his tongue into the kiss.

Ian’s own meets his halfway, but after a few minutes of this, he pulls away, grabbing his helmet again. “Let’s get there before it gets dark” he says, grinning a bit sheepishly at Mickey’s played look of annoyance.

 “Alright, alright” Mickey answers, readjusting his semi before he puts his own helmet back on.

Wherever they end up tonight, he’s hoping it’s somewhere where Ian can give it to him good.

Thinking about this, he almost misses the turnoff for highway 41, but maybe Ian can sense that, because he pinches him and gets his attention just in time to switch lanes.

The rest of the trip is smooth sailing, as the roads get quieter and more rural, and he feels Ian relaxing more and more behind him, before finally resting his head against the back of Mickey’s.

The sun is setting by the time they pass the Ephraim- Founded 1853 sign, and Mickey has to admit that there’s some charm to the small town they’ve found themselves in.

He pulls over at the side of quiet and empty road, and turns to look at Ian as he pulls off his helmet.

There’s a spark of light in his green eyes as he looks around, and he takes a deep breath before he looks over across the lake, smiling at a small sailboat in the distance.

“This where you wanted to be, huh?” Mickey asks softly, unable to pull his gaze away from Ian’s face.

*Ian’s POV*

Ian bites his lip and nods, “With you”. He continues to look out across the lake before his eyes settle back on Mickey. The sunset is soft tonight, the sky painted with stunning yellows and oranges, and with that as a backdrop, Mickey almost appears to be glowing. 

Ian's eyes flicker over him, “Do you still want to sleep outside, or what do you think about those cottages over there?”

He points in the distance where several small and identical cottages spaced generously apart are lining the lakeshore.

Mickey raises his eyebrow, “You know how expensive a place like that would be to stay in for a couple nights?”

It is an exceptionally warm September day, so sleeping outside would be fine, but Ian shakes his head anyways, “I have an idea. Turn on your data and google cottages for rent near us, find those ones and give me the phone number”.

Mickey looks at him in confusion but obliges, reading it aloud for Ian as he punches the numbers into his phone.

The receptionist picks up, and her voice is friendly. “Hello, Cozy Cottages Ephraim this is Emily speaking, how many I help you?”

Ian squints across the lake, “Hi Emily, I’ve stayed at CC before, and I was wondering if the cabin at the end of the lake is currently available, you know, the one with the dock in front of it. That’s my favorite one to stay at”.

He tries not to laugh at the look of scepticism on Mickey’s face as he lies into the phone, who is clearly not understanding his plan. Yet.

“Cottage five is available for the next several days actually, would you like to book it, sir?”

Perfect.

Ian hems and haws into the phone, “Hmm. You know what, I’ll call back maybe. I think my wife wants to stay closer to the town this time”.

The look on Mickey’s face only gets better.

“Oh…okay. Call if you have any other questions. Have a good night sir”.

“You too, bye now”. Ian ends the call and smiles at Mickey, pointing out the last cabin. “That’s ours Mick”.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Mickey asks, looking bewildered.

Ian explains, “No one’s using it. No one’s booked it for the next few days. Cottages don’t have security systems Mick”.

Understanding finally dawns across Mickey’s face, he nods, clearly impressed. “…You’re a fucking genius Gallagher. Let’s go”.

It takes them another twenty-five minutes to curve around the lake, and by then it's getting dark. Ian carefully counts the cottages that blur past every so often, finally counting the fifth and last one.

He taps Mickey’s stomach, who slows the motorcycle to pull up to the quiet little wooden cottage, hiding his bike in the nearby trees while Ian goes to fiddle with the door.

He uses his pocket knife/survival tool he keeps in his backpack for ROTC, and manages to pick the lock after a few minutes, swinging open the door right as Mickey comes up behind him.

His boyfriend whistles, clearly pleased, and Ian looks around the small cottage happily. There’s a tiny living room/kitchenette, a bedroom, and a small bathroom. All simply decorated with paintings of fish or the lake, and all of it's rooms made up for the next guests. Every window either looks out over the lake, or the quiet forest areas on either side of them. 

It’s perfect.

“Welcome home” he says, as Mickey wraps his arms around him from behind.

For the next couple days, this was theirs.

Chapter Text

**Reference pics for the swimming scene before we start, this is what the dock looks like but the atmosphere/time of day is the second pic :)*

 

 

“Don’t turn on the lights” Mickey warns Ian, right as he reaches for a switch.

“Why?” Ian asks, perplexed. It’s pretty fucking dark out now.

Mickey gives him a disappointed look, “Ian. If they see lights on across the lake and nobody’s renting it, it’s gonna be clear someone broke in. Help me find some candles or some shit”.

Ian nods, shaking his head at his own stupidity. Of course, he was less practiced at breaking in to places, so maybe it’s a good thing his first instinct wasn’t how to go undetected?

He pulls open the kitchen drawers to look for candles while Mickey rummages through the cupboards in the same pursuit