Mickey shifted awkwardly trying to find a position that didn't make his ass hurt. He probably shouldn't have egged Ian on for that third fuck last night, but Ian had just looked so ridiculous trying on his mortarboard that Mickey couldn't keep his hands off of him. Sometimes he was turned on by the weirdest shit.
Mickey finally gave up trying to get comfortable and stood up to wait for Ian to finish getting ready.
"Doing okay there?" Ian asked smugly.
Mickey flipped him off, but Ian had already turned his attention back to the mirror where he was trying and failing to tie his new tie. "Why the fuck are you bothering with that thing? Your gown is going to cover it."
Ian shrugged. "Fiona's really excited." He flapped the end of the green and gold striped tie at Mickey. "She bought me this even though her tips have been shitty. I'd be an ass not to wear it."
"Why does she care so much?"
"It's the first time any of us are going through the whole ceremony," Ian explained. He undid the messy knot and started over, but Mickey could tell that it wasn't going to work out any better this time.
"Here," Mickey muttered. He pushed Ian's hands out of the way and tied it himself. The end result was still uneven, but it was a hell of a lot better than Ian had managed. "How can you not do that?"
Ian rolled his eyes. "The only ties I've been wearing lately are the kind that slip over my neck and glitter in the strobe lights." He tilted his head thoughtfully. "I think they're mostly there to point to my dick like an arrow."
"Classy." Mickey straightened the knot out as much as he could. It was still sort of lopsided, but not too bad.
Ian brushed Mickey's hands away and turned back to the mirror. "The real question is when the fuck have you ever worn a tie?"
Mickey knew better than to mention his wedding and that had been a bow tie anyway. "Court. My lawyer thought it would make me look respectable."
Ian snorted. "Did it work?"
Mickey laughed. "Fuck no."
"Come on." Ian grabbed the bag with his gown and that damn mortarboard. "We're going to be late."
Mickey stared at the crowded bleachers and wondered who the hell he was fooling. He and his ninth grade education didn't belong here with all of the happy graduates and their families. Hell, Ian probably didn't even care if he was here since he was only doing the ceremony to make Fiona happy.
He was about to turn around and leave since the last thing his sore ass needed was two hours on a fucking bleacher when he heard someone shouting his name.
"Mickey!" Debbie yelled again, waving her arms wildly. She was sitting halfway up the stands with the entire Gallagher clan around her. "Over here." Debbie shoved Carl further down the bleacher and pointed to the gap. "We saved you a seat."
Apparently Mickey was going to be staying for the ceremony after all. The stairs were crowded so he climbed straight up the bleachers, ignoring the angry yells as he stepped on a few fingers, and squeezed into the spot between Debbie and Carl.
"Ian get here okay?" Lip asked.
It sounded like an innocent question, but Mickey knew better. After more than a year of Lip and Fiona treating Ian like he couldn't take care of himself, Mickey had gotten tired of dealing with their overprotective bullshit. "Of course he fucking got here okay. Why wouldn't he?"
Lip glared at him, but thankfully the loudspeaker came on and started blasting "Pomp and Circumstance" before they could get into an argument.
"He's just worried," Debbie said over the tinny sounding trumpets.
"Ian's fine," Mickey said. "He doesn't need a fucking babysitter."
Debbie rested her hand on his arm and Mickey wondered when she'd gotten so comfortable with him. "I know. Ian's strong."
"Damn right he is."
"Come on Fiona, I'm hungry," Carl whined. "That ceremony took forever."
Lip smacked Carl lightly on the back of the head. "Shut up and let Fiona take some pictures."
"It'll just be a minute." Fiona gestured at Lip. "You first. Get in there with him."
"I'm never going to graduate if this is what you're going to do," Carl muttered as Lip joined Ian.
"Yes you will," Fiona said. "If it's the last thing I do all of you will fucking graduate."
Mickey crossed his arms and stayed out of the way as Fiona used her iPhone to take a bunch of pictures of Ian with different family members. It was a windy day and Ian's gown and tassel were blowing all over the place, but he was smiling wide and happy so the pictures would probably turn out good anyway.
"Okay, Mickey, your turn."
"What?" Mickey asked confused.
"Get over there," Fiona said. "So I can get some pictures of you and Ian."
Mickey stared at her until she got annoyed enough to actually grab his arm and yank him in Ian's direction. He wasn't trying to be difficult, he just couldn't figure out why Fiona would want pictures of him and Ian.
His confusion must have been obvious because Fiona leaned close to him and answered the question he hadn't asked. "Lord help us, but you're family too."
Ian reached out and grabbed his shirt, hauling him close enough to get an arm around his shoulders. Mickey put his own arm around Ian's waist and hoped that the shock he was feeling didn't show on his face. Fiona took several pictures before handing her phone off to Kev and gesturing for all the Gallaghers to get in the shot.
Mickey wasn't sure if he should stay in the family shot or not, but Ian kept a tight grip on his shoulder so he didn't move and no one seemed to question it. The other Gallaghers crammed in around them trying to make sure that they would be in the shot and Mickey ended up with Debbie on his other side and Liam in front of him.
This picture would probably end up on the mantle in the Gallagher living room and for some reason they wanted him in it. Ian was his family and Mickey knew that connected him to the other Gallaghers, but they'd always made it clear that they were merely tolerating him for Ian's sake. This felt different.
"Okay," Fiona said. "Time to eat."
"Yes!" Carl yelled as they all dispersed to head back to the Gallagher house for a celebratory cook out.
"What's wrong?" Ian asked and Mickey realized that he hadn't moved from his spot pressed up against Ian's side. He quickly took a step back to put a bit of space between them. After being out for a year he was used to the occasional public display of affection, but he probably wouldn't ever be very demonstrative where others could see them.
"Fiona said that I'm family."
"Well yeah," Ian said as if it was obvious. He took off the mortarboard and handed it to Mickey while he took off his gown. "Wearing all this shit is fucking hot. Whoever decided to have graduation in June?"
"What do you mean 'well yeah'?" Mickey pressed.
"Mickey, we've been together for most of the last four years and open about it for more than one," Ian said slowly as if he was explaining something to a particularly slow child. "They know we're together for the long haul."
"And they're okay with that?"
Ian shrugged. "Lip doesn't really like you—"
"But they've all seen what you've sacrificed to be with me," Ian continued, ignoring Mickey's jab at Lip.
Mickey didn't know if Ian was referring to coming out of the closet and dealing with all the homophobic assholes in the neighborhood—and his family—or if he was talking about Ian's disorder and the way they'd restructured their lives to keep him healthy. Either way it didn't matter because he didn't see any of that as a sacrifice, not when it meant he got to be with Ian.
He waved a dismissive hand. "It was all more than worth it."
Ian smiled softly at him and leaned forward to brush his lips against Mickey's forehead. "Let's go eat and then maybe later I'll put the mortarboard back on for you."
"Fuck you," Mickey said, doing his best to suppress a laugh. "My ass is fucking sore enough already."
Ian leaned close to Mickey's ear. "Maybe you should do the fucking then."
Mickey could just see Ian spread out below him wearing nothing but that damn mortarboard and he didn't know if he wanted to laugh or drag Ian behind the bleachers for old time's sake. He really was turned on by the weirdest shit—or maybe he was just turned on by Ian whether he was in camo, gold booty shorts, or a damn cap and gown. That was probably it.
"Yeah, I think I can work with that."