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I love you because...

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“You cheated!”

 

If looks could kill then Ian Gallagher would be a dead man.

 

“Aw, c’mon Mick, I won fair and square!”

 

“Not a chance Gallagher, we’re going again.”

 

Ian rolled his eyes, “Oh Mickey, Mick, Mickey, Mick, the light of my life, the sun to my moon, the flo-“

 

Ian’s, frankly embarrassing, rambling is cut short as 145 pounds of pure Southside muscle slams into his midsection and sends him sprawling to the ground.

 

Mickey takes the opportunity to straddle his boyfriend and pin him to the ground.

 

“You cheated!” he whispers, their faces barely an inch apart.

 

Ian can’t help but smile. “I did no such thing! I won and now you have to complete your side of the bet.”

 

Mickey sighs. Fuck ROTC. He used to think he was the best shot around until he met Ian Gallagher.

 

“Fine fucker. I’ll let you win this one. Obviously that head shot was a lucky once-off.”

 

Mickey had never once claimed to be a gracious loser. He’s not entirely sure who he feels more sorry for in this instance; himself for losing or the poor stuffed bunny that now resembled nothing more than a pile of scorched fluff.

 

“What do you want as your prize?”

 

Ian can’t stop grinning, he’s fully aware that he’s won this round.

 

“I want a poem”

 

“The fuck?” Mickey leans back, staring down at Ian as if he’s just asked him to put on a tutu and perform Swan Lake.

 

“I want a poem Mick. I want you to write me one. Please.”

 

Oh and fuck you very much because Ian has dragged out the puppy dog eyes as well. He’s Mickey Fucking Milkovich, he doesn’t write fucking poetry!

 

Two years ago, hell six months ago Mickey would have told him to fuck off, but that was before. Before Ian was diagnosed with Bi-Polar. Before he spent days laying in bed staring at a wall. Before he lost more than a stone in weight because he couldn’t bring himself to eat.

 

Mickey has outed himself for Ian, turned his back on the majority of his family for Ian, and they may be God-awful people but they were blood. Mickey has forced himself to stop being so afraid of affection for Ian, he’s made himself reach over and wrap his arm around him whilst sitting in the midst of the Gallagher home, surrounded by Ian’s family.

 

Mickey has prayed for Ian, he’s begged any deity listening that Ian make it through those dark days, that Ian just open his green eyes and look at Mickey as if he’s happy to see him.

 

The day that Ian got out of bed without prompting, the day he appeared in the kitchen and sat beside Debbie was a day that Mickey would never forget.

 

It was a Tuesday and Ian had been on his latest combination of meds for four weeks.

 

He sat down, glanced up and caught Mickey’s eyes across the kitchen and Mickey could finally see it; the warmth in those eyes washed away the last few months.

 

Ian had smiled and asked if Mickey wouldn’t mind making him some toast. Mickey had never heard more beautiful words.

 

So here they were, four months later and Ian Gallagher wanted him to write him a fucking poem.

 

“Don’t get your hopes up Firecrotch, I ain’t no damned wordsmith”

 

Ian’s smile was blinding. God he loved this man, he knew making such a request was risky but ever since he had finally woken up from the haze that had covered him for months he just couldn’t reconcile this version of Mickey with the old one.

 

Of course he loved it, being able to hold his boyfriend’s hand, hearing him whisper “I love you” in the dead of night when he thinks Ian is asleep, the little head kiss thing Mickey does when he places Ian’s pills down in front of him, it’s like Ian woke up from a nightmare and entered into a real-life fairy-tale.

 

“I love you Mick”, the smile hasn’t diminished one bit and although Mickey ducks his head slightly and glances away Ian knows he feels the same way.

 

“Yeah yeah, you too. C’mon, we better head back, don’t wanna be late for dinner, Debs is making pizza.”

 

Mickey climbs off of Ian and reaches down a hand to help him up. Once standing Mickey reaches up and cups the back of Ian’s neck, bringing him down for a gentle kiss.

 

That’s another thing Ian hasn’t gotten used to yet.

 

They pull apart and after one last smile they start collecting their shit and head back to the Gallagher home.

 

Later that night, after Ian has passed out in bed, Mickey sits up by the window with a smoke between his fingers. A notepad and pen rest on his knees.

 

The page is filled with sentences that have been crossed out and words that have been blackened completely.

 

Mickey sighs and rests his gaze on the man sleeping soundly in the bed across from him.

 

Shit he’s never been good with words, Ian of all people knows that, but if there’s one thing Mickey has discovered about himself it’s that he would never deny Ian Gallagher anything, so long as it’s in his power to give it to him.

 

Mickey stubs out his cig and picks up the pen.

 

The next morning Ian wakes to an empty bed. That in itself isn’t too unusual as Mickey, and this one was a surprise, seems to like being up early in order to make breakfast for everyone. This revelation certainly helped endearing Fiona to their new house guest, although the love he obviously holds for her brother was certainly the deciding factor.

 

Ian raises himself onto his elbows and notices a scrap of folded paper on the pillow beside him.

 

His brow furrows and he reaches out to grab it. Nothing in the entire world could stop the gentle smile from spreading across his face as he reads the words on the page, and if his eyes mist the tinniest bit then no one else would know.

 

Firecrotch,

 

Why do I love you?

 

I love you because you’re strong, and you’re loyal, and you make me, me.

 

I love you because you don’t take my bullshit, and you let me hold your hand.

 

I love you because you wrap yourself around me at night, like a ginger octopus.

 

I love you because you’re tall, and I never lose you in a crowd.

 

I love you because you have a giant dick, and you know how to use it.

 

I love you because family is the most important thing, and that’s what we are.

 

I love you because you smile when you see me every morning.

 

I love you because you make me the best mac’n’cheese I’ve ever had.

 

I love you, because fuck you, that’s why.