The signs were all there and they were getting harder and harder to ignore each day. Not that Mickey wasn’t trying. He ploughed on, regardless of how he was feeling, and did his best to hide it all from Ian. Some days he was better at it than others, and lately, Ian’s concern would be evident as he watched Mickey with a frown and a furrowed brow. It finally came to a head one night when Mickey, his head badly throbbing as he massaged his temples, was pinned down by his partner and fed the harsh truth.
“Mick, you need glasses.”
“Like fuck I do!” Mickey shot back defensively. He knew Ian was going to blow everything out of proportion. “You go get glasses!”
Ian rolled his eyes heavenward and glared at his stubborn idiot. “Your eyesight is getting a little weaker. That’s why you’re squinting at everything, that’s why you’re having these headaches, you just need to get your eyes checked out and you’ll be back to normal.”
“I don’t need shit,” Mickey persisted.
“It took you a half an hour to decipher the Chinese food menu a couple nights ago!”
Mickey snorted rudely, “so? Is it my fault they print those things smaller and smaller every fucking month? My eyes get a little tired because I use them all fucking day, alright? And I get headaches because everything at work is in overdrive and I’m constantly surrounded by idiots. All I need is to relax a little.”
“Uh huh,” Ian said sceptically. He climbed off Mickey and the couch and crossed to the far end of the living room. He held up three fingers on one hand and two on the other. “How many fingers am I holding up?”
Mickey squinted for a few seconds before he gave up and flipped Ian the bird with both hands. “More importantly, how many fingers am I holding up?” he grumbled testily and stomped off to bed. Ian could only pinch the bridge of his nose in exasperation and head off after him.
A few days later, Ian was in the bathroom brushing his teeth when Mickey got in from work. Mickey kicked off his shoes and shrugged off his jacket, and immediately went hunting for Ian.
“Hey,” Ian said through a mouthful of toothpaste as he regarded Mickey’s tired reflection in the mirror.
Mickey mumbled a reply and hugged Ian’s waist, dropping soft kisses on Ian’s bare shoulder before resting his head between Ian’s shoulder blades.
“You okay?” Ian asked and rubbed a soothing hand over Mickey’s. He already knew Mickey was having a headache; the man had them daily now. “Everything okay at the garage?”
“Mmhmm,” Mickey said and pressed his aching head further against Ian’s back.
“You hungry?” Ian asked and Mickey shook his head slowly. Ian sighed and patted Mickey’s hand, his own heart hurting a little at Mickey’s evident discomfort. “How about we just turn in early tonight?”
It was the best suggestion Mickey had heard all day. He nodded eagerly, only to regret the vigorous action as pain lanced through his head. A few hours later, he stirred awake, his headache gone, and basked in the comforting darkness of the room. See, it was just exhaustion. He shifted, turning his body towards Ian, and reached out to stroke his partner’s back. “You awake?” he whispered, and smiled when Ian flipped over to face him.
Ian stroked Mickey’s cheek and used his thumb to massage Mickey’s temple. “Feeling okay?” He smiled when he felt Mickey’s eager nod. He moved easily, straddling Mickey before roughly pinning the man’s hands above his head. Ian grinned at Mickey’s soft grunt and the eager, compliant way the man arched beneath him.
“There’s my guy,” Ian murmured and settled over Mickey. He used both hands to keep Mickey’s pinned and ground slowly against him, both of them growing hard from the friction. “You always taste so good,” Ian said and punctuated his statement by kissing Mickey tenderly. “So hot,” he continued, pressing a kiss at the corner of Mickey’s mouth. “So sweet,” and there was a kiss to Mickey’s jaw line, “so reasonable, so understanding, so proactive when it comes to personal health and safety—”
“Ian, what the fuck?” Mickey wiggled out of Ian’s hold and flicked on the lamp. He glared up at Ian who was smiling back at him innocently. “What the fuck is going on?”
“Mick, I really do think you need to get your eyes checked.”
Mickey tamped down his knee-jerk response to that observation. Instead, he wiped a tired hand across his face and glared up at Ian again.
“Get the fuck off me,” he shoved Ian off and sat up in bed. Ian sighed and got up to turn on the bedroom light and returned to sit at the foot of the bed. Mickey eyed him defiantly and crossed his arms. “I am not having this conversation again, Ian. I don’t need glasses and I don’t appreciate the coercion. How would you feel if I did that shit to you?”
Ian’s mouth dropped open, “you do it all the time, you prick! You’re on my ass to go to my psychiatrist every time I so much as stare wistfully out a window!”
“Who the fuck uses ‘wistfully’ in normal conversation? And that’s different.”
“How the fuck is that different? It’s been almost twenty years of you Mother Hen-ing my ass about my mental health. All I want is for you not to have splitting headaches just to see twenty feet in front of you!”
Mickey sighed, “I’m thirty-five years old, Ian. I’m not a child, I know my body, and I know I don’t need shit right now—not from LensCrafters and not from you.”
Ian scratched at his chin and regarded Mickey silently. Eventually he shrugged and threw up his hands. “You’re absolutely sure your eyes are fine and you don’t need glasses?”
“I’m sure,” Mickey nodded firmly.
Ian heaved a sigh, “well, okay, then I guess you’ll have no problem proving that to the ophthalmologist on Thursday,” Ian said and casually strolled out of the bedroom.
“The ophtha—what the fuck, Ian?” Mickey scrambled off the bed to chase Ian down.
“Ophthalmologist, Thursday, two-thirty—one of the best in the city,” Ian said breezily as he got some juice out the fridge.
“You can’t—I just—what have I said about doing shit like this, Ian?! You can’t just decide that I’m going to some fucking doctor on your own. I’m my own person, I have fucking rights! I’m not going to any fucking eye doctor!”
Ian had been nodding patiently as he sipped on his juice and listened to Mickey’s tirade of personal independence. When Mickey finally wound down, Ian put his juice on the counter and came around to his agitated partner and gently cupped his face with both hands.
“I think it’s kinda cute that after all this time, you still think you’re your own person. You’re not, though; I fucking own you. Those are my eyes you’re fucking with. And I know usually this is the part where I start cajoling and bribing you into making the right choice, and gently coax you to the doctor, but that’s not happening this time. I will wait until you’re asleep, stab you in the neck with a tranquilizer dart, and drag your limp, unconscious body to Dr. Reynolds and I don’t even care if I get prison time for it. Thursday, two-thirty, make sure the guys know to hold things down at the garage.”
Mickey blinked rapidly as Ian patted his cheek and strolled off whistling. Mickey was left standing awkwardly in the living room. He scratched his neck self-consciously, already feeling the prick of a tranquilizer dart there. He had a sneaking, sinking suspicion that he would be going to the ophthalmologist that coming Thursday.
“If you come to bed now and stop pouting, I’ll give you a ‘soften the blow’ job,” Ian sang out from the bedroom.
“I don’t need fucking glasses; gonna make me look like a fucking dork,” Mickey mumbled far under his breath, but dutifully headed off to his bedroom.
Two-fifteen in the afternoon on the following Thursday found Mickey Milkovich in Dr. Reynolds’ waiting room with his leg bouncing nonstop. Ian rested a calming hand on Mickey’s knee and slowly ran his hand up his partner’s thigh, squeezing as he went along.
“Why are you so freaked out about this, asshole, they’re just glasses,” Ian said as he stroked Mickey’s thigh.
“I’m going to look like such a fucking dork. Glasses look so stupid on me.”
“What the fuck are you talking about? We’ll get your prescription, pick out the right frames for you, and you’re going to look amazing!” Ian said and then sighed at Mickey’s disbelieving look. He slouched down and snuggled closer to Mickey, his hand still on his thigh, and whispered in his ear, “you have any idea how many fantasies I have about you in glasses? Ever since you did your certification exam and had to wear those safety ones? I’ve been waiting for this day for ages now.”
Mickey eyed him, sceptical but intrigued, “bullshit, you’re just telling me that to get me to go in.”
“I’m so fucking serious; I can’t wait to act them out.”
Mickey shifted in his seat and cast a wary eye around the waiting room. They were alone in their row of cushioned seats and none of the people waiting seemed to be paying any mind. “Like what kind of fantasies?”
Ian began drawing abstract hearts on Mickey’s jean-clad thighs and dropped his voice. “Well my favourite one is you’re the hot, no nonsense headmaster at one of those preppy boys’ schools, and I’m a ne’er-do-well senior who’s been sent in to see you and—”
They almost fell out of their chairs, startled. They quickly pulled themselves together and Ian tugged a reluctant Mickey to the examination room. Before they could go in, the nurse stopped them.
“Oh, which one is Mr. Milkovich?” she smiled at Mickey when he raised his hand awkwardly. She then turned to Ian, “and you are?”
“I’m his partner.”
“Oh, okay. Well you could just have a seat out here, and we’ll take good care of him,” she said, smiling brightly and brimming with reassurance.
“Um, I know it’s probably a little weird, but would it be okay if I came in with him?” Ian asked, smiling sheepishly when the nurse blinked at him. “He can get a little cranky and, um, belligerent when he gets nervous. You might need me to calm him down.”
The nurse looked back at Mickey who had somehow managed to almost disappear completely behind Ian’s back. She nodded at Ian, quickly recognizing a potentially difficult patient, “I’ll talk to the doctor.”
After an agonizing examination and a battery of questions, Mickey found himself in the dreaded chair, preparing for a refraction test with some space age looking torture device coming at him. Ian sat in a chair a very short distance away, nonchalantly reading a magazine while the love of his life was about to die.
“Just focus on the chart and tell me if it appears more or less clear as I switch the lenses, okay?”
Mickey murmured his agreement and the test was underway. He was chafing under the weight of it almost immediately as he was forced to listen to the drone of the doctor and the click of the lenses that barely seemed to make a difference on the slightly blurry chart.
“Image two or three?” Dr. Reynolds asked as she shifted between the lenses before repeating, “image two or three?”
“Three, I guess…
“Image three or four?” she asked and Mickey could feel the heat rising up his collar. “Image three or four?”
“What the fuck difference does it make? They all look the fucking same!” Mickey blurted out, already at the end of his rope, “this whole thing feels like a fucking scam! How do I know that you’re not making this shit blurry on purpose? What is the fucking point of this?”
Mickey was off and running, leaving the doctor taken aback as he ranted away in his seat. She looked over at Ian who was still casually flipping through his magazine.
“Um, Mr. Gallagher?”
“And you know who’s behind this? Big…Glasses or whatever the fuck they’re called! Making people think they need this shit when all they gotta do is get more sleep!” Mickey raged.
“Mr. Gallagher,” the doctor tried again and Ian looked up.
Ian listened for a second to his ranting boyfriend before he used his booted foot to kick him in the shin, “shut the fuck up and finish your exam, idiot. Everything’s fine; I’m right here.”
Dr. Reynolds was gobsmacked as Mickey immediately calmed down, like a whistling kettle being taken off the stove.
“Four, I guess,” Mickey said and the ophthalmologist couldn’t help but smile at it all.
“Hyperopia,” Mickey grumbled as they finished up with the doctor, “unbelievable.”
“You’ve probably had it for a while now, but a flexible eye lens typically makes up for it,” Dr. Reynolds informed them, “as you get older, you’ll lose some of that flexibility and the problem becomes more pronounced. Good news though is that yours is not that bad. Our associated LensCrafters should have you as right as rain in about an hour.”
Mickey gave Ian a knowing glance and Ian had to fight back his grin. Every once in a while, Mickey could rival Frank in insane conspiracy theories.
Dr. Reynolds took a short break and went with them when they went to fill Mickey’s prescription. She was curious as to how that would unfold and wanted to whisper a word of warning to the unsuspecting technician. There were moments when she was reminded why she pursued her field, and when Mickey put on a trial pair of his prescription, his face made it completely worth it. As the world came into focus, Mickey’s face lit up and he kept looking around in disbelief. Ian said something making Mickey glance over at him and the bespectacled man’s jaw slackened.
“What?” Ian asked him and Mickey shook his head and looked away, a little abashed.
“Nothing,” Mickey said quietly and looked up at Ian’s face, “just…this probably wasn’t that bad of an idea after all.”
Ian’s grin split his face and he stroked Mickey’s cheek, “idiot.”
Dr. Reynolds figured they would be okay from there.
Mickey fussed self-consciously with his glasses in the elevator to their apartment. His eyes flicked over to Ian and found his partner smiling softly at him.
“What?” Mickey asked grumpily.
“You look really cute, asshole; stop messing with it. You’ll get used to it soon enough.”
“I look like a four-eyed nerd.”
“You look amazing, will you stop?” Ian rolled his eyes and tugged Mickey to him, “I was serious, you know, about the fantasies? They’re kind of getting me going.”
“Yeah?” Mickey pushed at the bridge of his new glasses and smirked at Ian’s delighted grin, “well how comes you never said?”
“Wasn’t that big of a deal really. My mind thinks up random shit, but really I’ll take you anyway I can get you.”
Mickey leaned into Ian and chewed on his lower lip to cover how ridiculously pleased he was about how the day had gone. When the elevator got to their floor, he followed Ian out, thinking that it couldn’t hurt to indulge some fantasies every once in a while.
Role playing, Mickey decided, felt patently ridiculous to him. He was sitting at Ian’s desk in the small room they’d transformed into Ian’s office, waiting for Ian to make his dramatic entrance. He smoothed his dress shirt and fussed with his glasses again, all the while trying to figure out how the hell a headmaster should behave. His head shot up when the door opened and there was Ian in a burgundy blazer and matching striped tie, and charcoal grey slacks. Clearly some thought had gone into this.
“You wanted to see me, sir?”
The hint of nervousness in Ian’s voice was a particularly nice touch. Mickey chewed on his inner cheek, dimpling from the effort not to lose his shit and crack up. He nodded and Ian slowly entered, locking the door firmly behind him.
“I, um, see you’ve been acting up again,” Mickey said.
“It was a simple misunderstanding, sir,” Ian said innocently, “I mean, I would never intentionally cherry bomb the toilets in the teachers’ lounge.”
Mickey burst out laughing at the thought and Ian glared at him to get back in character, all the while fighting back his own laughter.
“Well I’m not interested in your excuses, Mr. Gallagher. The last warning you received from my office was the last warning. I’m afraid you’re going to have to be expelled from the Academy.”
Actually this whole headmaster thing was easier than Mickey thought it would be. He had spent much of his academic life sitting in the principal’s office, so he had a wealth of knowledge from which to pull.
“Sir, no, you can’t. I don’t think my father, the heir to the Post-it fortune, would be pleased to hear about this,” Ian said as he came around the table to passionately plead his case.
“Yeah, well tough tits.”
“But surely there must be something I can do to change your mind, sir,” Ian said suggestively and leaned forward to stroke Mickey’s thigh.
“Well…I guess I could use more intimidating hall monitors.”
Ian was momentarily thrown for a loop. He tried to get Mickey back on track. “Surely there is something else, I could do.”
“Actually, hall monitor isn’t a bad gig. It’ll teach you responsibility and—”
“Mickey, get it together!”
Mickey quickly course-corrected, “Ahem, I mean, what would you suggest you could do to make amends? These are some very serious violations, Mr. Milk—uh, Gallagher.”
Ian got to his knees and settled between Mickey’s legs. He ran his hands up Mickey’s inner thighs and massaged the growing bulge in Mickey’s pants. “Please, Mr. Milkovich, don’t give up on me. I’m not a bad kid… mostly. I just need structure and discipline, and a firm…” Ian unzipped Mickey’s pants and freed his hardening cock, “…hand.”
Mickey gasped as Ian jerked him off with smooth, firm strokes, the green eyes never leaving his. He ran his fingers through Ian’s hair and trailed them along the strong jaw-line. “I think I could manage that,” Mickey licked his lips and couldn’t help thrusting into Ian’s grasp. “But you have to show me how good you can be.”
Ian nodded and bent forward to suck lightly on the head of Mickey’s cock. He pulled back before sinking a little further down the length of it. He repeated the act, taking more of Mickey into his mouth each time until Mickey was shuddering and fisting his hands into the material of his blazer.
Ian kept his eyes trained on Mickey’s face as best he could. It was crazy that Mickey couldn’t understand how hot he looked right then—his breathing ragged and the heated gaze of his bright blue eyes now framed by his glasses. It was crazy to Ian that Mickey could never understand how hot he was all the time. Still, Ian didn’t mind showing it to him. Ian deep-throated Mickey again and again, swallowing around the straining cock and feeling it throb, thick and heavy against his tongue. He fought the urge to touch himself and kept his hands on Mickey’s hips and thighs as he continued sucking Mickey down in slow, measured strokes.
“I think you might be changing my mind a little,” Mickey said with a quaver in his voice. “What else can you do to convince me, Mr. Gallagher?”
A few minutes later, Mickey the headmaster appeared to have had a complete change of heart and had warmed up to his role significantly.
“I think maybe you can get another chance,” Mickey spoke haltingly as he panted out his words, “I think you could prove to be an asset to the Academy, and I’m not just saying that because I’m riding your cock.”
And Mickey was doing just that, keeping his hands splayed on Ian’s bare chest as he rode him hard on the office floor. Ian moaned loudly and thrust upwards into Mickey’s heat and clawed at the back of Mickey’s shirt.
“I fucking love you,” Ian yelled into the quiet of the room, “I love you, Mickey!”
“I fucking love you, headmaster!” Ian amended readily.
Mickey recognized the signs easily—knew them better than his own—the way Ian’s body tensed and his hips moved, the way Ian’s brow would furrow and his lips parted; Mickey knew what was imminent.
“Don’t you fucking come before me,” Mickey warned, though he purposely squeezed around Ian’s cock.
Ian was onto him though and quickly flipped their positions, leaving Mickey howling as Ian pounded into him, finding Mickey’s sweet spot again and again. Mickey wrapped his legs around Ian’s hips and held on for a few more precious minutes before he ended up coming with a shout of Ian’s name. Ian came with him, stifling his own shout by kissing Mickey fiercely as they both went over the edge.
A short time later, they stripped off the rest of their clothes and lay snuggled on the floor. Ian drifted off briefly and then woke up from his nap to find Mickey next to him, on his stomach and poking at his glasses.
“Still worried you look like a dork?” Ian rolled onto his side and propped himself up on his elbow. He stroked Mickey’s back and watched his partner closely when he shook his head.
“Nah, your methods are unconventional, but quite convincing. I figure I’ll get used to it.”
Ian shuffled closer until he was pressed up alongside Mickey and kissed his shoulder, “so what’s really going on?”
Mickey sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “I’m getting old,” he mumbled and he gave Ian a harassed look when the man burst out laughing.
“Are you serious right now?”
“It’s the start of the slide, Ian. This is how this shit begins; the thread starts unravelling. They always say the eyes are the first to go.”
Ian huffed, “pretty sure it’s the mind that’s the first to go and in that case, I’m way ahead of you, buddy,” Ian grinned irrepressibly, “Mickey, you’re thirty-five; you have a heck of a way to go before you qualify for the early-bird specials. Besides, this isn’t a sign of anything. Dr. Reynolds said you probably had this condition since childhood.”
“Yeah and it got worse because I’m getting older and shit’s going to seed. What’s next?”
“You know, I never understood this fear of aging. What’s so bad about getting older?”
Mickey snorted rudely, “you would say that. Your dick pretty much doubles as a gerontologist.”
Ian laughed easily at that. “Exactly, so who better to offer an opinion? I really don’t see a problem with getting old. The older we get, the better things seem to be for us. I mean, we’ve been slowly getting our shit together, sorting it all out. We have a nice apartment, we have careers, you own a business, and we’re settled and happy. I wouldn’t change what we have now for anything. And, not for nothing, seventeen for me seemed to go on for-fucking-ever. I just wanted it to end. Our youth wasn’t really the best time of our lives, Mick, if we’re honest. The only thing I wanted to keep from back then, I still have,” Ian said and nuzzled Mickey’s ear, “everything else is gravy.”
Mickey snorted softly but turned towards Ian so he could hug his waist and slip his leg in-between his partner’s. “I’m supposed to take care of you,” Mickey murmured, “how am I supposed to do that when all my shit starts going? And suppose I wind up aging weirdly with like uneven balding and a forest growing out my ears?”
Ian laughed again, “oh my god, you worry about so much shit, I swear to everything. Is that really a thing you fret about, that you’re going to stop being pretty one day? Is this something you’re concerned about with me?”
“Well why not?”
Mickey blinked up at Ian and huffed softly, “don’t make me say it, asswipe.”
“Tell me why you don’t worry about me turning into a gross old man.”
Mickey sighed before he focused on Ian’s throat, embarrassed. “I will always think you’re pretty, no matter what.”
“There you go, that’s my feeling too,” Ian said, “you can’t seriously think I’d have an issue with you possibly not becoming a silver fox. You know I wouldn’t care if you turned into fucking Gollum. You’re it for me.”
Mickey burst out laughing, “I’m not going to turn into goddamned Gollum!”
“You’re the one who’s freaking out about it, moron,” Ian grinned into Mickey’s hair, “just stop worrying about shit, already. We can still take care of each other, even when the plumbing starts going haywire.”
Mickey sighed, mollified and high, and rolled onto his back. He then looked over at Ian. “I’m starving.”
“Hmm, you want to order Chinese, seeing as how you can read the menu now?”
“Yeah,” Mickey sniffed, retrieved his glasses and slipped them on. He then waggled his eyebrows suggestively at Ian. “I’m glad you talked me into it,” he admitted softly before reaching over and patting Ian’s cheek. “I never want to lose focus of that dumb face.”
Ian bit Mickey’s hand gently and followed him after Mickey got to his feet and padded naked out to the living room.
“But hey,” Ian called Mickey, “you think my glasses fantasies are weird? Wait until you see what I have in mind for when we get oxygen tanks!”
Mickey could hardly wait.