Mickey plopped down on the rim of the stone fountain ignoring the way the cold almost immediately made itself felt, even through the heavy denim jeans he wore. This was where he used to meet Rose for lunch back before she left to roam the universe with The Doctor. It had become his touchstone in this alternate London that sometimes was different enough to jar him when he least expected it. He didn't regret his decision to stay, but that didn't mean he didn't sometimes feel homesick for the world he'd grown up in and knew so intimately. There were days when he missed having someone to talk to who knew him and his history. Someone he didn't have to explain the whys and wherefores of his psyche to.
There were three people here who knew him for who he really was, Mickey Smith, expatriate from another universe where zeppelins were a thing of the past and Pete Tyler had died a young and penniless man. He sure as hell couldn't discuss what was on his mind with any of them. Pete, the one from this world, was his boss and a decent guy, but there were lines not to be crossed there. The idea of discussing his love life with his Gran was enough to make him consider a life of celibacy. He loved her and he knew she loved him, but it would be better for both of their states of mind if /that/ conversation never happened. Then there was Jake, his best friend and the source of confusion and many sleepless nights. Mickey paused in his thoughts and scratched at the side of his nose, shifting to ease the slow numbing of his backside. That really wasn't fair no that he thought about it. Jake wasn't the source of the problem, it was the way Mickey had begun to feel about the blond that was messing with Mickey's head.
He was still attracted to women. In fact there was one in accounting who wore the tightest skirts that Mickey had ever seen. He couldn't help but go out of his way to get an eye full of whenever possible, him and every other male in the building. That is except for Jake and Nick in weapons. The difference was Nick was so devoted to his wife no other women existed while Jake was simply not attracted to the fairer sex.
Mickey was still the same guy he'd always been, or so he kept telling himself, but there was something about Jake. Something that drew Mickey to him like a moth to a flame and had him wondering about things that had never crossed his mind about one of his mates before. Not that Mickey wanted to redecorate his flat with tastefully color coordinated throw pillows or wax poetic on how much he loved cock. In fact, other than Jake he really had no more interest in men than he'd ever had. It was just one man, one single solitary man who looked at Mickey and saw the man who looked like Ricky, but wasn't. It was frustrating, infuriating and Mickey couldn't figure out how to change that.
Footsteps echoed in the mist and a familiar figure moved towards him, separating from the fog and becoming more solid as he came closer, pausing far enough away to give Mickey some space, but still close enough for recognition, Jake stood, hands thrust into his pockets, shoulders slightly hunched. His cheeks, reddened from the cold, stood out as two spots of color against his pale skin. "Hey."
"Hey." Mickey smiled slightly, not moving from his seat.
"Your Gran rang. She said you were late getting home and you didn't answer your mobile…" He let his voice trail off, grimacing which he quickly covered with a grin. "I told her you'd probably stopped off for a cuppa what with it being so cold. Got a lecture about young people and their manners these days in return."
Mickey couldn't help but grin. That was his Gran all right, she never passed up a chance to complain about the irresponsibilities of youth. "How long have you been looking?"
Jake shrugged, suddenly intent on the toe of his boot. "Thirty minutes or so. I was going home if you weren't here." Mickey nodded, allowing Jake the lie. They both knew he would have kept searching until he'd either found Mickey or talked to him and was significantly reassured that Mickey was indeed okay. It was one of Ricky's legacies that Jake got nervous when he didn't know where the people he cared about were. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"Whatever has you freezing your arse off sitting here in the fog."
Mickey sighed; there was no use trying to put this off, once Jake his teeth into something he didn't let go. "I was thinking." At Jake's nod and raised eyebrow he continued. "About you, us."
There was a soft sigh and Jake pulled one glove covered hand from his pocket to rub at his face. "You're not Ricky. Stop trying to live his life."
"I know I'm not him." Mickey was up off the fountain, standing on cold numbed legs that didn't seem to want to stop shaking. "Bloody hell, Jake, you think I don't know that? I might be Mickey the idiot, but I do know who I am."
Jake took a step back, eyes returning to the contemplation of his boot. "Go find a nice woman, get married, have some kids. That's what you're meant to do. We'll still be mates."
"I don't want to be mates. I don't want to be Ricky and I don't want to find a nice woman and get married." Mickey's voice dropped to almost a whisper. He moved slowly forward, each step taking him closer to Jake. When they were almost toe to toe he stopped, his eyes searching Jake's down turned face. "I want /you/."
"That's not how it happens. You don't wake up one day and decide to be gay because you think you should be." Jake brought his gaze up to hold Mickey's. "Because you feel responsible for someone."
"I never said I was gay." A small smirk tugged at the corner of Jake's lips then was gone leaving Mickey wondering if he had seen it at all. He tried again, hoping to make his meaning clearer. "I don't like men, not like that. I like you." He forced himself to stop as Jake's eyebrow rose higher with each word.
"I am a man."
"I know." Mickey blew out a breath, turning away in frustration. "That's what makes this so strange. Maybe it's being here and seeing Ricky that made me think about it. If he was with you then maybe it's okay for me to think about you that way too."
"You're different people. Lived different lives."
"But being gay; it's biology, right? Like what color your eyes are."
Jake sighed and Mickey felt a hand on his shoulder. "Things are different in this universe. You keep telling me that. Pete's alive and Rose was a dog." Mickey couldn't help but smile at the amusement in Jake's voice.
"I can understand that. That Ricky and I were just not the same in that way, but then how do I explain you?"
"My mum, she fell in love with my dad and they got married…"
Mickey laughed but refused to allow himself to be led. "That's not what I mean. How do I explain how I /feel/ about you?"
Jake ran his hand through his hair, making the short spikes appear more haphazard than usual. He shook his head and then let his hand drop to fall next to his side. "Not everything can be explained. Like The Doctor or maybe it's friendship that got…." His eyes widened as Mickey silenced him with a kiss. He tried to pull away, but Mickey held him firmly, until Jake's eyes closed and he melted into it, arms coming up to encircle Mickey's neck almost instinctively.
When the kiss broke they stood unspeaking, still wrapped in each other's arms. The quiet of the night settled around them, blanketed by the fog. "That's not friendship." Mickey's soft words were punctuated by another kiss, this one longer with an edge of hunger being kept in check. "Give me a chance. I know I can't be Ricky, but maybe you can learn to love me too."
Jake swallowed then slowly nodded his agreement. "Yeah." He said, his hold on Mickey tightening. "Maybe I can."