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Finger Paintings

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"Are you coming into school tomorrow with me?" Yev asks, kicking his feet excitedly back and forth.

"Bud, you know I can't," Mickey tells him, glancing back in the rear view mirror. Yev lets out a sigh and looks down at his old converses.

"But why?" He whines. "All of the other kids are having their mommy or daddy come into class to talk about their job. I want you to come so everyone can see how cool my dad is!" Yev says, grinning widely. Mickey wanted to go. As much as his wife, Svet, got on his nerves or annoyed the hell out of him, Mickey always loved his son. He would do anything for the boy. Just not go to school and talk about his job because if he did, he'd have a bunch of parents who weren't too happy with him.

"Remember what I told you, right?" Mickey asks.

"No telling anyone about daddy's job!" He says proudly. Mickey nods and smiles.

"That's right. Otherwise you know I'd be the first parent there for you."

Mickey hadn't wanted to tell Yev what he did. That he was a pimp and his own wife was one of his "whores". Kev just wasn't the best of babysitters and Yev kind of walked in on Mickey while he was in the middle of settling a debt some of his regulars owed him. Mickey was practically forced to explain to Yev what was happening.

Yev sighs. "But that's not fair. Everyone's gonna make fun of me for not having a parent."

"Yev, I'm not arguing over this. I'll make up for it, I promise." Mickey says as he pulls into the parking lot of Yev's school. He parks the car and turns it off. He then unbuckles and got out of the old beaten up vehicle. Yev grabs his backpack with little rocket ships on it and climbs out of the car. He grabs his dad's hand and the two walk up to the main doors.

"You can make up for it by getting me ice cream after school," he says, grinning.

Mickey chuckles. "You got it, kiddo. I'll make sure I have a vanilla cone in the car for you when I pick you up."

"With sprinkles!" Yev reminds. Mickey nods and grins.

"With sprinkles," he says. Mickey crouches down and kisses his son's forehead. "Have a good day."

Yev smiles. "Bye daddy!" He says before walking into the school.

Yev walks through the hallways and into Mr. Gallagher's kindergarten class. Everyone else was already there so Yev was the last to arrive. "Hi Mr. Gallagher," Yev says, smiling.

Ian chuckled. "Hi, Yevgeny. Late again, huh?" He says softly.

"Blame my dad! He's the one that drives me," he says.

"What's your excuse this time?" Ian asks as Yev hands him his backpack. Yev always had excuses as to why his dad made him late and every time, they were true even if Ian didn’t believe them. But he always listened to them anyways. Most of the times, he thought the kid was just trying to make him laugh.

"Well my dad was trying to make pancakes this morning and the fire alarms went off! So then my grandpa got really really mad and him and my dad were fighting but it's okay because Aunt Mandy made me a bowl of cereal." He says as he sits down in his seat.

Ian lets out a small chuckle. "Well I'm glad you got breakfast this morning," he says. He then hangs up Yev's backpack next to all the other ones and stands in front of all the kids. Finger Paintings and other art works from the kids littered his walls. It wasn't the most organized room, but Ian loved it anyways. The class began and it was just like any normal day. The kids would easily get distracted but Ian would win their attention back by bribing them with candy. Finally it was the end of the day and the last few kids sat in the corner waiting for their parents.

"Is your mom or dad coming tomorrow?" Yev asks a boy.

The boy nods. "Yeah, my mom is coming. She's a fireman!" He says proudly. "Is one of your parents coming?" Yev nods, lying. "What does your parent do?"

"My daddy is coming and he's a pimp!" He says, forgetting about the whole secrecy over the topic. Ian over hears him but doesn't say anything at first. He figured he had just misheard the boy or that he was making an innocent joke.

"What does that mean?" He asks.

"It means he has a bunch of ladies working for him and he makes lots of money! He also sells drugs!"

"Yevgeny Milkovich, that is not appropriate to be talking about in school," he says as the other little boy's father comes in to take him home.

"But why not? He asked what my daddy did and I told him," Yev says, smiling widely.

Ian raises an eyebrow at this. Obviously Yev had to of been confused. But then again, it was the south side and it wouldn't have been the first time a parent from the school had an illegal job. "Because I don't think your dad really has that job. I think you may of misunderstood him or something, kiddo."

Yev shakes his head. "No I accidentally found out one day because I heard my daddy talking to some man. And! And I heard him talking to mommy once! My mom works for him!"

"Yev, why don't you go over and sit down while you wait for your dad? You can go and color for a while so I could have a quick little talk with him, okay?" Ian asks him.

Yev nods. "Okay," the boy says. He sets his bag on the ground before going over to a little round table and sitting down with a box of crayons and colored paper.

Ian went back over to his desk and sat down. Yev was the last kid to be picked up, so Ian started to pack up his things. He grabbed his coat and set it on his desk. Finally after a few more minutes Mickey shows up.

"Daddy!" Yev yells excitedly, running over to Mickey and hugging him. "I missed you today!"

"I missed you too, kiddo," he says.

"Mr. Milkovich? May I speak with you real quick?" Ian asks. Mickey looks over at him. He had caught a quick glance at Yev's teacher before, but Svet was the one that normally picked Yev up from school. So when Mickey saw how good looking he was, he was actually surprised.

"Uh, yeah I guess so," he says and then looks down at Yev. "Why don't you go color or something while I go talk, okay?" Yev nods and goes back over to coloring. Mickey goes over to him and Ian smiles at him.

"I'm Mr. Gallagher," he says, extending his hand for Mickey to shake. He smiled warmly at Mickey but Mickey didn't return the smile. Instead he gave him a curt nod and shook his hand. Ian couldn't lie when he said he was intimated by Mickey. The man seemed to be all business. His hair was slicked back and he had on a nice, black button up along with a dark pair of jeans. But it wasn't just the way he was dressed or his attitude that intimidated Ian. It was also his physical features. Ian had been out since he was 14. Now, he was no longer afraid to admit to himself when he found a man attractive and Mickey was obviously one of those men. But Ian knew about Mickey's wife and his son, Ian wouldn't even consider going after a straight man. He wasn't stupid. He wouldn't waste his time over a man that he had no chance with.

Ian sat behind his desk as mickey pulled a chair over. He leaned back in it and folded his arms over his chest. "So you gonna tell me what this is about? I gotta get shit done," he mumbled.

Ian gave him a look before letting out a small sigh. "I don't want to make a big deal over nothing, but your son, Yevgeny, has been telling the other kids a crazy story," he said. "He's been telling them all that you're a drug dealer. . . And that you're a pimp. I mean I realize kids have an active imagination, but don't you think this is a little bit much?"

Mickey couldn't help the snort that escaped his lips. He gave Ian a smug smirk and nodded his head. "See the thing is, maybe he shouldn't be making that stuff up, but he ain't your kid, he's mine. So maybe you shouldn't try to control him, ya know? You gotta let the kids have an imagination."

"Mr. Milkovich, I understand that, but the kid's making up crazy stories about you and his home life and this isn't the first time he's done something like this."

Mickey nods and runs his knuckles over his nose, trying to hide his small smile.

Ian rose an eyebrow at Mickey's tatted knuckles. "You grow up south side?" Ian asked. Sure the tattoos could mean nothing. Mickey could easily be from the north side all his life. But the way he carried himself and talked, made things kind of obvious.

Mickey nods. "Born and raised."

"Huh," Ian mumbles, nodding his head. He was trying to remember if he had ever met this man before. He wanted to get a better understanding of him because for all Ian knew, the guy could be a pimp. "Me too. It's weird we've never met before. I mean I went to military school for a while, but still."

Mickey nods. "Well I spent a year or two in and out of juvie, so that might be why we never met."

"Juvie, huh?" Ian questions.

Mickey nods. "Yep. First time was for stealing shit and second time was for assaulting an officer." Mickey didn't even bother on trying to lie. He wasn't ashamed of his past mistakes, not one bit.

Mickey rose from his chair. "Listen, I gotta get going. I'll... I'll talk to Yev when I get home if it'll make you feel better, all right?"

Ian sighs and nods. "I'll see you tomorrow then? At the bring your parents to work day? We can clear this whole situation up then once you tell us about your real career," he says, chuckling.

Mickey forces a small chuckle himself. "Yeah, I, uh, I'll see you tomorrow then," he said.

"Ready to go, champ?" Mickey asks Yev. Yev grins and nods.

"Yeah!" He says, taking Mickey's hand. Mickey was pissed that Yev told the whole class about his career choice but what did Mickey expect? Five year olds weren't the best at keeping secrets.