Ian Gallagher stared at the arm attached to his body and wondered how it had gotten covered in a dark grey wool suit jacket and light blue dress shirt he didn’t recognize. Was that a fucking cuff link, he wondered, looking closer at the sapphire sparkling in the overhead light? The arm in question was currently holding him up. It seemed that the earth had shifted on its side cause he was sure the floor was coming up to meet him.
Maybe he should find a chair and sit down. He reached out his other arm, similarly adorned in fancy clothes, toward the folding metal chair, which was deceptively closer than it first appeared as the beer bottle he was clutching made a horrible clanging noise when it collided with the back of the chair.
Oops, he thought, pretty sure I’m not supposed to be drinking. He remembered getting shit for that. But who’d give him shit? Gallaghers were proud drinkers. He closed his eyes in concentration, but immediately popped them open when the earth made another rotation. So that’s not a good idea. Keep eyes open, he made a mental note of that and gestured with his index finger for good measure.
Another fancy suit jacket came into view and he reached his already lifted index finger toward it, poking the owner of the suit in the chest. “Nish shoot, er, suit. Yeah.”
“You mentioned that. Like a thousand times.” The suit sat down on the chair beside him.
“I did? Why’d I do that?”
“Cause you're Bridezilla.”
“I am? Tha’ makes no sense. Ha’ you been drinking?” Ian finally looked up into Lip’s amused face, but had to pull back as his eyes crossed unable to focus. He turned back to the room, blinking several times then zeroing in on something that caught his eye. Sitting forward until his elbows rested on his knees, he closed one eye to get a better focus and his heart squeezed a little. Another suit, one that matched his own. Dark hair cut short. He watched closely as a hand came up to cover a laugh.
Then Ian sat back suddenly, the beer bottle still miraculously clutched in his hand made a grand sweep of the room until it was aimed at the dark-haired man in the suit. “Lip,” Ian stage whispered. “I’ve’a confession t’ make.”
“Can’t wait, little brother.”
Ian’s nose collided with Lip’s ear. “I’ve gotta a crush.”
“No? On who? Wait, lemme guess.” He scanned the room. “Um, is it Kev?”
“What? Yer a dumb dumb. It’s h’ brother, silly.”
“No shit? Mickey? He’s gay?”
“Ssshh,” Ian pushed his finger into Lip’s bottom lip. “He wouldn’a want the whole bar t’know that shit.”
“Right, he sure wouldn’t.”
“Yeah, he’s kinna in a closet. Imma tryna r’spect that.”
“That’s good, Ian. He definitely has everyone fooled. Keeping a tight lid on that and all.”
“I’s a shecret. But I know.” Ian was thinking about how much he’d like to go over to Mickey and hold his hand, but they were in public and Mickey would get mad. “I love him.”
Lip patted his knee. “That’s good, Ian. Cause it’d be kinda awkward if you didn’t.”
“Like a lot. Like this.” He opened his arms wide and Lip pushed one of them out of his face. “H’much is that, Lip?”
“But, like, in num’ers or somethin’? Yer smart at num’ers, right?”
“Pfft,” Ian spat in his face. “Mickey’s perfec’ Lip. Wha’s a perfec’ number for perfec’ Mickey?”
“Well, in number theory, a perfect number is a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its—”
“Pi! He’s like pi!”
“Oh, good god,” Lip lit a cigarette.
Ian released a deep sigh and leaned into Lip’s shoulder. “Maybe one day, Imma tell him how I feel.”
“I’m sure he’d love that. You could write him a poem.”
After nodding vigorously for a moment, Ian added another item to his list of movements to avoid tonight. “A poem, yeah, or a shon-snonet—”
“Mmm, what’s that?”
“A 14-line poem.”
“14 things I love about Mickey Milkovich. Tha’ should be a shnap.” He lifted his hand to snap his fingers but got distracted by the tinkling light reflecting off his cuff link. “I could tell him ‘is eyes ‘r as blue as a summer sky.”
“Gimme that fuckin’ beer, man,” Lip responded yanking the bottle out of his hand. Then guzzling the remainder.
“’K so tha’s one. Umm, two,” Ian raised two fingers into Lip’s face. “His lips. They’re real soft, soft like, umm, wuz somethin’ soft?”
“My dick, right now.”
“Oh, 'is dick is as—”
They both watched as Mickey bent over to pick up the napkin Vee dropped on the floor. As Ian opened his mouth to continue expounding on Mickey’s attributes, Lip let out a sigh of resignation. But instead Ian turned to him with a frown, “Lip?”
“Why’s Mickey dressed like that?”
“It’s his wedding day, Ian.”
And Ian started to cry, big fat sad tears. “He’s married?”