"Here." Mickey handed Ian a cup of coffee and sat down next to him.
"Thanks for getting some for everyone," Lip complained.
"Two hands," Mickey replied. He took a sip of his own shitty hospital coffee to make a point, before turning his attention back to Ian.
Ian looked like shit—pale and tired, his hair mussed where he'd been running his hands through it. He hadn't been on his meds for very long and Mickey was afraid that this could send him back into depression. "The doctor hasn't come out yet. Do you think that's a bad sign?"
"Just means he's busy," Mickey answered. "Carl's going to be fine."
"He got shot," Ian said. "That's the opposite of fine. He's only twelve for fuck's sake."
Fiona sighed. "I can't believe he tried to rob a store. I mean its Carl, so I'm not that surprised, but…"
"It's fucking Bonnie!" Debbie exclaimed. "She's the one who taught him how to do that."
"It's not her fault he was stupid enough to do it," Lip said. "She wasn't even there."
Mickey stopped paying attention to the conversation. He didn't give a fuck about what had happened or whose fault it was. None of that mattered. Carl was shot and dissecting fault wouldn't help anyone. Besides, he was much more worried about Ian who was staring at the floor, the hand not holding the coffee cup tapping nervously at his leg. Mickey leaned forward and spoke quietly. "He's going to be fine. I've been shot during a robbery and I turned out okay."
Ian gave him an unimpressed look. "That's really not making me feel better."
Mickey rolled his eyes and reached out to cover Ian's jittery hand with his own. "You are such a dick."
Ian smiled faintly at him and Mickey counted that a win. Ian's hand stopped fidgeting and Mickey thought about moving his, but then Ian turned his hand over and laced their fingers together.
Mickey glanced around the room. He wasn't exactly sure how he felt about holding hands, let alone in public, but the only person who even seemed to notice what was going on was Lip. Lip was always watching them as if he was waiting for Mickey to screw things up. He probably expected Mickey to yank his hand away or something, so instead Mickey curled his own fingers around Ian's and leaned back as if holding hands was something they did every fucking day.
"Drink your coffee while it's hot," Mickey said and Ian smiled at him again, this time a bit wider, before taking a sip.
Mickey looked at their hands. His scarred knuckles and tattoos looked rough compared to Ian's hand, but he could feel the coarse calluses on Ian's palm. Neither of them was delicate and that's the way Mickey fucking liked it.
"He's going to go to juvie," Ian said.
"Probably," Mickey agreed. "I can give him some pointers on how to make it through in one piece."
"I don't know if that's a good idea," Fiona said, frowning at Mickey.
"He's right," Lip said, surprising them all. Mickey wasn't sure if he and Lip had ever agreed on anything. "Mickey knows more about juvie than any of us."
Mickey sighed. Even when he agreed with Mickey, Lip was a jackass. "A couple of my cousins are in juvie right now. I can—" He stopped and dropped his eyes to his and Ian's joined hands. "Mandy can talk to them about keeping an eye out for Carl."
Ian squeezed his hand and Mickey held on a bit tighter himself. Most of his family wasn't as bigoted as his dad, but just because they didn't want to kill him for being gay didn't mean that they were going to be doing him any favors either—especially not for his boyfriend's brother.
"We're getting ahead of ourselves," Fiona said. "They may not press charges."
Mickey figured that was wishful thinking, but there was no reason to push her right now. He'd talk to Mandy when they got home no matter what Fiona thought because it would make Ian feel better.
A woman in scrubs came out and all eyes turned to her. Mickey could feel Ian tense up beside him as she looked around the waiting room. "Gallagher?"
Ian dropped Mickey's hand and joined his siblings as they all darted forward to surround the woman. Mickey followed at a slower pace, staying out of the way, but he was close enough to hear that Carl had made it through surgery and was going to be okay.
He poked Ian's side. "Told you he'd be fine."
Ian grinned and slung an arm around Mickey's shoulder, pulling him into a half hug. Mickey leaned into the hug for a moment before pulling away and taking Ian's half empty coffee cup. "Go see your brother."
"Thanks," Ian said. He followed Fiona down the corridor to Carl's room, while Lip and Debbie waited their turn.
Debbie cocked her head to the side and studied him like he was some sort of science experiment."You really do love him don't you?"
Why the fuck were people always asking him that? Mickey really hated that question and the worst part was that could feel Lip's eyes on him, waiting to hear the answer. He bought himself time to think by walking across the room and dumping the shitty coffee into the trash. He smirked as he remembered the way Ian had answered that question when Carl had asked him.
"I like the way he smells."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Debbie asked, her brows furrowed in confusion.
"Ask your brother," Mickey replied.
That was all that she was going to get out of him. He didn't get why everyone always wanted to hear him say the words. Actions were so much more important and if they couldn't tell how he felt by watching then that was their problem. It wasn't any of their fucking business anyway.
Mickey went back to the line of hard plastic chairs and sat down to wait for Ian.