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The Very Helpful Mandy Milkovich

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“Are those hickies? You didn’t tell me you were hooking up with anybody!” Mandy complained as she lent over to Ian pulling down the collar of his shirt to get a better look. Ian swatted at her hand halfheartedly trying to get her to stop. He could feel Mickey tense from across the room.

“Oh my god who is it?” She demanded, crossing her arms petulantly like a child. She stared at him intensely, and Ian almost wanted to tell her just to get her to look away, but he knew that wouldn’t end well for anyone in the room. He was hyper aware of Mickey’s quick sideways glances as he tried to pretend that he had no interest in their conversation.

“Nobody” Ian said, shrugging his shoulders. He tried to refocus on the tv, recklessly hoping the conversation was over. Mickey looked between Ian and Mandy. He knew they were close but there was no way Ian told Mandy about them she would’ve mentioned it to him.

“Come on teeeell me” Mandy whined, jutting out her bottom lip. She draped her legs over Ian lightly kicking his knee.

“Company” Ian tried to remind her in an attempt to end the conversation. Mandy knew how homophobic her family was, how supposedly homophobic Mickey was, she wouldn’t out him to Mickey.

“Mickey doesn’t give a fuck, and I would fuck him up if he tried anything” She said glaring at the Milkovich brother. Ian avoided her eyes nervously, scrambling to think of a way to avoid answering. Mickey just shrugged his shoulders, this part was kind of his fault. Last week he had accidentally let slip to Mandy that he knew Gallagher was gay, with an off handed comment about his tendency to fuck the elderly. She had immediately gone on the defensive for her supposed boyfriend, threatening Mickey with a fiery look in her eyes, but once he reassured her that he could care less (and oh if only that was true his life would be a lot easier) she calmed down a bit. The soft, almost proud look in her eyes when she looked at Mickey afterwards almost made the whole conversation worth it. But he couldn’t help but feel afraid, it was one step closer to somebody finding about him and Ian.

Ian just shook his head vigorously. Mandy froze realization dawning on her face, Ian desperately tried to think of something to distract her but there was nothing stopping her now.

“NO!” Mandy exclaimed, a furious look in her eyes, “Ian tell me you didn’t”

“Mandy” Ian said lowly, a hint of desperation in his voice. He tried to put his hands on her shoulder and calm her down but she just shook him off. Across the room, Mickey was getting morbidly curious, any pretense of pretending he wasn’t interested went out the window as he watched them intently completely confused.

“Do not tell me-” She pushed herself up, taking her legs off Ian’s lap. Ian cut her off trying to stop this conversation before it got any worse than it already was. He was acutely aware of Mickey in the room, there was no way this conversation ended well for either party. For a terrifying moment his mind flashed back to both times Mickey went to juvie, both because somebody had found out about them. Their relationship or whatever they were doing was just starting to recover from the harsh words Mickey had told him before he went to find Frank. Ian was still trying to convince himself that Mickey cared about him even if it was hard to find any proof in real life.

“Mandy, come on please” Ian was a step away from full blown begging, he would if that’s what it took to end this line of questioning, but Mandy was on a mission.

“Ian you promised me. Why the fuck would you go back to that piece of shit? Did you forget what he did to you? The way he made you feel. You deserve better than that I wish you knew that too” She sounded heartbroken at the idea of Ian not knowing he deserved somebody who actually appreciated him. She remembered the day months ago when she found Ian red eyed, curled up in his bed, he’d obviously been crying. It had taken her forever to drag the story out of him, quietly promising herself to one day beat the shit out of whoever had done this to Ian. He had always been her light, her rock ever since she met him. At first she was sure she loved him. She loved the way he cared, gave everything he had no matter how many times the world beat him down. She had been heartbroken when she first found out he was gay, but it just made their relationship that much more meaningful. Somebody who cared about her without expecting anything back. She wanted to protect him at all costs and it hurt her to know she couldn’t do that.

Mickey felt sick with a surge of jealousy. He knew Gallagher had fucked around when he was in juvie, and why the fuck should he care? They weren’t boyfriends or some shit like that. In fact he went out of his way to prove that cutting all their fucking sessions short whenever it got too faggy, but he hadn’t thought Gallagher was seeing anyone other than the leathery skinned bastard he saw at the Kash and Grab. Had Gallgher gotten a serious boyfriend while he was in juvie? It sounded like Mandy really hated whoever the fucker was. Mickey silently promised himself to the beat the shit out of whoever it was, he might have to wait a few years to keep Mandy and Ian from suspecting shit, but nobody messed with his- with Mandy’s boyfriend.

“Who’s the fucker Mandy’s getting all wound up about?” Mickey couldn’t help but ask. Ian whipped around, staring at him with a fearful wide eyed look. He almost felt bad, but his curiosity won out.

“This piece of shit guy Ian was seeing a while ago. They were together for like two years and this closeted asshole was a complete dick even though Ian was completely in love with him” Mandy said viciously. Mickey felt his heart drop, he quickly glanced at Ian, whose entire face was flushed red, the tip of his ears were burning. Ian was desperately avoiding Mickey’s eyes like his life depended on it.

“Mandy!” Ian shouted, throwing his hands up exasperatedly.

“What? It it’s true” She said unapologetically. She looked at Ian quietly for a minute. He fleetingly hoped that this was the end. Hopefully something was salvageable from this conversation.
“Fuck Ian, you’re more than just your body. You deserve more that. Somebody who isn’t just gonna use you for your looks. I’m one lucky ass girlfriend and it’s not just because you hot as fuck” Mandy said softly, moving to run her fingers through his hair. She looked at him sadly. She knew how he felt about his body, he wasn’t as smart as Lip or as ruthless as Fiona, he felt like the one thing he got going for him was his body and sex. The people in his life just reinforced that, from Kash praying on him as a young teenager and fucking up his view of his body to this closeted asshole reducing his worth to his sex ability.

“He said you were only a warm mouth to him after what a year? Fuck him, who says that shit. I know you said it was just sex but you obviously loved him and he can’t just go around shitting on your emotions, being an asshole whenever he wants.” She said angrily, she forgot that they weren't alone, but in that moment it didn't matter, this had been on her mind for a while. Her emotions were giving Ian whiplash as he tried to keep up with where her head was at. Mickey felt his world shift, he felt like he just drank an entire bottle of vodka, he wanted to puke. He wanted to beat up himself? Ian loved him? What was happening?
“Wait is he why you were asking how to tell if a guy likes you?” Ian watched as Mickey’s eyebrows reached his hairline. This is it this was the end of whatever had been going on between Mickey and him the past two years or so.

“Mandy that’s it, drop it! Who I fuck isn’t your business. You shouldn’t have said shit in front of your fucking brother” Ian said, shame curling in his stomach turning to rage when he felt Mickey’s incredulous stare.
“Fine, but I don’t care if you won’t tell me who they are. Next time they make you cry, I’m going after every fucker in Southside till I get my hands on him” Mandy said as she stormed out of the house, yelling a vague excuse of some date that went right in one ear and out the other.

They were alone and nobody dared say a thing, heavy silence filled the living room. Ian stood still for a moment, his eyes scrunched shut like if he didn’t look then none of it was real. Mickey had no idea what to do. He wanted to say something but the fuck was he supposed to say? Ian opened his eyes and looked at Mickey for a moment, whatever he was looking for he didn’t find because he squeezed his eyes shut and got up leaving the house without a word.