Some of Ian’s best and worst memories resided in his childhood. Monica and Frank never sparred him, Lip, or Fiona from their disastrous escapades. He still carried a lot of trauma from certain experiences. One that always sprang to mind was the time Monica wished she never had kids and told him how much of a burden he and his siblings were.
When he could get away from it all and spend some peaceful moments with his siblings, he made some damn good memories. Fiona always tried to shield them from what went on behind closed doors. Ian never let her know he could see through it all. After enough times of asking her why they had to watch TV so loud and one time of walking in on his father with another woman, he connected the dots. Only six years old when he solved that puzzle.
He got good at ignoring the yelling. Fiona, despite only having a couple years on him, was more of a mother than any other ‘maternal’ figure in his life. Lip was the best big brother in the world too. They were ride or die as kids. He couldn’t count all the times Fiona covered his ears and held him to her chest. Or the times Lip taught him songs they were both too young to be singing.
A sizeable portion of his positive memories came from Disney movies. Fiona and Lip had become experts at stealing. They often used the skill to nab movies to entertain Ian. When Debs and Carl came around they taught him their ways.
He could remember one birthday, the best night he ever had with his big siblings. No adults in the house. Not that it was rare but they looked forward to the occasion. Lip led him into the living room. He and Fiona had set up a huge pillow fort in front of the TV. There were six Disney movies laid out on the coffee table. After Lip’s annual anthem of ‘have a horny birthday, fuckass’ which he only sung because it was vulgar and the funniest thing in the world at the time, Fiona told him they were staying up all night for a movie marathon.
They both still teased him about the way his face lit up. But he was six years old, what the hell did they expect? That night he sat in between them, eating ice cream straight out of the tub. He was out like a light by the fourth movie.
His favorite was Beauty and the Beast. He had never seen it before that night. It’s all he would talk about for the next month. He and Fiona talked about how romantic it was while Lip introduced the word ‘beastiality’ into Ian’s vocabulary. He blew that part off and from then on, he was dead set on finding what was in that movie.
As he grew older, his hopes dwindled and Beauty and the Beast was long forgotten. He went through his teenage years sleeping with closeted gay guys and eventually a marrried man. He didn’t bat an eyelash when they started selling DVDs at the Kash and Grab. Until he was stocking up one of the shelves. There was fucking Beauty and the Beast. The movie found a way into his life once again.
And soon, it would return in a way he never anticipated. Ian had become convinced he’d be stuck in the south side his whole life, become recognizable by the fact he was a top, and be seen walking out of alleyways and strange apartments with his pants unbuckled forever. That gig wasn’t too shabby so far. However, those times he got waves of nostalgia and his childish wonder would return for a split second, he knew he wanted more. Even if he would only admit it to himself occasionally, he didn’t want to be like this forever.
Then there was Mickey Milkovich. He thought the guy was a total tool, a hardass with a gun and a negative GPA. He was a Milkovich, that was the type of thing they were known for. He was like a cockroach, no matter how many times you stamped on him, he would get right back up.
After the debacle over Mandy, stealing the gun triggered something primal in Ian. He was going to take care of this fucker once and for all. At least that’s what he thought when he broke into his room and nudged him with a crowbar.
He got way more than he bargained for. Here he was again, no clothes, in a random boy’s home. Except there was something different. Not just that the Milkovich house hardly resembled a home. It was Mickey.
Terry was the most famous homophobe on the south side. He was dangerous and it was an unspoken suspicion that he’d probably killed a few people. ‘Fag bashing’ was his favorite hobby. Ian thought his kids were just like him. But when it turned out Mandy was an amazing friend and nowhere near homophobic, he couldn’t help but wonder about the others.
He found out in the most raw way possible that Mickey was the same. Minus the amazing friend part most likely...but soon that was proven wrong too. The guy was cool. Really defensive and still pretty mean but their dynamic shifted.
Ian soon realized he was head over heels for him. The gruff, badass, sparkplug of a guy had really captured his heart. He was like a firecracker. Ian seemed to be the guy who lit him on fire. Mickey was never ‘soft’ per say, he just let his guard down around Ian a lot.
The more time they spent together, the more Ian wanted him. Mickey had such strong armor around himself but Ian couldn’t help but hope he put a dent in it. Whenever his dad was around though, he still made an extra effort to say things like ‘fag’ and ‘fuckin’ queer.’ They were a normal part of his vocabulary anyway but he never sounded malicious saying them.
Ian actually found it endearing when Mickey would say something like ‘scoot over, faggots’ and proceed to sit closer to him than needbe. Then, Terry would enter the room and he’d find some way to work in something that sounded much more sinister.
He felt sorry for Mickey. More than sorry, he wished he could just sweep him away from all this and take him somewhere just for the two of them. Whenever he’d have those thoughts he’d remember that they weren’t boyfriends. But they were definitely more than fuckbuddies. They had to be at this point, right? They saw each other whenever they could and their visits didn’t always end in some kind of throw of passion.
Ian still wasn’t sure, not until Mickey was interrogating him about Ned. The way Mickey tensed up and scowled when Ian told him ‘we mostly just fuck’ was something Ian hadn’t seen yet. He could tell he really hurt Mickey when he told him Ned wasn’t afraid to kiss him. Spying on the date, beating Ned’s head into the concrete and Ian was sure this reached a new level.
Running away with him after he kicked Ned’s ass was the first real, amazing memory they made together. The first time Ian knew he loved Mickey was the first kiss. The way he darted back out to the car and pressed their lips together, a little longer than just a peck, had Ian weak at the knees. The amount of times their mouths had been much further south, they still hadn’t kissed before then.
All he could do was stare and beam as Mickey ran back out. Saying there were butterflies in his stomach was an understatement. There was a whole goddamn zoo in there.
So Mickey did have a sweet side. If he didn’t know better he’d say he felt him smiling against his lips. He wasn’t so sure he knew better either.
It still hadn’t hit him why this dynamic was so familiar to him yet. It took him a while to get it. It took getting the shit beat out of him, watching the same get done to Mickey, and having to watch something despicable. He knew Mickey was faking it. Not just because he knew Mickey was gay, but from the look he gave Ian before taking charge of the situation.
That’s when it hit him. Mickey was his beast. He was Belle. He was supposed to be a savior to him but here he was, just standing by. So what if he got shot or attacked again, this was his Mickey, the guy he was coming to love more than anything. But his legs wouldn’t move.
They were back at square one and he knew that when Mickey hurt him wordlessly and wouldn’t admit that he loved him. Ian noticed when he was almost in tears and every hesitation, no matter how small. He’d get his prince back one day. Even if he was the beast right now. He’d always be Mickey’s beauty.