“You two ready?” Ian asks pushing open Svetlana’s bedroom door to reveal the two ladies of the house seated before her vanity. Polly is perched on her mother’s lap babbling away at her reflection in the mirror, all dressed up for the double christening she’s about to share with her cousin, Damien.
Since she is quite a bit older then Yevgeny was at his baptism, Svet has bought her a new lacy white christening dress with a matching bonnet. Polina of course has ripped the little hat off herself and tried to eat it so many times that Lana has given up and brushed her soft red baby curls into a little ponytail with a bow, so thin and perky on the top of her head that it spilts down the middle and curls on each end.
“We are ready” she confirms, getting up and handing the baby over “let me get my purse” Ian takes his daughter with a huge grin on his face, holding her out before him and cooing “look at you beautiful! Whose the prettiest girl in the whole world huh?! My Polly Pocket is!” The baby laughs and smiles, grasping at his cheeks with her tiny hands as he kisses all over her face.
Ian sets her on his hip and carries her to the bathroom where Mickey is finishing getting Yev ready. “There ya go kid” he tells him, taking the little boy off the counter and setting him on his feet “go get your shoes on” “hey handsome!” Ian calls after him, turning his attention to Mickey then, whose wearing a button up and jeans like himself and Yev. Ian winks at him, asking “what’s cookin good lookin?”
Mickey rolls his eyes, grinning as he turns to the baby. “Red and white, she looks like a strawberry shortcake!” He laughs tickling her tummy as he tells her “you’re just as sweet too aren’t you princess? Give Papa kiss” Mickey leans in for a slobbery baby smooch, stealing one from Ian too before he announces “let’s go get this over with before she shits all over the dress” Ian laughs, following him out of the bathroom.
They arrive at the church to find the christening party waiting for them. The whole family is there as usual, along with Svetlana’s girlfriend Natalya and Debbie’s new boyfriend, Sai. He’s from Malaysia and has a little boy named Finn, who is just a few months older than Franny. Even the remaining Milkovich family is present, happy to play with their niece and nephew and always down for an after party.
Lip and Mandy are at the center of it all with Damien, who sports his own little white suit and a matching bow tie. At 7 months old, the little boy still has his mother’s piercing blue eyes and his father’s wild curls. He’s a chunk, a solid 5 pounds heavier than his petite cousin, but the two are a perfect match in feistiness, partners in crime already, even though they can only crawl.
“Look Damey it’s your best friend!” Mandy tells her son, holding his chubby fist up to meet Polina’s as Ian makes them fist bump. Damien grabs Polina’s hand in his own and tries to eat it, making her giggle and blow a huge spit bubble with her drooly grin. Everyone coos and awes over the pair of them, until Svetlana rolls her eyes and claps her hands.
“We must start!” She announces, going over to take Damien from Mandy’s arms. “Heard that before” Mickey mutters under his breathe to Ian as the older redhead hands the younger one over to Lip. Everyone takes their seats as the couple each stand on one side of Svetlana, both putting a hand on their nephew and facing Mandy, Lip, and Polina across the basin of water.
It was decided upon the planning of this event that the three of them will be Damien’s godparents, while Lip and Mandy will be Polina’s. Yevgeny sits in the front row between Kev and V, who Svetlana had chosen to be his godparents years ago. The Russian nods to the priest, and he clears his throat.
“Father, you made a sign in the water for baptism” he begins “to end sin and begin goodness, through this baptism Damien and Polina are cleansed from sin, to a new birth, to innocence, by water and the Holy Spirit” he takes turns dipping each baby’s head into the water, continuing to pray over them as he does so.
Neither child is particularly enthused with the dunking, as the water is ice cold. Damien growls in protest until he’s handed back to his shushing parents, and Polina screams bloody murder at the audacity of it all, reaching for Mickey who intercepts her quickly from the priest’s foreign arms.
“I know Pol, it’s all over now” he chuckles, bouncing the whining baby as he cradles her against his chest. “Such a tough life” Ian coos, coming around to stroke her cheek with a finger as Lana leans over and kisses her wet hair, murmuring “Blagosloven”
When the ceremony is through, Svetlana and Mandy line everybody up to take pictures, capturing every possible combo shot under the sun until the kids, (and Mickey) are on the verge of throwing a fit. By the time they get to the Alibi, both babies are hungry and ready for a nap, too fussy to notice all the obnoxious decorating that’s been done just for them.
Ian and the girls had no idea how to prepare for a christening, so the place looks like a baby shower threw up in it. Pink and blue streamers are tossed and piled all over the place. Dinner is pizza, and the homemade cake reads “Jesus loves you P&D!” because they had no idea what else to write.
“I’m gonna change her” Mickey says, taking the diaper bag from Ian and heading for a booth as he tells Polina “C’mon squirt, lets get you out of this damn thing” He takes the dress off of her and sets it aside, laying her down on the table and opening her diaper. As he’s wiping her clean, Mickey notices a small patch of irritated skin on her inner thigh.
He curses himself, muttering “aw fuck” under his breath and catching Debbie’s attention as she stands nearby.
“What’s wrong?” She asks, stepping closer, and looking over his shoulder. Mickey sighs “Her fuckin diaper rash is coming back” he pauses, digging frustratedly in the bag before he turns to call out “Gallagher! Babe where’s the rash cream shit?!” “That’s normal” Debbie assures him “she’s a ginger, our skins stupid sensitive and it’s so pale, everything looks worse than it is, you should’ve seen Franny at that age”
“She’s right” Fiona adds, stepping into the conversation “Debbie had it bad and Ian was even worse, it just happens, it’s not your fault” “that’s what I keep telling him” Ian says, appearing over Mickey’s shoulder and kissing his cheek as pulls the rash cream from his back pocket.
“I let Damien borrow it” he explains, opening the cap and squirting some onto his fingers. Ian leans over and coats Polina’s rash spot with the paste, blowing on the moistened skin as Mickey fans it with a clean diaper.
“That’s better huh baby girl?” Ian coos, making faces at her as Mickey leans down and blows a raspberry on her tummy. “No rashes for this little bird! No no no!”he tells her, kissing her belly button on each repetition of the word. The 6 month old smiles and coos, kicking her feet at them and breaking into peels of laughter when they nibble playfully on her toes.
Fiona and Debbie exchange a look, finding the pair of dads wildly amusing. Mickey looks up at their giggling and scowls “what’s so funny?” He barks and Debbie shakes her head “nothing, you guys are just adorable” Fiona says, and Mickey blushes in spite of himself. “Yeah well” he mumbles, watching as Ian puts a clean diaper and onesie on Polly and stands her up against his chest.
“We gotta stay on top of that shit yknow?” Mickey goes on “I bust my ass to make sure hers is dry and clean, can’t have her getting some kind of infection” he turns his attention to the infant then, rubbing his forehead against her own and whispering “Papa can’t stand to see my baby hurt”. Ian pulls him in close, kissing his hair and winking at his sisters over the top of his husband’s head. Tough as he may be, all of them are completely aware of how tightly wrapped around her little finger the former thug already is.
Once the babies are fed and have had their nap, they get passed around the place, receiving kisses and snuggles from all their aunties and uncles. Both of them eat it up, loving the attention and smiling faces. “He’s so squishy!” Sai tells Mandy as he holds Damien “I wish Finny was still this little!”
Ian stands at the bar with Carl,
smirking as he watches Iggy throw Polina up in the air over and over again to make her laugh, not listening when Mickey repeatedly tells him “you better knock it the fuck off man, don’t come cryin to me when she pukes on you”
“What’s it like being a dad?” Carl asks Ian, and the redhead can’t help but beam, giggling as his daughter picks that exact moment to finally rain baby barf down on her Uncle Iggy’s face. “I told you so!” Mickey cries through tears of laughter, everyone (even Iggy himself) joining in as Svet takes the little girl back from him so he can go clean himself up. “It’s the best” Ian tells his brother “exhausting as fuck but worth it” he turns to Carl to joke then “why, didn’t knock Kass up did ya?”
Carl just stares at Kassidi, who is talking to Liam and the other kids across the room, the lack of an answer being all Ian needs. He smacks his brother upside the head and then pulls him into a tight hug, congratulating and scolding him in the same moment. “Fiona’s gonna kill you” he warns, and Carl sighs “I know, wasn’t expecting it but I’m excited y’know? just hope I can be as good of a dad as you guys” “you will bro” Ian assures him, joking “can’t be any worse than Frank”
As if he’s been summoned by name, the old devil walks into the Alibi right then, taking in the party with a mischievous glint in his drunken eye. “Ah another family function that I wasn’t invited to” he chides “I already met the little boy, where this granddaughter I keep hearin about?”
“Yeah against our will Frank, don’t get cocky” Lip snarks, taking his son back from V and hugging him close. Svetlana steps forward and places Polina in Frank’s arms, and Ian is beside Mickey in a second, already knowing he’ll have none of it. Before he can react though, the little girl fixes her grandfather with wide eyes, stopping him in his tracks.
Polly grabs a handful of his greasy hair, yanking on it viciously and letting out a delighted shriek as she slaps him repeatedly in the face. The old man cries out in shock, powerless until Ian steps forward and quickly retrieves his daughter, all of them breaking into hysterical laughter yet again. “That’s my girl!” Mickey tells Polina, holding up her tiny palm and high fiving it.
“Talk about a spitfire!” Frank laughs. rubbing his abused cheek “That’s the Gallagher spirit right there! Somebody get me a beer, let’s toast!” “To Gallaghers!” Kev cheers, passing out drinks to everyone that isn’t already holding one. “To fuckin Gallaghers” Mickey echos, raising his beer as Ian smirks and bounces the baby on his hip, leaning over to peck his lover on the lips.
The night goes on and so does the party, everyone living it up in typical south side fashion, so lost in joyous sin that you’d never know they were celebrating a holy occasion. By the time it’s wrapping up, everyone who wants to be is wasted, and everyone else is either gone or getting ready to leave.
“I’m tired!” Yev whines, leaning against Ian’s leg, and his father picks him up, crooning “I know baby boy” as nuzzles his face against his own and soothes “close your eyes, Daddy’ll carry you”. Polina is passed out on Mickey’s shoulder, completely worn out by the long day. “Looks like Mama ain’t comin with us” the Milkovich man says with a smirk, nodding to Svetlana who is having an intense, drunk make out session with Natalya on the bar. “Guess not” Ian laughs, shouldering the diaper bag and putting his free arm around Mickey as he tells his family “let’s go home”.
By the time they get back to the house, Yevgeny is fast asleep. Ian lays him down in his bed, gently pulling off his jeans and button up and leaving him in his underwear, not even bothering to cover him up with his blankets since it’s a hot July night. Mickey rests Polly in her crib at the same time, stroking her hair softly until she settles, thumb falling out of her mouth in exhaustion.
They meet in the middle then, embracing in the dark between their sleeping children. Mickey nuzzling into Ian’s neck as the redhead pulls him close, breathing him in. “I’m glad we did it y’know?” the ex con mutters, making Ian stir in question against his hair and murmur “yeah?”
Mickey nods, going on “Don’t know if I believe in all that god shit, if it’s true I’m definitely fuckin goin to hell but I don’t know, I guess I’m glad they’ve got somebody up there lookin out for em, especially when we’re gone”.
Ian grins, pulling back to look at his love. “They’d have that anyways Mick, baptized or not. The only thing I took from being gay Jesus was that god loves everyone no matter what, and you’re not going to hell, it’s impossible, but if you did I’d be right there with you” Mickey smiles at that, leaning in to kiss Ian lips. He pulls back after a moment and heads for their room, muttering over his shoulder “c’mon faggot messiah, let’s go to bed” “shut up asshole” Ian laughs, following after him and grabbing his hand.