Chapter 1: The Father
Polina and Damien are baptized, bringing the family together for a celebration
“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.
Chapter 2: The Son
An unsolicited guest sends an already manic Ian into a spiral, causing Mickey to step in and take care of things (or Frank opens his big mouth yet again)
The following evening, Mickey and the kids wait in the living room for Ian to get home from work. Yev eats pizza in front of the TV and plays Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation while Mickey sits on the couch with Polina, chatting it up with the little girl as they cheer him on.
While he’s normally off on Saturday, Ian is working overtime today to pay for their cut of the christening, and to make up for the day he took off to help set it up. He worked almost 16 hours straight, from 3 am to 6:30 pm, and Mickey’s got a cold one and a take n bake ready to go, expecting him to go down hard with exhaustion the minute he gets inside.
“Honey I’m home!” Ian hollers as he walks in the door, slamming it behind him and making Mickey jump. “Aye there he is!” The ex con says with a grin, getting up and coming over to kiss his husband with Polina seated on his hip. “How you feelin tough guy huh?” He asks, rubbing his chest.
“I feel great!” Ian exclaims, and Mickey is immediately suspicious, not trusting the amount of energy he has after working that many hours. “Did you miss me?!” The redhead asks with a devilish grin. “Always” Mickey says between their smushed lips as Ian dips him (baby and all) like a tango dancer and kisses him again hard, placing several rough pecks on his lips with “muahs” annunciated after them and patting his backside on each one.
Ian stands him up and turns his attention to their daughter then, crying “How’s my little princess pumpkin pie?!” As he takes her from Mickey and tosses her up in the air. He catches her quickly against his side again and blows a long obnoxious raspberry into her neck, making her shriek with laughter.
Yev abandons his game at the sound of this, running in on the commotion as Ian intercepts him like a football under his other arm. “Hey big guy!” He growls playfully through clenched teeth “How’d you get so tough huh how’d you get so tough?!” As he holds him upside down and bites his belly until he shakes with laughter too, crying “no more daddy no more!”
Mickey just stands there with his arms crossed, eyeing his clearly manic husband with a look of concern until he has his attention again. “You really ain’t tired Gallagher?” He asks as Ian puts Yev down and makes a B line for the pizza on the table.
He practically inhales two slices, feeding Polina chewed up bits from his mouth. “No I feel fine” Ian assures Mickey with his mouth full of the last piece, hurrying back over to give his lover a messy kiss as he hands the baby back to him. “Gonna go shower, when I get out let’s do somethin fun”
Mickey watches him go, shaking his head “what are we gonna do with him huh?” He asks Polly, bouncing her and listening intently to her babbled answer as he makes his way back over to the couch.
About 20 minutes later, Ian is finishing up his shower when there’s a knock at the front door. “Just a minute!” Mickey yells, in the middle of changing Polina’s diaper. “I got it!” Yev cries, getting up and running over even when Mickey cries “aye! get back here!”
The 5 year old throws open the door to find a tall red headed man looking down at him. They stare at each other for a brief second before Mickey appears with the baby in his arms, tucking his son behind himself as he scolds “Dude! how many times have we told you not to answer the door without one of us? I got it covered little man, go play”
Yev stays where he is, too nosy to obey as Mickey turns his attention to their guest and eyes him hard. “Who the fuck are you?” He barks “and what the hell do you want?”. “Does Ian live here?” The man asks, his eyes falling on Polina’s carrot top head and going wide. “Are these his kids?” He asks, reaching out to stroke the baby’s arm.
Mickey jerks back before the stranger can touch his daughter, glaring daggers. “You look just like Monica!” He kneels to tell Yevgeny, and Mickey scoffs, pushing the little boy further behind his leg. “Ian” he calls over his shoulder “babe can you come out here please?”
“You better not be who I fuckin think you are” Mickey warns the man, staring him down murderously. Ian comes out of the bedroom then, still drying his wet hair with a towel. “What’s up?” He asks, dropping it to the ground as he makes eye contact with his birth father. “Clayton...” he breathes, face falling before his eyes go dark and he snarls “what the fuck are you doing here?”
“You want me to beat the shit out of em?” Mickey asks, and Ian shakes his head, stepping between the old man and his family. “Just hear me out” Clayton begins to sputter, standing up again and holding up his hands “Frank told me where you live and that you have a wife and a baby, so I thought I should come...”
“Oh Frank did huh!?” Mickey laughs maniacally, practically giddy at the idea of giving the old derelict yet another beat down on his husband’s behalf “She’s standing right here ass clown! Did he say my name was fuckin Mikayla too!?”
Clayton looks between the two uncomfortably before he turns back to Ian, going on “Lucy and I aren’t together anymore, the boys only talk to her, she’s the one who didn’t want you around so I figured...” “so you figured you could come and play Grandpa to make yourself feel better about being a fucking dead beat?” Ian spits “get the fuck out of here before I let my husband kick your ass”.
He slams the door in Clayton’s face, stepping back in a state of shock. Mickey is right there to move between him and the frame, turning Ian’s face down to his and looking deep into his eyes as he presses their foreheads together and whispers “you ok?”
“Who was that daddy?” Yev asks, and it takes Ian a minute to answer, his dazed eyes not leaving Mickey’s own as he admits quietly “it was my dad, Bud”. “I thought grandpa Frank was your dad” Yev says innocently, and Mickey tenses.
“Grandpa Frank is an asshole” Mickey tells him, not leaving room for debate when he looks sternly at his son and says again “go play, Yevy, need to talk to daddy alone right now, lets save the questions for later ok?” The little boy rolls his eyes but does as he’s told, scampering off to his room. “C’mon” Mickey tells Ian, leading him by the hand to the couch and sitting him down.
He stands Polina up in her bouncer and turns the TV back to one of her infant cartoons, only using the electronic baby sitter in times of absolute need. The little girl begins to bounce wildly at the songs and colors, she grabs one of the toys already resting on the little tray and starts chewing on it, totally entranced and happy as a clam.
Mickey turns back to Ian then, coming to sit beside him on the couch. The redhead gasps for breath, clutching his chest as he crumbles over into Mickey’s lap, resting his head on his thigh as the sobs begin to wreck through him. “Hey hey it’s ok” The dark haired man soothes, rubbing his back and stroking his hairline as he kisses him above the ear “it’s alright love, he’s gone, just take some deep breaths, I gotcha”
Ian works himself up into a panic, getting up suddenly and tightly fisting his own hair as he starts to pace between the couch and coffee table, rambling at a mile a minute “I can’t believe he has the balls to come here! He wouldn’t even admit I was his fucking kid and now he wants to play Mr. Rodgers with MY babies?! I never wanted him to even see them Mick! Never! And now he knows where we fucking live! What if he comes back what if he -“
“Hey!” Mickey cuts him off, getting up and taking Ian by the wrist again, pulling him close and cupping his face, forcing their eyes to meet. “Don’t go there, It’s gonna be alright ” he soothes “he’s not coming back, if he does I’ll beat his fuckin ass ok? He’s not getting anywhere near you or the babies, promise I won’t let that happen, c’mere”
Mickey hugs him close, and Ian burrows his face into his neck as he continues to weep, resting his weight against him. Svetlana comes in from work then and takes in the scene, unsure of how to help until the former con turns to look at her.
“Can you take over for a bit?” He asks, motioning to the little girl, and Lana nods, crossing the room to scoop her daughter up and kiss her on the cheek. “C’mon baby lets go lay down” he tells Ian, but the younger man shake his head. “Want a drink” he whines and Mickey nods, still trying to coax him. “I’ll bring you a drink” he assures his husband, but Ian resists again.
“Wanna go out and have one” he tells Mickey, and the Milkovich man hesitates, already knowing it’s a bad idea. “Ok Firecrotch” he says reluctantly “but you’re eating more pizza first, gotta at least put something in your stomach ” “ok” Ian agrees, wiping his tears and heading for the table. Mickey follows closely behind him, making sure he eats at least a few more slices of pizza before he grabs the truck keys and leads him out of the house.
Mickey opens the passenger side for Ian, but the stubborn redhead doesn’t get in. “Wanna walk” he mutters, already stalking off down the street “need to clear my head” Mickey slams the door again and sighs. He hurries after Ian, barely able to keep up with the long legged beast until he catches hold of his hand and lets himself be dragged along, quite aware that he’ll be carrying him home later.
When they arrive at the Alibi, Mandy and Lip are already seated at the bar talking to Kev. Ian goes straight for them, sitting down beside his sister in law without so much as a hello before he barks “Jameson, fuckin bottle”. Kev raises his eyebrows but says nothing as he hands it over with a shot glass, sharing a look with Mickey as he settles onto the stool at Ian’s right.
“The hell are you two doing here?” Mickey asks of the couple “you can’t even drink” “it’s our date night” Mandy tells him “Debs and Sai are watching Damien for us, can’t drink but we can dance and play pool, where the hell else are we gonna go?”. “Fair enough” Mickey says with a shrug, turning back to Ian.
The redhead is downing shots like water, after his fifth, Mickey puts his hand over the glass and gives him a worried look, murmuring “No more man C’mon”. “Please” his husband begs, tears swimming in his glossy eyes “I need this”. Mickey stares at him for a long time before finally exhaling and letting the glass go “ok” he mutters “just slow down at least a little huh?” Have a beer with me”
Ian nods, wiping his mouth and nodding to Kev who smiles and goes to fetch them. “What happened to you?” Lip asks Ian, and Mickey answers for him “his fuckin dad showed up at our door” “Frank?” Kev asks, curious on what the big deal is as he sets down the drinks “Nah, Clayton” the dark haired man explains, picking up his bottle and taking a drink “Frank’s dumb ass told em where to go”
“Fucker” Lip huffs, and Natalya, whose sitting on the other side of him, looks up, drunk and confused “who the fuck is this?” She asks, and this time, it’s Ian who answers, chugging down the last of his beer and slurring “My real dad, Monica fucked Frank’s brother and got knocked up” he pauses, scrunching up his face as he wails “Didn’t want me” he turns to Mickey swaying into him as he sobs “He didn’t want me Mick! He doesn’t want me! Why did he come back!? Why?!”
Mickey catches Ian’s weight as he slips off the stool, scooping the taller man up bridal style as he murmurs softly “Alright tough guy that’s enough”. “Nooo” Ian whines, kicking his feet in feeble protest and dropping his head onto Mickey’s shoulder “want more!”. “No more baby, we’re done” Mickey tells him gently, resting his cheek on top of his orange head as stands with his lover cradled in his arms “time to go home”
“We should head out too” Mandy says, getting up, and Lip nods, doing the same. They all say their goodbyes and head out onto the street, Ian still crying and mumbling to himself against Mickey’s neck. “Mind dropping us off?” The ex thug asks, gesturing to the couple’s beat up Miata parked at the curb and nodding to Ian as he tells them “this one wanted to walk”. “Of course” Lip says “hop in”
The drive home feels like a long one, though it’s no more than a few miles. Ian cries himself out in the backseat, still curled up in Mickey’s lap “why doesn’t he love me?” He whimpers hoarsely, and Mickey smiles sadly and rubs his back
“Cause he’s fuckin stupid babe, he’s gotta be if he don’t. He’s not your family Ian, we are. I love you so much, those kids fuckin adore their daddy, and all the Gallaghers...” “we do” Mandy chimes in, and Lip nods, adding “fuck yeah” “See?” Mickey asks, going on “Lana loves you, and Kev and V, everybody in that shit hole bar, it may not be much, but it’s what we got”
“It’s e-everything” Ian chokes out, wailing for a whole new reason as Mickey rocks him gently and kisses his hair “I didn’t mean it! I love you I love you!” “Ssshhh” Mickey cuts him off, stroking his cheek “I know that honey, I love you too, don’t worry so much, close your eyes hm? I got ya, I’ll put you to bed” Ian sniffs heavily, resting his head on Mickey’s chest as his husband cups his cheek and kisses his forehead, stroking along his jaw with a thumb.
The redhead is asleep almost immediately, and Mickey smiles a little to himself, making eye contact with both their siblings in the rearview mirror. When they pull up to the Milkovich house and park, Lip and Mandy turn around in the front seat “poor baby” Mandy says, and Mickey smoothes his love’s hair back and whispers “I know, and he was manic today too, that fucker picked the worst time to show up”
“Asshole” Lip mutters “he always was a selfish prick, even when I tried to get Ian to talk to him, the wife wasn’t havin it and he just let it go, didn’t give a shit about his own kid”. “When was this?” Mickey asks, alarmed “years ago” Lip assures him, waving the whole thing off “when we found out he was Ian’s dad”
Mickey settles visibly at this, scooting across the backseat. “You got em ok?” Lip asks, and Mickey nods, opening the car door. As he’s about to climb out, Ian stirs, lifting his head and making them all stop to look at him. “You ok kid?” The Milkovich man asks as he rubs a hand down the back of his head, weary of the hazy look on his husband’s face.
Mickey can barely get the words out before Ian throws up against his chest in one large splat, making their siblings jump in surprise, as neither of them were expecting it the way his husband was. The regurgitated whiskey and pizza is somehow caught completely between the curve of Ian’s stomach and the front of Mickey’s black teeshirt, thankfully leaving nothing in the car to be cleaned up.
The dark haired man doesn’t bat an eyelash, gently patting his back as he coos “atta boy” Ian bursts into tears again “I’m sorry!” he whines, hanging his head. “Don’t be babe” Mickey tells him, finding a clean shirt corner to wipe his mouth with and hugging him close despite the mess “its not the first time wont be the last, I get barfed on every day by your daughter, bout time you had another turn, C’mon let’s get you inside”
“I got the door” Mandy says, getting out as Mickey does and following the couple up to the house, she opens it for them and he steps through with Ian in his arms, turning around to thank her as she nods and shuts it behind them.
Mickey makes his way through the living room, passing Svetlana who sits in the recliner with Polina asleep on her chest. The two share a knowing look, not needing words to express the love and exhaustion they each feel on account of the babies in their arms. The ex thug heads into the bedroom and then the bathroom, sitting down on the toilet seat with Ian in his lap.
Mickey carefully peels both of their shirts off, keeping the vomit gathered between the material as he rolls them up and tosses them aside to be dealt with in the morning. “Ok big guy, pants” he says, gently helping Ian to his feet so he can pull them off for him.
The taller man stumbles, falling against him again and Mickey stands to full height before him. He presses their foreheads together as he finishes undressing them both and guides his wobbly husband into the shower, turning on the hot water and helping him under it.
Ian lays against Mickey’s chest, singing soft nonsense to himself as he washes him clean. As he’s finishing rinsing his hair, Ian pales, grimacing as his stomach turns once more. “You gonna puke again?” The Milkovich man asks, and he nods, biting his clammy lip.
Mickey wastes no time throwing the shower door open and leaning Ian out over the toilet. He kneels behind him, holding him by the hips as he wretches into the bowl again and again. “My poor baby” Mickey croons, rubbing his thumbs over his lower back and kissing at his spine as he soothes “you’re doing great kiddo, Papa’s got ya, I’m right here”
This goes on for a good twenty minutes before Ian finally hangs his head in exhaustion, letting Mickey pull his practically lifeless body back into the shower and into his arms. He sits against the wall with the redhead seated between his knees, leaning back against his chest as he pants.
Mickey cups his palm under the shower stream, getting a handful of water and feeding it to Ian to rinse his mouth out with as he kisses his temple and nuzzles it with his nose. He keeps soothing his wet hands over his lover’s neck and chest, waiting patiently for him to get his breath back. “Pee” Ian rasps when he finally does and Mickey furrows his brow, asking “what?”
“Gotta pee” Ian groans again, not bothering to open his eyes. Mickey pats his chest and chuckles softly “go ahead tough guy, shower’ll clean it up” Ian sighs and relieves himself, turning his face back against Mickey’s chest as the yellow swirls are washed away by the running water.
“Feel better?” Mickey asks, pressing his lips to Ian’s hairline, and the younger man nods, rubbing his forehead against his lover’s pec. “You ready for bed?” Mickey asks again and Ian nods once more, so he picks him up, turning the faucet off and grabbing each of them a towel before carrying him to their room.
The dark haired man lays him down on the bed and dries him off gently. “Joint?” Ian asks and Mickey nods, knowing a few hits will soothe his stomach and help him sleep. He fetches one from the nightstand, lighting it for Ian and handing it over for him to puff on before he goes to the dresser and pulls out two pairs of boxers. The Milkovich man shuffles into one himself and brings the other back to put on his husband, aware that at some point in the night, their six month old will end up in the room.
Mickey takes the joint back, putting it out and away before he shimmies the underwear up his lover’s long legs, making Ian whine and thrust his hips up “not gonna fuck me Papa?” He pouts, and the former thug chuckles, giving him a tender smile and patting his thigh as he pulls the waistband of the boxers up over his junk. “You’re drunk as hell and I’m still torn. Its not our night babe, lemme hold you though hm? C’mere”
Ian nods, reaching up for his lover who climbs over him onto his side of the bed and pulls him close into his arms. Mickey strokes Ian’s wet hair back and kisses his forehead, resting it against his own as he soothes a hand up and down his back.
The redhead melts into him, resting his head on Mickey’s shoulder and pressing the bridge of his nose against his warm neck. Ian quickly falls dead to the world, leaving Mickey grinning exhaustedly down at him, playing with his hair until he falls sleep himself.
In the wee hours of morning, Polly’s cries draw them both out of a deep slumber. “I got ‘er” Mickey mumbles, gently untangling himself from Ian and getting up. His husband sighs and rolls over on his back, the swimmy feeling of being drunk replaced with a heavy pounding of an oncoming hangover behind his temples.
Mickey returns minutes later with the little girl snuggled up against his neck, eyes half lidded and thumb hanging out of her mouth. Ian reaches for them both as Mickey climbs back into bed, laying the baby on his chest and cuddling up to his side. Ian puts an arm around each of them, kissing the top of Polina’s head and softly stroking her back as he buries his nose in her curls. The 6 month old is back to sleep within seconds, exactly where she was looking to be.
“Was she wet?” Ian whispers, and Mickey shakes his head “nah, just wanted us” Ian nods, grimacing as he immediately regrets the motion. Mickey gives him a knowing smile and kisses his shoulder, murmuring against it “how you feelin?”
“Like shit” Ian admits “don’t know why I did that, I don’t give a fuck about him” “cause you were manic, love ” Mickey says gently “could tell from the minute you walked in the door, working crazy fuckin hours like that always throws you outta whack, you been takin’ your pills?” “Yeah” Ian answers “I haven’t missed one in a long time”
“Then we need to go back to the doctor” Mickey tells him, reaching up to turn his face towards his own “just to make sure everything’s still working good, can’t have you wiggin out on me” he gestures to the sleeping infant as he adds “specially not with this little beast around”
Ian chuckles grimly and nods, leaning down further to kiss Mickey softly and rest his forehead against his own. “Thanks for taking care of me” he whispers, and Mickey grins, sighing “always, Gallagher, you’re mine, no matter what”
Chapter 3: The Holy Spirit
Ian and Mickey visit the doctor, returning home to sickening event that reminds them all where they come from and what’s most important in this world
WARNING: Mentioned child abuse and neglect that is quickly solved Milkovich style!
As it turns out, Ian can only get a doctors appointment for Monday afternoon, when everyone else is at work. The only person available to watch the kids is Natalya, and Mickey, needing to be by his husband’s side, reluctantly agrees. He leaves them lunch in the fridge, and a bottle made up for Polly on the counter. His plan is to meet Ian at the doctor’s on his lunch break and be back before dinner time.
“Don’t worry” Natalya tells him, bouncing Polina on her hip as he hesitates at the door “we will be fine”.
The doctors appointment is nothing out of the ordinary, though the wait to see the doctor takes what feels like 10 years, but is probably closer to an hour and a half. When they finally get in she asks a heap of questions before adjusting Ian’s dosage and refilling his prescription, sending them on their way.
At the former thug’s insistent request, they stop by the drugstore and get the prescription filled. He sends Ian back to work then, kissing him on the mouth and slapping him on the ass before heading for home as fast as his stalky thug dad legs will carry him.
Mickey can hear Polina screaming before he’s inside the gate, a sick feeling twists in his gut as he rushes up the steps and through the front door, heart stopping at what he finds. His children are seated in front of the Television while Natalya lays unconscious on the couch, Svet’s now empty bottle of Stoli in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. “What the fuck?!” He roars, stomping over to snatch the smoke and put it out before he makes a B line for his babies.
“Papa!” Yev cries, jumping to his feet and colliding with his father’s leg. Mickey hugs him close with one arm, reaching down to scoop Polina, still screaming, up from her baby seat with the other. She’s soaking wet with milk and urine, her empty bottle sitting on the ground beside the seat with the top off.
“Hey Polly hey baby!” Mickey coos as he kneels with her on his lap and quickly peels off her soiled onesie and sopping diaper, tossing them aside. He tucks her into his neck, patting her back as he bounces her, crooning softly over her wails “Papas here now princess I gotcha, everything’s ok”
Mickey turns to Yevgeny then, “what happened?” He asks, and the 5 year old bursts into tears. “I couldn’t get her out of there!” He sobs “she was crying so I tried to give her the baba, and it spilled!” Mickey’s heart breaks as he pulls the little boy closer into himself, hugging him tight to his body and stroking the back of his head. “It’s ok buddy” he soothes “I’m here now, it’s not your fault, you did good kiddo, real good, made daddy n me proud”
Natalya stirs in her sleep then and Mickey’s attention is drawn back to her, his eyes going full pupil with rage. He rises to his feet with the naked baby cradled against his chest and Yev clinging to his side. The usually hot headed man is fuming calm as he crosses the small space to the couch and kicks her sharply in the leg.
“Get your ass up” he snarls and she snorts and shakes awake quickly, eyes going wide with terror at the sight of him standing over her. “You have three seconds to get the fuck out of my house before I kill you” Mickey warns between clenched teeth “one...”
Natalya is up and gone in a flash, and Mickey exhales sharply, trying to remain calm so as not to traumatize his children any further.
Polina is finally starting to settle against Mickey’s neck, his warmth and familiar smell bringing her comfort as her whines break way to sniffles and hiccups. Mickey rocks her gently, smoothing her sticky curls back and kissing her hairline as he breathes in her scent too.
He reaches for Yev then, leaning down to wrap his free arm around the little boy’s shoulders and hug him back against himself “I’m so sorry you guys” he tells them “I promise nothing like that’s ever gonna happen again, let’s go take a bath huh? Then we’ll call daddy”
The 5 year old nods, wiping his nose and reaching for his father’s hand as he stands and takes them into bathroom. Mickey starts the water, adjusting the temperature before he holds Polina out in front of him. He examines her carefully for any visible damage on top of the neglect.
She’s got a few scratches on her legs, which he recognizes are from Yevgeny trying to lift her out of the seat, and his blood boils when he sees that the diaper rash on her inner thighs and bottom is significantly worse than this morning, red and irritated due to her sitting in that nasty mess for god knows how long.
Mickey curses under his breathe, lifting her above his head to kiss her chubby legs in apology before carefully putting her in the water, seated in the plastic laundry basket they use to keep her upright in the tub. “There ya go Parrot” he soothes, giving her some bath toys to chew on from the bin beside the tub and wetting her hair with his hands.
“You wanna get in bub?” He asks Yev and the little boys nods, pulling down his shorts and boxers and kicking them off as Mickey says “Arms up” and pulls off his shirt when he raises them. The Milkovich man freezes when he sees long red nails marks clawing down his son’s shoulder, he turns him quickly to see that they travel down his back as well. “What happened to your shoulder Yevy?” He asks, and the little boy begins to cry again “she got mad at me for spilling the baba” he wails “I just wanted to help”
Mickey picks his son up and cradles him to his chest, unable to keep his own eyes dry as he rocks him, rubbing his back and cooing “my poor baby, it’s alright now, everything’s ok, she’s not gonna get away with this buddy I promise” he kisses Yev’s marred shoulder and pulls back, wiping his tears and looking at him intently.
“You’ll never have to see her again you hear me? She’s gone forever, you don’t have to be scared” Mickey pauses, taking a deep breath before he continues “can you be a big boy and keep an eye on sissy for a second while I call daddy?”
Yevgeny nods bravely and Mickey smiles “good man” he praises, kissing his forehead and setting him in the rising water beside his sister. He grabs a plastic cup from the edge of the tub and fills it up, dumping it over Yev’s head to make him laugh before he says “Gimme one minute” and gets up, pulling out his phone.
Mickey steps outside of the bathroom, both kids still visible to him but far enough away to be kept out of his conversation. He rests his forehead against the door jam, trying to keep his composure. Ian picks up on the first ring, and the sound of his voice brings Mickey his first real sense of relief.
“Hey tough guy what’s up?” He asks, and as always, Mickey gets right to the point. “We got a fuckin problem, I came home and that fuckin whore had the kids parked in front of the TV! She was passed out on the couch with an empty handle in her dirty cock jerkin fist! Lit smoke in her crusty fingers! Coulda burnt fuckin the place down!”
“Are you fucking kidding me?!” Ian snarls, paternal rage igniting in him like a flame
“I wish I fuckin was” Mickey barks “Polina screamed for so long shes hoarse, her diaper rash is flared up from sittin in her own god damn piss and Yevgeny’s got scratch marks down his fucking back! She clawed the shit out of him! I want the bitch dead Ian! I want her dead!”
“We’ll get ‘er ” Ian assures him shakily, trying to maintain his own calm “have you called Lana yet?”. “No” Mickey admits “you should do it, I don’t trust myself” “probably best” Ian agrees “I’ll call her in a minute, will you put Yevy on first?”
“Yeah” Mickey nods, pinching at his eyes as he puts Ian on speaker and makes his way back into the bathroom, kneeling beside the tub and holding the phone out as he says “they can hear you, Daddy”
“Hi Daddy!” Yev says, and Ian melts “Hi my babies, Daddy’s coming home right now ok? We’ll have dinner and snuggle on the couch and watch a movie, I love you guys so much” “love you too Daddy” the little boy chirps and Polina squawks “dadadada!” As she slaps the water with vigor. Mickey takes the phone back then “I love you, Mick” Ian says “everything’s gonna be alright I promise” “I love you too” Mickey says “hurry the fuck home Gallagher”
Ian is home in 20 minutes flat, he storms into the house, calling out for his family who draw him into the kid’s bedroom with their voices. “Daddy!” Yevgeny cries, jumping from the bed where Mickey has just stood him up to dress him and running into Ian’s arms.
His father grabs him up, squeezing him tight and nuzzling his ear. Polina, already dressed in a clean diaper and her footsie pajamas, stands in her crib, using the bars for support. She whines, reaching out through them for Ian, and he’s across the room in a second to sweep her up in his other arm, rubbing his forehead and nose against her own and cooing “my poor babies, Daddy’s so sorry, are you alright my loves?!” as he peppers them both with kisses.
Mickey’s resolve breaks at that and he moves into Ian’s space as well, kissing him softly and touching his nose to his own. They stare each other for a moment, communicating without words before Mickey snuggles his head in under Ian’s chin and wraps his arms around his family. All four of them needing to be as close as possible after the trying events of the day.
“You call Svet?” Mickey mumbles against Ian’s chest and he nods, muttering “said she’d take care of it” the Milkovich man raises his head at that, setting his jaw stubbornly “No fuckin way! I want my turn!” He snaps and Ian smirks “figured you’d say that, I do too honestly, that’s why when she’s done we’re gonna meet up” Ian looks at Mickey intently, dark pleasure crossing the ex cons face at the idea “fuck yeah” he says, heading out of the bedroom and announcing over his shoulder “I’m gonna call Iggy”
“Let’s get some clothes on big guy” Ian tells Yev, taking him back to the bed to dress him in what Mickey pulled out. He sets Polina down to crawl around on the rug as he helps Yevgeny into his PJ’s, carefully examining his shoulder in the process.
“I’m gonna take a picture of it ok bud?” He asks, pulling out his phone. The little boy nods bravely, allowing Ian to do so before he pulls on his shirt. Ian scoops the baby back up, fishing a slobbery action figure out of her mouth and setting her on his shoulders as the three of them head into the living room. They find Mickey just getting off the phone with Iggy.
“He’s comin, Fi’s gonna come too and stay with the rugrats” Mickey turns his attention to Yevgeny then “what do you want for dinner kid?” He asks “your pick tonight” “mac n cheese” Yev tells him and Mickey gives his son a funny look.
“Didn’t you have that for lunch?” He asks “that’s what I left in the fridge” but Yevgeny shakes his head “I couldn’t reach it” he whispers, and his father’s share yet another look of rage. “She didn’t even feed them!” Ian cries furiously, taking Polina off his shoulders and setting her down in her high chair.
He hurries over to get her some baby food and a spoon, putting the Mac n cheese in the microwave and grabbing a pop tart for Yevgeny to hold him off until his dinner is done heating. “There you go baby” he says as he comes back, handing it to Yev as Mickey takes the baby food and spoon from him and sits down to feed Polly.
“How long after I left did she put you guys in front of the TV?” he asks Yevgeny, who is too busy wolfing down his pop tart to look up “like two minutes” he mumbles with his mouth full. “Is there anything else that happened that we should know Yevy?” Ian asks, kneeling beside him “anything at all? It’s really important that you tell us”
Yevgeny thinks about this and then shakes his head “no, she just drank that funny stuff and went to sleep. Princess was crying and I knew she was hungry so I got the baba off the counter and I tried to give it to her but the top came off and spilled on her and she screamed, and then Natty woke up and got mad and hurt me, then she got a cigarette and said she will burn us if we move again, and then she went back to sleep , and I couldn’t lift Sissy up so she just kept screaming while we watched TV, then Papa came home and saved us”
Ian’s got tears in his eyes at the end of Yev’s story. He wraps his arms around the little boy and kisses his cheek, murmuring “my brave boy, we’re proud of you for trying to help sissy, you’re the best big brother, I promise that’ll never happen to you again, Papa and I won’t let it”.
“Fuck no we won’t” Mickey agrees, making faces at Polly as he spoons baby food squash into her eagerly messy mouth, catching what dribbles down her chin with the spoon and feeding it to her again. The microwave begins to beep then and Ian goes to fetch the macaroni, getting Yev some strawberries and a glass of milk to go with it.
The couple cringe at the way their children scarf down dinner, sickened at the idea that anyone could treat them so poorly. After everyone’s done eating they pile onto the couch to watch Aladdin, Yev’s latest favorite. The 5 year old lays with his head in Mickey’s lap, his feet stretching out over Ian’s legs where the redhead is seated beside them.
Polina is cuddled against Ian’s chest with her evening bottle, her daddy taking over holding it for her as she starts to fall asleep. Mickey reaches out to stroke the baby’s cheek with a finger, looking over at Ian who returns the loving gaze as he rubs Yev’s back, outside of this moment, nothing else matters.
Both exhausted kids are passed out before the movie ends. Mickey picks Yev up gently, turning him into his neck as Ian stands with Polina in his arms, they exchange a look of gratitude for the fact that the children sleep as heavily as their mother.
Ian and Mickey carry them into the master bedroom to lay them down, not willing to have them any further away for the night. Ian snuggles up beside them as they settle in, but Mickey heads into the closet, making his husband look after him curiously.
Ian gets up and follows, stopping short when he sees Mickey opening the safe and pulling out his trusty twenty two. “You can’t kill her Mick!” He hisses in a whisper “I’m not raising these kids on my own while you get thrown back in prison!” “I’m not gonna kill her, Firecrotch” Mickey says, shoving the gun into his pants and rolling his eyes as if Ian’s being over dramatic “just wanna rough her up a bit, scare her so she knows who she fucked with”
“Gimme the slugs then” Ian says, holding out his hand expectantly, and Mickey sighs and hands them over, scowling as Ian pockets them and kisses his pouting lips. They’re interrupted by the sound of the front door opening, and Mickey smirks grimly. “That’s Ig” he says “let’s go”
They meet their siblings in the living room. Iggy following Mickey to the back asking “where’s the shovel?” While Fiona grabs Ian in a tight hug before pulling back to look at him seriously “let her know what happens when you fuck with Gallagher’s” she tells him, and Ian nods. His phone buzzes then, with a text from Svetlana letting them know it’s time to go.
As the three men approach the designated spot under the El tracks, two figures can be made out in the darkness. Svetlana stands with her arms crossed, a smug look on her face. Her hair is disheveled and she’s got a scratch on her cheek, but it’s very clear who won the struggle.
Natalya is scantily dressed, her small amount of clothing torn and tattered where she sits duct taped to a rolling chair. Her wrists and ankles are bound, and mouth taped shut so she can’t scream. She’s bruised and bloodied all over, still fighting her restraints, but stops struggling when she sees them approach.
“Where you want the hole man?” Iggy asks Mickey, and the Milkovich in question points to the patch of dirt ground right beside her. “There” Mickey tells him, and Iggy nods, heaving the large shovel he’s been carrying across his shoulders down to the earth and starting to dig. “Make sure it’s at least six feet” Ian adds, not taking his eyes off Natalya.
“Kev and V help me tape her down and drop us off here” Svetlana explains “piece of shit puts up decent fight, too bad for her I am better, motherhood makes me grizzly bear, claws and teeth. Anyway who goes first?” and Mickey gestures to Ian, wanting the last word as always. Ian steps forward, fury in his eyes as he pulls up the picture of Yev’s shoulder on his phone and shoves it in her face. Natalya jerks her head away, only infuriating him further.
“Fucking look at it!” He yells “This is what you do to little boys who try to give their sisters milk?! You fucking cunt! We were nice to you, let you in our house, trusted you with our babies and you went out of your way to fuck us over! For what? Free booze? You deserve to rot! And you’re gonna get exactly what’s coming to you! Do it Mick!”
Mickey’s eyes are shiny, piercing blue as he pulls out the gun and steps forward, resting the barrel between her eyes “this is what happens when you fuck with my kids” he snarls, cocking it and pulling the trigger. The empty chamber clicks against her forehead and Natalya visibly jumps, blinking back tears of relief when she realizes she hasn’t been shot.
“You’re lucky I love my family too much to go back to prison over a two bit whore like you. if I ever see you again I’m gonna blow your head clean fuckin off, take my Russian label maker and label me a fuckin Russian. I’ll rip you apart with my bare fuckin hands if I have to, you got that bitch?”
Mickey pauses, wanting some kind of recognition “I said you fuckin got that, bitch?!” He says louder, raising the butt of the pistol, and she nods quickly, squinting her eyes closed. “Good” Mickey says, he spits at her and steps back, wiping his mouth and taking Ian’s hand in his own.
“What’re you gonna do with her?” Iggy asks Svetlana as he picks up the shovel on his shoulders again, and she shrugs. “Ship her back to Russia, she does not deserve American Dream, there is moving truck waiting at docs, I take car?” Mickey nods, pulling the keys from his pocket and tossing them to her “We’ll help ya” Iggy offers “lemme go get Fi” and with that the three of them head back towards home.
When they arrive, Fiona is waiting in the living room. “They’re still sleepin like angels” she tells them “they must be tired, poor things haven’t moved once”. “Thanks” Mickey tells her, and Fiona nods, hugging her goodbyes and following Iggy out to help Lana finish the deed.
As soon as they’re gone, the exhausted couple head to their room. They enter to find both children dead to the world exactly as Fiona said they were. Yevgeny on his stomach, snuggled up to Polina, whose on her back with a thumb in her mouth and one little arm stretched out across his shoulders.
Ian and Mickey just stand there watching them for a second, both wondering how they created these tiny people, and how it’s possible to love them so deeply that it physically hurts. “Would die for em” Mickey whispers and Ian smiles sleepily, putting his arm around Mickey and whispering back “in a heartbeat” as he kisses his hair.
They both strip down to their boxers then, Mickey taking the bullets back from Ian and going to put the gun away safely before going around and getting in on his side of the bed. He snuggles up to Polina’s face, kissing her cheek and resting his nose against it as he wraps his arm over her. Ian reaches for his hand from the other side, grasping it over the top of Yevgeny as he buries his face in the little boy’s hair and breathes him in.
“They kinda look alike when they’re sleepin” Mickey points out, noticing that Svetlana’s features are identical in them. Both sets of cheekbones and noses belong to her, while Ian’s and Mickey’s looks fall into the same places in each, both children have their birth father’s lips and eyes, and Polina of course has Ian’s red hair.
“They look like us” Ian says with a lazy grin, and Mickey can’t help but return it. “I love you” Ian says, and Mickey murmurs back “love you too, fuck that bitch” “fuck her in the ass with a cactus” Ian sighs, no good night needed as they drift off beside their little ones.