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Lost in Translation

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Ian never planned these excursions. Whenever he was deployed to a new place, he would just watch the conditions, observe his CO’s mood and then asked for his pass when the stars aligned. This time was no different. The temporary deployment to the Ukraine had been uneventful so far and his commanding officer had become a grandfather for the first time. Before long, Ian was wandering around Kiev and was soon pretending to admire another massive cathedral instead of sneaking glances at the cute boy a few feet away.

Ian wasn’t in the habit of the random hook-up while on his day-passes. It seemed too troublesome and risky for the most part. It didn’t mean he couldn’t look though, or bend his own rules every once in a while. Something about this guy kept him looking. Maybe it was the pale skin and its contrast against the coal black hair, or the inscrutable tattoos on his fingers. Ian wasn’t sure. There was a cute, cool looking guy on a cool, clear day in sprawling city of Kiev and it was giving Ian romantic notions. The other man loitered about with the insouciant ease of a local and Ian peeked at him again, trying to make out what his tattoos said as he lit up a cigarette.

The man pocketed his lighter and puffed out a billow of smoke before suddenly looking up and across at Ian. The soldier quickly looked away, pretending to be absorbed in the beauty of the church. When he hazarded a glance back though, his guy was still looking, a smirk firmly in place while he pulled on his cigarette. Busted—Ian knew he had been caught out, but at least his guy didn’t seem averse to his attention and when Ian chanced a shy half smile; his guy gave him one back. Before Ian could take the initiative and head over to say hello, he was distracted by a small voice.

“Excuse me, mister?” Ian looked down to see an adorable little girl staring up at him, apparently fascinated by his existence, “are you a soldier?”

He wasn’t exactly inconspicuous. He was in his army fatigue pants, his boots and his neatly tucked in, standard issue t-shirt. He wasn’t exactly blending in. He smiled and nodded at the little girl and her face lit up. She stretched up, apparently reaching for his dog tags. She was a cute enough kid, but Ian had other things on the mind. Still, he could hardly tell a little girl to piss off so he could talk to a hot guy. He began stooping, only to hear a man’s voice reprimanding someone sharply in Ukrainian. The little girl jumped, visibly startled, and Ian realized that it was his guy. Ian hadn’t been too happy about the distraction either, but he wasn’t about to take some kid’s head off over it.

He was about to frown his displeasure when the little girl twirled and stuck her tongue out at the other man and then took off running. He turned to see her chasing after an older boy who was moving like lightning down the street. It clicked immediately what had been happening—the little pint-sized reprobates had been about to rob him. He couldn’t believe this, he was a soldier for crying out loud. Off duty, but shouldn’t they still be scared of him? At least it gave him a solid reason to talk to his guy now only for him to turn back and see that he was halfway across the courtyard. Ian promptly took off after him.

“Hey, hi, um, pryvit?” Ian greeted after he finally managed to get ahead of him. For a shorter guy, the man was surprisingly fast. His guy slowed to a stop and looked at him askance and Ian found himself grinning like an idiot. His guy was almost stupidly cute.

“Pryvit…” he responded cautiously, and truly they were off to a blistering start.

“I wanted to thank you for looking out for me back there, you know, with the kids?”

The man looked at him blankly and Ian found himself at a loss. Saying “hello” had exhausted his wealth of Ukrainian knowledge. “Do you speak any English?”

There was more uncertain staring and Ian tried another tack. “How about Russian then?” He knew a bit more of that and greeted the man with fair fluency. The look he received for that effort told him he needed to stop that Russian noise quickly. “Shit, so no Russian either, huh? Shit.”

The man raised an eyebrow at him before looking around his surroundings with deep suspicion, apparently wondering if he was being pranked or something. Then he gave Ian a shrug and shy, apologetic smile and side-stepped him to continue on his way. Ian watched him go; bouncing on the balls of his feet as he battled bitter disappointment. “He can’t speak English, I can’t speak Ukrainian,” he reminded himself; just his luck. When his guy paused to wait on the crossing signal, he glanced back at Ian and the soldier made a snap decision.

“Fuck it,” he muttered and took off after the man again. Blue eyes widened when Ian screeched to a halt before them again. “Okay, I realize that we have a bit of a communication problem here, but where would we be as a global community if we gave up every time two people met who didn’t understand each other?”

His guy was still clearly cautious and unsure about what was going on, but he was intrigued enough by Ian to let it play out a while longer.

“I’m Ian, Ian Gallagher,” Ian informed his acquaintance and presented his dog tags for inspection; too late wondering if he was making an ass of himself if the man couldn’t read his name. In any event, the man caught on.

“Ian,” he repeated slowly, as if tasting the name on his tongue. Ian decided he really like the way his guy said his name. “Okay,” he nodded, “Mickey, Mickey Milkovich.”

Ian beamed—progress! “So, you’re Mickey and I’m Ian. Ian and Mickey…Mickey and Ian,” Ian chattered happily and he could pinpoint the exact moment that Mickey decided he was a harmless idiot and visibly relaxed. There was a moment of uncertainty for Ian when Mickey took off again and he hung back waiting. Mickey turned and raised an inquiring eyebrow at him, as close to an invitation as he was going to get, he suspected, and he quickly fell in step with him. He resigned himself to following Mickey’s surefooted path around the town until they could reach some sort of breakthrough.


There wasn’t much else he could do as he followed Mickey to God-knows-where. So Ian talked…and talked and talked.

“This is my second tour,” Ian informed Mickey, “I have a few months left and I don’t know… I went home after my first one and I still didn’t fit anywhere, you know? I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing or where I was supposed to be so I just ended up signing up again.” He waited while Mickey fed coins into a vending machine. Crazily enough, Mickey actually appeared to be listening to him. Mickey retrieved some unidentifiable drink before assessing Ian and pressing the button for a Coke. Ian grinned when Mickey tossed it at him. “Just because I’m American doesn’t mean I can’t try other stuff,” he chided and sat with Mickey at the small patio table on the sidewalk as people swirled unnoticed around them in the height of the sunny afternoon.

Mickey only grinned, said something that sounded maddeningly teasing and sipped his drink, eyes not moving from Ian’s face. Ian was helpless to do anything but smile back.

“So yeah, I’m going to need to figure my life out in a few months. I’m hoping for some kind of sign, like there’s a job waiting, or a program I really want to study, or maybe I end up meeting someone,” he shot Mickey a nervous glance, “if not, I guess the army will always want me. Maybe put in the proper effort and make officer.”

Mickey must have said five words and raised a questioning eyebrow. Ian didn’t know if it was the language barrier or if Mickey mostly just talked with his eyebrows all the time, but the man had the most expressive face ever. He just wished he knew what the hell he was actually saying.

“Fuck, I’m dumb,” Ian burst out, startling Mickey, and dragged his phone out of his pocket, “I have an app!” Mickey waited until Ian powered up his app and centered the phone on the table. He leaned forward and uttered the smoothest phrase he could think of, “Do you have a map? Because I'm getting lost in your eyes.”

Mickey shifted his very sceptical gaze from Ian to the phone and waited while the phone spat out Ian’s converted words. Mickey stared at the thing in disbelief, before looking at Ian as if he’d committed sacrilege. He actually looked a little offended and Ian panicked. “What?”

Mickey leaned forward and spoke slowly and carefully into the phone. A second later, the translation came through, “you call my mother cow?”

Ian snatched the phone from the table and quickly shut down the app. The stupid thing had almost gotten him killed in France; lord knows why he thought it would have worked now. “I didn’t, honestly. I’m not crazy.”

“Crazy,” Mickey repeated, happily latching on to a word he finally recognized. Ian deflated dramatically.

“Seriously? That’s the word you pick up on? I’ve been talking for ages and that’s the first thing you take up?”

“Crazy American,” Mickey’s teasing smile was glorious and Ian slumped forward in exaggerated defeat.

“I’m not though, I swear! I’m on the level like ninety percent of the time. I’m not in the habit of chasing people around in strange cities usually. There’s just something about you, I guess…” he trailed off before smiling bashfully at Mickey, making the other man grow shyer in return. There was a pregnant pause before Mickey piped up again.

“Crazy!”

“Jesus, Mickey!” Ian huffed and Mickey only laughed at him and took off again, leaving Ian to trot after him.


They managed to communicate their ages through pantomime—Ian was twenty-five, Mickey, twenty-six—and Ian was so focused on communicating that it took him a while to notice that Mickey had been taking him around to various landmarks around Kiev.

“Oh God, please tell me you’re not a tour guide or anything like that, because I know I can’t afford you. It’s been like—” Ian checked his watch, “—three hours and private tours cost like an arm and a leg, right?”

Language barrier though firmly intact, Mickey had a seemingly supernatural ability to read Ian’s moods and tone. While Ian spiralled into doubt, he casually reached into his bag for some bite-sized candy bars, opened one and popped it into Ian’s mouth. He firmly but slowly swiped his thumb along Ian’s lower lip, before gripping his chin and shutting the redhead’s mouth. It was shockingly intimate and if Mickey was a tour guide, he was the least professional one ever. Ian was melting faster than the candy in his mouth and Mickey’s sexy half smile conveyed his sexual interest better than any sentence would. Some things did not need translating.

“You know, I heard Michael Bublé and his wife didn’t speak a word of each other’s languages and they still wound up together. Have a kid and everything.”

“Michael Bublé?” Mickey looked at Ian out of the corner of his eye, clearly judging the hell out of his music choices.

“I’m not saying I listen to his music, okay?” Ian said defensively, “I just know the story. How the hell do you not speak English but still manage to judge me and call me crazy?!”

“Crazy American,” Mickey grinned.

“For fuck’s sake!”


They eventually made their way to a Pirozhki stand; Mickey seemingly bent on occupying Ian’s mouth with other things for a while. There was a rapid fire exchange with the girl there before she turned to Ian, who was too busy staring at Mickey to notice.

“Hey, soldier boy, he says to ask what kind of filling you want in yours.”

That caught Ian’s attention and his gaze snapped to her so quickly, he almost gave himself whiplash. “You speak English?!”

The girl rolled her brown eyes magnificently. “No, I just project thoughts into your head, yes? What stuffing? We have beef ones, potatoes and cabbage, and some sweet ones—”

“Um, wait, can you just do me a favour?” he wiped his sweaty palms on his pants as the girl looked up at him inquisitively, “I don’t speak Ukrainian and he doesn’t speak English and it’s been a little rough. Can you just tell him that I swear I’m not some weird guy, or a pervert or anything like that? I just sort of like him…a lot.”

The girl quickly caught on to the story unfolding before her and a smile split her face in two. Obviously she was a fan of romantic drama. She chattered excitedly to Mickey, clearly embellishing something because she went on for far longer than Ian thought necessary. Both the vendor and Mickey kept glancing at him while she waxed rhapsodic. She finally stopped and Mickey gave a much shorter response.

“He says he knows. He figures Crazy American is one of the harmless ones, like puppy,” she tittered and Ian glowered at Mickey, “I told him we should all be so lucky to have cute soldier boy following us around like a puppy.”

“What did he say back?”

“He said true, but he’s seen cuter.”

“Bullshit you’ve seen cuter,” Ian poked at Mickey, “this is as good as it gets from good old Uncle Sam.”

Mickey knew exactly what part had Ian cutely indignant and all he did was bite back his grin and wiggle his eyebrows at him. He ordered a few of the beef-filled buns, paid the girl and took off as was his wont. The girl waved them off, wishing them luck and Ian was both sorry to lose his translator but relieved that they were alone again. They found some seats and a table in a small park and set down their food and drinks.

“Do you keep feeding me to shut me up a little?” Ian asked and Mickey only grunted as he bit into his food, blue eyes bright about the massive bun. “You have amazing eyes,” Ian confessed, “like Disney style.  You could have your own Blue Steel.”

Evening quickly fell while they conversed in a steady stream-of-consciousness style. Ian told Mickey about the Southside and how much he wanted him to see it. He told him about his home base in Japan and the various places he’d been since he signed up. He told Mickey how he felt as if he was adrift, just always looking for that one thing; only he didn’t know what it was or maybe who it was yet.

Mickey seemed to keep listening keenly, periodically chiming in to say something that sounded encouraging or comforting, but mostly teasing. It was probably all in Ian’s head, but he didn’t care. He didn’t know if it was possible to fall in love with a complete stranger over the course of a day, but if it was, Ian was certain that’s the state he was in.

Ian still had everything to say, but they lapsed into companionable silence as the twilight disappeared and the stars slowly came out. Ian knew the window was closing quickly on the chance to suggest something physical. He had to head back to base in the morning and Mickey surely had to leave soon. He had probably derailed all his plans to accommodate Ian’s romantic madness and Ian couldn’t help but feel a little guilty about it. Yet, he couldn’t bring himself to suggest it; feeling as if he would be inviting something lurid into a perfect day. Too soon and Mickey was glancing at his watch and Ian’s heart fell into his shoes when the other man looked at him apologetically.

“You’ve got to go, huh?” Ian sighed and stared at Mickey’s fingers as they drew nervous patterns onto the table top. “You’re about to go where I can’t follow.”

Mickey made a small, strangled noise and Ian looked up to see Mickey’s eye twitching beneath a furrowed brow. He was wondering how on Earth he was going to determine what was wrong when Mickey erupted into laughter, unable to hold it in.

“‘Go where I can’t follow’? Are you even serious right now?!” Mickey was tearing up, he was laughing so hard while Ian’s jaw hit the table, “is this how we’re winning wars now? We’re sending Abercrombie and Fitch models into the battlefield, saying shit like that? Are we killing the enemy softly now?”

“You…You speak English?!” Ian sputtered while Mickey finally got himself under control. “You speak fucking English?! You said you didn’t speak English!”

Mickey raised his hands in surrender and smiled sheepishly, “I didn’t actually say I couldn’t.”

“How could…you mean…I just…the whole time?!” Ian flailed, “you understood everything I was saying the whole time?!” Ian did a quick mental catalogue of the things he’d said to Mickey and his face went up in flames so he buried it in his hands in mortification. “Oh my God!”

“Don’t take it so hard, Ian,” Mickey nudged Ian’s foot with his own beneath the table. “It was cute; you’re cute.”

“The whole fucking time!” he moaned and Ian lifted his face briefly from his hands, “I told you about the fake grandmother thing, oh my God.”

“Yeah, that was a little fucked up, but believe me, my family has done far worse.”

“You asshole!” Ian cried as he pelted Mickey with crumpled up Pirozhki wrappers, “how could you pretend this whole time?!”

“I know, I’m sorry, I don’t know,” Mickey laughed as he fended off the attack, “you were just babbling away and I was just wondering if you were real and I don’t know—I didn’t want to fuck up your flow and I kinda just wanted to look at you.”

Ian sighed heavily, still incredulous over the trick and embarrassed about his verbal diarrhea. “You think I’m a freak, don’t you?”

“Nah, I told you, I think you’re cute,” Mickey said quietly and Ian finally managed to look him in the face.

“You’re such an asshole,” Ian muttered, face now flaming hot for a number of reasons, not least of which was the sweet, conciliatory smile aimed his way. That’s when the second realization hit home, that the heavy accent was completely gone. “Are you American?!”

“Chicago Southside,” Mickey admitted, “I think you might be a couple stops from me on the L. Small world, huh?”

“Oh my God, you asshole.”

Mickey reached into his messenger bag and took out a pen and a piece of paper. He spent the next couple minutes scribbling before shoving the paper across to Ian. It contained Mickey’s Skype information, email, cell number, and address. “I’ve got to go; I should have been back hours ago. If I’m not too much of an asshole, maybe we can keep in touch? Maybe I could even help you figure out what comes after the army. Who knows? I’ll even talk next time.”

Mickey got to his feet and Ian panicked, not wanting him to go and for the roller-coaster of a day to end. He sat frozen as Mickey packed up and started leaving, giving Ian a soft smile and an awkward half-wave. “You use that shit when you’re ready, Gallagher; stay pretty.”

With that said, Mickey turned and walked off and Ian’s mouth opened wordlessly, brain still scrambling to find a way to prolong the evening or end it differently or something. As it would turn out, Mickey solved the problem for him. He watched as the other man stopped walking, paused for a while and then did an abrupt U-turn. He came right back to Ian and swooped in, kissing the still seated Ian until the soldier felt he was nothing but a steaming puddle in his combat boots. Mickey finally pulled back, giving one last nip to Ian’s lower lip before straightening. He stroked a dazed Ian’s cheek before patting it twice and grinning. “Seriously, call me.” That done, he turned and marched off and soon disappeared into the cool, quiet Ukrainian night.  

Ian finally regained his breath and quickly whipped out his phone to store all the information. He then put his phone in one pocket and the carefully folded paper in the other. He didn’t know if Mickey Milkovich was that thing he had been searching for all this time, but one thing was certain, he was going to try his damndest to find out.

Chapter Text

There were a few short phone calls and a flurry of texts, but it would be another three weeks before Ian was back at his home base in Japan, and in the comfort of his room with his Wi-Fi, where he could have a decent conversation with his new crush. Finally, in the evening hours after he’d finished his duties, he successfully Skyped Mickey who was back home in Chicago.

“There he is,” Ian's face split into a huge smile when a very sleepy looking Mickey came into focus, “hey.”

“Hey yourself,” Mickey’s voice was soft and husky and he blinked, bleary-eyed, into the camera. He lay flat on his stomach in bed; blue eyes peering over his arms crossed in front of him. “Fifteen hour difference, man; you have got to be shitting me.”

Ian could not stop grinning. “Sorry, we can even it out a little better on the weekends. What time is it there now, around five?”

“Yeah,” Mickey raised his head a little and brushed his unruly hair out of his face, “I didn’t even know there was a five a.m. I thought it was theoretical,” he smiled at Ian, “you’re lucky your ass is so pretty.”

Ian felt a little guilty about forcing Mickey awake so early, but it was hard to feel too badly when Mickey smiled at him like that. The man’s sleepy smile was a glorious thing.

“It’s not like you don’t owe me anyway,” Ian said.

“I owe you? How’d you figure?”

“Really? You want to go there, Mr. I-can’t-speak-a-word-of-English?” Ian raised an eyebrow and Mickey only laughed at him. “You better talk this time.”

“Are you sure you’re going to give me a chance, Chatty Cathy?” Mickey teased and Ian immediately flushed.

“Look, I swear I’m not usually that talkative. If you had responded like a normal person, then we would have had a conversation and I wouldn’t have come off so weird.”

“Sure,” Mickey said, deliberately sounding unconvinced, “so what do you wanna know then?”

Ian did not miss a beat, “is Mickey Milkovich your real name?”

Mickey laughed and rolled his eyes, “you know it is, asshole, obviously.”

“Obviously my ass…you’re shady as hell,” Ian shot back before heading to his next question. He had a million of them, “what do you do?”

“I’m a mechanic,” Mickey answered and shifted to sit up in bed. The cobwebs were falling away and he was settling in for Ian’s grilling.

“Hmm…”

“What’s that sound for?”

Ian shrugged innocently, “I’m just picturing it, you know? The overalls, the smudges, copious amounts of motor oil…I’m digging the visual.”

“Pervert,” Mickey accused, “I and the rest of my mechanic brethren are tired of being objectified in this way. When will the sexy mechanic stereotype end?”

Ian snorted and burst out laughing. “Whatever, idiot. So what’s a mechanic from the Chicago Southside doing hanging out in the Ukraine?”

Mickey seemed to hesitate briefly before answering somewhat sheepishly, “visiting my grandma—shut up asshole!”

Ian tried to stop laughing, “I’m sorry, it’s just the way you said it.”

Mickey sucked his teeth before a small smile broke through at Ian’s amusement. “Most of my mom’s family is still there, okay? Me and my sister spent a bunch of holidays there growing up until my dad cracked down on it,” Mickey explained, “but she’s getting kinda up there in age and with all the shit going down, Mandy and I figured we should try and see her. So we saved up and went, and then I ended up running into a chatty carrot top.”

“Serendipitous; but that’s sweet though, visiting your grandma.”

“Whatever,” Mickey mumbled before chewing on his lip and regarding Ian thoughtfully, “so how long you say you’ve got left?”

“Five months…” Ian sighed, and it already felt like a lifetime.


“So are you seeing anyone?” Ian asked with painfully faux nonchalance. It was their fourth Skype conversation and it finally hit Ian that he had been running full steam ahead on some major assumptions. Talking to Mickey Milkovich was the easiest thing in the world, and so far, their conversations had been teasing and casual.

“You’re asking this now?” Mickey asked while he lit a cigarette, “suppose I am?”

“Dump him.”

Mickey let out a bark of laughter, “what, for your ass? Five months, six thousand miles, and fifteen hours away?”

“Yeah.”

Mickey snorted, “you don’t even know if you like me yet.”

“I’ve known since we were in the Ukraine,” Ian said, eyes warm but completely serious, “you need to catch up.”

Mickey slowly exhaled a cloud of smoke that didn’t do much to hide the reddening face behind it. “Suppose I don’t know if I like you yet?”

“You like me plenty,” Ian responded with unabashed confidence, “don’t even try.”

Mickey took another long drag of his cigarette, trying to buy time, and glanced at Ian shyly, a little unsure as to how to manage the soldier when he dialled up the aggression past eager puppy levels. He snorted derisively, “whatever you say, chief.”

“So let me ask again then; are you seeing anyone?”

“Guess I kinda am now, aren’t I?” Mickey said, sounding completely put upon. Ian’s smile immediately filled his screen.

“Damn straight.”


“Top or bottom,” Ian finally broke down and asked. They had been chatting on and off for the past three weeks and somehow they had managed to avoid anything overtly sexual. Ian had been hoping Mickey would be the one to broach the subject, but clearly Mickey was intent on torturing him.

“You mean bunk beds?”

“Fuck off, you know what I mean,” Ian grumped while he settled against his pillows. Mickey was smirking as he laid in bed, and licked his lips slowly, his eyes all mischief. Ian sighed and prepared to get teased for his burning and pertinent curiosity.

“I like to take it,” Mickey said suddenly, his voice low and husky, making Ian sit up straighter in his bed. “I like it good and hard, and fast and deep. Is that how you do it? Can you give it to me like that?”

Of course Mickey would go from zero to one fucking thousand in a second. Ian’s mouth had gone completely dry and his heart was racing from the vivid imagery suddenly flooding his brain. He started to answer only to get derailed by three of his friends bursting in on him, intent on raiding his kitchen.

“Chill…” he murmured to Mickey, who huffed his annoyance at the interruption. Ian turned his attention back to the chaotic young men invading his kitchen.

“Yo Gallagher man, where’d you hide your flaming hot Cheetos?” Gonzalez charged into his room, ready to toss the place, while Ericsson and Underwood busied themselves rifling through his fridge. Gonzalez slowed when he saw Ian on his tablet and was immediately contrite, “oh shit, man, you’re calling home?”

“Yeah,” Ian looked back at his tablet and was startled to see that Mickey had transformed into a girl, “um, hi?”

“Oh shit, you really are hot!” Mandy exclaimed, “I thought he was making you up. He made you sound like something out of a Disney movie. I’m Mandy, assface’s sister.”

Ian grinned and waved at her, “I’ve heard a lot about you, Mandy.”

“I bet it’s not half what I heard about you. He does not shut up!” Mandy informed him breathlessly while she played keep away with her ranting brother, “‘you should see his smile’, ‘he’s so tall’, ‘his eyes are so green’, ‘he’s so freaking sweet!’”

“Shut the fuck up, Mandy! I haven’t said shit to you!”

Mandy managed to escape to a bathroom and locked herself in. “Seriously though, he’s all gaga over here!”

Ian’s face was luminescent. It was even more amusing how he could hear Mickey’s muffled curses and yelling outside Mandy’s bathroom door.

“So are movies real? Do all soldiers look like you or are you just a fluke?” Mandy asked while continuing to ignore her brother.

“Well, I’m an eleven, obviously,” Ian informed her, “but unfortunately I’m afraid the rest of the barracks are five-and-a-halves and sixes at best.” He cringed when a bunch of random crap rained down on him from his affronted friends. Gonzalez grabbed the tablet and addressed Mandy.

“SPC Gallagher is talking out his ass, ma’am,” Gonzalez informed Mandy, “I am Private First Class Gregory Gonzalez, also known as Gregory Gorgeous; no not that Gregory Gorgeous, but this one.”

Ericsson swallowed his mouthful of sandwich and took his turn at impressing Mandy. “PFC Peter Ericsson here, and I am beautiful in every single way. SPC Gallagher’s words and Dumbo ears can’t bring me down.”

“What did you just say about my ears, asshole?!”

Underwood grabbed the tablet while Mandy lost her shit giggling. “SPC Devon Underwood at your service; no relation to Blair Underwood, though I can see why you’d think that. I don’t think much else needs to be said. How you doing, girl?”

“Gimme my goddamned tablet and get the fuck out of my room,” Ian rescued his tablet and kicked out the protesting men. Halfway around the world, Mickey had managed to break into the bathroom and confiscate his laptop. In a few minutes they were alone again.

“Ugh, sorry about that,” Ian said as he dropped back into his bed, “so, uh, where were we?”

“Nowhere, I gotta get ready for work,” Mickey sighed.

“What, no, seriously? Can’t you hang on for a few more minutes?” Ian beseeched.

“Sorry… I’ll talk to you tomorrow?”

Ian pouted but nodded, “Yeah, okay.”

Mickey gave a lopsided grin at Ian’s sulky cuteness, “sweet dreams, soldier boy. Four more months?”

Ian smiled back, “yeah, four more months.”


“Did you get it?” Ian asked nervously. He was on a rare phone call with Mickey. It was about one in the morning in Okinawa and Mickey was at work, but some things just couldn’t wait.

“Yeah, I got it.”

“So…?” Ian asked nervously, “you didn’t send anything back? What did you think?”

Mickey grinned and glanced around to make sure the coast was clear. “Whoever said Folgers was the best part of waking up has obviously never woken up to an Ian Gallagher dick pic.”

Ian chuckled, clearly pleased. “Yeah?”

“It was very majestic and there was even an air of drama to it too. The only things missing were the sweeping orchestra music and a lens flare.”

Ian was laughing outright, “you’re such a dick, Mickey.”

“Says the man with the Eiffel tower in his pants.”

“Am I getting anything back?”

“What happens if you get caught with that shit on your phone?”

“Let me worry about that,” Ian said.

Mickey sighed noisily, “alright, give me a few minutes. Shouldn’t you be asleep right now?”

“Who can sleep when their dick is just out there in the big, wide world, unvalidated?”

Mickey laughed and hung up before heading off to the bathroom. A few minutes later, Ian’s phone chimed and he opened the message to reveal Mickey in all his glory with a caption that simply said “happy now?”

“Happy” would have been an understatement. Ian couldn’t see Mickey’s face, but the man was seated in a bathroom stall, overalls unzipped all the way down, and his dick was out and hard and just begging Ian to touch and taste it. Ian sighed contentedly and reached for his lotion. Only a few more months… He honestly wondered if he was going to make it.


“Your room looks huge in the daylight,” Ian said as Mickey finished giving him a daylight tour of his room.

“Yeah, I actually haven’t been in here all that long,” Mickey said, settling back into bed, “I moved in here after I got back from the Ukraine. Used to be my dad’s room.”

“Oh yeah, where’s your dad?” Ian asked, curious. He knew about Mickey’s mother and her death, and Mickey talked frequently about his siblings, but Ian rarely heard anything about Mickey’s dad. He had instinctively known not to ask before.

“Six feet under,” Mickey said blithely, “got shanked in the prison yard a couple years back.”

“Jesus,” Ian exclaimed, “that’s fucking terrible. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be; I’m not,” Mickey said somberly, “I would have done it myself if I had the balls back then. He was a fag-bashing piece of shit and I was his favourite fag to bash, so…”

Ian nodded, understanding completely, “fucking sperm donors, man. Who fucking needs them?” They were both quiet for a while, silently commiserating with each other. Ian eventually spoke up again. “So what made you decide to move in there then?”

“I don’t know. I came back and my old room just seemed small and cramped, you know?” Mickey said softly, suddenly shy, “didn’t think I should be entertaining in it and shit.”

It took Ian a second to pick up the implication of what Mickey was saying, but once he did, the butterflies in his stomach were off in a frenzy. “It was time for an upgrade, huh?”

“Yeah... still feels a little weird in here though.”

“Don’t worry; I’ll help you break it in if you need me to.”

“So sweet of you to offer your services like that,” Mickey said.

“Well, we soldiers have a tendency towards service and self sacrifice, so wherever there’s a need, you know?”

Mickey simply shook his head. “Three more months?”

“Three more months.”


“It’s my birthday in a couple days,” Ian informed Mickey while he trailed his finger along the outline of Mickey’s bicep on his screen.

“What does that have to do with me?”

“What are you going to get me?”

“Is your ass not six billion miles away? What the fuck am I supposed to get you?”

“You’re a smart guy; be creative,” Ian murmured and trailed his finger down Mickey’s chest. Mickey was lying on his back, one hand tucked behind his head. Ian loved that pose—his own Adonis in repose—and considered it a crime that it was missing from his now massive album of Mickey-based pornography. He was going to have to correct that soon. “You owe me something nice.”

“How the fuck?”

“‘You call my mother cow?’ You remember that shit? I was fucking mortified!”

“To be fair, that line you were using was just painful,” Mickey laughed, “are you ever going to let that shit go?”

“Never, you were the worst.”

Mickey eventually relented, “fine, I’ll think about it.”

“Think hard and make it good.”


“Happy birthday,” Mickey yawned while he adjusted his screen, “you had a good one?”

“I’m not sure yet, I’m still waiting for the main event.”

“Huh, well I don’t want to keep you waiting,” Mickey pulled a small white card off the table and held it up to the screen for Ian’s inspection. “Happy birthday, SPC Gallagher.”

Ian squinted and leaned forward to read the card, “a tree has been planted in your honour at one of our national forests—what the fuck, Mickey?!”

Mickey chortled and tossed the card back onto the table, “what, you don’t like it? It’s one of those gifts that keep on giving.”

Ian slumped in his chair, pouting before the monitor of his desktop computer. He had been hoping the much larger screen would have come in handy, “it’s not exactly what I had in mind.” He trailed off as he took in Mickey’s surroundings, “where are you? This isn’t your room.”

“This is my old room… felt more comfortable giving you your gift here.”

“You needed to change rooms to show me a freaking card?”

“Don’t be dumb, you know that’s not it,” Mickey snorted, “you’re way too easy to fuck with, you know that?”

Ian perked up again and watched with growing interest as Mickey fussed about with his computer. “What are you doing?”

“I’m looking for something, shut the fuck up.”

“So mean to me on my birthday,” Ian grumbled and Mickey rolled his eyes at him.

Finally, Mickey pulled back and grabbed something off the bedside table again. This time it was a black White Sox cap, and he pulled it onto his head.

“Oh, I am liking this already,” Ian grinned and Mickey only huffed and rolled off the bed. Ian watched impatiently while Mickey spun the laptop around so it focused on him standing in the space next to the small bed.

“You seeing everything okay?” Mickey’s smirk had now reached unholy levels and Ian was literally on the edge of his seat.

“Yes?” Ian said hesitantly, “What is—what is happening right now?”

Mickey shook his head, “that fucking door of yours closed?”

“Yes,” Ian nodded vehemently, but Mickey appeared unconvinced, “yes!”

“I swear to God, Gallagher!”

“I swear it’s closed; it’s like Fort fucking Knox in here!”

Mickey shot him one last warning look before giving a short nod and leaning forward to click something on his computer. He then backed away a little, brushing off his black sweatpants and tugging a bit at his tight, black tank top while flexed his neck and rotated his shoulders.

Ian’s brow furrowed as a typical, base-heavy song throbbed over his speakers. He struggled to identify it, but was immediately distracted by Mickey adopting his most ridiculous thug face, while nodding in time to the music and swaying his body to the beat. Before Ian could even begin to comprehend what was happening, the world stopped spinning on its axis.

As the song began in earnest, so did Mickey and his Magic Mike impersonation. Ian almost fell backwards over his chair at the sight of Mickey’s aggressive body roll in perfect sync with the song. Mickey kept at it, rolling his hips in time with the song and slowly lifting his tank top to give brief flashes of the skin beneath it.

“I don’t…what?” Ian sputtered.

Mickey started having the time of his life alternating between goofy and sexy. He first pointed to Gallagher, then to himself and began pelvic thrusting with all the intense, lip-biting concentration he could manage.

Ian buried his face in his hands briefly, trying his best not to die of laughter. “I can’t, you’re horrifying. What are you even doing?” He then watched mesmerized as Mickey rhythmically worked his way out of his tank top. Ian almost choked at Mickey’s exaggerated wink and lip licking, all the while rubbing his bare chest with the wadded up tank top.

“Please stop, wait no, don’t stop,” Ian moaned, “I don’t know what to do with this. Jesus help me, I need guidance.”

Ian kept watching through splayed fingers while Mickey got down to the sound of people crooning about sweat dripping down their unmentionables. It was to Mickey’s immense credit that he was still managing to make this foray into the Twilight Zone sexy. Well it was sexy until Mickey decided it was time to do “the sprinkler” so he could slowly rotate away from Ian.

“I’m not sure how, but I know this is a violation of the Geneva Convention, Mickey,” Ian whispered hoarsely, “this is a war crime.”

But Ian should have known this was leading up to something epic. Just as Ian got comfortable admiring the view of Mickey’s bare back, it happened: explicit instructions were given in the song to “drop and pop” ass and Mickey did exactly that. Ian’s jaw hit the floor.

Ian watched, mouth agape, as Mickey hooked his thumbs in his pants, pulled them halfway down his ass and expertly twerked like that’s how he made his money. For the pièce de résistance, Mickey leaned forward, bracing on the beat-up old couch across from the bed and alternated between a sensual slow grind and roll, and making his ass shake.  To Ian’s eternal dismay, the song eventually faded and Mickey stood up, pulled up his pants and deprived the world of the magnificence of his behind.

Mickey turned back to face him, unholy grin in place and eyebrows waggling suggestively. Ian was still staring, mouth still wide open as Mickey approached his laptop. The soldier then slowly keeled over sideways and disappeared from view, prompting Mickey to burst out laughing.

“Fuck off, drama queen! It wasn’t that serious!” Mickey tapped his computer screen.

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” Ian moaned weakly.

“Will you get back up here?!”

“What the fuck, Mickey?” Ian wheezed and heaved himself back into this chair. “How can you do that? I didn’t know white people could do that, let alone a white dude.”

“Ah, but you see, I discovered the secret. It’s all about actually having an ass,” Mickey nodded and wiggled his eyebrows some more.

“You can’t just do that and not give me some context,” Ian demanded, “it’s like you have a superpower! How did you find out you could do that? I need names, dates, coordinates! I need you to do it again. Go do it again!”

“No, one time deal only! You’re the only one who knows, Gallagher! You breathe a word of this to anyone, Mandy, Lip, anyone and you’re fucking cut off—banned!”

Ian scoffed, “I am an enlisted soldier of the United States Army. You can’t keep me out of shit, son. I’m a professional invader.”

“I am not playing with you, Gallagher. Tell anyone and then step onto my property and I will invoke my right to bear arms!” Mickey warned.

“Well, I really do like your bare arms,” Ian purred and Mickey groaned loudly. Ian’s game was so fucking painful sometimes and Mickey could not believe that he was seriously considering signing up for a lifetime of his lameness.

“Keep this up and you’re going to talk yourself right out of part two of your gift,” Mickey said.

“Part two?! There’s a part two?” Ian squeaked, “Jesus, hold on; let me bring up one of my medic friends onscreen in case of an emergency.”

Mickey was so done, “are you going to be cool and mature about this or what?”

“Considering that I’m not exactly sure what ‘this’ is yet, I’m being very cool and mature,” Ian highlighted his point by popping a pipe into his mouth, “Gonzalez got this for me today. I think it makes me look very dapper and distinguished,” he puffed and several bubbles came popping out.

Mickey bit back smiling so hard, he dimpled, “your unit is full of idiots. Please put that shit away. I can’t take you seriously with you looking like the dad from 101 Dalmatians; and if I can’t take you seriously, I can’t get hard.”

Ian’s eyebrow shot up and he immediately and dramatically spit the pipe out onto the floor, making Mickey laugh.

“Jackass…but anyway, since it’s your birthday, I’ll give you a say in a few things,” Mickey pulled a box out from underneath the bed, “so, uh, toys or no toys?”

“Toys?” Ian asked, nonplussed, and watched with rapt fascination as Mickey pulled out a string of large beads out of the box.

“Hmm?”

“Holy shit, did you get that off an anchor?” Ian asked and Mickey had the good grace to look a little sheepish about it.

“Nah, man, come on…I do have some other stuff though, if you want some options,” Mickey offered, but Ian didn’t have to think long, having finally caught on to where this was going.

“No toys, just you,” Ian said, “but, um, you can leave your hat on.”

“Freak,” Mickey grinned, but obediently put his Ben Wa beads away. He casually tossed a small bottle of lube onto the bed before hitching his thumbs into the waist of his pants and began slowly pulling them down. He paused just as his treasure trail was about to give way and eyed Ian suspiciously. “But are you still going to respect me in the morning?”

Ian wiped an exasperated hand over his face, “Jesus holy Christ, Mickey!”

Mickey only laughed and yanked off his pants and underwear in one fluid motion and Ian’s mouth immediately went dry. Mickey got into bed, kneeling and resting on his haunches, his thighs parting as he made himself comfortable. He reached up and adjusted the Sox cap.

“Are you really serious about me keeping this shit on?” he asked.

“Yes,” Ian said and automatically reached out to trail his finger along the outline of Mickey’s body on his screen.

“Are you sitting there touching the screen again like a goddamned simpleton?”

Ian was unabashed, “fuck off, it’s my birthday. I can do what I want.”

Mickey only sniffed and fussed with the cap again, pulling it a little lower down his brow. Ian knew Mickey was bound to be feeling shy and way out of his comfort zone. Until then, they hadn’t done more than dirty talk when they spoke live, with Mickey still paranoid and uncomfortable with the idea of literally exposing himself online and still unsettled with the specter of his father still haunting him. Ian had wanted to go as far as they could over Skype, but he hadn’t pushed it. He wasn’t entirely at ease either, even in the privacy of his room, the shadow of the military still hung over him. Yet, Mickey was shaking off his fears and going all out for Ian and his birthday and fuck if Ian wasn’t going to savour every minute of it.

Ian watched with breathless anticipation as Mickey squirted a bit of lube into his palm and rubbed his hands together. Mickey glanced into the camera, small smirk in place, and gripped the base of his shaft and slowly slid his hand along the semi-hard length.

“You’re always running your mouth a mile a minute and now you go quiet on me?” Mickey chided, voice hitching a little as he pumped himself to full hardness.

“Yeah, I know, just give me a minute,” Ian breathed and groaned softly as he squeezed his own hard length through his boxer shorts. “I’m just…you’re just so…Jesus.”

It was the little bit of encouragement Mickey needed to keep going a while longer. His smile broadened a little as his hand moved faster, his head dipping to look down at himself and hiding his face.

“Keep your head up,” Ian instructed, “I want to see you.”

Mickey obeyed and stared into the camera as he chewed his lower lip. He dropped forward, bracing a fisted hand on the bed and continued to pump his shaft. He groaned breathily as he began rocking back and forth on his knees. “You like this?”

“Fuck,” Ian moaned and reached for his lotion quickly before freeing himself from the confines of his boxers. He couldn’t hold off anymore. “You’re just so fucking beautiful. I can’t fucking handle this.”

“I want you so bad,” Mickey confessed as his arousal built. He was relieved that Ian’s tongue was finally loosening to help keep him going. “I never stop thinking about you, Gallagher.”

“Me too,” Ian whispered, his voice low and husky as he stroked himself, “since the day we met, you’re all I can think about. His voice grew even deeper, a bit of edge creeping into it. “Show me what you do when you think about me.”

Mickey visibly shuddered, blue eyes gazing into the screen before he shifted, showing Ian a three-quarter profile of his entire body. He bent forward until his head rested on his forearm. He turned his head so he could keep looking at Ian while he slid his palm once more down the length of his erection, pausing briefly to massage his testicles, before slowly and deliberately sinking a slicked finger into himself. Mickey’s eyes fluttered closed and his lips parted while he rocked back against his fingers.  “I want you in me, Ian.”

“God, I’m so stupid,” Ian moaned, “I should have fucked you. Why didn’t I fuck you?”

It was probably for the best that their meeting had ended with a kiss and not much more. Ian knew what he had felt even then, and that kiss alone had left him welded to the seat. Anything more and he would have probably gone AWOL chasing Mickey around.

Mickey shifted abruptly, flopping onto his back and wriggling backwards to prop himself up against the wall at the head of the bed. He spread his legs, opening up before Ian like a flower. Soon there was one hand on his cock and the other pressing deft fingers deep inside him. Mickey was moaning Ian’s name brokenly and making the soldier feel as if he was about to die.

“This is just mean,” Ian panted as his hand blurred on his cock, “so fucking cruel. How can you do this to me with a whole month left?”

“Can I come?” Mickey asked breathlessly.

“No, not yet; give me another minute, baby,” Ian said urgently, “holy fucking god!”

Mickey whimpered while his body slowly arched off the bed; his cock leaking as he tried to keep his orgasm at bay. Fortunately, he didn’t have to suffer long.

“Alright, come for me…”

That was all Mickey needed, his entire body spasming while he came; and Ian was right there with him. They might have been six thousand miles apart with a fifteen hour time difference, but still they came together. They then both crashed back down to Earth; Mickey in his tiny bed in his childhood bedroom and Ian is his chair on base. Neither had ever come close to experiencing anything like that before.

“Holy shit,” Mickey murmured before laughing into the quiet of his room. “If you can fuck me up from halfway around the world, I’m kinda scared of what you can do in person.”

Ian was thinking pretty much the exact thing. He blinked dazedly, “I made a mess,” he mumbled and Mickey only laughed harder.

“Can’t believe you made me keep this fucking cap on,” Mickey struggled to sit up and reached for some tissues to clean himself off. He then shuffled off the bed much to Ian’s dismay.

“No, don’t put your clothes on!” Ian protested, “don’t ever put clothes on. At least keep the camera on you!”

“Jesus, just give me a second!” Mickey said and soon he was back in his black sweats and tank, White Sox cap still firmly in place. “So, happy birthday; now fuck off.”

Ian’s face fell, “you can’t hang out a little longer?”

“Dude, I have work in about two hours and I need to eat and get a little sleep before I fall forward into somebody’s engine,” his smile brightened at Ian’s adorable pout, “come on, man, just one month to go, right?”

“Three weeks, five days and approximately four hours…”

But who was counting? 

Chapter Text

“I’m going to eat your face the second I see you.”

Mickey snorted out a laugh and slapped a hand over his chest. “Be still my heart. You should look into writing poetry. You ever consider that?”

Ian’s grin filled the screen and he seemed to be bouncing in place. “Just three more days, Mick! I’m crawling out of my fucking skin. I’m so excited.”

“Like I can’t tell? Your dick’s halfway here already,” Mickey yawned and shuffled into a more comfortable position in his bed.

“How can you be so blasé about this?! I’m dying over here and you’re barely staying awake!” Ian complained, his brow furrowing at his sleepy boyfriend.

“Maybe if you didn’t try to engage a dude at three in the morning? But don’t worry, I promise I’m internally screaming.” Despite the stoic demeanour, Mickey wasn’t lying. The moment it had hit that Ian would be coming home in a week, Mickey’s heart hadn’t stopped racing since and seemed to get worse each passing day. He wished he could do the eager puppy thing the way Ian could, since Ian clearly wanted the reassurance, but playing it cool was his default and the hardest habit for him to break.

“Well fine then,” Ian sniffed, and leaned back in his chair to properly get his pout on, “maybe I’m not so excited to see you either.”

Mickey bit back a smile, though his brows hitched skywards in amusement as Ian checked his nails and carried on airily.

“Maybe I don’t even have to see you when I get home. I might swing by, I might not… No big deal either way,” Ian shrugged and pretended to be absorbed in something off to the side, purposely ignoring Mickey.

“Mmm,” Mickey groaned as he lit up a cigarette, and smirked a little when Ian tensed at the sound, “hard to get’s getting me hard, Gallagher.”

Ian folded like a cheap card table. “Please come pick me up at the airport. My whole family’s coming; you can hook up with them! No one’s going to care if we fuck in the lobby; I promise!”

Mickey could only grin at him and his pathetic puppy eyes. “Come on, man, I told you. I’ve been putting in all the overtime I can to score the long weekend. What would you prefer? Me coming to see you at the airport and then having to wait until the two-day weekend, or letting me work through so I can get the long weekend? Just me and you for three, maybe four days, if I can convince my hard-ass, prick of a boss.”

Ian thought hard on that one. “Just me and you, huh?”

Mickey could see the gears spinning behind the green eyes. “I’ve already given Mandy her walking papers.”

Ian relented with a sigh, “fine, no airport, but you better score the four days then!”

“I’m working on it,” Mickey’s smile gentled and his voice softened, “you know I can’t wait to see you, right, Gallagher?”

Ian’s happy smile was just as soft and he shifted a little before his computer screen. Mickey didn’t have to see to know exactly what the soldier was doing and he pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Take your hand off the screen,” he sighed and Ian pulled his hand back, not even remotely ashamed, “you are so goddamned embarrassing, I swear to God. I’m going to have to be walking behind you the whole time just peeling you off shit: pet store windows, Christmas displays… I’m going to have to keep explaining to people that my guy is a serial hand-to-window presser.”

Clearly his rant was hopeless, but was there really any cause for Ian to beam like that?

“So I’m your guy, huh?” Ian was beside himself with the inadvertent admission and Mickey wiped a hand over his reddening face. On one hand, it was almost stupidly easy to make his idiot happy, but good lord, some of this shit was just painful.

“I don’t know what kind of movie you think you’re in half the time.”

“Why won’t you give yourself over to the magic, Mickey?”

“I’ll give myself over to the magic as soon as it gets here,” Mickey eyed Ian meaningfully, “so hurry up and get here.”

“Sir, yes, sir!” Ian saluted, “three days, right?”

“Three days.”


“A gaggle of Gallaghers…”  The wayward thought popped into Mickey’s head as he approached the group in the airport lobby. They weren’t hard to spot—a seemingly random bunch of good looking people chatting easily to each other as they waited for their brother to clear inspection and emerge. He adjusted the White Sox cap nervously and walked up to the group.

“Gallaghers?” Five pairs of eyes immediately snapped to him and brows were raised in question. “Uh, hi, I’m Mickey, a friend of Ian’s. He, um, told me he was coming in today, so I figured I’d surprise him.” He rocked back on the balls of his feet while they silently took him in.

“Of course,” Fiona was the first to respond and quickly went about making the introductions, “I’m Fiona and this is Lip, Debbie, Carl and Liam,” they all murmured their greetings and continued staring at him as if he were some sort of zoo animal. All, that is, with the exception of Liam, who threw himself at Mickey and hugged his legs.

“Mickey Mouse!” he chortled happily and Fiona gave Mickey an apologetic smile and tried to disengage the little boy.

“Sorry, he gets a little mixed up sometimes.”

“Nah, it’s okay,” Mickey shrugged it off easily and grinned down at the clinging child, “Ian gave me the low down. It’s not a problem; I can be Mickey Mouse for a minute.” He then adopted a fairly passable Mickey Mouse impression and greeted Liam personally, “hi, Liam!”

Liam could not have been more delighted.  Fiona finally managed to pry her brother off and grinned at Mickey a little more easily, “Friend of Ian’s, huh?”

“Friend,” like they were born yesterday. As if they all hadn’t spent the last five months in the wee hours of the morning listening to Ian wax rhapsodic about his mystery guy from the Ukraine. The mystery guy who eventually turned into Mickey—said with a longing sigh that they all made fun of—and it had been Mickey this and Mickey that in almost every conversation.

Lip scratched his nose thoughtfully and nodded, “you a big Sox fan, friend?”

Mickey automatically reached up and tugged the cap a little lower, “nah, just something to keep the sun off, you know?”

“Hey, nice tats, friend,” Carl nodded his approval of Mickey’s finger tattoos, but Debbie quelled her brother with a look and took the stage.

“Never mind that; so tell us, how’d you and Ian meet, friend?” Debbie asked pointedly, and Mickey finally caught on that every single one of them was getting ready to take the absolute piss out of him. Obviously they knew who he was because Ian could keep a secret the way a sieve could hold water. Mickey’s pathetic attempt at downplaying his connection to Ian only allowed for the Gallaghers to declare open season on his ass. He rubbed at his nose while they all grinned knowingly at him, and prayed for the Lord to take him now.

Fortunately, he was spared further harassment by the sounds of whooping and cheering as the first couple of soldiers emerged and made their way to their waiting families and friends. Mickey’s heart stopped and in his distraction was nearly sent sprawling by a pair of hands shoving him hard.

“Hide!” Debbie demanded and Mickey could only blink at her.

“What?”

“Hide!” she ordered again with another hard shove that sent him staggering backwards, “he might be out any second, and you want to surprise him right? So hide, go! You can surprise him from behind!”

“I thought that was more Ian’s style,” Lip sniggered and Debbie rolled her eyes at her big brother before she stomped her foot impatiently and shooed Mickey again. Mickey obediently stumbled off, dazed and confused.

Apparently it was hardwired into his DNA to be submissive to redheaded Gallaghers, because that was the only reason he could think of why he was wandering about the goddamned airport lobby trying to find a hiding space while Debbie Gallagher bored holes into his back. He finally found a spot a way off and looked back at her for approval and sighed his relief when she nodded tersely and turned her attention back to the emerging soldiers.

It didn’t take long for the main event to arrive. Even with the patrol cap covering the red hair, Ian stood out like a beacon among the emerging bodies. He paused for a moment, located his family via their screaming, and grinned the biggest, whitest smile imaginable. He met them halfway and the noisy, happy, Gallagher reunion was underway.

Mickey did not know what to do with himself and just stood there gaping as his long-distance boyfriend of nearly five months suddenly became flesh and blood just a few feet away. Jesus, had he always been that tall? While Ian surrendered his cap to Liam and chattered excitedly with his siblings, Mickey was at sea. That is until Debbie sent him a death glare and wordlessly summoned him to the scene.

He wiped his hands on his jeans and slowly made his way up to the group. His game plan for this moment was completely wrecked and Debbie was clearly expecting him to do something dashing or romantic or breathtaking, all the while Mickey was struggling to remember his name. He contemplated doing the fake-out of tapping one shoulder while hiding behind the other, until he remembered he wasn’t eleven years old and he just simply needed to not do that. In the end, despite Debbie burning expectant holes into him with her eyes, all he could manage was a frazzled “uhh…”

It was apparently enough. Ian’s head snapped up at the sound of Mickey’s voice and whirled around to face him. Ian’s surprise gave way to glee and Mickey felt his entire body warm from that smile and he actually managed to return one of his own. Before Mickey even had a chance to react, his cap was yanked off his head and he was getting swept up into Ian’s arms because, despite Mickey’s claims to the contrary, this was Ian’s movie and they were all just playing their parts in it.

True to his word, Ian glommed onto Mickey as if the mechanic had the cure to everything that ailed him. He cradled Mickey’s head with one hand, circled his waist with the other and kissed him long and deep until Mickey didn’t know which way was up anymore. If this bastard dipped him in the middle of the freaking airport lobby, Mickey swore he would kill him once he got his bearings back.

Ian’s family looked in silent amusement as the impromptu, welcome home, make-out session seemed to take on a life of its own. They weren’t silent for very long.

“When am I going to make a friend like that?” Debbie sighed and lamented loudly.

“I thought you already had one,” Carl said, “what happened to Holly?”

Debbie rolled her eyes at her smirking brother, “don’t be a creep, Carl.”

“Apropos of nothing, mind you,” Lip chimed in as he watched his brother devour his prey whole, “who here thinks Ian could have a future in dentistry?”

“I don’t know; I’m feeling CSI more,” Carl opined and regarded his brother and his “friend” appraisingly. “It’s like he’s trying to figure out what his last meal was.”

The rest of the family murmured their agreement and Ian deftly managed to keep hold of Mickey while flipping off his entire family behind him; the offending hand still grasping Mickey’s baseball cap.

“So rude,” Lip murmured.

Finally, Ian came up for air, “God, it’s good to be home,” he said with a happy sigh before turning away from a reeling Mickey to face his family once more. “So what are we doing?”

This shit was just the heights of unfairness. Ian was back to happily chatting with his family as easily as could be, while try as he might, Mickey could not get the room to stop spinning. In an attempt to catch his breath and stop his legs from turning completely to jelly, Mickey was forced to do something mortifying and rested his head between Ian’s shoulder blades, gripping his fatigue shirt in both fists.

“You okay back there, friend?” Fiona sang out to Mickey, who by then was completely obscured by Ian. Mickey gave a feeble thumbs-up over Ian’s shoulder. Ian grabbed Mickey’s hand and cradled it against his chest.

“So are we getting out of here or what?” Ian asked.

Of course there were no further questions asked. Mickey was simply herded towards the exit, swallowed up by the cacophony, and before he knew it, he was being hustled into the waiting Mystery Machine. There was another round of squealing as they neared the psychedelic painted van when a couple shot out to greet Ian. Kev and Vee were as loud and boisterous as any Gallagher and made no bones about welcoming Ian home. It wasn’t until they had cleared the airport that either of them noticed that there was an additional Gallagher crammed into the van.

“Who the fuck are you?” Kev addressed the rearview mirror, and Vee peeped around from her spot in the front passenger seat to take Mickey in.

“Oh yeah, guys, this is Mickey,” Fiona volunteered before either Ian or Mickey could. She then corrected herself by repeating Mickey’s name, making sure this time not to leave out the longing sigh, “I mean this is Mickey.

“I don’t say your name like that,” Ian quickly explained when Mickey looked at him askance, “and I only maybe mentioned you like once or twice.”

On Fiona’s signal, the entire van loudly sighed Mickey’s name and Ian had the good grace to look sheepish about it. “They’re just being assholes…okay, so I might have mentioned you a few times here and there.”

Soon, Mickey was being grilled like a cheese sandwich. Debbie wanted to hear the epic story of his and Ian’s meeting from his point of view, then she wanted him to say romantic things in Ukrainian to hear how the language sounded. Vee and Fiona, on the other hand, wanted him to say filthy things in Ukrainian to hear how that sounded. Carl wanted to know if he had a record, Liam wanted more Mickey Mouse impressions and Kev wanted him to spread the word about the Alibi and the Rub-and-Tug.

In the midst of all of that was Ian, in living color, flesh and blood, scent and heat, pressing up against him and alternating between shy, furtive glances and boldly sliding his hand up Mickey’s thigh when everyone else was distracted. Between the noisy chaos of the Gallaghers and Ian’s sudden, overwhelming realness, by the time Kev neared Mickey’s neighborhood, Mickey’s inner voice was screaming.

“This is me!” he blurted out suddenly, startling everyone and making Kev screech to a halt. Mickey coughed self-consciously before grabbing his cap from Ian, mumbling how nice it was to meet them all, and getting the hell out of Dodge.

“What, seriously?” Ian squeaked and quickly scrambled out of the van to take off after Mickey.

“You think we spooked him?” Fiona grimaced and looked out of her window to watch the couple. “Yeah, we spooked him.”

Debbie huffed in annoyance before reaching across and smacking Carl upside the head.

“Ow! What the fuck did I do?” he complained. Debbie wasn’t entirely sure yet, but she was pretty sure this was mostly his fault.

Once he was a safe distance from the cracked out Partridge family, Mickey slowed to a stop to let Ian catch up with him.

“Are you seriously taking off on me…again?” Ian said, “this is the Ukraine all over again. I thought you said you weren’t going to come.”

“As if I wasn’t going to come and collect your ass,” Mickey was relaxing in increments and he smiled easily enough at Ian. He was still having trouble processing that Ian was there, but it was amazing and he could not tear his eyes from Ian’s face. “You’re way too easy to mess with.”

“And yet you’re just going to leave me hanging, and after I came all this way?” Ian got closer but stopped short of pulling Mickey to him, cognizant of the fact that they were now back in the Southside. “Is it my family? Are they freaking you out?”

They both looked back to the van and all the heads peeping out quickly yanked back out of sight. All with the exception of Veronica, who had to be physically pulled back into the van. Ian looked around and ended up hauling Mickey into a nearby alleyway.

“You’ll get used to them,” Ian reassured him, “you have just as many of them as I do.” That might be true, but there was really no comparison between the Milkovich brand of hell-raising and the chaos of the Gallaghers. Mickey was in a whole new world with that set.

That hardly mattered at the moment though. Silence had fallen over the couple as they took each other in, neither of them hardly believing the moment was real. Ian’s smirk was in full effect and he swayed slightly as he stared Mickey down.

“Don’t you pretend that you can’t speak English now because I’m onto you, fucker!”

Mickey burst out laughing and the rest of his jitters evaporated. It was always perfect when it was just the two of them. He glanced around the empty alleyway before grabbing Ian’s shirt with both hands and dragging him close. “Nah, I have a whole new bag of tricks for you.”

“So then how are you going to come pick me up and just leave? That’s cruel,” Ian braced against the wall next to Mickey’s head and trailed his other hand up Mickey’s side until he was cradling his face, “you can’t leave now.”

“Come on, man. I gave Henderson fifty bucks so he could cover me while I took the world’s longest coffee break to come see your ass. I still have to get back and put in the time. You still want the long weekend don’t you? You gotta spend some time with your family first, right? Do that, then come over on Friday.” Mickey knew exactly what pout was coming next; the “I’m relenting, but I’m not happy about it” one that always came out when Mickey had to sign off for the night. This time, there was absolutely nothing stopping him from reaching up and kissing it away, and Mickey took full advantage.

By the time they emerged from the alleyway, they were both out of breath, disheveled and starry-eyed. A van full of people looked on with amusement as they struggled to part ways; Ian not even attempting to walk away, instead he just watched Mickey as the man slowly and reluctantly left.

“You have to love dark alleyways,” Vee said after Ian finally lost sight of Mickey and made his way back to the van. “They do God’s work.”


Lip looked on in amazement as his brother chugged down a half-gallon container of pineapple juice. He lit up a cigarette and watched as Ian drained the jug, burped and then tossed the empty container into the bin.

“Are you sure that really works?” Lip asked his brother as they both took a seat around the kitchen table after Ian grabbed another bottle.

“Yup!”

“Because the research out there says there’s no definitive proof that fruit juices can alter the taste of any bodily fluid.”

“The research out there can kiss my ass. I know for a fact it does.”

“How did you—“

“Think before you ask that question,” Ian warned, “do you really want to know?” Ian nodded when Lip mulled it over and shook his head. “Yeah, didn’t think so. Ugh, I’ve been mainlining this shit for like a week now. I had better be coming pineapple daiquiris after this.”

“Daiquiris? I wouldn’t be surprised if your jizz takes the form of an upside down cake.”

Their conversation trailed off when Liam wandered up and climbed into one of the empty seats and took in the scene.

“Why are you drinking so much pineapple juice?” Liam asked his brothers and the two men exchanged a glance.

“Um, because it has a lot of nutrients and makes me big and strong!” Ian said and kicked his older brother under the table when Lip snorted noisily.

“Oh…can I have some?” the child asked innocently and Ian immediately lost the plot.

“Oh my God, Liam, no! You are way too young for pineapple juice. You shouldn’t even be thinking about pineapple juice!” Ian stood abruptly and hoisted the bottle out of Liam’s reach. “And if anyone ever offers you any, you make sure to tell them no and run home screaming. Ugh!” Ian shuddered and marched off with his juice in tow, leaving behind one amused brother and one very confused one.

“Liam, there comes a time in some kids’ lives where they’re forced to realize that one or more of their big brothers is an absolute idiot,” Lip offered, “this is what war does to you, Liam. Be a pacifist.”


It was Friday morning, Mandy had been doing the “gotta go” dance for the last ten minutes and still her brother showed no signs of leaving the bathroom. She danced around for a couple minutes more and finally gave up, the sound of perpetually running water not helping matters any. She charged in and found that her brother was still blissfully showering while her bladder had been threatening to rupture.

“I don’t know who you’ve been talking to, but you can’t wash your sins away like that.”

“Thanks, Bible Barbie; don’t you fucking flush,” he ordered and then they both fell silent.

Mandy twiddled her thumbs and glanced around the bathroom. Her eyes fell on an empty box in the waste basket next to the toilet and she retrieved it to inspect it closely.

“You douche?” she asked her brother.

“What the fuck did I do now?!”

“I wasn’t calling you a douche, assface; but way to know thyself,” she said and stuck the box into the shower so he could see what she was actually talking about. “I meant this.”

“Oh... Yeah, not usually, but you know…” he trailed off.

“Yeah, special occasion, huh?” she giggled and tossed the box back into the trash, “you’re really going all out for this guy. I’ve never seen you so into anyone, or anything.”

“I’m a size queen, he’s king-sized; it’s kinda perfect. Gotta make an exception even once for that, don’t I?”

“Oh, gross!”

“You asked. Now can you and your Lake Michigan sized bladder get the fuck out, please?”

She left, but not before deliberately flushing the toilet on the way out.


It was Friday morning and Ian had been wide-awake at dawn, just revving to get going. The moment the clock ticked past “godforsaken” he grabbed his bag and was halfway out the door before Fiona cleared her throat loudly. He circled back, slightly chagrined, and kissed the top of Liam’s head as the child ate his breakfast before telling the rest of his family goodbye.

“We’re never seeing you again, are we?” Fiona said dryly.

“Probably not, but don’t take my abandonment as a measure of my regard for you all,” Ian said and grabbed a piece of buttered toast off Lip’s plate, “I will remember you fondly.”

Fiona rolled her eyes and Lip yelled after his brother as Ian barreled through the door. “Bye! Have fun tapping ass.”

With that, it was Lip’s turn to leave and he hugged his sister and little brother goodbye, “See you all next federal holiday. I’ve got a train to catch.”

Fiona sighed when the door slammed shut and she regarded Liam morosely. “Well, Debbie’s gone back to school, Carl’s god-knows-where, Lip’s gone back to work and Westley’s off to reunite with Princess Buttercup…looks like it’s just you and me again, buddy.”

Liam smiled sweetly before taking off like a mini-rocket up the stairs, no doubt heading for Carl’s laptop. Fiona threw her hands up in defeat.

“Really?! Et tu, Liam?!” she yelled after him before surveying the now still and silent house, “I’m far too young for empty nest syndrome.”


“Seriously, what the fuck? Why are you still here?!” Mickey demanded while Mandy took her sweet time just strolling around the house.

“How dare I lounge around my own home? The nerve of me!” she sneered.

“We had an agreement, Mandy. He’s going to be here any minute, so can you get the fuck out, please?!”

“I’m going, Jesus! How much room do two people need to fuck?” she spat and went on ignoring her brother’s annoyed hovering.

“You’d be surprised,” Mickey muttered and Mandy made a mental note to lock her room door securely. He finally nagged her out the front door just as Ian was walking up to their gate. Mandy screamed and immediately went to pounce on him.  

“G.I. Joe is finally in the building,” she grinned when he put her down. “Welcome home, soldier. So this is what you look like in real life.”

“Huh, I thought you’d be taller,” he frowned at her and got an even wider grin out of Mandy. Over the past few months, he had probably spoken to her as much as he had to his own family. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Mickey leaning easily against the porch post and lighting up a cigarette.

Mandy was determined to torture them both a while longer. She held Ian hostage, catching him up on random trivia and various nonsense, knowing full well he was too sweet and polite to cut her off. Ian kept sneaking glances at Mickey, partly as an appeal for rescue and partly because he couldn’t help himself. Mickey would not be rushing to his rescue any time soon. His and Mandy’s shared DNA included plenty of coding for Ian-torture. Mickey simply kept taking slow drags of his cigarette and watched his boyfriend sweat it out.

“And then I was like ‘oh my God, Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re still virgins!’” Mandy continued her aimless rambling, “but of course she didn’t listen to me. She never listens to me. Kind of the way you’re not listening to me now, but just keep nodding and smiling in the hopes I’ll shut up and go away. Crazy, right?”

“Yeah, crazy…” Ian smiled and nodded and sent Mickey another look of blatant appeal. Only the bastard wasn’t even looking anymore, but had stooped down to play with the Milkoviches’ pet cat that had been winding around his ankles.

“So Ian, as a veteran, just what are your thoughts on immigration?”

“For fuck’s sake, Mandy!” Mickey sent a crumpled up magazine whizzing straight at her, and his sister ducked to avoid it. “Leave!”

Mandy stuck her tongue out at him and hoisted her backpack. “Fine, whatever, Karen and I have plans anyway. Just make sure to surface every once in a while to feed Mrs. Norris,” she then smirked at Ian, “you’re in for a treat. He’s been spit-shined and detailed to within an inch of his life. The only thing missing is that complimentary pine-tree air freshener hanging over his ass.”

“God-fucking-damn it,” Mickey muttered and looked around the porch. His eyes fell on an old, abandoned pair of workman’s boots and he sent one sailing perilously close to Mandy’s head. His sister took that as her cue to make her exit.

“Alright, Jesus! I hereby declare Fuckfest 2014 officially open!” she cried as she walked backwards down the street. “I’d have gotten you guys a torch, but who needs that when you’re both flaming, right?” she quickly turned tail and took off cackling, but to no avail. The next shoe caught her squarely in the small of the back. She reacted as if shot. “Ow! Goddamn it, Mickey, you shitstain!”    

She flipped them off and limped away, leaving her brother and his boyfriend staring after her; one annoyed and the latter thoroughly amused.

“Every day I see the resemblance more and more,” Ian said, “you guys are practically twins now.”

Mickey snorted and leaned against the column once again. “Gives me fucking heartburn the same way you do,” Mickey grumbled, “you’re probably going to be best friends just to annoy the shit out of me.”

“Yeah,” Ian watched Mandy’s shrinking form before she turned a corner and disappeared from view. “I can see it happening.” He remained outside the gate and turned his full attention back to Mickey. “So, we’re done freaking out now?”

“Fuck you, who was freaking out?”

“Ah, so you’re gonna let me in then?” Ian asked, squinting up at Mickey as the man ground out his cigarette.

“I dunno, I’ve been reading some terrible things about dudes from the internet,” Mickey sniffed and plucked at his T-shirt. He eyed Ian teasingly, “wouldn’t want to get taken advantage of, would I? Plus, this is a hell of a transition.”

“I had a feeling this would be an issue, so I’ve come up with a brilliant plan to help ease us through,” Ian grabbed a large picture frame he had found earlier and carried with him, and held it up to frame his face. “Huh? Huh? If you ignore everything from the chest down, it’s like I’m back in Japan again.”

Mickey sputtered and turned away so he could fight the laughter. He glanced back at Ian again, who was still holding up the picture frame and wondered what the hell he was getting into with this absolute moron.

“Put that shit away and get in here. You know what doesn’t happen if I can’t take you seriously.”

“Are you sure about that?” Ian put the frame next to the garbage cans and pushed the gate open. “Let’s test that theory…”


What hesitation or shyness that may have remained burned clean away the second Ian stepped over the threshold. Mickey had barely managed to get the door closed before Ian was on him, pressing Mickey against the door while he shed his jacket.  “Room,” Ian grunted against Mickey’s lips and Mickey hummed his acquiescence and piloted Ian through the house.  They lurched about as Mickey walked backwards, hands gripping the back of Ian’s neck, unwilling to break any contact. They crashed against the bedroom door and Mickey freed one hand to fumble with the lock.

“Here?” Ian asked breathlessly, and when Mickey nodded, he shoved Mickey’s hand away and twisted the knob, pushing the door open in a fit of impatience. The door swung open and they giggled as they almost tumbled to the floor with the force of it. Mickey pulled Ian with him until the back of his knees hit the bed and forced him to sit abruptly. Mickey reached up and unzipped Ian’s jeans, yanking them down while Ian tugged his shirt over his head.

“Oh shit, fuck,” Ian panted at the feel of Mickey’s mouth sucking him in. He tossed his T-shirt aside and ran his fingers through the carefully styled black hair, messing it up the way he loved it. “God, it’s so weird seeing you in strong sunlight,” Ian murmured and pushed the hair from Mickey’s face, “were you always a dude?”

Mickey choked and pulled away from Ian, coughing. “Ian!”

Ian laughed and shoved Mickey back further onto the bed, before kicking off his jeans and underwear. He made quick work of stripping Mickey from the waist down while Mickey peeled off his own shirt. Some of the frenetic urgency bled away and they slowed down. Ian got into bed, crawling forwards over Mickey while nipping from his hips and up his torso until Ian was hovering over him, staring down into his eyes. Mickey trailed his tongue along his lower lip and reached for Ian, pulling him down until the redhead was flush against him.

“If I wake up alone again, back at the barracks, I swear to God I’ll cry,” Ian whispered, getting a soft huff of laughter out of Mickey. He then winced when Mickey pinched him hard on the ass, “ow, bastard.”

“I don’t think we’re dreaming,” Mickey reassured him and gently massaged the stinging spot on Ian’s behind. Ian smiled softly, his eyes raking Mickey’s face before he captured Mickey’s lips with own. They kissed slowly and deeply, and Ian shifted to settle properly between Mickey’s legs. He rocked his hips and groaned when Mickey matched the action and ground hard against him. Ian rocked down harder, snapping his hips against Mickey’s and breaking their kiss to nip and suck on Mickey’s neck.

Mickey arched against Ian, craving the friction and heat of his body. He moaned lowly and clawed at Ian’s back while Ian gripped the back of his thigh and rutted against him. He finally shoved Ian off, eliciting a noisy protest from the soldier. “Shut up, already,” Mickey ordered huskily and pushed Ian to lie back against the stack of pillows. He straddled Ian quickly and braced his hands on Ian’s chest so he could reposition himself and resume their grind. Ian sighed softly and trailed his hands down the expanse of Mickey’s back to grope his ass.

“God, you’re so fucking hot,” Ian groaned and squeezed Mickey tightly, encouraging him to rock harder and faster against him. “I’ve been dreaming about this every single day since we met. You don’t even know.”

Only Mickey did know; he knew completely. He dipped down to kiss Ian again, grunting when Ian plunged a hand into his hair and twisted. The urgency of the beginning quickly rebuilt, and as close as they were, pressed against each other, it now wasn’t enough. Ian kept one hand fisted in Mickey’s hair while he groped and kneaded his boyfriend’s ass desperately. His fingers delved deeper, working further and more insistently into Mickey until he was shuddering from the pleasure of it.

“Shit, yeah okay,” Mickey murmured and pulled away from Ian. He leaned over and rifled through the drawer of the night table for the bottle of lube. He then waved it in front of Ian’s face. “Want to do the honors?”

Ian grabbed the bottle and tossed it on the bed, “yeah, but not just yet,” he said to Mickey’s surprise. “Turn around first.”

“Huh?” Mickey asked, momentarily nonplussed by the new development.

“Turn around,” Ian repeated firmly, brooking no argument, “one-eighty.”

For now at least, Mickey was nothing if not obedient and he flipped around, mostly figuring Ian just wanted another blow job. This was partly true, but far from the whole truth and Mickey gasped loudly when Ian’s tongue trailed lazily up the length of his cock and back down again. Ian reached up with both hands and gripped Mickey’s ass, pressing him down until Ian was deep-throating him eagerly.

Mickey felt as if he was losing his mind. His toes curled and the muscles of his thighs strained to hold his position over Ian and he nearly fell apart when Ian started humming around his cock. He eventually remembered he could return in like and bent his head to suck at the head of Ian’s cock. Ian groaned and twitched, hips automatically snapping upwards to the wet heat of Mickey’s mouth.

Ian stopped for a moment to catch his breath and ran a hand briefly through Mickey’s hair before he shifted against the pillows, propping himself up to angle himself better. He kneaded Mickey’s ass, spreading it slowly before giving it a firm swipe of his tongue, making Mickey nearly choke in the middle of his own ministrations to Ian. Ian was unhesitant and unrelenting; plunging his tongue inside as deeply as he could, using rough, fast strokes to push Mickey to the edge.

He pulled insistently at Mickey, encouraging him to sit up, “you can finish me after,” he suggested, before returning to his task, and Mickey did just that, trying to spare Ian as much of his weight as he could while pushing back against Ian’s face. Mickey’s voice filled the room, unable to hold back while Ian ate him out voraciously. He stroked himself frantically, fast, rough movements as Ian’s tongue moved inside him and blunted fingernails bit into the flesh of his ass. He erupted, screaming Ian’s name and spilling into his hand while Ian slowed down. Mickey fell forward when the last of his spasms subsided and sucked Ian off hungrily. Ian didn’t last much longer, having been already close from getting Mickey off. Ian groaned lowly as he came in Mickey’s mouth and sagged with repletion when Mickey rolled off to the side.

“Holy shit,” Mickey panted.

“Do not fade into oblivion now, I swear to God, Mickey!”

Mickey laughed even as he struggled to catch his breath. He tickled the bottom of Ian’s foot and the soldier had a mini-fit. “I told you, idiot. I’m real.”

“That’s debatable…” Ian mumbled in a daze and idly rubbed the bottom of Mickey’s foot. “So do you feel like this room is more yours now?”

“Oh yeah, no doubt. Nothing makes a place your own like having your guy toss your salad in it for a while.”

“Yeah, give me a few minutes, we’ll continue the exorcism.”

Mickey grinned and covered his face with his hands. This was fucking wild and his heart was trying to crack his chest open.  He wasn’t about to admit it, but he shared Ian’s paranoia that this was yet another vivid dream on the verge of dissipating into the morning air.  They lay silently for a while, letting their bodies cool and their hearts slow and waiting to see if the dream would end. It didn’t and after a while, Mickey rolled onto his side towards Ian and trailed a hand up Ian’s leg.

“I can’t believe you’re really here right now,” he admitted sheepishly and there was a sudden, great upheaval and Ian was crashing down gracelessly next to him, making them face to face once again. Mickey couldn’t help smiling back at Ian’s ever present smirk, and wrapped his finger with the chain of Ian’s dog tags to pull him closer. “Dork.”

The dumb insult made Ian’s smile bloom and he shoved Mickey onto his back, rolling with him so Ian lay on top of him. Mickey chewed his lip and kept toying with Ian’s tags, melting a bit under Ian’s intense gaze and megawatt smile. Was this ginger moron just going to stare at him all day? “What the fuck are you looking at?” Mickey asked under his breath and Ian only arched his brow in response and dipped his head to pull at Mickey’s lower lip with his teeth. Mickey wrapped his legs around the back of Ian’s thighs and ran his hands over the short-cropped red hair as Ian deepened their kiss.

“I told him the pineapple thing worked,” Ian said to himself as he pulled back and reached for the lube.

“What?”

“Nothing,” Ian said quickly and disentangled himself from Mickey to lie next to him. He kissed Mickey again, plunging his tongue against Mickey’s as he pushed a coated finger into him, and then another until Mickey was arching and clenching around them. Impatience finally got the better of Mickey and he shoved Ian off so he could get onto his hands and knees. “Jerk,” Ian murmured, but knelt behind his boyfriend eagerly and bent forward to kiss his back and rub against him.

“Get in me,” Mickey hissed and Ian groaned at the order, at his own limit.

They both exhaled in a loud rush as Ian pushed into Mickey, pausing briefly to adjust before he was spurred on by Mickey rocking back into him. He thrust forward, gripping Mickey’s hips tightly as he got lost in the heat squeezing him and pulling him in. Mickey rested his head on his forearm and gave a shuddering sigh as Ian rocked into him. Fucking perfect…he moved as well, matching Ian’s thrusts with his own as he stroked his aching cock, feeling shockwaves ripple through him with each roll of Ian’s hips.

Ian leaned forward, plastering himself to Mickey’s back and nipping at the muscled shoulders, making Mickey gasp and groan as he moved faster inside him. “Every day,” Ian grunted as he drove harder into his boyfriend, “every day I dreamed about this, Mick… every fucking day.” He shifted in tiny increments, angling his thrusts towards a different spot until Mickey’s head snapped back and he was howling Ian’s name. Ian straightened up, having found what he was looking for and fucked Mickey with wild abandon until Mickey’s hand fisted into the sheets while the other blurred on his cock.

Ian pulled out abruptly, eliciting a harsh noise of protest from Mickey which was cut off when Ian flipped him onto his back. Ian reached back and grabbed a pillow, and wedged it under Mickey’s hips. “I’m going to see you when you come,” Ian said simply and settled between Mickey’s spread thighs to push back into him. He placed a hand on either side of Mickey’s head and thrust down and forwards until he was propped up on his elbows and his face only a whisper away from Mickey’s.

“Good?” he asked huskily and Mickey answered him by giving into the temptation to bite at Ian’s lips. He rocked slowly at first, more intent on making out than resuming their earlier blistering pace. Ian eventually broke the kiss as their tempo built, and he trailed a hand down the length of Mickey’s body to hook the back of his knee so he could deepen his thrusts. His eyes raked Mickey’s face, taking in the furrowed brow and bruised lips.

Mickey pushed upwards, using the friction of rubbing against Ian’s abdomen as relief for his cock. He gripped Ian’s ass and the back of his neck and urged him onwards, feeling the heat and tension spool in his gut. He marveled briefly at how noisy they were being, both of them reveling in a newfound luxury of loud, with Ian away from the army and Mickey finally at ease in his room. All further thought was derailed though when Ian slammed hard against his prostate and Mickey saw stars.

“Fuck, Ian, I’m close,” he warned and Ian couldn’t even articulate a response—just grunted roughly and pistoned in him. His climax hit Mickey like a thunderbolt and he came swearing and yelling Ian’s name. Ian was right there with him, his body arching as he emptied himself inside Mickey. They collapsed in a heap, Ian not sparing Mickey any of his weight as he sprawled on top of him. “I’m going to die today, aren’t I?” Mickey panted helplessly and Ian huffed in amusement.

“Yeah…probably,” he answered and licked Mickey’s earlobe.

“Then why the fuck did I work all that overtime?!” Mickey said and they both burst out laughing.

“Who knows? Maybe we’ll survive.”


They managed to survive after all and the next morning, Mickey was standing under the spray of his shower, happily hurting everywhere and covered in love bites, hickeys and bruises. He let the water pour over him and slicked the hair back from his face.

“You know, the water pressure in here is amazing—far better than at my house,” Ian said, “but between the dick in my mouth and the deluge on my head, I feel a little like I’m being waterboarded.”

Mickey opened his eyes and looked down at his drowned puppy of a boyfriend. “You’re the one who decided to head down there.”

“And I stand, well kneel, by my decision and fully intend to see it through,” Ian spat out a mouthful of water, “it’s just that I’m trying spare us both the embarrassment of the explanation as to how I drowned in a shower while gobbling cock.”

Quite frankly, Mickey could think of many worse ways to go. “Would you like me to turn it down a little?”

“If you would be so kind,” Ian gargled and Mickey turned down the water pressure. Once again, all was right in the world.


Later at breakfast, Ian was taken with the idea of continuing their expulsion of the spirit of Terry, and decided that the kitchen should be the place of their next stand. Mickey pointed out that, really, the only place he hadn’t felt at ease was in the bedroom—since he had kept seeing it as Terry’s—and that was no longer the case. Ian then argued it was better to be safe than sorry. Mickey didn’t see the need in arguing the point further and gamely let Ian bend him over the counter until the silverware rattled and condiment bottles fell over.

Thoroughly into the spirit of things by then, Mickey suggested that if Terry lingered anywhere in the kitchen at all, it would most likely be around the dining table, since while his father wasn’t much for cooking, he certainly did eat. Ian couldn’t fault that logic, so he wound up tossing Mickey onto the table and joining him there.

“Don’t tell Mandy we fucked on the dining room table,” Mickey panted and burrowed his face into Ian’s hand as the soldier swiped his thumb beneath Mickey’s lips. “She’ll get all judgmental and pissy and say shit like ‘but we eat there’ and ‘that’s gross’ and stuff.”

Ian laughed, “my lips are sealed.”

“No, don’t seal them. They’re so much better in use.”

Ian could only grin and slap the back of Mickey’s thigh.


Securely locking her door and booby-trapping her room may well be the smartest thing Mandy Milkovich had ever done since her brother and his boyfriend had made their way throughout the entirety of the house, committing one unspeakably perverse act after the other. By nightfall of the third day, Ian was seated naked on the couch, idly flipping through a Milkovich photo album while Mickey padded to the kitchen to get some beers.

“Can I put some clothes on now?” Mickey deadpanned and tossed the beer to Ian.

“Nope; no clothes, possibly ever… we agreed.”

“You agreed. I cannot be held accountable for shit I okayed while getting plowed.”

“Look, if you’re getting cold, just tell me. I’ll take care of it,” Ian arched an eyebrow suggestively and Mickey just rolled his eyes and cracked open his beer. “You used to be so cute, with your wild hair and your rabbit teeth. What happened?” Ian asked, eyeing Mickey critically.

“Discovered cock,” Mickey swigged his beer and burped loudly, which only made Ian grin harder, “it was all downhill after that.”

“True…same…” Ian commiserated and went back to flipping through the pictures. He was distracted a while later by Mickey kicking at his leg. “Hmm?”

“Getting cold,” Mickey said meaningfully after he finished his beer, and Ian dutifully closed the album.

“Let me warm you up then,” Ian nudged Mickey to bend over the back of the couch and lined up behind him.

“Easy on the injured cheek,” Mickey warned and Ian snorted and rubbed a soothing hand over Mickey’s left buttock. It wasn’t “injured,” “the drama queen,” Ian thought to himself. Granted, it was still a bright cherry red thanks to Ian’s hands, teeth and, perhaps, over-enthusiasm, but it was hardly a war wound.

“I’ll just go on the other one.”

Mickey snickered, “yeah, okay,” and relaxed his body as Ian pushed into him. Fucking perfect.


It was about a week before Mandy was stomping back up the steps to her front door once again. She went inside to find her brother alone on the couch playing video games. He now appeared to be the new owner of a shiny set of dog-tags that hung in contrast against his grey tank top. He seemed surprised to see her.

“Shit, bitch, where you been?” he greeted and she snorted rudely at him.

“I could have been dead in a ditch for all you cared this week, fucker,” she glanced around carefully, “huh, I thought the two of you would have repainted all the walls white. So how was the military drill—” She trailed off in surprise as Ian wandered out of Mickey’s room, lead footed and bleary-eyed.

“Hey,” he yawned a greeting to Mandy and her slackened jaw.

“You’re still here?” she then turned to her brother, “he’s still here?” she spun back to Ian, “shit, are you okay? Are you being held against your will? Can you state your name, rank and serial number? Blink SOS if you need assistance.”

Ian only chuckled and shambled off towards the bathroom until Mickey stopped him.

“Hey, you hungry; want something to eat?”

Ian smiled softly, nodded and shuffled off, and Mickey paused his game to head into the kitchen. “Time difference is still fucking him up,” Mickey told his sister as he all but skipped off to the kitchen.

“Getting fucked is fucking him up,” she said. “Has he been home since he got here last week? Shit, has he been outside? I need to give him today’s paper, tell him how the world has changed since he’s last seen the sun.”

“Fuck off; I’m sure he went out when I went to work. In any event, he’s a grown-ass man. He can come as he pleases.”

“Come and go…the phrase is ‘come and go as he pleases,’” Mandy shook her head.    

“Isn’t that what I said?”

Mandy didn’t answer, but simply watched while her brother whipped up toasted ham and cheese sandwiches, just glowing like a firefly. Ian came back out of the bathroom, looking significantly more human, and headed straight for Mickey. He nipped at Mickey’s shoulder and tried to steal a piece of ham, only to get cruelly rebuffed.

“It’ll be ready in five fucking minutes. Can you just wait, please?” Mickey said, “Go back in the room; just leave the door open.”

Ian headed back to the bedroom, swiping Mandy’s tam as he passed her and she responded with a swift kick to his butt. She turned back to her brother who was piling on food onto a tray.

“Unbelievable,” she breathed.

“What?”

“Nothing, just looking at your domestic ass, June Cleaver,” she teased. “What’s next on the horizon? You’re going to start greeting him at the door with his slippers and a martini?”

“Fuck off, this is patriotism,” Mickey shot back. “Veteran,” he nodded towards his bedroom, “patriot,” pointing to himself, “patriotism,” he swept a hand over the food. “You think I’m going to close my doors to a vet, refuse to feed him? That’s just un-American, Mandy.”

“Opened your doors and your legs, huh?” she said dryly, “always knew you were a teabagger.”

“You see, you’re trying to be cute and funny, and you’re not, so you should stop,” Mickey picked up the tray and headed for his bedroom. “It’s not your fault; I took it all. If I had known your ass was going to show up a year later, maybe I’d have left some of the cute and funny for you. It’s my bad; that’s on me. But you should focus on your other strengths, like how you naturally frighten small children.”

Mandy ignored him and took stock of the kitchen, “you fucker, you seriously didn’t make me any?!”

“Do I look like your goddamned maid? Make your own damn sandwiches!”


Ian sighed blissfully as Mickey broke their kiss and slowly sat up. He groaned as Mickey splayed his hands over his chest and rocked forward, riding his cock slowly.

“Say something in Ukrainian,” Ian pleaded.

“Something in Ukrainian,” Mickey replied and chuckled when Ian smacked his ass and pouted up at him. He bent forward and ghosted his lips over Ian’s before unleashing a Ukrainian homily.

Ian groaned and jerked up, loving every minute of it. “What did you say?”

“You really want to know? Isn’t the mystery part of the allure?”

“Tell me.”

“I said you need to check your tire pressure and do an oil change approximately every ten thousand miles. Also, crazy American needs to shut up and fuck me.”

“Jerk.”

“You love it though,” Mickey lifted himself almost clear of Ian before sinking back down, dragging ragged moans out of them both. “Any other kinks you need serviced?”

Ian gripped Mickey’s hips tightly and leered up at him, “do that dance for me again.”

“Excuse me?”

“My birthday dance, you know which part…”

“Right now? While I’m literally on your dick?” Mickey could not help the blush creeping over his skin, though he tried his best to play it off. “You disgusting pervert.”

“Do it,” Ian cajoled, “how are you going to get shy after I’ve already shoved my dick up your ass? Besides, I’ve been imagining this for years.” Ian had a taste for hyperbole and Mickey rolled his eyes. “Please?”

Mickey chewed his lip thoughtfully, battling the weird, sudden shyness, before dropping forward suddenly to brace his hands into the pillows and make his hips snap rhythmically, bouncing to the beat in his head.

“Oh my fucking god!” Ian blurted out, mesmerized by what was happening. His hunch had been right; it felt just as amazing as it looked. “Oh my fucking god!”

There was an increasing series of “oh my fucking god’s” floating out of Mickey’s room; each one louder and more rapturous than the last. Mandy sighed and turned the TV up louder. This was such unfair bullshit. She was finding herself a soldier come hell or high water.


“So do you live here now?” Mandy asked Ian as he stood in the kitchen watching her make lunch. He gaped at her, caught out of left field by the question. Thinking it over, it was a fair enough query. It was closing in on four weeks, and Ian had only been home long enough to get more clothes and supplies only to circle right back. It hadn’t been a conscious decision; it had just happened.

The more he thought about it, the more he freaked out. Moving in together was usually a big deal for most people, and what if Mickey wasn’t ready for that? They had a few months of Skype conversations under their belts and had been trying to climb into each other’s skin for the past few weeks. That hardly seemed like a solid basis to propose cohabitation. Maybe he was coming on too strong and moving too fast for Mickey. Should he try to cut back or just go with it? What was the appropriate course of action upon discovering that you’d accidentally moved in on your unsuspecting boyfriend?

As fascinating as it was watching the interplay of panic, worry and tremulous hope on Ian’s face, Mandy did not have all day to get an answer to a simple question. So instead, to Ian’s horror, she screamed for her brother.

“Mickey! Yo, MICKEY!” she bellowed while Ian waved his hands frantically at her.

“Jesus fu—WHAT?!” Mickey roared back after stomping in from the outside where he was helping their cousin with his carburetor.

“Does Ian live here now?”

Mickey looked at her as if she didn’t have two brain cells to rub together. She called him in there for that? “Yeah, sure, whatever,” he said and stomped back off to his task, leaving a shell-shocked Ian behind.

“Well there you are,” she shoved his plate at him, “all I had wanted to say was that garbage days are Tuesdays and Fridays.” With that, she meandered off to her room and left Ian standing alone in the kitchen with the stupidest grin on his face.


Ian’s body was taking its sweet time getting back in sync with American time, but he didn’t mind it so much. It gave him a couple extra hours to stare at his sleeping boyfriend before he drifted off as well. Tonight, Mickey startled awake and caught him in the act. The mechanic blinked around in confusion before relaxing once again, sinking his face into the crook of his elbow.

“Are you ever going to stop staring at me, weirdo?”

“Never,” Ian said firmly and brushed a lock of Mickey’s hair back from the bit of his face visible above his arm. “Staring at you is my new life’s mission and I will carry it out with extreme prejudice.”

“Moron,” Mickey muttered and reached out to rub his hand over Ian’s short-cropped hair, “you know this shit is unacceptable, right? How long is it going to take you to grow it out a bit?”

“What, my buzz cut?” Ian scratched his scalp. “This is army regulation.”

“This ain’t the army, and it’s not my regulation. I need shit to grab onto, Gallagher.”

“I’ll grow it out, but you know they’d just chop it all off again.”

“Who?” Mickey frowned at him.

“The army?”

“You’re not going back, Ian,” Mickey sighed long-sufferingly and Ian raised an eyebrow at him.

“I’m not?”

“Nope,” Mickey confirmed, “You can be an army of one if it floats your boat, but you’re going to be all you can fucking be right fucking here.”

Ian’s grin threatened to break his face. “Sir, yes, sir!” he snuggled up to Mickey and got a lukewarm, harassed glare for his efforts, but absolutely no resistance. “Decided you’re gonna keep me, huh? I knew you liked me.”

“Yeah, well, maybe a little more than that,” Mickey mumbled gruffly and flipped over so Ian could spoon against his back.

Ian kissed the nape of Mickey’s neck and hugged him tightly to his body. “Yeah, I definitely more than like you too.”

 

The End

Chapter Text

There was an American soldier checking him out. This would have been remarkable enough back home in the States, but the fact that it was happening while he was visiting his family in the Ukraine threw Mickey for the loop even harder. His soldier was hot though; crazy hot and he seemed to be the sweet, shy type—sneaking quick glances and looking away before he got caught. Mickey loved the sweet type; they were an absolute weakness for him, worse when they looked like that. So the next time his soldier sneaked another glance at him, Mickey looked back, catching the redhead in the act.

Mickey smirked when his soldier hurriedly looked away for a bit before hazarding sending another glance Mickey’s way. Mickey kept staring right back, pulling on his cigarette and letting his guy know that he was onto him. His guy finally gave up and smiled, giving Mickey a serious case of the flutters and getting the mechanic to smile right back. Clearly it was the little bit of encouragement soldier boy needed, because he turned purposefully in Mickey’s direction only to get blocked by an adorable, Dickensian urchin.

Mickey tamped down his irritation at the delay and watched as the redhead accommodated the little girl. What drew Mickey’s attention, however, was the sight of a teen boy advancing on Mickey’s guy from behind and it didn’t take Mickey a second to realize what was going on.

“Don’t even think about it,” he snapped at the kids, and clearly the little girl was the real pro here, because the boy spooked easily and took off like a shot. She, on the other hand, took a moment to stick her tongue out defiantly before quitting the scene. His soldier was left stunned and staring after the little reprobates and Mickey took off as well. He had been momentarily dazzled and caught up in the moment, but this was hardly the time or the place to get into it with a fellow dumb American.

But of course, his guy came after him, like he was the romantic lead in some chick flick. Mickey’s pulse quickened in spite of himself though, and he slowed to a halt when his guy cut him off. But Christ, this guy was amazing to look at. Mickey’s tongue cleaved to the roof of his mouth and his brain stalled spectacularly.

“Hey, hi, um, pryvit?” his guy said and Mickey could only manage a weak “pryvit” in return, “I wanted to thank you for looking out for me back there, you know, with the kids?”

Mickey blinked and stayed mum, completely tongue-tied and at a loss as how to play this. He glanced around suspiciously, half-wondering if he was being punk’d or set up. His silence prompted his guy to ask about his language skills before quickly testing out some Russian. Mickey pretended not to understand that either, because it was actually kind of brilliant. His guy thought he was a non-English speaking native, and that’s exactly who he would pretend to be to get out of this potential mess.

Mickey smiled apologetically and side-stepped the disappointed soldier. His guy was crazy cute, but not worth the aggravation and risk of being outed in an unsafe place. He didn’t make it far however before the man was skidding to a halt in front of him again.

“Okay, I realize that we have a bit of a communication problem here, but where would we be as a global community if we gave up every time two people met who didn’t understand each other?”   

Mickey fought back a smile at the breathy earnestness coming his way. He lingered a bit, waiting for his guy to make his play. He wasn’t proof against that face, and the longer he stared at it, the harder it was getting to walk away.

“I’m Ian, Ian Gallagher.”

Shit, now this puppy had a name and Mickey found himself inspecting dog tags. “Ian,” he couldn’t help but repeat it and decided to play along at least a little while longer. ““Okay,” he nodded, “Mickey, Mickey Milkovich.”

The smile that split Ian’s face completely did Mickey in and Mickey rolled his eyes a little at Ian bouncing in place and chanting their names. “This idiot,” he sighed, but shit, why was this asshole so cute? Mickey took off, eventually pausing a little so Ian could catch on that he was supposed to follow him, and soon they were on their way.


Mickey’s game plan was simple; find some desolate place or dark, abandoned alley way, bang it out, and then go their separate ways. As far as Ian knew, they were strangers in a strange land that didn’t speak each other’s language. When they both got what they wanted, there would be no uncomfortable break-up or awkward promises or any such mess. It would be clean and perfect.

Except Ian had to go and open his big mouth. Where the perceived language barrier would dampen the spirits of lesser mortals, Ian took it as permission to blab everything. Mickey listened with a sort of horrified fascination as Ian started blabbing and would not stop. He was the Southside Scheherazade, with a thousand and one stories of his life back home and on tour. Mickey was surprised to find that Ian was probably only a couple neighbourhoods over, and that their backgrounds were shockingly similar.

Ian outlined his life in shocking, shameless detail, and he had a wicked sense of humour about it. It was constant struggle for Mickey not to react to one insane reveal after another. Every time Mickey found a place that might have served their needs, Ian would have just reached the apex of another thrilling episode and, weirdly enough, Mickey found he would rather hear the rest of it than have Ian drop his pants. Mickey would keep walking, determined to hear the rest of the story and learn more about his guy, and then they could fondue later.

“This is my second tour. I have a few months left and I don’t know… I went home after my first one and I still didn’t fit anywhere, you know? I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing or where I was supposed to be so I just ended up signing up again.”   

Mickey frowned at that as he fetched drinks out of a vending machine, figuring that between the walking and his non-stop chatter, Ian had to be parched.

“I’m going to need to figure my life out in a few months. I’m hoping for some kind of sign, like there’s a job waiting, or a program I really want to study, or maybe I end up meeting someone. If not, I guess the army will always want me. Maybe put in the proper effort and make officer.”

“Don’t officers get shot first?” Mickey couldn’t resist teasing, just barely remembering what language he was supposed to be speaking. Still, he was surprised at himself about how alarmed and bothered he was by the prospect of Ian—a man he’d only known for a few hours—getting shot at, injured or worse, all for the lack of something better to do. He was distracted for the moment when Ian whipped out his phone to act as their translator.

“Do you have a map? Because I'm getting lost in your eyes,” Ian crooned and Mickey almost imploded and collapsed inwards on himself. Godammit, Ian.

The app did as it was told and attempted to spit out the corniest line in existence, made worse as some of it got lost in translation. Mickey’s eye twitched as Ian’s phone asked him for directions because he’d lost his eyes somewhere. Mickey swiftly put a halt to all that nonsense. “You call my mother cow?” The phone swiftly disappeared from view.

“I’m not crazy,” Ian declared and Mickey simply couldn’t fight it any longer.

“Crazy…” he accused and almost giggled as Ian lost his shit. “Crazy American,” he hazarded further and grinned broadly at Ian’s apoplexy. “Crazy,” he repeated, just to be a dick, and laughed and took off, feeling stupidly happy that this gorgeous, crazy redhead with the motor mouth was perfectly willing to chase after him.


At some point, Mickey had completely abandoned his game plan, and instead was wandering aimlessly around Kiev, getting hopelessly charmed by the filterless ginger by his side. There was a brief moment of panic on Ian’s part as he fretted that Mickey might be the world’s most eccentric tour guide. A piece of candy and the sensual slide of Mickey’s thumb along Ian’s lower lip had put that ridiculous fear to bed.

He finally realized that he was turning this into an official date when he took Ian to a Pirozhki stand to get some food. Mickey didn’t know what was happening to him, but as alien and unsettling as this feeling was, he wasn’t about to let go of it just yet. The carnal desire in his gut was taking a surprising backseat to whatever it was that was developing and Mickey simply decided to play it by ear and see where the evening went.

They took their food and found a table by the wayside and chatted far into the evening. Ian told him about a Southside that was simultaneously painfully familiar and wonderfully different from his own. In turn, under the shroud of a foreign language and playing along with the temporary fantasy, he told Ian about his own life and family, about how things had been terrifying when his father had died, but had quickly gotten better. He told Ian about his job as a mechanic and how weirdly empty his house felt sometimes with just him and his sister in it. He also told the soldier that the army sounded great and all, but there might be an alternative out there, even if it was still Southside, even though it might come at the hands of a relative stranger.    

Mickey sighed when he caught sight of his watch. His grandmother and Mandy were probably forming search parties by now. He couldn’t postpone it any longer; it was time for this little movie to come to an end. Mickey found himself at a loss as to how to bring it to a close, but then, Ian struck once again.

“You’ve got to go, huh?” Ian sighed forlornly. “You’re about to go where I can’t follow.”

Mickey nearly swallowed his tongue. He twitched and choked and drew very concerned looks from Ian. “‘Go where I can’t follow’? Are you even serious right now?!” Mickey was nearly in tears. He was blowing his ruse but it was impossible to carry on the charade any further. “Is this how we’re winning wars now? We’re sending Abercrombie and Fitch models into the battlefield, saying shit like that? Are we killing the enemy softly now?”

Watching the realization dawn on Ian was a gift in itself. Confusion gave way to shock, then to mortification. “You speak English?!”

It took a little while to get Ian to look at him again, that is until the second realization hit that Mickey was not only a fellow American, but another Southsider to boot. Ian was beside himself. “Oh my god, you asshole.”

Mickey couldn’t stop grinning at his fluster and it became clear to him that there was no way he could leave without at least making the effort to see Ian again. He rifled through his bag for pen and paper, and wrote down all of his contact information. He slid it across to Ian, now bashful and uncertain. “I’ve got to go; I should have been back hours ago. If I’m not too much of an asshole, maybe we can keep in touch? Maybe I could even help you figure out what comes after the army. Who knows? I’ll even talk next time.”

Ian took it eagerly enough, though the man was still red-faced and abashed. Ian wasn’t talking much now and Mickey couldn’t delay any longer. Mickey wished Ian a bashful goodbye and prepared to leave. “You use that shit when you’re ready, Gallagher; stay pretty.” He then took off, leaving a tongue-tied Gallagher behind.

Mickey didn’t make it far, however; that baser feeling in his gut telling him there was one more thing he had to try before he left the ball in Ian’s court. He doubled back, his eyes sweeping the surroundings for any signs of potential trouble before swooping down on Ian and kissing him softly and sweetly while the blood thundered in his ears.

He pulled back, breathless and buzzing and desperate for this not to be the end, “seriously, call me.”   And with that he took off again, probably never to see Ian again, but who knows? Shit, it wasn’t his norm but he had to try. Maybe this could be the start of something.