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But a circus ain't a love story (And now we're both sorry)

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X marks the spot
Where we fell apart
He poisoned the well, I was lyin' to myself

 

The air is stale. Not because its fucking summer and there’s only one fucking window unit in this small ass studio apartment. It's stale because these walls that used to keep in laughter and moans of ecstasy now house confusion and anger and a shitload of other emotions that haven't been touched upon, well...ever.

You could say it's been this way since the Terry thing. Since that baseball bat cracked over the side of his skull and you watched your father's eyes fade to nothingness, but you know these problems; this lack of conversation was between you long before fucking that day. Things just kept happening to the two of you and you just kept going, never stopping to acknowledge them. To take a breath. To experience what they meant. It's like being on a train that never stops. And you wanna get off.

You never thought you’d want to get off. You thought you’d always want to be on this train. Never ending, always going, always moving forward with life and excitement and reuniting moments. Passion, pain, resentment, need...you took it all and kept going. Always moving forward. Never looking back.

 

He was the best of times, the worst of crimes
I struck a match
And blew your mind, but I didn't mean it
And you didn't see it

 

 

And now you're staring across the small table at him as he fucks around on his phone. Sweat on his brow from the heat, no words spoken from his mouth in what seems like years. Maybe it's been years. You know it has been. You honestly can't remember the last real god damn conversation you've had with him. The kind of talks you had in the darkness of night as his arm lay across your bare stomach and you could hear his heartbeat. Maybe those talks were meaningless too. They were never really about anything important. At least not in the sense of what they should have been. Nothing has ever really been resolved. You just kept going on the train. Following him. Ending up where he was over and over again.

And eventually he stopped long enough for you to reach him, really reach him. And he's been still for a while now. Stuck. But you’re still going. Because you know if you stop you’ll turn one day and he will be gone again and you’ll have to figure out which train to get on now.

But you know he's not going anywhere. He made his bed and he sleeps in it now with his back to you when he used to cradle his body against yours all night. It's not his fault. It's mostly yours. Yours for pretending this is who you are now. That everything that was wrong before suddenly disappeared when that prison door closed behind you and he muttered a stunned ‘fuck’ because there you were, yet again following him. Riding the train to wherever he ended up this time.

You love him. It's not like you don't. He's like air to you. Everything you are, you were, is wrapped up in him. There isn't a pivotal moment in your life, other than your mother, that he isn't in at least somewhere in the background. None of this is really his fault. You chose this. You chose him.

But now you're choosing something else. You're choosing peace instead of this hell. Because you honestly believe you make your own hell. And you've made this one look so good from the outside but inside you cant breath anymore.

 

 

The ties were black, the lies were white
And shades of grey in candlelight
I wanted to leave him
I needed a reason

 

 

“I want a divorce.”

It takes him a while to finally look at you from behind his phone, but he puts it face down on the table in front of him and you watch as his Adam's apple bobs as he swallows down so many things you wish he would say. God sometimes you wish he would just say something. Even if it's the nonsense he used to spew at you. It's just so quiet now.

“You’re just going to walk away?”

You don't answer him. He knows the answer.

“I don't want you to.”

You snort. “Of course you don't.”

He winces.”What's that supposed to mean?”

“You don't want me to walk away? Fuck, Ian you’ve been walking away from me since we met. Over and over. And I always came back. I followed you everywhere. I followed you so far I lost where I was. Maybe I’m not the same person, but you are. So it's your turn now. Follow me. See where that leads you.”

The metal legs on the chair your in scrape across the concrete floor of your apartment as you stand up. He's just looking at you with those eyes. He has no idea what's happening. Or why. And that's the whole fucking problem, isn't it?

“I, uh,” He clears his throat. “I guess I’ll go back h-” he stops himself. Home. Right. Because you both know this place never really felt like home to him. -”to the house. Um,” He rubs big hands over his face and takes a few deep breaths. No Ian, that's not going to work. Not this time. As selfish and unkind as that sounds, it's the truth. “Ill grab some stuff.”

You don't answer him. He hasn't stood up yet. He's waiting for you to change your mind. Like he hasn't heard a word you just said. He still expects you to follow. But you can't. Not this time. You don't have it in you. There's no fight left in you. You have changed and not in the way you should have 15 years since you had that crowbar in your back.

“You really have nothing to say?” His voice cracks with real emotion and you almost, almost get sucked back in. You’ll give a little.

“Do you know how my mother died?”

He blinks, swallows and opens his mouth but then shuts it, lips tight.

“Monica died of a brain aneurysm.”

He stands perfectly still.

“Do you know when my father realized I was gay?”

Ian looks away, a pained expression on his face.”That day-”

“No.” You interrupt. “That's the first time he caught me. He knew when I was 10. Maybe even before that.”

“Okay,” Ian says slowly. “I’m not sure-”

“Do you know there was someone in Mexico? A guy?”

“I mean, I figured you fucked-”

“No, you're not listening. There was someone. Someone I cared about. Not like I cared about you. There was never anyone I fucking cared about like you. But I could have. I don't fucking know.”

“Is that what this is about? Has he reached out to you or something?”

You snort and run your thumb over your bottom lip. “You still aren't listening.”

“I don't know what you want me to hear! What the fuck is this all about, Mick?” You could punch him. You literally want to beat the living shit out of him, but you know it never worked before. He didn't get it all the other times you tried to beat the answers into him. The reasons. It wont work now.

“Me, asshole. It's about me. I know fucking everything about you. I know which Christmas was your favorite, I know the first time Monica took off. I know the name of every dude you ever really cared about. Fuck, I know the name of all the people your fucking families cared about! But you don't know a goddamn thing about me!”

“You never told me!”

“YOU NEVER FUCKING ASKED!”

His eyes widen. “You never seemed like you wanted to talk about that shit. You were always so secretive when it came to Terry and your family and especially your mom. I thought it was just easier…”

“Maybe in the beginning, probably. But not after. Not when we're locked in a 4 by 4 cell every night for a year. Not when we both got out and were finally free and together, really fucking together. Not then. And still you never asked me one fucking question. You never asked about Mexico, what I was really involved in. Cause it didn't matter to you. I was back, with you like you wanted, me chasing your ass yet again.”

“Mick, it was never like that.”

“Yes it fucking was. Don't fucking lie to me. And it's fine. I chose it. Fuck I chose you every damn time. Because I wanted to be with you. I loved you so goddamn much..” You choke a little and rub the palms of your hands into your eyes until all you see are yellow speckles. You can't stand to look at him right now. “You never wanted to get fucking married,man. You told me you didn’t. And I pushed, maybe because , fuck, it felt good to finally push you into something for once. Take you out of your comfort zone or some shit. I don’t know. But I did this.”

“You think I didn’t want to marry you?”

“You didn’t. And I made you. Just like you made me do a bunch of shit I didn’t want to do. Cause I was so fucking scared of losing you I did stupid shit. And I know you didn’t want to lose me, you just didn’t want to get married. So yeah, this is partly my fault. I’ll take the fucking fall for that.”

“And now you don't. Want me. Or love me.”

You slide your hands down your face. “I love you. I can't not. But no, I don't want you. Because you don't want me. Because you don't know me. You never did.”

“How can you say that?”

You take a long breath. “How do you know you love me?” You throw the same words back at him that he had the fucking nerve to throw at you all those years ago when you were trying to make a point that he meant nothing to you. When you were trying to teach him a lesson like some 15 year old girl. When you had become a version of yourself you didn't recognize. Fuck, it makes you sick.

“What...what the fuck, Mick? Really? I'm not even gonna answer that. Fuck you.” He storms to the small dresser next to the bed and starts throwing clothes everywhere.

“You can't answer me because you don't know. Yeah, I’m brave, I’ve heard that before. I’m smart. Hot. I ride your dick like a pro. I’m tough. But you don't really know why. And I don't know if your fucking stuck on some vision of me, of us, when we were fucking around and hiding from my fucking dad or what, but I’m not that same person.”

“Yeah, because people change. They grow up.” He spits at you with fire.

“And yet you fucking haven't.”

He turns, so much anger in his eyes. There he is. It's the most you've gotten out of him in years.

“I haven't grown up? We got fucking married! I have a great job! I’m stable!”

 

You cross your arms across your chest and do your signature eyebrow raise. “So?”

“SO!? SO!?” He barrels at you full force and you grab him by his shoulders before he can knock you to the floor. You struggle against each other, his height thinking it’s an advantage over you but you sweep his leg and he goes down instantly. You press your boot to his chest and he struggles but you press harder as he's gasping for air. You ease up.

“You done?”

 

 

It was the great escape
The prison break
The light of freedom on my face
But you weren't thinkin'
And I was just drinkin'

 

 

He nods and you take your foot off him. He rolls quickly away from you and now he’s kneeling and looking up at you taking air back into his lungs and the look of confusion on his face is almost laughable. It reminds you for a split second of the last time he kneeled in front of you. Pledging his love, his devotion to you in some fucking stupid ass club in front of a bunch of strangers. Like him doing that was some kind of throw back to the last time you were both in a bar and you made some grand gesture. Just another fucking thing you did for him that in the long run he never fucking understood the depth of.

“You really don't want to be with me anymore?”

You take your time to answer. A thousand things running through your head as you look down at the one person, the one thing you always wanted since you could remember really wanting anything.

Got any slim jims in this shithole?

Take your hand off the glass.

Missed ya.

Not everyone gets to just blurt out how they fucking feel every minute.

Don't

Of course we are.

Together

I love you.

Will you wait?

Knew you'd come.

This goodbye?

Did you ever think about me?

Then get in the fucking car.

I rolled on the cartel…

You don't belong in here, Gallagher.

Fuck it, I do.

Save the fucking speech, you pussy.

I, Mikahlio…

“No. I don't want to be with you anymore, Gallagher.”

 

Don't pretend it's such a mystery
Think about the place where you first met me

 

 

5 months later:

You throw your keys and wallet on the coffee table and grab the half empty bottle of warm beer off it and take a long swig. It's gross but it's wet and that's what you need right now from the 11 hour day you just put in at the garage. You look around; your ears adjusting to the quiet. You stare at the unmade bed in the corner. It hasn't been made in months. Not since…

No. No regrets. Yeah it's fucking lonely. Even when he was here it was still lonely but at least there was another body in the small space. You miss him, maybe not him, but the presence of him. It's the first time you've been away from him by choice. It feels good and wrong all at the same time.

No one understood. Especially him. He begged and pleaded and would call all hours of the night that first 2 weeks. You got visitors from every Gallagher. Including Fiona. You all told them the same thing. Mind your fucking business.

They each hugged you before they finally left, realizing they weren't going to get any answers either. You cared about each one of them in his own way, but this codependent thing you had going on with all of them, needed to come to a screeching halt.

You broke yourself out of your sad fucking haze and sift through the mail in your hand. It's all junk, a few bills but mostly junk. But this one. This one isn't junk. You know his handwriting.

It can't be the divorce papers; those were signed a month ago. You don't want to open it. But you know you will. No matter what you said to him that day, what you tried to convince yourself of, this is still fucking him. You'd never slam the door in his face. You'd still take a bat to the head for him. He was still your person.

You rip open the letter and sit down on the edge of the coffee table. You stop breathing.

 

Mickey,

This letter is long overdue. Well, these letters. There will be more. These are the letters I should have written you. The letters you should have gotten while you were in prison. When I should have meant when I said I’d wait for you. But what you don't understand Mick, is that I was waiting. Yeah, maybe to everyone else, you, fuck even myself, it didn't seem like it. But I was. I was always waiting for you. Because I knew you'd always come back. And I’m such an asshole Mick. I'm such a selfish asshole for thinking that, knowing that and taking advantage of that. I never wrote to you. 2 years and not once. So maybe it's too late, but I’m gonna write now. Maybe you wont even read this. I wouldn't blame you. But I’m trying. Because you deserve it. You deserve so much more than what I gave you. You gave me everything. Your heart, your body, your truth, your freedom. And I took it, I took it and never once thought about what it meant to you. What it meant for us.

But I know now, and maybe it's too late. But I have to try. One last time. And if it's really over, I'll let you go. Because you deserve that too. You deserve so much more than what I gave you. I’ll let you go because I could never do that before. And I'll let you let me go. Because I never let you do that either.

So I'll keep writing. I’ll say everything I should have said from the beginning. And maybe, even if we never see each other again you'll finally know what you meant to me. Because I never said it. But I’m gonna say it now.

I miss you.

Gallagher

 

But would you leave me
If I told you what I've done
And would you leave me
If I told you what I've become

 

 

The smoke invades your lungs and you blow it out slowly as you turn the envelope over and over in your hand. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Over and over. Seems appropriate right now.

You hold your cigarette between your lips and rip the paper open and take a deep breath. You can hear the other guys in the garage carrying on on their lunch break and here you are sitting outside, chain smoking and holding one of his letters in your hand like a fucking pussy. Cause that's what you are. You divorce the fucker and you still feel your chest tighten when you get one of these letters. There have been a few. Him telling you he got an apartment. Close to the Gallagher house. A little less codependent as he used to be. Job is fine, family is fine. But each letter had its own little apology in it. An apology and explanations for things that happened back then.

Things he's realizing in the time apart. Things that he never knew meant something until they were gone. Ian said being away from him, stable not manic and going fucking nuts, really gave him a chance to look back on all the things that happened and how maybe Mickey had been right. He didn't know anything. He never realized what such small things at the time were actually really fucking huge.

Each letter was another old wound reopened. It took days for you to be able to breathe again after reading them. Because they were rehashes of shit between the two of you, but from his eyes. And some of it is still bullshit. But most of it...it makes you wonder if he really gets it now. No, bullshit. You divorced his ass for a reason. So why the fuck are you still reading these letters?

 

Mick,

It's so quiet here. All night I rerun every single moment between us. Everything I said. Everything I didn't say. Every time you needed me and I made you be there for me instead. Fuck, how did you put up with me for so long? It's weird. I wonder now, all these months later, what the fuck you ever saw in me, Mick? And this isn't me not loving myself or some bullshit I know you’d throw at me if I was in front of you. I know I’m a good person. I try my hardest. But I never tried hard with you because I guess I didn't have to. All I can think about is that day with your dad and Svetlana. The look in your eyes when she was on top of you. Begging me with them to just leave. To not watch it happen. You didn't want me to save you, no matter how badly I wanted to. You just wanted me to let you go. And maybe I should have. Maybe that was the point I should have walked away before it all got too out of hand. Fuck, I don't know. I keep trying to figure out when this all got so out of control. Maybe it started with that gun and the crowbar. I just don't know anymore.

But I didn't let it go. I didn't let you go. I pushed, like I always did. You were right. I made it about me. About how you needed to admit you were gay. Not for you. I couldn't see, at least not really, that you just weren't ready. That you couldn't. That it would kill you. Literally. But I was too young, too many hearts in my eyes, too out and proud to ever understand what that would mean for you. I pushed you to admit it. I pushed you to run. I pushed you to be something you weren't then. And I’m so fucking sorry.

Looking back, I get it. I get why marrying her and doing that literally saved your life. And me taking off and doing all that shit I did in the Army, wasn't your fault. Me telling my family I left because of relationship issues was so fucking not fair. I blamed you because I couldn't blame myself. Because I was sick. And then it would be real. You took the blame for so much. And that's exactly what you did. You took. You took all my sickness and need for freedom and family issues and carried it with you along with the ton of other shit you were carrying that I never knew anything about. Because I never asked.

So who knows when it would have been a good time to walk away. Or stop it before it started. But I can't change it. I can't go back in time and say something different, or just leave when I knew we were just heading into chaos. But I don't regret it. I may regret the way I handled things. Things I did or didn't do. But I don't regret us. I don't regret what we were to each other.

I just hope when you think of me now you don't regret me either.

Yours still,

Gallagher

 

You shove the letter in your pocket and flick your burnt off cigarette onto the sidewalk. The letter fits right on top of a piece of metal you just can't seem to put anywhere else but on yourself.

 

 

You are the hole in my head
You are the space in my bed
You are the silence in between
What I thought and what I said
You are the night-time fear
You are the morning when it's clear
When it's over you'll start
You're my head, you're my heart

 

The brown liquor burns as it coats your throat and you hit it on the bar a few times to signal you need another. It's been a while since you’ve been here; not because you're afraid of running into him. Fuck that. There's no fear anymore. You had him, lost him, had him, lost him, had him and finally let him go. There's no fear left.

Guess this room just holds so many memories for you. For both of you. And you guess you just wanted to read this new letter in a place where you could still feel him in the worn wood beneath your feet. Fucking gay, man.

A new shot is put in front of you and rip open the letter just like all the others.

 

Mick,

I had a dream the other night. It was the night of Yev’s baptism and instead of you coming out I just left like you asked me to. I smiled at you and told you I’d see you at home. I accepted what you needed from me and for once gave you what you really needed in that moment. I let you be free.

I’m sorry I never realized how free you were with me. How all the things we were to each other, without you coming out, was freedom. We made each other free. You were right. I never thanked you for doing that for me. I just expected it from you. That we really coud'nt be us without you admitting to everyone that you were gay. I never realized what that did, how it started such a spiral effect. But we did spiral didn't we? Or at least I did and you just followed along with me.

Maybe one day, if we ever see each other again, you can tell me about the guy in Mexico. I hope he made you feel free in ways you never did with me.

Always,

Ian

 

You crumple the letter in your hand and down one last shot. You throw a $20 on the bar and tap it once to give a small thanks and goodbye. You faintly hear a ‘see ya Mick’ from Kev before the door swings shut behind you.

 

 

And oh my love remind me, what was it that I said?
I can't help but pull the earth around me, to make my bed
And oh my love remind me, what was it that I did?
Did I drink too much?
Am I losing touch?
Did I build this ship to wreck?

 

The sand between your toes feels like coming home in a way you didn't think you needed. The ocean is as blue as you remember. Its weird being here; its probably a huge fucking mistake being here. There are still people after you.But you're here as a free man, and there was someone you had to see.

You sit in the sand, the water inching toward your bare feet. You saved the most recent letter for this moment. Away from Chicago. Away from anything and everything that you looked at that could have reminded you of him. Ian’s picked apart so many moments between you two in these letters and you knew eventually he would get to the one moment you aren't sure you are ready to dive into. It seems fucking ridiculous. In the grand scheme of things it seems the smallest. After getting raped, getting the shit beat out of you time and time again by your own fucking father, the bipolar, the psych ward, the kidnapping of your own kid, prison seems like a blip on the radar of the two of you.

But to you...maybe not to him, never to him, it was the grandest gesture.

You gave up your freedom. You gave up a place you felt safe for the first time in a long time, without him in your arms. Yeah, you were running drugs again, but that's simple shit for someone like you. You were born for that. You weren't born for peace and freedom.

You swallow the mist coming off the ocean into your lungs and unfold the letter that's been burning in your pocket since you got on the plane.

 

Mickey,

You rolled on the cartel you were working for and in exchange got to pick where you got locked up.

For me. So I wouldn't be alone. So you could keep me safe. To be with me. Yet again. I never knew what you had in Mexico. Because I left you. Again. I always just left you. And you came back, one more time. And yeah, maybe I married you because I felt like I owed you. Look at all you gave up just to be with me. I never even asked why you broke out of prison. What it was like for you in there that made the idea of breaking out, possibly getting caught and adding even more time to your sentence. Because all I saw was that you did it to see me again. But it wasn't, was it? You didn't do it for me. You did it to escape the hell you were probably in. And you invited me along for one last time at freedom with you.

I just now get what you asking me to go to Mexico with you meant. It was a new life. Away from everything that tore us apart the first time. And I didnt take it. And you came back. Right back to the shit and it is what tore us apart. Because we could never get past it. I could never get past it. You couldn't because I didn't let you. I didn't heal with you. I didn't try to heal you. I just...took.

I wish I could go back. I wish I could go back and go with you. Maybe I don't. Maybe I was right in not going. Who the fuck knows, right Mick? What is the right answer? There isn't one. But fuck sometimes I wish there was.

I think a lot lately about you in Mexico. And as jealous as it makes me, as much as my chest feels like it's going to explode, I’m glad you had someone there. I mean, fuck you never expected to come back to Southside for my stupid ass. You were trying to make a life there. Of course someone found you and had to have you. Christ, I always had to have you. It's what got me in this mess to begin with.

Do you think there are other versions of ourselves in past lives? Alternate universes? I hope so. I hope in those places we didn't hurt each other like we did in this one. It's what keeps me going. Fuck, what am I even talking about? Only you would understand this bullshit in my head. You always did.

I just wish I had asked you more about the bullshit in yours.

Maybe one day. In another life.

 

Still,

Ian

 

“Ay, Azul. You good?”

You fold up the letter and crinkle it between your fist. You sniffle and rub your thumb against your bottom lip. Another life. Another universe. That's where you are.

“Yeah, fuck I’m good.” You stand and watch as he strides to you, with a smile as bright as the sun beating down on your bare back.

“You’re only here 2 more days, Azul. You gonna sit here thinking about Rojo or you gonna spend some time with me?”

“Hold your damn horses, I’m coming.” You brush the sand off your shorts and meet him at his side as he slides his warm hand down your back to get the sand you missed.

“Oh you will be, Azul. Lots of time to make up for now that you're a newly single man.” He presses his nose to the side of your face and as wrong as it feels in so many ways, it feels familiar. Safe. New and old all wrapped into one.

“Its only been a little over a fucking year.”

“Mmmm, long enough, Azul.”

 

 

I walked through the door with you, the air was cold
But something 'bout it felt like home somehow and I
Left my scarf there at your sister's house
And you still got it in your drawer even now

 

 

You’ve been sitting on your bed for hours now. With this last letter was some of your ‘things’ that were left over at the Gallagher house. Apparently Debbie found them when she was organizing and cleaning the bedrooms. One of them is the scarf you had when you were 17 years old. You used to wrap it around yourself like a shield. You were wearing it the first time you ever really laid eyes on him. There were a few shirts in there too. Shirts with the sleeves ripped off from the younger years when you still considered yourself than some southside thug.

The letter sat on top of the scarf until the sun went down and now the only light coming into the studio apartment is from the full moon outside.

 

And I know it's long gone and
That magic's not here no more
And I might be okay
But I'm not fine at all

 

You don't need the light. It's like since he's been gone you have some kind of photographic memory because you can remember each and every fucking word from his letters. It pisses you off because you can't move on. And you could blame them on the letters. And maybe that's some part of it. But you don't have to read them. You could throw them in the fucking garbage. Hell even write one back with just one word. Stop. He would. You know he would. Because that's what this is all about isn't it? You being fucking happy? But you're not. You thought you'd be. But you're a mess. Fuck. You hate yourself.

Because you believe him. You fucking believe every single thing hes writing in these letters. Its the most honest hes ever been with you and it makes you so fucking angry you want to destroy everything in this fucking apartment because it took till now for him to understand? To apologize? To fucking get it? Get you?

No fuck him. Fuck this.

 

 

And I know it's long gone and
There was nothing else I could do
And I forget about you long enough
To forget why I needed to

 

 

You pick the letter back up. You don't know why. You know what it says. Maybe you just wanna touch something he's recently touched. It's pathetic.

 

Mickey,

I slept with someone.

I was safe.

It was awful.

I waited. I waited a long time. But my dick couldn't even stay hard. And it's not the meds because I never had that problem when we were together. His body just wasn't right. His hair isn't dark enough. There were no freckles in his shoulder. He didn't sound like you. He wasn't you. I’m ruined because of you.

These letters are supposed to be apologies. Explanations. And they have been, but I am so pissed at you right now for walking away because you ruined me, Mick. So fuck you for making me love you. You think I didn't know you. Okay,so maybe I didn't know the big shit. About your mom, or all the times your dad beat the shit out of you. But that's not what I see when I look at you. I know it's the big shit that makes you who you are. I know it's that shit, that pain that you live with everyday. And I can't change it and I know I added to it. But I do know you. I know the real important shit. I know if I don't leave the window cracked a little at night when we sleep, even in the winter, you’re gonna kick the blankets off and then I freeze to death. I know to make sure I put more milk than a normal person takes in their cereal because you like to eat your cornflakes soggy. I can tell by the look on your face at night exactly what kind of drink you need. If it's beer or the whole bottle of jack.

I know what subjects are off limits. You say I never asked you anything? I never wanted to know you? If there is any type of movie or show on where there is a prison scene you instantly pull away from me. And maybe it's because you were mad at me, still, about everything. I know there was bad shit in there. But I read your body language. I always did. I used to push so hard and all it did was make you lash out so I stopped pushing. So what the hell did you want from me, Mick? Yeah these past few years weren't easy. We became like roommates because we stopped talking. But I refuse to take all the blame for that.

I know you. I know the look in your eye when you want to fucked slow and easy. I know the look in your eye when you want your dick sucked. I know the look in your eye when all you want is for me to kiss you for hours. And I know shit changed when you killed Terry. And I know it was just one more thing you did for me. You did it to protect me because he was coming after me. He was going to kill me. Kill us just for loving one another. Because he was a horrible man. I don't regret he's dead. Not for one moment. But I know I never asked you how you felt after. We never talked about it. We just stopped talking all together. But I was afraid you'd tell me you regretted killing him. I couldn't hear you say that after everything he put us through. Put you through. I couldn't hear you say he didn't deserve to die. He did. I’m mad I didn't get to do it. I'm sorry if it hurt you. But I will never be sorry that asshole is gone.

It's funny because I always thought once he was really gone we’d be better. We’d be able to really be free. But once again, even in his death, Terry found a way to break us.

Fuck I’m rambling. I could go on for pages if you'd like about how I know you. Maybe I don't know the big shit; the milestones moment but I know the little stuff. The little stuff that makes you, you. That makes up your day. Our day. So fine, think what you want. But fuck you for thinking I don't know you.

And fuck you because I miss you. Fuck you because you're still inside me. Fuck you for making me fuck that guy with my wedding ring still on. Fuck you for giving up.

Fuck you for making me Ian without Mickey.

 

Forever,

Ian

 

Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece 'til you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well

 

 

You can feel him underneath you. He's inside you. He's filling you. You're riding him. Its slow, torturous. He's sliding his long soft fingers up and down your arm. Across your legs. Gripping your hips. Pushing back into bruises that still haven't healed from the last time. He always jokes you should just get them tattooed on yourself.

You lean down but you miss his mouth and his lips attack instantly to your neck in just the right spot. You moan and push down harder on his cock and this is the moment, right here. Right here when time stands still and all there is your bodies joined together. You hate the way it sounds in your head. It sounds too corny. Too queer. But you can't explain it to someone who doesn't have this. Have what you and he have. He feels it too. Because he doesn't care how things sound. He likes corny. He likes queer.

He’s close; those labored breaths against your neck and his fingers trembling against your hips. Your cock keeps brushing against his abs and you need to cum. You both do.

You whip your body up and arch your back, your head and neck straining as you grab his chest and ride him hard and fast. You plant your feet on the bed and just bounce up and down on his cock, getting as deep as it can go inside you. You can take it all. You're so full and you feel the tingle in your spine and your cock hardens even more and he bites his lower lip and moans and it's coming, you're coming, he's coming....

You jerk awake, in a wet spot on the sheets beneath you. One, because you forgot to leave the window open and because, like a goddamn 14 year old, you jizzed all over yourself.

Fucking Gallagher.

You sit up and wince. Fuck him. Fuck yourself. What the fuck.

Your eyes catch the unopened envelope on your bedside table next to an unfinished beer. You reach for that instead and drink it down, your throat parched probably because you were moaning in your sleep like a little bitch.

 

 

Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I'm a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
'Cause I remember it all, all, all too well

 

 

This is the last one. He didn't say it was but its been 2 years and that always seems to be the breaking point for him. 2 years. He let you have it in the last letter. And you’ve been putting off reading this one because like a pussy you don't want them to end. It's pathetic. And weak.

The sun is coming up. The sun slowly making its way into your bedroom. You can't move from the spot on the bed and can't take your eyes off the letter. This is it. This time you aren't sure what he's going to say. You've said nothing. You haven't seen him. Called him. Texted. Fuck he might not even know your getting the letters. But he knows. He knows you. You were wrong. Fuck you were so wrong.

Your hands are shaking as you open it.

Fuck you, Gallagher.

 

Mickey,

I’ll keep this short.

Meet me at your old house on the 12th. 7:am.

If you don't come I’ll know this is really over. There's no way to move on. I don't want to go back. I want to move forward. I'd rather do it with you but I’ll understand if you can't. For once I'm letting you make a decision without being pressured.

Your old house. 12th. 7:am. Take it or leave it.

Either way please know I loved you with everything I had.

You had me. You always had me. You always will.

Ian

 

Time won't fly, it's like I'm paralyzed by it
I'd like to be my old self again, but I'm still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone

 

You check your phone. 6:37am.

Fuck.

You're covered in your own cum. You need to shower. You need.

Him.

You need him.

You've always needed him.

You can let go of the past. You can let go of the little shit that got you here. Yeah, you know you made the right choice leaving. It had to finally be your choice. And now he's giving you a choice to come back.

 

'Cause there we are again, when I loved you so
Back before you lost the one real thing you've ever known
It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

 

So you run. You throw on jeans and a hoodie and you run. It's a 15 minute walk from your place, but if you run. If you run…

Memories attack you as you run; remembering the last time you ran like this down these southside streets. But this isn't like last time. You know that now. He's different. You're different. You're still that same pussy you always were. Running to him again, but it feels different. It's your choice. It's all you ever wanted.

He's all you ever wanted.

 

 

And I'm on my way, I still remember
This old country lanes
When we did not know the answers
And I miss the way you make me feel, it's real

 

 

You find him sitting on the rotted out front porch, smoking a cigarette. The rising sun catches his ring on his finger. He sees you from the street and stands. He looks nervous but then relieved. You can't move. It's been 2 years. He looks the same but so different. Like it isn't the same person you spend over a decade loving. You can't speak. You feel like you should say something. I love you. I missed you. Fuck you look amazing.

Fuck you. Why did you make me do this? What took you so long. I hate you for making me walk away.

“You’re late, bitch.”

And you smile.

 

Today I went and bought myself a bottle,
Like we used to do,
Reminded me of you.
Today I saw a train roll by the river,
Blowing off the steam,
Reminded me of me.

 

“What are we doing here?”

“Did you see the sign out front? It's sold. New owners are gonna tear it down and build a whole new house. Figured you might want to see it before they do.”

“Why the fuck would I want to do that?” You light another cigarette and look around the now empty shell of the house. There's not much left in it. A few pieces of garbage. The old kitchen table. At least that fucking couch is gone. You glance toward your old room but quickly shake your head. No. You can't.

Ian smirks and walks into the house more and picks up two crowbars leaning against the wall. He turns to you, holding one out like a peace offering. You get it now. Why you are here. Why you are both here. This is the final step. To move forward. To let go. And for him to know you. But he does doesn’t he? He knows this house, these memories will haunt you forever. Long after this place is gone. But he’s trying to help. To help you let go. He’s trying. And maybe you were wrong. Maybe he was trying all along. But you both just got lost trying. Trying to let go. Trying to pretend it didn’t happen. But it did happen. And he’s not ignoring it anymore.

You take the crowbar in your hand. Feeling the cold metal against your palm. He just keeps staring at you. Waiting. This time he's waiting.

 

That's when I threw the bottle in the river
That's when I started running for the train
There's nothing that you need I can't deliver
Carry me away

 

You grab it with both hands and close your eyes. When you open them he's standing behind you now. Waiting. This is your show. Your past. Your dead to bury.

You swing, the claw catching the drywall of the living room. It cracks so easily. Like all your bones did everytime he hit you. You swing again. And again. Over and over. For every hit. For every slap. For every curse he spewed at you. For every time he took something away from you. For your mother. For Ian. For Mandy. For your brothers.

Out of breath and tears in your eyes you turn to him. You drop the crowbar on the hardwood floor and it echoes as it clatters. He's smiling. Fuck, how does he do that?

“You good?”

You nod, sniffle and wipe your nose like a pussy. Yeah, maybe you are. Fuck it.

“Yeah, Gallagher. I’m good.”

He drops the crowbar too and motions toward the front door.

“You not gonna take a few swings?” You ask.

“Nah. I got what I came for.”

You just stare at each other. The air is thick and hot between you. The light coming in through broken windows. You don't know how he does it. How he makes you feel like that in the darkest times.

Like everything is going to be alright. Will it? Will it be alright now?

 

Whoever said it was a small world was either a liar
Or a fool
'Cause it's not true
And any promise we make is as easy to break
As the plastic people on your wedding cake
So says you
But you know, I do

 

You lunge at him. Needing his air in your lungs. Needing to feel his mouth again. He wraps his hands around your face like he used to. Like he couldn't hold you close enough. Like he wanted to crawl inside you. You slide your tongue against his and this is it. This is home. This is a choice. This is you. This is who you are with him. This is who the two of you always were.

Where you could always find your way back to one another.

You pull back and press your forehead to his chin. Fuck. It's like you can breathe again.

“I-”

“Shhh.” He presses his lips to your forehead. “Don't. No regrets. You hear me? No more apologies. No more past. No more. Just us, ok? Ian and Mickey. The rest we can figure out as we go, ok?”

You nod and twist your fists in the front of his shirt. You stay like that for a while. The dust settling from drywall shattering and from the past around your feet. There's nothing left to hang on to. This is all you ever needed anyway.

“You ready to do this, Milkovich?” He whispers.

You close your eyes. And smile.

Fucking Gallagher.