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It’s about 9 p.m. by the time Ian gets home from work, and all he wants to do is take a hot shower and go to bed. It’s the third 12-hour shift he’s pulled this week and he’s exhausted.
He smells of grease and smoke and dirty water, and he needs to get this day off of him.

When he enters the house, he sees Fiona hopping on one foot trying to get her heel on while simultaneously poking a dangling earring into her earlobe. She’s wearing a skintight black dress that Ian vaguely recognizes and her eye makeup is rather raccoon-ish—not that Ian’s gonna say anything about it.

“Going out, are we?” Ian smirks as he drops his jacket on one of the chairs.

Fiona grins victoriously as her earring finally slips in and she falls into her heels.

“Yeah, Sean and I are gonna go see a show.”

“Well, have fun.” Ian comments and moves to head up the stairs.

“Thanks. Hey, wait up, Ian.” Fiona calls before he can leave. “Can you do me a favor?”

She widens her eyes in that way that just makes you feel bad for her.

Ian sighs. “What?”

“Could you tuck Liam in and read him a bedtime story? He’s been having nightmares lately and reading to him till he falls asleep really helps.”

“Seriously, Fiona? I just got off a 12-hour shift.” Ian says, somewhat deflated.

“Please? I would, but I told Sean I’d meet him at 9 and I’m already late. It won’t take you long.” Fiona pleads, already shuffling through her purse for her lipstick.

“Can’t Debbie—?” Ian starts desperately, but Fiona cuts him off before he can finish.

“Debbie’s sleeping at a friend’s place.”

“More like her new boyfriend’s place.” Ian mumbles under his breath.

“Thanks, Ian, I owe you one.” Fiona reaches up to kiss Ian’s cheek before grabbing her jacket and rushing out the door.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Ian mutters, feeling himself start to get pissed off.

Fiona was in the diner for barely three hours today and spent the whole time with Sean in his office, and now she’s running off with him again.
Leaving Ian to take care of her shit. As usual.

He hikes up the rest of the stairs and practically storms into his room—Lip’s old room.
Mickey’s sitting on the bed with a magazine open in his lap. He looks up and smiles when he sees Ian, which is normally enough to cheer Ian up no matter what. Tonight though, Ian’s mood is in the toilet, which Mickey of course notices right away.

“Hey, you alright?” he asks, tossing his magazine aside.

“Exhausted. Pissed. Need a shower.” Ian responds, apathetically, dropping his bag and pulling his shirt off over his head. He’s about to walk out again when Mickey grabs him by the shoulders and turns him around.

“Hey. Talk to me. What’s up?” Mickey says, looking Ian directly in the eyes.

Ian sighs. “It’s nothing. I’m just really fucking tired, and I just wanted to get away from people, but Fiona’s fucking gone and I gotta read to Liam and put him to bed and oh god, I’m gonna have to make sure Carl doesn’t have any fucking knives in his pillow again, fucking Fiona—”

“Hey, hey, slow down.” Mickey cuts in. “It’s alright man, just grab a shower and worry about the rest afterwards, okay? You’ll feel better.”

Ian lets out a heavy breath.

“Okay. Okay, yeah.” he nods and leaves the room.

In the bathroom, he turns the faucet all the way to the left, hoping to be hit by scalding water, but it’s barely lukewarm.

“Go ahead, Fiona, use all the fucking hot water.” Ian mutters under his breath, peeling off his jeans and getting into the shower.

It’s a lot less satisfying than what he wanted. He’d been—foolishly—hoping there’d be some hot water left, and that he’d be able to take his time and maybe convince Mickey to get in with him, not that that would’ve been too hard.

But no. Instead, he’s got lukewarm leftover water and no, he can’t take his time because he has to take care of the kids—the kids that Fiona’s fucking responsible for.

With another sigh, Ian picks up the sliver of soap and scrubs at himself violently, wanting more than anything to get the smell of the diner off of him. He washes his hair quickly and only stands under the water a few seconds more than necessary.

He shuts off the water, feeling frustrated, and reaches out to grab a towel.

Mickey’s not in their bedroom when Ian walks in to grab a pair of sweatpants, and when he opens the door to the boys’ room, he sees why.

“‘His mother was busy cooking; she wondered what he had done with his clothes. It was the second little jacket and pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight!’ What the fuck’s a fortnight? Isn’t this supposed to be a kids book? Shit, okay, uh ‘Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some chamomile tea, and she gave a dose of it to Peter. One table-spoonful to be taken at bedtime. But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.’ Man, what the fuck kind of manipulative story is that?”

Mickey looks up and immediately stops when he sees that Liam is fast asleep.

“Damn, that worked fast.” he mumbles.

“Peter Rabbit’s his favorite story.” Ian says from the doorway, a smile creeping onto his face.

Mickey turns.

“Hey.” he says. “Quick shower.”

Ian grins. “No hot water.”

Mickey rolls his eyes. “Typical.”

Liam makes a little whine in his sleep and turns over.

“Shit, okay, we should go.” Mickey says, standing up and going over to Ian.

“Wait, I gotta check on Carl.” Ian’s about to move, but Mickey puts a hand to his chest to stop him.

“Already done. And he’s already asleep. Pretending to be a thug is apparently fucking exhausting.”

Ian gives Mickey an incredulous look. Mickey just responds with a shrug, and ushers Ian out into the hallway, closing the door behind him.

“You seemed stressed.” he says, casually.

“Thanks.” Ian says, following Mickey into their bedroom.

“Yeah, whatever.”

Ian reaches out to grab him by the hips, and spins Mickey around to face him.

“Thanks, Mick.” Ian repeats, more forcefully.

Mickey shakes his head. “It’s no big deal, man.”

Ian rolls his eyes, because of course that’s the response Mickey would have.

So instead of arguing that yes, it is a big deal that Mickey took care of Ian’s shit because he was tired, Ian leans in to press his lips to Mickey’s.

Mickey meets him with no protest, sliding his hands up Ian’s muscular arms. After a few seconds, Mickey makes the move to pull away, but Ian just pushes forward, making Mickey stumble back and hit the bed with the backs of his knees.

Cradling Mickey’s face in his hands, Ian moves to deepen the kiss, swiping his tongue across Mickey’s bottom lip and already feeling his heart rate picking up.

He feels Mickey smirk gently against his mouth.

“What?” Ian mumbles, moving his lips to kiss down Mickey’s jaw before latching onto a soft part of Mickey’s neck.

“Didn’t you say you were exhausted?” Mickey says, but Ian is pleased to hear that he’s having a little trouble regulating his breathing.

“Mhm.” Ian hums, satisfied with himself, and sucks harder at the pale flesh of Mickey’s neck, determined to leave a mark.

When he hears Mickey try and hold back a throaty whimper, he releases Mickey’s skin from his teeth.

His eyes meet Mickey’s, and Mickey already has that look of hunger in his face. Ian grins.

“But if you’re too tired,” he begins, and laughs when Mickey growls at him.

“Don’t you fuckin’ dare—” he threatens. Ian’s grin just grows wider, and he surges forward with such force that he knocks Mickey off his feet and onto their bed.

Ian climbs over him and yanks at the bottom of his shirt, which Mickey eagerly helps take off.

“Shit, Ian, I should do your chores more often.” he pants, that little smirk back on his face.

Ian says nothing, but kisses down Mickey’s chest, and looks up to meet his eyes. Mickey’s face is full of desire and need and want and Ian loves it.

“Is that a promise?”