Ever since Ian became a lawyer and got so busy with barely any time on his hands, he had made a point to always meet his family for dinner every two weeks. He had to do this otherwise he would never see them at all and the last thing Ian wanted was to feel estranged with his family. He loved them too much. Problem was, they always insisted on eating at this one restaurant.
Now, Ian didn’t have anything against it. They were great, had delicious food, good ambiance, he enjoyed the company from his goofy family. Now if only he could get the food he actually orders.
When they had first started coming here two months ago, Ian remembers they had come in early for breakfast.
Eight Weeks Ago
The noisy Gallaghers are led to a table at the corner. And even though it's at night Ian still enjoyed sitting near the window. He has been especially swamped with work this week and barely even made it for breakfast today. But he had made himself a promise to always make sure he ate with his family every two weeks. He does engage in conversation even though he doesn’t put his iPad down.
“What about you sir?” Ian hears the waiter ask.
He doesn’t even take his eyes off his iPad when he replies; “A Spanish omelet and a glass of pineapple juice, thank you.”
A few minutes later breakfast is placed on the table. He still doesn’t look up when his is placed in front of him and only gives the waiter a thumbs up even as he hears his sisters praise the waiter. It's when Lip takes the iPad from him that Ian exhales exaggeratedly before digging into his breakfast. Except,
“Who switched my food?”
“What are you talking about?” Carl asks with his mouthful.
Ian grimaces and repeats his question. “This is not what I ordered, who switched with me?”
He gets shrugs in return as everyone continues to devour their respective food. Ian looks around the restaurant but he doesn’t know what their waiter looks like so he huffs in frustration and digs into his French toast.
“Demmit, I could’ve made French toast at home. I wanted a Spanish omelet because I can't make it myself!” he complains under his breath before shoving a piece of toast in his mouth. At least he got the juice right.
Two weeks later, his siblings loved the food there so much they go back for dinner on that particular Sunday. Today Ian doesn’t have his iPad with him but he is so frustrated with his day he just needs good food and laughter from his loud family then he’ll feel better. They are seated at a different table this time but Ian doesn’t care as long as they take care of his hunger.
The waiter comes and hands them their menus. Ian for some reason recognizes his voice as the waiter who served them the last time. He has a very unique voice. He looks up at him after making up his mind and hands back the menu.
“I will have the pan-roasted chicken, with… lemon-garlic green beans.” Ian orders. The waiter smiles and takes all their menus then walks away. “So, how’s college Carl?”
His brother only groans in reply and they all burst out laughing.
“This is fish! Hey! Hey!” Ian calls the waiter back. He waits for him to come and stand by the table.
“Something wrong sir?”
“Yes, I specifically ordered chicken. This is fish.”
“Are… are you sure?”
Ian bites on the inside of his cheek to keep himself from snapping. He reads the waiter’s tag. Mickey “Yes Mickey, I'm pretty fucking sure I ordered fucking chicken.”
Mickey chews at his pen then goes through his notebook. He frowns down at it then turns to look at Ian. “Sir, I'm not trying to say that you don’t know what you're saying or whatever but if you look at my notes here,” he brings his notebook closer. “I wrote down, pan-roasted fish, with… lemon-garlic green beans.” Mickey pauses and raises an eyebrow at Ian. “Now, I've been doing this waiter gig a couple of years now. Before I take the food back, are you sure you ordered chicken?”
Ian racks his brain to try and remember but this entire conversation has him confused and he starts to think that maybe he did order fish after all. “I… I guess I did. I'm sorry.” Ian stammers and picks up his fork. He would have given anything for that chicken though.
He looks around the table and his siblings are waiting to see if everything is okay so he smiles at them and takes a bite of his fish. It's good, he was just craving chicken is all.
“I… I guess I did. I'm sorry.”
That’s what his hot customer had said with this look on his face that made Mickey's heart ache. He must have really wanted that chicken. But what is Mickey supposed to do?
From the very first time Mickey saw Ian –like he'd heard the others call him- he knew he wanted him. he wanted him so bad. Mickey has never wanted any other man this way in his life. He had only seen the redhead once but he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him, literally. Every single day since two Sundays ago Mickey had been waiting for the other man to come back and he hadn’t. Until today.
And Mickey was shit at approaching men unless he was high, at least. And Ian wasn’t just any man. He wasn’t those usual idiots he picked up from one gay club to another for a quick fuck. No. Ian was some rich hot shot who had brought his friends? Family? Here twice and treated them to expensive meals. The redhead was obviously out of his league and Mickey was left with no choice here but to make the other man notice him.
Which was already hard as it is.
The first time he had barely spared him a glance, and today Mickey had managed to not only piss him off, but leave him… sad. Mickey has never hated seeing an unhappy face on anyone like he hated seeing it on Ian just now. He was tempted to go back and get his order but Ian was already eating and talking with his family. (Mickey had concluded from the other female red head and the brown haired girl who looked like that other guy who liked to chew with his mouth open)
Bottom line was that Mickey needed Ian to notice him more than he has ever needed anything else in his life. And if that meant getting him the wrong order every time, then so be it. He glances at the noisy table one last time before catering to the customer who walks in.
How he wishes he could call that man his boyfriend. A thought Mickey never had very often. Or ever. But he couldn’t help the pull this stranger had on him. He simply couldn’t.
Both times that follow the waiter still gets Ian's order wrong and Ian starts to think that maybe he's not so crazy after all.
Mickey directs the Gallaghers to that table they sat on their very first time here.
“How come we always get you as our waiter?” Ian asks because, come on.
“Why? You want someone else?” Mickey returns even as his heartbeat elevates because he really hopes Ian won’t say yes.
“Ian, leave Mickey alone. He is a great waiter.” Fiona defends.
Ian leans back and crosses his hands. Mickey can't help but admire those freckled arms. “Really? Because since I've been here, he never gets my right order.”
“C’mon Ian,” Lip smirks. “You want to tell me gets all our orders right but brings you stuff you don’t order?”
“That is exactly what I'm saying!”
“Sir, I assure you…” Mickey starts.
“Ignore him Mickey.” Debbie interrupts him and Ian really wishes she hadn’t because he would have loved to hear the end of that sentence.
Ian orders a chicken burger and fries. While he waits patiently to prove to his family that he is right, Mickey on the other hand is busy feeling disappointed. He is aware that the jig is up. He knows that today he can't bring Ian the wrong order.
But then that will be it. He doesn’t have any other tricks up his sleeves. And never in a million years would Mickey ever outright ask Ian out on a date. That was not happening. Mickey hadn’t had sex since he saw Ian. That’s two months Mickey has gone without sex. Definitely a record. All he ever wanted was for Ian to notice him, actually notice him. Was that too much to ask?
He can't go back there. Ian had two months to take notice of him and he hadn’t. and now that he had realized Mickey was messing up his orders on purpose, he was at a risk of losing his job. He swallows and switches with another waiter, Sandra. He can't go back to that table, it’s just going to be torture.
“Who are you?” Ian looks up from his phone when he hears Debbie ask their new? Waiter.
“I'm Sandra. I will be your server for the rest of the night.”
“What happened to Mickey?” Fiona asks with a deep frown.
“He had to cater to some other customers.” Sandra replies as she places all their orders on the table. “Please let me know if you need anything else.”
She walks away and Ian gets hit with a hand towel on the face and Lip punches him on the arm. He doesn’t need to ask why. He takes a bite of his burger and for the first time ever it's actually what he ordered.
He is surprised when it doesn’t make him as happy as he thought it would.
As soon as the clock hits 7:00, Ian quickly leaves his office and drives to the restaurant. He had found out they normally leave at 7:30. He arrives with ten minutes to spare and parks just by the entrance. He lights a cigarette and leans on his car. Now he waits.
He sees them as soon as they walk out and he calls out to Mickey who is walking out with his head bowed. “Mickey!”
Mickey turns his head sharply in surprise. “Ian?” he asks in disbelief.
Ian nods. “Can I have a sec?”
Mickey walks towards him unsure. He stops a few feet from Ian. “You here to get me fired? Sandra will be serving you from now on.”
Ian puts his hands in his pockets and stands up straight. “I umm… I don’t want Sandra as my waiter.”
“What! Why?” Mickey asks disbelievingly.
Ian chuckles and licks his lips. He notices Mickey's eyes follow the movement and he tilts his head in realization. “I... I realized I didn’t like getting the right order.” Mickey continues to look up at him in confusion and Ian smirks.
Mickey ducks his head. “Yeah umm,” he clears his throat. “Sorry ‘bout that.”
“Why did you do it?” Mickey looks at him and shakes his head then turns to walk away. Ian is having none of that. He quickly grabs his hand and pulls him back. “Tell me.” They are practically chest to chest now. Ian has never seen someone with a more perfect height. “Tell me.” He repeats softly.
“You know why.” Mickey whispers.
“No, I don’t.”
Mickey licks the corner of his mouth and Ian is tempted to taste that pink tongue. “Please don’t make me say it.”
Ian sighs in exaggeration then steps back. “Okay, I guess…” he shrugs and steps back again. It's clear he's giving Mickey a chance to come clean. When the latter doesn’t say anything Ian opens the car door.
“Fuck, me.” Mickey groans.
Ian turns around and smirks at him. “Is that why?”
“Shut up. Fine, I was fucking with your orders because it was the only way I knew to… get your fucking attention of whatever.” Mickey gestures with his hand.
Ian walks towards Mickey and closes the distance between them again. He tucks a stray hair behind Mickey's ear. “Why didn’t you just…”
“I don’t know.” Mickey replies.
Ian takes a deep breath and then bends to give Mickey a chaste kiss. He deepens it but there’s no tongue. He smiles into the kiss when he's met with no resistance. He pulls back and looks into the clear blue eyes. “I'm sorry I didn’t… know. With my job, my head is usually…”
Mickey kisses him again to stop the explanation. He honestly doesn’t care that Ian didn’t notice him before, he is noticing him now. And they're kissing, something Mickey thought was impossible. He changes the angle and pulls Ian closer by his neck. He relishes in the moan Ian gives when he gets his tongue past the thin, soft lips.
Ian pecks Mickey and pulls back. “You wanna go get a drink?”
“Yeah, I'd like that.”
They get in the car and Ian drives to the closest bar.
“Does this mean I’ll only get the right order from now on?”
“I will tell Sandra to bring you the wrong order.”
“Eh, it wouldn’t feel the same unless it's coming from you.”
They both look at each other for a few seconds then start laughing.