The sun was high in the sky, and the wind was blowing just slightly as Ian and Mickey sat at the bar enjoying a few beers together.
If you asked Ian a few months ago what he thought his life would be like now, he probably wouldn't have told you that he planned on emptying his bank account and running away to Mexico with the love of his life after the dumbass escaped from prison.
He thought about dropping him off at the border but he could bare to leave him. Not again. Not after everything they've been through together.
His laughter quickly died down after Pablo- the bartender- finished telling him a joke that took him a minute to understand. Mickey ended up having to explain it to him afterward.
A ringing phone cut his laughter short as he reached in his pocket and pulled his phone out before glancing at the Caller ID- Chicago area code- how the fuck did they get this number?
It rang a few times more before Ian stepped away from the bar to answer the call.
"Fiona?" Ian answered instantly, not even bothering with a proper hello. "How'd you get this number?" He asked.
"Ian? Thank God, I've been trying to reach you for days." Something in her voice was urgent, like she'd been shaken up over something.
"Are you guys okay? What's wrong?" He asked, his voice raising an octave higher in panic.
She sighed heavily at first, "the five of us are fine." She said before Ian cut her off.
"So..." He said slowly. "What's up?" He turned to look over his shoulder and watched as Mickey chuckled at something.
Ian sighed and rolled his eyes at his sister's vagueness. It's Monica- what the fuck else is new?
"I don't understand why it's so important to call me about Monica. You know how dangerous it is for Mick-"
Why is she sugar coating this shit, he thought.
"She's gone Ian..." she explained as her voice cracked slightly in the process.
"So?" He said once more, growing tired of this conversation by the second. He loved his sister, he missed her- but damn. "Is she trying to take Liam again?"
"No Ian," she said. "She died..."
The line fell silent for a few long moments as Ian tries to replace the air that left his lungs so suddenly.
"Wow." Is all he said.
He he realized that Fiona wasn't going to speak, he decided to break the crippling silence himself. "Never thought I'd hear that... how? When?" He asked, as he tried to wrap his head around his sisters words.
"Tell me about." She let out a small, dry laugh. "Uh, two days ago..."
"And Frank?" He asked.
"More of a wreck than the rest of us."
"Jesus." Ian scrubbed a hand over his face before raking his fingers through his hair. He glanced up briefly, his green eyes meeting Mickey's blue ones from across the bar before he turned around to face the ocean. "Was she in pain?" He asked genuinely, his voice softer as he paced slowly across the concrete floor, left hand shoved into his pocket.
"She passed in her sleep."
Ian nodded even though Fiona couldn't see him. "How is everyone?"
"Fine." She responded. "Shook mostly." The line went quiet yet again. "How's Mick?" She asked, trying to lighten the mood.
The redhead turned to look at the dark headed man across the bar- who just ordered another beer. "He's good," he smiled a little toward the man even though Mickey had his back to him. "He loves it down here. You know he's never seen a beach?"
Fiona had to laugh at that. "None of us have never seen a beach, Ian. I hope your ginger ass is wearing sunscreen, you'll fry like an egg out in that sun." She teased.
"Oh," he laughed. "Believe me, I am."
"What about you?" He said, serious tone returning to his voice. "You guys need anything? I can send money..."
"We're fine." She said quickly. "We're making it." She told him honestly.
"I wish I was there with all of you." He said helplessly.
"You could be." Fiona said. "But running off South of the border with your boyfriend the prison escapee seemed like a better plan." She teased with a chuckle.
"Fi." He whined as he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "I couldn't walk away from him twice..."
"You'd be a fool if you did." She said sympathetically.
"I love him."
Lately he's been putting more and more conviction behind those three words every time they pass his lips.
"You think I don't know that by now?" She asked dumbly.
He could hear the joking tone in her voice.
"I knew you were going to go see him after that night in the living room when you asked me about Jimmy/Steve." She said accusingly. "I know you better than you think, Ian Gallagher."
He laughed because he knew it was true. "It's nice to hear your voice, Fi." He said softly with a smile.
"We miss you." She told him.
"I miss you guys, too." He replied, his heart swelling in his chest because he did. For a second he briefly regrets following the other man across the border but that soon passes.
Ian said goodbye to Fiona and headed back to his boyfriend at the bar, taking a seat next to him.
"Hey," Mickey greeted, rubbing his back. "What was that about?" He asked, his eyes shifting to the side a bit.
"Fiona called to tell me that Monica died." He said flatly as he flagged Pablo down to hit him with another beer.
"You fuckin' serious?" The brunet deadpanned before turning his entire body to face the other man as his eyes darted every which way trying to read the freckled face in front of him.
"Sounded pretty serious to me." Ian answered dryly and tipped his beer back looking straight ahead.
"Shit, man." Mickey said quietly reaching over to give Ian's knee a small comforting squeeze before peering upward once more. You okay?"
"Yeah." Ian peered into blue eyes, nodding in response before taking another swig of his beer.
Mickey watched him for a second before leaning in. "You'd tell me if you weren't, right?"
"Yeah." Ian said automatically, not really sure if it was the truth or not.
Ian was back at their small one bedroom apartment in Playa Del Carmen while Mickey left to pick up dinner for them at the Don Mario's.
The redhead was curled up in a chair on the back balcony watching the blues, pinks, and purples dance across the water as the sun began to sink lower and lower on the horizon.
He absentmindedly reached toward his pack of cigarettes, pulling one out and putting it between his lips before lighting it and taking a seemingly long drag, letting the smoke fill his lungs before exhaling a cloud of smoke from his nostrils.
He came out here a lot when he needed to clear his head. He'd just sit on the balcony for hours and watch the people on the beach, the boats on the water, or the tourist taking pictures or some shit.
Right now he wasn't thinking about a single goddamn thing, except for how beautiful the sunset looked tonight.
He dropped his head back against the chair and closed his eyes as he took another drag of his cigarette.
He suddenly let out an involuntary whimper before he felt hot tears run down his temples and into that fire red hair of his. He opened his eyes and looked heavenward before blinking once more as more tears slid down into his hair.
He must have been holding his breath before then because he gasped wetly for air and reached a hand up to wipe his eyes. He took in a few shaky breathes as he started to sob, his entire body shaking as he did so.
His sobs were loud and ugly. Thank God he had finished his cigarette before hand or he would have burnt his freckled skin as he brought his arms up to wrap them tightly around himself as a form of comfort.
He honestly didn't understand why he just burst into tears. It was obviously because of Monica, he knew that but the last time that happened, he was nine when he angrily made his way to his bedroom and slammed the door and cried himself to sleep because some kid at school said Ian's feelings for Mickey weren't reciprocated because the brunet wasn't a fudge packer like the redhead was.
He kept reminding himself that Monica was just another thieving junkie who abandoned her children when they were younger.
But the only thought that kept swimming around in his brain was she was the only one who actually understood his disease.
"What's goin' on out here, Gallagher?" Mickey's voice pulling him from his reverie, making him immediately sit up and wipe his wet eyes then sniffle.
"Nothing. Nothing's wrong." He supplies quickly, sniffling again. He cast his green eyes downward to Mickey's hands. He was holding a pizza box in one and and a liter of Pepsi and two Solo cups in the other.
He jumped up and grabbed the Pepsi and cups from him so he could set the pizza on the small glass table that sat between the two chairs.
"Don't fucking lie to me, Firecrotch. You said you'd let me know if you weren't okay and I can tell you're clearly not. You were crying while I was gone." He said, gesturing to Ian's puffy red eyes and flushed pale cheeks. Mickey reached inside passed the sliding glass door and turned on the balcony lights before he took a seat.
"Well," the brunet said, looking up at the taller man and gesturing to the open seat next to him. "Sit the fuck down and tell me what's going on with you. I'm fucking hungry." He told him.
Ian listened and sat down opening the pizza box and taking a slice before curling up in his original position he was in before Mickey arrived. "It's Monica."
Mickey took a deep breath and exhaled slowly looking at Ian with sympathetic eyes waiting for him to continue.
Ian swallowed the bite he had just bot off before speaking. Tears were welling up in the corners of his eyes as he spoke, his voice cracking as well. "I fucking hated her, man. We all fucking hated her." He sniffled as he dropped his head, causing tears to fall into his lap. "But she got it, I mean the shit I was going through." He explained. "I called her up when I was in jail and she came all the way back to Chicago to see me and we talked. She was the only person who got it."
The redhead was too much of a crying mess to continue eating, so he sat his piece back in the box and lifted his head to stare out at the ocean.
Mickey didn't know what to say. He was shit at consoling other people. So he just sat there hoping Ian would break the silence but he sighed and sat his pizza down before leaning over to rub Ian's thigh. "I know." Mickey said softly.
Even though the brunet didn't hardly understand at all. Sure, he Googled some shit on bipolar disorder a few years back when this all started and learned a little something from Ian's doctors, but he didn't fully understand it and he probably never will.
"God," Ian sniffled before letting out a small chuckle. He wiped his eyes and continued to laugh as he glanced at Mickey, who was staring at him hoping he'd explain why the fuck he was laughing. "I thought for sure Frank would go first." He said as he and Mickey both laughed in unison.
After the laughter died down Ian ran a hand through his hair and looked over at Mickey once more, "I should be there with them."
Ian could see the smirk fall from his face as the brunet cast his blue eyes to the ground.
Mickey didn't speak for a few long moments, eyes looking everywhere but Ian. He cleared his throat, "is that what you want?" His voice breaking in the process.
"Yeah," Ian nodded.
Mickey felt his blood run cold at the single syllable word. He inhaled a sharp breath and pressed his fingertips to his eyes to keep the tears from pooling there. He wasn't going to cry this time, even though the thought of Ian leaving him for the second time literally crushed him to pieces just as bad as the first.
"You can go..." Mickey said, his voice still strangled.
"I would," Ian just shook his head. "But I already told Fiona that I couldn't leave you again." He laughed to mask his pain.
If you were looking at Mickey, you'd see his chest visibly deflate in relief at Ian's response. He clutched his chest and took a deep breath. Although he'd been grateful for that answer, he wouldn't stop the redhead from leaving if he wanted to.
"Plus, it's not like her body's still above ground. Fiona said her and Lip have been trying me for days. God knows when the funeral was." He carried on as his hands waved in the air. "They probably had her cremated. Frank's probably doing lines laced with her ashes."
Mickey winced as Ian spoke, he thought about stopping Ian's rambling, but thought it'd be good for him to get shit off his chest.
"It doesn't feel real, you know?" Ian turned to look at Mickey. "I wonder what she died from..." he tilted his chin toward the sky in thought.
"Well," Mickey started. "It could've been any number of things. But knowing Monica, who the fuck really knows." He shrugged, because the cause of death could have literally been anything.
They sat in silence for awhile. The sun had already disappeared some time ago and the sky was lit up with stars. Even though the moon was reflecting off the ocean, the only light illuminating the two of them in the darkness was the lights on the balcony.
"I feel like I should do something for her." Ian said. "Like to pay my respects. I missed the funeral and that alone makes me a shitty son."
"We can do that." Mickey agreed with a nod.
So Mickey gathered the cups and the box of pizza and carried them through the apartment while Ian grabbed the Pepsi and the stash of weed they had hidden above the refrigerator in the cabinet and a beach towel before they headed down to the beach.
Ian laid the towel out and sat down, leaving enough room for Mickey to sit next to him. The redhead immediately began rolling a joint for the two of the as room as he sat down.
"Not wasting any time, huh?" Mickey chuckled as he eyes the rolling paper in Ian's fingers.
Ian just shook his head and gave him a grin. "Monica would've wanted this."
Mickey burst into a fit of laughter. "Monica would've wanted us to roll one in her memory?" He asked pointedly.
"Hell yeah," Ian said and he rolled the paper up tightly with deft fingers like he had done a million times before.
Mickey pulled a lighter out of his pocket and offered Ian a light.
They sat with their feet in the sand as they passed the joint back and forth as they laughed about all the dumb shit Monica used to do, soon being consumed in laughter courtesy of the grass that Mickey got from who the fuck knows where.
As their laughter died down they were both on their back, fingers interlocked with each. Mickey spoke first, breaking the comfortable silence, "I was serious about what I said earlier."
"I was too." Ian said so low, Mickey almost mistook it for a whisper.
Mickey shifted and made himself comfortable in Ian's side before he laid his head on the other man's broad chest. Now it was Mickey's turn to whisper, "I don't want you to be unhappy."
Here Ian had thought that he was the one that needed consoling. He's the one that just lost his mother, after all.
He brought his hand up and gently scratched the back of Mickey's head with his fingertips as he planted a kiss atop the shorter man's head. "Nothing about my current situation makes me unhappy. It was my choice to follow you here," he explained quietly. "Yeah, if I would've went back to Chicago, Monica would have still possibly died. The only difference being, I wouldn't have missed her funeral." He continued.
Silence engulfed them momentarily. Mickey just played with the hem of Ian's shirt as he waited for Ian to make some type of noise.
"But I'm okay, you know?" He asked rhetorically. "It's not like the world stopped spinning because the universe deemed it necessary to rid itself of one more horrible mom. She just helped me with that one thing." That one thing being bipolar disorder. "I'm perfectly fine in Mexico with you." He reassured the brunet as he lifted his chin with his fingers to kiss Mickey on the lips.
Mickey nodded, "okay." For a moment Mickey could finally breathe easy. "You're gonna be okay, right?" He asked looked up at the taller man, obviously talking about the Monica situation.
Ian pulled Mickey closer giving him a gentle squeeze. "Yeah, I'll be fine." He smiled.