As soon as Ian walks through the door he hears yelling and loud music. Mandy turns around and runs towards him giving him a big hug and starts pulling his coat off.
Mickey is at the kitchen table arm wrestling Iggy’s friend, Pete. Ian steps closer for a better view. Mickey’s wearing a black t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. His hand wrapped tightly with his opponent, knuckles slightly red.
Ian admired the flexed muscles of his boyfriend’s arms and watched as a mischievous smirk crossed Mickey’s lips before he slammed his opponent's hand down almost making Pete fall off the chair.
The guys in the room all screamed while tossing money on the table. Mickey started collecting bills folding them into a pile before turning to Ian greeting him with a wink.
Ian laughed tossing his coat to the side before joining the party.
A few hours later the room was littered with empty beer cans and full ashtrays. The house had finally emptied out after a lengthy drinking contest ending with Iggy running to the bathroom to puke his guts out and then passing out in the bathtub. The loud retching noises ran the guys out of the house pretty quick.
Mickey sat on the couch laughing to himself. Mandy stumbles over to an empty chair flopping back on the old cushion. “What the fuck you laughing at?”
"Iggy's a lightweight. He's so big but he can't hold it in. You heard em'." Mickey makes barfing noises that make Mandy laugh wildly. He sits back closing his eyes for a second.
"I can't believe you haven't puked yet. You drank so much." Mandy slurres a little but doesn't care.
Mickey sucks his teeth. "I had to, Iggy thinks he can take me on."
"He should know better. He probably couldn't take a monster dick like you can."
"Shut the fuck up", Ian drops on the couch next to Mickey.
"Where you been?" Ian yawns rubbing his hand on his pants. "I was taking a piss. I think I pissed on Iggy."
"Ewww, nasty." Mandy makes a face.
"Wasn't my fault. His big ass arms hanging out the tub!"
Mandy laughs, "Can't control that big dragon of yours? To heavy to hold up?"
"Why you keep talking bout my man's dick for? You need to get some of your own!"
Ian laughs and throws his arm over Mickey's shoulder. He loves when his boyfriend gets all possessive on him!
Mandy pulls out her phone shaking it in the air. "I have tons of guys I can call when I want a piece alright. Besides Ian was my boyfriend first! If he woulda' let me I could have turned him around, I've done it before."
Mickey shook his head, "Bitch please, you wish you could. There's only one Ian and he's mine."
Ian stares at Mickey who's looking back at him with the cutest googly-eyed look at the moment. Mickey rarely lets his guard down in front of other people. God, he loves when his boy gets drunk.
Mickey places one hand on Ian's cheek and rubs it affectionately with his thumb. He leans in and kisses Ian on the lips. They start to make out almost forgetting Mandy's presence before Mickey slowly pulls away. Ian drinks it in.
"So you think Ian is the best boyfriend? What's so great about him then?"
Ian looks over at Mandy and notices she's holding her camera upright. Is she videoing them?
He's about to say something to Mandy when he feels Mickey's hand rub his neck affectionately. "There's lots a shit that makes my boyfriend the best. Like his hair, his fuckin' hair. It's like the....the sunset. When it's going down, all fiery and shit."
Mickey runs his hand through the long hair letting it drop on Ian's forehead. Ian can tell Mickey is completely gone. Not in a falling down sloppy way but in a let it all hang out way. He should probably tell Mandy to turn her camera off but... then Mickey will stop talking. Maybe it's a little fucked up but he wants to hear more. He wants her to hear more.
"And his freckles, they're so fuckin' cute. I like to count them when he's sleepin'." Mickey taps his finger softly on Ian's cheek. "He's gottem' in other places too."
Mandy chuckles softly moving Ian's attention back to her. "So what, there's lots of cute guys in South Side."
"Not like Ian. He's smart and....nice. He treats me good, not like..like other people."
Ian leans in and kisses Mickey's face. He pulls Mickey closer to him by the waist and Mickey just leans his weight against Ian's side comfortably. He hates thinking how Mickey's been mistreated in the past.
"Ian, you’re such a sweetie pie and sooo cute." She makes kissey noises at Ian who rolls his eyes at her. "Never knew that's what did it for you Mick." Mandy cackled, spit flying from the side of her mouth.
"Shut up, you know he's hot! I'm not saying he's a fuckin' sweetie whatever the fuck."
Mickey moves out of Ian's arms. He steadies himself with the arm of the couch before focusing his attention back to Mandy. "He's strong, he can fight when he needs to and he can fuck. Uh, like really fuck." Ian smirks smugly at Mandy.
"Packing more than those little dick fuckers you bring home." Mickey spaces out for a second biting his lip. "Bitch, he can make my eyes roll back so hard..."
Ian's eyes grow wide, he stops Mickey before he dishes out details. Mandy doesn't need to know all that.. "Whoa, Mick..Mick let's go to bed. Come on."
Ian leaps off the couch pulling Mickey up by the arm coaxing him out of the living room. "Yeah..Yeah alright." Mickey lets Ian lead him to the bedroom.
Ian turns back and see's Mandy pocket her phone before moving over to the couch, burying herself under a blanket.
Mickey flops on the bed trying to pull off his boot. Ian smiles as Mickey tosses one off and sighs at the other one as if it's a chore. Ian bends down on one knee to remove the other boot. Mickey lays back obediently letting Ian undress him.
Ian climbs on the bed and lays on top of Mickey. "That was real sweet, Mick." Mickey's eyes popped open, he hadn't even realized they were closed. "Huh"
"What you said to Mandy, about me."
"Course, I was defending you. She can't talk shit about you." Mickey's voice came out soft and slurred.
"Don't think she was attacking me." Ian laughed lightly kissing Mickey's neck. He nudged Mickey's legs farther apart so he could comfortably lay between them. His hands roamed down Mickey's sides till they reached his hips.
"Sounded like it to me and that ain't happening." Mickey felt at ease. He felt a slight stinging when Ian sucked on the side of his neck. He could feel all of Ian's weight on him, it felt really good.
Ian pulled off of his neck, "Mmmm, you’re my sweet boy. So good..."
Ian slowly pushed himself into Mickey watching intently as Mickey gasped, head falling back. He started to move keeping a slow, smooth pace. They were both tired and he knew it wouldn’t last very long. He tried holding on a bit longer but when Ian felt Mickey's body pulsate tightly around him he stiffened at release. Ian let out a strangled moan that sounded slightly pained. He rolled over aware of Mickey breathing heavily underneath him.
He rubbed his hand through Mickey's hair wiping the sweaty strands off of his forehead. "You okay?"
Mickey's chest stopped heaving and his breathing was calming down, though his eyes stayed closed. "Yeah"
Ian pulled Mickey against him spooning him. Ian whispered as he closed his eyes, "love you."
He smiled before falling into a heavy slumber hearing a raspy, "me too."
Mickey's eyes open slowly. He lets out an uncomfortable moan when he feels how dry his throat is. It's exceedingly dry and he knows he needs to get water asap. He pushes himself up and sees he's in bed alone but finds a bottle of water resting on the nightstand beside him. He takes several gulps leaving the bottle almost empty and smiles. The cold water sliding down his throat was just what he needed and of course Ian must have left it there for him. He always knows what Mickey needs.
He rolls his body off the bed stretching as he stands. His head hurts a bit but not as much as it could. He drank a lot last night. He'd cut down his drinking since Ian was put on medication so maybe his tolerance had weakened some.
He remembered having fun last night, remembered winning money and Iggy being sick. He walked into the bathroom but found it empty. Iggy must've climbed out of the tub at some point and went to bed. Mickey swallowed two capsules and ran a hot shower knowing it would make him feel a lot better.
Mandy walks out of her room to find Ian sitting on the couch blowing on his hot cup of coffee. "Morning Sweetie pie."
Ian takes a sip of his coffee. "Morning. Feeling alright?"
"Yeah, not too bad. Iggy still in your bathroom?"
"Nah, I saw him go upstairs earlier. He looked like hell."
Mandy shrugs her shoulders, "Probably won't see much of him today then. How's Mickey?"
Ian can tell from the devious smirk on her face she's not asking out of sisterly concern. He puts his coffee down, "You video'd us on your phone last night right?"
Mandy sat back pulling out her phone from her pocket and fiddling with it. "I couldn't help it. You two were just so sickeningly adorable."
Ian bumps Mandy lightly with his shoulder, "Shut up, you know you can't keep that. Mickey'll raise hell."
"Yeah, yeah I know but you need to watch it first. I know you want to, I already did and it's seriously the sweetest I've ever seen my brother. The way he kissed you, it was pretty hot even for you douche bags."
Ian smiles thinking about how adorable Mickey was last night. Mandy already recorded it so of course he wanted to see it. Ian looks over his shoulder towards the bedroom.
He smirks at Mandy his eyes lighting up, "Play it, play it." She giggles and snuggles closer to Ian on the couch. Ian watches him and Mickey make out and he can't help but think there was a time Mickey wouldn't even let Ian kiss him.
He watches Mickey say sweet things about him, touching him but Ian's favorite part is the loving look in Mickey's eyes when he stares back at him. It might be a bit creepy but he could watch this over and over again. The video finishes with Ian dragging Mickey out of the room.
Mandy laughs loudly her eyes watering slightly. "Mandy, that's not funny. That was sweet. Stop laughing!" Ian feels a little annoyed at Mandy's reaction. She's only laughing because it's her brother. He knows she'd secretly love for a guy to be like that with her.
"I can't help it." Ian frowns and Mandy wipes her face with her hands. "Okay, okay I'm done. Seriously."
"What's so fucking funny?" Mickey stands on the side of the couch. His hair standing in different directions. He's wearing a towel but his body is still wet. Ian looks at him and bites his lip. Mickey must have heard the noise and come out to see what was going on not bothering to dry off.
"You are. Well, you were last night." Ian nudges Mandy with his elbow. He was hoping she would just erase the video without mentioning it to Mickey but this was Mandy. What the fuck was he thinking?
Mickey rolled his eyes, "I can tell you want to bust my balls. What the fuck did I do?" Mickey stands with his arms crossed. He does crazy shit sometimes when he's drunk or high, so what. Doesn't everyone?
"Nothing really. Mandy asked why you thought I was a good boyfriend and you said some really nice stuff about me."
"That's it. I complimented my boyfriend and your peeing your panties over it."
Ian laughed as Mandy glared. "You made out in front of me whore and I got it on video." Mandy stuck her tongue out.
Mickey's eyebrows rose. "You what?". Mandy held her phone in the air. Mickey could see him and Ian clearly making out like they were alone. His hand pressed to the back of Ian's neck holding him close. Ian's arm was slung around him gripping the side of his hip. He wasn't into public displays but he wasn't afraid of them anymore either. Not that he wanted to make a habit of making out with Ian in front of sister but fuck it. They looked pretty hot but he didn't want his sister using them to get off.
"You're fucking gross, bitch. Getting off on your own brother and best friend. Download porn like a normal person. Erase that shit."
Mickey started walking away. Mandy's face shifted in disgust. "That's not why I watched it!"
Mickey stops at his bedroom door still slightly drippy. "Sure it ain't. Ian, come're" Mickey smiles at his boyfriend gesturing towards the room with his head. Ian jumps off the couch following behind.
"Try not to listen at the door and erase that shit!" Mickey heads in the room, Ian chuckles locking the door behind him.
Later that Night....
Mickey walks into the house tossing his coat on a nearby hook. Mandy's laying on the couch messing with her phone, like always. Her feet sitting on Ian's knees.
He rolls his eyes remembering the morning, he hadn't thought about it all day until now. Ian looks up and smiles, "Hey."
Mickey gives him a soft kiss hello and sits on the chair. Mandy doesn't bother looking up. She's texting with intensity.
"Hey, did ya erase that video?" Mandy looked up annoyed.
"I have my own shit to deal with. I don't care about your video. You already told me to!"
Ian looks at Mandy surprised. She sounded down right nasty. They'd been sitting on the couch silently doing their own thing. He'd been watching a movie and she was on the phone texting but he hadn't noticed her mood.
"Calm your ass down. You get stood up by your newest rando or something. I just asked you a fucking question!"
Ian could see the oncoming argument rearing his way. He'd been waiting for Mickey to come home and didn't need Mickey in a bad mood.
He had other plans for the night and it wasn't listening to Mickey complain about his sister.
"Mick, it's not a big deal. She took care of it."
"There you go, always defending her." Mickey shook his head. Mandy sat up still staring at her phone before jumping off the couch in a huff going straight to her room.
"Mickey." Mickey turned his glare from the TV to his boyfriend. Ian tapped the seat beside him, "Come here, been waiting for you."
"You sure you aint' keeping that seat warm for Mandy?"
Ian smirked, "Course not, I've been thinking about you all day. Come on..." Ian gave Mickey the goofy puppy dog eyes that usually got him out of trouble.
Mickey sighed but go up anyway. He dropped next to Ian on the couch both leaning into each other comfortably.
Mandy slammed the door behind her. She sat on her bed rereading the message she'd just gotten from Jared. Her boyfriend of three weeks. She grabbed her pillow burying her face in it letting out a muffled scream before throwing it across the room.
Who the hell did this guy think he was? He just....dumped her. He dumped her in a fucking text message!
He didn't even have the balls to call her. All that bullshit he told her about how into her he was, how he could see a future with her, how she was the hottest girl he's ever been with and now he just cuts her loose. In a text!
She looks back at her phone again getting even angrier. He was hot, he had a nice body but he's no fucking road scholar! He wasn't smart like Lip or could hold a conversation like Ian. He had nerve saying she was too bossy, sometimes mean and acted unladylike. Who the hell was he trying to pull, the Queen of England. That dick!
Mandy sat on her bed texting back a few choice words before blocking his number completely. Then she went into her photos deleting the few she had of him.
She hears laughter coming from the other room and finds the video, the video she was supposed to delete but hadn't bothered to. She watches Mickey and Ian stare at each other like a couple of saps in love. She watches them kiss.
What was her brother bitching about anyway? If she had a boyfriend who was into her like that she'd kiss him anywhere, in front of anyone. It's always so easy for him. He didn't even have to look, Ian just fell in his lap. Why was everything so hard for her?
Mandy stops the video, an idea popping in her head. She deserves to have a little fun too. She smiles mischievously, "I'll give Mickey something to really complain about."
The next day....
Mickey dumps the freshly done laundry out of the bag on the bed. He sorts through the clothes separating them into small piles. Ian walks over bumping him lightly. He grabs a pile of boxers and heads for the dresser. Mickey rolls his eyes and goes back to sorting.
They'd seen a couple making out at the laundromat and of course Ian brought up the other night. He said that couple had nothing on them. He teased Mickey reminding him of some of the things he'd said.
Mickey wasn't too surprised. It was still fresh in Ian's mind. Teasing didn't bother him. He liked seeing Ian happy and Ian was a sucker for compliments.
He was still annoyed with Mandy though. She was being extra bitchy last night and this morning too. She acted like he did something to her. She's the one who thought she was Martin Fuckin' Scorsese filming him without his permission.
He thought they were having a private conversation. Okay, so he was kind of sappy that night. He runs his mouth when he's had some drinks in him. They all know that.
He didn't care much about what he said or did in front of Mandy. She's done way worse in front of him. Besides he yelled out what a big mo he was at his kids christening party in the middle of a bar. If that doesn't say I love you....
Mickey looks over at Ian who is eyeballing him again. Damn Red's been feisty lately, more than usual and that's saying a lot.
It was still private though, between him and Ian. Mandy's probably pissed she had to delete that video. She always wants her way acting like somethings stuck up her ass....or not. Mickey laughs to himself before his body hits the mattress.
"Ian, the laundry!" Ian turns him around so their face to face before smashing his lips into Mickey's.
Ian bumps Mickey lightly with his hip pushing him aside as he grabs an armful of boxer shorts from the bed. Mickey glares at him playfully with raised eyebrows watching him walk away.
He stuffs them in the second drawer of the dresser. All their clothes are mixed up now. They know what clothes they can share. They know what clothes are too small for Ian and too big for Mickey. Ian leaves two pairs out and tosses them in the nearby chair. They can shower together before heading out for dinner at the Gallagher house.
Ian had hustled Mickey out of the house earlier wanting to keep Mickey in the good mood he'd woken up in. What the hell was going on with his best friend? Mandy was in a foul mood last night and this morning too. She was straight up nasty to Mickey at breakfast for no reason. Her attitude did not extend itself to Ian, it hardly ever did.
Whatever her issue is she better get it straightened out before he has to intervene. He hated doing it but sometimes Mandy acted like a sullen 15 year old. Mickey actually tried to ignore her but when Ian saw Mickey's patience running thin he dragged him out of there.
He was happy he got to spend the whole day with Mickey even if they were just running errands. Ian was grateful Mickey forgot about Mandy quickly. He didn't get mad when Ian kept teasing him about the other night.
Ian wishes he could have watched that video one more time. Mickey was just so damn cute and it was hot watching them make out. Maybe they could film something of their own. The idea of being able to see himself while being with Mickey was getting Ian revved up. Ian looked at the ceiling wondering how hard would it be to attach a mirror over their bed.
Mickey looks over at Ian, the corner of his mouth turning up before he goes back to sorting clothes. Ian steps behind Mickey catching him by surprise. He pushes Mickey on the bed and climbs over him. Sorted and unsorted clothes fall onto the floor.
"Ian, the laundry."
He covers Mickey's lips with his own urgently kissing him. Mickey wraps his arm around Ian's shoulder kissing him back with the same intensity. They both crawl further on the bed.
Chores were never this fun at the Gallagher house.
Mandy finishes painting her nails, blowing on them quickly. She goes back to her laptop and signs into Facebook again. When she first checked in, Jared her newest Ex-boyfriend had changed his status to single and wrote a paragraph on how he had broken up with his girlfriend who wasn't the girl he thought she'd be.
She was livid. He couldn't wait to put it out there that he'd broken it off.
Of course, Mandy had to change her status too. Writing was never her forte so she posted a sexy picture with the caption "Done wasting my time!". Enough said.
She scanned through her Facebook page reading a few comments saying she looked sexy before she decided to check on Jared's page. Not that she really cared but she wanted to make sure he wasn't talking shit about her.
He'd updated his page and she see's red. There's pictures of him posted with another girl!
They just fucking broke up last night and he runs out and picks up the first available trash he sees. He had the nerve to tell her she wasn't lady like and he's got a picture posted with his hands all over some girls ass. He thinks he's so hot he can treat her like she's disposable!
Mandy closes out of Facebook and pushes the laptop aside not wanting to read the stupid comments his friends left below. She lays on her back wondering why she has such shit luck with men.
She grabs her phone and watches the video of Ian and Mickey she did not delete.
Ian's made her brother softer. The way he leaned against Ian and kissed him. When their mom was alive Mickey was more open, affectionate. She remembered how he used to give them both bear hugs. Sometimes when Mandy was upset and feeling low she'd see that side of Mickey come out but with most people that side rarely ever showed. Most of the time, he's a tough little fucker.
She was that way too. She knew a lot of people but most didn't bother getting past her surface.
She let Lip in. She let him get close, closer than any guy she'd ever slept with.
Mandy pauses the video. Mickey's face is pressed against Ian's shoulder and Ian has this look like he's the luckiest dude on the earth.
She remembers Lip looking at her with his cocky grin, sometimes a content smile and a few times with soft eyes as if he really cared but not like that. She can't recall ever being looked at like that.
She puts her phone on the charger and lights a cigarette. She feels angry and annoyed. She hates feeling like this, it's so boring. It leaves a bitter taste in her mouth.
Later that day.....
Mandy's sitting on the couch, dressed and waiting. Mickey walks out of his room, Ian behind him.
"I'll head over for dinner when I'm done with Lana." Mickey kisses Ian on the lips and Ian pats Mickey on the butt as he walks away. Mickey smirks at him before heading out.
Mandy looks at her phone and sighs loudly.
"Hey, you okay?" Ian sits next to her on the couch, jacket in hand.
"I had plans and now they're cancelled. I'm dressed to go out already. I don't want to stay here." Mandy gives Ian a sad look that makes him feel guilty.
"I'd go out with you but I already promised Fiona I'd come over for dinner."
Mandy smiles, "I wouldn't mind going for dinner. I'm starving."
"You would? Lip's at the house and I thought you wouldn't want to see him."
Mandy waves her hand, "I saw Lip the other day, I'm over it. Besides I haven't seen Debbie in a while."
He doesn't know if he believes she's over Lip but if she wants to come with, it's fine with him.
"As long as you're sure." Mandy stands up putting on her jacket. "I look too good to stay home."
They walk out of the house and Mandy happily loops her arm through Ian's as they walk to the Gallagher's for dinner.
Debbie looks over her shoulder when she hears the door open. Surprised to see Mandy she jumps off the couch and gives Mandy a big hug. Mandy laughs softly and pats Debbie on the shoulder.
“Mandy! I didn’t know you were coming”. Debbie gives Ian a stern look and he throws his hands up in defense.
"I didn't know I was coming either."
"She had other plans but they fell through." Ian smirked at Mandy throwing her under the bus. Mandy elbows him seeing Debbie's expression dim a bit.
"True but it doesn't matter. Much better company here." Mandy hears footsteps and see's Lip run down the stairs.
"Well, mostly better."
Lip stops mid run, "Uh, Hey Mandy".
Mandy smiles sweetly, "Hey, I see you dressed up for me."
Lip looks down at his wife beater and jean shorts. He glares at Ian who shrugs his shoulders. What's with all the dirty looks today.
"I was taking a nap. You....you look good though."
Mandy smooths her hand down the side of her hip. She knew exactly how good she looked right now. Her hair laid down her shoulders, shining like polished onyx and her carefully applied make-up gave her skin a healthy glow. She was wearing a killer dress that made her thin frame look curvy in a subtle way. She could see the gears grinding in Lip's head and then it was gone. The nostalgic expression replaced in a few seconds with Lip's usual self-satisfied grin.
"Thanks." Debbie pulls Mandy to the couch taking her attention off of Lip. Debbie starts asking Mandy questions about her outfit and what she's been up to. Lip sits on a chair listening in with an uninterested look on his face. Mandy wants to laugh at how focused Lip is on an old episode of Law and Order.
Ian runs in and out of the kitchen before settling beside Mandy handing her a glass of water.
She takes a sip. "So Lip, how's college?"
Lip opens his mouth looking slightly surprised. "I'm not in college....right now but a friend of mine is trying to get me a job at this start-up company. If it works out then I'll probably go back to school part-time."
"Oh, well that sounds promising." Ian glances at Mandy confused but doesn't say anything. They had talked about Lip. She already knew about Lip's expulsion so why was she acting like she didn't. Ian would wait and ask her about it later. He wasn't about to call her out on it in front of Lip or Debbie.
Lip picks up on her casual tone. He knows how to read people and he knows her. Her false sincerity puts him on high alert. "I heard you had a new boyfriend, how's that working out?"
Mandy's smile falters a bit but she pulls it together quickly. "It didn't. It wasn't working for me and you know I hate wasting my energy on someone who's not worth it. I had to cut him loose."
Lip lets out a soft laugh catching her not so hidden meaning.
Ian frowns, "What! you didn't tell me."
Mandy waves her hand dismissively, "You were busy and it wasn't that important. He wasn't that important."
"Yeah, out with the old loser, in with the new loser. Right?"
"Lip", Ian says in warning but Mandy interrupts him. She doesn’t want Ian and Lip arguing. That wasn't the plan for tonight. It wasn't about them.
Mandy puts her hand on Ian's shoulder sniffing the air. "Ian, I think you need to freshen up before Mickey get's here."
Ian turns his attention away from Lip. "Huh, I took a shower before I left." She sniffs the air around Ian again.
"Oh, maybe you forgot deodorant or it could be that onion dip you had earlier. You know that smell lingers. Ah, Mickey doesn’t care about that stuff anyway."
Debbie giggles and Lip snorts. Ian blushes slightly embarrassed before raising his hand over his mouth. He blows a breath into his palm checking his breath before sniffing his shirt. "Uhm, I think I will go freshen up before dinner. Behave Lip."
Ian leaps off the couch heading up the stairs.
"Ian's such a considerate boyfriend. After all this time he still cares about how he looks for Mickey. My brother's lucky he landed that Gallagher."
"Excuse me, I think I was a good boyfriend when we were together."
Mandy laughs, "Really, cause I think you sucked."
Kev and Vee walk in, "Oh Mandy is swinging tonight!" Kev laughs at his own joke and squeezes Lip's shoulder. Vee plops down on the empty spot Ian left behind.
"I'm just being honest. If I don't enlighten him he'll keep making the same mistakes over and over."
"Well I'm seeing a girl now and she's not complaining. She's pretty special."
"She's not complaining yet cause it's exciting and new but soon as she gets comfortable, you won't be and you'll bail."
Lip leans forward in the chair, "I won't bail for the right girl."
Mandy huffs, "Maybe not but what Ian's got with my brother, that shit is real. It works because he's not a selfish prick. He doesn't always think about himself first. You want to see what a satisfied partner looks like."
She whips out her phone and finds the video. "Take a look and take notes." Everyone gathers around Mandy to see as she hits play. Vee yells for Fiona who comes with Liam in tow.
They're watching the video when Ian and Mickey start making out, "I've seen them make out before. I don't need to see this shit!"
"Just keep watching. There's more."
Ian comes down the stairs to see everyone crowded around the couch. They're being loud and he hears, "Awww, that's cute. Mickey's so cute!"
Ian looks over Fiona's shoulder, "Mandy, what the hell?"
Mandy pauses the video making everyone groan. "I'm just showing your brother what a real relationship looks like."
"You said you erased it."
"Ian, Mickey really loves you." Debbie looks at him with sweet googly-eyes. Fiona squeezes his shoulder, "I didn't know he could be like that. I know he cares but this is....wow."
Ian smiles at Fiona. He loves his sister but she's always been hesitant about Mickey. He knew she had her doubts not really seeing their relationship without thinking about the criminal past or the knuckle tattoos first. Her attitude changed when Ian got sick and Mickey stayed but he knew she still held onto some doubt. It was nice to see how surprised she was.
"I told you, just cause you don't get to see it doesn't mean it's not there."
Mandy takes the opportunity to turn the video back on. Ian opens his mouth but closes it when he sees the softened looks on his families face, even Lip. They are seeing a side of Mickey they rarely get to see, if ever. To understand how much Mickey really loves him and how good he truly is. So he stays quiet.
Mickey enters the Gallaghers kitchen. They're not eating yet. He can hear them talking loudly in the living room but he hears something else. He hears a familiar voice, his own.
He steps to the side of the archway in the kitchen where he can't be seen and listens. He knows what this is right away. Unfucking believable! He peeks out and sees Ian watching along with the whole gang of them.
Mickey bites his lip trying to reign in the anger he feels as his boyfriend stands by while his nosy family and neighbors entertain themselves with Mickey's drunken confessions of love. His cheeks flush red when he hears himself mention how Ian makes his eyes roll in the back of his head. Jeez, did Kev really just high five Ian?
He puts his head down cringing to himself until he hears his sister's laughter.
Mandy cackles loudly and tears escape her eyes. The friendly, banterous atmosphere dies down as everyone stares at her. She snorts loudly trying to get a hold of herself. The video's finished and she barely notices that no one is laughing with her.
"Shut up Mandy. That's not funny." She turns to look at Ian and he looks extremely annoyed with her.
Fiona turns her head toward the kitchen when she sees a flash of color. "Hi Mickey." She musters up an awkward smile.
"Oh shit, it's on." Kev whispers to Vee who shushes him. Mickey stands in the archway, box in hand as they stare at him.
Mandy wipes the remaining tears away from her eyes, a smug grin on her face. Mickey has the sudden urge to grab one of the sofa pillows and smother her ass with it but he doesn't.
"That's so fucked up." He turns his gaze from his sister to his boyfriend. "You two are so fucked up."
Mickey tosses the box on the kitchen table as he walks out the door.
Ian snaps out of his paralyzed daze. "Shit!, Shit!" He rushes towards the door and down the backstairs.
"Mickey, hold on." Ian jumps over the last steps. Mickey stops near the gate giving Ian a chance to catch up.
"What?" He crosses his arms waiting.
"That wasn't what it looked like."
"It wasn't cause it looked like you were all laughing at my fucking expense."
"No, we weren't! That was just Mandy being an asshole. No one else was laughing."
Mickey snakes his hand down his face in frustration and starts to walk away. He stops when Ian follows him. "Back off Gallagher, I'm not in the mood for company. Go back and join the rest of em'."
"I'd rather go home with you."
"I'd rather you didn't."
Carl walks through the back gate noticing he's just walked into what looks like a tense situation. He turns to Mickey, "What's going on?"
"Ask your brother. I'm sure he'll fill you in." Mickey walks through the gate and heads down the block.
Ian doesn't follow this time. Mickey's pissed and needs time to vent, alone. If he follows him they'll just fight besides Mandy's still inside and Ian wants to find out what the hell that was all about.
Ian and Carl walk into the kitchen. Fiona and Vee are setting the table while they talk back and forth. He walks past them into the living room. Mandy is still sitting on the couch looking in her compact fixing her make-up. Lip, Kev and the kids sit quietly watching the TV.
"Mandy, what was that?"
Mandy applies a new coat of mascara before closing the compact. "It was just a joke."
"So my relationship with your brother is a joke to you."
"No, I thought the video was funny and you watched it with everyone else so don't give me attitude cause my brothers a grump."
"You did that on purpose! You came over here just to pull this shit and piss Mickey off. Sometimes you are so fucking cold."
Mandy gets up putting her coat. "It was a joke okay. You're just mad you're not getting laid tonight."
Mandy looks at Ian as his expression turns from anger to pure venom and she knows she's probably said too much.
Everyone stays quiet as she walks to the door unabashed, "Thanks for the visit."
Fiona yells, "It's time to eat."
Kev throws his arm around Ian as they walk to the kitchen. "Damn, she's a bitch."
Vee sits in her chair, "True, the video was cute though. Mickey's a little sweetheart under all that huff and puff."
Ian tried to smile. He knew they wanted to lighten up the mood but his night was fucked. Mickey was at home eating alone when he should have been there with him. Mickey had looked more embarrassed than angry which he hated. God, Mandy could be annoying sometimes but she seemed straight up vindictive tonight and for what! Mickey didn't do anything to her, so what was her damage?
Ian picked at his food noticing the white box sitting on the table. Mickey had tossed that box there when he left.
Ian stood up leaning over the table pulling the top off to look inside. He sat down and sighed.
Carl leaned over the table. "What is that?"
"It's chocolate cake, My favorite."
Ian went home a few hours later. He told everyone it was to give Mickey time to calm down which was partly true but he was also being a coward. He didn't want to get his head chewed off.
He entered the house and the lights in the living room were off. No one seemed to be around. Ian put the leftovers he brought for Mickey in the fridge and headed to the bedroom. The door was slightly open. Mickey laid curled on his side facing the wall. Ian stood over Mickey watching his chest fall up and down as he slept. He looked quite peaceful until he shivered slightly. Ian looked over at the open window letting in a cool blast of air. He closed the window half way and went back to the bed, covering Mickey up with the blanket that rested at the foot of the bed.
Ian tossed his clothes in a pile on the floor and crawled into bed. He wasn't very tired but he wanted to be near Mickey. Ian didn't want to wake him but he couldn't help himself. He slowly maneuvered his arm underneath Mickey gently guiding his body towards the center of the bed. Mickey flopped over. His head landing on Ian's shoulder, arm across Ian's stomach. If they weren't spooning this is how they slept.
Ian laid in bed playing on his phone until he heard the front door. He heard a giggle which was clearly Mandy and then a guy's voice.
So she goes out of her way to ruin their night and then goes out and hooks up. She doesn't even care that Mickey was mad at Ian over her bullshit move! What kind of friend does that?
Ian's pissed and he's tempted to go out there and fuck her night up too. He's not going to though cause he's not like that but mostly he doesn't want to move. He looks down at Mickey snuggled on his side, hand resting over Ian's heart and kisses him softly on the forehead. Ian lays his phone down and closes his eyes pressing comfortably into his sleeping boyfriend.
The next morning was nothing short but awkward. Mickey was talking to Ian but his answers were short. Ian couldn't tell if Mickey was still annoyed with him or if he was just tired. Mickey didn't do chitchat when he was tired.
Ian hadn't slept much but when he woke up to take his pills instead of going back to sleep he ran to the nearby market. He placed a plate with chocolate chip pancakes and a side of toast in front of Mickey.
Mickey looked up briefly, "Thanks" and dove in fork first. Ian poured them both fresh cups of coffee before sitting down himself.
They conversate during breakfast. Well it's mostly Ian talking and Mickey nodding or grunting but it's more than Ian expected.
A guy sporting bleached blonde hair and several tattoos walks out of Mandy's bedroom and out the door without even looking their way. A few minutes later Mandy steps out of her room. She looks around making sure her overnight guest is gone. Iggy walks out of his room bumping Mandy aside as he walks straight to the kitchen. She punches his back as he walks away.
"Hey, any food left for me." Iggy stretches staring at the bare counters.
"Yeah, left you a plate in the microwave. Little bit of coffee left too."
Iggy throws his fist up victoriously grabbing his plate and sits at the table. Mandy slowly heads in the kitchen noticing her best friend and brother have not acknowledged her arrival at all. She usually gets a big smile and "Good Morning" from Ian and at least a "Morning, bitch!" from Mickey. She looks around the counter and in the microwave to find no food. She checks the fridge just in case but finds no leftovers.
"Where's my plate?" She stands hand landing on her cocked hip.
Ian drinks his coffee as he stares down at his phone. "Did you or your friend cook?"
Mandy's face scrunches with ignorance. "Uh...No."
"There's your answer."
Mickey can't help but smirk surprised at his boyfriend's sudden coolness towards Mandy. He usually lets her get away with murder and never seems to get mad but not today.
A piece of pancake falls out of Iggy's mouth as he laughs. "Oh shit, what the fuck did you do?"
Mandy rolls her eyes at her brother, "Close your mouth. That's disgusting."
Ian gets up and walks past Mandy depositing his and Mickey's dirty dishes in the sink. He walks around Mandy not sparing her a glance and heads back to the table. Ian sticks his hand out in front of Mickey and waits.
Mickey looks up at Ian who's sporting a bashful grin and he sighs. He doesn't want to spend the day mad at Ian. The bastard's so goofy and cute. It's a crime is what it is! Mickey takes his hand letting Ian pull him up leading him out of the room.
"Later Ig." Mickey yells over his shoulder as they head back to their room.
Mandy sucks her teeth as she opens a carton of eggs. She looks over at the empty coffee pot and turns her attention to Iggy who's happily drinking from his mug.
"You musta' done some dumb shit. Pissing Mickey off ain't nothing but for Red to be mad at you." Iggy shakes his head not finishing his sentence.
"It wasn't that serious. I played a little joke on them. Fucking Mickey has made Ian lose his sense of humor."
Mandy drops the eggs in the heated frying pan and starts spreading mayo on a slice of bread.
Iggy finishes his food burping loudly. He smiles and pats his belly just to annoy her. She sticks her middle finger at him when he gets up to leave.
"Mandy, maybe you're just not as funny as you think you are."
Ian walks into the Gallagher house, Fiona and Lip are talking at the kitchen table.
"Hey", Lip smiles up at him as Ian squeezes Fiona's shoulder. Fiona looks around, "You alone?"
"Yeah, Mickey stayed at home. I don't think he wanted to deal with you guys today."
Fiona frowned, "Is he pissed?"
Ian sat down, "No. I mean I apologized and he said it was fine but I don't know. It felt a bit off and then he didn't want to come with me to pick up Liam for the sleepover."
"Well, he's probably just aggravated. When you and Mandy get together, it's you know."
Lip smirked giving Ian a look. Ian was generally confused. "What do you mean?"
"Don't get defensive but sometimes you and Mandy gang up on him. You two egg each other on especially when it comes to teasing Mickey. You're always jumping on her side."
"No, that's not....I mean we just kid around and I don't always jump on her side. I wasn't even part of that shit last night. I had no idea she was gonna do that. I thought she erased it."
"You assumed she erased it or did she say she did?" Lip tapped his fingers on the table. "You have blinders on when it comes to that girl."
Ian didn't say anything. When Mickey asked her if she'd erased the video Mandy never said yes or no but she sure as hell gave the impression that she did.
Ian frowned, "Am I a shitty boyfriend?" Fiona pats his forearm. "No, you're a great boyfriend and I'm a certified expert on shitty boyfriends. You may not want to listen to me cause I've never been a fan of Mandy's but she can be manipulative. That way she carried on last night, it just didn't seem right."
Lip nods his head in agreement. "Forget her and focus on your boy. He won't be mad for long, he's too googly-eyed over you."
Lip shakes his head, "You know I was mildly surprised yesterday. Mickey doesn't usually sound so gay." Fiona shoves Lip but laughs at his comment.
Ian gets up heading for the stairs so he can get Liam. "And you wonder why he didn't want to come with me!"
Many apologies. My office moving locations made it impossible to have any time to write and my laptop hard drive died on me at home. Hope you're still interested!
After a couple days things had died down, had gone back to normal. Well, kind of. There was still some lingering tension in the Milkovich household.
Mickey went from Ignoring Mandy to glaring at her to giving her one-word answers when he spoke. She wasn't really worried about Mickey. Ian was talking to her again too but she could tell Ian was still mad.
Their friendship had always been beyond the usual quippy back and forth conversations between friends. There was warmth and comfort both emotional and physical. She trusted Ian more than any friend she'd ever had, she trusted him more than some of her family.
There was a time even knowing Ian was gay didn't stop her from having feelings for him. She could admit that early on she would get jealous hearing about Ian's mystery boyfriend. It made her wish he was a little less gay but that went away, eventually.
Finding out her best friend was in love with her brother though....it was fucking weird. She hadn't known Mickey was gay. He was her brother; loud, moody, smarter than her older brothers, stole shit she needed like Tampons...but gay. It hadn't crossed her mind. Iggy pointed out to her that the clues had been there, had she paid any attention.
She's pulled out of her thoughts by the ringtone of her cell going off. It was Anthony, a guy she'd met last night. He wasn't much taller than her but had a sexy smile and big hands. He told her she was prettier than her friends. Maybe he could take her out tonight. She'd wanted to hang with Ian but he'd been MIA most of the day. She picked up flipping into flirty Mandy mode.
Ian and Mickey head through the Gallagher house front door. Lip turns his head toward the couple as they come in.
"Hey, Ian. Hey lover boy!" Lip smirks as he pointedly looks at Mickey.
"Hey Asshole", Mickey smiles back earning a loud laugh from Ian who lands on the couch roughly against Lip.
"Ahhh", Lip pulls his arm from under Ian's body. Lip rolls his eyes at his brother making Mickey chuckle.
Carl comes through the door a while later. Mickey looks away from the movie they're watching and raises his eyebrow at Carl. Carl pounds his fist against Mickey's before settling in beside him.
He had a few days left of R&R before he was expected back at Military school. It felt good catching up with his family in person, not just over the phone but he'd be glad to go back to school at the end of the week. He liked having a schedule, he liked having some kind of structure in his life. As much as Fiona tried he never had much of it. It took him having to move away to realize that for him, idle hands meant nothing but trouble.
Carl looked over at Lip who sat, head leaned back with hooded eyes. Ian and Mickey were beside him on the couch. Ian's arm was around Mickey pulling him closer to his side. His brother looked very relaxed, content. Mickey was leaning against his boyfriend, his head tilted against Ian's shoulder.
Ian's phone vibrated. He pulled it out of his pocket reading the message. Mickey read the message as well glancing up at Ian as Ian placed the phone on the table.
"You ain't gonna answer her?" Ian smiled kissing Mickey lightly on the lips. "She can wait." He turned his attention back to the movie. Carl watched Mickey glance at Ian again, his eyebrow pointing up furtively before staring at the screen too.
After the movie ended Ian jumped off the couch stretching his arms over his head. "I'm sooo hungry, Mick you hungry?"
Mickey leans back on the couch, "I can eat something."
"Carl?" Carl nods his head, "sandwiches, maybe." Ian heads into the kitchen.
Carl reconsiders asking but his curiosity wins. "Mickey, what was that look you gave Ian about?"
"During the movie, he ignored his phone and you gave him a look."
Mickey laughs, "You Gallagher's are so fuckin' nosy. It was my sister man, Mandy."
Carl nods his head, "That makes sense, he's still pissed at her about that video."
Mickey looks towards the kitchen where Ian is cutting open a long loaf of bread. "Really? Did he say that cause he didn't tell me shit."
"Can't you tell? He just blew her off, right."
"I guess. Usually he's in it with her, takes her side. He's always telling me to give her a break, don't take shit so serious."
Carl shakes his head, "Lip said Ian was really pissed off. He said she acted like a major bitch, no offense."
"None taken." Mickey shrugged his shoulders.
"Besides, how pissed could he be. He was there with the rest of em', laughing and shit."
Carl shook his head, "Nah, Lip said he flipped out on her after you left."
"Didn't know that, we didn't really talk about it though."
"Maybe you should. Lip said he didn't blame you for walking out."
Lip lets out a loud snort as his head tilts further to the side. "Yeah, I'm sure he was very concerned."
Carl chuckles and looks towards the kitchen. They push junk off the table as Ian comes in balancing a tray with sandwiches and drinks. He places the tray down making sure Mickey's food is in front of him.
Mickey pops open his coke. He goes to grab his sandwich when he sees the plate of kosher pickles. "These for me too?"
Ian takes a bite of his own sandwich. "Course they are." Ian gives Mickey a sloppy kiss on the side of his face. He wipes off the crumbs he unintentionally left behind with his finger.
Mickey smiles at Ian because he looks cute with his mouth full. He looks over at Carl who makes a kissing noise with his lips.
Mickey ignores him digging into his sandwich but thinks about what Carl said. Maybe Ian was giving Mandy the cold shoulder. Maybe Ian was afraid Mickey would get mad at him for bringing up what happened.
Maybe he would talk to Ian about it...later.
Mickey doesn't bring anything up right away. The next day he pays more attention to Ian and Mandy. He watches.
They get up and have breakfast. Mandy and Iggy join them and it's the usual. They talk about this and that. Mandy mentions wanting to hang out last night. She talks about some guy she met and how he was busy working so she ended up staying home alone. Ian listens while he eats his cereal.
They talk and it's all very normal except for a few things. Maybe it's nothing but Ian doesn't go into a long narrative of their night together like he tends to do. Mandy touches Ian several times as she talks and he smiles but doesn't touch her back. She asks Ian if he wants to meet up with her after work, not inviting Mickey which he doesn't mind. He's used to that. He knows she likes to have alone time, just her and Ian. Ian gives a noncommittal, "Maybe. I'll text you later."
Someone else might not have noticed but Mickey does. There's a....a restraint there. It probably wouldn't be obvious if Mandy and Ian weren't usually so damn goofy and touchy.
It's not like Ian's being mean, just a bit remote.
Mandy shrugs tossing out a "Whatever" before she heads out the door. Ian continues to rub Mickey's knee with one hand while he reads the newspaper they happened to find outside. Maybe there's something going on with those two that has nothing to do with him. Mickey's curiosity is peeked, he'll ask later. It's too early in the morning to have a this conversation.
Mickey gets up to grab the half-filled coffee pot and refills their mugs.
Ian laid in bed with his eyes closed. His fingers strumming lazily through Mickey's hair. Mickey taps Ian's chest lightly with his finger.
"Ian?" Mickey looks up at the blissed expression on Ian's face almost not wanting to ask.
"Is something going on between you and Mandy?"
Ian's eyes pop open. "Why do you ask?" Mickey moves off of Ian letting him sit up.
"I just noticed you two haven't been all over each other, like usual."
Ian casually shrugs but Mickey gives him a pointed look, eyebrow raised. He's not buying the Mr. Casual act.
Ian sighs, "Fine, I just.....I don't know. She's just been clingy and I want some space."
Mickey huffs, "She's always clingy with you, you are too."
"I'm not". Ian starts to protest but stops himself, "she's just been sucking up my free time and I want to spend more time with you." Ian skims his fingers down Mickey's bare back making him shiver. He smirks at Mickey's reaction.
"Mmmhmm, you're not still mad at her?" Mickey smiles trying to keep the mood light but still wanting Ian to give him something. Ian was so obvious when he was trying to avoid a topic and that made Mickey want to know if Carl had been right.
"Okay, I am. I'm still mad at her. It's just...fuck. I didn't want to bring it up and make you mad at her just cause I am. That whole stunt she pulled with you, with me, with Lip. She's supposed to be my best friend but what kinda best friend does that shit! It's just been hard cause I want to forget it like you did but I can't."
Mickey's taken back by Ian's sudden outburst. No way did he expect that reaction, he really didn't think Ian was that mad.
"You think that little shit show didn't bother me. Course' it bothered me but that's the type of shit Mandy does. You should know that, her being your best friend. It never seemed to bother you before so why this time?"
"What! she never did anything like that to me before". Ian looked naively surprised by Mickey's comment. It annoyed Mickey, was Ian really that blind?
Mickey moved off the bed bending to the floor to pick up his clothes. "Exactly. She never did anything like that to you! She's done plenty of shit like that to me and you always seemed fine going right along with it."
"I do not." Mickey cuts Ian off before he goes on.
"Yes, you do. How many times has Mandy said some smart-ass shit to me in front of people, in front of you? How many times have you and her sat around snickering like two little bitches on my behalf? She thinks she's knows everything, she thinks she's always right and it doesn't help when you act like her fucking cheerleader."
Mickey stops and stares at a silent Ian who looks like a gaping fish at the moment. Where the fuck did that come from? Mickey had no intention of going into this territory but here they were.
He might as well get it all out.
"You said Mandy's your best friend but you're mine. You're my best friend Ian, so how the fuck do you think I feel when you and her gang up on me? I'm not some bitch, you know I can take it but it would be nice if my boyfriend took my side once in a while."
Mickey finishes buttoning his shirt before grabbing his boots. Ian leans forward, a thin sheet covering his lap.
"I am on your side. That's why I'm still pissed at Mandy. What she did was really fucked up and you're right. I was part of it, I let her keep playing that video. When Fiona and Deb were saying how sweet you were it felt so good. I just wanted to show you off. I didn't know Mandy was making a joke out of it."
"Mick, what we got here is not a joke. She's jealous and I just didn't see it. I am on your side."
Mickey finished tying his laces before facing Ian. He looks sincere and worried; worried Mickey doesn't believe him. He does believe Ian but now that Mickey's said it out loud he can't pretend he hasn't felt a bit hurt in the past.
Mickey smiles weakly, "I hear what you're sayin' but it woulda been nice if you'd seen it sooner. I know you got my back, it just doesn’t always feel like it."
Mickey gets up and grabs his wallet off the dresser.
"Wait, Mick where are you going?" It finally dawns on Ian that Mickey is leaving the house. He doesn’t want Mickey leaving upset.
"I told Lana and Ig I'd stop by the Alibi, remember." Mickey had mentioned it earlier but Ian had completely forgotten about it.
"I'll get dressed and go with you." Ian moves to get up but Mickey's faster.
"It's fine. I won't be long." Mickey leaps forward kissing Ian quickly on the head and runs out the door.
Ian slumps back against the headboard, "It just doesn't always feel like it" on repeat in his head.
Mickey lets out a hardy laugh when Iggy skims the pool table with his cue stick. His attention being taken away from his shot when an older woman wearing a mini skirt passes by their table.
He's glad he came out tonight. Mickey had planned on just dropping off money to Svetlana and quickly talking to Iggy but ended up staying for drinks which led to more drinks and playing pool. The tense feeling he'd had earlier, gone. His brother was kind of a dumbass but he always made him laugh.
Iggy rolls his eyes and grabs his half empty glass downing the rest of his beer. He looks over at the blonde who smiles at him adjusting her top.
"Oh, she wants me." Iggy winks at Mickey as Svetlana brings over another pitcher of beer and two shots. She shoves one in front of Mickey, "Try this, new distributor."
Mickey downs the shot and nods, "Damn that's good." He pours beer into his empty mug and takes a healthy gulp.
"Where's your boy? I thought he was gonna show up tonight?" Mickey lines up his shot and gets two striped balls into the corner pocket.
"Nah, told him not to. I wasn't planning on staying this long." Mickey shot again missing his mark by an inch. He thought about his talk with Ian and wondered if Iggy had noticed anything weird too.
"I asked him if he was mad at Mandy and he said he was, over that shit with the video."
Iggy laughed, "Yeah, you surprised? I know for sure he didn't get laid that night, you two fuckers are usually loud."
Mickey's face twitches in disgust, "We are not that loud and why do you listen anyways? Don't you have enough spank material on your shitty laptop!"
"Red does nothing for me and you are sooo loud! If it ain't the bed banging it's the moaning and groaning. You two are louder than Mandy and that says a fuckin' lot."
Mickey's cheeks redden. Iggy's voice carries and he sees the usual drunken bar idiots looking over at them.
"Alright, I get it. But I don't think Ian is pissed at Mandy cause he didn't get laid."
Iggy takes his shot landing a solid in the side pocket. "I'm not saying it was just cause he didn't get laid, dumbass. Mandy's been extra bitchy lately, especially with you. I've seen it, he must've too."
"I guess. Just thought he'd take her side."
Iggy almost laughed but his brother's usual public mask was down. He looked a bit unsure, insecure. "Nah, Ian mentioned what an asshole Mandy was when that shit went down. That kid loves you. He's like protective over you and shit, even with Mandy."
Mickey smirked trying to stop a smile that wanted to force its way out. "Yeah, he does." He kept on drinking and playing pool. Talking to his brother had lifted his mood. People didn't think Iggy was very smart but he sure as hell was observant.
Ian sat on the bed distracting himself with a game on his phone. He'd hoped Mickey would come home from the Alibi sooner so they could talk but he understood why he hadn't. Sometimes Mickey needed time to process things and Ian didn't mind giving him that. Mandy had parked herself on the couch to watch a movie. He knew she wanted him to sit and hang out but he hadn't been in the mood, especially since his talk with Mickey earlier. Ian had time to think about what Mickey had said and that he probably needed to hash things out with Mandy soon.
He heard the front door slam loudly. He jumped off the bed heading out of the room into the hall. Iggy stood against the wall holding Mickey closely to his side.
"Ian, you waited up for me!" Mickey pulled out of his brother's grip stumbling towards him. Ian opened his arms wrapping them around Mickey's waist making sure his boyfriend didn't lose balance.
"Course I did. How much did you have to drink, huh?" Ian pulls Mickey closer so he's pressed against him. Mickey stares up at Ian, his chin resting on Ian's chest. Ian can't help but think even plastered Mickey has the prettiest blue eyes.
"Sorry, didn't think I drank too much. I was playing pool, beatin' Iggy's ass."
"No you weren't! You only beat me like 4 times." Mickey laughed loudly before putting his attention back to Ian. "I'm not mad at you, you know that right? I don't care if my sister don't like me. You can still be her friend okay."
Mandy looks up from the couch trying to read Ian's face but he kept his eyes on Mickey. Ian smiles, he moves one arm off of Mickey's back and softly touches his face. "I know baby, it's okay. Let's go to bed."
Ian nods at Iggy and leads Mickey to their bedroom. Mandy watches them and then turns towards Iggy. He's giving her a look she doesn't appreciate, "What?" Her voice cracks slightly. Iggy shakes his head and pulls the front door open.
"Why are you leaving?" Mandy's irritated. Why is everyone dismissing her today?
"Got a blonde waiting for me!" He leaves and the silence left behind is deafening. Mandy turns off the movie not interested anymore. She looks around suddenly feeling uncomfortable and takes off for the safety of her bedroom.
What the hell was that? Does Mickey really think she doesn't like him and you can still be her friend? Mandy replays the past week or so in her head. She thought Ian had just been distracted or tired from work but he has been distant. He really must still be pissed at her.
Even Iggy's been giving her shit lately and he's the easy one. The night after she'd gone to the Gallaghers she knew she had fucked up but nobody brought it up again so she forgot about it.
She was gonna have to do some damage control tomorrow. She wasn't losing her best friend over this.
Mandy sat on the couch filing a jagged nail. Her brother stood in the hall grabbing his jacket from the closet, scarf wrapped loosely around his neck. Ian leaned forward, whispering something in Mickey's ear that made him smile. They kissed each other softly before Mickey turned to see Mandy watching. He nods his head up acknowledging her, "Later".
Ian closes the door and sits on the couch beside her. Mandy looks up quickly. She'd been waiting all day for her and Ian to be alone so they could talk, now was her chance.
"Hey, you stayed behind?" Ian smirks because he knows that lately he's been glued to Mickey's side.
"Yeah, he has an errand to run and I wanted to talk to you alone." Mandy's eyes widen surprised. She knew she wanted to talk to him, to hash through the awkwardness between them but she didn’t think about Ian wanting to do the same. It was kind of funny, her brothers said sometimes her and Ian shared a brain.
"Cool. I did too, want to talk." Mandy paused hoping Ian would start talking so she wouldn't have to but that didn’t happen.
"Look, I know this is late but I wanted to say I'm sorry for showing that video to your family. I know I stirred shit up between you and Mickey. It was just a joke you know, I didn't think he'd take it out on you."
Ian let out a shaky sigh pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. He knew Mandy could be insensitive but she had time to think about this.
"Is that all you think this is about? You think your brother flipping out on me one night is the reason I've been keeping my distance from you?"
Mandy frowned before folding her arms, "Keeping your distance. I knew something was going on but you didn't say anything was wrong. Get whatever's bothering you off your chest now so we can move the fuck on. Go ahead Ian!"
Ian could feel the anger building inside. How is Mandy sitting here acting like she's mad when she's got no right to be.
"You came over for dinner intentionally planning on showing a private video you claimed you got rid of. You tried to embarrass Mickey on purpose, you put me in a fucked up situation and then you acted like it was no big deal. Nobody thought that shit was funny except for you."
"Jesus Ian, it was meant as a joke. It wasn’t some grand scheme to ruin your relationship. It's not like I posted it on Facebook or Youtube."
Ian throws his hands up in air. "You have no limits and it's partly my fault. You do shit to fuck with Mickey all the time and I either go along with it or I tell him not to take it seriously but now you just go too far. When you're in a bad mood you start shit and it's always with him."
"Okay, maybe I took it too far this time but me and Mickey both mess with each other. It's not just me and he's not soft like other people. He doesn't care."
"Are you kidding me? Do you listen to your brother when he's drunk? Of course he cares. He doesn't like to show it but I've seen it so many times and so have you. You act like you don't care too but you do. You two are so alike but he'd never have pulled something like that on you. Not as a fucking joke or otherwise."
Mandy felt her throat tighten. She knew she'd been kinda nasty to Mickey lately but she couldn't help it. She didn't even know why she was like that sometimes. She hated this feeling. She hated that Ian was choosing Mickey over her.
Mandy's voice came out low almost a whisper, "A little loyalty wouldn't hurt. You were my friend first you know."
Ian could read Mandy pretty well, almost as well as he could read Mickey. She was feeling shitty right now. That wasn't Ian's intention but he needed to get his point across.
"Don't pull that bros over hoes crap with me. Your brother's not some hoe, he's the love of my life." He just wanted her to get it. He didn't want to fight with her. Not really.
Mandy feels relieved. Ian wanted to make up, she'd know if he didn't but he wasn't happy with her either. Not about Mickey. Fuck, he really loves her brother.
"Okay, I get it....Love of your life, huh?"
Ian nods his head softly, "You already knew that."
"Yeah, yeah. You honestly believe in this soulmate shit?"
Ian laughs but never breaks eye contact. "With him. Yeah, I do." Ian can see doubt in her face. "Jealous?"
Mandy breaks contact staring down at her nails. Her eyes feeling glossy annoying her to all ends. She clears her throat before looking back at Ian.
"So, you're not gonna blow me off anymore?"
"No, but I still think what you did was messed up. You need to talk to Mickey. Just because he didn't make a big deal out of it doesn't mean you don't owe him an apology."
She stays quiet. Ian knows she hates admitting when she's wrong and really hates apologizing but sometimes Mandy needs to be called out on her shit. He should have done it sooner.
"I'm gonna take a shower. I think I'll make a quick spaghetti for dinner but if you're not busy later wanna watch a movie?"
Mandy perks up, "Yeah, sounds good." Mandy watches Ian disappear into his room before she heads to her own.
She was so happy she'd cleared things up with Ian. He's her best friend, her listening board. She had other friends but there was no one she'd rather spend time with than Ian. She didn't think it would have bothered him this much though. He seemed angrier on Mickey's behalf than his own.
Mandy lit up a cigarette and laid across her bed. Iggy had just told her she was getting bitchier every day. She had shrugged it off cause...it was Iggy but maybe he was right. Was she really lashing out at her brothers, mainly Mickey? They always had this relationship where they busted each other's balls for fun but hearing Ian say she didn't treat her brother right made her wonder if Iggy had a point.
Sometimes she got annoyed that Mickey spent more time with Ian than she did but it's not like she didn't understand it. She had her sex life to deal with and mostly she was happy Mickey and Ian are together. They balanced each other out in an unexplainable way.
She smashed the butt of her cigarette into the ashtray and started scrolling through her phone. She was looking forward to spending the night hanging out with her best friend. She didn't want to think about this anymore.
Ian writes on the notepad and sits back reading over what he has down so far. He's always seen himself as being original but reading over his list he just feels......lame.
Debbie and Carl come down the stairs pushing each other. Carl laughs, Debbie rolls her eyes as she heads to the fridge, "Idiot". Lip comes down after them softly popping Carl in the back of the head before he sits at the table beside Ian.
"When you get here?"
"Bout 15 minutes ago. I came upstairs but you were knocked out."
Lip stretches his hands across the table and yawns. "I was up pretty late then I had work. Soon as I got in I crashed."
Debbie brings over cans of Coke and half a pie from Patsy's to the table. Lips eyes open appreciatively, "I'm starving, thanks Debs." Lip grabs a paper plate and plops a healthy piece on his plate when he notices the notepad in front of Ian.
"It's a list of things I could do with Mickey, like to show him how much I love and appreciate him."
"Like a date? Let me see this list." Lip holds his hand out and Ian reluctantly hands it over.
"Candlelight dinner, Movie, Bowling", Lip gives Ian a look before continuing. "Candy and....Flowers"
Lip smirks, "Aren't these kind of cliché? Did you watch a chick flick before coming up with these?"
"Fuck you Lip" Ian snatches the notepad from his smartass brother.
Debbie pats Ian on the shoulder, "I think your ideas are sweet but for Mickey..." Her face looks uncertain.
"Flowers, really? What would Mickey do with a bouquet of flowers? You'd get slapped and no ass that night."
Ian smiles brightly, "Oh no, I'd still get laid."
"Arrogant prick!" They both laugh as Debbie makes a gagging face.
"What do you think Carl?"
"I think Lip is right." Ian slumps forward discouraged and Lip lets out a victorious chuckle.
"Your ideas aren't bad. I mean I'd do all that stuff too but do you think chocolate and flowers are gonna show Mickey you appreciate him. You should think of something different, more personal and then take him on a cheesy date. They do like that kinda shit."
Ian quickly sits up straight breaking out in a big smile. Lip could almost see the lightbulb turn on over his head.
"What are you thinking?"
"I think I know what I want to do but I'll need to know when you guys are free cause you're going to be part of it."
They all look at each other wondering what their sappy, goof of a brother has in mind.
Mandy walks into the house carrying a bag of groceries and a strung-up box. Iggy sits on the couch in a wife beater and boxers furiously pressing the buttons on his remote control. The TV's volume is so loud Mandy blinks likes she's being physically blinded.
"Jeezuz Ig." She walks past into the kitchen and drops the box on the table before she starts unpacking the groceries.
Iggy looks over the couch, "Anything good?" He gets up before she even answers back.
"Just what was on the list and those." She points at the table.
"Those cheap fuckers at your job gave you these?" Mandy laughs sarcastically. The guys who work in the kitchen always take home any food that's leftover. They never bother to ask the waitresses if they want anything. Cheap fuckers!
"Uh no, I bought those at the bakery." Iggy happily bites down devouring half of the cookie.
"Leave some for...."
"Iggy, everybody in the neighborhood can hear how bad you suck at that game man." Mickey walks in the room with his signature smirk.
"Fuck you." The cookie disappears in his mouth as he grabs another one.
Mickey eyes the box, eyebrows raising in curiosity. "Those chocolate chip?"
Mandy closes the cabinet door before facing them. "Yeah, your favorite. Have at it."
Mickey glances at Iggy who shrugs slightly and Mandy notices, "Thanks." He takes a bite letting out a satisfied moan and finishes off the cookie. He notices the time and runs to the couch grabbing his jacket. Mickey grabs another cookie before heading out knowing Iggy will probably polish the box off all by himself.
Iggy pops another cookie into his mouth smirking at Mandy. "So, what's his name?"
Mandy rolls her eyes and heads for the couch kicking off her work shoes.
"The guy that's got you in a good mood." He sits on the couch dropping the cookie box in his lap.
"There's no guy, I just brought home some damn cookies. Can't I just do something nice?" Mandy's irritated by her brother's reaction. He's acting like she never does nice shit for them. She cleans and cooks......sometimes. Isn't that nice enough, saving these lazy fuckers from having to exert extra energy and shit!
Iggy looks at Mandy for a moment before shrugging and taking another bite. He grabs the remote flipping through the channels before landing on an old cartoon. Mandy watches the cartoon then Iggy.
"Ig, if you were looking for a serious relationship, a girlfriend would you date a girl like me?"
Iggy looks at her oddly, "A girl that reminds me of my sister, fuckin' gross."
"No, I'm saying if you weren't my brother and were just some random guy would you see me and think she's girlfriend material?"
Iggy tugged his lip clearly deep in thought. "Well you are pretty but too skinny. I'd have to fatten you up first."
Mandy punches Iggy on his thigh but laughs too. "You're smart and tough. Yeah...maybe."
"Maybe?" Mandy asks crossing her arms.
Iggy smirks, "You're too bossy. You think your right about every fuckin' thing and things always gotta be your way. You'd drive me crazy. I'd give it a month, maybe two before I'd bail."
This was just Iggy's opinion which shouldn't really mean shit to her but hearing it was a blow to her ego. Damn! he barely had to think about it before answering. Had she really become that overbearing? Her mind went back to the last text she'd gotten from her ex Jared; bossy, mean, unladylike is what he'd called her.
She gulped roughly wanting the uncomfortable feeling she felt in her throat to go away. "I'm not that bossy. I clean up half the messes you leave behind without complaining. I don't even know why I asked you. Mickey's been in the longest relationship outta all of us and he's stubborn as hell. I don't know how they make it work."
"Are you dumb? Mickey gives in to red all the time. They compromise and shit. When Ian talks Mickey actually listens. I can't say he does that for most people but he's not fucking them. Ian's as stubborn as Mickey is. He ain't perfect even if you think he is."
"I don't think Ian is perfect!" Iggy rolls his eyes at Mandy's hostile tone. She asked for his opinion, if she didn't want to hear it....
"You act like you do. He's fucked up just as many times as Mickey has. That why you been acting bitchy lately? Cause Mickey got a boyfriend and you don't or cause he got Ian?"
Mandy jumps off the couch as if she's just been struck, "Fuck you!" She stomps into her room slamming the door.
What the hell was his problem? She just asked him a simple fucking question. She turns back towards her door partially opening it.
"I just asked you for a damn opinion!"
Iggy looks over from the couch as he bites into the last cookie, "And you got it".
Mandy slams the door again as Iggy turns his attention back to the TV. She wishes she'd never asked him anything in the first place. She doesn't even understand why she's so upset. Who gives a shit what he thinks! She turns on some music so she doesn’t have to hear the TV blaring and lays on her bed grabbing her laptop. She starts looking through her Facebook and sees that Ian posted a picture earlier in the day. It's Mickey, he's hugging his pillow looking like he's in a deep sleep. Ian lays behind him, his face is resting against Mickey's shoulder and he's smiling. His arm held out obviously taking the selfie with his phone's camera.
She just can't shake this feeling. She buries her face on the bed and starts to cry.
"I don't know Ian. It might be weird." Mandy crosses her foot over the other as it rested on the coffee table.
"It's fine. They've all got their own shit going on including Lip. I want you to come."
"Does Mickey want me to?" Mandy eyed Ian for any tell signs of lying. He's pretty good at it actually.
"I mentioned it and he said it was cool."
Ian could see a small smile cross Mandy's lips as she turned her head away probably not wanting him to notice. Ian shook his head, Milkovich's were so weird that way.
"Yeah...I'll go then. Since you guys want me to."
"Gonna take a shower now before there's no hot water left."
Ian watches Mandy leave quite content with himself. Mandy was definitely coming with them to dinner tonight. He'd already made sure his whole family would be there including Kev and V.
He was excited and just a little nervous. He hoped he hadn't gone overboard with his surprise and that Mickey would understand and take it in with its intended purpose.
At Ian's request all the Gallagher's are in the house. Ian had come by earlier to set things up with Lip's help.
He sat on the couch, Mickey to his left and Mandy to his right. V stood in the kitchen keeping Fiona company while she unwrapped and heated food she'd brought from the diner. Kev was telling the story of how he finally met his biological family. Lip paid close attention to the story and kept a safe distance from Mandy. They had yet to utter a word to each other since she'd gotten there but there was too much noise for it to be awkward with the kids yelling and music playing in the background.
"Food's almost done heating up. There's plates out, everyone serves themselves." That was Ian's cue.
"Hold on, I have something I want you all to see first." He scooches forward tapping into lip's laptop which is hooked up to the TV.
Everyone gather's around finding a spot to settle into. A mirror image of the couch they are currently sitting on appears on the screen. Ian appears to be the only one in the room, he sits back before he clears his throat smiling broadly at the camera.
Ian feels Mickey's curious eyes on him. He squeezes Mickey's knee gesturing him to watch.
"Hi, I know you're all wondering what this is about. I just have a few things I wanted to say and this was the only way I thought I could do it. You all watched a video where Mickey said some very cool things about me. The thing is he was smashed, he didn't know he was being recorded and he didn't know everybody was going watch it later. Now Mickey has said things like that before but it's different when you're caught off guard saying shit and if you think people are making fun of you for being honest. I hope I'm explaining this right cause what I'm trying to say is that I know Mickey loves me but the way that video was shown wasn't with the best intentions."
Mandy sunk back into the couch suddenly feeling uncomfortable. Ian didn't even have to mention her name for her to feel like shit.
"Mick, I shouldn't have let anyone watch it without asking you if it was okay first so I'm sorry for being a dick. I know you said you were passed it and you probably think I'm making more of a deal of this than you did. That being said I still wanted to do something special. Since everyone got to hear how you feel about me I wanted to make a video about my feelings for you. But I think it would make more sense if I gave a little history on how we got here."
The living room filled with claps and hollers. Over the years bits and pieces had come out about their relationship but it had always been kind of a mystery on how Ian Gallagher and Mickey Milkovich became Ian and Mickey.
"Mandy was in my class. We didn't know each other that well until one day our teacher leaned against Mandy's desk with a massive hard-on. He was a perverted asshole so I pushed my book bag in front of him and he ended up hitting the floor." Ian laughed at the memory.
"Anyway, Mandy came over to the house to hang out and at the end of the night she left pissed at me. She told her brothers some shit about me that wasn't true and they wanted to kick my ass, especially Mickey. I didn't know much about Mickey except for hood rumors. Me and Mandy made up and became friends so her brothers were off my back. Then Mickey punched my boss Kash in the face and lifted his gun. This is when things changed for us. I grabbed a tire iron from his yard and went into Mickey's room to make him give me the gun back. I was scared for sure but at the time I thought I had to do it for reasons I will explain. Mickey was asleep so I woke him up and he pretended he was gonna give me the gun but then we started fighting. I never could've imagined we'd go from throwing each other around the room to taking our clothes off but that is exactly what happened."
Everyone started screaming and making comments. Mandy sat forward, "That's how you and Mickey hooked up!". Mickey shook his head slightly blushing but actually enjoying their reactions. It was a pretty good fucking story!
Ian shushed them pausing the video. "Do you want to see the rest or what?" The room got quiet and Ian resumed the video.
"So like I said I was scared but it was important to me to get the gun back. I knew that Kash wasn’t going to get the gun back on his own. I didn't want Mickey messing with Kash because......Shit, this is embarrassing to admit. I was fucking around with him. He was older, married and in the closet. He gave me a lot of attention, I didn't have to go far to get laid and sometimes he bought me stuff. It was convenient. I know it was fucked up but I didn’t think it was back then. The reason I'm bringing this up is so you can really understand where I'm coming from. Mickey was loud, wild and kinda dirty but after that day I forgot about Kash. If it hadn't been for Kash being such a coward who knows if I would have ended up here. But I believe it would have happened down the line anyway cause I really feel like we're meant for each other."
Ian's expression changed from smiling to slightly regretful. "I'm the reason Kash shot Mickey. He found out about us sneaking around. I'd cut him off by then and he was pissed. We all stuck to the story that Mickey tried to rob Kash. Neither of them wanted anyone to know the truth. I mean Mickey had robbed Kash plenty of times but I doubt Kash would have ever shot him for it."
Ian could feel Mickey squeeze his hand in his, his cheeks raised with his slight grin. Mandy glanced over at Mickey frowning. She never knew the real story or ever doubted he hadn't gone to Juvie for robbery.
"When Mickey got out we started up again like he never left. Kash was gone for good and that's when Mickey started working with me at the store. We had an excuse to spend more time together. We used to close the store up and sneak in the back when it wasn't busy. Everything seemed so perfect but then Frank caught us together. Mickey freaked out over Terry finding out and we had this fight over it. Mickey said he was gonna kill Frank but then Mandy tells me Mickey got picked up for punching a cop and sent right back to Juvie."
"Wait, pause it." Lip motions to Ian who stops the video momentarily.
"Were you really going to kill Frank?" Everyone stared at Mickey curiously. They'd all seen several sides of Mickey in the past years. Parts of him had changed so much but some parts were ingrained and made him who he is.
"I thought so. I talked to my brothers about it. I looked for him, I followed him and I had my gun on me. But I thought of Ian and no matter how shitty a father Frank was he was still the only one Ian had. I couldn't do it."
"Shit." Lip nodded gesturing to Ian, he was done asking questions so Ian resumes play.
"I was mad at Mickey about the argument and that he got himself thrown in Juvie again. when he was away I started messing around with different guys and hitting the clubs in Boystown. That's where I met Ned, Jimmy's dad. He was older, easier to deal with and I didn't have to work for his attention. He took me to nice places, bought me things."
"When Mickey came home we started all over again. Mickey ended up getting shot again and everyone said they weren't surprised cause that's how he gets down but I was involved again. It wasn't some drug deal with his brothers, it was a situation I brought to him. It's crazy but with all the illegal shit Mickey's done in the past the two times he gets shot involve me."
There were always things and people that pulled us apart but it didn't matter. We couldn't stay away from each other for long. We needed each other."
"When I was younger I spend time with older men and I thought I was cool and mature for it. I thought that these men choosing me over their wives made me more important. I thought I was special to them but I wasn't. It's kind of fucked up that I thought some old dude giving me gifts was proof of my own self-worth."
"Mickey made me feel everything. Love, hate, pain, happiness, pride...everything. I didn't have to pretend to be anything more than what I was. When we first started messing around Mickey wouldn't let me kiss him and it pissed me off so bad but when I finally got to it felt so much more than any kiss I'd ever gotten."
"When he opened up to me, he gave me all of himself because Mickey doesn't half-ass shit. Anyone who was at the Alibi the night Mickey came out to his father knows that's fact.
Before I wrap this up I have a message for two people who weren't family but are my family now.
"Mandy, you became my friend when I needed one the most. You listened to my bullshit and let me be a part of yours. I love you, our friendship means so much to me but don't make me feel like I have to choose what we have over what I have with your brother. I won't and I can't because Mickey is everything to me. I'm sorry but it's true. He is the most important person in my life even if you are in the top 10."
"Mickey, when everyone heard you say things about me you love I felt like the luckiest guy on the planet but it was one sided. It didn't show that you mean as much to me as I mean to you so that's where this came from. There are so many things I love about you. I could keep talking for hours but I don't have to because you know them already. I just wanted to remind you and I thought I'd put some embarrassing revelations about me in the name of justice. I'm fuckin' proud of how far we've come. Love you."
The video ends and Mickey's ear drums are assaulted with all the noise being made. Kev slaps Ian on the back heartily and Lip calls him a huge sap.
"Alright, I'm starved. Let's eat." Fiona moves towards the kitchen and everyone starts to follow.
Mickey leans closer to Ian, "You didn't have to do that."
"Mm, I wanted to though and I'm taking you out on a proper date. We haven't done that in a while."
"Like a dressing up kinda date."
"Doesn't have to be. We could go to a gun range is you want and shoot targets. We could do whatever you want."
"Ah, no flowers and candy then."
Ian pulls out a snickers bar from his pocket. "I got your candy right here. Wait! You want flowers?"
Mickey shrugs his shoulders and pulls Ian up dragging him towards the kitchen. "Never got any before."
Ian chuckles making a mental note to surprise Mickey with flowers and also to rub this in Lip's face later!
As everyone grabs a seat at the table Mandy pulls a chair next to Lip. Plates are quickly getting filled and conversations are being had on top of each other. As Mandy chews her food she feels Lip glance at her from the side so she takes that as her opportunity.
"Hey, bet you didn't think you'd see me back so soon."
"No, yeah Ian told me you'd be here."
"Really, I didn't know I was coming." Mandy shakes her head knowing how Ian operates.
"Listen, I didn't mean to be such as asshole last visit. I knew you weren't in school and I threw it in your face anyway."
Lip nodded. "Well, I didn't mean to be one most of the time we spent together. I probably should have said that a long time ago."
Mandy swallows her food feeling a small inkling of vindication deep inside. She would never admit how hard it had hit her when Lip suddenly cut her off. She would never admit how long it had actually taken her to stop feeling love for him. They'd talked from time to time but he'd never apologized or shown any regret at how it had gone down.
"Shit happens but it's in the past." Mandy keeps eating but feels Lips eyes on her again.
"What?" She smirks waiting. Lip leans in lowering his voice.
"Maybe after dinner you'd wanna come hang out, upstairs?" The glint in his eye is unmistakable.
"You mean in your room. What happened to your girlfriend?"
"Like you said shit happens. Let's rekindle our friendship."
Lip gives off a brilliant smile that would have had her running up those stairs before. But not now.
"I don't think so, but nice try." Lip sullenly turns his attention back to his dinner. Mandy looks up and catches Ian's eye. He smirks at her and shakes his head.
Mandy has other plans tonight. She'd already made up with Ian. She hadn't planned on talking to Lip but it felt good now that she had. There was one more person she needed to get shit settled with and she could finally see passed her pride to acknowledge that.
Mandy doesn't say much on the walk home. She's just listening to Ian and Mickey talk back and forth. She doesn't grab Ian's open arm like she tends to when it's the three of them. She opts to walk beside Mickey leaving a bit of distance. She lets them carry on without interrupting.
She usually does that, doesn't she...plays with Ian, makes cracks at Mickey. She monopolizes the conversations, always has to be front and center.
She never does this, just listen.
When they get home Mickey sits back on the couch and rests his eyes a moment. Ian looks over at Mandy who lingers in the hall watching Mickey. "Uh, Mickey. Can we talk?".
Ian turns around walking to the bedroom. "I'm gonna take a shower.". Mickey opens his eyes and sits up curious to what Mandy will say.
She sits beside him on the couch. "So, Ian's video. It was.....sweet."
Mickey pulls out a cigarette. He balances it between his lips before handing one to Mandy and lights them both up. "You not planning on making me one too, are ya?"
Mandy snickers, "Hell no. I'm gonna leave that sappy shit to Ian." He huffs blowing out a cloud of smoke.
"But...I did want to say I'm sorry. I made a bunch of drama that you didn't deserve. If you'd done that to me I would've flipped my shit. You didn't, so I thought it wasn't that big a deal. I guess I just didn't want to admit that was a real bitch move but it was."
Mickey crushed his cigarette into the ashtray, "Okay, why though? I got a theory but I wanna hear it from you. This is your chance to say whatever problem you got with me."
Mandy shakes her head, "I don't, I mean you're my brother."
Mickey sucks his teeth, his eyebrows raising in total disbelief. "Come the fuck on Mandy. You wanted to talk, so fuckin' talk."
"I don't know. I'm a vicious bitch sometimes and I have a messed-up sense of humor. Least that's what Iggy says."
"I get it. Growing up in this house you had to go straight for the jugular most days but dad isn't here anymore and you're different with me. One minute you're cool with me, the next you're making jokes at my fuckin' expense. You're always trying to drag Ian into whatever bullshit you throw at me, tryin' to get him to be on your side. I'm not buying what you just said. It's personal. Be honest or this conversation ain't worth shit."
"Fine, I got dumped alright! I was pissed off and I took it out on you. You were just going on about how great a boyfriend Ian is and he was giving you that dreamy ass look he gives you. I....I was jealous. I bring my friend home one day and bam you both fall in love and I can't find one decent guy to give a shit about me."
"You wanna know why these relationships with these dudes never work out? You either pick jackasses who just want to bang you or needy ones that can't handle you. Anytime I seen a decent guy come your way you blow them off or you cheat on them. You don't put any real effort. You really think you just brought Ian here and Bam, perfect fuckin couple."
"You've been coming at me way before that douchebag dumped you. So what did I do to you?"
Mandy pulled the strands of hair out of her face angrily. "Nothing. I don't mean to come at you but sometimes I just want to hang out with my friend. Sometimes it's like you and Ian are rubbing your perfect relationship in my face!"
"No. We don't rub shit in your face. It just feels that way to you cause you're jealous. Listen to me cause I'm not repeating this again. I'm gonna live my life. I'm happy and I'm not gonna pretend or be fake cause you can't see anyone else with something you want. I had to hide my whole life and it made me miserable. You had the freedom to run around with whatever guy you wanted and got no shit for it. I had to listen to dad say that being gay was the worst thing you could be. I had to prove that I was what he considered a man so I wouldn't get beat down or kicked out. I had to act like I liked it when girls where all over me just so people wouldn't talk. I'm fuckin' happy and I'm not gonna feel guilty or ashamed about that. Not for you, for dad, not for anyone in this neighborhood!"
Mandy covers her mouth with her hand. Her stomach does a flip and she physically feels ill for a moment. Her dad, he put them down and tried to make them tow his line. Make them live their lives the way he thought they should, the way it would benefit him. No, she couldn't be treating Mickey in any way like her dad did! She's not like him, she's not a bad person. She loves her brother, she does. So why has she been such a shitty sister lately?
"I never meant to make you feel like he did. I didn't know it was like that for you......I'm not like him." Mickey's face softens at the sound of his sister's shaky voice.
"Course you're not. I'm not saying that. I'm just telling you I'm living my life my way whether it annoys you or not. Does it piss you off that somebody loves me or that it's Ian?"
She shakes her head, "I love Ian but I'm not in love with Ian. It pisses me off that nobody loves me like that. "
Mickey rubs his finger across his lip. "I wasn't sure you know. You get uppity about not getting enough time with him. Thought you were fuckin' jealous."
"Sometimes I am, Ian used to tell me everything. When he started seeing you there were things he didn't tell me anymore and when he moved in I had to share him with you. I never had a best friend like him."
Mickey nods his head, "Me either."
"But it's not just Ian, it's both of you."
"What does that even mean?" Confusion written on Mickey's face.
"Seeing you with Ian, it's so different. It reminds me of how you were with me and mom. When we were little we used to talk the most. Then she was gone and things changed. You kept things to yourself and I started going to friends with my shit. Ian showed up and you opened up again. "
"You don't seem to give a shit when you're wrapped up in some dude though." Mickey's eyebrow raises daring her to deny it.
Mandy picks at her fingernails, "I just feel pissed off and I come at you, Iggy and Colin too. Ian's my best friend but you can lose a friend. Sometimes they give up on you cause why the hell not but I know you won't. You get mad at me a hundred times and still look out when I need you. Remember when we were younger before we made any real money. You used to steal stuff for me and when we were barely getting hot water, you always made sure I got in the shower before everyone else. I know you didn't always like being that dirty. I shoulda' been paying you back for that not being a pain in your ass. I'm a selfish bitch sometimes."
Mickey shrugs in response, "Yeah but you're my sister and I'm an asshole too. Just do yourself a favor. Stop blaming everyone else when these jokers you pick up don’t work out and don't take your shit out on me again. You tried to embarrass me on fuckin purpose."
"I did. I thought it would make me feel better, I don't even know how. Why should I be the only one miserable?" Mandy stops talking, a look of guilt across her face. "That's so fucked up."
"Yeah, it is. But I forgive you." Mickey yawns and gets up. "I'm heading to bed. Ian's probably listening at the door."
Mandy snickers, "Sounds about right."
Mickey walks down the hall and smiles back at Mandy. "You ain't off the hook yet, bitch. You owe me and I'm going to collect!" He chuckles before closing his bedroom door.
"This is embarrassing", Mandy hustles past Kev to the stove and pulls out a large pan of lasagna. Kev opens a folding chair and settles down at the table with everyone else. It's a packed house at the Gallagher's.
All of them made sure to be in attendance including Kev, V and the kids. Mandy was sure Mickey's promise of full service dining with a side of sibling humiliation was better than whatever lame ass plans they had already.
"You do this every fuckin' day. What's the difference?" Ian laughed and leaned over kissing Mickey on the temple.
She placed the pan on the table, moving on to grabbing the bowls of salad and bread rolls. "The difference is get paid and I don't cook at the dinner. I just serve."
Mickey rolls his eyes, "You're just heating shit up. I know that dude Eddie from work prepared this. He's got a massive hard-on for you."
Mandy's caught off guard because why didn't she notice that herself. He was kind of quiet but pretty cute.
"Uh, whatever. Did I have to wear the uniform? It's bad enough I have to wear this at work."
Mickey smirks, "It makes the dinner more formal." Ian nods his head, "It creates a certain ambience."
Lip gives Mandy a once over from head to toe. "I think you look sexy."
The diner Mandy works at isn't the worst but the owners are an elderly couple who never changed with the times. Her uniform is a muted orange and tan ensemble with a matching plaid apron. The piece de resistance is the hat with the embroidered WAFFLE COTTAGE logo and furry squirrel perched on top. It was added a few months after the diner became a local trucker stop favorite. On most of the waitresses the look wasn't very flattering but Mandy made it work. It didn't hurt her tips any.
Carl checks out her outfit too, "What does a squirrel have to do with waffles?".
"I have no clue kid."
V clears her throat, "Mandy, we don't have drinks yet." V winks at Mickey who snickers, "Sucks to be you."
Mandy gives him the finger and reaches up the top cabinet to grab empty glasses. "Why can't Ian help, all he did was make a video kissing your ass." Ian sticks his tongue out at Mandy who laughs.
"Don't worry about it. Ian's made it up to me multiple times."
Lip and Carl make retching sounds. Debbie slaps Carl on the arm and gives them both the eye. "Stop, that's gross."
Everyone starts piling up their plates while Mandy pours the drinks around the table. Mickey takes out his phone and takes a few pictures.
When Mandy thinks she's done she grabs a chair to join. Lip drops his napkin on the floor, "Mandy, can you get that for me?"
Mandy crouches down to the ground as Lip shoves his seat forward. His crotch almost hitting Mandy in the face. He smirks at her as she pulls herself up from the ground. She smiles back at him sweetly and elbows his head as she heads to her seat. Lip rubs the back of his head and throws a roll at Kev for laughing at him.
Mickey laughs too and nudges Ian, "We gotta tip her for that." Mandy smiles at them both before turning to talk to Debbie.
Mickey fills his belly. He listens to everyone talk over each other, having a good time. They're not perfect. They're loud, rowdy and do stupid crap that gets on his nerves but their his people. His family.