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Letters from Home

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It’s not like this was some sort of shocking development. Ian had been gearing up for this since they had started this ‘thing’ three years ago. How many ROTC things had he ‘tagged’ along with Mandy and Lip to? How often had things been put on hold for workouts and tutoring with his older brother? But Ian Gallagher was a high school graduate (and had somehow talking Mickey into getting his GED), and was getting ready to ship out to Basic. The send off party the night before had been one of the Gallagher clan’s best. Booze, weed, loud music and food.

Somehow between watching his - his whatever - dance with V on the grass and toss Liam so high up that Fiona had been concerned, Mickey had let himself think that this was just another Saturday night blow out at the Gallaghers. A way to blow off steam in the muggy heat of a Chicago summer. But when he had gone to put Liam down and read him his story ‘with ALL the voices’, and he saw people's eyes following the tall jackass more - it started to sink in more and more. Then Debbie and Carl had clung to him longer than normal as they had been sent off to bed.

And now it was just the ‘adults’ left around a fire pit in the side yard. Fiona and Lip on the stairs, V and Kev sharing a lounge chair and Ian sandwiched between two Milkoviches. Well, Mandy was all but wrapped around Ian and Mickey - well Mickey was drinking his beer and their shoulders were touching.

“So - tomorrow…’

Ian looked around at the drunk and slightly sad faces, “Guys, I swear, it’s Basic training. I am literally going to be like three hours away. It’s not like -” he started out, only to be cut off by Lip.

“Dude, you won’t BE here though…”

“Neither are you college boy.” Ian shot back, taking a moment to shift Mandy so he could get his beer, “And if ONLY there were a way to keep in touch….like with words and….” he snapped his fingers, “There is this stuff called paper - and you can put words on it - “

Mandy smacked him gently, “Fucking smart ass. You better write, call, Skype….all that shit. Or I will come and find your ass.” Pulling back she looked him in the eye, “Don’t make me do that Ian. ‘Cause you know I fucking will.”

The idea of Mandy Milkovich storming the Basic Training facility was highly entertaining and also something he could legitimately see happening. And while he loved his best friend, he would run like hell if he ever saw her coming. You don’t fight Mandy Milkovich if you can help it. A sideways look at Mickey made him smirk a bit more. Or her brother, but Mickey was more easily distracted.

Feeling the redhead’s eyes on him, Mickey flipped him off while taking a long drink of his beer so that his grin would be less noticeable. Because he had to grin and snark at him. Because he was leaving. Ian wasn’t going to be working with him tomorrow - or next week. He wasn’t going to be there to sneak into the game in two weeks and make out with him in that walkway on the third level when they lost (or fuck him senseless if they won, but he was being realistic.). And it was sinking in for him in an all new way that this was real and happening.

And he wasn’t thrilled. At all. Was he proud of Ian for graduating? Yes. Was he proud of him for doing something with his life? Yes. But did it have to be somewhere other than Chicago? Lip was going to college here. He was moving on - but in baby steps. Baby steps was what Mickey was comfortable with. Look how long it had taken him to kiss Ian. Let alone admit he enjoyed it. Which he still hadn’t technically done. But Ian still had his tongue - so he figure that the redhead had figured that part out.

Ian was smart like that.

It was another three hours before everyone started making their way into bed. Mandy crashing on the sofa, the others all finding their way to their rooms till it was just Mickey and Ian out by the fire nursing the last two beers and watching the embers glow.

“Gonna miss me jackass?” Ian asked conversationally as he took a sip of beer. He wasn’t expecting a grand announcement of passion from the idiot sitting next to him. Ian wasn’t an idiot, no matter what Mickey might claim on occasion.

There was a one shoulder shrug, “Well, looks like I am going to have to switch it up again.” He wasn’t going to admit to having gone out to get things to use to take the edge off. He wasn’t going to admit to the fact that he had been exclusive to a certain mouthy Gallagher for too long to wander now. He was too used to Ian ‘knowing’ what to do - it had taken too long to get to the point where it just feel right.

And now the fucker was leaving. For the Army. A bunch of buff, built guys that didn’t need a GED to get a legit job tending bar at a place where he made actual money. Guys that definitely would have more - His thoughts were derailed when a pair of lips settled on his They felt chapped - but warm. The kiss was slow and deliberate like Ian was trying to memorize how he tasted and felt like. Mickey growled and turned on the couch they were sitting on and straddled Ian - giving zero shits who saw him. Ian was leaving and this wasn’t going to be a thing tomorrow at the fucking bus station.

Hands were everywhere and then there was a whisper of, “Lip is staying in with the boys tonight - let’s go inside hmmm?”

“Whatever you want jackass.”

Dousing the fire, the two argued and snarked their way into the dark house, keeping their voice down as much as possible. But to those listening in the house - the familiar sound of the voices locked in a discussion over baseball with the occasional pauses for a kiss made smiles come to a few of them. There was the sound of a door closing and then a radio turned on to mask some of the noise that was about to occur.

At that point the earplug all came out - because no one needed to hear that shit.

~~

The first round was hard and fast against the wall - Ian keeping Mickey’s hands pinned over his head so all he could do was feel and react. Their pants were discarded and their shirts were somewhere over by the bed. Making sure he was devouring Mickey’s mouth when the low growl came out Ian swallowed most of the sound and then kept going till he was burying his face in Mickey’s throat for his own growls game.

“You better not be done yet Firecrotch.”

“Fuck you.”

“I thought that was the plan.”

And that was how Mickey found himself on his knees as Ian found something more productive for his mouth to be doing. That blow job led to making out….which led them to this. Mickey on all fours, legs spread and Ian taking his time - slow and steady. Teasing the pale skin under him, marking him with nips and kisses and nails that never seemed to exist until Mickey was naked under him.

“Ugh….Gallagher….move…..”

“I am Milkovich.”

While he would never admit it - the older man liked this sort of round. He liked Ian’s focus being solely on him. He liked being able hear the worlds and feel each touch and thrust. He liked that their fingers were lined on the headboard. The burn of each thrust. The gasp against his ear when he pushed back with that whimper that he didn’t even know he was capable of until Ian. And this time when they came - there was no hiding the low, rough growls that came out.

Another round later had them passed out together - wrapped around each other and in the same bed for the last time in awhile. Something that Mickey was not sure how this was going to work. He didn’t think they had spent more than two nights not in the same bed for over a year now. How the hell was this supposed to work? A bed all to himself? It sounded like a bunch of shit.

The next morning, the dark haired man woke up to the world's most amazing blow job and repaid the favor by riding Ian and giving him a show. As they lay there panting and recovering - they could hear the rest of the house waking up. Sliding out from under him, Ian stood and stretched, his back popping as he did. Wordlessly he held out his hand to Mickey and raised a brow, indicating the shower with an incline of his head.

The water pounding down around them and just kissing and memorizing each other - if he felt like this and Ian was just going to be away for 10 weeks - he didn’t know how the rest of this was going to go. What if he was actually deployed? What if…

Sensing where his thoughts were taking him, Ian kissed him again slow and thorough.

~~

Seeing him in fatigues was nothing new. Years of ROTC had accustomed the family (blood and by choice) to the sight of Ian in “GI Joe Mode’ as Fiona called it. This time though it wasn’t ‘ROTC’ on the labels it was ‘US ARMY’. The pack wasn’t his normal camping gear - it was all official. And the atmosphere was a bit more quiet this morning than normal. They were a two car caravan to the bus station in downtown Chicago. Mickey stood off to the side as everyone got their hugs in and their advice for him.

“Write us.”

“Focus hard.”

“Don’t overthink everything you broody bastard.”

“Make friends.”

When he finally got to Mickey, everything turned their back to give them a moment.

“You really doing this then? You are are a stupid - “ Mickey’s attempt at snark was cut off when Ian hugged him and then smacked the back of his head, “HEY!”

“It’s ten weeks jackass. I lasted two Juvie stents. You can last ten weeks.”

There was that laugh that made Mickey grin - even as he flipped Ian off. The latter leaned in and whispered, “Look in your dufflebag asshole.” And he headed for the bus, shaking his head and grinning at the noise his family was making. In true Southside fashion, he flipped them all off as he got on the bus - and didn’t look back.

~~

Getting back at the Gallagher’s, Mickey headed upstairs to get his duffle bag. When he did, he cursed under his breath at what he saw - Ian had thrown some of his shirts and hoodies in there - as well as some of his sweats. That fucking… He shook his head as a white envelope caught his eye, tucked into the sleeve of a zip up hoodie Mickey was fond of.

Seeing his name written on it in Ian’s scrawling handwriting made his heart beat a little faster. He kicked the door shut and sat on the edge of the bed debating if he wanted to read it now or later. Opting for later he gathered up his shit, went downstairs, let Fiona and Debbie fuss a bit, agreed to be back for dinner tomorrow night and left out the back door.

He was on his bed that night, in a shirt of Ian’s since all of his shit was dirty, and trying to not miss the long ass bastard that normally took up more than his fair share of room in this bed. Mickey dreamed of a king size bed - and not for the reasons most thought. Yeah the room for sex would be amazing. But it would be nice to have Ian there and have more than three square inches for his ass.

Opening a beer he checked the door and cut open the envelope with his pocket knife. Out of that came a few sheets of paper and five pictures. Setting the pictures aside he opened the letter and reached for his beer.

“Mickey,

If you are reading this - you didn’t just roll your eyes and call me a fucking pussy and throw it away. So hey. I left today.

I am sorry if you thought this was all some joke or some shit. It wasn’t. I know it sucks (more than you trying to be subtle), but it’s ten weeks. We can do ten weeks. I am literally writing you this last week as I you sleep next to me and I can hear Lip and Amanda downstairs arguing over scrabble. Evidently there is such a thing as strip scrabble and my brother plays it. Now that image in in your mind.

You are welcome.’

Rolling his eyes Mickey flipped off the letter like it was Ian’s face and kept reading.

“I promised you I wouldn't turn today into a ‘thing’. So I hope I did okay. I didn’t kiss you on the platform or anything else that is more than you are ready for. If I did - I am sorry. You are sleeping next to me right now and I can’t imagine waking up and you not being there - or at least not a call away. Radio silence for awhile is going to be hard as fuck all. But what can we do?

Also - there are other letters for you. But you’ll get them when you get them. This I am turning into a thing. You never said I couldn’t fucker.

I don’t have more to say than I love you. You know I do. I have since I was 15 years old and this isn’t changing that. But I understand if it does for you.

Okay I am taking that back. I was going to be all selfless and shit. I was going to say something like ‘If you want to end this I understand.’ But fuck that noise. You are mine Milkovich. I will fucking kick your ass if you try and run, and the ass of anyone who tries to move into my spot.”

“You be selfless you fucking…” Mickey rolled his eyes. Ian was a selfless jackass when he wanted to be. But he could be a selfish little prick too. And at the moment he was happy to know that the selfish side of his Gallagher had won out. It would be a pain to have to track him down and beat the sense back into him.

“ Anyway, you never let me bring this up while I was there - so I am bringing this up now. When I am stationed - I will have the option to live off base. And I want you to come with me. There are always bars around bases. And I don’t want you not here. Just don’t say no right now. Please just think about it.

A fresh start. Not too crappy of an idea.

I enclosed pictures from the last bit I never got a chance to scan into the computer and your phone. I miss you fucker.

Yours,

Ian”

Leaning his head back against the headboard Mickey finished the beer and picked up the pictures. Them at the Alibi, one of Ian, Mandy and Mickey on the Milkovich roof all flipping off the camera, one of them at Ian’s graduation, and the there was one for three nights ago - in this bed and Ian had made him take a fucking selfie. But there they were grinning at the camera.

“You little….”

“YO MICKEY - you done jacking off yet I gotta…”

“Don’t even finish that assface.” Mickey said with a sigh as his brother Iggy went in to use the bathroom. In that moment the idea of moving to a place where he didn’t have a constant parade of people in and out of his bedroom was sounding like a brilliant idea.

Chapter Text

Three weeks in and Ian Gallagher was dying. Well, he was pretty damn sure he was dying - if the pain in his lower back was anything to go by- he was moment from death's door. And there wasn’t a smart mouthed asshole here to rub the kinks out while telling him that he better not think that this was going to get him out of fucking him senseless later. Because it wasn’t. He had been finding new muscles to use and abuse every day and he was about to head in for an ice bath because the dead carries he had been doing all afternoon were NOT his friend - when he saw something on his bunk just out of reach.

With a groan he rolled into a sitting position and a grin spread across his face. Care packages. Two of them. Both looked like Liam had gotten his hands on them with crayons - but that just made him grin a bit harder. Reaching out he made himself stop and look at the clock on the wall. If he hurried - he could get a shower in before dinner and retiring the colors. Then he would have two hours at least to go through the boxes.

“Hey Gallagher - showers?”

“McCartney - are you really that scared that the female cadets are going to kick your ass.”

“Have you seen them?!”

“For fucks sake….give me a minute….” And he got his gear together to keep a new friend safe from the more than a little mischievous antics of the women’s bunkhouse. If he hadn’t gone and teased the ‘ring leader’ of that group he wouldn’t have to worry so much. The idiot.

~~

It was three hours later when Ian was able to get back to his bunk and collapse back onto the thin mattress and pillow. He reached for the first box and looked around and grinned when he noticed he wasn’t the only one with mail. Opening the box he got a whiff of something magical.

Garrett’s popcorn.

His family loved him. He set the letters off to the side and pulled out a tin of the magical ‘Chicago Mix’ - his favorite blend of caramel and cheddar and salted popcorn. He put it back into the box to save for later and to protect it from some of the interested parties that were also from the Chicago area and knew that smell. He picked up the first ‘letter’ and it was from Carl.

‘“Yo Ian,

Fiona is putting some stuff together for you and asked us all to write something. I have no clue what to say - but she had that ‘do this or I am giving your bed to Frank’ look in her eye? So here I am killing time while I write this shit.

Little Hank and I are suspended again. This time it REALLY wasn’t us - but who cares. I have some school service hours. Because scrubbing the walls down after school is going to teach me a lesson. There is a new girl at school and she is kinda mean and tough. So I think I am falling in love. Because I think she could kick my ass.

Is that normal? I asked Lip and he just started to laugh. Bastard.

Anyway - it’s weird without you here. I think Lip and Amanda are getting serious and it’s hard to spy on them without you here.

Carl.”

His brother. Only his little brother - but it was the Gallagher way to find the one person that could hand your your ass and fall head over heels for them. What could he say? Lip and Mandy and then Lip and Amanda. Himself and Mickey. Chuckling he set that letter aside and reached for another. This one was with neater handwriting.

Thank god Debbie actually took her time.

“Hey Ian!

School is good - looks like another year of StuCo President. I don’t know if I ever thanked you for being tall enough to hang the posters for me without me having to drag a step stool all over the building. So thanks. Because that sucked this year.

Also - can you tell your boyfriend that it’s okay for him to take me to get a tattoo - he got one corrected and it looks awesome and now I really want one. He just keeps blowing me off. Which I find highly rude since you know - I make pancakes and he eats them. That should entitle me to something.

Everyone here is good - we miss you though. There was a storm the other night and Liam came and cuddled with me. How did you and Mickey fit with him in the bed with you guys? I asked Mickey and again I got blown off. Seriously - he knows he’s ah honoary Gallagher right and should not blow me off.

Do you mind if I kick him for it?

I miss you!

Debbie”

Rolling his eyes up towards the top bunk above him and wondered how many blowjobs he was going to owe Mickey for telling Deb ‘no’. He was sure that Mickey was keeping track - he was going to need knee pads if she kept this up for seven more weeks. And muscle relaxers for his jaw. He didn’t have reasons beyond ‘You are underage’ to combat the tattoos. But really that wasn’t a very strong one since he was with someone who was pretty sure had been born with tattoos are a large portion of his body. Granted - now that he was working and making legit money - some of the more - Ian would call them ‘economical’ tattoo’s had been corrected or improved. But he didn’t have a leg to stand on there.

He would leave that one to Fiona, Lip and Mickey. What were they going to do to him when he was way out here anyway?

The next wasn’t a letter - but a picture. Colored bright and vibrant it was one of Liam’s pieces of art. Ian had gotten one picture a week since he had been there, calling out, “Okay idiots - it’s another round of ‘What the hell is Liam drawing?’ whoever is closest I will buy two rounds for after graduation. He got up and pinned the artwork up to several calls and some applause, “Seriously you guys - I think it’s a rainbow of some kind - but who the hell knows.”

He laid back down as some of his fellow cadets came over to look at the picture, Ian was already reaching for another letter and without looking up said , “Touch the popcorn forrest and I will be less than helpful on the wall climb tomorrow.”

“But dude, it’s GARRETT’S.”

“I will open it tomorrow.”

“Deal.”

The next letter was from V and Kev. Well, it was from V. It was light and funny about the antics of the people at the bar and what she and Kev were up to. There were some pictures in there of the Alibi, and of his siblings and Ian thanks fate that V is still around because at least someone is there to take these kinds of pictures and be a somewhat steadying force for his family.

The one from Lip is well...it’s a postcard. He and Amanda in Miami at her parents place by the pool. Because Lip is fucking kept man - but it works because Amanda takes care of the BS and Lip can just be brilliantly dysfunctional. On the back is scrawled a very simple message:

“Hey Idiot,

>When you are done - you and Mickey are coming down here. Amanda and I have a bet over who will burn more - you or Mickey.

Miss you.

Lip”

Muttering to himself, “You fucking asshole.” Even Ian had to admit - it was good to see Lip that happy. And with someone that could keep up with his brain and his attitude.

Seeing as there was one left - he knew it was Fiona’s. Hers were harder to read at times - because it was Fiona. With him here and Lip at school - she didn’t have a buffer of the two of them - and it worried him. Even when Monica had left - the three eldest had banded together like some sort of force of nature and now that wall of solidarity was spreading a bit thin. He looked at her handwriting and then opened the letter. This was a time he wished he could be having a beer while he read his mail.

“Hey Ian,

It’s weird as fuck to not have you here. I am sure everyone says that - but you are my running buddy and my coffee partner. I made it to eight miles a few days ago and I am not going to say that I ate your celebratory brownie for you - but they already had two ready at that gas station - so really I was doing them a favor.

Shut up.”

Rolling his eyes Ian flipped off the letter, he had been THINKING of something, but he wouldn’t have SAID anything. Not as sober as he was. He didn’t have a death wish. He kept on reading, the buzz of conversations around him like white noise.

“Anyway, work has been good. Things seem to be sucking less lately. And yes I am fucking knocking on wood as I write this. See? I can multi-task. Life skills. Gotta love them. But work is good - I am interviewing for some positions that have more regular hours and maybe pay better. Yes that is money in the envelope and if you send it back to me - I am going to tell Mandy Milkovich she needs to come up there and kick your ass. I am sure your best friend scares you more than I do.

Speaking of the Milkoviches, has anyone told you that I think we got them in some sort of fucking divorce that never happened? THey are just here. Alot. Which is fine - hell they are even putting money in the squirrel fund. But they are here - and it seems to work. Also - thank you for teaching Mickey how to make your pancakes. Because I didn’t think they kids would enjoy ten weekends of mine.

I am also enclosing pictures from the last family dinner. Debbie is dating a guy. Lip, Carl, Mickey and Mandy all were waiting for him on the porch when he showed up to take her to a movie. I think Mandy scared him the most with Carl being a close second. But he’s a neighborhood kid - he would have to be an idiot to not be scared of Carl.

I miss you you fucking little brat. I am worried but I know this is what you want and I am being supportive and whatever. But Ian, I am also fucking proud of you. So be good and safe and remember that no matter what Lip and I have shown you over the years - flipping people off is NOT the best way to deal with authority figures. Just some sisterly advice.

Love you, you little shit,

Fi”

The call for lights out came as he sat in his bed and looked at his sister’s letter. The pictures and the cash were all still in her envelope. But those would have to wait till tomorrow. And so would the other box - the one he was now fairly sure was from Mickey and Mandy. He packed everything up and fell back against his pillow with a soft sound as air escaped his lips. Three weeks and you would think that sleeping alone would be fine. You would think he would adjust to being in a massive bunk house with a bunch of morons that snored. He had grown up in a house with a bunch of morons that snored.

But he had gotten used to sleeping a a Ukrainian bed hog and this bed - which wasn’t much bigger than his one at home and yet… Ian stopped himself took a moment to spread out a little more than normal. There was going to be plenty of time over the years for Mickey to crowd his ass in bed - at least if Ian had a damn thing to say about it. He might as well enjoy the opportunity to fucking move around a bit while he had it. The sound the bed made got him a growl from his bunkmate.

“I swear to fuck Ian if you are jacking off down there….”

“Bite me Keller.”

“Nah, my girl would kill me for getting kinky with someone else.”

Ian kicked the bottom of the mattress above him with a laugh and when he closed his eyes, he was somewhere else - he wasn’t sure where but there was a Southside wise ass telling him to fucking get out of bed and make pancakes because if he was going to wear him out like that the least he could do was feed his ass. Even in his dreams his boyfriend was a bossy ass bottom.

Chapter Text

If there was one thing Ian Gallagher was not a fan of - it was rain and having to be out running in the rain. And not only had he been out running in the rain - they had been running in full gear in the rain. Which was good training - but all he wanted was a hot shower and dry socks. He was a man of simple tastes. So after a day of running and training in the rain, lowering The Colors in the rain and then finally eating dinner (thankfully not in the damn rain), he was more than ready for a hot shower and a box that hadn’t been opened yet. Part of him was glad that he had something to open tonight. And part of him was worried that he was putting too much pressure on this box to keep him connected to two of his favorite people.

Cutting it open he grinned at the picture on top of everything in the box - it was of Mandy in a ‘Go Army’ t-shirt holding a gift from him last Christmas. It was a Build-A-Bear in Army dress uniform. And she was grinning as she flipped off the camera on the couch in his living room.

“DAMN….she is - “

“My best friend whom I love.” Ian said looking over at a fellow cadet with a raised brow, “Want to re-think the wording there?”

“She looks hot and like she could kill me.”

“And not bat an eyelash.” Ian nodded and moved it to the stack he was keeping to look through again later. He looked into the box to see one of his Army hoodies with a note on it, “Look what I found’ in his boyfriend’s scrawl. That fucker had sent one of the sweatshirts back to him - that had been part of his grand romantic gesture. Picking it up he caught a whiff of the hoodie and his heart picked up speed. Instead of his cologne - it was Mickey’s.

Shoving the box off his lap he took the note off and pulled the hoodie on without a second thought and for a moment if he closed his eyes - Mickey was there. Grinning like a moron, he leaned back again and grabbed the box. There was candy and pre-paid phone cards in there - and two letters. - one had his name written on it in bubbly letters and the other was in a scrawl.

Grabbing Mandy’s first he opened it up and settled in, he was missing his best friend and he could almost hear the bed squeak as she flopped down next to him to catch him up on everything he was missing.

“Hey Ian,

You know, when I was ‘dating’ this JROTC guy in school - I never really thought you would end up where you are. I know it sounds weird - but I somehow I always saw you in college or something. I am proud of you, but just know, I am still getting used to this.

I guess I should start at the beginning. I moved out - my dad isn’t getting back out. But that means my Uncle David is taking over and moved into the house. If you thought my dad was an ass you haven’t met Uncle Dave. ANYWAY - long story short - I am living in Lip’s old room. Paying money into the squirrel fund and dreaming of a day when I have my own place and can shower whenever the hell I want to. Fiona heard me talking to Lip about it and never said a word about me just starting to stay there. I think in her mind Lip and I are screwing around again. Please. Besides - Amanda has Miami connections.I am not messing around with that.

Mickey got me a job at the bar he works at - days so I can take night classes. Mixology - aka how to be a bartender and make real money at that shit. I figure that in Chicago there is never going to be a time when there isn’t a need for bartenders. And if Mickey can do it - I am damn well do it too.

I met a guy too. His name is Neal and he’s a college guy. I think you would like him because well frankly I am hoping you just like him because I do. I might have let it slip too that my very protective ex-boyfriend is in the Army. Mickey I think eye rolled at me so hard he almost fell out of his chair. And now he is reading over my shoulder and being an ass. Are you coming home soon so you can distract my assface of a brother and I can have some fucking peace?

What else...I am saving up to buy a car. Yes, I will take Mickey and Lip with me. Yes I will take it for a test drive. Yes I have looked at all the safety shit you keep telling me about. Yes I will let you know what I end up with. And no you don’t get to drive it. And no you aren’t a better driver than me. And my brother is still reading over my shoulder - really Mickey? He is insisting that I inform you that he will get to ride in the car before you.

How you put up with him willingly is beyond me.

I miss you jackass - be safe and careful and all that shit. Because I am only keeping an eye on this idiot of yours for so long before you have to come back and claim him.

 

Love you jackass,

Mandy”

One of his best friends in the world. She had been his beard and his shield in a neighbrohood where being gay wasn’t okay. It wasn’t always alright and she had been that buffer. They had ‘dated’ and done things together that neither had had the chance to do before - movies, shopping, concerts, and hell even Six Flags. She was woven into his memories like nothing else. He picked up the picture again and grinned at the image there.

Folding her letter up with a bit more care and tucking it into it’s envelope. He reached out for the one letter he had been waiting for. His boyfriend wasn’t the best with his words at the best of times - and Ian was used to relying on body language to really KNOW what Mickey was saying. Because while he wasn’t the best at SAYING what he meant - he could show it better than just about anyone ever. Opening the letter he pulled out the paper to see Mickey’s scrawl and grinned to himself. Mickey had written to him - willingly.

“Hey Tough Guy,

Don’t get on me about reading my sisters fucking letter. She was taking too long and I needed to get this thing ready to mail before work. Not like the post office is going to stay open longer for me to get my ass there because someone wanted to get chatty as hell.

Anyway, work is still going good. Had people asking me where my shadow is. I think they mean you. But still showing up and getting paid. All nice and legal. The downside to that shit is taxes and all the crap they take out. You don’t have that issue when you are - what did you call it? Self employed. But I told you I would do this - and I am. Stop grinning like that.

Dumbass.

So, as I am sure you have heard because no one in our fucking lives can mind their own damn business - I am living with your family. Really - I am living in the basement. Do I want to know why there were scorch marks down there? But I cleared it out and Fiona helped. Got all our shit down there. Including a new bed. Because I wanted more than three inches for my ass and you take up too much damn room.

Yes I am paying into the fund. Yes I am helping out with Liam. Yes somehow you fucking got me doing all this shit even when I am not getting a blow job for all my efforts here. How the hell does that make sense. I am keeping track - I hope you know you are going to be on your knees for while.

And the shirts you left? They are the ones I already had taken. So really - you left me with my own shit. Which is good to know that you aren’t trying to take my shit with you.

If this is how you felt when I was in Juvie - okay - it does suck. But to be fair - I did Juvie before we were pretty much living together. So you didn’t have to adjust to shit like I am. So if you waited just to get the most bang for your ‘leaving my boyfriend high and dry’ buck - you win. There I said it. Now get your ass back here in one damn piece. I have plans.

Miss you Tough Guy,

Mick”

Ian read Mickey’s letter a few times before letting his head fall back against a pillow and a sigh escaped. He had to admit - he was glad Mickey was missing him a bit. He had sat through two Juvie stints for that idiot. He could sit through ten weeks of basic. And if Ian had his way - and really he was pretty sure that it was going to get his way - Mickey would be coming with him when he moved to whatever base he was assigned to. Because the thought of giving Mickey a blow job was making him uncomfortable and his mouth water a bit too much. Which he was sure had been the point from his boyfriend. Who had CALLED himself that. In WRITING. He looked into the Milkovich box and had to laugh - it definitely wasn’t one that his family would have sent him.

Cigarettes, more pictures, lighters… Reaching in Ian picked up a blue one that had obviously been used and he rolled his eyes. Mentally chiding his boyfriend that returning the lighter that he had stolen, denied stealing and tried to pin on Fiona was not going to earn him points. Chuckling to himself, he unpacked the box and broke it down. Then took his time and hung up the new pictures he had been sent. Most bunks had pictures of girls in sexy lingerie. His had pictures of Mickey - and the ones he didn’t want to share were stashed. Because no one needed to know how fucking hot his boyfriend was.

Rolling over, Ian picked up a book and flipped through it till he came to some ‘bookmarks’. He pulled out a thin stack of pictures and set them off to the side while he packed up other goodies, and his fingers lingered on the blue lighter. He had started using some the girliest lighters he could find just so Mickey wouldn’t steal them. It hadn’t really worked - but still. He had put some thought into it.

Rolling back over he picked up the stack and grinned at the image there wistfully. It had been taken by someone else - and from the background being Six Flags - he would assume it was Amanda who seemed to be picture happy these days. He was on a chair and there was a Mandy in his lap and Mickey was looking at them both like they had lost their minds - but he was grinning. The next was one from him because he was looking at a sleeping Mickey All dark grey sheets and white skin.

A finger traced the outline of Mickey’s spine on the picture and could almost hear the sigh he would make and the muffled complaint that he was taking too long and the sound of sheets as he got more comfortable. The image in his mind made Ian shift on his bed and he let his eyes drift shut briefly and the memory of that night play out in technicolor behind his lids.

Maybe if he wouldn’t leave willingly, Ian could shoot a tranquilizer dart into his boyfriend and just ship him off to wherever he ended up. Because this distance thing wasn’t working for him at all. Was it ‘slightly’ illegal? Yes. But it wouldn’t be the first time Ian Gallagher had to think outside of the box when it came to Mickey and he was pretty sure it wouldn't be the last either.

Chapter Text

Working for legal companies and doing actual work was exhausting. Not that runs with his family hadn’t been. Or out running collections. That had been time consuming and had worn him out almost just as much. But now that there was fuckin’ money being taken out of his cut of shit - Mickey had a bit more of an appreciation for the ‘Squirrel Fund’ than he had had before. And for all the times that he had seen Ian working a side hustle for the extra cash. Running fingers through his still wet hair, icy blue eyes looked back at him from the fogged up mirror in the upstairs bathroom at Gallagher Central.

“You lost your damned mind Milkovich.” He muttered and reached for the clean boxers and jeans he had tossed over to the side before climbing into the shower, “Let’s go straight’ he said, ‘It’ll work out’ he said. They He runs off to fucking basic training and leaves your ass here to manage - “

The muttering was cut off by a fist banging on the door, “Hurry up assface, some of us have fucking class to get to.”

“Then you shoulda got in here before me huh?” he muttered, pulling on a clean t-shirt and opening the door to see his sister there glaring at him, “What? You don’t at 8 hours of fucking construction work and a shift at the bar to wash off.”

“No, but i have class and if I am late again I am going to get to hear the ‘And in real life punctuality is the source of light and peace’ speech.” Mandy said storming into the bathroom and shoving him out, “And you may have had construction - but I worked a double and I will never get the smell of maple syrup off of. Me.” Mandy gave him the bird and slammed the door in his face.

He was about to let her know his feelings on that when the door opened again just enough for her to throw his towel at his head and the door closed again.

“Bitch.”

“Takes one to know one.” And then the water started and all he could do was roll his eyes and head downstairs into the chaos that was a night at the Gallaghers around dinner time.

~~

At some point, Fiona thought she would get used to Milkovich’s in her house and interacting like - well, like family. She was leaning back against the sink and watching the chaos of dinner as well as the elaborate dance routine that seemed to involve everyone trying to get food at the same time. But really - at some point she needed to remember her camera so she could get video evidence of Lip and Mickey have a glare off over who got the last piece of garlic bread. She was pretty sure Ian had a video - but really it wasn’t the end of life as they knew it if one of them had slightly less carbs with dinner.

“I am just sayin’ I thought you had a date tonight - you sure you want that much garlic?”

“Really - cause last I checked your boy was off getting in shape - you sure you want the extra now that your cardio workouts are more limited?” Lip shot back with a smirk.

“You show up at Amanda’s with that much garlic breath - you might be in the same boat.” Mickey said, with a smirk, and then as he was about to take the last piece of garlic bread, Liam and snuck in and was walking away munching it.

“Hey!” Lip and Mickey said at the same time, and Liam just BEAMED at them - almost like Ian would have and both men felt a bit of a pang.

~~

Three hours - two of which were spent having a very vocal debate over the White Sox with Debbie’s new boyfriend and Kev - later Mickey made his way into the basement and took a moment to take stock of what had all changed. There was white sealant on the walls and a king sized bed, night stands and a dresser. Or what was a dresser under a mound of clean laundry. The laundry made him smirk a bit. Ian would be rolling his eyes and have it all put away. Mickey was content to move stuff from the clean pile on the dresser to the dirty pile on the floor as needed. And Ian was off being GI Joe so…

The laundry could stay where it was.

He walked over to the bed and fell face first onto the mattress, hearing paper crinkle under his weight. Rolling over with a groan, he picked up a small stack of envelopes. The other thing that came with working legally and not working around the damn system was bills and actually paying for shit. Which he still thought was overrated as hell, but it kept him out of the Metal Motel and with Ian and the rest of the idiots in his life.

So there was that. And when the redhead was around - he preferred to be where he could touch and be touched by the moron. But the more he thought about touching him the more he wanted to and since Ian had decided to abandon him to fulfill his dreams or some shit…

And left him here with their siblings, bills, and working. With no sex. That’s how generous his boyfriend was - all the responsibility and no offsetting sex.

The asshole.

Mickey was about to toss the entire stack of letters to one side and turn the light out when he saw a familiar scrawl. Ian. He tossed the bills off to one side (they could all be on Ian’s nightstand the jackass) and went back upstairs to grab a beer - still holding on to the letter and looking it over. He wasn’t going to lie - the fact that his envelopes tended to be larger than other peoples - that his idiot wrote him more - it was good. And Mickey did like large things that came from Ian. Always had and would. He stepped on some toys on the floor in the kitchen and limped his way to the fridge.

“Fuckin’ cars….” kicking them out of the way, three beers in hand, Mickey made his way back to the basement, pausing to close the door behind him and flip the lights off. He set everything down on the nightstand and turned on the light that was there. He tossed the letter onto the bed and then there was soft noise as his wallet, watch and then smokes and lighter also ended up on the nightstand. He put his phone onto the charger and got ready for bed, his eyes never wandering too far from the envelope. Right before climbing in - he sighed - how the hell Ian could influence him from as far away as he was…

He went over to the laundry pile and started to fold them, telling himself it was so he could find his work clothes in the morning. It wasn’t because he could hear his Gallagher sighing in his head. Or rolling his eyes and mutter, “Jesus Mickey - and you wonder why you can never find anything.’ Once things were sorted something caught his eye. Around the mirror over the dresser were pictures. Some were from Mandy - the three of them in various places, others were Ian’s (his boyfriend was a sneaky little fucker when it came to getting pictures of him), and some were ones that Ian had sent him while he was gone. Redh air cut into the military style. Lots of khaki and green. But that smile was there.

Flipping off a grinning picture of Ian - in protest of him not being here and because he somehow was able to get Mickey to do what he wanted - even when he wasn’t here - Mickey climbed into bed and rearranged the pillows, cracked open a beer and reached for his smokes. The sooner he started reading, the sooner it would be over and the idiot wasn’t going to get another call for at least three days. And even then his time had to be shared with the other people in his life. Didn’t they understand Mickey had needs? Because he would be more than happy to explain to them in detail why he should get a call just for him. He took a drag from the cigarette and finally reached for the envelope.

Opening it, he took out the new pictures and set them aside for last. Then he unfolded the paper, tapping the ash from his smoke and grabbing his beer as his eyes took in that lazy scrawl. He could almost hear Ian’s voice - not that he would ever admit that. There were some things that you just didn’t say if you are a Southside thug working towards some sort of redemption tale. That was one of them.

‘Hey Mick,

So we are in the middle of planning the graduation blowout. Hernandez says that he doesn’t believe that you could drink him under the table. I told him that I had plans that didn’t include you being passed out, so he can fucking chill his shit. But it’s looking like we are going to be at a local bar to celebrate the end of this crazy shit. Then three whole weeks of freedom. And fucking your brains out - but freedom too. Then I find out where I will end up.

Where I am hoping ‘we’ end up. Because I read your last letter Mick, and I get it. I really do. Mandy and all that. But hell, bring Mandy along for the ride. If this has taught me anything - it’s that I don’t like you that far away from me. Deployments are one thing - but voluntary separation is stupid as hell.’

Blue eyes rolled and there was a loud slurping sound as a large gulp of beer was taken. He could have told Gallagher that BEFORE all this shit - wait, he HAD. And he had still gone off to basic.And people thought Ian was the smarter one at times in this relationship. Please.

‘ Anyway - it’s sounding like a bunch of us will be heading out West. And you don’t have to shovel sunshine right? So that could be a perk. Plus - fewer layers and shit to take off. I am just saying - we wouldn’t have 15 layers to take off in January. Just promise me you will think about it. And we could have our choice - on base or off, and you would get benefits. IF we file the paperwork.”

“Oh fucks sake…” Mickey was not going to go rounds with Ian on this. Not now. Not when things were good. Ian always seemed to want more, crave more, from their relationship. And while there was part of him that understood - there was another part that still remembered the rougher patches and was leery about things.

Like filing paperwork so that people would recognize their - whatever hell. He knew he was with Ian. Ian knew he was with Mickey. They were out in the Southside of Chicago. What more proof did people need? Seriously. So what if his closet had had more locks on it than Fort Knox? He had opened it up for one loud mouthed red head. Shaking his head he stubbed out was was left of his cigarette and grabbed his half drunk beer to keep reading.

‘But that’s a whole other topic - and yeah I know it’s gay as fucking hell to bring that up. But you can’t tell me to fuck off and distract me with other things when I am here and you are there. So I brought it up. Deal with it hmm? And maybe think about it.

Hernandez is coming back with me for a few days - he lives more out towards the Wisconsin border but can’t get a ride that way till a few days after our release. That and he promised to pick up his brother at Cook COunty on his way home. He recognized your last name though - so if you see Iggy tell him that Carlos Hernandez’s brother says ‘What the fuck’. So that thing you mentioned in your last call about us maybe getting a room for a few days - that might work out for the best since I don’t think either of our houses will be empty enough for us to fully…

Hell, I was going to try and make it sound better. But I don’t think anyone want to hear me fuck your brains out.”

A dark brow went up and a rough chuckle escaped as Mickey shook his head. They couldn’t have phone sex or send dirty texts because of where Ian was at - but trust his Gallagher to find another way to tease him. Fucking jackass that he was.

“I don’t think I want to chance someone walking in as I eat your ass...see how long it takes you to come without me even touching your cock. Or how long I can show you just how much I have missed you with just my mouth - because I have missed you. I have missed the way you bite your lower lip when I mark your throat. I have missed how your hands feel when they are reaching for me as I fucking ride your ass. I miss waking you up with your cock in my mouth. I miss trading blow jobs for control of the remote control.

Fuck if I don’t just miss you asshole.

Dammit I need to go - they are calling for me and told me to tell you ‘Hi’ and that they aren’t sure why you want to be with an asshole like me. I don’t think they understand how much I like them when I tell them to go fucking suck a dick and I will be there when I get there. I mean really - that’s some damn good advice - some I hope to be taking myself as soon as I can you in an area where we won’t be arrested for indecent exposure.

Although - with the way I am feeling now - it just might be worth it.

Yours,

Ian

PS - Stop eating all the pop tarts - I got no less than three people telling me you are eating them all. Play nice with the breakfast pastries and I will make banana pancakes when I get home.

PPS - Right now all I can think about is sucking your dick. Wrapping my lips around hit and just going to town because damn if I don’t love the taste and feel in my mouth.”

Blue eyes went back over the letter a few more times before it was set off to the side and pictures were picked up. There was a group shot with Ian in the middle - all in the desert camouflage and covered in mud, behind them was what looked like a fucking obstacle course, flipping it over it read, ‘And we made the Spartan course our bitch’. Another was of Ian - obviously just back from a run, collapsed under a tree and flipping off the camera while his hate was pulled low over his eyes. There were several of various things that Mickey knew were more for Ian than him - sunsets and rises, some of just his squadron.

Then he came to the last one - and this was obviously a selfie of some sort - but it was Ian, shirtless on his bunk. Behind him was a wall of pictures - most of him and Mickey together in some shape or form. He he looked worn out, but there was an air of contentedness that came through even in film. His hands were behind his head and Mickey knew that if his feet were shown they would be crossed at the ankle. He knew how Ian liked to lay because thta was how the fucker would start out the night - and normally Mickey would be there on the right side using Ian as his pillow because the red headed giant took up so much room in their beds…

Mickey looked over at the empty side of the bed and growled in frustration. This bed had been delivered three days after Ian had left. The bastard hadn’t slept in it with him yet and it as annoying as fucking hell. Because for once there was room for both of them - in a bed that didn’t have (for once) any fucked up memories to go along with it. Unless you counted the times Mickey had jerked off in it alone. Because his partner had fucked off to basic. Stubbing out his cigarette, he held up the picture of Ian lounging on his bunk and sighed.

Damn him for looking so good. Damn him for being there and not here and most of damn him for Mickey missing him. Because he did. The little fucking shithead.

Turning off the light, he slid down on his pillow and ran a hand over his face.

“This is just basic - what are you trying to do to me Gallagher?” He muttered into the darkness, “What the fucking hell man?”

Chapter Text

A week out from graduation and Ian was getting twitchy as hell. He had called in as many favors as he felt comfortable with and had gotten some more phone time than normal. Not a lot, but there were some markers he wanted to hang on to - because you never really KNEW when those would come in handy. And if he had learned anything over the years it was never to underestimate the power of holding onto markers as long as you possibly could. And when in doubt - get that shit in writing.

So instead of going out for ‘team bonding’, he was leaning against the wall, with a phone up to his ear and powering on his cell phone to make sure that all his banking stuff was step up correctly from the three hours his squad had spent getting their direct deposit all set up was going to the correct email as the phone rang in his ear, just when he was about to give up and try again later, that mega-watt grin of his was growing on his face.

“Seriously, who the fucking hell waits till I am in the damn shower…”

“Kiss my ass Milkovich and you better not be using up all my damn shower gel. That shit ain’t cheap and my boyfriend likes it a bit too much to go without.”

There was a pause and Ian swore he could hear the grin through the phone, “Listen here jackass…”

Then his phone started to vibrate as all the messages and emails started to come in, “Mickey, you are in my family’s group chat.”

There was a chuckle and groan, “Tell me about it. I thought you were the chatty one. Hell no, your family is - “

“I think they adopted you Mick.” Ian said as he scrolled through absentmindedly and then he started to laugh, “What the fuck Mick? You spent like ten minutes arguing over whether or not you were going to bring home some stuff from the store.”

“Yeah, well Debbie was being stubborn as hell.” Mickey turned off the water and wrapped a towel around his waist as he leaned against the wall, “I didn’t think you were calling till Monday night. I don’t know who the hell is all here right now…”

“I called to talk to you idiot.” Ian said with a soft laugh, “I might kinda miss you a bit.”

“Yeah? I don’t miss the three square inches your lanky ass let me get in the bed.” Mickey said with a small grin, “But I wouldn’t mind you running interference with some of the people in his house. Really - how the hell did you ever jack off?”

“Did you ever wonder why I never notice if we have an audience - I have learned to tune them out over time.” was the dry reply that made Mickey roll his eyes and shake his head. Somehow he had figured the answer would be something along those lines.

“So a week left huh? Then I am stuck with you again?” He gave up on the shower idea for the moment and padded his way back to their basement, flopping back onto the bed with a sigh, “You got your bus times yet?”

“You mean for you all to come out here and - “

~~

“Wait, you expect me to haul my ass all the way out there to watch -” Mickey said, trying to use his very serious tone of voice, like he had gone through the AGONY of shopping with Mandy, Debbie AND Fiona because they didn’t believe he had ‘appropriate’ clothes. He didn’t want to go into the fact that Ian wouldn’t genuinely give a shit what he was wearing as long as he showed up. And fewer layers the better.

It had been ten fucking weeks.

“I do. Because if you aren’t here then who am I going to blow in celebration?”

“The answer to that better be ‘the most fucking patient boyfriend in the fucking southside’ bitch.” Mickey growled, there were few things better than being sucked off by Ian Gallagher. Other than being fucked by him. Or kissed. Or rimmed. Or held down and pounded into next year, “When the fuck are we going to be alone after this shit? Because it’s been ten fucking weeks and if it’s too damn long then your family is getting a lesson in gay sex 101.”

“Well, then Carl wouldn’t be asking you all the time about how it works?” Ian said chuckling, “And according to this hotel reservation….the night I get back. For three days.”

Ian listened to the breathing on the other end of the phone, and how it dood heavier, “Ian….” The way Mickey said his name - the husky tone of his voice, “Don’t play with me here….”

“I made them before I left. I don’t want to worry about volume or get a critique the next morning. I have been behaving myself for ten fucking weeks. I think that has more than entitled us to three nights of fucking our damn brains out.” Ian said with teasing growl, “But I am going to need you to make sure you get the supplies because I don’t have access here to lube.”

THe chuckle that came through the line was a combination of needy and amused, “Seriously dude…..you have no idea….” Literally at this moment Mickey would have done just about anything to SEE Ian. To see the eyes and the grin. The hair. If he could have touched him - fuck… WHen his sister had teased him about missing Ian in the beginning it wasn’t so bad. But all the shit that smelled like him was gone and the calls weren’t enough. Hell he had been in a pissy ass mood for three days when he had accidently deleted some voicemails that were longer and he didn’t have access to listen to Ian’s voice. He was turning into a whipped bitch for the other man. And for once in his life Mickey couldn’t give a shit.

~~

Letting his head fall back against the wall, Ian slid down and rested his elbows on his knees, “Mick...I….” He didn’t know what to say. He missed him? Mickey knew that. He craved his touch and his smell like his lungs craved oxygen? That was too damn gay to say to him over the phone. That the idea of touching him, kissing him, smelling him was making him feel like he was crawling out of his own skin? Not likely - he would miss see the flush creep up that pale throat if he said that now.

“You realize…..” How do you put into words what he was feeling in a way that wasn’t going to fluster your partner. Your absolutely amazing and understanding partner - who at times had very little patience for the spoken word. Mickey was of the mindset to show Ian how he felt rather than tell him. Which was great.

When Ian was there and could return the favor.

Currently they were not in a situation where that was going to work out well for them. They truly were a couple that showed more of their feelings than spoke them. Even Ian with his need to fill silences a lot of the time show Mickey how he felt more than he showed it. Body language, looks, small actions - this is what made them strong. And distance was fucking with this connection in a way that neither was overly fond of.

He heard Mickey try to hide a laugh, “What?” the soldier knew his voice was exasperated, because of his inability to hold a coherent thought and because his boyfriend was trying to not laugh at him.

“I am tryin’ to figure out how to capture this moment. Ian Gallagher with nothin’ to fuckin’ say.”

“Mickey, you know what - fuck you.”

“Kinda the problem here Gallagher. But y’know - there is that store just outside of town by Aurora...maybe there is something there….”

Ian was legitimately speechless and then his grin was wide and infinitely more devious than it had been in awhile. It was the one that normally would have Mickey dragging him out of whatever room they were in and to somewhere a bit more private, or if that wasn’t an option - flipping him off with an answering smirk of his own, “Mickey Milkovich going to the Lion’s Den. Please tell me you would record this moment for me to watch later. Because this would be a monumental feat.”

“Fuck off.”

“From your lips to the Calendar God’s ears Milkovich.”

That chuckle. That soft sound - it warmed Ian up. It made his grin - stay just as wide, but soften a bit. Fuck if he didn’t miss Mickey Fucking Milkovich. He sighed and looked at his watch, “I don’t have a shit ton of time left here Mick.”

~~

Mickey, still wrapped in nothing but a towel, ran a hand over his face and sighed, “On the call or in general bitch?”

“Both.”

Didn’t he know that. He was getting pretty good and judging how long he had been on the phone with Ian. That paired with years of timed calls from correctional facilities - it was a skill that Mickey had. The issue was - the calls from correctional facilities never seemed to end soon enough. Calls from the Carrot Top - those never seemed long enough.

And if that wasn’t his gayest thought in the last hour - Mickey wasn’t sure what was honestly.

“Mandy wants me to tell you by the way that as ‘your person’ she is demanding a day of your time when you get back.” the dark haired man snorted, “What the fuck is that shit supposed to mean anyway Gallagher?” His tone changed from fond exasperation to teasing in a heartbeat, “You steppin’ out on me Gallagher?”

The laugh that that got him made him grin and there was a twinkle in his blue eyes that would have gotten him kissed senseless had ian been there to see it.

“Well, I guess if you want to get technical - I was dating her first Mick. So I stepped out with you.” that comment got an eye roll as he reached for his cigarettes and lit one for something to do with his hands as Ian continued, “But sure, tell her I am all hers for a day.”

“AFTER you are all mine for several. I got plans Gallagher.”

“Should I be worried Milkovich?”

“Well, unless you are suddenly opposed to fucking me into next year in a variety of positions...I think you are safe.”

“I made sure the hotel had room service.”

“See - I knew you were picking up good skills here Firecrotch.”

“We need to find you a new nickname for me fucker.”

“Well, what do you have in mind?”

THere was a pause and Mickey could almost hear the smirk, “Well you could call me - “

“FUCK OFF.” Mickey said laughing na d covering his eyes with his hand then taking a drag from his smoke, “That was one fucking time and you had been rimming me for the better part of a fuckin’ hour. None of that shit can be held against me.”

“I dunno….”

“A jury of my peers would see what I have to fuckin’ put up with and I would be acquitted Firecrotch.”

“There is no one like you Mick.”

There was a moment of silence as Mickey tried to not grin so much. Maybe it was okay that Ian wasn’t here to see this - because the other man was sure he would never hear the end of this. Because he was just - happy. Ian was almost home with him. And then there would be hotel room sex and room service so he literally wouldn’t have to share that time with Ian with anyone really. Granted he didn’t expect his family to be TOO understanding about things - and pretty much at the 72 hour mark to be beating down the door - but still.

“Yeah - I am pretty fuckin’ amazing.”

“And so humble.”

“That coming from you?”

“Well, I mean the way you COMPLIMENTED me that last night I was home. It does stuff to a guy's ego you know.”

“If you could see me right now I would be flipping you off moron. What I say with you pounding into me can’t be held against me at a later date. It’s in the rule book.”

“I wrote it in ‘What Mickey says while riding me like a cowboy is admissible in couples court at all times.’ Check the back pages.”

He was in love with a moron. Granted, he had come to terms with that when Ian had used his ‘You got any Slim Jim's’ line back on him during one of his day shifts at the store when the teenager had skipped gym for a quickie. But still - every now and then there was a moment that reminded him. And Ian seemed very intent on reminding him of that today. He head noise in the background and a sigh from his moron.

“No.”

“Yeah they are back.”

Mickey closed his eyes and growled, “Fuck me.”

“I will be. In a hotel. With room service. Want me to forward you the confirmation? Just in case you need it for anything?”

“Yeah go for it.” Mickey was not thrilled that Ian was paying for all this shit - he could do nice things too. Hell, he even had a back account and everything these days. All respectable for his Gallagher. What was his life coming too? He ran a hand over his face as he heard voices he was starting to recognize and a grin tugged on his lips.

“Yo, Gallagher, tell Milkovich that you love him and will see him soon. Some of us want to call home too you know.”

“Hernandez, calling your brother to check on the Dodger’s game doesn’t trump me talking to my boyfriend.”

“Yeah, but Mickey has to be bored of talking to you by now.” Hernandez said with a grin and a wink, “I mean - how interesting can you be?”

The laugh that escaped at that earned him a growl from his boyfriend, “What? He might have a point Gallagher.”

“There is literally no one involved in this conversation I don’t hate right now.” Ian said with a growl, “Literally no one.”

Mickey couldn’t help himself, “Does Hernandez want the spread on the Dodgers or just the score?”

“Are you fucking - “ the thud of his boyfriend banging his head against the wall made Mickey chuckle again, “Hernandez - you want the score or the spread?”

“Milkovich - you are an angel man - score.”

“No - he’s a fallen angel, devil person.” Ian growled grumpily as he listened to his other half mutter from a bit of a distance, using his smart phone to look up scores, he narrowed his eyes at Hernandez, flipping him off.

“Milkovich your man is hitting on me.”

“Ian Gallagher - wrong guy to be flirting with….” Mickey teased, calling out Ian’s name in that sing song way he had done back when he was tracking him down for Mandy, “And they went down to the Royals - by three runs. 9-6.”

“Lost to the Royals - 9-6. Now can I please say good bye in peace please?”

“Fine but hurry up - SOME of us literally do need to call home for headcounts for grad.”

Ian sighed and turned his back on his friends and said softly, “Soon.”

Mickey wanted to scream into the void. This was just fucked. He wanted Gallagher and he wanted him NOW dammit. He nodded and said, “Better damn well be. All this behaving myself is starting to get old Red.”

“Yeah? Fuck off.”

Mickey smirked and closed his eyes and muttered, “Ditto jackass.”

The phone went dead and Mickey let his cell drop onto the mattress and dug the heels of his hands into his eyes for a moment and then got up and headed back to the bathroom to shower. Stupid, tall ass, fucking Gallagher and his stupid face that Mickey would have given anything to see at that moment.

Damn him and making Mickey know what he was missing right now.

Chapter Text

For someone that had never been to a function for another person in his life - Mickey Milkovich was getting used to this ‘showing up for Ian Fucking Gallagher’ thing he was now evidently expected to do. He had shirts for it and even was getting used to having to sit with Ian’s family for them. There had been ROTC ceremonies for Rank Advancement, high school graduation and now this...the end of basic training. Where his moron of a boyfriend was ‘celebrating’ the fact he was now a member of the armed forces.

If the man didn’t wear the fucking uniform so damn well…

Looking at the people there with him Mickey shook his head. Liam was firmly in Fiona’s lap, Lip was there with Amanda - who was in a whispered conversation with Mandy. Where they were both giggling and shooing looks at the eldest Gallagher male. How stupid did you have to be to let your ex near your current girlfriend. Especially if said ex was a Milkovich? He shook his head, and caught Debbie’s eye and he grinned. She looked as incredulous as he felt. And then there was Carl, who was eyeing this entire proceeding like he was about to crawl out of his own skin. A feeling Mickey was all too familiar with.

They had made it through the road trip to get here. They had made it through the tours and the ceremony. He had mourned the loss of Ian’s longer hair (seriously - someone needed to inform the Army that he had needs - and something to hold onto while Ian was sucking his cock was one of them). He had not yawned or fallen asleep during the speeches. He had really been a wonderful boyfriend. Supportive and all that shit.

But they were now stuck in ‘celebratory dinner’ hell and Mickey was over it. He had 30 days with His Gallagher before they shipped him off to wherever the fuck. And if it wasn’t an automatic deployment at least half of those would be spent packing and planning a move to wherever the hell. He had better ideas on how to spend it rather than here. In an Outback Steakhouse with it seemed like every fucking person in Ian’s life. And not alone together in a hotel room making up for ten weeks of no fucking. And the reforming thug got it. He had to share. Ian was not just HIS. He had this entire support system of people that loved him. He did. He got it.

But did the fuckers have to love and support him today? Couldn’t they wait until his three days were up in the hotel and support the red headed bastard then? He caught a look from Ian and it made him lick his lips - those green eyes were making promises and Mickey was very much in the mood to let Ian make every one of them come true and then some. He glanced over and caught a look at his sister. She was resting her head on Ian’s shoulder and laughing at something that had just been whispered in her ear by the doofus.

Her grin at Ian was as pure and bright as Mickey thought it would ever be. When Mandy had fallen for Ian Gallagher - it had been hard and deep and permanent. There had been a few times where they hadn’t been in each other’s orbit, but you always knew when the universe had righted that wrong. She just seemed at peace and even keel. Stronger. And she was still his boyfriend’s girl. He was very fucking grateful that Ian was as very gay as he was, because he wasn’t sure he couldn’t have competed with Mandy had there been any hesitation in him. She looked over and met Mickey’s eyes and winked at him, and snuggled up against Ian a bit more.

Fucking bitch. He raised a brow at her and smirked, but before he could flip her off properly his attention was pulled by Fiona that seemed to think that NOW was a great time to ask him about how his job was going. Because it wasn’t like they lived in the same fucking house. Like they didn’t have this conversation seven days a week.

~~

Mandy wasn’t sure she was ready to give up her spot next to Ian. Yes, he had siblings and friends. He had people that wanted her spot next to him. But gods she had missed this doofus. She was sure his friends from basic were confused as hell when she had been the one to run up and pounce on him with a hug. She was his girl though - she could do that. Chin resting on her hand, dark eyes watched as he chatted with Debbie over some classes she was thinking of taking at Malcolm X over break and her mind wandered.

She saw him at fifteen and blurting out that he was gay in that alley. She saw him on the swings in the park late at night listening to her when no one else seemed to hear her. At the lunch table and letting her perch in his lap and wrapping her in his coat when she had had to run out of the house without hers to escape her dad. And then ‘forgetting’ she had it. Him coming clean about himself and Mickey. Him still having her back even when she had run from him - and the way his eyes had glowed in rage when he saw a guy raise his hand towards her and he beat her brothers to slamming the guy into a wall.

“That is Mandy Milkovich fuckwit - and while she can more than hand you your ass - let me make one thing VERY FUCKING CLEAR. That’s my girl. You don’t fuck with her. Am I clear?”

Him telling her that he was enlisting because West Point had fallen through - and then asking her to be there with him when he told Mickey. All of it was like a movie playing in her head on a loop. And it all ended with watching him graduate basic, and swinging her in a circle after that. He had been warm and solid and still smelled like Ian. But he was going to be leaving again soon. And this time she had a feeling Mickey was going with him as far as he possibly could. She was going to lose both of them this time. Her dark eyes landed on her brother and she smiled softly.

If these two morons didn’t deserve each other she wasn’t sure who did.

~~

Two hours and three desserts later, Mickey found himself alone with Ian on their way to a hotel on the outskirts of Chicago proper. Or they would be if his boyfriend would let him get into the car so that he could drive them there. But he wasn’t going to complain - even if he was pressed up against the side of a car in the South Side. Ian’s mouth was on his and really he hadn’t gotten much beyond that if he were completely honest. Fucking hell, the feel and taste of this man after so long without - it was the best high he had had. And this was just kissing. He was pretty sure it was going to be an intense three days.

Finally coming up for air, Ian rested his forehead against Mickey’s, his voice was hoarse when he whispered, “Want to get the hell out of here?”

“About fuckin’ time there Firecrotch. I have been waiting very patiently you know.” He smirked up at Ian and winked, “Get your ass in the car.”

“Not going to let me drive?”

“And no. THis is my car - get in.” Mickey said with a smirk, and even opened the door for Ian, which earned him a middle finger, “After you.”

“Asshole.”

“I know that’s in the game plan for later. Tell me something I don’t know.”

~~

A Week Earlier

Mickey was not a fan of advertising his life choices. Other than the one to get drunk with Iggy when the other had just gotten out of lock up with a homemade tattoo gun and coming out with knuckle tats, most of his choices were his and his alone. Unless they were public record of course. But that was a whole other thing. But he wanted to get somethings to the hotel that Ian and registered them at for their - well Mandy was calling it ‘FuckFest’ and while that wasn’t ENTIRELY incorrect - he felt that it also hinted at something that would have a comemorative shirt. ANd while there would be things to remember it by (if he got out of this three day period without looking like a fucking zebra he would be stunned - and disappointed) a fucking shirt wasn’t the game plan.

Also, Ian had paid for the fucking room in advance. And as such - Mickey was left feeling a bit too much like a kept man for his liking. THey were fucking partners - Ian didn’t have to pay Mickey’s fucking way. So he had gone and made sure that the room would have what they needed. Namely condoms, lube, a fridge stocked with beer and he had arranged for room service that HE had paid for thank you very fucking much.

But to arrange all of that he had had to deal with a very perky young woman named Patti. ANd Patti was THRILLED to help him. And help she had - until she had asked several times if this was going to be their honeymoon and did he want to pay for the honeymoon suite upgrade? He resembled his boyfriend’s hair at the suggestion. But in the end he had made - and paid for - his requests and delivered a sealed box that contained - items that were going to be useful and a duffle bag of clothes on the off chance that they wanted to leave the room for something. He had no idea what could be so important that he would let Ian get dressed - but he was sure there could be something.

~~

Check in had gone smoothly and the elevator had been full on their way up to the room. He smirked as Ian pulled him back against him a bit and he could feel how very not amused his partner was at the fact that they were sharing the enclosed space. They were barely in the room before his back as against the door and his mouth was being devoured again, hands were under shirts and reaching for waistbands.He was sure there were words being spoken and he was sure also that in another time and place the words would have mattered. But right now he needed to FEEL Ian. He needed that skin to be touching his own. He needed to taste and feel and claim the lanky bastard in front of him.

But then the shirt came off and Mickey stopped dead in his tracks, “What the fuck -!”

Ian grinned and looked down at the ink on his ribs. The eagle with the rifles in it’s talons had NOT been there before. Mickey was damned sure of that shit. He eyed the barely healed ink and then looked up at Ian with an arched brow and a small smirk, “Are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me here asshole? You went and got one without me?”

“It was a bonding thing. The four of us that qualified for advanced training, it’s a tradition.” He looked at Mickey and tilted his head, “Are we really standing here discussing a tattoo when there is a king sized bed behind us and the door that locks automatically?”

Those were both very valid reasons for Mickey to NOT worry about this shit now and to interrogate him more later. Perferrably much later. After he was not able to move his lower body and had to kill some time while feeling returned to his extremities. That would be a far more appropriate time to interrogate the man whos was sliding his jeans off in front of him. Ian had been a powerhouse for years. But fucking hell - the Army did a fucking body good. Mickey moved to where he saw the box and opened it up and pulled out a bottle of lube and tossed it onto the bed and didn’t even see Ian move and pull his jeans down along with his boxers.

“Greedy?”

“Missed you fucker.” Was all that was said before there was a mouth around the head of his cock and green eyes were twinkling up at him. Two hands gripped his hips and a very knowledgeable tongue was working it’s magic along his already rock hard dick. If Mickey had a complaint it was that the stupid ass haircut gave him nothing to hold onto while his boyfriend was going to town on his knees and leaving Mickey to find his own way to keep his balance. He couldn’t look away though - there was something about Ian’s mouth around his cock, and his the way his eyes seemed to be on fire - saying things that neither of them said aloud all that often.

Later, once his brain was functioning again, Mickey would try and figure out just how they had made it from the table to the bed. He would try and work out the physics of it and give up. Because there had to be some sort of sexual time and space shit that made it possible for him to be barely upright and getting the world’s best head - only to end up face down on a king size bed. And he had to be grateful for the size of the bed. They had spent a large portion of their sex life on twin sized beds or in no bed at all not to take full advantage of the space provided here. However, he was noticing several issues and he was sure they could be corrected - but just improvements.

The headboard didn’t have the bed hand holds for him to hang onto for starters. When it had been a prolonged time between rounds - Mickey tended to need something to anchor him in one spot. Well more than the hand on his hip and the one tangled in his hair. His hands fisted in the sheets were making a mess of the bed and at somepoint they were going to end up having to fix it because Ian were get annoyed. And maybe -

At the moment, the head of Ian’s dick found his prostate and the world when white for a moment, “Ohhhh…..fuuuuuuck….”

“That is the plan.”

~~

He gets up to take a piss and comes back to the bed being straightened and Ian under the sheet, dog tags around his neck and checking his phone, “Hey Mickey - did you know that there is an emoji for flipping someone off. Evidently telling Mandy I didn’t let her know we got here okay because I was balls deep in your ass warrants one.”

“First of all - the fact that that she would need that explained is fucked up. Secondly - since when the hell do you check in with my sister?” Mickey moved towards the table and pulled out a pack out from the box, making Ian’ raise a brow, “What?”

“So there is lube, smokes, and what else is in that box of wonders?”

Lighting up he grabbed the ashtray from the table and padded back over to the bed. He handed over the cigarette, took Ian’s phone, and then straddled the red head’s lap and lit up his own, “Some toys, some lighters, condoms….” He shrugged, “You know - the necessities -” His voice trailed off and he got back off of Ian and grinned at the annoyed sound his lover made until he made his way to the mini fridge and produced two beers and handed one to Ian, “NOW we have all the necessities.”

“When we get our own place - we need a mini-fridge in the room. That is just fucking convenient as hell.”

At the mention of ‘their place’, Mickey settled back into his original spot straddling Ian and looking at him expectantly, “So, you aren't going to ask me? Dude, the month leading up to your grand exit all you could fucking do was - “

“Well, maybe I got tired of being shot down.”

“Of the fucking love of - “ Ice blue eyes glared at Ian, “Gods save me from fuckwits that overthink shit too much.”

Hand were thrown up in the air and Ian sighed, “That and my new home - it might not be idea for you….”

“And where is that?”

“Fort Hood - in Texas. I wouldn’t want your pale ass to burn like a motherfucker….” Ian said, then took a long drink from his beer, “And I told you the last time I wasn’t going to ask again.”

Mickey looked at him thoughtfully and took a long drag off his smoke, “You also said that you weren’t going to go out to eat with Mandy and I in public ever again, or let Lip open his mouth around me, grab my ass in public - “

“HEY! I don’t think the kitchen at my house is PUBLIC.”

Mickey moved closer and leveled a look at Ian, “See, I knew this fucker, a real pain in the ass, and he used to not stop till he got what he wanted. Ever met an annoying shithead like that?”

Nodding slowly, Ian grinned at him and Mickey felt like he was sixteen again and this moron was leading him to the back room of the Kash and Grab. Reaching over to get a pillow, Mickey casually whacked his boyfriend with it and grinned around the top of his beer bottle, “That’s what you get…”

“So I take it you want to move to Texas?”

“Want? No. But am I open to the idea of NOT living with your family without you for the foreseeable fucking future? Yes.” Another long sip from the beer bottle and Mickey locked eyes with Ian and watched with curiosity as emotions and thoughts seemed to fly over his features in a whirlwind. He wouldn’t never be fully okay with Ian trusting him to see this side of him. THe unguarded side - not that he was going to complain about it it in any case.

THere was a soft clinking sound as Ian took both of their bottles and set them over to the side and then their smoked and stabbed them out in the ashtray. THen Mickey felt himself being pulled closer and he grinned against another pair of lips as they whispered, “Come with me Milkovich.”

“Hmm….I dunno….would it be worth it really?”

Rolling his hips just right, the taller man got Mickey on his back and grinned down at him, “I dunno…”

~~

There were times in his life when Mickey Milkovich pondered his life choices. When he was running from the cops. When he was having to dodge his sister’s ASP because of a smart ass comment. A lot of times when it came to the asshole over him right now. But as Ian’s lips and teeth started to mark and tease their way down his throat, along his collarbone and then stopped to tease his nipples - all while his hands were exploring - Mickey was pondering his options for getting Ian to hurry the fuck up because he had NEEDS dammit and being his boyfriend’s personal chew toy was great - but dammit there was a time and place and that was better when he had already been on him a few more times.

“GALLAGHER……” there was a bit of a needy whine to his voice that Mickey would deny until his dying day in his voice, but seriously, it had been ten weeks. Get this shit going already.

“Milkovich….”

And there it was - that low, husky tone to his voice. With a hint of teasing - but at the core - his Gallagher was ready to devour him. Because that voice only happened when he was barely keeping control. And Mickey loved that voice - because it meant that the wasn’t just him that was falling apart - Ian was along for the ride. A ride whichhad better get here pretty damn soon. But before he could point that out to him - there was a sound that almost made Mickey come there and then.

The lube was opened with a resounding ‘pop’ noise and then there were two fingers between his cheeks, and lips on his throat.

“C’mon Mickey...fuck….you are so damn tight….”

“It’s been awhile since something was up there fucker.” Mickey bit his lower lip to keep back a throughly humiliating whimper as the first finger and then the second finger worked their way in to his tight ass, “Fuuuuccckk…..”

Ian blinked and rolled his eyes, “You havne’t gotten off in…there is no way in hell.”

“Getting off doesn’t mean that shit is in my ass Gallagher. Now get this show going already.” They were not going to have this discusion now. He wasn’t going to go three rounds with Ian about what did and didn’t need to happen when he was going solo. It wasn’t his fault - this red headed menace had ruined him for things up his ass that Ian Gallagher wasn’t not directly involved in.

The asshole.

Three fingers were now inside and working on loosening him up - but damn they had fucked on less prep and then there was nothing….and then hands were spreading his legs a bit more and there was Ian looming over him. Green eyes with hazel flecks were dark and hungry, lips that were swollen from kissing his own were parted and there was a flush to the pale skin that was too damn good looking on him.

“Condom…”

This is one thing Mickey was LESS than thrilled about. They had been exclusive for - a damn long time. But then one test had been inconclusive and now they were back to fucking condoms. He reached for one and the sound of the package ripping open made Ian shudder and then he was rolling the condom on and whimpering at the hard cock that was about to be filling him. They were getting that damn test re-taken fucking soon as hell - because this was bullshit.

But all that went away as Ian started to ease into him….no time to adjust. That biting pain followed by being filled...and that pleasure that came from that...this was worth waiting for. Not that he was ever going to tell the other man that. Ever. But Mickey rolled hi hips trying to get him to hurry up - only to end up pinned to the bed. His legs ended up on Ian’s shoulders and then deapth of that initial thrust made him almost whimper. Then their eyes locked and Ian started to move... and there was nothing else. There was just hem and this moment and they both seemed to be okay with that.

Ian kissed him, just as the head of his cock found Mickey’s prostate and the resulting growl was swallowed up in that kiss. He wrapped himself around the taller man as much as he could and felt the pace pick up considerably as the other man sensed the end was close. Mickey’s cock was trapped between then and leaking, Ian was moving with more purpose and power - stroking and teasing the spot in his lover that drove him crazy, and their mouths seemed to be fused together as first Mickey - then Ian fell into a very loud and shaky orgasm.

They remained locked together. Ian’s face was pressed into Mickey’s throat and Mickey was wrapped around his lover like he couldn’t let go - because the other man might vanish, “If I move my head and you aren’t here and I am that new bed of ours alone…” Mickey muttered brethlessly, “I am going to fucking murder you.”

“If you were getting off this good solo - then damn you for not sharing that secret before I left asshole.” Ian muttered and let Mickey’s legs go back down to the mattress and rolled to the side carefully, “And if you vanish on me - I am going to fucking kill you dead.”

“As oppsed to what Firecrotch?”

“Telling Carl he can shadow you for a week.”

“Evil bitch over there huh?”

Ian rolled over with a soft sigh and looked at Mickey with a grin - the shorter man was sweaty, with swollen lips, bite marks all over his shoulders and throat, with jizz on his still heaving chest as they both tried to calm down. He was so damn sexy right now - Ian was tempted to start round three right now...but damn if he wanted to confirm something first.

“So….Texas?”

“Like you are getting rid of me that fucking easy. Yes, bitch. I will go with you to fucking Texas. But we are getting fucking air conditioning. You are keeping my ass in fucking comfort.” Mickey growled, rolling over to look at Ian with a small smirk, “Yes, Ian. I am coming with you. You couldn’t pay my ass to live in that house again without you there to run fucking interference. You Gallaghers are intrusive little shitheads.”

Ian reached over and kissed him slowly, “I think I might just be more than a little in love with you asshole.”

“DItto fuckhead.”

Chapter Text



Chapter Text

It felt like they had just gotten Ian back. He was lounging by the firepit in the side yard of the Gallagher house. His bare feet propped on on an old milk crate and a cigarette dangling loosely from his fingers. There was a beer on his knee and a grin on his face. It could have been any late summer evening from when he was eleven onwards. Except now there was a dark haired man sitting next to him, stealing his beer and flipping him off when he rolled his eyes.

“Mick, literally there is a FRIDGE full of beer. In the house. Get off your ass and go get one.”

“Yeah, in the house. But I am sitting here. And if I move, Mandy will be in my spot when I get back.” He leveled a look at his sister who was giving him a far too innocent of a look to ever work on a Milkovich.

“Hey, you said we were sharing custody.”

“You both know I am sitting right here - right?”

That earned Ian two middle fingers.

~~

Fiona watched as Liam crawled into Ian’s lap and laid his head on his chest. She watched as without missing a beat in his ‘discussion’ with Mickey about the other man getting his own beer, that he shifted his lit cigarette to his other hand and wrapped an arm around his little brother, pulling him closer. There was a flash of reflection in the firelight and she knew the younger boy was playing with Ian’s dog tags again.

Stair creaked as Veronica took the step below her and said softly, “Wasn’t he like ten not that long ago and worried about getting stiffed for lawn work? Where the fuck did time go?”

FIona shrugged and took a long drink on her beer, “I don’t know V. But fuck if he didn’t do just what he said he was going to do. And now he’s moving away - with Mickey Milkovich - to fucking Texas. I mean - really?!”

Veronica laughed softly as Mickey gave up the fight and headed their way to get his own beer - and another for the ‘shithead who is using his little brother to be a lazy asswipe’. She looked at Mickey as he paused at the bottom of the steps and waited for the ladies to move their legs so he could get by.

“Hey Mickey - so tomorrow’s the day huh?” Her dark eyes took in the changes in the man in front of her. He wasn’t the dirty little fucker that he had been three or four years ago. But he wasn’t clean either. He was Southside trash - like Ian and everyone here - and he wore it well. But there was a confidence about him that he hadn’t had then either. She saw that in him because she had seen it in herself once she fell in love with Kev. It’s was crazy what the stubborn love of a stubborn fool could do for you.

“Yeah - and someone better not fucking fall asleep on me around fucking Oklahoma.” He called over his shoulder as he made his way up the stairs.

“Fuck off Mick - I was tired. You just had to fucking look around town - I was taking my physical exam benchmarks.”

“Whatever jackass - you still fell asleep on me.”

~~

Iggy never came to these Gallagher night things. He was normally working or too drunk to care where his other siblings had gotten off to. But Mickey was leaving in the morning. Leaving the house, the Southside, everything. To chase after some fucking Gallagher shit head. Except - Iggy kind of liked this Gallagher. He was good for Mickey, kept an eye on Mandy and played a good game of poker. And just when he was getting used to them - they were leaving. But he had talked his way into going down there with them. Since Mandy was going, and the Gallagher brood - he felt he owed it to his siblings to help boost up the Milkovich part of this situation

He was lost in his thoughts when he felt someone nudge him, “Hey man - want one?”

He looked down at a younger boy, Carl. Everyone in Canaryville knew Carl Gallagher. And now there the little fucker was holding out a joint to him like ti was the most natural thing in the world,”Mandy rolled ‘em.”

Taking one and lighting up, Iggy took a moment appreciate the quality of the weed, and then look around, “You all do this shit a lot?”

Carl shrugged and looked around, “I guess. More in the fall - but Ian won’t be here then.” The younger man’s eyes followed his brother as he got up, still carrying Liam, and turned up the music. A small grin tugged on his lips and for a moment Iggy wondered if that is what he looked like when he watched his siblings. Probably not. But he supposed there were times.

“So Texas huh?”

“Well, it could have been worse. He could have been sent overseas. At least here we can try and visit.” Carl said with a shrug, taking a hit off of his own joint, and then looking over at Iggy, before letting out the smoke out in a thin grey trail, “You driving the RV or the truck tomorrow?”

“Mands said I was in charge of the RV.” Iggy said, making a face, and he knew why his sister had put him in the RV. He wasn’t exactly on the best of terms with Lip and he was going in the truck with the U-Haul attached. Between the two Milkovich siblings and the gaggle of Gallaghers, there was going to be a small caravan to the Lonestar state.

Iggy took another hit and watched as his brother - the guy he had always thought would take over for Terry one day - sat on a couch and talked to Kev about some shit. He was going to go with his boyfriend and leave them all to figure this shit out for themselves. Mandy said it was about damned time that they had to sort this shit out. Iggy was less sure. Mickey just seemed to know what to do. Mandy also said he was being a selfish fucker for wanting Mickey to stay just so he could not have to step up to the plate.

Maybe he was - but it was also going to be weird as fuck to not have Mickey around. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that in general.

~~

The U-Haul had the new bed, the dressers, and some other second hand furniture. Including the world's ugliest - but still most comfortable couch. The trunk of their used Jeep Cherokee was filled with boxes of clothes and miscellaneous things that they didn’t want bouncing around in the truck or the U-Haul. Mickey sat at the counter of the Gallagher house for the last time for awhile - a cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts and a donut with sprinkles in front of him listening to the chaos around him. Ian was helping Liam get dressed and assuring him that yeah he could take the dinosaurs with him in the RV. Fiona, Debbie and Mandy had some sort of an assembly line going making coolers of food and drinks for all the groups. Lip and Carl were barely awake and he was pretty sure that Iggy had fallen back asleep next to him at the counter.

He was doing it - leaving the Southside and his family for Ian Fucking Gallagher. If he had known this would happen with that first fuck - he wouldn’t have done things differently. Well, he might have skipped the second Juvie stint because that comment about the warm mouth and being done - that still came back to bite him in the ass at the worst possible times. But for the most part he was good with where things had turned out. He had a boyfriend, he had gotten his GED and was moving with an actual work history. True it was just bartending and construction. But it was better than saying ‘Pimp’ or ‘Petty Criminal’ on those job applications.

He got up and stretched, and then took his mug to the sink, throwing out his napkin he had been eating off of and suddenly found his arms full of coolers, “What the -?”

“The red one is for the truck and the green one is for the Jeep.” Fiona told him with a grin, “Can you run them out there for us? And if you you see Carl will you send him my way because I want to check the dressing on that cut before we take off.”

Rolling his eyes, he made his way out to the vehicles with the coolers and after stashing them went to the Jeep and grabbed his sunglasses. Jesus fuck all leaving this early. Normally the only time he saw a time of day this early was when Ian showed him pictures of his morning runs. Speak of the devil… Ian was heading out of the house, yelling over his shoulder to Carl to sit down and fucking let Fiona look at it. So, he got to keep this guy. This smart assed, pain in the ass guy. And this guy wanted him enough to ask him to move with him. Following him out was his sister who jumped on his back and got a piggy back ride all the way to the Jeep.

The three of them were going to be in the Jeep. What bad things could come from that?

~~

Somewhere around Oklahoma, Mandy Milkovich decided that she didn’t know what she was going to do without the two idiots in the front of the car. The current topic of discussion was stopping for lunch and just how often they had eaten at McDonalds recently. Mandy was of the opinion it had been too damn much. Which made Ian gloat and Mickey glare at her. Since Ian was driving that meant Mickey turned in his seat and tried to bring her to the dark side.

“It’s cheap Mands.”

“I want REAL food Mickey - and you know the kids need to get out of the RV.” She leaned back and reached for her pack of smokes, “Besides, we need to restock the cooler with ice and make a gas stop soon anyway...we can ask for suggestions at the gas station.”

Her brother looked at Ian, “This is why I said we should let the Army move our shit.”

“No, you said that you DIDN”T want them moving our shit because ‘what the fuck does the army need to know about our shit? Fuck that.’” Ian said with a shrug of his shoulder, “And I swear to god Mickey if you try and change the radio station I am trading you out for Kev at the next stop and you can ride with Lip.”

Hanging out with these two wasn’t anything new. Mandy was used to the banter and the snark they could throw at each other with ease. Not that they didn’t fight - because they did. And it was always the same. Ian would get ‘The Chin’, Mickey would lose his shit. They would storm off both being ‘DONE’, and then make their way back -generally within a day. Things had been better. They had been using words and actually listening. Like actual adults.

But this - this was them to a tee. Leaning back against the locked door, the sound of rock music filling the vehicle, the argument over where to eat a low rumble from the front seat. She watched her brother grin - with no malice, no agenda, just because he was happy. And not under any cloud from her father or the expectations of others. He was just - Mickey. With his best friend and boyfriend, somewhere in Oklahoma and laughing. A small grin tugged at her lips as she watched them between drags on her cigarette.

“Okay Jackasses - let me put this to you this way - I am hungry. We have kids behind us that are hungry. So we are going to get some fucking gas, then we are going to ask the - I am sure knowledgable - tool behind the counter the easiest and decent place for a group this size to eat lunch. Then we are trading places because I am tired of looking at the back of your heads. Got it.”

Ian saluted her in the rearview mirror and Mickey flipped her off.

Mandy would take that as a victory.

~~

Lip wasn’t sure just what in the hell was his life at the moment. He was in a Denny's just over the Texas state line. With a group that was taking up a chunk of the back part of the restaurant. There was laughter and noise and food. The smell of hash browns and syrup seemed to be in the air . He was sitting between Carl and Liam and across the table from Iggy Milkovich. Moving his brother and Mickey down to Texas.

Because that is how he saw things working out when he had found out Ian was messing around with Mickey. At first he had been a little thrilled - Mickey was at least in the age range of acceptable. But then reality had set in and Lip had admittedly gone through a less than thrilled phase with the fact that Ian was with another Milkovich. Granted this one was not going to end up in his bed like Mandy had - however briefly - but still. He shot a look down at the end of the table where Ian and Mickey were sitting. Liam was on Mickey’s lap and going to town on the man’s fruit cup. Mickey just had a loose arm around him as he had a conversation with Debbie about his feelings on whipped cream to waffle ratios in restaurants. Ian was just sitting there, drinking coffee and trying to not laugh from the look on his face.

Green eyes caught Lip’s bue and it hit the older Gallagher brother - how content Ian looked. Comfortable in his own skin, in this moment. A small smile appeared on Lip’s face and he shook his head at the next words out of Ian’s mouth.

“Mick, if you steal another piece of my bacon I am going to stab you with a fork. We can order you bacon. They have this entire kitchen back there. In fact you could have ORDERED your own…”

“I didn’t know it was going to be this crispy.”

“MICKEY!”

“IAN!”

Liam turned at grinned at Mickey, and without breaking eye contact stole the stolen piece of bacon from the dark haired man. Without looking over at his boyfriend, Mickey flipped off the redhead and addressed Liam at the same time, “You sure that’s what you want to do there little man?”

Liam chomped down on the bacon without a care in the world.

“That’s what you get Mick.”

The only answer Ian got was a middle finger and Lip and Iggy exchanged a look and hid their grins in their coffee cups

~~

There was something about waking up to Kanye blaring. Ian rubbed his eyes and wondered why he had thought leaving Mickey and Mandy in charge of the stereo had been a good idea. Other than he had been the night driver and had been ready to fall over from exhaustion. But that left him in the backseat being woken up to two Milkoviches rapping along with Kanye and himself wondering if anyone would blame him really if he killed them.

“Volume…” He grumbled and shot them both a glare, rolling his shoulders, he looked behind them and saw none of the rest of their group, “Um, did I REALLY sleep through something here or….?”

“There was a recreation area.” Mandy said turning in her seat, “And Fiona wanted to let the kids stretch their legs. Since you all need get to the Offices before they close - we told them we would meet them there.”

 

Before Ian could say anything Mickey sighed and laughed softly, “They have a fuckin’ Garmin man. Just relax. You think I would leave our bed with people who couldn’t get it to the fuckin’ apartment?”

“Valid point.” Ian said with a sigh, “How close are we?”

“About forty-five minutes.” Mickey said, glancing back at him in the mirror, “We want to hit the store for food or some shit? I am not gonna listen to our families bitch about us not having food and beer.”

“Or Juice in Liam’s case.” Ian said with a chuckle, “Yeah, I think there’s a Wal-Mart on our way towards the place. We can stop and get some essentials. And you know - not be in a car.”

That got him approval from both siblings and made him chuckle to himself.

“By the way Ian, your boyfriend - “

 

“You mean your brother?”

“YOUR BOYFRIEND is a Pringle hogging asswipe.”

“Welcome to my world Mands. Welcome to my world.”

 

~~

Mickey was sure that shopping with Ian and his sister - in a Wal-Mart - earned him some sort of patience medal and international acclaim. Because he hadn’t killed them yet. Granted - it wasn’t smart to come into a place like this when they were already hungry, tired and just wanted this trip to be over. But it was a whole other thing when you looked at your boyfriend and realized that you needed shit other than just food to tide over your mooching family members. You needed toilet paper, napkins and shit.

Because fucking hell you were staying. Here. With him.

So they ended up with two carts. One with food and the other with other things that they needed - toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and hand soap and towels. Mandy assured them there would be more shit later. And knowing his sister there would be. But this was enough for tonight.

Checking out was a whole other thing - Mickey was up front so he pulled out his wallet and debit card, and reminded himself that killing his giggling sister was not okay - even if they did have the supplies to clean up the mess. So he shared a look with the cashier and flipped his sister off.

“You got a fuckin’ problem with me payin’ here assface?”

“Not a one douchebag.” Mandy said with a grin, “It’s just - nice.” She grinned at the cashier and then squeaked as Ian literally picked her up and moved her out of the way so they could load everything up in the carts.

It was another 20 minutes till they got to the complex and then another 30 to get the office manager out to their corner unit. They were all three leaning against the jeep, passing a smoke between them when he showed up, the look of longing he gave their smoke had Mickey rolling his eyes and offering the man one of his own. Which, once gratefully accepted, seemed to make this checking in process go a lot smoother.

Mandy had never seen the place and Mickey took some pride in the way her eyes widened a bit at seeing where they were going to be living. He stood in the middle of the living room/dining room and took stock of the moment.

Yeah - maybe this wasn’t going to be utter shit.

“Hey Mickey, why don’t you come over here and sign this shit hmmm?”

Ian’s voice got him out of his moment and brought him over to where he and Vince, the office manager, were waiting. They signed and paid for the parking passes for the Uhaul and the RV in the guest lot, they got their pool keys, the mailbox keys and their storage room keys. They were given the rules of the complex, as well as the festivities that were offered by the managing company. Not Southside street parties, but better than nothing.

Mickey watched as Mandy let Vince out because she was going down to get her camera out of the car. And then there were lips on his. It seemed that Firecrotch couldn’t wait to celebrate. And as his fingers stroked that Army regulation haircut and gripped his waist, Mickey wasn’t going to complain. The feel of Ian pressed up against him, the scrape of his teeth on his lower lip, the grip on his ass - nope, Mickey was not going to complain in the slightest. And if that whimper that he was getting from Ian was any indication - he wasn't complaining either.

“Seriously - I leave you two for like a minute….”

He pulled back and glared at his sister, “Go explore the fucking apartment bitch.” Then before Ian could say anything Mickey pulled him back into another kiss and he ignored the faint sound of his sister's camera taking some shots as he concentrated on kissing and devouring Ian’s mouth and celebrating the fact that they were in THEIR place.

~~

Collapsing onto the ugliest couch she had ever seen - she again rejoiced her brother had looked past the plaid upholstery and gotten the couch. Fiona was dead tired but felt like the place was really HOME now for these two. Or as much as they could make it so in the last three days. They had made so many runs to stores, that she was pretty sure the HomeGoods people knew her, Debs and Mandy by name. Home Depot and Wal-mart right behind that. She looked around and bit her lip as it really started to sink in. This was Ian’s place. With Mickey. Away from them all. The couch had been joined by a coffee table that had seen better days, a couple of lamps and a chair that had been picked up at local second hand place. The television and blu ray player were a ‘gift’ from Iggy and she wasn’t going to dwell on that much - they had been new and in the box - so she could pretend if nothing else.

Ian had had to report in to his Commanding Officer and the man (Sargeent Gillespie) had shown up that night with his wife, a case of beer and a small Weber grill for the patio. She had been nervous - even with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell going away and the changes….but he had grinned at Mickey and shaken his hand. His wife had been warm and welcoming and everyone seemed to be able to breathe after that.

They were leaving tomorrow - and she wasn’t sure that she was ready. It was going to be hard without Ian there. He was the rock of the family. Everyone always had their crisis’ and then he was just there. Calm and steady. Protective but in the shadows.

The couch moved as someone else sat next to her and she glanced over at Mickey and grinned, “You escaped the bed assembly?”

“If Lip wants to set up a bed from IKEA and read the fucking instructions - I will let Ian deal with his shit.” Mickey said pulling out a pack of cigarettes and offering her one, which she took gratefully and then caught the lighter he tossed her way.

“You don’t want to argue with Lip and Debbie over IKEA assembly.” Fiona said feigning shock, “But they are both so level headed and reasonable.”

“I think she had just called him a - “ He was cut off when said red head stormed into the living room and glared at them both.

“I am going to kill my brother.”

“Not on these carpets - they are new.” Mickey said without batting an eye.

“Debs….”

“He’s being a simple minded dickhead.”

Fiona and Mickey shared a look and then shrugged at Debbie, who growled again and stormed back in to wage her crusade. Carl came out not a few minutes later and grinned wickedly at the two on the couch, enjoying the moments of peace and quiet.

“So do you two want the odds on the Lip and Debbie show down?”

Without hesitating they both reached for their wallets.

~~

Mandy was crashed out on the airbed in the guest room. His siblings and Iggy were gone. Mickey was in the shower, and Ian was having a beer, sitting on their balcony and enjoying the quiet. He looked up as the slider opened and Mickey came out to join him, opening up the other lawn chair they had picked up on one of the million trips to Wal-Mart and opened it up. He handed over the cigarette without a word and they just sat there for a moment.

“So...it’s ours now…”

“Yep.”

“Mandy leaves in like four days.”

“Mhmmm.”

“Then it will just be us.”

“And doors that fucking lock.”

“And doors that lock.” Ian looked over at Mickey, his hair still wet from the shower, his boxers and undershirt clean and fresh looking. There wasn’t a frown on his forehead. His eyebrows were relaxed and he looked - comfortable, “Think we can not kill each other?”

That got him a smirk and then Mickey got up, cigarette dangling from his lips and headed into the kitchen and got them each a beer and closed the door, “I ain’t shotgunning this shit. I just took a shower, and I am living with this asshole that likes clean sheets.”

“I didn’t see you complaining last night.”

“I am not fucking with a damn condom so you can have clean fucking sheets every night.”

“Why do you think we have multiple sets fucker?”

Mickey grinned, “True.” he looked over at Ian and raised a brow, “When do you officially start?”

“Six days. Enough time to get Mandy off and make sure you don’t end up in Mexico because you took a wrong turn somewhere.”

“I forgot which way I was coming from ONE damned time to Home Depot….”

“You think your ass is gonna burn here - you ain’t seen shit yet if you cross the border. Or so I hear.”

Mickey flipped him off and shook his head, “Anyway - I have that interview tomorrow for that bar off base. You think you can entertain my sister in a way that won’t lead to us getting more shit into this apartment?”

“Yeah.” Ian said, “But to be fair - you do like those breakfast stools she found on that website.”

“Not the point Gallagher.”

“And what is the point?”

“We are almost done with this smokes, my sister is out cold in her room and our bed is still made.”

“That sounds like we should be testing out the sturdiness of that new bed frame.”

“I mean - we should really see how sturdy that shit is.”

Mickey grinned and arched his brows at Ian, who smirked and stepped over Mickey’s legs, stubbed out his smoke and made a beeline towards the bedroom, calling over his hsoulder, “Grab the beers.”

“What do I look like you're fuckin’ maid here Gallgher….” There was a pause and then Ian’s face peeked around the corner at him, “If you answer that with anything but ‘No Mick.’ I am going to cut your ass off.”

“No Mick.”

“Thank fuck you are the smart one.”

Chapter Text

They were adults. They had an apartment. One of them was a member of the Armed Forces. The other had a job as joint-head bartender at a local brewery in their tasting room. They had somehow managed to survive down in Texas for six months now on their own with very few hiccups. They were together. The doors locked. Life was good. Until now. Somehow it seemed all the good positive will had been building towards this moment. This decisive moment in their relationship.

“Mick, I have never seen you eat chunky peanut butter in your life. And there are two of us - do we need a Costco sized jar of peanut butter? Are you concerned there will be a peanut butter shortage?”

Mickey was proud of himself - he didn’t flip Ian off. He just gave him a look and then crossed his arms over his chest, “First of all Mr. ‘I need a smoothie every fucking morning’ you go through enough peanut butter to keep Planters in business till the end of fucking time and two - I bought chunky the last time you texted me to get some because you forgot it at the store. We get the bigger sizes and I won’t have to throw a jar of it at the back of your head.”

Leaning against the cart that had some of the essentials of life - paper products, cleaning supplies, a massive container of cheese balls, Ian had to give Mickey the ‘smoothie’ explanation. But he wasn’t buying the chunky argument, “Just get the smooth.”

“But I want chunky.”

“You want it now - but in two weeks I am going to be the one hearing about how you wished it was creamy and those are large enough I could do some damage when I throw it at YOUR head.” Ian had a rare three days off and they had decided to spend this one getting things done so that they could take the following day to do nothing. Together. But if they didn’t settle this peanut butter issue, Ian was pretty sure he was going to be jerking off alone because Mickey was going to be a dead man.

The two men shared a glare over the cart and then not breaking eye contact Mickey reached over and set the jars of peanut butter into the cart. Ian rolled his eyes and gave a shrug of his shoulders,”Alright fine. If if you bitch even once about…”

Mickey waved him off and headed on down the aisle, “Bottled water up ahead there G.I Joe.” He didn’t turn around to see the middle finger he was sure was pointed at him, but his grin grew larger anyway.

Three hours later they had a cart filled with things - some of which neither of them were sure they actually needed, but the samples people had been very convincing. And there was the fact that they had found the booze. And getting better pricing on their beer and whiskey - who was going to say no to that after all? They were loading things up, when Mickey caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye. Ian had stopped helping him, and just when he was about to rip his partner a new one he saw why. There he was helping someone fasten a massive box into the back of their truck. And he tried to claim he wasn’t damn Boy Scout under all that Southside grime?

“Ay, you need help over there hot shot?”

~~

There was something about having a day off with Mickey when they had shit to do. Ian wasn’t sure what it was - but it was nice. They had gotten groceries out of the way. They were now in line at FedEx so they could make sure to get Mandy’s birthday gift as well as some things for the Gallagher family -sent back in time. Art of him wondered if it was the simplicity of it. The casualness. Seeing Mickey in jeans and a t-shirt and not looking like he was on the edge of a cliff. At seeing him simply just grumbling about the same things that everyone else was grumbling about - about people and about the line and cost of the wrapping paper. It wasn’t that long ago that this would have been outside of their realm of knowledge. That they could just ‘be’.

It was amazing to him every time it happened. Green eyes twinkled at Mickey when the brunet turned and gave him a look, “What?”

“What the hell are you grinning about Tough Guy?”

“I am grinning at the idea of you sending your sister a gift.”

Mickey rolled his eyes, “I didn’t go out and get this shit. You insisted since ‘we aren’t there to celebrate with her’ - care to tell me what the hell it was that we did before that meant we were doing anything to celebrate before?”

“We would get her shit faced.”

“And you know that she will still make us take her out to get shit faced when she comes down for Christmas to celebrate.”

“And you work at a bar.”

“...I work at a brewery.”

“That has a bar.”

Taking a few more steps forward, Mickey looked at Ian with exasperation, “You know I didn’t get a job there just so you can drink cheaper?” He noticed out of the corner of his eye middle-aged woman trying to not grin at them and wanted to roll his eyes. This. This is what Gallagher had reduced him to - something that middle-aged women were amused by in line at the post office. Not worried he was going to rob the place - and not comparing his face to the wanted posters. But just - amused by him and his red headed jackass of a partner.

Gallagher was luck he was good in bed - or this might be more than Mickey could put up with.

~*~*~

“Gallagher, remember when I said I wasn’t going to be wearing a fucking dress?”

Ian stopped in the hunt for his other boot and raised a brow as he looked over the edge of the bed where he could see into their bathroom where Mickey was getting ready, “I do - I think I reminded you that you have the legs for it.” He grinned wickedly, “That mean you are finally going to give in to Greg and do amatuer night in Austin?”

“Fuck Greg and fuck you.” Mickey flipped him off, “No, I was wondering why the fucking hell we have make up in our bathroom.”

“One, it’s not makeup it’s greasepaint. Two, it’s for night maneuvers that involve my clothes staying on. Three, it’s Army issued. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell might be gone - but they aren’t that supportive yet.”

Mickey rolled his eyes, “Okay, let me clarify here Army - why is your shit on my side?”

“Mine was full so I borrowed some space.” Ian said, making sure to have his ‘innocent angel’ face firmly in place, “C’mon Mick….”

“One - I ain’t buyin’ that face Gallagher. Two - you have too much shit on your side get rid of some of it.” Mickey said, jerking a thumb over his shoulder at the bathroom, “I mean - I thought not sharing a bathroom with my sister anymore meant that I wasn’t gonna have to deal with so much shit anymore. Have you see our cabinet.”

Holding up his hands in a sign of surrender, Ian shook his head, “I need sunscreen so I don’t fry, I need gel so I look presentable. And YOU use that hand scrub as much as I do - so don’t even go there bitch.”

Rolling his eye, Mickey turned back to go and finish getting ready for a staff meeting at the brewery, “You gonna be late tonight?”

Ian paused before answering. He wasn’t sure when they had crossed the line from adjusting to living together to being this. Couple shit was pretty okay. He ran his hands over his face, “Yeah, I was planning’ on swinging over to the brewery tonight for dinner. You guys still tapping that new keg?”

“Hell yes. And you will like this one I think.” Mickey said over his shoulder, “Call and I will clear you a spot at the bar okay.”

“Done.” Ian leaned in the doorway and watched Mickey get ready, “You look good.”

“Yeah, the diet of regular sex and actual food - it does the body good.”

There was a snort that was followed up by, “Yeah, and your protein intake is prolly up to.”

“Oh fuck off jackass…” Mickey flipped him off and smirked on his way back into their room, “Don’t you have a course to run or some shit.” He watched as Ian looked at the clock, cursed, then flipped him off on his way out the door, “Yeah, yeah, yeah tough guy….”

Chapter Text

Chapter Text

Mickey was seasoning steaks when his sister’s ringtone went off in the living room. He looked at the meat on the counter and sighed as the phone stopped ringing - only to start up again. He washed his hands and went to get it, “Y’know bitch some people leave a fucking voicemail. How many times does Ian have to answer while I am setting the fucking mood for you to get that fucking concept?”

“Ian is out on training maneuvers and you are home alone. If you are ‘setting the mood’ tell your right hand I am really sorry.” Mandy said, and Mickey had to say - she didn’t sound in the least bit apologetic.

“What. The. Fuck. Do. You. Want?” He carried his phone back into the kitchen, “He’s due back in about twenty minutes and he’s been gone for a fucking week.” He covered the steaks and set them off to the side, “We have time for at least two quick rounds before the grill will be ready if I start it now.”

His sister paused and then actually sounded incredulous, “You are fucking making him dinner? Aren’t you the good little house husband.” Her laugh was bright in his ear and he still would have thrown something at her if she had been in the room.

“He’s been eating food worse than Juvie for a fucking week. I can get steak on the fucking grill between rounds. I am not heartless here.” He leaned against the counter, “and the more shit you talk the less time you have to tell me why the fuck you are really calling.”

“I need to come down there for awhile.” All the cheeriness was gone and instead it was laced with fear and more than a little Milkovich bravado that he knew all too well, but it still wasn’t telling him what he wanted to know and that was starting to worry him, “And don’t ask why - just say yes.”

“Mandy-” Part of him wanted to ask more questions. To know what he was getting them into by giving her the ‘yes’ they both knew was coming. Ian wouldn’t care - it would be one more person around and he would be more than willing to clean the work out gear from the spare room for Mandy, “Fuck - what is going on?”

“If it’s too much trouble -”

“Did I fucking say that? When is your skank ass getting on the bus?” there was a very heavy pause and he ran his hand over his face, “I will call the Greyhound station. When do you want to leave?”

“I am here now - wanna talk to Brenda?”

No, he didn’t want to fucking talk to Brenda. He wanted his sister to tell him why the fucking hell she was going to be on fucking bus to Texas with no warning. He wanted to know what had her worried. He wanted to know a lot of shit, “Sure, let’s fucking talk to Brenda. And then when Ian gets here you can talk to Ian. I am sure he will love to have this conversation with you.”

“I hate you.”

He was glad he had gotten a bonus for promoting the new seasonal draft at the brewery - this ticket was going to hit home. They had just gotten a new couch - with a sleeper in it - and that had taken up the last of Ian’s moving expense money. THey were trying to rebuild that cushion - but now they were getting Mandy for an unknown period of time.

And he supposed his sister was more important. So ten minutes later he had paid for a round trip ticket to Texas with an open return date. And he had made sure Mandy was on the bus and made her promise to call at the stops. Maybe at one of them he or Ian could get the truth out of her. Just as he was hanging up he heard the door open and he grinned at the thudding sound of the boots and gear hitting the entryway floor.

“About fucking time Gallagher - you are late.”

“Fuck you Milkovich.”

The smirk on Mickey’s lips was only there a moment before they were being kissed and thoroughly by a very demanding member of the US Army. There was something about Ian that made the world tilt when he kissed him like that - not that Mickey had any intention of telling that to the redhead. His ego was big enough as it was - it didn’t need any help from him.

Pulling back a bit to catch his breath, those same lips curled back into that smirk, “I thought that was the plan - If you have the energy that is. I know it can be draining out there for that long…” Taking a moment, Mickey ran his eyes over his partner. His eyes were tired and there were still traces of the grease paint from night maneuvers on his skin. As pale as his Gallagher was - the paint stood out like a fucking beacon. There was mud on his jaw and bags under his eyes - but there was a spark in those eyes. And a promising grin on his lips, “You look like fucking shit.”

“Well, I could either shower or come home and fuck your brains out.” Ian pulled back and pretended to weigh his options, “Maybe I should have stayed and showered at the base-” he was going to finish when his phone started to ring in his pcoket, “I swear to fucking god - if that’s Hernandez -I am going to fucking kill him. I don’t care if his sister is pregnant.” He pulled his phone out and didn’t look at the screen before he answered, “You are delaying my very welcoming homecoming Hernandez…”

Mickey liked the guys in Ian’s squad. They were decent guys. None of which seemed to care that Ian was gay and had been okay with him. It helped that he worked in a brewery and didn’t care about poker night - and he hadn’t wiped everyone out at the last one.

“Mandy? No, I know you aren’t Hernandez…” He looked over at Mickey with a raised brow, “I literally just walked in the door, but I am glad we bought you a ticket too.” He mouthed ‘We bought a ticket?’ at Mickey.

The brunette nodded and show back with a hushed, “Won’t tell me why.” and pushed away from the counter. Let Mandy deal with the fallout of a concerned Ian Gallagher. She could have told him and then he couldn’t have come up with a reason that wouldn’t have Ian flipping shit. But she hadn’t. Making his way out to start the grill on their deck he listened through the screen door as Ian spoke with his sister - though he supposed it could be better phrased that he attempted to listen through the screen. The red headed shithead he was living with took the call into the bedroom to change clothes.

~*~*~

One day Mandy was going to rememeber that a concerned Ian Gallagher was like a pitbull for information. She sighed and rested her forehead against the window seat on the Greyhound as he waited her out.

“Mands...I love you and I am glad you are coming down….but what the hell is going on.”

Ian. The gay kid that had been her first real boyfriend and the one that still called her ‘his girl’ and let her just latch onto him when things got hard. She looked at the bruises on her wrist and sighed.

“I just need to not be in the Southside for awhile. Shit went sideways…”

She heard him breathing and waiting. The other issue with Ian Gallagher is that he was used to dealing with Milkoviches and their communication issues. So he wasn’t goinng to just buy into her story. She could hear him changing clothes and bit her lower lip.

“So Brandon might have tried showing up - and College Boy is history because dating a hood girl is only so fun for so long - and…”

“What the fuck Mands? I would have gotten you a fucking plane ticket.”

“Bitch, the bus is fine. I just...I need some breathing room okay.”

There was a sigh and the sound of his head hitting the wall and then nothing but his breathing. Then just when she was about to loose her own shit he spoke again quietly, “Do I need to fucking kill the asshat Mands?”

She laughed, but it sounded more like a soft sob, “No, I can fucking handle myself. You just need to make sure my bed is still there.”

“Well, you have some work out gear in the room but…” he laughed softly, “You call when you get in alright? I am off for two days - I will be there to get your scrawny ass.”

“I love you Ian Gallagher.”

“Same Mandy Milkovich.”

And then she hung up, ran her hands over her face and curled up in a ball in the seat. She didn’t want to burst into their lives. She didn’t want to NEED them. But Iggy was no fucking help and Mickey - Mickey had been her rock before Ian. And now with both of them gone - all of her safe places were in fucking Texas.

She put her earbuds in and pulled up Spotify on her phone. It was time for some music and som fucking sleep. She was safe on the bus. She was going to her safe place. It was all going to be okay.

Finally.

~*~*~

Mickey looked up as Ian - in jeans, a ‘Go Army’ t-shirt and bare feet came back out. He tossed his phone onto the counter and went straight for Mickey. He was pulled into his redhead’s arms and just held.

“We gotta kill some fucker?”

“Brandon showed back up. She broke up with the college guy and she needs a safe place.”

Brandon. The fucker that thought that Mandy was his own little punching bag. Mickey knew he shouldn’t have pulled Ian off of the asshole when the redhead had slammed him against a wall the only time he had ever seen him even LOOK like he was going to hit Mandy.

“Fucking asswipe.” Mickey ran his hand over his face and then gently butted his head against Ian’s, “You alright?”

“We never should have let her leave Mick.”

“We offered. Bitch had it covered.” Mickey said, even though he was thinking the same thing. He loved his sister - in the Milkovich way they both had - but she was very used to having one of them at her back. With them both gone...well, she was on her way now.

He kissed the pulse point on Ian’s neck and smirked against his skin, “Now, since we are about to have fucking company - how about you get on me while we still have the place to ourselves.”

“You are a very wise man Milkcovich.”

“I have been tellin’ you that shit for years Gallagher - “ He had meant to say more but his mouth was being kissed and those hands were on hsi ass and the world shrank down to just them and this kiss. The smell of Ian and the solid warmth of his partner against him.

Fuck his asshole was under his fucking skin and damn him for it.

~*~*~

A day and a half later…

Ian found himself leaning against their car and waiting outside of the bus station. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with anyone but his girl at the moment - so his sunglasses were on, his face was in full on ‘military mode’ and he was focused on the doorway. Seeing her exit he was striding over to her and swinging her in a circle.

“Where the hell have you been bitch.” he said into her hair once she was back on her feet.

“Long story.”

He wrapped an arm around her shoulders, kissed her temple and gathered up her duffle and suitcase against her protests and added them to the car.

“Get in and eat woman.”

“Bossy.”

“I will eat your fries.”

And with flipping him off, Mandy got into the car and opened her bag of food, “I will stab you with a foil ketchup packet Ian Gallagher.”

He chuckled as he slid into the driver's seat, “Missed you too Mands.” Looking over at her almost inhaling her food he mentally sighed and then put the car into reverse. Something was going on here and he would get the bottom of it in time. The ride to the apartment was quiet other than small talk and the sounds of Mandy eating.

She was putting her things away in the guest room when Ian’s phone made a noise.

~*~*~

Pork carnitas tacos, more than a couple of beers and some cigarettes later - Mickey found himself leanign against the railing of their little balcony while Mandy lit up another cigarette.

“Well…?”

 

There was a sigh, “Okay so Brandon came back and shit went sideways. Evidentally I was supposed to forget the cracked ribs he gave me last time - “

Ian growled and she shot him a look, “I didn’t forget them dork. But he just kept popping up and I didn’t want to tempt fate and you both always said the door was open so…”

“So you came in.” Mickey said, rubbing his thumb over his bottom lip, “Well, at least you are gettin’ some fuckin’ common sense. You can come in with me tomorrow to the brewery - I will get you a job waitressing or some shit.”

Ian nodded, “I have a slightly more complicated hiring practice at work...that’s going to be the best bet.”

“WHOA! Who said I was fucking staying?!” Mandy said with a glare, “I don’t need fucking handouts here - just - “

Mickey’s blue eyes met Ian’s green and then both looked at Mandy and raised a brow and she stopped talking, settling in to glare at them both.

 

“Mandy…”

“Fine. Thank you fuckface.”

“How did you know our plans for later?”

“I FUCKING HATE YOU BOTH.”

~*~*~

Two rounds and a shower later, Ian flopped onto the bed in nothing but his boxers and a t-shirt from a keg tapping event from Mickey’s brewery and leaned back against the headboard and watched Mickey finish getting ready for bed.

“I kinda wanna kill Brandon.”

“I thought you wanted to get somewhere to get shot Army.”

“Mick…”

The brunet leaned in the doorway to their bathroom and sighed, “Listen, I want to kill the asshole too. But we ain’t there to so it. She’s here and safe. We are here and not as scary from this far of a distance. Let’s just let it ride for now huh?”

“When the hell did you mellow out?”

“Since I got to get laid in a bed and not a freezer in a convenience store. Since I fucking got the hell out man.” Mickey made his way to the bed and climbed in - nothing but boxers and one of Ian’s PT shirts, “And I kinda like this shit here with you. Jail doesn’t have comfortable beds and you makin’ me pancakes in the morning.”

“I am making pancakes?”

“Mhmm…”

“Well, maybe I will stick around and make your pancakes.”

Mickey leaned in and kissed Ian’s lips, “You don’t completely suck.”

“You did about ten minutes ago in the shower.”

Mickey snorted, “Yes, you are so deprived. Go to bed and we will figure more of it out tomorrow. Deal.”

“While I make pancakes.”

“Exactly.”

Chapter Text