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The Fault in Our Shooting Stars

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The next few weeks followed in a similar kind of pattern. I saw Mickey every few days, maybe a little more spread out when I had doctor’s appointments.

It was always the same, we’d chat a little, act like we had the first few times we’d hung out, and then it would progress to frantic pawing at each other and ultimately my lips around his cock.

I’m not saying Mickey’s selfish in the orgasm department, I always get mine, but he seems almost scared of doing anything other than using his hands.

And not scared like the rest of the population, not scared of ‘catching the cancer’ from the sick kid, but I think he was scared that doing anything else would mean he was actually into guys.

Though I have to say, being that eager to have another guy on his knees in front of you and taking two fingers up the ass as well as he did… sort of exceptionally gay.

I didn’t push it though, as much as I would love to do more with him, as much as I wish he wouldn’t look at me like he was about to kill me when I even looked at his lips for too long, he has his boundaries.

I mean, I am not complaining, not in the slightest. This is the first time in a long time that anyone has even looked at me twice – in a good way.

It’s been going well enough that I didn’t want things to change. I wanted things to stay on a level playing field, no bumps, no ditches, nothing. That’s why I didn’t say a word about my birthday.

Seventeen, finally.

We’re having some kind of family celebration in the evening, mostly drinking and dancing and the likes. Not for me obviously, like Fiona would let me do too much of that, even on my birthday, but Debbie did promise to make a cake when she got home from school.

I think Carl said he could steal some candles, and I know Fiona had a problem with that, last thing anyone needed was Carl having quick access to candles and lighters or anything even remotely flammable.

Anyway, birthdays make things weird. I’ve always found them weird and I can’t explain it. Maybe for me it’s because everyone acts like it’s such a huge feat to have made it through another year. I guess it kind of is, but I don’t really want to be reminded that no one expected me to achieve it.

I was hanging out with Mickey and Mandy in the morning, shooting up some cardboard cut-outs under the tracks again. It was nothing special, and I had done everything possible to keep my birthday a secret, until Lip had to go and ruin it all.

He was riding a bike past the tracks when he saw us and thought it would be an awesome idea to come over and say hello, which was his way of making sure I was keeping out of trouble, namely of the Milkovich variety.

“You don’t always have to check up on me Lip,” I said as he dropped the bike and walked over. “What are you doing down here, don’t you have school?”

He shrugged, “Make up test for all the douchebags who don’t know shit about basic algebraic equations, English quiz, chemistry lab report that I already turned in… I think I’ll be fine. You worry about me too much little brother,” he grinned and I just rolled my eyes.

“Lip, yeah?” Mickey said, looking him over.

Lip nodded and did the same, the two seeming to size each other up and it seemed clear that while neither of them had anything against one another necessarily, they would probably argue over anything that came up in conversation.

“So what are you doing down here?” I asked again.

“Looking for Frank,” he said. “Got a call from Tony this morning, something about drunk and disorderly… I don’t know, the usual shit.”

“Right,” I said. “Did you need any help?”

“Nah, you know you just slow me down,” he said with a playful smile and I shook my head. “Besides I’m not going to make you look for that asshole on your birthday.”

And there he goes, with his big mouth.

“It’s your birthday?” Mandy asked, walking over to stand by my side.

I sighed and Lip just looked over at Mandy. “He didn’t tell you?”

“I don’t want to make a fuss,” I said.

“You’re seventeen little bro,” Lip said. “Make all the fuss you want.”

“You mean you made it to seventeen,” I said and Mickey chuckled.

“No dick breath,” he said. “I did not mean that. You better be back by the time Fiona’s done with work or she’ll kill you.”

“I will be, okay? Go back to looking for Frank,” I said.

He smiled, “You know I’m only doing it to get Debbie off my back.”

“Well she won't be very forgiving if you fail,” I said, folding my arms and giving him a look that I know he understood.

“Not wrong,” he said. “See you tonight.”

He gave Mandy a smile before turning and going back to the stolen bicycle.

“Why didn’t you say it was your birthday, we totally would have done something better than this,” Mandy said with a nudge to my side and Mickey just scoffed.

“We would not have, what are we going to do, watch more fucking TV shows and play video games?” he said.

“I don’t want to make a big deal out of it,” I said.

“Bullshit,” Mandy said. “I will totally think of something. Here…” she reached into her pocket and pulled out a ten dollar bill.

“What, no, why are you giving me that?” I asked as she tried to hand it to me.

She rolled her eyes, “Go with Mickey down to the convenience store and buy some shit, I don’t care, pork rinds or fucking pringles or something. I’ll figure something out.”

“Oh what, I gotta drive his ass around now?” Mickey said.

“Just do it asswipe,” she said. “You owe me, remember?”

“It was one fucking kidney, you can’t keep calling that!” he said, pulling out his keys and shaking his head.

“I told you I would before I fucking gave it to you,” she said with a grin. “Just go.”

He grunted but started walking towards the car anyway. I followed him a little slowly, but when I got there I climbed into the passenger seat and we headed up the road.

We didn’t say much, never really do. We just pulled up on the side of the road by – well, by just about the last place I want to revisit. Kash-N-Grab, my old workplace. I remember Mickey said he used to steal from them too. Hopefully they don’t recognise him.

I know they’ll recognise me.

We walked through the doors and headed down to the back.

“So why the big secret about your birthday?” he asked, looking over to me as we looked over the items lazily.

I shrugged. “I’m sick of people being so thrilled that I lasted this long,” I said and he snorted. “I mean sure, wish me a happy birthday but could you look a little less amazed that I haven’t dropped dead yet?”

“You get a lot of ‘never thought you’d make it this far’ and ‘shit, you’ll be dead before next birthday for sure’?” he asked and I just laughed.

“The first one maybe, who the fuck said the other one to you?” I asked incredulously.

“One of my brothers,” he said and I just scoffed. “All good, crushed his fucking pinky toe by stepping on it with this fucking thing,” he said, pointing to his leg.

“Nice,” I said.

He looked up with a grin and I smiled back, our eyes locking together for a moment before he looked away.

We gathered a cartful of terrible food, definitely not what the doctor prescribed and probably more than what Mandy’s ten dollars would get us, but hey, I can indulge on my birthday.

When we got up to the register I finally realised that it wasn’t just a generic shop keeper working like I had, it was Kash.

Our eyes met and we both sort of had an awkward moment before he cleared his throat.

“Ian, good, uh, good to see you,” he said.

“You too, how… how’s business?” I asked.

He shrugged, “Not too bad, a little crime but that’s just the South Side I guess.”

I smiled a little, “Yeah, I guess so.”

“What, are you two like old buddies or something?” Mickey cut in. “Come on, let’s go.”

Kash seemed to give him a critical look and I’m sure he recognises him. He started to put the things through the register, glancing up at me a few times as he did.

I’m not going to say it wasn’t awkward, because it was, and not just because he was looking at me but because I could see Mickey trying to figure out why.

“It’s good to see you, you look better,” he said as he handed over the box.

I smiled again and gave him a nod as we started to leave. “See you.”

As we headed to the car I saw Mickey eyeing me.

“What?” I asked.

“So he was your boss huh?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said because technically it wasn’t a lie.

“Uh huh,” he said as we climbed into the car. “That was too fucking weird.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes. “You know how I said I’d given someone a hummer before?”

It took him a second, but he eyes grew wide and then he looked at me with his best ‘what the fuck’ look to date.

“That old mother fucker?” he asked.

“He’s not that old Mick,” I shrugged.

And I might be wrong, but I might have been seeing … jealousy on his face.

I mean I could be really wrong, no one’s ever really been jealous of someone with me before so how am I supposed to know what that looks like?

He didn’t say much else on the way back. It wasn’t until he was pulling up by the L that he said anything else.

“Still don’t get what the fuck you see in some old guy like that,” he asked.

“He bought me stuff, liked the same shit that I did,” I heard Mickey scoff as he got out of the car and as I did the same I looked over at him. “He was never afraid to kiss me.”

He didn’t say anything to that, and I didn’t look at him long enough to see his reaction, but I smiled as I walked back over to where Mandy was sitting and he slowly followed.

“So, what other mischief are we getting up to?” I asked and she grinned with a shrug.

“When do you have to be back at your place?” she asked.

“Not for a few hours,” I said. “Fiona won't be back at least until it’s dark.”

“Awesome, Mickey, get your ass back in the car,” she said and he glared at her as she walked over to the vehicle.

“You know one day, I’m gonna kick your ass, and it’ll fucking hurt,” he said.

“Yeah, yeah, you have to catch me first,” she said as she climbed into the back seat.

We ended up driving down to the movie theatre and when we parked both Mickey and I turned to raise an eyebrow at her. She was still smiling as she got out, motioning for us to follow her.

“What the fuck’s she up to?” Mickey asked.

“Hey, she’s your sister,” I said as we followed her in.

“Mandy!” Mickey hissed as they headed through the doors. “What the fuck we doin’ here?”

She rolled her eyes, “Going for a swim, the fuck you think?”

I smiled as I watched the two of them bickering and Mandy slapped Mickey on the chest.

“Shut up! Don’t say anything, just keep your mouth shut, okay?” she said as we walked over to the door.

“Hi, can I see your tickets please?” said the chirpy girl in the cinema uniform.

“Oh, we had a private invitation,” Mandy said, her voice suddenly losing its edge.

She almost sounded… sweet.

“I’m sorry?” said the girl, looking a little confused.

“Oh it’s his birthday,” she said, pointing to me and turning to give me a sickly sweet smile. “I was told it was all taken care of.”

I could see Mickey struggling to keep a straight face but I think I see what she’s going for here.

“What was your name?” she said.

“Sandy Atherton,” Mickey snorted a little, masking it pretty well with a fake fit of coughing.

“There’s nothing here about a booking for anyone of that name,” she said.

Mandy nodded, “I was told we could have a private screening, we never get to come to movies anymore.”

“I… I don’t know what―”

“It’s okay, it’s fine,” Mandy said.

I have to say, she’s a better actress than I ever would have thought.

“We must have got the information wrong,” she said and put her hand on my shoulder. “Come on, do you need to rest before we go back to the car?”

Just as I was about to begin my Oscar winning performance, a tall guy with dark hair came jogging over.

“Hold it Abby, they’re all good, I forgot to write it down for you,” he said.

Abby looked almost relieved not to have to turn us away, it was sort of mean to guilt her like that, but sometimes it has to be done.

“This way guys,” said the guy, leading us back to one of the cinemas.

Once we were out of earshot of any of the other staff Mandy’s sweet, innocent act dropped and she smirked over at Mickey and me.

“Nice going Aiden, thought you weren’t going to show for a minute there,” she said.

“Now would I do that to you?” he said with a chuckle. “You got the stuff for me?”

“Sure,” she said, waiting until he had closed the doors of the cinema behind him to reach into her pocket and pull out a small zip lock bag. “As promised.”

“You jackin’ the stash again?” Mickey asked as he walked out into the empty space, looking a little impressed.

“This is my portion and I’ll do what I want with it, and that’s bribing my way into a private theatre session so maybe you should just thank me,” she grinned.

Aiden laughed and gave her a once over look, “What do you guys wanna watch then? You name it, I’ll hook it up to the projector.”

“Up to you Ian,” Mandy said with a smile.

“Unless you pick something shit and then I’m picking!” Mickey called from a seat in the middle of the room.

We settled on one of the new release action thrillers, mostly a lot of boom bang guns and probably a sex scene or two. It didn’t matter, I was in an actual cinema with two people I could actually call friends, and it didn’t cost anyone a cent.

Sure, Mandy had to give up some of her stash, but she didn’t seem to worry about that.

“If you wanna go bang the guy no one’s stopping you,” Mickey said, breaking out the chips from her bag.

“Or blaming you, he was pretty easy on the eyes,” I said.

I told Mandy about my preference not too long ago, I knew I could trust her and that she wouldn’t judge. Well, I’d hoped.

I didn’t look up at Mickey but I could feel his eyes watching me and it made me smile, hell, I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling since we left. I never really had friends outside the family, and I don’t know if I could really classify Mickey as a friend, but for now whatever this is, works.

Mandy did head out to meet the guy who let us in, and that meant Mickey and I had a few minutes alone and that’s all we really needed.

So far, the day has been better than I ever expected.

Fiona was already there when Mickey and Mandy dropped me home. I gave her a smile and reached my arm around to pull her in as I kissed her cheek.

“You’re late,” she said, a grin on her face as she mashed the potatoes in the pot. “Go wash up.”

We have this rule you see, on my birthday, no one is allowed to ask me if I’m okay, even if I look a little worse for wear. One of the only wishes they’ve ever really been able to help out with.

“Ian!” Debbie called as I neared the top of the stairs.

“Hey Debs!” I said.

“I made you a cake, I think Carl put his face in it already, but the rest of it should be good,” she smiled.

“Awesome, I’ll be down for dinner soon.”

“Cool, Vee and Lip scored us some food from the delivery guy down the road. I mean, I don’t think it was legal but it’s gonna be awesome,” she grinned.

I decided to shower before heading back down, it gave me some time to just sit and relax, taking in deep steady breaths and gaining back some energy. Fiona was probably itching to ask me how I was feeling but she would hold her tongue today, at least until a minute past midnight.

I honestly don’t know how she does it.

When I got back downstairs Kev and Vee were there, yelling when I walked into the room and Vee was already dancing around the place.

“All of you shut up so we can eat!” Fiona yelled over the commotion and we finally sat down for a decent meal.

As usual, I couldn’t eat all that much of it, but everyone else made up for that. As we were stacking dishes in the sink Carl hopped up on the counter with a plastic bag in his hand and Fiona just gave him a look.

“What you got there Carl?” she asked.

“I didn’t buy you anything,” he said and I just gave him a smile.

“That’s okay Carl, when do I ever expect anyone to?”

“But, I did get some fireworks from this guy down the street,” he said quietly, pulling out a box of small fireworks and trying to hide it from Fiona.

“You know she is going to kill you,” I said with a grin. “Nice job.”

He smiled and I put my hand on his shoulder. I looked up at Fiona and we locked eyes, I could tell she was about three seconds from taking the bag away from the kid but I just shrugged at her and the corners of her mouth turned upwards as she turned away.

“Maybe she’ll wait until tomorrow to do it,” I said. “She wouldn’t want to spoil the fun.”

She turned back and laughed, shaking her head. “Okay, no more guilt trips from you, even if it is your birthday. Carl,” he looked up like he was about to get a verbal beat down. “You got a lighter in there?”

His eyes lit up and I grinned. “You’re actually going to let him set off fireworks?”

“Well not in the house,” she said. “But he’s got them so we might as well use them, back yard?”

Carl was sliding off the counter and running through the living room towards the door.

“Ten bucks says he’s got a lighter in his pocket,” I said and Fiona grabbed me by the shoulders and kissed my temple.

“It’s Carl, he’s got ‘em hidden all over the house,” she said. “Come on everybody! Out front!”

“Ooh so we get dinner and a show, Ian it should be your birthday every day,” Vee said as she danced towards the door with the rest of them.

I couldn’t stop smiling as Lip clapped a hand on my shoulder and led me outside. The look of joy on Carl’s face as Kev helped him set up one of the bigger ones on the lawn was priceless and Debbie was bouncing Liam on her hip as he laughed.

A few seconds later and the sky was alight and the loud claps like thunder were filling the air around us. Everyone was smiling and happy and for a moment, it felt the way it used to, easy and fun and carefree.

All in all, this tops my list of birthdays, by far.

But, like everything in my life, the highest of highs seem to be followed by the lowest of lows, and there’s no exception to that rule.

My heart was pounding fast and I was elated, for ten minutes, everything was perfect.

And then we had to go inside.

“Frank?” Fiona said as we made our way to the kitchen. “What the hell?”

He was sitting at the table, his fork buried in the cake Debbie had made and he smelled like the back alley behind a bar.

“My house, I’m eating in my house,” he said, taking another bite.

“No!” Debbie shouted as she came in. “No dad I made that for Ian, it’s his birthday!”

“And I’m hungry, I’m ― I never got cake for my birthday and I ― I made the lot of you,” he said and Fiona was glaring at him like she was about to go over there and throw him out of the house.

“Frank, don’t,” she warned. “Not today.”

“What’s so special, about this day anyway?” he slurred.

“You’re drunk Frank,” Lip said. “Why don’t you just go back to the gutter you came from?”

“Don’t you speak to me like that I’m your father,” he said, looking up at us. “I ― I deserve some respect.”

“What makes you think that?” Fiona asked. “You acted like a father maybe once in my entire life and even then it was because you wanted something.”

He scoffed and stood up from the chair, lifting the cake in one hand and digging his fork in again.

“I mean it Frank, not today!” she said.

“He gets it so good because he’s got a little bit of cancer,” Frank said and I just sighed a little. “Every day is all about him, where’s my day?” he asked, swinging the plate a little too much and the cake slid off and onto the floor.

Debbie looked like she was about to cry and Vee was shaking her head. Fiona was enraged; I could see it in her eyes.

“Oh shit,” Frank huffed, shrugging it off and dumping the plate on the table.

I started to walk over to him and Fiona went to grab my arm but I slipped out of her grip.

“You need to apologise,” I said and he just looked at me with one eyebrow up in the air like I’d just asked him to perform some kind of magic trick. “To Debbie. She worked hard on that cake.”

“You just think you can do whatever and say whatever because you’re dying well ― well I’ve, well maybe she wouldn’t have to work so hard if she didn’t have to attend to your every need and desire,” he slurred.

Frank!” Fiona shouted.

I just stared at him, any affection I had for my father long gone and in its place there was nothing but resentment towards him.

“Apologise to her,” I said quietly, stepping a little closer.

“Get out of my face,” he growled but I just stood my ground, stepping to the side as he tried to pass me.

He rolled his eyes, stumbling a little.

“You ungrateful little―”

“You’re the ungrateful one! You come in here and take whatever you want and then you still complain about it! No! You should apologise to―”

“And how― how much do you give to this family?” His eyebrows shot up again and he threw his hands up. “You with your ‘illness’ and all your fancy drugs who― who’s on your case about giving back?”

“Frank you do not get to say anything about that,” Fiona said.

He just grumbled, rolling his head from side to side before muttering a low ‘move’ and throwing his elbow into my chest to push me aside. Maybe if I was stronger, maybe if my lungs hadn’t been my weakness it would have just been a shove, rough as it was, but Frank was right.

His hit knocked the wind out of me and for a moment I couldn’t breathe, which is a lot worse for someone like me than it sounds. He had knocked my cannula off and it was hanging around my neck and I tried to suck the air into my lungs but it just wasn’t working. I stumbled back into the wall as everyone started yelling simultaneously.

Lip was yelling at Frank and calling for Jimmy and Kev to help grab him, Fiona and Debbie had terror in their eyes as they rushed towards me and Vee was holding Liam in one arm and holding Carl back with the other.

Everything was starting to go fuzzy but I could feel Fiona’s hands on my face, holding the tube closer to my nose and trying to keep Debbie from crying. I think for a moment I may have blacked out.

“Ian, Ian?” Fiona said when things finally became clear. “Ian are you alright?”

I took a few heavy breaths and nodded.

“Frank’s out where he belongs,” Lip added as he leant against the bench and looked down at me. “We should’ve had the doors locked to start, the way he sneaks in.”

“I’m fine,” I said quietly.

“Look Ian you don’t―” Fiona started.

“I’m tired,” I said. “I just… can I just have some time without… I need… I’m tired.”

I could see the tears in Fiona’s eyes, and she made the face that she always made when she was about to cry but she bit down on her lip and nodded quickly, helping me to my feet.

I used the wall to steady myself before turning towards the back door.

“Ian where―”

“I’m just going to spend some time in the van if that’s okay,” I said.

“No, Ian you should really―”

“Fiona…” Lip said, putting a hand on her arm and nodding.

“Just call it my birthday wish, please?” I said and Fiona slowly let me go.

I knew that as soon as I was out of earshot she was going to break down and cry, and I also knew that I should probably blame Frank for it, but I couldn’t. I blamed myself.

I like the van, it’s cold and cramped but it’s quiet. I used to go there even before the cancer, when I needed some time or a moment alone. Right about now, I need that.

I don’t know how long I spent out there; I do know that it was just getting later and later and I was just sitting in the front seat staring out the windscreen. It must have been a few hours at least.

However long it was, my self-pity party was broken when I heard a knocking on the window.

I was about to tell Fiona or Lip to just leave me alone when I saw Mickey grinning in at me.

“What? You just gonna sit in there or you gonna open the door?” I smiled a little at his muffled voice and reached over to open the door.

He put his hands on the frame and leant in, raising his eyebrow at me.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

He shrugged and I just chuckled a little.

“Can’t believe Fiona let you out here to see me before she’s even tried,” I said.

He grinned again. “Told me it ‘wasn’t a good time’ and that I should ‘let you have your space’, whatever the fuck that means. Had to sneak round the back.”

“Probably should have listened to her,” I said.

“Fuck off,” he scoffed and it actually made me laugh. “Why you in here mopin’ around like a girl, huh?”

“Nothing, just… my dad’s a dick… I mean I should probably forget all the shit he says and does…” I said, staring down at my hands.

“Eh, join the club,” he said with a shrug. “Come on.”

“Come on and what?” I asked. “It’s nearly tomorrow.”

“Pussy,” he said, hopping down onto the ground and I really couldn’t wipe the stupid smile off my face.

“Come on and what?” I called before rolling my eyes and opening up my door to climb out. “Mickey?”

“Beer run with me and my brothers,” he said, walking around to my side. “Get you out of this sad fuckin’ van you’re all holed up in.”

“Fiona’s not going to―”

“Don’t fuckin’ ask her, tell her,” he said. “Last minute birthday wish or something, play the ‘I’m dying’ card, just come on.”

“Why do you want me to come so badly?” I asked and he turned to face me with a smug little smile on his mouth.

“Quit crying and come with me,” he said. “Tell your sister you’ll be back in like an hour.”

I sighed but lifted my oxygen tank to carry it over the grass and towards the house. “Why am I listening to you?”

“Because I’m right, hurry up we gotta go,” he said.

I opened the back door and headed inside and Fiona was waiting at the table with Lip, both of them standing as I walked in. When I held it open for Mickey to walk through they both gave him a look. I knew that look, that was the ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ look.

“I’m gonna go out with Mickey for a bit,” I said and Fiona just glared at him.

“Uh, it’s pretty late and Fiona already told him that―” Lip said.

“I want to go, I’m okay, really,” I said, edging my way through the kitchen.

“Ian you need to rest you―”

“Fiona, I’m fine,” I said. “We’re just going for a drive, no excessive walking or lung using.”

“He’s got a cigarette behind his ear,” Lip said.

Fiona folded her arms and Lip gave Mickey a stern look.

“I ain’t smokin’ that,” he said. “It’s just for show.”

“Like… a metaphor,” I said.

“Yeah, like a metaphor or whatever,” he shrugged.

Lip and Fiona gave one another a look and I sighed. “One hour, you can kick my ass if I get back late just, let me be a god damn teenager on my seventeenth birthday, please?”

“You’re literally about to drop dead aren’t you?” Mickey asked as we walked to the car, Fiona and Lip finally and begrudgingly letting me leave.

Of course I had to promise them I’d be back by midnight under pain of permanent grounding, but I was out, I was finally out.

“If I was, one of them would have punched you and the other would have cried, and I’m not even sure which one would have done which,” I said and he laughed as we got in. “This isn’t your car.”

He shrugged. “Borrowed it from my brother now hurry up, we’re gonna be late.”

I’m not sure I believed him but I got in anyway and we started driving.

“So it’s a bit late to go for beer isn’t it?” I asked.

He shrugged. “There’s plenty of twenty-four-hour liquor stores around, once we pick them up they’ll be in and out real quick.”

“And you needed me for that?” I asked with a smile.

He just returned it and shook his head. “When we get back to my place climb back in behind me,” he said. “They’ll bitch otherwise.”

Once he pulled up outside his place I did as he asked, opting to get out and walk around rather than climb because my coordination is somewhat lacklustre and I’m trying not to look like a complete idiot in front of Mickey.

He was watching the door and I was watching him, wondering why he felt compelled to bring me along. Every now and then his eyes darted back to me and I just smiled each time. Finally his brothers emerged from the front door and Mickey grunted in annoyance.

“Hurry the fuck up assholes!” he yelled as they slowly made their way over to the car.

“Jesus calm down would you?” said the dark haired one.

They opened the doors and slid into the seats, both eyeing me with suspicion.

“Who’s this kid?” asked the blonde one.

“Gallagher, I’m doin’ him a favour alright?” Mickey said impatiently as he started the car. “That one’s Iggy, that one’s Colin.”

They seemed to shrug off the fact that I was there and just sat back and stared out the windows while we drove to one of the stores. Something was up, I could tell that much just from being in the car with them, only I couldn’t figure out what it was.

We pulled up a few doors down from a liquor store, the lights from the signs and the window lighting up the dim street.

“Back in a few little bro,” Iggy said and they hopped out of the car and shut the doors.

“Why do you look weird?” I asked.

Mickey scoffed. “Why do you look weird?”

“Oh I’m sorry I didn’t realise we were fourteen year-olds,” I said and he flipped me off.

I reached around to poke him in the side and he slapped at my hand. I smiled as I looked out the window… only to see Iggy and Colin holding handguns up to the man behind the register.

“Holy shit!” I said.

“Shut up,” Mickey said.

“What the hell did you drag me into? Beer run?”

“Euphemism,” he said, starting up the car again as the attendant filled up their backpacks with cash and they started to come running out.

“Jesus Mickey!” I shouted..

“Shut up!” he said. “Oh shit!”

The store attendant had a shotgun in his hand and opened the door just as they were climbing into the car. The first shot hit the passenger door as it was closing.

“Drive Mickey fucking drive!” Iggy shouted as the second shot hit the pavement on my side .

“What do you fucking think I’m doing?!” he yelled as the tyres screeched on the road and they were all propelled back as the car lurched forward.

I heard another shot hit the back of the car while we sped off, turning corners and weaving through the streets at high speed.

My heart was racing, probably faster than it should have been and Iggy was in the front giving Mickey directions.

Finally we stopped outside a house not far from Mickey’s and the boys got out, but not before Iggy handed Mickey a decent sized wad of cash.

“Thanks for the service bro,” he said. “You know where you’re going?”

“I know where I’m going, get the fuck out,” he said and Iggy slapped him on the shoulder.

“Later!” he called as he and Colin climbed out and ran up to the gate and into the house.

Mickey drove off again, this time at a decent speed and pace. Why the fuck did he bring me along for this?

I didn’t say anything and neither did he while we drove through the streets. Before long we came to a stop on a quiet street. He turned around to look at me and I glared at him.

“What?” he shrugged.

“What the hell was that?” I asked.

He shrugged again, flipping through the cash in his hand and tossing some back to me.

“No, no, I don’t want― why are you giving this to me?” I asked.

“Your share,” he said. “You came along, you can take part of the damn profit.”

“You robbed a fucking liquor store,” I said.

“No, they did. I just drove the getaway car.”

“You know the guy in the car is just as much a part of the crime as the actual thieves right?”

“Yeah but I can’t run with this thing, besides, I get pulled over I just give ‘em the old last hurrah thing,” he said. “They’d let me off with a warning. No one wants to arrest a fucking cripple.”

I put a hand to my forehead and sighed but I could feel his smile just burning into me.

“Was fun though, right?” he asked and I laughed.

“You need to get a hobby,” I said, looking back at him as he started to climb awkwardly into the backseat. “What are you doing?”

“Shut up,” he grunted, his back crashing into my arm as he tried to lift his leg in through the gap and I just laughed.

When he was finally on the seat he looked at me with a grin and I was still shaking my head at him, only this time I couldn’t hide my own smile.

“You are a fucking idiot,” I said, no malice in my voice whatsoever.

For a moment we just stared at one another and I could feel my heart pounding again, it’s funny how many different things can spark you up and get the adrenaline pumping.

Mickey does this thing when he’s about to try something with me. His tongue slips out and runs over his lip and his breathing makes his chest rise and fall heavily, then he’ll bite his bottom lip and it’s only a matter of time before he’s making a move. This time it was his hands reaching for the zipper on my jeans.

“Wait…” I said. “Hang on wait…”

“What?” he asked impatiently. “You want me to stop?”

I smiled and shook my head, “No,” I said as I pulled my oxygen tank from next to Mickey and shoved it down by the door.

He grinned and went back to tugging at my zip and I awkwardly lifted my hips to let him hook his fingers under the waistband on my jeans and tugged them down and over my ass. I lifted my arm to put a hand on his shoulder, there was not enough room in the car for all of our combined limbs, even if Mickey was short one of those.

“Move a little more,” he grunted and I made the shift, bunching my shoulders a little and looking down at him.

Then he was biting his lip again, eyes doing that darting thing before he dipped his head down and ran his tongue along my semi-hard cock.

My mouth dropped open and a sound came out of it that I’ll deny if ever anyone asks. His hand reached up to hold the base of my cock and to give it a few pumps as he took the head into his mouth.

The heat was nothing like anything I’d ever felt and I knew my fingers were tightening on his shoulder but I couldn’t even control them anymore. I looked down at him, his eyes closed and his lips wet as they slid up and down my length.

Some people might be confused as to how having someone suck your dick could look so sexy, but those people clearly have never been looking down at their own cock with Mickey Milkovich’s lips wrapped around it. Now that is a fucking vision.

Jesusfuck Mickey…” I breathed.

He just responded with some kind of mumbled retaliation that came out as more of a hum and that… well that made my hips buck upwards a little and he pulled back, raising an eyebrow at me.

“Sorry, sorry, just don’t say anything while you’re doing that,” I said.

He grinned in that arrogant way that he always did and then his lips were back on me, the tight heat of his mouth almost too much for me to take. With my spare hand I held my cannula firmly in place so I could get as much oxygen as possible as I tried to concentrate on not releasing my load right in that moment.

I took a risk, my fingers sliding up his neck to tangle my fingers in his hair. His own hand reached up and covered mine and I thought he was going to pull my hand away but he just tightened his grip on my hand.

I looked down at him and his lips slipped off my dick with a wet popping sound.

“Don’t hold back on me Gallagher,” he said in a rough voice. “I ain’t afraid of a little pain.”

In a moment his mouth was taking me in deeper than before and I pulled harder on his hair, making him groan around me. It was sloppy and frantic and various muscles in my body were cramping from being in the small backseat but nothing has ever felt like this.

I threw my head back as he pumped his hand along with his lips and winced at the hard impact with the window and felt him chuckle a little, the vibrations making my toes tingle.

“Shit, shitMickey…” I said and he pulled his lips back, pumping his fist furiously until my grip in his hair must have become more than just a little painful and I was coming into his hand.

I took in a few deep breaths, long breaths, trying to keep my breathing under control. I passed out once tonight the last thing I need is to do it right then and there.

“That was… holy shit,” I said with a grin as he sat up in the seat and ran a hand through his hair, wiping the other hand on my shirt. “Why do you― oh forget it,” I said with a blissed out sigh.

I looked over at his red lips, still wet with a thin sheen of saliva and probably pre-come too. It was a beautiful sight that I honestly never thought I’d see.

“You need me to…” I started and trailed off as he shook his head.

“I’m good,” he said and my eyes dropped to his crotch where a dark blue mark was staining his jeans and I’ll be damned if I didn’t admit that seeing that alone had me thinking about a round two.

“I’m still pissed you took me to an armed robbery,” I said and he grinned.

“Yeah, yeah, that won't last long,” he said, opening the door on his side and getting out.

I pulled up my jeans, doing up the buckle and just sitting back in the seat, still trying to recover.

He’s ridiculous, completely fucking ridiculous. He can't help himself and he wants it all just as much as he doesn’t and if it weren’t so fucking charming it might not be worth it. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want him exactly the way he is, flaws and ridiculousness and all.

I jumped a little at a tapping on the window and I looked out to see him leaning on the door. I shook my head and wound down the window.

“Yes?” I asked.

He was fiddling with his fingernails as he shrugged. “Forgot somethin’.”

A smile spread across my lips and I nearly laughed as I went to ask him what the hell he was going on about. He cut me off before I had the chance.

He was leaning into the car, his hand cupping my cheeks and his lips pressing against mine, hard. I was stunned for a second and then his lips were moving clumsily, like he’d never done it before and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hadn’t.

I had barely enough time to brush my fingers over the side of his cheek before he was pulling away and out of the window.

“Are you gonna sit in the drop car all night or are you comin’ with me?” he called and I was just smiling like a lunatic.

“You’re going to make a guy with shitty lungs walk home?” I asked.

“Car’s around the corner you asshole!” he yelled and I laughed, opening the door and climbing out to follow him.

I’ve got to say, as mind blowing as a hummer from Mickey was, that kiss somehow managed to top it.