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"So you're just going to walk out? Not even gonna try to deny it or plead your fucking case?!"

"If I don't leave right now, I might actually kill you so trust me I'm doing you a fucking favor" the tall redheaded man replied, his voice hard and glare fierce, grabbing his coat and putting it on.

The raven haired man scoffed as he wiped a thumb across his nose, trying to keep his emotions in check. The fights and arguments seemed to be increasing in frequency and neither man ever wanted to give up ground so all the tension and resentment would just fester which laid the groundwork for the next fight.

"Fine! Leave bitch! That's all you're good for anyway"

This actually caused the taller man to pause, leaving his hand on the doorknob.
He took a deep steadying breath before opening the door and walking out, making sure to slam the door hard behind him. The resulting sound echoed in the apartment causing the shorter man to flinch. He could feel the moisture being to well in his eyes and pressed his palms to them in an attempt to keep tears from falling.

"Fuck" he uttered, his voice soft and watery. "Fuck!" He repeated as he kicked a chair causing it to clatter against the dining table. He hated that he was being so weak and crying like some girl over a boy. It was all his fault. Ian fucking Gallagher. Somehow that scrawny ginger had worked his way into Mickey's heart and just took over. No one else on the planet caused Mickey to go on such an emotional rollercoaster and sometimes he wondered if this shit was worth it.

They had been together for 20 years now and something was just off. It was like they were no longer on the same page which led to some of their arguments. They were annoying the fuck out of each other when they were together but then bitter when they were apart. At least they had their jobs to distract them from the shitshow that was currently their home life. Ian was a paramedic while Mickey owned and managed a gun shop named Second Amendment Arms. Ian had been the driving force behind him getting the store. He always encouraged Mickey to believe he was more than Terry Milkovich's son or that he was fucked for life and now look at him, a small business owner who was actually turning a profit. Ian really was the best thing to ever happen to him so why the fuck did it constantly feel like he was on the cusp of losing him? He knew Ian loved him and yet there was still this part of him that felt like it was waiting for the other shoe to drop. 20 years and there was still this part of him that feared Ian would leave him.

Mickey walked over to the couch and plopped down on it, laying his arm over his eyes. He felt a headache rapidly approaching and part of him just wanted to lay down and go to sleep but his pride was telling him that it was a bitch move to stay home while Ian was out doing whatever. Maybe he would go to a bar and get drunk until he forgot about their fight. Perhaps he should go to the gun range and unleash a barrage of bullets on paper targets. He didn't know how long he had been sitting there when his thoughts were disrupted by the message chime on his phone. He groaned as he internally debated whether he wanted to deal with who or whatever was attempting to reach him. Maybe it was Ian.

Mickey reached into his pocket and retrieved his phone. While he did feel some disappointment when he didn't see Ian's name, he wasn't surprised by it and even got over it a little when he saw who it actually was. It was his internet buddy that he only knew as soldier boy.

If anyone would have told Mickey way back when that he would not only have an internet friend but an internet friend with such a stupid name, he probably would have bitch slapped them for actually wasting his time with such a dumb notion but here he was: friends with some guy he's never seen or met with the moniker of soldier boy. What has his life become?

Mickey read the message that simply said distract me. Mickey snorted and shook his head before replying "why the fuck should I?".

(Soldier boy)
Cause I'm your bestest friend and it's your job so get to it.

Mickey rolled his eyes and tried to think of what he could possibly write that would be distracting.

(Fckahandle)
Saw a dildo that's supposed to be modeled after Jason Momoa's cock. Thinking of getting one

He sent the message and watched as the three dots indicating soldier boy was writing appear and disappear. Mickey chuckled to himself as he waited for a reply.

Mickey met soldier boy in forum of all places about policy reform. For the hardened criminal Mickey once was, once he became a business owner he found himself becoming very conscientious when it came to gun policies. They did affect his livelihood after all. Being in those forum was a crazy experience and after seeing some of the shit people wrote, he could see why some change was definitely needed. Crazy fucks. The thing that stuck out about soldier boy was how he actually engaged these people with well thought out retorts and links to back up his points. He really came at internet nuts as if preparing for a debate and as surprising as it was for him, Mickey found himself both engaged and entertained by soldier boy's comments. After an especially witty retort by the guy, Mickey messaged him to tell him just what he thought which led to hours of back and forth in which he found himself totally taken with the guy. He made Mickey laugh and smile and it also made him wonder was the last time he and Ian made each other laugh. That was 4 months ago and ever since then their conversations have been getting deeper to the point where maybe he really was Mickey's best friend even though they hadn't exchanged real names yet. The only thing was Mickey didn't tell soldier boy about Ian. Soldier boy knew he was in a relationship and they were having issues but Mickey never got too in depth about them. He wanted this bubble he had with soldier boy and bringing his relationship drama into it would definitely pop it so instead they talked about everything else and only broadly over their partner woes. It seemed to be working.

(Fckahandle)
You still there, man

Mickey typed after he deemed to long of a wait. Damn it, he needed distraction too and soldier boy wasn't holding up his end. The dots appeared again followed by a gif of a dog pulling its head back and tilting over, promptly passing out. The image caused Mickey to smile and shake his head; this guy was such an idiot.

(Soldier boy)
Well, you succeeded in distracting me. In fact you made my brain short circuit so thanks for that

(Fckahandle)
You're so fucking easy ha

(Soldier boy)
Only for the right guy

Mickey bit his lip and rubbed his thumbnail across the bottom lip. God, this was so easy. There were many times when their messages toed the flirty line and the double entendres were ridiculous. It should be setting off warning sirens off in his head but instead he just went with it. They both did. Maybe it was a side effect of being in the bubble; nothing was concrete or physical so there was no harm being done. There's nothing wrong with flirting when you never plan on following through, right?

After a moment of waffling on what to write next, Mickey was thrown by what he read next.

(Soldier boy)
Do you ever just want to run? Just run away from all the bullshit and responsibilities? Maybe to a beach. Somewhere with sun and fruity drinks. Just escape, you know?

Mickey swallowed the knot forming in his throat cause holy hell did that tap into something in him. There was always a part of him that feared Ian would do just that; that he would decide that what they had wasn't what he wanted anymore. Granted, Ian hadn't had run off the way he had in years but he did still take off for hours at a time whenever he and Mickey got into it. Hours with no contact played havoc on Mickey's imagination. He was plagued by memories of Ian dancing in clubs while fucked up. He remembered all the times he thought Ian would come back only for him to be gone for days. And the worst part wasn't that Ian had taken off, it was always that he had taken off without him. He just left him behind like it was nothing.

Mickey never confronted him about this and it became yet another thing that was swept under the rug only to build until insecurity gave way to another fight. Yeah, he knew Ian loved but he feared that he wasn't in love with him anymore and actually confronting that just wasn't something he was ready to face. To be honest, who knows if he was still in love with Ian either.

Mickey rubbed his lip as he typed his reply.

(Fckahandle)
With the right guy

The message dots appeared again followed by the words "run away with me"

Before Mickey could fully comprehend what he was reading and type a glaring refusal there came another message.

(Soldier boy)
Away from responsibility and drama. Just a night of drinking and fun. We can do the whole beach thing later *winky face*

Mickey stared at the phone screen as he felt heat start to rise on the back of his neck and his hands get twitchy. Meeting the guy felt like such a huge step or maybe a step over the line. What if this popped their bubble and left Mickey not only without his new found friend but just his feelings of loneliness and insecurity with no escape? He looked around the empty apartment and wondered if meeting this guy would really make any difference given that his relationship seemed to be in this fucked cycle anyway. Would Ian even care at this point? Rubbing his fingers over his eyes, Mickey took a deep breath and released it as he made his choice.

(Fckahandle)
Time and place?

About 45 minutes later and Mickey was back in his old neighborhood bar, The Alibi Room, wondering if he was making a big, dumbass mistake. He reassured himself that he was just getting a drink with a friend and there was nothing wrong with that. So what if he and that friend got flirty on occasion or just messages from that friend was enough to elevate his shitty moods. None of that mattered because in the end it was just drinks with a friend.

Said friend said he would be wearing a camo jacket and beanie. Mickey walked into the bar and scanned the bar before he spotted someone matching that description at a table in the back. His head was down and he appeared to be on his phone. Just as Mickey made his way to the table, he felt the vibration of his phone in his pocket.

Mickey knocked on the table at the same time as his friend lifted his head and honest to god, Mickey thought all the air left his body. And judging by the look on his friend's face, he was going through a similar experience.

"Mickey?!"

"Ian?!"

"What the fuck" Mickey uttered as he staggered back, watching Ian open and close his mouth like a fish gasping its last breaths. He shook his head as if this was a mirage or an etch a sketch and he just needed to clear this away and start fresh.

Ian seemed to come back to himself first and cleared his throat. "I think we need to talk" and Mickey couldn't think of anything they ever said to each that was more of an understatement.

Mickey nodded his head and took a seat across from Ian. "Yeah, I think we do".