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Ian’s kissing you. Ian’s fucking kissing you and it’s the best you’ve felt since before that night you walked in and saw all those suitcases. He’s kissing you, his lips, tongue, and teeth sliding and caressing and nipping, and it’s fucking beautiful. Screw the fight you just had, screw the blood on both your faces - Ian’s kissing you so sweetly, and it’s fucking perfect.

He’s also got your dick in his hand, pressed hotly against his own as he works you both, thrusting into his hand and urging you to do the same, and of course you do. Not just because Ian’s hard and rearing to go for the first time in forever, but because it’s Ian. There’s not a damn thing you wouldn’t do for him.

He moans your name into your mouth and it sends chills over you, and you shudder, coming all over his hand, grinning pathetically when he follows suit.

And he never once stops kissing you.

You stand together, your back against the chain link fence, breathing each other in, holding each other, being fucking together how you should have always been, and you briefly wonder why things can’t be like this all the time.

Ian pulls away to do up his jeans, and you quickly follow suit, carefully watching for his reaction while trying not to be obvious about it. Clearly you’ve been a little too caring - which, what the fuck? - so you’ll back off a little, if that’s what will make him happy.

You’ll nag him a little less about his meds, trust him to take them without constant reminder, stop forcing food into him if he’s not hungry. You’ll back off, but first you’ll fix what’s broken.

You sit on the bench and he sits next to you, He pulls out his smokes, lights up, and takes a deep drag.

“You know that’s fucking unhealthy, right?”

“Says the guy smokes a pack a day.”

You roll your eyes. “Not that shit head, that whole fight-fuck thing we just did. That’s so fucking unhealthy for our relationship.”

“When has our relationship ever been healthy, Mick?”

You scowl at him and the point the has, then deny him ever having one. “Not the fucking point, Gallagher. This whole thing, you and me, it’ll work a shit-load better if we, you know, talk.”

“Really? You wanna talk about our feelings?”

“No.” You take the smoke from him and inhale deeply. He doesn’t stop you. In fact, he turns towards you a little, face serious. “I’m just sayin’, you know, next time you wanna get your fucking point across, you don’t need to hit me. Or call me a fag.”

He flinches hard at your words, and his face turns a little red. “Yeah. Yeah, okay.”

You wait a moment for him to continue, but he says nothing. “That’s it? There’s nothing else you wanna say?”

He fidgets in his seat, and you can see he’s getting frustrated, but you don’t back down. After rubbing has palms up and down his thighs a few times, he turns to straddle the bench and face you.

“I shouldn’t have done that - either of those. And I’m sorry, I am, it’s just …”

“Just what, man?”

“I’m so fucking sick of you treating me like … like not your boyfriend!”

“Dude, I tried to suck your dick just this morning.”

His eyes narrow. “Yeah, and I’ve already told you why that was so shitty.”

Your eyebrows shoot up, and you don’t want this to turn into another fight, you don’t, but you’re not going to sit back and let Ian say shit without actually saying shit, either. “Why? Because I didn’t fucking suck hard enough?”

“No, because you stopped and told me it was cool! Jesus, Mick. The you from six weeks ago would have called me a fucking pussy for not being able to get my cock up, and then told me to get busy on his.”

You shrug. “Things have changed since then.”

“Yeah, you don’t need to fucking remind me.”

You stay silent for a moment, staring at Ian while he glares at something over your shoulder. You don’t know what to say, you don’t know how to act, you just don’t fucking know what to do. He’s Ian. He’s your Ian, but he’s different, too. And he wants something different from what you’ve been giving him. The Ian from before - before the bipolar, before the army, before Svetlana - would have killed for you to openly care as much as you do now, but he’s not that Ian anymore, and not just because of the bipolar, but also because of the army and Svetlana and Terry and Yev …

“I guess we’re different now, too, huh?” he asks, finally looking at you.

You grin. “Well yeah. I mean, we just fucked around in here while the sun was still out, doesn’t that tell you how fucking evolved I’ve become?”

He shoves your shoulder, but there’s a small smile on his face. “Dick.”

“Uh-huh.”

“I just … I appreciate how much you care, Mick, I really fucking do, but …”

“But?” And for someone who used to run his mouth constantly, getting Ian to talk these days is a fucking chore.

He shrugs. “Everything’s different now, and I don’t like it. You treat me different, I feel different - or I don’t feel at all …” He shakes his head, looks at his hands. “Everything’s fucked up. I just wish everything was how it used to be.”

“You want me to go back to refusing to hold your hand in front of your family?”

“No.” He grabs your hand, and it fucking thrills you how tightly he grasps it. “No. Just …”

You get it. It’s exactly what you had been thinking before the conversation began.

“Back off a little?”

He smiles, and it so beautiful and genuine. “Yeah.”

“Guess I can do that.”

“Yeah?”

You nod and straddle the seat, facing him. “You swear to me right now, Ian, that you’ll keep taking your pills, every fucking day, and I won’t hover so much.”

He leans forward and kisses you, quick and hard on the mouth. “Deal,” he whispers, eyes bright. “Fucking deal.”

You pull back when he goes in for another kiss. “And no more fighting - not fighting like that, anyway, that’s just gonna fuck us up. You got some anger issues, you go and do some fucking boxing with Debbie, okay?”

He nods eagerly. “Yeah, okay.”

There’s more you want to say - you want to apologise for how you’ve been treating him, you want to tell him that things changing doesn’t change how you feel, you want to somehow explain that you actually fucking get it. You get why he hit you, you get that he had some serious pent-up frustration at you, because you had some right back at him.

But he’s smiling stupidly at you, and you can’t help but smile stupidly back. He’s still frustrated at how you’ve treated him lately, you’re still hurt that he cheated, but it’s okay. That can wait for tomorrow or the next day or whenever your next conversation about feelings will be.

“Mick?”

“Yeah?”

“I fucking love you, ya know?”

His eyes are fucking twinkling, cheeks rosy, grin too fucking big, and you chuckle. “You fucking drunk already, Roger Rabbit?”

He leans in to nuzzle at your cheek. “Mmhm, wanna go home and get my mouth busy?”

You laugh, but quickly stop when he nips at your jaw. “Jesus, yeah, okay.”

He stands and pulls you up with him, wraps his arms around your waist and smiles down at you. “And tomorrow, once I’m sober, we can talks some more, about … whatever.”

“Yeah, okay, man.”

You leave the dugouts, arms wrapped around each other, and you genuinely can’t remember a time in your life you’ve been willing to talk about whatever, let alone insisting on it, but when Ian starts humming something as you walk down the street, passing you a second beer, you just don’t give a fuck.