Chapter 5 – Next Step
Ian had come back a few hours earlier and both Lip and Fiona had studied him closely looking for new bruises before asking him what happened.
That was it, that’s all he said, before heading up to his room to wait for dinner. They decided to leave him alone with his own thoughts for the night focusing instead on what to do next. Sure Ian had left Mickey but they both knew that wouldn’t be the end of it, from what they knew of Mickey he really wasn’t the type to take rejection well.
“So what now?” Lip knew it wasn’t fair to look to Fiona for all the answers all the time, it wasn’t like she was that much older than he was, but he didn’t know where to even start this time.
“I don’t know Lip, this is sorta new territory for all of us, for all the shitty relationships we’ve all had none of us have ever dealt with someone like Mickey before. Part of me just wants to pull him out of school and make him quite his job and keep him with me all day long where I can keep an eye on him and make sure he stays safe.”
“Yeah I know what you mean, but we can’t do that and you know it. I’ll keep watch over him at school and we really need the money his job brings in so we’ll have to come up with something for while he’s there to. I mean Kash already knows about Ian and Mickey so maybe we could get him to help out. I know the little pervs a coward be he could at least give us a call if something goes down at the store, or even keep Mickey out of the place I mean it is his place right.” Not that he really thought Kash would be a big help, hell his wife had bigger balls than he did.
“Won’t hurt to bring it up I guess, we’ll go there tomorrow morning before you have to get to school and figure it out on that end. I’ll have Steve take Ian to school instead of letting him walk then you can meet him there after we’re done. After that you walk with him every day until this blows over, I don’t want him alone for very long, no telling what Mickey will do.”
That was beyond true, while they had always known Mickey or hell all the Milkovich clan were kind of psycho, they had never guessed Mickey was this messed up.
“What about the others?” The more people in the know for now the better off Ian would be, they needed help, protection from the Milkovich’s wasn’t something two people could pull off. While Steve already knew about it, he didn’t KNOW about it yet, not really. Hearing and seeing were two very different things in this case.
“What about them?” God he loved his sister, but sometimes the bigger picture just totally eluded her.
“What the hell are we gonna tell them Fi? Deb and Carl might still be young but their not stupid they’ll notice all the changes we’ll be making to the day to day of the Gallagher way, not to mention when Ian comes down to dinner his face is gonna totally give it away that something is a little off here.” The last thing they needed was for the others to start making a big fuss over Ian’s new look. His brother was already on shaky ground, he needed everything to go back to normal again if he was ever going to get back to normal himself.
“Okay so we’ll meet them outside when Steve gets them back here and we’ll lay it out for them.” Sounded like a plan only one more thing to decide.
“What about Vee and Kev? They’re here almost every day, hell they’re practically family, do we tell them to?”
He knew this had the potential to completely blow up in their faces here, Mickey went totally ape shit when Ian had just told him about their twisted little relationship. How would he react to the entire Gallagher clan both blood and honorary members knowing and uniting against him. He wasn’t stupid he knew Mickey was going to try to get Ian back, one way or another, he was just worried what shape that attempt would take and something told him having more people in the know would either be the best thing for Ian or the worst. Only time would tell which one though.
“We tell ’em. I’ll text Steve tell him to text me when they’re on their way, when he does you go get Vee and Kev and bring them over we’ll tell them all together then we’ll all have dinner here.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Now he only hoped that it worked.
Ian heard his family downstairs planning and scheming to keep him and Mickey apart, talking about bringing more and more people into it, even going to Kash for help. All he could think the entire time, wasn’t how embarrassed he would be when all these people found out his secret, no he was only silently counting to himself how many rules his family was about to break and silently prayed that he and Mickey never did get back together because he didn’t think he would survive the punishment for this. Hell he wasn’t even sure he would want to even if he could.
Fiona stood out in her front yard trying to stay calm. Steve and the kids were only a few minutes out and Lip would be back with her friends soon and she was going over what was to come in her mind over and over again. She was second guessing everything! Should she tell them all out here so Ian wouldn’t overhear them? But what if she did that and someone else overheard instead? Were Carl and Debbie too young for this drama? But what if she left them out of it and something happened while they were around and it caught them totally off guard?
Finally the car pulled up just as Lip, Kev, and Vee were walking through the gate leaving her with no more time to agonize and making her just react, like usual.
“Is this gonna be another ‘Gallagher emergency’?” Kev demanded good naturedly using air quotes to get his point across, causing Vee to elbow him in the stomach.
“Shut up Kev. What ever it is Fi we are totally here for you one hundred percent, aren’t we Kev?”
“Yes, honey, you’re right as always.”
“Thanks for the support guys let’s go inside and have a seat in the livingroom and I’ll explain everything.”
Getting everyone settled she made sure that Deb and Carl were both near Lip and Steve since they both already knew most if not all of what she was about to say she reasoned they would be the least reactive, so the least likely to scare them with their outbursts. Standing in front of everyone she began her little speech.
“Alright I don’t know how many of you already figured this out for yourselves but Ian is well…” She couldn’t say it, she just couldn’t make herself out her own brother without his permission even if it was for his own good. Fortunately Lip had no such problems.
No one said anything at first not even Carl or Debbie who just looked at each other like they were having a silent conversation. Most likely that conversation consisted mostly of I told you so.
“Fi I hope you didn’t call us over here psyching us all up for that bombshell, cause gotta tell you less of a bomb and more of a fourth of july popper.” Kev as usual taking everything in stride.
“Yeah honey, I hope you and Ian know we don’t care about something like that.” Vee almost sounded hurt at the idea that they thought she would actually care about something like that.
“Oh, we know that, and that’s not why you’re here, that was just me making sure you all knew that before we get to the problem.”
“Ian’s ex-boyfriend, well one of his ex-boyfriends anyway.” Thankfully Lip chimed in again when she got tongue tied. Together they might just be able to get through this entire thing.
“What about him? Is he being a dick cause if he is Kev will totally kick his adolescent ass, won’t you honey.” Vee, always willing to lend out her honey in times of need.
“Yes, dear.” And Kev always willing to agree with Vee.
“Unfortunately it’s not that simple, and Kev before you comit to that you might want to ask who Ian’s ex is.”
“What’s the big, as long as it’s not someone like Mickey Milkovich we’ll totally be fine.”
“Funny you should mention Mickey cause… well -” She didn’t even have to finish, they all got it right off.
“No fucking way, Mickey “homo hater” Milkovich is in reality a fucking homo!”
“Sit the fuck down Kev, I got the feeling there’s more to this story than just that.”
“Alright I’ll sit down, no need to hit me, but I can’t wait to get to work tomorrow this is the juiciest piece of info to ever cross the threshold of the Alibi.”
“NO!” She and Lip started yelling at the same time.
“NO! You can’t do that Kevin! The last time Mickey found out someone knew about him because of Ian is why we’re here now.”
“Why what happened?” She could all but see Vee’s big Gallagher loving heart already breaking in her eyes.
“He beat him Vee, really bad.”
“Yeah and it was all because Mandy found out Ian had told me about it and I hadn’t even told anyone else either. You can’t breathe a word of this Kev.”
“Why the fuck are we even here?” She knew from his tone that he was already on the fence about opening his mouth about this and she already knew what would seal it forever.
“You’re here so you can help us keep an eye on Ian to help make sure this doesn’t happen again. He broke up with Mickey but something tells me this is far from over.” Without another word to them she yelled up the stairs. “Ian can you come down for a minute!”
Going back over to everyone else she sat on the coffee table in front of Debbie and Carl taking their hands in her own.
“Are you two doing alright with this?”
They both nodded, neither of them caring about Ian being gay, but both caring a great deal for Ian himself.
“How can we help Ian?”
“We’ll talk about it after dinner alright, we don’t want to talk about it in front of Ian right now, he’s still hurting and we don’t want to make it worse okay.”
Hearing Ian on the stairs they all turned to greet him and froze in horror. This wasn’t the happy, enthusiastic, outgoing Ian they all knew and loved. This Ian was a man who’d been beaten down and didn’t look like he thought it was safe to get back up yet. Looking over at Kevin she saw her answer, he would keep quiet about Mickey, hell they’d all do anything to keep this from happening again.