"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere" Albert Einstein

Chapter 6 – Circling the Wagons

Chapter 6

Dinner went about as well as could be expected, everyone avoided the topic of Mickey or Ian’s new look. By the time Ian very quietly asked to be excused everyone was extremely on edge from all the things they had yet to say. After they all heard the door to the boys room close everyone let it all out.

“That no good son of a -“

“Who the hell does Mickey think he is, he can’t just -“

“Poor baby, I just want to grab Ian and -“

“How do we help him Fiona?”

Fiona and Lip just waited for everyone to get it out of their systems, they didn’t even try to take over until all the yelling finally died down.

“Okay, so this is as far as we’ve gotten so far with the plan. Tomorrow morning before school Lip and I are going to see Kash to see if he’ll be any help with protecting Ian at work. Beyond that we never leave him alone. Lip will walk with him to and from school every day, when he can’t be with one of us for whatever reason we’ll send him to sit with Kev at the Alibi, if that’s alright.”

“Sure Fi, anything for Ian you know that.”

Everyone here loved Ian with all their heart, and now they were all going to protect him with all they had. She just hoped it would be enough.

Mickey made his way into the Kash-n-Grab just before closing. He knew that Kash’s little fem nazi wife had taken their two brats for an ‘extended vacation’ to her mother’s house. Which he knew was just fancy grown-up talk for the bitch finally got wise and left him. For now at least, with the new baby on the way he knew she’d be back soon enough, which was why he had to get this whole thing set up now.

“Hey, Kash, how you been? Long time no punch buddy.” Watching the older man flinch just from his words was a mood boost he really needed just then. It made him smile.

“Mickey, what are you doing here? Ian didn’t work today.”

He said that like Mickey didn’t have Ian’s work schedule memorized, when they both knew he did. He always knew where to find Ian.

“I know that dumbass, I’m here to see you. You see there’s a lot I haven’t done for you Kash. I haven’t gone to the cops about your underage sex habits, I haven’t beaten you within an inch of your sanity for ever putting you middle aged hands on Ian, and most of all I haven’t burned your shitty little store here to the ground with you inside of it. Now, after all the things I haven’t done for you don’t you think I’m owed a little something from you?” The dark skinned man got paler and paler with every scenario he listed off. By the end of it he was pretty much as pale as someone of his color could get.

“What do you want Mickey? Money?”

“Sort of. Here is what you’re going to do for me….”

Kash opened up his store the next morning with the worst feeling of dread in the pit of his stomach. He had of course done what Mickey had asked of him the night before, but he was also certain that there was more to the story than what he knew. When he looked up at the sound of the bell and saw Ian’s older brother and sister standing there looking at him with determination lighting their faces his certainty turned into a dead weight in his chest.

“Can I help you?”

“We hope so. We’re here about Ian… and Mickey.”

“I’m sorry I don’t know what you’re-” He tried to deflect, to not be caught giving away information about Mickey, but he knew it wouldn’t work. Honestly he didn’t know why he even tried anymore.

“Save it pervo, we already know about you and Ian, and we know about Mickey and Ian, and frankly I am fighting a very strong urge to just deck you on principle. Good news for you though is that no matter how fucked up your thing with my brother was it has nothing on his new thing with that grimey thug so you’re being cut some slack.” What was it with everyone threatening him with bodily harm lately. He’d known when he and Ian had began their little arrangement that there was always the possibility that someone would find out and violence would be a factor in that revelation but he was beginning to understand just how severely he’d underestimated everyone’s reactions. He’d thought that that because of Ian’s age people would overlook it for the most part, he had been wrong.

“Look Kash, we didn’t come here to give you a hard time, we came here to let you know a few things and then to ask you a favor. Not for us, but for Ian.” He could tell from the look in Fiona’s eyes that while she hated him almost as much as her brother, and she found him disgusting in that way that it seemed only women could, she was trying to be civil in the hopes of getting what she wanted.

He nodded his head for them to continue but he had a feeling that whatever their favor was Mickey’s request last night had already countered it.

By the time the Gallaghers left with his assurances ringing in their ears he felt like he was going to be sick. Ian had managed to find the will to pull himself away from Mickey, and now he was going to be a part of helping to shove him back towards his abuser. Again he thought about how if he was a better man, a more courageous man, he would have told Mickey to go to hell and taken his chances. He was a grown man after all and Ian was still so very young, it would be the right thing to do, for him to stand up to Mickey and help keep Ian safe and protected. For the second time though, he knew that what he should do and what he would do would not be the same.

Ian made it to Kash’s store without incident and with his older brother standing across the street waiting for him to get inside before he would leave, like he was Carl’s age or something. He understood their reasoning and he was even thankful for all the protection but he had a very unsettling feeling deep inside that none of it would do any good.

His family thought that they knew Mickey and what he was capable of, hell they even had a back up plan a last resort which involved going to Terry about the whole thing. That just proved to him how unprepared his family was. He hadn’t spent a lot of time with the entire Milkovich family, he mainly split his time between hanging out with Mandy and doing everything he could to keep Mickey happy, but there were times when he would see the others and what he saw didn’t add up to what he’d thought he’d known before his thing with Mickey had started.

Mickey was the one in control over at the Milkovich house, he was the one giving out the orders even to Terry, all the others were just as afraid of him as he was. He hadn’t understood it at first until one night when he’d come out of Mickey’s room on his way home after Mickey was done with him to find Mickey and Terry fighting. Mickey had Terry pinned to the floor and was punching him in the face repeatedly, Terry had tried to fight back, to at least block some of the blows but Mickey had countered every move he made and had beaten him easily.

When Mickey had gotten up off the very bloody man on the floor he’d yelled about people not doing as they’re told. When Mickey had turned and saw him there in the doorway he’d pushed him back into the bedroom and he hadn’t been able to limp back home until the next morning. Fighting really did get Mickey’s blood up, he supposed he should have remembered that before giving in to his family’s demands that he leave him.

What his family had wanted had seemed reasonable, right up until he remembered exactly who Mickey Milkovich was.

“Hey firecrotch.” Spinning around he found Mickey leaning against the magazine rack by the door dressed in the security jacket that the store kept for the few times a year they could afford to hire someone to stand guard over their merchandise.

“Mickey?”

“Looks like we’re working together.”

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