On Mickey’s first day of school he was so nervous.
He asked his mother if he could take his little sister in with him but she had told him that she wasn’t quite old enough yet.
He had a backpack that was way too big and it had a funny smell, it used to be his older brother’s. He didn’t want to go to kindergarten, he wanted to stay at home and play with his toys but his mum dressed him in his day clothes and tightened his shoes and dropped him off at the front gate with nothing but a sandwich and a few mix-matched coloured pencils in his big-boy bag.
Some of the other kids were already friends, their parents must have known each other outside of school, and Mickey just wanted to go home all the more.
The teacher called them all in and asked them to put their things away in one of the cubbies against the wall and Mickey picked the one right in the corner.
Just as she had them all sat on the front mat the door burst open. All the kids goggled at the door with wide eyes to see a young girl holding an even younger little boy’s hand.
"Sorry he’s late!" she said with a squeak, but Ms King knew her and almost expected for this little boy to be tardy.
She gave them a smile and invited the boy in. He was reluctant to give his sister back her hand and had a bigger pout on that Mickey did, which made him think that maybe this small skinny kid wanted to be there less than him.
He shuffled over to the mat and sat as far from the group as he sat down, his eyes a little glassy. He stayed quiet for most of the morning, and when it came to lunch he just sat on the bench and watched the other children.
Mickey saw that he didn’t have a bag, and so he didn’t have any lunch either. His mum had made him one with jam inside and so he walked over to the little redhead and held out one half of his sandwich.
The boy looked at it for a moment before smiling at Mickey and taking it from him.
"Thanks," he said.
"It’s okay, my mum made it for me. Why don’t you have one?" Mickey asked.
The little boy shrugged and took a bite.
"Well why doesn’t your mum make you one?"
"I don’t know where she is," he said through his mouthful.
"Oh… well we could go look for her?" Mickey offered.
He shook his head. “My sister says she’ll come back soon.”
"I have a sister too," Mickey said, any excuse to talk about her. "She’s three, and she likes to play with my cars with me, and lets me play with her dolls. She doesn’t have many, my brother put one of them in the toilet and set another one on fire."
The boy chuckled a little, his freckled cheeks flushing pink. “Cool,” he said. “I’m Ian, what’s your name?”
"Mickey," he said with a grin. "You… want to go play in the sand box?"
Ian nodded emphatically and the two boys quickly finished of their half of the sandwich and ran over to it, laughing and making up a game with shooting and running and didn’t want to come in when lunch was over.
They seemed to have forgotten their first worries about school, and every day after that they would share their lunch and then play, and Mickey told Ian all about his baby sister Mandy and his big brothers. He told him that Iggy was his favourite because he would bring him home candy bars when his mother didn’t catch him.
Ian told Mickey about how his big sister was so grown up, she even cooked dinner for them and took care of the baby, his little brother Carl.
One day Ian asked Mickey if he wanted to sleep over at his house after school the next day and Mickey couldn’t wait. He had his bag packed as soon as he got home and had to wait a whole other day before he could go.
Ian walked home with his older brother and sister, Lip and Fiona, and they seemed happy for him to have a friend too, as long as he followed the rules.
The rules were that no one could stop unless they really needed to go because they wanted to get home fast, and that everyone had to hold hands and look both ways when they crossed the road.
At the first road they crossed Ian took Mickey’s hand in his as they walked to the other side and neither of them let go until they made it the six blocks to the Gallagher place.
When they got there Ian just had to show Mickey his collection of toy soldiers, and they played with them all through the house, making lots of ‘pew-pew’ noises that drove Fiona mad.
Fiona found them some potato chips from the cupboard and let them take them upstairs where, of course, they got crumbs all through the bed.
The two were completely smitten with each other, writing what few things they could on one another’s arms and drawing pictures of cool tattoos that they could get when they grew up.
"You should get my name on you because I’m your best friend," Ian said as he scrawled his name with a backwards ‘N’ on Mickey’s arm.
"You have to get mine too," Mickey said. "But I only know the first bit, I haven’t leaned the rest."
"That’s okay," Ian said as he gave the pen to Mickey to write the first part of his name with. "Are we going to get married when we grow up?" he asked.
Mickey looked at him for a second as he thought about it, and then he nodded. “That’s what grown ups do,” he said.
"Well, I want to marry you," Ian said with a grin.
"Okay, but we have to get rings because that means it’s real," Mickey said, really concentrating on writing the ‘K’.
"Okay you can draw one on me," Ian said and Mickey went straight to scribbling a messy ink circle around his finger, swapping the pen with Ian to let him do the same.
They spent most of their night giggling about things, and when big-sister Fiona came in to tell them to go to sleep they just got under the covers and giggled some more, trying to be quiet and making it worse.
The next morning Ian didn’t want Mickey to go, and Mickey was worried about getting in trouble from his mum about all the writing on his arms. It made him want to stay.
But he had to leave, and they would see each other on Monday anyway. His mum pulled up in their old car out the front and tooted the horn for him to leave.
He stared down at his feet a little and then put his hands on Ian’s shoulders to give him a kiss goodbye, because that’s what grown ups do. His lips just smooshed against Ian’s cheek before his own were flushing bright red and he was waving goodbye.
Ian waved back and waited for him to get into the car before going back inside, telling Fiona all about his ring and how she wasn’t allowed to wash it off because it was real, and that he was going to marry his best friend.
Never Forget that mickey literally ran away after his first kiss
A sexy touch in a not necessarily sexy place.
(i think this is supposed to be like, kissing someone’s armpit or s/t, but i chose to interpret ‘not necessarily sexy place’ as a literal location that isn’t sexy, ok. srry if you were hoping for armpit licking if that’s ur thing.)
"I’m not fuckin’ scared," Mickey says, for the fifth time that hour. "I just don’t get why the fuck I’m here."
Ian glances up from the outdated copy of People he’s skimming, and gives him a smirk, the corners of his eyes crinkling.
"You have an abscessed tooth."
"I have a fuckin’ toothache.”