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 “Hey. Hey you,” Mickey says to the passerby. The redhead continues to walk.

“Hey!” Mickey yells back. Now pissed as this guy for ignoring him. Who the fuck does he think he is?

“Hey, fuckhead!” Mickey yells louder, strutting over to the boy, getting in his face. He was taller close up.

He looks at Mickey genuinely surprised.

“You fucking deaf or something?” Mickey angrily jokes. Ian just looks at him.

Just then Mickey’s brothers walk out of the shop they had stopped in.

“What’re you doing, Mick. Trying to beat up on deaf kids now?” Colin asks.

Iggy laughs. “That’s fucking low, man.”

“What the fuck you talking about?” Mickey looks at Ian who is now trying to hide a smile. “You mean…”

Ian nods.

 “That’s Ian Gallagher dumbass.”

Of fucking course. Mickey knew he looked familiar. They had little league together when there were kids. Mickey is even in Lips class or he would be if Mickey didn’t drop out. They lived in the same goddamn neighborhood. It was just not Mickey’s day today. But fuck Ian looked good. He really grew up well.

 “Right…” Mickey says.

“Yeah he’s dating Mandy,” Colin clarifies.

Dating Mandy… Mickey thinks. So he’s straight…perfect. Mickey nods visibly uncomfortable which only makes Ian smile brighter.

“We gotta go. Gotta get Jamie from jail.” They wave to Ian who gestures his head in a goodbye.

 “So you can’t hear?” Mickey asks.

Ian nods.

“So how do you know what I’m saying?”

Ian holds his hands up about to sign but realizes Mickey wouldn’t know so he hold his hands to his lips and the points to them with his finger to clarify.

“Oh you… read lips?”

Ian gestures a yes.

“That’s… that’s pretty cool,” Mickey says looking down, forgetting that Ian wouldn’t be able to see his lips.

Mickey looks up to Ian’s confused face. “Oh right. I said that’s uh pretty cool.”

Ian smiles understanding and shrugs.

 “Can you… talk?” Mickey asks sort of awkwardly.

Ian thinks for a moment how to answer then nods a yes.

  “So why don’t you?”

Ian shakes his head and looks away, then back to Mickey.

 “So how am I supposed to talk to you if you won’t speak?”

Ian rolls his eyes and puts his hands in his pockets. He pulls out a pen and small pad of paper.

He writes: You want to talk to me?

Mickey reads it. “Well I’m talking to you aren’t I?”

Ian snorts. Why do you want to?Ian writes.

“Don’t flatter yourself, Carrot-top. I’m just bored.”

Ian grins and raises his eyebrow.

“You dating my sister?”

Ian bites his lip before writing: If you can call it that.

 “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Ian shakes his head.

“You like her though, right? You’re not just fucking with her?”

Ian almost laughs. He writes: She’s my best friend.

“Good cause deaf or not I will kick your ass.”

Goddamn was Ian beautiful though Mickey thought.

She didn’t tell you about me then? Ian writes.

“That she’s dating you? Might’ve mentioned it.”

No. Not that.

“What then?”

Never mind. Ian writes.

Mickey lets it go. “Ok well I gotta head home.” Mickey says pointing in the other direction and turns to head that way.

Ian grabs Mickey’s shirt and starts to write.

I’m supposed to meet Mandy there soon. Mind if I come with you?

Mickey shrugs and smiles. Ian walks by him they text each other back and forth. Writing to hard to do while moving.

Ian uses both but sometimes he prefers one over the other.  

They get to the Milkovich house and Ian waits for Mandy but she doesn’t show.  Ian gets a text message later telling him she’s out on a “date, date” and she’s sorry she forgot to tell him.  Ian puts his phone away and gets up off the couch to head to the door.

 “You leaving?” Mickey stands in front of Ian to ask midway to the door. Ian pulls his phone back out and shows him the text.

Mickey points to “date, date” and looks at Ian curious.

We only fake it. Ian writes. I keep the creepy guys away from her.

Hmm admirable Mickey thinks.

“Stay?” Mickey asks pointing to the ground. “I mean I don’t have anything to do.”

Ian shrugs.

“We can play video games,” Mickey motions with his hands as if holding a controller. “Or something.”

Ian smiles and sits back down, waiting. Mickey sets it up, hands him a controller, and they start to play. They hang out for a few hours until Ian realizes the time and has to leave for dinner.  Ian waves goodbye.

 

They hang out a bunch of times after that. Sometimes with Mandy and Mickey just happens to coincidentally be there.

One day Mickey asks signaling some of the words. “What do you get out of it?”

He’s picked up some of the sign language. From Mandy, Mickey claims to Ian. He didn’t want to seem too desperate that he was actually trying to learn another fucking language for the guy.

Ian moves his head to the side confused.

“Fake dating Mandy?”

Ian breathes in and avoids Mickey’s gaze. He wipes his hand down his face and sighs. Several times he tries to write what he wants and then crosses it out. Finally he just scrawls down on it in big words. IM GAY.

Mickey reads the words and sits back on the couch and exhales loudly. Ian looks at him, terrified.

Mickey takes the pad with no emotion and writes on it. He hands it back to Ian. Ian almost shaking, takes the pad from Mickey. Me TOO.  It reads and Ian grins, breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Ian stares Mickey down and Mickey stares at him. He doesn’t know what it was but something made what was he about to do feel right. He reaches over to Ian and cups his face gently, Ian closes his eyes completely at ease. Mickey leans in and kisses Ian. His soft lips exactly how Mickey imagined they’d feel. They kiss softly, tenderly, and comfortable with each other. They slowly undo each other’s clothes and they fuck like they’ve never fucked before. Ian flipping Mickey over on the couch to give it to him the way Mickey wanted. Afterwards they dress quickly in case someone was due home soon, and sit together in after sex glory, their brows still dripping with sweat.

“Were you always deaf?” Mickey asks one day.

Ian shakes his head sadly.

“What happened?”

Accident Ian writes.

Mickeys about to say something.

Accident that involves a little brother and some very thing ice.

“Shit,” Mickey says.  “He deaf too”

Ian shakes his head no.

 “That must suck.”

 He’s alive. I’m alive. That’s all that matters. Ian writes.

 

 

Months down the line fucking each other is a regular thing for them and an even more emotional bond has come out of it.  Mandy has moved on to Ian’s brother Lip, officially breaking the fake dating off with Ian.

It’s been a year or so since Mickey yelled at Ian without knowing he couldn’t hear him and Mickey decides to ask him again if he could talk, if Mickey could hear his voice.

Ian shakes his head.

“Oh come on. Why not?”

Sounds bad.

“I’m sure it doesn’t, man. Please?”

Ian plays with his jacket and rubs his lips. He writes: You’ll laugh.  

Mickey looks at Ian almost offended, his face then softens. He grabs Ian’s hands. “No I won’t, Ian. Promise.”

Ian looks down and bites the inside of his cheek. He quickly writes: What do you want me to say?

Mickey signs what he wants to hear and Ian grins.

“I.

Love

You.”

Ian says slowly and carefully. He looks up at Mickey apprehensively. Mickey who is smiling brighter than he ever has cause he swears to God that’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever heard.