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In Sickness and in Health

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“Carrot boy. You come home soon?”

Ian is surprised to see Svetlana calling him at work, and more surprised that she’s asking if he’ll be back soon. Although they got off to a rough start, Svetlana, Ian, and Mickey have worked out a family dynamic with Yevgeny, the three of them getting along and equally taking part in the baby’s life. Still, she knows everyone’s schedule, and doesn’t usually call when someone is busy.

“Um, yeah, I’ll be home soon. Miss me already?” Ian asks, just teasing with her a little bit. He is worried though, wondering why she called at work. “Is Yev okay?”

“Baby is fine,” she answers. “Your boyfriend is sick. He has belly ache, only comes out of room to puke and piss. He is more quiet than normal.”

Ian sighs, rubbing his eyes. When Mickey gets sick, it does tend to be the miserable kind. “Alright, I’ll be home shortly. It’s almost the end of my shift and I’m not the only one here, the others can do fine if I leave now. Just maybe keep your distance. I don’t want you and Yevgeny to catch whatever he has.”

Svetlana agrees, ending the call. Luckily, Ian’s coworkers understand the need to get home, and he’s sitting on the L shortly enough. He hates when any of them are sick, but doesn’t panic as much as normal. Svetlana is a great mom, and whenever Ian or Mickey are under the weather, she usually knows what to do to help. Mickey’s probably asking for Ian though, and she definitely made the right choice to call. Ian would’ve been upset if no one told him, he can’t deny that. The ride home goes by fast as he thinks, and it’s not long before he’s letting himself inside.

“Svet?” Ian calls, keeping his volume low. “I’m home.”

“In kitchen,” she answers, rounding the corner with Yevgeny on her hip.

Ian smiles, leaning down to kiss the baby’s forehead. “I’m sorry it was just you two today, I would’ve taken off if I’d known earlier. Let me at least help with dinner,” he offers.

Svetlana shakes her head, passing the baby to Ian so he can say hello. “No point. It was easy day. Baby sleeps, eats, cuddles. Your boyfriend on other hand does not eat, just sleep. I put my hand on head, it is hot. He did not even tell me to fuck off,” she reports.

As odd as it is, Ian and Svetlana are much closer than her and Mickey. The two are civil, even friends, but certainly only because they have to raise a child together. Svetlana has grown to like Ian a lot, and often takes his side in arguments. Still, any profanity between her and Mickey is just teasing, almost their way of showing affection.

“I’ll check on him,” Ian frowns, bouncing Yevgeny in his arms a little before holding the baby against his chest. “Mick doesn’t get sick too much, but when he does it’s usually kind of bad. Are you sure you don’t need help with anything? I don’t want to be around Yev too much after Mickey so I don’t get him sick.”

“We will be fine, orange boy. Yevgeny is baby, I am mother. We know how to survive without man,” Svetlana promises, the hint of a smile on her face.

“Of course you do,” Ian agrees, passing Yevgeny back. “Thank you for trying to help Mickey today.”

Svetlana nods, and Ian lets her kiss his cheek before he slips into his and Mickey’s room. The older boy looks to be asleep, just the sound of his breathing in the room. Ian toes his shoes off, slipping into bed behind Mickey and rubbing his side. Mickey lets out a soft sound, alerting Ian that he is in fact not asleep.

“You home?” Mickey mumbles, though it’s barely intelligible.

“Yeah,” Ian whispers, kissing the back of his head and stroking his hair. “Svet told me you’re not feeling too good.”

“She ain’t wrong,” Mickey grumbles, slowly turning over so he can face Ian. “Woke up and the first thing I did was puke.”

Ian sighs, feeling Mickey’s forehead. He doesn’t like how hot it feels. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here. I’m sure Svetlana did good though, right?”

“Don’t be sorry, you had work,” Mickey murmurs. “Svet was good, took care of the baby without me. Felt bad, but she told me to just sleep.”

Ian strokes his cheek, shaking his head. “You don’t feel bad either. You can’t help getting sick. I’m here now, though. Have you eaten anything?”

Mickey grimaces, his stomach turning at the thought of food. “No, and I’m not gonna. Can’t right now.”

Ian just nods, not wanting to push him. He curls closer around Mickey, under the covers. He puts his hand up Mickey’s shirt, his fingers curling around his belly button in an attempt to soothe him. Mickey let’s out a shuddery breath, letting himself be vulnerable for a little. A few years ago, he wouldn’t, keeping up the tough facade, even in front of Ian. Now, their little family gave him some self confidence, and showed him that he didn’t need to be tough all the time. He wants to be a good dad to his son, and that means he needs to stop and remember his own worth too. Now, there’s just a little bit of hesitation when he has to say he doesn’t feel well or needs something, and Ian couldn’t be more proud.

“I’ve got you,” Ian promises, kissing his forehead. “I should take your temperature soon, babe.”

Normally, Mickey would give him a hard time about “stupid” pet names, but he lets it slide. Actually, he finds it a bit comforting, but is definitely not going to admit that. “Don’t need to take it. We already know I have a fever.”

“We should know how bad it is, Mick. I’ll be right back,” Ian tells him, getting up.

Mickey groans, burrowing into the warm spot Ian left. The taller man rummages through their half assed medicine cabinet, sighing thankfully when he finds that they do in fact have a thermometer. He comes back to his boyfriend, coaxing him to open up. He waits until the thermometer beeps, examining the numbers.

“It’s 102. If it gets any higher, we should go see someone,” Ian warns.

“It’s not gonna get higher,” Mickey grumbles. “Would you just fucking lay with me? Please? I feel- I feel shitty.”

Ian softens, knowing he’s probably being a little overbearing. “Of course. I’m sorry,” he whispers, getting back under the covers with Mickey.

Mickey nuzzles into his neck, Ian’s scent calming him a bit. He’s been worried all day about getting the baby sick and Svetlana needing his help, and now he’s finally relaxed. Ian puts his hand on top of Mickey’s that’s resting on his stomach, tracing over the tattoos with a nearly silent laugh. Even in his most vulnerable moments, Mickey will always be the South Side tough guy Ian knew when they first met, maybe with just a bit more of a soft side. After awhile, Mickey is just barely asleep, his breaths starting to even out. Ian keeps quiet, wanting him to rest as much as possible. It’s not long before his own stomach starts to growl, hungry from not eating dinner yet. He carefully slips out of bed after making sure Mickey is asleep, sneaking out of the room. He feels a little guilty when he sees Svetlana eating alone, and sits next to her at the table.

“Mickey’s asleep,” Ian whispers, smiling softly.

Svetlana gets him a bowl of the spaghetti she made, sitting back down. “Good. Now you eat dinner. Food is good for body.”

“I know, I know,” Ian chuckles. “Thank you. Mickey feels bad for leaving you with Yev all day.”

She waves her hand, shaking her head. “He is sick. I would rather no help for one day than baby get sick too. I am not mad.”

Ian smiles, glad to see how far they’ve come. Mickey and Svetlana used to not stand each other, and now, they’ve sort of got the parent thing down. While it’s a little unconventional, it works for them. Yevgeny is asleep, and the two of them eat in a comfortable silence. Ian couldn’t be happier that Svetlana is letting him be apart of Yevgeny’s life, and will always be thankful towards her for it.

“I should get back to Mickey,” Ian whispers, putting his dish in the sink. “Night, Svet.”

“Goodnight,” she returns, smiling a tiny bit.

Ian goes back to their room, changing out of his clothes and into pajamas. He curls back around Mickey, rubbing his arm gently.

“Where’d you go?” Mickey mumbles, startling Ian a little.

“Just to have dinner. I’m all yours now,” Ian promises. “How are you feeling?”

“Bad,” Mickey huffs, pushing his nose against Ian’s neck. “Nauseous. Cold as fuck.”

Ian frowns, pulling Mickey closer to his chest. “I’ll keep you warm.”

“That’s the cheesiest fucking thing you’ve ever said, you know that, right?” Mickey grumbles, but Ian can hear the smile in his voice.

“Shut up,” Ian grins, kissing the top of his head. “Go to sleep again, you’ll feel better in the morning. Love you, Mick.”

Mickey sighs softly, curling up in Ian’s warm hold. “Love you, too,” he murmurs, letting his eyes shut.

Ian holds him until he’s asleep, finally letting himself drift off once Mickey has. Luckily, they both sleep through the night, and Mickey feels a lot better the next morning. When Ian gets whatever Mickey had, he takes care of him too, because that’s what love is. In sickness and in health.