1. He sings to the baby
Ian loves when he catches Mickey singing to Yevgeny. It’s almost always very quiet, and honestly, Mickey can’t sing for the life of him. But it’s sweet. Ian always keeps quiet. He knows Mickey will stop if he gets caught, and Ian isn’t ready for the day that there’s no soft singing first thing in the morning when it’s time to wake the baby.
2. He’s always the first one up
Even before Svetlana wakes up, Mickey is always the first one to get Yevgeny in the morning. He secretly likes the time alone with him, scooping him out of the crib and breathing in the comforting baby scent.
“Good morning, little guy,” Mickey whispers softly, picking his son up.
Yevgeny is a good baby. He doesn’t cry in the morning, just stares up at the ceiling until someone comes in. At this point, it’s routine for him to already be awake when Mickey comes in. He snuggles close to his dad’s chest, and Mickey smiles. It’s his favorite way to start the day.
3. He takes the baby for walks, and still looks badass while he does it
At first, Mickey was a little bit worried about his reputation. He wouldn’t exactly look tough pushing a baby around in a stroller, but when Yevgeny smiles up at him, he only feels guilty for thinking that way. Mickey is not going to be like Terry. He never wants Yevgeny to think a reputation is more important than family. That day, he hauls the stroller outside, securely buckling up Yevgeny inside. No one says anything to him about it, aside from a few older people giving him a smile. And even if they did, one glare would send them running. After all, he’s still Mickey Milkovich.
4. He puts an effort to end the abusive father cycle, starting right with himself.
When Svetlana got pregnant, it wasn’t ideal. But the first time she thrust an ultrasound picture at him, his heart broke into a million pieces, and sat her and Ian down right away.
“Listen,” Mickey starts, his eyes already glassy. “What my dad did to me fucked me up.” He glances at Ian, biting his lip, and then at Svetlana, who didn’t have much of a choice either. “Fucked all of us up. I love Ian, and he didn’t ask for this. So it’s up to him what he wants to do. And this wasn’t Svetlana’s fault either. But that’s my kid. I don’t want to be like my dad.”
Svetlana didn’t like Mickey all that much. He had a bad attitude problem, but right now, she’s seeing him in a completely different way. What she did to him was her job, but looking at the two clearly traumatized boys in front of her, she knows it was wrong.
“I want to be a family. At least try to be. I’ll get a job, we can get out of this shithole. I don’t want my kid to think I don’t love him,” Mickey mumbles. “Can we at least try? Will you two do that for me?”
Svetlana reaches her hand across the table, letting Mickey decide whether or not he wants to take it. She smiles when he does. “We will try. You are not father. I will no longer be whore. Come here legally for baby. Carrot boy will be in baby’s life too. We will be family.”
Mickey blinks back tears, giving her a watery smile. He glances at the other boy, not knowing what he thinks. “Ian?”
“Yeah,” Ian nods, all choked up and proud of Mickey. “Family.”
5. He makes Sunday family breakfast day
Mickey decided very early on that Yevgeny was going to have everything he didn’t as a kid, starting with family traditions.
“You two can stay in bed, don’t even worry about it. Me and the kid got it handled,” Mickey promises.
The next morning, Ian and Svetlana share a look, both of them grinning from ear to ear. Mickey’s somehow managing to flip pancakes and bounce Yevgeny at the same time, but he seems to be having a good time.
“Morning, Mick,” Ian smiles, his voice raspy from talking for the first time that morning.
Mickey whirls around, holding Yevgeny close to his chest. “Christ, you scared me. It’s just Mama and Ian, Yev. Say hey,” he hums to the baby, handing him over to his mom.
Ian’s heart swells up with love, and he leans in to give Mickey a kiss. He’s already a hundred times better than his dad.
6. He stays up all hours of the night with the baby
Svetlana isn’t home tonight, and Yevgeny is not having the best time. He’s been crying for hours, and nothing seems to calm him. Finally, Ian’s able to get him down, and he and Mickey can go to bed. It’s only a few hours later when Yevgeny starts to scream again, and by the time Ian’s awake, Mickey is already out of the room. Ian quickly follows, knowing it’s already been a long evening. Mickey looks surprisingly calm though, cradling Yevgeny close.
“Everything okay?” Ian asks softly, coming to sit near him.
Mickey nods, leaning into Ian a little. “I think it’s colic or whatever the fuck it’s called. I don’t like seeing him so upset,” he frowns, rubbing soothing circles against Yevgeny’s little belly.
“Poor baby,” Ian coos. “I know, I don’t like seeing him like this either. But it’ll pass eventually. He’s probably missing his mama too.”
“I wish Svet was here,” Mickey admits. “She deserves a night out, but she’s so good at calming him down.”
“You’re doing great, Mick,” Ian reminds.
Mickey smiles shyly, ducking his head. But it’s true.
7. He made sure they were all safe as soon as possible.
“First things first, we’re getting the fuck out of here.”
Terry had taken Mickey’s brothers on a run, but would be back in a few days. Mickey wanted to be gone before they even returned, not putting his family in any danger. Ian loved how protective he was, and was all for getting out of the Milkovich house. Still, it didn’t mean it would be easy.
“Where can we go, Mick? Moving takes time,” Ian reminds gently, squeezing his arm.
“We’ll find a place. Terry will literally kill you, Ian, and I’m not having Svetlana here either. Who says he won’t try something with her?” Mickey huffs, arms crossed. “Will Fiona let us crash for just a few days? I’ll figure it all out.”
“Of course she will,” Ian nods, pulling him close. “It’ll be okay.”
Mickey stays up late that night, looking for apartments. He didn’t care how shitty they were. Terry Milkovich was not getting near his family.
8. He lets the baby sleep on him. All the time
Ian’s often the last one home. Never too late though, just in time for them to all have dinner together. It’s quiet when he comes in tonight, and when Svetlana presses her finger to her lips, Ian grins, knowing he’s about to see one of his favorite things.
Mickey is laying on his back, asleep on the couch. Yevgeny, also asleep, lays on his chest, the two of them totally peaceful. Ian leans down to give them each a soft kiss, unable to contain the huge smile on his face.
“You’ve got to admit it, Svet. They’re pretty damn cute,” Ian beams, going into the kitchen to help her cook.
“Very cute,” Svetlana agrees, smiling herself.
Since they moved in together, she became much closer with Mickey, appreciating his want to be a good dad. She already knows he’s succeeding.
9. He wants the baby to know about his heritage.
It makes Ian and Mickey upset to see Svetlana get frustrated over her English. They don’t mind that it’s a little broken at times, and they like when she teaches them Russian phrases. The two of them practice around the house, making her laugh at their terrible accents. They’re so proud of how far she’s come though. Along with Yevgeny turning six months old, Svetlana finally became a legal citizen, a process she started nearing the end of her pregnancy. Now, she wants to get a real job, and set a good example for Yevgeny. But it’s taken a toll on her, often having to leave and take a break because the words aren’t coming out the way she wants them to.
“They will not hire me if I cannot speak right,” Svetlana says slowly, exhaling out of her nose.
“But you’re already doing so much better,” Ian promises, taking Yevgeny from her so she can have a break.
“You talk more properly than I do,” Mickey assures. “And fuck anyone that won’t hire you. You’re a hard worker.”
“Thank you,” Svetlana says quietly, but it’s clear she’s having a hard time.
“Go take a break. We’ve got the kid, we’ll handle dinner,” Mickey tells her.
She just nods, going to her room and shutting the door. Ian sighs sadly, stroking Yevgeny’s cheek. He looks over at Mickey, shrugging softly.
“I feel terrible. I wish she didn’t doubt herself so much. It had to be hard coming here barely knowing any English and having to give blow jobs to assholes to get money,” Ian huffs. “She’s so smart, especially with math. I just wish we could do something for her.”
“Maybe we can,” Mickey says after a minute.
“So, we wanted to talk to you about something,” Ian starts, glancing at Mickey.
“You like when Ian and me read to Yev, says it helps his brain develop and stuff. We think you should read to him too, in Russian,” Mickey explains. “You’re his mom, he should know where he’s from. Plus, everyone will think he’s real fucking smart if he knows how to speak two languages.”
Svetlana listens to them, her face blank for a moment. Mickey’s afraid he upset her, but then she breaks out into a huge smile, getting up and throwing her arms around him. She smacks a kiss to his cheek, doing the same to Ian when he’s done.
“Thank you,” Svetlana says tearily, beaming at them. “It means so much, you don’t know how much.”
“You’re his mom, of course we want him to know about his roots. I don’t know why we didn’t do it earlier,” Ian laughs. “We love you, Svet.”
10. He worries about the baby, even when he doesn’t need to
“Where’s Yev?” Mickey frowns to himself, hesitant to even say it.
He isn’t sure if it was really him that was supposed to be in charge of the baby, but now he can’t find him, and if it was his job, he’s positive that Svetlana will literally kill him. He walks into the living room, his heart rate only increasing when he sees Svetlana on the couch by herself.
“Hey...” Mickey starts, rocking on his feet a little.
Svetlana narrows her eyes, raising a brow. “What is wrong?”
“Where’s Yevgeny?” Mickey asks quickly, so fast he’s not sure if she even got it. His frown deepens when Svetlana laughs, though his heart stops pounding out of his chest a bit. “What?”
“Yevgeny is with Ian,” Svetlana chuckles, waving her hand. “Went to Fiona’s to play with baby Liam.”
“Oh... Liam’s not much of a baby anymore now, huh?” Mickey says bashfully, trying to change the subject.
“You worry about Yevgeny?” Svetlana asks, looking entertained.
“Well... yeah, I didn’t know where he was,” Mickey admits, cheeks hot.
Svetlana smiles, and this time, it seems genuine. “Of course you worry. You are good father. Welcome to parenthood.”
11. He makes sure the baby knows he has many people that love him
Everyone else is already in bed, but Yevgeny is awake. Not crying, just watching. Mickey gets up to go to the bathroom, peeking in on his way back. He smiles, seeing his son still wide awake.
“What are you doing up, buddy?” Mickey whispers, picking him up.
He beams when Yevgeny gives him a gummy smile, rubbing their cheeks together for a moment. Mickey takes him into the living room, just walking around. He walks over to the few picture frames they have scattered around, and he can’t help but smile. They don’t have a lot of photos developed, but the ones they do have are his favorite. The first one is of Ian and Svetlana, before Yevgeny was born. They’d only been in the apartment for a few months, and Svetlana was almost 6 months pregnant. Ian was laid across the couch, their only piece of furniture at the time, his cheek pressed against her baby bump. They were both clearly laughing, feeling so light the day. Mickey adored that picture- it had two of his favorite people in it. The man he loved the most, and the woman that brought his son into the world.
“That one’s of Mama and Ian. You were still in her belly at the time. It already seems like so long ago,” Mickey sighs. He points out another picture, starting to smile again. “This one is of everyone. You’ve got a lot of people that love you, that’s for sure.”
In this picture, it’s a terribly blurry selfie that Mickey attempted to take with the Gallaghers, only his eyes and above making it into the photo. Fiona, Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Svetlana were in the back, Liam smushed between them all. An assortment of peace signs and middle fingers were thrown up in the picture, and it always makes Mickey laugh. The last one is of Mickey and Yevgeny, snugly curled up on the couch. Mickey had his glasses on, reading some kid book to Yev. Ian stealthily took the picture, developing it as soon as he could.
“And this last one is of you and me,” Mickey smiles. “You were still a little tiny baby there. You’ve already gotten so much bigger.”
He glances down at Yevgeny, the baby now asleep in his arms. He chuckles quietly, muttering something about boring his kid to sleep. Mickey returns Yevgeny to his crib, kissing his forehead before going to bed himself, thinking about the old memories that the pictures unlocked.
12. He cleans up after the baby
Mickey bounces Yevgeny in his arms, quietly cooing over him. He’s just a few months old now, and the sweetest baby Mickey’s ever seen. Not that he’s been around many infants in his lifetime, and of course his own son seems perfect. Luckily, most people seem to agree. Yevgeny is a really good baby, after all. Things are going good until Mickey’s shoulder feels wet, and he realizes the baby just spit up right down his back. Just what he wanted.
“Svetlana,” Mickey whines, holding Yevgeny out at arms length. “Your kid just puked on me.”
“Not my puke baby,” she laughs amusedly. “Is your puke baby. I go to store now.”
“Don’t leave! Ian’s not even home yet,” Mickey frowns.
“You are fine, good daddy to baby. Clean puke off you, clean puke off baby, good as new,” Svetlana promises, kissing both of their cheeks and heading out the door.
Mickey sighs, deciding to clean Yev first. Luckily, the bib protected his clothes well enough, and he tugs his own shirt off. He picks Yevgeny back up, holding him close to his bare chest.
“You’re lucky you’re cute, kid,” Mickey mumbles, kissing the top of his head. “I don’t let just anyone puke on me, you know.”
13. He remembers what the baby likes and doesn’t like
“Mick, can you come here?” Ian calls, sounding frustrated. “Yev won’t eat.”
Mickey saunters into the kitchen, hands on his hips. “What’s the problem?”
Ian scoffs, rolling his eyes. “I told you already, stud. Yev isn’t eating. I don’t think he’s got a tummy ache or anything, he’s not crying. Just won’t open up.”
“Well, Gallagher, he’s not eating because you’re trying to feed him carrots, and he doesn’t like the fucking carrots,” Mickey tells him, sounding pleased with himself.
Ian stares at him, then to Yevgeny. “Is that actually true? He doesn’t like these?”
Mickey nods. “Nope. Never eats them when I try, unless it’s mixed with something else. I don’t blame him. Shit’s disgusting.”
“You tried it?” Ian asks disgustedly, eyebrows raised. “Just- why?”
“Had to know for myself. Try it, you won’t,” Mickey eggs on, grinning when Yevgeny giggles brightly at their antics.
“Fuck you, I will!” Ian huffs, sticking the spoon in his own mouth.
His face screws up right away, and he puts the spoon right down. Mickey crosses his arms, smirking proudly. Ian flips him off, getting up to spit it out.
“Told you so!” Mickey grins, laughing with Yevgeny.
“What is all the noise?” Svetlana asks, just getting off work. “Am I missing joke?”
“Just Ian eating baby food for fun,” Mickey tells her.
“He’s lying, that’s not the whole story,” Ian protests, downing a glass of water.
Svetlana shakes her head, taking Yevgeny out of his seat. “Weird boys,” she mutters.
14. He loved Yevgeny before he was even born
It’s been a few months since the three of them moved into their own apartment, and Mickey felt like he could finally exhale. It only helped that Terry was locked up again, and Fiona helped them find some more furniture to make things feel more like home. Things are going good for them for once. Mickey and Ian are both working, and Svetlana is working on her citizenship. He couldn’t be prouder of the both of them. It’s getting colder each day as winter starts to sneak up on them, and they’re all bundled together on the couch, a heavy blanket thrown over them. Mickey’s in the middle, so while he has Ian wrapped around one of his biceps, he can easily feel Svetlana shifting around to his right.
“You good?” Mickey asks, raising an eyebrow.
Svetlana has a slight grimace on her face, but nods. “Baby is kicking a lot. Is good, means baby is healthy. But kicking at one place all the time is annoying.”
Ian immediately pipes up, startling Mickey further. “He’s kicking? Can I feel it, Svet? Plus, he might move if he feels something on the outside.”
Svetlana nods with a smile, letting Ian feel the kicks. Mickey watches interestedly, knowing already that she and Ian will both be great with the kid. Ian loves babies, and took care of Liam, Carl, and Debbie for so long. Svetlana just seems like she’d be amazing, and for the first time, Mickey notices that motherly glow people talk about. He thinks she looks pretty, and happy most of all. Svetlana catches him watching, taking his hand and putting it on her ever growing belly. He almost pulls back at first, the kicks much stronger than he expected.
“That’s... doesn’t that hurt?” Mickey asks, suddenly concerned for her.
“No.” Svetlana shakes her head. “Different than used to at first, but not hurt. By now I am used to it. He is strong.”
“Yeah,” Mickey whispers, kind of in awe. He can’t wait to hold the kid.
15. He loves the baby with everything he has
It’s been the longest five hours of Mickey’s life, but he knows it was longer for Svetlana. He’d known something was off all day when she was much quieter than usual, but it was still a huge surprise when she admitted her suspicions of contractions. Since late that evening, the three of them had been in the hospital, holding her hands and watching her cry for the first time. Ian was great. He seemed to know exactly what to say, telling Svetlana how good she was doing while he rubbed her shoulders. Mickey’s pretty sure he was useless the whole time. He’d never seen Svetlana so vulnerable, and the whole being a parent thing was suddenly much scarier. But he loyally stayed by her side, letting him grip her hand while she pushed. Now, just after midnight, the baby is finally here. Yevgeny. Mickey watches in awe as he rests against his mother’s chest, tears welling up in his eyes.
“You must be exhausted,” Mickey whispers, no idea what else to say.
Svetlana nods, reaching out to put her hand against his cheek. “Hold him. I will sleep,” she smiles softly. She can sense his hesitance, looking him in the eye. “You can do it.”
Mickey sighs shakily, sitting on the edge of her bed. He carefully takes Yevgeny out of her arms, making sure to support his head like he was told. Ian watches, smiling encouragingly. Mickey manages a shaky smile back, looking down at the tiny human in his arms.
“Hey, kid. I’m your- your dad. You’ve already met your mom. She’s pretty awesome. The best mom you’re gonna get. And that-“ he turns a little bit “-is Ian. He’s gonna take real good care of you too. We all are. You only just got here, but we love you a whole lot, okay? We’re a little messed up, but we’re gonna try and give you the best life ever, little man. I promise.”