A/N: someone teach me how to write again because i definitely forgot how; i just opened up a word document and farted a little and this thing appeared

Ian never shuts up.

Mickey kind of knew this already, even before he started fucking the kid, because the walls are thin at his place and sometimes when he was beating off under the covers he could hear Ian and Mandy in the other room, and all Ian did was talk and all Mandy did was listen. And that's kind of how it is now, except Ian's not talking about shit like the difference between declarative and imperative sentences.

Ian has a lot to say. About everything. He says he was a bastard, a proper bastard, that his mom fucked a brother and he's not even Frank's, and Mickey tells him that shit sucks, man, sorry about that, but he's better off not being Frank's kid anyway.

Mickey's mom left when he was like, four. Five, maybe, but he can't remember. He just knows it happened at some point, in a flurry of broken dishes and glasses and maybe the cops were called, too, that's what his brothers say.

Sometimes Ian asks shit that he shouldn't be asking, getting a little too personal for Mickey's liking, and he has to shut him up somehow, by shoving his cock in his mouth or kissing him if the situation is drastic. Ian gets too close to answers and Mickey kind of wants to keep him at a distance. Mandy'll tell him anything if he asks. Mickey's different.

Mandy was the favorite, he remembers, because she was small and pink and special and mom really liked her best. Dad, too, and if Mickey's honest, he liked her best, too, the only girl in the family, his little sister Mandy. Everyone's favorite.

When mom left, Mickey's brothers say that she wanted to take Mandy, but Mickey's dad said no, dug in his heels and all that. They would fight for Mandy. Mom didn't think Mandy was worth fighting for, high-tailed her ass out of there.

Mickey wasn't worth fighting for, either, not really, because mom didn't even ask to take him, didn't even want him, really. Maybe Ian has a point about shitty families and shitty parents and sisters who slut around and brothers who fight too much, but Mickey can't figure out what that point is, just that it exists.

Ian says, "Monica never really gave a shit about me, probably knew I wasn't Frank's kid from the get-go," and Mickey feels bad, a little.

But Mandy was the favorite.

It's a kind of sweet, sweet revenge that she fell in love with the gayest of the gays and when she's not looking her boyfriend is shoving his tongue down her brother's throat and Mickey feels special. Mom really liked Mandy best but Ian likes Mickey best and that counts for something, somehow.

The secret is kind of like — Mickey thinks Ian is great, in really gay ways, and when he's not around he feels kind of shitty, and when Mickey wants to be mad at him he can't, so it's something it shouldn't be, probably.

Ian really sort of thinks the sun shines out of Mickey's fucking asshole and it's not just because he likes to put his dick there. There's something else, feelings and shit — Mickey feels like a fucking god when Ian looks at him and that's not how it's supposed to be but it is what it is, and all that shit.

Ian says, "Lip's the favorite," because it's true, because he ain't even Frank's son, because Monica gives a shit about Lip, because he's the middle child in a group of middles.

And Mickey thinks that Ian's his favorite and that counts for something. It counts. He hates every fucking Gallagher on this earth but, Ian is fine. Ian is good. Ian matters. And that matters, too.