Don't know where this came from, why I wrote it, but I just got the idea in my head and decided to write it down. So enjoy. . . or don't, because well it isn't a very happy story. . .

Mickey had expected several things: people to be crying, people to be dressed up in suits and smart clothes and people to be looking at him strangely as they wondered why the fuck he was there.

What he hadn't expected was that he would be able to taste his pain.

It tasted like peppermint and sweat and the slightest tang on blood on the back of his tongue.

He spat on the ground, knowing people were glaring at him, thinking he was being disrespectful, but he had to get that taste out of his mouth.

He stood slightly apart from everyone else, only just close enough so that someone could tell he was there for the same reason. He wasn't wearing a suit, or even anything smart. His jeans had a rip in one knee and dirt smeared down the legs. His tank-top's original colour was unrecognisable and there was a layer of sweat smeared over his skin, shining in the sunlight. It was as hot as balls, which was another reason he wouldn't have worn a fucking suit even if he'd owned one.

Mickey stared at the ground, looking up to see Mandy stared at him, frowning, her eyes red and rimmed with tears. Even she didn't understand why he was there, even his own sister didn't know. He looked back down at the grass quickly, kicking at it, the sound surprisingly loud in the silence around him.

A lot of people were crying, but Mickey wasn't. Because Mickey didn't cry, not for anything and he certainly wasn't going to fucking change that now. He rubbed his forefinger across his bottom lip and felt his breathing stutter as he remembered. He remembered another set of lips: the shit eating grin that would spread them wide, the way they'd part ever so slightly when the owner of that mouth was asleep, the way Mickey would press his mouth against those lips when they were slightly parted, when nobody, not even the person he was kissing would know he was doing it.

Some sort of fucking prayer was read out and Mickey knew there was an American flag involved as well, but he was still staring at the ground, so he didn't see. He heard the gunshots though and glanced up through his lashes to see the coffin slowly being lowered into the ground.

It shone in the sunlight and Mickey thought that was the weather's way of getting revenge on the person that had died. It should rain at funerals, it shouldn't be sunny. Even Mickey knew that. And Mickey didn't know much of anything.

People threw dirt in on top of the coffin, but Mickey didn't move and he could sense even more people staring at him, wondering what the hell he was doing there, but nobody said anything. He heard the whispered farewells and out of the corner of his eye saw people moving off, away from the grave.

Mickey still didn't move, he just stood there, waiting until everyone had gone, not a single one of them bothering to talk to Mickey, because they had better things to worry about than what the hell the ex-con was doing at a funeral when he obviously didn't care.

It was too bad that they didn't know shit.

He didn't know how long he stood there for before he finally looked up, but he knew it was after the grave had been filled in, after even the people who did that had left. They didn't say anything to him either.

When he did look up, he took in the sight of the freshly laid earth, the brand new, white marble headstone that he knew must have cost a fortune. He knew there would be some military reference on it, that there'd be some heartfelt words or something, but he didn't look at any of that. The first thing he saw was the name, emblazoned there in gold and after that he couldn't look away.

Ian Gallagher.

Ian fucking Gallagher.

Mickey moved closer to the grave, staring at it like he would have stared at Ian if he had been there. He just stared, not knowing what he was waiting for, but just knowing that if he spoke now, his voice was going to crack and he wasn't going to say what he wanted to say.

"Fuck you," he finally muttered, taking another step forwards until the fresh dirt flattened under his shoes. "Fuck you for leaving me." He sat down with his back against the gravestone and thought it was weird that Ian was directly underneath him.

A part of him wanted to know what he looked like now, whether you could tell he'd been through a warzone or whether they'd covered all that up. But at the same time, he was glad he hadn't looked. As cheesy and as fucking stupid as it was, he didn't want to remember Ian like that, cold and lifeless. He wanted to remember him, hot and sweaty, groaning while he smiled that shit eating grin, his head tipped back as he came.

That was what Mickey wanted to remember.

That was a much better image for him to remember.

"You don't get to leave me," he said, his hand pushing into his pocket, gripping what was there, "You don't get to fucking leave me again."

I won't let you, Mickey thought to himself, but he knew Ian would have heard that behind his words if he could hear him.

He removed his hand from his pocket, his fingers curled around the most important thing he'd ever held.

It was the shit that they used to sedate people. He'd had someone he knew take it from the hospital and he held the bottle up in his hand, frowning at it. He wondered if it should be enough. He knew they measured it out carefully, so he thought the whole bottle would probably be enough. He took two injection needles out of his pocket and filled them as full as they would go.

He didn't even hesitate before injecting himself with them. He'd said all that needed to be said and Mickey wasn't one for any dramatic or fancy fucking goodbyes. Ian would know, if he was listening, he'd know without needing to hear it.

He leant his head back against the new headstone, scrunching up the fresh dirt in his hands, gripping it tight. He wondered if it would be enough. He hoped it would be enough. Because he'd known this morning, when he'd walked the entire way to the graveyard, he'd known when he'd had his friend take the shit he'd just injected himself with, he'd known when he'd caught Mandy crying and she'd told him Ian had been killed in action.

He known then what he knew now: he didn't want to wake up again. Not anymore.

It was Frank that found him, because he hadn't been able to bring himself to go to the funeral, not with everybody else there. But he wasn't completely heartless, he'd wanted to pay his respects, say that final goodbye because he knew that this was the only time he would visit the grave.

He hasn't expected to find Mickey Milkovich slumped against his son's gravestone, his hands laid flat on the dirt either side of him, his head tilted up to the sky almost like he was praying. Except his skin was too pale and he was too still and even Frank knew that Mickey Milkovich was never that still. He was always moving, always cursing something, cracking his knuckles, doing something.

But he wasn't now and Frank knew why without even having to check. So he didn't check.

And the thing was, Frank understood.

He may have been a constant drunk, he may not have known a hell of a lot or had very much common sense and a shit load of people may want him dead or have wanted him dead at some point, but he'd seen the way that Mickey had looked at Ian when he thought nobody was watching. He'd seen it that day he'd tried to walk out of the Kash-and-Grab without paying, seen it in Mickey's eyes when he'd stopped him, seen the protectiveness, the possessiveness and the need there.

When people heard about it later, nobody else really understood why Mickey had done what he had. They suspected and Lip had understood a little, but it was Frank who knew.

It was Frank who understood.