Sorry it took so long to update. I've been busy with work and now school is coming up so hopefully I'll keep inspired. This chapter is a bit rushed and out of place but I just really wanted to get passed the third episode. Any who, thank you to anyone new who has added this story to their alerts or favorites, what have you. On to the story.

"Hold on, what?" Natalie asked.

Ian sighed, "She tried to have sex with me. She told me that she wanted to walk me home and then we were on my couch watching TV. Next thing I know she's on top of me."

"Shit. I can't believe she tried something."

"Hold on, did you know about it?"

Natalie got defensive. "She told me she had a little thing for you; excuse me for not telling your little secret."

Ian sighed, "Okay, okay. I get it. I just don't know what to do."

"You'll be fine. Things will be back to normal before you know it." Natalie said reassuringly. She had no clue that things were just getting started.

After work at Scoops the next day, Natalie headed over to the Gallagher's house. She had a full day of work and just wanted to relax. Once she entered Ian and Lip's room she realized how much could happen in a day.

Natalie's eyes opened wide as she saw the cuts that lined Lip's face. "What the fuck happened?" she asked before sitting down beside him. She looked up at Ian.


"Mandy did this to Lip?"

"No," Ian sighed heavily. "Mickey."

Natalie mouthed an "oh".

"I didn't even do anything to her."

Lip rolled his eyes, "We know that Ian, but her brothers think you did."

"But she tried to rape me. I pushed her off and now she's mad at me."

"Believe it or not Ian, Mandy is a lot like most girls out there suffering from low self-esteem." Natalie said.

"Yeah, you're probably the first guy in her life who hasn't tried to jump her." Lip agreed.

"She started screaming and crying."

"Maybe, you should, and Natalie no hitting here," Lip began, "throw it in her. Call her brothers off?"

Natalie rolled her eyes. "Or you could talk to her."

"Natalie, always taking the easy way out," Lip said before taking a drag of a cigarette.

"Yeah well at least I'm not telling someone to go against their morals, Phillip."

"Yeah, yeah."

Natalie touched one of the scabs on his nose. "Jesus, they really got you."

Lip looked at her funny. "You do know the Milkovichs, don't you?"

"Yeah, but what did they use?"

"I don't even know. I think I saw a club," Lip said. Natalie then moved his face so she could get a better look at his cheek.

"Put something on it at least. You won't want it infected."

"Yes, ma'am."

Lip then turned to Ian, his smile erasing from his face. "Eventually you are going to have to take a beat down for this, you know?"

"Yeah," Ian replied. "I know."

Natalie stayed over for the night, crashing on Ian's bed with his feet in her face and hers in his. She awoke the next morning to Lip shaking her back and forth. "Ian's missing."

"Jesus Christ."

The two got up and got jackets on as fast as they could. They knew the one place he probably made his way over to would be Mandy's house.

"There he is," Lip whispered as he spied Ian behind some dumpsters. He grabbed a hold of Natalie's hand and walked towards him.

"Just don't scare him, okay?" Natalie said. Lip nodded before going behind Ian and patting him on the back.

"Shit," Ian said after realizing it was them.

"What did I tell you?" Natalie said before slapping Lip upside the head. The two let go of each other's hands and crouched down like Ian did.

"So what's the plan?" Lip asked.

"Hit Mickey over the head with a bat when he comes out of the house." Ian said simply.

"Have you stopped to think maybe he'll see you come towards him with a bat?" asked Natalie.

"What about the other brothers?" asked Lip.

"They'll probably beat me to death." Ian replied, focused on what was ahead of him.

Natalie shook her head, "Just don't answer my question, that's fine."

Lip picked up a brick, ignoring Natalie as well. "I'll fight them off while you run."

Ian looked straight at him, "This is my problem, okay? Not yours."

Lip smirked, "It'll be fun."

"Hell no, it won't be fun." Natalie said. She retracted Lip's hand from the brick and tried to get the bat out of Ian's hand.

Mandy walked out the front door as Natalie and Ian struggled with one another. Lip smacked them both and Ian cursed, handing his bat to Natalie who smiled.

"Thanks for the help." Natalie said to Lip before walking off with the bat.

He soon followed behind her. "Don't tell me you're mad at me."

She turned to look at him as he walked aside her, "I'm not mad but you really need to stop encouraging him to make stupid decisions. You make enough of them and you have a higher IQ."

Lip laughed, "Fine. But I'm not gonna just tell him not to go with his gut."

"You should if it's something stupid."

"That's not going to change his mind though."

"I know, but it's better if you do."

Lip looked down at her and saw how serious she was. She really cared about Ian, and cared about if he got in trouble. He did too, but often was less mature in certain situations, never thinking ahead. But she did, and that's what made Ian and himself better. They got through trouble a lot easier with her.

"I read your book."

"And?" she asked as she started walking again.

"It was good. The quotes were interesting; I mean the ones you underline or circle. It got me thinking a bit more about the story than I thought they would."

Natalie nodded.

"Do you do that with all your books?" he prodded.

"Only some of them, if a quote stuck out to me. I have a book that I write most of them down in. I don't know…it's kind of a way to inspire me." Natalie explained. "If I ever feel lost or out of place I turn to my favorite quotes."

Lip nodded, "What's your favorite one of them all?"

"I don't know," Natalie smiled. "I guess that's the point. I don't have to have a specific one to turn to, I've got a bunch. It's like music. You never really keep a constant favorite song, at least I don't."

Lip continued to listen to her and thought about his favorite quote. He had come across it once and found a special importance in it. "Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy," by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It spoke in a way to him that nothing had managed to do before. Mostly because of how true it was.

"Now that I think about it though, there is one that I really love." Natalie said. "I dwell in possibility…Emily Dickinson."

"Why's that?"

She turned towards him, "I'd like to think that someday that will be the truth for me."

Once Lip and Natalie made it back to the Gallagher's that night they were surprised to find Mandy already in the boys' room. A good kind of surprise, though.

"She knows," Ian said. "And she's going to become my pretend girlfriend."

"Seriously?" Lip asked.

Mandy smiled, "Why not? I've got the 'hot' Gallagher on my hands and it gets all those horrible pervs to keep their hands off. It's a win-win."

"She's got a point," Natalie said sitting at the desk chair and smiling up at Lip who was squinting at her in confusion. "Ian is the 'hot' one."

Lip rolled his eyes. "Bullshit. I've seen both of you stare at me before."

"Yeah but that's only because you more often than not have something odd on your face. Like right now," Natalie stood and wiped something off his face. "Oops, turns out it really is just his nose," she smirked.

"Alright you two, I don't need to hear anymore flirting." Ian said as Mandy moved his legs over hers.

"Flirting?" Natalie asked. "You honestly think that this is me flirting?"

Mandy smiled at the exchange. "Honestly," Ian replied.

"It's okay, Ian. We all know she can't resist me." Lip said. Before he could receive the smack upside the head that was inevitable after a comment like that, he climbed up to his bunk and smiled down at Natalie.

"That goes for you too, Lip." Ian said before taking out a magazine. Lip rolled his eyes at his brother.

"You gotta learn from somewhere, especially now that you have a pretend girlfriend." Lip said.

"That is true," Mandy chimed in. "We have to start acting the part."

"Which shouldn't be too hard for you Mandy," Natalie smirked, "As for Ian...we may have a problem."

"I am a great flirt."

"Says the boy who called a girl 'horse-face' after she complimented him on his eyes." Natalie replied pointedly.

"That was second grade."

"And yet," she said with a face of seriousness, "you still have the same mentality."

Ian threw a pillow at her which knocked over a lamp beside her.

"And the same horrible aim."

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