Fuck You Means I Love You

Summary: "When he says 'fuck you' it means 'I like you.' It's hood speak. Learn the language." Dedicated to mhunter10 for her birthday!

Disclaimer: I don't own Shameless.

I wrote this for Malenah (a.k.a. mhunter10). Happy birthday! Thank you for all your wonderful fics and for being so freaking nice!

I've been meaning to write this for a while, but I probably wouldn't have worked up the motivation if not for Malenah's birthday. As I was re-watching Shameless, I heard Kevin's quote to Jimmy/Steve and thought that I could apply it to Mickey. Here's the result!

I also wanted to mention that this fic was partially inspired by the song "Please Don't Say You Love Me" by Gabrielle Aplin. It's a great gallavich song. I recommend it!

Mickey wasn't romantic. He hated anything to do with romance. Just the thought of doing sappy couple shit made him want to gag.

That's why Ian couldn't believe the words that came out of Mickey's mouth.

"What did you just say?" Ian asked, his mouth hung open slightly in disbelief.

"You heard me, asshole," Mickey mumbled.

A smile slowly dawned on Ian's face. "Say it again," he said.

Mickey scratched his lip with his thumb. "You wanna go see a movie with me or not?"

"You mean as a date?" Ian asked.

"Shut up," Mickey sighed. "It's just a movie."

"But you said we'd eat afterwards," Ian pointed out, unable to resist the urge to tease the other boy a little bit. "Dinner and a movie sounds pretty date-ish to me."

"Christ," Mickey grumbled. "Just tell me if you want to go or not."

"Of course I do, Mick," Ian replied with a carefree laugh.

He paused before finally asking a question he was dying to know the answer to.

"So... this is a date, right? Does that mean we're officially… 'boyfriends'?"

Mickey's face scrunched together like he'd just eaten a sour lemon. "Fuck you," he growled.

A wide grin spread across Ian's face. He knew that Mickey sometimes said 'fuck you' to hide the fact that he was happy.

"So that's a yes," Ian said. It wasn't a question.

Mickey chewed on his lip and sighed. "Yeah, sure. Whatever."

It was official. They were dating.

Since then, their relationship progressed slowly.

Ian knew that the trick to dating Mickey Milkovich was to let him go at his own pace. Mickey was like a wild animal. He was easily spooked into running away. One step out of his comfort zone could've shattered the fragile happiness they both shared.

When he and Ian were alone, he never denied it when Ian said they were "boyfriends," but he also never brought up the word himself. They just had a mutual understanding that's what they were.

Ian wanted to change all that.

The Gallagher had more patience than most people, he had to if he was dating Mickey, but even he needed some sort of reassurance sometimes.

After two years of dating, he finally decided to do something. He was determined to know for sure that Mickey really felt the same way.

He was done letting Mickey always make the first move.

"I love you."

Mickey's eyes widened. He turned away. He didn't want to hear this. He wasn't ready.

"Please… say something, Mick," Ian begged him nervously. "I've been holding this back for so long, but I can't keep it in forever. Some things just… they need to be said."

Mickey finally glanced back at Ian. The older boy suddenly looked so small. His eyes were full of fear and confusion.

"Fuck, Gallagher. Why do you have to be such a fag?" he mumbled.

Ian sighed. "Forget it," he said. "Let's just go to bed."

Neither one of them said another word.

Mickey laid wide awake for the rest of the night, listening to the sound of his boyfriend snoring lightly behind him.

Those three words nagged at Mickey for weeks.

"I love you." Mickey mouthed it to himself, testing it on his lips.

He wanted to say it back to Ian, but he just couldn't. No one had ever loved him before, not even his own family. He had no idea what those words even meant.

He thought about his relationship with Ian, and he knew that it was too late. He couldn't imagine a life without that stubborn redhead anymore. Even after all the years they'd spent together, just being with Ian made him happy and nervous all at the same time.

Maybe that was love. Mickey didn't know.

"Mick?" Mickey was broken out of his thoughts by Ian's voice. "Yo, Mick!"

"What?" Mickey snapped at him irritably.

"Are you okay?" Ian asked. "You've been acting weird."

"M'fine," Mickey muttered.

"Really?" Ian asked in disbelief. He sighed. "… are you sure that it's not because of what I said to you three weeks ago?"

Mickey scoffed as if that was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard.

"I'm serious, Mick. You've been acting different ever since I told you that I love you," Ian insisted.

There it was. He said it again.

Mickey froze at the words. He didn't want to think about it.

All of a sudden the emotions that Mickey had been holding in for the past three weeks just poured out of him. "That's because I'm fucking pissed at you!" he barked.

Ian's eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "What? Why?" he asked.

Mickey chewed on his lip. Even if he wanted to, it wasn't like he could put his feelings into words. "Forget it," he said finally.

"No. If you're pissed at me, then the least you can do is tell me why!" Ian demanded.

"I… fuck!" Mickey rubbed the heels of his hands into his eyes stressfully. "I don't know!"

"You're pissed… but you don't know why?" Ian asked slowly, trying to understand.

"Yes… no! Fuck!" Mickey groaned in frustration. "I don't know what I'm feeling, and it's all your fault!"

There was silence. Mickey's words hung in the air. Their eyes met.

"Fuck you," Mickey spat, his voice cracking. Anyone other than Ian would have mistaken his words for an insult, but he knew Mickey better than that.

Ian smiled fondly at Mickey and pulled him in for a small kiss. "I love you too," he said softly.

Mickey was taken aback. That reaction was not what he had been expecting.

"I… w-what?" he stammered.

"It's okay," Ian said. "You don't have to say anything. I understand."

Mickey searched Ian's face for some sign that he was joking, but he saw nothing. Finally, he let out a small sigh of relief. He nodded and allowed Ian to pull him close.

Mickey wasn't able to say the words just yet, but in that moment, he didn't need to. Ian knew Mickey better than he knew himself. He knew how to speak Mickey's language, and hidden behind the words 'fuck you,' he heard Mickey's feelings loud and clear.