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Why is it that when you want to run from something, the harder you try to run, the faster it catches up with you?
Fan Fiction. I am not new to the world of it. I have read a bit and even tried my hand writing some but it still baffles me to be honest. The world and the rules are not the same as the traditional book world. Doesn’t mean I won’t read it or seek it out, it just means that it can be off putting to someone, a reader like me who doesn’t understand it all.
My usual FF reads tend toward the IRL reads but for this, I decided to go with a show I have been watching; Shameless. Through the wonderful posts on Tumblr I found simply tagged #IanandMickey I saw images, gifs and clips of two boys in many situations that broke my heart and made me crave to know what their story was. The story of Mickey Milkovich and Ian Gallagher. I am only on episode 3 of season two of Shameless but I can say that this story, Just Convenience by MintSauce nailed each character.
Told in the POV of Mickey Milkovich, we see our neighborhood thug do something noble right out of the gates. We meet Kara, who works with Mickey in the drug dealing business, has an abusive ex-husband and after a round with the man she ends up on Mickey’s doorstep. Mickey rescues not only her but her daughter Teagan and they begin a life on the run.
The threesome end up in some bad situations through the years and a chance meeting in New York with Lip Gallagher allows Mickey to go back home to Chicago. Somewhere Mickey doesn’t want to go because Ian will be there…
I loved this story. I loved how Mickey becomes attached to Kara but more importantly to Teagan. Sure, he is gruff with her but that is his way. The little things he does and his protectiveness of her, the way he lets himself care just a little bit…will this allow him to do the same when it comes to Ian?
Mickey’s growth was heart breaking to read, the inner turmoil of this bad boy hurt my romantic heart so many times. Just reading Mickey talk about himself – why his father and brothers hate him, why he feels he isn’t good enough for Ian – gave me chills a few times. I mean, this is Mickey Milkovich, he doesn’t do fucking feelings.
I did like, as a friend calls it, the ninja POV switch with Ian. I wanted to know what he felt after all these years seeing Mickey or as Ian says “the ex-con” again. Oh Ian. You kill me on the show and you kill me here. Gah. From the times you saw Mickey but did nothing about it to the first time he speaks to you in the Alibi Room and you have no words…you had no words! When does Ian Gallagher not have a mouthful to say?
I appreciated that the author brought the whole Gallagher clan into the story and that Carl, still being on the edge of sociopathic, gets redeemed and uses his crazy behavior for good and for Teagan. It was nice to see Lip and I am not sure if he is with Mandy in future seasons of the show but that pairing could be interesting as it was in this story. Lip does deserve someone who will love him and not put up with shit. Mandy has had her father and brothers to deal with so a Gallagher should be too much for him. The pairing at first seemed odd but it’s the whole “boy next door” deal for me.
Though the story had a nice flow to it, the POV switches after Ian’s initial POV introduction, could have been labeled, they were a bit confusing and I had to go back and reread lines to see who was actually talking but it didn’t take away from the story. I needed to be in Ian’s head as he saw and realized all the ways Mickey had changed. All the positives that his first love had embraced and I hoped right along with Ian when he saw them.
There were a few odd words like, the use of “dodgy” and Teagan referring to Kara as “mum” let me know the author is British or at least writes that way. Again, not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it was noticeable.
What I enjoyed about the story the most was that you don’t have to know who these characters are on the show to get this story or to feel the boys. Their actions and emotions are clear and the feelings are present. Mickey’s flashback brought me back to the show and I liked the visual, I could see the boys in store and remember things like “the Snicker’s incident” but again, you don’t need to watch or have watched the show to like the story.
Goodness, I think I highlighted so much throughout this that hurt or just made me take a deep breath it was written quite well. So many of Mickey’s inner thoughts were gorgeous and with that ending; I’m going to go binge on the last 33.5 episodes I have left of Shameless.
Title: Just Convenience
Fandom: Shameless (US) / Ian & Mickey
Word count: 54,000
Release Date: March 10, 2013
Purchase Links: AO3