ellieet: (Simon and Mickey)
[personal profile] ellieet
Title: Keep Calm and Party On
Fandom: Beautiful People
Pairing: Simon/Mickey
Summary: The Doonans held another party not long after that one...
Rating: PG-light 12
Spoilers: Huge for ‘How I Got My Gash.’

1998:

The Doonans held another party not long after that one; to celebrate either Puff Daddy’s birth or some storyline going on in EastEnders to do with the Mitchells, Mickey wasn’t sure. Whatever the reason, Simon came up to him at school, his hands a sudden fist around his rucksack strap as he asked if wanted to come along, maybe; that was, if he had nothing else planned?

Mickey didn’t.

And anyway, he thought on Friday night – as he threw on his denim jacket, pushed a stray curl back from his forehead and nodded, satisfied, at his reflection, before heading out on his bike – after completely ballsing things up during his first week at the school, it was good to get a second chance.

Simon’s face lit up as he opened the door to him and Mickey’s planned opening greeting of ‘Hi’ nearly died in his throat as he felt a heated flush sneak up his neck, along his cheeks. Remembering to smile, he ducked his head as he stepped inside into the odd, colourful menagerie of people, even as a glass of red wine – wine? – was pressed into his hand.

‘A word to the attractive unwise, girlfriend,’ Kylie whispered, as Mickey blinked up at him, ‘get that down you and then you can blank out the memories of our mums engaging in their daily dance-off.’

He jabbed his finger over his shoulder; Mickey took one look past him to see Reba and Debbie, both currently rubbing their enhanced cleavages up either side of the frightened rabbit that was Simon’s dad, before he rose the wine glass and took a huge gulp, the dry tide of it crashing against the back of his throat.

‘What’s in this?’ he asked, coughing as he patted his chest; Kylie shook his head, pulling the glass from his grip.

‘Don’t fret, girlfriend, cranberry and carrot always tends to be a bit strong. Maybe something with parsnips?’

Mickey blinked, but (probably wisely, he thought later) said nothing and wordlessly accepted the white wine that he was offered instead.

It wasn’t a bad party, really, he thought, although he kept his wine-glass in hand at all times. Okay, so Jayeson Jackson was there, languishing in the far corner while Ashlene, shooting furtive glances around, allowed him sneaky swigs of her beer but was that really meant to matter? And how could it, anyway, when Mickey wasn’t a part of his gang anymore (wished he never had been), when Debbie was in the room and Jayeson was throwing cautious glances at her, the slightest shadow of a black eye still visible on his face? Smirking dryly into his wine, Mickey turned away towards Simon and Kylie on the sofa, both giggling over something he couldn’t see before they looked up as one and waved him into their conversation about sequins and star-charts.

Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the company; but whatever the reason, the hours seemed to slip by, the people around them became cheerful hazes of grown-up insanity. Mickey hadn’t felt so chilled in a long time – even better, while Simon and Kylie were showing him their homemade West End trader cards, Simon’s Auntie Hayley ended up smacking Jayeson around the head during a rendition of the Saturday Night dance.

‘Sorry, love!’ she trilled as he backed away, rubbing his head as Mickey, Simon and Kylie all burst out laughing and there was something so good in what they were sharing, how bravely defiant the three of them felt underneath Jayeson’s glare before he stalked off back to Ashlene’s side, Puff Daddy in one hand as she held out her beer to him with the other.

In the same moment, a shriek and the crash of a falling lamp colliding with the opening chords of The Macarena signalling that first moment of a much-awaited scrap between Debbie and Reba; Kylie, looking resigned even as he leapt to his feet, ran in to join the fray. The fight ended as quickly as it had begun, with Reba sprawled on the floor but managing to leave her teeth-marks in Debbie’s leg.

‘What charming parents,’ Simon sighed to Mickey over the racket, voice a murmur of melancholy as he leaned towards him and it was weird, really, to realise just how close their eyes were...

Just the music, Mickey thought, ripping his gaze away, just the music and the lights and the wine and everyone around them going mental – that was all.

‘Are you okay?’ Simon asked, blinking across at him.

‘Yeah,’ Mickey could only stare back at him, words an empty push. ‘Fine.’

‘... Do you want another drink?’

Mickey blinked down at his glass; it was empty and he hadn’t realised. He glanced at the clock; it was nearly ten and he knew that soon he had to start thinking about heading home.

‘Alright, then.’

Simon reached out with a hand – that small thin hand, the bump of a bone clear on the wrist – and Mickey grasped it. Jerking to a silent halt, Simon’s eyes shot up to meet his, wide and worried.

‘I was reaching for your glass,’ he smiled nervously and Mickey blinked back at him (that would make sense...) feeling about an inch in height as they both looked down at his fingers, right where they shouldn’t be, Simon’s palm pressed – stuck, it seemed – against the heat of his hand and hands weren’t pleasant when they were hot and maybe a little sweaty and am I hurting him?

With that thought came the quick drop of the hand, the word ‘Sorry’ fumbling through Mickey’s lips even as he wondered when he was going to stop saying it, if he was ever going to get it right around Simon.

‘Oh, no, it’s alright,’ Simon shook his head, pupils swift in their sockets. ‘I should...’ he gestured mutely to the kitchen area and Mickey could only nod, wanting to just sweep the moment aside, wondering what the hell he had been thinking and still somehow not over that feeling, that sheer shock of skin around his palm.

He watched Simon stand – and he had to be turning his eyes away from his for a reason – and scurry, a little too quick and nimble, around the corner. Looking around at the crowd – eyes passing over Kylie who was handing Reba a whisked-up cocktail as he fanned her face frantically with a copy of Inside Soap – Mickey bit his lip, thought about it and then got up to follow Simon, slipping through the crowd and stepping over Reba’s leg on the way.

The kitchen was deserted, with only Simon opening up another bottle of wine against the far counter. Leaning hesitantly through the door, Mickey listened to the muffled tinkle of wine being poured into the glass for a moment as he watched Simon push a stray strand of fringe behind his ear, face light and lowered (beautiful).

... Oh...

‘Oh – hello,’ Simon glanced up at the sound of his shuffling in the doorway. ‘Everything alright?’

He offered a smile along with the fresh wine and it was enough, somehow, to put Mickey at ease; stepping inside to take the glass, he came to lean back against the counter next to him.

‘Fine. And... thanks for inviting me,’ he added, taking a small sip, fully aware that he was buying time.

Simon’s grin, if possible, grew wider and he bit down on the corner of his lip; a nervous habit, Mickey thought, he did it often enough. ‘That’s fine; thankyou for coming. I’m glad you’re here.’

I’m glad; Mickey blinked.

‘... Really?’

Simon nodded, looking surprised that he didn’t believe him and Mickey stared back, the crinkled weight of his frown bearing down over his eyes (do you really mean that?) and just for a moment, unable to talk.

‘Thanks,’ he said finally, hushed, humble because that was just really nice...

... no, he realised, this was more than nice, this was easy, really, when you got past that first bit, easier than trying to avoid a thousand girls, looking like tarts in their short skirts, easier than trying to like the giggles raining down on him on all sides in the corridor even as he was fleeing from them.

What had made him try to force himself to fit in with all that...

... when things were just so much better here?

It made him feel brave as he smiled across at Simon – just a little more than the wine and the laughter and whole joyful atmosphere had already made him – and putting his wine aside – hesitating – he placed a hand on his upper-arm, a few fingers straying over the line of the sleeve. Simon watched his progress, momentarily silent before he reached out and plucked up the hand.

‘Sorry,’ Mickey blinked, immediately jarred back to his senses (maybe he didn’t want that, maybe he should have asked – why couldn’t keep his hands to himself? All he had to do was jam them in his pockets, it was that simple...).

‘No, it’s fine,’ Simon insisted, ‘It’s... it’s nice.’

And that tender lip bite was back as his gaze fell away, hair curtaining his eyes, their hands clicked together in a warm lock as Mickey wondered, spare hand shifting in air, what would happen if he –

‘Battios.’

Jayeson’s harsh murmur cut across the kitchen and they looked up as one to see him, lager in hand, half-cut, sneering around the kitchen doorframe at them, brave in the absence of Debbie from the scene.

His head snapping around to look back at Simon and the way he wordlessly dropped his hand, Mickey snatched up the wine-glass before he strode across the kitchen and threw the whole drink, a scarlet splash, straight into Jayeson’s face.

‘Knobhead,’ he replied in kind, watching the wine drip down over Jayeson’s eyes, squeezed shut in shock and hoping it would take him all weekend to wash the colour from his cheeks. Putting the glass aside, he turned back to Simon and felt a bump of pleasure in his gut to see him gaping in sheer delight.

‘Come on,’ Mickey took a chance and put a (protective) arm around his shoulders, not feeling one inch repentant as they brushed past the soaked bully, leaving him to stew, ‘let’s get back in there.’

*

2009:

The engagement party was inevitable really, Simon had warned Mickey over Skype, so there was only one thing for it. They would bribe Kylie with Ashlene’s prized purple high heels to keep them stocked with wine throughout the entire evening; he should only stop, Simon instructed as he handed the heels over, when he was seeing six of Mickey, simply because he might die of a heart-attack brought on by sheer excitement if he saw anymore.

Early on in the evening, somewhere in the middle of the crowd of dancers, after having his cheeks pinched by a tipsy Debbie again and thinking he might have a massive bruise from the amount of times a beaming Andy had clapped him on the back, Mickey took one look at everyone bouncing around him before he turned to steal out through the door and into the back garden. The early autumn chill slipped over his skin, casting the slightest fog over his heavy breath as he stared up at the night-sky, clouds tainted a vibrant orange by the town lights.

‘Hi, sweetie.’

Simon’s voice was a gentle snag in the silence of the garden, compared to the livewire noises of celebration inside and Mickey smiled at him.

‘Hi, gorgeous.’

He watched his fiancé step out after him, closing the back door quietly, a glass of wine in hand that he came across to offer to Mickey.

‘Get that down you, treasure. It’s going to be a long evening.’

Mickey accepted the glass, even as a shock of nostalgia hit him and between sips, lightly quipped, ‘Are you regretting it? That you’re marrying me and not John Barrowman like you always wanted?’

He watched Simon cock his head to the side before a beam crossed his face, his cheeks full moons with its cheerful weight.

‘No,’ he said, words gentle and golden. ‘No, I’m not.’

‘Well, you’re better-looking than Jason Orange, anyway,’ Mickey added with a grin and Simon raised an eyebrow with precision, before shrugging and giving a satisfied nod.

‘True, true. Although I do technically have Mr. Orange to thank for leading me to you.’

Mickey chuckled softly, contemplating his glass for a moment before he raised his head up at the roof, somehow smaller and closer now than it had seemed when they were fourteen. Simon, wrapping his arms around his waist from behind, followed his gaze, propping his chin on his shoulder.

‘You alright, my love?’ One hand made a sneaky grope for the wine; leaning back against him as he handed it over, Mickey nodded.

‘I’m fine, Si. Just a bit...’

‘Overburdened?’ Simon offered; an affirming glance was all he seemed to need and he kissed Mickey’s shoulder, sympathetic as he turned around in his arms. ‘I know.’

Thoughtful, Mickey hooked an arm around his neck while Simon took a sip of wine, huffing as he studied the gash on his forehead, the faint lines stark underneath the house lights.

Reaching up, he ignored the sudden grasp of Simon’s free hand around his wrist – engagement ring gleaming – just as he ignored the warning look he gave and started to trace the edge of his thumb across the soft strike. Simon could deny it and hide it and conceal it with forty layers of makeup all he liked, but the fact was, Mickey had been there when it happened –

(Sky, purple and young over their heads -

Eyes slipped shut -

Close -

So close –

Screeching sirens, burning with sound into their song –

Simon, scared, slipping, falling, oh my god, he’s going to go -

A thump.

The gash.)


– and there was no way he could ever etch it out of his memory. Placing a gentle kiss over the scar as Simon huffed, he then threw another glance up at the roof.

‘How did we even manage to get up there, anyway?’ he wondered aloud.

‘We flew, of course, my treasure,’ Simon shrugged underneath another sip of wine and there was something touching in the fact that he hadn’t forgotten, could remember those days so casually.

Like a shared song, Mickey thought as Simon drained the glass, placing it on a precarious position on the bird-bath before he looped an arm through his own.

‘Tell me all,’ he ordered. ‘I know my Mum’s McFly renditions can be a bit of a nightmare, especially when she starts to dress up like Dougie. She and Aunty Hayley actually went through a whole phrase of dressing like him back in 2007 – they kept sending me pictures over in New York; well, that and telling me all about some sort of coming out-forward-slash-sexual-confusion storyline that was going on in Hollyoaks.’ He pouted ever-so-slightly, head hung at an angle. ‘Would have liked to have seen that, actually.’

A small smile pushing through the heart shape of his mouth, Mickey bumped gently against his shoulder.

‘It’s not that, Si,’ he assured, ‘well, not the Hollyoaks thing, that was seriously good viewing – but I wouldn’t worry about your family, especially your Mum. She loves you.’
‘I know,’ Simon replied, ‘and she seems to love you too, seeing as she actually knows who you are now and hasn’t chucked you into the pond.’

Mickey said nothing, a minute ‘Yeah...’ without meaning falling from his lips as it occurred to him, with a shock beat of clarity that squeezed him from the inside, that he had been afraid of this for some time. He hesitated, words suddenly straining.

‘I – I like her,’ he said finally, ‘really, I do, but – ‘

‘Oh, let me guess,’ Simon cut across soothingly. ‘The ritual burning of the Charlie Dimmock effigy.’

‘It’s not that – ‘

‘Oh,’ Simon blinked, surprised. ‘Then she and Aunty Hayley’s improvised dance-routine to “Doctor Jones”?’

‘No...’

‘... Her criminal record?’

‘Her what?’

‘Oh, no,’ Simon suddenly exclaimed with a groan. ‘Don’t tell me you’ve been talking to Kylie about that leather whip he found in her lingerie drawer.’ Ignoring the fact that Mickey’s eyes had grown to the size of sherbet saucers, he added, ‘I already told him, he’s not allowed up there, but once he’d got my Dad drunk on cherry and brocolli – ‘

‘Simon,’ Mickey, grasping his hands, looked him in the eye. ‘It’s not... any of those things.’ He paused and then mouthed, ‘Leather whip?’

Simon, a slight smile ghosting over his mouth, shrugged. ‘Thunder-Cats costume party. Or so I’ve chosen to believe. Very staunchly. But treasure, if it’s not any of that, than no doubt this glorious head of hair,’ he skimmed his fingers lightly over the surface of Mickey’s thick dark locks, ‘hides the stitches from the brain-surgery somewhere.’

Shaking his head, Mickey rubbed his eyes, feeling the pressure of Simon’s scattered assumptions on top of everything else as he fastened his fingers behind his neck.

‘What is it, sweetie?’ he asked; Mickey took a moment, stroking his fiance’s chin tenderly.
‘I don’t know,’ he murmured, ‘I guess I just... don’t know if I’d be welcomed,’ he groped for the words, gently squeezing both of Simon’s arms, ‘if they knew about me, if they knew what I’ve done.’

Simon gave him a look, hands dropping to his hips, his sigh a stone in the water.

‘Mickey... you haven’t done anything and what you did do was a long time ago.’ His expression was a hundred things undefined in a single stare; his voice soft with either something gentle, or something deeply annoyed.

‘I know...’ he scratched his neck, ‘I feel like, maybe, I’m hiding something from them.’

Something gave way in Simon’s face, and he took Mickey’s hand.

‘Come here.’ He led him over to the swing-seat that his parents had steadfastly refused to buy during his school-years and then had somehow found the money for while he was away in New York.

‘I just feel, if I were to tell them,’ Mickey continued, settling down beside him, ‘then... what would they say? To know that...’ his tightened gaze fell to his hands, ‘the person marrying their son was a bully...’

‘The person marrying their son is a six-foot-one devastatingly gorgeous creature with a good heart,’ Simon cut across firmly, every last inch of confidence that he had been still steadily gaining when Mickey had first met him dazzling through, ‘and he shouldn’t let a few mistakes he made when he was young stop him. Mickey, darling, we all learn from our youth. Do you think I felt proud of myself in latter years for making a Bette Midler statue out of sequins when I could have made it out of hair-rollers? Hm?’ He raised his eyebrows at him. ‘Taught me a lot right there about window-dressing, I’ll have you know.’

He was rewarded with a tugging chuckle as he took his hand.

‘You shouldn’t worry about these things, my love,’ he added gently, reaching out and pushing a few strands of hair back behind his ear. ‘Worry about whether Steps is ever going to make a comeback? By all means, yes. But not about this.’

His fingers, softened by constant use of Nivea, tightened around Mickey’s, a simple, trusting dismissal of his fears. It was one of the most wonderful things about Simon, that unconditional affection, one of a hundred reasons and more why Mickey loved him so and yet cut him to the quick every time he remembered everything. Raising Simon’s hand to his mouth, he kissed the back of the palm softly as Simon rolled his eyes to the sky, before standing and tugging him to his feet.

‘Come here, you,’ he stroked his cheek as he pulled him in for a kiss and Mickey’s hands, despite his better judgement, started to tangle themselves in his fiance’s hair, so recently cut and stylised to precision; pulling back, Simon jabbed a finger at him.

‘Do not mess up my revived New York do or I will actually kill you.’

‘Wouldn’t dream of it, prince,’ Mickey told him, smiling playfully even as he placed his palms either side of his waist instead, kissing his cheek and pulling him in for a hug. Over his shoulder, he stared back up at the roof and just for a moment, he could see himself there eleven years ago, a fourteen-year-old with confused eyes and no clue what the hell he was supposed to be doing right before that shyly bold boy, that absolute sweetheart who had been and still was Simon, grasped his hand and pulled him to his feet.

‘I love you,’ he murmured into his hair, holding him tight in what he was determined would always be a safe place and he sensed his smile against his shoulder.

‘I love you, too.’

*

‘Oh, here they are!’

Andy, buzzed beyond belief, pointed both arms wildly at his son and future-son-in-law as they stepped back into the kitchen, hand-in-hand to the cheers of drunken party-goers who took one second out of the Saturday Night dance to applaud them before resuming; Auntie Hayley ended up clapping Jayeson around the head with the whirl of her arms.

Simon, shoulders lifting with a single smirk as he shared a glance with Mickey, then took his hand and guiding him through the chaos of the makeshift dance-floor and to a safe spot on the side – conveniently, next to the wine. Wrapping an arm around Simon’s waist as he watched his future in-laws continue to cut a rug – literally as well as metaphorically, given Debbie’s killer heels – it occurred to Mickey – for the first time, strangely enough – that maybe it was because the Doonans really loved to party that they were doing this, not simply because he was marrying their son. They had welcomed him into the circle without question...

... As though they trusted him.

Which they could; which Simon could, without any kind of question at all and he nuzzled his shoulder as they watched Kylie, in the spirit of the evening, offer Jayeson a gin and tonic along with an ice-pack for his head before Simon, patting his hand, gestured to the middle of the lounge. Nodding, Mickey let himself be pulled out into the centre of the small mass of dancers and become part of the haphazard celebration.

‘Well, it is still our party, after all,’ Simon shrugged, arms around him as they were jostled and poked from all sides in the small space and Mickey just smiled and kissed him.

‘At least we know how to move,’ he added, a hand trailing over his heart; chuckling silently, Simon gave a snap of the fingers, before settling both palms against Mickey’s hips.

Ten minutes later, they were the kings, the dominators of the dance-floor. They spun a dizzying spiral around and around and around the crowd, Simon, every inch the classy dancer, tilting his head towards the ceiling as Mickey put a secure palm to the slim small of his back.

It felt just like the first dance of a wedding and suddenly Mickey couldn’t wait for the real thing. Simon beamed up at him, corners of his eyes crinkling, looking – and feeling, it was right there in the way he held him – every inch the loved-up teenager; everything that Mickey felt in the middle of that tiny lounge, being crowded from party-goers on all sides as they danced to the beat of the music and the sound of their smiles, losing all track of the clock and the whirling blur of faces around them.

They hadn’t even needed the wine in the end, really.

*

Date: 2010-10-28 09:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] openxthexbox.livejournal.com
I read this as soon as it was posted. WHY HAVE I NOT REVIEWED? /very disappointed in self

Anyway. This was really freaking gorgeous. Have I mentioned I love your Mickey? I'm pretty sure I have, but I'll say it again because I honestly believe your Mickey is perfect. He's adorable and insecure and shy and I LOVE HIM SO. And the rest of your characters are also perfect and absolutley lovely, but since you're writing in Mickey's voice I thought I'd pay attention to that.

Also, your writing style never ceases to amaze. The words just flow together and everything makes sense and I can see it when I read and just... YOU'RE AMAZING. I WILL SAY IT AS MANY TIMES AS IS NECESSARY.

Date: 2010-11-01 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellieet.livejournal.com
Apologies for the delay here...

Thankyou so much! I'm immensely proud of this one; it's like 'the big one' in all the Simon/Mickey fanfics and I truly enjoyed working on it.

Mickey... now, I love Mickey. I know it's just an episode and he was presented to us through Simon's viewpoint but there's a few scant basics there: that he gave into peer-pressure and that he admired (even fancied) Simon from the start. I just can't stop writing in his character because there's so much there for me to explore. Maybe I'm selfish in that I destroy/have destroyed the ambiguity of the happy ending in the show but I can't help myself - there's so much potential. And insecure and shy is truly how I see Mickey - he's just a teenage boy and a teenage boy coming to grips with his sexuality and feelings for someone just like him.

And thankyou for telling me I'm amazing. It means a lot. :)

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