Frank Gallagher: Loving Husband, Devoted Father

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Whitesnake Moan

Linda summons Kash to the cc screens, to ask him if he thought he saw one of the cameras move, and he stiffens right up and says it's nothing, nothing was stolen today. "You're right. I should probably shut it off. But then I'd miss the part where you take it up the ass from a teenage boy... Here it is: Billy Elliott, cornholing the father of my children. Must be big, judging from the grimace on your face..." Kash turns away, about ready to barf, and she nearly laughs: "What? We were just getting to the climax. Literally!"

Ian walks in at just that moment, having dressed without looking at Mickey, without looking at all until he heard the thump and saw Kash's gun, lying on the bed, an apology of sorts, and a sort of contract. And when he tried to kiss Mickey goodbye, he threatened to cut out Ian's tongue.

And then he saw the message from Linda, and came running to the store, and the first thing Linda did was slap him across the mouth. "That's for screwing my husband." Ian nodded, Ian was already halfway out the door and into this new mess, tethered to the banister, straining at the leash, and Kash asked if he was free to go. What she would tell the kids, what they'd do about his mother. Linda was not impressed; she struck out again, and reminded Kash that neither of them are free to go. Chained up like Labradors.

"Where does that leave me, starting over? I'm a white Muslim," she nearly screamed, and both Kash and Ian saw her point. They grew to love her more in that moment, not less. She wanted another baby. A fresh start inside the prison. "I get what I want, and you can have what you want. Behind closed doors. I don't want to be the laughing stock of the mosque. But no touching the Forbidden Fruit until I'm knocked up, we clear?"

Ian apologized, eloquently, and returned the gun, and turned to go, but Linda nearly smiled at him. "You're not fired. My opinion? You could do better."

He went to the bar then, for his father's funeral, and he could still taste the blood from Linda's fist and he was still bruised from the fight, and when he got there it was Fiona demanding to know what happened and Veronica calling for ice and bandages and vitamin K and Lip and Kev and Steve, hoping for a fight. The complicated Gallagher machinery jumped into action, hauling him along the chain one link at a time, back to the safety of home.

But he can still taste Mickey, too, and he doesn't have the words to explain why it's different this time, what exactly he left with Linda: When he says it's no big deal, he's not being a soldier, he's not accepting the pain of another scrape and another big fight for Kash's honor or the burden of being who and what he is. This time, when he says it's nothing it won't be bravery, it'll simply be the truth:

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