1- Meeting Maryanne

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Ian and mickey were in the corner shop getting some late night snacks. It was around midnight and mickey had dragged Ian out so they could get some beers and of course some sweets. As they were coming out the shop, a little girl, barefoot and sobbing ran towards them

"Daddy" she yelled out jumping into ians arms as her picked her up confused. Mickey nudged him and nodded towards a shady looking man who was slowly retreating back into the shadows

"Hi darling. You shouldn't be out this late. Your mother will be worried sick" Ian said putting the girl on his hip as him and mickey walked away from the shop. Once the man was gone, the girl was still shaking and crying so mickey wrapped his jacket around her

"What's your name?" Ian asked


"That's pretty. What are you doing out here alone? You got any parents we can take you to? Family?" Mickey asked

"I want mummy" she sobs looking around

"Hey hey. That's OK. That's OK. Do you know her address?" Ian asks

"She's fucking 2 Ian she ain't gonna know"

"I'm only asking and mind your language"

"I'm 6. She's in heaven. I'm living with 2 new people. I don't wanna stay there" she cries

"Oohh. So you ran away?" Ian asks as maryanne nods. Mickey and Ian share a look before getting inside the gallagher house, setting the little girl on the sofa and giving her some sweets

"She can't have sugar mick. It's midnight" Ian scolds

"Best time to have sugar" mickey counteracts, handing the kid a packet of haribo

"So you from England blondie or just got an odd accent?" Mickey asks

"I'm from England but we moved to America last year. I thought we'd all be together but now I'm living with stupid Foster parents"

"Foster parents suck don't they kid"

"I have to go back don't I?" Maryanne asks sadly. She had stopped crying but her eyes were red and her face was covered in tear stains

"I'm afraid so. But you ever need us, we're right here. Come round any time. But I've made a phone call and your Foster mom is coming round for you" Ian says

"Please don't make me" she says with puppy eyes

"Oh shit Ian don't make her" mickey caves after seeing her quivering lip

"I don't have a choice. If you stay here, it's kidnapping. If you're not safe in your Foster home, I can call the police and you can stay somewhere else"

"I am safe. They're nice people. But I don't like them" she sighs. Next thing she knows, there is a knock on the door and a woman walks in fussing over maryanne

"Oh sweetheart. I'm sorry. If you ever feel sad again, you can always talk to us" the woman (jackie) says. She kisses maryannes cheek and picks her up

"Thank you so much for taking care of her. Lord knows what may have happened if you weren't there. What do you say maryanne?"

"Thank you" she mumbles rolling her eyes as mickey and ian stifle a laugh

"You're welcome any time" Ian says. Once they're gone, mickey flops on the sofa

"OK that was the cutest kid I've ever seen" he exclaims

"Oh really? You know, we could always get a kid of our own" Ian says pushing mickey down and hovering over him

"Sure. Go down to the park. I'll steal one" mickey jokes, or atleast Ian hoped he was joking

"Fuck off. You know what i mean. We could adopt a kid" Ian suggests

"Baby look at us. We're screw ups. You really wanna bring a kid into our mess?" Mickey asks

"We wouldn't. We'd give a kid the life we never got"

"I'll think about it" mickey says


"Yes alright fucking Jesus. Don't make a big deal. I said ill think about it. That ain't no fucking yes firecrotch. You got that" mickey says annoyed

"I fucking love you" Ian says kissing mickeys neck

"Get a room" Carl tells them from the top of the stairs

Meanwhile, maryanne was lay in her bed. She couldn't stop thinking about the two men that saved her. She never got their names. But the ginger one was like a mother. And the short one was like a drunk uncle who just fills you with sugar then hands you off to your parents. It was nice and warming to be around them

Maryanne kept thinking. What if they looked after he instead? This couple was nice n all. But they were too normal. It felt like they were trying to be her parents. Take their places. She wanted people completely different from her mummy and daddy. They were gone. Always be remembered. And she needed someone to look after her. But not someone to replace her parents.

But the two did say she can come back any time. Perhaps she could bring this up with them. Ha. Ye right. Maryanne knew how the world worked. Even at 6, she had figured out that people don't always do what you want. Even if she wanted them to be her guardians, they could easily say no. Or the government could see them as unfit.

Whatever it was, something seemed to be stopping it. Was it maryannes own anxiety? The long list of 'what ifs' she was making in her mind? Or perhaps nothing at all. Either way, she knew she couldn't stay with this couple for much longer. It felt wrong. She needed to get out one way or another

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