In the world of Showtime's spectacular series Shameless, character are often... well, shameless in most aspects of their lives, especially love. This, however, doesn't seem to be the case when it comes to the bond between Ian Gallagher and Mickey Milkovich, two central characters who have been in an on again-off again relationship for much of the series. While their bond hasn't always been the most healthy (Mickey was, for much of it, struggling to come to terms with his sexuality), it's inarguably one of the strongest in the show's history — and, time and time again, the one that proves that love is love, no matter what.
In light of the historic Supreme Court decision ruling same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States on June 26, they're the couple most important to celebrate — both in the realm of the show, and in pop culture as a whole. Mickey and Ian's moments together on Shameless are consistently some of the sweetest, especially considering their respective backgrounds and family situations. Here are eight Mickey and Ian moments that were always proof that love is love. (I recommend stocking up on some tissues before reading on, because when it comes to these two, the emotional impact of their sweet bond can cause a lot of feels.)
1. When Mickey Finally Kissed Ian For The First Time And It Was Perfect
During the beginning of their relationship, Mickey was struggling to come to terms with being gay, and though he and Ian were hooking up, Mickey refused to kiss Ian. When Ian called him out on it, Mickey eventually kissed Ian just before he was about to rob a rich family of their belongings — and, in perfect Shameless fashion, it was one of the most romantic moments of the series.
2. When Mickey Didn't Trust Anyone Else To Take Care Of Ian
Look, I'm not saying this was the smartest decision on Mickey's part — clearly, Mickey didn't understand how serious Ian's bipolar diagnosis was, and he should have listened to Fiona and Lip's pleas to get Ian some real help. However, I still can't help but feel completely heart-warmed at the thought of Mickey taking it upon himself to take care of Ian because he legitimately couldn't fathom the thought of trusting anyone else to do it. It's a protective side of Mickey that audiences didn't see before his relationship with Ian, and it's not only ridiculously sweet, but it's indicative of major character growth.
3. When Mickey Realized Ian Needed More Help Than He Could Give
Although Mickey was initially protective of Ian following Ian's bipolar disorder diagnosis, part of loving someone is realizing that, sometimes, you have to do what's best for them — even if it hurts. Mickey eventually realized Ian needed professional help in light of his bipolar disorder diagnosis, and he made sure Ian got it.
4. When Ian Visited Mickey In Prison
OK, so this isn't exactly the most romantic of scenarios in real life — but in the world of Shameless, this is the equivalent of, like, surprising your significant other with a romantic dinner or something.
5. When Mickey Didn't Kill Frank Just Because Ian Asked Him Not To
Curbing your murderous tendencies just because your someone asks you to? Now that's love.
6. They're Always There For Each Other, No Matter What
Whether it's pulling off a major heist, blackmailing a bigoted religious leader (who, quite frankly, deserved to be blackmailed and worse), plotting revenge against someone, or Mickey getting shot in the butt — Mickey and Ian are always on each other's sides.
7. When Mickey Came Out To His Father And All Of His Friends
It wasn't the most... politically correct of coming out speeches, but it was perfectly in-character for someone like Mickey, who is often blunt, to the point, and past caring what anyone else thinks about him. More than that, though, it indicated how far Mickey had come since first establishing his relationship with Ian: While in the beginning, he was afraid to let his abusive father Terry know about his sexual orientation, Mickey was now proudly announcing it to a room full of Terry's friends. It caused a huge brawl between him and his terrible father, sure — and it was one that Mickey had no problem fighting.
8. When They Were The Most Stable Couple On This Show
This is a show that has featured some of the most dysfunctional couples on television. Despite all of their problems and their tumultuous history, Mickey and and Ian are still hands down the most stable, loving, dedicated couple in the whole of Shameless. It just goes to show what we all already knew: Love is love, no matter what.