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Cardigan Weather

Chapter Text

“I've met someone.”

At first, he doesn't respond. Deliberately pretending not to have heard her, he figures it's a new game she's thought up. But her expression doesn't change, what he can see of it out of his peripheral vision, and eventually, he's forced to conclude that she isn't planning anything. With an annoyed sigh, Tony finally looks to her.


“I've met someone,” she repeats.

“What do you mean?”

Sketch rolls her eyes, making her way into the room from the doorway where she'd been lingering. Her hands land, fingers splayed, on the desk where he'd been working, sending tiny droplets of ink scattering over the surface. He frowns, covering the delicate gears and springs with his hands to shield them. She leans over, stares directly into his eyes, and speaks, deliberately slowly, as though he were the simple yellow one.

“I've. Met. Someone. Else.”

She straightens.

“Someone new,” she adds.

Tony frowns, sits up in the chair. A moment taken to think of something to say. She's not breaking up with him, they aren't even officially in a relationship. More like a sick cycle of grotesque addiction and severe codependency. He won't give her the satisfaction of asking any stupid questions. Part of him is still trying to goad her into playing their game.

But Sketch is done playing, apparently for good.

Finally, he's forced to fold. He rises, pressing his own palms to the surface as she had moments ago.

“What do you mean, 'met someone'?”

She smiles at him, somehow serene. Moves around the desk and picks his wrists up, interlaces her fingers with his.

“Someone better for me, you must understand. This thing we have, it's fun, it's addicting, it's delicious, but it's just not... Fulfilling.”

His face remains level, but the frown must have reached his eyes, because she responds with a physical one.

“See, we're just no good for each other. We're like one-hit wonders, we reach a peak early and fast, flare brilliantly, but ultimately burn out far too soon. I've met someone who burns slowly, builds up, it's tender and sweet and satisfying.”

He pulls away from her with a disgusted sound, and she moves after him, pins him to the wall and wraps her arms around his shoulders.

“I would like to thank you, for showing me a part of the world that I have never seen. We were young and dumb, but it still was fun, and I'm forever indebted to you. I hope you feel the same.”

Before he can respond, her mouth closes over his- silencing any protests he had- and lingers there. It's soft, foreign. There's no bite behind it, no force, no desire to fight or engage, no teeth. It's gentle and unfamiliar. She's saying goodbye. He hates it.

“You seemed like such a big part of my life and my heart. But the truth is, I've found something new, and she easily towers over you.”

Her arms withdraw and she moves over to the door again, turning and leaving without looking back.

He stays up against the wall for a long time.