Missing scene from short film ‘Sweet’ probably better than it sounds.


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Length: words

SWEET fic by quizkid

Stitch sat in a booth staring disconsolately out the grimy window of the pub. His face felt hot with embarrassment. He let his hands soak up the cold condensation sweating off his beer and ran them through his unwashed hair. He’d wanted to chase after Pete, he’d had a yell caught in his throat but without any articulate thought behind it he stayed quiet. He stayed on the floor, waiting until Pete had left the pub before he picked himself up. He’d ordered another drink because embarrassment had kept him from running out after him.

He felt sick and dizzy and his arms felt like they weighed nothing at all. They shook uncontrollably every time he raised his beer to his lips.

To be honest it was never a very good plan to begin with. It wasn’t really even a plan, just an impulse. What did he think was going to happen? He probably got off easy; at least he hadn’t embarrassed himself further by running after Pete. Saying things that Pete didn’t want to hear and things Stitch knew he’d regret. However fucked up things seemed now at least there’d be some hope of ironing things out, of being mates again. Really he was a cunt, what did he expect?

Stitch tried to think back to when it didn’t ache to look at his best mate. It seemed like a long time ago. Back then he didn’t mind so much Pete’s stupid teasing, poking him, touching him. Now it made him angry that Pete didn’t know, couldn’t comprehend what it did to him. He’d been angry when he’d told Daisy about Poppy. He’d been angrier still when it seemed neither of them minded. God, he’d been fit to burst!

It wasn’t Pete’s fault really and he knew that deep down. How stupid can you be to fall for your best friend? No matter how much he looks like a girl that is just not on. Stitch groaned a bit into his beer and earned a not to friendly stare from the barman, which seemed to be telling him: finish your pint and get the fuck out.

Stitch started to get up, collect himself enough to leave when-“Oi! Get up and over to mine, we need to talk you fucking wazzock!”

Pete, great. Stitch could feel the flush rise in his cheeks again as the barman sent them both a hostile stare.

Pete didn’t wait for him to follow he left the pub and marched back towards his flat not even looking back to see if Stitch had followed. Even though Pete was a lot shorter Stitch had to half jog to keep up with him. Not quite willing to walk beside him just yet. He’d wait to see where this was going.

When they got back to Pete’s place all the sound seemed absorbed into this awful vacuum of awkward silence. It was nothing like the comfortable silences they shared watching Sunday football matches but an austere presence that suggested certain doom. Pete gestured to the couch abruptly and Stitch acquiesced to prevent any further confrontation. Though he felt too anxious at the moment to sit still. He played with the watch on his wrist. It was one of those cheap ones with the expanding metal bracelets. He pulled it out and it caught on the soft hairs of his forearm making him wince and focusing him at once. He’d had a horrible feeling of impending tears a few moments earlier and he tried to stave them off as best he could for however long it took for Pete to dissolve their friendship. It seemed like that was the way this discussion was going to go. Pete wouldn’t sit down. He was pacing in front of the sofa looking everywhere but Stitch and carding his hands through his stupid, perfect tousled hair.

Finally Pete started. “You have to tell me because I don’t understand. Aren’t we best mates? Don’t we always look out for each other? Why didn’t you say you liked Poppy? I would have stepped aside, given you a chance. You never say! You never say anything.”

“I’m sorry”. Was all Stitch could manage, and he was. Sorry about Poppy going off to be a lezzer. Though he couldn’t really see how that was his fault, sorry for going behind Pete’s back but mostly sorry that he was here now having this horribly embarrassing conversation.

He really hated confrontations, he’d rather just keep it all bottled up inside until he broke. And he’d scream into Pete’s ear one day over coffee that the stupid purple T-shirt Pete thought he’d lost in the wash was actually neatly folded and hidden under Stitch’s pillow. And that when he thinks about that T-shirt losing it’s Pete smell he gets depressed and drinks too much.

Before he can muse too much on his own rather pathetic feelings Pete speaks again.

“Are you gonna say anything?”

“Yeah” It’s the first time Stitch has spoken and his voice feels raw from holding back a sob. He swallows hard and tries to explain without digging himself into a deeper hole. It turns out though as he begins that he doesn’t care anymore. If this is the last time Pete ever talks to him then at least it should be for the right reasons.

“Can you just sit down?” he begins, more of a question than a request. He isn’t in the position to demand anything.

Pete sits beside him their ankles touch and Stitch takes that as a good sign.

“This is gonna sound mad, but just hear me out and don’t say anything until I finish. Just nod so I know you understand.” And Pete does, he also tries to make eye contact. Something Stitch does not appreciate and he looks away. He decides to focus on the

Felix wall clock above the television and not on Pete’s big forgiving eyes, at least not until he’s finished.

He tries to form a coherent sentence but his mind won’t let him. They sit in silence for a few seconds but the seconds seem to drag out forever, the clock’s cat eyes moving back and forth back and forth marking the long silence.

Stitch’s eyes betray him and he takes a quick peek at Pete. Who looks at him like he’s gone a bit a mad. He’s squinting at him and a cheeky undecided smirk plays across his lips.

Stitch’s mind goes blank, the rushing blood in his ears is too loud to focus on any external sound. He leans in and presses his chapped lips to Pete’s soft ones.

Once he gets there he has no idea what to do next. He’s not moving and neither is Pete. But then he thinks, Pete isn’t moving, Pete isn’t kneeing him in the balls or shoving him off, calling him a great dirty woofter.

Stitch finally gets up the nerve to pull back and look at Pete.

“Is that all?” “You idiot!” Pete doesn’t sound angry. He doesn’t look angry either, in fact he’s laughing in his idiot Pete way, which makes Stitch smile back as well.

Now they’re both laughing and Stitch is a little shaken that the punch he took in the pub half an hour ago has somehow lead to Pete’s couch and Pete’s hand on his arm.

Pete laughs again and in a flurry of motion puts both hands on Stitch’s shoulders and pushes him down onto the sofa.

For Stitch it’s one of those moments where everything seems right in the world but the pessimistic part of your brain is waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under you. Pete smiles this time, but not in a stupid or jokey way. The reassuring kind that says it’s ok for Stitch to just hold him if he wants to. Pete settles down into Stitch’s chest, his head tucked under stitch’s chin.

Pete laughs again, more to himself that anything. “You idiot” he says. “You never say anything.”

Stitch prays that Pete can’t feel his heart beating a bruise against his ribs. But he probably can. They lay like that for a few minutes, Stitch uncertainly rubbing circles on Pete’s back, Pete still gripping his shoulders. Finally Pete lifts his head and gets Stitch to make eye contact, which isn’t easy.

He’s got that look in his eye, the one that Stitch’s been envious of or more likely in love with since they first met. He cocks his head, “Fancy a drink?” And Stitch smiles because he knows Pete isn’t just talking about a drink.

“Yeah, why not.”

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