Title: Ten Years Later
Characters: Cassie/Tony, Cassie/Sid
Prompt: 010 Years
Word Count: 1736
Rating: PG-15 for strong language
Summary: Ten years later the college holds a reunion, only a few of the old gang show up.
Sid stood at the edge of the college dining room, hoping he didn’t look as nervous as he felt. Every time he heard the double doors open he looked over to see if it was one of them. It was stupid really, he didn’t even know if any of the old gang were coming, in fact he was wondering what the hell had possessed him to come to his bloody reunion. It wasn’t as if he’d been that popular ten years ago and he didn’t exactly have anything to brag about – working full time in a gaming shop.
He’d lost track of everyone when college had finished; Cassie, Tony and Jal had all gone on to universities all over the country, Michelle had got a job in some fancy boutique and then apparently moved to Leeds, Anwar had grudgingly joined in the family business, Maxxie had gone off to do a performing arts course and Chris, well Chris had stayed in Bristol Sid just never saw him anymore. Leaning back against the cold brick wall he frowned to himself and took a large gulp out of his plastic cup of lager and considered how different things could have been tonight if he hadn’t broken up with Cassie because he just wasn’t mature enough to deal with all of her complicated little issues. God he didn’t even know if she was still alive or if she’d finally succeeded in one of her suicide attempts. The idea that she might not be sent so many emotions coursing through his brain – guilt, sorrow, anger, worry, that he had to close his eyes and focus on the music just to force the feelings away.
Sid’s eyes were still closed when he heard a familiar cocky voice loud over the song.
“For fuck’s sake Cas you look great, you always look great, come away from the bloody toilets will you or I’m gonna start thinking you’ve gone back to your old ways.”
Sid was so relieved to hear Tony’s voice that what he’d actually said didn’t register in his mind for a few moments. When it did he swallowed hard and turned his head towards the doors just in time to see Cassie enter and his best friend from school put his arm possessively around her waist as they headed towards a table laid out with drinks opposite where Sid was standing. He couldn’t stop himself from staring the sight of the pair of them together. He’d only seen Cassie from the front for a few seconds but she’d looked amazing. Still slim, but not the scary kind of thin she’d been at college, she looked healthy and even better that that - happy.
Finally they turned around, both sipping a glass of white wine. It was then that he noticed how expensive Tony’s suit looked and how he was somehow even better looking than he had been at college (the bastard). Cassie was the first to see him and gripping Tony’s hand she skipped towards him grinning and looking very much like the 18 year old girl he remembered losing his virginity to. As she approached Sid also noticed, with a sick kind of satisfaction, that Tony had a slight limp still.
“Hey Sid! We didn’t know if anyone else was going to be here. We phoned Jal but she’s off touring with some orchestra or other. We’re just back to see Effy,” she told Sid excitedly, still holding on to Tony’s hand as if she was afraid she might lose him if she let go. “So is anyone else here yet?”
“Oh um not yet, no. Chris might show up, he’s still around and Anwar…” he trailed off noticing Tony was looking around the room awkwardly. This was exactly what he’d expect from Tony. Sid still couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing. Tony and Cassie? It was like some horrible surreal nightmare he was having. They’d never got on at college. Tony was always going on about what a nut job Cassie was (often to her face) and Cassie had hated Tony because he was an arrogant bully who cheated on her best friend.
“Oh wow, food. Brilliant!” Cassie said, noticing the buffet had been set up at the far end of the room. “I hope they’ve got stuff I can eat,” she added finally letting go of Tony’s hand and kissing him on the cheek. “Be nice, yeah?” she whispered into his ear before going off to them both some food.
“She’s eating then?” Sid asked, slightly surprised by this fact and attempting to talk about anything but the fact that they were apparently now a couple.
“What?” Tony replied distractedly as he watched Cassie walk away from them. “Oh right, yeah. Has been for years now, she’s like a totally different girl these days. She just needed someone to help her work through some things, find healthier ways to stay thin and all that. You know exercise and things and she’s certainly getting enough exercise now if you know what I mean.” Tony winked at him and gave him a cocky little smile, one which said ‘I win, I’ve got your ex-girlfriend and I fixed her.’
Sid attempted to glare at him, but knew it wasn’t really working. Finishing off his lager he flattened the cup in his hand. “That the fuck Tony? I thought you didn’t like Cassie?” he demanded angrily.
Tony looked back nervously to where to Cassie was chatting with another girl he vaguely remembered shagging some years ago, he really didn’t want her to see them arguing, she knew how upset she’d be. “Yeah well that was a long time ago wasn’t it? I was wrong okay?” he replied, “and I don’t say that often, but well she’s not a nutcase, she never was really, she was just complicated. Too complicated for you apparently.”
“Yeah well I was young wasn’t I?” Sid retorted angrily, who the fuck did Tony think he was?
“You think you could handle her now then?” Tony scoffed, “when she’s spent an entire week freaking out about seeing a bunch of losers we went to college with because she’s scared they’ll just remember her as the pilled up slut she was ten years ago? I don’t think so mate.”
“She wasn’t a slut!” Sid replied bitterly.
“Her words not mine,” Tony said holding up his hands to protest his innocence. “She’s still a bit delicate, you’d just panic like you did ten years ago, come crying to me about how you have no idea what to do.”
Sid didn’t have a come back to that because it was true, he’d never really known how to deal with Cassie when she was having a bad day. Luckily it was at that point that Cassie rejoined them, carefully carrying two paper plates.
“So shall we sit down then?” she asked gesturing to a table with her foot.
Nodding Tony took the plates off her and led them to an empty table. “Sid was just commenting on you eating,” Tony said happily.
Cassie looked embarrassed for a second then grinned as she sat down. “Oh yeah, it’s great isn’t it? Tony just like sat me down one day and told me that it didn’t have to be the way it was. He’s a personal trainer now, even with his dodgy leg, did he say? So I don’t have to worry about getting fat now because he’s worked it all out for me,” she explained.
“That’s nice,” Sid replied feebly. He was glad Cassie was finally happy but why did it have to be with Tony, he might have been his best friend for the whole of his childhood but he really was a complete wanker.
She turned to look at Tony, a look of adoration on her face, the same look she used to have for him, Sid had just never noticed it at the time. “So what about you? How are things?” she asked interestedly, pulling her gaze away from Tony.
“Oh well good I suppose, there’s not much to tell really. Not like you two. You’re looking really great Cas, I’m-I’m happy for you.”
Tony laughed a little, showing his disbelief in that statement and deciding he’d had enough of pretending they were still friends. “Yeah right course you are, Sidney, bet you’re not at all jealous are you? I mean look at us, we’re fucking ace! Living in a nice little apartment in London, we’re both doing really well in our jobs and well I’d ask her to marry me but she’s against that aren’t you Cas?”
“My parent’s kind of soured me on that idea yeah,” she agreed weakly. She didn’t like this at all, Tony did have a tendency to gloat, she knew that, but she’d really hoped he’d be on his best behaviour tonight.
“That’s why you’re here then Tone?” Sid questioned, “to try and make me feel like shit just like you always did? To rub my face in the fact that you helped Cassie while I just ran away?”
Cassie looked between them, tears in her eyes. She should have seen this coming, she really should. “It’s not like that Sid,” she said quietly, “I understood why we broke up, I was a mess. I-I still am sometimes, but Tony well yeah he’s a bit of a prick at times, but he gets it, he gets me.” She leant across the table so that Tony couldn’t hear her. “He’s not as together as he looks you know,” she whispered into his ear. She wished she could say more, tell him about what a mess Effy still was and how they were here to take her back to London with them and actually get her the help she needed but she knew Tony didn’t want anyone to know about that.
“I’m sorry Sid, we really shouldn’t have come, I thought it’d be nice to see everyone again but…,” she shook her head and finished off her glass of wine. “I think maybe we should be going Tony,” she said standing from the table.
Tony glared at Sid, like this was somehow all his fault and that he was the totally innocent party in all this. “Anything you want Cas,” he replied standing to join her and taking her hand as they left Sid sitting on his own, wondering what the hell had just happened.