Iron cocks his head at the retreating Sands, then turns back to the original position, with no attempt to stop the cigar from hitting Iron's body.
(It is intriguing how she went out of her way to say that. I wonder what is fueling her.)>>117144
Oh no, it's not metagaming. Just as Iron cannot stand Skies' abrasive, forward and sometimes lewd attitude, he cannot stand Sands' quirks as a pony. He, of course, was exploring her actions and mannerisms, but she kept on sending subtle signals of future conflict later, obviously starting from Silver taking her away for a private talk when the two couldn't possibly have unless there was a secret going on, but kept on piling up with her constant acts of self interest and subsequent challenge that drove Iron away. It's not about being a changie or not. I'd obviously had gone with dicking the changie, since he'd love to try that out, but he can't share a life with that sort of personality without things escalating into an even larger dumpster fire, and he has the foresight not to keep at it.
It's not the smoking, it's the retort that came with it, and it was the final straw of many. A mare whose only purpose so far is nothing aside from an interest in guns and revenge is indeed going to drive him away, and her brash attitude only accelerated that process, because his patience is thin for those kind of mares if you hadn't noticed with many of Skies' interactions with him.
I obviously get it's a dick move and won't get me rewards for it, only downsides in the short term, but it's not out of a desire to evade the changie in a metagaming move, rather to make her think 'Hey, why did the stallion that I got so enamored moments ago decide to bail out on me? I thought I had him in the frog of my hoof. How did he suddenly have the desire to leave me?' and reflect on her actions. Of course, this obviously opens up the possibility of betrayal out of anger, but maybe, just maybe, she can realize that all his headcocking, staring and suspicion Iron sent out can make her realize some of her actions were counteracting her attempts to maintain him charmed.
And no. I'm not expecting to get kirin coochie either. Of course not. Iron may aim for that, but he knows it'll take a lot longer than a romp destroying her captors to consider him a viable candidate. Heck, for all he knows, she could be another gunloving, revenge fueled mare with the same brash attitude like Sands and would dump her as well.
Now you'll be asking "What? Why didn't he communicate that to Sands from the start? I bet this is all an excuse." and sure, between two adults that could be a viable option, but consider the fact that Iron is not going out of his way to pursue and change a mare unless she actually has something of value worthy of pursuit, and he doesn't care about revenge-fueled mares or gun skills or even combat magic if he ever gets to know about that
because he sees himself as the muscle, concluding that while it would be a bonus in a mare, it can't be her only trait because Iron has that part covered as pretentious as that sounds.
Besides, she wouldn't change her ways by simply pointing it out. Obviously it's deeper than that. It's an intrinsic part of her that defines her as a different pony among the masses caused by both dealing with a totalitarian indoctrination of changeling superiority and getting abused by outsiders.
Don't fret, because there is still a chance to charm Iron again, but Sands is probably going to swallow her pride to do it, which I don't see her do for a literal stranger anyhow, unless she still saw him as an easy target.
To summarize, yes, I know it is a dick move but it's not to avoid the changeling in a bout of 'player brilliance in avoiding danger' but rather to spark doubt in Sands' mind over what made him discard her. Obviously she can recharm him again through a simple apology and a change in attitude and approach but if that can't be achieved, he probably lost interest in her. I know it sounds pretentious, but Iron is a pretentious pony that seeks a specific number of traits in a mare to be deemed pursueable, and if that can't be achieved, he discards it and keeps going. After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea to hook up with.And no. It's not the smoking. Smoking, while it could make him uncomfortable with the smell, it's not a dealbreaker, even though it is for me IRL.