Day 022: Lead The Way, O Mighty Rebel
Summary: Stone decides to sneak out hunting on his own despite severe injuries. Luckily, Cameron spots him, follows, and a joined hunt turns to revelations about Stone's odd refusal to swear, Cam's sexual experience, and a five-legged mutant buck.
Date: 12 June 2016
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None' — please, don't leave blank!
Stone Cameron 

Forests Around the Camp

This forest is a mingling of hardwoods and temperate evergreens, with towering oaks and cedars mixed with slender alders. The ground is covered in grassy mosses and thick ferns — some with sharp, sword-like leaves and others with tight spiraled stems that unfurl toward the crowded canopy. Beyond the trees and ferns, the forest also hosts arching, moss-draped vine maples and flowering blackberry bushes as just some of its flora occupants.

Toward the west, the forest begins to break as the mountains climb, revealing meadow balds and the broad web of the divided Potomac.

It is Early Morning on Fri May 20, 2149.

Some people, when you tell them they can't do something, they go right off and damn well do it. Stone…usually isn't one of those sort of people. He's got a degree of self-restraint and doesn't buck authority or good sense that often. But Stone's been pushing his own boundaries more and more lately, and after getting bucked for the sword play yesterday, Stone woke up this morning with a furious irritation and a decision to prove himself. While others were busy with work or sleep, the giant injured ex-C slipped out of camp and into the forest, a gun dangling off shoulder, and a big wooden spear in his hand. What he could be hoping to do with such a weapon when he's practically forbidden from lifting his arms wrong is anyone's guess, and someone perceptive might have caught sight of it and been curious enough to follow. What they would have seen was a big wounded warrior being a dumbass and trying to go on a solo hunt in his state. Once deeper into the forest, he stripped off the non-essential bandages, finding his middle almost entirely healed, as well as shoulder and arm, leaving only a patch across his chest and the thick, blood-stained bandage about his throat. He then proceeded to carefully apply streaks of mud where the horrid healing scars weren't, breaking up his already dark form more so, and then heading off intent on finding the biggest damned animal he could find to kill! Unfortunately, it is REALLY freaking hard to track when you can barely move your neck! The further in he went, the more he realized he was just losing trail after trail. Worse! Between the injuries throwing off his balance and the frustration of the missing trails, he was about as stealthy as one would _expect_ the giant to be. Which sucks, because usually he's at least got _some_ game. "Eden, but it's good no one is here to see this. This is fudging pathetic, Stone." The low horror-voice rasp to himself wouldn't carry far, but then someone stealthy enough would probably totally have been close enough, given the big guy hasn't been paying any attention to surroundings due to focus on trying and failing to track.

There's lots of words one can use to describe Cameron, but the one word he likes to describe himself as? Artist. Well, the second word, then: Ghost. He moves like one, not a step touching without him being aware of what its pressing on, with absolute control of his weight, drifting through the forest without disturbing anything in his wake. It's what he does. He loves it. He's a botanist, but here he is, hunting. If one could catch sight of him, they can tell because he has his sword out in the right hand and knife in the left, and a botanist has no need to have ready arms. For his part, Cam's got streaks of mud over his normally light, clear and smooth skin— but when out being the Ghost, that's pretty normal. Either way, one moment Cameron's not there, and the next he is, voice soft and clear, having emerged from behind a tree or bush or just teleported in to vex Stone. "You don't move wrong, really." Cameron's voice is friendly and even, just a little critical, "So you've got some skill at not barrelling through the brush. Its just not working right now. I assume the neck. Its really hard to keep a good eye on the surroundings and where your feet are when you can't bend your neck, and there's nothing more important to stealth then awareness. You know Morgan would be giving you stern looks right now if he were here, right?" A quick grin touches his features.

It's only by sheerest miracle of control that Stone manages not to jump fully out of his skin at that voice suddenly teleporting in behind him. Some part of his brain no doubt screaming at him not to jerk the neck, even for this, that the voice isn't a Grounder's, and that he's a complete idiot and now should die of shame. Our inner voices are always our worst critics. No, he didn't jump, but the thick lines of muscle in the broad back _did_ tense like mad, thighs straining cargo pants as he instinctively crouched, ready to dive or pivot, biceps flaring at the grip on the wooden spear.

But after Stone manages to slow his heartrate by the end of the other's admonishment, he's turning back slow, trying (and failing miserably) to hide the guilty look crossing his fine-featured expression. Eyes finally drop away from the other guy though, a bottom lip bit briefly before the giant bursts out with a rasp. "I'm goin' freakin' stir crazy! I had to get out and _try_ at least!" Dark eyes flecked with caramel gold creep up tenatively to the other, wincing a little as he asks. "How long you been watchin' me make a twit out of myself, Cam?"

It's that guilty look that does him in, and so Cameron smiles. It's a small smile, but enough to show the dimples so that's something. "Long enough. Don't worry, though, I don't think you're a twit, Big Guy." He even nods to add more weight to his words, "You're frustrated. You've been laid up for most of our time on the ground, you finally get better, and you take an arrow to the throat. So you want to do something. I get it." Rising up to full height— which isn't all that much, especially when compared to Stone, but when Cam's sneaking he takes on a distinct crouch— he rolls his shoulders and lifts a hand up to run through his hair, even if he does pat it back into place a bit a moment later. Cam's hair is always on point. No one knows how. "I could help you." he offers with a bit more of a dimpled smile again.

Stone glances up at the hair mussing again a tiny bit distractedly. Jealous maybe? He keeps his shorn tight to the skalp so it doesn't get in his way. It's a tangle otherwise. The offer at the end though brings the eyes back in line to the other's brown eyes, head canting fractionally (so as not to tweak his damned neck), curiosity and maybe a hint of suspicion flashing. "Help me how? Doubt Morgan'd approve of you helping me take down a boar." Ambitious aren't we?

"Morgan and I don't always see eye to eye: we don't share opinions just because we share a tent." Cameron shrugs a little bit, "That's okay. We agree on enough, but me? If I were injured and stuck in that fucking dropship?" A bit of heat rises to his voice, "I'd be doing the same as you now. A boar though?" He has to chuckle and shake his head, "I haven't managed to kill a boar yet and I'm not sure I could. I have taken down two deer— solo." He's proud of that. "I mean, yeah. I'm a botanist. Usually I forage. Watch my tomato plants. But sometimes? Sometimes I just want to get out there and challenge the world." Cameron shrugs his shoulders once again, this time more notably, "There's no how about it. I could be your eyes. Don't they teach you the value of teamwork in the Goonsquad?" He just can't say 'Guard' respectfully. He can't. Even if there's no dripping disdain attached for Stone himself in his statement.

"Heh. Well…yeah, of course. And I admit, it'd be easier watchin' your moves and following than tryin' to read it myself with this collar…" Stone seems a little wary though for some reason, biting lip again thoughtfully, staring at the ground. Finally though a lopsided grin shapes the lips and his eyes brighten. "What the heck, let's have at though. When Morgan finds out…" Cause let's be honest, he's totally finding out. "…jus' blame it all on me. Tell him you had to come babysit since you couldn't get me to stop or something. I…don't want to get you in trouble with him." Oh the guilt if he ended up breaking that pair up. Oy. Shaking off the thought, he's gesturing with the spear, gravel-death-voice mirthful. "Lead the way, O Mighty Rebel."

<FS3> Cameron rolls Stealth: Success.

<FS3> Cameron rolls Survival: Success.

<FS3> Stone rolls Survival-2: Good Success.

<FS3> Stone rolls Stealth-2: Failure.

"I don't lie to anyone, Stone. Ever. Least of all Morgan." Cameron says this with simple sincerity, even as he steps up towards Stone, looking him over critically. "Your skin is nice. Useful, I mean. I practically glow in the dark so have to get filthy to sneak, you don't." Still, he crouches and gets a bit of mud, and smears it just a bit on Stone's forearm. Because he's prickly about sneaking. "Anyways, I don't answer to Morgan and he doesn't answer to me. If we disagree on something, we hash it out. There's no need to worry about trouble." Then he glances himself over, adds a bit of leftover mud to his own arm, and nods in approval. And then he grins suddenly, dimples flashing, "Worst case scenario we have makeup sex."

Stone gives a minimal nod to the first part, respectful of it. He doesn't either, as much because he's too much of a boy scout as because he's horribad at it, but it's rare to find people down here that think that way. The skin compliment at first gets a little wide-eyed deer-in-the-headlights sort of reaction from the big guy, but then as it goes on, he's trying (miserably) to cover and look down at it. "Oh…yeah, I guess it's handy. Gotta use less mud definitely." He was about to gesture to the glowing pale spot on the other before he got it. To the end part, a snort escapes, along with roll of eyes and sardonic offering. "Terrible worst case for you. I really feel your pain and anguish."

This wide eyed look? It has Cameron giving Stone an eye with an expression of: what is up with you? But, he doesn't comment. Well except to say, "More being dirty sucks and its a long way to water because we are camping in the least useful place ever. But okay, if using less dirt is your priority, I support your life decisions." Then he grins more at the last bit from Stone, "I know, the anguish, right?" And then he turns, goes into his signature crouch-be-small posture, and starts through the woods. Cameron is manages to be pretty quiet and not slow at once, but each step he takes is measured, not letting any weight settle until he's sure it won't cause noise. He points, from time to time, and warns Stone of things to avoid.

And so the hunt begins. Unfortunately, after a good hour of it, they manage to find a couple rabbits but the damn things are spooked and send running, and chasing a running rabbit is not at all the sort of thing that's quiet, useful, or productive. Grunting, Cam stands up more fully and puts his hands on his hips, as if taking it as a personal affront that they didn't succeed. "Fucking nature."

"Fudging neck wound more like. I'm a mess like this! I think I stepped on a freakin' twig! I feel like I can't move right!" Stone's irritation burst with those fleeing bunnies, already built up when that was the best they managed to track. He's not like _actually_ angry, or he'd be a hell of a lot scarier, but it's clear he's in a temper from all this. With a casual flex of muscles done in a way that doesn't jerk his neck too much, he slams the tip of his spear into a nearby tree, burying it enough to hang when he lets go and starts to pace a bit. "Stupid freaking archers! I need to find someone that can work some armor for me! I tried to try on some of the grounder stuff, and it just didn't fit. Would to have cut it up so much it'd be practically useless as is. Or maybe I can tear a hunk of metal big enough to make a shield or something. Bah!"

Cameron turns to eye Stone a moment. He's all frustrated. And he still said fudging. And freaking. Cameron just… laughs. He can't help it. He waves at Stone and shakes his head as mirth fills him, "Come on, man. You got three? Four arrows in you recently? You go for a hunt and utterly fail. Can't you at least say floating? Relax. Unclench. Its just you and me here, and I won't tell anyone. There's nothing wrong with a little bit of cursing. Its cathartic. Good for your heart. Lowers your blood pressure. You hae enough holes in you that you could use some lowered blood pressure." That said, he considers for a moment more seriously, "I don't know what to tell you about the armor part, I got mine the hard way. A shield, though? I'll have to give it some thought."

"If I see a gigantic Grounder, I'm shooting him and taking his crap!" Stone vows angrily to that last bit, having just gotten a stubborn, hard-jawed, half-pouting sort of expression at the relaxing comments. Moving over to the impaled tree with a frustrated sigh, leaning against it with thick arms folded over thicker chest, his dark eyes stare holes in the ground. After a moment, he's murmuring softly. "I know people think my not swearing thing is stupid." His jaw clenches, embarrassment warring with frustration and trust in a three way battle. A glance up to Cameron, waiting to see if he's going to say something more about it, then back to the ground, and he's rumble-rasping. "Before my mom got sick a few years ago…that flu epidemic, you remember? Anyways, she was a nurse, just a tiny thing. Shy and quiet, kinda like I usually am. She caught it helpin' other people out, and it took her. When she was…real bad. I told her…that it wasn't effing fair, that it was effing bull…crap that she was sick when she'd made other's better. She…always hated it when I cursed. Said 'Life's ugly enough without ugly language in it.'."

A pause, dark eyes blinking, tears maybe, or just painful memories, never looking up though to take in Cameron's reaction to this, finishing it because he can't just leave it hanging like that. "Anyways, it…upset her. And I promised her I wouldn't. You know? Like one of those 'I promise I won't do it if you just get better' sorta things?" Another small shake of the head, a wince as he reaches up to rub at the throat, grimacing. "She didn't, but…I still keep it, ya know. For her?" He glances up, embarrassed, more to the shy giant he used to be, hesitant glance, waiting for judgement or pity or something, but saying with a fierce hard sort of edge at the end. "So…it's not about bein' a tighthole boy scout, k?"

Ah, that hits Cameron in a soft spot. Its been a little over two weeks since his mother died from coming to the ground to bring them a radio, to save three hundred and twenty people from being floated. For a little while Cameron is quiet, looking away, his expression dark, and then he nods his head slightly, "I can understand that." he says, voice solumn, "I understand that very well. Mom made me promise to call the Ark, so I did. Even though that made half the camp hate me— especially that sociopath Cassandra— but there she was. Dying. And I promised, so I did it. Yeah, Stone." Cameron nods his head slightly, "I understand that. Sorry. I won't give you any shit about not cursing anymore." His voice is softer then usual. Quiet. Distant.

Maybe that's why Stone told him. He doesn't tell anyone that story really. Usually he just lets them all make fun of it and moves on, but in this particular case…well, yeah. The big guy just gives a small nod to it, appreciation and acknowledgement of the other's pain in equal measure. And then he's sniffling a little, furtively wiping a hand across eyes and nose, trying to put a manly stoicism back on and go on with things. "He reaches for the tree-killing spear and with a ripple of dark muscle, yanks it free again, rasping out. "One more try? There's gotta be some wild boar out here somewhere dangit." Yeah, it's totally a way to change subject. A way to distract them both, to put themselves back into the Now. "Why don't I hold back and try to back you up this time? See if I can't give you enough room to pick us up a trail proper and work us close enough for some fun, eh?"

Cameron takes a deep breath, and then he buries it. He's pretty good at that. The stuff only comes out onto the surface every so often to show itself, but that stuff is still there. Stupid stuff. "Okay, but let's at least head in the vague direction of back towards camp first. I don't want to get too far away with my only protection the big strong guy with several recent holes in him, and then suddenly I have to be the one protecting him. Sounds like a dire situation." He grins, dimples showing before he rolls his shoulders, "But I have serious doubts on the pig ambition. Don't get me wrong, I love me some pork and would love to come home and present Cookie with a nice pig to roast, but that thing might just kill me instead."

"Dire definitely, but kinda hot." Stone mutters with laughter touching the horror-voice as he starts off towards the camp again, adding in response to the last. "So I'm ambitious. Sue me. Besides, I brought the rifle as a last resort. Though Grey'd probably put another hole in me if I waste one of our four-eighty on a pig. Then again, he might be a pork fan too." A big grin at that, clearly forcibly trying to push past the earlier dip into Teh Serious (tm) with humor.

<FS3> Cameron rolls Survival: Good Success.

Stone spends 1 luck points on Here piggy piggy piggy.

<FS3> Stone rolls Survival+2: Good Success.

<FS3> Stone rolls Stealth-2: Success.

<FS3> Cameron rolls Stealth: Great Success.

"Yes, I am, thank you for noticing." Cameron grins more over at Stone, and gets into a bit of a crouch, "Hey, screw Grey." Pause, "Not literally. Unless you want to. I'm not one to judge. Anyways." He shakes his head, "I'll put an extra hole in you if you waste a bullet on a pig, and I would kill for bacon. I like living more and we're probably going to need every single bullet we can get." This time as he moves forward and into the brush, he really does do a superb job of pretending he's a ghost.

Stone doesn't manage to ghost quite like Cameron, but despite his slowdown, he _does_ manage to keep surprisingly silent for his size and to stay back enough while still signalling the other with silent hand gestures as they stalk the deer trail he found. It's not a boar, but it's still better than a bunny. And Cameron manages to lead them through to an open glade where they find a rather large specimen that, as happens here, at first looks normal, with a fine big rack of antlers and sturdy, meaty body that'd do well for the cookpot. But as it turns in its slow grazing, they can see the desperately creepy fact that the thing has a fifth leg jutting out of its hip, dangling half-withered and useless above the ground on that side. Picky is not for those who want to eat though, and Stone, a feral sort of grin touching his full lips, is silently signalling to Cameron, pointing a path the other could take to bring them on that side of the glade where he could drive the buck east right into Stone's waiting spear. Sure, he _shouldn't_ be stabbing things right now, but even silent, it's clear he's desperate to try and prove himself above this injury.

As they move through the woods, Cameron keeps an eye on Stone, nodding to his signals and giving some in return, until they find a prize. It's not a boar, but hey, a deer's better then nothing. And what's an extra leg but some more meat. Okay, maybe not the best of meat, but Cameron's not anymore picky as anyone else. As he moves around at Stone's indication, Cameron stalks the prey. He's going to give Stone the go at this guy, since even injured, Stone's a probably more solid then Cam is, even though Cam's been practicing.

<FS3> Cameron rolls Melee: Good Success.

<FS3> Stone rolls Melee-1: Great Success.

Stone manages to keep his bulk hidden in the glen across from where Cam stalked, readying himself and watching eagerly. And when the trap is ready to spring, Cam drives the beast forward, and Stone holds himself still further. Right up until the last moment when the poor mutant buck thinks its going to free itself in a crash down the path. But out of the bushes straight in front of it suddenly looms the giant, his spear butt planted into the ground, his thick arms angling it upward, using the beast's own momentum rather than actually having to risk ripping out his stitches flinging himself atop it. It's executed almost textbook as things go. The spear drives right through the chest and out the back, and Stone uses the momentum to swing it sideways deftly, the huge antlers swinging inches past his ferociously exultant face, leaving it to tumble into the bushes a good twenty feet, with him stalking after it almost instantly at a smooth rush that doesn't jolt too much. By the time Cameron gets to him, he'll be slicing the broken beast's throat with a rumble-rasped. "Thanks for the sacrifice buddy." That seemingly was meant for the deer of all things. Turning then, grin still radient white, he's offering out a fistbump to the other hunter and triumphantly declaring. "Now _that's_ what I'm talkin' about!"

Once the beast is felled, Cameron grins broadly with his dimples on to full effect, and nods his head in quick approval as Stone ends its suffering fast and smooth. He lifts his hand to fistbump Stone back, nodding quickly, "Good job. But damn is that going to be a bitch to drag back to camp, good thing we started campwise this time. But at least no one will be hungry when the attack comes, that's important." He laughs and reaches over, laying a hand on Stone's shoulder a moment and leaning to peer at his bandaged and stiched wounds and check if any broke.

Stone looks a little squirmy about the touch, but realizing what it is, he relaxes and arches his throat a bit more to let the other get a better look. "How is it? Morgan gonna triple-stab me?" For now it looks like he lucked out and his use of momentum and bracing seems to have got him through without breaking any stitches. Whether he'll manage to get back to camp with the deer without doing so is another question. "Figure we can tie it up between us and drag it? Don't care about keepin the hide unmarred as much as gettin' the meat back. Between us, should be good I think. Not lookin' to toss it over my shoulder definitely though you're right."

When Stone looks squirmy, Cameron rolls his eyes, "Relax. The second thing to know about me is I'm loyal— nothing is more important to me. Its absolute." That said, he inclines his head, satisfied with what he sees, "Its holding. But yeah. Between us we should be able to get it back, just be careful, if you feel your neck straining pull back. If it takes a little longer to get back, that's fine."

"Sorry, I'm just…not used to it. Not that I think it means anything or disloyalty to…yeah, it's just me. Ignore me when I'm a twit, it's simpler." Stone admits quietly back to the other after he pulls free some parachute cord to start trussing up the deer and slicing it open to clean the kill and cut down some of the weight. As he's making the bloody work with a deft hand and some degree of practice, he glances over to Cameron kind of furtively again, and starts up softly. "Do you mind if I ask…" Then kind of trails off, shaking his head and murmuring. "Nevermind. It's stupid. Let's get this beast back and bask in the brief praise and adulation before the grumping about me going out injured starts."

"Ask what?" prompts Cameron, his voice mildly curious, even as he goes to help Stone clean the kill. This is not a skill he thought he'd ever have to use, but he's had some practice now, so does it without seeming bothered in the least with the blood. "There's no such thing as a stupid question, and I'm pretty much an open book. What's the worst that can happen? I can shrug and refuse to answer."

Pulling free a big chunk of what looks like cancerous liver with a classic 'blech' face, Stone tosses that away from them and looks over to Cameron for a moment, as if deciding. Finally, the lopsided grin comes back with a snort of laughter. "Fine then, Shameless…" apparently the new nickname Cameron's got for his own declaration of lack of such. "…do you,…uh…only like guys? Or girls too?" Wow, a sex talk on top of a secret from his past. Stone really _is_ trying to crawl out from his shell a bit isn't he? Course, he's blushing enough to actually give a slight darker shade to the skin of his face asking it, and is decidedly focused on digging through the mutant deer's guts, but there it is.

Cameron laughs softly and shakes his head, giving Stone a curious look. "That was the question? I thought you were going to ask something deep and personal." He shakes his head in amusement before a more serious look finally settles on him, "But, that's easy. Yeah, I'm only into guys. I have nothing against girls, girls are nice, I've kissed a couple, but it doesn't do anything to me. Girls don't make my spine itch and my heart to beat faster, don't make my skin tingle and feel alive. I can't really tell you why or what it is about guys that does. It just does." He smiles, and adds in a totally impassive tone, "I guess every guy in the world loves his dick. I just need more, which is saying something because I've got plenty." Take that, Mr. Shy Guy. Cam's grin is wicked.

Oh yeah, definitely a blush, even if it doesn't blaze like it would with someone lighter. Stone's busying himself with one arm buried deep inside the strung up animal, sawing free the last bits, keeping face averted from the other trying to hide it, but yeah, that was just evil. Still, Stone can't help but give way to curiosity going on. "Fine then, deep and personal. How old you were you when you uh…lost your V-card so to speak?"

"Fifteen." says Cameron with a bit of an indifferent shrug, "It wasn't very good but my friend was nice so when we practiced we got better at it. That's not very deep or personal either. I never understood why some people were so obsessed by it. I mean, sure, its a step. One day you haven't had sex, the next you have. But it doesn't actually change you, it barely even matters. Don't get me wrong." Cam shakes his head, "I'm not saying sex doesn't matter, I'm not saying its just like shaking hands with your friends. It is intimate. You get closer. You maybe don't want to do that a lot with someone you don't like. But doing it a little? Totally fine. First time? Get it done if you haven't. Might die tomorrow."

Why did he ask this again? Oh yeah, because Stone is stupid and likes to suffer in embarrassment apparently. Face hot, he just nods a silent, uncomfortable sort of way and grunts some unintelligable acknowledgement before moving to release the buck, tie off the straps and offer one over to Cameron to loop around his waist. "Off we go." He murmurs as he's strapping his own to him, then pausing, glancing over to Cameron, grinning hesitantly, but genuinely, and adding. "Thanks…for coming out after me. I'm kinda glad ya did." And with that, the big guy's starting forward without giving himself time to say more embarrassing.

Taking hold, Cameron heaves, and makes his way back. A quick, easy smile is offered for Stone, "Me too. Now be careful, don't pull out any stitches."

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