Day 008: My Preciousss
Summary: Grey has a gift for Cookie. Cookie has advice (and fruit leather) for Grey.
Date: 12 May 2016
Related: None directly, several indirectly.
Cookie Grey 

Cook Tent, The Camp
The Cook Tent is probably one of the larger tents on the grounds. It butts up against a wall of the dropship, and its ceiling is made of the tri-colored fabric of the drop parachute. Two of the other walls are made from a base of lashed tree trunks and a screen of thick evergreen branches. A prep area has been put together at the back, against the dropship. Someone with some mad skills has created their best approximation of a table, which is really just four almost-straight tree trucks standing upright with the flattest dropship panel they could find stretched across it. Everything is very organized with makeshift utensils and ingredients having their proper places. Attached to the tent is the beginnings of what will become a smokehouse. At the entrance to the tent is a box for donations of food to be used for the camp meals.
8 Days After Landing

A week or so into the 100's arrival on Earth, Miss Cookie Baker has managed to put together a fairly functional kitchen, although the set-up is far from ideal. It's here that she currently can be found, doing her best to skin a rabbit with what is passing for a knife, while the few sous-chefs she has are likewise stripping the fur off of the other bunnies that will comprise part of supper. Softly, she hums a bubbly tune while she works.

Grey has no bunnies or other meat for the table this time, although he has been scrupulous about dropping something off whenever he makes a kill while hunting. Frustration bubbles around the edges of his being, but then again, when isn't Lucian Grey frustrated or angry about something. Still, he offers up a big, wide smile as he approaches the tent, "Miss Cookie Baker, that knife doesn't do you justice in the damn slightest. That's like givin' one of those badass painters a finger-paint set."

Peering up from what she's doing, she brightly smiles. "Mister Lucian Grey. A badass painter will still make badass art as long as they have something that passes for pigment. You should ask my cousin Cam about Zaria Forman sometime." Cookie does note, however, as she continues to clean the carcass, "I won't say no to better utensils, though, but we make do." Eyes turning back to the task at hand, she amiably inquires, "And how are you this fine day?"

Grey lifts his brows, "Forman. I'll see if I can remember that. Or if Cam and I can stop ranting about politics at each other long enough for me to ask." He holds up one finger at the response to his commentary on her utensils, then reaches around to the small of his back and withdraws a knife with a flourish. It's not some sharpened shard of the dropship, but a properly ground-down Grounder knife, heavy and long, almost like a cleaver. "Voila. Only the best for the best, even if I couldn't snag another bunny or deer for the spit."

Speaking of deer, Cookie's doe eyes widen and she momentarily looks as though caught in headlights. But, oh, then she smiles a beautiful, beaming smile of utter delight, and is dropping unto the cutting table the half-skinned rabbit and makeshift paring knife, and rising to her feet to eagerly accept gift with as much giddy excitement as a small child. "Oh, Lucian!" It's always first names with her, unless it's personalized nicknames. That's just how she rolls. "How wonderful!"

Grey shuffles his feet a little at the use of his first name, the teen turning into something approaching a little boy for a moment. He steps forward to hand over the knife without hesitation though, "Figured that if you're not hackin' away so long, maybe you can actually spend some time out in camp talkin' with folks and relaxin' instead of slavin' over a hot stove." His own grin returns, even if it has a little bashful edge to it, "Can't have you keepin' that grin to yourself, after all."

A creature of jovial impulse, it doesn't even occur to Cookie to not invade Grey's personal space to give him a grateful hug. Especially when he's holding such a large blade. It also doesn't occur to her to doubly so not do it considering where her hands have been and what's covering them — or that he might move to prevent her from doing so. YOLO, yo.

Grey does not prevent the hug so much as tense up in response to it. He's clearly not comfortable with the sudden approach, for all that he pats her back lightly with the hand not holding nine inches of pointy steel. The blood and guts, well, on the Ark it would have squicked him out, but down here, he is unfortunately used to it, and his Grounder-made shirt came pre-dirtied by its previous owner.

Tense or not, it's an adamant squeeze because Cookie is a World Class Hugger. It doesn't linger, though, perhaps because she sense the tension, or maybe just because she's so excited that she's pulling back to finally take possession of her newly acquired Preciousss. Which she gazes upon adoringly as though it were her newborn child. "It's soooo beautiful." She holds it out to more fully admire it. "Thank you! This'll make hacking hocks so much easier."

As soon as his personal bubble is back in place, Grey is able to relax and laugh easily, "I dunno, Cookie. I think I'd save 'beautiful' for people, myself." One dark eye closes in a quick wink, but he shakes off the light flirting, "They can do a real number with a sword too." Although he doesn't have his on him at the moment, having chosen to go with the steel rod that serves as his stand-in baton instead. "How's this goin', by the way? Do we need more hunts? I know some people have been scared to go out since the rescue. You know, Grounders and all."

"Don't you mind him none, you're gorgeous," the chef tells her baby, drawing the flat of it into a press against her chest, all loving and protective-like. As for more hunts, Cookie's reply is offered with a wry smile. "Always. We're barely getting by day-to-day, and I don't like having an empty storehouse. We have salt now, so we can cure meat for long-term storage." That, however, requires a surplus of meat.

Speaking of the Grounders, the Maker of Yum-Yums inquires, "How are they? How are you, for the matter?" Perhaps she heard some of the rumors, which might account for how her gaze sharpens with scrutiny, as though she were searching Grey's face for signs of bruising. "Help yourself to a piece of berry chew, by-the-by." With a tilt of her head, she indicates strips of the fruit leather resting nearby.

Grey glances up to the dropship at the query about the Grounders, his brows drawing together and his feet shuffling again, "They're… complex." His right hand rises to his lips, nibbling on the nail of his ring finger, but the invitation to the fruit leather is met with a bit of a grin, and he reaches over to snack a blackberry strip. "Don't mind if I do. We might have a way to make peace. Or we might be sendin' one of our own into the lion's den. Depends how much we trust them." His shoulders roll again, uncomfortably, and he grimaces, "Less said about me though, the better." A low snort bursts from his nose, "You wouldn't know, bein' all gorgeous and perfect," a hint of a smirk suggests he's mostly teasing, "but girls suck."

Playful as she is, Cookie quips back, "Not all girls. Anyway, guys usually complain that girls don't swallow." It's not a come-on, but boys hear what they want to hear, so who knows how that comment will be received. For her part, the chef finds a home for her Preciousss and then goes back to skinning the rabbit. "Who's on the shortlist for emissary?" She surmises that's what's meant by 'lion's den'.

The words of the Maker of Yum-Yums cause Grey to laugh again, shaking his head before tearing into the fruit leather. "Yeah, but when you can't even find that out, you complain about somethin' else." The more serious question causes him to shrug a little, "Don't know. It'll be up to the camp. Fiona's volunteered, of course. Morgan volunteered, of course, but it'll be a cold day in hell before I support any of the prisoners goin' back there. I'll go if people want me to, but I figure people are too scared I'll start a worse war if I go there."

Although her eyes are settled upon the task literally at-hand, Cookie's ears are all Grey's. "Prisoners?" she questions, peering up, a bit confused. "You mean Morgan and the others?" Whatever other questions she may have, she holds in reserve.

Grey nods his head, "Yeah. Q's alright, besides the physical, and I ain't got a read on Ruth yet, but Morgan and Devin? They've turned into Grounder-lovers." The frown that follows that statement is sudden, and there's a flicker of uncertainty around it, but he shakes it off, continuing, "They seem to think that the Grounders who killed our people can do no wrong just 'cause they didn't kill them too. Morgan wants to let one of our prisoners go as a messenger and let the other one walk 'round camp freely." By his tone, the ex-C thinks this is the height of folly.

"Do they?" Love the Grounders, that is. It's simply asked. "People are provoked for all kinds of reasons, and the scale of reaction varies from person to person. Whether or not we, as outsiders, agree with the reasons or levels of response, people do what they do because they somehow believe it's justified." A bit like how Grey beat his mom to death. "The first part of solving a problem is understanding it. That means really listening and not just coming to a conclusion. It means framing what you believe you've heard and getting confirmation that you really are understanding where the other person is coming from. It's also accepting that just because you're willing and able to listen, that doesn't mean the other person is ready to share. Empathy leads to trust more surely than anything else. You should try it sometime." It's a gentle chiding, but one all the same.

"What I want to know, though, is what would make you feel safe enough to trust, Lucian. What would you need from the Grounders to advocate for options that won't result in people worrying that you would start a war." Cookie looks at him, lacking judgment, but nonetheless outright asking, "Do you want war?"

Grey chuckles dryly at the words of wisdom from the Cookie, shaking his head slowly, "You sound like you should be teaching the Ethics class to cadets." It's not a well-regarded class by some of the cadets. "And I'm willin' to listen to a whole lotta crazy, Cookie, but even I've got my limits." Pretty narrow ones, if his earlier outbursts are to be believed. Maybe some slightly wider ones lately. The important question, though, draws a sharp shake of his head, "Hell no. I want them to leave us the hell alone, until there's some trade of ideas or info we can make. But from everything I've heard from the Grounders, the only way we get a truce is if we've got somethin' that's valuable to them too. Without that, we're just an annoyance to them, and that's somethin' I don't trust, and won't unless we've got guns."

She doesn't counter what he's told her. Why? Because she's listening and that usually means not trying to convince someone to think or feel something else. That comes later when other criteria are met. So, instead, Cookie points out, "I still want to know what you need to make you feel safe enough to trust, because a cold war isn't much better than outright war, and that's the best we'll get if all parties don't take the necessary actions to foster reciprocal trust. You mentioned guns? Are you saying you'll only be willing to trust if you feel you have the means to wipe them out should they not fall in line?" Again, her tone is questioning and lacking in judgment. She's trying to understand Grey's motives and needs.

Grey shakes his head slowly at the question, "Problem is, Cookie, I don't know what it'll take for me to trust. I don't know enough about the Grounders yet to know when they're trustworthy and when they're not." He tilts his head to show the bruise on his neck mostly hidden by his dark skin tone. It matches the one on his forehead quite nicely, "I was shiftin' the Grounder-woman's restraints so they'd be more comfortable, an' I told her what I was doin', and she tried to jab her fingers onto my throat. Shows I need to learn more about them before I can trust 'em, if you ask me." Which she did. The follow-up question about guns draws a shake of his head, "It ain't about wipin' them out, at least not for me. It's about protectin' my people. I can't do that with spears and swords against people who know the terrain, are better fighters than most of us, and outnumber us. I can with guns."

It would appear Cookie is deft with a knife, insofar as skinning a rabbit goes, anyway. She keeps working while listening to and looking at Grey. "Why does it matter that they're Grounders? Why would that make them any different from any other person you don't know and don't trust? And you were a Cadet, Lucian. Does it really surprise you that someone bound, uncertain, untrusting, and injured, would take a shot if they had an opportunity? Plenty wouldn't, but some would. She did. Maybe you would, too, if your roles were reversed. People are people, and I imagine for all their stoic front, they probably are scared. And if they aren't, then they're really confident that their people will successfully free them, or they're the kind of crazy people who will readily choose dying when other options are on the table. I won't ever trust anyone so quick to give up on life."

Grey frowns a little, "When I'm tryin' to help them and there's no chance to escape? Yeah… it does surprise me." One hand lifts up to rub at his temple, "Hurt, too. Thick damned skull." Now he's just griping, and he knows it, flashing a little smile. "They haven't given up on life, 'cause they're eatin' and drinkin', even if it ain't much. But you know that." His frown deepens thoughtfully as he considers, however, and then the young man nods a touch, "Maybe I'm makin' 'em too mysterious because they're Grounders. Maybe I need to remind myself that they're human Grounders."

"You know your intentions. They don't," Cookie points out. "And it's not really fair or helpful to feel resentful that they don't yet trust you, is it? If you were captive somewhere, and you didn't trust your captors, and you believed you could escape even if they didn't, would you take a shot? They did. I'm no warrior, but that line of thinking makes sense to me. They don't know what we know, just like we don't know what they know. They didn't kill our people. They even did what they could to heal them. I don't know why the Grounders did what they did — any of it — but Morgan, Devin, Ruth, and Quinn were tended to. And while I'm not saying it was right or wrong to have rescued our people, we also don't know what the Grounders were planning to do with them, just like the other Grounders have no idea what we're going to do. We didn't trust them so we took action. Only makes sense they probably feel the same way now."

For the rest, the chef lightly shrugs, but not in a dismissive manner. "Maybe they don't yet think of us as human either. To them, we're Sky People. They probably understand us even less than we understand them."

With an impish smile, she also mildly teases, "Be thankful you have such a thick skull."

Grey shakes his head, "I told her what I was going to do." But he shrugs that off, "If I saw a chance to escape, I'd take it. If I saw a chance to hit the other guy…" he thinks on that for a long moment, then shrugs, "Depends how much he'd pissed me off." Because he automatically assumes that the other guy will be a guy. Still, he shrugs thoughtfully, "Somethin' to think about. What makes someone think of you as human." He returns the smile with a broad, almost blindingly-white grin of his own, rapping a knuckle against his (unbruised) temple, "Greys may be assholes, but we're also stubborn and hardheaded." And then he nods upwards, "I should let you get back to preppin' though. See you at dinner, Cookie," And then he raises up the fruit leather, remembering he has it, and takes another bite, "And thanks for the sweets."

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