Day 021: Offer's There Regardless
Summary: After getting told they couldn't go to sword practice, Stone has a private chat with Cassandra about her not getting a gun and offers her another way to be useful…which she blows off, but they chat a bit after about trust and his goody two-shoes nature.
Date: 10 June 2016
Related: Stone's Rifle Training
Stone Cassandra 

Camp Cook Tent
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.
It is Afternoon on Thu May 19, 2149.

Moving toward the cookpot, Stone's painful voice softly, and with significant weariness, creeps backward over shoulder. "You really _should_ watch the line of the gun, ya know. Especially since I'm fairly certain you left the safety off on it. Regardless, it doesn't matter." Getting a bit of cold stew in a makeshift bowl, he slowly lumbers his way towards a seat at one of the bench tables someone has rigged up. He's slump-shouldered as he leans into elbows on the table, looking down into the bowl of unappetizing food stuff, waiting apparently for her to come join or grab her own muck.

The fact that Cassandra's pointing a rifle at Stone's back doesn't appear to be accident or oversight. Once they're in the privacy of the tent and he's facing her again, she makes it clear that this is her intention, and while she's hardly brandishing the thing, it's certainly held in a loosely defensive pose, so that she might at the very least whack him with it if she needs to. Her swollen eyes are expectant, and her expression is placid all the same. "I just wanna know how to use one in case it's the only option I have and I'm cornered or something," she replies. "I know no one's gonna give me a gun. I'll have to prise it off their cold, dead hands once a Grounder kills 'em."

She doesn't immediately take a seat when he slumps down, but moves to a wall of the tent and takes a moment to riffle through some containers, producing a stretch of fruit leather to chew on. She does, eventually set herself down and says, "Thanks for teaching me."

"You're welcome. And that's why I did. So that you have the option when the fudge its the fan." Stone replies finally after having sat their placidly with a gun on him just watching her through her words and actions. Moving to turn attention back to the stew, he pokes at it with a spoon-like piece of bent metal, sighing again. "You're also right that you're not gonna be allowed one. But it's the right thing to do to let you know how if it comes to it. And regardless, if you're willing, you'll still definitely need to know some of it." He let's that settle in her for a second, dark eyes glancing up to her, the caramel gold threads lacing them catching the light from the entryway briefly bright against the dark. "I'm getting stuffed up in the sniper perch when they come for us next. Even half-dead, I'm probably the best shot in the camp and there's ideas floatin'. Specifically that if their commander shows her face, shooting it off her might give them a bit of pause. They're hopin' to stick me up there with some spotters that might have a chance of seeing her and recognizing her, and see if I can manage. You willing to help?"

"Nope." Well, that puts an end to that rather quick. At least Cassie doesn't tease any interest. Her response is immediate, and followed by a languid bite of her fruit leather. An unapologetic glance is sent his way with a quirk of her eyebrows, and she casually stretches out her legs to recline comfortably in her chair.

"Yeah, sorta figured. Despite it being the most secure point in the camp probably, didn't think it'd be your style. Had to ask." Stone replies back in the placid acceptance that seems to have no judgement to it, despite it growing wearier sounding in equal measure to the acceptance. He let's silence stretch then, digging into his soup a bit, grimacing at the fatty mess of cold bleh, but swallowing it down nonetheless. He needs the protein if he's going to heal.

The silence holds out for quite a while. Cass doesn't seem eager to talk, and as Stone doesn't fight her on the issue — her expectant look says she'd been banking on it, maybe trying to push him into a verbal corner — she eventually relents to take her turn to bat while he enjoys his mystery stew. "I got a hole in my brain," she expounds in a mellow tone, though even with those words, she's being overly dramatic. "Might fall out if I go climbing things. I'm planning to stay on the ground, unless you're planning to make it worth my while."

She poignantly takes another bite of Cookie's delicious albeit monotonous cherry chew (for this is by and large the only snack-food they've had on offer for weeks), lets another pause sink in to savour what flavour can be eked out, then speaks again. "Don't take direction for crap, like you said. I reckon you lot would have floated me by now if Evie hadn't died and made me the best tracker you have. Was that the job Kai wanted you talking to me about?"

"The spotter yeah. Let's you be useful while still relatively safe, and at the same time, out of the way." Stone replies back placidly, having not really risen to bait of her earlier. Instead, all he did was give her a lopsidedly mirthful grin and arch a rough dark brow at her 'worth my while' bit. After another stretch of silence broken by the big man eating slowly, he suddenly offers up. "Doubt they would have, though. Floated you I mean." He doesn't elaborate on why he thinks that, just goes back to eating slowly, that damnable placid patience unwavering. Or maybe he's just comfortable with silence. Twenty days ago, he was the sort who barely spoke to anyone and tended to be by himself. The only time he wasn't shy was on the hunt or in combat. A couple near-misses with death apparently open a person up somewhat, but maybe not so much that he'd be called unnecessarily chatty.

They are in some ways polar opposites. Cass'll speak to anyone, but it was only four days on the Ground that she managed to get into an ugly fight with a fellow delinquent, Ruth Mercer. Now that she's been brought back from death's door — and brought that death onto others at camp as one of two Patient Zeroes — she's gotten quiet as the grave. Her eyes faintly narrow Stone's way at his comment, but he doesn't expound, and she doesn't inquire. Instead, she offers up a question. "Guess that's that then. So you can Captain Buzzkill to shove it. I'm not interested in being out of the way." Conspicuously licking her fingers to savour what's left of her fruit leather, she asks, "So what did you do to get boxed anyway, Boy Scout? Thought someone told me you flipped out like all the other ex-Cs, but you're all goody two-shoes down here."

Stone gives a mild snort of mirth to that last, finishing chewing up more of the cold meat before offering back, the death-voice slightly better with some liquid of the stew soothing it, but still not great. "Sorry to burst the stereotype, but no. I'm here cause I did the right thing in my 'goody two-shoes' way." Again he doesn't elaborate just yet, digging at the last of his bowl for a final bite, chewing it up slowly and swallowing it before adding a touch wrly. "And you can tell her yourself when she tries to order you to it. The offer's there regardless. You may not think so, but in some things I trust you totally, so you're welcome up there. Your call though."

Cassandra's already rising to her feet before Stone's done talking, and she's sneaky enough that she's trying to take that rifle with her. It's massive, and it's right in front of his face, so who knows why she thinks she'll get away with it, but she tries to act very casual about it.

The claim that Stone trusts her completely gives her pause, and has her turning to look down his way with a baffled expression. For once, she has a height advantage over him, though one wouldn't know it by the loop his comment throws her in.

"You trust me totally?" she repeats, incredulous. "Why?"

"In some things yeah. And the reason doesn't matter much. Call it my overwhelming naivete like others would if you prefer. Or maybe I'm just deluding myself. Either way, there it is." Stone shrugs thick shoulders and moves to wipe up the bowl he used since water for washing makeshift dishes isn't exactly a thing. With his back to her though, his rumbling gravel-death whisper comes again softly, with an odd hint of amusement to it. "Sorry though, C, but can't let you go with the rifle and we both know it. Best case scenario, you set off a little hunt for you by the Ex-C's and drama ensues. Worst case, I come take it myself and bleed to death all over you when the struggle pops a stitch. While the wrestling sounds kind of fun, the whole bleeding to death part I sort of frown on, so can we not this time? I swear I won't tell anyone you took pity on me and spared us. Your reputation as selfish witch will remain intact, I assure you."

"Pshk," says Cassie to that. "You're lucky you're cute." She audibly unslings the rifle and sets it down against a severed chair from the Dropship, then makes her way out with one hand on the hilt of her machete. The other grips the chair itself for support to fumble her way out, as the rush of blood to her head from rising to her feet sends a momentary dizzy sway up her spaghetti-like legs. "Lucky Giddy's going to give me a bow, too."

"Maybe. For all I know you'll fire the arrow that saves my life." Stone, ever the optimist. He neatly tucks the makeshift plate away where he found it and turns to watch her go, thick arms folding over bandaged chest as he rumble-rasps out. "Catcha around, whatever you end up decidin'."

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