Written for my April Fic Challenge 2021, Prompt: Camp. First try at Camp Camp fic, set sometime after 2x08 (Gwen Gets A Job). Comments and kudos would be awesome. Enjoy!
A bad storm is building over Camp Campbell. It's forecasted to dump several inches of rain and bring in some very high winds across the entirety of the Sleepy Peak region. Lake Lilac will probably flood out. Trees will probably come down. The camp will probably lose power. So, for safety, Gwen and David round of up all the campers and set everyone up to wait out the storm in the mess hall. They make it in just in time, as the blue sky fills with dark, ominous grey clouds, the first few splatters of rain begin to fall.
But it picks up quickly. In the time it takes them to move to lunch tables to the edges of the room, it's practically raining sideways as heady gusts of wind blow across the lake. The power goes out just a few minutes later, plunging the world into darkness despite the fact that it's only just past noon. The camp has generators (that probably work) but Gwen and David have decided to wait until the storm mostly blows over before putting them to use (as the camp is always one of the last things to get power back in the aftermath. So, Quartermaster digs out the candles and lanterns while Gwen and the girls claim one side of the room and David and the boys fight for space on the other, huddled in close together. A rogue platypus wanders amongst the sleeping bags, hissing at anyone who gets too close.
With enough light to see by, Quartermaster hands out snacks, drinks, and flashlights to everyone. He provides David with what turns out to be an alarmingly well-equipped survival box stocked with enough rations and supplies to last them through the likes of a biblical flood and then some. And then, despite David and Gwen's protests about going out into the rapidly worsening storm, he takes his leave, mumbling something about Spooky Island and waterproofing the dungeon. They don't ask.
Camp Campbell's beleaguered counselors expect chaos as a result of forcing their ten campers into a confined space for a prolonged period of time, but things go surprisingly smoothly once everyone settles in. Nerris somehow manages to rope Gwen, Neil, and a reluctant Harrison into playing board games by candlelight. Dolph wrangles Nikki, Nurf, and Space Kid into a weirdly calming arts and crafts session. Erid and Preston end up in a very heated debate about musical numbers and rock covers of musical numbers that David eventually has to step in to mediate.
Max, however, keeps to himself.
With the musical argument handled for the moment, David approaches the lone camper. Usually, Max would have Neil and Nikki by his side, the trio causing the maximum amount of trouble possible for the situation at hand. David finds it more than a little disconcerting that Max is just sitting in the dark alone, instead. He sits down beside Max just as the room lights up with a brilliant flash of lightning. "Everything okay?"
"Yup," Max says, wincing as an over-loud crash of thunder rumbles overhead. It seems to shake the walls of the cabin, the windows rattle in their frames. "Perfectly fine here."
"I think there are some puzzles on the game shelf, if you're-"
"What, do I look fucking five to you?"
"Language," David chides, automatically. Then, "…Books, maybe?"
Max heaves a heavy sigh, climbs into his sleeping bag and pulls it over his head. "Go away."
Another flash of lightning would suggest that Max is shaking in his sleeping bag, but that's just silly, right? There's no way Max is scared of a thunderstorm. However, another flash verifies his suspicions.
He has an idea.
"I'm running back to the counselor's cabin for a minute," he tells Gwen, barely drawing her attention away from the mystery of who killed their victim, and where, and with what. She waves him away without a question as to what's important enough to go running out into the storm to get.
His first stop, though, is the kitchen. There, he crafts a make-shift poncho out of a trash bag in an attempt to keep from getting completely soaked by the heavy downpour. He grabs another, too, tucks it into his pocket and leaves through the back door, slips out without notice and is immediately caught off guard by the icy, cold wind that nearly forces him back through the door, and the stinging bite of the rain as it hits like bullets against his skin. His hair is soaked through instantly, and fat, chilly drops slip down inside the trash bag to seep into his clothes. No point in turning back now, and the sooner he gets this done the sooner he can get back inside. He doesn't go as far as the counselor's cabin, though, never intended to, but stops instead at the camper's tents. He finds the one Max and Neil share with ease and ducks inside. In Max's cot, he finds what he was looking for, tucks it into the safety of the other trash bag to keep it out of the rain and then braves the storm once again in order to make his way back to the others.
Once he's safely inside again, he sheds the dripping poncho, dries his hair with a (hopefully clean) dish-towel as best as he can and removes the object from the other bag, tucks it under his shirt to keep it hidden should the other's notice him moving through the darkness back to Max's sleeping bag, where the boy is still cocooned inside.
"Go away," Max says again, peeking out enough to glare. And then, amidst another eerie gust of wind, a quieter, more desperate, "Please, David."
David doesn't say anything, just subtly passes Max a well-worn teddy bear.
Through the dim light of the flashlights across the room, David sees Max look up at him with awed eyes. Just for a second, before the defenses go back up. The bear disappears into the depths of sleeping bag, but, he suspects Max is holding it close.
"David?" Max calls, as he moves away.
David smiles, "Anytime."