He knew that the guy he'd been when he'd first shown up at Camp Wawanakwa would have been ticked off at what a giant pussy he'd become for there to be a question to begin with, and wouldn't even have believed how easily he decided against giving Chef what he had coming for keeping up his stupid mask trick long, long, after the initial shock had worn off. But the guy he'd been when he'd first gotten there had had no idea what he was missing out on. He settled for shooting Chef his best death glare as the man yanked off the latest mask of his own face and said through gritted teeth, "Give it up already, man. It got old after the first minute."
Chef's only response was moving on to the next mask. Luckily by then the other shore and the building on it were in view, and Duncan could turn his focus to it. It wasn't like his knife would do much good anyway, not in the state that idiot had left it after swiping it for the day.
DJ and Geoff were waiting the greet him on the dock when they reached it, but he didn't pay much attention to them. It wasn't like it was bad to see the guys or anything, but they really weren't who he'd been waiting for. "Hey guys," he said as he grabbed his duffel bag and hopped ashore. "Where's Princess?"
DJ laughed in a way that would've been obviously forced if Duncan had actually been paying any real attention. "Funny you should ask about her--" he started, before Duncan cut him off.
"Forget about it, I should be able to find her pretty fast." He started walking into the main resort complex, not even really noticing the luxury around him.
"Whoa man, hold up!" Geoff said, he and DJ following close behind Duncan. "You really don't want to do this right now."
Duncan spared him enough attention to shoot an annoyed glance his way. "Okay, I know you guys must be glad to see me again after being stuck with all of those losers for a couple of weeks, but waiting an extra hour or two to catch up isn't gonna kill you. Getting in my way when I'm trying to see my... the girl who digs me just might."
"Look, we're just trying to warn you--" DJ tried, but then Duncan caught sight of the back of a familiar head of chestnut hair on the other side of the main courtyard and it was too late.
"Courtney, babe!" he called out, picking up his pace. He knew he'd have to do some damage control later to make sure every one else within hearing distance forgot how eager he sounded and didn't think for a second that he might be some sort've mushy idiot deep down inside, but for a moment he didn't really give a damn what they thought. If he had remained as aware of the impression he was having on the people around him as he usually did he might have noticed the way her shoulders stiffened when she heard his voice. As it was, he didn't notice any hints that things between them weren't still exactly the way they had been the last time they'd seen each other as he reached out to put his hand on her shoulder, saying as he did so, "Miss me, Princess?"
On the boat ride over he'd imagined a whole bunch of different scenarios for how she'd act when she saw him. Most of them contained plenty of making out. None of them involved her spinning around the second he touched her and slapping him way harder than he'd have thought somebody with her skinny arms could, leaving him gaping at her dumbly.
"You slept with Heather, you jerk!" she yelled at him, her hands balling into fists as her sides like she was mentally debating whether or not to move her abuse up to an actual punch.
He was so blind-sided by the sudden attack that for a few seconds his mind didn't even know where to start responding to the accusation. Luckily his mouth was perfectly capable of defending him against such a ridiculous claim without any input from his thoughts at all. "What the hell are you talking about, Princess? I've never slept with anyone!"
Just as luckily for his pride, if nothing else, his brain was still too occupied to be paying attention exactly what his mouth had just admitted.
"Uh, dude, she means literally," DJ hissed at Duncan in a stage-whisper from where he and Geoff were still hanging around behind him.
Duncan's brain finally snapped to that morning, when he'd woken up to find his map had vanished after he'd fallen asleep with Heather leaning against him. "Oh! How the hell do you already know about that?"
Courtney's eyes narrowed and she looked angrier than he'd ever seen her. "You're not even going to try making up excuses? Or, you know, apologizing?"
"That was just strategy! I knew I needed to suger up one of those girls to have a chance of beating Owen if we lost out on immunity. Those two crazy bitches hate way each other too much to join a three-person allience together, so I worked on the one who'd need my help more and hoped for a tie!"
"She had her hands down your pants"
"I was asleep! And she was just stealing the stupid map!" For just a second the thought that he didn't actually know what the hell she'd done when he was sleeping crossed his mind, and he shuddered. "...God, I really hope she wasn't trying to do anything else. You really think I'd ever want that crazy harpy to touch me? You oughta know you're the only one I--" All at once he realized just how public this argument was, and how obvious all the other booted contestants were being about listening in, and he cut himself off before he could say anything he really wouldn't want an audience for. He lowered his voice to a tone he hoped only she would be able to hear and reached out to try grabbing her hand, "Look, let's go talk about this somewhere private. I swear I wasn't interested in her at all."
She yanked her hand away before he could touch it and backed away from him, slowly shaking her head. "You say that now, but the look on your face said something totally different when she was snuggling up to you. But, you're right. I could use some privacy." She turned and began striding quickly towards the door of the resort without once looking back. "Somewhere without you."
There was a ringing silence for a moment after she slammed the door behind herself, then everyone in the area suddenly started chattering loudly about nothing at all, carefully not looking at Duncan as he stared at the empty space where Courtney had just been.
"We tried to warn you, man," Geoff said sympathetically, giving him a pat on the shoulder that Duncan just shrugged off without even a threat. "One of the camera men dropped off some film this morning, said the producers wanted us to watch it. We thought it was way weird, but did it anyway."
"They must have wanted some conflict for when they wind up doing more clips from isolation during the reunion. Or maybe they're just bored; now that almost everyone's gone there can't be much going on at camp most of the time," DJ said with a helpless shrug. "Anyway, all that was on the tape was two-and-a-half hours of Heather... 'snuggling up to you' before she finally decided you were out of it enough to let her steal that map."
"Courtney kind've went crazy when she saw it. Watched it three times in a row, just getting redder and redder. By the end they had the med crew standing by in case that vein in her temple blew up, and one of the medics took the tape away. Said it was for her own good." Geoff lifted his hat slightly off his head so he could rake his fingers this his hair, looking in the direction Courtney had gone as thoughtfully as he ever got. "She's actually way calmer than she was a few hours ago."
"And that's a little scary. You might be dodging a bullet here, man." DJ circled around Duncan, until he could get a look at his face. "Are you gonna be okay?"
Duncan's jaw was clenched tight, and the look of sheer rage in his eyes was enough to make his friend really believe for the first time that whatever it had been that got him sent to juvie could have been something very nasty. "Just got to wait six more days for the finale, then we'll be out of this place."
"And you can move on and start looking for one of the other fishes in the sea?"
"And I will be able to kill Chris when they drag us back to camp."
Geoff and DJ exchanged a look, unsure of how serious he was or if he even realized how pointless that would be. "Uh, dude, you do know Chris couldn't have been the one who--"
"Whoever's watching the tapes they're making here had better warn Chris to enjoy the next few days, because after that he's a dead man."
"Seriously, he wasn't even here for--"
"They said there was this award's--"
"...Wait a minute. Did I tell everyone, and the cameras, that I've never-- Oh crap!"
Well, DJ and Geoff both agreed, at least the look of complete mortification on his face now was better than the one of murderous rage.