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Nesting with Snakes

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Darius was trying to figure out the reasoning behind his team's composition, when Lux asked him a direct question.

“What?” he said, hoping he could answer her quickly and be done.

“Did you ever make Snowdown cookies when you were young?”

He blinked, but the question did bring back a memory from when his parents were both still alive, the house warm and smelling delicious.

“Yes.” He replied. Draven was probably too young to remember.

“See!” said Lux, turning to Garen. “Even Darius made Snowdown cookies!”

Darius returned to his thoughts. Soraka or Lux would be mid, so Gnar was ADC?

Garen rolled his eyes. “I don't know why you're so bitter about this.”

Then he and Garen would duo top?

“Everybody else made Snowdown cookies. Even Darius. Even Katarina!”

Unless one of them was going to jungle? Garen jungling? He shook his head, dissatisfied.

“But not Talon,” said Garen.

“Talon doesn't count. He's not a real person, he's the idea of “assassin” come to life.”

Maybe Gnar was the jungler? But then who was ADC?

“Why didn't you ever make Snowdown cookies?” asked Soraka.

Garen and Lux both gave her blank looks, then said “Frivolity has no place in the Crownguard household,” in the exact same tone.

Arrested, Darius stared at the siblings while Soraka said, “Okay, that was creepy.”

Garen laughed and Lux shifted in place, swinging her baton. “What it really means is that neither of them wants to admit they can't cook,” she said.

Darius tried to shake off this second distraction. Maybe Lux and Soraka would duo bottom lane, with Gnar jungle, and top and mid for him and Garen?

“But they should have tried!” continued Lux. “Even if it was terrible we'd still have a treasured childhood memory.”

“You'll just have to do it with your children,” Darius muttered, not paying full attention.

The following silence had a weird quality, and he turned to find them all staring at him (even Gnar). Then Lux's smile turned on, and she beamed at him. It felt like getting hit by her laser, and he had to exert himself not to take a step back.

“You're right, Darius. You're absolutely right. I'll just have to bake Snowdown cookies with my children. That's perfect!”

“Uh, right,” he said, wishing he hadn't said anything.

“So, what?” said Garen, unamused. “Now you're going to get knocked up so you can bake cookies?”

“Of course not!” She grinned and punched her brother's arm. “I just feel so much less bitter now! I can bake cookies with my children. That makes perfect sense! Thanks, Darius!”

“Uh, right,” he said again.

“Finally!” said Garen as the summoners started directing them to their positions. Garen top. Soraka mid. Gnar jungle. Lux and Darius... bot?

“They got the wrong brother.” He wanted to hit himself in the head with his axe.

She laughed her annoying laugh. “Oh, it won't be that bad. I'll set 'em up, you knock 'em down.”

He shook his head and sighed.

Later that week he answered the door of his suite to find a beribboned box with a note on top.

Darius,

I know you wouldn't have wanted to give me a present at all, given the choice. But it was the best Snowdown gift I've gotten in years, so I didn't feel right not giving you something in return.

These are the first Snowdown cookies I've ever baked (ever!) so they might not be great, but I got Pantheon and Morgana to help, so they won't be terrible either.

I hope you enjoy them, and thanks again!

Lux

Darius stowed the note and opened the box. Indeed, it was filled with various types of Snowdown cookies.

Walking back in to the main room, he asked “Draven, do you remember making Snowdown cookies when we were young?”

Draven looked up. “How mother wanted us to wait for them to cool, but father would steal them for us right off the sheet?”

“I'm surprised you remember.”

“The burned hand does not forget.” Draven quoted the proverb.

Darius snorted. “Or the burned mouth?”

“Nope,” Draven said with a grin. “What brought that to mind?”

Darius held up the box, tilted to show the contents.

“Ah! No doubt one of Draven's many fans has made him Snowdown cookies with her own two hands!”

“No doubt,” said Darius, note crinkling in his pocket. He put the box down on the side table, and watched Draven select a handful. There were times when he longed for another (any other) suitemate, or even one of the cramped single rooms the Institute provided. But there were also times, and Snowdown was one of them, when he was glad to have Draven around. Even if he did occasionally use him to test for poisons.

After a few minutes, he too selected some cookies. They were delicious.