theres this fic idea i’ve been thinking of for a long while now (honestly i've had this specific post drafted since may of this year, so maybe since january or so) and want to eventually write one day, but if im being honesty with myself i'm not sure if i ever will, so im at least putting it out there now.
its a chip analysis piece (likely in some kind of 5+1 format, primarily from jay’s POV) specifically between chip and his relationship with food. the simple fact he’s always been this scrawny malnourished street kid when growing up outside of the black rose means a lot to me, and it would likely cause a lot of habits or behaviors the others wouldnt have or possibly even understand to begin with which would be a fun thing to explore and how it can reveal more abt him.
scenes/topics that would be Covered will be under cut
the first thing that immediately comes to mind is an analysis and expansion upon his canon interactions with food in canon, such as the bag of chip’s jay gives him on loffinlot or the cinnamon roll incident
for one, the fact that jay carries snacks at all is kind of indicative and would likely be the focus. use jay's pov to explain how she’s learned to bring snacks on adventures since teaming with chip (likely with comments being somewhat snide or huffy about it, or comparing him to a child demanding/needing a snack, since they are still kind of strangers and she doesn’t know much about chip).
(if desired, it could also expand on how he fuckin’ made that small bag of chips last so long. yes the true answer is “because it was funny” but like… rationing behavior? jay might make an absent note of it (due to her observant feat), but wouldn’t likely extrapolate further at the time. also may be cut entirely for messing with story flow too much to include as a detail.)
the cinnamon roll scene is… listen he literally tried to share food with someone and broke down crying doing so because he loves them and wants to share that. obvious example of using food as a language for love and appreciation (which, again, takes on another level when you remember he comes from a food-scarce background). like thats just a thing that happened i don’t care if it was a goof that’s just canon. bite me.
observation of chip having "weird" behaviors with food. these include having a seemingly massive appetite and being sure to always clean his plate (you don’t turn down access to food and you take what you can in case you can’t do it again soon.)
but also: as part of chip kind of projecting onto ollie, he’s always trying to pawn more food onto ollie’s plate. sometimes it’s as subtle as saying he’s “not hungry anymore” and scrapping whats left to ollie (which would catch jay’s eye because previously he’s always finished his plate even when full and clues her in) to as obvious as literally giving him more and saying he needs to eat more.
both the above points would be stuff jay would 1. spot and 2. actually take note of/care about, around after desire island or so.
immediately after leaving allport, i think seeing reuben would bring back a bunch of chip's old habits and cause him to backslide a bit. after all, even if they were a “family”, they were also still a gang of street rats. on instinct, he would end up showing a lot of food guarding habits (being overly protective of people taking it, hiding food in a stash, etc). he likely also had these habits for a while after joining with jay and gillion, but after episode 16 when they started slowly getting closer the habits faded because he knew he could trust them.
this is such a minor point in comparison to the rest of this list but i can see it so clearly in my brain. chip has an apple (likely stolen tbh) and he takes a bite out of it and leans against a wall. jay either makes a snide comment towards him about it or just snorts or something, prompting chip to hold it up towards her and go “you want some?” in a snarky way (speaking with his mouth full all the while).
jay rolls her eyes and says yes and gets startled when chip actually throws her the apple. she yelps, catching it, then throws it back immediately while yelling something like “ew, no, you took a bite of it already! i was kidding! gross!” chip feigns being wounded and retorts with something like “and here i was willing to expose myself to your stink getting on my apple–” and cue bickering between them about cooties.
he just straight up was willing to share the apple, thoughts abt "the fact he already bit into it" don’t register for him bc its such a non-issue in his mind. he offers to share about any food he has/makes because its a silent way to show he cares. i don’t think he’s fully conscious of that fact though. in general i think chip responds a lot better to subtle actions showing love than words of love and this is just another example of that from him
(following this is likely where cinnamon roll scene would go in the fic, both timeline-wise and thematically, since this section is focused more or less on "sharing your food as a sign of love")
this next section would be the most plot heavy or traditional “fic” affair, in that it’s not solely fluff padding/analysis and has some original storybits.
the crew would be stranded on an island. i don’t know how exactly, but the key parts is that they don’t have their ship, there’s no one else on the island, and they have limited resources/rations. presumably they know rescue is coming, but ideally they don’t know exactly when (for drama purposes, as well as to make proper rationing out supplies p much impossible). perhaps the grandberry crew is on their way to save them, but they ended up on this island after a storm and don’t know where they are to point the grandberry pirates to. something like that.
actually, this plays out very similarly to the ollie part as detailed earlier, but to the left. as the crew starts to struggle with rations, chip would start (subtly when possible) start giving up his own portions. either by feigning lack of appetite, persuasion, deception, etc. the closest he comes to stating the truth would be when someone (likely ollie) asks if he’ll be okay going without his portion and chip shrugs then leans back on his elbows with a smirk and goes “nah, i’m used to it anyway.”
this is when the rest of the crew also starts to pick up on chip’s behaviors, to the point it becomes a bit of an unspoken secret they don’t want to dig into. previously, and the reason the entire fic is from Jay's POV, shes been the only one observant enough to take notice off all these traits. this is when it becomes So obvious everyone notices it.
preferably, near the beginning of the story (likely after the chip bag incident, but before jay starts noticing all of chip’s behaviors, so that she cares for him more than she’s annoyed by him but hasn't put together any real dots-- between section 1 and 2), there would be a section where chip is mocked for his short height (as the shortest of the crew, at around 5’4) and being VERY easy for gillion to carry.
then, after the island section (section 5), there would be another part where chip’s height and weight are commented on. i'm undecided if this would be another light hearted goof scene or a more “dramatic” serious scene (which if it was it would likely be tied to the island incident. maybe an injury or argument or something?).
either way, it happens because jay ends up lifting/carrying chip. jay “8 in strength” ferin. he’s just fuckin light. afterwards, chip would explain saying something like “its not my fault! cause like– outside of arlin, i was kind of a street rat growing up, yknow? they arent particularly known for having a stable food situation, didn’t get all the nutrients and junk you need to grow tall”. it starts as a joke and a kind of light-hearted ribbing defense, but kind of sobers up in that melancholic-nostalgic way by the end.
it’s the first time he directly states anything abt his upbringing and food to his crew, but its a confirmation. well, its a confirmation for jay. everyone else definitely knew something was going on, but jay is the one who is able to connect all the pieces bc she’s the only one whos noticed all the other pieces. she gets the Whole Picture of how his childhood and upbringing caused all these behaviors and kind of what they imply abt chip's behavior now (like the food sharing as love, smothering ollie, etc)
+ 1 ---
for a cheesy ending bonus, have jay use a mix of chip’s anecdotes abt the black rose and drey’s shaky memory to try and cook up a meal he used to have there. (for bonus, if desired she could reach out to lizzie too since lizzie lived with the old chef shay).
depending on author preference, either its good and chip cries because of the ~*memories*~ and the fact they cared enough, or it’s comically awful and not much at all like the original but the sole fact that they went out of their way to very obviously try SO hard to surprise him with this because they thought it would make him happy (as well as trying to speak to him in his own love language) makes him cry about it anyway.
(again, chip responds better to acts of love than words-- having his crew not only notice this abt him, but then do something to try and show that love hits him way harder than anything else could)