July 14, 2019 at 2:57 pm #2378
It was later in the evening, the moon was but a slit of a claw in the sky above in silverpelt. Their ancestors shone brightly, as if to reassure the Clan that times of suffering was but that of a heartbeat in the time ahead of them and that this too would pass. Tinyflame held a magpie in her jaws as she took the small trek up to the leader’s den. Their leader had just returned from a patrol nearby in ThunderClan’s territory in the search for Coalpaw’s cause of death and, much to the shock of WindClan, revealed to his senior warriors that he had lost two lives. She had not been present for his particular meeting, but she and Owlbelly had been growing close lately, and his worries had been voiced to her earlier. Part of the tiny warrior felt a sense of relief, they had found what caused the sudden and mysterious death of a young apprentice, but the other part of her felt incredibly dismayed. The discovery had cost Wolfstar two of his nine lives and that was a heavy blow for the entire Clan. Yes, one could argue that his lives were in a sense, disposable, but his leadership held on the very thread of those lives and the sudden loss of them could send their Clan into peril.
Tinyflame had offered to take her prey from the night’s hunting patrol straight to Wolfstar’s den and she poked her head into the den quietly, setting the morsel down just to utter a soft, “Wolfstar?” to indicate her arrival. If she could lessen Owlbelly’s burden just a bit by assisting with duties like this, she would do them without missing a heartbeat. Even though she did her best to hide her worry for their leader, the fear gripped her deep down and would not let her go. She was just but a young warrior, only in her warriorship for a moon or two and now the Clans faced the concern of the Tribe, disappearances of their Clanmates, and now what had happened to Wolfstar admittedly left the small she-cat a little shaken. She hadn’t any idea where all of this turmoil was heading, but she had to keep her confidence that WindClan would be able to handle anything, as long as their Clanmates held strong, they would be fine.
“I’ve brought you some fresh-kill. How are you feeling?”July 14, 2019 at 3:21 pm #2379
I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Wolfstar’s limbs stiffened and his chest tightened as he fought for breath, his blue eyes wide with horror as he began to suffocate once more. StarClan, why? His vision started to swim until it became completely black, expect for the shape of one cat. Stars danced in the stranger’s pelt, and a smile laced their maw, chest bouncing with laughter. Wolfstar tried to call out to them for help, but the cat shook their head and backed away from him, ignoring his pleading eyes.
Wolfstar’s eyes snapped open, chest heaving and panting to try and catch his breath. His paws shook for a few seconds from the fright of his nightmare, tail curling towards his body to keep him safe. He looked around the den and saw the silhouette of one of his warrior’s standing at the entrance, the moonlight still too dull for him to be able to know exactly who it was. The WindClan leader cleared his throat and sat up as much as he could, but his limbs kept shaking from the dream and the weakness in his body. He grunted with annoyance at himself, hating that he still didn’t feel comfortable enough to sit up, let alone stand. When his Clanmate padded farther into his den, he was able to make out Tinyflame carrying a magpie.
“Tinyflame,” he meowed, voice hoarse. He tried to put a smile on his face so he didn’t seem so delicate. “I’m doing alright, thank you for asking.” It was a lie. However, how could his Clanmates feel safe and secure when their leader couldn’t show them he was alright despite the weakness he felt? “Is that for me?” He nodded towards the magpie Tinyflame held between her jaws, and a rumbling noise came from his belly. The only thing he had been doing since Toxicshard and Palebriar carried him back was sleep. Nettlenose had insisted he stay in the medicine cat’s den to heal, but he replied with a harsh no. The last thing he wanted to do was take up space in the medicine den in case someone else needed it. Anyways, he wasn’t exactly sick; he was just tired.July 14, 2019 at 3:39 pm #2380
The tiny warrior was a little startled to see Wolfstar thrashing in his dreams, she recoiled slightly with a wince. It was understandable that what he had gone through would haunt him in his unconscious, he did die twice, after all. “Yes, this is for you.” However, she recovered from the sight quickly, doing her best to remain indifferent in a face in front of the leader. WindClan’s warriors needed to stay strong for him if he was going to recover from this, she told herself. And she would not let herself be one of the threads to unravel in this time of need for the Clan. Tinyflame dropped the magpie directly in front of Wolfstar’s den and without a word, pressed her shoulder to the larger’s tom to assist him in sitting upright.
“Goldenrose should be back soon.” The ginger she-cat meowed, glancing around the empty den. She hadn’t much of an idea of why the pretty warrior would leave her mate’s side at a time like this, unless it was per his request. Tinyflame could imaging feeling conflicted about leaving someone you loved when they were suffering like this, whether they would be willing to admit it or not. “Pardon me for speaking out of turn,” the warrior began cautiously, “but you did… lose two lives. The Clan understands that you need time to recover. We’re here for you to rely on us now. You don’t have to do it all alone.” But the words tasted like salt on her tongue. Tinyflame hardly had the experience to talk like she was one of the leader’s trusted senior warriors. What would she know about any of this? The fact of the matter was that she didn’t, but she did know that the gray and white tom was suffering from his experience, and she had enough compassion and empathy to know that she wanted to do at least something to help her clanmate if she could.July 14, 2019 at 4:05 pm #2385
Wolfstar smiled gratefully at the she-cat as she helped him to sit upright in his nest. His front legs shook again, and he breathed slowly to slow down his heart rate so he could will them to stop shaking. When they started to relax, he nodded to Tinyflame to let him sit on his own, tail stilled curled close up to his side. Wolfstar lowered his head and took a bite of the magpie, his ears perked and swiveled towards the she-cat as she spoke. He wanted to wince when she reminded him he had lost two lives, remembering a time where the Clan never knew how many lives their leader had. Neither Runningstar nor Windystar had spoken of their lives, yet Wolfstar found it hard to keep such a thing from his own Clanmates. He had been warrior for only a year now and already lost three, which was quite unheard of.
“I’ve never been the type of cat to let myself rely on others for help. Since I was a kit, I’ve learned to do things myself so it’s hard to let others provide me with aid,” he explained. “However, I am grateful you brought me some prey. I sent Goldenrose to do something while I slept, but forgot to ask her to bring me some food before she did.” Wolfstar let out a sigh of content when the juices of the bird went smoothly down his throat, his muscles working again finally. “How is everyone out there? Is Owlbelly doing alright without me?”
Wolfstar knew he didn’t even have to ask since he trusted his deputy with his own life, but it was good to get confirmation from others that the Clan was doing just fine without him. Owlbelly hadn’t been deputy for that long, but he had great leadership qualities even as a warrior, which was why Wolfstar chose him to begin with. “By that I mean, are things running as smoothly as before?” he corrected, looking up at Tinyflame expectantly.July 14, 2019 at 5:01 pm #2391
Her head nodded lightly as Wolfstar spoke to her, his words making more sense and holding more weight than perhaps the young warrior could legitimately understand. She had been raised in a kind and loving Clan her whole life, and while her father lived in another Clan, she had the strength of her mother and her friends to help guide her through the tough trails life lead for her. She couldn’t imagine having to do everything alone, shouldering burdens other cats could never truly understand as if it were the same as breathing.
“Owlbelly is fine. I mean, the Clan is doing well.” Tinyflame blurted unceremoniously, an ear flicking in embarrassment that the first concern out of her mouth was the two-toned tom. Even if Wolfstar had asked about his deputy specifically, she felt awkward to voice her own biases first. “He’s doing his best to things in order while you rest.”July 14, 2019 at 5:42 pm #2395
Wolfstar didn’t notice the way Tinyflame acted when she spoke about Owlbelly. Even if he had, he wouldn’t have been surprised that some she-cat’s were now pining over the newly-made deputy. Having a higher rank somehow made someone seem more attractive. “Good,” he meowed, lowering his head for another bite. “I should hopefully be well enough in the next couple of days.“
The WindClan leader was about to send the she-cat away so he could eat in peace, but then an idea popped in his head suddenly. “I know you have an apprentice already, Tinyflame. But I was wondering if you can take on Thistlepaw with Robinpaw. Thistlepaw’s punishment has lasted long enough and I was planning on starting his training today, but I can’t even get out of my nest. If you would rather me pick someone who doesn’t already have an apprentice, I can do that. Thistlepaw cane be a lot,” he chuckled, whiskers twitching with amusement. His apprentice was a lot to handle, but Tinyflame was one of the most patient cats in the camp and had a calming personality.July 14, 2019 at 5:49 pm #2396
After that discussion had ended, Tinyflame could tell that that’s where the conversation would likely end. So the small warrior got to her paws, prepared to dismiss herself from the leader’s den to leave him to eat his meal for the night. However, what ended up occurring prompted surprise to grace the ginger feline’s face instead. “Oh, uh, of course. That’s fine with me.” She nodded in response to Wolfstar’s request, though she knew it would end up being a busy time for her while the WindClan leader recovered. Thistlepaw was well known among their clanmates now for his rambunctious behavior and his quickness to get into trouble. She was lucky that her own apprentice was much more mild-mannered, but she couldn’t help but worry about how taking on Thistlepaw additionally would impact their training. “I’ll do what I can to keep him in place while you rest.”July 15, 2019 at 6:01 pm #2421
Wolfstar could see the hesitation in Tinyflames eyes when he asked her the favor, and he gave her an amused expression. “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure Thistlepaw behaves. And if he doesn’t, then you let me know and I’ll set him straight. After his last punishment, I have a feeling he’ll stay polite.” If Wolfstar was worried he would make one of his other warriors miserable, he wouldn’t have asked. However, Thistlepaw had spoken to Wolfstar with respect since his time with the elders, and the WindClan leader was slightly impressed.
“I appreciate you, Tinyflame. Thank you for all the help, and for the delicious magpie.” Wolfstar took another bite of the prey, tearing the meat off the delicate bones. It had been a long time since he had a bite of magpie, and it was surprisingly good. “Make sure you get something to eat for yourself too. You’ll have a busy day tomorrow.”July 15, 2019 at 8:49 pm #2431
“Yes, sir.” Tinyflame dipped her head to her leader, a small smile perking her expression at his words of appreciation for her efforts to assist. She was relieved to hear that Thistlepaw had been behaving himself lately, at the very least it would help make training him, even temporarily, easier on her. Taking on two apprentices at once would surely leave her with her paws full but Tinyflame was willing to tackle that obstacle in the morning. “Then, if you’ll excuse me.” With that brief parting, the tiny warrior exited the den and headed off to the warrior’s den for the night. She’d need all the rest she could get for tomorrow’s training.
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