February 24, 2020 at 10:04 pm #5279
– W I S T E R I A S T A R –
It was late at night, the warming rays of the sun had disappeared many hours ago and was replaced by the cold claws of leaf-bare’s nightfall. It had been a few days since Hickoryroot’s passing, and as grateful as the RiverClan leader was for Saplingskies’s company, she knew that it was only temporary and that he would have to leave them eventually. His heart belonged to ShadowClan, not here. She knew that. Truthfully, Wisteriastar had not been sleeping well as of late, but the exhaustion her body felt was starting to overcome her and she knew that she couldn’t sit outside in the cold and force herself to hold vigil in mourning any longer. She sighed quietly to herself, her breath billowing out into the cold night air and made her way back into the cave she knew as her den. Her nest was as cold and unforgiving as ever, but she found herself settling into the moss and reeds easily enough. Her body was clearly craving sleep if it didn’t bother her at all. Wisteriastar curled up into the nest and rested her tail comfortably over her nose. Her eyes closed and almost immediately, she was caught deep into the hold of sleep.
It was not far into her sleep that a certain vision had started to appear in her dreams. It was a faint, misty ground, mirrored by a bright and warm environment that she had recognized before. This was StarClan’s hunting grounds. But why would she be here now? Anxiety prickled at her paws and the omen that Nettlenose and Wolfstar had come to warn her of immediately surfaced in her mind. Was this another warning coming? She received an answer soon enough, as a familiar form materialized in front of her. A small brown tom with amber eyes and a splash of vibrant sunset hues on his chest. “Mallowleaf!” She exclaimed, quickly rushing forward to greet him. “Why have you called me here tonight? Is something bad approaching?” Wisteriastar was not one to normally be so flighty and restless, but the experiences her Clan had endured this past moon have been absolutely anything but pleasant and she was certainly feeling the toll of it all. But to her relief, the former RiverClan healer shook his head and gave her a reassuring smile.
“No, Wisteriastar,” his deep voice was soothing and reassuring, “I’ve come to help you once more to find a solution to your problems.” Mallowleaf turned from her, gesturing with his tail for her to follow him, which she did without hesitation. The two of them walked through the hunting grounds of their ancestors so quickly that it felt almost as though they were floating, their paws barely grazing the grass. Soon enough, the calico feline blinked and opened her eyes to recognize the clearing of her home, RiverClan. Her eyes narrowed and she turned to Mallowleaf, parting her jaws to ask him what he was intending to show her, but he silenced her quickly with a shake of his head and then he tilted his ears in the direction of her camp grounds once more. Obeying his instructions, Wisteriastar returned her gaze again to the RiverClan clearing, waiting impatiently for him to show her where he was getting at. It looked like her clanmates were simply outside, talking calmly with each other, completely unaware of their presence.
Suddenly, the clouds began to cry, rain started to fall and shortly enough it was pouring in the camp of the RiverClan cats. And yet, those who gathered in the clearing seemed to be completely unaware of such a fact, for absolutely none of them reacted to it or moved to seek shelter. Within heartbeats, the rain that fell acted as a remedy, much to her surprise. It served to ameliorate her wounded Clan and the wounds they suffered disappeared right before her eyes, as if they never existed to begin with. In awe, Wisteriastar watched the rain and how it healed her Clan. Within heartbeats, her vision faded and the dream dissipated and she awoke with a start inside her den once more. She wasn’t sure how much time had passed and as she got up from her nest she felt somewhat disoriented, as any actual rest she had gotten was gone immediately from her dream, but she had a sudden, new mission to accomplish. She needed to find out what her dream meant and what Mallowleaf was trying to tell her.
How can rain heal our wounds? Wisteriastar thought restlessly to herself, leaving her den and emerging into the RiverClan clearing. Perhaps Saplingskies could provide more insight, but as much as she wanted to ask him, it was the middle of the night and their friendly healer was likely asleep. And he deserved to be too, after staying up so late to tend to the wounds of her Clan. She wouldn’t dream of disturbing him. Maybe she could talk with Heronflight? But she hesitated to disturb him from his sleep as well, for she had been awfully demanding of what he accomplish in his daily chores now. He also deserved a rest. So, the RiverClan leader sat outside in the clearing alone, ignoring the cold and wrapping her tail around her paws. She just needed time to think. Maybe an answer would come to her soon.February 24, 2020 at 11:20 pm #5281
Rainysky slipped soundlessly from Hickoryroot’s old den, now housing their guest Saplingskies. He had not even noticed falling sleep, until a nasty little bad dream had him jerking awake amid their half-built stacks of supplies. Helping his ShadowClan friend had been a much more enjoyable activity than Rainysky had anticipated. There was just something immensely satisfying about making order of chaos, neat little rows of colorful and exotic smelling plants. Combine that with the company of a trusted friend, and the time had passed faster than he could keep count.
Frankly, it was the first time he’d laughed aloud in months.
He’d left Saplingskies passed out among his work, with a small twinge in his chest. I wish I loved something as much as he loves his work. He thought wistfully. For so long Rainysky had been feeling like a ghost, empty of all inertia. He felt too like was at the edge of a great precipice , but in all likelihood it was just whatever remained of his self-preservation dangling a carrot on a stick to avoid an existential crisis.
The moonlight illuminated his lithe silver form the moment he stepped from the shadows, he realized with a touch of chagrin the clearing was not empty, swiftly he shook out his long gray fur scattering scraps of plants and ShadowClan scent. StarClan, I swear this isn’t what it looks like! He thought panicked, but relaxed a bit when he saw the cat- Wiseriastar- was deep in her own thoughts. The scarred calico looked troubled.
Though the younger Warrior was bone tired from sleeping on a cold den floor, he couldn’t leave a Clanmate in a lurch like that. It practically went against the DNA of the empathetic tom. Approaching silently, he cleared his throat as not to alarm his Leader.
“It’s late.” He murmured. “I-I don’t want to tell you what to do, erm, but I know you haven’t slept in days…Are-are you doing okay…?”February 25, 2020 at 1:33 pm #5282
– W I S T E R I A S T A R –
The RiverClan leader had been so lost in her own thoughts that she hadn’t noticed the approach of another cat, the clearing of a throat nearby drew her attention immediately towards the cat that had come to approach her. How unprofessional, she scolded herself. Being so lost in her own worries that she hadn’t noticed Rainysky at all was something for her to reprimand herself for. However, much to her surprise, the silver tom had not come to her to vent worries of his own to her, but to ask her of her own well-being. Wisteriastar smiled softly at the warrior, shaking her head lightly as she replied, “I’ll be okay, thank you for worrying though.” What came out of her mouth may have been a bit of a fib, for she knew as well as he did that she truly was just plain tired. She needed a break and a good rest but she knew that her duties as leader came first and that her responsibilities outweighed her options to take time for herself any time soon. “How are you doing?” She asked, quickly turning the focus of their conversation around, “You came from the medicine cat den, right? Are you feeling okay?”February 25, 2020 at 4:29 pm #5285
Rainysky’s clear green eyes narrowed a fraction of an inch as the obvious falsehood passed his Clan Leader’s lips. But he would not confront her on it- he barely had enough plausible doubt to purport concern on her behalf, let alone fret at her like a nursing mother. She does need sleep though. He thought, with a subtly frustrated flick of his wispy tail.
Though he was fully aware of the subject change, he did not fight it. Sitting down beside her elegantly.
“Oh I’m fine, I was just helping Saplingskies. We collected some good supplies and sorted them he should be set for a few days to take care of everyone.” He brightened up when he spoke. Assisting his friend had been the highlight of this whole miserable event with their Clan. “But….after he goes, well..” The tom trailed off, looking worried again.
“I’m sorry I worried everyone when I found Hickoryroot.” He mewed, hanging his head. “It was stupid, I just saw him and….I panicked. I’m just-I’m so worried. We need someone to heal the wounds in our fur and in our hearts, for peace to come…” He closed his eyes. “Hickoryroot would’ve been good at that. He was really nice, and I wish I could’ve talked to him more. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one mourning him, everyone else just saw a SkyClan cat.” Rainysky raised his pale gaze to the heavens, stars dappling his seaglass eyes. “He deserves more than that. If we can’t see that the true borders exist only in our minds, I fear for our Clan.”
As if waking from a sudden dream he jerked back to his normal ungainly self, ears burning. Had he really been rambling so much?
“S-sory, I’m sure y-you’re aware, of course.”February 29, 2020 at 11:10 am #5297
– W I S T E R I A S T A R –
The RiverClan leader listened quietly to the compassion Rainysky spoke with when he referred to his Clanmates and his care for their former healer, as well as his expression of gratitude for Saplingskies’s help. She was glad that she had a clanmate as compassionate and ready to help as he was. As the silver tom spoke of his feelings towards Hickoryroot, Wisteriastar nodded silently in agreement. “No, I understand your frustrations,” she replied, “Hickoryroot was one of our own, even if his time with us was short. I’m sure he would have appreciated that someone as caring as you had found him. Honestly, I feel somewhat… responsible for taking him from his original home, only for him to grow ill and die so soon.” Hickoryroot deserved to live a full life. Perhaps if things had been different, if she hadn’t followed Mallowleaf’s advice, maybe he would still be alive, in SkyClan. This line of thought brought her back to the dream she had just had earlier tonight. She had received another cryptic dream from the StarClan warrior that had given her Hickoryroot, and she had just started to put some of the pieces together in her head, sitting here and talking with Rainysky. But did she want to take him from a life he had lived before and change his future too? Would that truly benefit him, or her Clan?
Wisteriastar was beginning to doubt herself, again questioning whether or not her choices for her Clan had been truly in the best interest of RiverClan, or if she was just being selfish. Would asking Rainysky of such a difficult future truly be right of her? The calico warrior looked down at her paws, contemplating her choices and what her decision would mean for her Clan. Her actions with ThunderClan had lead them to a battle that resulted in casualties and now, with their lack of a medicine cat, RiverClan was suffering the most of the consequences. While they had Saplingskies as a result of her close ties with ShadowClan, she knew that he couldn’t stay. She thought about the omen she had received from Nettlenose and she knew that this battle wouldn’t be the last that the five Clans would see. RiverClan couldn’t be without a medicine cat, she knew this, so she would have to bury her concerns and ask the most of Rainysky.
“You know, I had a dream last night,” She began slowly, turning her amber eyes to look over at the silver tom, “a StarClan warrior showed me a vision of the sky, clouded with rain, and the pouring of the waters that came down. The touch of the raindrops healed the wounds of the remnants of the battle with ThunderClan and I think, maybe… That he was trying to tell me something.” Wisteriastar paused, giving the silver warrior a moment to grasp the words she was saying, “I think he was trying to tell me that you may be RiverClan’s next medicine cat, Rainysky.”February 29, 2020 at 8:32 pm #5304
“It’s not your fault.” He mewed quickly, eyes jumping up to her face. She really was gorgeous, in a fierce sort of way. Hers was a beauty that razed like the sun, both giving life but choosing- when necessary- to take it away. “You can’t see the future, after all..”
He turned away to heave a rather heavy sigh, feeling the exhaustion from recent events coupled with sleeping on a den floor deep within his bones. So much was needed, and yet there was so little within him even now. He faced his Leader again as she spoke of a dream, wondering vaguely where she was headed with this anecdote. Maybe she was confiding in him, were that the case he had no reservations. It was a surprise, however. Wisteriastar had an impregnable sense of privacy about her. Did any cat in the forest truly know what dwelled behind those lamp-like eyes? The honeyed depths seemed to mock any attempt to penetrate beyond what they deigned to betray.
But as she finished her tale, his pulse quickened eyes constricting pupils. Deep in his chest something sprang forth like an arm reaching for the sun only to be overtaken by fear. He could feel it thrash against his ribs as though they were a cage in his chest. When it rattled the bars, he could scarce breathe.
His inborn yearning languished, eyes closing he turned away suppressing any outward indication of the turmoil.
“Wisertiastar…..it’s can’t be me, it just can’t. I made a promise….long ago.”
The fact that I even want to break it now is a sign of such weakness in me. She deserved a better brother.
“And you have done so well, so very well my brother.” Her voice, as it so often did entered his mind only this time it sounded so much richer and fuller than his prior delusions. It was easy after all, when someone had been gone for a long time for their impression to become distorted- and in this case immortalized in perfection- over a long period of absence. But as Frostpaw spoke now he found himself rediscovering the minute flaws in her timbre, the complexities his own mind could not comprehend and therefore had done away with when it enshrined her in his psyche.
When he opened his eyes however, he came to the realization this was no hallucination. For standing before him was the ethereal figure of his sister’s spirit. Her fur glistened like every star had come to nestle in-between her translucent white hairs. Though her form had mass, it was wholly insubstantial and otherworldly. He wanted to touch her, but feared if he did so she would cease to exist. Luckily however, he need not have worried for she crossed over to him and rested her forehead against his creating a sensation like cold fire where she made contact.
“You have lived so many lives for me, my dearest. Though you need not have. My life, the life I did lead, was always always enough. You are enough. And now it is time for you to live for yourself.” She pulled back to smile at him. Within her gaze, galaxies danced and winked at him. “Will you make me a new promise, dear brother? Live your life. Love every moment of it, and each second you are doing so it will bring me joy. Honor me this way, please.”
“But…..what if I forget about you?” His voice broke pathetically. “If I’m focusing on me…”
“If you love yourself as I love you now, I promise that will never happen.” She purred, starry pelt glimmering. “Won’t you try this for me? ”
And there, she had him. Rainysky’s deceased littermate could’ve asked him to jump off a cliff and he’d abide out of devotion. Perhaps not the healthiest way to convert him to a better path, but it was a start. For the first time, he chose what he wanted.
“I…I promise.” He nodded.
“Good.” Demurred Frostpaw, who then turned to address the other party privy to this moment.
“Wisteriastar.” She mewed somberly. “Take care of this one. Medicine Cats don’t grow on trees.”
And with that, she was gone. A lonely wind scattered leaves across the dusky hollow where once had stood the apparition. And a cricket chirped somewhere in the forest.March 2, 2020 at 3:20 pm #5313
– W I S T E R I A S T A R –
Initially, her first reaction to Rainysky’s rejection of her proposal was irritation, mingled with frustration. This meant that she had to find something else within her resources to find help in terms of a healer for her Clan, and she wasn’t entirely sure how far her resources could stretch. Then, she reminded herself that she couldn’t force him into a role that he didn’t want. He had every right to live his life here in RiverClan however he had wanted to– she was a leader to help her Clan, not dictator to control them. “I understand,” Wisteriastar replied, her voice but a whisper as she bowed her head to the silver tom. She was prepared to cut her losses when, much to her surprise, a figure materialized between the two of them.
From her experience in the lands of their ancestors upon receiving her nine lives, the calico warrior knew immediately that the starry, mist-shrouded figure that appeared before them was that of a StarClan warrior. However, it was not one that she recognized. Her jaws parted, as she was about to question the abrupt appearance of the spirit before them, when she was beat to the punch by Rainysky, who communicated with them as though he knew them well. It was within this moment that she realized he was speaking with his late-sister. Wisteriastar kept silent as she watched on from their conversation, as it was not her place to interrupt or intrude in their discussion. It was a private moment between siblings, and a touching one at that.
When Frostpaw had turned to address her directly, Wisteriastar bowed her head respectfully to the StarClan warrior. “Of course I will,” she promised as she faded from their sight. The RiverClan leader gave a pregnant pause of silence between the two of them after this experience, as she figured that Rainysky might need a moment to gather himself and his thoughts and feelings after that interaction. After a moment, she turned to him once more. “Well?” She prodded softly, a smile gracing her expression, “Shall I ask you one more time? Will you join our ranks as our new healer, Rainysky?”March 3, 2020 at 2:05 am #5317
The silvery tabby tom turned once more towards his Leader, unshed tears glossed over his seafoam eyes magnifying the color and intensity of them.
“I would be honored, if you’ll have me.” He murmured softly, voice barely a whisper in the wind. His gaze glanced once nervously to the Elder’s den, where his father slept. And where he would wake tomorrow to the news his son had chosen the ‘soft’ life of healing. He still remember how Grayfang had cruelly crushed Frostpaw’s brief passing interest in the role of Medicine Cat- he would take to Rainysky’s passions no better.
Maybe for once though….he was going to have to accept those feelings. Though his heart beat nervelessly for what was to come, it beat more loudly than it ever had before in his life.
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