Bringing Home the Bacon [ThunderClan Hunting Patrol]

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    The stress of two extra clans had been weighing on ThunderClan like a Christmas tree ornament on a Charlie Brown tree. The obstacles that a storm of such a caliber like the one occurring left were two, if not three, times worse than anything they could imagine. The medical den was over run, the nursery housed both fragile and sickly kits and increasingly moody apprentices, the elders kept getting into quarrels over the ‘old days’, and the Warriors Den kept cracking in different areas, leading to flooding. It was not a good time. 

    Not to mention, the rogue had slowly but surely been watching the Fresh Kill Pile diminish into an all time low, only leaving scraps and carcasses at the bottom to rot. It was horrendous and needed rectifying immediately. Luckily the diluted blue-grey calico had woken up that morning just early enough to notice a break in the rain. The clouds, although still present, were sparse enough to uncover the sun for the moment. If there was ever a time to go hunt, it would be now. 

    Exiting the Leaders’ Den, Kass studied the lack of movement in the clan with a visual spark of annoyance. Did no one else sense the opportunity that was being presented? Her eyes automatically scanned for Hawkpaw, her unnamed apprentice whom had recently seemed to adopt a similar schedule to her. He was never too far behind. “Hawkpaw,” she mewed with a dip of her head, “We’re going hunting.” She told him gruffly, eyes already searching for more participants on their excursion. 

    “You two,” she nodded towards a seemingly small and meek ginger tabby at the mouth of a den followed by Sorrelfrost (I couldn’t find her description lol), “Come with us. We need to go hunting and you seem like you have less injuries than the bulk of your clan,” she commented. 

    “Dreamfeather,” she started, turning towards the familiar face who was sitting too close to a WindClan warrior. Kass paused, whiskers twitching in slight annoyance, “You and your.. err, friend, are to join us to.” 

    When her bi-colored blue and amber eyes turned back to the medium sized group which she gathered, appraising them silently before turning swiftly and taking off into the forest with a brisk pace. After all, she needed to beat the inevitable return of the rain. Whilst running, the mock-warrior made a game plan in her head, trying to plan out what areas of the territory to avoid. Obviously the river was a poor choice due to the swelling and swiftness of the flow. Deep forest would be okay but the bulk of the animals would still be hiding. 

    Berry Flats definitely seemed the way to go, especially with the abundance of WindClan cats on their tour of the forest. With a glance back at her group she made sure they were keeping up alright before making a hard left towards her destination. 

    Somewhere near the location she began to slow her gait until she was merely trotting out onto the moors. “Stay aware, animals are going to be coming out and we don’t want to scare them off. Don’t stop at one kill, keep going until you have at least three good sized catches, we can worry about carrying them later.”

    Turning her head, she caught Hawkpaw’s eye. “You need to catch at least three good sized chunks of meat- but I want you to go find bigger prizes. Look around for burrows or large nests in trees. Understood?”


    Tinyflame had been lingering as diligently by Owlbelly’s side as she could, as much as the buzzing ranks of her clan would allow her to, watching him carefully next to Nettlenose to try and assist in making sure that his case of Greencough was truly getting better. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust Nettlenose and Startledpaw to do their duties efficiently, but rather, the anxiety she felt at seeing him suffering and the entirety of herself that desperately wished the illness would subside, for his sake. No one wanted to just sit by and watch while someone they loved suffered to sickness. She felt utterly powerless to stop anything and it only served to sour her mood. 

    The small ginger warrior was snapped out of her thoughts when Kass had come out of a den from higher up, a den she assumed to be the leader’s den, and started rounding up warriors for what she assumed would be a hunting patrol. Is she Hollystar’s mate? Tinyflame thought, noting how the dilute-colored she-cat spoke with a certain sense of authority, or is she the new clan deputy? There hadn’t been a gathering in over a moon now, so there was certainly a possibility that the ranks of ThunderClan had changed without her knowing. It wasn’t her clan, after all. 

    But she didn’t want to leave Owlbelly’s side; she cast an uncertain glance at the two-toned tom, then at Nettlenose, and then back to Kass. There wasn’t much she could do waiting around camp, Tinyflame decided, so she might as well make herself useful and bring back some prey. Getting to her paws, the ginger feline gave the WindClan deputy’s ear a swift lick. “I’ll be back soon.” She told him, parting from his side and joined the cluster of cats that were beginning to form in the center of ThunderClan’s camp. To her amazement, Tinyflame saw that her old mentor, Eveningstorm, and the ThunderClan she-cat he was getting far too close to for her liking, Dreamfeather, were present for this patrol as well. Irritation pricked at her pelt, but she kept her mouth closed and averted her eyes from the pair, choosing to remain as civil as possible and concentrate on the patrol instead. The dark-furred tom was none of her business anymore. If he wanted to ruin his life by falling for a cat from a different clan, then that demise was his to suffer alone. 


    Hawkpaw looked up, and nodded stoically. From her tone he could tell there was no use arguing. Besides, all of these different Clan cats in one place was somehow more insufferable than when it had been just one.

    The surly apprentice plodded through the bloated mire that had once been- and perhaps soon again would be, the forest. He placed a well-aimed kick at a soggy pinecone, sending it sailing ahead and bouncing off of Tinyflame’s flank. Coughing loudly he hurried ahead.

    He straightened up militantly when Kass addressed him, the hunger to please her gleaming in his amber gaze. “Yes, ma’am.” He mewed, using a respectful tone heard by very few. Splitting off from the other he ventured through the undergrowth, his own hunger a powerful motivator as he scanned for any sight of movement. Remembering what he had been taught about using fear to kill, not claws, he settled down in the fork of a small tree- a blob of shadow with two copper eyes peering out.

    Hareflight [Mel]

    Rain, rain, and more rain. That had been what it was for longer than Dreamfeather wanted to count. The storm had taken a toll on ThunderClan – prey had been scarce and a sickness had been spreading. Despite this, Dreamfeather had always been an optimist and the storm wasn’t all bad. Although she would never dare to say such things out loud, there were certain upsides. For one, ThunderClan hadn’t been driven out of their camp like WindClan, and Riverclan – potentially even ShadowClan and SkyClan. As well as this, there was the added bonus of being able to spend time with Eveningstorm without fear of being caught. They had been meeting up for a while now at the border, and although Softglow didn’t seem to be happy about it… Dreamfeather refused to ignore the feelings she knew were there.

    Now, she sat beside him, her green eyes softly gazing at him, and her tail flicked gently against his side. As her name was addressed, the ginger tabby’s head snapped towards Kass, her ears pricking. Quickly, she jumped up, clearing her throat. “Sounds like a plan,” she purred, offering a sheepish grin her way before glancing back over at Eveningstorm. “Well? Come on then, Eveningstorm. We’ve got work to do.” With an only-slightly-subtle wink, she bounded off behind Kass, tail wagging happily.

    As the diluted she-cat spoke, Dreamfeather listened, but even so, her attention still seemed divided and every once in a while she would catch her gaze drifting back towards the tom she stuck close beside.

    Stars, I’ve really fallen, haven’t I?


    Eveningstorm ~ WindClan Warrior 

    The rain had been horrible, slicking his dark brown tabby and white fur to his body, outlining his broad shoulders and his slimming stomach. WindClan hadn’t had a fulfilling meal in a long while, although his dark golden amber eyes were glued to the drenched ginger molly that he currently sat beside. He had been worried about Dreamfeather, with all this rain and the water level rising within WindClan he would be lying if he said he hadn’t felt anxious to know the she-cat was alright. He smiled softly when he noticed how comfortable she was around him, causing his chin to tilt for a moment as he felt her tail lightly brush against his side in a silent form of affection. Love between borders were not allowed, and displaying their affection could be dangerous but he had to know she was alright. 

    Upon hearing Dreamfeather’s name, he also glanced in the direction of the grey tortie as she handed out orders, causing his chin to tilt as he couldn’t really place her from any previous clan meetings but her clanmates seemed to have respect for her at least. Eyes moving towards Dreamfeather however as she stood up and turned back to him, ears perking upright when she invited him to come along as well, his cheeks and ears warming up when he noticed her gently wink. Don’t mind if I do. He grinned silently to himself, swiftly pushing himself up from the sitting position and following the hunting patrol out into the foreign territory. 

    EveningStorm had never been so close to her camp before, but he did know some of the land close to the border as he visited Dreamfeather quite often at night, needing her presence more and more every day. Even now, walking a few paces beside of her, he had the strong urge to press his side against her own as they walked but he withheld the urge and kept his distance for now. Although, it was definitely awkward that TinyFlame had also been chosen for this patrol, however the ThunderClan deputy couldn’t have known about the tension between the two cats. 

    Eveningstorm really hadn’t conversed with TinyFlame since both of their outbursts, and honestly he was getting used to it. At one point they had been close as mentor and apprentice usually were, but her attitude of thinking she was better than himself and trying to wedge herself in between his love life had caused a large rift between the two. He cared for her, yes, but he also didn’t want anything to do with her at the same time. Enough was enough. Ignoring her very existence, he looked towards Kass as she spoke, listening to her words as he gazed curiously around the berry flats, until he noticed that Dreamfeather was sneaking peaks at him, causing him to smirk and send her a wink before he shifted to carefully looked into a bush, trying to spot prey. 


    Kass wasn’t oblivious to the weird feeling in the air, the awkwardness between non-clan mates, although she couldn’t quite bring herself to care. If they wanted to act like immature apprentices they were more than welcome to. At least, sparring a glance at Hawkpaw, her apprentice would never act in such a way. With a quick pointed look towards the three warriors, Kass turned and instead took her hunting plane to a new height: up a tree. 

    The blue-gray calico perched herself on a steady branch, taking in the view for a split second before carrying on with her task. She could see the various squirrel nests which littered this side of the forest, but the dangerous part was how thin the trees began to be when you got to them. Carefully, Kass began to climb up towards one of the larger seeming nests, the tree around her swaying with every heavy step. 

    When bi-colored eyes could finally see the top of the nest there was no hesitation before she reached a paw into the nest, sending a blur of squirrels into a frenzy. She perched herself at the mouth of the nest, managing to get two out of the three squirrels that had been living in the den, the mother, and a baby. With a satisfied huff, she knocked the nest to the forest floor so she could pick up her prizes later.


    Tinyflame let out a startled yelp at the sudden impact of a pinecone that had been chucked at her by Hawkpaw, his complete lack of awareness to the instance he had caused making her all the more agitated than she already was. “Watch what you’re doing and where you’re going!” She spat after the apprentice, forcing her hackles to settle. He was just an apprentice, after all, and a ThunderClan apprentice at that. It wasn’t her duty directly to discipline the young tom. The WindClan warrior sighed, exasperated, and followed the patrol out of camp. 

    Speaking of discipline, she was highly aware of the pair of cats behind her that appeared to be completely unaware of any boundaries that may lay between them, or what may or may not even be appropriate in this setting. The tiny ginger warrior’s tail lashed. They’ll be found out in no time. She thought, clenching her jaw. And yet, none of the trio present spoke a word to each other, as if she didn’t exist to them and they did not exist to her. They kept their distance from each other and she found that she preferred it that way. It certainly was irritating, but it was none of her business anymore. 

    The rain that continued to pour down on them would make hunting difficult. After almost an entire moon of the clouds crying, most of the prey was huddled away, avoiding getting wet as much as they all were. Not to mention, this was uncomfortable territory. She was a WindClan warrior, what could she possibly know of ThunderClan territory? The only reassurance she had was that they shared similar prey, if she could just find a rabbit or a vole somewhere…

    Movement scuttling the floor behind her caused her to abruptly whip her head around, ears pricked. A mouse, a puny thing really, was hunting for nuts just at the other side of a large, twisted root. It wasn’t ideal, but it would have to do. They all needed as much prey as they could muster. Careful to avoid dead and wilting debris, Tinyflame flattened herself to the hunter’s crouch, keeping her tail just barely above the forest floor to steady herself. She crept forth slowly, eyes transfixed on the rodent ahead of her before she neared it just enough to pounce. Her claws sunk into flesh that was soft and had just about no weight to it– killing the mouse was almost too easy, when the prey was as starved as they all were. 

    Even after her catch, the ginger warrior felt incredibly dissatisfied. How were they supposed to feed two clans with prey as meager as this as their resources? 


    Hawkpaw remained right where he was, his left leg folded ungainly under his stomach. Before he knew it, the young tom was jerking awake his crumpled limb long since cut off from circulation. Disoriented, it took him a few moments to detect the source of his wakeup call. An odd….garbled noise, accompanied by sizable rustling. Bird-like, in a sense. Maybe a pheasant? He’d heard of those, but never seen one in the city of course.

    Hopping down, he shook out his now prickling foot and ventured forward a few paces. The wood had an unnatural stillness to it, apart from the heavy rustling just up ahead.

    Just then, something poked through the ferns. Not something, someone. A head, Hawkpaw knew at once it was some variety of fowl from the presence of a beak. But said beak protruded from the ugliest head he had ever seen in his life. Affixed to a winding neck, the features of this unfortunate specimen were bald but bumpy in texture, colored blueish as though the marred flesh were dead. Under its mouth was raw-looking red….dangly bits, there was no other word for it. It’s beady eyes fixed on him and he made no effort to disquise his disdain for this animal.

    It was only then that he realized something else about it. Yes, it was ugly, but it was also enormous. The Apprentice reached this epiphany when the bird- if indeed it was one, he still had doubts- took a step forward with a clawed scaly foot bringing with it a dense, feathered body behind which a fan of long feathers sprayed outward tipped in black. It was a damn sight taller than he, or any other Warrior.

    At first, the great beast did nothing. Turkey and cat regarded one another in silence with equal measures of repulsed fascination- that was, until Hawkpaw spoke.

    “K-Kass?” His voice squeaked out embarrassingly, like a kit. As though awoken by the disturbance, the bird started toward him swiftly. Backing up, he felt the rough grain of a tree trunk press into his back. But he found himself unable to maneuver around it, his eyes fixed on this large, rather threatening creature as it drew closer.

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