February 4, 2020 at 4:31 pm #4932
Nightmares of Antlercreek’s death haunted the Thunderclan leader’s sleep. Between her bad dreams and pain from the wounds that the Riverclan leader had left on her shoulders, Hollystar had been barely sleeping at night. She just wished to see her friend once more to apologize for not being stronger- for not training more, for not being able to handle Wisteriastar by herself. She wanted to find comfort in the fact that he was guiding her from above, but she needed him down here. He was the cat she would always go to for advice. Antlercreek always seemed to have a good, rational answer to any question. The molly didn’t know if she could lead this clan without him.
For now, Hollystar decided she needed to try to focus on the cats that she loved that were still alive. Kass and the rest of the clan, her alliance with Wolfstar- and one other thing. Briarstep. She needed to talk to the young tom. She had suspicions about his origins, and it was time they had a conversation. It was pretty early, but by chance, the black she-cat stuck her head out of her den to see if the Warrior was around. She spotted him in the clearing, and drew in a deep breath. “Briarstep, can you come here?” she asked, flicking her tail to welcome him into her den. Luckily Kass was out on the sunrise patrol, so she could talk to him in private. If her suspicions were concerned, she would tell Kass… she just had to confirm them first.February 4, 2020 at 7:19 pm #4937
Briarstep – Thundeclan Warrior
Briarstep stumbled sleepily out of the warriors den, awake bright n’ early as usual. His emerald eyes flickered around the camp nervously. ‘So quiet, so tense,’ he thought. A crackling cloud of anxiety and anger hung over them, as if another fight could break out at any moment. He rolled his shoulders, trying to ease his own anxiety. He’d never been ‘strong’, but the clan needed more calm and collected warriors during these dark times. He’d do his best.
His ears pricked as a familiar voice called his name. “Oh, um Hollystar?” he mewed, looking up to see the dark molly beckoning him over. “S-sure, coming.” He trotted over, pushing the vines aside as he entered the den.
He took a deep breath, pressing his chunky frame into the rough wooden walls as he took a seat within. “How are you feeling?” His ears flattened with concern as he briefly examined Hollystar. She seemed uncomfortable and distressed, just like the rest of his clanmates. Peachblossom had been quite busy since the battle, tending wounds and mourning the loss of her father. ‘Wonder if she’s been properly treated,’ he silently thought, knowing the dark she-cat might’ve been hesitant to approach Peachblossom in her time of grief.February 5, 2020 at 11:06 am #4950
As Briarstep entered her den, Hollystar could feel her nerves rising. She sat down, and let her bright green eyes rest upon the young tom. “I’m alright. Just a little sore- nothing to worry about,” she reassured him. Though that wasn’t exactly the truth. She had gone to see Peachblossom to get her wounds initially treated, but hadn’t been consistently going for treatment. Her shoulder was pretty achy, and it didn’t help that she was still going on patrols, hunting, and even practicing some of her battle skills.
“How are you, Briarstep?” she asked in a warm voice. She paused for a moment, thinking about how to word her next few sentences. “Briarstep… Do you remember when you were taken into Thunderclan?” she asked abruptly. She hoped this question wouldn’t freak out the nervous tom too much.
February 5, 2020 at 4:53 pm #4952
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Hollystar.
“Ah, glad to hear it,” Briarstep mewed quietly, taking a deep breath. Hollystar seemed tense and anxious. ‘What’s going on? Did I do something?’ He briefly began to panic, mind racing over the past few days. He had been too afraid to directly participate in the recent scrap with Riverclan. So, instead he darted to the nursery to defend the queens and kits. He gulped, hoping his cowardice hadn’t been noticed.
“I-I’m alright, just as tense an’ anxious as everyone else. Feels like a storm is ‘bout to break over camp.” He blinked, noticing Hollystar’s distant gaze. She seemed to be mulling over something, only half-hearing his words as she grappled internally. Her next question caught him off guard, and he immediately began to panic once again. “Y-Yes, of course I do. I was stuffed away in the hollow of a tree, and found by the dawn patrol. Seemed my parent had abandoned me there a few days prior. What’s going?” He looked at her with wide eyes, not quite sure what the dark she-cat was getting at.February 5, 2020 at 6:37 pm #4955
The molly nodded thoughtfully, but did not take her intense gaze off of the young cat. “Do you remember your father at-“ Mousedung! Why would you say father? You should have said parents! “Er, your parents I mean,” she stuttered, “Or anything from before that patrol found you?” Hollystar asked, shuffling her paws. His nervous energy was making her nervous now- and rightfully so. If her suspicions were right, then this could be life changing.
Part of her wanted to back out of this entire situation, but her heart knew that this had to be discussed. She could feel her body quivering. Hollystar closed her eyes for a moment, and took in a deep breath, trying to calm herself. Nothing was confirmed or denied yet. Keep your cool, she told herself. After she had. grounded herself, the dark she-cat opened her eyes and let her gaze rest upon Briarstep. There was something unusually warm and inviting in the way she looked onto the tom.
February 5, 2020 at 7:07 pm #4957
- This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Hollystar.
‘What did she just say,’ Briarstep twitched, as if stung. He’d just barely caught Hollystar’s words. But, she unmistakably said ‘father’. He sunk close to the wall, feeling discomforted by the whole situation.
“I suppose,” he began hesitantly. “The time before I was abandoned is pretty blurry. I remember sickness, and being hungry. I also remember their scent and pelt. They smelled like fresh pine needles and fallen leaves. As for their fur, it was dark red like my own.” He laughed nervously, uncomfortable beneath Hollystar’s growingly intense stare. “Uh, probably not very helpful right? Well, I know they didn’t smell like a clan-cat. Probably just some random rogue. Although, they did seem pretty certain I’d be safe here with Thunderclan.”
He shuffled his paws, digging his claws into the soft dirt floor. Frustration was starting to get the better of him, and he found his leader’s vague questions unsettling. “Hollystar, what are you getting at? I don’t understand why you’re asking me all this.”
February 7, 2020 at 9:04 am #4960
- This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Lux.
Foxdung, he noticed! she thought to herself. There was no going back now. Anxiety welled up in Hollystar’s chest. Pine and leaves… Dawnpelt, she thought. The red pelt. The scent, and the trusting of Thunderclan. It had to be! “Briarstep, this isn’t easy for me, and it’s not going to be easy for you either,” she started. “When I was a young Warrior, I had a mate, Dawnpelt, and we had kits together,” she started uneasily. “Dawnpelt was exiled from Thunderclan, and as revenge, he stole our kits. There were only two, one was a black she-cat like me, and the other-“ her voice broke off. She could barely hold back her emotions at this point. “The other one was a red tom, who looked just like his father.”
Hollystar was silent for a moment. “I’ve had suspicions for a while about who you are, and until talking to you just now, I wasn’t completely sure,” the molly meowed quietly. “Briarstep, I think you’re my son,” she finally blurted out. “I understand if you’re upset, or never want to talk to me again. I just want you to know I’m here for you, and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have.” She wanted nothing more than to develop a strong relationship with her son. Hollystar felt overwhelming joy that the truth had finally come out. “I’m sorry I didn’t approach you sooner about this. I was just scared I was wrong, because I was wrong, then it would mean my kits were really gone. Only after the battle and losing Antlercreek did I realize I needed to take that risk,” she explained.February 7, 2020 at 5:37 pm #4968
Words spilled from Hollystar’s mouth, like rain amidst a storm. His claws dug into the ground, holding himself still as his entire world was rocked. How was any of this real? How was it possible? Why did she wait so long to share? It was all too much to process, as he was swallowed by a torrent of fear and anger.
“E-Excuse me, but are you serious?” Briarstep stammered, eyes wide with shock. He shook his head, “N-No, no I’m the son of a rogue! There’s no way!” He looked up, meeting her green gaze. Now, he realized it was eerily similar to his own. ‘How did I not notice? All this time, all of her attention. It was all for a reason. She knew me better than myself.’
Questions popped into his mind, one after another. He wasn’t sure where to begin. “W-Why didn’t you tell me?! I should’ve known, Hollystar. I’ve suffered so much hate for being ‘rogue-born’. Do you know all the pain you could’ve saved me from? Can you imagine what it was like, not having a parent?” He stood, backing away towards the den’s entrance. “W-What happened to my sister? Do you think she and Dawnpelt are still out there somewhere? What do I even call you now? I just … I can’t process all of this, it’s too much.” His sides heaved as he choked back tears, feeling completely overwhelmed in the moment. “E-Everything I’ve known all this time was a lie. There’s nothing else you’re hiding, is there?”February 7, 2020 at 6:25 pm #4969
The she-cat knew that her son would take this hard, but wasn’t expecting this much of a negative response. She wanted to groom his head and tell him it was okay, but she knew right now was not the right time. Maybe it would never be the right time. She felt her face get hot with emotion as she held back tears of her own. She never meant to hurt him, but this was the only way to begin the process to become a family again.
As he flooded her with questions, Hollystar took them in, and began to come up with answers. She waited until he was done speaking to start. “I didn’t tell you because I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to give you false hope- I didn’t want to give myself false hope. I had been dreaming of the day I got to see my kits again, and when you arrived, I wondered, but I was never sure. I tried to talk to you and figure it out. I watched you grow, and every day you look more and more like your father,” she began. “I’m sorry you went through so much pain growing up. It was never my intention. I can’t imagine what it’s like not having parents, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t there to be one for you. If you’ll let me, I would like to start. I would give up anything just for a second chance at raising you and giving you the best life possible if I could, but what’s done is done and there’s nothing I can do to reverse the past. All I can do is focus on our future.”
The leader felt a pang of sorrow at the mention of the little she-kit that Dawnpelt had also stolen. “I don’t know what happened to your sister. She was smaller and when Dawnpelt took you it was winter… If he gave you up, I assume he would have left her too,” she murmured. Hollystar didn’t like thinking about the fact that she would never see her daughter again. “Her name was Rosekit,” she meowed, voice almost a whisper. The molly could feel her heart breaking in her chest. “You don’t have to call me anything different if you don’t want to. You can still just call me Hollystar, or if you want to call me mom then you can, but I don’t expect you to. I haven’t done anything to deserve that from you. At least not yet. I promise that I will try to earn that title- that honor from you.” She hung her head. “And no, I’m not hiding anything else. I’m an open book now. Like I said, anything you want to know, just ask.”February 7, 2020 at 7:07 pm #4972
Briarstep took a deep, shuddering breath as he slowly took in Hollystar’s words. A single tear rolled down his cheek, dripping onto the den’s floor. Likewise, the dark she-cat was also on the brink of tears. She whispered, struggling to speak over her own emotions. A grim expression slowly crawled across his face. ‘A sister I never knew,’ he thought with sorrow. Having a sibling would have radically changed his childhood. Perhaps he wouldn’t have been so lonely. As a kit, all he remembered was hunger and sickness. He silently wondered if Rosekit had succumbed to leaf-bare’s chill, or the illness. He shook his head, dismissing the bitter thought.
“I-I don’t know what to say,” Briarstep spoke slowly, struggling to speak over his emotions. “I wish you’d told me sooner, Hollystar. I feel we both could’ve spared each other a lot of pain. I’ve never had family, until now. I’m not really sure how to react?” He blinked a few times, clearing away his tears. “D-Does Bluefire know? She’s … Well, she’s not really a fan of mine. I don’t believe I fit her definition of ‘strong’.” He snorted, feeling bitterly amused. He liked Bluefire well enough, even though she was a troublemaker. She still had a commanding presence, and leadership skills he’d never possess. He doubted she’d be thrilled to hear the news.
Standing to his full, yet diminutive height, he padded over to Hollystar. “This is really weird, and I’m pretty uncomfortable right now but …” He drew close, pressing himself gently against her side as he took a seat beside her. He took a deep breath, drawing in her scent. ‘Mom, this is my mom,’ he told himself silently. “I-I guess this wasn’t easy on you either.” He looked over, giving her a half-smile. “Honestly, I still feel like running into the woods and yowling away my anger and sadness but … Well, that wouldn’t change the fact we’re family, would it?” He chuckled lightly, more genuine this time. This would be okay. He could handle this, even if it’d be rough. Deep down, he’d always wanted family. But, he never thought the day would come. And he never, ever in a million moons would’ve thought Hollystar to be his mother.February 11, 2020 at 10:27 am #5069
“I’m sorry Briarstep. I could say it a million times and it wouldn’t be enough. I was just scared. Scared of what you would say, scared of if I was wrong,” she meowed. At his remark about Bluefire, Hollystar tensed up. She had told her mate about Dawnpelt, but not that she had kits. “No, I haven’t told her, but if she says anything I’ve got your back- you’re my kin,” she promised, “And no matter what her definition of strong is, I will always think you’re strong.”
As her son stood up, the she-cat held her breath. Is he going to leave? she thought, heart sinking with sadness. Instead, he came over and sat next to her. Relief flooded over her, and Hollystar could feel tears rolling down her face. “Thank you for giving me a chance,” she meowed, her voice overcome with emotion. “I’ll always be here for you Briarstep. I’m never letting you go again,” the ebony molly promised. She leaned into the dark red tom, and pressed her nose to his ear, and closed her eyes. She let the tears flow. The leader hadn’t had the chance to properly mourn Antlercreek because she was trying to stay strong for her clan. That, mixed with her conversation with Briarstep, was finally too much to hold back her emotions any longer.February 11, 2020 at 8:46 pm #5084
“T-Thank you for telling me,” Briarstep murmured. “I’m not going to let you go either. W-We can’t make up for lost years, but we can enjoy what we have now.” He fell silent for several moments, enjoying Hollystar’s presence. His shoulder cooled, wetted with her tears. He glanced over at her, alarmed. ‘Oh no, is she okay?’ he silently wondered. His green gaze settled on her face, noting her tired expression. ‘How many moons has she spent stressing. First me, then the clan, then … well, everything else …’ he thought.
Perhaps if he hadn’t been so oblivious, he might’ve noticed her gentle affection. Or, how she often made excuses to spend time with him. Clearly, she’d always had an interest in him. But, until now he hadn’t known why.
He wrapped his tail around her, a gentle purr erupting from his throat. He held her, waiting quietly until her sobs quieted and her tears dried.
“H-hey,” he mewed, his voice breaking the silence. “I’m going to ask Peachblossom to examine your wounds, as soon as she has a moment.” He nuzzled her gently, coaxing her towards her nest. “Perhaps try getting some rest? I’ll be back later, and perhaps we can figure out how we’d like to share the news with the clan.”February 20, 2020 at 10:39 am #5210
“I will enjoy every moment that I get to spend with you, Briarstep,” she meowed fiercely. The past few weeks had been wearing on her for some time, and she could finally feel herself starting to heal. She felt her son’s tail wrap around her, and she felt an overwhelming amount of relief. She let herself cry for another moment, before pulling herself together. Hollystar tried not to show her weakness to her clan, or even Kass for that matter. This was different though. Briarstep had such a warm and accepting presence.
She stopped crying, and got to her paws as the tom tried to get her to move to her nest. Maybe it was time she let someone take care of her for a change. “Okay,” she meowed. “I’ll try to take a nap. When you come back later we will definitely come up with a plan to tell everyone,” she agreed. Hollystar laid down, and rested her head on her paws. She curled her tail around herself, and let her eyes close. “Thank you Briarstep,” she murmured.
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