June 23, 2020 at 10:56 pm #6869ChrisParticipant
Pawsteps were squishing noisily as Rainysky plodded a path straight through ShadowClan’s territory. A steady rain was pelting down, though he was chiefly shielded from it by the tall dark pine branches. Still, the occasional cold drop struck him from time to time breaking his train of thought. Yet it could not fully penetrate his worried conscience as he kept his sights glued to the ShadowClan Warrior in front of him. He’d already forgotten the other toms name. Frog-something? The detail was lost amid a swarm of other thoughts. They never stayed long enough with him to leave anything behind but a worrying impression.
He’d woken with a start, heart slamming so violently against his ribs that every beat felt like it was spawning cracks in his chest. ShadowClan. Though he remembered none of his dreams, or what indeed had woken him so suddenly. The word was as loud and clear as day in his head. He felt incredibly stupid, but since he’d decided a walk was the best remedy to his anxiety he allowed his feet to lead him toward the border rather than fight to steer them elsewhere. That was when he’d found the patrol, and heard the news. It had only just happened hours earlier.
He didn’t know how to feel. Guilty? But what could he have done?
A small voice said, as they drew nearer to the camp.
You were the straw that broke the camel’s back, weren’t you?
“N-no.” He mumbled past a thick throat. “This isn’t my…” His guide spared him a questioning glance, but seemed to think better of prodding him. Rainysky doubled down on his composure, unwilling to let himself fall apart before they’d even arrived. In his mouth he held an offering of healing herbs he’d fetched before departing. Tightening his hold on them, he felt bitter moisture collect in his clamped jaws.
But when they finally reached their destination, that oath became much harder to keep. Even still as he approached the den, his feeble strength was failing him. And when he entered to gaze upon that suddenly small-looking body against the moss, bereft of the warm sapphire gaze he normally associated with it, his composure deserted him. Legs folding beneath him the tom collapsed at Saplingskies’s side, his bundle falling to scatter across the den floor. Amongst the petals and roots he found himself pressing his muzzle into the side of the sleeping tom’s neck. His smell brought the same comfort it always had, but it was all wrong. Tears were streaming from Rainysky’s eyes, trickling down his nose to dampen his companion’s brown fur. He inhaled shakily and did his best to contain his soggy features. No need to drown the other tom in his weakness, literally.
He sat in silence for what felt like the longest time. Just listening to him breathe. Each exhale smelled heavily of poppy, telling Rainysky that he would not wake for some time. But he was content with this. Just seeing the air work its way in and out put him more at ease than any words could.
“I know you can’t hear me, but there are still some things I want to say.” He broke his reverie shakily.
“Maybe you wouldn’t even want me to have come, you always had others around you. I was always just…there. You were so much more to me than I was to you. I think I was just one of the many things that stressed you out.” He laughed weakly.
“I wish you’d told someone- maybe you did in your way, but I wish we could have helped you too, in the way you’ve helped all of us. In the way you’ve helped me. It never should have been all on you to be the voice of reason. To keep your head above the water while the rest of us wallowed in it.”
“When we were with Wisteriastar, when she had her kits. I thought I was going to pass out again. It was all so much. But…but I didn’t. I stayed awake, and I did everything I could for her. I’ve never believed I could do anything in a situation like that that did not just make things worse. But I did, and I can. I know that now. So when you wake up, I’m not going to be the same. I’m going to be stronger, better. I’m going to become the kind of cat you can lean on. Just as you let me lean on you before. I swear on my honor.”
“You were my strength. Now let me be yours.”
The words took with them a burden he’d been clutching to like a piece of driftwood out at sea. At first it was very frightening. He felt exposed, adrift a wild torrent of emotions. But unlike in the past, he now knew how to swim. And so it was with the teaching of the tom slumbering peacefully beside him that he began to move forward for the first time.
Pawsteps crunched at the entrance. Swiftly he did his best to suck in the tears and general hysteria of his mien.
“O-oh Hareflight!” He popped up, blinking redness from his swollen eyes. “I just..I heard from a patrol…..I-is there anything I can do?” The poor thing. He could only imagine this was hitting the ShadowClan Medicine cat’s true friends.
June 24, 2020 at 2:20 pm #6888Hareflight [Mel]Participant
- This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Chris.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
The sound of rainfall pattered softly all around, giving ShadowClan’s camp a peaceful atmosphere.
Or what would have been one, if not for the incident that had shaken much of the Clan.
A small calico molly stood in the center of camp, staring blankly at her paws. Was she overthinking, or thinking nothing at all? It was impossible to say. A drop of water landed squarely on Hareflight’s head and drew her out of her stupor. How long had she been standing here? What was she even doing out here? Her bi-coloured gaze examined the area around her before settling on the fresh-kill pile. That had been it. She had only taken a few steps, however, when out of the corner of her eye she spotted a grey shape ducking into the medicine den. For a moment, panic closed her throat as the image of everyone crowding around the den filled her mind, but she pushed it back, forcing herself towards her den with a sick feeling in her stomach.
As she approached, she heard the soft sound of speech, and for a moment wondered if Saplingskies could be awake. But… no. There was only one voice, and it sounded like… Rainysky’s? She debated for a long while on entering, not wanting to interrupt any moment he might be having. But after a while, when there seemed to be a pause, the young feline gently stepped into the den, gazing at Rainysky with a weak smile.
As she met his gaze, she saw every emotion she’d felt over the last night reflecting in his expression, and her eyes dropped to the ground. Her own eyes were swollen, likely from both tears and exhaustion, and a refusal to leave Saplingskies’ side for more than a few minutes at a time. But this was not the time to be focusing on her. Hareflight knew that.
She knew how raspy her voice would sound, even before she spoke. “R-Rainysky..” She paused, muddling over her words before continuing. “I think h-he just needs his rest right now. It’s b-been..- Well… I’m sure he’s t-t-tired, after-…” She swallowed roughly, glancing up at him for only a moment, before her gaze sought the ground again. These words were not forming as easily as she’d hoped. After a long pause, she tried again. “Thank y-you for coming. I’m sure he’d l-love to see you if he was awake.” Bobbed tail tucking in between her legs, Hareflight looked desperately for anything else to say, and it came when her sight rested upon the scattered herbs on the floor by Saplingskies. “Did- Did you, um, bring those?” She asked, gesturing vaguely at the herbs.
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