February 28, 2021 at 10:57 am #11343FearedParticipant
Deputy of WindClan
Lips parted as the tomcat let out a soft sigh, pupils narrowing slightly for a moment as the breath before him swirled in a fine white mist. For whatever reason, he hadn’t been able to sleep and he knew there were still a few hours before sunrise but his mind was constantly moving with thoughts. Goldenrose had approached him earlier that night and asked him to take on Vulturekit as an apprentice and although he liked to stay clear from training blood, the molly could sense her young son was troubled. Scorching amber eyes flickered towards the nursery from where he sat in the cold, although there wasn’t a hint of a breeze and the sky was mostly dark with clouds, he could peek a few stars amongst the dark clouds. Breezepaw was also most distant than usual, Wolfstar truly had no idea just how much his death would impact the younger generation of children. What his siblings weren’t counting on was that Hailgaze never left, his ever watchful gaze was apparent but perhaps he needed to step forth and fill in their void. He could never be his father but… he could be their big brother and not just their deputy.
“They really need you right about now.” Hailgaze whispered faintly, his deep voice misting right before his lips as his dark stormy grey and white streaked pelt shimmied faintly as a hint of a breeze tugged at his pelt. Honestly he should’ve been surprised about it, but for some reason this breeze felt… tender and smelt of vanilla. Suddenly he felt his throat bob and his mask falter as his brows furrowed faintly. “Mom.” Hailgaze whispered softly, his gaze soft as he looked at nothing. Despite the hardships they were all experiencing, StarClan was still around. Nostrils flared slightly as he breathed in the comforting scent of his mother, his attention pulled towards that of the nursery. Goldenrose wasn’t the only one that needed him to step into a difficult role, for too long he had stood in his fathers shadow. Now it was time for him to stand in the light and create a shadow of his own.
Standing up, the tall and broad shouldered tomcat briefly glanced around camp as he quietly walked from the warriors den, faint shadows casted down upon the snow on the ground as he noticed the guards were talking to one another quietly to keep themselves awake. He knew it wasn’t easy. But a particular tiny ginger was pulling at his mind, causing his worries to evaporate as he looked away from the guards. Let them enjoy the peace before he chewed on their tails. Instead he lowered his head as he spotted the small she-cat, his eyes instantly landing upon the familiar round ginger belly that held his kits. The fur on her belly stirred faintly as a hint of vanilla caught his nose, perhaps there was another reason he was still awake. As quietly as he could, Hailgaze slipped into the den and glanced towards Goldenrose and his younger siblings, they were asleep and he felt his stomach twinge. They were so small and innocent, but they needed guidance that Goldenrose couldn’t provide. But could he?
With that in mind, he turned away from the nest and moved back towards his mate, lowering his head as he gently brushed his cheek against her round belly in affection, closing his eyes briefly as Tinyflame’s scent comforted his dark thoughts. His mother had led him towards her and he was thankful, as of late she was his peace and his storm. Slowly lifting his head, the big tomcat lowered himself to lay down in front of her nest, his gaze thoughtful as he crossed his paws in front of him. Within her belly was life, whether he provided that life or not, he was here.February 28, 2021 at 8:12 pm #11391ToriParticipant
– T I N Y F L A M E –
Tinyflame was fast asleep. Her swollen flank rose and fell softly with the relaxed pattern of her deep breathing. Despite her calm, deep asleep state, the kits growing in her belly were no where near as settled as she was. They tossed and turned all night, kicking and pawing in an attempt to escape. But before the pains awoke her, the pregnant queen caught a familiar scent that wafted its way into her dreams and coaxed her gently out of sleep. Her blue eyes blinked open, squinting in the darkness as they adjusted. Though blurry against the dim light, she could already tell who the big hunk of fur laying in front of her nest was.
“Hey handsome,” she purred, her voice hoarse with sleep still, “fancy seeing you he-“ but before she could finish her sentence, the tiny ginger feline felt an incredible spasm of pain that got her lurching forward, gasping at the unexpected, sharp sensation that felt like it was coming from every vein in her body. Tinyflame gritted her teeth. This was her first birthing and she had nothing to compare it to in terms of what would happen next, but she did know that it was happening now. “H-Hailgaze, go get… go get Quiet-h-hawk-!”March 1, 2021 at 12:37 pm #11397FearedParticipant
Deputy of WindClan
His gaze had been unfocused and thoughtful as he slowly roamed his tongue over his teeth before his eyes flickered towards Tinyflame’s face as he noticed her shifting in her nest. She seemed restless tonight but he supposed it was to be expected from the size of her stomach, growing kittens was not an easy feat. Even in the darkly lit den he could see the shimmer of her blue eyes as they opened and immediately sought him out, causing him to smile softly as he tilted his chin at the sound of her purr. From what he had known she was asleep when he settled down, but she always seemed to know when he was there. Moving his right forepaw to gently touch her much smaller paw in a small gesture of affection. Times like tonight he was worried one small touch would break her. But before he could say anything and even before Tinyflame could finish her sentence, her small body suddenly recoiled in pain and her teeth gritted together painfully.
Obviously his mother knew these kits were coming, for she had led him straight to his née family at such an hour. Hailgaze was immediately on his feet, hovering over his mate as he sniffed at her pelt. She was tense and her scent was changing, which caused instant anxiety to claw at his chest. Their kits were coming. “Okay, I’ll go get him.” Hailgaze nodded and gave her forehead a brief kiss before he turned on his heels and quickly slipped out of the nursery den. His paws moved quickly against the ground as he jogged to the leader’s den. Nervousness was prickling at his paws, but for now he was keeping himself together. But that was liable to change. Ducking his head down as he peeked in to see three bodies curled up around a very pregnant she-cat. Feeling slightly awkward, he cleared his throat and slowly walked forward to gently push his paw into Quiethawk’s side. Eventually this tomcat would need to start sleeping in the medicine cat den. “Quiethawk. I’m sorry for waking you up so early, but Tinyflame’s kits are coming.” Hailgaze spoke with authority, his eyes narrowing in the dark as he gazed down at the pale brown tabby.March 2, 2021 at 12:25 am #11399PheebsParticipant
He considered himself a fairly just and pleasant tom (he’s been frequently told he’s an idiot), but at that moment he felt neither just nor pleasant. Quiethawk had been content to press against his best friend’s side, tail curled with Eveningstorm’s as they sandwiched her between them. The peaceful moment was ruined when Hailgaze, the oaf, came bumbling in and jostling Quiethawk. He considered the option of simply telling Hailgaze to go chase his tail, but he figured that might be frowned upon and- oh, yeah, he was medicine cat now. There was that, too.
“Get out,” he grumbled, indicating with his tail towards the exit. Slowly, unsteadily, Quiet rose to his paws, pale yellow eyes flicking back to Desertstar’s golden form. Sorry, sweetheart, he thought, offering an apologetic nuzzle to his friend’s head. Turning to Eveningstorm, Quiethawk offered no such affection. In fact, he hissed at his mate. “Eve, tell your brother I hate him.” Which was a hideous lie, the tabby was happy to loudly proclaim his and Startledcrow’s “eternal love” and “amazing friendship”. “He owes me- something for dragging me into this medicine business. I swear to Starclan-” The ex-warrior would have continued, however, he was aware of the situation and quickly exited the den.
“Go grab something for Tinyflame to chew on. A stick, preferably, or anything hard that won’t snap under pressure. I’m going to go grab some things.” Silently, he thanked Startledcrow for teaching him the basics of birthing medicines. Quiethawk had inquired after learning of Desertstar’s pregnancy, knowing that it would be up to him to make sure his partner made it out alright. Which was why, among battle medicines, he was sure to memorize all the herbs a queen might need. “Borage, burnet, cha-chamo- no, not that one. Dandelion, maybe, and poppy.”
Signs of Startledcrow and Dovesong’s existence lingered in the way the medicine cat’s den was organized. It was in the little things- the way Startled had a particular system that Dovesong had foregone, though most herbs stayed where they were before. The scent of the den, too, went from Startled’s subtle scent to something sweeter (gross and alien to Quiethawk). He supposed he should spend more time here, but he only spent enough time to be familiar with where everything was. He didn’t want this den to become “his den”. He didn’t want this. Not the time! Biting his tongue from saying a word, he deftly wrapped a few of burnet, a cluster of poppy seeds, and a couple of dandelion leaves within a large ivy leaf. Quiethawk had foregone the borage, seeing as Tinyflame was a healthy queen. If she needed them, though, he had already pulled out a few so it would be easy to return and grab some.
“Mu’ff ou’va!” Quiethawk pushed past Hailgaze, uncaring of the larger tom’s mood at that moment. As a warrior, the pale brown warrior had been armed with strong ambitions and a stronger temper. It should not be too surprising that he still maintained those two qualities, though one might have assumed (or hoped) being mated and made a healer (of all things) might have eased those things from his character. “I’m going to need you to take some counted breaths, alright, Tinyflame?” Well, if worst comes to worst, Hailgaze would never try and attack a crippled clanmate- maybe.March 2, 2021 at 6:52 pm #11403ToriParticipant
– T I N Y F L A M E –
The pain was unlike anything that she had ever felt before– it was much more intense than when she sprained her paw as an apprentice, that’s for sure! Even then, it was still bearable, enough that when Hailgaze returned with Quiethawk, she was present enough to listen to the pair as they assisted her and instructed her through the birthing process. Goldenrose’s company made her feel more comfortable as well, as relaxed as one possibly could be while they gave birth. Their new healer aided her through the birth of her first kit in an experienced and well-informed manner, like someone who had all the years in the world under his paws when it came to medically treating his Clan, even though he had only recently become their medicine cat, pending the disappearance of Dovesong. Clearly, Quiethawk had brushed up on assisting queens in birth before her time came. Next came her second kit, and the WindClan healer informed her that she was through.
The tiny ginger feline huffed out a breath of exhaustion, letting her head fall back onto her mate’s flank, who hadn’t left her side, no matter how much Quiethawk nagged at him to move. A weak chuckle left Tinyflame, it was just like Hailgaze to be stubborn and even more-so now that he was deputy. No one but Desertstar or perhaps herself would be convincing him to do anything he didn’t want to on his own accord. Before her breast suckled two, terrifyingly small kits. She had always been told that she was small, but then what did that make them? These two wads of fur that pressed against her, desperate for her warmth and milk. They were the smallest things she had ever laid eyes on and now, more than ever, she felt the strong, protective urge to keep them close.
She wrapped her tail around the two of them, both toms– one was a dark, two-toned mix of grey-brown hues and another one that was a pale ginger with accented darker stripes. It was here with a pang that she realized the similarity between the dark-pelted tom and a mirror image of what might have resembled her late mate, Owlbelly. However, the argument could also have been made that he resembled Hailgaze as well, as the lighter parts of his pelt held a familiar grey as his. Tinyflame sighed. Maybe she would never get the answer as to who their birth father truly was. But that was okay. She would love them just the same, no matter what. The queen passed a glance up at the medicine cat who had helped safely deliver her kits. “Thank you,” She told him before she returned her attention back to her mate and kits.
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