Every Day We Are Apart, My Heart Grows Fonder (Tigerberry)

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  • #7486
    Phena
    Participant

    TIGERSTRIKE TURTLEBELLY

    It had been weeks since they last spoke. This was the longest period of time that he ever went without speaking to Darkberry. Since they met, they had been practically inseparable. They hunted together, they trained together, they shared tongues every noon, and they even slept near each other in the Warriors’ Den. All of that had been forfeit after one bad evening. He still could hardly believe it happened. Tigerstrike genuinely thought they had been on the same page! Then, the next thing he knew, he was getting the cold shoulder. Even his father, the blind old elder Turtlebelly, could see where he went wrong. The two were sharing a piece of prey near the Elders’ Den. Turtlebelly wanted to bask in the sunlight for his noon meal, and despite the heat, Tigerstrike obliged him. For the first time, Tigerstrike had told the story of their falling out to Turtle. It was probably the worst thing he could have done.

    Turtlebelly laughed a gruff, loud laugh. He laughed so hard he nearly choked on his food, his scarred eyes crinkling humorously. “You called her a good friend? After all that? My boy, you may have gotten my good looks, but you sure as hell did not get my brains.” The elderly tom-cat reached out to prod his son with his forepaw, then settled it empathetically over his forepaw. “Tiger, you’re a good warrior, a good friend, and a fantastic son, but you made a mistake. You’re like me. You guard your feelings too close to your chest. Let me tell you firsthand: that never, ever works out the way you think it will. Your mother was not my first love, but she was my last. You need to tell her how you feel, before it’s too late.” Sadness gleamed in his eyes but he offered a smile. “Love will grow and pass throughout your life, and believe me, it is always worth to risk your heart than to never have risked anything. Courage is what makes you a real warrior.”

    Tigerstrike’s ears flattened back against his skull. He didn’t have much of an appetite and Turtlebelly had eaten most of his catch anyway. His fear settled like a stone in his belly – cold, hard, and grating on his insides. He tried not to stare at the fur of Darkberry herself out of the corner of his eye, but it was so difficult when he heard Turtlebelly’s words and saw her ignoring him. He missed her. He had his chance, and he blew it. Dejectedly, he sighed. “Will she even talk to me again for me to try?”

    Turtlebelly snorted. “She doesn’t need to talk, only to listen.”

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Phena.

    “Destiny isn't a path any cat follows blindly. It is always a matter of choice, and sometimes the heart speaks loudest. Listen to your heart, because that's where your true destiny lies.”
    - Leafpool

    #7489
    Feared
    Participant

    Darkberry ~ ThunderClan Warrior

    Here lately, her appetite hadn’t really been there. Usually she only ate once a day and that was when her stomach truly demanded to be fed. Other than that, she really didn’t have the gull to eat on her own free will. Weeks had gone by since she had any interaction with Tigerstrike and the separation from the tomcat was killing her. He may have only cared for her as friend and even though his words and actions both confused and upset her… was it worth pushing her best friend away? She wasn’t so sure anymore, she just didn’t have the courage to walk up to him after the way she had reacted. About a week ago, she had been granted her very own apprentice! This morning they had been roaming throughout the territory in order to learn scent markers and boundaries, of course she missed her breakfast. Moonpaw on the other hand had been starving and her little stomach had been begging to be fed. Darkberry had caught her a mouse and the apprentice was currently carrying it over to the other apprentices. Darkberry sighed softly as her tall and slender figure lowered itself into a laying position, stomach over mind told her that she needed to eat, but her mind refused to even think about it.

    She was well aware that Tigerstrike was in the clearing, she just made a point to ignore him. This was becoming a routine and it only made her stomach sink further and further. Her dark orange eyes were watching her paws and unfocused, which led her to jump in surprise when a sudden vole landed on near her front paws. “You look mighty hungry, miss.” A clanmate known as Bumblefoot smiled, he was handsome but she didn’t know much about him. “Oh…. uh, thanks but I’m actually really not that hungry.” Darkberry meowed softly as she used a small paw to push the vole back towards the black and white Tom but he wasn’t having it. He used his paw to push it back towards her as he moved to where he was now sitting beside her, his side brushing against hers. Confused, she arched an eyebrow while she gazed at this tomcat. “You haven’t eaten all morning. It’s not good for you.” He meowed sternly, his yellow eyes hard but his facial expression friendly. But her ears lowered back against her head as she felt uncomfortable with his gaze, not to mention he was pushy and straight forward.

    #7523
    Phena
    Participant

    TIGERSTRIKE & TURTLEBELLY


    Tigerstrike’s mopey expression fixed an annoyance in Turtlebelly’s heart. “Son, if you do not shoot your shot, then someone else will. If you really love this molly, then you should take your chance–” The elderly tom-cat stiffened as he heard something from across the clearing. His ears pricked then flicked, a smirk touching his lips. “Speaking of the devil,” he mewed quietly to his son. “Didn’t I tell you?” Turtlebelly motioned with a sightless gesture in the direction he heard the conversation, allowing Tigerstrike to nervously see for himself. The tabby tom narrowed his eyes, his amber gaze blazing with jealousy and frustration.

    Bumblefoot?! Why that self-absorbed, cowardly rat! Tigerstrike thought with a glare, earning a soft chuckle from his father.

    “Well, what are you waiting for? This is your StarClan-given chance, Tiger, and you’re going to waste it making eyes. Either save that girl now or will do it and show you your Dad’s old moves.” Turtlebelly’s grin was grand and shit-eating. It was also honest. He genuinely would do that, and they would all suffer embarrassment under the old tabby’s “chivalric” behavior.

    “Alright, alright,” he growled. “I hate it when you’re right.” 

    Tigerstrike rose to his paws. Right before he left his father, he heard a hissing, sarcastic retort: “Then you must hate me all of the time!” The dark tom rolled his eyes, but cleared his throat and shook out his pelt right before he reached Darkberry and Bumblefoot. He caught the last part of the conversation. “If you’re trying to get her to eat, you need to do better than a vole,” he growled grumpily to the opposing male. “Do you mind? I need to talk to Darkberry.” 

    “Destiny isn't a path any cat follows blindly. It is always a matter of choice, and sometimes the heart speaks loudest. Listen to your heart, because that's where your true destiny lies.”
    - Leafpool

    #7524
    Feared
    Participant

    Darkberry ~ ThunderClan Warrior

    She felt so awkward with how close the other tomcat was but perhaps she was just looking too far into it. Her ears laying flat against her head as the other feline leaned in towards her with a faint smirk as he listened to her stomach gurgle softly. “Well… what are you waiting for?” He asked softly, causing the dark speckled she-cat to hesitantly look down at the vole. Eyebrows furrowing her lips parted to speak before she felt a lick at her ear, causing her to flinch in surprise. “W-what…” Darkberry stuttered, however a deep and familiar voice reached her ears, causing her face to heat up. Had he seen all that? Instantly her dark orange eyes found the face of her best friend and crush, her heart skipping a beat. He was actually looking at her, and his expression was very irritated as he glared at Bumblefoot. “Well, I got here first.” Bumblefoot grumbled, his yellow eyes narrowing with frustration as Darkberry pushed herself away from Bumblefoot without a moments hesitation.

    Darkberry was taking the hint to get away from Bumblefoot, he didn’t stop her as she stood and walked towards Tigerstrike, her shoulder blade gently touching his own. “Please, excuse me Bumblefoot.” She smiled softly but continued to move away as she now stood close to Tigerstrike. She wasn’t sure why, but she felt uncomfortable in this situation and with Tigerstrike, she was beginning to relax. Bumblefoot grumbled and picked up the vole and moved to another corner of the camp while Darkberry sighed out in relief. “Oh thank, StarClan….” She huffed, her chin falling and her eyes closing, before her chin lifted and she gazed at Tigerstrike in embarrassment. “I’m… thank you, for that.” She mumbled, glancing down at her paws while her stomach rumbled slightly but she ignored it.

    #7525
    Phena
    Participant

    TIGERSTRIKE


    Bumblefoot’s determination only managed to stoke the flame. Tigerstrike’s lip curled to expose white fangs and his amber eyes sparked. “I wasn’t asking.” His voice a low, deep growl that only ceased when he felt Darkberry’s fur mingle with his. He pressed his flank to hers protectively, throwing one last dismissive glare at Bumblefoot before following Darkberry away from the tom-cat. “He’s pretty pushy,” he mewed softly. He looked to her with a softer gaze, his expression still somewhat serious as it was relieved. “You shouldn’t let him talk to you like that.” She was..talking to him. She noticed his existence, pressed close to him. His heart wanted to leap out of his chest and his stomach felt like swarm of moths were soaring in it. He held onto that feeling rather than push it away. They reached another corner of camp, but the camp seemed too restrictive in this moment. Tigerstrike offered a small smile as Darkberry thanked him. She didn’t need to. When she couldn’t meet his eyes, he stepped foreward to brush his muzzle to her cheek, pushing up her chin with his nose before he pulled away so she could meet his eyes. “Hey,” he murmured, his golden gaze warm, “how about we go on a hunt and get some real food? Camp’s feeling a little stuffy.” He gestured with his tail for her to follow as he started slowly to the thorn tunnel, then relaxed significantly once they were out in the forest.

    The stocky brown tabby took in a deep breath and stretched out his legs, purring loudly. “Oh, man, I felt like I’d never escape Turtlebelly,” he admitted with a laugh. “He has a way to talk your ear off. You weren’t looking very pleased with Bumblebrain either,” he teased his friend playfully.

    “Destiny isn't a path any cat follows blindly. It is always a matter of choice, and sometimes the heart speaks loudest. Listen to your heart, because that's where your true destiny lies.”
    - Leafpool

    #7526
    Feared
    Participant

    Darkberry ~ ThunderClan Warrior

    She felt very aware that Tigerstrike was speaking to her, pressing his flank against her own while she gave a soft smile. She hadn’t realize just how much she had missed him. Her pelt was burning from where he touched her, causing her to blush so heavily that she couldn’t look in in the eye, afraid he would notice through all her fur. “I… I know. I didn’t even realize what he was doing.” Darkberry admitted softly, feeling suddenly silly that she hadn’t noticed the advances and even now she was still trying to think if they had been advances. At the feeling of Tigerstrike’s muzzle against her cheek, her ears fell back in a gentle manner as her heart beat quickened considerably as the tomcat used his nose to lift her gaze up from her paws. Orange eyes met his amber, causing her to gulp slightly in her own nervousness but she also couldn’t help but feel at ease. “Sounds like a plan to me.” She purred softly, immediately following the tomcat out of camp.

    Darkberry walked beside of Tigerstrike, staying quiet as she enjoyed his company. Eyes flickering towards his handsome face as he laughed, her cheeks warming up once again. Get your head together, Berry. She mentaller scolded herself, clearing her throat as she gave a small purr. “I enjoy Turtlebelly, he’s sweet and has some interesting stories.” She smiled as she thought of the elderly Tom, Tigerstrike was her best friend, of course she knew his father! She suddenly became bashful when Bumblefoot was mentioned and couldn’t help the shiver that ran down her spine. “No I definitely wasn’t. I would be perfectly fine if he never touched me again.” She admitted with a grit to her jaw, but her orange eyes were lazily roaming the forest. Darkberry didn’t have the energy to hunt, nor did she really want to eat, all that was on her mind was to keep Tigerstrike talking, perhaps he wouldn’t hate her for recent behavior. “So…” She breathed in softly, her long tail flicking. “How have you been..?” She asked hesitantly as she took a chance to glance at his face. He truly was handsome, his strong jaw, nose and eyebrows were well defined. Despite having such strong features, his smile stood out the most, it was broad but heart warming and could basically melt any she-cat. It certainly melted hers.

    #7528
    Phena
    Participant

    TIGERSTRIKE


    Tigerstrike hummed a soft, amused sound to her response about Turtlebelly. “Yeah,” he admitted softly, reflecting on the time he’s spent with his father. For a bird-brained old tom, he sure was smart when he needed to be. He supposed being as old as he was, you learned a few things. He hoped one day he would be as wise. “He’s alright.” A knowing smile was all he had left to say, until Darkberry asked how he was. Out of habit, he nearly just left it off with, ‘fine.’ Alas, echoes of his conversation with Turtlebelly convinced him otherwise. He looked away to his paws, focusing on the track they were following for a moment. He wasn’t all that interested in hunting, if truth be told. He wanted to get away from the camp to talk. She deserved that sort of honesty. Turtlebelly was right.

    “I’ve missed you,” he admitted. “The last few weeks have been really hard without you. I…” Tigerstrike halted and turned to her, his amber eyes pleading and gentle. He swallowed thickly, his entire being filled with nerves. “I know what I did was wrong, Darkberry. I should have told you the truth, and instead, I tried to ignore it until it went away. I cared more about my own feelings than I did about yours, and that was an incredibly selfish thing to do. I’m sorry. The truth is, I care about you…A lot. You’re much more than a friend to me. I want a future with you. I know this is sudden, but I’m tired of hiding behind cowardice. You are on my mind always.” A humbled, anxious smile tugged along his lips, his eyes brimming with affection as he gazed into the beautiful face of the cat he loved. “I’m not asking for an answer. I only ask that you…you think about it, and if the answer turns out to be ‘no’, then I am content with being your friend. I just want you in my life.”

    “Destiny isn't a path any cat follows blindly. It is always a matter of choice, and sometimes the heart speaks loudest. Listen to your heart, because that's where your true destiny lies.”
    - Leafpool

    #7529
    Feared
    Participant

    Darkberry ~ ThunderClan Warrior

    For a moment she was worried that she had crossed a line with asking how he was, her dark orange eyes flickering towards his face curiously to see that he was deep in thought while he was walking. Usually he never wore such a serious expression and it caused her to blink in surprise, perhaps he wouldn’t answer her and just leave it at that. However, as he slowed his pace, she also slowed her own pace and gazed at him curiously. His voice was voice soft and tender, catching her attention immediately as he admitted that he missed her, causing her heart to clench. Because of her stubbornness the both of them had been suffering, but it hurt to know that she was only a friend to him, and at one point that would have been enough. As he halted, she brought herself to stop and turn towards him, her slender chin tipping back slightly in order to gaze up at him. Those pleading eyes caused her heart to melt, pupils narrowing faintly as she watched as his lips parted as he started to speak. Every word that spilled from his lips caused her heart to run a mile, her tiny chest throbbed with her quickened heart rate. She didn’t even realize that she had been holding her breath, her orange eyes searching his face as he smiled softly at her. He was nervous and didn’t want to push himself on her, but she already knew how she felt for the tomcat. Before she could even speak, Tigerstrike was quick to stop her in order for her to think.

    A soft and airy sigh left her lips as the black and grey dappled she-cat looked up at the tall and broad tomcat, a soft smile reaching her lips. “You dummy.” She whispered softly as she tentatively took a step forward, she didn’t want to spook him. Slowly her cheek pressed against his chest as she cuddled in close, her smaller frame gently pressing against his chest as she rubbed the top of her head underneath his chin. “The answer was never going to be a no.” She said softly as she breathed in his scent, she ached for him and being away from him had been painful. Slowly she looked up at the Tom, her ears pinned back lightly and burning. She was never this assertive and straight forward but his confession was still ringing in her ears. “I’m sorry for the way I reacted it… it just hurt to hear you say that and I knew I had to put some distance between us.” She admitted softly, her long tail curling around her front paws but she didn’t move away from the tomcat. “I was falling in love and I didn’t want to pull you down.” She said softly, her orange eyes gentle and a small smile on her lips. “So… if you can be brave enough to explain to me. Then I can as well.” She nodded and breathed in softly, before clearing her throat. “I love you, Tigerstrike.” Darkberry confessed in a soft voice, a tender and shy expression taking place on her face.

    #7530
    Phena
    Participant

    TIGERSTRIKE


    Of everything she could have said, Tigerstrike did not expect that. Total agreement. Total reciprocation of what he had been so determined to hide and ignore. Tigerstrike’s ears flattened against his skull and his fur grew hot with embarrassment as well as glee. A grand, goofy smile grew on his face as she moved forward to nuzzle him. It was met with equal enthusiasm. His purr felt like a hurricane in his chest. His tail curled around her flank and he nuzzled her cheek before she pulled away. 

     

    “I love you, Tigerstrike.”

     

    Static replaced every thought he had before then and he stared, floored, his mouth slightly agape. Instinct told him to brush it off. Play it off. As if it had worked so well last time. Fear coursed through this veins, but more than that, explosions of excitement and relief. He didn’t know what to do in that moment, but his heart did.  He  pressed his forehead to hers then pulled away to draw his tongue over her ear. He was never a warrior of many words, mostly because it was hard for him to express how he was feeling. Today would be the beginning of something different. A new relationship, a new life of trying to repair the damage he had done to his emotional well-being. He would alter his life for her, so that something like this did not happen again. Life was not meant to ignore the cats who loved you. “I love you, Darkberry,” he assured her softly. “Believe that. There’s no other I’d rather spend my time with.”  

    “Destiny isn't a path any cat follows blindly. It is always a matter of choice, and sometimes the heart speaks loudest. Listen to your heart, because that's where your true destiny lies.”
    - Leafpool

    #7555
    Feared
    Participant

    Darkberry ~ ThunderClan Warrior

    Tigerstrike was hesitating as he stared at her after she confessed her true feelings. He wanted a future with her, but perhaps it wasn’t the same future that she wanted with him and if that was the case then she wasn’t going to be dragged through the mud. His lips were parted as he stared at him, she could see the surprise and anxiety spring upon his face and it caused her heart to drop an inch. “I’m sorry to blurt it out so suddenly, but I felt like I needed to say it.” She quickly meowed, but he appeared to quickly snap out of his trace and blinked. As his forehead moved towards hers, she braced herself with a soft smile reaching her lips as the large tomcat was being tender towards her. Small heart hammering a Mile a minute, she knew his reaction was far different from that of a best friend. They were past those titles. Slowly a purr began to tickle the back of her throat, dark orange eyes searching his facial expression. He appeared… happy and peaceful.

    Her ear burned from the contact of his tongue, but it caused her to smile when he spoke. Cheeks searing hot from the deep blush as Tigerstrike admitted that he loved her. Lips parted slightly as she leaned forward to hesitantly lick his cheek, her purr already growing in strength as he promised that there was no one else. “I believe you.” She promised, her smaller frame leaning into his own while her face pressed into his neck fur, breathing in his scent. She had missed him so much… and now that they had confessed their feelings. What… did this mean? Darkberry blinked slightly for a moment as she blushed once more and slowly pulled her face away from the curve of his neck. “I suppose this means we aren’t best friends anymore..?” She asked hesitantly, becoming bashful and confused as she looked away from his earnest gaze.

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