June 9, 2019 at 1:39 pm #1044Anonymous
Crocuspaw lifted his head, his green eyes with their strange gold streak shining as he glanced down at his friend (it was a bit strange to think he was tall…).
“I’m glad you think so.” Crocus would’ve gone on to say more until Puddlepaw commented on his pouting. Letting out an indignant huff, the nebelung/maine-coon tom playfully shoved the black and white tom’s shoulder with his paw.
Protect me? This statement confused the apprentice, but as he thought hard about it… It was true, wasn’t it? Crocuspaw knew that Puddlepaw had always been the more assertive out of the duo, while Crocuspaw preferred to be a sweeter, more passive presence/
“I-I guess,” he muttered in response, shaking himself before perking his tall ears back up.
“Yeah, that would be fine. I want to look for insects, next!” Crocuspaw’s first thought was to search the ground for caterpillars, centipedes, and other bugs because, like a kit, he loved anything small that hopped, wriggled or flew.
Puddlepaw stiffened at the unexpected touch then relaxed his shoulders to welcome the other apprentice. He rolled his amber and blue eyes, all the affection only slowing them down as he assumed was the plan. Still, his permanent scowl softened. It has only been Crocuspaw who could get so close, of all his clan-mates.
The dark tabby raised a kitty brow at his friend’s hushed words, glancing up at him. “There’s nothing you aren’t good at,” he meowed firmly, “Maybe you just need more practice and less pouting.” Puddlepaw couldn’t understand the big deal but could feel his companion dragging his feet. Slowing to a stop, he looked away from the taller gray tom, staring down into the earth.
“I can’t always protect you so you need to be able to defend yourself,” he murmured, half to himself. He took a few steps ahead and turned to face him, tilting his head. “One round with me then we can go wherever you’d like. Would that be okay?”
Crocuspaw let out a heavy sigh, his paws feeling especially heavy as he trailed after his friend. Walking up until he was brushing shoulders with Puddlepaw, the affectionate apprentice wordlessly leaned against his friend.
“I don’t like fighting,” Crocuspaw mumbled quietly, his voice faint as he trodded alongside the other tom.
“I’d much rather hunt, at least I’m good at that.” The long furred tom grumbled, though there was no real irritation in his voice.
The sun was just starting to dip below the tree line; a blushing red to the westward sky while stars slowly appeared in the east. Faint drip-drops pattered without rhythm, all that’s left from the rain falling from leaves overhead. Puddlepaw lead the way into the grove, never too far from his unlikely companion.
He checked over his shoulder for the other tom as they approached the open space. “You are a good cat, Crocuspaw, but even good cats can get hurt,” he said suddenly, after being so quiet throughout their walk. “I can’t help you until I’ve seen what you already know,” he added, mismatched eyes holding an emotion he didn’t yet understand.June 21, 2019 at 12:24 am #1685
He waited to give Crocuspaw more time to be sure with his answer, steady patient eyes trained on the other lad. Puddlepaw wouldn’t ever try to force him to do anything and was willing to turn back should his friend refuse to take another step.
The request seemed reasonable enough and Puddlepaw dipped his chin in agreement. The smallest of smiles twitched on his muzzle, more of a smirk than anything. The slight change in his usual permanent-scowl could have gone undetected, as it quickly melted away. “Sounds good,” he murmured and continued into the grove.
“Just show me what you’ve learned already,” he said and turned to face the other tom. All claws sheathed, not a whisker would be harmed. Puddlepaw readied his weight on his paws to spring off the soft squishy ground.June 21, 2019 at 8:27 am #1686Anonymous
If it was possible, Crocuspaw’s grin somehow seemed to grow even larger once he got his best friend to exchange his classic “I hate everything” scowl into a smirk which… Well, it wasn’t really a smile, but they were getting there!
“Oh, uhm…” What have I learned already? Crocuspaw thought to himself mutely, staring at his paws for a moment or two. “I know how to dodge attacks… I know how to block swipes….” The large grey tom shuddered, remembering his many failed attempts at offense. “This is going to turn out terribly,” the larger tom warned, heterochromatic eyes wide.
Pushing himself forward, the blurr of fur was surprisingly fast for a tom who was both Nebelung and Maine Coon mixed, both of which were large cats with a hefty body type. Shoving into Puddlepaw’s shoulder, the younger apprentice tried to turn and swipe at the other only to stumble slightly and end up being too slow to connect his paw anywhere close to the black and white tom.July 18, 2019 at 4:52 pm #2486
He was more used to training with more battle-ready apprentices and easily gave them harsh criticisms. But this was Crocuspaw, his best friend, and he needed a much gentler approach. Puddlepaw hadn’t quite prepared himself for the lightning quick movement, bicolor eyes widened in a mixture of surprise and awe. Bowled over by the impact, he swiftly rolled back to his paws and backed away from the swipe. “Keep going,” he encouraged as he readied to attack.
He countered with a swat to the larger tom’s shoulder and another aimed at his ear. “More confidence in your form,” Puddlepaw instructed, “The enemy won’t know you’re scared if you don’t show it.” He moved low to the ground, circling Crocuspaw with his fluffy tail lashing.July 19, 2019 at 5:56 am #2490Anonymous
Crocuspaw huffed, fur prickling with irritation despite the fact that they only just started practicing. I hate this, I hate this, I hate this… The grey tom repeated this thought like a mantra in his head, those three words spinning around his head on repeat. Leaping forward, the larger tom shoved into Puddlepaw’s side and bowled him over. Once landing on top of him, however, the apprentice wasn’t sure what to do and opted to bat at the black and white tom’s shoulder and head before backing away again. Doing his best to look confident, Crocuspaw rose up to his full size, raising his head a bit though all he wanted to do was curl up in a ball somewhere and never return…
I hate this, I hate this, I hate this… Green and gold eyes glittered with worry as the younger apprentice crouched down, anticipating his friend’s next move. At the corner of his eye the tom could see the beating wings of a butterfly. Soon, his mantra changed from ‘I hate this’ to ‘ignore it, ignore it, ignore it’.August 11, 2019 at 12:22 am #2737
Puddlepaw was knocked off his feet again, his friendly opponent sneaking in a few swats before they parted. He nodded to Crocuspaw, standing up, “Not bad. You would use more power in your blows on a real enemy I hope.”
It was this moment when he too noticed a small spark of color nearby. Uh oh, butterflies would be a distraction to his friend. Puddlepaw took a quick look at him to check if he’d noticed as he stalked closer to the tom. While the other’s attention wasn’t on the fluttery insect, he wore a sour face and an especially prickly pelt. So he is taking this seriously…
He delivered a jab to Crocuspaw’s hind leg, not to harm but to shake his footing. Which would help his next movement, to climb the larger apprentice’s back. Puddlepaw then took his ear between his teeth and leaned his weight to the other side which would, if successful, land the giant.
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