April 17, 2020 at 4:28 pm #6083
Another miserable day. Another reason to lay about the camp feeling sorry for himself. Tawnypainter didn’t seem to do much of anything now that he’d gotten back to ShadowClan, spending his days wallowing in self pity and ignoring any attempts by any cat else to draw him back into Clan life. It wasn’t much help that he hadn’t been asked to join a patrol yet, either; he was useless. He was useless as a tom, and useless as a warrior. He’d been stolen from his home a proud deputy, destined for greatness, and now he was only good for taking resources and causing unnecessary headaches. Saplingskies hadn’t spoken to him, and it hadn’t taken long before the painted tom had learned that the cat he had loved, the cat he had fought so hard to keep in his life, had moved on the moment he was gone and now had a she-cat for a mate expecting his kits.
It broke his heart to know he hadn’t meant a thing to Saplingskies; he had made himself vulnerable, and just as every other time he’d done so, he’d gotten hurt. The medicine cat had been falling in love and starting a family as Tawnypainter sat trapped in a twoleg nest with fresh wounds and missing assets. It hurt him, and so made him angry. He was unbelievably angry, and he hated everything that had become of himself. Barely restrained rage bubbles beneath his pelt most days, threatening to spill over at the slightest prodding. It was easier, after all, than to admit he was wounded. His pride had taken a blow, his life had been changed forever, and he had had his heart broken. Woe is the cat who finally set him off, broke the flimsy dam barely holding this tom together.April 17, 2020 at 4:52 pm #6086
Soft silver-white paws padded toward one tan furred tom that lay a distance away from the others that were in the clearing. Unaware of the tense air around him, the blue-furred tabby smiled sweetly to cats they passed. Well, they thought they were there… Fairly certain. The one near that bush might’ve been a being of light and dust…
That morning Echoshine had woken up slowly, one eye blinking then the other. For them waking was a process, one that couldn’t be hurried lest the world collapse under the strain of broken tradition. So after their process had been carefully completed they’d sat up and considered how they felt. Yes, some shadows seemed to shift too much and the wind kept whispering to them, but overall Echo determined today was a Neutral Day. Neutral Days weren’t as good as Golden Days but they were nice, much nicer than other options.
“Good day, Chameleon…” Echoshine greeted the tom softly, purple eyes two crescents as their smile took up their face. The feline had spent quite a bit of time considering a name for Tawnypainter, the Lost Deputy as they’d been referring to them as, and was pleased with the name they’d conjured. ‘He’ll like it too, I’m certain.’ Chameleons shifted to disappear, but they always came back.April 19, 2020 at 1:14 pm #6137
As Echoshine approached, Tawnypainter resigned himself to acting civil, as he was expected to do. Most often cats who approached gave him looks of pity and simply asked on his well-being, if he’d like a piece of prey they just happened to be unable to finish as they saw him lazing about. His hazel eyes turned up to the other warrior, and he prepared a greeting before Echoshine gave him a nickname that caused his fur to bristle. A jolt shot down his spine, and he immediately assumed the worst. It was done in malice, of course; it had been aimed to hurt him, to remind him of the horrors he’d faced.
”And I’m to assume you’re referencing my disappearance here, yeah?” he grumbled, the fur on the back of his neck beginning to stand on end as his eyes lit with a deep fire. He pushed himself to sitting, drawing whatever pride he could into his posture. It wasn’t much, he knew, but he’d already begun and he wasn’t backing down now despite wishing for nothing more than to run and hide. “You don’t think before saying things, do you?” he challenged, feeling his stomach sink beneath the forest floor as a swarm of unpleasant memories assaulted him.
“Or perhaps it’s fun to remind me of what I’ve lost? I return here stripped of my role in this Clan, stripped of everything that made me a tom, but it’s some joke to you, isn’t it?” His claws slid from their sheathes, slipping into the dirt beneath him. He was beginning to tremble, fighting to restrain himself from doing something he’d regret. “I’ve half a mind to claw that smirk right off your face. You’re not cute; you’re not clever; you’re an inconsiderate waste of Clan resources and you’re lucky no-cat has chased you out by now.” It would be clear to some he was projecting now; it seemed like every insult he’d reserved for himself was going to be thrown at this poor tom who’d wanted nothing more than conversation.April 20, 2020 at 11:25 am #6153Hareflight [Mel]Participant
Things had been busy, and the growing tensions in the Clans was making Hareflight’s job more stressful than usual. Of course, she had always known that it wouldn’t be an easy job, but it seemed like things hardly ever slowed down – would they ever get a break? It was one thing after another… The flood, the fight with Saplingskies, the dog attack on him, Tawnypainter’s return, and now, the Clans seemingly on the verge of war. How could she not be anxious when even the medicine cats – the one’s who were supposed to keep the peace – were fighting amongst themselves? The best thing she could do at the moment was keep busy to keep her mind off of it, and so she’d done just that. The young calico molly had been trying to pick up any slack in the medicine den, trying to give Saplingskies a much needed break. After all, it was clear something was bothering him immensely. Whether that had to do with Tawnypainter’s return, or the growing tension, or something else entirely, Hareflight had no clue, but the least she could do was look out for him in the only way she knew how.
The young feline emerged from her den, claws sliding out as she arched her back in a large stretch, bi-coloured eyes scanning the clearing. For now, there was nothing else to do. They were stocked up on herbs, the supplies had been organized multiple times, so Hareflight decided she had earned herself a few minutes to relax in the clearing. No sooner had she begun to relax when the sound of a certain hostile voice reached her ears. Blue and orange eyes shifted around the camp before settling on Tawnypainter, who seemed to be tearing a strip off of Echoshine. Oh boy. Well, now was as good a time as any to greet the former deputy – after all, they hadn’t spoken at all since his return. Sucking in a deep breath, Hareflight began to make her way over to the pair.
“E-Echoshine,” she said, offering a slight dip of her head to the feline, before turning her gaze to Tawnypainter. “Tawnypainter, i-it’s good to have you back.” Her tone was kind, and she smiled his way, pretending not to have heard what he had said to Echoshine. Of course she had, but what was the use of mentioning it now? Silently, she wondered if he would say anything about her ever-present stutter. After all, many had assumed that it would go away as she became more comfortable in her environment, but it hadn’t and she had learned to accept that. Settling back on her haunches, she cocked her head, eyes flicking between the two. “What were y-you both talk- talking about?” Hareflight asked innocently, smiling kindly at them both.April 20, 2020 at 3:57 pm #6157
Echoshine cringed, their purple eyes widening to saucers. ‘Does he hate the name that much?’ Echoshine knew some cats didn’t like his nicknames, Yewfire and Palestreak had told him countless times, but he hadn’t expected such a negative reaction…
“I’m sorry,” the feline spoke in hushed tones, feathered tail curling around themself. Echo longed for Yew, or better, Pale… Pale would know what to say, or as Echo likes to called him, Songbird.
“Starlight!” The warrior visibly brightened, fear stricken face easing into mild discomfort. “I didn’t m-mean to offend h-him…” They whispered softly, unable to meet the tom’s angry gaze. “I-I called him Ch-Chameleon.” Echoshine didn’t understand why Tawny hated the name so much… chameleons were amazing! They could disappear but they always returned to their natural green state!May 14, 2020 at 11:01 am #6375
As usual in cases where he’d overreact, Tawnypainter felt guilt wash over him the moment attention was drawn to his actions. He sat, blinking, remaining silent for a moment as Hareflight settled herself beside the pair. Echoshine’s timid explanation on what had happened caused the pit in his stomach to bury deeper, threatening to pull him into the dirt he’d just moments before been clawing at. With a deep breath, he tried to steady himself. It was a momentary lapse in control, simply; he could fix this. Likely unfortunate for the others involved, however, his idea of fixing a situation was to merely push it away and pretend it had never happened.
“Yes, nothing too important,” he meowed dismissively, his tail flicking as he finally turned his eyes on the she-cat. “It’s nice to finally be back,” he agreed, the heat gone from his gaze and his fur resting flat. “So much has changed… Congratulations on earning your medicine cat name,” he praised, a softness finally settling over him. He had held doubts when Hareflight had first been chosen as Saplingskies’s apprentice, something in him wondering if she had the resolve to hold such an important role within the Clan. Past playing with leaves and talking to nonexistent star-clad cats, a medicine cat required a certain degree of confidence. One could hardly set a broken bone if they were shaking too badly to see straight, after all.May 16, 2020 at 3:18 pm #6403Hareflight [Mel]Participant
Hareflight offered a sympathetic smile towards Echoshine, purring slightly as she spoke to ease the tension as much as possible. She understood where he was coming from – she had been timid for a long time, and was just beginning to grow from it, though uncertainty seemed to follow her all the same. Besides that, Tawnypainter could be intimidating at times. Hareflight distinctly remembered the way he had – inadvertently, she assumed – intimidated her when she was younger. “Don’t worry, Echos-shine. I’m sure Tawnypainter didn’t m-mean anything by it. But, in the future…” She smiled, almost an amused smile. “it’s.. p-probably best to ask before giving people nicknames.” Her dual-coloured gaze shifted to Tawnypainter again as he spoke, and her smile widened, pride filling her chest at his congrats. “Thank y-you.” She paused, thinking back on everything that had happened since the former-deputy had gone missing, and her ear twitched as she refocused herself. “A lot has changed. A lot of cats have changed t-too. Things are different, for- for sure.” Some things were for the better, and some things… weren’t.
“But, you know,” Hareflight continued, her gaze fixing on Tawnypainter firmly. “I’m glad to see you i-interacting with your clanmates again. Truth be told, I was- I was starting to worry that you weren’t going to keep trying to adjust back to c-clan life.” She might have been pushing her boundaries with her words, and for a moment she paused, softening her expression. “It’s just g-good to see you trying, I guess.” Whether or not it was her place to say, Hareflight had said it anyways, a testament to how much she had grown in the time he’d been away. And someone in this place had to believe in him, whether or not he wanted it, even if he took it as a jab. Clearly, he didn’t believe in himself, and with Saplingskies still angry… Believing in her clanmates – all of her clanmates – was the least she could do.May 17, 2020 at 12:34 am #6410
Echoshine cringed, though their curiosity soon piqued as they listened to the other’s conversation. ‘So he doesn’t always sound angry.’ At that moment Tawnypainter seemed… Tired, but much nicer than he was a second ago. ‘Strange.’ Echo giggled, feathered tail swinging cheerfully behind them, much like a dog’s would. Darting forward the warrior gently pressed up against Hareflight, once again their natural affectionate self. “I’m glad to see you, too. I’m glad to see you as well, Ta-Tawnyp…” Echoshine struggled with the name for a moment, expression mildly disconcerted before they managed to spit out, “Tawnypainter.” Echo really couldn’t explain what is was with names that they didn’t like, it just didn’t ring right. Sure, they could use the name the cat was given but Echoshine didn’t really think it came out right when they did that. ‘Yewfire’, ‘Palestreak’, ‘Tawnypainter’, ‘Hareflight’… None of that flowed from them easily as a nickname, like Starlight for Hareflight. That fit her perfectly.
The blue-silver warrior moved to nuzzle Tawnypainter, as they’d done with the medicine cat apprentice, but stopped midway. ‘No, no, no, not smart. Bad idea.’ “She is Starlight,” Echo explained slowly, hesitating for half a heartbeat before settling down beside Tawnypainter. “I am Echo.” Echoshine had no qualms about their name, just the suffix. They never could get it to blend well… Best to leave it off, in their opinion. “And you are?” The warrior glanced over at Hareflight, silently begging for assurance that they’d done the right thing. “Ask before giving people nicknames” she’d said, which is what they were doing, so the tom wouldn’t get angry again, right?
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Pheebs.
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