November 17, 2019 at 4:59 pm #3907HORNETSTAR
Truthfully, after the Gathering last night, Hornetstar had been extremely reluctant to return to RiverClan camp with his Clan. He knew they had nowhere else to go right now, but what he wouldn’t give to have pine trees over his head once more. It was ridiculous, he was a grown ass adult, but he just wanted a sliver of familiarity and comfort however he could get it. If that was a single pine tree to lay under, to have its scent surround him and fool him into believing he was home, then so be it. He was so tired and annoyed, done with everything. First Tawnypainter, then the storm, then their camp being ruined, then the Gathering that was an absolute fox-dung show… If StarClan really did have so much power, like all the foolishly devout believers thought they did, why would they allow all of this to befall their Clans at once? Why no break between each chaotic event?
Once returned from the Gathering, the golden tom had found a secluded part of the crowded camp and settled on his haunches, back turned but not so far he couldn’t see most of what was going on around him. In such a new place, letting his guard slip even momentarily was hard. That, on top of how he lost his first life, and, well, he hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep last night.
Currently he was staring into a tiny pool of water that had remained after the flooding, trying to figure out which problem to tackle first. He didn’t give a rat’s tail about all the Kass and ThunderClan drama, but he knew it could very well be a problem in the future. Obviously the most pressing problem was finding a new camp for his Clan, because he wasn’t moving them back into the tunnels. If a flood ever happened again, they would be right back in this situation. And he was grateful to RiverClan, really, but he hated it here. They were on the opposite side of the Clans’ territories, stuck eating fish and swamped in the scent. He supposed it was better than say WindClan, though. Out of all of the Clans, RiverClan and ShadowClan were most alike, having water (rivers and marshes) and water-dwelling prey. And then once they found an area for a camp, they’d actually have to set up a camp… The large tom heaved a sigh, eyes fluttering closed for a moment.November 17, 2019 at 5:08 pm #3909
“Here.” Followed by the gruff greeting was a muted thud as a plump vole landed at the paws of the ShadowClan leader. Blinking down at him from where he had settled back was Wisteriastar, her calico fur looked sleek as though she hadn’t just been hunting personally for the honey-furred tom. She nodded down at the prey. “You haven’t eaten much since you got here. I take it that you’re not a fan of our prey, so I tried to find you something with fur on it instead of scales.” Her whiskers twitched, amusement palpable in her voice. She knew that she didn’t have to go out of her way to hunt for anyone of ShadowClan, but while they were sharing their camp she figured that the least she could do would be to make them as comfortable as she could. It felt like it was part of her responsibility, even if they were just temporary campmates.
“I’m sure that Hickoryroot can spare some poppy seeds if you’re too stressed out,” She murmured mildly, motioning with her tail to Hornetstar’s exhausted expression. “ShadowClan has been through a lot this past moon. No one would blame you.”November 17, 2019 at 7:36 pm #3920
The tom glanced up as a vole suddenly landed by his paws, surprised to see Wisteriastar. He had expected someone else, honestly. Maybe someone actually from his Clan. His stomach gave a loud growl, finally reminding him he once again couldn’t remember the last time he ate. A spike of fear lanced through him, paw reaching out to pull the vole closer as he crouched down to start eating it. He refused to lose another life because he wasn’t eating. It was gone in record time, proving he was hungrier than he had thought. “Thank you,” he mumbled, avoiding her gaze as he licked his lips and cleaned his whiskers. She didn’t have to do any of this for them yet here she was, offering help to the most difficult of the current Clan leaders.
At the mention of poppy seeds for sleep, he vehemently shook his head. Hornetstar couldn’t bare to run the risk of closing his eyes and losing yet another life. “Have you…” He trailed off with a noise of frustration, frowning softly. What he was about to say could be very serious and certainly wasn’t something someone would think of conversing with someone outside of their Clan, but… Well, the only one he could talk to about it would be someone outside his Clan. And another leader would be guaranteed to understand. “Do you ever wonder what it might be like to close your eyes, and never wake up again?” The tom tried to phrase it like a random, casual question, though it was clearly anything but.November 17, 2019 at 8:03 pm #3921
Wisteriastar was highly pleased to watch Hornetstar swallow down the vole in quick, seemingly famished bites. For a heartbeat, she wondered how long it had been since the ShadowClan leader had actually had a decent bite of food for himself– with his camp being drowned out and now being stuck in unfamiliar territory with prey he wasn’t used to, she imagined how hard finding something to eat could be. Especially for someone as stubborn as Hornetstar. She contemplated if she should volunteer to grab him more to eat, because it seemed to her that he really needed it, but such a question never had the chance to leave her lips.
To her surprise, it was Hornetstar that had started up a different path of conversation. At his question, she narrowed her amber eyes, momentarily confused at what he was referring to. Then, it clicked to her. Ah, he must have lost a life recently… And his first, by the sound of it. It almost sounded as if Hornetstar was scared, maybe even traumatized by his experience. She found it hard to believe that someone as stubborn and difficult to deal with as him could be so vulnerable to someone else, especially when the ShadowClan leader’s main concern was always just that of his own Clan and nothing else.
“Mm, I can’t say I have,” Wisteriastar replied honestly, giving herself a seat next to the honey-furred tom. Given who her parents were, Wisteriastar had been surrounded by death since she was just that of a kit, she knew her life was expendable to them and that there was a possibility that one day her own life would have been taken by them. She had never thought twice about the concept of her own death because it seemed like something inevitable and outside of her realm of control. She had just accepted that this was what it would be from then on. However, all of that changed when she was able to join RiverClan and now, as a leader with nine lives and one experience with the clash that was death, she knew what she would be in for. And none of it, at the end of the day, was something to fear.
“But I do know that StarClan is very kind.” She found herself saying sympathetically, glancing over at Hornetstar as she spoke, “They welcome you with an open heart and when you’re with them, you feel invincible, like everything you ever worried about was silly and that all the struggles you faced were worth it. Is that so scary?”November 20, 2019 at 12:01 am #3965
StarClan was kind? Is that why they had allowed the storm to cause problems with all five Clans, to uproot his Clan so badly they had to find a new camp, to allow the ThunderClan deputy announcement to cause so much trouble? He snorted just slightly, dipping a paw into his puddle and swirling about, before removing it and watching the ripples spread out. StarClan hadn’t made him feel invincible. StarClan hadn’t washed away his worries or made them any less. If anything, being in StarClan had increased his worries. Ever since he was made deputy and given the task of watching over and leading ShadowClan, that had been his purpose in life. Being away from his Clan was like losing a limb. It probably wasn’t healthy, but it was the only thing he knew.
“Scary, no. A fantasy? …Perhaps,” he mumbled at last, glancing at her. It was amazing an ex-rogue could believe in StarClan and their goodness far more strongly than a Clan born and raised cat ever could. “It’s not StarClan or death I fear. Smokewisp is a capable deputy, more so than I could have ever hoped for. I know my time will end soon, no matter how smart I am with my lives. But the thought, the thought of having to leave ShadowClan is what bothers me. Maybe you don’t understand, being a new leader, not Clan born and raised.” He didn’t mean it in a rude way, but just stating the facts.November 20, 2019 at 5:15 pm #3970
Despite becoming angry at Hornetstar’s last statement, Wisteriastar actually laughed in amusement, her whiskers twitching on her behalf. “Actually, RiverClan is the only real home I’ve ever known,” She told him, “They took me in and homed me, taught me how to fend for myself and value my life. I’ve met two wonderful toms here, my kits are here. And Rainstar trusted me enough to leave this all to me. How could I value anything else any less?” She questioned, staring straight at the ShadowClan leader’s face as she spoke, her words earnest and honest.
The RiverClan leader took a pause before she went on, “Besides, no matter where you are or where you go, it’s clear to me that ShadowClan will always be your home. Whether or not you’re with them physically, that’s where your heart belongs, isn’t it?”January 2, 2020 at 10:12 pm #4551
He wasn’t so arrogant as to believe he was capable of solving all of ShadowClan’s problems, oh no – if this pass storm hadn’t been evidence enough, he didn’t know what would be. However, the thought of having to sit back and watch from the sky as his Clan went through struggles… It didn’t sit well with him. The tom knew StarClan wasn’t really that powerful, not as powerful as everyone believed them to be. They weren’t all knowing, they couldn’t control everything. They were dead cats, probably dead for a reason, with the power to hand out cryptic words and nine lives. If only they had the power to hand out immortality.
“I… Suppose your right,” he mumbled, blinking at her for a moment before looking away. He could relate to her, in a way. Though ShadowClan had always been his home, he had been lucky enough to be entrusted to lead it. Out of all the warriors that had been choices, he was chosen as deputy and eventually blessed by StarClan. Starting at the bottom and having to work all the way to get to the top took dedication. It probably made her acutely aware of just how important her role was and made her appreciate it even more.
“Look at me, worrying about dying after all we just went through,” he sighed, shaking his head with a small chuckle. “Pondering on all of this won’t help. It will only serve to dampen the mood. Death comes for us all at one point, hm?”January 2, 2020 at 10:29 pm #4552
“That’s true,” Wisteriastar admitted with a chuckle, “But we’re both young, aren’t we? We have several moons with our Clans and our loved ones ahead of us no matter the struggles we’re sure to face. What point is there to worrying about the inevitable of what we cannot change?” The RiverClan leader’s stance on this subject may be as straight-forward as it could come, perhaps it came from her close relationship to experiencing personally how easily her life could be taken from her that she chose to live a life that didn’t pertain to worrying about things like this, but one thing was certain that she was anything but naive when it came to how serious one’s death could be.
“I choose not to take things like this for granted,” She went on, curling her tail comfortably around her paws, “Our lives are all precious. And besides, I have faith in you. You’re a strong tom to have made it this far, aren’t you?” The RiverClan leader’s orange eyes glittered with humor and she gave Hornetstar a teasing nudge, uncaring as to whether or not he would react to her gestures strongly or not. Part of her guessed that he may not be used to being so familiar with another cat, based on his previous stand-offish-ness, but another part of her figured that he may need to loosen up a bit and joking with him couldn’t hurt.February 8, 2020 at 9:35 pm #4996
The golden tom was well aware that sometimes youth had nothing to do with when a cat died. His parents had still been young when they were tragically stolen from his sister and him. Blazemoon… Oh, bless that poor she-cat. She had barely been made an apprentice when her life was ripped from this earth. Death didn’t play fair. Death was unpredictable and merciless, and Hornetstar knew this all too well. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t fear for his life, even if he knew it was illogical to do. One day, sooner or later, his time with the living would be up and there would be nothing he could do about it. Even with eight lives, he wasn’t guaranteed a long, meaningful, or productive life.
“I…” He hesitated, thinking back over everything he had been through so far. Once, he nearly gave up, content to do nothing with his life, until his mentor helped him out. Then transitioning to leader… Losing his first life, leading his Clan through the harrowing storm. His parents – the very tragedy that had shaped him into the tom he was today. Nothing was extraordinarily hard, he knew it could have been worse, but it had all tested him. For a moment, he found himself pondering what trials Wisteriastar had been through. “I suppose I am. Same with you, hm?” The ShadowClan leader mumbled at last, throwing the calico a sideways glance. For a moment he… No, he wouldn’t think that. Even just finding her visually appealing could lead down a tangled mess of a path.February 9, 2020 at 11:16 am #5008
– W I S T E R I A S T A R –
The calico feline caught the subtle change in mood from the other leader next to her, noting how perhaps her choice of words had sullied their conversation as he reminisced the things he had lost, which of course she had no way of knowing. Ah, I suppose not everyone makes it to warriorship, she thought to herself. While clan-life was much more reliable in terms of survival than the life of a rogue, it didn’t mean that the clans didn’t suffer from unprecedented events of tragedy that could suddenly cut ones life short. Sometimes that was easy for her to forget, since times had been so peaceful lately for the five clans of the seashore.
At Hornetstar’s confirming words, Wisteriastar let out a small laugh. “Yes, that’s true.” She nodded, “Though I don’t suppose that any warrior who can climb to leadership hasn’t been through a thing or two in their nine lives.” Even if the golden-furred ShadowClan tom hadn’t the amount of physical scars that she did, it didn’t mean that his scars were any less visible– at least to her. It was evident as day and night with the immediate distance he set up to those around him that Hornetstar had issues with opening up and trusting others, allowing himself to rely on someone else other than himself. Part of her felt saddened by this, by the thought that perhaps he had never really had someone in his life that made him feel at ease. She did notice, however, the sideways glance he had given her as they chatted and she’d be lying if she said that a part of her wasn’t slightly pleased. It’s nice to know that even someone like him is capable of feelings other than annoyance, Wisteriastar thought to herself as this was a reassuring sign to her that perhaps Hornetstar’s walls wouldn’t be impossible to lower. Deciding to push her luck, the calico RiverClanner questioned, “Is there no one in ShadowClan that you can talk to about things like this?” she had mused aloud to him, “Do you not find it odd that you’re confiding in a cat from another Clan? Or am I just that easy to talk to?”February 9, 2020 at 10:31 pm #5032
The golden tom was wholly unprepared for the question, stiffening initially as it was phrased to him. It was a rather personal question, truth be told, but then again – he supposed this whole conversation so far could be considered personal. What someone thought of death was rather personal, or at least he thought so. That’s why he had been hesitant to voice his thoughts in the beginning, but loosened up as he realized Wisteriastar wouldn’t be judging him for the thoughts or go running off to spill everything she had learned to her Clan. Though death was a very broad fear and hard to use as an advantage over someone else, that still didn’t mean he’d like the whole of RiverClan to know what he was thinking.
“I have a sister,” he stated simply, pausing. Clearly he was weighing the merits of continuing on, the mental shrug when he thought screw it almost visible. “Though I think another leader can relate better to me on this subject. Hence talking to you about it.” And then the most amazing thing happened – he smiled at her! It was a hesitant and small smile, but a smile nonetheless. Obviously, though he probably wouldn’t say it, he appreciated the chance to talk she had offered him. He refrained from mentioning the very best friend he had at one point, who had disappeared not long after Hornetstar became leader. To this day the loss still ached, probably because he had never truly had a chance to process it back then, but he had learned how to live with the loss.February 10, 2020 at 1:03 pm #5044
– W I S T E R I A S T A R –
Hornetstar’s mentioning of his sister took her by a little bit of a surprise, her amber eyes visibly widening as he spoke with her. While their conversation had been a bit of back and forth of the two of them talking and opening up, and yet this had taken her a bit off guard. It felt, for some reason, talking over views of one’s passing and then changing to personal past and close connections of family was something separate all together. What surprised her even more was the small smile the golden-furred tom had given her. She doubted that many others had even the slim chance to see him like that, or that anyone was even aware that Hornetstar knew how to smile at someone else. Wisteriastar was still processing exactly where this turn of events was taking the two of them, but one thing she did know as their interaction progressed was that she liked knowing where they currently stood. There was something strangely satisfying about knowing that she was potentially the only cat of all the five Clans that Hornetstar had ever opened up to like this– even if it was so minimal, the meaning of it wasn’t lost to her.
The RiverClan leader gave a sheepish smile back, nodding in response to the special information he had shared with her and her orange eyes returned to her paws. “I have some siblings, too. Or, I guess I should say that I had brothers and sisters,” Wisteriastar gave a brief pause, as she didn’t know how she should word what she was going to say next. It wasn’t exactly unknown that she had originated from outside of Clan life and that she had sought to join RiverClan initially as refuge from a young age, but she hadn’t particularly shared the contents of her family’s darker side to anyone outside of close friends and kin, given that she wanted to shield her Clan from that marred identity. However, she only felt that it was right to confide in Hornetstar the soiled parts of herself, not only in return for the vulnerability he had displayed to her but if she didn’t, the two of them would never truly be able to advance from here. “My father is a rogue of the name Jetstream. He hasn’t shown his face in a while now, so I’m hoping that most of the Clans today don’t remember who he is, or was, but he was banished from our territories after the countless lives of clan cats he had taken. He’s selfish, beastly, and disgraceful. I don’t think I can even begin to put into detail the amount of lives he’s ruined, not just that of mine and my siblings…” The calico warrior trailed off for a moment, as if she were overwhelmed by the memory she was reliving before she took a breath and continued, “He’s so caught up in his anger of the world that I feel like he wants to punish every living thing he can get his claws on. He seemed to particularly despise his own kin. One day, before I knew it, he had hunted down many members of my family, my siblings included. As far as I know, I’m the only one that managed to survive.” Wisteriastar’s tail flicked anxiously as she finished the tale of her past, realizing just a moment after she had told it that her heart was racing and her paws felt shaky. It was almost like she was nervous how the ShadowClan tom would respond to her truth, but why would that matter? Why should that have been important to her at all..?February 12, 2020 at 8:44 pm #5105
Truthfully he hadn’t been expecting her to open up about her past. He hadn’t known what to expect, actually, but he knew her sharing her story wasn’t it. Doing his best to shoo away his surprise, he focused in on her tale. It wasn’t what he had expected either. Of course he knew she was of rogue origins, but her father… What a monster. He didn’t have kits of his own, but if he ever did, he could never bring himself to purposefully harm them. They would be his legacy, like ShadowClan. His very own flesh and blood – a thing to be treasured, not destroyed. Besides, if he was angry at the world, how could that ever be a kit’s fault? They were new to the world, fresh and untouched, and in a similar fashion, yet to touch the world with their ideals and beliefs. The thought pulled a frown to his lips, eyes twinkling with some unnamed emotion as he looked at the RiverClan leader.
“A kit isn’t their parent, Wisteriastar,” he mumbled, hoping that was the right thing to say. He didn’t really know what else. “I… I am glad you were able to escape with your life. You’re the type of leader RiverClan needs right now, rogue heritage or not. My parents were… Not to rub it in or make you jealous, but they were amazing.” The golden tom paused, quickly glancing away so she couldn’t see the hurt in his eyes. Even to this day, his lose of them made his heartache. Letting go had never been his strong suite. “My father was a well respected warrior, and my mother wasn’t too shabby herself. Scarletflood and I, we were their whole world when we were born. I wanted to be like my father so much that sometimes it hurt. And then they, hm-“ He cleared his throat, willing away the emotions. “They were killed on a patrol shortly after Scarletflood and I became apprentices. I didn’t handle it well. I became withdrawn and, frankly, depressed. I was giving up on my dream until my mentor stepped in. If it wasn’t for him, I never would have became deputy. I never would have became leader. I… I don’t even know if I’d be alive right.” His last words were almost whispered, him baring his soul to the other leader. He couldn’t even recall if he had ever told his sister the last bit, but maybe she knew deep down inside?February 13, 2020 at 11:17 am #5106
– W I S T E R I A S T A R –
‘I’m glad that you were able to escape with your life.’ Those words had touched her. Believe it or not, she had never heard those words from any of her other clanmates in her time in RiverClan. Yes, of course, she had previous mates who had expressed to her that they were grateful that she was here but none of them had ever told her upright, straight to her face that her life had a meaning of importance to them. It was nice to hear those words spoken out loud. There was something different about Hornetstar, and she was only just beginning to understand that there was so much more to him than meets the eye. And as he returned the back and forth of their conversation with a history of his own, revealing to her the tragedy of the loss he suffered from the parents he had been so attached to, she felt sympathy for the ShadowClan leader, so much so that it almost felt numbing. Wisteriastar couldn’t relate to losing her parents quite like that, but she knew how it felt to lose someone you loved deeply.
“Your parents sound like they were great warriors,” She replied softly, a small smile gracing her expression as she turned to face the golden tom again, “I’m sure that they would be proud of you and who you are today. You’ve done great things for ShadowClan’s legacy, that’s no easy feat. And I’m sure that Scarletflood knows that you care for her too, even if you haven’t talked much with her about what you two went through when you were younger.” The RiverClan leader paused before she added, “Thank you for telling me all of this.”
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