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  • #5079
    Hornetstar
    Participant

    HORNETSTAR.

    Soon enough they were out of ThunderClan and into ShadowClan territory. The riverbanks and further into the forest were a right mess, still destroyed from the flooding that had occurred a little over a moon ago. Of course they had seen stuff just like this in RiverClan afterwards, but it was completely different to see a territory he knew like the back of his paw ransacked like this. It made him sad, but more angry than anything. Eventually everything would start healing, but until then his Clan and he would be left to look at the destruction of what had once been a beautiful pine forest and marsh mixture.

    When they made it into the heart of ShadowClan territory, mountains nearing, he slowed down a bit. It was then he became aware of Wisteriastar and Saplingskies whispering to each other in the back like young apprentices, causing his annoyance to spike. They were here on important business, and they were using the opportunity to gossip? “Something by the base of the mountains. Higher ground, but not a drastic change from our last camp,” he mumbled to Smokewisp and Roachpaw. He knew his apprentice could have problems with keeping the silence, and that it was better to indulge his chatty behavior so he didn’t get up to any worse mischief. Though they weren’t the closest mentor and apprentice pair, he at least knew the basics about Roachpaw and hot to temper his… Goofy personality.

    “If you two are quite done,” he snapped back to Wisteriastar and Saplingskies, annoyance barely contained, “I think we should split up to cover more ground. Smokewisp, you take Roachpaw and Saplingskies. Roachpaw, behave for your deputy.” This was obviously some sort of test for his apprentice, who was almost ready to be a warrior. Part of Hornetstar was apprehensive to promote the mousebrain, but he also knew Roachpaw could make a good warrior if he just applied himself. “Wisteriastar, with me,” he finished, glancing at the calico. His intentions for pairing himself with the other leader could easily be mistaken for the fact he didn’t trust her. However, he just wanted her away from Saplingskies.

    #5108
    Jetstream
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R – 

    Wisteriastar was aware of the lingering, questioning glances of the ShadowClan deputy, Smokewisp, and the apprentice, Roachpaw, from where she stayed a little ways behind to speak with Saplingskies but she chose not to react to it, for her business wasn’t necessarily theirs as far as she was concerned, even if it may include their clanmates. The grey-furred deputy’s amusing glance was lost to her, for her focus was holed in on the small medicine cat as he replied to her inquiries, his voice just as hushed as her own. She listened to him quietly, taking in every word he entrusted to her earnestly, for she knew that things like this weren’t easy to confide, especially when he was still in the company of his clanmates. And she didn’t want to put him in a bad spot with their trust in him, even if his doubts to stay in ShadowClan were valid. The RiverClan leader nodded in agreement with his words, her expression stoic and not giving away the pang in her heart that she felt for her friend. “You have valuable ties in the Clan you’ve chosen to be your home, and you’re giving them everything you have. I couldn’t ask any more of someone as honorable as you, Saplingskies.” She told him, her amber eyes warm with affection. It truly was a shame to her that Hornetstar had allowed his relationship with his medicine cat to become so tarnished.  The ShadowClan healer was a very kind tom and he deserved to be treated with respect for all that he had given them.

    Speaking of the ShadowClan leader, he had abruptly paused the patrol and turned back to glare directly at Saplingskies and herself. Wisteriastar didn’t reply to his initial retort, she kept her facial expression smooth and unreadable minus a kitty brow that rose questioningly in response to his clear and evident annoyance. He’s splitting the patrol? She thought, though I suppose it makes sense to cover more ground… We are looking for their new home, after all. The calico feline noted quietly to herself that Hornetstar was surely separating her from Saplingskies, but she was careful not to let her amusement shine on her face, should that affect their current or future standing with one another. “Oh, of course.” She replied smoothly, unchallenging to the golden tom’s demands as she left Saplingskies’s flank to be on her way with where ever Hornetstar would be leading them now. In fact, she was actually quite pleased. 

    #5128
    Roach
    Participant

    Roachpaw ~Shadowclan Apprentice

    Arching a brow as he quietly listens to Hornetstar and Smokewisp, catching the important bits that they were indeed finding a new territory all together. Frowning slightly as it pained him that they would be leaving everything they knew behind. There would be no more tunnels for the apprentice to explore and hone in his stealth training. Letting his emotions quickly mold into one of indifference at the news, he didn’t want his leader or deputy to see that he could not handle such information. ‘Starting where we began’ he thought as the golden-wasp tom mentioned starting their search at the base of the mountains. It reminded Roach of when they camped out within a cave in the lonely mountain.

    Snapping out of his thoughts when Hornet’s rough voice cut through the air with authority. Pausing in his movements as he looks over at Smokewisp and Saplingkies, his new patrol group for the time being. Opening his mouth to rebuttal Hornet’s jab in his direction, but quickly closes his mouth with a huff. Shaking his dark cranium as he looks away from his mentor. Deciding not to waste his breath on commenting that if Hornet actually took the time to know him, he would know that he wasn’t just a trouble maker.

    Not even sparing Hornet or Wisteria a second glance as he moves closer to Smoke and Sapling. Flashing them a small smile before nodding his wedge cranium to let them both know he was ready when they were. Pale yellow hues flickering over at the tall looming mountain before them, his ears pinning slightly against his skull as he couldn’t help but feel intimidated by the large cold stone’s size.  Course, he knew that they wouldn’t find camp within the mountain, but just knowing that they would be much closer to the towering mountain put him on edge for some unknown reason. Scoffing quietly to himself for acting so skittish, pushing his feelings to the side as he awaits for Smokewisp’s instructions.

    #5141
    Hornetstar
    Participant

    HORNETSTAR.

    He was glad when nobody put up a fight or threw out a snarky comment, not really in the mood to deal with such childish behavior. This was ShadowClan’s territory, and he was ShadowClan’s leader. Though he had never behaved as a dictator before, he knew he easily had the capability in him. What the hell would be the point of a star suffix and nine lives if he only got treated like his word barely even mattered? He hadn’t worked his ass off over half of his current life length just to be swept aside like yesterday’s mouse droppings.

    With a nod of his head at Smokewisp, he threw a glance at Wisteriastar before whirling about and marching into the underbrush.  “We’ll start at the base of the mountain this way, then slowly make our way out if we don’t find anything. Hopefully we can cover more ground that way,” he called back to her, not slowing his pace one bit. He was obviously in a huffy mood, though it could be mistaken for impatience to get this task over. Part of it was, as he was tired of staying in RiverClan. Most of his Clanmates probably were as well, and he just wanted to go back to share the good news they had found something. For just a moment, his weary thoughts showed in his posture.

    #5144
    Jetstream
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R – 

    Wisteriastar was not a fan of climbing. It didn’t matter that her muscles were well toned and that she had more than enough stamina to carry herself far, it just took so much to climb up the rockface of these mountains and Hornetstar’s pace was quick and unforgiving. It was honestly exhausting and it had already been a long day. The sun was beginning to sneak behind the treetops and if they wanted to find a campground today, they didn’t have much time left to do it. But the RiverClan feline didn’t find that it was necessary to voice this, for she was well aware that the ShadowClan tom ahead of her already knew of this, given his upfront impatience. She followed a bit behind him, finding herself somewhat lost on what to say to him. Admittedly, after their talk in her camp, Wisteriastar thought that perhaps the two of them had made closer steps to one another but his attitude right now was the complete opposite of the openness he had shown her privately. Perhaps that could change now that the two of them were alone again? 

    They had covered a lot of ground already, and were relatively deep into the mountains. “Do you know what you’re looking for exactly?” She pondered aloud, surveying the area around them, with lumps of large rocks and mounds of bushes, shrubs and honestly not much else. Curious, she asked, “Why exactly are you so focused on the mountains? Because they’re so far away from everyone else?”

    #5165
    Lux
    Participant

    Smokewisp – Shadowclan Deputy

    Hah,‘ Smokewisp thought, struggling to keep her lips from curling in amusement. She nodded to Saplingskies and Roachpaw, happily accepting Hornetstar’s orders. The golden tom was terrible at hiding his intentions. His distrust and irritation over the hushed conversation between Wisteriastar and Saplingskies was obvious, leaving a crackling tension hanging within the air. “Alright,” she mewed. “Let’s head this way,” she gestured with her ears. They’d travel the opposite direction, still hugging the treeline along the base of the mountains. “Then regroup here, once we’ve finished.

    Beckoning Saplingskies and Roachpaw onward, she lead the way silently. Their footsteps crunched lightly on the ice-crusted snow, slowing their advance. She slacked her pace, drawing alongside Saplingskies as she observed him with curious amber eyes. “Hornetstar is grumpier than … well, a hornet nest.” she mewed, loud enough to speak over the crunchy snow. “I suppose he’s tired of living with Riverclan. Though, I suppose we all are.” She looked down, watching her paws as the snow grew deep, chilling her belly. “Surely things will get better, once we find a new camp.” She frowned, not quite certain of her own words. Hornetstar was still Hornetstar, but he’d grown exceptionally prickly over the last moon. Even she had begun to struggle with handling his fiery temper.

    #5176
    Hornetstar
    Participant

    HORNETSTAR.

    “A camp for ShadowClan,” he replied without hesitation, though he did at least glance over his shoulder so she could see his smirk. Now that she was away from Saplingskies and had stopped her gossiping, he found his blood settling. It was nice to be alone with her like this once more, to not have to worry about what others thought or showing vulnerability in front of them. Something about her, after that conversation of theirs in RiverClan camp, just… Called to him.

    He paused, turning to face her with an inscrutable look as she spoke again. “They’re closer to their Gathering grounds and they’re higher up so next time flooding won’t destroy our camp. What does it matter besides that? It’s better for my Clan, and that’s all that matters. You know that,” he stated, suddenly annoyed with her. She thought his intentions were selfishly drove, even after he had bared his very soul to her? Was he always doomed to be misunderstood, even when he thought he had found someone who could understand him? “If that’s all.” He whirled back about, readying himself to push through a clump of bushes in front of him.

    #5179
    Jetstream
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R – 

    Well, duh. The calico RiverClanner thought amusedly to herself at Hornetstar’s sarcastic reply, paired by a smirk that he shot back at her. It had seemed to her that he was loosening up again, now that they were in a more quiet and personal setting again and she was satisfied to know that he was in fact still the same tom she had thought him to be. However, the enigmatic expression he had suddenly spun around on her after her initial question took her a bit off guard. Wisteriastar had thought that they were on comfortable footing again, and yet the ShadowClan leader had proven once more to be a difficult tom. As he spat out his words and turned away from her, she found herself feeling an all new heightened sense of irritation. Here she thought that she was beginning to understand the golden tom so well and that the two of them were on an equal footing, and yet he was promptly burying himself again in that barrier of an attitude that kept others at bay. She didn’t know what caused this sort of friction and resistance from him, but it frustrated her all the same. How were the two of them ever going to make any sort of progress if he kept taking two steps back from every step forward they took? 

    “Now hold on,” Wisteriastar retorted, taking a wide framed step and cutting off Hornetstar from walking away from her any further than he already had. “What else matters? Really?” The calico feline took an abrupt step forward, shoving her pearly pink nose right in the ShadowClan tom’s face, refusing to let him back down from the confrontation she was bringing him. She held her chin up indignantly and squared her shoulders high as she peered down right into his reflected emerald gaze. This was a stance she took that she knew other, less confident cats found intimidating from her– she was strong-headed and had loud, vocal opinions and she knew that her way of carrying herself was typically seen in a sort of overawe and daunting fashion; however, she highly doubted that Hornetstar was the type of tom that would back down from a head-on approach or from her in general, no matter how formidable she could be. It takes one to know one, as they say. “You don’t think you matter to me? Is that it?” Wisteriastar questioned bluntly, pinpointing straight in on the ShadowClan leader’s insecurities and highlighting them to the front of the conversation. Her amber eyes narrowed harshly as she added, “I would have thought you would have known me better than that by now. Why don’t you take another guess as to why it might concern me if ShadowClan homes themselves far away from the other Clans?”

    #5181
    Hornetstar
    Participant

    HORNETSTAR.

    A secret part of him was actually thrilled when she surged forwards to cut him off, drawing up a defiant stance before him so she could glare right into his own eyes. She was actually willing to fight his difficult ways for him, to push through his walls and claim his attention. Soon though, he knew her willingness to fight would dry up. If he didn’t decide what he wanted, and soon, she would reach the end of her patience and leave him. She was a strong, beautiful she-cat… Surely she could have any tom she wanted, and her she was, willing to give him a chance. As honored as that made him, it also frightened him. Out of all of the toms, she had to choose him, another leader. A leader and leader relationship had to be even harder to maintain than a medicine cat having a relationship, let along regular warriors from different Clans.

    He reeled at her words, taking a physical step back like she had slapped him. Now, without a doubt, she was implying she had feelings for him. Right now, maybe not even ever, he couldn’t handle that. Hornetstar had a camp to find, and then a Clan to move into it. He… No time for she-cat’s, let alone the leader of another Clan. “No,” he stated simply, disagreeing with her but clearly refusing to have this conversation. With a determine look he shoved past her, stumbling as she tried to hold strong against him. Then the next thing he knew, they were tipping through the bushes and tumbling… tumbling… tumbling down a gentle incline to the ground below.

    #5182
    Jetstream
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R –

    “No?” She echoed incredulously, in honest disbelief that Hornetstar was refusing, straight up refusing, to accept her head-on with what she was implying or what she was giving. One could bet that she certainly had more to say about that, as she was not the type to just give up without a fight, but she didn’t have the chance to say any more, for before she knew it the two of them were tripped up and caught in a tumble right through the undergrowth, over a tilted slope. And then suddenly, the pair flopped unceremoniously onto a flattened, soft ground with a muted thud. Or, at least, she didn’t feel any sort of pain from the fall that she could tell. Wisteriastar blinked open her eyes to find that her landing had been cushioned by none other than that of the ShadowClan tom she was just arguing with, as she had landed atop of him in the most painfully cliche way imaginable– with her fellow leader splayed on his back with her having rested against his chest. This realization honestly horrified her a bit, as she caught the mirrored wide-eyed, startled look in his eyes that she was sure held true in her own orange gaze. This was far too close for comfort, even if she was in his face not even but a second ago, this was a whole different level of up close and personal. 

    Disheveled, the calico RiverClanner hastily pushed herself to her paws, feeling her heart pounding rapidly as she tried desperately to steady herself somewhat. She absolutely was not used to being flustered or embarrassed or anything of the sort of what had just occurred between the two of them. Wisteriastar had never been in a position of mortification or feeling so utterly awkward and unsure of herself and she didn’t have the slightest clue of how to deal with the situation now. Oh, StarClan, what do I even say after that? She thought internally, feeling quite literally like she wanted to scream right about now. She couldn’t even bring herself to look in his general direction, for she was clearly shaken by not only his rejection but also the turn of events that they had just been quite literally thrown into. 

    #5183
    Hornetstar
    Participant

    HORNETSTAR.

    After what felt like ages they finally made it to the bottom of the incline, but they didn’t land how he expected. He landed with an oof!, a weight landing on top of him. Before he knew it, he was staring up into Wisteriastar’s orange eyes. They were beautiful up close, captivating, drawing him in… He had almost forgotten his surprise, growing used to the feeling of electricity flowing through him at her touch, when she was rising. For a minute he nearly told her to stop, but then came to his senses. Quickly he staggered to his own paws, willing his heart to stop racing as he looked anyway but her. One would think that at that point, he would be thinking of what to say to her, or about what had just happened, or about what it meant, but…

    “This area would make an amazing camp,” he murmured, sounding pleased. At least their little trip wouldn’t be a completely worthless disaster. Now their bickering and high emotions had a point behind them, and not just a fruitless adventure. Already he could see where each den could be, where he could make announcements, where the entrance would be. It was perfect!

    #5194
    Jetstream
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R –

    She was unable to hide the surprise on her face when Hornetstar became immediately distracted and enthralled by the area in which they had fallen through, muttering aloud about what a great camp this place would be for his Clan– his new home. She stared at him for a few more heartbeats, jaw slackened in her clear confusion before she too came to her senses and began to laugh aloud. It was a joyous laugh, from the bottom of her heart she felt at peace, here in this secluded clearing with Hornetstar. He never ceased to surprise her, even now, instead of addressing what had just happened between the two of them, he was focusing on his Clan, as the truly fantastic leader she knew he was. He never failed to bring something new to the table. 

    “You really are something, you know that?” Wisteriastar murmured, unable to mask the amusement in her voice as she peered at the golden ShadowClan tom. The tom who had so much more to offer to him than anyone else knew; he was not only a dedicated leader but he had a kind heart, even if he never showed it, and now it seemed that he even had a sense of humor to boot. Hornetstar was absolutely not the brutish, vulgar and rude tom that everyone thought he was. “I’m glad that you’ve found a place that you can call home,” she told him, “but I’ll admit, I’ll miss seeing you around.” This was her second confession of the night and unlike before, this time she was much more nervous and less confident in herself as she usually was. He had already rejected her once, what could possibly change about that now?

    #5198
    Hornetstar
    Participant

    HORNETSTAR.

    He had been just about to go prancing off to inspect everything closer, when Wisteriastar started laughing. Pausing with a paw raised, he turned to study her. Truthfully he was ready for criticism, or more getting in his face, but neither happened. In fact, he was left reeling yet again for a moment. At her soft admission, his heart started raising, the heat rising below his fur as he quickly looked away. This whole time, ever since she had first offered to host ShadowClan at RiverClan, he had known he had feelings growing for her. But then that night, when they had that shockingly deep conversation? Well, truthfully, he thinks he was a goner after that. Hornetstar wasn’t so obviously as to be unaware when he was… Was falling in love.

    Finally he glanced back at her, looking ever so vulnerable but with a tinge of sadness. How could they ever hope to make this work? SkyClan was one thing, but RiverClan? They were on the opposite side of ThunderClan! “I… I’ll miss you as well.” Dear StarClan, feelings were so hard to voice.  Clearing his throat, he took a step closer so they were almost face to face. This was an important moment, make it or break it. As easy as it would be to break it, he didn’t want to. He couldn’t bare to see her sad, or lonely. “I admit, I have feelings for you. You, you understand me so much better than everyone else could and… You’re beautiful. Strong, independent, sympathetic but also resilient. I shouldn’t feel this way, but I- I can’t stop these feelings and I don’t want… I don’t want you thinking you’re not good enough for me, or that I don’t care about you in return. Honestly, if anything, you’re problem too good for me,” he gushed, standing stock still as he forced himself not to shy away, but face this all head-on. Now, or never.

    #5201
    Jetstream
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R –

    To her upmost surprise, instead of dropping her feelings as he had done previously, Hornetstar turned to face her with an expression of such emotion and vulnerability that she felt her heart tug for him. It was this exact feeling that had drawn her to him in the first place. And once more, the two of them were face to face, sharing with each other the very depths of their hearts. As he began to vocalize and validate his feelings for her and that they were, in fact, mutual, Wisteriastar felt pure happiness surge within her as well as a tinge of sadness at the reality of their situation, as it was not lost on either of them. A part of her was amused yet again at his admissions but another part of her felt conflicted about it too. She didn’t want to hear that he felt she was too good for him because if she was here right now, alone with Hornetstar, she felt that it should be clear that she felt he was more than worthy. 

    “It may be foolish to try but it may also be more foolish not to give ourselves a chance to follow our hearts.” The RiverClanner replied quietly, “I don’t know about you, but I can keep a secret. And I doubt any cat would think twice about their leader going out for a night stroll.” She kept her stance firm, unyielding as they stood together in an empty clearing, late at night, staring in one another’s eyes. It was clear now what the two of them had for one another and she didn’t want to let it go. She hadn’t felt an attraction to another tom in several moons, as admittedly since Brightfoot’s death, she had been coping with not only his loss but her new responsibility as leader as well. She simply hadn’t given herself the time of the thought and even if this relationship was impulsive and a certain sudden attraction, it definitely pulled her in a direction she was satisfied to be in. Wisteriastar leaned forward, nuzzled her nose into the ShadowClanner’s shoulder and muttered, “I’m willing to try if you are.”

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