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    Rainysky trotted forth from his den just as afternoon was truly setting in over RiverClan’s glade. Lazy ribbons of sunlight glazed the shallow pools and ferns, a dream of spring floated merrily between reeds and undergrowth, a reprieve from their days shivering in the dark. It was true that it was still rather chilly out, but in the sun it was almost comfortable.

    Of course, the silver tabby Medicine Cat was seldom comfortable regardless of the weather. His gait was jumpy and maladroit as he walked through the hollow. His pale green eyes darted from face to face until they settled on the target he sought. He approached Koipetal, long feathery tail held high in a sign of pleasure toward his Clanmate and peer.


    “H-hey Koipetal! H-how are ya….” His lips quivered nervously, a dozen different openers dying in his mouth as he sifted for the right dialogue option. “I wondered if, um, I might ask a favor…..”

    Patiently, he waited for his permission before plunging onward.


    “M-my father- er, Grayfang, that is, has a toothache. I’m headed over to check on him but, um. Well, you see, he d-doesn’t ap-prove of my accepting the position of M-medicine Cat….so he might be, er, a bit difficult. So…” His legs trembled, he’d never spoken for such length, and asking a favor was never easy.

    “I wondered if you might….if you might accompany me, he’s usually less crotchety around non-kin so…he might..let me treat him easier if…” He angled his blackened ears backwards, hearing the words made him cringe. “It’s silly. I-I know, I should be able to do this job alone, it’s just…..for his sake you know…”


    Long fangs exposed as a yawn pushed its way out, his boredom of the current gossip apparent, giving his chatting companions a measly excuse of being tired to dismiss himself from the current conversation. His posture slumped over as he sauntered away from the group, finding himself a nice quiet spot, allowing himself to flop over onto his side. His lanky legs sprawling out around him, heading resting on his ginger paws, a loud huff forming. 


    The sweet herbal scent entrancing his senses, his large ears standing in alert as he approached, clumsily stumbling to his paws, “R-Rainysky, Hello!” The healers sudden approach taking him by surprise, quickly brushing down his lose fur from his tail with a paw, “Sorry I wasn’t exactly expecting you.” But i’m glad you came, biting the inside of his cheek from saying his thoughts aloud. Koipetal found most of his clanmates to be rather uninteresting same yada yada each day about hunting and how great the water was on that respected day. Rainysky was a pleasant cat among Riverclan, he didn’t ooze in confidence like most of the swimmers and hunting or fighting was never the normal talk among the two, it was a very welcomed change for Koipetal. 


    “Please ask away,” assuring the tom it was okay to ask after realizing he was waiting for permission, another thing Koipetal wasn’t use to. 


    His kitty brows furrowing at the healers words, his expression taking on a more sorrowful nature the longer Rainysky spoke, What a foolish father. Being a healer is arguably more important than being a warrior. Deciding it was best to keep his words to himself, it wasn’t his place to comment on his Clanmates family, not yet either way, Koipetal was glad to see Rainysky and felt the need to be close to him but he still wouldn’t exactly call him a ‘friend’ not at this moment anyways. “I would gladly accompany you Rainysky,” stepping closer to the pretty silver tom, leaning down towards Rainyskys muzzle, a mere whiskers length between the two, Koipetal what are you doing! His blue eyes widening as he realized his body was naturally seeking out the healer, jerking his head back as he cleared his throat, “Sorry I thought I saw something on your muzzle…”He mewed quietly, his head raising to its full height, if only for a moment as he took a moment to look elsewhere besides the tom. His head slumping down by his shoulders almost immediately, “I told you its okay to ask for help. Come on lets go check our your old man.” Waiting patiently for Rainysky to take the lead.


    He heaved a massive sigh of relief when Koipetal agreed to help him. In no uncertain terms had been consciously aware that asking such an innocently appearing favor was likely to result in his compliance, but no statistic would curb the deep void of his anxiety. It go wrong. It could always, always go wrong.

    “Good, this way then…”

    He stopped off at his new den to pick up the medicine for toothaches. Poppy seeds for pain, cobwebs in case something somewhere started bleeding. (It never hurt to prepared). And then they were off.

    His heart pounded with every step closer to the Elders den. He had not set foot in here since……well, he couldn’t remember exactly. It was possible he never had. A shame, as many perfectly nice retirees dwelled in it, yet his only hope for a life where he could at least shut his eyes to his fathers judgement necessitated distance from this place.

    He made eye contact with the tom in question and his insides became encased with ice. It happened every time they interacted, out there he was an adult with autonomy, maturity, but in those eyes……he saw only the reflection of a scared kit. Still, he forced himself forward as he could feel Koipetal at his side. But whether he’d brought his acquaintance to support him, or keep him from fleeing was up for debate.

    “H-hey, Grayfang, let’s look at that tooth shall we..? Hopefully it’s n-not too bad….”

    “Finally came crawling in here huh? Couldn’t avoid visiting your poor cripple father now that you’ve been raised on high to play with plants?” Wheezed the tom who was Rainysky’s father.  He was small, but had the appearance of one who had once stood tall. His fur was matted, tangled in the places his old injury prevented him from reaching. Yellow eyes narrowed.

    “Did your mother send you in here? I told her, this’ll pass.” Grayfang snorted, turning away pointedly. “Go back to your little den- what would you know about teeth anyways, it’s been what- a few days? Send that Saplingskies if you must. He is at least experienced at these matters.”


    Koipetal didn’t have much of a relationship with this father himself, not because Brightfoot was a bad dad; he just preferred seeking comfort outside of his large gene pool. Feeling Rainyskys hesitate to even enter the elders den, Koipetal wished he could make it easier on the clans healer but this was something Rainysky needed to overcome, though that didnt mean he could be a major supporting factor in him overcoming this. His head gently bumping into the tabby pelt “You got this,” His voice hushed so the others wouldn’t hear, a soft smile accompanying his encouraging words. 


    Seeing Rainysky try so hard even though he was clearly very nervous sent a warm feeling throughout Koipetal, it was refreshing to see him try to be nice to clearly such an uncaring tom. Inhaling sharply as the elder addressed his son with such a cruel manner, it was an awakening, you’re taught early on to respect the clans elders who have already given their whole life to serve the clan, yet here was those supposed clans finest, berated the newly named healer. Koipetal felt the heat in his body rise, not in the same way as when he was close to Rainysky, but this was different it was like when he and his siblings fought before leaving their camp during the floods. Ah yes this is what anger feels like…Koipetal felt a lot of emotions but anger was one he generally didn’t. He hated that feeling, it felt like it turned him into a different tom completely. 


    A low rumble threatened to emerge from the ginger splotched warrior, swallowing in attempt to suppress it. Koipetal felt his head naturally rise, moving so he was more in sight of both of the tom, clearing his throat, “Pardon me Grayfang. I assure you Rainysky has been excelling at his current position.” This elder might be causing his blood to boil but Koipetal was still not only a warrior but son of the clan leader, he couldn’t exactly go around threatening his clanmates. “Come on old man quit being such a kit. We all know you’re just a bit scared of seeing the healer. Besides Rainysky is this clans healer, Saplingskies has other matters to attend to.” Koipetal tried his hardest to keep his cool, the only sign of his true feelings were given away by his eyes, narrowed into slits staring daggers into the older tom. Koipetal moved to stand by Rainyskys side, his tail gently brushing against his side, this action hidden form Grayfang by his body, not wanting to make it worse for the healer, mouthing a sorry to him for interfering in the matter even after he told himself he wouldn’t.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Peach.



    “Scared?! How dare you-” The frail tom started instantly to his paws in anger, only to falter back on his bad leg wincing and coughing from the effort and pain wrought by his outburst. Amid his hurt, Rainysky felt pity, and it showed on his face which only served to further provoke his father.


    “Don’t you look at me like that, boy. I achieved more than you’ll ever achieve for this Clan, now that you’ve given up the path of a Warrior. And you.” He turned to Koipetal. “Would do well to keep your nose out of other family’s business, don’t you have enough kin to interfere with?” Or are you trying to woo him? He’s not some flowery tom who you can seduce. Quit trying to climb the power ladder the wrong way, kid.” Eschewed Grayfang callously. His tone dripped with venom as he cast his net wide in an aim to injure the other Warrior in any way possible, regardless of if he knew that there was any truth to his words.


    “With your sister in the ground our line has ended in shame. Can’t you leave me to grieve that?” His once-angry tone took on a weary, defeated sound.


    “I would, if it was indeed over.” Rainysky mewed quietly, shakily. “Frostpaw might be gone, but you and I still live. Don’t give up on life yet, not while air is still in your lungs.”


    “I won’t listen to life advice from a kitless failure of a son. Leave me. If you paws come near my mouth, I’ll bite.” 


    Rainysky was quiet for a long time. After what seemed like ages, the tom stood and made for the doorway. 


    “C’mon Koipetal. Care requires consent, if he won’t allow me to do it I’ll just need to ask Saplingskies. What’s important is we get that tooth treated before his infection quickens.” Though he sounded collected, unshed tears swam in his eyes, and his limbs trembled faintly.


    Koipetal felt for Grayfang when he saw the pain tremble throughout his body, of course he had to open his mouth and make Koipetal forget all about how he felt bad for the tom. Koipetal would be the first to admit his family wasn’t perfect but at least they were all supportive of each other. 


    “You seem to forget my heritage. I am Koipetal, son of Wisteriastar, your leader. I was born to a leader, raised by two leaders, and was hand picked to train under the future leader. I dont need to use Rainysky to climb to the power that’s already reaching for my paws!” Koipetal couldn’t believe he was being accused as such, Rainysky was just a clanmate, there was no way he would ever try to use such an innocent bystander to reach power, not that he even wanted power. Koipetal wasn’t one to throw around who he was, mostly because he didnt have to everyone knew he was the son of Wisteriastar and of his close relations with the leader prior but sometimes even elders forgot their place. They deserve respect from all warriors but it doesnt give them a pass to act like a kit who got their moss ball taken away. 


    Koipetal took the time to step back and allow Rainyflower to defend himself, he didn’t want to make Rainyflower feel inferior by having someone else defend his honor too much. Koipetals mind choking on the tension filled silence, he wished he could help more but it seemed Koipetals way of helping only seemed to aggravate the elder more. 


    Rainysky voice pulled Koipetals attention, nodding in agreement with the tom, understanding Rainysky not wanting to be in this imbeciles presence anymore. Koipetal traveled close to the elder along his way, “Speak of my kin again and you’ll have more than just a little toothache to worry about.” His hissing tone lowered just for Grayfang. Following beside Rainysky without another word until they left the den. “You just say the word, I can sit on him and we could hold his mouth open long enough for you to shove some herbs down.” Koipetal mewed to the tom, he wasn’t use to being on the end of trying to comfort someone he was more on the end of being comforted. Koipetal was trying his best and just hoped his best was enough.


    “Is that title supposed to impress me? You could toss a trout and hit a dozen cats who can claim to be the child of Wisteriastar. Do you think it makes you special?” Th elder mocked with a sweetly sardonic smile. “If it’s your only claim to fame, it tells me there’s nothing else to you.”


    “Grayfang, STOP it.” Somewhere, distantly, Rainysky found his voice. It had lain dormant while the abuse fell upon his own shoulders, but the moment it shifted to his companion his anger flared like a white-hot iron surprising even he with it’s strength and ferocity.


    “Excuse me?”


    “I said stop. Koipetal didn’t do anything to you. You’re just in pain, and you’re angry. But it’s no excuse. If you keep verbally berating our Warriors I’ll have to take it to Wisteriastar.” The Medicine Cat’s voice deepened when he spoke, sounding like it belonged to another cat altogether. His long silky fur was flat and unruffled, the slight tremor in his hips the only betrayal of how terrified he was.

    It could not be more plain that Grayfang had never encountered this side of his son. He laid there, eyes narrowed but said nothing.

    As the two of them stood by the exit, Rainysky shook his head at Koipetal’s offer.


    “Thanks. But I think I need to be away from him just now. I’ll speak to Saplingskies and see if he can help us out this time.”

    His voice was weary as they left the den, flopping on his side just outside his own dwelling clearly drained by his own outburst. And embarrassed, also, that his Clanmate had had to see all of that.


    “I-I apologize, I knew he would be angry but I did not expect him to be so….so proud. I thought he’d at least let me treat him! Does he want to lose that tooth…?” He let loose with an exasperated sigh. “He should‘t have said those things to you, though. Th-they’re not true you’re a good friend, you’re…s-so much more than he says. It’s m-me he was angry at, anyways..”



    The side of Rainysky standing up for himself made Koipetal swell with pride, he hadn’t been speaking to the silver furred tom for very long but it was apparent early on that he was very much like Koipetal in the matter of nerves. 


    The orange splotched tom swallowed the lump in his throat, realizing that maybe his joke was only a little funny to himself. “Umm sorry…” His ton trailing off, the sight of the feathery fur falling to the dirt before him, boy did he know that feeling. “Hang tight,” Leaving Rainyskys side disappearing into his den for just a few moments. When the lanky warrior reappeared a blue feather was tucked gingerly between his jowls, releasing it when he reached the healers side again. “I know its nothing special but for me feathers are something of comfort. Rainstar use to bring them back for me when they returned from outside the camp.” Lowering his body down across from the tabby tom. Koipetal felt slightly embarrassed for sharing such a childish habit of his, he just wanted to do something to help him. 


    “Please dont apologize. Hes right, have you met my family there like is nine of us. I’m sorry for getting so cocky in there, I dont like to throw my heritage around but it just came out. I-I-I dont even want power or fame honestly.” His words turning into a nervous chuckle. “Elders get grumpier with time. Its not easy for such respected warrior to be considered helpless,” Blue eyes darting around the camp checking that no one was paying close attention to the toms before his nose reached out and touch Rainysky paw like before. Stopping himself from being too close to the tom cat.


    “Thank you. I’ll keep it with me always.” He smiled. Understanding the significance behind this little token. It was a peek into the other tom’s world. And it made him feel privileged. “It feels like just yesterday that Rainstar was still with us. I was just a Warrior then, things were calmer…” Mused the healer.

    He listened patiently while Koipetal admonished such ambitions. He had a good heart, Rainysky decided. It was tangled up in many other shortcomings, but who among them could cast the first stone?


    “Grayfang never wanted to retire. He always wanted to die in battle, so I know that mudslide was hard for him. But he’s with mom now, at least. I always worried she’d get lonely there after she retired.” His voice turned gentle as he spoke of his parents now, like  one fussing over their own offspring. He could understand where both were coming from. But it didn’t make it any easier when his father berated him, or his mother stared off into empty space and would not engage with anyone.


    “I know I’m not ever going to be enough for them. I just don’t know how to be okay with it, I guess.”

    Where Koipetlal’s nose edged closer to his paw, he closed the distance touching his muzzle tenderly. For once he didn’t shy away, letting the contact comfort him.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Chris.

    “I miss him everyday. I know they were my parents, but I still loved them like they were.”His ears drooped at the talk of the Riverclan prior leader. A small sign rolling out of his muzzle, “I was just an apprentice when they passed, it was such a tough time. Losing Rainstar, Fishtail, and Brightfoot all within a few hours of each other. Not to mention my siblings…” Chewing on his inner cheek to stop himself from saying much more about his siblings.


    His ears flickered at Rainysky words, shaking his head quickly at the thought. “You don’t have to be okay with it, you’re doing your best to help the clan and you clearly care for them so much. Anyone would be lucky just to be around you. Sooner or later I hope they realize that.”  Koipetals heart ached for the healer, it was apparent that he still cared for his parents even when they gave him such little thought. Butterflies crashing into his stomach when the pretty silver paw reached out to meet his nose, feeling the heat rise and rush through his paper thin ears.


    Rainysky visibly flinched when the other tom delved into his own losses, that of which numbered so much more than his own. He felt a stab of guilt over venting bout his still-living parents. Perhaps far from the kindest, the still breathed and he could glimpse them anytime he wished. It was a luxury others did not have. He exhaled shakily, feeling grounded by the perspective. Though he arranged his facial features as not to appear overtly patronizing to Koipetal. He himself would not want some other cat pitying him too much, even if his concern came from a place of compassion.

    His teal gaze sparked a bit when the conversation strayed into the deep end- that was to say, Koipetal’s other family. He knew it was a heavy baggage situation. Still, he knew bearing such luggage could require some backup.

    “None of your kin has ever been much of anything to me. But if a good-hearted tom like yourself comes from them, perhaps there is hope?” He quirked his head sideways, hedging his bets as he cautiously drew nearer to the sensitive issue.

    “I wish I had more siblings myself. With Frostpaw gone it’s just me.”


    Koipetal pulled his gaze away from the sparkling teal eyes that belonged to the silver healer, finding his gaze being drawn to the warriors den. All his family were grown warriors now and they didnt need to be looking after each other anymore, but he couldnt help still feel the need to watch after his dearest kin. “Most of my siblings are okay I supposed but, Pantherstorm, hes um…well hes been acting weird. I cant even really describe it but something is wrong with him.” A hearty sigh following his troubled words. His ginger splotched tail swaying softly, the tom lost in thought. Am I just reading into things too much? 


    At the mention of Frostpaw Koipetal snapped back to Rainysky, the warrior had heard that tom had lost a littermate, but it was before his time so he never knew of the incident personally. Swallowing the lump that had begin to swell in his throat, “Can I ask what happened?” Koipetal found himself naturally moving closer to the healer, “Only if you’re okay with that, please dont if it makes you uncomfortable.”


    His eyes perked up curiously at the mention of Pantherstorm’s behavior. The dark Warrior was oft in a negative mood for his age, so Rainysky himself couldn’t say whether or not of late it was any more negative than usual. But a brother would know best. The healer himself filed away this fact for later, deciding it might be worth mentioning to Pantherstorm’s mother and Leader- who of course happened to be the same cat. Two birds, one stone and whatnot.


    “If you want me to speak to him I can, I know some cats confide in their Medicine Cat things they wouldn’t tell another living soul.” He offered, though he doubted he’d be any more adept at helping the troubled Warrior than any other cat would be. He still needed to be willing to try if he ever expected to get there.

    His shoulders sagged somewhat as the topic veered back to his late sister. He’d never spoken of her passing or anything associated with it to anyone. Yet as time went on his troubles grew uncomfortably large to be housed in just his own mind, perhaps it was time to offer them a little extra room in the heart of another.


    “It’s okay, I’m sure you barely knew her so I wouldn’t expect you to remember.” Inwardly though, he was stung to know she’d already been forgotten by some in her Clan. It was as if she’d never even existed. Yet the pain of her loss lived on, lonely in his chest.


    “She drowned, when the river was frozen in winter.” He closed his eyes, and as he did so the image of her bloated ghostly face beneath the ice came to him as it often did in his dreams. Eyes bulging and frosted over with the serene sheen of death. “I…I was with her. Our mother has never been the same, as you saw, and our father…” He struggled for the right words.


    “He blames me, he always has. I guess he’s not wrong. But I wish we could all…move on?” Green eyes squinted with confusion. “I don’t want to forget her, but I don’t want to hurt anymore. Sometimes I wonder if it’s possible to do only one without the other. When I’m happy, it feels like I’m betraying her.”

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Chris.

    “Rainysky I have nothing but faith in your ability but please don’t talk to Pantherstorm for my sake. I would hate for you to be put in an awkward situation just for me.” Koipetal loved his brother but something was definitely fishy about him recently, the last thing he wanted was for anything to happen to Rainysky because of Koipetal curiosity.

    He knew he should be sadden at the topic of death but he couldn’t help but feel a little warm at Rainysky opening up to him more. He could feel the slight pain wafting off the healer at the mention that Koi didn’t remember what happened to his sister. “I don’t remember her, but I promise I wont forget her now. Frostpaw, dont worry she’s imbedded into this empty noggin.” His paw swiping over his own ears after his words.

    Koipetal felt a shiver run up his spine, his body shuddering along with it, “More reason to hate the water.” His words a mere mutter. He felt for Rainysky, he knew what losing someone you love felt like, it wasn’t a feeling that you could just pass over like nothing happened. “Rainy…” The tom couldnt find the words he needed to comfort the healer, granted he didn’t think there were the ‘right words’ for situations like this.

    At the mention of Rainysky father Koipetal mental spat in disgust, the tom was not a kind one and treated Rainy terribly, Koipetal hated it. “But the real question is Do you blame yourself? If you blame yourself then there’s no way for anyone else to feel other than to blame you as well. I might not have known Frostpaw, but I dont think she’d blame you.” Koipetal could feel the urge to throw himself at Rainysky side and comfort the tom but he couldnt allow himself to move any closer to Rainysky, Koipetal couldnt push his own comfort level aside for someone else, not yet anyways. “I know that if something happened to me I wouldn’t want anyone to blame themselves. I wouldn’t be able to pass on peacefully knowing I left someone I loved with that guilt looming over their heads. You dont have to forget Frostpaw, but living your life as if it was your fault well I think that’s disrespectful to her. Honor her memory.” Koipetal wasn’t quite sure if anything he said was helpful but the sudden urge to try and find the words to help the tom just flowed out of him.

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