The ground was shaking and Startledpaw wasn’t ok with it; he didn’t want to be on the ground, he wanted to be in a branch. He wanted to be tasting the sky. The wind fluttering through his fur. Free as a bird. This was the fate he was promised. When he was born, he came out feathered. Tufts of black fur that looked like crows down. Bright golden eyes that blinked like the sun when it was setting. The sky was his mistress and he was peering off a balcony calling her name, singing to her, begging her to come down from her elegant heights so he could be near her. That was the SkyClan way. Startledpaw had been excited to be named an apprentice so he could start tree climbing. It is for this reason he cannot help himself but gasp out, “What in the dove’s dung, Squirrelstar! No climbing! That’s not cool!”
The tom was an edgy apprentice, all teenage rebellion swirled together with Benadryl and Hawaiian punch into a disgusting concoction no one over the age of 18 was willing to even sniff. He was young and stupid, and he was loud about being young and stupid. There was no malevolence in his words, just a stuttering confusion that he could not help but utter out-loud. Unchecked impulses. He swung his head around wildly, meeting the eyes of Cardinalpaw, who sat nearby.
“Dude! That’s our whole schtick! I’m like. Wow.” The tom looked at the brilliant red apprentice for a moment or two, blinking. The tom was ginger. He must be ThunderClan. That wasn’t stereotyping, it was just statistics. (It is still probably stereotyping). “Oh. Hey. I’m uh. Startledpaw. From SkyClan. Obviously. Hi. Anyways. Dude, I’m straight up about to break into ThunderClan’s territory to climb ya’ll’s trees. I won’t even catch anything I just. Wow. No tree-climbing. That’s nuts.”
Gullpaw listened to the older cats reply, slowly leaning in close and closer and muttering a few "ohs" and "wows" and "reallys?" When she was finished, however, he perked back up to his usual noisiness. "I don't think Ripplestep could wake me up too early, Mistypaw says I sleep like I'm dead." He was a little quieter than before, a bit of his energy must have drained away. "I dunno what my 'individual strength' is right now, like Mistypaw is super cool and brave and strong, and I try to be but sometimes I just look at the river and go 'oh wow that's...... yeah........ a lot of water' and I kinda want to go run and hide under a big rock. I don't think that's much of a strength, huh." He let out a small sigh. "But I wanna be a good swimmer like my parents and mentor and clanmates, so I gotta get in that big swirling monster water eventually! I bet you never struggled with anything, you look really brave and cool."
hazeltuft of skyclan accompanied by Minksneeze | gathering
Once the announcements had commenced, Hazeltuft was still stunned by Squirrelstar's news. No more tree climbing? That's what SkyClan stood for, that's what their clan did... it was their livelihood. Had her last hunt with Lilacdawn mean it was possibly her last time in the trees? She felt for Bravepaw, she really did, but she didn't fully agree with Squirrelstar's decision.
She got up from her spot and spotted a very familiar face, one that most cats would know. It was Minksneeze, the medicine cat of ShadowClan. The tabby was tempted to approach her, and with that, she decided to. Carefully, Hazeltuft strolled over to the tuxedo and flicked her tail in greeting. "Hi, Minksneeze!" she mewed. "How are you doing?"
Aldertail of Windclan - gathering - open (mentions gullpaw & viperstrike)
Aldertail sat distanced from most other cats, not straying far from where he’d entered the clearing with his clanmates. He’d deliberately lost sight of Robinpaw a while ago, and was watching the fourtrees intently as the leaders gathered there.
When both brothers were not able to attend, it became the other’s responsibility to keep the other updated. He didn’t like to admit it, but Gooseleap’s high perception skills and natural insight often made his intel more valuable, but Aldertail could be clever if he was focused. Before heading out, his brother had reminded him to keep an eye on Stagstar and Squirrelstar, as well as the general behavior of Riverclan. He made careful note when Stagstar did not show, with his deputy taking his position instead. He was silent, watching with narrowed eyes, as the leaders spoke. Towards the end, he shot Gullpaw and Viperstrike a crossed look and moved away from them with an agitated lash of his tail as they continued their noisy conversation. By the time he settled himself back down, he noticed Squirrelstar had vanished from where she was standing, and his upper lip twitched slightly.
So Stagstar has lost his life the same moon as Dawnstar? The drought had many clans in vulnerable positions, so it was somewhat of a relief that Teaslestar’s absence could be overshadowed by the rest of the clan’s problems. He’d have a lot to walk his brother through...
jaggedthorn of shadowclan accompanied by Pantherclaw | gathering
"Mmm, I don't think that's Dawnstar unless she rolled in mud and turned her fur brown," Jaggedthorn commented, half listening to what the leaders were saying, half not. She wasn't that interested in what had taken place in the clan of peace and love, also known as RiverClan. As for SkyClan, ThunderClan, and WindClan... well, at least there was some substance there. "Oh, it sure has been that long. I may or may not be off with the timeline, but I'm sure it's somewhere around there."
The dark brown tabby tipped her head, eyeing Sparrowtuft as if he were prey. "He's not Teaseltail," she replied before being interrupted by the WindClan cat's announcement. "Sparrowtuft, apparently. Never seen him a day in my life. Maybe WindClan won't be full of kits anymore with a new leader and a new deputy. I suppose ThunderClan is the same? How do you like Rainstar and Sundapple?"
Viperstrike glanced over Gullpaw’s head, searching for Ripplestep or any other RiverClan cat who might be concerned about how much their apprentice was sharing with someone who would – on any other evening – be considered the enemy. Satisfied that nobody was watching, she settled back down, listening openly to Gullpaw. He was lucky he found a cat who wasn’t likely to take advantage of him. She might be fierce in battle, but she was honest, and she didn’t want to manipulate an apprentice during his first Gathering. “You’ll get there eventually,” she encouraged. “I doubt you could find a warrior in any Clan who didn’t struggle as an apprentice, or even as a warrior. You might have a harder time getting them to admit it, though.” She gave a small huff of amusement. “Have you ever seen big moor hares? They’re huge. When I first became an apprentice I refused to go anywhere near them. Now I make a point of hunting them. That’s what being an apprentice is. Learning so you can become the sort of fierce warrior your Clan is made up of.”
"Ah, hello there...um, yeah," Minksneeze was caught off-guard as a she-cat approached her. The warrior looked familiar, but she couldn't place a name to her face. She certainly smelled like SkyClan though. "I am well," she replied, dipping her head a little, "Though if my clanmates are as illogical this moon as they were the last I'll have my paws full." Glancing over the she-cat she paused, unsure if questioning her about SkyClan's new rule would be overstepping or not.
"I'm sorry to here about Bravepaw," she meowed, deciding to tread a more middle ground. "It's always a tragedy when a young cat gets hurt. If Echoflower needs any herbs to help with his recovery, let her know she can always ask ShadowClan. Silverbirch might need some convincing, but I'd be willing to give her anything she might need."
Post by little blu ♥ on Aug 2, 2020 23:59:01 GMT -5
Skyclan // with Brambleleaf // at gathering
﹝ ☼ ﹞
The ginger spotted feline grinned, one full of boyish charm - which was honestly lost on the mouse-brain. He may have a natural sort of charisma but he had no filter on that mouth of his and that's where he got into trouble. Shockingly, he felt genuinely impressed that Bramblepaw - Brambleleaf had become a warrior in their moons spent apart. He remembered a timid apprentice but one who'd caught his eye, for some unknown reason. Whitefox was secretly glad he had though, it was a bit difficult for him to make friends, seeing as most cats took his flirty teasing as offensive. The audacity of some people. "Brambleleaf, huh? I like it, it seems to suit you," he nodded, chuckling lightly.
His attention was pulled away by the leaders once again, listening to their reports had always been the worst part of gatherings for Whitefox. He honestly didn't care, at least not really. Some tidbits reached his ears - Squirrelstar's announcement particularly. What in StarClan's name their leader thought she was doing keeping them out of the trees... The tom growled under his breath, eyes narrowed on the Great Rock. He of course felt for the apprentice who had fallen, it had been awful, but that shouldn't mean they all had to be punished! He was sure their deputy didn't approve this decision! Oh StarClan, he might actually agree with Poppystorm on something. That was like... the seventh sign of the apocalypse.
Luckily he had Brambleleaf to distract him from his outrage. "Believe it or not, luv, the shade and breeze you get up in the treetops is quite refresshing... or it was before our wonderful leader banned us from climbing trees," his tone was light, but it was forced - he might be more upset about the decision than he originally thought. Climbing was in his blood, how dare Squirrelstar try to take that away?
"My second one since actually. How's that for your first gathering as a warrior? All you ever dreamed of?" the tom asked with a hint of sarcasm, but not to be cruel. He actually enjoyed the tortoiseshell's company and didn't want to upset his tentative friend.
basscloud of riverclan accompanied by Murkpaw | gathering
To Basscloud, Murkpaw's name made very little sense. In RiverClan, the water was always clear and glassy but it seemed that the same did not apply to ThunderClan. Maybe that was because of how different the clans were by their territory and the felines who inhabited it.
"That sounds like a good idea, Murkpaw," the grey tabby mewed before flopping on to his side. He then rolled over, making sure he was fully on the ground. His paws were pulled up to his belly as he waited for the apprentice to figure out this new tuft of hair for him. "Let me know if I need to move, okay?"
Well, Morelspots hadn't pushed him away, that was a good start. Fleetfoot couldn't agree more about the gatherings - it would've been fun to confirm with other clans that his rival's breath really did smell like rotten fish. This was the opposite of a fun gathering, though, you could see it in everyone's behavior. The heat was putting everyone on edge, especially with the possibility of battles for territory.
When Morelspots looked at him and told him she was glad that he was there, his pelt went hot with embarrassment. He turned his head away to clean a nonexistent spot of dirt on his chest so she wouldn't see any of his fluster. Morelspots was Fleetfoot's greatest enemy, the goliath to his David, the Paris to his Achilles, the Yankees to his Red Sox - there was no way he was letting her see that she had embarrassed him. Before he could respond, the clan leaders began talking, and he went quiet. He was surprised to hear that ThunderClan had a new leader as well, and despite their rivalry, he brushed his tail over Morelspots' flank when Sparrowtuft told the news of Nettlefrost's death. After the leaders had finished giving their news, he turned back to Morelspots. "If you need a distraction, my offer of helping out with a grand adventure still stands," he murmured, giving her a sort-of-smile.
Badgerpaw puffed his fur up in order to look big, narrowing his eyes at Swiftpaw. Did she really think she could challenge him? She was just some dainty little WindClan cat that probably wouldn't even get her paws wet. "Well my name is Badgerpaw. Like the ones that eat little cats like you in one bite," he boasted, raising his chin proudly. He would've boasted more, if Cloudstar hadn't started the gathering for real.
Once they'd all finished, he looked back at Swiftpaw and laughed. "Your new leader is too weak to even come to his first gathering. How sad is that?" He taunted, confident that he was winning this social interaction for sure.
Sometimes, when Jaegerwing was plagued by the hollow ghosts of insomia, watching shadows pass time across the umber tangle of the Warriors den, he imagined rain. He was standing in the shallows as water rushed past his paws. The stars shone in the water, twinkling and concrete against the churning river. It was raining. Each rain droplet was a star falling towards him; opalescent in the moonlight and disappearing as it breached the water. Slipping into the river was returning home. The water was becoming one again; separate entities becoming entangled such that you could not tell one from the next. Jaegerwing wondered if that was what love was. Entanglement. The tom looks up in his night-day-dream and Salmonwhisker is there. His best friend, sleek and painted purple in the moonlight. Standing upstream. Water splashing against rocks and throwing up a translucent droplet veil framing Salmonwhisker like a halo. Of course Jaegerwing would imagine his best friend with him. He could not imagine anyone else by his side.
The she-cats came, and they went, and they came, and they went, and they were the tide and he was the shore. Except the she-cats never really were, were they; they were flings, flirts. Jaegerwing looked at them too long and imagined them into flowers. He differentiates cats in his mind by their symbolism; though this is implicit, he is not artistic or philosophical enough to do it consciously, unless it is late at night and he is mulling over the excruciating fact that company terrifies him, in crowds he never feels known, and he would rather sit on the banks of the river with Salmonwhisker, or any of his friends, really, though he is pulling teeth to name his friends because does anyone really know him and does anyone really care?, than be surrounded on all sides by pretty she-cats.
At the gathering, Jaegerwing is surrounded on all sides by pretty she-cats and Salmonwhisker is painted purple in the moonlight and all the young tom can do is stare at his friend and remember the comfortable daydream and the rainriver flowing past his paws. Until Rainhead, aptly named and aptly timed, drags him out of it. They were having a conversation around him and Jaegerwing was not following.
“Rainhead!” Jaegerwing greets his clanmate with a classic grin. “You’re looking lovely tonight; really, you look as silver and brilliant as the moon in this light. I’m starstruck.”
The tom, covering for his friend, leans in towards Rainhead. “He’s mentioned you in his past several retellings – why, you’re the starring role. The mud princess, if you will. It’s not a beautiful title, but you make up for it with your character arc and eloquent handling of the messy situation. Frankly, I’m impressed and, and don't tell anyone else this, half-tempted to go get stuck in some mud myself.”
hazeltuft of skyclan accompanied by Minksneeze | gathering
"Oh, sorry! I didn't realize you didn't see or hear me approaching," Hazeltuft apologized abruptly, glancing down at her paws momentarily before leveling her gaze with Minksneeze's. She was quite curious about ShadowClan and how life worked over there. She didn't want to pry too much, so the warrior held off. Illogical and paws full? she wondered, tipping her head to one side. What even happens in ShadowClan so often that they spend their herbs on it?
"That doesn't sound good, Minksneeze, my apologies," she meowed, her paws itching for more information. However, the medicine cat had already switch topics so she followed her lead. "Thank you. I don't know how well he has been doing, but I'm sure it's stressful for Echoflower. I know his mentor, Duskfrost, is just as worried. It... it was terrible."
When the tuxedo she-cat mentioned help, she came to a pause. That sounded like a good idea. Echoflower didn't have an apprentice and with Bravepaw being in such a grave state, help may just be what SkyClan needed. "I'll let Echoflower know. I'm sure she's somewhere around here but I don't know where she went."
"Wow I didn't know hares got that big!" Gullpaw replied, imagining a hare the size of Shellpaw. "But if you can hunt those things I'm sure I'll be a great swimmer! I just gotta...go....in the....water. Yeah. Easy." Bouncing on the tips of his toes, he tried to regain his previous energy, but the mood had already been soured. "I dunno, it's kinda easier to talk to you about it then my clanmates, maybe the other warriors would be the same. Cause like, as a WindClanner you're not expected to be a great swimmer and huge water lover and like, I'm not expected to be a giant hare catcher. I understand the fear!"
Well that was...unexpected. Batstar had expected something to be up with Stagstar, however hearing that he was dead...well that was different. Dawnstar was dead too of course, however Batstar had always been rather indifferent about her. She wasn’t terrible, but she wasn’t someone Batstar wanted to be all buddy buddy with either. Stagstar had been someone that had grudgingly earned her respect, or at least some of it. For some reason she hadn’t expected him to die yet.
Rainstar would make an interesting leader.
Social rules stated that she should congratulate Rainstar and Sparrowtuft on their new ranks, however before she could do anything of the sort, the clans began to mingle with one another once again and as Squirrelstar slinked off, Batstar paused for a moment, glancing down towards Mossynose and Ravenpaw. She should go talk to her deputy and call for her cats to leave, after all she was sure a majority of ShadowClan was ready to leave.
Her clan was far from social with the others.
However perhaps that could wait a few minutes longer.
Turning back around, Batstar followed after Squirrelstar and left her clan to socialize a little longer.
Padded after the SkyClan leader, Batstar waited until they were out of earshot from the others before sitting down, watching as Squirrelstar got out her frustrations. “I’m sure Stagstar died as he lived: stubbornly,” Batstar said with a small flick of her tail. For the most part the old ThunderClan leader had left ShadowClan alone, however from her encounters with him, he seemed like a stubborn tom. “You should take pride in knowing that he might’ve taken your first life, he did not live long enough to take anymore,” she told her firmly.
Squirrelstar outlived him, that was something she would always have.
“If you’re serious about that suggestion, you should prepare before, Rainstar is a new leader, there’s no telling what she’ll do with her clan now that she has it,” Batstar continued, watching Squirrelstar from the corners of her eyes.
She was probably being a little too lax about this, wasn’t she? Perhaps, but at the same time it was no business or hers whether or not SkyClan and ThunderClan went to war.
"No you're fine," she replied after the she-cat's apology. "It sounds awful for everyone involved." She thought about chasing after Echoflower herself, but she knew the other medicine cats would probably be looking for her as well. She could stay with Hazeltuft for a bit longer. "I always thought you SkyClan cats were so brave for climbing at those heights. I must have just assumed falling wasn't going to happen when you live like squirrels... or lived I suppose." She paused, trying and failing to hold her tongue. "Squirrelstar's ban does seem a bit odd though, no? I mean, Bravepaw was an apprentice and not as skilled a climber a some of your older warriors. Surely there are other ways to prevent accidents than just banning climbing altogether?"
Post by little blu ♥ on Aug 3, 2020 0:21:01 GMT -5
Thunderclan // with Startledpaw // at gathering
ϟ ϟ ☁ ϟ ϟ
To distract himself from his internal need to adventure off and get into... well, everything, the apprentice had lifted his single white socked paw and licked at it carelessly. He wasn't going for a full grooming, nothing fancy or elegant, just something to keep himself busy. Cardinalpaw had kind of blanked out the reports, not really being the best at listening - not when he had so much energy to spare anyway. Suffice to say, it startled him quite a bit when a fluffy black furred apprentice loudly complained about who he assumed was the tom's leader - Squirrelstar.
SkyClan cats not being able to climb? The thought was ludicrous to the young ruddy tom, who had only ever heard tales of their neighboring clan's climbing and leaping abilities. They kind of needed to be in trees to pull that off, right? Cardinalpaw had to fight off a snort of agreement with the other feline - what was Squirrelstar thinking? Technically it wasn't his problem but the idea of grounded SkyClan cats was way too bizarre. After all, ground forest hunting was a ThunderClan thing, those tree-climbers didn't stand a chance!
"I get what you mean, I can't even imagine a SkyClan that doesn't climb," Cardinalpaw agreed, shaking his head briefly before turning to face the other tom, so he wouldn't come off as rude. The russet tom was a lot of things, but plain mean wasn't one of them. "I'm Cardinalpaw, from ThunderClan. Which you already knew, duh," he mentally chided himself before rolling his light green eyes at Startledpaw's statement about trying to climb over the border. "I wouldn't mind if you just wanted to climb a tree, but I'm pretty sure others of my clan might take issue with that. My mentor Monarchstorm is a real stickler for rules and can be real stern. If she caught you up in a tree, she'd probably try to climb up there and drag you down," he laughed at the mental image of his fluffy mentor trying to climb up a large oak to reach Startledpaw.
Murkpaw let out an amused meow as Basscloud rolled over. She hadn’t really met anyone like him before, he kind of reminded her of a lion from all the stories she had heard when she was younger, about how brave and fierce the lion could be, and how big a lion could be as well, however they could be gentle and comforting to, a sort of guardian like presence that Murkpaw was really starting to enjoy.
Tilting her head a little, Murkpaw let out another small, thoughtful hum, moving a paw up to play with the fur on his head, moving it up, down, and around until it had been successfully ruffled up. “There!” She declared proudly, stepping back. “I think I did it,” Murkpaw told him with a nod. It wasn’t quite as natural looking as her fur tuft, but a tuft was a tuft and that’s what mattered.
(I just realized I was a big silly. X'D They're both WindClan. //cries This is hilarious. I don't know how to respond. //wheeze// X'D )
Robinpaw snorted. "There's still the fires we keep getting on the more. Could honestly use more water. How do you think RiverClan is handling it." Looking around, the senior apprentice let her nose wrinkle. She wasn't paying so much attention to her statement as she was to the various Clan scents. They were ... overwhelming. "Bet you they're starving. It's not easy when your whole clan rely on fish." She narrowed her eyes. "Bit silly of them if you ask me," she muttered under her breath.
She listened intently nodding her head. "I know very well I need to plan ahead. You seem to forget, dear friend, that's all I do. Plan." A smirk placed itself on her face as she leaned back. She would need to make Rainstar attack first, make the war look like the new leader's idea instead of her own. She might be easier to manipulate than Stagstar, but then again Rainstar was a mystery to her. She should have kept her eyes on her more, learned as much as she could. It was too late now though, she would need to get the dirt now rather than before.
"What did she say before?" She asked, putting her head to the side. She didn't even try to play coy with the calico leader, there was no point. She would know Squirrelstar was digging for information, not asking innocently. One of the upsides of making friends with another clan leader. Not sharing borders made their friendship much easier to handle, they had no qualms with each other, instead they shared mutual a mutual dislike to their bordering clans. She felt some tension relax from her shoulders, tension that had been sitting there since the last gathering. She was always on edge, worrying about everyone around her and what they thought yet here...she had no one to worry about. Batstar could handle herself and even offer her some sound advice.
Brambleleaf of RiverClan | Gathering | Whitefox (little blu ♥)
“Thanks,” Brambleleaf grinned proudly, puffing his chest up at the compliment. “It’s cool we both became warriors at around the same time. Well… not exactly the same time, cause you’re older, but…” he trailed off, not really sure where he’d been going with that thought. “Yeah.” Because that was a dignified way to end his thought. Not for the first time, Brambleleaf wished the Clans could get along for more than just the Gatherings. If he and Whitefox had both been from the same Clan, he had no doubt they would have been friends. Whitefox seemed affectionate, and Brambleleaf – though he didn’t often show it – liked that sort of comfortable closeness. Besides, Whitefox’s flirty mannerisms went way over his head, so it certainly wasn’t an obstacle to friendship. His face fell as he heard Squirrelstar’s announcement. Even if the thought of climbing trees terrified him, he knew it was an integral part of SkyClan life. That couldn’t just… be taken away, could it? He let his tail flick across Whitefox’s flank in an act of comfort and solidarity. “Hey, do you really think any of you will actually stop climbing trees? If Cloudstar told us we couldn’t swim anymore, I can’t imagine anyone would actually listen to her.” He sighed softly, curling his tail around his paws. “It probably won’t last long anyway. Sorry to hear about that apprentice, though.” The way Whitefox described climbing sounded fun. If only it didn’t also involve being high enough off the ground you could get hurt if you fell. “The company’s nice,” he replied honestly after a few moments of silence. “The actual part where the leaders talk is as boring as it was as an apprentice, though,” he purred, amused. He was glad Whitefox had found him. It meant he hadn’t had to sit through the boring part completely alone.
Viperstrike couldn’t help but wonder if she’d said the wrong thing. She was great on the battlefield, played nicely on patrols, but she’d never had any interest in being a queen. She hadn’t really spoken too much with younger cats since she herself had been an apprentice. She didn’t want to mess it up. “You couldn’t get me to swim even if you bribed me with the biggest rabbit on the moors,” she agreed, ears flicking back at the thought. “So I do understand.” She fell silent for a moment, catching what she could of the leaders’ speeches. The weakest Clan there was WindClan, but she was relieved to hear they weren’t the only ones suffering setbacks. “Gullpaw,” she meowed after a long moment, her attention resting squarely on him. “Word to the wise: you could face anyone you meet at a Gathering in battle. Just remember that.” It wasn’t a threat, just a warning. She wasn’t going to take advantage of him not knowing how to swim – she would try to avoid attacking him, if it came to a scuffle between their Clans – but she knew there were cats who wouldn’t do the same thing.
Batstar nodded along as Squirrelstar spoke. Squirrelstar has always been a lot better at planing ahead than Batstar had, that’s not to say that Batstar had never planned something out before, she just usually acted before her brain had the chance to think ahead. It was something she was working on, now that she was leader. “Well then, what is your plan right now?” She asked, watching her friend carefully.
However Batstar paused for a moment when Squirrelstar turned to her.
“Who said what before?” Batstar questioned internally, thinking over the question before it clicked. Squirrelstar must’ve been talking about the quick exchange Batstar had had with Rainstar earlier. There was no one else that Batstar could think of that Squirrelstar wouldn’t have heard speak loud enough to be heard by both of them.
Then again, Batstar had very large ears, she tended to hear a bit better than the average feline.
“She compared you to a kit,” Batstar explained casually. She had no reason to lie to Squirrelstar, after all she was one of Batstar’s oldest friends. “I told her she that age doesn’t equal maturity, she dropped the conversation after that,” she continued with a small shrug of her shoulders. Perhaps the other leader hadn’t enjoyed knowing someone had heard her comment, it was hard to say for sure.
She looked up, as though she was thinking of something. She didn't have much of one at the moment but it was slowly unfolding before her very eyes. "Well, you see, I'm certainly going to make sure I don't start the war. Perhaps I gently nudge the borders, could casually tell her since ThunderClan is doing well I had hoped they would extend some generosity to a clan in need." She hated coming across as desperate, but it might be her best bet. Pushing her boundaries would probably set the leader off the edge, make her want to fight back, reclaim her dignity as leader and come across as a cruel cat not helping the cats who desperately need it. If she decided to not push back, it was also a win though it'd be way less fun for her.
"She called me a kit, did she?" She snorted, rolling her eyes at the idea. "Isn't she moons younger than me? Not just that but if I recall.." Her mind wandered to seeing Rainleaf moons upon moons ago. Ah yes. "Wasn't she expecting kits and also deputy? Not very motherly if you ask me, doesn't seem she knows a thing about kits. Too preoccupied with her own clan to be a mother." She was scathing in her words, honestly she didn't care if she was out fighting while with kits, she just wanted to make a pointed jab at her. She would never be the type to have kits of her own, at least not until she knew the clan was safe while she raised them.
See that was what Batstar was talking about, Squirrelstar already had a plan, and a plan that including provoking a fight rather than starting one head one, which was more than Batstar had ever done. In her few months of being leader, if anyone had crossed a line with her or with her clan, she had fought them over it, and although Batstar didn’t like to brag, she liked to think she had done a good job as well. She may be a small cat, but she could be dangerous if she wanted to be. “I don’t know much about Rainstar, though from my interaction with her earlier she seems more tolerant when others are listening, think it will work?” Batstar inquired with a small tilt of her head.
Squirrelstar continued on, practically seething at this point, however at her comments Batstar did feel inclined to intervene. “Mossynose was still in the nursery with Ravenpaw-“ Ravenkit at the time, ”When I made her my deputy,” she reminded the other leader pointedly. Batstar had no plans of ever having kits of her own, but she held a great deal of respect for those that did. She had watched as Mossynose juggled her duties as deputy and her duties as a mother and in Batstar’s opinion, she had handled it better than Batstar ever would’ve been able to.
She rolled her weight to her other leg, sighing. "Batstar, my dear, if she doesn't take the bait laid out then Skyclan will have more territory anyways. It's a win-win for me and a lose-lose for them. I might not have trees on my own territory to climb but I'm sure the great oak trees on ThunderClan could support our weight. We will easily put them in the dirt no matter what happens. Let's just hope Rainstar comes out with all her lives." She didn't exactly want to take Rainstar's first life, she just wanted the leader to understand her burning hatred for the former.
"Yes, Mossynose didn't just pass her kit along though, did she? Pretty sure I saw Ravenpaw here at the gathering tonight, correct? Doesn't matter. I don't believe I've seen a whisker of her kits, nor has she really brought them up. Doesn't exactly show me a great picture of a mother. I have quite the love for those that can balance it well, seems Rainstar just went fully into her duties neglecting the poor things." She had known Mossynose did this, how could she forget? She took everything her friend told her and kept it filed away neatly in her mind. Unlike what most leader's told her though, she wasn't using it for future blackmail, instead she liked to know what was going on with Batstar.
This was the kind of fire that Batstar had seen from her friend less and less as the moons went by. Perhaps you could consider it maturity, or perhaps the pressure of being a leader. Either way, it was both nice to see that fiery spirit again and a sore reminder just how fiery Squirrelstar could be.
Batstar listened, waiting patiently for Squirrelstar to finish. “Squirrelgaze,” Batstar started, giving the SkyClan leader a pointed look. She didn’t often pull out the warrior name card, especially since it wasn’t her name anymore, however every now and then she thought it necessary to really get Squirrelstar’s attention. “Your qualm was with Stagstar, not with Rainstar, don’t be so quick to judge another leader before you know what they’re like,” she reminded her lightly. Batstar usually wasn’t the cat that others thought of for “wise” advice, however she liked to think she had her moments.
Besides, if she was judged off of so little, Batstar could only imagine the stuff the other leaders - or any cat really - would have to say about her.
Her tail thumped against the ground when she mentioned her warrior name. Batstar had always carried the fire with her into her leadership and when she got serious Squirrelstar was quick to listen. She sighed, rolling her head back once more. "You cannot be the mature one between us Batstar, it's always so off putting when I'm being scolded by you." She laughed, nudging the other leader. "You have a fair point, I will certainly give Stagstar a piece of my mind when I see him in Starclan. Along with Branchstar, you know sometimes I think the past leader had some paw in this drought. Her final last laugh at my expense." She hadn't admitted this to anyone, it sounded crazy but she couldn't help it. Branchstar hated her more than she knew was possible. The feeling was, luckily, mutual.
"Do you sometimes miss being apprentices?" She finally asked, turning into a hushed whisper. The other clans hadn't known about their midnight rendezvous and she didn't plan on them learning now as they were leaders. She had felt nostalgic as of late though, the leadership had taken a toll on her body more than she was willing to say. She wished she could go back to being the loud tempered she-cat she once was, fighting any cat who dare step in her way.
Batstar let out a small, amused purr of laughter, nudging Squirrelstar back. “Hey, I may be a little more ready to fight than you are, but even I have my moments,” she argued, though there was no bitterness in her words. It was true that Batstar was rarely the mature one between them. Or honestly between her and...most cats, it was a wonder how she had made it all the way up to leader. Maybe all that wisdom Marigoldstar had tried to pass down to her was finely beginning work. “You know, earlier, I was thinking that there must be one truly petty cat up there that doesn’t plan on resting until we are all up there with them while our bodies decay into the earth,” Batstar admitted, looking over at Squirrelstar. “Maybe it’s Branchstar.”
Did she honestly think the former SkyClan leader was being this drought? No, not really, however she wouldn’t be surprised if there was someone up there doing this, just to spite the clans. This heat seemed almost unnatural, too hot to be from the earth.
Pausing at Squirrelstar’s question, Batstar perked her large ears.
She stayed quiet for a moment or so, mulling over the other molly’s words before finally, she sighed, flicking her ears back. “Sometimes, things were a lot easier back then,” Batstar admitted, her yellow gaze trailing along the ground. ”I was even more difficult back then than I am now though, and I don’t miss the angst that came with being an apprentice,” she added half jokingly.
A mix between her life being flipped upside down and the fact that she was growing up had made for a fairly angsty Batpaw, even if she missed those days now, she was certain that no one else did, at least not any interactions with her.
"Perhaps she is, hopefully she gains a heart while up there. Do StarClan cats do that? Or do they just continue on the same?" She wondered aloud, did they truly get more wise when they entered the realm of the dead? It seemed unlikely, then again Flykit, who had given her a life, seemed even more wise than herself. It was entirely possible then, right? Or did he just learn more as he stayed up there watching over? An ache entered her heart at the thought of him, she didn't get the chance to see the rest of her siblings while she got her nine lives. She wondered if they looked like her or more of their father's pelt coloring.
"Well I enjoyed every moment. Though you have a point, I was a bit more difficult back then too. It's a wonder how you and the rest of my clan put up with me." She laughed, bringing herself back to the standing position. "You think we should return back before our clans are gossiping like a bunch of elders over the fresh kill pile?" She stretched her legs as she spoke, trying to seem as casual as ever. She had hoped they would have more time but it seemed the sky had other plans. They would need to go back to camp soon. And I will need to approach my own clan head on. Anxiety prickled at her pelt once more, perhaps she could sneak away into her den before the other's could notice. No, I need to be straight forward with them. There's others that have not yet heard the news.
Squirrelstar was right, the other clans would be leaving soon and they should get back to their clans.
So with a small nod, Batstar got back up to her feet and stretched. “You’re right, I’m sure my clan is getting anxious to leave,” she said calmly. ShadowClan had already proven not to enjoy the gatherings as much as most clans did, not that she could blame them for that. “It was nice talking to you again, Squirrelstar, good luck with ThunderClan,” Batstar told her, starting to pad off before pausing, sending her friend a look. “And with your own clan as well.” Judging by the reactions to Squirrelstar’s announcement about the tree climbing, Batstar could only imagine the kind of conversation Squirrelstar would be in for once she returned to her own clan.
Waiting a moment or so longer, Batstar padded back off towards the clearing. “ShadowClan! We’re leaving,” she announced, letting any of her clanmates finish the last bits of their conversations before leading them back towards their own territory.
It would be another moon before they had to come back here.
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