For one fleeting, glorious second, the fox had thought his victory was secured. The she-cat struggled within his grasp, desperate and helpless, and his stomach roared in anticipation. Finally, a worthy meal! Now, to get away from the rest of them...
As soon as his paws tried to move through, one side of his face exploded in pain, and all he could see was crimson. Unable to control himself, his jaws opened as he yelped, pawing at his bloody, torn eye as low whimpers echoed through the air. That little...! What if I'm blinded, how will I hunt then?!
His uninjured eye cracking back open, the tod fox tried to focus on his surroundings but wasn't given the chance to. Another of the little devils - the silver tabby tom - lashed unsheathed claws across his maw, and in a moment of fear, the russet-furred predator backed away towards the edge of the clearing, where grass became forest and shadows waited hungrily for him to fail. Suddenly, his body came into contact with something solid; a tree. Though it wasn't quite as sturdy as trees were known to be. This one creaked and rattled as he bumped against it, the roots beneath his paws making odd squelching sounds in the moist earth. For a moment he froze, scared by this unknown phenomena, but forced himself back into the moment at hand. Cats. Food. Death.
He was growing tired of this game.
Eyes glowing with a new, crazed sort of light, the fox lunged forward with a wild howl, launching off the base of the shaky tree with his hind paws and springing forward towards the nearest cat he could see through his tunnel-eyed view. The silver one, standing in front of the angry female like a vixen would guard her pups. Without hesitation, the fox wrapped his jaws around the cat's foreleg, feeling it wrench unnaturally within his grasp, and lifted the tom-cat into the air, whipping his head side to side with all his might. This usually killed mice in less than a second...he wondered if it might kill a cat as well.The Fox used Thrash, dealing 20 damage and costing 20 stamina. Silentwhisper is stunned for 2 turn(s)
As if summoned by her thoughts, Fernpetal took in a shocked breath as her best friend dashed forward, his puffed-up pelt blocking her from the view of the fox, allowing her to take a few extra seconds to regain her composure before he dashed forward to attack the preoccupied creature. A thrill of pride gushed through her as she watched the brutal animal pawing at its face like a scared kit; its eye was bleeding profusely, and for a moment she wondered if it might be permanently damaged. Not that she felt sympathy for the thing. In fact, the thought brought a purr to her throat, and she watched vigorously as her partner's attacks drove it back towards the forest, crashing into a tree near the edge. Her careful eyes though noticed something odd, and the fox had seemed to notice as well; the tree was unstable. Very
unstable. Even from her view at the other end of the clearing, she could see how it shook like moorland grass in the breeze, and how the earth around it shifted like muddy water as the roots tried their best to keep it grounded. This wasn't the only tree like this on SkyClan land; the flood had made the ground much too moist and malleable, and the clan had been keeping careful track of which trees were safe and which were not. They had not found this one yet, it seemed. For a moment, a thrill of panic ran through her veins, and thus when Mintwhisker rushed up beside her and tried to smack some cobwebs onto her wounds (something she would've once taken as an insult) Fernpetal jumped and shifted away from her 'sister', not out of anger, but out of urgency. Bending her head close to her murky-eyed sibling, Fernpetal's voice came out as a growl tinged with such deep, unprecedented fear that she barely recognized herself. "Mintwhisker, listen to me. You. need. to. run! That tree over there could fall any second, and I'm not going to be the one to have to explain why our two medicine cats aren't coming back to camp. SkyClan needs you...we'll hold off the fox and meet you back at camp, alright? Now go!"
Suddenly, a vicious growl rang out through the air, and Fernpetal turned, heart pounding, to see the fox lunge towards Silentwhisper, who had fallen back to stand in front of her yet again. As sharp, blood-stained teeth gripped his leg, Fernpetal felt her entire body vibrate with furious electricity, murky-green eyes so wide the whites were visible against her brown tabby fur. Without thinking, her paws moved before she had time to realize what exactly she was doing, and her voice rose up in a wild screech, similar to that of the fox's in fury and desperation. "No...YOU CAN'T HAVE HIM!"
Battle training from so many moons ago flashing through her head, she tried to remember in her panicked mind what move would save her friend, which move would make sure he lived, what move...yes!
Streaking off around the fox, trying not to lash it's side as she heard what must've been Silentwhisper's pained screams, she leaped forward and gabbed it's lashing, skinny tail in her jaws, and yanked as hard as she possibly could. She knew that her body weight compared to the fox's was laughable, but it was the only thing she could think of... To her immense relief, it seemed that the fox was weaker than she thought, for with one pull she heard the beast yowl and tumble to the ground, likely dropping her best friend in the process. With a victorious laugh, the she-cat dashed around the russet body, whimpering as it tried to find it's footing, and saw Silentwhisper on the ground, still stunned as well. His leg was bleeding, at the very least, and with a sharp intake of breath, she rushed forward, crouching down beside him and giving his cheek a soft lick, eyes sparkling encouragingly.
But then...an ominous crack rang through the air, followed by a strange sucking sound.
Whipping her head around, Fernpetal looked past the fox and realized that her worst fears had become reality. The tree, a once strong and healthy elm, was creaking eerily as it's roots finally let go of their hold, and it began to slowly fall down towards the clearing, dead leaves and twigs raining down on the cats and fox alike. Heart screeching for her to run, to save herself, Fernpetal ignored the wince of her injured shoulders as she grabbed Silentwhisper's scruff, half running half stumbling under his weight as she tried desperately to drag him someplace safe, someplace out of the way of the collapsing trunk and branches. Her mind though was in a state of pure panic, fears, and terror springing from every possible option she considered until she was forced to run straight ahead, slowly, agonizingly, and fully aware that they would not make it in time. The tree's shadow loomed overhead, growing darker and darker until she was forced to look back. It seemed that the other nearby tree branches were slowing it's decent, but not for long. It was falling...straight towards them, and there was nothing around to protect them. At that moment, Fernpetal almost regretted sending away the medicine cats, but it was too late to agonize over past choices. Breath coming in gasps, the she-cat shakingly let go of Silentwhisper's scruff and gazed down at him, tears forming in her beautiful murky eyes. They had known each other for so long...she remembered their apprentice days, training together, going to the Moonstone together...he had been the only thing to make that awful day bearable. His kindness, understanding, and encouragement had always been there, even though she had often taken it for granted. She remembered how she had poured out her worries and anger to him, and how he had accepted her like it was nothing. Their time together on the lakeshore, those quiet nights spent curled up together, her heart finally content. It was a feeling she had hardly known in her life and had only ever felt in dreams, like it or not. It made her chest tense up and her head swim with joy, her paws numb with excitement, and heart full to bursting. As this realization swept over her, Fernpetal broke; chocked with sobs, she collapsed beside him and pressed her muzzle against his, almost too distraught for words. At the last possible moment though, in a whisper only he would ever hear as the tree broke into freefall down towards the ground, Fernpetal spoke.
"I-I love you..."
With the sickening scratch of branches against the earth and a final scream from the fox, the elm tree crashed to the ground, crushing bramble bushes and ferns under its weight until, finally, everything was silent.
The battle was over.
Fernpetal used Tail Yank, dealing 5 damage and costing 10 stamina. The Fox is Stunned for 1 turn.
120/160 SP (-10)
The battle was inturruped.
The Fox, Fernpetal, and Silentwhisper can never fight again.