Warrior Clan Cats

The future's in your paws. Shape it well.

Roleplay in a cat Clan of warriors. Based off the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. Takes place in an AU before the cats in the books existed.
 
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The Clans, having faced their various opponents and challenges, fight to maintain the normal lives they have built. What struggles await them as the creeping fingers of leaf-bare grip the forest?
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 The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo]

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sumashira
Former Staff
Former Staff
sumashira

Characters : [B]arleytuft | [C]lovertwist | [D]acedream | [E]ggkit
Female
Cancer Pig
Number of posts : 1929
Age : 24
Clan/Rank : [B] WC W[5] | [C] WC W[3] | [D] TC W[2] | [E] SkC Unborn

The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo] Empty
PostSubject: The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo]   The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo] Icon_minitimeSun Jan 12, 2020 8:05 pm

The walk through the brush towards SkyClan's camp was long and uncomfortable, silent save for the sound of the crunching of snow underpaw, the sound of the leaf-bare birds, and the gentle, inconsistent tinkling of the charms on a kittypet collar. Marmalade moved as quietly as she could beside the tall, sleek but strong-muscled frame of Spottedstar, leader of SkyClan. She felt her golden tabby fur radiate with an unusual warmth every time his own pale cream coat mingled with hers; however, her thoughts were elsewhere - to the clearing where she had made the strangest, most startling, and most difficult choice of her life. Spottedstar’s desperate plea rang out in the clearing, his voice soft but impassioned. His argument was everything Marmalade could have wanted to hear:

"Some things can't be fixed, and nothing can be undone. We should try to be better than we used to be. I can't do it alone, though, I've tried and I'm a mess. I need you, Amberdawn. I've needed you from the start. You don't have to run away! You can come back to SkyClan! You can be medicine cat again, or warrior, or elder. Anything. Or nothing. You can just come back and not be anything if you don't want to. . . . Or don't come back. Stay a kittypet and stick around. Just don't leave me again."

She was helpless to his request. While she had known that it could be dangerous to return to SkyClan’s land and risk a farewell, the risk she encountered was not any of the ones she had anticipated. Marmalade had recognized the hint of emotion that she felt about Spottedstar when she had first heard Mossbloom share the state of SkyClan shortly after Marmalade had fled from it. It wasn’t until now, standing before him and receiving such a heartfelt welcome only to turn it into a heartbreaking betrayal of a farewell, that she understood: she loved him. Staying a kittypet in the forest was not a choice; the twolegs she and Arno had settled with were leaving. She would not risk ending up in the clutches of twolegs like Mossbloom’s kithood home, and she suspected StarClan wouldn’t guide her paws towards a second good home.

And Arno… perhaps that was an even deeper betrayal. A harder goodbye  Marmalade had demanded he stay alive, refused to let him move on to whatever life or death he desired; she had forced him to reside near the twoleg nest, and, somehow, she had convinced him to take the leap of staying with the twolegs and joining them, and her, on the next step of their journey. The two wayward SkyClan cats had found each other and bonded to each other and helped each other to recover from their old wounds, but that journey wasn’t over. It was… devastating to abandon it now, but Marmalade’s heart had pulled her on a path she never expected. Arno had been shocked. Flabbergasted. He had tried for a moment to argue, but when he realized it was fruitless, he took his leave. Was he returning to the twolegs? She hoped so, but she couldn’t dare beg that of him now.

Marmalade -- no, Amberdawn was returning to SkyClan.

The overwhelming scent of the approaching camp made Amberdawn let out a soft mrrp of apprehension. At her side, she felt Spottedstar press closer, his strong frame supporting hers and offering her warmth and strength. She turned her dark amber eyes aside to look at him. He wasn’t looking at her, though; his golden eyes were focused forward, to the well-trodden path that signified the entrance to camp. Amberdawn swallowed, trying not to feel self-conscious about the jingling of her twoleg collar as they walked in. The former-medicine cat-turned-kittypet-turned-hopeless-romantic felt her heart fluttering like a trapped bird in her chest, and when she stepped into SkyClan’s camp, for a moment she was breathless, speechless, senseless. She stood with her mouth gaping, watching as cats - familiar and unfamiliar - appeared.

Those that knew Amberdawn gasped with shock or relief. Immediately the whispers began. She smelled strongly of the twolegplace and of kittypet food; her golden tabby pelt was sleek and glossy, and she was the best fed she’d ever been in her life. Still, she was a creature of moderation, and she’d done her best to stay active and not to overfeed. It was clear, however, that she was in better shape than most of SkyClan in this leaf-bare time. They would notice that even if she hadn’t neglected to remove her very obvious collar. She walked nervously at Spottedstar’s side as he guided them towards the Clan’s meeting place.

When they reached the base, the tom risked a glance at her at last. Seeing his expression, full of uncertainty but also deep, turmoiled love, she understood why he hadn’t looked at her before. Everyone would know. Wordlessly she nodded, and he turned to leap up into the tree, calling out, "Let all cats old enough to climb trees gather beneath the Tallbranch for a clan meeting!" His voice was husky with emotion. Amberdawn bit her lip slightly and turned from him to face the gathering Clan, trying to bury the nerves in her stomach. It was nigh impossible as she watched SkyClan - her Clan - weave together, looking at her with shock. She recognized many: from the medicine cats den came Sagelight; from the warriors den came Sunflower and Firflower; from the apprentices den came Amberdawn’s late friend’s daughter, Basilpaw, and her childhood friend Swanpaw; from the elders den came Tinylegs, and Amberdawn resisted meeting his gaze yet.

The Clan gathered slowly, and Amberdawn sat nervously under the scrutinizing stares. The cool, curious gaze of a dark-coated she-cat caught her attention. Amberdawn looked up, and for a moment their eyes met. The former medicine cat blinked, and then the stone sank in her stomach. This was Murkpelt. She knew without a doubt. This was Spottedstar’s mate. This… was the cat who Amberdawn had inadvertently replaced in the SkyClan leader’s heart. No - perhaps it was presumptuous to think things like that. Yet as the SkyClan warrior’s eyes narrowed and slowly shifted up to watch Spottedstar carefully, the former kittypet knew that was exactly what she’d done.

In the Tallbranch above, the SkyClan leader cleared his throat. The whispering of the Clan barely quieted. ”Cats of SkyClan,” Spottedstar called, ”I have news, and I’m sure you all can see: Amberdawn, once our medicine cat underneath Mintwhisker, has returned to the forest.” The murmurs rose in volume. One cat asked where she had been. Spottedstar didn’t glance towards the golden she-cat sitting with her kittypet collar at the base of the tree. ”She was held in twolegplace, where she has since learned the dangers we’ve endured and chosen to return to care for her Clan. She has come home, and I expect you to welcome her.”

Sagelight was the first to speak up, making his way to the front of the crowd to join her. "Amberdawn! I can’t believe it’s you," the SkyClan medicine cat purred, stopping just before her and pushing his muzzle out towards her. With only a little apprehension, but mostly relief, Amberdawn leaned forward to greet him, brushing her face against his and letting out a sigh. He stepped back, and he asked, ”Is she going to be a medicine cat again with me?”

Amberdawn blinked, startled, and turned to look anxiously up at Spottedstar. ”Well… I’m, um… not s-sure... ” Spottedstar still wouldn’t meet her gaze. The pale tom took in a breath and answered to all the Clan, ”Amberdawn will be doing duties around camp such as caring for the elders and queens, clearing nests, gathering moss, and assisting Sagelight in the medicine den. At the half-moon, she and Sagelight will travel to the Moonstone to speak with StarClan and ask for guidance in her path.”

"Why did you leave?" a weary, familiar voice asked pointedly, and as a few other cats voiced their confusion as well Amberdawn pulled in a soft, shaking breath and turned to meet the speaker's gaze. Tinylegs, her grandfather - the tom whose life was taken because she had testified against him. He was a leader and he had lives to spare, but she never wanted that for him. The short-legged elder's blue eyes were more sunken than Amberdawn remembered, but it was fitting given that he had retired and had the remainder of his lives stripped away. The pale scar that trailed across his throat could have broken her.

Amberdawn blinked and glanced around. Other SkyClan cats were staring intently, waiting for an answer to the white tom-cat's questions. She looked nervously back at him, preparing to answer. Before she could, however, Spottedstar's voice cut in and spoke over the clearing.

"I'm sure we all have questions for her, but let's for the moment just appreciate that she's here," the SkyClan leader interrupted, his gaze sweeping out over the gathered cats. "Let's let her settle in just a little before we start bombarding her with questions. Alright?" The tabby tom's slender tail lashed with faint annoyance from where he sat perched on the Tallbranch. He still couldn't look at Amberdawn - not yet. Though the murmuring hadn't subsided completely, Tinylegs had dipped his head in begrudging acceptance and those waiting for an answer were forced to settle into discontented shuffling.

Spottedstar glanced over his Clan once more before declaring, "This Clan meeting is over." The lean tom was then bounding down, the powerful muscles in his legs flexing as he landed on the earth just beside Amberdawn. She felt herself stiffen slightly at his nearness, but he still didn't look at her yet. He padded forward, saying over his shoulder to her as she began to hesitantly follow, "Come with me, Amberdawn, we will make you a nest in the medicine den for now. Sagelight - can you, uh, give us a few moments so I can speak to our returned Clanmate privately?"

The squint-eyed medicine cat blinked and nodded, replying, ”Of course. I'll just be out here, then. Call for me if you need anything - loudly, if you don't mind.” His expression held confusion and questions, but he seemed receptive nonetheless.

As Spottedstar and Amberdawn moved through the slowly dispersing, mumbling crowd, the dark she-cat at the forefront of the clearing appeared at Spottedstar's side, touching her side to his. Amberdawn saw how his fur twitched awkwardly at her touch. "Spottedstar, dear, welcome home. You've been out all day," the she-cat observed, her cool yellow-green eyes examining the former medicine cat who had rejoined their ranks for only a moment before turning back to her mate. "You look exhausted. I'm certain that Wolfcall would be happy to speak with… Amberdawn about how she has returned home."

Spottedstar shrugged her off ever so gently, hiding his face as he answered more firmly than he intended, "It's my responsibility as leader. I'll take care of her." Caught off guard and confused, Murkpelt hesitated before stopping and nodding her head in acceptance. Amberdawn anxiously moved around and past her, feeling too nervous to meet the queen's gaze as it followed her pelt intently into the familiar shelter of the medicine den. Spottedstar and Amberdawn disappeared together with the Clan glancing and murmuring at their backs.

She had returned home, but whether or not home would welcome her was yet to be seen.


Last edited by sumashira on Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
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sumashira
Former Staff
Former Staff
sumashira

Characters : [B]arleytuft | [C]lovertwist | [D]acedream | [E]ggkit
Female
Cancer Pig
Number of posts : 1929
Age : 24
Clan/Rank : [B] WC W[5] | [C] WC W[3] | [D] TC W[2] | [E] SkC Unborn

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PostSubject: Re: The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo]   The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo] Icon_minitimeSun Jan 12, 2020 8:06 pm

A quarter moon had passed since Amberdawn had shed her kittypet name and collar. She still had her ruffled, sky-colored momento with its glinting charms tucked beneath her temporary nest in the medicine den, but she had removed it from her neck before the first morning came. Late at night when she shivered with cold in her nest, she sometimes uncovered it to look at it mournfully, wondering uneasily if what she had gained was worth what she'd given up. She was constantly cold now. She had already begun to feel hunger again, and it surprised her that she had forgotten what it felt like. She had never worked much on honing her hunting skills so much as her herb skills in twolegplace, and she knew her training there had slipped into disuse.

Few of her Clanmates would trust her out hunting now, even if she did think she had any of her skills; she could feel the way most of them watched her. Sagelight and Basilpaw were quick enough to welcome her back, thankfully. The SkyClan medicine cat was plenty happy for the help, and, whether StarClan intended for her to continue being a medicine cat or not, Amberdawn certainly enjoyed doing the work. It was something she was good at. It also kept her out of the prying eyes of her Clanmates whose questioned she just… couldn't answer. If she wasn’t in the den with Sagelight, she was caring for the elders or the queens and their kits, or helping the apprentices with their duties. It was the least she could do as they waited for the half-moon.

Whenever Amberdawn wondered if maybe it wasn't too late to run back to Sue and Sharon, Spottedstar always found an opportunity to slip away and assuage her fears. She would be working alone in a den collecting old nests and placing new ones when Spottedstar would come in and gently brush against her. When they knew they had the time and privacy, they would lean their faces into each other's necks and speak words of reassurance and faithfulness into each other's ears. The pale tabby tom would run his tail along her flank as she helped Sagelight to sort herbs in the medicine den, the medicine cat too focused on his herbs to see their intimate caresses - so far as they were aware.

The SkyClan leader began to make more opportunities to be around her. He would volunteer to go on herb or moss gathering patrols with her or make excuses to take her out on the territory to show her something that had changed in her absence. Amberdawn began to feel more comfortable with him, yet even as she did so her apprehension grew. Spottedstar's mate, Murkpelt, still didn't know the truth: that he had begged Amberdawn to stay because he desired and needed her, and that she had stayed because she desired and needed him, too. He still shared a nest with his mate.

Amberdawn didn't know how to bring it up, but as the quarter-moon glimmered in the sky above SkyClan's camp, she knew she needed to come up with something. She had returned to be with Spottedstar, and she had to know that he was going to be with her. She had given up safety, comfort - a chance to flee the guilt of what she had allowed to happen to SkyClan. Now she stewed in it all in the hopes of being the one to keep Spottedstar's nest warm, the one to gently groom him to sleep and to be the first to see his beautiful golden eyes in the morning and to smooth the bristling of his ginger pelt whenever he had to endure a Clanmate's bickering. She wanted to be the one supporting him… yet knowing it meant asking Spottedstar to spurn Murkpelt, she couldn't bear to even find the words.

The sight of a pale tabby pelt emerging from the leader's den across the clearing in the dull light of the night caught Amberdawn's gaze. She raised her head, trying to focus through the sound of Sagelight's gentle snoring at the back of the den. Amberdawn recognized her lover immediately and sat up slightly in her nest, her eyes widening to watch his purposeful approach. Spottedstar glanced furtively from side to side as he moved across the clearing before he slipped into the darkness of the medicine den, his golden eyes glinting.

"I couldn't sleep without you again," the tabby said in a soft, passionate whisper, moving to Amberdawn's side and curling swiftly into her nest around her.

Half alarmed, Amberdawn protested, "Spot, we can't share a nest here - your brother will see." She didn't move away from the warmth radiating from his pelt.

His eyes looked pleadingly into hers. "He's asleep, and you know his hearing isn't as clear as ours. We can whisper," Spottedstar reasoned, though both cats felt a little more acutely aware of his presence at the shady rationalization. Spottedstar moved closer, his belly fur tangling against the pelt on Amberdawn's back. Hesitantly, she leaned in. Spottedstar settled his chin against the base of her neck, licking at the fur on her spine. It tingled comfortably. In a pleasant sigh, Spottedstar promised, "Sagelight and Murkpelt won't even know I wasn't in my den. I'll go out for a hunt at dawn."

Amberdawn nodded, feeling lulled into an unfamiliar, intoxicating comfort with each stroke of his tongue. She wanted more than just a piece of the night; she didn't want him to have to prowl back and forth between his nest and hers, but she understood his hesitation. Murkpelt didn't deserve to be hurt. Amberdawn felt her eyes flutter shut, and she murmured dreamily, "I want this, Spottedstar… I want us."

As she drifted to sleep, his tongue rasped her ear and he simply answered, "Me too. We'll figure it out."

When she awakened briefly at dawn, he was gone. The only sign that he was ever there was the scent that permeated her pelt and intoxicated her back into a peaceful sleep. She curled up tight, purring with the hope of that future to come.
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sumashira
Former Staff
Former Staff
sumashira

Characters : [B]arleytuft | [C]lovertwist | [D]acedream | [E]ggkit
Female
Cancer Pig
Number of posts : 1929
Age : 24
Clan/Rank : [B] WC W[5] | [C] WC W[3] | [D] TC W[2] | [E] SkC Unborn

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PostSubject: Re: The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo]   The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo] Icon_minitimeSun Jan 12, 2020 8:09 pm

When Amberdawn left the den at last just before sun-high, she couldn't resist scanning the camp with her dark amber eyes to see if Spottedstar had returned. If he had, she couldn't see him. The fresh-kill pile was full, however, or as full as it could be in leaf-bare. Her kin Sunflower stood near it as if trying to decide for sure whether he wanted to approach it or not. Amberdawn took in a breath before making her way towards him, casting out a cautiously friendly smile.

"Hi, Sunflower," the golden tabby greeted sheepishly. She had nearly forgotten how skittish he could be after being around the bold and brash Arno for so long. The large-eared, awkward white tom jolted, and then his amber eyes settled nervously on hers.

Sunflower honked out, "Er-Erm, hi, Amberdawn." He immediately fell silent again, glancing at his lanky, awkward legs.

Amberdawn hadn't ever been particularly put off by his quiet nature, but she suspected there was more to his hesitation than timidity now. Still, she asked, "I wanted to get something from the fresh-kill pile, but I'm not sure I have too much of an appetite; would you like to share something with me?" The white tom nodded once, uncomfortably, and Amberdawn tried to give him a confident grin. "Any preference?" He shook his head, and so the golden tabby nodded again. "Alright, I'll just see what's there."

She turned and padded the few tail-lengths to the fresh-kill pile and bent down to inspect it.

Almost immediately a shadow fell over Amberdawn. "Tell me, Amberdawn, is it your intention to share prey and nests with every tom cat in SkyClan, or just Spottedstar?"

The short distance away, Sunflower immediately grimaced, tail bushing out uncomfortably, and he began to edge backwards. Amberdawn sat up, her dark amber eyes sparking with alarm and disdain at such a distastefully brazen accusation. When the golden tabby's eyes landed on Murkpelt, the slender SkyClan warrior who had borne Spottedstar's kits, she felt some of her indignation immediately melt into shock. However, Amberdawn simply replied, "I don't know what you're talking about. I would share prey with any of my Clanmates, and the only nest I'm interested in is my own."

"Yes, I suppose that would be true, since Spottedstar seems happy to join you in yours now," Murkpelt answered in a stony voice, her pale green eyes glittering as she stared challengingly into Amberdawn's eyes, daring her to argue.

Amberdawn's tail lashed, and she answered with an angry and anxious voice, "I'm sorry, Murkpelt, but I really don't think we need to talk about this here. Can we go somewhere quieter?"

Murkpelt growled now and asked coldly, "Where would you like to go, hm? Your twoleg nest? Or no, how about my mate's nest? I bet you'd feel right at home then." The muscular SkyClan warrior took a challenging step forward, demanding, "Why did you come back, Amberdawn? Don't tell me some bird-dung about missing your herbs or the call of StarClan, do you understand? You didn't leave your cushy nest in the middle of leaf-bare just to rummage through leaves and chew poultice all day. I want the truth. Why did you come back?"

The former medicine cat's fur was bristling now. All around, Clanmates had started together, watching with varying degrees of interest and a range of emotions. Swansong, named since Amberdawn's return, looked horrified. They hadn't made amends since the runaway had returned home. Sunflower, still horrified, had fled to his father Tinylegs' side and was aghast at the confrontation unfolding. The elder watched the scene with narrowed eyes, his dark-ringed tail lashing. SkyClan watched with growing anxiety.

"I came back because I owed SkyClan an apology," Amberdawn stated hotly, a sense of foreboding growing over her as she tried to stare evenly back into Murkpelt's flint-chip eyes. "When I found Spottedstar to tell him that I was leaving for good, he wanted to know why. I told him: I betrayed SkyClan. I let it down. I wasn't willing to do that to them again."

"Oh really?" Murkpelt asked with a cold, harsh laugh. "So then why are you here?"

Amberdawn scowled and answered, "Spottedstar said that I was wrong. I may have let SkyClan down but I would only do worse to abandon it again. He told me I could still help SkyClan. He asked me to come back."

Murkpelt's eyes glinted, and Amberdawn knew then that she had been thrown onto thin ice over a dark, raging river. "Did he, now?" Murkpelt hissed. Then, more softly, eyes glinting dangerously, she added, "No. I'm sure he did. He always had a soft spot for you, and I never wanted to see it."

Amberdawn's gold ears flattened, and she leaned away. "Murkpelt, I swear, I never intended for anything to happen - nothing is happening between me and Spottedstar."

The black she-cat spat, "Liar! If nothing is happening between you and Spottedstar then why do you reek of his scent? And how about your nest, hm? You think any cat couldn't smell you two together right when they walked in?" A short distance away Sagelight, who had emerged from the medicine cats den, shifted uncomfortably, looking down at his paws. Had he noticed too? "And why are you two always on patrol alone together? Hm? You're out of excuses - both of you." Murkpelt surged forward like an adder, crying, "I will not be shuffled from my own nest by some treasonous fox-hearted kittypet!"

Amberdawn was too late to scramble back or do anything more than let out a shriek of alarm and rage as the seasoned warrior slammed her full weight behind outstretched claws into her golden chest. It was like being thrown by the flood; immediately the breath was knocked from Amberdawn's lungs as Murkpelt threw her into the ground. The warrior ripped her claws up mercilessly, tearing tufts of cream-and-gold out as Amberdawn cried out in pain, feeling blood well up on her skin.

Fighting had never come naturally to her. There were many reasons that Amberdawn had become a medicine cat; the first and foremost was that StarClan had called her to that path, but furthermore she had been an abysmal fighter even as a kit. Perhaps she could have learned, but in truth even the thought of willingly causing harm to another cat was disturbing to Amberdawn. As Murkpelt bent down to bite hard into the thick fur around the helpless she-cat's neck, all that Amberdawn could think was, How am I going to explain this to Spot?

Murkpelt jerked away, tearing out another clump of hair as Amberdawn writhed beneath her, shrieking in pain and protest. Her flailing paws, untrained, were useless, slapping feebly against hardened muscle. The surrounding SkyClan cats were aghast, motionless with shock and an uncertainty of how to proceed - who to defend. Who was right? Could they fault Murkpelt for picking a fight with a cat who had abandoned SkyClan and then returned to take a place as the leader's mate? Some cried out in protest or called for the fight to stop, Sagelight and Swansong among them, but the former medicine cat could feel the rage unyielding behind her assailant's blows. As Murkpelt bit Amberdawn's neck again she felt the danger of the situation grip her. She didn't want to fight Murkpelt, and yet… yet...

Murkpelt could kill her. "Get off of me! Please!" Amberdawn shrieked, and at last one of her hind paws found purchase. The medicine cat thrust upward, feeling a spurt of warm blood on her belly as she hit her mark. For a moment the weight on top of her chest was lessened. The sound of Murkpelt's pained screech only sickened Amberdawn, even though it did buy her a moment of reprieve as Murkpelt struggled to regain her grip and her breath. "Help!" the medicine cat wailed. Did no one want to defend her?

… Had she really been so blind, so naive, to believe that she could fix what she'd done? That her Clanmates didn't hate her completely for abandoning them?

"Shut up!" Murkpelt howled, blinded by fury. She raised one black razor-tipped paw and in a flash slammed it hard across Amberdawn's face. The former medicine cat's jaw slammed shut on her tongue, and she felt her muzzle and nose stinging with fresh cuts and welling blood. She flinched, and Murkpelt, perfectly poised, lashed out with her other paw, cuffing Amberdawn hard over the ear. She could practically hear the tear of delicate flesh. "You're a fox-heart! You're going to ruin my Clan!" Murkpelt swore.

Amberdawn could only think to try to roll to her paws - to gain her footing enough to run away, to flee from the battle and the camp and even the territory if that was what it could take to survive. As soon as the raging she-cat realized what she was doing, however, it was as if Amberdawn was playing right into her paws. Like a spider turning its prey in the web, Murkpelt let Amberdawn twist to her belly and then pinned her down once again, hind paws now thumping forcefully and digging hard into the golden tabby's back. The former medicine cat could see black flecks looking at the edges of her vision, pain compounding with each new attack. StarClan, no, was Spottedstar's mate going to kill her?

Then in the blink of an eye Murkpelt was gone.

Amberdawn didn't remember scrambling to her paws, but the next thing she knew she was standing, swaying, gaping with shock and horror at what she saw. Spottedstar had appeared seemingly from nowhere, and the tom's powerful muscles rippled as he grappled with his mate, holding her back from lunging at Amberdawn again. To her surprise and relief, Sagelight was now at her side supporting her with his shoulder, his eyes wide as moons on his pale face as they watched. With a snarl of fury, Spottedstar flung Murkpelt to the ground and loomed over her.

"What in StarClan's name is going on?!" he barked with a voice of shock and fury. It didn't take much investigation to see that whatever had prompted the fight, it had been unfair; Murkpelt was barely ruffled, sporting one wound whose bleeding was already sealing itself off, while Amberdawn bore bright, glistening red trails all down her back and shoulders and across her face and belly. She was panting hard, shaking.

Murkpelt's green eyes were glinting with venom as she glowered up at her leader. "She is not a warrior of SkyClan! She isn't a warrior at all! She can't defend herself, how will she possibly defend our Clan?!"

Spottedstar's eyes were flashing as he snarled, "I'm sorry, where in the warrior code does it tell us we have to be able to defend our Clan from our own Clanmates?"

"You aren't even going to assign her to warrior duties, are you, Spottedstar?" the dark-furred she-cat spat accusingly at him from the ground. Her eyes were full of fury. "No. No, I know you, you would be happy to just let her prance around doing whatever thing her sweet, honorable little heart desires, and she would be happy to take my place in your nest!" Murkpelt shoved Spottedstar away with a foreleg, and though he staggered back, he didn't move forward to try to pin her again.

He growled, "She’s more honorable than you - look at what you did to her. All Amberdawn has done since she returned home is help! She’s not just here for me, she’s here for SkyClan!"

Murkpelt rose to her paws with stubborn dignity, staring daggers at her leader as she stood. "Well fine. Let her take my place. At least I know how to be loyal. Maybe you two can figure that out together." With that, the dishonored and heartbroken she-cat whipped around, skulking towards the camp entrance. Bristling and seething, Spottedstar watched her leave, but he still made no move to stop her; the audience of SkyClan cats parted, faces displaying shock and concern, to let her through. The dark warrior disappeared into the underbrush and out into the territory.

Amberdawn stared wordlessly at her lover as he stood panting, looking with a dark expression at the place where the mother of his kits had gone away. Oh, StarClan, what had they done? What… What had she done? How could she have been so naive? She had just caused a terrifying rift to form in the leadership of her Clan by choosing to return with a cat she loved - a cat who was already promised to another. Horror clutched at her belly; she felt the darkness prickle at the edge of her vision again.

At her side, Sagelight shifted uncomfortably as he moved to support her extra weight.. ”Amberdawn, w-we should get you into a nest in the medicine den,” the medicine cat suggested nervously, eyeing the wounds that criss-crossed her back and the flickering of her eyes.

The golden tabby looked nervously at Spottedstar. ”Spot, I… I’m…”

The SkyClan leader said shortly to his brother, ”She needs treatment. Please get her into the den, Sagelight.”

The tom blinked his deep blue eyes, startled, and answered, ”Okay, Spottedstar. Right away.” Sagelight leaned into the crestfallen she-cat who stared tearfully at her leader. He gently ushered her sideways. ”Amberdawn - please. You’re in shock. Let’s go lay down - you’ll feel better in no time.”

The former kittypet blinked slowly and then nodded, staring helplessly at Spottedstar as she took one step back, and then another, before peeling her gaze away and turning towards the medicine den. The sight of all of her Clanmates staring at her in varying degrees of pity and disgust hurt nearly as bad as her wounds which dripped scarlet droplets into the battered snow in the camp clearing. She had never felt so wretched before. Her grandfather’s face was furrowed with disappointment, and in his eyes the heartbreak was clear. She looked pitifully at the ground, yet she could feel the pity in Swansong’s face and the bewilderment in Sunflower’s.

She disappeared into the medicine den with Sagelight close behind, wondering sorrowfully how much more damage she would cause simply by following her heart. Would Spottedstar regret asking her to come? Would he make her leave, if it came to that?


Last edited by sumashira on Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sumashira
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sumashira

Characters : [B]arleytuft | [C]lovertwist | [D]acedream | [E]ggkit
Female
Cancer Pig
Number of posts : 1929
Age : 24
Clan/Rank : [B] WC W[5] | [C] WC W[3] | [D] TC W[2] | [E] SkC Unborn

The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo] Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo]   The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo] Icon_minitimeSun Jan 12, 2020 8:10 pm

The den was dark when Amberdawn was roused by the soft, warm, and rhythmic lapping of a tongue on her forehead. Her mind was swimming; she was dizzy with herbs and pain. She had never been in a fight before - never been attacked like this. It was excruciating. She had more sympathy for all the cats whose injuries she’d treated over the moons, yet her own stung with guilt and self-pity. A familiar scent wreathed around her nose, and Amberdawn’s glassy amber eyes fluttered open. ”Spottedstar?” she asked, her voice hoarse.

”Shh. I’m here, Amberdawn. Please, just… just rest. I’ll fetch you some water.” His voice was a mesmerizing, rumbling whisper. The golden tabby eased back into a restless sleep.

It was still dark when she was reawakened a short time later by the sound of approaching pawsteps. Her eyes opened to land upon the pale shadow of Spottedstar. He stooped before her, setting a bundle of sopping moss down just outside of her nest. The golden tabby leaned forward gratefully, relieved to have her thirst quenched. As she drank, Spottedstar moved to her side, sitting with his fur brushing hers. ”Amberdawn, I… I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that Murkpelt attacked you. Never in my wildest dreams did I think she would do that, she-she’s always been so… patient. So patient. I was so selfish when you came to tell me goodbye. I never should have asked you to come back.”

Those words felt like another set of claws in her heart, and the golden tabby flinched slightly. Her ears flattened, straining at the wounds Murkpelt had inflicted on her ear, and she glanced up at Spottedstar with a hurt, searching expression. He turned his head to glance at her, and his eyes widened as he realized the implication.

”No, I-I didn’t mean that. That wasn’t what I meant to say. I want you here, Amberdawn, more than anything, I just… I didn’t realize what you would have to go through,” Spottedstar admitted, looking pleadingly into her eyes. ”I never wanted you to get hurt.”

Amberdawn felt her lip tremble as she pulled away from the moss, licking the precious water from her muzzle and whiskers. She felt better in that regard, but in every other one… She let out a sad sigh and leaned her head against Spottedstar’s side. ”Murkpelt was right, though, Spottedstar… I can’t just stay in SkyClan forever doing apprentice duties until I’m old enough to retire into the elders den. I’m not a warrior. I can’t take the oath… I can’t defend my Clan. I-I’d give my life, but I can’t defend SkyClan. I wouldn’t even know where to start. I-I’m useless now.”

”Shh, shh, don’t say that,” Spottedstar murmured, crouching down beside her so his side was against hers and his head was beside her own. ”You know that isn’t true. You know so much about herbs and healing; Sagelight would be grateful to have a mentor who’s as kind and compassionate as you.”

The golden she-cat took in a breath, licked her lips, and let out the breath again. She said in a sorrowful murmur, ”Spot… Medicine cats can’t have mates. I returned home for you. I love you. I-I turned my back on StarClan once; I won’t turn my back on them like that.” Amberdawn looked around the den, and then her glimmering dark amber eyes settled on the shape of Spottedstar’s face in the darkness. ”I won’t turn my back on you, either. I want to be with you. I want to do what’s right, but I-I just… I don’t know what it is. I want an answer. I want someone to tell me what to do.”

A long silence stretched between them. Amberdawn could feel her heart pulsing in her aching wounds as the moon marched onward in the sky. Creatures in the forest made sounds around them, but the peace she felt beside Spottedstar - even after everything - was growing. Eventually he began to gently groom the fur on her neck, and they sat in thoughtful silence for a long time.

”I know what to do,” the tom-cat murmured, breaking into the quiet rhythmic sounds of the three cats breathing in the den. He paused his grooming, looking down at her.

”What do you mean?” Amberdawn asked sleepily, though she swiftly became wide awake.

”Of course you’re not a warrior, Amberdawn; you never trained to be. You can’t take that oath because you don’t understand what it means,” Spottedstar explained, as if he had solved some great mystery.

Amberdawn gave him a bewildered stare. ”Spot…? I don’t understand. Of course I never trained to be a warrior; I was never any good at it. StarClan called me to be a medicine cat.”

Spottedstar gazed imploringly into her eyes. He said, ”They called you to be a medicine cat before, Amberdawn, but you were released from your path. You’re on a new path now. Don’t you see that?” The pale tabby tom stood, his golden eyes shining with hope as he turned to face Amberdawn again, his face close to hers. ”This is a new chance. Do you think every kit starts as a brilliant warrior? No! Most apprentices aren’t even decent until they’re, I don’t know, two moons from receiving their warrior name. They have to receive training - just like you.”

He cleared his throat. ”Amberdawn, since you are more than six moons, it is high past time for you to be apprenticed.”

The golden tabby’s face scrunched with confusion, and then amusement and bewilderment lit up her face. ”I-I’m sorry?” she questioned, half a laugh in her voice. Swiftly Spottedstar raised his tail for quiet and attention. She suppressed a giggle and continued listening with heightened interest.

”Amberdawn, from this day forward until you have completed your warrior training, I will be your mentor.” Her smile faded to shock, and she stared, stunned. ”I promise I will teach you everything you need to know about being a warrior. We’ll train together. You’ll be a natural - I know you will. You just need to give it time. We’ll… We’ll all need to give it time.”

Amberdawn blinked up at him. She asked softly, ”Spottedstar… Do you mean it? What if SkyClan rejects your solution? What if they won’t accept me?”

The SkyClan leader leaned in, pressing his forehead lovingly to hers. ”Then it’s their loss.” Spottedstar pulled back, his eyes softening as they peered deeply into her face. ”But they will accept you. The rest of the Clan will come around to you just like they would have come around to Burningsun if she’d given them the chance. They’ll stand behind you like they stood behind Tinylegs, even when they didn’t always agree with his choices.”

”And what about Murkpelt?” the former medicine cat ventured nervously.

Spottedstar’s face darkened slightly ”She made it clear that things are over between us. All the Clan saw it. She came back to camp a while ago and… well, she stands by what she said. She’s loyal to SkyClan whether or not its leader is loyal to her, she said.”

Amberdawn slumped slightly. ”I’m so sorry, Spottedstar… I never meant for this.”

”Neither of us meant for this. You’re no more to blame than I am,” he answered with a faint sigh. He licked her forehead. ”Things are hard, but they’ll get better. We can make them better together. We can get through this together. I won’t leave you to struggle through this world alone. We’ll figure it out.”

With a soft purr, Amberdawn tucked her head up beneath his chin. ”We’ll get through this together, like you said,” she agreed softly, feeling the promise warm her heart. The cold night glittered on above. She sank into Spottedstar’s strong, comforting form as he pressed against her side, careful to avoid her injuries. With one last sleepy breath before her dreams took hold, the golden tabby cat whispered, ”Thank you for bringing me home.”

Smiling faintly, Spottedstar rested his head gently on her neck and answered quietly, ”It wasn’t home without you.”

The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo] Marmaladexspotted

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The Life Where She Stayed [meta musing solo] JLOT9vN
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