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Doctortear

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  1. 「 Sector: Two 」 「 Location: Burning Lands || Lava Village 」 「 Allies: Silver, Weavile, Mòrag, Brighid, Aymeric, Hotaru, Chris, Kirika, Lloyd, Jin 」 「 Other Participants: Redd, Leigh 」 With his body still spent, Doppio found himself stuck laying against the side of the boat. He had few options to entertain himself beyond eavesdropping on the conversations between his companions and the newcomers. Eavesdropping wasn't the most gentlemanly thing to do, but with Doppio's legs still feeling like jelly, it wasn't like he ignore all of the people talking just a few feet away from him. Unfortunately, the only topics being discussed were the ever popular introductions followed, "Do you know where we are?" Evidentially, almost everyone on the dock was claiming they didn't know how they got there. Doppio frowned down at the crystal in his hand, idly rubbing his thumb against its jagged edge. In lieu of being able to entertain himself, Doppio began to collect his thoughts. He still wasn't convinced that everything that had happened, between the strange fight he saw earlier and meeting the strangers mere minutes ago, wasn't the work of an enemy Stand. The power a Stand could come in many forms, making it near impossible to guess a Stand's powers without seeing it up close. Considering the sheer possibilities given the wild circumstances, it was entirely possible for a single Stand, or rather its user, to be responsible for bringing everyone together. At the same time, there could be multiple Stands responsible for bringing everyone together which meant that there was a team of people working together to do... something. Doppio sighed, clicking his tongue irritably. There was too little information to go off of to form a solid conclusion. Even if he was brought into this world by an enemy Stand or multiple enemy Stands, that didn't explain all of the weird people he had encountered, let alone their insistence that they didn't know what a Stand was. Knowing was only half the battle. Without Boss's guidance or King Crimson's powers, Doppio was little more than some cowardly punk. How on Earth was he supposed to— "You there!" A singular loud voice cut through the monotony of the crowd, startling Doppio out of his thoughts. He hesitantly looked up, surprised to see the woman with blue hair pluming from her hair starting directly at him. "If you value your life, I'd advise you to drop that blue crystal as soon as poss- oh my," The urgency in her voice caught Doppio off guard. Just as he opened his mouth to ask what she was talking about, a faint glow emitted from the palm of Doppio's hand. He stared, eyes wide and eyebrows raised as tendrils of blue light emerged out of the crystal. Glowing spheres of ephemeral white light drifted off from the top of the crystal as the light at its core glowed brightly and began to take shape. Within mere seconds, the light had vanished completely and in its place was a tall man with long silver hair. Besides the crystal embedded in his forehead, the man looked completely human. Through the haze of his confusion, Doppio realized the man had not only introduced himself but was also holding out his hand expectantly. "Um," Doppio said intelligently. He blinked owlishly at Jin, uncertain how to reply. He was bad with people as it was. All of his friendships fell apart within months, he couldn't keep his cool near a pretty face, and he certainly didn't know how to react to a stranger boldly claiming they were going to protect him, let alone a stranger who had just come out of a crystal. "Um," Doppio repeated. "Well, uh..." Doppio's hand hovered hesitantly over Jin's. If the stranger had an ulterior motive, Doppio couldn't discern it from the genuineness in his voice. Among all the craziness that had occurred since he arrived in the new strange world, Doppio had forgotten that most people weren't the ruthless killers he dealt with daily but rather normal friendly people who didn't mind helping out a stranger. While Jin was far from normal, the rest of the sentiment seemed to ring true and, more importantly, Doppio really didn't want to lay on the ground for much longer. "Thank you," Doppio said, warily taking the offered hand. Jin's hand felt unnaturally cool, almost as though it wasn't affected by suffocating heat emanating from the lava. In fact, now that Doppio was thinking about it, a cold draft had settled in the immediate vicinity. Doppio blinked in bewilderment, turning his head around to locate the source of the cool air. It wasn't unpleasant, far from that actually. Doppio was more then a little relieved to get a reprieve from the overbearing heat, and while he was more than happy to simply lay back and enjoy the cooling air, it was a little hard to relax when a stranger was holding your hand. "Are you... the one doing that?" Doppio motioned vaguely with his free hand. "I-I mean it's nice! I just don't really know how you're doing it." Doppio chuckled nervously, unable to help but feel intimidated by the man before him. "Oh!" Doppio visibly perked. "Sorry, you gave me your name and I haven't returned the favor. I'm Doppio and, uh, while I appreciate the sentiment, I'm a little confused by the whole 'always protect you' thing." Doppio rubbed the nape of his neck anxiously. "I think you might have me confused for someone else." It was hard to believe there was someone who shared Doppio's appearance, but Doppio couldn't think of any other reason for Jin to make such a forward proclamation other than the fact that he was confusing Doppio for someone he cared for deeply.
  2. 「 Location: Dormitory || Top Floor - Lillian's and Evonna's Dorm Room 」 「 Nearby Friends: Hye-rin, Isaias 」 "Of course we will!" Lillian grinned widely, lightly bouncing off the balls of her feet. "The gang's going to meet up tomorrow after classes." Hye-rin's excitement was infectious. It had been a few months since the benefactor had given them a new target to find and change the heart of. As much as Lillian would love for any injustice in the world to simply die off like a flickering flame, she would be lying if she said the thought of getting back into Mementos didn't make her giddy. Whenever she explored a Palace with the other members of Nightingale, she felt alive, invincible even. It was intoxicating at times, having her friends by her side as they convinced yet another lost soul to give up on their destructive crusade and change for the better. Hye-rin's pleased preening was enough to drag Lillian out of her thoughts of grandeur. "Money isn't an issue," Lillian said, curving her finger as she continued petting Hye-rin's head. "My aunt gives me more money than I know what to do with, but if nesting in the common room is what you want, then I'll help you make it!" The other members of Nightingale were sure to arrive at the dorms sooner rather than later. Building Hye-rin's nest would make for an excellent bonding activity! Invigorated by the idea of her friends happily building a nest together, Lillian grabbed her phone, intending to send a message in the Nightingale group chat. The red notification bubble hovering over the messages icon caught her attention. She clicked it, revealing, much to her delight, that Liesbeth had replied to her earlier messages. "Liesbeth is so considerate," Lillian told Hye-rin conversationally. "Do you think she'd like to help make your nest?" Without waiting for Hye-rin to reply, Lillian began typing. ❀ Liesbeth Lillian Gray: no worries! i actually know the 1st year. we met over the summer !! she's rly nice Lillian Gray: we're actually on the 2nd floor so we have access to the grad lounge, but thank you for looking out for me !! that's really sweet of you (〃´∀`) Lillian Gray: and yes! i still have the internship. it's been going really well, but it's a lot of work. my blood is going to be 100% coffee by the time i actually get a job. i heard you're taking a break from your acting career ?? enjoy your time off! im sure you have plenty of beauty sleep to catch up on Lillian Gray: oh!! i actually just got there. still need to wait for my roomie to show up and set things up Lillian Gray: btw, we're making hye-rin a nest. did u want to [UNSENT] "Uh... Lillian, right? You, uh, excited for a new year?" Before Lillian could finish writing her message to Liesbeth, someone spoke up from the doorway. She glanced up from her phone to see a vaguely familiar face standing at the doorway. It took Lillian a moment to retrieve the stranger's name from the vaults of her memory. Lillian made her mission to become acquainted with as many people as she possibly could. After all, there was always chance a stranger was just a good friend she hadn't met yet and who knew? Maybe they were more than just a potential friend. Lillian had met a few fellow Persona users in the real world before encountering them in Mementos. It was always a surprise to recognize the face hidden behind a mask, but far from a unpleasant one. "Isaias, right?" Lillian asked. She smiled kindly as she walked over towards the door. "We haven't really spoken much, but it's nice to see you again! The dorm situation is kinda icky this year." Lillian made a vague motion with her hand. "They really should have sent out the schedules earlier than the day of moving in. People out of the state are going to have the worst time, but ooh! I heard that the school got more funding recently so they're splurging a lot of it on replacing old stuff and boosting the budget for classes. I am really looking forward for the biology text books to actually have intact spines." It was during the middle of her rambling did Lillian notice that it would be nearly impossible for Isaias to notice the fluffy white bird poking her head of out of Lillian's shirt pocket. Seeing a prime opportunity to make a new friend, Lillian gently scooped the bird out of her makeshift nest. "This is Hye-rin," Lillian explained, holding her friend delicately in her gloved palm. "She's technically not supposed to be here, but she practically begged me to bring her to the dorms and I just couldn't say no to that cute little face." Lillian gently rubbed the top of Hye-rin's head. "Would you mind keeping her being here a secret? The worst she can do is angrily squawk at you until you forfeit whatever you're reading." Lillian winked mischievously. 「 Location: Dormitory || Bottom Floor 」 「 Nearby Strangers: Silas 」 Kaede was right. He was going to die at school. He had just sat down on the couch in the common room of the dormitory, brightly colored luggage stuffed with his belongings in hand, and already there were two people arguing in the common room. Itsuki froze in place, his hands tightening against luggage's handle. The two boys who held a striking resemblance to one another -- siblings perhaps -- shouted at each other, venom dripping from every word. The sheer volatility of the conversation had Itsuki averting his gaze towards his shoes. He squeezed his legs together, crouching over his luggage in an attempt to make himself look smaller. Would it be cowardly to run to his assigned room and hide? Would it be rude to try and diffuse the situation? Could he even diffuse the situation? The world was upside down and cramped. Itsuki closed his eyes and breathed in. The voices washed away into white noise, barely a buzz above the sound of Itsuki breathing. It was fine. He was fine. Everything was fine. By the time Itsuki had regained his composure, the argument had ended completely. Itsuki's eyes fluttered opened. Out of the corner of his vision, he spotted a green-haired boy give him an appraising look before pulling on his backpack strap and heading down the hall. Embarrassment crept up Itsuki's neck, red and hot. He coughed into his fist, willing the image of the boy's disapproving look to fade from memory. That wasn't a great first impression, but that was okay. Hopefully that boy wouldn't be his roommate. Or in any of his classes. Or in the same school. Shaking his head, Itsuki stood up from the couch and cautiously approached the stairwell. He had heard a third voice, calm and kind, emit from the stairwell shortly after the argument had ended. Apparently, whoever the third voice belonged to had already climbed up to the second floor because by the time Itsuki peered at the stairway there was only one person there. It was one of the boys who had been arguing. At his feet was some luggage and a few scattered cards and photos he was picking up. "Um," Itsuki said, unsure of how to proceed. "Are you, uh, good? Do you need any help picking that up or...?" Itsuki's voice trailed off. This was dumb. He was dumb. What was he even thinking? The boy clearly was doing fine cleaning things up on his own and someone had already stopped to help him. What exactly was Itsuki offering anyway? To carry his luggage to his room? To help put his credit card make into his wallet? Stupid. 「 Location: Dormitory || Bottom Floor - Julian's and Virgil's Dorm Room 」 「 Nearby Strangers: N/A 」 The dorm room he was assigned to looked exactly as he expected. There was no decorations on the walls, a basic comforter fitted over the beds, and a set of plain wooden desks fitted with accompanying desk lambs and basic desk chairs. The room was bland and lifeless, devoid of any color or personality. It was exactly what Julian was accustomed to. His backpack slid off his shoulder with ease. He easily threw it onto the leftmost bed, effectively claiming it. Moving from foster home to foster home had taught Julian how to squeeze all of his earthly belongings into his backpack. It was oddly comforting to be able to hold everything you owned in your arms. It made the feeling of ownership more tangible, real. Julian unzipped his backpack. He pulled out his textbooks, blowing off whatever remnants of dust clung to its surface. He easily organized them on top of the nearest desk, turning the spine facing towards him so he could read the titles. He quickly filled the desk drawers with school essentials -- paper, pencils, staplers, binders, white-out and whatnot. He still needed to put his clothes away, but the weight of having to be productive was suddenly too much to bare. Julian sat down on his bed, back bent over as he warily glanced over at the open door. He hadn't bothered checking to see who his roommate was. Chances were he didn't know who they were and, if he was lucky, he still wouldn't know who they were by the end of the year. Julian had done this sing and dance more than once before. Passed around from one foster home to another, he was used to having to introduce himself to someone he was suppose to live with for an extended period of time. The initial greeting, the, "Hello, my name is Julian," and the, "It's a pleasure to meet you," always left a bad taste in his mouth. It was like mucus, a thick slimy thing clogging up his mouth and making it hard to breath. He hated the pretend pleasantries, acting like he was looking forward to meet someone when he knew that they would stop caring about him the moment they were no longer required to. He was sure his roommate, as well as everyone in the school, would be no different. Even the Black Wolves were sure to only care for him while he was working alongside them. He had seen the message Liesbeth had sent earlier to the group chat, but he hadn't bothered replying. He would be there when the group needed him to be and that was likely all they really wanted. Julian hummed to himself. He propped his legs onto the bed and laid down, placing his head down on the pillow. There was no harm in laying down for a little bit. It was still early in the morning. There was plenty of time for him to set his room up and prepare for classes the following day.
  3. After months of silence, someone finally spoke. It was a joyous as it was enraging. They sought to quell the injustice in the city. It was their singular defining purpose, and yet, without it, they were starved by inaction. They watched in feverous delight as the Palace erected itself from the ground, a large beautiful structure that dwarfed the buildings beside it. It was hard to contain themselves as they stared upon the Palace in all its abominable glory. The Shadows instantly took notice. They watched the Shadows wander towards the Palace like moths drawn to a flame. It was time to start anew. Their chosen ones, their champions, needed to be informed. The little ones were still stumbling in the dark, unable to grasp the truth, but that was okay. They would lead the little ones and the little ones would listen. It did not matter how the humans tore the Palace down. All that mattered was that they would speak to the children and the children would obey and once the dust settled there would be nothing left but the hot stinging iron of justice. Outside the school gates, a blue butterfly landed on a flower and waited. . . . 「 Location: Dormitory || Bottom Floor 」 「 Nearby Friends: Hye-rin 」 It was early Sunday morning before classes started and already the school had messed up. The academy had been oddly stingy about releasing dorm room assignments. On the weekly newsletter, the school claimed that there had been issues with the dormitory budget which led to some last minute problems that had to be hastily resolved. The newsletter's vagueness had been frustrating to read but no less frustrating than opening the room assignment to see that Lillian had been placed with a first year. Lillian actually had to pause a moment and stare down at her phone, the screen's bright light illuminating her frown. The name Evonna Durand was printed clearly underneath Lillian's own name. She should probably be glad she was going to room with another Nightingale. Although Evonna had only been with the group for a short time, she showed promise. Not to mention she was fun to hang out with. Still, pairing a third year and first year in the dorms was such a clear sign of incompetence that Lillian couldn't help but feel glad she was graduating in a year. With a heavy sigh, Lillian pocketed her phone. She readjusted the grip on the cardboard box in her hands before pushing the open the front door to the dormitory with her shoulder. There were only a handful of other students present. Admission into the dorms was open until 8pm so it was likely that most people were arriving later in the day. Lillian took in a deep breath. The faint scent of disinfecting wipes and faux citrus still permeated in the room, likely from a rushed clean up before the dorms opened for the public. Poor Hye-rin, who had been busy dozing off in Lillian's shirt pocket, let out a disgruntled cheep before burying herself deeper into the pocket. Lillian mumbled an apology under her breath, wishing she had a free hand to pat Hye-rin. Walking past the first floor common room, Lillian stepped on the first stair to begin to arduous task of climbing to the second floor with a heavy box in her hand when a familiar sound went off on her phone. Lillian paused, pressing herself against the wall to support the weight of the box. She fished her phone back out of her pocket and tapped on the MetaNav app. A notification from the chatroom blinked on screen. When Lillian clicked it, an unfamiliar username popped up. eg7L3fKc: b l e e d o u t t h e s t a r s u n t i l t h e o n l y t h i n g t h a t c h o k e s h e r i s g o l d The mysterious benefactor, the one who had gifted Lillian and her group to enter the Metaverse and use their personas for justice. Their username always changed when they spoke on the MetaNav, but it was obvious who they were. Their messages, the only clue they gave the Nightingale and Black Wolves before a new Palace appeared, was always hard to read with its odd spacing and cryptic meaning. There hadn't been a message from the otherworldly sponsor for a few months. Lillian would have been relieved to hear from them if it didn't mean that there was more injustice in the world she needed to correct. She would need to contact her group about the message, preferably after she had set the box down in her room. Lillian managed to take a whole three steps before yet another notification went off. Stopping in the middle of the stairway, Lillian frowned down at her phone as she balanced the cardboard box preciously on her knee. Someone else had spoken in the MetaNav chat and it was the last person Lillian wanted to see. Emperor: have you considered just telling us who the target is instead of spewing vague nonsense in hopes that we'll figure it out? Emperor: smh gettin real tired of this scooby doo crap It was amazing how fast Emperor could induce a headache upon Lillian. Emperor was also teaching her just how much she missed having functions of both of he hands. Lillian would have loved to rub her temples in hopes that she could force out her slowly growing agitation, but knowing how chatty Emperor was it would probably be faster to bang her head against the wall until she couldn't feel anything. Seeing the "Emperor is typing..." notification was more than enough motivation to power walk up the stairs and march straight to her assigned dorm room. Lillian fumbled with the key for a minute, awkwardly trying to keep the cardboard box balanced between her chest and the wall while she fitted the key into the lock, but as soon as she got into the room Lillian set down the box with more force than necessary and yanked her phone out of her pocket. Lotus: If you're tired of solving riddles, feel free to take some time off and let us do the work. Emperor: lmaooo shut up Emperor: do u think ur being cute? go jump in a river and drown already Lotus: A pleasure as always, Emperor. Emperor: likewise "Brat," Lillian hissed under her breath. She wasn't really sure what she was expecting. Another morning, another spat with Emperor. That's just how it went. Lillian suddenly felt exhausted. She collapsed down on the nearest bed. She blew a raspberry, idly checking her phone for any new notifications. It seemed Emperor was done talking for now which Lillian was more than fine with. If Lillian was going to face the rest of the day with a smile, she was going to need a pick-me-up. Lucky, she knew exactly who to text to wash away the ugliness of Emperor's words. Lillian opened her recent messages and clicked on the third one from the top. ❀ Liesbeth Lillian Gray: good morning !! ♡^▽^♡ Lillian intended to follow up her greeting with "i hope you slept well !", but her finger hovered hesitantly over the reply button. Liesbeth had been the first friend Lillian had made when she first enrolled at Lovelace Academy. They were practically joined at the hip, always hanging out together after school and staying up way too late to chat about fun nonsense. Then summer break came. Liesbeth was preoccupied with her acting career while Lillian had to study for her newly obtained internship. The fall semester came and the two of them simply... disconnected. It was as though they had both silently agreed to let their friendship fade away into obscurity. it wasn't until a few months ago that Lillian had accidentally texted Liesbeth while in the middle of an argument in the Nightingale group chat about the final season of a popular show they all liked. Evidentially, Liesbeth had many strong opinions about the last season that was she more than happy, or desperate, to share. Since then, the two had taken up texting each other about shared interests or their thoughts on recent news. Liesbeth was enjoyable to talk to, there was no doubt about that but there was a social border that Lillian was unsure she was allowed to cross. Was she close enough to talk to Liesbeth about her real feelings, or was their relationship still bound to surface level topics? Underneath her anxiety and uncertainty, there was a kernel of affection Lillian felt for Liesbeth, fragile and warm. She didn't know if it was residue from their past relationship or something scary and new. After a brief deliberation, Lillian deleted her message and typed something different. ❀ Liesbeth Lillian Gray: they really messed up the dorm situation this year Lillian Gray: just found out im rooming with a first year lol Lillian Gray: im gonna have to protect this poor precious first year from all the mean third years (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و✧ Lillian Gray: hopefully your dorm situation is less chaotic !! Lillian Gray: btw hye-rin says hi (•ө•)♡ [ image attached ] Lillian guilty swiped away from her texts with Liesbeth least Hye-rin started complaining about that Lillian wasn't sending photos of her to some random girl and not Chad. Everyone seemed to enjoy receiving pictures of Hye-rin and Lillian had plenty to spare. Hye-rin was quite photogenic for a bird or, she would say, a human turned into a bird. Liesbeth had yet to reply and a cursory glance at the door told Lillian that her roommate hadn't arrived yet. Seeing as she didn't have anything better to do, she opened up the Nightingale group chat. It took her a minute to figure out what exactly her username was. The chat always got a bit chaotic at night, and Lillian had fallen asleep early to prepare for the move-in. Someone had changed her nickname to something odd enough to warrant concern, but the 200+ new message notification was enough deter her from looking for the reason behind it. Shrugging, Lillian accepted her new nickname with all the grace she good and began typing. Nightingale_General the big sauce: good morning everyone !! ♡ the big sauce: im sure you all saw the message in metanav, so let's all meet up at the usual spot after classes tomorrow the big sauce: fyi people usually go out and eat out the outlet en mass at the start of the year the big sauce: so !! pls let me know what you all want to eat before the meeting tomorrow so i can order in advance (´v`) Lillian felt Hye-rin stir inside her makeshift nest. She glanced down just in time to see a fuzzy white face pop out of the pocket. "Did you sleep well?" Lillian asked. She gently rubbed her pointer finger along the bird's head, ruffling the soft feathers. "It's still pretty early in the morning. Most people are still coming in and—" Lillian lowered her voice. "—we got something new." She shook her voice in indication. "We'll be talking about that with everyone else tomorrow after school." Lillian grinned as she gently set her phone aside on the blanket and resumed rubbing Hye-rin's head. While Lillian wasn't sure how many people would be arriving so early in the morning, she was certain some other students would be arriving soon. "Did you need help making your nest?" Lillian asked. "I know you said you wanted to stay in the communal area, but are you sure that's safe? Someone might try to destroy it or call in the RA to deal with the 'wild bird' inside the building."
  4. Don't worry too much about the rp! Good luck on with moving!!
  5. 「 Sector: Two 」 「 Location: Burning Lands || Lava Village 」 「 Allies: Silver, Weavile, Mòrag, Brighid, Aymeric, Hotaru, Chris, Kirika, Lloyd 」 「 Other Participants: Redd, Leigh 」 Evidently, more than just the group Doppio had been forcibly dragged into were in the same boat as them. As Doppio's companions spoke among themselves, none of whom bothered to help Doppio up how rude, even more people began to pop out of seemingly nowhere. Three more people, two young girls and a weird man wearing ninja cosplay, wandered towards the dock, hastily introducing themselves before inquiring as to where they were. "Wish I knew!" Doppio yelled unhelpfully. He dropped his head back down onto the ground, his cheek pressing against the ground. His theory of the locals having fireproof clothing had yet to be confirmed, but he was beginning to wonder if they even needed fireproof clothing when the lava seemed far less dangerous that he had anticipated. Granted, it was still lava and Doppio wasn't going to try to scoop it into his hands and take it sip like it was the spicy honey it sometimes looked like, but it was curious how there was an active village of people out in the middle of a river of lava. The stone ground underneath Doppio's cheek was uncomfortably warm, but it didn't burn him. Maybe Doppio had watched too many cartoons and cheesy action movies, but he was almost certain that even being near lava should set everything in the nearby vicinity ablaze. Maybe the lava was magic or maybe, Doppio realized dully, he was just trying to occupy his thoughts with whatever came to mind. As it turned out, being so exhausted you could barely move was only scary for a little while. For the most part, it was very, very boring. Consumed with the desire to amuse himself, Doppio rolled over on his back and blew a raspberry. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of something shiny. His interest perked, Doppio reached his arm towards the object. He pathetically waved his hand just out of the object's reach. He let out a long-drawn out sigh before inching towards the object and grasping it in his hand. Pushing himself into a sitting position, Doppio scooted backward until his back was pressed against one of the fish boats they arrived on before glancing down at his hands. The object resting in his palm, almost too big to fit, was what appeared to be a crystal of some description. It appeared to be diamond-shaped and tinted a brilliant blue. A cursory glance around his surroundings told Doppio that there weren't many other crystals near the docks so chances were someone must have dropped it. Doppio wasn't sure if it was just the heat getting to him, but the crystal felt warm in his head. He felt light-headed holding it, but he quickly attributed that to his exhaustion. While the others continue to speak to each other, Doppio turned the crystal around in his hand, feeling the weight of it and wondering who could have possibly left it behind.
  6. 『 Shadowpaw | DuskClan | Twoleg Commune 』 Shadowpaw hummed noncommittally as the kittypet attacked him with barrage of questions. Shadowpaw coyly laid his head down on top of his paws, amusement flickering in his eyes. The strange cat continued to helplessly flay his paws around the colorful vines entangling his body even after Shadowpaw had so graciously shown him how to free himself. Were all kittypets this helpless? Shadowpaw had heard his fair share of scandalous whispers about his father and kittypets. The murmurs were mostly from cats of other clans, spoken in hushed tones during gatherings, but Shadowpaw had heard such talk amongst his clanmates during the dead of night. Truthfully, Shadowpaw had wondered why his father didn't retire to become a kittypet considering just how relaxed and carefree that lifestyle appeared compared to that of a clan leader. Now, seeing just how pathetic and pitiful a kittypet really was, Shadowpaw understood why his father would never lower himself to such a level and yet, despite the kittypet's feeble attempts to free himself from the yarn, Shadowpaw found himself interested. Wordlessly, Shadowpaw jumped off the fence and gracefully landed on the ground. He trekked over towards the kittypet, drinking in the sight of him writhing on the ground. Shadowpaw purposefully sat down close to the kittypet as he pressed a paw firmly down on the colorful vine. Without warning, he grasped the kittypet's paw between his teeth and curved it to an angle before yanking it away from the vine. The kittypet's claw easily popped out of the vine. "There," Shadowpaw said, releasing the kittypet's paw from his mouth. "I assume you watched closely enough to free the rest of your claws without my intervention, hm?" Shadowpaw tilted his head to the side curiously. "It's a wonder how you even got yourself in this predicament. You're old enough to know how to retract your claws aren't you, kittypet?" 『 Silvermoon | SunClan/TideClan Border | River 』 "Oh!" Silvermoon's head shot up, water droplets spraying across the ground from the force of it. She realized too late that talking with a mouth full of moss probably wasn't the smartest move on her part. She coughed, ears flattening against her skull as she unceremoniously dropped the moss to her feet. "Well, I'm sorry to—well um, I mean..." Silvermoon felt her face heat up. She could see the stranger's face crinkle with amusement as she laughed. Silvermoon felt her heart flutter, her head feeling oddly light. Suddenly, she could no longer bare to look at the stranger. She deliberately turned her head away from the river, taking a strong interest in a nearby piece of driftwood. "Smallpuddle isn't in trouble," Silvermoon said, childishly refusing to look the stranger in the eye. "Her age caught up to her some moons ago. It's difficult for her to walk, let alone make the long trek down here to the river so she needs to this—" Silvermoon made a vague motion towards the moss with her paw. "—is the only way she can drink. Normally, I'd send my apprentice here but..." Silvermoon shook her head. There was no reason to tell the stranger why she had come to the river in Applepaw's place. Everyone had agreed that it was best to keep the contents of the meeting a secret from the clans at large. At least, until they found the three cats they were looking for. "A-Anyway!" Silvermoon didn't quite have the courage to look at the stranger again so she opted to staring down awkwardly at her paws. "Do you come here often...?" Silvermoon internally cringed at the question. "I-I mean! I usually send my apprentice down here to collect water at this time of day and she's never mentioned running into a warrior before."
  7. [[ theo || theo's apartment ]] "Donate you to the... now hold on a moment!" It was almost comical how quickly Poe transformed from scary murderer who very likely got Theo fired from his job to moody teenager being told he couldn't go out and party. Theo took the handcuffs unwillingly, staring at them like he was just handed a murder weapon. For all he knew, the handcuffs were actually a magical knife enchanted to look like handcuffs to cover the fact that they were covered in an innocent man's blood specifically Theo's blood. "So let me get this straight," Theo said, loosely holding the handcuffs as far away from himself as he could. "You want me to either donate Poe so he could, oh I don't know, have a cat fight in a shelter with a murderer or alternatively I you want me to adopt the murderer myself and bring them into my apartment where you will then proceed to, oh I don't know, have a fight. In here." Theo motioned to the room around them. "Where we are right now. That's your plan?" "Adopting him is probably the best choice of the two," Roy said with a level of ease that made Theo want to throw the handcuffs at his head. "If he did go to the shelter, then he'll want to be adopted by a human and taken into their care. Initially, he'll have no reason to assume you're anything more than his temporary caretaker so while it would be best if you brought him back here so he can't easily escape, it is possible to take him somewhere else and confine him there." Theo glared at Roy, clicking his tongue irritably. Roy was looking at him with such an apathetic look at Theo was beginning to think he was emotionally detached from the situation. Theo couldn't help but think he'd be a lot more invested in the situation if he hadn't been non-consensually thrown into it. Did spirit people or fairies or... whatever the hell the strangers were even understand what consent was? Did any of them actually care about Theo's thoughts and feelings on what was going on? For about the fifth time that day, Theo wondered if he was tripping on acid. "Christ, fine!" Theo said, shaking his head. "I'll go adopt your weird cat if it means you all get out of my apartment." Under his breath, he added, "Not like I have anything else to do today after that accident at the work."
  8. 「 タクミ || village entrance 」 Takumi’s eyes lit up as Miso visibly perked up upon seeing him. The temptation to drop down to his knees and motion her to come closer for a through belly rub was hard to suppress, but Hikaru’s glare encouraged Takumi to keep his hands to himself. It was hard to meet the other chuunin’s eyes when he was scolding Takumi so boldly. Takumi smiled sheepishly in reply, shuffling his feet awkwardly as he stared intently at his own feet. “Well actually,” Takumi began. “I had a bit of an accident this morning. Nothing too bad, but I did have to whip a first-aid kit out, but more importantly I have something I… want to show…” By the time Takumi mustered the courage to look back up, Hikaru and leaped up into the trees. Takumi watched with dismay as his partner gracefully jumped from tree to tree, no doubt in a hurry to reach their destination before the sun set. “The odds are just stocked against me, aren’t that?” Takumi said to no one in particular. Hikaru appeared to have a vendetta against having fun or making friends which made the process of trying to befriend all the more delicate. Takumi wondered if he had already blew his luck for the day. Maybe he should save the tea set for tomorrow when Hikaru would hopefully be more open to the idea of friendship. In the meantime, Takumi thought as Miso cautiously approached him, he had something more important to attend to. As soon as Miso began pawing at Takumi's pants, he gave into the instincts any normal human would have if something friendly and furry was giving them attention. "Hey, buddy!" Takumi said, his voice raising an octave as he lowered himself down onto his knees. "Have you come to say hi? Huh? You've come to say hi?" Takumi pressed Miso's cheeks between his hands and squished them inward. "Look at the pretty girl! Is the mean man starving you?" Takumi apologetically petted Miso's head. "Oh, I bet he is. You haven't eaten in minutes, have you? What a mean old man! Poor little Miso is going to die from starvation if no one takes care of her." Knowing that Miso was likely going to sniff out the treat Takumi brought to her if he didn't give it to her soon, he whipped out slice of jerky from his pack and benevolently offered it to Miso. "Your owner is probably going to wonder where we are if we don't start catch up to him soon," Takumi said idly. He glanced up at the trees, searching for an indication that Hikaru turned back to check on that. Predictably, there was no sign of him. Sighing, Takumi stood back up, tugging at straps of his bag closer. "Do you want me to carry you like last time?" Takumi asked, glancing down at Miso. "Jumping hurts your little feetsies, doesn't it?"
  9. < Kui - Crescent Island || Base of Volcano > Finally, a name! In all honesty, Kui was beginning to worry that the earthbender was actually a nameless feral man who only knew how to glare and throw rocks at people. Hearing Jun introduce himself assuaged some of Kui's concerns. Jun's fingers slipped between Kui's in what should have been an innocuous gesture. Jun's eyes met Kui's, gaze heavy with some fleeting emotion Kui couldn't place. Jun snapped his head away from where Kui stood in an almost comedic manner. Kui had half a mind to laugh at Jun's sudden shyness if he wasn't suddenly aware that hotheaded and strong earthbender was holding his hand and oh no this was how he was going to die Jun was going to throw him straight into the river. The pair maneuvered through the crowd awkwardly with Jun's gaze downcast and Kui worrying that whatever had tempered Jun's mood would vanish. The trip up the base of the volcano was a lot shorter than Kui had initially expected. Of course, the volcano did make up about a forth of the island so perhaps Kui sense of size was off. The scale of the volcano was enough to give Kui pause. He slowed down his pace as they approached Kiyo, staring up wide-eyed at the towering volcano before him. When he glanced back at his guide, he nearly jumped back at the sight of the angry scowl contorting her features. Startled, he blinked rapidly, thinking that he must have imagined the expression. When he looked at Kiyo again the scowl was gone and instead replaced with a smile as she asked Jun whether or not he wanted Kiyo and her to accompany him up the volcano. Kui blinked owlishly. Strange, he must have been imagining things. "An excellent question!" Kui exclaimed. He retracted his hand from Jun's grasp as gently as he could least Jun startle like a wild animal before turning towards him. "You did ask us to escort you up the volcano, but you didn't specify when you wanted us to part." Kui idly twirled a black strand of hair around his finger. "Personally, I wouldn't mind if you wanted us to trek the whole way." In all honesty, Kui was still feeling bad about the idea of taking money from Jun without earning it first. If that meant walking up a volcano, then Kui didn't mind especially considering he didn't have anything else to do.
  10. 『 Shadowpaw | DuskClan | Twoleg Commune 』 A cat that could see into the future? Shadowpaw's ears perked up upon hearing Petalshade's words. Now that was a good reason for Whitesong to send him off to break several rules by spying on a foreign clan leader and his deputy. Everyone in the clan knew that Oakstar and Whitesong had returned to camp early in the morning, but the duo was well-known for their little escapades. With the new information Petalshade had so graciously given him, Shadowpaw thought that perhaps his father and the deputy were doing something far more important than their usual activities, whatever they maybe. Sticking his small, fuzzy head through the bush, Shadowpaw peered up at the two toms sitting on the strange upright logs. Morningstar's nose twitched, his ear flicking in Shadowpaw's direct. The apprentice held his breath, claws flexing as he waited for the elder to glance over in his direction. Morningstar's eyes narrowed, his mouth open ajar. He let out a sudden sneeze, high-pitched and loud as he shook his head furiously. Shadowpaw huffed under his breath. Evidently, the stench of kittypets and twolegs was enough to mask the scent salt and brine that clung to every TideClan's cat pelt. Excellent when it came to hiding, not so excellent when Shadowpaw returned home smelling like a kittypet. In this distance, there was a faint yowl. Shadowpaw's ear twitched, swirling in the direction of the noise. The sound belonged to a cat and a distressed one at that. Shadowpaw couldn't claim to be familiar with every single member of DuskClan, small as it may be, but based on the cats he knew the voice belonged to none of them. A cursory glance at Morningstar and Petalshade told him that neither of them were interested in the yowl. Morningstar was swapping off a trail of translucent liquid off his nose. Petalshade was laughing softly, his shoulders shaking with emotion as he stared at his leader with such a fond expression. Shadowpaw purposefully diverted his gaze, feeling as though he was observing something embarrassingly intimate. Whitesong had asked him to spy on Petalshade and Morningstar specifically, but it seemed as though their mission was to find an oracle and, well, if they thought a kittypet could see into the future, what harm was there in interviewing a few of the kittypets himself. With one last wary glance at the toms, Shadowpaw jumped out of his hiding place and stealthily crept along the side of the logs. The yowling grew louder as Shadowpaw approached its source. There was a distinct tone of dire distress in the stranger's voice. Shadowpaw briefly wondered what could possibly happen to a kittypet to elicit such a violent response. As soon as he reached the stranger's dwelling, he crouched down onto all fours, his rear wiggling in anticipation, before he leaped onto the trunk of a nearby tree. His claws dug into the tree's thick bark as he deftly climbed up the tree's trunk before scurrying down to the tip of one of its thick branches. Through the parting leaves, Shadowpaw could see what appeared to be a kittypet playing with thick, colorful vines decorated with a strange bumpy texture. The kittypet appeared to be around Shadowpaw's age and was without a doubt one of the best groomed cats he had ever seen before. There was a strange red pelt tied around cat's tail similar to the pelts the twolegs could take on and off their bodies. The vines were tangled all around the cat's body with a singular ball of vines sitting not too far away from him. As Shadowpaw inched close to the end of the branch, he could see the kittypet had his claws latched into the vines coiling around his body. He forcibly yanked his paw to the side, but his claws remained firmly attached to the vine. The kittypet dramatically threw his head onto the grass and let out the most drawn-out meow Shadowpaw had ever heard in his entire life. "You know," Shadowpaw mewled smoothly as he comfortably laid down on the branch. "Your claws are curved." Shadowpaw lifted his paw and unsheathed his claw in demonstration. "If you want to get you claws out, you're going to have to put a bit more thought into it." Shadowpaw sheathed his claws. He placed his paws on top of each other and laid his head down on them. "If you don't want to take my advice, you're free to continue," Shadowpaw purred. "I do quite enjoy the show." 『 Silvermoon | SunClan/TideClan Border | River 』 Hearing a strange voice was enough to startle Silvermoon out of her thoughts. She started, sputtering aloud as she violently drew her paw out of the water. "S-Sorry!" Silvermoon squeaked weakly. She guilty wiped her paws on the grass, shaking off the last beads of water clinging to her fur. She instinctively scanned the treeline for whoever had spoken. She narrowed her eyes uncertainly as she saw nothing but the forest around her. "Who just...?" It took Silvermoon another good few seconds before she thought to look down at the water for her invisible assailant. "Oh!" Embarrassment crept into Silvermoon's voice as she stared down at what had to be a TideClan cat watching her as they lazily swam through the shallow waters. The stranger's patterned brown pelt briefly reminded Silvermoon of Oakstar. She fought the urge to dig her claws into the ground as she reminded herself that the voice that had spoken to her was feminine and not at all the haughty, crude voice of the TideClan leader. It was likely she was just one of the leader's children. Knowing how many kits Oakstar had sired, Silvermoon doubted she could accurately guess the stranger's name. "Oh, don't mind me," Silvermoon said, shifting her paws anxiously. "I won't take up any of your time. I've just come here to get some water for Smallpuddle." Suddenly, as though she had just reminded herself of why she came to the river, Silvermoon scooped the bundle of moss into her mouth and dipped it into the river. Warmth emanated under her pelt as the TideClan cat stared at Silvermoon curiously. The fact that the stranger was practically standing on the border did not escape Silvermoon's attention. If anything, she had grown hyperaware of it, to the point of feeling uneasy by the warrior's close proximity. Maybe she was just unaware of where she was? TideClan cats always come off as aloof and unaware. Silvermoon had heard many of the warriors back at camp joke that all the cats in TideClan would have drowned moons ago by tripping into the water if they didn't already know how to swim. Silvermoon hesitantly glanced up at the stranger. She could absolutely see where the warriors were coming from. The stranger was looking at Silvermoon with a calm, yet disarming stare. Oddly though, Silvermoon did not feel reliefs or amused by the stranger's attention. If anything, she realized as she looked by down at the water in embarrassment, it caused a strange tangling sensation in her chest. The feeling was foreign but strangely not unwelcome.
  11. 「 タクミ || village entrance 」 Takumi, of course, was wide awake when the courier had arrived at his apartment. In fact, Takumi had woken up several hours before her arrival. Even before he became a chuunin, Takumi had taken great measure to train himself to rouse as soon as first lays of ephemeral morning light tricking in through the window. He found that being awake in the early hours of the day when the village was still quiet with sleep gave him ample time to prepare himself for the day. When the courier had arrived, Takumi had been sitting down outside his apartment nursing a warm cup of green tea in his hands. The courier had been startled, if not somewhat disturbed, by his jubilant response to hearing about a child's kidnapping. He was quite to thank her for the news. He went so far to offer a shiny coin for the trouble to which she promptly refused. It had been some time since he, Hikaru, and Miso had gone on a mission together. Hikaru was distant. Not just to Takumi, but everyone around him. He wasn't rude to anyone per se, but any invitations to a night out for dinner or spending time together outside of work hours were always met with curt, but firm, no. If asked about it, Takumi would have to confess that his feelings had been hurt more than once after having his request to hang out rejected after he and Hikaru had survived a mission that had tolled on the both of them physically and mentally. Today was going to be different! Today, Takumi was going to try something new! Granted, that's what he always told himself whenever he tried a new tactic to befriend Hikaru, but this time would work for sure! Takumi, ever so prepared, had already gathered his required supplies for the trip soon after the courier had left. In addition to his normal supplies—shurikens, explosive tags, paper and ink to make more tags, a selection of high-calorie food, a filled water skin, basic medical supplies, and a coin purse filled to the brim to purchase any other supplies—was a portable wooden tea set. Takumi figured that if there was ever a brief respite, he could offer Hikaru some freshly brewed tea and maybe, just maybe, Hikaru would be swayed by Takumi's hospitality. He'd be so enamored with the small sign of kindness that he would smile and open up to Takumi and talk to him and spend time with him and stop looking at him under a guise of thinly veiled— The china shattered upon the ground. Takumi hissed, biting his lip between his teeth as he lifted his hand. A shard of the broken teacup had embedded itself into his palm, causing a trickle of blood to ooze down to his forearm. Takumi swore under his breath. This was fine. He didn't really need four teacups when there was only three members in Squad 13, and even then Takumi wasn't sure if Miso would actually drink from a teacup. Pulling the shard out of his hand, Takumi gradually got to his feet and walked off to his first-aid kit. Cleaning and bandaging the wound, not to mention repacking the first-aid kit and the tea set, took longer than Takumi would have liked. By the time he arrived at the entrance to the village, Hikaru was already there with his arms crossed firmly across his chest and a bored look upon his face. Takumi withheld the urge to sigh. Not a good way to start off the mission, but he could salvage it. Pulling at the straps of his bag, Takumi ran towards Hikaru and Miso. "Hey!" he called. He slowed down as his approached, grinning all the while. "Sorry for the wait! I had a few things to take care of before coming."
  12. [[ theo || theo's apartment ]] Unsurprisingly, Poe was quick to latch onto Hinata's idea of living together and change the subject back to the case, whatever that was. "You could at least pretend that you care about my opinion," Theo said coolly. He was unsure if Poe was ignoring his chiding tone or simply didn't care as the man who quite clearly wasn't human pulled a picture from the folder tucked under his armpit and flashed it in front of Theo's face. Considering the fact that a minute prior Theo was viciously shaking a pink cat, a cat that Poe had turned into, it shouldn't have come as a surprise that the so called "culprit" was in a photo Theo would have expected to come across if he was browsing through "r/aww" or if he Googled "cute kitten". "Either this is the longest bit I've ever seen someone do, or the black tar heroin I must have taken is still kicking," Theo mumbled under his breath. A chuckle drew Theo out of his delusional thoughts. "The culprit is a shapeshifter," Roy said. Unlike his husband and Poe, he had spent an extensive amount of time in the human world undercover. The man they had originally selected to be Poe's partner was well-entrenched in spirit culture, but Theo was a normal human who didn't know the strange complexities of the spirit world. Briefly, Roy wondered if he could convince Hinata to buy a book about human culture to gift to Poe as a sort of welcoming gift for properly joining the force. If anything, Poe was a diligent worker who cared deeply about performing to the best of his ability. Surely he of all people would study such a book. Ignoring the confused look upon Theo's face, Roy clasped a hand on his shoulder. "It's actually not uncommon for a spirit to flee to the human world to escape the law, but as you might be aware after seeing Poe's version of a cat, most of them aren't intimately familiar with what stays within the confines of 'normal' in the human world." Theo pressed his lips into a thin line. "I... guess that makes sense," he said slowly as he tried to process the reality of the situation. He glanced up at Roy. "So, this killer turned into a cat and is just hiding somewhere here? Even if that is the case, there are thousands of cats around here. He could be pretending to be a stray for all we know." Roy replied. "That is possible, but we have reason to believe he intended to hide as a human's house pet. Generally speaking, spirits aren't supposed to meddle with human affairs, so posing as a common house cat greatly lowers the chances of being caught." The irony of Roy's argument was so great Theo thought he might just roll his eyes into his own head. "Okay," he began, meeting Poe's eyes briefly before looking back down at the photo. "If you wanted to find a cat, you would head to a shelter or pet store. A shelter is probably a better option since they're more likely to pick a cat off the street and," Theo grabbed the corner of the photo, tilting it upward so he could get a better view. "If the cat is as young as I think it is, it'll be really popular visitors." Theo let go of the photo. He non-discretely rubbed his hand on his pants least there was some more crazy contract magic enchanted into the cat picture. "There's actually a shelter nearby. Rosebud Sanctuary. You'll need to take the bus to get there, but it's only about a twenty minute ride so it wouldn't take too long to get there." Nervously, Theo glanced between the three men, hoping that information was all the work they wanted out of him.
  13. " Off to another adventure! " [ naruto inspired 1x1 ] [ Squad 13 ] [ Hikaru ] A young man with a troubled past. He's seldom seen without his trusted companion, Miso. He tends to keep others at arm's length and rarely interacts with anyone outside of work [ Takumi ] An immigrant who's keen on proving himself. Outgoing and kind, Takumi challenges himself with befriending as many people as possible. His greatest challenge so far has been making Hikaru hang out with him outside of missions. [ Mission Log ] Will be updated as missions progress The daughter of a prolific noble has been reported missing after returning home from a playdate with a schoolmate. There is a number of different people and organizations that would gladly take her hostage to bank, but no ransom has been made. There has been reports of a girl matching the daughter's description in a town by a nearby river. Squad 13 has been assigned with finding the missing girl and returning her safely to her father. < credit > - header - character headers off picrew
  14. [[ theo || theo's apartment ]] Poe-cat hissed furiously as Theo violently shook him. The cat squirmed furiously in Theo's grasp, but that only elicited him to squeeze her fingers tighter around the cat's torso. Eventually, Poe-cat simply gave up the fight entirely. His limbs hanged uselessly at his side. Feeling the cat go limp in his hands made Theo more than just a little satisfied. Serves him thought, Theo thought to himself as he sneered at the cat. He probably lost his job because of that stupid pink-haired man. The least he deserved, Theo thought as he gave the cat another firm shake, was to be shaken for a few good minutes. Then, something shattered. Theo's head spun around towards the noise. Initially, his eyes were drawn to what Hinata had written on the paper but his gaze was drawn down to the shards of pottery littering the ground. "What are you doing?" Theo shouted, reflexively letting go of the cat as he his hands shot to his hair. "That was the flour pot!" Theo grabbed fistfuls of blue hair. The immediate area around where the pot broke was covered in flour. The floor and wooden cabinets were streaked with bright white dust. "That's going to take forever to clean!" That was a lie. It likely wouldn't take Theo more than ten minutes to wash the flour off the floor and wipe it down with a towel, but any time spent doing chores he didn't want to do felt like forever to him. "That isn't what you should be worried about." Roy, after seemingly staring into space for several minutes, cleared his throat as he took a step forward. "You've both agreed to work together the moment the contract was sealed and—" Theo opened his mouth to object, but Roy hushed him with a single raised finger. "—magical contracts are notoriously hard to break. Normally I wouldn't even consider helping break a contract, but considering that you aren't the human Poe was assigned to. I'll consider this the exception. It is possible, given both my and Miss Notragon's status back home, to break the contract but it will take time. Seven months at minimum." "Seven months?" Theo echoed. His eyebrows furrowed in concern. He was stuck with Poe for over half a year? He wasn't just going to accept that. "What if I just ignore the contract and not drop my entire life to play detective?" Roy stared at Theo in faint amusement. He was silent for a few agonizing heartbeats, a dangerous glint in his eye. "You don't want to know," Roy finally said. "It wouldn't be pleasant for either of you." Theo groaned as he dramatically collapsed against the kitchen counter. He anxiously massaged his temple with his pointer finger. "I suppose that's a better reason than 'you look lonely'," he mumbled under his breath, shooting Hinata a venomous look.
  15. 『 Morningstar | Neutral Territory | Blossoming Tree 』 It is with great effort that Morningstar manages to keep his fur from bristling. He stared at Oakstar coolly, his agitation only clear the twitch at the tip of his tail. Oakstar was known for his forward requests. It was likely one of the reasons a third of TideClan was his kin. Looking at the young leader now, Morningstar could remember the time of his apprenticeship when he attended his first few gatherings. Oakstar—Oakpaw back then—was still losing the last tufts of kitten fur and stared out at the sheer number of cats in the collective clans with wide eyes. If anything, the memory made Oakstar's all the more disgusting. "The age difference between us is too much for my liking," Morningstar chided. "I'm sure you'll find plenty of volunteers who'd be happy to seek whatever you like in the back of your den." Morningstar didn't wait to hear Oakstar's witty retort. Delibteratly looking away from Oakstar, Morningstar dipped his head respectfully to Maplestar. "Thank you calling this meeting," Morningstar said pleasently. "Just as my deputy said, we'll be sure to contact you if we recieve any news." "It was an honor to have you all here," she mewled in reply. "I look forward to our clans, the three of them, working together in the future." Beside her, Silvermoon was seated down with her tail curled tightly around her paws. Even from a distance, Morningstar could see her haunches shaking with emotion and her eyes glistening with unshed tears. For a brief moment, Morningstar worried that someone, Oakstar probably, had troubled her, but just as the thought crossed his mind Maplestar trotted up to her medicine cat and headbutted her affectionately. Ah, so she was just emotional. Morningstar chuckled fondly at the SunClan cats before turning back to his clanmates. "Let's go home." Beesting and Sagepaw immediately perked upon hearing their leader's command. They both happily stood up from where they sat and fell in line behind him. Morningstar strode over towards Petalshade's side. "Come on," he said, tail brushing against Petalshade's cheek. "There's plenty of time to catch the sunrise." ⊱ ──────────── ⊰ They did not catch the sunrise. In fact, Petalshade and insisted that he and Morningstar investigate the Twoleg commune by themselves. The two had agreed that keeping the meeting a secret was the best for the clan. Hearing that all the medicine cats were having visions about an apocoalytic event could incite a panic. Despite that, Morningstar did not expect Petalshade to order the warriors to their jobs for the day and then usher Morningstar out of the camp. It had been some time since Morningstar had crossed the Thunderpath. The stench of rubber and asphalt caused him to involuntary scrunch his nose. He could scarecly smell prey or even Petalshade with the horrid scent clogging up his nose. "It's been awhile since I've seen the Twoleg dens," Morningstar mewled. He lifted his head, his ear flickering absentmindely as he took in the sight of the building before him. There was a fence, dervied from sharpened logs, that guarded the bordere between DuskClan and the Twoleg dens. Balancing on top of the fence was relatively easy and considering that the twolegs were loud when they exited their dens, escaping their clutches wasn't hard. From Morningstar's recollection of the twolegs that lived on the border, they were relatively friendly. Morningstar recalled a time from back when he was an apprentice, he had climbed to the top of the fence on a dare from a fellow apprentice. He was greeted by a young twoleg with a blond tuft of fur on the top of her head and bright brown eyes. He had meowed at her and she, smiling in delight, meowed back. They had meowed at each other for a good five minutes before Morningstar's mentor had called him back to the forest. The memory, fuzzy as it was, remained pleasent enough to draw a purr out of Morningstar. It was only after a few moments did Morningstar realize he was standing beside Petalshade and purring for no good reason. Morningstar cleared his throat. "S-So," he began, licking a paw then dragging it across an ear. "What did you have in mind? You don't think one of the cats we're looking for is a kittypet, do you?" 『 Shadowpaw | DuskClan | Twoleg Commune 』 Unbeknownst to the two toms, a sleek black figure was following them. Crouching low to the ground, tail lifted so he wouldn't brush against the leaves, Shadowpaw watched the pair from within a shrub some distance away. Early in the morning, Whitesong had pulled Shadowpaw off to the side. He claimed to have a "special mission" just for Shadowpaw. Shadowpaw knew he was being groomed to become the rightful heir to TideClan just like his grandfather before him. Oakstar had a great plenty of children between Shadowpaw's mother and all her siblings, but Shadowpaw, Oakstar's only grandchild, was the only one who had shown any interest in pursuing his grandfather's legacy. As per tradition, Shadowpaw was assigned his apprenticeship under the deputy's watchful eye and given tasks that far exceeded the challenges presented to ordinary apprentices. Whitesong's request, however, was curious. He told Shadowpaw that he needed to head towards the Thunderpath in DuskClan territory and monitor it in case any member of DuskClan crossed it. If he saw a cat cross, he was to discretely follow them and report their activities back to Whitesong. It wasn't normal for Whitesong to order Shadowpaw to break Clan laws, let alone spy on someone. When Shadowpaw had questioned the nature of the mission, a strange expression had crossed Whitesong's face, one that Shadowpaw couldn't exactly place. "Your father and I have an invested interest in some of the cats in DuskClan," Whitesong had said cryptically. "The leader and deputy especially, and we believe there's a decent chance they'll head to the Thunderpath. We just need you to confirm that. Besides, a good leader should be able to move undetected, don't you agree?" Shadowpaw did not agree, but he knew a flimsy excuse when he heard one so he politely dipped his head, told Whitesong he would do his best, and now here he was. Crouched lowly in a bush, watching the DuskClan leader and deputy with anticipation as they crossed into the Twoleg commune. 『 Silvermoon | SunClan/TideClan Border | River 』 After the meeting, she only cried for an hour. Seeing all the clans work together in harmony, albeit Oakstar's bold comments, moved Silvermoon. She had a bad habit of getting emotional over the smallest of things. She was the kit who had to be comforted when she accidentially stepped on a bug and the apprentice that had to be held because she started sobbing after hearing an elder's story about how two cats' friendship helped them grow and develop as both indivduals and friends. Maplestar, who had grown used to her friend's antics, had happily comforted her as they strolled back to camp. She asked Silvermoon to take the day off to rest and mull over her thoughts. When Silvermoon had objected, Maplestar assured her that she would have Goldenvine order parties to go looking for potential candiates for the prophecy. The genorisity and kindness of the offer added another good five minutes to Silvermoon's cry fest, a five minutes that Maplestar was happily willing to spend with her. Even though Maplestar had ordered her to rest, considering the emotional toll of the vision, Silvermoon was not content to just lay in her nest all day. She had ordered Applepaw to restock the herb storage and enlist the help of a few other apprentices to do so. With Applepaw ordering around Brightpaw and Riverpaw, Silvermoon had took it upon herself to go to the river and fetch some fresh moss. Smallpuddle lost control over her hind legs some moons ago which meant she leaving the camp to retrieve fresh water was impossible. Silvermoon would normally order Applepaw to collect moss from the ground and dip it in the river so Smallpuddle could get a cool drink. With Applepaw busy, Silvermoon took charge of the task herself. It was still early morning by the time Silvermoon arrived at the river. The meeting had ended only a few hours prior and it was just around the time most warriors would start their morning hunt. A ball of green moss was bunched between Silvermoon's teeth. The taste of the plant was unsavory to say at the least, but Silvermoon had learned to endure it for the sake of her work. She walked down towards the river, the tips of her claws clicking against the rocks. She gently dropped the ball of moss at her feet then turned her attention to the river. In the glow of the morning sun, the water caught the brilliant yellow glow of the light. Silvermoon could see her reflection dancing among the colored light reflected within the clear water. She could feel herself catch her breath at the sheer beauty of the water. She tentively dipped a paw into the river and let out a sated sigh as she felt the cool water brush against her fur. It was a wonder she didn't visit the river more often. She sometimes wondered what it would be like if she lived in the clan just across the border. Silvermoon had always been fond of water and living within TideClan where she would spend most of her time swimming along with her clanmates didn't sound too bad. She would never forsake her homeclan of course but, she realized as her eyes went half-lidded, she wouldn't have mind spending her days in the beautiful glistening waves.
  16. [[ theo || theo's apartment ]] Hazily, Theo wondered if he was somehow high. Granted, he had never actually been high before. For all the jokes he made about living it up in university and letting loose after finals, the most illicit substance he had ever taken was the time he had accidentally taken some of his mother's prescribed pills after confusing them for his melatonin. Even then, the most "crazy" he had gotten in university was spending New Year's Eve nursing a store brand beer while binge watching Yona of the Dawn. Point being, the only logical reason Theo could come up with for whatever chaos was unfolding in his living room was that he was one some mind-altering substance. In his dazed state, Theo vaguely recalled that he was still in a room with potential murderers. As Poe began shouting down Hinata, Theo cautiously backed up towards the sink. His back hit the counter roughly. Without looking away from the strangers he lowered his hand into the sink and fished for something to protect himself with. His hand wildly patted down metal sink. His fingers caught against something soft. Theo pulled the object out of the sink and, to his dismay, held his kitchen throw towel in front of him. Well if the murderers decided they wanted their hands to be swaddled in a towel, then Theo had them covered. At least, until he brutally killed him that was. The arguing escalating. Poe, who Theo had known only to be stern and emotionless throughout their short encounter, had grown completely red in the face. He pointed at Theo with a shaking finger and began to bemoan how awful it would be stuck working with him. Somehow, overcoming the fear and anxiety he felt, Theo took offense to the comment. He was completely certain he had somehow taken LSD or was tripping on acid now, especially considering that Poe and Hinata had turned into cute, cartoon colored animals. If his mind was going to make fictional beings to occupy his time before the high ran out, then it could at least create more supportive characters! Theo was the person who did all the work in group projects. He was the one that set up meetings. He was the one who drafted up papers in Google Docs or prepared data sheets online. He was the one who came to class with a set of colored pens so he could take color coded notes that he could then scan and print copies of for the rest of his team members. He was consistently the best team member in every team project he had ever been in since kindergarten and no pink haired hallucination was going to tell him otherwise. His hand tightened into a fist into the towel. Just as Poe turned into a cat and began chasing after the scared Pomeranian, Theo marched over him with haughty determination. The cat didn't have time to turn around before Poe was wrapping the towel around it. He picked the cat up by underneath its arms and not so lightly shook it. "You're going to complain about me?" Theo hissed. "You arse! You broke into my house! You didn't listen to a word I said and now you're going to complain about me? I should call the cops, you little rodent!" Roy, who was content to let Hinata cower behind him, raised an eyebrow. "Well he's his mother's son," he mumbled to himself.
  17. 『 Morningstar | Neutral Territory | Blossoming Tree 』 "Becoming a kittypet seems more up your alley, Oakstar," Morningstar replied coolly. He eyed Oakstar warily, waiting for any additional cheeky comments. His medicine cat's outburst thankfully appeared to be enough to shut his mouth for the time being. The implications of Dovecreek's words weighed heavily in the air. Morningstar slowly laid down on his stomach, letting out a small huff as he plopped onto the ground. In his youth, Morningstar had a nasty habit of pacing back and forth when he was thinking hard about a important matter. Soon after he became deputy, Petalshade had been quick to mention that Morningstar's pacing agitated whatever poor anxious cats happened to be watching him at the time. Morningstar had to curb his habit by forcing himself to lay down which in itself became the telltale sign that the DuskClan leader was deep in thought. Beesting, who was well acquainted with his leader's mannerisms, spoke up. "I didn't see the kittypet place in my vision, but the voice did mention finding someone who could predict the future." Beesting shifted his paws in front of him. "Did the voice say the same to you?" he mewled, turning towards Silvermoon. Silvermoon replied, "No." She shook her head. "I heard the voice mention finding someone who could foresee danger before it struck. The voice didn't mention a number to me but... it seems like we were told about at least two different individuals who can help prevent..." Silvermoon turned her head and coughed into her shoulder. "Well, you know." Morningstar drew his paws in front of him. Between Silvermoon's and the other medicine cats' recounts of their visions, there was plenty of speculation to be head. He mulled their words over in his head, his claws flexing in and out of the dirt as he thought. "It would seem," Morningstar began, breaking the heavy silence. "that we are intended to find these 'three cats'." With great effort, Morningstar stretched, his lower half raised up as he dug his claws into the ground. He rolling his shoulders, his powerful muscles rippling underneath his fur as he drew himself up into a sitting position. "If all three medicine cats were given visions pointing towards the same future disaster but were given different advice on how to prepare for it, then surely that advice is to be heeded? StarClan would not waste our time with vague gestures and meanings. It is our duty as the leadership of the clans to listen to what StarClan has to say and follow their guidance." Morningstar paused. He glanced between all of the cats in the clearing, making sure to meet each of their eyes. "As ambiguous as they might be, I believe it would be in our best interest to find cats that meet the descriptions given. I'm sure all of us can agree—" Morningstar resisted the urge to glance knowingly in Oakstar's direction and opted instead to look between both leaders. "—that finding cats that can see into the future shouldn't be a hard task, yes?"
  18. < STATUS: Stable; Excited > < LOCATION: : Unidentified asteroid > < AGENTS: Sorey, Parker, Rayla, Ace, Blixer > < OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Twilight, Tsuki, Lumas > The music faded into a distant hum. The magenta light emanating from the bullets and lasers fizzled out as the music ended, leaving the galaxy silent. Jin let out a sigh of relief, his head lazily lolling to the side. He liked a good fight, hell he loved the adrenaline and passion that came with fighting, but dodging projectiles in space was not what he would deem a fair fight. He was a close-ranged fighter so he was at a clear disadvantage against an enemy that was so far away he couldn't see them and even though he did have some abilities that let him fight across a distance he still needed a target. Thankfully, some of his friends managed to find their attacker which was likely the reasons the assault suddenly halted. The purple flying horse was the first to approach the stranger. Her wings fanned outward as she began hovering a reasonable distance in front of him. Jin could see her mouth moving, it was likely she was greeting the stranger but Jin couldn't quite hear what she was saying. Jin was filled with the sudden need to get his feet on firm ground. He grunted, his limbs waving in jerky motions as his body spun slowly through space. It was nice that he didn't need oxygen to breath in space, but maneuvering his body with whatever strange spell the horse cast was proving to be abnormally difficult. Jin continued to flail his arms, making a series of irritated noises before he finally managed to fling himself onto a nearby asteroid. He landed onto the rock face first, his teeth banging painfully against the gravel. His head thumped with pain, but Jin could not help but let out a whoop of success as he pulled his face free and began quickly repositioning his body. "Hey!" Jin called, wobbly getting to his feet. "The music was pretty cool! Had a nice beat to it! Good light show too, but, uh, that wasn't really a fair fight. It's kinda rude to start shooting at people without any warning, you know. Now," Jin raised his knuckle fists and slammed them together, sparks flying from the contact. "If you want to have a real fun time, I can show you a thing or three."
  19. [[ theo || theo's apartment ]] Did a... portal just open up in his room? Theo blinked rapidly, crouching from behind the kitchen counter as an orb of bright light opened in the center of his apartment. Poe was sitting comfortably on the couch on the armrest like the absolute heathen he was. Did the little monster plan this beforehand? Did he have someone come to Theo's apartment to set up whatever special effects trickery was happening in the middle of Theo's living room at the moment. Theo watched cautiously from behind the counter as what appeared to be two men stepped out of the portal and greeted Poe. As soon as the taller of the two stepped out of the portal, the light funneled in on itself, filling the room with an ephemeral blue light before the portal vanished completely. Whatever the strangers were saying to Poe, Theo couldn't hear. He was staring at the empty space the portal had left behind. Was that some sort of a lighting trick? Was there maybe a hologram machine hooked up somewhere. No, Theo thought as he slowly rose from his crouching position. That didn't make sense. Why would someone spend so much time and money on one stranger? If Poe and the strangers were planning to kill him, they were doing way more work than was necessary. They should have just gone to a college party, acted like they wanted to hook up, and slit his throat when he got to their apartment or something. Poe looked college age and Theo could admit that Poe was easy on the eyes. Well, he would say that if any of Poe's attractive qualities weren't diminished by the fact that he was likely talking to his accomplices before murdering Theo in his own apartment, one of which was currently walking straight towards—oh no. While Theo was lost in his thoughts, Poe and the two strangers had apparently been talking about him. The largest of the three, a stern looking man with aggressively red hair, had approached him. Theo instinctively shrank away from the man. The stranger halted, raising an eyebrow. "You're Theodore Reyes." The man's baritone voice was flat, void of all emotion. His words were phrased like a question, but the tone made it sound more like a statement. "...Yes?" Theo replied after a heartbeat. "You don't look like you police officer with twenty years of experience in the force," the stranger continued. What? Theo gawked at the stranger who was not staring at him thoughtfully. "You wouldn't happen to be related to someone named Erin Reyes, would you?" "That's my mother," Theo replied, staring in bewilderment. The man nodded, his shoulders suddenly going lax. He casually straightened his untidy tie then promptly turned his back to Theo and walked towards the other two men. "H-Hey!" Theo called, jumping up from behind the counter. "What's going on here? How do you know my mother's name?" "Hinata," the stranger said, ignoring Theo's question as he glanced at the shorter blond. "You entered the wrong name into the contract. This kid didn't sign up for anything. Poe," the man glared at this subordinate. "Theodore very clearly isn't the partner we signed you up for. You broke into a man's house and forced him into a contract that wasn't meant for him. Why did you pursue this?"
  20. 『 Silvermoon | Neutral Territory | Blossoming Tree 』 Silvermoon shifted uncomfortable under the weight of Oakstar's gaze. He was unruly, often misbehaved at gatherings, and made everyone uncomfortable with his crude, and frankly unwanted, advances, but he still held the authority of a clan leader. Oakstar, with his lax body language and insensitive jokes, still rooted some fear of authority into Silvermoon. Despite being able to meet the leader's eyes, Silvermoon's fur bristled as Oakstar regarded her leader with a uninterested look, walking past her so he could reveal his plan to deal with the problem: ignoring it. Applepaw, who had been silently watching since the start of the meeting, grew emboldened by her mentor's clear display of discomfort. As Oakstar approached, she leaped in between him and Silvermoon, claws out and her nub of a tail raised as high as it would go. "How do you know you'll even have time to prepare once it happens?" Silvermoon hissed, eyes narrowing to slits. She took a few steps toward Oakstar, fur puffed and tail high in alert. "The vision was too vague for me to know when it will happen! I dearly hope TideClan doesn't decide to make its members spend the rest of their lives as fish once the forest is set ablaze." Silvermoon suddenly became terribly aware of her position both physically in front of Oakstar and rankwise. She, a medicine cat of SunClan, was telling off the leader of another clan with no regards to how that might affect inter-clan relations. Her meekness returned tenfold as her face grew hot with embarrassment. "Y-Your leadership," she added lamely. She averted her gaze from Oakstar before backing away from him. She sat down on the ground, claws flexing in and out anxiously, and began forcibly licking down the fur on her tail in an effort to retain some air of decorum. Applepaw did not divert her gaze from Oakstar as she took a step back towards Silvermoon. She massaged her claws into the ground, pulling up strands of grass as she, the smallest kit in her litter, puffed out her fur to make herself as intimidating as possible. From the corner of Silvermoon's vision, she spotted Maplestar glaring at the back of Oakstar's head. She knew from experience that, at worst, Maplestar would lightly chastise her for speaking so boldly to another clan leader, but Silvermoon could not forgive herself so easily for stepping out of her lane. Before Oakstar could degrade Silvermoon further, or StarClan forbid turn his dismissal into some strange flirt, Morningstar cleared his throat. All of the cats in the clearing turned their heads as the oldest among them stepped forward to speak. 『 Morningstar | Neutral Territory | Blossoming Tree 』 "If there's anyone it who needs to be under control, it's you, Oakstar," Morningstar mewled, glaring at the aforementioned cats. He strolled past Petalshade, their fur brushing against one another. He shook his head ever so slightly. Years of powering through the difficult merger between DuskClan and FrostClan and, later, serving dutifully as Morningstar's deputy had shaped Petalshade into an exceptional warrior; however the patience he had cultivated since his apprenticeship grew thin whenever TideClan was involved. Morningstar could hardly blame him considering that Oakstar's maturity was reminiscent of a kit, but meeting would be settled without recourse if Petalshade let Oakstar or Whitesong get to him. Morningstar fixated his deputy with a firm, but not unkind, look then turned back to the others in the clearing. Morningstar walked forward, his powerful muscles flexing underneath his thick coat. "You were not given the responsibility of leader to brush off problems so you can spend a few extra hours sunning yourself on rocks. If you find the duties of a clan leader to be too dull for your liking, then you are more than welcome to hand off that boring task to someone..." Morningstar stopped a few paces away from Whitesong. He took a deliberate moment to scrutinize the deputy, looking up and down his form. Morningstar snorted lightly, his ear flicking in disinterest. "...more qualified," he continued, turning his back to the deputy. "That said, I do have concerns with the ambiguity of your vision," Morningstar mewed. Silvermoon shyly looked up as the DuskClan leader addressed her. "You haven't explained anything beyond the forest burning and the need to change the future. None of the other medicine cats seem to have shared your vision either." "Actually..." Morningstar looked over at his medicine cat in surprise. Beesting idly dragged his paw in the dirt, anxiously creating senseless lines. "I had a similar vision," Beesting said quietly. "Two nights ago actually." "You bring this up now?" Morningstar snapped. Beesting's ears flattened against his skull at tone harsh tone of his leader's voice. "I didn't think it meant anything!" Beesting argued weakly. "StarClan doesn't bless me with true visions outside of the medicine cat gatherings. My dreams are usually odd due to the, ah, herbs." Morningstar sighed. Of course that was the case. DuskClan was the only clan that had a special herb that would incite momentary excitement followed by relaxation in its members if smelled or consumed. Traditionally, the medicine cats would use it on patients that were in distress, but many members, especially after the merge with FrostClan, would use it outside of medical practice. Morningstar was well-aware of Beesting's misuse of the herb, but he still did his job well so Morningstar saw no need to cull that particular habit. He didn't think it would cause any problems until now. Beesting, aware of his leader's disapproval, scrambled to please him. "T-There is something you should know!" he stammered. He jumped up to his paws, tail flickering in agitation. "There was a voice. I didn't recognize it from any of the members of StarClan, but it seemed to know what was going on. It specifically mentioned there was three cats that could stop the fire." Morningstar's ears perked up in interest and Beesting visually relaxed. "I didn't hear anything about the future," Beesting continued, his puffed fur beginning to lay flat. "Perhaps we all got similar but different messages? Like, we're meant to put it together?" "That could be the case," Silvermoon mewled. She cocked her head to the side in contemplation. "If we both saw the fire, but were told about different things then perhaps... Dovecreek?" Silvermoon turned towards the TideClan medicine cat expectantly. "Did you have a dream recently too?"
  21. 『 Morningstar | Neutral Territory | Blossoming Tree 』 "Ah." Even as Petalshade spoke, Morningstar felt his head instinctively shift so he could look over his shoulder to check on Sagepaw and Beesting. He ducked his head down, his face growing warm with embarrassment. "You'd think after all these years I'd learn that by now," Morningstar mumbled, soft enough so only Petaleshade could hear. "Perhaps if I kits of my own, I would get used to how sturdy they are." Despite his deputy's reprimand, Morningstar felt himself relax as his deputy not so shyly brushed against him. He glanced at Petalshade from the corner of his eye and, with an amused chortle, playfully headbutted Petalshade's shoulder. "You should take your own advice," Morningstar said. He recognized the solemn expression upon Petalshade's face to be a look of contemplation. As wonderful as a deputy as Petalshade was, the finest Morningstar had the pleasure of having, he was not without his own concerns and anxieties. Morningstar remembered earlier just a few hours prior how Petalshade had stumbled into the leader's den and relayed what the messenger had told him. His deputy made a valiant effort to stay calm and collected in face of uncertainty, but Morningstar knew him well enough to know that even now his mind was plagued by worry. "Maplestar has always been sweet and to the point," Morningstar continued. "She's been like that since she was a deputy. I'm certain we'll be back before the sun rises. Ah, and perhaps—" Morningstar sighed wistfully. "—there will be time for a nap before starting the day, hm?" On rare occasions, Petalshade would sneak into the leader's den early in the morning and he and Morningstar would share a brief hour or so talking and laying on the moss beds, simply enjoying their time together. It had been a few moons since Morningstar had the pleasure of experiencing such a relaxing morning. "Listen to me ramble," Morningstar mewed shaking his head. "It's something we can think of later." He halted then glanced towards the medicine cats. "Hurry along! We're here." 『 Silvermoon | Neutral Territory | Blossoming Tree 』 By the time she and Maplestar arrived the other clans were already there. Oakstar, as per usual, was making a mockery of himself. He was laying down on one of the tree's branches, tail flickering lazily over the edge as he begged his deputy to join him. The Tideclan medicine cat apprentice was desperately trying to climb up to meet his leader while his mentor was sitting at the base of the tree, chest puffed out in pride. From the other side of the clearing, Silvermoon could see the Duskclan leadership watching the display with thinly veiled disappointment. All heads turned once Maplestar cleared her throat. With her chin raised every so slightly, Maplestar gracefully strolled towards the base of the tree with Silvermoon just a few paces before her. "As pleasantries go, I'm afraid we will have to forgo them for time being," Maplestar said. She looked around at the other clan leaders, making sure to meet the eyes of each leader, deputy, and medicine cat. "I called you all here today because I didn't want to risk the chance of inciting panic during a gathering." Maplestar sat down, her tail wrapping around her paws. "As some of you may know, Silvermoon—" Maplestar nodded to her friend. "—has always had a strong connection to StarClan. She has had... a vision recently that we both thought would be prudent to discuss with the rest of you." Upon hearing the word "vision", several of the other medicine cats perked up, their ears alert. Silvermoon blinked owlishly. All medicine cats had visions of Starclan when they all meet up once per moon, but it was rare for the other medicine cats to get visions outside of that time. "Have any of you perhaps gotten a recent vision too?" Silvermoon asked. She took a cautious step forward, glancing between the other medicine cats. "The one with fire?" Dovecreek shifted uncomfortable upon her paws and Beesting was averting his gaze. Was it really possible that all of the medicine cats had experienced the same vision?
  22. < Kui - Crescent Island Dock > It is almost comical how quickly the stranger's aggression dissipated. He stilled as soon as Kui grasped his hand to return the coins. He stared at Kui in alarm for a worrying amount of time before yanking himself from Kui's touch albeit with far less force than he used earlier when he tore Kui's map out of his hands. Kui pressed the back of his hand against his lips in an attempt to stifle his giggle. He shouldn't find the stranger's reaction so amusing, especially considering he could probably easily throw Kui into the ocean if he so deserved, but a muscular, hot-headed Earthbender mellow at the smallest sign of kindness was utterly adorable. Kui caught Kiyo's puzzled look from the corner of his eye. He shook his head, unsure of what to make of the Earthbender's banter, and replied with a half-hearted shrug. "I can't say I've ever met someone who didn't bend for political reasons," Kui added. "But I generally stay away from talking politics with clients anyhow." Kui had his fair share of political opinions, especially considering the growing tensions of the political climate, but he preferred not to be too open. Saying anything controversial could lead to someone powerful getting upset and banning Kui from performing somewhere, and it wasn't as though Kui had the platform to make much of a difference. He needed money and sometimes that meant keeping his mouth shut. Kui perked upon hearing Kiyo speak his name. "A volcano?" he echoed. Right, the stranger wanted to "touch the lava". It was perhaps the least eloquent way Kui had heard someone describe Lavabending, but the Earthbender, with his disheveled appearance and perpetual murderous expression, was a man of few words. If anything, it was expected. "I don't have much planned for today," Kui said with a shrug. "I'm sure I can find 'volcano exploration' on my schedule." There was nothing in Kui's schedule. He was going to be homeless in a few days if he didn't scrounge up enough money to order a room at the inn or a ticket off the island. Even though he had refused to scam the rich tourist out of his gold coins, that didn't mean he didn't want the coins. As Kiyo glanced over the map then ran off with a satisfied look, Kui glanced over at the Earthbender. "If you're so determined to pay me, you can split the coins and give it to the two of us as payment for escorting you to the volcano," Kui said. He tilted his head to the side, motioned towards where Kiyo had ran off to. "It'd be nice if you told us your name. It's a bit rude of you to withhold it from us for so long when you already know both of our names." That, Kui realized, probably wasn't the smartest way to talk to someone who was clearly set off by the smallest things. Internally, Kui began to panic. He needed to follow Kiyo before the man tried to smash his head in or something, but he didn't want some poor local to get attacked by an Earthbender just because they accidentially bumped into the hot-headed stranger. Kui smiled at the stranger, mostly to clam himself, before grabbing one of his bracers and pulled him through the crowds after Kiyo.
  23. [[ theo || starbucks --> sidewalk ]] Put his degree on hold? Agreed to work with— Theo blinked rapidly, the gears in his brain whirling as he tried to process what Poe had just said. "I'm not quitting school in the middle of the year," Theo said to buy himself some time. "Mid-terms just ended, so I can't withdraw from my classes without a penalty." The reality of the situation finally began to weigh down on Theo. This stranger, even if he wasn't actually with the police, certainly had everyone convinced that he was, and based on the expectant glare from his manager, Theo didn't think he'd be able to explain his way out of the situation. Theo's hands began to feel unnaturally sweaty and, in lieu of something useful to occupy them with, he began drumming his fingers on the edge of the counter. Poe, likely unaware of Theo's internal struggle, was quick to snatch the paper out of Theo's hands and directed them outside. Theo bit his lip, his hand clenching into a fist. This man wasn't giving him nearly enough time to think the situation over, but, then again, if he was the crazy stalker that Theo made him out to be then rushing Theo to leave would probably be the best plan. He could feel the weight of his manager's stare from behind him and the collective gaze of the co-workers and employees upon him. Christ, what if Poe was with the police? What if Theo was arguing with a real police officer? Could he be jailed for resisting to follow Poe? A warm hand pressed against the small of Theo's back. He turned to look over his shoulder only to see one of his co-workers staring at him with a pitying look. Theo exhaled loudly through his nostrils. The peer pressure was overwhelming and, well, Theo didn't have the silver tongue to talk himself out of the situation. Especially considering that his mind felt suddenly blank. Swallowing thickly, Theo took a step away from the counter. "Okay," he began slowly. "I'll... meet you out front." Theo would could feel eyes boring into him as he walked away from the counter and headed into the back room to grab what little belongings he brought along with him. He stuffed his uniform into the sling-over bag he left in the back room, checked to make sure his phone was still there, then exited through the backdoor and hurriedly marched towards the entrance of the building. He was certain he wouldn't be able to handle the hot glare of the people in the store if he used to the front door, although maybe that would have been the better option. If Poe turned out to be a serial killer and posing as a police officer was his way of getting victims, then Theo was glad at least someone (or maybe someones in this case) got his interaction with Poe on camera. Worst came to worst, if Poe was planning to kill him then at least he would be dead before finals started. As soon as Poe exited the building, Theo turned towards him, arms crossed. "Do you ever plan on, I don't know," Theo waved his hand vaguely in the air. "Giving me an actual reason for taking me out of work and making me look like a criminal, or are you just going to keep saying that I 'already signed up for this' and not answer anything I ask." That probably wasn't the best way to speak to a cop, especially considering that said cop likely had pepper spray or a gun or a sword or a steel bat or something that he could use on Theo, but there was a still a chance he was pink-haired Hannibal Lector so the risk was worth it. Sorta.
  24. [[ theo || starbucks ]] "God, no!" Theo pinched the bridge of his nose. "Are you even listening to a word I'm saying?" At least a third of the people in the Starbucks now had their phones up and were recording the incident. Much to Theo's dismay, most of those people were his co-workers. He knew for a fact that Johnathon was going to upload the video onto his TikTok and then make some ridiculous video on his Youtube channel clickbaiting the life out of Theo's misfortune. Truly, a reliable guy. Theo was better off knowing him. Theo pressed his hands flat against each other and brought them up to his mouth. He took in a deep breath then spoke, "Look." He pointed his hands at Poe. "If you know what's going on, I'd love it if you're fill me in on the details because I'm utterly clueless. I don't know who Captain Notragon is and I don't know why you're bringing up a mission person case to me. I'm in university. For a history major. I'm the last person who's going to be able to help you with a case, and this?" Theo snatched the paper out of Poe's hand with more force than necessarily. "What is this? A warrant?" Theo skimmed through the paper, hoping it would shed some light on the situation. It, in fact, did the exact opposite. "What... is this exactly?" Theo asked, frowning. The paper had his name on it along with a few additional details. Some of it was harmless such as where he went to school and some of his life accomplishments, stuff he'd put on a resume. Then there was more damning things such as his home address and phone number. "Where did you even get this from?" Theo asked, glancing up warily at the stranger. This was a weird thing for a police officer to give him. It was weird for anyone to carry around a piece of paper with someone's information on it. Just what was this guy doing?
  25. it's dumb cat time boiiiiis ) 『 Silvermoon | SunClan Territory | Medicine Cat Den ➟ Leader's Den 』 The flames engulfed the camp. Embers danced through the air like fireflies, pinpricks of light among the ash and soot. Smoke filled her lungs and she gagged as she tried to breath. She could hear them. Yelling words she could hardly comprehend, desperate and pleading. There was a voice in the back of her head. It was clear, undisturbed by the chaos around her. "See to the future," it said. "Remember this. This is one path of many. It doesn't have to be like this. The future can be changed. You have to remember. You have to—" Silvermoon woke with a start. She flexed her claws instinctively, digging them into the soil to ground herself. She breathed in deeply then breathed out. There was no fire. Silvermoon squeezed her eyes closed. She was safe. Everyone was safe. With a final shaky breath, Silvermoon opened her eyes steadily rose to her paws. It wasn't the first time she had been woken up by a strange vision. Her precognition had proven itself to be unpredictable, but oddly reliable. She had foreseen numerous events and counters, both good and bad, and made sure to take whatever steps necessary to keep the clan safe; however none of the previous visions had ever been quite so... violent. Shaking her head, Silvermoon walked from the moss bed towards the entrance to the end. She needed to speak with Maplestar immediately. ⊱ ──────────── ⊰ "Are you certain?" Silvermoon lazily dragged her paw around the dirt. Maplestar, who had just woken a few minutes prior, had managed to overcome her drowsiness after Silvermoon had explained the nature of her visit. She had seemed excited when she realized who had visited her. It wasn't uncommon for Silvermoon to intrude upon the leader's den to spend some time together, but, unlike previous visits, Maplestar's excitement had slowly vanished after Silvermoon went into the details about her dream. "Yes," Silvermoon had said after a moment. She couldn't bring herself to look up at her leader. "I believe this is important enough to discuss with the other clan leaders. This problem seems to be beyond the scope of a single clan." The tip of Maplestar's tail twitched irritably. "You're assuming that they're going to listen to me," she scoffed. She gazed off to the side. "I've only been leader for what? Two moons? What will the others think when my first big decision as a leader is announcing that my medicine cat saw doomsday?" Silvermoon's glanced up at her friend. "We can't ignore this," she insisted. She stood up from where she sat and walked over towards Maplestar. The leader's ears flattened against her skull as Silvermoon walked into her personal space. "This is important enough to mention to the others," Silvermoon pleaded. She stared at Maplestar pleadingly. "Please," she said desperately. She took another step forward. "Say... say it was my idea! It's the truth and I can take the fall if it means keeping you say just.... Please, we need to talk to them." Maplestar was quiet for a moment, her twitching ears the only sign of her mulling over her thoughts. Silvermoon stood perfectly still. She patiently watched Maplestar in silence for minutes until the leader finally let out a sigh. "No," she said, shaking her head. "I am the leader of this clan and therefore I must take responsibly for whatever happens to it." Maplestar finally looked back at Silvermoon with a determined look on her face. "I'll set up the meeting. We have to warn the other leaders." 『 Morningstar | Neutral Territory | Blossoming Tree 』 Morningstar was beginning to debate if six months really was enough time to consider a kit old enough to be come an apprentice. As he, his deputy, and medicine cats made there way to the blossoming tree, he had noticed how hard it was for Sagepaw to keep up with the others. Granted, she had only recently become Beesting's apprentice. When she was younger, she often wandered out of the nursery when her mother wasn't looking and snuck into the medicine cat den to browse through herb storage and watch Beesting at work. She had been beyond excited to become an apprentice. She had practically bounced on her paws during the entire ceremony. It had been, in Morningstar's opinion, one of the most adorable things he ever had the honor of witnessing. While Morningstar did not regret the pleasant memory, he was beginning to have doubts about promoting Sagepaw to apprentice hood so early. Maplestar had requested everyone to meet early in the morning before the sun rose. Morningstar had collected his party and had them on the move two hours before the allotted meeting time. Being active at such a time of day was easy for most of the adults, but Sagepaw was having troubles staying asleep. She had stumbled over her own paws several times already and had been scolded by Beesting more than once. She looked so incredibly small next to the three adults. Morningstar had accidentally bumped into her once during the trip and, to his horror, realized that her actually body was about three times smaller than her actual coat. Why, if she fell into the river, Morningstar wouldn't be surprised if she completely dissolved. After watching Sagepaw trip over a root for the third time that trip, Morningstar insisted she and Beesting walk in close quarters beyond the rest of the party so they could get a head's up on any upcoming obstacles. Beesting had mumbled something incoherent under his breath, but obeyed nevertheless. Morningstar watching with narrowed eyes as the tom slowed down until he was walking side by side with his sleepy apprentice. "Do you think we need to raise the age limit on apprentices?" Morningstar said in a hushed voice. He glanced over at his deputy, Petalshade. "I feel like every new apprentice I see is younger than the last batch." Morningstar shook his head gravely. "Maybe I'm just getting too old. It doesn't feel like to send such young ones off to hunt and guard borders."