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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing watched as his leader killed the black-and-blue creature like a playful kit, his whiskers twitching with amusement. This moment distracted him from his worries about Mistystar and his journey, and it brought him to more memories of his kithood.

 

((This is the past, he's just daydreaming here))

B-But....But daddy, I wanna play, I have no-one! Momma's gone, and hasn't come back yet! Daddy.....I'm all alone...Please, come back! Cranekit wailed, pelting after a tabby tom. The tom turned, his gaze soft, yet harshly serious. No, Cranekit. Stay in the nursery, that's an order. I'm busy, s- But I'm lonely! Cranekit continued, letting out another wail and falling to his tiny haunches. The tabby turned his back on his son, and prowled on, disappearing into a knot of his Clanmates. Cranekit sat there, alone, no-one to care for him. True, the other Queens gave him milk, but none of them loved him like a real mother, and none of them seemed to say a word to him. The kit whimpered, his shoulders slumping and kitten-blue eyes watering. With a sniffle, he raised a paw and rubbed it over his cute little pink nose. He spotted another kit, a she-kit to be specific, and he raised his head, pricking his ears. He opened his mouth, a-

 

Uh... Do you want to go fishing?

 

His leader's words snapped Cranewing back to reality, causing the tall tom to flinch. He gazed up at her with wide green eyes, his pelt fluffed slightly with surprise. U-Uh... Cranewing began, casting Mistystar a nervous glance before licking his shoulder fur and then his chest fur in efforts to flatten it. S-Sure...I guess. We can leave Marshflight in charge while we're gone. Cranewing gazed at the ground once more before rising to his paws and swiftly exiting the den at a swift trot.

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Birchpelt

Birchpelt grinned at Icefall's determination to be hardworking, despite being a cat who was older than some elders. She could almost hear the creak in her joints as the senior warrior struggled to her paws after a night a sleep. She was risen to stand up faster than most could, despite her age, and Birchpelt stepped aside so she could get out of the warrior's den. Looping around to the edge of several nests that were still warm from being slept on, she circled to the den's exit and stepped out, enjoying the cool air that ruffled her fur. The air inside the log was much too warm, the heat of several cats had been stored and not enough fresh air had worked its way through the cracks. The difference in temperature was incredibly pleasant, and Birchpelt waited patiently for her old mentor to follow her out.

 

As she watched the slot where warriors often entered and exited the den, Birchpelt considered the many other cats that they could take on the hunting trip as well. Songbreeze, perhaps. I don't recall her going on a night patrol yesterday... We should probably take an apprentice as well, but we'd have to ask their mentors and that'd be a hassle. Besides, three cats is plenty when were trying to save prey.

 

Poking her head inside the warrior's den, Birchpelt scanned for the caring she-cat, but couldn't find her among the other curled up piles of fur. In a quiet, soft tone, she called out to Icefall, careful to stay within a range that wouldn't wake any sleeping cats. "Icefall, how does Songbreeze sound? She's a younger warrior, but she could do well to learn from you. I believe she's hardworking enough to not infuriate you, as well." She ended, with a light chuckle as she recalled the many times Icefall had turned the lives of lazier cats upside down. She had never been the victim of a tantrum, but she could imagine how terrible it was for those who had been.

 

Mistystar

Mistystar hurried after him, leaving the butterfly wings to sit on the ground alone, with nobody to appreciate their beauty. The overhanging lichen easily parted to let her through, but the lack of sudden sunlight when she exited brought her worries back, and they were stronger than before. True, it was brighter than inside her den, but it was still stunningly dark for late in the morning. During leaf-fall, the sun often shone mercilessly before the cold chased it away, but smoky gray clouds had forced it away prematurely. She was just one among many who desperately wanted the life giving yellow orb back, and she was willing to give much for it. If she could, she would give a moon's worth of prey, or even the entire riverfull of fish to chase away the clouds, but that wasn't something that was possible.

 

Pushing away her worries, she scrambled after her deputy who was already at the edge of camp, waiting for her. "Give me a couple heartbeats to ask Marshflight to take care of the camp while were away, Cranewing!" Following her yell to her friend, Mistystar quickly ran over to the medicine cat's den where Marshflight sat, staring tiredly at the camp. He had obviously just woken, and wasn't quite ready to face the day. Although, he was fretting over herb supplies, which could be the cause if his stressed expression.

 

Though she felt slightly guilty for giving someone so tired and busy the job of looking after the entire camp, Mistystar was quite sure that nothing important would happen while she was away. Besides, she could order him to leave herb storages to his apprentice for today. Sagepaw was fairly skilled, and she was quite sure that she saw her talking to Thistlepaw. He was a peace-loving cat! and would probably be likely to help. "Marshflight, do you mind making sure nothing terrible happens into the camp while Cranewing and I go fishing? Also, you seem so tired, just leave the herbs to your apprentice for now. We don't have any injured or sick clanmates now anyways, so there's no use in worrying yourself."

Edited by KoalaNoob

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing gave his best friend a curt nod before padding towards the exit and sitting down there. From there, he watched as Mistystar padded into the Medicine Cat den. Cranewing gazed back down at the ground, watching a few ants roam about before poking them curiously, his ears pricking. He gingerly pulled his paw back as the ant began to hurry about, terrorized by the gray tabby tom. ((Cloudclan's having an adventure with bugs today)) The deputy let out a heavy sigh, continuing with his day dreaming.

 

((Again, this is in the past. If you want me to correct/change anything in this part Koala, just inform me))

 

Cranekit opened his mouth at the she-kit, but closed it once more shyly. The look of pain was still on his face, but he hid it from passing cats, who didn't seem to care about the kit. Cranekit closed his eyes once more, his tiny body trembling slightly as he mourned in silence. He suddenly felt a paw on his shoulder, and looked to his side to see a pair of friendly eyes. It was the she-kit he had seen before, and decided not to talk to due to his slight shyness. She gave him a friendly hello before asking what was wrong. Cranekit sniffled slight, shifting to get a better view of his new companion. ...My daddy...He's the deputy, and he pretty much left me. My momma...I haven't seen her in a long time, some cats say she's dead........I'm Cranekit, who're you? Cranekit asked with a shy glance, his body tense with nervousness. Mistykit! I'll be your friend, Cranekit! The she-kit mewed, curling her tail around Cranekit. Cranekit flinched in surprise by from her touch, suddenly smiled, his kitten-blue eyes bright with joy, and his sorrow now gone. Okay!

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranekit opened his mouth at the she-kit, but closed it once more shyly. The look of pain was still on his face, but he hid it from passing cats, who didn't seem to care about the kit. Cranekit closed his eyes once more, his tiny body trembling slightly as he mourned in silence. He suddenly felt a paw on his shoulder, and looked to his side to see a pair of friendly eyes. It was the she-kit he had seen before, and decided not to talk to due to his slight shyness. She gave him a friendly hello before asking what was wrong. Cranekit sniffled slight, shifting to get a better view of his new companion. ...My daddy...He's the deputy, and he pretty much left me. My momma...I haven't seen her in a long time, some cats say she's dead........I'm Cranekit, who're you? Cranekit asked with a shy glance, his body tense with nervousness.

Mistykit! I'll be your friend, Cranekit! The she-kit mewed, curling her tail around Cranekit. Cranekit flinched in surprise by from her touch, suddenly smiled, his kitten-blue eyes bright with joy, and his sorrow now gone. Okay!

That is soooo cute! I love that you did that smile.gif

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Mistystar

Not wanting to keep Cranewing waiting, Mistystar backed out of his den without waiting for a response. She wasn't entirely sure that Marshflight had even heard her, but then again, she had only given him a couple seconds' worth of time to reply. Besides, she wouldn't be gone for too long. If something decided to terrorize the camp, she trusted hr warriors to hold their own against the threat. Ducking out from the small exit, she turned and ran to where her deputy sat, glancing briefly at the trail of ants. They seemed to be running, but towards the wrong direction. They would so find themselves with an entire clan of cats, and Mistystar smiled as she imagined the ants scattering in terror and running back up the slope that lead to a grassy field. Turning her attention back to Cranewing, she cuffed his neck with her tail and pulled him up the slanted ground with her. "Race you to the river!"

 

Releasing her hold on him, Mistystar sprinted off, enjoying the dust that sprayed around her paws. As soon as she reached the greener land above the camp, she let herself relax and enjoy the mild burn in her legs as she felt her muscles pulsate. A hint of the blue river was just barely in view, and she wouldn't stop until she reached it, even if it exhausted her. She would win this race! Even if this was no longer truly competitive, she would make it so, just for old times' sake.

Edited by KoalaNoob

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Slightly caught off guard, Cranewing found himself stumbling, his paws tripping on one and other. Once he noticed what was going on, he gave a playful growl, bunching up his muscles before releasing them, springing quite far. He landed perfectly on his paws, and began to race after Mistystar, his green eyes glowing with delight. His large paws thundered against the ground, his tail parallel with the ground as he sprinted. Last one there owes a Quarter-moon of Dawn Patrols! He yowled challengingly, forgetting about tomorrow, forgetting about the future, and forgetting about the past. The only thing he was concentrating on right now was this race with his best friend. He stumbled slightly, slipping on dew-slick rock, but he regained his balance and speed, his claws digging into the earth to give him a better grip. Cranewing could see the dark, swirling river too, but Mistystar was in the lead.

 

And I don't want to do Dawn Patrols! He thought, his muscles rippling under his thick pelt as his legs tensed. He swiftly released them, springing at Mistystar in efforts to tackle her. If he didn't win, then she wouldn't either! He was certain to keep his claws sheathed, not wanting to harm his friend if he managed to tackle her.

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Mistystar

Mistystar yowled in delight as she heard they easy thump that told her Cranewing was giving chase. He was larger overall, but she had more muscle on top of her small frame. Now focusing on just running, she sprinted as quickly as she could to gain some more distance between him and her, but they were still just a body-length apart. Suddenly, she heard a clattering of rocks behind her, and she figured out what was about to happen after a moment or two. She flattened herself against the ground in a hunting-crouch-like stance, then shot forwards, leaving Cranewing to smack onto the ground where she used to be. Laughing at the silly position he was probably in, she dashed off towards the river, feeling her muscles ripple underneath her thick pelt. "Looks like someone's got quite a few dawn patrols to cough up! You'll have to start getting up early, huh?"

 

Laughing in delight as she neared the riverbank, Mistystar gave a final leap, soaring through the air in a powerful jump position that carried her farther than was believable. She splashed into the slowly flowing river, paddling to keep herself afloat. She could feel little fish tickling her paw pads, but they weren't worth catching. Even a dozen of them wouldn't feed one apprentice, so it was better to let them grow big and catch them when they could make a proper meal. Swimming to the shore she had jumped from, Mistystar clambered back onto land and shook water from her pelt, disliking the heavy feeling the extra weight gave her. Then she rolled over backwards to re-enter the water. It might have made the shaking pointless, but habit dictated that she do so. When she was neck deep in the river, she floated lazily backwards and waited for Cranewing to join her.

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing watched Mistystar, and enjoyed how happy she was....Though he was still flat on his belly, in quite a bit of pain. He wheezed a bit, since he had knocked the air out of himself. The deputy reminded himself of his up-coming event tomorrow, and if he injured himself too much, he would have to make his fellow journeyers carry him. As Mistystar swam in the water, Cranewing slowly rose to his paws, shaking out his pelt and licking it a few times. His chest was still quite sore from his terrible landing, but his belly felt better. He slowly padded over to the river, watching Mistystar lazily float about. Amusement flashed in the gray tabby's face. So, you're a fish now? Shall we change your name to Fishystar? He purred softly, gazing hesitantly at the water. He wasn't in too much of a mood to soak himself, but he didn't want to upset Mistystar now, or ruin her fun. The tom placed his front paws into the water, feeling them slip slightly on the loose pebbles. Waving his tail for balance, Cranewing slowly waded into the water before swimming over to Mistystar, diving under water and then surfacing. He ended up having her tail in his mouth when he surfaced, but spat it out disappointingly. I thought that was one weird looking fish, and I was correct. You're lucky I didn't try killing it, He murmured with a slight purr, flicking water at her with his tail while swimming.

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Mistystar

When Cranewing joined her in the river, Mistystar felt the small splashes of water he created spray her muzzle, and ducked underwater to dodge any more. As she held her breath, she slowly opened one eye, then the other, to look at the beautiful world that she had just walked into. There were several schools of fish swimming from here to there quickly, but never straying from a small area. And then there were bigger ones that travelled out of her sight before she could even remember their names. She struggled not to giggle as a stray fish began to circle around her nose, but before she could do anything else, was forced back to the surface from a desperate need of oxygen. When her muzzle broke through to the surface, she opened her jaw and gulp a huge mouthful of oxygen, falling her paws to keep upright. After her lungs had stopped aching, she grinned bemusedly at Cranewing, and idea forming in her mind.

 

Mistystar dove back under the clear liquid, and snatched a large fish in her jaw as it passed by her. Not bothering to kill or identify it, she paddled back up and swung the fish had Cranewing, releasing it as it crossed his face. She laughed as the scaly pink creature flailed around helplessly on his back before flopping back into the water before realizing that Cranewing would not take kindly to the prank. As quickly as she could, Mistystar flailed her paws to swim upstream, still laughing from the look on her deputy's face. Hopefully, he wouldn't catch up, but he probably would, considering how poor her speed-swimming skills were. Still, she threw a taunt behind her, though it was laced with giggles. "Bet you can't catch me!"

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing was surprised to feel a fish smack against his slick, soggy pelt. As if flopped around, he flailed in surprise, his green eyes wide. He wasn't very fond of the prank, but kept his cool, dunking under water a few times to remove the slimy fish oil from his pelt. As he watched Mistystar swiftly swim away, a smirk grew on his face. I have longer legs, Mistystar, and I'm a great jumper as well! He thought, paddling towards shallower water and running there. Of course, he ended up trampling a few small, worthless minnows, but they only squirmed for a bit until regaining their consciousness and swimming off. The deputy let his body tense, and prepare for a leap to tackle the leader and bring her under water.

 

Bet I can, Mistystar! You know I have long, strong legs, better prepare yourself for a drink! He howled with joy, waiting a few moments before springing, wrapping a front paw around her and her shoulders before splashing into the water. His head went below water, and if his efforts went well, Mistystar would go down underwater with him. It depended on whether or not his single paw could keep a good grip on her slick fur.

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Mistystar

Mistystar was still laughing as Cranewing pulled her under, and she got a mouthful of water as a result. She slammed her jaw shut as not to let in any more, but the mouthful was still quite irritating. As she paddled upwards, she found that her neck was still caught in his grasp, and she turned to see him smirking at her, also underwater. It wouldn't be possible for her to escape a cat so much bigger than her, so her mind reeled with ideas to find a way to surface. In the end, she chose to just slip underneath him as opposed to several more playful but risky ideas, and when she ducked her head, her wet fur slid under his forleg. Gasping for air when she returned to the water's surface, Mistystar paddled back to shore and Hooke her fur, letting water spray everywhere. We came to the river to fish, but the idea of having some fun was too tempting. Making we should try and catch some prey for tonight... No, it's fine. We're both enjoying ourselves and letting our stress slip away to be carried off by the water, and we can fish later anyways.

 

With a slightly nostalgic smile, she walked back into the river and grabbed Cranewing's tail with a paw and pulled it upwards, wondering if she would end up dangling him by the tail. But then, she remembered her own need for air when she surfaced, and quickly released her hold in case he was in a similar situation. Though she considered calling down to ask him, it wasn't a smart idea. Sound didn't seem to reach those underwater, and he couldn't reply anyway, unless he wanted a nice, long drink. Instead, she backed away, giving him room to surface. She could try pulling his tail later, when she knew he wouldn't suffocate. This would be the last day they could be together for a long time, and she planned to enjoy it without any casualties.

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((:3))

Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing purred underwater as he felt Mistystar struggle underwater with him, and watched her resurface. He watched a school of fish go by, and before he could swat out at them, he felt his tail caught by something. He flinched, but relaxed at his felt his tail released. His lungs were now screaming for air, so he decided it would be a good time to resurface. He hauled himself out of the water, the rear half of his body remaining in the river. So, I told you I'd get you- Before Cranewing could finish, the brittle ground beneath his forepaws collapsed, causing him to fall into the swirling water once more. He fought the dirt and rubble, but a rock fell on his head, causing him to become unconscious and slowly sink to the bottom of the river. Cranewing's limp body thudded ever-so-softly against the river bottom, only a bit of dirt falling after him, since most of the heavier rocks missed him. ((Anyways, the biggest rock ended up hitting him, which wasn't too big, so the rest of the debris shouldn't harm him that much)).

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Snowfeather

Snowfeather stood up and padded after Fleckpelt, and joined him by his side. She glances back at Duskflame, her blood turning to ice. He was watching her with a strange expression, and it made her nervous. She quickly glanced away when he noticed her look, and turned to walk with Songbreeze and Felckpelt. "Sorry about that, Fleckpelt. Duskflame is just acting really wired lately... It makes me feel like he's always watching me." Snowfeather shivers with discomfort, wishing Fleckpelt would do something to comfort her. She watched him with Songbreeze with a longing expression.

 

Duskflame

Duskflame sat down, watching Snowfeather pad off with a stunned look, mixed with hurt. He knew that she hated him, but did she have to be so rude about it? He walked after them, trailing a bit behind. His eyes flashed with anger, but he felt as if someone was stabbing him in the heart. He glared at Fleckpelt with hatred in his eyes. I should do something to make Snowfeather hate him..... he thought darkly.

I posted this and I'm waiting for you to post a response.. Mia smile.gif

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Willowpaw

 

She turned in her nest, tail tip tickling her nose. Willowpaw yawned and stretched out her body, paws curling and uncurling before she began to kneed the ground with her claws. Once more awake, she darted out of the Apprentices' Den, looking around at the camp to see if her mentor was up yet.

 

Her brother was near the center of camp, appearing to be in a conversation with Sagepaw. "Thistlepaw! Sagepaw!" she called, bouncing over towards the other two young cats. "Morning you two! Do you guys want to go on some kind of patrol with me? I bet we can surprise the clan by bringing back a whole bunch of prey for the pile or chasing off a whole group of foxes and badgers all on our own!" Willowpaw hunched down into a sloppy crouch, stalking towards her brother and Sagepaw in a mock hunt. Sitting back up abruptly, she waved her tail excitedly. "So what do you two say?"

~~~~

 

Barkpelt

 

Waking with the other warriors, Barkpelt headed out of the den and listened as a Dawn Patrol and a Hunting Patrol were gradually formed. Fleckpelt was already leading his patrol out of the camp but Birchpelt was still working on putting together a hunting patrol. Perhaps he'd join the two females, making a trio of older warriors. He shook out his fur, ears swiveling as he picked up all sorts of sounds from the clan. "Birchpelt? Would you mind if I joined?"

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Icefall

"Songbreeze?" Icefall asked, flicking an ear back in annoyance. The cat hadn't been a warrior very long, and seemed to talk far too much. Icefall didn't really know her, having avoided some of the more irritating young warriors. Maybe she was better while hunting, but Icefall didn't really care to find out. With the prey running off already they didn't need someone to chase them off by gossiping about kits. Though, Birchpelt was right about one thing. Songbreeze still did have a lot to learn, and hunting with the older warriors was a good way to do that. Though Icefall didn't usually like younger cats, she did like having a hard working apprentice. Her last one had been, what, three seasons ago? Four? It was a pity that she didn't have one now, but she'd rather have no apprentice than have a stupid one. "I suppose, if we can find her..."

 

Icefall was saved from having to search for Songbreeze by the arrival of Barkpelt. "Hello, Barkpelt. It looks like we won't have to find Songbreeze after all." There was the slightest hint of happiness (or smugness; it was hard to tell) in her voice. "Shall we go fishing? We might as well catch fish before leaf-bare and save the mice." Over the years, Icepelt had become an expert at fishing. Though her reflexes had dulled slightly, she could still tell where the fish were despite the refraction.

 

Without waiting for the others, Icefall walked out of the camp towards the river.

 

 

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Stormpaw

 

Stormpaw wandered around the camp, wondering what to do. He sniffed and plopped down, needing to relax his legs. His began grooming himself half heartedly, not making much of an effort. After a few moments he gives up, the clumps of his fur not seeming to go away. He indignantly licks his paw and gazes around the camp. It seemed to be bustling with activity, and he felt he needed to do something.

Stormpaw stretched and padded over to the medicine den, sitting outside of the entrence. Hey Sagepaw? Are you in there? He licks his chest fur a bit to fluff it out, while waiting for the medicine cat apprentice to appear.

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Mistystar

Mistystar sat gazing at the sky, waiting for Cranewing to surface. Her tail spun in a slow circle, causing the water to splash whenever she came in contact with it. She waited. And waited. And waited longer. Then, finally running out of patience, she dived underwater to find him. Only, when she found him, he wasn't looking at schools of fish or trying to catch something bigger. He was floating somewhere between the surface and the river's bottom, being supported by the pressure, but not swimming. His eyes were barely closed, open to just slits that no cat could see through. Mistystar shrieked despite being underwater, letting in a mouthful of liquid that she ignored. With strong, solid strokes, she forced herself to go deeper, struggling against her body's natural ability to float. If she was unconscious, like Cranewing, she might sink to a level around where he was, but she wasn't. She continued to paddle, aiming downwards, until she was finally underneath her target. Then, she let herself relax for a moment, ending the burn in her muscles. She felt herself float upwards effortlessly, but the upwards sensation slowed when she hit a furry thing. Now trying to surface for both herself and Cranewing, Mistystar fought to return to the river's surface. Finally, an eternity later, she broke free from the watery prison, and her luggage flopped onto the shore, still motionless. She tumbled over as well, brinking on collapsing from exhaustion. And she did collapse. But the shock of the ground meeting her face forced her back to her feet, and she rolled Cranewing onto his stomach, and shook desperately. "Come on, Cranewing, you weren't even under for that long!" There's no way he's going the the journey. I'll replace him with Icefall or Birchpelt.

((Just so you know, Mia, I'm not removing him from the journeying cats. He can still fight for it and Mistystar will probably say yes.))

 

Birchpelt

Birchpelt turned to look at Barkpelt. She had planned to go find Songbreeze to invite her on patrol, but that had just been an idea. Barkpelt was already here, and it would be much easier, not to mention kinder, to just say yes and go hunt together. Absently, she mumbled a quick "Sure, Barkpelt. Let's just wait for Icefall." Her head was still poked into the den, waiting for her old mentor to come out. "We should go catch a couple rabbits for the journeying cats to eat before they set off, but the rest of the clan will be eating fish. We'll catch the rabbits first and bring them back, the we can find a spot on the the river close to camp so we can quickly bring back whatever we find." Birchpelt, finally realizing that she was in Barkpelt's way, backed away from the entrance. "Come on, we have to catch up to Icefall." Like the elderly warrior, she ran off without looking back or waiting.

 

Thistlepaw

Thistlepaw turned happily as his sister joined Sagepaw and him, greeting her with a flick of his tail. Willowpaw would definitely make this conversation more lively, and the more the merrier, right? But he frowned upon her suggestion to hunt. Things involving blood and claws weren't his thing. Well, they kind of were. He had great skill as a fighter, but he hated the act of harming someone else. Nevertheless, he tried to reply as cheerily as he could. "Hello! Um... I don't know if we should hunt. I heard Birchpelt yell at Cranewing earlier, and they want to keep the prey in easy life so they can breed more prey that we can use during leaf-bare. Also, Sagepaw's a medicine cat, remember? But we should still do something together. I haven't seen my mentor all morning, so I suppose we're allowed to go play if we want, right? Unless your mentor told you to something." Thistlepaw panted after his long string of words, but then looked at Willowpaw apologetically.

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Snowfeather

Snowfeather purred softly, her eyes glowing with happiness. All signs of her sadness vanished, and she adjusted her pace to match Fleckpelt's. She gazed at the water longingly, itching to jump in and go for a swim. She ignored herself and looked around, intent on staying focused. I can't let myself get distracted like that... I need to keep a sharp eye and focus... Anything could happen, she thought. She cast a worried glance at Fleckpelt. She felt off, but she didn't know what was making her so nervous...

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Barkpelt

 

Barkpelt jogged after the two females, slipping through the den's entrance and then heading for the Exit Tunnel. "Do you have ideas on how to keep the rest of the clan from eating the rabbits meant for the traveling group? Some apprentices might not listen to us and help themselves," he stated slowly, taking the time to put his thoughts into a coherent line of words.

 

His long fur shifted across his body, moving with his muscles as he continued forward. Birchpelt and Icefall knew he wasn't much of a conversationalist and this often seemed fine for the both of them. Barkpelt was content with following in silence, allowing his actions to speak for him when his thoughts and tongue often failed to work together.

 

His ears pricked forward, mouth parting to scent the thick air better. Since the clouds thickened and brought their foul touch, he had figured out how to keep himself from gagging every few heartbeats whenever he took in a breath. Barkpelt's tail lashed, his body lowering until it almost touched the ground. There was already a rabbit, scrawny and possessing unkempt fur, scrounging for a meal.

 

Often, it was a bad idea to hunt on an empty stomach but Barkpelt could handle the task, ignoring his watering mouth and waiting stomach. He crept a few paw steps foreword, leaping across a distance that seemed impossible to do. To be honest, he enjoyed hunting. To be more precise, he enjoyed the sensation he felt when pouncing for a kill. It felt like flying really, as if he could stay in the air and just run within the clouds that his clan cherished so greatly.

 

Claws sunk into scraggly flesh as the world dragged his body back to the ground. The rabbit was dead within a moment, Barkpelt executing quick blow towards its neck. He sat back, briefly swiping his muzzle and tail brushing along the ground. "Who wants the next kill?"

~~~~

 

Willowpaw

 

Willowpaw's ears folded back when Thistlepaw said that Birchpelt was being grumpy about hunting earlier. Great. She'd have to likely deal with the leftovers of that mood later. "I just saw Barkpelt leaving, Thistlepaw," she informed her brother, curling her tail around her paws. "And, medicine cat or not, they still learn how to fight and hunt a bit. Isn't that right, Sagepaw?" She turned her gaze upon the other female apprentice, taking note of Stormpaw a distance behind her. "Stormpaw! We're all over here!" she called, a smile crossing her face and tail flicking with joy.

 

Shaking her head, she looked back at her brother. "Nope! Birchpelt hasn't ordered me to take care of any duties today yet but, I'm sure, when she get's back she will." Waiting until Stormpaw had joined the three of them, she rubbed her cheek with a paw. "We're likely to undergo some more training today so, maybe we should do something that isn't related to our apprentice duties or practices? After all, what's the fun in doing all of that all the time? Oh! Maybe the elders will tell us stories again like when we were kits!"

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Sagepaw

 

She would of liked it if it was just her and Thistlepaw. Now that Willowpaw had joined the two, and called over Stormpaw, she wanted to bite her tongue. But with so many questions being flung at her, she had to reply. "Um... Thats accurate Willowpaw. Medicine Cats do have to learn some basic battle moves to make sure we are able bodied to defend ourselves," Sagepaw nodded with a flick of her charcoal tipped tail.

 

"I would rather go and speak with my mentor, Marshflight. The elders can tell their stories any day. Marshflight may be wanting me to collect some more horsetail or daisy," she excused herself. "Sorry."

 

With that last, simple word, Sagepaw stood onto her paws and padded towards her mentor a bit too quickly. She felt so odd around the other apprentices. While they would battle and hint, she would only collect herbs around the territories. They got to battle badgers and foxes, while the only thing she battled were bees when she collected honey, and the deadly sunlight to the plants. There were a few good reasons to why she loved her job as the Medicine Cat Apprentice, but the negatives often outweighed the good.

 

"Did you need anything, Marshflight?" She inquired, a look of relied and curiosity flooding her features.

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Fleckpelt, Warrior

 

Fleckpelt scented the air, an odd scent hitting hos nose. With his ears back, the warrior curiously followed the scent, keeping his body low to the ground. He pricked his ears as a russet figure loped about up ahead. With a lash of his tail, he ordered his patrol to stand back, for this could get dangerous. He watched from afar, wanting to see what it would do. Would if find them an attack, for scent them and flee? Fleckpelt kept his tail parallel with the ground, and his weight evenly distributed.

Songbreeze, Warrior

 

Songbreeze froze, just behind her ally. She watched the fox lope around before sniffing some crowfood curiously. It was young, and quite careless. It's likely it'll flee, but we need to be safe, She whispered quietly to Fleckpelt, who nodded his agreement. Songbreeze's pelt bristled slightly, but she forced her fur flat. The warrior shifted slightly, looking a bit nervous.

 

Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing lay limp for awhile on the shore, like a dead, drying fish. His flank began to rise slowly, and fall slowly, before he quickly sat up, coughing out a bit of river-water. His shoulders slumped, and his green gaze held the look of exhaustion. Cranewing gazed up at Mistystar, breathing heavily before frowning. ...What happened? Cranewing asked, looking tired from his past struggle. The deputy remained seated, shaking out his pelt weakly before remaining still once more. He caught his breath eventually, but he found himself still tired. Cranewing's pelt was drier now, so he turned his head to his shoulder, giving it a few good laps before turning back to Mistystar.

 

((They're all short since they're all I can post right now this morning. Gotta go to school))

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Mistystar

Mistystar herself wasn't far from the state Cranewing was in, but she managed to hear his quiet question through her own loud heaves. She struggled for breath for many more heartbeats before lifting her muzzle to the sky and gasping in a final lungful of oxygen. She probably would have been able to recover faster had the air not been tainted ever so slightly with the gross clouds floating above them, but she was powerless to fight them off. "Well," she said finally, "You were a stupid furball who forced me under as a joke and ended up almost drowning." Her breathing almost back to normal, Mistystar risked a gentle unneeded motion. She flicked her tail, trying to show irritation to cover her immense relief, which she knew for a fact wasn't working. Provided he could Cranewing would be purring in amusement any time now. As happy as she was that Cranewing was okay she couldn't help but be disappointed that something so small had ruined the morning of two cats. They were definitely going to have to return to camp now to visit Marshflight, or at least Sagepaw. It would be a waste of energy for the two medicine cats to have to spend herbs on a stupid mistake.

 

"Come on, you, let's get back to camp." Circling behind him, she heaved with every muscle she had, but between her own fatigue and Cranewing's greater weight, all she succeeded in was pushing herself over to roll on the wet, sandy riverbank. Pushing herself back upright as she approached the part of the roll where her stomach was closest to the ground, she stalked back to her friend, and began to push again. "Get up, will you? You're not exactly small, or the skinniest cat in the clan, you know." Deciding whether or not she should say the next part, Mistystar eventually settled on yes. She gave up on moving him and instead stood up to shake the water out of her pelt. "Also, my dear brainless friend, you are most certainly not going on the journey. I'm replacing you with Icefall, probably."

 

Birchpelt

Birchpelt flicked her tail dismissively at Barkpelt, mostly ignoring the kill he had made. It was scrawny, anyways, and the prey they wanted was plump and well fed. Those were the rabbits with no family to feed, and therefor no children to raise. Scrawny ones were the one struggling to keep a litterful of baby rabbits, who would one day grow up to breed more. And, that kill was mostly from luck. They were barely into the fields; it was clearly a desperate creature with no food. It was ignoring all risks in order to fill its belly. "You wish there were any more rabbits around here, Barkpelt. We're just out if camp, that was just a stray hungry rabbit. Also, be sure to catch the fatter prey and ignore the meatless ones. The skinny ones need to breed, while the fat ones are only stealing the food of those who have children. Besides, they feed more cats and we'd need to kill less in order to have enough for all journeying cats." Her whiskers twitching in amusement, she added, "But I'll take the next rabbit, thank you." Then, she wordlessly strode forwards, with no signs of hostility. She didn't check to see if Icefall or Barkpelt were following either; it was their choice whether or not they wanted to find prey. They could return to camp with just a scrawny rabbit for all she cared, though she also knew that Icefall would catch everything on the hill to prove her worth if needed. The one at risk for seeming like a poor hunter was Barkpelt, though the clan was generally easygoing and didn't let single hunting flops define a cat.

 

Though it seemed like she was focused entirely on reaching the center of the field where the majority of the rabbits lived, Birchpelt, for once, was distracted. It was by something wordless, as well. She had ignored Barkpelt's earlier question on how they would keep the prey away from greedy apprentices, not seeing it as much of a problem. They could just leave it in Marshflight's den. He could stuff them with travelling herbs, as well, and when they saw the green poking out, no cat would willingly eat it. But it was the goal of their mission that caused so much unwanted thought. They were hunting for the travelling cats. Who's going to travel? Their are only so many choices. And I'm probably one of them. She knew some cats were automatically rules out, like apprentices and young warriors like Snowfeather or Duskflame. To guess Mistystar's thinking, Icefall was probably too old; and the leader would be worried about her lasting the entire journey. That didn't leave much room for the four cats that would go. There were only six or so to choose from.

 

As she approached the meadow's core, Birchpelt's quick, intentional strides slowed significantly, changing the powerful ripples in her pale silver fur to small, nondescript twitches. With the change in speed, all sounds disappeared from her steps. The rabbits were not to hear her. Her gray pelt may stand out from green grass, but there were many flowers of similar shade, and if she was still enough, the rabbits might even think of her as a bit of fog. Seeing a long, brown tendril sticking up from the grass, Birchpelt flicked her tail and held it erect so her companions would stop moving as well. Quickly calculating the distance between her and her target, she crept forwards a few steps to make sure it was a more well-fed rabbit. Judging from the fondness in its belly, it was. Still perfectly silent, she bunched her muscles and leapt, sending herself soaring through the air before landing and snagging the rabbit's tail on her claw simultaneously. Using her other forepaw, she quickly dispatched it.

 

Thistlepaw

Thistlepaw's ears drooped ever so slightly when Sagepaw announced that medicine cats fought and hunted as well, just to a lesser extent. That'd probably mean that all four of them would be forced to go hunt. He was even more disappointed when the medicine cat apprentice excused herself. He was easily the most passive of all the apprentices, disliking hunting and fighting- both of which the others seemed to love. Personally, he'd much rather help out with the herbs. He wasn't good at remembering which was which, but he could probably help find more if given an exact description. Besides, he could help Sagepaw carry some in case there was too much for her. He glanced at the other apprentices reproachfully, then stared at the ground. Willowpaw was so enthusiastic; he couldn't ruin that. Turning and gazing wistfully at the medicine cat's den one final time, he turned and slowly padded further away from it so he wouldn't think about it any more. He didn't want his sister to think that he didn't want to play with her either, it's break his heart if she stopped liking him.

 

Though his heart skipped a beat and his ears perked up again when Willowpaw suggested that they go do something unrelated to apprentice duties or training instead, like go listen to elders' stories, he reverted to his old, tired appearance as he remembered that the clan had no elders. They had all been killed in the recent fox attack, and no warriors had retired since. That probably meant that they were going hunting. I guess I'll have to distract them until our mentors find us, or at least me... "Yeah, listening to elder stories would be great! But, uh, we have no elders." He paused, thrashing his tail to and fro before getting another idea. "Hey, you said you saw Barkpelt leave? I haven't seen Birchpelt all morning. Do you think they're doing something together?" He ended with a sly grin, hoping this would be enough to spur some conversation.

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing's whiskers twitched with amusement as he watched his friend fail to move him. But, when her words hit him (about the journey), he paused, his green eyes growing wide. N-No! He growled firmly, leaping to his paws with his fur fluffed, and his tail lashing. I'm going, Mistystar, I don't care what you say! Our Clan needs me, they need a cat to keep them in order. I'm not dead or hurt bad, Mistystar, I have Sagepaw to heal me when it's needed, if it's needed. He growled sharply, narrowing his green gaze. With a sigh, her let his pelt gently brush against her's, shaking his head slowly. ...I can't stay mad at you, but I am going, Mistystar, regardless of what you say. If Icefall goes, there'll be too little cats, and she's a bit too...Ambitious to become a leader, I don't think she'll handle the situation well. Let's get to camp, before I fall through the very ground. But I promise you, Mistystar, I'm fine and will be making this journey, no matter how much I'll miss you. He murmured before padding back towards camp, his ears pricked and each stride confident. The deputy kept his head held high, and his walk steady, as if nothing had just happened to him.

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Mistystar

Mistystar turned and began to walk back to camp herself, ignoring the water that still dripped from her wet, sagging fur. They had caught absolutely no fish on their so-called hunting trip, but she doubted anyone would notice. Most who cared about how productive the clan was wouldn't dare throw a scathing remark at someone being treated by Marshflight, and younger warriors and apprentices would probably see it as a chance to show off their own talents. Gazing up at the smoke-covered sun, Mistystar saw that it was almost noon, despite most of the clan having woken up not too long ago. The morning patrols were more like early noon patrols, at the time they would probably set off. Lack of direct sunlight to tel cats to wake up at the right time was really messing up Cloudclan's schedule, and she would have to find a way to solve the problem when she had time to. But for now, Cranewing was the thing to deal with. "I'll let you go, in your dreams. You don't even know if I'm sending Sagepaw. I might send some other cat with experience in healing, and maybe not even that. Good luck convincing me to let you travel, mouse-brain. And even if it's not Icefall, it could be Birchpelt, or some other cat." Snorting, Mistystar hurried back to camp, leaving her deputy to follow.

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing let out a growl, swiftly catching up to his leader and leaping, pinning her to the ground after rolling with her for quite some time. When she was on her back, Cranewing placed a paw on her chest, narrowing his gaze. Cranewing placed his ears back to show how upset he was with his leader. I said I'm going, darn it! I love Cloudclan just as much as you do, so I'm going to protect them! I'm their deputy, and they're depending on me! Stop punishing me like this, I'm not even hurt, Mistystar! All because I hit my head and was unconscious for awhile doesn't mean you have to keep me from going! This is my decision, and I've made up my mind! He spat angrily, his fur ruffled with irritation. Cranewing let the leader up before lashing his tail, and stomping back to camp in a fury. He marched over to Thistlepaw and the other apprentices, his fur still fluffed, doubling his size.

 

Thistlepaw, get your sister and gather Marshflight, I want you two helping him with something. If he wants you to pick over the elders ((There will be some tongue.gif)), do it. He ordered, his voice still a bit harsh. Cranewing turned his back to Thistlepaw before padding over to the freshkill pile, growling quietly to himself as he sat down next to it. Though he was over in that area, he didn't grab a bite to eat.

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