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Mistystar

Mistystar stiffly stalked into her den, her long furry tail held high. As she passed the lichen, she nosed through it, then swatted it aside with her tail. Walking more slowly now, but with all the hardness of before, she approached her nest, and snagged a thorny burr from deep within the moss. After slitting it in half and observing the insides, she knocked both pieces away to the edge of her cave, and the butterfly wings soon followed. Cranewing is not going. Had he been more respectful and slower to voice his opinions, he might have convinced me. But the only way he's going now is to chase down the traveling warriors after they've set off, which I won't be permitting anyone to do. Slowly, Mistystar ran through the list of possible candidates to travel, again. The best she could think of was Icefall, who was experienced enough to command a few cats, and always seemed to have a burning desire to lead. Satisfied with the four cats she had, Mistystar plucked a pale purple flower growing at the edge of her den and began to carve and intricate design with a claw. So it'll be Icefall as leader, Sagepaw as a healer, Duskflame as worker and Birchpelt to keep everyone on task and keep them together... That should be okay, right? Birchpelt and Icefall are rather similar though, and I'm still hesitant on Duskflame... The leader finally finished the first petal, and began to work on the next.

 

Thistlepaw

Thistlepaw nodded nervously at the sudden, strange demand. It was so out of the blue and unrelated to anything that was happening, it felt like Cranewing was just letting to of emotions and being rude to exert himself. "Huh? Okay then... Come on, Willowpaw, let's go see Marshflight then. Sorry, Stormpaw." He sat and waited for Willowpaw to go in first, wondering what elder Cranewing was talking about. From his memory, they had all been killed when foxes invaded. Oh! Right, didn't someone recently retire? Alright, I guess well be taking care of that elder, then. He turned to look at Stormpaw, wondering what he would do without his mentor around or other apprentices to play with. "If your mentor doesn't want you to do anything, do you want to come with us? Oh, and what do you think about what Barkfur and Birchpelt are doing?" He ended with the same sly grin as before, and waited for responses from both the other apprentices.

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing lay down in the center of camp, his eyes stinging with a bit of tears. Does she think I'm a kit?! Does she just care about me that much, and can't let me go?! Why doesn't she understand, I no longer need her to hold my paw and help me through everything, I'm a grown tom... Cranewing thought, curling into a tight ball, though he was still in camp. He curled his tail around his nose to block his face out of view from passing cats. My father will be ashamed, all of my ancestors will be ashamed. Just because I fell into some stupid river! Cranewing's body tensed with distress, a loose claw digging into the ground with frustration. He found himself sobbing slightly, but very quietly, as if he was non-existent in camp right. His fur was still wet from the swim earlier, and a bit muddy as well, since he had been lying on the ground while wet. ((Short since I don't know exactly what to have him do...I just know that he's gravely upset))

 

Smokeypaw, Apprentice

 

Smokeypaw was still in the Apprentice's den, curled in a ball with her tail curled around her nose. Her silver-and-black flank rose and fell slowly as the apprentice continued to snooze. She shifted in her sleep, rolling onto her back, but remaining in a ball. Smokeypaw's ear twitched as she heard voices outside, slowly awakening from her slumber. She let out a yawn, her yellow-green eyes dull as she stretched out. Once done, she gazed outside, her ears pricked. Man, I've never felt this well-rested! Annnnd, telling by the amount of light outside, it's Dawn! But why do I feel so well rested...? The apprentice's whiskers twitched as she poked her head outside. She glanced around the horizon, looking utterly confused. Where's the sun...? Smokeypaw wondered, then looking up...It was Sun-high. Smokeypaw's jaw dropped in astonishment. Mouse-dung, I've slept in waaaay too late, Fleckpelt's gonna murder me! Speaking of which...Where is he? Maybe he's out on a patrol? Smokeypaw thought, padding around camp with her tail low. ...With Songbreeze, of course! Oooooh! <3 A smirk grew on Smokeypaw's face, and she turned to the Elder's den to visit her father. She felt her very heart crack as she watched her father, curled in a ball with his injured paw out at an awkward angle. He wasn't even meant to be an elder...

 

....Uh, Hi daddy. She murmured quietly, shifting her paws slowly, gazing at the ground. The "elder" flinched, raising his head and looking at his offspring, surprised.

Ivyclaw, Elder

 

Ivyclaw greeted his daughter with a soft purr, motioning for her to come closer with a flick of his flecked tail. She sat down, and the tom struggled into a sitting position, gently resting his head on his daughter's. Where's your brother? Shouldn't you two be training? He meowed, narrowing his gaze. His daughter opened her mouth to speak, but he continued on. Not saying I don't want you around, Smokey, I love you. I just...Want you to be a great warrior, like your big brother. Ivyclaw sighed, shaking his head slowly.

 

...It's fine, daddy. Buuut, guess who he's with? Ivyclaw cocked his head in response to his daughter. Songbreeeze! <3 Purred Smokeypaw, smirking once more. Ivyclaw shook his head slowly, a smile on his face.

((Ivyclaw = slategray, Smokeypaw = darkslategray))

Edited by 20mia08

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Icefall

 

Ah, yes, the journeying cats. Icefall hadn't really given them much thought. True, she would be very glad to finally be able to breath without wanting to vomit, but what did she care about the journeyers? Whoever they were or whatever hardships they faced on the way, they would all be regarded as heroes if they managed to stop the clouds. She didn't really have the energy to speculate on who they were, so she didn't bother. Sagepaw, probably. Three others. Did it matter? Marshflight and Mistystar definitely wouldn't be going, as those were the two that really needed to stay. Icefall doubted that Mistystar would send her. They all thought that she was too old, Icefall knew. They were probably whispering behind her back, spreading rumors that she was too busy to overhear. No one cared about her, or about how she went on more patrols and caught more prey than any of them. Well - maybe not anymore. But she worked harder.

 

Oh, she certainly wanted to go. Going on the journey would make her the heor, and then how could anyone speak rudely about her? Every kit would know who she was! There would be stories told about her for generations. Not even apprentices would dare call her weak or old.

 

If she came back, of course. If she died on the journey, well, then she'd just be that old cat that though she could do more than she really could, the one who slowed the others down. That wouldn't happen to her, though. No, she knew how far she could go, and that wouldn't be a problem, not really. She could keep going without complaining.

 

Seeing that Birchpelt had managed to kill her rabbit, Icefall moved away from the others in search of another. She stood low to the ground, and opened her mouth to inhale deeply. The smell of rot that the clouds caused made it a bit difficult but she managed to catch the scent of a rabbit upwind. Good. Narrowing her eyes, she crept forward. The rabbit-scent was fresh and fairly close, but she hadn't spotted it yet. At this time, her coat color was a hindrance. The white didn't blend in with the grass or flowers, and the colored patches didn't help. It was better in leaf-bare, when the patches could be mistaken for dead grass and the white fit in with the snow.

 

Finally spotting the rabbit, Icefall crouched lower. It was still a distance away, but in the open field she was careful not to be seen herself. She stuck behind clumps of tall grass and rocks, using the cover to make it easier to hide. All of her focus was on her prey, but a few steps before she could properly pounce she felt the wind shift. In a last ditch effort to catch the rabbit she lunged, but its tail slipped away a mouse-length from her claws. There wasn't a point in chasing after it. It had the head start, and its burrow was probably somewhere nearby. Hissing in frustration, Icefall starting searching the meadow for other rabbits. She hated missing a kill, but it happened sometimes.

Marshflight

 

Marshflight blinked. Him, make sure nothing terribly happened? Well, it was just a normal day at camp. Surely nothing would happen, but the responsibility of it weighed on his shoulders. His leader and all of his clanmates were counting on him. What if he did something wrong? Mistystar was probably right about not worrying, but... somethings were just worrying. Like the clouds. He had noticed more infections since they had come, either from the darkness making cats injure themselves more or the dampness they brought making infection more likely. "O-okay..." Marshflight said, but Mistystar had already left. She obviously wasn't worried about anything terrible happening.

 

"Hi, Sagepaw," Marshflight said, noticing that his apprentice had come over to ask a question. He felt relieved that she was there to help, although he would have liked for her to spend a bit more time with the other apprentices. He couldn't have everything, he supposed. "Um, yes. We're completely out of borage, and if you see some chervil it would be helpful, too. I'm sorry, I'd come with you to help, but I'm supposed to watch the camp."

 

Marshflight looked to the center of camp, and noticed that Cranewing was back. Already? He was curled up in the center of camp, his fur damp and mud-stained. Was he hurt? Concerned, Marshflight ran over to him. "Cranewing? Are you hurt?" Worry filled his voice. It wasn't like the deputy to just stop working and lie at the center of the camp. He couldn't see any external injuries or blood, but it could be something else, like a head wound. He didn't know how he could treat that. If it was just a headache feverfew could help, but...

 

Edited by Backup77

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Snowfeather

Snowfeather freezes and backs up a bit, glaring at the fox. Her hackles raise slightly, and she holds back a hiss. After a moment she calms down, satisfied that it is young. ] Hopefully it will just flee, so we can continue with the patrol, she thought. She fluffed up her fur to intimidate it, nervous that it wouldn't go away.

Fleckpelt, do tou think it will go away, Snowfeather whispered in a hushed tone. She glanced at the fox again! and noticed that it was looking straight at the three of them. She narrowed her eyes and stayed silent, waiting for Fleckpelt's orders.

 

Stormpaw

Stormpaw looked at his feet, then scampered off to the warriors den, seeking something fun to do. He noticed Ivyclaw and Smokeypaw nearby, and padded up to them. His round eyes gazed up at them innocently. What are you talking about? I heard something about Fleckpelt and Songbreeze.. he said with a curious look.

He plopped down and purred, eager to hear what Smokeypaw had to say. He licked his paws, then rubbed his face, feeling the need to clean his face.

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Fleckeplt, Warrior

 

Fleckpelt lashed his tail, narrowing his gaze at the nearing russet creature. We're warriors, not kits, we attack! We'll teach it not to be so close to Cloudclan, it'll flee quickly, He growled, fluffing out his pelt and leaping out of the bush with a snarl. Songbreeze followed, her pelt brushing up against her Clanmates as they snarled at the beast. The fox yelped in surprise, backing away with its tail between its legs. Run, foolish beast! Hissed Fleckpelt, unsheathing his claws.

 

Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing flinched as he heard a voice, Marshflight's to be more specific. The warrior took in a deep breath, and then let it out slowly to calm himself. The deputy uncurled himself, gazing up at the Medicine Cat with dull green eyes, shaking his head slowly. ....My head feels fine, I....Just my heart, that's the only problem....I'll be fine, I was just knocked out for a few moments in the water. Not a concussion. He replied softly, gazing at his paws. The deputy got to his feet, shaking out his pelt, deciding to look more...Deputy-like. He didn't want to be caught grieving, or looking soft. Clearing his throat, he turned to Marshflight once more, now looking more serious. I've sent a few apprentices to you, make them do as you ask. I'd prefer it if they check up on the Elder(s), but I see we have apprentices in there already. Send them back to me if there's nothing for them to do, I'll be able to work something out. He ordered, licking his pelt clean before giving the Medicine Cat a curt nod and padding the other way. He gazed at the Freshkill pile, disappointed that the patrol he sent out hadn't returned. He turned to a few warriors and ordered them to go hunting, and to make it quick. Cranewing watched the patrol leave, and then looked for another task to tackle.

 

Smokeypaw, Apprentice

 

Flecky is close with Songbreeze, and they're outside together now. Meowed Smokeypaw, cuddling up to her father. Ivyclaw remained silent, but a look of pleasure was on his face. Smokeypaw licked her silver and black fur, and then gazed at her father's twisted foot. Would he ever be a brave warrior again? Pushing the thought from her head, she thought more of Songbreeze and Fleckpelt, and how close they were. Would she be an Aunt in a few moons? The thought made the apprentice happy and restless, making her shift her paws. Smokeypaw didn't think that her father would make that good of a father.

Edited by 20mia08

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Thistlepaw

Thistlepaw watched as Stormpaw left without saying anything or even answering, appalled at the tom's rudeness. He would have expected him to know how to be more respectful, even if it was to his peers. After all, he was a moon older and almost a warrior. The fully-grown members of Cloudclan always seemed to know proper etiquette, even if the younger ones lost control or the more elderly were somewhat grumpy sometimes. Stormpaw had none of the discipline all the other apprentices had been taught since their first day of training. Thistlepaw wouldn't even have been annoyed if he had declined, not wanting to have to do some tedious task. The fact that he disappeared into the elders' den, probably for a story with Ivyclaw just made it worse. Grunting, he turned to Willowpaw again. "Come on, let's go wait for Marshflight inside his den. We can help him sort out the dried leaves from the good ones as a surprise. Besides, it'll be something to do while we wait for our mentors to return."

 

Though he spoke of their coming noon training session as something happy, that couldn't be farther from the truth. He had been doing nothing but hunting training for the last few days, and he doubted this day would be any different. Birchpelt had a habit of making him train harder in things he didn't do as well in, and his lack of skill in catching prey added with his unwillingness to do so caused him to fail terribly almost every time. This time, he walked into the den without waiting for Willowpaw and pushed away a large pile of catmint with his paw. He could nose through that and pick out the useless pieces so the medicine cats wouldn't run out without noticing. Hopefully, there wouldn't be too many that were dry or shrivelled.

 

Birchpelt

Watching silently as Icefall stalked and missed her prey, she tilted her head curiously as the wind shifted in the exact direction that would secure the rabbit's escape. It was rather unfortunate, it was a target that would've been an easy kill had luck been on the hunter's side. She put down her rabbit to pick up later, in case she saw something else she could catch, but didn't bury it. There was no use scuffing up dirt for something that would be only a couple tail-lengths away from her unless she decided to move, in which case she would take the carcass with her. Digging up a hole to hide it in would waste her energy and put fur in the rabbit's pelt, and though food wasn't eaten to enjoy the taste, keeping dirt out of it would save someone from having to swallow the gross sandy texture. If a younger cat was going on the journey, they might appreciate the better taste. They seemed to care about flavour more than old cats. She stared with the same silence as Icefall went to find more prey, but flicked her tail and held it erect to tell Barkpelt not to hunt until the older warrior had returned. They would need another rabbit after, since one of them was so scrawny, but they needed to respect other cats' pride as well. If there weren't any after, they could use fish. It was less filling and the energy didn't last as long, but it would do. The travelling cats could hunt later, after they left.

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Snowfeather

Snowfeather made a sound mixed between a hiss and purr, and stared the fox down. She Extended her claws, wanting to chase it away from there. Snowfeather fluffed up her pelt to look larger, and charged after the fox, loving the feel of the wind on her fur. She swiftly caught up to the fox, and only trailed a few paces behind when it served sharply, turning around towards Songbreeze and Fleckpelt, she turned and skidded, falling down. She let out a sharp hiss, warning the others.

 

Duskflame

Duskflame sat near the warriors den, lashing his tail back and forth. He was annoyed with himself for thinking about Snowfeather so often, and was desperate to get her out of his mind. He strode up to Cranewing, giving the deputy an odd glance. I want to know if there is anything i can do, he said, twitching his ears slightly. He sat down while waiting for the deputy to respond.

 

Stormpaw

Stormpaw purred happily, enjoying the news. He liked it when the clan was happy, and was curious about Fleckpelt and Songbreeze. Does Fleckpelt love Songbreeze? He asked the apprentice with an eager expression. He continued purring, and moved to sit down beside Smokeypaw.

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Smokeypaw, Apprentice

 

Does Fleckpelt lo....- Smokeypaw cut herself off with her own loud, obnoxious laughter. The she-cat fell onto her back, cracking up. She lay there for awhile, laughing, until she stood up and shook out her pelt, rubbing her paw underneath her eye. What kind of question is that?! My brother's been mooning over her for what's seemed like decades! She meowed, licking her shoulder-fur calmly, before rising to her paws. She rubbed against Ivyclaw, purring softly, who purred his response. Smokeypaw rested her tail on her father's shoulders, who licked the top of her head in response, his twisted paw held in the air. Smokeypaw glanced at the exit, wondering when her brother would return. According to some warriors, he had been gone for quite some time.

Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing narrowed his gaze at the Warrior, not respecting his tone. I don't respect that tone, Duskflame, I'd watch it if I were you, my mood hasn't been the best lately. I just sent out a Hunting Patrol, I want you to go after them and join in. He ordered with a simple flick of his tail. Turning his back on his Warrior, the gray tabby gazed up at Mistystar's den sadly. He paused for awhile, looking a bit hesitant, but padded to the Warrior's Den, his tail low and twitching slightly. He gazed inside, pleased to see it empty. It meant that Warriors were following orders, and doing as asked. Good thing they weren't lazy, or Cranewing would have them doing Dawn Patrols for a moon. He took out some of the old bedding, and padded out of camp and dropping it into a pile of the old, stinking stuff. He padded to the Medicine Cat's den once in camp, and got some fresh moss to make new nests. Once finished, Cranewing padded out of the Den and glanced around for more warriors.

Fleckpelt, Warrior

 

Songbreeze charged at the fox, followed by Fleckpelt. Songbreeze, rake your claws down his side while I take him head-on! He ordered, watching the warrior give a curt nod and do as asked. While she attacked the russet dog's side, Fleckpelt reared up on his haunches, raking his claws down the fox's nose. It yelped in pain, from both Songbreeze and Fleckpelt. Barring his fangs, Fleckpelt reached for the fox's neck, but it pulled back, fear bright in its big brown eyes.

 

(Probably my last post of the night, grumpy dad again. >.>))

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Mistystar

Miststar had finished carving up the entire flower, leaving detailed swirls on each flat surface. She had even retrieved the butterfly wings, and drawn similar designs on that. Then, slowly, carefully, she pulled the frilly light purple petals off of the stem, letting them flutter slowly to the cave's stony floor before flattening them gently with a forepaw. She spread them out, laying them out just a whisker away from each other, and placed the butterfly wings beside them. Then, and only then, did she realize what she had been subconsciously making. It looked almost like a cat, with outstretched legs and a freely waving tail. Upon its back were the wings. It was another crazy idea, a flying cat. But that's exactly what the picture was showing. It was a flying cat, soaring towards some unknown destination. Wordlessly quiet, she followed the direction the avian feline would be moving it was real, and her eyes brought her to a small mound of pebbles she had left in her den after she had finished using them to plan battle strategies. But it was just barely that the cat was pointing to it. In the corner of her den, there was a small pool of water where rain dripped in. It was small and shallow now, but her flower petals just barely pointed to that too. Quietly, she stared at the ominous sign, and padded out of her den. Judging from the faint hint of sun, it was just about noon, but that wasn't what stuck in her mind. Clearly, Starclan had just given her a sign of what might be to come.

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Stormpaw

Stormpaw giggled a little, embarrassed by his lack of knowledge. If he paid more attention, he would have noticed a long time ago how Fleckpelt felt about Songbreeze. He smiled, his chest rumbling loudly as he purred a bit. He thought they would be a wonderful pair. Stormpaw gasped suddenly, realizing he forgot about Thistlepaw. He scampered off, glancing back once with a nod before crashing into Thistlepaw. Sorry, he yelled, groaning a little. He popped back up, glancing at Thistlepaw apologetically.

 

Duskflame

Duskflame nodded his head before running the way the hunting patrol had gone. He was panting by the time he caught up to them, his fur clumped and messy. He slitted his yes, annoyed, but glanced around, keeping a keen eye out for prey. He sighed softly, unsure of himself. He felt lie, he was changing, lie, he was becoming a different person, and all because of a single she-cat.

 

Snowfeather

Snowfeather watched Songbreeze and Fleckpelt fight together, and her heart twisted. She knew that Fleckpelt was her best friend, but did he love Songbreeze? She sighed and got up, licking the dirt out of her fur. She licked herself fiercely, as if the pain would help her feel better. She snatched out a clump in her fur, and tears welled up in her eyes, and not just from the pain. She willed them back, but when Fleckpelt and Songbreeze approached her, tears were spilling down her face, and she turned away, her face burning.

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Mistystar

Mistystar stood outside her den, still stunned by the strange and mysterious occurrence that she had created. She didn't even know if it was a sign from Starclan. It could have been from anywhere, or nowhere. It was entirely possible that it had been just a happening of luck, something she had done by accident while her mind wandered. But for everything to be so precise and specific, to have it be meaningless seemed impossible. That immediate pushed all the blame to their warrior ancestors, but she had felt no ominous, benevolent presence with her. There were no starry cats that had been in her den. But if it wasn't Starclan, what could it be? Perhaps they can send messages and remain unseen... Perhaps I wasn't observant enough. Even with the self-given explanation, Mistystar couldn't quite fathom what had happened. She had heard of the beings that lived on Silverpelt leaving strange, undecipherable symbols, but there had never been any details when she heard the tales. And, there were no elders left to ask. She supposed Icefall would work similarly, but to treat her like a retired warrior wouldn't bode well with either of them.

 

Slowly, she slipped back to thinking of the journeys that awaited four special cats. There would undoubtedly be near-death experiences. That was obvious. To set out recklessly to an unknown land without any proper preparation on such short notice; the risks were endless. But her clan was brave. They were strong, courageous warriors who would fight to the end for their allies. She would entrust only the most responsible and loyal the duty to disperse the clouds above. Nervously, she checked the list of cats again, worried that just one weak link would crash the entire mission. Yes, yes, Icefall's determination and hard-working attitude will be crucial... Birchpelt is wise and makes good decisions, and cats always listen to her even when they act grouchy after. They need a healer, and Sagepaw is good cat, even if she's quite young. Finally, Mistystar was brought to Duskflame, and she struggled to justify putting him on the team. He just isn't cooperative enough. He can't go. Perhaps I'll send Barkpelt or Fleckpelt. They're much older, but they're definitely more responsible and willing to help others.

Edited by KoalaNoob

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Willowpaw

 

At Thistlepaw's unspoken suggestion of Birchpelt and Barkpelt being together, Willowpaw giggled and shook her head. "I don't think our mentors feel that way about each other. I mean, Birchpelt is rather harsh on everyone and Barkpelt isn't good with expressing how he feels. So, it's unlikely they're together in that way unless Birchpelt actually likes Barkpelt." Well... it was a possibility? She shook her head, jumping in surprise at Cranewing's sudden appearance and demand. Ears pressing against her head in unease, she nodded at Thistlepaw. "Alright, I'm coming..." She glanced at Stormpaw, frowning when he didn't respond to her brother's question and, instead, ran off to the Elders' Den.

 

She followed him towards Marshflight's den, looking back when she heard Stormpaw running towards them. Smiling as the other apprentice decided to join them after all, she sat down in between the males and purred. Thistlepaw was going through the catmint, sorting out what looked good and what didn't. She wasn't any good with herbs, not even certain if some were good still or had gone bad. So, she watched her brother work for a few moments before glancing towards the herbs that were stored away. "Marshflight won't mind us going through his supplies?" she questioned hesitantly. She wanted to help but she didn't want to get into any trouble either.

 

Barkpelt

 

He held his tongue, eyes narrowing as Birchpelt figured she could lecture him. Barkpelt was older than the female and had been a warrior longer than she. Yet, she had audacity on her side, boldness guiding her speech. What did he have? A mind that fumbled to understand his own emotions and struggle with stringing words together. So, he kept silent, letting Birchpelt exercise her self-important air and voice. He sat back, watching as the younger feline succeeded in her kill and as Icefall failed in hers.

 

As he waited, he remained with his scrawny kill, sometimes staring at it with an angry scowl. He wasn't angry. Disappointed, perhaps, but not angry about his kill. Food was food, no matter how plump or stringy. A cat got older and learned to appreciate all meals, learned to be content with scrawny prey to eat. While Birchpelt believed that her argument was valid, it truly didn't have much ground to hold. Sure, a plump rabbit in the morning would hold a cat over just a tad bit longer than a scrawny one at the same time. But it wasn't a giant, blaring, difference. At times, a cat who ate the plump prey would grow hungry again much sooner than the one who ate the scrawny prey, even if the two had been completing the exact same tasks. Each cat was different.

 

But Barkpelt didn't say any of his thoughts to Birchpelt. Instead, he continued to wait, tail slowly twitching.

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Icefall

 

Tail twitching, Icefall stalked off to find another rabbit. She stalked the first one that she saw for a minute, but it turned out to be too scrawny to bother with. Not finding a good rabbit and wasting that time was irritating, but if it meant that there would be more rabbits in leaf-bare it was fine. Luckily, she soon spotted another one. It was huddled up in a clump of tall grass, hidden on three sides. Quickly figuring out how to approach it, Icefall dropped into a crouch and walked around to the left of the grass clump. That way, the rabbit wouldn't be able to see her. She wouldn't be able to see it either, of course. but that was okay. So long as it didn't move, she would be able to pounce through the grass and land on it.

 

When she had gotten close enough to the rabbit that she was satisfied, Icefall leaped. As a Cloudclan cat, her jumps were long, and she loved the feel of the air under her paws. Even better, however, was the feeling of succeeding in a hunt when she fell through the grass and her claws caught at the rabbit. It tried to bolt, but her back paws hit the ground, giving her the stability that she needed to reach forward and bite its neck. She got a mouthful of grass as well, which she spat out when the rabbit stopped struggling. Parting the grass with a forepaw, she picked up the rabbit and headed back to where the others had been standing.

 

When she got there, she found them right where she had left them, without any new prey. What were they doing? This was a hunting patrol, not a let's-all-catch-the-same-amount-of-prey patrol. Really, did they think that she would be angry if they caught more prey than she did? Okay, she wouldn't like it, but she was more annoyed that they hadn't caught anything else. "You didn't catch anything else?" she asked to confirm, just as Duskflame arrived. She turned her head to him curiously, wondering if he had a message to deliver, but when he didn't say anything she turned her head back towards Birchpelt and Barkpelt.

 

((Sorry, I didn't have time to post as Marshflight. I'll write a post for him sometime tomorrow.))

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Birchpelt

Birchpelt turned around and snorted at Barkpelt's silent response. She was partially annoyed, but mostly disappointed that her advice hadn't been taken to heart. Usually, with most younger cats, it was, along with some scathing remark about her being a grumpy old elder. But here, all she could think of was that the tom thought himself older and wiser than her, stubbornly clinging to pride and refusing to admit his mistakes. She turned back to watch Icefall hunt; Barkpelt wasn't her problem. It did her no harm if he refused to listen. She had no reason to care what he did. Her lectures and scoldings were meant to inform in a tone that others would remember and maybe learn from, not make them see things her way. She smiled as the older she-cat caught her rabbit, then bent down to pick up her own so they could move to another hunting spot if needed. Judging from the bloated belly it had, she doubted they would need to, though. That rabbit would fill two cats with some to spare, and the combination of hers and Barkpelt's would ensure that the journeying cats be well-fed before they set off.

 

"Nice catch, Icefall. It's really strange how some look like they're about to burst and others have nothing more than bones to provide, isn't it?" She paused, trying to answer the question on not wanting to upset pride as tactfully as she could. "And of course we weren't trying to let you have the most prey. I just wanted to make sure we didn't kill too many rabbits. These three should be enough; we'll leave the rest to breed. Should we go fish now?" Despite her last words being phrased as a question, Birchpelt turned and walked towards the river at a brisk, loping pace, knowing Icefall would have gone with or without her suggestion and Barkpelt would be forced to follow. She was quite sure she saw Duskflame at the edge of the field, but ignored him. She had absolutely no reason to talk to someone who hadn't initiated a conversation, and she wanted to be as productive as possible.

 

Thistlepaw

Thistlepaw was already nosing his way through the pungent catmint when his sister finally entered. Pushing aside a wrinkled brown leaf he inhaled another breath of the sweet scent before replying to Willowpaw. "I was joking about Birchpelt and Barkpelt, you know," he said dryly. "Neither of them really seem like cats that will ever have mates. One is so tough while the other just can't express himself despite being old." He turned back to the pile of damp leaves in front of him, and after pulling out two more pieces of herb that he deemed unusable, returned his attention to the other apprentice. "Um, I don't think Marshflight would mind. He's asked me to do this for him before, and I do it without asking him sometimes. Besides, I know what I'm doing and can show you too. You can do the catmint. I think I've gotten rid of most of the bad leaves, but there might be some left. Just soft through, and if you see any brown or dry leaves, move them aside. It's really easy." He moved from his spot to give Willowpaw room, then began to work his way through the merger supply of thyme. He was truly engrossed with his work now, his eyes staring unblinkingly at the pile of greenery. Long since having stopped paying attention to his sister, Thsitlepaw left her to follow his instructions and do what she could. It was fine if she wasn't perfect, he could fix it later.

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Sagepaw

 

The she-cat nodded gratefully, thankful for something to do to busy her paws. "I'll also check the stores for any other herbs we might need," she reported before turning tail and entering the den. As she pushed away the brambles guarding the den, she froze. The scent of the other apprentices were in the den and she tensed. Was someone injured? She thought as she continued her way into the den.

 

Sagepaw relaxed to see them well and OK, before freezing again. "What are you doing?!" She screeched, racing forward to try and place herself between her and the catmint. "It's catmint!" She added, her fur bristled up and her eyes were wide with shock. As she tried to calm herself down, she blinked wearily. Her fur began to lie flat, although she was still on edge. "What are you doing here? In the stores? And be careful with that! A small nip or a tear will leak away the important juices in those leaves!" she scolded, nosing the precious bundle behind her. "It took me a while to find it, before even watering it to grow. You do have to be careful, it might be our only store during leaf-bare," she explained carefully. Sagepaw soon realized how silly she was. Guarding some herbs like it was her life. Only, it kind of was her life.

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Willowpaw

 

She couldn't argue with Thistlepaw if he had experience on his side. Padding forward, she inspected the catmint and lightly touched some of the sweet smelling leaves with a paw. "I figured it was a joke, that's why I laughed. They're not that old, though. Well... they're older, that's a given, but they aren't all creaky and rickety like Icefall seems to be at times," Willowpaw remarked. She started to nudge dried looking leaf aside from the fresher ones when Sagepaw barged in, voice loud with surprise.

 

Jumping and backing away as the medicine cat apprentice pushed through, Willowpaw responded nervously. "S-Sorry, Sagepaw! I was only trying to help. I didn't mean to upset you," she stated, ears laying against her head. She didn't want Sagepaw yelling at her brother and, since the other apprentice believed her to be the only one that had touched the catmint, she tried keeping it that way. "I-I thought you and Marshflight would appreciate having the fresh catmint separated from the leaves that had gone bad."

 

Tail shifting anxiously, Willowpaw faintly pawed at the ground, head slightly dipped in apology.

 

Barkpelt

 

Gathering up his kill, Barkpelt moved to follow the other two females, taking note of Duskflame near their group. Pausing, he set down the thin rabbit and addressed the younger male. "Are you here to hunt with us?" he asked the tom, watching the feline. Duskflame was known to be... difficult, to deal with at times. Additionally, he seemed to hold some sort of grudge against Snowfeather. The clan couldn't afford to deal with that. Hopefully, though, Duskflame would learn how to be more cooperative with his clan-mates.

 

"Eventually, you're going to have to let go of that chip on your shoulder," Barkpelt remarked, tail motioning for Duskflame to follow as he picked up his rabbit once more and trotted to catch up with Icefall and Birchpelt. When he met them at the stream, he set down his kill and quickly glanced at the water's surface. Often times, Barkpelt found the water to be soothing, sometimes spending a warm afternoon floating in the cool, clear, liquid.

 

However, right now wasn't the time to float away in the stream. His eyes followed the rippling images of fish that passed by just beneath the surface, many more further out of sight the deeper they swam.

 

[[You know, it would be entertaining if Barkpelt and Birchpelt had a love-hate relationship. -shot-]]

Edited by Narvix

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Thistlepaw

Thistlepaw distractedly turned to look at Sagepaw, then returned to his thyme. He had only found a couple bad leaves, which was a relief. The oncoming cold season could bring many deaths, and the small, sticky leaves could bring temporary relief for family members in shock. He sifted through the tangy pieces again, and satisfied with a quality of them, turned around to find something else. In the process, the edge of Sagepaw's body was caught in his gaze and only then did he register her presence. "Eh? Oh, hello there. So you want to help us pick out the bad leaves? You're a medicine cat, so Marshflight would have taught you how, too. Why don't you go do the chervil? Willowpaw's doing catmint and I just finished the thyme. It'll be helpful to see what you really have enough of, without any dried bits messing you up." Without any more acknowledgment towards Sagepaw, Thistlepaw began to work his way through a pile of borage, carefully sniffing leaves to make sure they weren't spoiled.

 

A moment later though, he turned to his sister, apparently unable to find the focus he had possessed before. "Doesn't Birchpelt already have a mate though? She's less open about it and doesn't have any kits, but I'm pretty sure I've heard that she and Tallstorm have something together, right?" Absently, he pawed away a couple leaves he had found broken, still staring at Willowpaw and waiting for a response. He was trying to return concentration to his work, but was struggling to do what he had done so effortlessly before.

 

Birchpelt

Setting down her rabbit on the dry sand a couple tail-lengths away from the river, Birchpelt slowly walked into the river. She allowed her body to adjust to the cool water before submerging herself, then blinked a few times so her eyes would be used to being underwater as well. But then, instead of diving in, she continued to walk deeper into the flowing channel of water, until she was up to her chin. She stared at the clear water, and watched the fish hurry around doing their business, some near the surface and others at the rocky bottom. There was an oddly large amount of fish, all swimming downstream. Even some smaller ones were following the larger ones' lead, seeming to be swimming desperately away from something. "Icefall, there's something strange about these fish. Do you think we should catch them anyways? Or should we just catch one and take a bite to test if it's safe? There are lots of them, far more than the clan would ever need before they all swim away. Wasting one wouldn't matter much, and it would be for the good of Cloudclan."

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

After finishing up with some den cleaning, Cranewing stood in the center of camp, gazing around and slowly nodded. Good, good...It seems every cat has done something today, and I've had quite an adventure myself... Cranewing shook his head, trying to forget about things that had happened earlier. He sat down, stretching out a leg and sighing, gazing up at the sky. Before we know it, tomorrow will be here... To get his mind off the thoughts once more, Cranewing began to groom himself. He lapped up some left over mud that had been on his pelt. Cranewing stretched out his other leg, purring as his pelt shown bright, and his muscles rippled under his pelt. He rasped his tongue over the leg a few times before it was clean. All of this hard work's gotten me into great shape. Training hard as an apprentice has really paid off! The deputy thought, looking up from his grooming. Since he couldn't think of anything else to do, he found the sunniest stop on camp and lay down, letting the golden rays soak into his shining pelt. All the patrols were out, dens were clean, and his duties were done, it was time for some relaxation to put his stressed mind at ease. Cranewing rolled onto his back, letting the sun warm his thin belly, a purr rising in his throat as he slowly closed his eyes. Of course, Cranewing didn't fall asleep, he just thought happy thoughts, and relaxed, which was one thing he hadn't done in quite some time. He reminded himself how hard it was to be deputy, but he really enjoyed the challenge, and found himself being a really great deputy.

 

Songbreeze, Warrior

 

Songbreeze looked blankly at Snowfeather, sharing a confused glance with Fleckpelt. Errr.... She began, cautiously taking a step forward and cocking her head slightly. ....Are you okay? Did the fox nip you or something? She asked, a puzzled look showing on her creamy face. The she-cat found herself purring softly as Fleckpelt inched a bit closer to Songbreeze, their pelts brushing. She had to admit, the black-and-silver tom was quite handsome, and knew how to treat the ladies, since he had a younger sister. She gently flicked his ear with her tail without looking at him, her whiskers twitching in amusement as he heard him grunt.

 

Smokeypaw, Apprentice

 

Smokeypaw nuzzled her father her goodbye before skipping out of the Elder's Den with her tail held high. Her yellow-green eyes sparkled with amusement as she watched Cranewing sun himself. It was odd to find the deputy relaxing, but he had sent out all the patrols, and cleaned up dens. Smokeypaw continued on, her ears pricking as she gazed at the exit. I suppose I should go search for my bro...I mean, I can't leave him and Songbreeze alone, I don't know what'll happen! She thought, chuckling to herself as she pranced out of camp. The black-and-silver she-cat sniffed the air, trying to pick up her brother's scent. She struggled for awhile, but eventually scented him and started heading off in his direction. A small, white moth crossed her path, destroying her focus. She leaped up in the air with a mrrow, accidentally killing the creature with two gentle forepaws. With a frown, Smokeypaw let the moth fall to the ground, and shook her head. C'mon Smokeypaw, concentrate! Don't let those moths destroy your focus, you've gotta find Fleck! She reminded herself, following his scent trail once more, her tail waving in excitement. She enjoyed going out solo, though she didn't have any permission. But, Smokeypaw could hold on her own, since Fleckpelt was training her well.

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Marshflight

 

What!? Something was wrong with Cranewing's heart? But only elders ever had heart problems! Foxglove seeds could be used to treat them, but, well... it was dangerous. Very dangerous. Marshflight didn't trust himself with them, and he didn't even keep them in his den. The small, black seeds could be confused with poppy seeds, and a mistake like that would likely be fatal. Besides, they weren't likely to be needed. The only elder they had was Ivyclaw, and he was too young to have heart problems. He supposed that Icefall was at risk, with her age and active lifestyle, but Marshflight didn't expect her to tell him if she felt heart pain.

 

...oh. Cranewing meant his metaphorical heart. What had Mistystar said to him that had made him act that way? Marshflight didn't have any experience with love. It was a bit of a terrifying concept; the idea of caring for a cat, loving them, and never being and to be with them because StarClan said so? Not that Marshflight would ever go against StarClan. His work for Cloudclan was worth far more than that. "Okay..." Marshflight said, unsure if Cranewing was really as okay as he said. If he wasn't feeling pain then there wasn't anything that Marshflight could do for him, even if he was worried about the deputy having had a head injury. He seemed fine, though, so Marshflight headed to his den to see if the apprentices were there.

 

Hearing Sagepaw shouting, he ran a bit faster. When he got there, however, everything seemed to be fine. Sagepaw was there, as well as Thistlepaw and Willowpaw. Thistlepaw was helpful, even if he couldn't remember what each herb did (though Marshflight suspected that he was better than he thought he was). Marshflight was a bit more worried about Willowpaw, as he hadn't ever seen her sort herbs before. She was probably doing fine, but he carefully looked over her work anyway. "Is everything alright, Sagepaw? I heard shouting." Noticing a piece that Willowpaw had put in the 'bad' pile that was still usable, Marshflight gently moved it back. "That one is still good. It's a bit wilted, but not so much that we can't use it. I'd get you to help set herbs out in the sun to dry them, but we can't really do that now." If the sun didn't return soon, they wouldn't be able to properly dry herbs for leaf-bare, which could be disastrous.

Icefall

 

Well, fine. Icefall had expected them to need another rabbit, but looking at the sizes of hers and Birchpelt's they wouldn't need a fourth. Barkpelt's catch wasn't completely useless, after all. There wasn't a point in worrying if they managed to catch enough prey, and Icefall had to admit that she wouldn't have felt good if either of the others caught more prey than she did.

 

Setting her rabbit down beside Birchpelt's, Icefall waded a short ways into the water. She would have preferred to hunt from the bank, but this wasn't a great spot for that. Most of the larger fish weren't within reach from the shore where the water got gradually deeper. The icy water was cold, but it wasn't anything that she wasn't used to. They wouldn't have to spend much time in the water, with the amount of fish that were there. Actually, there were too many fish, especially once Birchpelt mentioned it. Icefall hadn't seen them act that way before. Worried that something was wrong, Icefall gazed at the fish. Were they fleeing from something? She couldn't see anything upstream that might be chasing them. Was something wrong with the water? She bent down to taste it, and noted that it tasted fine. "I'm not sure. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with them, aside from the way that they're acting. We should at least taste one before bringing them all back to camp, but what if there's something wrong with them and we can't taste it?" Well, then they wouldn't know until a cat got sick. You could usually taste if something was wrong with prey, but Icefall remembered a cat who had died after eating a poisoned rabbit. "Maybe they're trying to swim away from the clouds. Maybe it's something else. What do you think, Barkpelt?" Icefall ignored Duskflame. If he really thought of anything, then he could mention it.

Edited by Backup77

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Birchpelt

Suddenly noticing a much larger fish charging down the river, Birchpelt lashed out and scooped it up with her nimble paw, flinging it onto the shore. The pinkish scaled creature thrashed around helplessly on the sand, flicking water everywhere and coating itself in smooth, yellow grains. Slowly wading back to dry land, she stared at the fish, observing its frantic motions. There didn't seem to be anything odd about it, now. Almost every other fish she had ever caught reacted similarly when tossed out of their home, and she would have been more suspicious if it hadn't reacted the way it did. She unsheathed her long claws, and killed the fish quickly. It shuddered feebly before falling still. She held it in both forpaws and dipped and shook it in the river again to remove the sandy coating, then scrubbed the body with a claw to remove the scales. They were rather loose and came off easily, quickly falling off into the river and being carried away by the current. She still didn't notice anything strange about it, but she couldn't claim to have any experience in finding infected prey.

 

She turned back to Icefall, using her tail to motion the older cat towards the dead fish. "You're older and more knowledgeable than the rest of us, and probably know more about poison. Is there anything that makes you think it's inedible? I don't really notice anything, but I've never dealt with toxic food extensively." She looked at Barkpelt, too, wondering if the three or four moons he had on her had given him more knowledge than her. She didn't bother with Duskflame. He was young and rude, making Birchpelt feel that he was nothing more than an inflated ego that could do nothing more than talk big about himself.

 

Thistlepaw

He turned to Marshflight, but left his questions to Willowpaw hanging for her to answer. His thick tail waved back and forth, mildly curious about the everyday duties of the cats around him and why they had all decided to crowd in the medicine cat's den. He frowned at Marshflight's comments on drying the herbs though, they really didn't make any sense. "...You're going to dry the herbs? That's not a smart idea. You were the one who told me the juices are what make the herbs effective, and putting them out in the sun would cause all the juices to leave the leaves. Besides, there isn't enough sunlight to it efficiently anyways. And, if it rains, it could screw up everything. We don't know how the smoky clouds will affect precipitation." His tone was quiet and respectful, but still lightly challenging the older cat's judgment. Thistlepaw pushed away the herbs he was sorting to where all the others were to keep the den cleaner, but the frown on his face persisted, refusing to leave without a good explanation.

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Cranewing, Deputy ((And no, not love, she just hurt his feelings. I don't even know if they have that kind of relationship, honestly, they just treat each other like siblings. I don't think Koala has any idea if anything's going on between them either. If anything, she'd probably know))

 

Cranewing relaxed for a bit more, letting his legs stretch out. He enjoyed the sunlight, no matter how faint it was. His ears were directed towards the Medicine Cat den, trying to hear what was going on inside. I suppose it's wrong to make them do those kind of duties...No offense to Marshflight, but those two are probably dying of boredom...Or gossiping. Anyway, it's best to train them, since I'm deputy and have that privilege. He thought, rolling onto his stomach with a grunt. Cranewing rose to his paws, yawning and stretching his legs once more. Once he was done, he gazed at the Medicine Cat den, keeping his tail high in a friendly manner. He approached the Medicine Cat den, ducking inside and gazing around for the apprentices. Once he spotted them, he sauntered to them, his gaze emotionless. Cranewing gazed down at the herbs, and then at the apprentices, flicking his tail in greeting.

 

I apologize to be moving you two all over the place, but I think I should train you. Your mentors have been out for some time, and I think you'd like some leg-stretching. Bring any other apprentices that you want, but Smokeypaw...- Cranewing began, looking over his shoulder and scanning camp, noticing that the black smoke she-cat was gone. He gazed at Thistlepaw once more with a slight frown. She's out of camp, of course. Gather Stormpaw if you feel like it, I want to leave soon so we can get to training. I don't want your mentors to return earlier and look around for you guys. Cranewing finished with a simple twitch of his whiskers.

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Sagepaw

 

The apprentice rolled her eyes, sitting down. "Did you not just hear me?" She frowned, trying to get the cats away. Thistlepaw had acted like he could boss her around! Sagepaw's fur fouffed up as he began to challenged her mentor.

 

"Thistlepaw! Drying herbs are better than leaving them to rot during leafbare," she tried to explain without her voice rising. "In fact it is very good to dry herbs, and we can always dry them in the brambles of the den, so rain will not be able to ruin the herbs," Sagepaw added as she picked up the thyme that Thistlepaw finished sorting through. Her placed it into the crack where it was and pointed with her tail to the bad leaves.

 

"Why don't you dispose of these in the dirtplace?" Sagepaw asked before she turned to face her mentor. She saw him move a leaf from the bad pile to the better leaves and watched the apprentice sort out the herbs. Deciding to help, she rummaged through the bad leaves in case any were useful.

 

Tallstorm

 

The warrior padded into the clan, his jaws carrying two mice by the tails. He had left camp to hunt after midnight, and only returned now. Tallstorm had caught the scent of the first mouse, only to track it and find it trapped in some brambles. The second however, was old and probably stringy and was very easy for such a large warrior to catch.

 

Tallstorm placed the two mice on the pile before turning around to scan the camp. Finding no Birchpelt present in the camp, he sat down near the prey and rested his paws. He hadn't eaten since the previous day, and his stomach was empty. But there was a queen expecting kits and an elder to feed, and both of them wouldn't be full with such skinny prey. Tallstorm glanced up to the sky, seeing the thick overcast. What little sun that could penetrate such a thick blanket shone weakly down at the camp. He remembered when the clouds were not like these, but white and fluffy dots along the clear blue sky. The sun was warm across his back, and the sun would dapple through the tree canopy. Now, nothing like that was here.

Edited by Tiga

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((Mistystar and Cranewing grew up together, and were always treated like siblings. So no, no romance with them. :3 Also, I'd like to point out that Thistlepaw often helps out in the medicine cats' den, and knows what he is doing. That's apparent if you read his character sheet.))

 

Thistlepaw

Turning around to face yet another cat, Thistlepaw glared at Cranewing. He was a deputy, supposed to be responsible and good at assessing situations. There was absolutely nothing that said it was a good idea to squeeze into a small den with four cats already in it, plus a large supply of herbs, a pool of water, and three nests. Pressing himself against a wall, the apprentice flattened his fur in an attempt to take up less room, knowing that trying to slip outside would be useless with the amount of room available. "So, Marshflight," he said loudly, his eyes edging towards Cranewing, "Is there anything you want some help with? Any herbs that need harvesting or should be tended to that Sagepaw is too busy to manage at the moment? Or do you need some assistance checking the clan for signs of illness that needs to be treated before it worsens?" He turned and stared accusingly at Cloudclan's deputy again, indirectly challenging him for his thoughtless orders.

 

Thistlepaw brushed aside the last few scraps of herbs and other materials used to heal within range using his tail, then curled it up behind him. "You just said it yourself that the juices are what make them, or at least the catmint, helpful. It's useless without them. And again, there is no sun. The rain will pass through the bramble anyways, if there is any. To keep them from molding, you place them in a cool, dry area. You don't leave them to brown and shrivel. And obviously, they aren't in the dirtplace already because I'm still working on them. May I be so bold to inquire if you have had any recent head injuries?" Thistlepaw's eyes and tone hardened at the mouse-brained comments and actions of Sagepaw and Cranewing as he wondered how the medicine cat apprentice could be so elitist. "Clearly, you're just digging through the trash to find things to insult us with, and unfortunately, your lack of thought is causing you to sound like a snobby newborn."

Edited by KoalaNoob

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Willowpaw

 

Wow... It got really crowded in the den, really fast. Willowpaw struggled to keep up with everything being said. First, Sagepaw yelled at her but didn't seem to hear Willowpaw's apology. Then, Marshflight came in, gently correcting her about a mistake she had made when shifting one of the leaves around. Looking closer, she tried to put it to memory that a catmint leaf in a faintly wilted state was still good enough to use effectively. It was doubtful that such information would stick but she tried anyways.

 

Thistlepaw was speaking once more, sounding as if he were correcting Marshflight about something. Willowpaw recognized his tone, however, and knew that he wasn't correcting anyone, especially the Medicine Cat. Instead, Thistlepaw was only trying to get a concept straight in his head, picking out inconsistencies and trying to come to a logical conclusion for something. It wasn't talking back. It was him trying to learn more, to grow better at something.

 

Sagepaw yelled again, her raised voice making Willowpaw's small form grow ridged and her fur rise on end. To top it all off, Cranewing joined the confusion and Thistlepaw was growing agitated. He continued to debate with Sagepaw, trying to get the apprentice to see his side of the world instead of just her own little picture. It was too crowded and too noisy for Willowpaw to do anything but crouch down and press her ears back against her head in distress.

 

Funny enough, through all of the confusion, she remembered that she hadn't responded to Thistlepaw's statement about Tallstorm and Birchpelt being a pair.

 

"Stop it! Everyone! It's too crowded in here for anyone to be comfortable! No more fighting, Thistlepaw! Sagepaw!" Willowpaw was back on her paws, tail lashing from side to side as she began to walk towards Cranewing, hoping the deputy would back out of the den before she was forced to shove against his larger bulk. "Why don't we all step outside where there's more room and air to breathe?" she remarked, hardly glancing over her shoulder at everyone else.

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Cranewing, Deputy

 

Cranewing let his glare burn into Thistlepaw's pelt, irritated with his accusing gaze. Thistlepaw, He then growled, his voice harsh and stern. Your an apprentice of a warrior not a medicine cat! Sagepaw's training for this duty, not you, so give her a break, for StarClan's sake. I'll happily put in a word with Mistystar if you want to change your mind, or if you need a harsher mentor. But no worries, I can be just as snappy as Birchpelt as wanted. He rumbled through a narrowed gaze, flicking his tail once. Before the apprentice could reply, he continued on, his gaze softer.

 

Sagepaw still has a lot to learn, Thistlepaw, and Marshflight chose her for a reason. She's your clanmate, so don't insult her, and I know what I'm doing here. This den's crowded, so I want you and your sister to come with me so we can all take a breather, and Sagepaw and Marshflight can get some room. I'll be waiting for you two at he usual place to train, I'll be bringing Smokeypaw....Ignore her constant gossip too, she'll gab on and on, and we need her to train, not chat like an elder. He meowed, his tone surprisingly gentle. Without another word, Cranewing turned away and padded out of the Medicine Cat Den. As he passed, the deputy gazed longingly up at Mistystar's den, dying to apologize to his adopted sister for his sharp words. He decided to do it later, when everyone's temper wasn't so high. He padded out of camp, expecting the apprentices to follow. He found Smokeypaw sniffing around and playing with more moths. Cranewing shook his head, watching the apprentice play around like a pathetic kit. He was disappointed in the apprentice, and didn't see much hope in her, but he knew that he would whip her into shape, or Fleckpelt would. Smokeypaw spotted Cranewing, and cowered away with a "meep", her eyes wide with fear. She opened her mouth to speak, but Cranewing silenced the apprentice with a lash of his tail.

 

Smokeypaw, what in the name of Starclan are you doing?! You should be training, hunting, or patrolling, not bounding around like a kit! I'm taking you training, we should have other apprentices joining us, if not, I'll chat with Mistystar. He meowed, his eyes narrowed yet his tone not as harsh as his gaze. Before Smokeypaw could reply, Cranewing motioned to her with a flick of his tail, and she followed slowly, her tail low and her gaze full of disappointment. They headed in the direction of the Training Pit, and waited for the other apprentices there.

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