grew up so soon | p. juniper

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  • "hey, juniperpaw," she'd greet warmly as she gazed at the one-eyed girl. "do you mind helping me with something?"

    in a lot of ways, finchpaw and juniperpaw were very similar. they were both girls of flower petals and clouds - impossibly delicate. soft. they both rarely bared teeth, they spoke with the lightness of air, sheltered hearts of gold. they had both been hurt. nearly inconsolably. nearly.

    for juniper, it was getting attacked by a rogue and bearing the heartache of a shattered relationship. for finchpaw, it was getting declawed and suffering the longing of someone she was destined to be without. finchpaw could see pieces of herself in juniperpaw, and it scared her. finch lived moons of her life feeling broken beyond repair and alone. she couldn't let juniper fall down the same hole. she... just couldn't.

    so this was her effort. in the form of the one thing she knew best.

    plants.

    "i need to pick some herbs, but i can't leave camp by myself." half lie. whatever. "i promise it won't take long." she offered her a warm smile and a blink of oh-so-innocent eyes.

    .Juniperpaw.

    TELL ME IT'S OKAY

    riverclan mc + tags +  kira.  

  • JUNIPERPAW

    Riverclan - Apprentice - Female - 8 moons


    Juniperpaw looked up from her resting place, at the sound of a familiar sing-song. Even with minimal interaction, she appreciated her. She kept her kindness about her. A softness that she didn't lose despite what she had endured. Something that warriors often seemed to lose. It scared her, as many things seemed to do. The idea that one day she may grow into something other than the delicate hearted girl she had been since she was born. Hardened past recovery. Yet even with the half-loss of her sight, she could see good in everything. Sometimes she had to look really hard but...it was always there. Somehow she could not even find it in her heart to be angry at the man who had caused her injury. A weakness, depending on who you asked. Maybe a strength to others. She wasn't quite sure what she thought of it. "Hi, Finchpaw." She chirped to her softly, rising upon petite paws.


    Not a mirror in appearance, but perhaps in some of their experiences. Bonded somehow over heartache experienced at far too young an age. Her expression was soft, curious, before it turned to that of contained excitement. "Oh, I don't mind at all!" She answered her hurriedly. Always eager to lend a hand where she could. She didn't think herself good at many things, but she could help. Offer time and favors when it was needed. With the new rule in place, and admittedly some extended moping, she took little time to leave camp. She felt silly, asking for company. So she simply didn't. But here, with an offer given to her, she would be happy to venture out. "Of course. Lead the way!"

    THE STARS LEAN IN A LITTLE CLOSER —

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    Juniperpaw + Riverclan + BeewingxDawnsky + Tags + penned by avery.

  • ah, perfect. juniper was none the wiser. with a flick of her tail, finchpaw was leading the way, making sure to allow ample time for juniperpaw to catch up and meet her odd stride. "i'm planning on going further than usual today." she meowed, almost idly, as they walked; eyes lazily flitting around the world around them. she allowed a moment for juniperpaw to interject, but she didn't expect the girl to. she was just as easygoing as finchpaw -- maybe more so. finch wondered if she would even question walking off the end of the gorge. "i'm just hoping this heat hasn't bothered them too much, y'know? it's been kind of miserable lately." not to mention how merciless the sun had been. it was the first time finchpaw had ever seen cases of sunburn; she didn't even know it was possible! how could the sun burn someone? it was so far away. still, she couldn't deny it 'cause rootlegs and feather-- er, streamspirit were never wrong.

    finch hoped juniperpaw didn't recognize the path to the twoleg garden. it wasn't very well worn, and she wouldn't have been surprised if only a pawful of cats knew about its existence. gladestar had been the one to show her many moons ago, made her promise to be careful on her newly healed paws, didn't want her trampling the flowers. she still remembered that day well; the memory of it made her miss her friend. that boy leader. the pulse of new lives suited him well, but the stress of it was aging him. she shook her head to clear away thoughts of him. this wasn't about glade. this was about juniper. "are you still training with... um..?" who was her mentor again? stars, finch couldn't remember. "it must be difficult with your... eye." should she not talk about this? finchpaw was never one to hold her tongue. "i'm sure you're doing well though." her voice was shroud in warm sincerity, tender gaze finding juniperpaw's. in her ocean depths, she held sympathy. it was not a distant pity, instead, a more intimate understanding.

    TELL ME IT'S OKAY

    riverclan mc + tags +  kira.  

  • JUNIPERPAW

    Riverclan - Apprentice - Female - 8 moons


    "Oh, That's okay." She insisted gently. She was always more worried about the comfort of her company than her own. She could make herself smaller if it meant there'd be more room for others. She stepped across the streams stones in a near dance. There were some benefits to her tiny frame, she supposed. It made for quick movements--easy escapes. She never minded it. She kept close to Finchpaw's right side. It was easier for her, to keep her in her peripheral. The useful side of her gaze. That had been the hardest thing to adjust to. The uncertainty, the feeling that something may creep up and she would be none the wiser. Her pale eyes looked as if she were searching for something, even the one that no longer functioned the way it had. Glancing and stopping on a random thing here or there. "I feel like I haven't been out in ages anyhow." A gentle comment, half made to herself. How silly of her, to not take advantage of a fleeting greenleaf. Despite its sweltering heat and sometimes cruel sun rays, she wasn't sure she felt ready for gripping cold and snowfall. At least with the heat, they had full bellies. Leafbare brought with it prey shortages and crabby warriors. Maybe she'd feel crabby too but...she doubted it. She was happy to follow Finchpaw. No questions, no wondering. Always happy to follow.


    "Ravensong." She filled in the blank with an amiable smile, followed by a hum of confirmation. Even when she said her name her voice warmed. She so appreciated her, even if it went unspoken. She was sure, for reasons so different than her own, Finchpaw felt the same. Then came the question she had not expected. She had expected it to be unwelcome. Any attention drawn to her injury. Yet, it had not felt like the slap in the face she had been anticipating. Finchpaw had been the first to address it, really, in such a way. Born from a place of sincerity and kindness, how could she ever be bothered? Then, she wasn't quite sure how to answer. "As if I weren't clumsy enough before." She said softly, smile still bright and present. That was easier, to make light of this. Then came a moments silence. A moment of consideration. She had already spent so much time questioning her own abilities. Would everyone else do so now, too? She met her gaze of welcoming sapphire. Maybe those trained in medicine just had a way of soothing, even with words. "I'll be okay, though." A reminder more to herself, than anything. A promise.

    THE STARS LEAN IN A LITTLE CLOSER —

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    Juniperpaw + Riverclan + BeewingxDawnsky + Tags + penned by avery.

  • — "ravensong, that's right. they're gonna put me in the elders den if i keep being so forgetful," she joked dismissively. there was a lot of truth to her statement though. medicine was all she had. she couldn't fight, couldn't hunt... stars, she would be absolutely useless. that was a scary thought, wasn't it? juniper's airy voice would gently coax her from her thoughts, remind her of the heavy atmosphere she created. her gaze flickered upwards from where it had rested on the ground to look at juniper. her wound. her bright eye. "you'll be fine," she agreed. "besides, ravensong won't let you give up so easily." for once, she was glad not to be on the receiving end of her grandmother's intense blues.

    "everyone's going to treat you differently now... if they haven't started to already." she let her eyes lift up to the sky, watched the lazy drift of clouds as they floated so peacefully above their heads. she wished she were a cloud sometimes. "they're going to think you're helpless. ...fragile." as they came to the twoleg bridge, she remembered the day she found gladefall sitting atop the railing. the sunrise painted him in golds and oranges, reds and yellows. maybe she should have known then that things would change for that man. maybe. "maybe it'll be different for you 'cause you're warrior training. i don't know."

    she offered a smile to juniperpaw. either way, the younger girl would figure it out. she had the entire clan to support her, just as finch had. as long as she didn't follow in finchpaw's footsteps. oh stars, guide her on a different path. "hope you don't mind if i change our plans a little bit."

    TELL ME IT'S OKAY

    riverclan mc + tags +  kira.  

  • JUNIPERPAW

    Riverclan - Apprentice - Female - 8 moons


    Juniperpaw laughed, light and quiet at the girls joke. She had been having a hard time finding things to laugh about over these last few sunrises. It was a nice change. It came easily. Unforced and natural. It was everything that kept her mind at ease, even while she was adjusting. She hoped she'd always be able to do that. To stay soft, even in the face of hardship. To keep finding reasons to smile or laugh. At something. Something small, even. Wasn't it about all of those little things, anyways? A really nice meal. A smile from her rather. A kind gesture from Rome. Yeah, she was gonna be just fine. If Ravensong didn't give up on her, how could she give up on herself? That'd probably be a bit unfair. Maybe unfair to herself most of all. Everyone's going to treat you differently now.


    Was that bad? Probably, she thought. When people cast her sympathetic glances it was probably meant to elicit some negative reaction from her. But, didn't that just mean she cared? She treated herself differently, maybe. A hopeless case it seemed. She couldn't help but follow the girl's gaze, pale clouds reflected in her eyes. She almost laughed again. Almost. This time, it didn't feel right too. "Well, I felt a bit fragile before the whole thing anyways." She admitted, a half joke, and her smile still met her eyes. A gentle confession. Vulnerable in its honesty. So easily said that it was nearly whisked away in the wind. So, if this changed things, maybe that was a good thing. Maybe she needed something. Something that might push her to prove herself. It was all rather scary. Had Finchpaw been scared? It was no secret how the girl had been stripped of her claws. Violent and cruel and so undeserving. She regarded her a moment. Did it make any sense to see yourself in someone who didn't look a thing like you? It wasn't the same way it was when she looked at her dad--her mirror now more than ever. There was still something with Finchpaw. So, maybe they had been cut from the same cloth. Only to have been sent down entirely different paths. So she'd show Finchpaw that she could do it too. She'd hate to let anyone else down.


    She followed her quietly for a few heartbeats, looking up at clouds who stared right back. Cloudy days might bother her more if they weren't so pretty. She gave a thoughtful hum, looking at Finchpaw with a flash of confusion. Had they not needed herbs after all? Had they come to fetch something else? She couldn't imagine what else she could possible need. Maybe someone needed a special treatment. Well, she didn't think for a moment that she was being led towards any danger. So she let her nerves wash away as quickly as they had come. "A change of plans?" She echoed, a clear interest in her tone. She glanced at their surroundings, half expecting to see something that would indicate what it was they were about to get up to. Well, so long as she was still able to help, she wouldn't mind.

    THE STARS LEAN IN A LITTLE CLOSER —

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    Juniperpaw + Riverclan + BeewingxDawnsky + Tags + penned by avery.

  • "well, i felt a bit fragile before the whole thing anyways." she made no effort to hide the surprise that colored her gaze. maybe this was where they differed. finchpaw had never once regarded herself as fragile, even now. even when she had been broken and put back together and broken again. she was never fragile. she would never be. yet, as she gazed at the child of flowers and moonrises and dew, she did notice a delicacy about her. in her beauty. in her youth. had it always been there? the older girl started to protest against juniper's lack of protest, her acceptance, her softness, but... she didn't.

    she wondered... for the briefest moment if she should talk about it. the thing that connected her to juniper. she had never talked about it before, not to ravensong, not to feathersong, not to cliff or blue or glade. hawk or dove. moth. could she? could she actually? no. no, she couldn't.

    she let her focus rest on the path ahead as they veered from riverclan territory and into the tangle of twoleg nests nearby. she couldn't help but to find amusement in juniperpaw's interest and lack of hesitation. "yes," she answered brightly, an edge of excitement creeping into her tone. it wouldn't be far now before -- oh! there it is. a long fence stretched out before them. she could almost see gladefall clearing it with one strong bound. she hadn't had the confidence then to even attempt to follow him. now, she had the wisdom to continue not trying. "here it is," she chirped as the little hole in the fence came into view. she wiggled through it, sighing dreamily as she came to face the mini-meadow of flowers laid out before them. "i wanted to show you this."

    TELL ME IT'S OKAY

    riverclan mc + tags +  kira.  

  • JUNIPERPAW

    Riverclan - Apprentice - Female - 9 moons


    How easy confession of weakness came from her. Or maybe she was just too self-aware. She never thought on it too much--that too often led to her feeling badly about it. Who had time for that? She supposed she had plenty, but she'd rather spend it on other things. Like this. Offering her time to help, offering her company to those who would take it. What more could she hope to do, if not ease other people's burdens? Medicine cats and warriors alike did that in one way or another. So different in their duties but the cause was the same, wasn't it? Finchpaw went home to a den of herbs and healing. A means of hope. Juniperpaw rested among hardworking apprentices, earnest and fierce in their loyalty to their clan. Maybe sometimes it was all lost on her. The ferocity with which they all worked. Maybe she was just borrowing trouble from her parents. A result of borders ignored, how could she ever feel all that strongly about the clan's separation? It was the disregarding of that very rule that was necessary for her to exist at all. So, she'd become a warrior. Maybe not the kind a lot of cats wanted or wished for. But perhaps the kind someone might need someday. Someday.


    Timid pawsteps followed the girl, somehow equal parts curious and concerned. It wasn't something bad, was it? Certainly she'd have requested the help of someone more experienced if it were something dangerous. Curiouser and curiouser as they went along. This place seemed unfamiliar to her. Well, she seemed rather excited about it. It was infectious. A gentle smile curving her features. She hadn't a clue what lay in wait on the other side of the wooden structure. In her small size, it seemed so looming. "Finchpaw?" She called after her guide as she went on through, head tilting to one side. An interesting change of plans. She was careful as she wriggled through the opening after her, if a bit hesitant. This wouldn't be so bad. She hadn't been sure what to expect, but as her paw pads met grassy earth once more she found herself rather surprised. Her expression faltered, staring out wide-eyed at the scene before them. An impossible sweet smell wrapped them both up, all encompassing and better than she ever could've expected. Awestruck. I wanted to show you this. Juniperpaw thought her heart might very well burst. Even in her half sight, she wasn't sure she had ever seen anything so pleasant. And she brought her here. Simply wanted to share this bit of niceness with her. Her face lit up brighter than before, turning to face the girl of selfless, kind acts. Maybe it was silly to be so thrilled over something so small. But weren't those usually the best things of all? "It's so pretty..." She mewed quietly, as if afraid she was going to startle something. That it all may vanish if they weren't careful. "How did you find this place?" She wondered after taking it all in for a moment more. There must be some advantage to a cat's impossibly curious nature after all.

    THE STARS LEAN IN A LITTLE CLOSER —

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    Juniperpaw + Riverclan + BeewingxDawnsky + Tags + penned by avery.