★ a prince returning ★
his paws ache. (his soul aches. his whole damn heart aches.) they've ached for moons but this is more prominent. he knows- he feels -that he's close. his scarred chest begins to open with hope. a lake, sparkling in pale sunlight. so this is the place that the clans have chosen for themselves. it's like every other territory he's seen; strange, unfamiliar. not home. at the far end from where he stands is a town. the air smells of new beginnings, and memories of what he's lost to get here flood his mind. if this isn't it, he'll claw something. (he'll claw himself until he bleeds.) he has to force himself to keep moving, back flattened as he creeps softly through what he can only presume are the other territories. forest gives way to moor, until he can see the buildings stark against a pale sky. they looks skeletal, bones of a home he used to have. they are as prominent as his own ribs, stretching out of his skin. he supposes this is it. he supposes all the losses, all the bloodshed has been for this. what a goddamn waste.
his heart does something as he scents the border. it's a strange feeling, this pattering of brief joy in his chest. he smells them, the ones he's searched for over mountains and cities. his family, his friends, former or not. will they know him? only fate knows. the man, scarred and barely hopeful, seats himself at the border. "is bloodclan here?"
/ short post because the real stuff is in the oneshot <33