// note! i’d prefer if only 1-3 characters notice/interact with him, he’s been assumed dead and is passing through BloodClan fairly quickly. presumably the mood is a bit surreal.
His failure must have been preordained.
The tips of his claws had just touched the edges of the mirage, as if a vision of utter fulfilment could be held and devoured like prey. He’d let his eyes fill with fiery stars, triumphant passion and heady pride. A king, in his own limited imagination; an undeserving mate to WindClan’s even brighter queen; and then a father, too, to a family that defied borders. For the living emptiness between the heartbeats, that blink of time before he grasped at everything he had ever wanted (and what he thought would forever end his troubles), he had certainly never been prouder.
But such hubris could never go unpunished.
The grip of rough hands around his flanks, the sensation of lift, and being handled without much grace or gentleness was a sickening reminder that he was, after all, no more than an animal. A thing off the streets, to be doused, dried, inspected, caged, fed, watched, and eventually, forgotten. He was no stranger to humans, not their groping touch nor white-lit dens, but never before had he really been threatened with the loss of anything more than his freedom. But despite how he resisted, they seemed determined to drag him off the precipice of serenity and back into the solemn prison of his own unhappy thoughts. Being an animal, he was not one to understand their inexplicable, human expression of empathy for a lesser creature- to Sergei, those figures that loomed overhead may well have been cruel Fates themselves, toying with something fallen, amused by the scattered shards of his pride. And as he crouched in the darkness of a featureless cage, he felt acutely the loss of everything he had come to love slipping away once again.
No amount of care would ever set his disheveled coat in true order, but still they cleaned away the grime and fleas until he shone a dull silver. His stained collar was tossed, metal hooks plucked from his ears, the dog’s teeth pried off his claws. Likely the removal of the ornaments saved him some risk of infection, but Sergei felt stripped, weaker and wilder without them. Time passed slowly in confinement, and the once-BloodClan leader had nothing more to occupy himself with than staring blankly at the walls and artifice that surrounded him on all sides, grieving.
Rage tore through him first- anger on his own behalf, for his lost dream of power and dominion. It was brief, exhausting, and was snuffed so easily when a black sadness crashed ashore next to drag him into its depths. There he found endless visions of Brightstar and his kits, always out of reach, always taunting him with terrible loneliness. He had abandoned his mate, and his children would not be young forever. They would grow up without him, fatherless as Sergei had once been. He had vowed never to inflict that pain on any kit- and yet, classically, a struggle against what was fated only brought him closer in its grip.
It was practically a relief, then, when the fount of his emotions eventually ran dry and a near-catatonic numbness took its place. He slept, ate, watched the clouds tiredly from his place far below them all. After a lifetime of relentlessly pursuing short-sighted ambition, after killing for it, he only wanted to be with his family again. To feel soft grass or cutting stone beneath his paws again- anything but the bleak comfort of this harmless, false earth.
He hadn’t meant to escape. A blazing need for freedom had not burnt his wick from within, or lit his paws and sent him racing into the great, wonderful unknown. Rather, he had only fallen asleep- and then awoken just as he was shaken gently from carrier onto the familiar embrace of concrete and grit.
The creature overhead muttered something, perhaps apologetically. The cat he had found on these streets, unfortunately, was no fun at all these days. He only ate, slept, and stared ahead unresponsively or hissed when they drew near to pet his rough flanks. And some infection seemed to fester in his lungs, and the veterinarian didn’t work for free. It was callous, maybe cruel, to return him here, but then so was the world. Sorry, big guy. Try your best out there.
BloodClan – his home, his hated, beloved family – was gone. The rogues and loners who lingered in the street-corners were not eager to speak what they knew, but even stripped of teeth and title the muscle-memory of a lethal threat came easily to Sergei. Claws pressed against a throat coaxed out the knowledge of where they had gone.
He frowned as he stepped away from the other tom, who rubbed at his neck reproachfully before slinking away. He had lamented so often the curse of being a BloodClanner, the instinctual viciousness he knew by name. Had wished for the chance to choose a better path. Was this- the untimely abduction, the amputation of his ascension- was it not the rebirth he wished for? A second, even a third chance? And still, he strayed to what he had known before. Perhaps, he realized with a painful start, it would be better not to return to BloodClan at all.
But that was a thought he could postpone. Above all else, he needed to make it back to Brightstar and their kits. He nervously swallowed the thought that she may have already moved on, or been too betrayed by his absence to ever love him again. He was surely the most unneeded part of their family- but what did he have left but them? And so his small echo of the clans’ great journey to the lake pressed on.
These weren’t his streets. It was easier to let go of what had never been his, he assured himself. But even as he held his breath and tried not to look back, the scent of home still filled his head. BloodClan was everywhere, in the dark corners and under the streetlights. Cats he knew lingered here, somewhere just out of sight. He didn’t want to look at them, be made to stare his final act of abandonment in the eye. His tail tucked in close, and the massive creature flitted through the streets like a shade.
* * *
loner, 30 moons
faint russian accent, bass voice [ ref ]
tall, lean, ashy-furred tom with a single golden eye. wears a clean, dark leather collar. [ ref ]
health — 100%
◈ charming, intelligent, ambitious, self-serving, deceptive, arrogant, stoic
written by midsummer