Posts by finchblossom.

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    the path to moonstone had grown so familiar, she often felt as though she could walk it with her eyes closed. while she only felt excitement and pride for her apprentice when she announced their promotion back home, finchblossom couldn't help the apprehension she felt when the mothermouth came into view. after all, starclan had failed to come to them before. what would happen if they didn't come to oversee them now? would starclan approve of pipitpaw's graduation? were they so angry with the clans that they would deny the creation of an oracle? a worshipper?

    "how are you feeling?" she asked softly, moving to brush her side against pipit's. "you've worked so hard. i'm sorry it took me so long." a warm smile formed on her lips but unease tugged it downwards. finch tried not to outwardly show her anxiety, but the girl was never very good at hiding her emotions. soft eyes flickered up to the sky. the overcast was not as heavy as it had been at the meeting, shy stars peaking out from between the clouds. was that a good sign? "oh, the moon is up. it's time to go."

    she took her place by the moonstone. it glowed softly with warmth, and for the first time in moons, finchblossom felt herself comforted by the presence of starclan. "thank you," came her only prayer to starclan in their temporary truce. "are you ready?" she offered one final smile of encouragement before taking a deep breath, releasing it slowly. she motioned for pipitpaw to do the same. "i, finchblossom, medicine cat of riverclan call upon our ancestors to look upon my apprentice." her eyes fixed on the moonstone to make sure nothing had changed. then, with another deep breath, she closed her eyes, face lifted up to the roof of the cave.

    "pipitpaw has trained hard, harder than anyone, to learn the ways of medicine. i know they will serve you and riverclan loyally for many moons, if you will take them under your guidance." eyes flickered open once again, her deep blues glowing with an unfamiliar intensity. "pipitpaw,do you promise to uphold the ways of a medicine cat, to stand apart from rivalry, and to protect all cats equally -- even at the cost of your life?" she would only pause for a second; there was no room for uncertainty here. "with all of starclan as my witness, i grant you your true name as medicine cat. pipitpaw, from this day forward, you will be known as pipitpetal. starclan honors your determination, kindness, and stability. may you always follow your heart."

    the light from her eyes faded along with the bright glow of the moonstone. finchblossom moved to rest her muzzle on the top of pipitpetal's head, offering them a lick of congratulations. "i'm so proud of you, pip."

    pipitpetal <333

    it was long overdue, wasn't it? when finchblossom left for skyclan, pipitpaw was still brand new to the den. they had only had a lesson or two before finch's disappearance. there was not a day that went by that finch didn't think about them, hoping they weren't worried, hoping they were training, hoping they were okay. moons later, finchblossom returned to a full medicine cat. the difference in her apprentice's knowledge, skill, and confidence was staggering. she watched as her sibling stepped up to the plate without hesitation in the absence of their mentors, and finchblossom knew it was time.

    she came to stand in the center of camp, pride swelling in her chest, forcing her head high. finchblossom often forgot that there was someone who suffered through life as much as she had. lost siblings, friends. and yet, pipitpaw had become one of the strongest cats finch had ever known. nothing seemed to bother her sibling, nothing seemed to break their stride. finch often felt so weak next to them. it only felt right to do this now. with three stops of her paw, she cleared her throat and announced, "riverclan, it is time to promote my apprentice, pipitpaw. i'm sure everyone agrees that pip is more than deserving." bright eyes glanced around the camp. "we'll leave for moonstone when the sun sets. wish us luck."

    pipitpetal !!!!

    unsurprisingly, the medic would be drawn to the commotion. talk of broken legs, stepping on paws, no rules-- oh, of course. pincerpaw. battle training was a necessary evil in warrior training, one of the things that disqualified her from ever being a warrior. she didn't mind.

    finchblossom settled down next to cactuspaw, making sure she kept a trained eye on the two combatants.

    it had been nearly a moon since her return.

    sleepless nights and restless days fueled by a mind that couldn't stop. everywhere she looked, she was reminded of her failure: her fruitless journey to nowhere that nearly killed her, chasing some nonsense dream sent to her by the ancient force that worked to deceive her and everyone. meaningless prophetic words rattling around her skull, unwilling to be ignored as they came to life before her, yet she still tried to force them away. it's not real. it's not real:over and over, she pleaded with her own mind.

    and she worked. worked to make up for the moons she was gone, worked to catch up on pipitpaw's training, worked to fix the herb storage. she was exhausted. already in poor shape due to her travels (crowfood is edible if you're hungry enough), the young cat pushed herself to her limit. then a little further. she had to stop.

    so she did.

    finchblossom allowed pipitpaw to retake the reigns (and rootlegs helped) while she did little things. organizing, gathering, check-ups. and today? well, today, she was to do nothing. lying in camp, desperate to find a sunny spot in an overcast sky. how boring.

    her arrival would be announced by her heavy footsteps, odd and uneven in nature (a characteristic that seemed to be growing worse with age), and the unmistakable curiosity radiating from round eyes. she allowed gyrecall to lead her across the river as she came to face the familiar visages of skyclan. despite the riverclan warrior briefing her on skyclan's intentions, finchblossom couldn't deny the worry she felt in seeing the medicine cats after their recent failure of a quest.

    "tawny," she greeted him comfortably despite their lack of previous interaction, "it's nice to see you." her gaze flickered between the young girls at his side. "when did you get an apprentice?" which one is yours? an inquisitive coo; finchblossom always felt a little left out when it came to things going on in other clans.

    back to the topic at hand, she allowed her eyes to rest on the young medic once more. "i'm always happy to help friends. what do you need?" if there was even enough to share. the drought had taken quite the toll on their supply. obviously.

    "hey, finch-!" blinking against the midday sun, sleepy eyes brightened with curiosity as a familiar voice called for her. the voice did not carry the alarming sound of fear that finchblossom had become so sensitive to. it was something of confidence, joy maybe. pincerpaw. of course.

    "hi, pince," she mewed warmly, sitting up to properly greet the young girl with a loving press of her nose to the apprentice's forehead. it wouldn't be long before she wouldn't be able to reach anymore. her attention shifted to the delicate display of poppies tucked into a pretty shell. the gentleness of the craft reminded her of her sister. creativity pulled memories of her brother. her heart felt warm and full and ached as pincerpaw explained the gift. "this is for me?" she brought the shell closer to examine it, unable and unwilling to hide the beaming smile upon her maw. "you made this for me?" despite the undeniable delight in her voice, there was the faintest hint of disbelief as though pincer could not have possibly gone out of her way to make finch a gift.

    red of a violent sunset. the kind of red that made you believe the sun lowered into the horizon fighting. red that reminded her of apprenticeship, blood and ache, and kinship. healing. brilliant, shining shell of the river. sparkling pebbles and endless greenleaf. it was the essence of home, the past. "pince... i love it." and she was overjoyed.

    // ok i adore u and pincer !!!!!!!! absolute babes

    the small riverclan girl would arrive next. there was no effort to hide her exhaustion, her lack of rest, her poor health. she seemed to be only partially present, her eyes clouded over in thought.

    starclan had become a sore subject as of late. they told her lies disguised as prophecies, sent her dreams of death, and now, it seemed, they sought out to destroy the clans in their entirety. she couldn't help the massive amount of distrust she held for the starry beings. distrust and fear. her gaze never did lift high enough to see the star-less expanse. she didn't have to look to tell that the sky was dark. the medicine cats were unwelcome here.

    the fresh smell of treetops pulled finchblossom out of the darkness of her thoughts, and round eyes fell on the young boy. his scent reminded her of mothshine, but he lacked the earthy warmth of leaf-fall that she had. gaze shifted to the shadowclan cat. finchblossom recognized her from previous gatherings. "they will," she assured, though her tone did not seem overly hopeful. she had complete faith that their ancestors would come to them, but she wasn't so sure they could believe whatever they were to say.

    wordlessly, she followed rootlegs out of the den. soon, they were both bathed in shy moonlight as it peeked from between the clouds. before her mentor could even consider a private place for them to speak, she blurted - "i'm breaking the code." nervous eyes flitted around the empty camp, never staying in one place long enough to take in the details of it, and never, ever lifting up to look at his face, too afraid of the disappointment she'd find there. "i'm in love with mothshine from skyclan. s-she's everything to me, and i'm scared that starclan is mad at me." words tumbled out in quick succession, much too quickly for her to even realize what all she was saying.

    "i dream about death all the time, and i'm scared she's going to get taken away from me... or pip or glade or raven... i'm going to lose them." her shoulders began to shake, wide eyes welled with tears and terror. "i don't think i can take it. i can't lose them. i just... can't do it again." heartache after heartache. even when she put the pieces of herself back together, there was always something missing. it wouldn't be long before there just wasn't enough left to make her... whole... again.

    "i'm so scared." a trembling sigh. she had laid out her heart for him. it felt uncomfortable and raw. she didn't know how he would respond. what did she want him to say? she... wasn't so sure.

    "a vengeful monster roams the moors coming to turn our tides red."

    she stood over the rotting remains of fish: splayed entrails, scattered scales, a shower of blood. it can't be. it wasn't. dread like a rock in her stomach. the "prophecy" replaying over and over in her head. the smell of gore making her nauseous. princepaw's voice, loud and unclear. her head swam.

    she fled as quickly as she could.

    — "oh, yeah!! that's perfect." giggle escaped her lips at ashfolly's humor, the tinge of self-mockery that finchblossom could appreciate. it felt nice to joke around and smile, a luxury she had desperately craved during her moons of solitude. a comfortable silence fell between the two women. despite her peace and joy, finchblossom couldn't help the darkness that flooded her thoughts. the dark reflection of what had happened, what she had gone through, and the pointlessness of it all.

    once again, it would be her aunt's words that would fish her from her mind. this time, it was a simple question that made her blood run cold. her first instinct was to lie. to say that she was fine, she was happy now, but she didn't doubt that ashfolly would see right through her. after all, there were few who knew finch better. "i'm... just happy to be home," an unintentional dodge of the question, but it was a truth. just... not the right one.

    "i... i'm having nightmares again." and i feel like i've failed everyone. they needed me, and i wasn't here."and i should have come home sooner... i-i didn't know things were so... so bad here." and i shouldn't have listened to starclan after they lied to me the first time. i'm wondering if they even approve of me. i'm worried that they've turned their back on me because of my code breaking. "i could have done something. i should have been here."

    her words, spoken and unspoken, left her shaking. it was a confession she needed to make, but its consequences were something she had not been prepared to deal with. how was she meant to live with the possibility of starclan abandoning her? sending her false prophecies? destroying her and her clan? the thought terrified her, angered her. how could they deliver so much wrath for something so pure? something as sacred and true as love? something that finchblossom could only cling to, something that never failed to fix her, something so big and powerful that it made everything else small. it didn't make sense.

    "i think i'm falling apart again."

    // i dont think skyclan ever told rc that she went missing GHSJD but she was gone for way too long, so i think they began to understand something was wrong.. also she came back like SUPER unhealthy . finch thinks everyone knows she disappeared, but only mothshine actually knows where she went... so convoluted

    her mind had been plagued with darkness since she was young. before she could even speak, she had witnessed loss. before she could know death, she was surrounded by it. she was taught fear by a man who ripped her claws out for show, taught cruelty by a world who didn't care about its inhabitants. she had walked in fear and sorrow for more than a full season cycle, and, stars, she was exhausted.

    another night. another nightmare.

    times like these, she would usually find herself heading to glade's den, squeezing into the little space he always left for her, ever since she was little. back then, she was just a child, running away from the monsters that haunted her dreams, running to her father because she could always count on him to protect her. things hadn't changed much. no longer a child, but still running to her dad to shield her from her problems... but it wasn't that easy. her problems were something that followed her.

    she glanced around the dark den. how much longer would this go on? she rose to her paws, padded across camp, and slunk into the warrior den. her eyes skimmed the dim room under her eyes found him. her old mentor. her friend. grandfather. gently, quietly, she padded to him and touched her nose to his forehead. "root? i need to talk to you."

    Rootlegs !!

    — "of course we will," she responded easily to his assurance that riverclan would survive, tail flicking in dismissal. "but everyone is so worried about it..." voice was quiet, small. "i just wish this whole thing would end." a sigh escaped her. she didn't want to think about this anymore.

    young woman rose to her paws, gave her pelt a shake. she took slow steps into the cool water, feeling its refreshing chill all the way down to her bones. "bella, do you wanna play in the water? swift?" eyes were bright as she looked at the younger too. her activity might've been too immature for the boys, but she hoped bella at least would join her.

    tail draping over her apprentice's shoulders, she herded them towards mothermouth. finchblossom wasn't necessary thrilled to be here. starclan's false prophecies had caused her and her family pain and suffering, and she was angry at the stars above for wasting her time so. either way, these were her sacred duties whether she wanted to do them or not.

    her attention shifted to a medic she did not recognize (blame her moons of being away), and a soft breath escaped from her lungs. she had no idea what fueled such a decision, but given her current feelings towards their ancestors, finchblossom couldn't say she blamed her. after a moment of two, she decided to share her own bit of news in hopes of lightening the mood a bit. "pipitpaw is almost finished with their training... come next half-moon, they'll be a full medic." there was no effort to hide the pride she held for her apprentice and sibling.

    — "everything is better with a little company," a cheerfully ignorant reply to otterspirit's huff. she pressed her side to daylightpaw's as rootlegs spoke, rare thoughtfulness straightening her features. "you're right. pip and i have been scraping bark and digging up roots. it only does so much, but most of our flowers and leaves have dried up." "we haven't had a choice." the words she didn't say. there was no point in airing out medicine cat business in front of their clanmates, especially the more sensitive of them. "a walk sounds nice." an effortless smile, tilt of the head. "everything is fine, i promise." "don't you think, day? why don't you run that mouse to the pile and meet us back here?"

    when she stumbled on the scene, it almost looked like some strange molly was trying to devour gyrecall. with her furious licks to his head and whatnot, finchblossom wasn't sure how she wasn't removing the fur atop his head. "i think you got it," she called from the riverclan side of the border, voice warm with amusement, "whatever it was... i think you got it." she had only been in the area looking for herbs (the quest never ended, it seemed). the edges of the territory were usually rich with green and teeming with all sorts of life due to their proximity to the river. it seemed like life had found finally its way here once again... just not the life she was expecting.

    "i'm finch. are you gyre's friend?" usually friendliness seeping into every syllable. unlike majority of clanners, finchblossom held no hostility to outsiders. or anyone. but especially not to non-clan cats.

    she came into the world clinging to the fading warmth of a dying soul, surrounded by six others desperately doing the same. she was scooped up by the night sky who carried her away from what would soon by nothing more than stars and dust. protected by a moon-eyed boy, she and the other little ones grew knowing nothing but love. love from the stars and the moon and the night sky herself. eventually she knew love from the sun too, the sun with one eye and a soft spot for family. and they were perfect.

    until gullkit died. and owlpaw. hawkpaw. bluepaw.

    everything was different now. their little perfect had been shattered and put back together more times than they could count. pieces had been lost and never found. new pieces tried to fill their place. nothing was as it was, but it wasn't bad... not always. not today- curled next to her aunt, her second (or third) mother, the warmth of the sun and her sun easing the medicine cat into a light slumber.

    ashfolly's voice wakes her, and finchblossom replies with a couple sleepy blinks. the clouds? she lifts her head to peer up at the morning sky. days like these remind her of her apprenticeship, paws bound in cobwebs, chasing around gladestar (merely gladefall at the time). she could almost imagine him sitting atop the twoleg bridge while the golden rays of the morning made him look like he'd just stepped from the heavens.

    the clouds themselves were wispy and soft-looking. the kinds of clouds she wished she could lie in or eat... the sunrise dyed them in brilliant, intense yellows. soft pinks. "they kind of look like you, auntie ash" she mused, gaze flickering back to the scarred woman at her side. eyes turned back to the sky. "especially that one," lifted a paw to point at one of the more formed clouds. "doesn't it?"

    and in her dreams, she found herself in a forest that grew with familiarity by the day. as fur on her spine rose, she felt herself prickling with anxiety. "no, no, no, not again." not another false prophecy, not another fruitless dream, not another one. she couldn't put her family through that again. not mothshine, not herself. she couldn't do it.

    the mist parted to reveal a bundle of stars and dust. a cat. she did not recognize him, and she wasn't sure he recognized her either. he did not greet her, did not waste any time with formalities. instead, from his maw, he spoke harrowing words that burned themselves into her mind. "a vengeful monster roams the moors-" please, don't do this to her again "-it is coming to turn our tides red." "this isn't real." her voice felt far too loud for the infinite expanse. "this isn't real!" the starry cat began to fade. why wouldn't he listen to her?

    "stop!" she was back in her den, heart racing, head pounding. she felt sick. she felt confused, angry. why wouldn't they leave her alone? so many dreams. so many disappointments. this wasn't any different. it couldn't be. no, not again. not again.

    // it's great, thank u sm <33333

    — "shh!!" a quiet hiss as finch came up to join the two, approaching from ashfolly's sighted side (she'd seen others make that mistake before). "you're gonna scare away the moths," she whispered, turning round eyes on the little creature the stranger had captured on their paw. despite the blatant lack of resemblance, finchblossom couldn't help but to think of her skyclan love, the one who held the namesake to such delicate things. moth. mothshine. and she wondered if her dearest would be as interested in the bugs as whoever this was. "don't eat it," she quietly urged, afraid the intense gaze in the shadowclan stranger's eyes was a look of hunger.

    — "dove!!" the two sisters who'd flown from the nest too soon, now they both returned home. down feathers gone. they had grown. and yet, when finchblossom gazed upon the woman before her, it felt like the first time they met. timid young girl on a quest to find family long lost. she found them. she found them again.

    she greeted her sister with the warmth she deserved, brushing her muzzle against hers, pressing nose-kisses to her cheek. "you're back." "you're alive" and suddenly she understood what pipitpaw and ravensong and gladestar must've felt in her absence, what they must've felt knowing they had lost two girls of fragile bones and innocence. "are you okay?" worry made her words heavy. and the question ashfolly had already asked - "what happened?" where had she gone?

    "we're so happy you're home... wait until pip and glade and raven see you! they're gonna be so excited," the words spilled from her maw, quick and excited, and the little medic would glance round to see if they were in view. "we're all back together again. we're all here again." what little remained of her family. whole.