"I- I think we lost them," Juniperstar panted, looking behind him- only cats, not a rat in sight. Still, now they were stuck in a territory they did not know, occupied by who knows what. He suppressed his yowl of frustration, though he was sure his Clan could see the fury behind his eyes. How could this have happened? They planned! He hadn't gone in blind, he'd thought it all out... yet, nothing. Nothing happened. He was stuck now, separated from Mothshine and half of SkyClan by a seemingly impenetrable wall of filthy rodents. He narrowed his eyes, cold and poisonous green, looking at the path in which they'd came. He winced, in terrible pain from the oozing wound on his right foreleg. He succumbed to his pain, showing weakness (and how he hated doing so) and collapsing into a sitting position. "Is... is everyone... mostly alive...?" he said, breathless and weak and angry... though through his pain, he couldn't release that anger.

    Tightening his jaw, he squeezed his eyes shut, trying his best to keep himself conscious. "I need... I need someone to take a patrol..." he paused, gritting his teeth. "See... see if there's a way through the territory, a path to ThunderClan. I- I need..." Clenching his muscles, he took in a deep, shaky breath. "We need to make a sort of... makeshift base camp. I don't know how long we're going to be here." he said shakily, casting his eyes around the clearing to try and find something to sleep in. His vision was blurry, though, and he was absolutely exhausted; the boy had no doubt that everyone else was, too. They needed rest, the deserved rest. The sky was beginning to darken with dusk's arrival, and they had nowhere to go. He didn't think he had ever felt so hopeless, yet his dismay could not take form- it could not get past his tiredness.

    / from now until the final battle, we will be taking shelter in a makeshift camp in the loner lands!! feel free to makee threads where your character reacts/responds to this environment! of course, we also need a patrol to look for a path, but that will be unsuccessful! i hope you all have fun while this part of the plot lasts <3


    He wondered if he'd said something wrong, from the way that she stared at him. It reminded him of how she's stared at him when she had asked after a break... and he hadn't said anything right, then. He'd left her with a word- not a question, not an explanation, not even the starter for an argument. A word. The cinnamon tom refused to tell himself that he was an unforgivably horrible person, though... he had the capability to improve. He could, if he tried; he'd been told it enough. Poppy seeds no longer rested beneath his nest, and he had begun to believe that he wasn't just disposable, with the eight lives he bore. No, he meant something, and people really did care if a life was torn from him. It was a strange thought, one that didn't quite sit right within his head yet... but he found he didn't really have to pretend that it did.

    Still, despite her extensive silence, he did not expect an apology from her. He didn't believe it was necessary. Why should she have to apologise to him? Yet... perhaps in his heart he felt more at peace, which made his own words spill free. "I'm sorry, too," he said, his tone hushed. She'd know what he was apologising for. For breaking his promise, for sinking back into a state and worrying everyone. For everything he'd ever done to hurt her. He lowered himself until he was laid down, not close beside her but beside her nonetheless. He didn't need her apology and he didn't come here to say sorry, yet... it had happened anyway. Such was the way with the world, he supposed. He understood true fear now, he supposed. Those few moments when she had almost fainted at his side, and he had truly felt as if she might die- he had never felt gripping guilt, fear and nausea all at once. And though it was over now- not completely, but temporarily- he still felt that sickening fear even thinking about it. What must she have felt? If she cared about him as much as he hoped... probably a very similar sensation.

    Her next words visibly caught him off guard. So much that he laughed out of shock, clearly unaware of any other reaction he could give. What kind of question was that? She'd said never mind, but he couldn't really shake a question like that, and he felt compelled to answer it. "Arc, if you'd have died I would have been beside myself." he admitted. "And I wouldn't have been quiet about it." She knew as well as anyone how horrid he was at being vulnrable- yet, if she was ripped from his grasp, any walls he had to shield his vulnerability likely would have crumbled. "I will look after myself. I've been doing pretty good so far," he said, a smile on his lips. Nowadays, he didn't feel quite as much like he was running on empty. Though there were hardships, his ability to cut through them was beginning to sharpen again. "That doesn't mean I can't look after you too, though. I want to be worried about you." They were both stubborn, weren't they? He supposed they'd just have to stop getting into situations that worried the other.


    Trying to make her feel better? He could not suppress his snort of laughter. This certainly wasn't the first time his words, attempted in kindness, had not been taken as well. Moons ago he may her been infuriated that she hadn't taken what he'd said at face value, but nowadays- despite retaining his prickly demeanour- he could laugh at such a thing. Did he truly make such a bad impression? Arcticwind had told him, everyone had told him that his people-skills weren't very... welcoming, but he hadn't really realised it until recently, when welcoming people into SkyClan's ranks had become his job. "I'm completely serious." he said, fictive eyebrows raised in amusement. "I'm a dreadful hunter. Ask anyone and they'll tell you." He was once ashamed of that fact... but now, he was vaguely at peace with it. He could catch a mouse, a vole, maybe even the odd squirrel... a bird was no hope, though. They were too deft, to fast-acting for his prone-to-overthinking mind.

    Her next words also made him chuckle. Leaderly things... what even were they? Arranging patrols (though half the time Mothshine did that), hunting, patrolling yourself... his life would be rather mundane if it were just full of leaderly things. A cycle... he'd always liked his routines, but being trapped within one didn't sound particularly pleasant. He was glad for the freedom leadership allowed, and the catharsis that it brought, that which he didn't have only a moon ago when he was working himself half to death (and eventually, fully to death). Work relaxed him... but he needed to find a balance, because too much threw him right off kilter. "Hm. Maybe," he said with a shrug, green eyes as sharp as ever as they looked down to meet her gaze. It seemed a sudden responsibility had not dampened her spirit... "But that's the thing about being leader. I get to do what I want and call it 'leaderly'."


    In the mist, the chaos, he saw the defiance in her eyes. He didn't even have to say it, yet even thinking is was so painful. How.. how could this happen? He tried his best, he tried everything... but it still didn't work, and on top of that, he now had to fo it without her. He nodded, as briskly as he could in the wave of filth and infection, and shouted through his breaths, "Dustdevil, go with her!" He couldn't think to send her alone, even if he could not go with her. "I'll find you again!" Juniperstar yelled after her- a promise, no doubt, that he would keep. He would. They'd be going to ThunderClan- it was the closest- and he'd be damned if this war patrol could not follow them.

    ThunderClan would take them in... he hoped. He could not say for certain; but going to RiverClan was too dangerous right now. Oh, he didn't have time to think about this right now, as much as he so desperately wanted to. He pushed through, watching everyone around him struggle- and he was certainly struggling himself- he almost retched at the sight of it. They flooded and flooded, they continued to flood- where, where had they come from? How could there ever be so many rats in one place? Did they work as a unit, as a Clan did?

    Of course not- what a silly thought, he told himself, wincing from the pain. It seemed, with every rat he crushed or clawed, more would spill from every inch of the territory. "We-" he cut himself off, and yowled with pain as something latched deep into his leg and didn't let go. He hurriedly smacked It against the ground, flinging the rat off in the motion, but he could see the blood oozing from the wound already. Widened eyes of green briefly looked to the direction Moth had retreated, toward camp... only to see it was covered, covered with them. They'd moved, they'd moved to follow them... to trap them. There was only one relatively clear path he could take, toward the southern border. "Change of plan!" he called, looking to his Clanmates. "Stay in line, but move fast! We're going past the southern border... we have to lose them before we can follow the rest of the Clan," he called, frustrated- his words came out as an irritated growl, but with pain buried deep beneath his tone. Oh, he despised improvising.

    Juniperstar moved to carry out his command, beckoning his tail and picking up his pace- they had to make use of the path before they were fully surrounded.


    Usually on his morning walk through the territory he stuck to the trees, but... today, he decided a walk across the ground would be more fitting. Juniperstar wasn't even sure why- perhaps he felt drawn to the ground in some hope of fighting off the plague on his land. So far, he had barely been successful... though, he did stumble across something else, something he didn't quite identify until he realised it was coming from above him.

    Amberlight- a previous warrior of ShadowClan who seemed deathly afraid of where she had come from. Juniperstar wondered why, for the clan of darkness' name was one he did not have a particularly strong opinion on- in fact, it was probably the Clan he viewed the most favourable aside from the one he lead himself. What had driven her away? Briarstar seemed a fine leader, and though he had only met her deputy at one gathering (unaware he had since gone missing), he seemed level-headed, too. Funny, how he idolised those who were calm and level-headed when he was anything but.

    The warrior hung from a tree, and through his gaze of olive Juniperstar sent her a confused glance. "Need any help?" he called, slightly amused and a little curious as to how she managed to get herself in such a position.


    A storytime? Though Juniperstar would, at a better time, likely criticise such an activity... this was something they all needed, wasn't it? A morale boost. And anyway, with the rats occupying a considerable chunk of their territory he wasn't that big on sending people out on hunting patrols... they couldn't even mark the border with the city because of the wretched things. Brows furrowed and cold gaze of olive set intently on Natalina as she spoke, he decided he would sit, relaxing his shoulders a little. He was... wound up, big time... maybe just tuning out and listening to something would relax him (though such a concept was rather unfamiliar to him). "Go on then, entertain me," he said, a light humour uncharacteristically dancing at the edges of his tone.


    His heart lurched even at his own command, failing to settle at his best friends words of encouragement, and he slammed his paw down and batted at anything that came close, moving forward and pushing them back as much as he could. The wretched thing writhed and squeaked and made choking noises he could not define with words- they truly were disgusting little creatures, weren't they? They jumped- any airborne rodent was batted away by the paws of his Clanmates, and for a moment it seemed like it was all working...

    A foolish assumption, really. Though he lead his clan to keep pushing forward, the rats were quick and oozed from yet more places, places Juniperstar was barely aware existed. He felt sickened, absolutely sickened as he swivelled his head around to see rats coming from behind them, too. His heart dropped along with every ounce of hope he had. Almost every warrior he had was participating in this battle- apprentices, too- was it still not enough? Even with a plan? They were surrounded... "Behind us!" he called, informing his Clan hurriedly that they were surrounded.

    If they were surrounded... where were they going to go from here? This battle- just from the sheer amount of them, the volume at which they were outnumbered... the logic just didn't add up. With Mothshine and the whole of SkyClan's fighting force by his side, surely he should feel invincible- but his heart spoke differently than his head. "Moth," he called breathlessly. She... oh, they were meant to fight side-by-side, weren't they? Yet... she was the only one he could trust to do this.


    His Clan was by his side, in the line he had commanded them to stand in, marching forward. He did not speak, silent as he often was when heading into conflict- for what words could be added now? They would know any optimistic utterance coming from him was likely fake, so he wasn't even going to try. Only realistic words would spill from his maw, if anything- informing them that they were all going to get hurt or something wasn't going to help, was it? So he kept his head low, ears pinned against his head. He stalked toward the rats, ears flicking as he heard scrabbling and scratchy squeaking in the distance. "They're nearby," he uttered, the observation coming out as more of a snarl.

    And suddenly, they spilled out. Tens upon tens of them- maybe even hundreds- flowing from every crevice. Their beady eyes blazed, and Juniperstar almost flinched as he saw the wave of mange-ridden fur, snarling rodents tumbling over each other to get to them. Rearing himself, ready to get up on his hind legs in case the rats decided to try and get on top of him, the cinnamon-hued leader hissed a simple command- "Hold the line!" He tightened his jaw, looking them square in the face- oh, he wasn't read. He wasn't ready at all, but for them... for them all, he must pretend.

    / SkyClan is being split up during this battle! if you are going to ThunderClan and are present in this battle, you should retread alongside Mothshine when Juniperstar sends her back to camp! If you're going to the loner lands, retreat with Juniperstar!


    Juniperstar, despite his well-hidden closeness with the Tawnydove, had never thought to ask who it was that the medicine had blamed for driving him down a path he did not wish to go on. Had it been Charcoalsmudge for interpreting the sign? Or had it been StarClan he blamed for sending down the sign in the first place? He hadn't the courage to ask such a question now; a medicine cat's bond with StarClan was entirely their own, as much as a leader's was. Juniperstar himself certainly wouldn't be spouting off about his true opinions about their starry deities. He only obeyed them because his mother was among them, and... well, without them he'd have been dead for about a month from thirst.

    He had been looking for the newly-appointed medic on his rounds- he often patrolled alone, for he preferred not to be annoyed by chattering. With a mind often sensitive when he awoke from the nightmares that taunted him at night, he preferred to built his walls in the morning- but, he had something other than night terrors eating away at him that morning. He'd received a very particular feeling of deja vu when Natalina had been appointed, and- knowing how full of hatred Tawnydove had become- had made a rather bold decision to seek interaction rather than having it hit him unexpectedly.

    A sparrow flitted into the canopy- following it for just a moment, Juniperstar brought his olivine gaze down to settle on the apprentice who had been hunting it; Natalina, undoubtedly, for there was not a cat in their ranks that looked quite like her, with her bred looks and a fluffy sheen that new joiners (especially those from the Twolegplace) bore in their first few weeks of Clan life. Stars, she was so new... and yet StarClan had picked her? He found it... difficult to believe. But he would. "Almost," he commented, looking at the leaves still disturbed by the flight of the bird. "You got closer than I ever would have." It was no secret that Juniperstar was an awful hunter, especially of birds.


    Something of a smile tugged at his lips as he looked over the Clan before him, almost every cat willing to fight- and those who could not promised to help in another way. His eyes lingered on the medicine cats and their back-and-forth for longer than most, Bisoncharge deciding to stay back and heal. Tawnydove had volunteered, something not at all surprising to the leader... he would expect nothing less from his former apprentice. Natalina, though... he was surprised she even wanted to come, to defend the Clan that had only just taken her in. But he wasn't going to turn her away; they needed all the help they could get, and having medics on the battlefield was likely a smart move. He watched, pride surging in his expression as everyone came closer, eyes blazing and ready to fight. "Of course, Veil. We're glad to have you among us," he said, a smile in his voice that didn't quite transfer to his lips. The former Tribe leader must know how to look after himself on a battlefield. He nodded with pride and determination to every cat who came to volunteer, and everyone who stated a reason to stay. Everyone was doing their bit.

    Virgo, kind and gentle, but with a passion for protecting those she loved beyond anyone he'd seen, especially for a former loner. Mothpaw, his brother, named after one of the strongest warriors Juniperstar had ever known. Amberlight, a former Shadowclanner who was not afraid to defend a home that had only been hers to call as such for a few days. Dustdevil, cool and calm, with a wit Juniperstar often found rather amusing. Cloudednight would not have missed the concerned glance that Juni offered her, but he did not speak up against her joining them; she seemed defiant, and he would not attempt to persuade her otherwise. He simply wished her well; she felt like part of his huge, Clan-sized family more than ever, now he had almost lost her. Mothshine, his deputy, the glimmering hope ever-present in his life that he relied on through and through, and wished with all his heart never to fade away into nothing. Kestrelswoop, a cat with a similar attitude and ethic to himself, who he trusted because he felt they were rather similar- and, whom his mother had entrusted with the role of senior warrior, and he had been a wonderful example for that role. Ternpaw did not offer to fight, but he was grateful to have someone like her around to help manage the camp; loyal and unafraid to speak up.

    "Our plans," he murmured, addressing them all with a revitalised expression. "We will keep a consistent line, a wall to push them back with, back in the direction of the city where they came from. We've gotta stay on our hind legs as much as we can, so they can't jump on our backs." Juniperstar paused for a moment, allowing his commands to sink in. "Dart from side to side. Stomp and tear them up with your claws- don't bite, because then they can scratch at your eyes" He... hoped this was all enough. He didn't know how rats worked as a unit, and if he had the choice he would have asked for more time to think about it. But fate did not grant that time.


    Juniperstar simply could not understand those who were complacent. People who did not do anything when they were being mistreated, or brought into a situation that they weren't happy about... he could not understand them, and he doubted he'd ever be able to. How could anyone let themselves be treated like that? Green eyes narrowed to slits, a commonly seen scowl decorating his face as he witnessed the situation, sat not far from the growing group of cats around Marigoldkit. He stalked over, a rumble in the back of his throat akin to a growl, but he did not murmur anything for the moment. Looking after the thieving children, he pursed his lips.

    He had been an abrasive child, but he had never stolen. For a moment, the cinnamon tom almost felt better about what he was like as a child- though he had spat poison, it had only been to those who had come to him. Don't be so self-congratulatory, Juniperstar, he told himself viciously. He had to remember that, even if he wasn't as bad as these kids, that didn't mean he was good. "Hrmm..." rumbled the leader, adding nothing more- only making a mental note to find out whoever was the mother of these children.


    The last thing Juniperstar wanted to hear that morning was that one of his daylight warriors was dead. But in came in a daylight warrior, very much alive but carrying a fair few rat bites, absolutely hysterical. His eyes were wide and his movements sharp and hurried as he closed in on the daylight warrior, why was crying and pained and exhausted. "Princess... she was bitten a few days ago! And she- she died!" the daylight warrior screeched, hysterical and in floods of tears. They shook and trembled, though many NPCs moved in to comfort them... Juniperstar, though, was faced with the reality that Princess was dead because of the rats. He'd let her die because he'd waited- even if some thought it was the right thing to do.

    "You need to rest," he murmured softly, moving forward. With wide eyes of yellow, the daylight warrior looked up to him, nauseated. They had clearly been bitten on their journey here; and much more than one should, simply traversing.

    "There are so many, Juniperstar," they cried, shaking their head and looking as if they had lost all purpose. "Too many. They've spread as far as the orchard and I think I saw some by the Branching Oak..." Their words were faint, full of mist and sickness, and he propped himself up against them, unsure of what to do except to save them from collapsing. He... he couldn't wait anymore, could he?

    Ordering the daylight warrior to be taken to the medicine cat den, Juniperstar hurriedly parted his lips, ready to make an announcement; one he did not want to make so soon. "Cats of SkyClan, the rats... the rats are spreading. They've gotten as far as the orchard and are multiplying toward the Branching Oak. One of our daylight warriors has been slain by them," he announced, clearly in pain about having to even consider attacking so soon, when they were still weak. "We can't let them get to camp... we need to act, and quickly. I have battle plans... I just need volunteers." he said, voice solemn and reluctant. If only he could be more tactical about this....


    Though he couldn't say he liked kits (for they could often be annoying), he couldn't deny how utterly adorable this child's idea was. Sometimes he thought his mother was crazy for having so many litters, for doting so much on her children (including himself, as much as Juniperkit liked to strop and play it like he was the 'unfavourite)... but then, he'd see stuff like this. He'd see this, and the steel of his heart would soften slightly. Tawnydove seemed particularly passionate- uncharacteristically so- and the softness of Natalina's tone made him feel as if he was not alone in having his heart melted slightly by this gesture. He wasn't a fan of WindClan, but... he could adapt. He had to... be willing to change his opinion. "Sure," he said, a slight smile in his voice that almost- and just slightly- reached his lips. "SkyClan will attend."


    She answered him quickly, as if she hadn't really thought about it. For a moment, a few milliseconds, he looked as if he'd been caught off-guard. He wasn't expecting such an answer to a lighthearted jab- it had seemed as if she'd taken his words rather seriously. Oh, was he that imposing a presence? He liked how functional his walls were when he wanted to use them, but... it seemed they were pushing people away instead of just guarding himself. She seemed as if she was in physical pain from his question. Perplexed, he folded his ears back. "No, I wasn't suggesting that," he said, voice sharp. Fictive eyebrows raised, he tightened his jaw, watching her closely- every movement, every nervous tic. If she moved at all to do anything...

    He had to cut his own thought off, there. ShadowClan was an ally- there was no reason for her to attack him. Her sudden speech had just... caught him with his shield down. "You know, if you don't like it in ShadowClan, then just stay here." he said- though it was phrased as a suggestion, his tone made it seem more like an order. Aware of how sharpp he had sounded, he cleared his throat, softening his voice. "You can clearly hunt well. You're willing to put the work in, by the looks of it." observed the leader, eyes half-lidded.


    "Your... mate?" he said, clearly surprised. He had nothing he could criticise, really; not their clear lack of communication, considering they were just finding each other now, considering... well, his own relationship was far from flawless. There was the light of humour in his eyes, behind the bars of professionalism that he managed to uphold rather vehemently when around those he did not know very well. "Well, so long as he does his bit, he's fine to stay. You're looking as if I was going to chase him out just because he stinks of DarkClan," he said, resting his eyes once again on the tom by her side. "Which, by the way, is a scent you should get rid of fairly quickly." He wasn't opposed to outsiders, but he was rather uncomfortable with the idea of slightly smelling like another Clan, especially one he didn't particularly like.


    Though her words may have made him angry on a worse day, Cloudednight's quick, humorous words sent away any sort of anger he might have felt. Natalina too spoke, and he was glad to see her bite back after having gotten essentially slapped in the face after helping someone. There was a smile curved upon his maw, sharp and vicious, and a glaring light within his twin gaze of grey-green. His ears had visibly pricked up when he had heard Cloudednight's teasing 'threat'... but he did have the power to make such a thing a realty. "No-one ever asks for an opinion," he said, shrugging. What a typical response for someone who clearly didn't like being prodded in such a way- he'd seen it before, in himself. "Perhaps I'll have a word with your mentor about carrying out that task... since you seem to be so worried." continued the tom of dark cinnamon, having no intention of actually doing so but entertaining the idea enough that it would likely seem as if he was considering it.


    Her words brought back a memory he was barely aware he had- the old camp, where Brookfur had pointed out the fireflies flittering in the sky during Minnowstar's reign. They had been Mothpaw and Juniperpaw back then- a couple of cocky apprentices, or so they had been branded. And they had proudly worn that emblem, and still did now. The way he felt so indestructible by her side... he was sure it was leftover confidence from their moons as apprentices. These fireflies were fairly... regular in comparison to the ones all those moons ago (and stars above, was he thinking as if he was an elder). Back then they had been brightly coloured, reds, blues, greens... he had remembered distinctly when Mothshine had pointed out a particular pale-green insect that resembled his eyes.

    His mind, for a moment, went back to Fireflywatcher- the brother he had never met, who dwelled somewhere up in StarClan watching over him. He had not received a life from this estranged, long-lost brother of his... he had never even known what he had looked like. But he liked to think, if he allowed himself for a single fleeting moment to be sentimental, that his brother's spirit lived within these bugs. "Yeah," he answered her question simply, though his voice was thick with the emotion of missing the place so. He still could not believe that the place where he grew up was just... gone. Almost the moment he had become a warrior, it had been... ripped away. "I remember Mom said something funny about them. Like... 'imagine if cats glowed like this'," Juniperstar murmured quietly, voice low and still clearly guarded, despite the vulnerability that he bore.


    Juniperstar had not been far- in fact, he was on his way to act as a pillow for when Tarantulapaw inevitably went soaring to her death. However, it seemed Natalina was already on the case, rescuing her fellow apprentice. He watched from nearby, gradually drawing closer and coming within earshot to overhear Tarantulapaw's spat words; that she had everything under control. That she should bother someone else. Oh, he did not know that mirrors could move, and speak such words! The rescued she-cat reminded Juniperstar so vehemently of Juniperpaw that he almost debated walking away at that moment.

    He managed to resist, however, and from the ground he cast his words upwards. "Oh, really," he scoffed, amusement sparking in his olivine gaze. His ears pricked up as said eyes followed Tarantulapaw as she walked. "I've never seen such a perfect demonstration of climbing before!" Maybe it was immature to act like he was, but... it was entertaining, and he wasn't going to pretend that it wasn't.


    He had witnessed this before, with the very cat announcing this revelation. An apprentice, geared up to be a fighter, ripped away from their dreams. Though... he did not know whether Natalina would blame StarClan- she would likely blame Tawnydove himself for such a thing. His eyes were sharp and almost threatening as they rested upon Tawnydove, as if he was silently warning toward something. The medicine cat had warrior training, thanks to Juniperstar himself... he wondered, would his former apprentice teach his own student to fight as well as heal? He did not utter a word of congratulation, as the others present seemed to do so.. rather robotically.

    "You're not the first this has happened to," he murmured, voice low and audible only to Natalina as he drew up beside her. He tilted his chin upward, eyes glinting with an undetectable, unidentified emotion. His jaw tightened. StarClan had made their choice; if only they gave leeway. Was this cycle going to continue? Were their medic ranks going to be consistently filled with those who were shoved there against their will. Tensing his muscles, he began to slink away, only turning back for a moment to lock his gaze upon the new apprentice again. "Good luck."


    Eyes of green befell Amberlight, the ShadowClan stranger who seemed to be reluctant to leave. They had found her in a pretty bad state, but... now she was up and hunting, seeming to be looking for a purpose- and if her mind worked anything like his, a distraction. He wondered, for a quiet moment, what she might be trying to distract herself from. Though, he was never one to simply ponder quietly, so drew himself over, stopping beside Cloudednight and flicking his tail to the SkyClan warrior in greeting before turning his gaze to Amberlight.

    "You seem to be rather comfortable," he hummed, fictive eyebrows knotting together. He did not sound perturbed, only... curious, and this interest in her goals was detectable upon the edge of his tone. "What, do you not like it in ShadowClan?" Juniperstar questioned, the usual harshness of his voice blunted slightly, only so he did not seem as if he was demanding an answer.