Posts by .Mothshine.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 19 moons


    Mothshine couldn't help but to feel she was intruding upon Flamestar's call. If it felt strange for her, she couldn't imagine how all of Thunderclan's members must feel. There'd likely be a mix of reaction. Oceanpaw had seemed eager to offer help, and for that she was grateful. Others seemed to allow their stay to happen a bit more begrudgingly, or only because Flamestar had allowed for it. She watched as unfamiliar faces began to gather, and her amber eyes found Pumpkinstrut among them. She debated for a moment that she might join the molly, sit alongside her in some show of friendship. However, she wasn't sure it'd be taken that way and when she saw another warrior join at her side she decided against it. Still, the deputy felt like she should be present. If there were any questions directed at Skyclan, she'd likely be the one to answer. She passed Amaryllispaw, and offered the apprentice a smile of encouragement as she did so. She felt terribly bad about the worry that must be weighing heavy on his mind. It was no different for her. When the first sunrise came and went, all with no sign of Juniperstar and the rest, she felt sick to her stomach. It was all she could do to keep her composure while surrounded by strangers. She was quiet when she took a seat in their camp, looking up at Flamestar expectantly.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 19 moons


    She should've said more. Would Skyclan pull their weight? She hoped Pumpkinstrut didn't truly think they'd be lounging in the sun all day, simply waiting for the rest of their clan to arrive. Still, the hint of a smile formed on her maw. They weren't being turned away. If Thunderclan's warriors seemed inclined to help, even if it were begrudgingly, she hoped Flamestar would feel the same. She looked towards Crimsoncry, grateful for the tom's offer. Admittedly, she was hesitant to take any extra help if they could manage without it. She was glad when Bisoncry spoke up, and she should've expected that. Perhaps it was a matter of pride, but she understood it. If they were left seeking shelter, they should at the very least want to take care of their own while they were there. It was upon Oceanpaw speaking that her expression softened some, made less tense by the kindness they were already being shown. It reminded her of Finchblossom, the way he so readily offered to aid them. Medicine cats did follow something of a different set of rules, didn't they? It was easy to forget, in all of their borders and rules, that there was so much they shared. They all wanted the same things, didn't they? Dependable shelter, prey to hunt, herbs to heal. They might not all be as different as they liked to think they were. "That's very kind of you, Oceanpaw." Even if they did not take the offer, she wanted to make it known it was appreciated.


    The deputy straightened again when she heard their leader's voice, and she dipped her head in greeting. "Flamestar. There's no need to apologize." They'd have waited longer if they needed to. They'd have had to. The relief on Mothshine's face was nearly visible. She'd have hated to ask her tired clanmates to travel further, to seek help elsewhere when they'd already come this way. "Of course. Skyclan can't thank you enough for this. I'm happy to answer any questions you have for us." This was promising, wasn't it? After the prey stealing debacle, things had been...murky. Rightfully so. "All of us who are able will do all we can to contribute while we're staying with you. Hunting won't be a problem." She promised. Even in her exhaustion, wounds still stinging, she offered a grin. She didn't want to appear as defeated as they all likely felt. Juniperstar would be here soon. He'd arrive and they'd devise a new plan. She had to hold onto that idea. "We'll follow you, whenever you're ready." Truthfully, she was just eager to lie down for a while. Still, she had the feeling proper rest might still be a ways off. They'd have plenty of explaining to do once they entered their camp.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 19 moons


    Mothshine had long since abandoned her nerves when coming to this place. It was likely foolish, but their moonlit meetings no longer filled her with unease. Slipping from her den in the middle of night no longer worried her. She'd grown so comfortable with it all. It had been moons since anxiety pricked at her paws on the walk here, since she cast worried looks over her shoulder. She felt eight moons old again now and oh this was all so terribly unfamiliar. Would she even find her now? She moved across a territory that was not hers to walk. It was one thing for Flamestar to allow Skyclan to seek shelter with them--a request she would've had every right to turn down. Mothshine ought to feel bad for taking advantage of this time to still meet with her love. But it felt as if she had only just gotten her back. She had, hadn't she? After too many weeks apart she couldn't afford to back away now. Besides, there was still so much to be said. It all weighed heavy on the deputy's mind. Everything. If anyone might soothe her now, Finchblossom could. She always did. Her marigold eyes glinted in the starlight, anxious in every direction she looked. She had even thought for a moment that she'd gone the wrong way until she heard the river. Please find me. Her paws carried her so thoughtlessly in Skyclan. Muscle memory. She hardly had to think about where she stepped when she came to meet her most nights. Now she truly felt like she was trespassing. The smell of Riverclan on the breeze was something of a comfort, but it'd be nothing compared to her herb scented pelt.


    She looked as if she might cry, or call out, staring across the water. She'd felt this desperation to see her before, in weeks where there had been too many days between their last visits, in times where they had missed one another. If she could only just spot her, she'd say her name and know she was there. She had to know she had still come. She had to know what had happened. It'd all come tumbling out the moment they greeted one another, surely. Mothshine never had been good at keeping quiet. She shifted her weight from paw to paw, moving down the bank as far down as these scent markers would allow for. As close to their usual spot as she could possibly bring herself. She was tired. Her body ached with the aftermath of another lost battle. Still, she'd wait all night if she had to. She'd keep waiting. As long as it takes.


    // finchblossom. !!!

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 19 moons


    Mothshine was glad they weren't waiting for long at all. The deputy was desperate to sit down, her tired legs bite ridden and bloodied. She was growing incredibly weary but in the face of asking for help, she still wanted to appear strong. She was pleased to see the first to arrive wasn't a complete stranger, and she dipped her head in greeting. She wouldn't blame Pumpkinstrut for her blunt questioning. If the tables had been turned, she'd likely have asked in a similar fashion. There must be something unnerving about half a clan showing up at your border, more than one member injured. I presume something is wrong. It wasn't hard to figure out by the looks of them. This was certainly no routine border patrol. "Hello," Voice tired, she did her best to sound warm. "I was hoping to speak with Flamestar or Sunspots." She began. After all, they'd be the two with the authority to grant the request Mothshine was about to make. She wondered for a moment if she ought to wait for the leader to arrive. If she should keep the story to herself until then. But wouldn't word spread anyways? They'd hear it all in a moment, regardless. She drew in a long breath, like she was trying to sort things out in her mind. She had thought plenty about what she wanted to say on the way here. Nearly rehearsed it in her head. A part of her wished she was at the Riverclan border again, where she knew those within their ranks with more familiarity. This might feel less strange. "Our territory has been overrun by rats." There'd be no sense in sugar coating it now. "We had taken a battle patrol to take care of the problem and unfortunately the problem was...bigger than we'd anticipated. The patrol was split and we had to evacuate." She watched the Thunderclanner's faces as she spoke, glancing between each of them in turn. Would her question be met with hostility? Allies or not, it was a tall order. She knew that. "I'm here to ask Flamestar for temporary shelter in Thunderclan. Juniperstar and the rest should be making their way here as soon as they're able." It was painful to know that she didn't know what exactly had become of the rest of the patrol when she'd left. There'd be no way of knowing until they reunited again. "I know this isn't a small favor, and I hope you know I don't make the request lightly. If staying had been an option, we would have." If continuing the fight had been an option, Mothshine would still be there. She had to hope now that they wouldn't be turned away. Was there a plan B? With any luck, they wouldn't need one.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 19 moons


    Of course there'd be questions. Mothshine had expected to be met with that. If she'd been the one left waiting in camp, their deputy storming in demanding they leave so suddenly, she'd have had a few questions too. She was grateful for the sound of Dustdevil's paws pounding behind her. This was difficult as it was, and she'd hate to have to go it alone. It was Amaryllispaw's questioning that stung her heart. Many of them would be leaving family on the front lines in favor of heading towards Thunderclan. She was far from the only one who had to walk away from a loved one. "Ama, I--" She began to try and offer an explanation. Words that might comfort him. Reassurance, anything. Dustdevil was quick to throw in an explanation, and she'd toss a grateful look in his direction. There wasn't enough time to explain it all now, as desperate as she was to give them all some relief. That relief would come when they reached the border, if all went well. There was the chance that Thunderclan may turn them again. Mothshine tried not to dwell on it now. She'd remain hopeful, for those that wouldn't. What happened? Ternpaw's trembling voice. She wish she had a better answer prepared, or any answer at all. What had happened? They'd been taken off guard. There'd been too many. A number of things had gone wrong and now she was here, trying to evacuate her clanmates as hurriedly and safely as possible. "Juniperstar and the rest will meet us there!" She called out an answer to everyone. It wasn't a promise she had the right to make, nor was it one she had any power in trying to keep. She'd just have to trust he'd meant what he said. They'd meet them there. Mothshine moved to Sparkkit's side next, tail brushing gently over the kit's shoulders. "C'mon Spark, stay close, alright? We've got you." She could at least make sure of that. She could at least try and make this less scary. She cast a final look around camp, watching as everyone gathered themselves. Stars, what a mess. "Everyone, lets go."

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 19 moons


    Twice. Twice now Mothshine had been forced out of her own camp. In her short life there had already been so much to lose. The last time, when twolegs came in the night tearing up their old camp, they'd sought shelter across the river. She had been soothed by few things then. But she'd had Finchblossom and they had shared a temporary home. In her grief, she'd found comfort at her side and the touch she could give her. Lavenderstar had led then, her mentor. The cat who had made her feel more steady than anyone, even in the midst of chaos. She'd been with Juniperstar, long before they'd climbed to the ranks they held now. A boy who made her feel invincible long before she even had the skill set to back it up. Partners in crime long before their positions called for it. And she had left him behind. Her heart broke for a decision she had little choice in. She had none of those comforts now. Finchblossom would wait for her at that place by the river tonight, and Mothshine wouldn't show. Lavenderstar was dead. Juniperstar was....The fear that had been struck into the hearts of her clanmates when she stormed back into camp had been palpable. She had shown up almost entirely alone, after all, when half of the clan had gone out to fight. It was certainly a jarring sight. And this sight would be no different. Mothshine, kits and elders in tow, trekking towards the Thunderclan border on tired paws. Skyclan's leader nowhere to be seen. "Everyone keeping up alright? Not far now, I promise." She spoke with warmth in her voice, concern for those in who weren't in the best shape for travelling. She was likely one of them, with rat bites littering her ashen pelt. She couldn't sound as heavy as she felt. If Juniperstar wasn't here to be their beacon, then that would be her responsibility now. It'd all be temporary.


    She looked ahead because she had no other choice. She desperately wanted to turn back, to see how Juniperstar's patrol had fared. Were they still fighting? She wanted to promise Amaryllispaw that his mother and sister would be with them again shortly. She wanted to swear up and down that they'd take their territory back. But she couldn't, could she? Those words would be empty. It wouldn't do anyone any good. Still, she believed in them. All of them. She hoped that the cats alongside her did too. She had gone over in her mind how she might explain herself to whoever received them at the border. With luck, there might be a familiar face. They all had their pride, didn't they? It wouldn't be an easy thing, to show up wounded and asking for help. But Mothshine knew better now than to let any egos get in the way. She slowed only as she approached the scent line, looking past where she hoped to eventually cross. "It shouldn't be long before someone arrives." She spoke quietly, searching for the first sign of a Thunderclan cat. After all, with the group of them, they'd likely smell them from far away. She did her best to appear relaxed, no challenging--despite the pain she was in. The last thing she wanted was any hostility.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 19 moons


    Terrified. She was terrified. It was more for those around her than it was for herself. It was for everyone who could not follow, who must still be fighting. It was for Juniperstar, even with his eight lives. Would he still hold on to all eight after this? Would Cloudednight hold her own after the injuries she'd sustained the last time? She had left him there. He had asked her to. How many times had they promised one another their protection? Mothshine had felt impossibly strong in all of her battles knowing he was at her side. Now she'd have to find that strength without him. Somewhere. Her muscles burned. Her lungs ached with the effort put into running towards camp. If it had only been up to her, she would've stayed. She'd be fighting still. But this wasn't for her. She didn't like the idea of racing into camp like this--bloody and panic stricken. No leader alongside her. The promise that they'd all meet up with her again was what she held onto. They'd go, they'd get to safety. Juniperstar and his patrol wouldn't be far behind. This was the story she'd tell herself for now. It's what she had to believe if she was going to do this with any semblance of clarity. She paused outside the entrance for only a moment. A moment to clear a fuzzy mind, to take in great gulps of air. To steady herself. "Skyclan! Everyone!" She called to them the moment she entered, paw steps hurried. Surely there would be some waiting for this. This couldn't have been the return they had hoped for. Mothshine, with so few in her company, the majority of their battle patrol left to fight. "Gathers the kits--help the elders that need it!" Her instructions were given loudly, however hurried. "There's too many of them. We have to move, quickly." It was hardly an explanation. But how long might it be before they followed to camp? If warriors with moons of training and experience couldn't keep them back, she didn't think they fare any better in here.


    The deputy was already heading towards the nursery. Bosie and Sparkkit would be scared, no doubt. It was for them that she was keeping her head on straight. For the clanmates she would be responsible for. "Someone help Bisoncharge grab whatever herbs we can carry!" She called over her shoulder, still breathless from the journey back. This was not her first time seeking shelter elsewhere. This reminded her of when twolegs had bombarded them in the middle of the night, forced them out. Last time they never had been able to come home again. At least, not to that same camp. There had been nothing left to come back to. She'd be damned if she let that happen a second time. Mothshine knew what it was to lose something like that. But for so many of their members now, this was the only home they'd ever known. Now she was asking them to leave it behind. She wanted to promise that it was temporary. She wanted to swear they'd be back soon. The last time she had done this, she was heading towards the home of her mate. She'd had Lavenderstar to follow, Juniperstar at her side. Now she was who they'd have to follow. The weight of that had not escaped her. "We're heading towards Thunderclan!"

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 19 moons


    They had planned. They'd planned. Still, had they planned for this many? She didn't think even Juniperstar anticipated this. They were being overwhelmed as quickly as they had the last time. He made her feel invincible, even with only one life. Cocky apprentices, strong willed warriors. A leader and deputy who were so scarcely found anywhere but at the others side. The biting at her ankles had her hissing, fur along her spine raised. How exhausting it would be to keep this up--and for what? To just barely keep them off of one another? They'd all be spent again before long. She spared glances in her clanmates directions. If they were as terrified as they probably should be, they didn't let on. There she was, feeling proud in the midst of it all. Even through fear. Behind us! She was whirling around on her paws, facing the opposite direction now and cursing beneath her breath. Dammit, dammit. Oh, this was worse than before. They couldn't have planned for this, no matter how hard they tried. Stars, they'd tried and were still trying. She could see it in the desperate clawing of her clanmtes, the way she pressed her flank into Juniperstar's so that she could watch his back for him. Feeling of invincibility or not, even Mothshine could see how dire this was becoming.


    Utterly surrounded. It felt like for every rat she knocked back, two more came surging forward. Never before had she felt so useless in battle. There'd be no victory here. Not today. Wild amber eyes searched for Juniperstar's in hopes of catching his gaze. Moth. That single utterance. It was exactly what they needed and exactly what Mothshine loathed to hear. How could he ask this of her? How could she be expected to leave him? Then, how could he have asked anyone else? She hesitated for what little amount of time the situation would allow. She'd have pleaded with him if things were different. I don't want to leave you. She never had before. She'd never dreamed of it. She felt sick at the thought of walking away from this. In a different life she'd have refused him. In a different life, he never would have even had to ask. But this was the price of changing roles. Hard choices came at every turn. "I'll go. I've got them." She was breathless when she said it, and whether or not he would hear she wasn't sure. They'd left so many of their vulnerable members back at camp. Kits, elders, those who weren't fighting fit. If Juniperstar would protect those on the front line, then someone had to go back for them. She wanted to say something else, to leave him with something more. Stars, there wasn't enough time. She was burning valuable seconds. So, she pushed forward. She tore her way through as best as she could and she couldn't look back. If she looked over her shoulder, if she saw him fighting there without her for the first time, she'd be turning right back around. She couldn't look.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 19 moons


    Of course Mothshine had chosen to fall in step alongside Juniperstar. They'd walked this very same way to fight badgers, to raid Bloodclan. They'd been younger then. Less scarred. Juniperstar hadn't even yet become deputy. This was something else entirely. He walked with more lives than the rest of them, and Mothshine with a title she'd never dreamed of carrying if you'd asked her when she was young. She looked at him a moment as they walked, studying his face. Was there anything left to be said now? Mothshine so scarcely ran out of things to say. Except for the fact that they'd gotten so terribly good at talking without speaking at all. Bumping shoulders, shared glances. It wasn't because she was his oldest friend that they worked as leader and deputy. It was that connection. And perhaps the fact that they could sometimes be terribly different. It all balanced out. Nineteen moons. Nineteen moons old, one life down, leader for such a short amount of time and already leading them into battle. Likely not because he wanted to but what other choice did they have? Just another thing she could blame on the city. It's where the rats had come from, right? She looked over her shoulder once, at the faces of those who had selflessly volunteered. She had so many friends among them, and she hated to think they might lose somebody today. She wasn't foolish enough to believe there'd be no injuries, hopeful as she was. She threw a smile over her shoulder as silent encouragement. She really did believe in all of them. "Be careful, alright?" She uttered this only when she turned back to Juniperstar, under her breath.


    The smell of the rats soured her expression quickly. Were there more this time? Stars, it certainly looked like it. Cats might have been easier. She could talk if they were cats, could understand how they moved. An enemy so unfamiliar was always more dangerous. She was quick to ready herself for the inevitable--the scrabbling of claws and needle like teeth. It was with Juniperstar's direction in mind that she moved, rearing on hind legs and lashing out with her forepaws. If it weren't for the time she spent in the trees, she doubted whether she'd hold her balance well enough for this. No matter how many there were, there was no turning back now.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    Death. More death. That day they had charged hastily into battle she hadn't wanted to think it would lead to this. They'd so nearly lost Cloudednight and Arcticwind in that chaos. Hadn't that been pain enough? The aftermath had been no less than chaotic, with many of their apprentices and warriors sustaining wounds. Mothshine herself had been relatively lucky. A few days of pushing herself a little less hard, and her bites and cuts had healed to little more than rough patches. The news that they had lost a daylight warrior to these nasty creatures sent her heart into her stomach. Of course this was not going to resolve on its own. She'd be foolish to have hoped this would resolve on its own somehow, and yet some small part of her had hoped that maybe, maybe--


    But the broken voice of her clanmate was enough to know that this was far from over. She looked between them and Juniperstar a moment, not quite walking up. So much loss had taught her that there was such little comfort to be given in these initial moments. She had been inconsolable following Lavenderstar's death. She wouldn't need to tell Juniperstar what needed to happen now. He was smarter than he gave himself credit for, and he wasn't foolhardy enough to not learn from his mistakes. He would be prepared now. They would be prepared now. And it was the voices of her clanmates that reminded her why she never did manage to lose hope in these times. That even now, with no hesitation, they were ready to go into battle. She'd seen this very thing before the badgers, the Bloodclan raid, the dogs. She was certain she'd see it again even after this. That willingness to defend, to protect the ones they loved. Their home, even if the camp Mothshine grew up in was no longer there. She drew up alongside Juniperstar, shoulder brushing to his momentarily. "I'll be there." A promise to fight with him him like she'd given so many times before. A promise he so easily returned to her. This time should be no different.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    It seemed so often the night was filled with restless cats, or cats slipping from their dens for one reason or another. She didn't always ask what it was that kept her clanmates awake. When it came to Juniperstar, she likely already knew the cause. When it came to herself, Juniperstar was likely the only one who knew what kept her from resting. It was perhaps the one area where she was dishonest with her clanmates. She felt young again, staring at an array of dazzling lights. Younger. Virgo's voice nearly startled her, and she only drew her eyes away to offer the queen a smile through the darkness. "Fireflies." She echoed her previous words, spoken before anyone had joined her. Voice still hushed, she sounded like an excited kit when she spoke it. She was glad for the company. She couldn't very well enjoy this all on her own! That wouldn't seem fair. Mothshine had grown used to even the sound of Juniperstar's footsteps, and she looked over her shoulder to see him emerging from his den. Of course he'd been awake, hadn't he? She knew better than to think he'd really been asleep before this. She'd bother him about it later, in a private moment. The bump of his shoulder to hers earned a short purr--a gesture so familiar it felt like home to her now, no matter where they were.


    "Not too long." She answered his question, nearly laughing when one of the insects dared fly close to her nose. It nearly sent her cross eyed, just trying to get a better look at it. "Remember back at the old camp?" Stars, it sometimes still hurt to remember. She had so loved it there. Mostly now, she looked back on it fondly. The ache had become less as she had grown to love their new camp. Perhaps just as much, if only in different ways. "I think there must have been hundreds of them." Her voice was hushed, spoken quickly and swept up in the memory of it all. The cat they had stood with then...So many of them gone. Brookfur, Lavenderstar, Blackbird. Now, with fireflies flickering around them, it felt like the stars had joined them. Surely they were still here, in one way or another. Mothshine found comfort in that. "Aren't they, Mottlewish?" Beautiful. It was nice to forget everything else for the moment, in favor of enjoying this. She felt warm from nose to tail tip. Content. There'd be plenty to deal with when the morning came, but she was happy to forget. Even if only temporary, even if all of their problems were still very real. They should be allowed to forget every once and a while.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    Mothshine was used to sleepless nights. More often than not, this was done by choice. She'd busy herself with matters at the border. Not patrols or news deliverance, but something more exciting than that. Something familiar. She'd long since lost count of how many times she had gone in search of Finchblossom. It felt a lifetime ago now that they had first met, and a coincidence turned into secret meetings. She wouldn't trade it for anything now. Especially in times like this, when tension settled so thick over their camp. When problems were breathing down their necks. She had become her relief. The deputy lifted her head from her nest, blinking into the darkness. Now, even on nights where Finchblossom wouldn't be waiting for her, she found herself waking. Her eyes still looked in the direction of Juniperstar's old nest on instinct. An old habit, muscle memory. She'd look there first, before glancing upward and wondering if he was asleep. More often than not, she'd bet he wasn't. She wondered for a moment if she ought to go and check. But she wouldn't risk waking him now, on the off chance that he was sleeping. Instead, she rose delicately to her paws and picked her way around dozing clanmates. Cool night air was a welcome sensation when she descended from their den, searching for any signs of sleepless friends. A clear sky made her heart swell, starlight dazzling above her head. She stared for a moment, like she might be searching for something. Someone. Who might be watching them now?


    She carried herself to the center of camp, never looking down. These nights were her favorite. No clouds, newleaf on the wind. It was a nice reminder that things were never quite as dire as they seemed. That as the forest changed around them, so would their situations. They'd learn to cope as they always did. There'd always be a solution. She was tempted again to seek out Juniperstar, if only to ask for his company now. It was only when a flickering caught her eye that she pulled her gaze from the stars. A curious hum rumbled in the back of her throat, and she spotted it again. That warm, pleasant light that went in and out of sight. She reminded of a time that had come and gone seasons ago. She took a tentative step towards the light, before another appeared. "Fireflies..." A quiet whisper that tumbled from her lips, like she was worried she might scare them off. She had stood in their old camp, alongside Brookfur and Lavenderstar. She had been an apprentice then, surrounded by a light show. It was all different now, standing there as deputy with new losses and new relationships. There was something unsaid in the smile that grew on her face, watching on with eager eyes. She was flooded with nostalgia, with warmth. It was welcome. Whatever she was remembering now, she didn't speak it out loud.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    Well, it was always something. The last conversation she had here had come with news of Ryland's rise to leadership. Mothshine was still somewhat...lost on how that had happened. He didn't seem the type. Considering where he hailed from, that was a compliment. The painfully curious Ryland now at the helm of a group Mothshine had only ever known as bloodthirsty and violent. Milkpaw had returned to them reeking of the place, and the smell still made her blood boil. Memories of stolen clanmembers, a raid that seemed a lifetime ago now. Not long enough ago to have forgotten all the bitterness that had led to the fight in the first place. Natalina's voice was some cause for alarm. She was young, still new to this--the way of the clans. She was glad to see Kestrelswoop was alongside her when she drew up to the border. She recognized this cat immediately, with his ashy pelt and single eyed gaze. "Sergei." She spoke his name with some sharpness to it, watching him carefully. She had done her best to be civil at the gathering, under the truce of a full moon. This felt different. He was much closer to home now. Her body language was not nearly as relaxed as it would've been at the borders of their allies. She looked past him for a moment, as if expecting another cat to make an appearance. Was he alone? He hadn't had much for company at the gathering either. Kestrelswoop had already asked the question, so she only looked on expectantly. Waiting to hear whatever it was that had brought him here.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    If his wounds weren't enough to worry her, Sedgeroot's absence in the morning certainly was. Mothshine was returning from a patrol of her own when she saw his unceremonious landing at the base of their shared den. Her ears shot up, and she was quick to dart towards him. "Sedgeroot!" She called the tom's name, voice flooded with worry she'd been feeling since their return from that rat right. She moves to offer a shoulder of support, something for him to lean on should he need it. Something. She could feel the heat coming off of him. Her expression was twisted and tight in her concern, searching his face and eyeing the worst of his wounds. Stars, you wouldn't have to be a medicine cat to know this was bad. His own frail, confused voice did little to soothe her. "Sedge," Her voice was gentler now but no less urgent than before. "Are you alright?" A stupid question. She knew it. It was clear as day that he wasn't alright. He'd always been so kind--to everyone. Her, their clanmates. He could do with some of that in return now. "Your eye...We should get Bisoncharge or Tawnydove." She didn't want to alarm him, but surely the sight of it was cause for alarm alone. She tried to catch Virgo's gaze, frowning. She was glad she wasn't the only one who seemed to think he was speaking unclearly. "Don't worry about the patrols for now, alright? You need to be resting." She said, turning her attention back to the injured tom. It wasn't a request, really. They'd fill his spots. His wounds needed attention before anything else.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    Mothshine's heart ached more than her body did. She had gotten some much needed rest in the aftermath--or, what little their position allowed for. She had gotten off lucky, compared to most. She'd seen Cloudednight nearly die right in front of her, and Arcticwind do the same in order to protect her. Juniperstar had called a retreat, and still they'd refused to leave her. Wouldn't they all have done the same? No one was to be left behind. But she knew the pair had been confined to the medicine den, healing from wounds they shouldn't have gotten in the first place. How were the apprentices recovering? Training would be slower while they recovered. Even Mothshine knew the decision to charge into battle had been brash. It was costing them even now. Juniperstar didn't need to hear that from her. Besides, he knew her mind so well he likely already knew it himself. And Sedgeroot--how was their senior warrior recovering? She drew up alongside him as she joined the growing crowd, and touched her tail tip gently to his shoulder as she passed him. Wordless for now. Her eyes found Redpaw, and there her gaze would linger a moment. Poor boy. He'd come to start a new life with them, a life Mothshine wanted to promise would still be great. But he had come at a strange time, hadn't it? Mind heavy with worry for the clanmates around her, she padded towards the front of the crowed. She sat silently, looking up at Juniperstar expectantly.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    Things weren't so bad, were they? Despite everything, they still had moments like this. Plenty of them were still recovering from the rats, and there was an uncertainty that hung in the air as a result of their loss. Egos bruised, bodies bruised. But she wouldn't bring those worries to their younger members. She wouldn't steal any more of their youth from them than the world already would. So, she'd enjoy these moments in camp with friends. She might have cuts that were healing, but wouldn't flowers be just the thing to help? Mothshine thought so. Her eyes followed Sparkkit as she selected flowers for her. "Yellow ones! Those are perfect." She spoke it with a grin, and she might genuinely be just as excited as the kit doing the decorating. She was glad for Natalina and Applepaw's company. They could all do with some pick-me-ups every now and again. The most fleeting escape for reality. She was careful not to move as Sparkkit's paws worked delicately. "Those flowers bring out your eyes, Nat." She commented excitedly as the next member was being adorned with petals. Her own eyes lit excitedly as she watched on. Truthfully, she wouldn't have expected Applepaw to have wanted to partake. Was he still wrapped up in his grief? She wouldn't blame him. The death that Mothshine had known still followed her, even if some of them were ages ago now. It wasn't really anything you could learn to let go of. At least, not entirely. "And don't you look handsome, Applepaw!" She said it with a laugh, rising to her paws. She made a great show of spinning around once, showing off the flowers Sparkkit had selected for her. "What do you all think, hm? I think I should go around like this all of the time!" That'd make hunting a bit tricky, wouldn't it? She might get strange looks on border patrols. Mothshine would bet Finchblossom would love it. Flowers reminded her of her as it was, with her bright eyes and herb scented pelt. She could carry pieces of her like this. She beamed at Sparkkit, grateful for the little reprieve she had offered from their regular routine of the day.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    Stars, their borders had been busy lately. Still, Mothshine would take accented strangers to Bloodclaners or rogues. Someone looking for a place to call home. Skyclan had become that for so many cats now, hadn't it? Heronstar, Natalina, Blackbird, Sharptooth. How many of those she considered friends were never even born into their nursery? It must not matter in the scheme of things. Besides, with daylight warriors, they'd always been rather welcoming. It was the cacophony of voices that drew the deputy in. Just in time to hear the traces of introductions. The welcoming committee. It was with an amused smile that she drew up alongside Dizzypaw. "A welcoming committee, huh?" She chirped. "I like the sound of that." She gave the apprentice a gentle flick of her tail against her shoulder, before turning her amber gaze onto the stranger. Young. That was probably good. Her gaze fell to the snapped collar at his paws, and she passed a look in Natalina's direction. Had she wore one of those once? Bloodclanners wore them still. But that symbolized something wildly different than this. A thoughtful hum rumbled in her throat. During the heat, it had been harder to accept newcomers with such open arms. Not for a lack of wanting, but a lack of resources. But the boy before her could become capable, if he wasn't already. "Well, you've found the right place. Don't think you'll find anywhere better in the forest than Skyclan!" So perhaps she was a bit biased. But it's how she felt about the situation. Besides, this is what he had hoped to find, wasn't it?


    "Redpaw, was it? I'm Mothshine. I'm the deputy here." She introduced. Her clanmates around her had already done well enough to explain what that meant. "I can already see you're pretty serious about joining." She said it with half a laugh in her voice, nodding to the remains of the collar that had adorned his neck before her arrival. He'd already gone as far as choosing a new name for himself. At least, she doubted a twoleg would've given him that name. "If you want to come back with us, you'll be in for a few moons of training. Just like these three." She explained, motioning with her tail to the three apprentices. "But if you're certain that's what you want, I don't see why you can't join us." Her voice was warm when she gave the offer, always friendly until given a reason not to be. Was it intimidating? To up and leave everything you knew for an entirely new life? It must be. Mothshine didn't know the first thing about it. She'd been born here and expected to train as a warrior. It was the only thing she knew and the only thing she'd ever wanted. He'd have to know what he was in for. Juniperstar wouldn't appreciate a lazy mouth to feed. None of them would. "I won't lie and say it isn't hard work. But I'll tell you it's worth it."

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    Don't lie. The venom in Juniperstar's voice was hard to miss. It made her own pelt prick with unease, shifting her weight from paw to paw. It was bad enough that she'd be making a hypocrite out of herself. Now she'd potentially have put her best friend in that same position. After all, he'd know about she and Finchblossom longer than anyone. He'd seen her come home in the middle of the night to a nest she'd abandon for hours, likely notice when she smelled more like a Riverclanner than a Skyclanner. He never said a word about it--unless he was offering his support. Hunting. The deputy exchanged glances with her clanmates who had gathered. Was anyone buying that? It didn't seem likely. Truthfully, she felt some pity for Milkpaw. The poor boy, being questioned by everyone right in the middle of camp. Mothshine might've died on the spot. She'd have gone right up in flames. She hoped he was listening when Bisoncharge gave his warning. He had to be more careful about whatever it was he was doing. "Milkpaw, we don't need another prey stealing incident, if that's what happened. Maybe we need a refresher on our borders." She spoke it half as a joke. Forced. She'd be happy for the conversation to be over, and she'd bet he was thinking the same. Truthfully, a misstep at the border would be easier to deal with. Plainer. She could scold him for that, there'd be obvious repercussions. But if Milkpaw was doing otherwise...That wasn't quite so black and white, was it? Not for Mothshine. Ternpaw was right. Just hunting didn't seem likely at all. Not smelling the way he did right now. She eyed him a moment, a question sitting heavy in her mouth. Perhaps she might try to catch him later, under less scrutinizing gazes.

    MOTHSHINE

    Skyclan - Deputy - Female - 18 moons


    It hadn't been what she had expected. Even when Mothshine arrived late on the scene, she hadn't thought anyone would end up near death. Then she'd seen the way Cloudednight had been overtaken. Flashes of it played in her mind the trek back. Glorified mice. Her mouth tasted bitter still with the scent of them. She longed to walk alongside her best friend, the way they always had when returning from battle. She'd lean on him, or vice versa, and there'd be that promise that they had one another's back. He'd said so, right in the thick of it all. But she couldn't only think of him--not now, when she'd seen the damage they'd all taken. Mothshine had opted for taking up the rear as they returned to camp, checking in with the more injured members of their party. Was Sedgeroot alright? Had that rat gotten to his eye? She hadn't been able to tell--it had all happened far too quickly. The apprentices must be overwhelmed. The whole way back, she hardly took her tired eyes off of Cloudednight. She'd have gone down for that girl if she had needed to. She wanted to rush them all back, to move more quickly. They needed their medicine cats and yet in their defeat they couldn't move all that quickly. How badly had Tawnydove been injured? Would he even be fit to see to the rest of them?


    It was only when they breached the camp entrance that she slipped into step alongside Juniperstar. She pressed her shoulder to his, despite the sting any contact brought. The eyes of their clanmates who had not been so unlucky were already on them. Even now, she tried to offer a smile to Sparkkit and Natalina. Something that would say see? we're just fine! despite the look of them all. Battered. Her fur was certainly in a state. A wary breath escaped her muzzle, looking back at their cinnamon furred leader. She wanted to sit, to lie down. To retreat to her nest and find answers in the morning. At least, that's what her body longed for. Still, she'd stay by her clanmates sides. It's where she needed to be. "You heard him, Juni." She spoke after Tawnydove started towards the medicine den. Her words were meant to sound lighter than they probably did. She wasn't about to let him skulk off to his den and let an infection fester simply because he was stubborn. She was glad Tawnydove wasn't having it either. She turned to him for a final moment, pressing her nose briefly to his cheek. "We'll figure this out." A promise spoken beneath her breath, meant only for his ears. She turned only to go in search of Cloudednight, ready to aid her and Arcticwind once more. She'd fret like a worried family member no doubt. It still felt like her heart as in her throat.