It was still warm when Maplebrook set out for the open woods, her grey and black coat giving her away in the golden brown hues of leaf-fall. The young warrior had decided that Fawnpaw was best left alone to enjoy the last few warm days before she started to fast track her training so that she could help the clan come leaf-bare, where every able paw was needed to keep the clan alive.
However these worries were dimmed only by Maplebrook's sudden realisation, her paws were now in the exact same spot she had been when she first met Harestrike. The handsome Lightningclan warrior which had managed to catch her eye for the last few moons. The silvery tabby sighed softly, a soft purr rumbling from the back of her throat as her keen eyes found the hollow she and the tom had hid out in during the storm and her eyes stung with emotion when it all that was left was a few charred pieces of wood from that fire.
" It's all Lightningclan's fault, if they didn't start that war then Starclan would not of been angry and burned our territory" she mused aloud, content for now that she was indeed alone and she made her way to poke a paw at the cinders of what was once majestic trees.
Harestrike loitered near the TreeClan/LightningClan border, walking along the scentline in the hopes of catching prey that accidentally crossed it - or catching something in TreeClan's territory if there weren't any patrols nearby.
He hated to say it, but LightningClan was in a bad way. Though not what he'd been looking for originally, Harestrike's expression sharpened with interest as he identified a familiar silver tabby pelt in the midst of the charred woods. Though his blood still boiled over his Clan's recent losses, Harestrike didn't have to work too hard to find a haughty smile, moving in to greet her.
" It's all Lightningclan's fault, if they didn't start that war then Starclan would not of been angry and burned our territory."
The tabby and white warrior froze. "LightningClan's fault? WE didn't burn down your precious forest," he retorted, feeling hot under his fur at that unexpected finger-pointing. "Consider yourselves lucky it wasn't worse." Harestrike doubted that her Clan had to evacuate their camp just to survive.
That flurry of activity, the rapid motion of so many bodies moving at once - kits crying out with surprise and fear as they were herded by their mothers from the nursery - was sharp on Harestrike's mind. How she could stand there and complain, when TreeClan had hardly suffered for it? Harestrike's deep loyalty to his Clan prevented him from admitting when they were in the wrong. Just because StarClan had started that fire...
He brushed off those thoughts. It wasn't his job to interpret StarClan's motives and behaviors. That was Kindleflare's job. Just concentrate on feeding the Clan. What was he even doing here, anyway? Talking to Maplebrook like they were old friends or something. They'd had one moment together during the rain. So what?
Wasn't like they were denmates all of a sudden.
Harestrike's tail lashed. Why did her opinion get under his skin so easily, then?
The silvery tabby was distracted enough by the charred remains of trees that she did not notice the tom's approach.Her only indication of his arrival was his annoyed rebuttal to her opinion on who was at fault for the fire, why did he care about her 'lowly Treeclanner' opinion anyway?
Snorting Maplebrook puffed out her fur, looking more like a fluffed up rabbit than anything scary but it got her agitation across. " I'm allowed to have an opinion when it burns clan's territory and threatens lives of so many Harestrike" It was clear in that moment that she was not referring to her own clan, in all reality she did not blame all of Lightningclan for the fire, mostly Firestar.
It was Maplebrook's opinion that the air headed calico had been blinded with emotion, or at least she had heard from Lionstar. "So why does it matter to you what my opinion is?Last time I checked, we were not friends" she added quickly, her entire body radiating her annoyance at the harsh tone he had seemed to reserve only for her.
" However, I am not heartless, I know you suffered more than my own clan, I offer my sympathies" she spoke quietly, regaining her temper as she stared somewhat evenly at the tom before her. Maplebrook could not help the dark look she cast at the sky, why had starclan made him so attractive to the young warrioress? It would never work, it was forbidden and that, at least that was the real deep hidden reason why she secretly enjoyed the flirtations with the warrior tom so much.
" The flames didn't melt your temper unfortunately" she added, a distict note of teasing on her voice as she boldly strode towards the tom, perhaps so she could brush his fur against her's or maybe just to see how far she could push him.
She was a princess,
with the strength of a warrior
Fawntastic, The Tree is playing with Lightning, lets hope she doesn't get singed.
Post by Fawntastic on Oct 19, 2017 15:17:11 GMT -5
31 MOONS LIGHTNINGCLAN WARRIOR
"So why does it matter to you what my opinion is?Last time I checked, we were not friends."
No, they weren't.
But they weren't enemies, either. At least, he didn't get that impression from her. Maybe it had something to do with that rainy sunhigh they spent together, or maybe it had to do with nothing at all? His life had been complicated lately. Harestrike didn't want to add more hostility on top of that.
Before long, Maplebrook had butted into his thoughts, Harestrike's grassy green gaze fixing onto her pretty tabby features once more. "Thanks, I guess," he muttered, begrudgingly accepting her sympathies. "Shouldn't you be hunting?" It came out bossier than he meant it, but it was too late to take that back. Harestrike's claws itched in frustration over his poor hunting attempts this morning; he had little to show for it other than agitation and flecks of ash in his coat from trying to make the best of a lousy situation.
Harestrike didn't like hunting under the cover of trees. Too close. Too much like being boxed in but not in a comfortable way, like the rabbit warrens they'd turned into dens. This felt different. Too many branches above for things to hide just out of sight. Yet as he gazed over the TreeClan scentline, he couldn't lie to himself and say it didn't look inviting.
The forest looked particularly lush after seeing the ruination that was the moorlands. Harestrike stepped closer, the distance between him and the TreeClan she-cat so short he could count each individual whisker on her face. "Up for a challenge, Maplebrook? To decide which Clan is better after all." The tabby tom's tail waved languidly behind him, and he raised his jaw in a haughty smile, letting his musculature and his sleek coat do most of the talking for him. She liked him. He could tell. That meant he had a chance...
Harestrike's last words peaked the silvery tabby's interest her bright emerald green gaze fixed on the Lightningclan tom as each word sparked a fire within her gut, what was he implying? why was he looking at her like that? as if he could stare into her soul and know exactly what she felt about the annoying pompous warrior. An emotion that was not hate nor envy but rather a hint of admiration and trust, suffice to say Maplebrook deep down knew in her heart. She liked him and the more she tried to hide it, the more he seemed to know.
" A challenge eh? I cannot refuse that now that my clan's honour is at stake, what do you suggest we do for this challenge?" She immediately shuffled away from the tom, nerves at being that close to him getting in the way of her confident appearence. " Hunting is my speciality but I actually came out here to think" she added as a way of itimidiation, Harestrike was no doubt faster and stronger but Maplebrook was small and agile and methodic, she had a plan for everything. This brief display of her true feelings was a bit of a ruse to throw him off his game,if he thought she liked him, she was going to pretend that she did not.
Harestrike's eyes gleamed, feeling a fierce surge of competitiveness despite hunting not being his strongest skill. Much more of a battler, Harestrike's talents were evident every time he set paw on a battlefield, or surprised a fox that thought he was easy prey. Sizing up Maplebrook, his eyes roving appreciatively over her sleek gray tabby pelt, the tom purred with satisfaction. "A hunting competition then. Whoever catches the most, wins. But here's the thing — the winner gets to keep the loser's prey, too."
It was just the sort of thing his mother would approve of (provided he won). A display of LightningClan's superiority, and a way for him to provide for the Clan while doing a little less work in the process. The TreeClan boasted of her own hunting abilities, but the tabby and white tom felt the first few words of a taunt hanging off his tongue. "Specialty, huh? Guess you'll have to prove it." With a cocky stride, Harestrike brushed his pelt briefly against hers as he passed Maplebrook by. "Hunting in the mountains makes it fair. You coming or what? Getting cold paws?" The mountainside was unfamiliar territory for them both.
They really would be putting their individual abilities to the rest. Though his mentor was dead a season, the desire to make Sunblaze proud, even in StarClan, was hovering under his other motivations. Harestrike was anything but a failure. He'd prove it. If he could outhunt and outsmart Maplebrook, he'd come back to LightningClan with his head held high. Maybe then Dovecloud would stop stealing little looks at Thrushwhisker.
There was a change in the air, a brief moment of hostility arose in Maplebrook's eyes as Harestrike challenged her to a hunting competition, silly tom, did he not know that she was one of the better hunters in the clan? to her it made up for her lack of ability to fight. " I accept your challenge Harestrike, may the best clan win" Oh the silly silly simpletom, he was in for a rude shock when she beat him at his own game, however she did admit that finding prey on a mountainside was not something she had any experience in. This challenge would prove to be interesting.
"I never get cold paws and I never back down, Lionstar probably thinks it's a fault of mine. we all have our problems" she added, perhaps more honest than she should have been given the fact that she was supposed to dislike Lightningclan with her entire being and instead she ... liked the cocky tom that had done nothing but be rude to her the first day they met. " Your fault is that you are insufferably rude, have been since we met, do you even have a polite thought in that thick skull of yours?" She really did not mean to have such an outburst, especially considering the fact that she was normally so soft spoken and diplomatic in her interaction's but this tom was different, he made her feel threatened, like her power over her own thoughts was taken away and she did not like it, or at least, she would never admit she did.
Their usual banter was actually calming to her nerves and while her eyes focused on the landscape before her, her ears were kept fixed to attention in the tom's direction, Multitasking was another skill of hers. She would win, never would she allow a tom to beat her in anything
She was a princess, with the strength of a warrior
Fawntastic Notes: I can imagine that a draw would actually be the best conclusion, if he sees Maplebrook as an equal it will be easier for them to actually have the romance that leads to her miscarriage.
She-cats were almost a whole other species of cat. His own mother was a master of saying one thing and meaning something else. Dovecloud could be moody and sulky at the drop of an acorn, and Maplebrook had these little outbursts...
Because he made her nervous. Obviously.
"do you even have a polite thought in that thick skull of yours?"
”I might,” he replied, letting a purr lend those words an attractive rumble. She thought his worst fault was rudeness? Good. His hard work was paying off. Morningfrost didn't allow faults, and if his one unattractive quality was his disdain for the other Clans, then there was nothing for his mother to be displeased over. Clearly it was getting under Maplebrook's skin, however, and Harestrike chose to dial back some of the smugness.
He didn't want to chase his new 'friend' away. They'd had a rough start, but now that they'd interacted multiple times, Harestrike was ready to start treating her like someone actually worth his time. The tabby tom's pelt brushed against hers as he led the way into the mountains, enjoying the electricity. He didn't exactly have romantic feelings for her, but he appreciated the company.
Appreciated the distraction from a life that had more challenges than blessings.
"Show me what you're made of, TreeClanner. We'll meet back here at this tree." Harestrike scratched his claws into a dead cedar stump, releasing a little pent up energy. Hunting wasn't anywhere near as exciting as fighting - but a good challenge like this? Now that was something he could really sink his teeth into. Prying the needle-sharp points out of the scoured bark, Harestrike rounded on her, flashing a haughty grin. "May the best Clan win."
The she cat almost groaned when Harestrike instead of apologising simply shrugged it off with a dismissal " I might" and the feline rolled her eyes and hissed softly under her breath. "oh you fleabrained piece of frogspawn, Starclan help me, give me patience to know that I hurt him, Lionstar will not be pleased" She whispered to herself, barely a hair above a whisper and clearly meant for no-one but herself as the tom from Lightningclan bounded away she wished him good riddance and despite herself, good luck.
It was far more relaxing to be by herself and the silver tabby allowed her steps to be more slow than usual, her instincts told her that prey would come if she choose to wait rather than attack like a savage badger, which would scare of neighbouring prey and limit her chances of winning against Harestrike. She liked the tom, yes perhaps a little crush had developed within the huntress but where these feelings came from and why in all the valley did it have to be him? These thoughts contiued to haunt her even when a mouse made it's grand appearence and the she cat's tail flicked slightly before she stilled it, managing to get close enough to the mouse before.... POUNCE!!!
The poor mouse's life was over, silently the she cat looked at her prey, the poor animal simply looked asleep despite being dead. Finding a nice little hole, the she cat set about burying her prey, she would not have some hawk or other preditor steal her catches, at least before she beat Harestrike.
A few hours later and the sun was now setting through the trees, casting a orange and yellow glow over the forest as Maplebrook dragged her lastest find to her pile. She had managed to catch four mice, two lizards and a bird and was currently carrying her latest find, a rabbit to her hiding spot. It was getting late and she would have to head back to Treeclan's camp soon if she wanted to sleep in her nest but Maplebrook was known for taking a few days for her hunting trips, Lionstar didn't seem to mind so long as she returned with a large amount of prey.
The tree that Harestrike had picked as their meet up point was not that far of a distance so the Treeclanner did her best to gather all hery prey on her pelt and carry it back, though she did have to make two trips. Content with her stash the female sat lazily in the setting sun, grooming her fur of inperfections and waiting for the tom from Lightningclan to return.
" Come on Maplebrook, he's a Lightningclan tom, you cannot like him like that..." she was in the middle of scolding herself mid stroke as she licked her leg free of the dirt when a noise nearby caught her attention and the warrioress flinched back into the relative safety of the tree as the noise grew louded, It sounded big and as much as Maplebrook wanted to win over Harestrike, she was not willing to risk her life just to prove a point. Maplebrook was no fool, she knew she was much more of an asset alive than dead.
She was a princess,
with the strength of a warrior
Fawntastic, It could be Harestrike or something else if you wish.
The noise Maplebrook heard from the bushes was not a badger or other large predator, but Harestrike wrestling with the body of a large crow - a stroke of good luck - that he dragged over to the growing prey pile. Along with the crow, he had caught a young hare, a vole, and a sparrow. The crow was the reason for the cocky walk and the gloating eyes, but both of those things faltered as he looked to all the prey Maplebrook had returned with. What? No way! She had caught just as much as him, by the looks of it.
Harestrike scowled. He hated losing. This was a tie, but he couldn't accept that. Morningfrost would never allow him to lose to a TreeClanner - but they had spent so much time hunting, the sun was beginning to sink down over the horizon. There was no time for a rematch, or a last minute search for the winning piece. As if he'd stepped on something rank, the tabby and white tom's muzzle scrunched, but he finally relented. "Guess it's a tie. You gonna make it back to camp with all of that?" Harestrike's tail whipped around, his usual arrogance returning, even if it was only a mask over his self-directed disappointment. Stars, he hated losing. Hated it. "I could lighten your load a little."
Knowing that kind of cheapness was going to get him a cuff around the ears, Harestrike prevented a feisty retort (or tried to) with a grin, as if to say 'only kidding'. He couldn't let her know how much this was going to bug him. He wanted a rematch. He would have a rematch, and then they'd know once and for all who was the better hunter. They smelled faintly of the mountains now, and it was a light layer over their natural Clan scents. It almost made up for the woodsy aroma clinging to Maplebrook's soft tabby pelt; despite his grumblings, he had to admit... She was a good hunter. Some of the prey looked like it had been hard to catch.
"We should do this again sometime, Maplebrook." Harestrike mewed, half hoping they'd attend a gathering at the same time one of these moons. It would be fun to get her all flustered and upset in front of her own Clanmates - provided Dovecloud hadn't gone with him. Obviously she wouldn't take it well, and Harestrike would rather chew through his own tail than deal with that headache.
The sound Maplebrook heard was not a vicious killer, rather the unglamorous arrival of Harestrike with his latest catch, a large crow and despite herself Maplebrook nodded approvingly at the tom. Her bright emerald gaze soon found the rest of his pile and narrowed a little in shock. He had just as much as she did and that in her mind was unacceptable. It was a tie and in Maplebrook's mind that was the same as losing and losing to a tom, especially this tom was not something she would ever do. Maplebrook paused before she approached the tom, keeping her composure was vital if she wanted to make this 'friendship' last, he would need to think that she was okay with a tie.
" So it seems, well congratulations anyway I would call that a solid effort" she offered him a moment of praise before it fled back behind her mask of aloofness. Her mood however soured upon the tom;s next words. "Are you gonna get back to camp with all that? I could lighten your load a little.""I am fully capable of getting it back by myself thank you" she yowled defensively, how dare he? Imply that she couldn't carry it all herself, she was a she-cat of Treeclan and anything if not resourceful.
She did however soften towards the tom once more when instead of futhering annoying the silvery tabby, he choose to ask to do it again in the future and Maplebrook's ears flicked, a rematch? eh well she could hardly say no now that they tied. "A rematch? One might think you were trying to impress someone." She scoffed at him, she didn't feel the need to impress other's, there was little point anyway.
She had always been treated as the sloppy second compared to her brother when he was alive and there was not a day that passed that her parents, Starclan rest their souls, reminded her that she would never be as good as he was, It was what made her so determined now to never loose to anyone, especially a tom, Sparrowfoor would be laughing at her in starclan if she did, muttering on how a she cat could never beat a tom. " I should go now, Night Harestrike" she spoke softly, lowerinf her gaze and moving foward just so that her whisker's brushed his before she pulled away once more and headed of into the night, pausing only to pick up her prey and assort it so that she may carry it back to camp.