The pretty tabby she cat was not in a fair and forgiving mood as she made her way to Treeclan's border with Lightningclan, already she had had three arguments with Falconstorm about her 'illness' and while it was still early, it was hard not to notice that Maplebrook was getting rounder as Leaf Bare bought it's harshness full force on the tree loving clan, she could no longer use the excuse of excess prey and she wasn't stupid enough to think that ' bulking up for leaf bare' would go down well with her clanmates. She was running out of excuses for her growwing stomach and thus out of patience.
At first,, she hoped it was some bad dream that she would wake up and realise her whole relationship with Harestrike had been a dream. However one glance at her stomach had her crashing back to reality and the guilt set in. She had betrayed her clan.. betrayed Lionstar and even young Fawnpaw by allowing herself to get caught up with the enemy, Harestrike was a charming tom yes, but he was a Lightningclan cat and at least in Maplebrook's experience that was forbinned or at least heavly frowned upon.
Was it lonelyness that drove her into the paw's of a tom from another clan? or was it simple stupidity on her part?Maplebrook tended to believe the latter. She had to come clean, but to whom? Lionstar would exile her and she wasn't sure that Harestrike would take the news well. He seemed distant the last few times she had seen him. Maplebrook sulked as she finally reached the border, she had been in such a hurry to leave camp that she did not remember to check if anyone followed her, something she was usually so careful about.
Her relationship with Harestrike was private, something that she shared with him alone, any threat to that was no tolerated. " Oh starclan help me, how am I supposed to tell him" she whispered to herself, the words barely leaving her mouth when a russle was heard and she froze, green eyes darting around to catch the unwanted disruption to her thoughts.
Prey was scarce now. It was putting him on edge, already adding to the tom's continued relationship troubles with his mate - and as a direct result of that, with his mother. Morningfrost was beginning to notice how they weren't exactly the picture-perfect couple they were supposed to be.
How some days, they couldn't stand to be around each other.
Harestrike was getting good at gritting his teeth (hard) and bearing it. But was he happy about it? No. Walking along the edge of TreeClan's and LightningClan's territory, hunger making his stomach feel tight and painful, the tabby warrior did his duties without enthusiasm.
StarClan took mercy on him, letting him find a dormouse snuffling around in search of a few final acorns. He snuffed out it's life in a single quick bite, stomach roaring at him to selfishly eat the prey rather than bring it back to the others. Go on, egged on an inner voice. You deserve it.
Why shouldn't he help himself for some decent food? He was longing for something warm to chase the chill out of his body, and this small morsel was better than nothing. With a serruptitious glance in all directions, Harestrike crouched down over his kill. Every bite was delicious. Forbidden, and somehow all the better for it. The warrior lamented how quickly the mouse was gone, licking the taste of it from his jaws as he dug back the snow and earth to bury the prey bones.
As he was scrapping back the earth, Harestrike caught a familiar scent. Maplebrook.
He straightened, pleased she hadn't found him in the midst of a meal. He was selfish, yes, but he was also Clan-proud, and not going to let her know just how bad things were going in LightningClan. Spotting the TreeClan she-cat at the edge of the woods, Harestrike sat to wipe a damn paw over his muzzle, a cocky glint in his eyes like usual.
Maplebrook's foul mood was slightly brightened by the appearence of Harestrike, if it had to be a Lightningclaner, he was not the worst she had encountered. However his usual cockiness bought her back to reality and she scowled at him, A rematch? No way! She'd be lucky to catch a beetle in this climate but she was far to clan-proud to ever admit that to anyone, least of all Harestrike.
" Come now, you know I've never lost a hunting challenge Harestrike" She grinned to herself, they had tied the last time he ha insulting her hunting skills, a tie was not a lost nor a win so her flawless record remained. " Besides I have a more pressing matter to discuss with you" She added quickly, not allowing the tom time to challenge her statement and getting to the point of why she had taken the time to trek out of her nice nest in the camp to the freezing spare tree's of the border, just to see him.
It was a strange feeling, her sitting there with something to tell that would change everything between them, In all likelihood, he would never want to see her again, fatherhood didn't seem like his thing but it was like she was always taught by her parents 'allowing painful things to fester only makes it worse' and so with a deep sigh the she cat revealed her secret to the most unlikely of cats.
" I'm pregnant with your kits Harestrike"
She was a princess,
with the strength of a warrior
Fawntastic ( Harestrike and maybe Appleshade if you want) Calico ( In case you want Dovecloud to show up now, Cedar will follow along shortly.
Post by Fawntastic on Jan 26, 2018 10:11:50 GMT -5
34 MOONS LIGHTNINGCLAN WARRIOR
There's only one king, and there's only one crown
Harestrike visibly recoiled. Pregnant with MY kits? StarClan be damned, had she really just said those words? Maplebrook's expression was as serious as a grave, and Harestrike felt his pulse pummel his ears like an overeager opponent. His expression twisted. "Oh." That was all he could think to say. What was he supposed to tell her? I already have a mate? We can never be together? Harestrike, never one to stay still for long, paced back and forth along the borderline, as if he could wear his problems down to nothing.
"Sorry Maplebrook." Even that apology felt crappy, but Harestrike didn't know where to begin fixing it. He had to do damage control - before his mother found out. Before anyone found out. "That must be a mistake. I'd never have kits with a TreeClan cat." Had they gotten carried away? Yes. StarClan, he was such a harebrain. He really did deserve that stupid nickname. "We can't see each other anymore. Whatever we had," Harestrike lashed his tail, "fun while it lasted, but it's over."
Harestrike averted his gaze, not so cold hearted as to look her in the eyes while he said that.
Split down the line between horror and anger, Harestrike began to withdraw from this she-cat who had thrown a massive branch in his path. Foxdung. Foxdung. Foxdung! He had to breathe. He had to run. He had to get as far away from this pregnant she-cat as possible. She was in TreeClan. Short of trying to join LightningClan, if he went back home, he could escape her.
Yet that meant being around Dovecloud far more than he wanted to.
For one precarious heartbeat, Harestrike considered running and never looking back. Going until his paw-pads cracked and the hunger became too strong. The tabby warrior's feet itched, realizing how savory that option looked, when he was caught between a fire and a flood.
Mistake... a mistake!! That was what he called them!!! The life growing within her, their kits. Maplebrook recoiled in pain, her green eyes flashing with all the pain and anger she felt towards the tom . Without a split second of hesitation she let loose all the pain and hurt that she felt in that second. "A mistake... is that what you call it?" Her words were cold, without any sign of the warmth they normally had and radiating with nothing but pure poison and hate as if it pained her to look at him.
Secretly it did, she did not have high expectations of Harestrike's response to begin with but this, the renouncement of their courtship as nothing more than some kithood game or apprenticeship infatuation hurt so much more. " You are a coward Harestrike, and to think, I thought you actually cared about me.. " She paused to gather herself before she continued. " I see now that it's only you that your heart belongs to, who cares about the rest of us right?' She snapped at him, her bright eyes burning with the fire of a thousand hurt she cats. " I hate you" She snarled, perfect white teech bared as her eyes almost darkened in her emotional state. " Better leave before I really loose my temper" she warned coldly, turning from the tom who broke her heart . She felt hot, like the fires of whatever hell evil cats like Harestrike ended up in. Maplebrook's legs stook violently as if the weight of her anger was to much for her small body to handle and she turned tail and Harestrike and bolted, but not without one more promise " I swear to Starclan Harestrike, everyone in every clan will know what you did to me, to our kits" She promised him softly, more upset now than angry before she fled the scene, further into the comfort of her own clan's territory.
Once out of earshot of Harestrike she burst, heaving sobs rended her on the dirt, her belly aching as much as her heart did as she allowed all the emotion to flow out of her. " I. i...it's n..no...not.. f.f.f.fair, I j.just w.w.wanted a fa... family, Oh starclan, wh...what ..di...did I do w.w.wrong?" she sobbed, not caring who saw or heard her now. It was over anyway, Harestrike had made that clear but she had made her mark, she hated him and if she knew anything she knew that egotistically tom's would never forget the she cat they hurt the most or the one who loathed them the most.
She was a princess,
with the strength of a warrior
Fawntastic ( For Harestrike, Maybe Lionstar or Appleshade could show up as well now?)
Dovecloud was on a walk. She felt restless, and she had no idea why. Maybe she was coming down with something? She'd have to go and have a conversation with Kindleflare at some point.
Maybe it was just hunger.
Maybe she was... no. That couldn't be right. Not even slightly. She refused to even think it could be true.
She soon picked up a scent trail.
Harestrike... and... TreeClan!
Her ears pinned back in alarm, she took up a stealthy stalking position. It was as if she was hunting a rabbit. She made sure she was downwind. She made sure she was light on her haunches. She wasn't going to be spotted easily.
She spotted Harestrike quickly enough. He was moving through the territory as if the weight of the world was on her shoulders.
She didn't want to talk to him. She wanted to investigate what he was doing on the edge of TreeClan territory.
Quickly she picked up another scent. Fear-scent. The scent of a she-cat who was terrified. Suddenly everything started falling into place.
Why else would Harestrike spend so little time with her. He'd obviously got himself another cat to spend his nights with.
Caution given to the wind, she rushed after the scent. It was close. She soon saw the cat the scent belonged to.
In some ways, Dovecloud wasn't surprised. Harestrike had always gone for the pretty she-cat. It was why they were together. But Dovecloud didn't expect Maplebrook to be the one. She'd only ever seen her at gatherings. She always seemed to have her head together.
"Maplebrook. You'll stop, right now, before I flay you for stealing Harestrike from me."
Maplebrook was content to lay in the dirt, her pregnant belly heaving with emotion as a unfamilar voice called her name, the broken hearted she cat turned to look behind her and spotted a white feline that she sort of recognised as Dovecloud, a warrior of Lightningclan. What was she doing here? What did she mean steal Harestrike, as far as Maplebrook knew, he was free for any cat. Right? The thought seemed to come into some sort of denial. Did Harestrike already have a mate when he romanced her? Is that why he was so heartlessly cruel towards their unborn kit? She did not know and frankly, right now she did not want to.
" W... What do you mean steal? I didn't steal anyone from you Dovecloud" She was so confused and upset she felt pitiful but she could feel the wrath of the other she cat and knew that sympathy was not in the white feline's nature. She would have better luck getting pity from Demon.
Dovecloud's words echoed in her ears, the threat of being flayed replayed itself and Maplebrook grew angry.. very angry" Do not threaten me Dovecloud, I may be pregnant but I am not slow, I will win" she promised, of course this might be a lie, Maplebrook knew her strength was hunting and not fighting but with other lives to protect, who knew what she could do. How dare she threaten her with fraying! Did she not know the punishment for attacking another clan cat without the pressence of a war? nevermind a pregnant one!
She was a princess,
with the strength of a warrior
Calico ( Maplebrook doesn't know Dove and Hare are mates, but she is sticking by her promise)
"I'm not going to attack you. I wouldn't waste my time."
Dovecloud gave a contemptuous flick of her ears and tail before settling into a sitting position, her thick coat keeping her warm much more satisfactorily than Maplebrook's short fur. The fact that she was obviously pregnant and that the kits were obviously Harestrike's was enough to set her hackles raising, but she would not rise to it. An attack on any cat, much less a pregnant one, without a prior declaration of war was tantamount to mutiny.
Harestrike was not worth that. Not even slightly.
"I know you've been schlepping with Harestrike behind my back. You do know, don't you, that he's my mate, and has been for a couple of seasons now. HE chose me. HE asked me. HE did it for his mother. But you wouldn't know that either, would you? You're not LightningClan.
Congratulations on your kits. I hope they bring you nothing but happiness and joy. Just know that you'll be raising them, alone, because there is no way in StarClan that Harestrike would leave his clan because of a she-cat."
Maplebrook's short fur fluffed up as Dovecloud spoke about how she would not waste her time attacking her and then revealing that she was Harestrike's mate. His mate???!!!! The revelation shook Maplebrook to her core and thoughts began to flood into her head faster than she could process them. A mate! Is that why he broke it off? Because he already had a mate? No it was still painfully clear that Harestrike did not give a damn about Maplebrook or her kits, and what was worse is that now she knew he did not give a damn about anyone.
Not even his own mate and it hurt all the more. As Dovecloud continued all Maplebrook could do was stare at her, dumbfounded by this new information before she sobered up and remembered she was supposed to be angry. " I didn't know that Harestrike was your mate Dovecloud, if I did, none of this would have happened but I never made HIM cheat, HE choose to do that on his own." Dovecloud was on a rampage of how Harestrike choose her and would choose his clan over Maplebrook, which she already knew so it only futher served to enrage the normally docile she cat.
" Harestrike choose YOU, yes that's true, but clearly if YOU had been a better mate then he would not have needed to run to ME" she put the same empathsis on the words You and Me as Dovecloud had in her rant. Maplebrook curled protectively around her stomach, bright green eyes almost darker with her anger.
"I made a mistake in choosing Harestrike and for that I am sorry"she spoke very softly, her heart in her throat, Dovecloud could easily attack her, kill her kits but that would not change what her 'mate' had done to her. " Being angry with me, doesn't change anything Dovecloud, if not me then it would be someone else, he didn't deserve you" she finished, satisified that she had made her point. She was not responsible for Harestrike's actions, her only fault in this, was falling for the wrong cat.
Maplebrook stared at her stomach, Dovecloud got off easy really, she would not have a reminder of her heartbreak, everytime she looked in her kits eyes. Everytime she walked the border, she would be forced to remember his reaction to her telling him she was pregnant and a painful twinge gripped her heart, causing her legs to shake and her head to fall between her shoulder's in defeat, in acceptance and more than all of that in heartbreak and sadness.