He'd waited so long for the waters to freeze here. It was his favorite place to come, the best place for him to renew his love affair with leafbare and her still beauty. He had always enjoyed the snow, the cold and the frozen waters, the perfect stillness offered by leafbare nights and the biting reminder in the cold winds for cats to respect her splendor. Leafbare was a time for the valley to rest, but for Silverstar, it was a time for him to see the great love of his life. No she-cat had ever compared to the beauty of leafbare, and it was likely no she-cat ever would. Which was why he was so free with his favors, falling in and out of love quickly and easily. He was always kind, always amiable towards them, but he'd never be their mate.
He saw his breath in the air, a puff escaping him every time he exhaled and could only grin like a fool. Being leader was rough on him. He was not one prone to violence, and didn't want to be forced to war. He wanted to heal his clan, to do as StarClan asked of him; lead them well and see them whole. Fighting the other clans ran counterproductive to that goal. Some may find the thought of avoiding conflict wherever he could as cowardly, he thought if it more as a strategic placement. If his clan was what he concentrated on, then they would get stronger. Fighting outside the clan didn't strengthen it, it only caused loss of life and weakened them further. So no matter how he was prodded on the matter, RainClan would not be making war anytime soon. United against a common enemy, a common hatred, was not something he was going to deal with.
But that was a thought for another time. Now, just now, he wanted to feel the cold under his paws. His long limbs and delicate build may have made him seem feminine, but they also gave him an advantage he adored. He could move across ice like he was walking, never slid and never fell. As paws touched the ice he extended his claws just slightly and propelled himself forward, using slight touches of claws to ice whenever he needed to adjust his path. The pond was small but that didn't matter. He felt joy, felt free, for the first time since he'd been chosen as Deputy of RainClan. Beyond this frozen paradise lied responsibility and duty as leader, lied the expectations of his clan and the needs of the many over his own. They could wait. For now, this time was his.
The future lies before you, like freshly fallen snow Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show author unknown
Notes : Silverstar isn't far from camp. Anyone passing by could probably see him.
Dewpaw loped out of camp with a frustrated pace to her step. She had been distracted today, causing more issues for her and Swanfeather than good. In her excitement to learn new herbs, she had knocked over the careful piles of cat mint with her tail, scattering the precious herbs across the dirt floor. Most had been recoverable but it could have been a very costly mistake for their clanmates. Her mentor had been rightfully upset and just in sending her apprentice out of the den to run off the energy. Dewpaw couldn't do that in camp though, a couple laps in the clearing doing little help and had set off into the territory to find something interesting to entertain herself with.
What she hadn't expected to find, was her father floating across the frozen water. Her blue eyes widened as she watched, sitting with an absent thump in the snow as her mouth fell open. He looked at peace, eyes half-closed in an expression of joy. Dewpaw put a paw out on the ice, then picked it back up suddenly. She scrunched up her face in anxiety. She wanted to join in, but didn't want to interrupt. Surely Silverstar was out here to get away from everyone, and probably not hang out with his daughter. I'll leave him be, Dewpaw thought, getting back to her paws to go back to camp. As she did, her back paws hit the pool, sending her flopping ungracefully to the ground, and spinning out onto the ice. Well, I guess he's disturbed now, The she-cat thought with a huff at herself, peering over her tail at her dad.
He'd been so absorbed in what he was doing that he didn't even notice when his half-grown daughter arrived. He wouldn't have known she had even been there had she not slipped and slid across the ice. He dug his claws in and stopped himself, blue eyes wide as the small she-cat slid.
Silverstar cringed until she'd safely come to a stop, then expertly maneuvered himself over to her side and nudged her with his nose. "You alright Dewpaw?" On one paw he wished she hadn't found him, on the other she was his daughter and had every right to seek him out as she chose. He'd never deny anyone his company, and his family was important even as little as he'd had to do with their upbringing.
His legs didn't even shake, his lean form held steady even though the ice below his paws was slippery at best. "Lets get you up. Use your claws, it'll keep you on your paws."
"You alright Dewpaw?" She nodded, heat flushing her cheeks. Now she really had interrupted him. "Lets get you up. Use your claws, it'll keep you on your paws." The tom gracefully slid over, a solid support for the young she-cat to get back up. Following his instructions, Dewpaw sunk her claws into the ice and found it stable.
"Sorry for bothering you," She said, her apology coming out in a quick rush of words. "I was told to get some energy out and I went out of camp to try- to do that 'cause the forest has lots of things in it- then. I saw you! and you were moving so gracefully- like a fish but on top of the water instead of in it- that I didn't want to disturb you- but the ice is slippery and I just, fell." Dewpaw flicked her tail nervously, the excitement of watching her father glide fading as she spoke. The words came to a silted stop, blue eyes looking up at Silverstar with embarrassment. She didn't want someone else to be grumpy with her, and he seemed to be okay now that she was up on her paws too.
"Could you teach me? You looked so happy moving around." She asked her question carefully, as a kit would when trying to learn about their parent's skills, to mimic what made the adult cat happy.
"You aren't bothering me." He told her with a slight smile. He found that as his offspring grew to majority he found it easier to spend time with them. They were past the stage were they needed constant care, so that made things much easier. He liked kits, it wasn't that, he just didn't want the responsibility of caring for them. Made him very glad to be a tom. Kits were for queens to attend to, and nobody could tell him he had to settle down with a mate now. He'd already done his part to add to RainClan's numbers.
He quirked his head at the rapid expulsion of words that came from the young she-cat, taking moment to realize what she'd said and laughing softly. "Leafbare is my favorite time of year. It is by her cold beauty that I judge all others." He flashed a smile at her. "I can teach you, but you have to first learn to accept that you are going to fall. I fell often when I started being able to ice walk, it happens. The trick is to respect the ice and keep trying."
Blue eyes watched the other find her paws, making sure she wasn't wobbly legged before continuing. "The first step is just being able to stand. Lock your legs and don't let yourself wobble. The balance in your body is in your mid-section, so try not to lean forward or back. And you have a tail, use it." His own was slightly angled around straight behind him, used as another means of keeping his own balance. Many moons of practice had made such gestures second nature.
"And watch the ice, never put your paws to ice if you can see through it. Ice that's thick enough is solid and doesn't show the dark water underneath. We may have thicker pelts than some, but cold water will still put your life in danger."
Dewpaw listened, ears facing her father with blue eyes wide as she took in the information. A small smile appeared, he really truly loves this the most. When it was her time to try, Dewpaw grinned wider and excitement made her tail lash, she was going to do this! With quick glances to match Silverstar's form, the young apprentice shifted herself on the ice. It still didn't feel as sturdy as the ground did, but she was determined.
With a couple nervous pawsteps forward, Dewpaw felt herself shift. It wasn't the smoothest gesture forward, she certainly didn't look like Silverstar had before she stumbled onto the ice. But, she was moving. She let out an excited laugh, looking up from her paws to beam at Silverstar. "I'm moving!" Her tail waved again, giving enough motion for the she-cat to continue to slide forward. In a move of confidence, Dewpaw tucked her claws back in, pushing off with a front paw as she had seen Silverstar do. Instead of moving with a glide, as she expected, Dewpaw's remaining front paw unbalanced and she came crashing down agian.
Huffing at herself, Dewpaw unsheathed her claws, and stood back onto wobbly paws. Blue eyes looked at Silverstar, "What do I need to fix? I thought you just put your paws out and go."