Briarthroat watched the gathered cats dissipate after their assignments were given. It was getting easier, he decided, to give cats jobs that suited them best. There was a learning curve still. Certain cats were better hunters at dusk, some preferred the dead of night, and some cats were easily woken up for dawn patrols whereas others would rather stick a claw in their clanmate's face for even bothering. It was a delicate balance to discover this, and the deputy knew he couldn't be everywhere to discover what each cat needed more. He had taken to eating his midday meal with Foxstar, heads together as they checked their notes with each other. Send these cats together for best prey yield, do not expect this apprentice to get up quickly for morning patrols and...
His eyes scanned the clearing for his patrol, Lilyfrost being spotted first. And take time to talk with cats going through changes."Ready to go?" He called to her, motioning with his tail for Cinderstripe, the third of their party, to join. A quick hunting patrol, Briarthroat had decided was best for the trio. Something to keep them busy, and something for the tom to talk with Lilyfrost if need be. Her kits were off being apprentices, and while he didn't have kits of his own, he imagined it was a hard change to face.
Lilyfrost felt like she was in mourning, but the cat's she missed were still alive. Her three kits had recently become apprentices and left the nusery, prompting their mother to do the same, after all, her kits were gone and she only really tolerated the attention she got from her clanmates while she had to, the constant oohs and comments on how big they were getting grew dull and she had often found herself venturing out into the camp once they were big enough, leaving the little demons with their father.
Briarthroat had wasted no time upon her exit of the nusery to recuit her back into warrior duties and despite her usual dislike of leadership, she had not forgotten Foxstar's comments when Graykit had escaped into Treeclan territory, she found herself agreeing to his company, he was actually a decent tom.
" Of course, it is good to be able to get out of camp again" She mused to her deputy,offering a small smile as she waited for Cinderstripe to approach.
"Of course, it is good to be able to get out of camp again"
Briarthroat offered Lilyheart a smile at her response, tail waved in greeting at their third. With the party complete, he led the way out of camp at a light trot. The air was cool enough that it didn't sneak into his fur, and he exhaled relief at the changing temperatures. Newleaf was on the horizon.
"I am glad to see your strength returning and see you out and about more," He started, motioning for Cinderstripe to take the lead. It was an easy switch, that let the tom walk beside Lilyheart. He had asked her to be on the patrol to catch up with her after all. If he wanted to keep tabs on everyone, it required getting his paws in the actions sometimes which Briarthroat was more than willing to do.
"Perhaps we will see you with your kits now that they are apprentices." His voice was still its soft tones, but there was an excitement there. New apprentices always made the tom happy. It meant Nightclan was continuing to grow in numbers, in strength. "Where do you think you'll do with them first? I imagine they will have certain skills they've picked up from you they'll want to show off."
Seemed that Briarthroat had no interest in bringing up Lilyfrost's and Bonetail's parenting skills and instead the older tom spoke about seeing Lilyfrost more with her kits now they were apprentices and the grey warrioress tilted her head as she thought about the answer she might give. If it was up to her she would keep them all under her watchful eye for another three moons, just to make sure that Graypaw did not have another adventure and get herself inured or Starclan forbid, killed.
"Graypaw and Crowpaw seem to be adjusting well to apprenticehood, though I don't think Darkstorm payed me much attention when I told her that Graypaw could be a handful" The mother of three gave the deputy a sheepish smile at that one, It after all had not been her that was on parent duty whrn the devilish kitten had escaped. " Ghostpaw still visits me everytime he can, Hollystorm may be his aunt but she is working him hard and Crowpaw is doing her own thing with little regard to Pipitwing's authority" She finished, her voice filled with warmth and adoration and little could question Lilyfrost's love of her children, it was her choice in mate that had most concerned about her mental health.
Realising that she had spoken about how her kits were going so far rather than what she intended to do with them Lilyfrost quickly appologised. " I am sorry I didn't mean to ramble on but when it comes to my kit's, I think all the praise they want comes from their grandfather, Blackwolf is very popular with them, I am just the one that gave birth to them" She spoke with an air of sadness, Graypaw had always favoured Blackwolf and even Hollystorm over her and while she knew that Crowpaw loved her, Ghostpaw was really the only one to show his affection for her regularly.