Post by Fawntastic on Apr 10, 2019 22:57:36 GMT -5
curiosity is not a sin...
...but we should exercise caution with our curiosity
‘Shadowchaser what's wrong? Is something happening? Are you okay?’
Questions grazed the backs of his ears as he hurried home - but they were nothing when compared to the barrage of why's pounding through Shadowchaser's mind. After a quick murmur that all was fine, they largely left him in peace - except for Thornscar. Concern etched in her tortoiseshell features, she changed her stride to walk beside him - but Shadowchaser stopped. “Just go on ahead.” He croaked, struggling to make sense of the mess in his head.
He wanted to curl up in his nest and let the confusion and the heartache consume him. No, he wanted to hide away in the nursery, an oblivious kit again. He wanted his mother. Shadowchaser's stomach heaved against his ribs. He didn't even know his birth mother's name.
There was only Echobreeze, until tonight.
What you hear cannot be unheard…
What a naive little fool he was, insisting he hear the truth. Insisting that he hadn't needed Hollowcry's warning. Shadowchaser's feet carried him to the medicine cat's den, an ache in his neck from trying to crane, to catch a glimpse of the only mother he'd ever known.
He couldn't go in there. A medicine cat did not belong in the warrior's den, and he feared once he started talking, he wouldn't be able to stop. This wasn't something he wanted the whole Clan to hear. Even now he had a role to play. He had to look calm, even when he didn't feel it.
He had to pretend like his world wasn't teetering on its axis, confusing chewing up his thoughts and spitting it back out into anguish.
Mutely, Shadowchaser’s lithe form disappeared into the healers’ cave. Fool. The whole Clan probably knew this whole time. What good was it to keep private matters private if every one already knew? But then he pictured Cobrastrike and Darkstorm, asleep among the other warriors now that dawn was arriving.
He couldn't give them this pain. They were his kin… almost kin. He loved them all too much to spill his anguish into their hearts as Pinefur had done to him.
I wish I could forget.
Shadowchaser stared at his nest, too alive with warring emotions to even think of settling down. His tail hung low to the cavern floor, faintly stirring up memories of stale moss and herb scents.
The aging warrioress had been comfortably nestled in her bed, nose tucked beneath her tortoiseshell tail when one of her daughters roused her gently. Green eyes blinked open blearily, small muzzle rising from the confines of her tail to take in Thornscar's features. Although a warm purr had bloomed in her chest, the kit-sized she-cat always overjoyed to see her children, the sound quickly died with the look of puzzlement and concern on the younger she-cat's features. Not much could bring such expressions to the faces of any of her daughters, and seeing it quickly sparked concern in the elderly mother's gaze.
"Th-Thornscar...? What's the m-matter, d-dear?" She stammered, the sound more distinct with her rising worry. Thornscar sat down thoughtfully before her while Echobreeze hauled her stiff frame to a sit. In a lowered voice so as not to disturb their still sleeping Clanmates, Thornscar responded to her mother. "I think something's up with Shadochaser. He doesn't seem himself, but I don't know what to do." There was a gruffness to her daughter's voice, prompting the pricking of Echobreeze's dark ears. The tortoiseshell's heart hammered against her small ribcage at the mention of her newly-troubled son, and before she could think of much else, she was standing.
Pushing her nose against her daughter's shoulder in a gesture of comfort, she did her best to sound reassuring. "G-Get some s-sleep now, Th-Thornscar. I'll g-go check on y-your brother, y-you had an a-awfully l-long night." Reaching up to lick Thornscar's cheek, she nosed the younger she-cat toward her nest. She paused as the warrioress settled down, and noticed a nearby set of bright yellow eyes in the darkness. Cobrastrike blinked questioningly at her mother, prompting the small senior warrior to pad over to the nest of her second daughter too.
Cobrastrike gazed up at the split-colored features of her mother from her nest, but before she could say anything, Echobreeze's long tail draped over her shoulder. "Y-You s-sleep too, Cobras-strike. N-No reason to f-fret, you b-both need your s-strength for the d-day ahead. A s-silly old th-thing like me d-does not." Although both young she-cats seemed displeased with the request, neither one argued. Once certain her daughters were settled in comfortably, the old tortoiseshell picked her way through the sea of sleeping cats to the den entrance, ducking out into the yawning cavern they all called home.
Green eyes quickly picked out the medicine cat's den, her paws moving swiftly to carry her to where she needed to be despite her advancing age. With a soft clearing of her throat to announce her presence, Echobreeze pushed her nose into Shadowchaser's den. "Sh-Shadowchaser, d-dear?" She rasped into the quiet, spotting him sitting blankly near his nest. She had come with an imagined request for something to ease the dull ache in her aging joints, but seeing her son in such obvious distress... The thought evaporated on her tongue and she closed the distance between them. Pressing her nose to his neck worriedly, she brushed her shoulder up against his to let him know she was there.
"W-What... W-What's w-wrong, my s-starling?" She mewed gently, trying to catch his gaze with her own.
Post by Fawntastic on May 11, 2019 17:57:05 GMT -5
curiosity is not a sin...
...but we should exercise caution with our curiosity
Shadowchaser choked back a kitten's pathetic mewl, turning his face into his mother's fur as if her scent would chase away the truths he'd insisted on hearing. When he could breathe again, when that urge to cry out for help had subsided enough to let words pass, Shadowchaser glumly sat back. Small as she was, Echobreeze's eyes seemed to swallow up the young medicine cat, and he braced himself for the conversation ahead. "Hollowcry was there, in StarClan. He was arguing with another cat. Pinefur."
Golden eyes searched Echobreeze's features for any signs of recognition, knowing now that she had known about this secret his entire life. Never once had she treated him any differently than she had her own beloved litter; he had been born without a true family, but he had grown up feeling the love and warmth and endearment of one.
But you never told me I wasn't your birth son. Shadowchaser's heart pitched against his chest as he was unable to put a label on what he was feeling in this moment. "I heard the truth. Pinefur found a conscience in StarClan and - and I just had to know what they were talking about - so he told me everything. Almost everything."
Self-damaging thoughts sank its claws into Shadowchaser, and he flinched, ears folding as he surrendered to the knowledge he could never, ever hope to forget. "He didn't tell me who my rea--" Shadowchaser's breath hitched, but he forced himself to say those words --"who my real mother is. Or why she gave me up. Or if she's even still alive. I don't want to know."
Shadowchaser wrapped his tail around his flank, suppressing a soft groan. Maybe he was wallowing. Maybe he had every right to wallow; something had been... taken from him, and he was still bleeding from it. Still coping with the shock. "But what kind of fool doesn't know the names of his own parents? What kind of fool goes through life, oblivious of a truth that everyone around him knows?"
Shadowchaser wanted to bury his face right back into Echobreeze's fur, but he didn't allow himself that luxury a second time. "It may be cruel of me, but I truly wish I had been born to you and Hollowcry. I wish I had your blood, not some she-cat that gave me up first chance she had."
StarClan, a stronger cat than I would be willing to hear my birth mother's side of the story, but I am not that cat.
When her son buried his face against her, all she could do was nuzzle his ear and rasp her tongue comfortingly over his neck fur. She still had been given no indication as to what was ailing him, but the timid tortoiseshell had enough sense to know he would tell her in due time. What he needed from her now was silent comfort. Picking up a soft, rattling purr, she hoped the sound would soothe him as it had when he was so many moons younger. "B-Breathe, m-my precious s-starling. B-Breathe.." She murmured as his shoulders shook.
She lost track of just how long they sat like this; it meant little to her when one of her kits was in such obvious distressed. But eventually, Shadowchaser collected himself enough to face her. Gentle green eyes searched his bright ones worriedly, silently urging him to tell her what had him in such claws of distress. Though, when he spoke, it didn't take long for her to start piecing the story together. A lancing pain shot through her at the mention of Hollowcry. The sorrow that existed within her as a constant ache flared to life with his name, and it took all the strength left in her old bones for the senior warrioress not to stagger beneath its strength.
Something flashed in her eyes at the mention of the second tom. Oh m-my sweet boy... She wanted nothing more than to banish the thoughts plaguing him, but Shadowschaser's stance had turned defeated and defensive. She would need to approach this correctly, for his sake. Answer his questions to weed out his doubt. She could only imagine what he was thinking just now. As Shadowchaser continued, Echobreeze wondered if he realized just how much his words wounded her. Every implication that she was not his 'real' mother felt like a thorn sinking into her chest.
But she remained silent, her mind flicking briefly to Ebonywing and the day Shadowchaser had been brought to her as a tiny, helpless kitten. Echobreeze failed to understand how any she-cat could give up something as sweet as a kit. She could not speak for Ebonywing, only for herself. And that day... That day had been a blessing. Green eyes were darkened by a strange mix of emotions, and she could see her son appeared to be trying to put some distance between them. Not wanting to push him, she drew her tail around and touched it to his chin.
Gently but forcefully guiding his golden gaze to hers, the small she-cat fixed him with the eyes of a scolding mother. "You a-are my son. Your f-father's name is H-Hollowcry. You h-have three s-sisters, C-Cobrastrike, D-Darkstorm, a-and Thorns-scar. I a-am your real m-mother." Swallowing around the tightness in her throat, Echobreeze pushed on determinedly. "F-Family is m-more than... More than lineage, more th-than the b-blood that r-runs in our veins. It i-is s-support. C-Caring. F-Family is l-love. Uncond-ditionally and c-completely. I-It surpasses r-rational thought, e-exists o-only in our hearts, in every b-breath we t-take. F-Family... It i-is kn-knowing, beyond the sh-shadow of a r-reasonable doubt that y-you would d-do a-absolutely anything... F-For the ones you love."
Her eyes glittered with tears left unshed, but the tortoiseshell continued despite the cracking of her voice. "I c-can't... Can't t-tell you wh-why you w-were given to me. A-All I can t-tell you is... The d-day you were d-deposited in my n-nest w-was th-the day I w-was blessed with a g-gift from S-StarClan. You a-are my light, n-no more and c-certainly no less than your sisters. All of you are p-perfect in m-my eyes, and b-bring me joy I c-could... Could never h-hope to put into words. You are a-at the c-center of my w-world, Shadowchaser. And I kn-know that... That the f-fire I f-feel in my chest... The pride... H-Hollowcry feels it t-too. W-We love you. I am y-your mother. A-And I w-will d-defend that u-until my v-very last breath, and b-beyond that."
Her ears tipped back against her head, though she smiled at the lithe tom seated before her. "Y-You are my s-son. N-No one will e-ever take th-that from me, not h-here, not in StarC-Clan."
Half alive without you
NightClan - 88 Moons - Senior Warrior
~ 600 Words || Fawntastic || Feelings.exe has quit working
Post by Fawntastic on Jun 27, 2019 11:45:01 GMT -5
curiosity is not a sin...
...but we should exercise caution with our curiosity
Shadowchaser was rendered speechless, his mother's words seeming to strike at the heart of him like fat drops of rain - first a trickle, a small shower, and then a storm. He cleaved to it, shedding a few raindrops of his own as he bowed his head to the little tortoiseshell. Echobreeze seemed too small, to petite, to possess such an enormous heart.
He loved them so dearly, so deeply, that any kind of severed connection was like an inflicted wound. An ugly scar that wouldn't fade, no matter how much time passed. I want to be your son, as truly as Thorn, Dark and Cobra are your daughters.
In Echobreeze's eyes, he was. It was only him, and perhaps Pinefur, that believed Shadowchaser was separate from the family that raised him. Shadowchaser wanted to rip that invisible barrier to pieces, to shred it until his shattered sense of self was nothing more than a bad memory. He couldn't let the opinions and expectations of a cat he barely knew, change how he felt about himself and the family he could not live without.
The medicine cat wondered, an ache sitting tight in his throat, if Pinefur was looking at him from Silverpelt, looking and hoping that this truth he'd shared would somehow forge a connection between them. Selfishly, Shadowchaser wanted the StarClan tom to mind his own business - to rest in peace, without disrupting the peace of others.
Shadowchaser, vision blurry from a watering gaze, drew in a rattled breath. "You are my mother," he repeated. "Hollowcry is my father, and I have three sisters, Cobrastrike, Darkstorm and Thornscar. Family is more than blood and lineage." Those words were like the wide shady bough of an oak, protecting him from the onslaught that had engulfed him moments before Echobreeze's arrival. The slender tom rubbed his cheek against his mother's shoulder, sighing into the plush mottled fur as if he could be a tiny kit again - just for a second. She did not birth me, but she raised me. I did not get to choose who my birth parents were, but I get to choose who I call my mother and father.
And he chose Echobreeze and Hollowcry.
"You are my family," said Shadowchaser, stronger now. "You mean more to me than anything in the entire valley. I'm... I'm still..." Still hurt. Still shellshocked. "I'm still your little starling." Shadowchaser's voice cracked. "Still Hollowcry's little shadow. I love you, mother."
That invisible barrier was still up, but it was weaker now, weak enough that he began to feel his heart start to settle.
A dark tail flicked, curling around himself and Echobreeze, as though he mind meld into the dark patches of fur on her flank. Something had changed. A step had been taken, and the way back to before was no longer possible; that ignorant bliss was blocked from him now, and Shadowchaser prayed to StarClan that he had the strength to move forward.
What will they think, when they find out? Doubts and fearful whisperings - no matter how absurd - chased each other through the young tom's mind. He inwardly shuddered at the possibility that Darkstorm or Cobrastrike may distance themselves from him; Thornscar reminded him the most of Echobreeze, with her ability to accept others. But Darkstorm and Cobrastrike were intense, proud she-cats. Echobreeze's and Hollowcry's love for him felt absolute, set in stone. What if his sisters' views of him changed, with this one unpleasant truth?
What if... What if... What if...
To quiet the raging storm, Shadowchaser forced his hoarse throat into use, asking softly. "What was her name? The one who birthed me. I wish that didn't matter to me, but I..." Shadowchaser blinked, pained by this fervent curiosity, this need to know, that had gotten him into so much trouble in the first place. "I don't want to lie awake at night, trying to figure out who it is." Or was. He didn't know if the queen that birthed him was even still alive.
OOC: Could totally have Darkstorm eavesdropping on the entire conversation, x'D so she just bursts in with Thorn & Cobra like "D< So what if your birth-mother's a heartless bitch, you're still our brother!"