The silver warrioress had been fast asleep in the early hours of the morning when the slightest nagging feeling roused her from her slumber. Still groggy, she failed to put a paw on just what it was that had disturbed her, but she was dimly aware that something wasn’t right. Ice blue eyes snapped open to stare at the den wall as her sleep-fogged mind pondered this strange feeling building within her.
It began with her breathing. Seemingly without cause, the long-furred she-cat began almost gasping, her breaths reduced to panting as she lay motionless. She burned with an uncomfortable warmth despite the early morning air, and her eyes narrowed in response as confusion settled over her. Briefly, she wondered if she should get air. These heat flashes had become more and more common lately, the Sparkling Brook becoming one of her favorite places to be despite Feathercloud hating wetting her long fur.
But without the cool water, things could escalate to unbearable so quickly, and render controlling her sudden shifts in mood even more impossible a task. For the umpteenth time in the last moon or so, she couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with her. This time, she would have little time to dwell on the thought, for her whole midsection suddenly tensed uncomfortably. With a sharp inhale at the sudden stab, the warrioress nearly jumped from her nest. Not wanting to disturb Sprucefur, she gathered what little energy she had to drag herself from her shared nest.
Every paw step felt like climbing a mountain, the she-cat’s head swimming and rendering coherent thought nearly impossible. Staggering around other sleeping forms, she made it outside by some StarClan given miracle. Her breathing was jagged as a broken trunk now, puffs of air blooming to existence whenever she could manage the motion. And all the while, her abdomen seemed to squeeze, tying itself into knots no matter what she did.
Another sharp spike of pain soared through her as she tried to put distance between her and the sleeping warriors. Gagging with the agony, the she-cat wretched helplessly. Having not eaten properly the night before, her nausea having been an issue, the silver she-cat had nothing she could possibly throw up. But the unceasing squeezing, as though someone were crushing her insides, left her dry-heaving between gasps for air.
She hadn’t noticed the tremble in her steps before. Yet now, every fiber of her being seemed to vibrate with the effort of standing. No longer capable of putting one paw in front of the other, Feathercloud slid into a sit roughly in the center of TreeClan’s camp. Gritting her teeth to silence any noise, she dug her claws into whatever she could find. Oh StarClan, what is this. Am I dying? She heard herself think.
And that’s what it felt like, with each wave of pain that rippled through her, crippling her every breath; dying.
The next thorn of pain knocked her forepaws from beneath her, and Feathercloud collapsed onto her side. Her flank rose and fell rapidly as she struggled to breathe, her body wracked by waves of pain more consistently than before. Still, she fought the sounds that threatened to explode into existence. Paws scrabbled at the air, claws desperate for something to curl into, as though that might dull the fire that burned through her stomach. Pupils contracted to slits a moment before the pain turned to vicious agony.
The shriek that tore from her throat went largely unnoticed by the fallen she-cat. It ripped through the silence of the morning air, echoing off the trunk walls. Though she’d been concerned earlier about waking others, she no longer had time for that. Not when she was being consumed like this. Her stomach seized sharply again, leaving her to shudder through the next wave of pain and turning a second shriek in a garbled, keening caterwaul that communicated her agony.
Post by Fawntastic on Sept 21, 2019 9:35:05 GMT -5
82 Moons || Senior Warrior || Tom
there's a light that you give me when I'm in shadow
It was the nightmare no one wanted to wake up to. A shriek of pain from his mate rocketed Sprucefur out of his nest, his paws working faster than his brain as he stumbled from the den of sleeping clanmates, not caring who he stepped on in the process. "Feathercloud!" Oh StarClan, was it Demon? Was it NightClan? Was it--
The breath hurtled out of his lungs as he saw her collapsed in the midst of TreeClan's camp. Already bodies were beginning to rouse to the action but Sprucefur was deaf and blind to all around him; all but her. Sprucefur was at her side in heartbeats, staring with helpless horror as her stomach rippled beneath her pelt, forcing more miserable cries from Feathercloud's maw. It was like something was trying to escape. Pure panic seized him in tiger's teeth, adrenaline up and fear scent cloying the air around him. "Someone get Falconstorm!" He roared, voice cracking.
The normally calm, solitary tom seemed like a distant memory; Sprucefur paced around her, the fear in his eyes as he struggled to be of use. StarClan please, don't take her from me.
"Sprucefur get out of the WAY!" Appleshade had appeared suddenly (looking impeccably groomed despite the hour) and all but knocked him aside as she bustled over to Feathercloud. The queen immediately began to soothingly lick around Feathercloud's ears, speaking all the while: "oh my dear, you're going to be alright as long as you stay calm. I want you to follow my breathing patterns, can you do that for me? I know you can. If you can climb a tree, Feathercloud, you can do anything."
Appleshade was all but purring, a peculiar look of determination in her eyes. Falconstorm was likely to arrive any minute, but Sprucefur still felt time pressing in on him like a fallen bough. "Appleshade," he warned quietly, "shouldn't you leave the healing to Falconstorm?" What if, in her efforts to help, Appleshade made it worse? He couldn't take that risk.
He'd protect Feathercloud from anything he could - even his own family.
Appleshade gasped, and then swatted him on the nose with her tail. "Excuse you, Mr. Bossy-Fur. Clearly you know more than I do about kitting. I'll go back to my nest then." She sniffed, but didn't move.
Sprucefur felt the floor fall out from under him. "What?"
"Oh for all the stars in Silverpelt. Haven't you both figured it out by now? Feathercloud is kitting," Appleshade's eyes were bright, lit by some sort of internal light of knowledge put there by motherhood. "The best thing you can do right now, brother-dear, is to fetch her some water and try not to look like you've been sprayed by a skunk."
Sprucefur closed his mouth, which had fallen open somehow in light of Appleshade's revelation. Kits. Kitting. Feathercloud.
He heard the commotion from his den and groaned. It was far too early for him to be getting out of his nest. The big tom grumbled when someone came to fetch him, stating that Feathercloud needed him. That woke him up. She must be either kitting or having problems. The medicine cat gathered the herbs he'd need and rushed to the nursery, just in time to hear Appleshade and Sprucefur bickering.
"Appleshade, go back to your nest. You're in the way." He snapped it at the she-cat, not at all pleased with her. "Making a fuss while she's hurting and otherwise keeping her support from being at her side is a nuisance. Now get out of my way and be quiet."
Falconstorm came to Feathercloud's side and nudged her gravid belly, being perfectly still as he felt the contractions rolling through her. "Labor then." He turned and bit Sprucefur on the shoulder. "You wake up and go fetch her some moss laden water then sit at her side and support her while she graces you with kits." His tone changed dramatically when addressing the hurting queen.
"There there sweet. You'll be alright. Your mate will be here by your side, and I'm here to make sure nothing goes wrong. Eat these, they'll help with your pain and to keep up your strength." He pushed the herbs to sit in front of the she-cat, licking her between the ears to comfort her. "I've done this before, you are in good paws. Now try and take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and don't fight your body. It knows what its doing."