Too Lost To Lose [PRP] Aug 21, 2015 15:15:31 GMT -5
Post by Bloodrose on Aug 21, 2015 15:15:31 GMT -5
No matter how quickly she moved, how rapidly she struck out, he always seemed ready for her. One side step, a slight adjustment of his stance, and the tuxedo tom was clear of even her best planned strikes. For what must have been the thousandth time that evening, the taste of dirt invaded her senses as she collided with the unforgiving earth. Her sides heaved as the ginger-and-white warrioress pulled herself to her paws. Spitting out the reminder of her defeat, she cringed at the stale taste of mud and grass that clung to the inside of her jaws and teeth.
Turning to face the white-spattered shadow once more, she found herself trembling from slight exhaustion. He seemed to pick up on that, the shimmer present in his gaze when he was ready to fight fading away while his stance relaxed. Instead of launching himself at her again, he padded forward, tail flicking slowly behind him. "That's enough for tonight. You're improving well, Kindleflare." Hearing his deeper voice praise her sent a soft thrill through the lithe ginger tabby. She allowed herself to relax like he had, dropping into a sit to hide her shivering hindquarters. Her amber eyes focused on him, aware that he had more to say.
Just as she expected, he continued once the distance between them had been reduced to nothing. Taking a seat beside her, the strong black and white tom tipped his head up to the sky before continuing. "No matter the path you choose to take, it is important you be able to defend yourself and your Clanmates should the need arise. You understand that, don't you?" Kindleflare nodded her head in response, choosing to look down at her paws rather than up at the sky. Of course this tom would have taken notice of the increasing amount of time she'd been spending in Snowheart's company.
The importance of training had become increasingly evident ever since Snowheart's death. She felt a tightening in her chest at the thought of the like-minded medicine cat, the thought of her friend. Squeezing her deep amber eyes shut before she let spill tears, the she-cat did her best to remain immobile, despite how tired her trembling muscles were. Nightstep's endurance far surpassed hers, as did his skill-level in battle. Training with him was nothing short of exhausting for the warrioress. Briefly, she thanked StarClan that she would never have to come face to face with him in battle.
Her black and white pelted brother continued as though he didn't notice her change in demeanour. "You must remember to be light on your paws. Stone paws will serve only to slow you down and drown you in the river." Slowly, she cracked open her eyes to gaze down at her 'stone paws'. Flexing her claws so that they dug into the ground, she spared a glance towards her brother. How was it possible they stemmed from the same family? Nightstep was so strong, just like Darkcloud. What was she supposed to be?
Clearing her throat softly, she managed a stammering sentence. "I t-try to keep my paws light... I'm just n-not as good as you..." Her voice must have sounded more defeated than she'd intended, for Nightstep turned his sharp gaze away from the sky to lock with hers. Captivated by his intense stare, she gulped. "You should not think me better than you." There was a slight pause before he smiled warmly at her, a smile he reserved almost entirely for her. "We are simply different beings, excelling at different aspects of our lives, Kindleflare. A few days with Snowheart and you were already explaining to me what various herbs were used for."
Kindleflare's fur warmed in embarrassment as she thought back to just how much she'd rambled off to Nightstep about what it was Snowheart did. She'd never noticed just how fascinating the job of a medicine cat was. "I can tell you now I could not memorize and understand as quickly as you did. Cures and illnesses are not my cut of prey." A strange sort of pride blossomed in her stomach at Nightstep's praise. This was more than a simple 'you did well'. This was Nightstep confirming that she was better at something than he.
That feeling made her wish to continue learning. But that pang of sadness returned, the knowledge that she wouldn't be learning from Snowheart anymore. Her ears rotated and pinned backward on her skull as she bit down on her lip to stop it from quivering. She expected silence to continue between them. Instead, there was a warmth against the top of her head as Nightstep's tongue passed reassuringly over her fur. "He hasn't gone far, Kindleflare. He deserved a longer life, of that I am certain." Her chin was gently pushed upwards by Nightstep's tail.
The black and white tom had returned to gazing up at the stars. She followed his gaze more slowly, feeling as though he were waiting for her to do so. Silverpelt was alive with the glimmer of countless stars. It was amazing to see them all. Were those all truly the cats of StarClan wandering their own territory? "Snowheart resides in StarClan now. And something tells me he will continue to take an interest in you, in hopes of watching you excel in a craft he held close to his own heart."
She took a deep breath, reaching past the dusty smell of the dirt to the clear and crispness hidden just beyond. Was that what the stars smelled like? A crisp intensity, unmatched by any ground-born scent... It filled her heart with a strange... Hope. "I think that he would want the same thing I want of you. For you to follow your heart. Take the path your paws wish to follow, not what you think Darkcloud or Firebird would want. Deep down, I know that you know they want nothing more than for you to be you." The silence did stretch between them then. Words were lost to the she-cat for several heartbeats, so she contented herself with gazing up at the expansive field of stars above, leaning her shoulder against Nightstep's more powerful one. She lost track of just how long that silence remained, but neither cat seemed to mind.
"Always, sister."Featuring [smear:000000]Nightstep[/smear:6f6f6f]