Maplebrook was admittedly exhausted when her fellow warriors arose her with their activities of daily living and while it was near sunhigh when Maplebrook managed to pull her form out of her nice cosy nest to greet the day she still felt as groggy as she would if it had of been her turn on the dawn patrol. Luckily with her apprentice, Maplebrook had managed to avoid most of the really early starts to the day and with a flick of her long tail she excited the warrior's den and then the camp it'self, heading to the border Treeclan shared with Nightclan.
It was the same deal as with Lightningclan, she personally had no greivences to any particular cat in that clan but she was acutely aware that they had a much mote fearsome reputation then Lightning clan had and if she happened to be unlucky enough to stumble across one then she should keep her wits about her.
Upon arriving at the border Maplebrook was greeted by the strange smell of those giant hoofed creatures that Demon often preyed on, and she let out a small shudder, while Maplebrook was a capable warrior in her own right, her prefence to hunt alone so far away from camp was seen as very dangerous. However Maplebrook was a very quick cat and due to his size, Demon could not climb up the trees as fast as she could. Even with her plan in plan, Maplebrook kept a keen ear and eye out for any signs of life, both to hunt and to avoid becoming the hunted.
After a while Maplebrook was content with her catches, a magpie and two rats that had been unfortunate enough to meet their demise at the ivory white dagger that were Maplebrook's teeth and claws. Knowing that the fresh kill pile was amplyly stocked and she had done her shar, Maplebrook dragged one of the rats away to enjoy her lunch, it was no squirrel but in this part of the territory it would have to do.
She was a princess, with the strength of a warrior
It was the smell of blood that caught his attention and diverted his path from heading parallel to the TreeClan border to walking toward it instead. He was, as he usually did, wandering somewhat aimlessly through the forest under the pretense of hunting, and though he could not deny the guilt that weighed heavily in his gut at his nonexistent effort, he knew that no one really expected him to contribute to the fresh-kill pile anyway. What was perceived as laziness earned him the understandable scorn of his clanmates, but he had long since realized that they would never quite see the world as he did, where he would much rather converse with the creatures found through NightClan territory than prey on them. Newtstripe had always been different that way, and he had never thought that it was a particularly bad thing.
Following the scent trail, he found his mind wandering back to the little bird – a wood thrush – that he had found not long ago. As far as he could tell, it had fallen from its nest and broken its wing, and a hasty rush to Shadowpaw had shown him the herbs that he could use for pain and regaining strength. With a warm fondness, he thought of how the helpless creature had started to trust him after he offered it the little insects that hid in the undergrowth, and he made a mental note to return to its hiding place after he finished this patrol. Mother birds fed their babies over the course of the day, but he did not have the same freedom. The thought of it sitting there, wing awkwardly outstretch and with hunger gnawing at its stomach, pulled at his heartstrings. Hold on just a little longer. I’ll be—
He had just pushed his way through the undergrowth only to freeze, orange fur sticking out against the dark background like a shadow on snow. In front of him sat a tabby she-cat, her gray pelt nearly invisible against the forest backdrop, but he barely had time to recognize that she was TreeClan before his eyes fell to the half-eaten rat at her paws. As a predator, he had, of course, been forced to reconcile both his own and his clan’s diet of meat with his reluctance to cause harm to any creature – necessity turned their claws and teeth on innocent prey, nothing more – but that didn’t mean that he enjoyed partaking in the act itself. And it didn’t mean that he never felt a jolt of sympathy at the sight of a little limp form.
Belatedly, Newtstripe realized that he had appeared and then proceeded to do nothing but stand there in silence, staring at her food. Most cats would probably find that strange. He cleared his throat; perhaps he should say something. But what? He wasn’t good at this. ”Uh, hi,” He spoke up, pale green eyes flicking upward to the general direction of her face ever so briefly before falling again to her paws. From the back of his mind, a distant memory rose of his mentor, Jadefang, explaining to him the tension between NightClan and TreeClan. Much more interested in their surroundings than inter-clan politics, he hadn’t paid as much attention as he probably should have, and he found himself hoping that she wouldn’t attack him. Maybe if he made it clear that he didn’t want to hurt her? ”Your rat.” It was a poor attempt at an explanation. ”I smelled it. The blood, I mean.” Perhaps he should just leave before she turned unsheathed claws on him as well.
The young warrior was halfway finished with her meal when a noise alerted her to another's presence and she tensed up as the smell was distinctly feline, she could feel her heart beating in her chest as she slowly backed away from this unknown source of disturbance on her otherwise peaceful morning. Maplebrook's bright green eyes were wide with shock and perhaps a tinge of fear as the unknown thing seemed to be getting closer but before she could turn and make a dash for it, a tom cat appeared.
Maplebrook could feel herself relax at the sight and while she now recognised the distinctive smell of Nightclan ,she could not find it within herself to hiss and cause a fuss with this tom, who while she had been thinking was staring at her meal with a look of 'was that pity? how strange' Maplebrook thought to herself, a hunter that felt sorry for prey. However the silver tabby shrugged it off she offering a tiny smile the male, she finally spoke in response to his clearly uncomfortable reasons to why he stared at her food and then at her for so long.
" Don't worry I am not going to hurt you" she reassured the tom slowly, allowing herself to take a much more relaxed stance. " I am Maplebrook, you can have some if you want" she gestured no nonchalantly to the rat that lay beside her, looking a little worse for wear now that she had filled her belly with it's nourishment. Sure he was a Nightclan cat and Lionstar had always insisted that they were not to be trusted but something about this tom made Maplebrook feel almost safe in his presence, like he would never hurt another life, which raised the question if he was a hunter or not.
She was a princess, with the strength of a warrior
Pale green eyes flicked upward, the brief glance seeming to look past the she-cat rather than at her. Even as he hung back safely on his side of the border, his side brushing against the solid security of a tree and the surrounding undergrowth, the corners of his lips turned upward in a slight, sheepish smile that ended up directed more toward her paws than her face. Newtstripe appreciated her reassurance, but he did not give any indication of an intent to move closer; this warrior, Maplestorm, as she had introduced herself moments later, seemed nice enough, but he had grown up listening to stories of the rivalry between NightClan and TreeClan. In his opinion, every cat deserved to receive an opportunity for friendship, but he expected that he was one of the few cats in his clan of that mindset – his sister, Stoatclaw, would certainly disagree with him on that point. He was wary of one such feline stumbling upon them by accident and thinking that he was being too friendly with their neighbor.
And if talking was bad, then sharing prey was even worse. Given the history between their clans, it was surprising that she had even extended the option, but loathe as he was to refuse her generosity, the orange tabby could not bring himself to accept her offer. It just felt wrong in a visceral way that he could not quite describe; breaking the rules had never been a strong suit of his, likely because doing so had never rested easily with him in the first place. ”I can’t,” He turned down the offer, stepping back slightly. Well, technically, he could, as there was nothing physically stopping him from crossing over the border and finishing off the sad little rat himself, but he really shouldn’t and perhaps he ought to explain…? ”Talking to you would be bad.” Wait. He had continued his train of thought without stopping to consider the words, and they, as they so often did, came out differently than intended. ”For me,” He tried to clarify. ”If they see – they can’t see me talking with you.” A pause. ”And I – I should catch my own prey, not yours.”
Belatedly, he realized that he was also supposed to – or, at least, she likely expected him to – introduce himself in turn, and tail flicking, he obliged. ”I’m Newtstripe,” The NightClan warrior said, green eyes flitting upward again in that awkward half-glance. As they so often did, his thoughts wandered toward the small creature before him, and his gaze followed, falling to the half-eaten rat once more. He found himself wishing that she would finish it, if only so he wouldn’t have to keep looking at it. Even though he understood the way life was, even though he himself was a predator who ate meat, Newtstripe couldn’t help the flicker of sadness that sparked through him at the sight. ”They are social creatures,” He mused quietly, hastily clarifying upon realizing that he had spoken out loud. ”Rats are. Did you know?”
Rat's were social creatures? Maplebrook stared at the tom, who called himself Newtstripe as if he had bitten her, a mixture of pure surprise and perhaps a tinge of judgement behind those emeraldgreen orbs, who cared if they were social creatures? they were rats and while to her they were respected for their part in keeping her and her clan alive, they were not things that had emotional value and this tom was staring at her lunch like he felt sorry for it.
How strange? Was all of Nightclan like this? if so they had certainly fallen from their once feared reputation, honestly she had expected a little more from the cat's under that pompous Dimstar. Hadn't he died recently? Noticing that she was lost in her thoughts Maplebrook offered the tom a small and polite smile before she spoke.
" No I didn't know that, but we would not want to get in trouble for talking to long I must go but it was a pleasure to meet you Newtstripe" Maplebrook spoke as she reached down to pick up the rat and then retreated to get it's companion before glancing back at the tom and nodding her head politely, dismissing herself from this sort of awkward encounter with a cat from another clan.
That unknown tom from Lightningclan showed more hostility than this cat possibly had in his entire body and while Maplebrook was not actually the fighting type, she could defend herself at least. "That poor tom would never last a day on his own" she thought solumnly as she began to walk away, the tip of her tail vanishing into the undergrowth seconds after she spoke her goodbyes.
She was a princess, with the strength of a warrior