He caught a fleeting glimpse of his daughter as she disappeared into the apprentice den, his son heading for the warrior's den. The sibling departing after sharing a meal. Gullswoop, the optimist at heart, found it difficult to hold onto his hope. Time continued to flow and Owlpaw continued to refuse talking about her warrior ceremony. She had the skills and the experience to earn her warrior name but something held her back. He assumed it to be fear of the future. He too had grown comfortable in being a 'paw but it hadn't been for this long. Cats younger then her had already earned their warrior name.
While he refused to allow it to bother him aside from worrying his daughter was stunting her growth. He couldn't help but fear it was something he had done. Did he fail her in some way? Been unsupported in her time of need. Thinking back to everything that had happened in her life, he could only picture one pinnacle moment. His brother's death.
His own eyes had been cloudy with grief, perhaps that was when Owlpaw had changed. Never the less, Gullswoop decided he'd speak to Silverstar to discuss what could be done in his daughter's best interest.
"Silverstar? May I come in?" His words were polite, careful not to cross the threshold to the leader's den until called forth.
He had only just returned from a patrol with a few of the warriors, just checking the borders and watching the river to make sure they weren't fishing too much in one area. Nothing important but he was almost always tired after running around and he'd thought he'd grab a nap when he returned. But the moment he sat in his nest Gullswoop asked for his attention. The silver tom gave a sigh and rose back to his paws, sweeping his tail out behind him. He would just have to grab his nap a little later, for now there was work to do.
"Yes you may. What's wrong Gullswoop?" His fatigue was forgotten in those moments. Had someone gotten injured? Was an apprentice lost? Stuck in the muck at the river's edge? Were the elder's making too much of a fuss over aches and pains? Something was always going on, and he had to remain attentive to each one.
Gullswoop shook his head, in an attempt to calm Silverstar's concern. Perhaps his apporach hadn't been the best. He wasn't the type to stir up drama. He felt a little guilty when he realized that Silverstar must have wanted to take a nap. "I apologize if you were in the middle of something, I just wanted to talk about Owlpaw," His silver plume of a tail settled over his paws once he sat. Neat and presentable thanks to his mates careful grooming.
"As you know she was there when my brother Crowblaze drowned alongside that fox. I'm worried that she has gotten too comfortable being an apprentice. It's not that I doubt her dedication to RainClan's survival, I'm just at a loss right now," He paused, shifting his gaze down his ears tilting back a bit. A little uneasy.
"It's difficult to admit but I neglected my daughter while I was caught up with my grief. I was wondering if maybe you could talk to her some more. As our leader I'm certain she'll listen to you more," He sighed, hopefully that Silverstar had an unbias view.
Silverstar listened to the other tom carefully, feeling like he really wasn't the best to give advice on offspring and their lives. Just look at how his own daughters were doing. He sighed loudly and curled his tail around his paws once again. "It seems she needs to be reminded that it isn't up to her how long she stays an apprentice." He didn't mean this in a cruel way, simply in the most practical of manners. If she wanted to persist then he'd just evaluate her himself and if he felt she was ready do the ceremony rather she liked it or not.
"Trauma like that can make a cat question their own worth, especially when its so close to home and family. If by season's end she hasn't put forth her willingness, then I and Lilygleam will evaluate her readiness and if she's ready, do the ceremony. She can protest if she likes, it won't stop me. One can feel one is never ready for something, until that time is on them and they have to push forward. Staying inside the grief and believing she's unworthy will only stunt her growth as an adult and a functional member of RainClan."
Gullswoop dipped his head, he'd follow Silverstar's judgment. Even if it meant upsetting Owlpaw. While it remained his focus to ensure all his kits were safe and happy. Owlpaw holding herself back meant he had to take more drastic measures. Not that he enjoyed it.
"I appreciate it, I know she is ready and I know she will be a great warrior for RainClan. But she is just as stubborn as her uncle. Determined to prove it to herself," His comment about his daughter remained fond, wistful thinking of moons ago. When she barely reach to his elbow. All kit fluff and grand ideas.
"I look forward to calling her name proudly," He added as an afterthought. Wondering for a brief moment if she'd be anger before or after the ceremony. Either way, it would pass over. Just as his grief did.
"Thank you again, I'll head out now. Going to take Wavepaw to do some training," Rising, Gullswoop made for the exit before pausing. "I wanted to say, I've seen my fair share of leaders, not that I'm happy about that, but I wanted to say I'm glad you are keeping us neutral. I don't want to see my kits torn to shreds over hurt pride" His statement made, Gullswoop disappeared out of the leader's den.