It is now Leaf-fall, Valley Year 8
The weather is now crisp and cool, with hints of frost forming overnight in the later moons. Prey is becoming scarce, leaves are changing colors. The valley feels busier somehow.
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"You can visit her now, they are sleeping," Brightpool's amber eyes shifted upward to see Sunnyheart standing over her. Nodding her understanding to the orange tabby, Brightpool rose up from her spot. Quietly padding over to the nursery, she paused long enough to brush down her slightly raised her. It was the first time seeing the kits since their birth. Larkflower's condition had made it paramount that she remained stress free and relaxed. Likely encouraged by Sunnyheart to rest while the kits slept, it was tricky to time when to see the young queen.
Entering the nursery brought forth a variety of smells. Ones she hadn't scented in awhile. While not a mother by blood, Brightpool raised Larkflower like her own. Tending to the kit's every need. The kittens sleeping at her side were ever bit her grandkits as they were Wildcall's.
How are you feeling?" Brightpool greeted, careful to keep her voice low to avoid waking the sleeping forms at Larkflower's side. She couldn't help but be perplexed by the sleeping bundles at her adopted daughter's side. It tugged at her heartstrings to know they will be well loved that both their parents would do anything for their happiness. Brightpool also quietly adding her name to that list. She'd lay down her own meager existence to ensure the kits were able to see a long and happy life.
Being a queen was exhausting. Or maybe it was her body being so weak that made things so hard. She could barely walk, and grooming and tending the needs of her kits took all the energy she had managed to regain by sleeping. Perhaps this was normal for a young queen. Or maybe she needed to talk to Kindleflare, because it wasn't getting any better. She hoped nothing was wrong, just a normal worry of a new queen. Her thoughts derailed when she realized her mother was there, and a brilliant smile lit up her features.
"Brightpool." She chirped quietly, lifting her head and motioning the other she-cat in with her. "I've missed you. I'm sorry I didn't invite you sooner, I haven't been feeling very well."
Larkflower laid her head back on top of her kits, listening to them mewl and wiggle under her to get comfortable again. They knew their mother's scent, and that made her happy. "Wildcall left not too long ago. I threatened him with Kindleflare if he didn't go get some rest. I don't know what's gotten into him, but since the kits were born he spends more time here, with me and them, than anywhere else."
Such an emotion surprised her. She never thought herself jealous of a clanmate. Let alone of Wildcall. The son of a leader. A tom-cat with a muddy reputation. Not that she cared. It was not her place to judge. That task left to StarClan alone. So why did hearing of him spending time with Larkflower bother her so much? Perhaps how absent he had been in her life only to swoop in and monopolize all of Larkflower's time. Greed seemed a more fitting name to the twisting of Brightpool's stomach and ache in her heart.
The want for her daughter's time. To see her healthy and happy with her young kits.
Easing the tension from her shoulder as she curled around the kits opposite of Larkflower. Her nose went gently to each of their heads. The kitten soft scent pulled a purr from her chest, which eased her muddled emotions.
"Are you eating enough? I know leafbare is tough for everyone but you need to eat all you can. Keep your belly full and strength will come," She advised, affixing Larkflower with a kind and gentle gaze. "If you need someone to watch them, I'm not doing much these days. I can while you sleep or if you want to stretch your legs. Being cooped up all day isn't good either," She purred, flicking her long tail over Larkflower's flank.
"They look healthy, plump too. You've been taking good care of them," She praised.
Larkflower watched the other she-cat, conscious that things weren't as happy as she would have liked but not sure why or what she could do. For now she could only watch and help where she could.
"Sunnyheart brings me prey. I've had to force myself to eat most days, I just have so little energy. I know eating and drinking will help, I'm just tired of being tired." She leaned over to groom one tiny ball of fat fluff at her belly, purring in pleasure. A family of her own at last, and a mate that she loved and that adored her in turn. And a father that was doing his best and a mother figure that had never left her alone. This was good.
"I would like that, but right now I can't even get on my own paws. I lost feeling in my hind legs right after I gave birth, and while feeling has returned since then I still can't seem to walk. I should talk to Kindleflare about it, but I don't want to be a bother." She stretched out slowly, mindful of where her kits were.
"Thank you. I had a good example of how to be a good mother." She beamed at Brightpool at that. "And its good that they can meet their grandmother now too."
Pleased with the knowledge Sunnyheart had remaiend ever the doting mate, it helped ease the tension in Brightpool's chest. She had no doubts about Sunnyheart's love for Larkflower. Her only worry was that he would becoming overbaring and stifling. Fatherhood suited them, for that Brightpool was happy.
However, it seemed motherhood had taken its toll on Larkflower. Her happiness was short-lived by the realization of it. Larkflower did look worse for wear. Uneasy with her newfound knowledge, Brightpool fought the urge to send for Kindleflare herself. Her sister ought to be able to see the strain on Larkflower's tiny frame, the exhaustion in her voice. But Brightpool found restraint. She kept her thoughts to herself. Electing instead to focus on Larkflower at this moment. Under her daughter's drained face, she could see the happiness that shined like the sun. A happy new mother.
The concern ebbed only slightly as she was finally called grandmother, permitted now to venture closer to them and study them for her own sake. Brightpool inspected each kit with only the slightest touch of her whisker, for fear of waking them.
"I am honored to be their grandmother," She purred, leaning forward to brush her cheek against Larkflower's. "You ought to rest more, I'll stay with you if that's okay just until Sunnyheart returns. Keep you warm and comfortable,""just like our days in the nursery" She wanted to add but kept to her spoken words only. Larkflower needed not to burden herself with her thoughts of the moon's long past.
Settling down beside Larkflower, Brightpool tucked in close. Mindful of the other she-cat's frame and likely tender body. Once comfortable, she urged for Larkflower to press in close like old times and rest.