Post by Phoenix on May 1, 2020 20:39:49 GMT -5
The irony was that the rains and subsequent flooding of last Greenleaf had first sparked the idea, but by the time the waters had receded to a manageable level, Mothlight had been so sick of being wet that the thought of even trying to fish had filled her with immediate distaste. How RainClan cats could live – and apparently be quite content – in a near constant state of wet, she had no idea. However, with the changing of the seasons and an increasing desire to distract herself from recent events, the resurfacing of the idea had been greeted by significantly less aversion than before. As far as she knew, fishing was not a skill that any NightClan warrior was particularly well-versed in, but that didn’t concern her too much; after all, there was a reason she had planned to head to the RainClan border alone. In theory, she knew what to do, but when theory inevitably proved to be much different than practice, there would be no one there to see her fail.
Or at least, that had been the plan until Roachpaw decided to tag along.
He had caught her just as she was exiting camp, copper eyes blinking away the remnants of sleep as he asked her what she was doing up so early. Brown ears had perked up with interest as she told him, and her little solo outing had suddenly become a family affair. In a way, she was glad he was there, even though he had taken the opportunity to complain once again about Spiderbite. Listening just well enough to offer noises of comprehension at suitable intervals – they had this conversation so often that she could rehash it in her sleep – Mothlight forced herself to acknowledge that all was not as well as she pretended. Ever since that patrol along the TreeClan border, she had been… unsettled. Scanning the trees before her for any sign of an attack from above had become a habit that she could not quit, and the prospect of being alone with only her thoughts for company had set her more on edge than she’d ever admit. In another ironic twist of fate, she found Roachpaw’s usually exasperating company rather comforting: a tiny taste of normality from before.
“Roachfur?” She paused midstride and looked at him, the disgust evident in her expression as she considered the implications of such a name. Her younger brother had finished reiterating his list of grievances against his older brother and started weighing the merits of various warrior names. “No. And I don’t think you have to worry about Roachbite either; Darkstar wouldn’t give you the same name as your brother.”
“She’d better not. I don’t want the same name as him.”
Rolling her eyes, Mothlight turned away and kept walking. “That’s not what I meant, and you know it.” They fell into silence for a few strides before she asked, “Training’s going well then?” When he gave the affirmative, she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye and slyly continued, “So any she-cats catch your eye lately?” A heartbeat passed as her words registered, and she took perhaps a little more joy than she should have in the way he was caught entirely off guard. Eyes wide and ears flat against his head, he looked at her, aghast, and she had to turn away to hide a smile.
“What? No. She-cats are gross.”
“Uh-huh,” She said agreeably, disbelief coloring every word. “Sure they are. And Breezepaw, especially, I’m sure. That’s why you’ve been hanging out with her quite a bit lately.”
He sputtered for a moment before spitting out indignantly, “We share the same den! I’m not hanging out with her on purpose!”
Yellow eyes glittered as she cast another glance in his direction. “That’s what they all say,” She replied lightly as they broke the cover of the trees. The sound of running water grew louder. “Just a tip, little bro: you might want to get a move on. Hawkpaw’s warrior ceremony ought to be any day now, and she-cats dig an older tom with his warrior name.” As the she-cat trotted ahead of her brother toward the border, she had to admit that she felt a little bad about needling Roachpaw like that – but the guilt paled in comparison to the amused satisfaction that came from seeing him squirm with embarrassment.
Mothlight only wished her first few fishing attempts had gone just as well. Standing on the edge of one of the many streams that fed into the marshlands, she had managed to do nothing but splash herself with water. Just below the surface, she could see fish darting amongst the sticks and detritus, but the sunlight reflecting off the water made it hard to follow where they were going. Not to mention that they seemed to swim much faster than she could hope to move her paw. An undercurrent of frustration had long since replaced the gratification from before, and as she heard Roachpaw quietly laughing again at another failed attempt, her fur began to prickle with embarrassment as well.
“I thought you were trying to fish, not take a bath,” He called out, having settled himself out of range of the flying water but close enough to still watch. And provide a running commentary, unfortunately.
The warrior took a deep breath and pointedly reminded herself that she loved her brother very much. Or, at the very least, that their mother would be very disappointed in her if she committed fratricide.
“Very funny,” She shot back, annoyed humiliation making her words sharper than intended. “You think it’s so easy, but I don’t see you catching any fish though. You try, if you think you can do better.”
“You know, maybe I will.” With a huff, he rose to his paws and moved to her side. As he unsheathed his claws, he said, “Stand back, sis. Don’t want you to get hurt while the pro shows you how it’s done.”
One day she would roll her eyes at him and they would roll right out of her skull, she thought as she did as she was told, stepping back ever so slightly to give him some space. Yellow eyes watched his brown form closely as he studied the water with intent. An idea struck her, an evil, wonderful idea. Grinning, she waited until he leaned just a little more over the stream, and then—
As he pulled himself from the stream, the sheer outrage etched in every single inch of his body might have had her taking a few steps back, had the effect not been totally ruined by the few stray leaves and twigs sticking out of his soaking wet fur. If looks could kill, she would have been in StarClan many times over by now – and as it was, she was struggling to breathe between the laughter. Sides heaving, she managed, “What happened? – I thought – you were – you were trying to fish, not – not take a bath.”
Hissing, he strode up to her and pointedly shook out his fur. As flying water droplets had her closing her eyes and turning away, she did not see as he stomped by her, though when she turned, Mothlight saw his lean figure storming away. “Say hi to Breezepaw for me!” She called after him, shaking out her own fur as she turned back to the stream. Her residual irritation at her younger brother began to fade in his absence, and she gave her chest fur a few quick licks. Taking a few calming breaths to refocus herself, she unsheathed her claws and prepared to try again – only to realize that she wasn’t alone. A fishy scent drifted by on the breeze. This time, it wasn’t Roachpaw; it was RainClan.
Newleaf 20 VY 7 - The morning dawns with fiery red and purple clouds, and while the day is pleasant, the night gives way to unseasonably cool temperatures.