I know the road is long,but where you are is home. Wherever you stay, I'll find the way.
It was amazing how your life could change so quickly. How one decision could affect your daily life so drastically. How all the choices you made back then could lead to the biggest choice you have ever made. Everything you used to do, everything you used to think of and base your actions around. Changed. In the blink of an eye.
Leopardheart had made one of those decisions less than a season ago. At one point, not too long ago it felt like, he had been a young tom of Treeclan. A hard-working Apprentice who did his best to show his family and his Leader how much potential he had. He had become a Warrior, a tom that they could all depend on and turn to. He was a loyal tom of Treeclan. But a couple decisions made those things false.
Windpaw. A beautiful silver tabby from Lightningclan. A quiet yet expressive she-cat who didn’t often use her voice. He had met her at the border during a patrol, a chance encounter. It was that encounter that changed his life permanently. After that day, he thought about this young she-cat from the neighboring clan often, and ran into her quite a few times as well. He had saved her from the claws of a fox, earning him his largest scars on his back leg. He had met some of her friends, her introducing him to them as “my Leopard”. He, back in Leaffall, had asked her to become his mate, despite being from different clans. The war with Nightclan took place, causing him to hardly ever see her. And when he did see her again, it was soon revealed that she was pregnant with his kits. Nearly the end of Newleaf came along, as did the kits. This was when his most important choice was presented to him. Stay in Treeclan, his birth clan and the clan he had spent his life dedicating himself to. Or move to Lightningclan, where his dear mate and his brand new kits were staying. Old family, or new family.
At one point, not too long ago, Leopardheart would have been out in the Treeclan territory around this time of sunhigh, crouching through the brush and shadows of the trees looking for prey. He would likely have one or two of his siblings at his side, stalking their forest after being assigned to a patrol. Working to provide for Treeclan.
Instead, the golden and black Bengal tom found himself lying in the sun, its warmth beating down on his pelt with no remorse. His bright yellow eyes remained closed, shielding his pupils from the bright light above. The last few days, Owlmind had been really putting him to work with lots of patrols and many tests. Granted, he had been in Lightningclan for a few moons now, but he still wasn’t fully trusted. He understood, though, and gladly did as the lithe gray she-cat asked. She was his new Deputy, after all. Today he was given a break, given a chance to remain in camp and relax his muscles a bit. He would probably get put back to work after this day, but at least he had a one day vacation.
He was given break days relatively often, making sure that he didn’t overheat since he was used to the cool shadows of the trees rather than direct sunlight. But even on his days off he found that his work was never done. Though, his usual situation on his off days wasn’t considered work to him. In fact, he rather enjoyed his duty when not on patrol: a jungle gym.
A shadow cast on the tom’s face, blocking his closed eyes from the light. Somewhat suspicious of the sudden shade, his eyes just barely opened to find a figure above him. Upon his eyes opening wider, he saw a little face looking down at him, as well as legs, a body, and a tail. The whole shape of a cat above him. He seemed frightened for just a small second, but he made sure not to jump as the face quickly came at him with a giant smile.
“Daddy!” With a small cheer, the kit latched on to the side of Leopardheart’s face, making sure that none of her little claws were unsheathed. Sprawled out across the side of his face, the orange and black kit blocked half of his vision and her paws pushed and pulled at the top of his head and his mouth. With a little heave, and a turn of his head by his own choice, the tabby now laid atop him between his ears, almost making it appear as though the leopard-like tom had an orange spiked mane.
With a bright smile on her face, Tigerkit laid her head between her paws, her chin setting against her father’s forehead right between his eyes. “Morning daddy, ” she mewed, her tail flicking happily behind her.
It wasn’t necessarily morning anymore, but with as rambunctious as her siblings tended to be, especially Swift and Hare, it was hard not to sleep in. By the time Tigerkit found her light blue eyes opening, their mother was already awake, grooming their fur as they started to exit their deep sleep. With this bunch, grooming was usually quite short, for they were a group of restless balls of fur.
It was quite odd, really. She didn’t think about this herself, but she occasionally heard the other adults talking to her parents about how different their litter was. How had Windspirit, a very quiet and calm she-cat, and Leopardheart, a kind and gentlemanly tom, created a litter of energetic and troublesome kits? Really, it was only the twins that were trouble. They never knew when to stop their pranks and tricks. Tiger and her sister were often dragged into their antics, though. To Tiger’s credit, she was usually the one who suggested they stop so they don’t get in trouble. Did this always work? No. But it was worth a shot.
“Where is everyone else?” She heard the Bengal’s voice below her and felt his head shift with the movement of his jaws, her moving along with his words.
“They were still with momma when I left.” Now curious, the she-kit lifted her head and turned, peering over at the Nursery only a fox-length or two away, waiting to see if any of the other kits, siblings or otherwise, were about yet.
StarClan... all she'd wanted was a nap, a simple mid-morning nap after sleeping fitfully last now. The nursery was always so hot and packed with so many bodies that she didn't feel as comfortable as she'd like to when she slept every night. She was already looking forward to the apprentices' den, though she was quite aware she'd be sharing it with Rosefire's litter along with the existing apprentices. At least it was a little bit bigger, or so it had seemed when she'd poked her head in it last.
Anyway, all she'd wanted was a nap. And then her brothers had started whispering in the corner, and Daringkit had joined in, so before long their whispering had become more than that. She didn't even care about whatever mischief they were planning, she just wanted to find somewhere to sleep in peace! After Daringkit exclaimed something, she got noisily to her paws, leveling a dirty glare at her brothers and the ginger kit. "Can't you three gossip somewhere else?" she spat. She turned her tail on them, dug her tiny claws in their nest, and kicked as much grass and nesting material at them as she could before storming out of the nursery. It was very unlike her to get angry, but she was tired, and when cats were exhausted she thought they maybe got a pass on behavior like this. And, she was only a kit, so she didn't feel the smallest bit guilty. She'd forgotten entirely that her mother had been witness to her cross behavior.
Her eyes found the forms of her father and sister in the sunlight, and Snowkit made her way over. Without offering a greeting of any sort, she collapsed by Leopardheart's side, her eyes already closing though her muzzle reached out, searching for his paws to rest upon. When she found them, she tucked in close. "Swiftkit and Harekit are being annoying," she mumbled. "Conspiring about something..." She usually ruined their fun by reporting their shenanigans, but she hadn't bothered to listen in this time.
"We should try to get away at night!" Daringkit exclaimed, earning a look from the 'twins' that told him he'd been too loud, and immediately dropped his voice. "Think about it... we're always trying to sneak off when everyone's awake and the camp is busy." He was still recovering from the slight embarrassment he'd felt when he'd been told off by his aunt, Owlmind. "When everyone's asleep, only a warrior or two will be guarding the camp, and--"
His brilliant plan was interrupted when Snowkit, who he hadn't even noticed was still there, suddenly spat at them and kicked a bunch of loose bedding material at them. "Hey!" he protested. Though, looking back, it would've been wise for them to move their conversation out of earshot from Snowkit, who had a reputation for tattling. "She-cats, always ruining everything," he puffed. "Anyway... what do you guys think?" NOTES: I'll make tables later ok xD TAGGED: Abyss, Ghost the Undead Goddess, Ginger, Hellion, ▲ Fabrication
She heard the commotion, ears perked at the sound. Her other mother, Morningheart had taken over Lilywish's test since her death but spent most of her days tending to her warrior duties. Leaving Dandelionkit in the care of other queens at the mercy of her nursery mates. Without blood siblings of her own, the she-cat rarely put herself out there to join in any kit games but that didn't stop her curiosity.
Weaving through the bundles of still sleeping queens or kits, she found herself at the entryway of the nursery. She watched as Tigerkit joined with her father in some kind of game. Her tail twitched. She wanted to join but couldn't find the courage to force her paw-steps forward. Instead, Dandelionkit watched awkwardly from the sideline.
Envy wasn't typical of the young she-cat but nevertheless it found it's way into her thoughts. Why did Morningdawn have to go all the time, why didn't she stay to keep her company? The same could be said for her father, but Dandelionkit's relationship with him remained formal. Morningdan explained she was too young to understand yet but she had been promised to learn about it before she became an apprentice. Trying not to worry herself too much about it, Dandelionkit continued to watch the happy family in front of her, kneading the ground below her awkwardly.
She watched still, the display of a family just within paws reach. She wished for courage to join them, she had overheard her mother talk to Windspirit about keeping an eye on her. But if that extended to Leopardheart was unknown. Deciding not to risk being shooed away, Dandelionkit stayed back, quietly watching.
Short steps, deep breath Everything is alright Chin up, I can't Step into the spotlight