camp A BURNING HILL \ restless

It was not often that Berryheart found himself truly wanting to do something- but of course, irony's strike was always quick and ruthless. Though the chars from the fire had long died down and the smoke was an era away by now, Berryheart could still feel the smog in his lungs, wheezing breaths leaving him heaving for laboured breaths like an elder. On any other day, with any other freedom, the dappled tom would feel unbothered about his breathing acting up- but today he was compelled with a mission, one he was rendered too groggy to manage.

He was no idiot- that fact he prided himself upon. The logical side of him- the majority- was telling him, urging him that he needed to rest. He would only damage himself further should he push his limits, especially with breaths as thick with murk as now. The air, suffocating and sparse, reminded him of being back in the swamp again- yet, he was looking up at sun-shone canopy and breathing miasma all at once.

A great sigh scraped through his throat, interrupted by peals of coughing. Though quiet, as was everything Berryheart did, they were frequent as running pawsteps. Lying on his belly, he was forced to the side as the coughs wrought his body; yet even as they died down, he stayed flopped, undignified, uncomfortable. Frustration burned cold in his olive-hued gaze.

It had not been unusual to see Berryheart coughing prior to the fire. Since the fire had blazed through their part of the forest it seemed as though his coughing has gotten worse.

Flycatcher had helped rescue Berryheart from the burning camp when the TunderClan cats who initially escaped returned with the RiverClan rescuers. Since then he had kept something of a close eye on his tortoiseshell friend, watchful that he was doing alright since returning. He had tried not to make it too obvious, however, conscious of overstepping any boundaries.

"Are you doing okay, Berryheart?" Flycatcher would ask, coming over to say hello when he spotted the other cat on the ground, looking thoroughly unhappy. "Do you need anything?"
Flycatcher's question drew Emberstar's attention, her ear perking up at the sound. Grey eyes swept over Berryheart. Now that it had been pointed out, she could definitely see it, he looked pained and frustrated, flopped on his side and coughing. A pang of regret hit her. She hadn't had time to help out with the small things like this - that her clanmates wouldn't come to her specifically about - before the fire, before her long talk with Howling Wind. Now that her deputy was taking over more of her work, she finally had the time for things other than her duties.

It would give her the opportunity, she hoped, to make up for lost time.

"Yeah," she concurred, padding up to the two toms. The molly gave Berryheart a worried glance. "You look kinda rough." Emberstar stated bluntly, nowhere near as conscious of overstepping as Flycatcher was.
✦ ★ ✦

"Mmmmmghhhh," came an uncharacteristically inarticulate answer, the tom's olive-berry eyes drifting open, closed, the light through the skin of his eyelids orange-black flash. Okay... did he need anything... what a question. He needed to be well, so he could pursue his whim. But rest demanded itself from him, and he knew how deeply unwise it would be to barrel into reckless abandon. As much as he loved his research, he had to be alive to do it.

A wheezing cough spluttered from his throat, head still flat on the ground but vision soon lifted to flit between Sparky and Blue. Two cats he was grateful for; the former had been running herself ragged trying to help them all, shouldering rightfully some of her responsibilities to Big Mama as of recent, and the latter had helped him tremendously during the evacuation. "My... breathing." Punctuated with a hoarse inhalation, he cast his gaze sideways. "I wish I could do something." Perhaps an uncommon want sprung from his throat of all cats, but it was true. He enjoyed indulging in doing nothing... it was far less pleasant when you had no choice.

Little Wolf wished so desperately that she could do more, especially when it came to her younger brothers and sisters. But between her current condition, combined with the smoke that had weaseled it’s way into her lungs as well, she felt utterly useless. She feels it as her eyes rest upon Berryheart, he had also been trapped in the flames. She had been unable to save him since she herself needed saving. Her own fault. If she hasn’t stopped to panic they would’ve made it out in time. Maybe she could’ve even helped him.

Guilt wracks her heart as she makes her way over to where her brother sits rasping. He has gotten it much worse than she had. “Perhaps we could find you some more honey” she says with a quiet voice, a little over a hum, though she is not hopeful that there is any left after the fire. “I can look later” she smiles optimistically at him. If Cinderfrost had anything to say about her brother eating more honey she would have to voice her complaints to her first, and she wouldn’t be hearing it. Perhaps she could find some in Sky Clan.