adaptation (haku)

// @HAKU I hope this is ok! I'll have an otter pop in in my next post, sorry this is so short!

Nothing. Not a single trace of fur or feathers or even scales had been spotted by the pair. Feeling down, Mud's head hangs low as he and Haku slowly make their way back towards their camp, padding along the river. If he had a tail, it'd be dragging. "This is embarrassing," He whines. What will their denmates think when they return without even a single morsel after being gone all morning? A low growl causes his ears to flatten with even further shame and he huffs, "And I'm starving." Maybe Thorn would have brought something back while he was gone?

On many days Haku felt profoundly without purpose, and this was a day of no exception. In fact, it was a day when that feeling overwhelmed him, swallowing him whole. Already-poor posture sank even lower, his tall form diminished to that of a scolded kit. A sigh whistled from his nostrils, long and drawn out, as he looked to Mud. At least the other felt it- and anticipated the humiliation they would receive upon their return. It was the perfect word to describe their predicament, really- embarrassing.

"Me too. Not even a mouse- what, have they all died?" As if on cue his stomach growled, and he too growled in response, an argument between body and mind. Hopefully they would not be judged too harshly.

\ NO WORRIES MAN it's not too short at all!!

// OMG I did not see this notification

A heavy sigh escaped him as he continued on, Haku's growl mimicking Mud's own feelings. The two continued on in silence for a short while, the chocolate tom picking his head up every so often to be sure the walking furball of misery was still following. He was just about to part his jaws to speak once more before the chittering of a strange animal caught his attention. Pricking his ears, Mud peered over his shoulder, behind Haku, with a quirked brow. "Do you...hear that?" He couldn't smell anything....but then again, he really wasn't known for his nose. Was Thorn playing a prank? A hopeful thought, if his brother ever was one to play pranks, which he definitely wasn't. Slowly, he turned around to face the source of the sound, head tilting curiously. "Hel-AH!"

A sleek and slippery brown creature leaped out, growling and spitting with rage. It was comparable in size to the cats, but still terrifying. Otter! "Haku, run!" He yowled, barreling forward to get away from the angry beast. Brown paws pounded the ground, and the panicked feline could only wildly look around with panic. There was nowhere to go! Except...

He slid to a halt next to one of the larger pine trees, panting as he looked to Haku. "I'll uh, I'll boost you up! Quick!"


Silence was comfortable, for within it no rejection could come. Not that many truly did reject his company- no, his loathing was self-inflicted, and entirely imagined. Haku heard Mud draw in a breath, but snap his jaw shut, interrupted but something- and it took a moment, but he noticed it too. The skitter of a tongue upon tooth-surface, or maybe the root of a mouth- a chittering sound, along with a strange scent of musk. Wordlessly, Haku nodded, for how could he not hear it? In unison with Mud he turned to face the thing- it was almost cat-like in its features, broad and curious, and gazed at them with beady little eyes. It took him a moment, for he had only ever seen them from afar- but it was indeed an otter.

"Oh, crumbs-" he spat, but barely bothered to finish his thought, clumsy paws carrying his form as he ran exaggeratedly, lagging a little behind Mud in an effort not to topple over and crack a rib. Looking up, he felt a pit in his gut, one that swirled and sickened him. The trees- that was a place to wait for it to give up. But getting up there...?

I'll boost you up!

Maybe it was inaccurate to call Mud a genius, but in that moment Haku could think of him as nothing less. Nodding hastily, Haku unsheathed his claws and leapt onto the tree- it came a little more naturally than he had anticipated, though he could tell there was still something off. Legs splayed a little more than they were meant to, but other than that he was managing- at least, to cling on. "Wait, you- can you get up by yourself?" He called, voice trembling a little. If Mud aided him and could not then do anything, he'd become a snack- and a substantial one, at that!
Last edited:

Haku was on the tree in an instant, legs spread far too wide along the base of the trunk. Mud was no tree climber himself, but even he could tell that was just wrong. A grunt pushed through his bared teeth as the large tom dug his claws into the trunk, hind feet still planted firmly on the ground. Wait, you- can you get up by yourself? He hadn't thought this plan all the way through, apparently. Another grunt of exertion as the feline shoved upwards, hoisting his denmate up the trunk and towards the lowest branch.

The growling grew closer, and Mud's hind legs began to tremble - not out of the effort needed to shove Haku up the tree, but out of fear. "Gah!" He gasped as soon as his companion was able to grasp the branch and get up. He would then have to face the fact that he indeed had no way of getting up. In all his moons, the tom had never once needed to climb a tree. Even if he wanted to, his large weight and lack of a tail would make the task near impossible. Still, he was eager to try - it was better than getting his ears chomped off by an angry otter. He tried his best to scrabble his way up the tree, claws scraping furiously at the chipping bark. "Ha- Hak- Haku!" He yowled in a panic, eyes wide as he failed to gain a decent grip.

Upon the branch he finally managed to grasp when given a boost, imbalanced but upright- and breathed a sigh of relief. Though, it was a short lived one that caught in his throat when blue eyes flickered down to check on Mud, legs trembling and eyes saucer-wide with panic. Haku's monochromatic features mirrored Mud's alarm, and he frantically scanned the tree trunk for some sort of surface that his denmate could use as steps of some sort- but it was barren, and Haku was locked upon the lowest branch. The other was slipping- oh, what was he doing! He couldn't let the other become lunch, he had so much to live for- a family on the way and everything!

Though he wobbled slightly, crouched in an attempt to stay upon the branch, Haku craned his neck down, utilising his full posture. In a movement solely fuelled by the blood-buzz of adrenaline, Haku attempted to fasten his jaws around Mud's scruff, intending to hoist him- rather, throw him- to the same branch that he precariously stood upon.

A pitiful yelp escaped him as Mud felt teeth fasten into his scruff. Soon enough, he was being hoisted, dragged, up the tree and unceremoniously tossed across the branch beside Haku. He let out a sharp gasp of surprise as he landed perpendicularly across the tree's limb, like a limp worm dangling. Opening his eyes, he'd be shell-shocked to see the ground looming far below him (well, far for him). "AH!" The chocolate tom cried out before scrambling into an upright position, claws gripping the bark with as much force as was possible. Wide eyes looked down at the chittering predator, then at Haku as he breathed a short, "THANK YOU!"