private And all around the sirens play

He opened his eyes to fields of white so expansive and vast that it almost hurt to look at them. What at first seemed to be snow was instead an endless field of white flowers; daisies he guessed. Simple, delicate, a symbol of innocence. New beginnings. In this place, he wondered if it actually meant a new end.
The dark tom sat up, his pitch black pelt looking like a stain amidst the sea of searing white, sending an array of petals scattering in wake of his movement, the flowers were thick and clumped together in tight bouquets and it very much felt like drowning laying in them so he opted to stand on unsteady legs and catch his bearings.
What had happened-how had he gotten here…?
He remembered nothing-only pain so piercing it felt like nothing at all, a minor hindrance.
His hands forepaw raised of their own accord to where the source of the agony had been; at the side of his neck, found nothing out of place-not a single missing patch of fur or drop of blood to be had; the uneasiness set in and he turned in quiet desperation for anything that wasn’t pristine and clean to lay his weary gaze upon and once he turned fully around he saw a singular circle of grass looking dark and starkly contrasting to the world around it. A feline figure sat lean and tall there, watched him with empty blue eyes he thought he might drown in.
His blood pounded in his head, finality fell like a cloak over his shoulders. Ah.

Smokethroat woke up. The white world vanished, the comforting scent of RiverClan and his clanmates flooded his senses until he wearily blinked himself into a more oriented state before exiting the den. The camp was empty, as expected this late. Strangely enough he did not feel tired physically, only unsharp as if viewing the world from beneath the water. Both orange eyes gazed upward as he took a seat, ears flat in quiet thought. Sometimes his inability to sleep like a normal cat was a blessing in disguise, how else would he have gotten to enjoy the peaceful serenity of the night and see the sky lit up like silver minnows darting in the river. The stars were always so visible here in RiverClan, but tonight especially he wonders how they are so much brighter than usual. The dream clings to the edge of this thoughts, he feels haggard and uneasy about it but can only assume it is just ambient anxiety lingering after the recent events.

Still, at least the sky is nice. At least the night is peaceful. One can only ask for so much.



− ♱ ABOUT : sleep was little reprieve for the mottled tom. what rest he did manage to get was done so in short intervals, most often as he settles upon the river rock, the roaring sun overhead alighting his pelt in a monochrome halo as he watches the clan move about. it was easy to let his eyes close, listening to the sounds of life bustling beneath. patrols being sent out, apprentices arguing, kits playing . . it was easier than the chill of his den, cold and alone in his moss - lined nest, staring at the rings of age dotting the trunk overhead. he’d once slept amongst his clan, amongst a group. tucked into bone’s side, listening to salamander snore a couple lengths away. the now leader still has phantom memories of moving sides, a breath against his shoulder, rousing awake at the first signs of dawn patrol because starclan knew they were never quiet. there was a reason why he had slept so well, confined to beesong’s den after weaselclaw’s attack. upon the river rock, he is amongst his people — more than a welcome comfort, unbeknownst to them.

nightfall. restless turning in a bitter nest. he finds himself scaling the rock once nightmares startle him fully awake again, the cool touch of stone reverberating through his paws and into his marrow, soaking him in tranquility. in his height he is silhouetted by moonlight, bicolored features bathed in rippling rings of ivory moonlight reflecting from the ever - swaying river water. frigid luminaries cast out to the other side of their camp boundaries, deep past the billowing willow limbs and into the unknown beyond. in his mind, he wades into the quiet of the stream, feeling the cool rivulets seeping through sleek curls until it envelops him fully in deep, dark water. only the smell of water and river reed invading his senses, flooding him, encompassing him. as days go by, he longs more for it. it’s only by chance that he glances down, the barest hint of movement at the edges of his vision drawing a gaze lit alabaster by moonlight. a shadow of a tom, sunburst hues already drifting towards the star - laden sky. he who had now walked amongst the stars now finds little comfort in the alabaster gleam overhead . . though he would admit, though he thinks he could in the shadows they cast smokethroat’s straight features.

slowly, the leader stands, stretching his forearms in front of him before leaping down from his position upon river rock. it’s quiet, the way he approaches ; upon silent ivory paws, the flares of white breaking his smoke tones still bathed halo - light from the late night aura. for a moment, he says nothing as he settles just to the right of his lead warrior, letting his own icy gaze trail towards where he now stares, absent. heavenward. to walk amongst them had been pain — excruciating pain, ripping in and out of his chest, toying with his soul like a kit with a mossball. the heavens were violent.

there are no stars in twolegplace. “ he says instead, quiet thoughts of his childhood bringing a light from to his rubberblack maw. in the brief, fleeting glimpses of memory that he has from his time growing up in a dilapidated twoleg nest, broken and abandoned, “ my mother had always told me the twolegs scared them off. until hare whiskers, the forest . . i had believed her. “ a chuckle, as sad as it was tinged. they’re hiding too, liebling. she’d muttered, staring towards the sky in a way similar to them now, they knew to run. cicadastar swallows, giving the curls wisping along his narrow chest a quick lick. too much. it feels as if there are too many eyes watching him suddenly, the dread of paranoia seeping heavy into sharp - knuckled paws — too much. he sits tall finally, relaxing slender shoulders and letting his gaze drop finally, searching the side profile of his lead warriors features, “ how are you feeling? “ it’s a careful question — not as surface level as it sounds, though the mottled felidae would rather not spook the shadow of a tom off. the company was . . needed.

  • CICADASTAR ; he / him. roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − handsome, lanky black smoke tortie chimera with curly fur and icy blue eyes
    − gay. speaks with a thick german accent, former marsh cat, penned by antlers

  • none.


His ears twitched at the almost inaudible crunch of smooth gravel and sand earth beneath pale paws, that Cicadastar was also awake was not so much a surprise as an expectation. If he himself were stressed he could only imagine the weight resting upon the dappled tom’s own shoulders. Smokethroat did not turn to greet him outside a faint nod, the sound of crickets singing forlornly in the distance accompanied by the gentle churn of the river current moving steadily along filled the night air until the not-so-silent silence was broken.
There are no stars here either, he wants to reply in a voice burning with the same fire his eyes held but he holds his tongue. Instead he pushes the negativity away to reply in a more quiet manner. The smoke fills his chest instead.

“They did…in a sense…” He uttered quietly, scrutinizing the sky a little more closely as he listened to the story told to a confused kitten who would one day be the lord of the riverside. His mother had told him no such thing, he’d been raised in the two-leg place as well and left lost to wander of his own accord too young but it was Moss who answered the questions of folly spoken from an overeager kitten when she had swept him into her fold. “...two-legs made fake stars, so bright you could not see past them to the sky for countless lengths. They fixate them on their monsters, hang them in their dens.” A mockery of their ancestors apparently. They mounted their sparkling forms on walls like macabre trophies. Two-legs played with stars like toys while the stars played with the cats of the forest in a similar manner. He wanted to believe, desperately even, because otherwise there was only cold earth and no meaning. But so far StarClan had shown them their law was cruel and their gifts a curse.

He turned to face the tom at the simply asked question. Trivial really, then why did his stomach tighten into a knot at it almost immediately. It would be one thing to just wave it off, but he had a feeling the tall leader with almost all knowing gaze would see right through his blatant attempts to shrug it off. Smokethroat was not exactly a tom known for being a good liar. It felt like a good, honest, thing to have but in reality he wished he were as deceptive as his coat. He wished his words blended into conversation as neatly as his form did the darkness.

While he stood silently unyielding like a stone monolith inside he was disarray. Decay. Mindlessly caught in a turmoil that forever tore at his core in every waking moment. To break his gaze from the leader’s own serene blue one now would shatter him, so he held it. His own fiery eyes locked intently onto his. To anyone watching they might have confused the gradual narrowing of his eyes for anger, but it was not. He was trying to block the mottled from seeing into his head, yet at the same time not shut him out entirely.
Eyes were the window to the soul. He wondered what he could make out between both half-lidded hues.
“ know…” Honesty was the best policy, after all, “Pretty awful to be honest. Though I warrant you’ve felt worse given everything.”
What was it like to die? He wanted to shudder, thinking about it once more. It occurred to him his dream might have been some repressed anxiety over watching Cicadastar lose a life; StarClan were wretched things indeed.
"It's a lot. It's not something one cat should have to deal with."
Smokethroat replies back with the same question, tone a tilt higher than his usual growl of a voice, "How are YOU feeling?"


− ♱ ABOUT : there is a quiet. in the moment before either of them speak, before the white - speckled shadow turns to look at him, he thinks he could stay in this moment forever — feathered ends of bicolored curls pulling, drifting with the gentle wind. the one benefit of sleepless nights, he supposed . . the crisp, cool air. he revels in it in the moments before smokethroat acknowledges his presence, which is fine with cicadastar. the company is nice. it’s when he begins that ears perk just slightly, twitching with muscles too small to identify. he hums.

let them pretend. “ the man responds, easily, letting his shoulders roll back and a wistful smile to come across his face. as it often is, there is a sadness to the curve of his maw — a lax in his pale, upwards - staring eyes, “ i can’t fault them. those false - lights . . they were all i had to guide me, then. “ a slow blink, a memory. of little paws and limbs far too long, ears too big. there had been one in the nest his mother had chosen for them — that abandoned twoleg den, splintered with woodrot and water damage, stinking of mothball. it hung up high above their heads, missing the protective shell that the ones on the streets had and swaying with each rumble of passing monster. it had not brought him the same comfort, as it never once gleamed that too - orange beam of light as the rest. it had simply swayed. back and forth, metronome of tiny blue eyes and too much time alone. it had kept him busy for a while, waiting on the almost - star to light. he almost pretended it did at times, when the reflection from a beast passing outside casts in from the square, glass - laden entrance abovehead,we all long to feel close to the stars. a little more holy. “ his gaze finally drifts back down and his expression changes litte, “ i wonder if they feel the same.

and suddenly, he gazes into a fire — an abyss, as bright and bitter and vengeful as the blood that had once seeped up mottled wrists, slipped through sharp knuckles still teeming with viscera. smokethroat does not speak for a moment, merely gazing back at him with an expression as still as the stone underfoot, and cicadastar holds his gaze, pale luminaries teeming with moonlight, rippling like the waves in reflection. it is enough to shake a man, he believes, to be under this stare. color of war, hatred, of a smog - laden sky days ago, burning violent orange abovehead — and how it burns him up too, though certainly not with hate. orange meets blue and even rioting embers douse in such frigid icewater, a medium. it was a tactic, of course . . a feigned calm, a quiet grace. it masks a desperation for sound. for touch, need and comfort — a life out of the dark, the metronome, the same flickering, rumbling, swaying light. he holds himself with grace as the seams of his sanity twist and stretch, as he leaves claw marks on everything he loves and cannot keep safe. he holds himself with grace now, as if his mind does not beg him to sleep and perhaps he could, with such familiarity nearby.

but he does not.

smokethroat speaks, thunder of a voice far more soothing than almost - whispers of riverwater that bubbles outside his willow den. never stopping, never resting — it’s too loud in the deafening barken silence. the sound brings a visible ease to his shoulders, unaware of how the absence of sound had affected him until it’s filled again. he does not have time to revel in relief, as the man’s words process : pretty awful. there is a guilt, then — gnawing at his ribs and he glances down, fidgets ivory knuckles, pretends to be momentarily interested in the glint of claw - tips at their very edge, “ im sorry. “ he says, and it’s honest — quiet, quiet as the gentle brush of fur as he wraps a thick tail around his paws, unwilling to be caught in his twitching. he is sorry. for all that he tries, he cannot protect everyone. he cannot shield them from horrors unknown, and the thought is enough to make him feel too small. insignificant. clearsight would say he does enough — his words reverberate through a too - crowded skull. you’re a good leader. he does not feel like it.

his next words draw his attention, blinking. though i warrant you’ve felt worse given everything.

that doesn't mean your troubles are any less important. “ it’s firm, his tone ; the memory of death is too fresh, too recent, and he has struggled with it. of course he has. he was ripped from and into his body, soul reborn, body revived. he’s wondered what it would have been like for him to die there — he wonders if that’s what the stars had intended, before the war. the thoughts are heavy and he shakes them, unwilling to burden the man with them. unwilling to spend the time it would take to explain. the insanity, “ it reminds me, ive had this conversation with bonejaw — the shadowclan medicine cat — long ago, now. she bottled her feelings. brooded. ” he means that last part as a playful tease — but the accompanying smile does not meet his eyes. she’d been his best friend. he stares at his paws, or the thick, curled fur that lie over them, for a beat. when he looks up, his smile lingers more natural, despite the slightest furrow of his brow, “i didn’t have it then, i won’t have it now. “ smokethroat didn’t have to talk to him. he would not force him, as much as coax. as he always has, as he had with bone. he hopes she is doing well, across the rivers. far, far across the rivers.

he swallows heartache again.

slowly, cicadastar settles, folding too - long limbs under him. his muscles ache, but it’s better than the alternative, and he keeps his tongue quiet. smokethroat continues and barbed wire tightens on his throat. he was a crybaby, once — he supposed he still was, should he allow tears to spring free for once. the mottled leader cannot remember the last time he cried. it’s a lot for one cat to go through. it was. it was, and he does not know where to begin. he does not know where he’d stop, should he be allowed to begin.

i’m . . tired. “ the leader speaks, almost inaudible, orbital ears slowly dropping toward his head. accented vocals do not waver despite the way he is once again gazing skyward, brow now furrowing to form a crease over the arch of his roman muzzle. how pitiful was he, “ that’s all i know, really. everything else . . it’s like a blur. the pain. agony. “ his lip twitches. guilt floods him again, “ im sure you . . don’t want to hear about this.

  • CICADASTAR ; he / him. roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − handsome, lanky black smoke tortie chimera with curly fur and icy blue eyes
    − gay. speaks with a thick german accent, former marsh cat, penned by antlers

  • none.



If one could only claim holiness, he imagined a clan like RiverClan would line their nests with stars among the other feathers and shells they gathered and collected. That the prismatic lights above would be decorative garlands for their pelts and dens.

“Don’t.” The apology is met with an almost righteous fury in his stare, “ troubles are no less important-” He repeats dutifully, “-because they are your troubles as well. From a different perspective I suppose…” What worry fretted that mottled crown was the same anxiety that gnawed his own stomach at times, stress for what was to come and what would pass. The two-legs a drop in the river, a small ripple among other ripples and eventually enough would hit the water that he feared a great wave would rise up. He recalls the description of the sea from Kelpie and Coast, the monstrous size of it that made their own river look a paltry puddle in comparison.

His ears flick dismissively as the ShadowClan medicine cat is brought up, he recalls her only vaguely at the gathering. Quiet and kept to herself, a black and white cat with orange eyes…who brooded. Instantly his nose wrinkles at the comparison and he gives a small haughty shake of his pelt in response followed only by a quiet nod. Couldn’t deny the truth, after all. He did have a tendency to brood, disliked talking about himself though he wagered it was more that he was hardly interesting. His past was simple, yet he’d already lived it, there was not much time to dwell when there was much to do in the present.

There is movement at his side and his head tilts at a side glance to watch the other lay down.
Once, while out with Moss, he recalled a wounded deer they had come across being followed by carrion birds and foxes eagerly awaiting it to finally fall. He wasn’t sure what had wounded it so terribly, two-legs perhaps, but he knew the powerful antlered beast was on its last leg when they spotted it. Moss had warned him not to watch before briskly going about her business but he had not followed, instead his orange gaze was riveted onto a creature who was fighting death itself and losing but clung desperately to its pride. When it finally gave in it lowered itself gently to the ground, tucked its head back serenely to rest upon its own shoulder and in the image of perfect grace and composure it closed its eyes; a quiet dignity remained even as the scavengers came bearing down upon it.
While not dying, he watched the mottled tom settle down in a similar manner despite the awkward length of his legs; somehow managing to fold into a neat sit effortlessly.

‘I’m tired.’ Spoken with the finality of a weary king, he was not surprised by the admission but was startled to hear it spoken. As a cat accustomed to keeping things to himself, seeing others be so open was still something he was adjusting to. Perhaps it was something he need adapt to doing himself one day.
Smokethroat sat there silently for a moment until the words began bleeding apologies and he shook his head.
“If I didn’t think my own shoulders had room for added weight I wouldn’t have asked.”
Sometimes he felt like ancient ruins, unearthed and exposed to the sun after so long, crumbling and derelict; his bones archways and his insides hollow and full of dust. But his was not a brow heavy with a crown bestowed by the stars, there was more he could burden himself with before collapse. Perhaps it was a mercy he had known no one prior to the clans dividing, he didn’t have to register the pain of losing someone close to you across borders and born of duties. He pondered briefly what he would have done had he been asked to lead a clan of cats and abandon the life he once knew; Cicadastar was made of far stronger stuff than he, a cat who would have turned tail and ran as far as he could away from the stars and their divinity, their expectations.
His solitary lifestyle had both been a blessing and his undoing it seemed.

He wondered if maybe the dappled tom should take a deputy as the other clans had, but could not for the life of him think of a cat who might fill such a role. There was Willowroot, of course, dependable as always but she had also never hid his dislike of the man who led them though she did her duties all the same. Cicadastar knew of it, surely, that he would give her the responsibility of a lead warrior despite that was a shine on his character; he did not let personal and trivial things drive how he lead his clan, nor what was best for it.
It was one of many qualities he found admirable. Nobility was not oft found in loners, he had not come across any cat he would consider honorable in all his time wandering lost and alone. It was refreshing in a way.
The dark tom continues sitting there for a moment longer, eyes cast to the side uncertain of what comfort he could offer outside his words and those alone were never adequate; he could never determine what to say. But then again he'd always been a cat of action, his body language spoke more eloquently than his mouth ever could and he liked to imagine he told his tale at a swift glance.
Maybe he was seeking the idea of comforting from a wrong perspective then, while other cats tended to console verbally, he knew how he was. It was best to simply do as he felt was proper instinctually.
With less grace and far more reckless abandon in just dropping to the ground to lay, the white-speckled tom takes a moment to shift into a more comfortable position with his paws folded; making deliberate effort to be closer-enough to touch alongside, storm cloud skies blending into star dotted night.
"I'll not bore you with saying it gets better, because I don't know. I can't read the stars, can't feel a storm coming from the tingle of my tail, but I can say again that this is a lot for one cat." His tone remains the same as when he'd spoken the phrase already-carefully guarded, but he continues with it, "You are not one cat. You are several. From mud-colored pelts to eyes like clear water, fire branded obsidian, smoky brambles and darting silvers like the sheen of a fish in the river. I'm loathe to bother thinking of how other clans are with their leaders, if previous gatherings are anything to go by they hold an authority as a leader should but you hold a heart."


− ♱ ABOUT : it almost startles him, the fury that injects itself into a single word. don’t. the urge to straighten falls over him, but he does not ; he merely gazes upward, saying little as his lead warrior speaks, pauses, mulls over his words. in the gleaming moonlight, he can see the petulance crossing smokethroats features at the mention of shadowclan’s medicine cat and it’s enough to make him laugh ; a low, sloping thing, almost rusty with disuse. from his position the warrior looms, silhouetted against the arch of moon overhead, and the man thinks that it’s fitting. a halo of ivory, casting gaunt shadows along his cheekbones and strong, square jaw. the night had a way of charming him, and the man’s pelt shines in waves of a star - laden sky, dusted in alabaster. his words, however, seem to bring forth a flightier stance. comfort was unusual, though not unwelcome — he struggles to accept it now despite the way warmth blooms low beneath his sternum. cicadastar looks down, bites his lip, steals a moment of quiet to mull over the immensity of his responsibilities. a near shame at the laughter that crosses his maw, a second of fleeting lightness before the weight of the world settles again.

a breath of movement, with it a rush of scent ; heavy with riverwater and something heady, floral, brimming like magnolia. the lasting impression of apprentices, their weaving paws and bright smiles. he closes his eyes, takes it in, revels in the way his muscles seem to ease when the closeness. proximity. there is a heat from him ; smoke and charred ember, blazing low upon his too - cool skin. the onyx tom is close, the muscles pulling taut beneath his white - speckled pelt, catching in the moonlight that casts ivory upon their resting forms. smokethroat rests close and for a moment, he waits for him to pull away — to clear his throat, move from the aching slope of the river phantoms body. a beat passes. two. the man does not pull away and eyes that had lingered upon the steely profile of his lead warriors face widen, soften seconds before icy gaze finally falls, tender to his alabaster paws. that same shame burns beneath sleek curls, to be receiving this attention . . to have burning sunburst so focused on him, shoulders sagging beneath the soothing weight of his growling tone and it’s careful, the way he leans against him — not fully. he’s tremulous. unused to being the center of concern and it’s obvious, the way he swallows, ears angling slightly and lids slipping down to shadow wide pupils. ringlets of curl mingle with wisps of shadow and they are monochromatic, two ends of a spectrum and yet blurring the same.

fire and ice, he thinks — let’s the feeling wash over him as he tips his head, begonia and waterflower flitting at the scent he bathed in now. was it selfish, to want to press his nose to the fur along his shoulder and rest? if he could for a moment close his eyes, feel the beating of a quiet heart against his cheek and submerge himself? wade into the quiet of his presence, ease into sleep at a trusted one’s side? the longer he mulls it over the more he thinks it so. still, the length of his flank against cicadastar’s own is a gentle lull over his restless heart, soothing twitch every rhythmic breath. he’s speaking and still, he is lost in it — the intensity of his tone, one not oft taken with him. his ears angle and here is a burn along the heights of his cheeks to match the burning in his eyes, the way his head tips skyward against the razor wire that wraps solemnly around his throat. it’s a lot for one cat,the clan . . makes it easier. “ he admits, letting his gaze drift about the desolate camp. it’s late, or early — too far before dawn to stay awake, past time to go to sleep. there is a smile then, the edges tinged with sadness as tired eyes linger on his own ancient willow, “ to see them thrive like this, despite our hardships. learning, loving amongst themselves. i feel less . .lonely. his mother had always kept him isolated, with nothing but the few dilapidated twoleg trinkets he would pull from the crevices of their rotting home.

he bites his tongue. he considers lying. he doesn’t, “ it . . it makes me feel a little less alone.

pitiful. groveling for an inch of attention ; a kit in his mothers angry eye, too needy and desperate for comfort. he doesn’t know the feeling kindling in his chest, akins it to fear, one - winged lark thrashing wildly in his chest, smoldering and burning with golden light. all he knows is that he would not run from the tom — dark like the sky above, glittering in ivory constellation. like the stardust that had once dropped ichor from his own paws, gleaming in shards of alabaster. he would not run from the warmth, the solidness at his side, the ache and want and need that bites at his heels, hungry dog nipping for a too - bruised heart. cicadastar could never claim holiness despite the glory carved out by his name. regardless of the star - laden paws that chose him, he was only distant cicada, bastard son of an abandoned loner and a sire she never let him know. the chimera had not been born to be a leader. he was only doing what he thought best — and that was wrong at times, wrong often. ruled by tempestuous emotion, rioting waves of feeling crashing hard against the corroded stone of his ribcage.

i’m loathe to bother thinking of how other clans are with their leaders, if previous gatherings are anything to go by they hold an authority as a leader should but you hold a heart.

some would consider that a weakness. “ it’s fragile, the words that drip slow from his barbed tongue. even more delicate than the way he looks back, meeting smokethroat’s sunkissed gaze, dawn - drunk and riding the high of early, crisp leaffall air. if he could suspend this moment, he would — quiet moments outside a den of resting warriors, “ i won’t say i’m not glad that you don’t. “ he thinks of sootstar and his chest aches, paws curling against the ground as if to keep bitter claws from suffering the same cruel fate as sootstar. he would never. he could never, “ i was . . an emotional child. my mother was the opposite. my privacy was learned early on and it’s — hard, talking about it. even now. ” being vulnerable, anything but graceful. the mottled tom had trapped his words within himself in youth, whispered his anxieties to the dust moths and cobweb stretching ancient along the corners of their nest. a soft smile, a slight lean into the darkness along his throat, not quite pressing into the soft ruff of fur though accented vocals disturb strands of ivory - dusted fur, “ my heart has been a burden for longer than i can remember. “ he could carry that weight. though his shoulders slumped, too - long limbs trembling, he could carry that weight, as much as it haunted him in the still, the quiet, “ but this . . ” a paw lifts momentarily, ghosting against the hard knot of tissue along his throat, just over the jugular that had severed and drained before smokethroat weeks prior. he swallows hard, feels it bob against his neck and closes his eyes tight, brow furrowing with the force of it, “ seems insurmountable.

the fear. the memories, insides cooling with blood loss, colder than he’s ever been. it will happen again. it will happen again, and again, nine times — if that were even the truth. what if there were more? what if he were cursed to walk this land, undying? his jaw locks and he shakes his head, “ too many sleepless nights, but the memories . . it’s difficult to ignore, in the quiet.

  • CICADASTAR ; he / him. roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − handsome, lanky black smoke tortie chimera with curly fur and icy blue eyes
    − gay. speaks with a thick german accent, former marsh cat, penned by antlers

  • none.


Ashpaw asked him once if he would name his kit Starkit if he ever had one and he had never heard such blasphemy from a child before. It was a name better suited to a leader, such that the stars claimed and he thought it inappropriate elsewhere. The dark tom wondered what Cicadastar would have been named had someone else been their leader and placed the symbolic titles upon them all; but nothing he could think about matched as well as star. He was a star partially cloaked in night and dark clouds, the way the night sky seemed to wrap itself around the moon to dull its light. Cicadamoon, Cicadasky, none of them quite rang with the same reverence as what the tom held already. Orange eyes narrow as he realizes he is staring too intently in his thoughts and he averts that fire and brimstone gaze to the ground momentarily to catch himself; burning holes in the earth.

The laugh knocks him from his thoughts, sends him blinking in surprise.
It was as though the very air was torn from his lungs, viciously yanked out by a claws and trampled onto the ground. The force of it left him staggering, breathless, and his pupils shrank into mere dots upon each colored pool of iris. Why such a sound would so startle him he would lose his train of thought was beyond him. He is hot and then cold, fire doused in that ice-water gaze, half expecting a withdrawal, as if the too close proximity might be overstepping some boundary he was not aware of, that he had misinterpreted what exactly it meant to offer comfort in any degree. Smokethroat hates the dizziness that accompanies every interaction with the patchwork phantom, as if he is some ailment that makes him ill only in proximity. He had gotten accustomed to speaking to cats now, of holding himself with some manner of dignity and confidence upon discussing things with his clanmates, yet here he was once more a mess of a cat unable to formulate words and fearful of moving as if a single paw out of line would send him spiraling down.

Some would think that a weakness. A pang shoots through him, did he not share such sentiments before, even now they still lingered but in reference to himself more so than judgment of anyone else.
“I….used to think that.. actually.” He would be lying if he denied ever once considering loose emotions or affections anything more than a burden to carry, a sign of the unworthy, a blemish, another spot on his pelt he didn’t ask for. “Two-leg place…it does not treat cats like you or me with any kindness.” He had changed, adapted to the environment and grown cold in it; his name spoke of fire but he was anything but warm. The first time he took a life he could remember the brittle chill in the air like shards of ice that cut his lungs as he breathed them in; the blood coagulated about his paws and he felt powerful for only a second before the reality of it all struck him. A cat with a name he didn’t know, kin somewhere, a lost soul only trying to survive. Just like him, just like him, just like him. Who was he to decide who lived and who died in this world? He was neither judge nor executioner then yet he certainly held the blade now.
“...but this…isn’t two-leg place. This is our place. The river. Everything.” Cats died for this. Countless cats died for this. Surely it meant a degree of peace was warranted, the toll had been paid in blood already in battles he had not fought in with claws of cats who once shared nests.
Again he thinks of Hyacinthbreath, the scar so prominently on her chest; for honor, Sootstar had said. For honor. What honor is there in a mark so close to your heart formed by the leader who was meant to protect you from harm. Part of him suddenly wants to speak up, ask the other for guidance on how to feel about the words he had been asked to keep; but he swallows it down. He’d made a promise to the silver queen of the moors, he would not break it now.

There is a brief moment where the light gesture of a paw raising to a throat has him tense up reflexively. He doesn’t think he’ll ever wipe the image of the fine point skewering that mottled neck; pinning him almost decoratively against the oak surface as if put on display. It is burned into his eyes, staining the fires already there and not something he will forget anytime soon.

“…don’t have to be alone at night, in the quiet.” The tom pauses, realizes his comment comes across far more intense than he meant and he feigns attentively grooming a single paw in distraction before offering clarification, “I mean….what is stopping you from staying in the warrior’s den. With all of us?” Was there some StarClan given rule that the leader need sleep away, were they forced to be some unspoken law or out of fear they might be considered less blessed by sleeping among their clan rather than sequestered away.
“I….understand it though, it’s why I’m here. Now. I walk often, my paws are restless. I worry of disturbing anyone with how much I fidget in my nest.”
It was a simple enough suggestion, he worried over overstepping his boundaries once more and tucked his paws in toward his chest as he lay there, shoulders lax and the feeling of sitting so close to another even more apparent as he allowed his muscles to unwind and sink so that his form was not the hard obsidian statue it once was but a more malleable piece of dark earth.
“ should laugh more.” Smokethroat finds himself thinking, though the words push past his thoughts outward into the air and he realizes all too late his folly. The only response he gives is a sudden turn of his head to the side awkwardly as if just by hiding his face the comment would go unheard.

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