sensitive topics AND THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS I NEVER LET YOU GO (memory, grieving, o)

((Flashback time, Tybalt is about 6 moons old here))

Tybalt lay sprawled out across the rickety fire escape of the abandoned building, a chicken bone held between his paws. He gnawed fervently at his prize, the cooked bone cracking and splintering between his teeth to reveal the marrow within. His mouth watered as he hungrily began to grind the bone in his teeth, hoping to crush the bone into small enough pieces to swallow.

"If you were that hungry, you could've woken me," came a voice from below. Tybalt peered over the edge of his metal perch to see his mother looking up at him, her blue eyes glinting with amusement. Tybalt leapt down to stand in front of her.

"I didn't want to wake you up," he admitted. "You seemed tired last night."
The curly-furred black and white she-cat purred and gave her son a lick between the ears, choosing to only shake her head in response.

A yawn came from just behind them, and Tybalt's father stood and stretched his legs. Tybalt's mother turned to face her mate. "Any interest in a hunt, Iago?" she asked. "We could all do with some decent food instead of dumpster diving."

"Brilliant idea, darling," Iago agreed. "Let's get going."

The trio left the alleyway and padded through the city streets. After some time of finding nothing, Tybalt spoke up. "We could split up," he suggested. "If we go two different directions, we might have better luck."

Iago turned to face his son. "Think you'll be all right on your own?" the brown tom asked. Tybalt nodded. "I'll be fine," he assured, puffing out his chest in an attempt to seem tougher.

Iago purred and flicked his son's shoulder with his tail. "All right then," he said. He looked toward his mate. "Violetta, you and I can head up this way. Tybalt, you head that way and we'll meet back here. Okay?"


Tybalt crept forward on silent feet, the young tom's amber eyes focused on a mouse that was rooting around a line of trash cans. He leaped, almost missing his target as the mouse scrambled to get away, but slammed his paw down on its tail and bit down on the creature's neck until it became still.

The boy let out an exasperated huff as he realized just how long he had been gone. Too long for a scrap this small. But it would be better to get it home than hang around and mope about it. He picked up his catch and ran back the way he had come, skidding to a halt as he saw his parents approaching from the other direction with two fat rats between their teeth.

"Hey, Tiger!" his father called, and upon getting closer Tybalt saw that a scratch on his father's face had begun to well with blood. Tybalt frowned, his brow crinkling with worry. "Pa!"

"It's all right, love," his mother said, touching her muzzle to his cheek. "Rye thought he saw it first, that's all." She shook her head and then more to herself, said, "Plenty of rats around…he could've turned and caught his own in the time it took to take his claws out."

Iago nudged Tybalt with his shoulder, offering the boy a small reassuring grin. Tybalt growled and unsheathed his claws. "I should've come with you," he said. "Rye wouldn't have been able to see to scratch you with my claws in his eyes first."

Iago purred. "Your old dad can take care of himself," he assured gently as they headed back down their alleyway. "I'd never make it out here if I couldn't handle a scrap or two on my own."

Tybalt sighed and looked down at his own catch. "This was all I could find."
Violetta purred and nuzzled his cheek gently. "And you've done well to find anything at all," she told him. "We went up towards the carrionplace. The place is always crawling with rats. You had a much harder time than we did. Well caught, Tybalt."

Tybalt purred, feeling his chest swell with pride at his mother's praise. He sat his mouse down beneath the fire escape before settling down beside his parents to eat. There was quiet between them, and for a brief period Tybalt forgot that he had ever been hungry, or tired, or had to fight and scrounge for every scrap. Because none of it mattered. Because he was with his parents, and they were proud of him.

He dozed off sometime later, and awoke to his mother stirring across from him. Tybalt watched through sleepy eyes as Iago sat up. "Vi? Are you all right?"

Violetta swayed on unsteady paws and lay back down. "I'm fine...I just…I'm gonna go sleep up on the fire escape…it's cold down here."
"Mhm…Can't sleep…"
Iago took his mate's face between his forepaws and lapped gently at her face. "All right," he murmured. "I'll be up shortly; Go on. I love you."

And then Tybalt was out again, only to wake a short time later to a rattling sound above him. He looked up, and seeing his mother's shape resting on the fire escape, leapt up onto the dumpster and then up onto the rusting platform. "Ma?"

His eyes adjusted to the darkness, and his eyes grew wide. Violetta lay sprawled out in front of him, her whole body twitching and spasming uncontrollably. Her eyes had rolled back and saliva was foaming at her lips as she gagged.

"Ma!" Tybalt yelled, shaking her as though that was all it would take to rouse her. "MA!"
His mother's only response was to vomit, the sick saturated with crimson. Tybalt's eyes widened, and he whimpered as he glanced around desperately. "PA!" he shrieked, trembling as he tried in vain to rouse his mother. "Help me!"

Tybalt crouched beside two small mounds of stones on the border of ThunderClan territory and Twolegplace. It was where he and his father had buried his mother, and shortly after, where he had buried his father. It had been difficult to carry Iago all the way back here on his own, but he couldn't bear to bury his parents in two separate places. Not when they'd spent so long together. His father had spent so long lingering at this spot when they'd first come to the forest. He'd have wanted to be buried next to her.

And now as he sat at their graveside alone, Tybalt couldn't help but think he would rather be wherever they were instead of here, even if that somewhere was just underground with the worms. At least he'd be with them. He could see the lights of the city, his former home, twinkling in the night sky further off. He'd never gone back after the day his mother had died. The rest of the rats his parents had caught had been kicked under the dumpster as though relegating them there would mean they could be forgotten. Neither his parents had finished eating their catch, and Tybalt could scarcely look at rats anymore, let alone eat the things.

Iago had never said anything, but from the day Violetta had died, Tybalt's father had carried with him a quiet guilt that permeated his being. Guilt for not eating the poisoned rat himself, for not realizing it had been poisoned in the first place, for not realizing that Violetta was going to die that night. A part of his father had died that night with his mother, and he was never the same again.

And alongside his father, Tybalt had steeled himself. For if he never grew to love anyone else, he could never lose anyone else. He could never crumble into a shell of himself, lingering at the graveside of yet another cat he'd loved, and weeping as though it might bring them back. At least, not in a way anyone could ever see. But now he was alone. With no one to see him break.

So he curled himself into a tight ball and wept.

(pls feel free to find him he will definitely act like he's not crying)
Last edited:
An apprentice, she frowned, with no mentor nearby. Well, at least the tom was nearly of warrior age - appearing to look nearly a full cycle of the earth around the sun. So, instead of reprimanding him, the medicine cat approached on light paws. Years spent in the marsh caused her to steps to be silent throughout ThunderClan territory. However, she purposely created noise to warn the tom of her approaching.

The small mounds of stone that Stagpaw, or Tybalt as he still preferred to be called, curled between caused her chest to tighten. They resembled the grave she'd dug for her nephew. Although she could be mistaken, she gravely looked at the marked area.

She didn't say a word nor commented on the tom's puffy eyes. Instead, she dipped her head down as she sat before the cluster of stones that (appeared) to mean a lot to her clanmate.
Tybalt’s pelt prickled as he caught the sound of movement just behind him. He quickly lifted his paw to wipe at his face and then turned to face the medicine cat. “What do you want?” he asked. His question had less force behind it than normal, like he was too tired to perform his usual anger. He wanted to be alone. Couldn’t she see that?