ARIA MATH \ trying to sunbathe

Even in marshland, spots of sun littered the ground- and Berry could be found occupying most of them. The only task he seemed interested in doing was slowly moving west as the sun did, curling and contorting his body so that it fitted in the patches, and the light would warm him into a slumber. Beneath flame-flecked fur flesh sizzled from sun's kiss, but Berry seemed greatly unbothered by the sensation. He revelled, rolling onto his back and pulling a deep breath in, the air thick with the muggy mask of swampland summer.

This territory was surely not optimal. In dingy darkness did many of his kind dwell gladly, but Berry was sure that out there were better spots with a perfect balance of sunlight and shade.

Still, such gripes were not ill-pleasing enough to jostle him. No, even in only mild comfort he was content to stay- this land had to have a good basking spot somewhere. Perhaps this was the one, and he just needed time to bathe in it. With the sun's waltz across the sky came the movement of the light, and maybe in a certain position in the sky, at a specific angle, the perfect spot to slumber would be revealed for him. For this unspoken mission, he was glad he had brought along his nest.

/ tl;dr berry thinks he is doing something important by sleeping outside
To think, that while she went out in mud and murk to hunt for herself, and her group, this fellow had remained in the sun, basking within puddles of shimmering warmth, content to slumber the day away with no regard for the bellies of others. And... Willow couldn't say that she didn't respect that. Really, perhaps Berry had the right idea, and if anyone deserved a bit of rest after a long day of hunting, it was her.

She's staring, stoic gaze like that of fiery stone, but there's no venom in her eyes, no malice, nor even a hint of serpentine venom. It takes only a moment before Willow rises to her cotton-hued paws, stained by the mud and blood of the hunt she had only just returned from. She doesn't try to wake Berry as her wiry figure glides close to his position, but perhaps he'd hear her as she settled into the patch of sun next to him, sprawling across damp ground to allow the heat to strike her bones. It was a delight, really. And while she would not linger forever, because after all, Willow did work hard for herself and her group, she could at least enjoy a half hour or so to herself.​

╰☆☆ The dark tortoiseshell flits like a shadow through the sun-dappled grove. Cedar branches arch above her, forming a protective canopy through which little sunlight can penetrate... but here and there, flecks of golden warmth illuminate the earth. Flicker steps into one of them absentmindedly, and she's briefly warmed to her paw pads.

Too much shade here, she thinks. She doesn't manage to squash the thought before images come to her, unbidden, of tumbling through brambles with her sister to emerge in the warm, open air. A thorn stabs through the toughened flesh of her heart, and she blinks the memory away before she can let it affect her further. She's a marsh cat now. She's better suited to the dark. She has to be.

Her ears twitch at the sound of pawprints softly crushing against pine needles. She turns with faint interest to see a lump of ginger and black fur illuminated with sunlight. He looks dead, she thinks to herself doubtfully. Should I go poke him?

The pawsteps had belonged to another, the sandy-coated Willow, who actually deigns to curl herself up alongside Berry and take her own nap. Flicker snorts. Sometimes she wonders if she's even the same species as some of these cats.

"Y'all are so boring," she declares, stomping towards them. She makes an effort to force each paw against the earth, as if she is big and powerful enough to cause reverb. She likes to pretend she can. "Who just sleeps in the middle of nowhere?"

She knows better than to do that. Things lurk in the forest, and she's sure those same... things call the marshland their home, too. But her face remains amused, belittling. She is not going to dwell on darkness today.


His ear twitched upon the approach of a groupmate, a sandy-pelted she-cat who he thought for a moment might berate him. Through the skin of drooped eyelids he observed her as she moved not to drag him to his feet but to instead settle at his side, though he suspected she knew not the depth of his intentions. Slowly he was approaching the conclusion that this was not the most ideal location for sunbathing, and though he made no protest he had made an internal decision that he would not be staying in this spot for long.

Then come the verdict he was expecting to hear- words not harsh and biting, but blunt. Berry was barely offended, barely affected- his eyes creaked open slightly, tail flicking in subtle reaction. "I'm doing research." Words monotonous and simple were spoken as if they were fact, obvious to an outsider separate from his own mind. It was not yet fruitful, but it would do wonders for all the group when he finally discovered the best spot to unwind.
She would have been content to rest next to Berry in silence for a short while, at least until Flicker arrived, each step of her paws intentionally louder than they should have been. Willow allows her hellish gaze to shift toward the approaching tortie, their shining depths reflecting a silent thoughtfulness as she examined the other with a thump of her cotton-tipped tail against the warm earth. Boring. Was it boring to relax after a long hunt? Perhaps to those that were a bit more hyperactive. But Willow understood the balance between hard work and, well... taking some time off to one's self. As for Berry's response... research was certainly one way of putting it. The creamy female raises a muddied paw to her jaws, grooming what she could from stained talons and toes, still quietly peering at Flicker with contemplative vision.

"What do you suggest we do?" Willow finally speaks in reply to Flicker, her voice smooth, powerful, and entirely curious. She wasn't being rude, no. She was open to ideas.​

╰☆☆ Flicker only stares as Berry, like a sloth, blinks heavily lidded green eyes at her and responds, "I'm doing research." She frowns, but out of bewilderment rather than anger. "What in the... research?" He'd managed, with three words, to stump her to the point where she has nothing to say in return.

Instead she fixes her burning stare on Willow, who looks at her with mild interest. Neither of them seem too perturbed by Flicker's rude intrusion, though she does not acknowledge that. Willow asks her calmly what she suggests they do instead.

Flicker shrugs. "Do I have to come up with everything around here?" She smirks. "I was headed to the border to chase some kittypet tails, myself." To her, that's the height of productivity. Helping to feed those in the group who cannot hunt? Nah. Looking for trouble is her preogative today.
Unlike her groupmates, Briar preferred the darkness. The marshlands were muggy and when greenleaf brought its heat, those two things did not mix well. Moons ago, she had decided that the heat and humidity was too unbearable and that when the warmer months set in, she would sleep during most of the day and be active during the cooler hours, when the sun did not shine and she could easily slip through the shadows. Not only did it provide her with quieter, cooler hunting trips, but she could use the darkness to her advantage. Her fur was as sleek and shiny as fresh, wet tar - save for the stubborn prickles along the nape of her neck - and just as dark. Black as the night. So, needless to say, sunbathing was not an activity she particularly enjoyed.

She was out and about because, well, in these times, it was hard to find sleep. Their group had grown rather large to the point where she could rarely find a quiet moment during the day to get her rest. Even if she could, she worried too much about the skirmishes her Clanmates might find themselves in with the pine group if she left them to their own devices. So, she found herself just as sleep-deprived as she was hungry. A walk through the marsh found her stumbling upon her groupmates. Berry and Willow basking in a patch of sunlight that mottled their already patterned pelts and standing near them, Flicker, seemingly trying to pull them into something more productive. Briar is inclined to agree. Why waste time basking in the heat of the sun at high noon when there was plenty of work to do? Unless they'd both already done their share for the day, they should be up and at 'em.

"Chasing kittypets certainly seems entertaining," Briar said as she sidled up next to Flicker's side, glancing between her and the other two. She hoped the gentle nudge might encourage them to seek a better passtime than this but if not... it wasn't like they were really hurting anyone.

He added not to Willow's inquiry, but listened still, ears angled to Fire-eyes' urging voice- and he could not suppress the small smirk that twinged his lips at her bafflement. Many did not understand his methods, though he did not blame them- he kept them under wraps, more inclined to educate them when he had come to a definitive answer and nothing less. He could give others no worse than perfection, at the risk of providing inaccurate information.

She offered an idea he did not understand in return, though. And to his undisplayed bewilderment, the Shadow- leader and stern authority of their colony by all other means- agreed. Chasing kittypets? How on earth could that possibly be better than napping? "What for?" Ever in search of knowledge, Berry could not deny he was interested in whatever purpose this activity had- if it had one. The dappled tom saw no point in doing activities without purpose, for he was the type that classed learning as fun. If he left a situation having gleaned nothing, he would be quick to deem it pointless folly.