Screaming- why could he still hear it, even as his eyes opened up? Why did his brain do this to him? It wasn't fair it wasn't fair it wasn't fair, a defiant mantra that tried to drown out the wails as they spun around, rapid as a winter river, in his mind.

Stupid. He was stupid to be this scared, but he swore he could still see that fox with flaxen eyes glinting in the dark, tearing through everything and everyone in its path. Wrath razed, the SkyClan camp's safety had been torn asunder and left to ruin. Stained in his vision like ink bleeding through paper he saw the image of snapping jaws barrelling toward him, a guttural snarl rumbling through canid nostrils. His mother's steady breaths reminded him of the life that was still out there, but he needed to hear her voice. He needed her. Wriggling toward her like a newborn, Twitchkit tucked close.

"What is it, honey?" Tidespin spoke sweet and low, voice made molasses from being awoken, and Twitchkit's trembling, tear-thickened breaths managed to steady for just a moment.

"I- had another nightmare." Dithering, his tone was louder than he'd intended, leading small ears to flatten against his skull in mild embarrassment. No-one else moved, or perhaps he was trying not to peer into the darkness for fear of foxlike fury finding him.

"Another? Oh dear," Her smile remained, sugared as always and soft upon her plush features. Twitchkit sniffled, burying his face into her fur- though comfort was disturbed by the buzzing of her voice as it left her, an aloof edge to the dolce drowsiness. "Twitchkit, I've told you. They're not real." Tidespin's voice had an urge to it, her signature softness still there- though waned by something Twitchkit could not define.

"I'm still- I'm st-still... ssscared, though..." Tone still shuddered, he could not help the sob that interrupted his words. Tears flattened his mother's pillow-soft pelt.

"There's nothing to be afraid of. It's not real, honey." The same thing, again... the same empty reassurance. Twitchkit had wanted to be close to her, to talk to her, but the more he did so he could not remember why. As he took in another snotty sniffle, a quiet, airy laugh left his mother's curved lips. A patchy tail flicked, directing him to a smaller nest nearby- his nest, separate from theirs. The site of the night-terrors. The place where he'd watched the horrors from, paralysed by terror. "Go back to bed. I can't sleep with you squirming about." The chocolate tortoiseshell's voice was kind and indifferent, as if talking to an acquaintance who was prodding her too much. But Twitchkit didn't want to argue with her. She was his mother after all... she'd given a lot for him. That's what they always said.

"Okay." A reluctant mumble, it was all the acceptance that Tidespin needed. She snuggled into Ravencall, and as Twitchkit watched them from his nest he spotted the rise and fall of her ribs changing, slowing. Even as she found peace in slumber, he could not. Blood still cold with panic only froze further at the concept of settling back into that same position he had been when he'd had the nightmare. The spot was either cursed and he'd have another, or he wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it. So, paws feather-light, he stepped out into the dark. A beeline was made for the centre of camp, above which a swirl of clouds cleared, moonlight glimmering in his tear-glazed gaze.

The stars, so clear from this spot, might distract his vicious, vociferous mind.

\ this is TOO LONG so TL;DR: twitchkit's mother does an awful job of comforting him after a nightmare so he is now sat in the middle of camp staring at the sky.
penned by pin ✧

Ever since that day that his brother had died, Redstorm had not slept particularly well. Most nights he sat outside in the clearing of camp with his head tilted to the skies, looking towards the stars with shining blue eyes and wondering if Rain and Haze were looking back at him. He tries to picture Haze with stars in his pelt, the way Rain had looked when he had risen before their eyes to speak to them after the great battle.

The image terrified him.

He hears voices and his head whirls around to see Deersong talking to none other than Twitchkit. He frowns slightly, a little one should not be up this late, or so he thinks. He is no expert after all. His frown deepens more when he sees the tears on the child’s face, and when he hears what Deersong is saying to him.

“Are your words meant to comfort or scare him” he scolds slightly as he approaches. He likes Twitchkit, had taken a fondness to the little guy after he had witnessed him trying to build his nest. Redstorm could relate. “Don’t call him ‘star child’ he isn’t dead” he says, a slight growl in his voice before turning to Twitchkit “come ‘ere kid let me show you something” he says, remembering something his father had always done for his brothers and himself when he had been younger. He lifts one paw to the sky and traces out an image. “That there? What does that look like? Kinda like a fish bone right?” Stars above he hopes this is a good distraction from whatever was troubling him and that this would work, it has always worked on him. “Whenever you’re feeling lonely or sad you can always trace these pictures in the sky and then you’ll be able to look up at night and see all your Star friends there.” He informs him with a nod of his head “and that way no matter where you go you won’t be on your own” a pleasing sentiment, really, something meant to tell kits but a tactic that Redstorm still sometimes used. He turns back to the kit again and smiles gently.

He doesn’t bother asking Twitchkit where his parents are or anything of the sort. He remembers how useless they had been the other day, he knows they would not help now either.
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Nibbling at his itchy skin with the smaller of his front teeth, the daylight warrior’s eyes reflect in the low pale light of the moon. Twin swirls of reflective grey land on the small shift of shape materializing in the center of camp. A squirrel- his brain supplies and his chewing stops. a child, his lips lift again to continue his chewing with boredom replacing that predatorial glint. Isn’t there a hen to sit on this thing until morninglight? The small creature’s face glistened with tears and Thistleback stopped his chewing again.

Where most would have the urge to comfort it with soft words, the thorny black and white enigma only stares- neither troubled nor with the urge to go toward it. Deersong appears in approach to the child- good, that’s what it needs. The weirdling, her words combed into the nightlight- and Thistleback begins to tune out. Up until the scolding voice of Redstorm resounds against Deersong’s. His upper lip is stuck comically above his gums as he stops chewing once more to tune back into this unfolding shitshow.

" mind your growl, prat " he rasps from his crouch, suddenly standing and waltzing with a slitherish step toward the trio. Pointedly standing as far away from the weeping child as necessary for his nausea. " this… is too wholesome, it’s making my blood itch " he mutters toward Deer lowly, listening in on redstorm as he directs the attention to the constellations. The words weaved with whimsical notion, and wonder.

" and when you see them shoot across the sky, it means they don't want to be your friend " he tailors in with a cheeky grin.


Perhaps it was foolish to be surprised at someone's approach. A kit alone in the dark looked weird to anyone sane, yet... out here in lukewarm summer night, he had hardly registered the safety risk. The words of the tan molly who approached made little sense to him, all airy and metaphoric. Did all adults talk that way, with that indifferent dreaminess upon their faces with words that twisted a taunting waltz around the truth of what they meant? He was uncertain of her intention, baffled that she'd even be bothered to check on him. He wasn't her problem.

Silence clamped his maw, and the roaring stress distracted him from the flits of quiet conversation between those older than he. When a feathery tail wrapped around him, Twitchkit could not help but flinch and shy away. Immediately he felt irritated; why did he care that someone had embraced him now when earlier that had been all he had wanted from his mother?

He was unsure what there was to talk about. "I had a bad dream." he said simply, trying to steady his tone in terrible vain. Was it really just the nightmare he was crying about?

Green eyes could not lift to meet the trio that had approached him, even as he began to recognise their voices. With older members of SkyClan he had never made much acquaintance, yet he'd wandered about often enough now that he knew them as Deersong, Redstorm and Thistleback at least. Another sniff was pulled in as he followed Redstorm's paw, mismatched eyes narrowing to a peering squint. Voice still thick with tremulous fear and the threat of more tears, he managed to blubber out acceptance. "I guh-guess it does... sorta... look like that." Seldom-seen, the beginnings of a smile began to tug at his trembling lip..

If he looked at just the right angle- a strategy that took a tilt of the head- he could see it, sequinned in the pitch. Though he still leant away from the cloying closeness, he found his often-raised hackles flattening slightly, the bristle of fright in his fur fading. Star friends... never alone. It was a nice thought, but... it was hard to think that way when so often you felt alone. The stars were not much company in times like this- they were more akin to window-dressing, a momentary distraction. Thistleback's words only brought forth a whimper from the young tom's throat, unsure of what to make of the comment. "So if I see them move... they're trying to get away from me...?" His voice skipped high at the apex of his question, a whimpering whine.

Even the stars did not want him bothering them, apparently.
penned by pin ✧