private BROKEN BOY // ember

Tybalt hadn't moved from his spot since Howling Wind had spoken to him. A steady rain had begun to fall, and he had managed to engross himself in gnawing what was left of a squirrel from the bones he held between his forepaws. He batted them away one by one as they were scraped clean, and then rested his head on his paws. Talking with Howling Wind hadn't really changed how he felt. He still didn't want a new name. But it was either that or leave, and as he dug his claws into the moist earth he couldn't help but think that he wouldn't have joined them at all if his parents hadn't died.

And now just as he had begun to settle into a routine, he was met with a choice he didn't want. Change his name and stay, or keep the one his parents had given him and leave. There was no in between, and no room for bargaining. He looked up at the gray clouds in the sky and sighed. The rain steadily pattered down onto his pelt, but he made no move to head for shelter.

Emberstar was busier than she had ever been. Between managing her newly burgoning clan, keeping an eye on the murderer in their midst, and hunting for herself there was hardly a second of her day that wasn't occupied. She was tired, and it would have been easy, as she noticed the small shape huttled in the rain, to hurry by and dive into her den to be safe from the storm.

However, were she ever so unwilling to spare a moment to try and help a friend, then she would hardly be herself anymore.

Espesually when the problem was kinda her fault.

"Heya!" The leader called out over the din of the downpour, wincing as the raindops hit her fur as she stepped out into the storm. In an instant, she was soaked. Ugh. A shiver went down her spine at the sensation. "Have a moment to chat? Come to my den, get out of the rain." She offered warmly. She went ahead and took a step toward her den, gesturing the apprentice to follow. She really wanted to get out of the rain.
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Tybalt turned, narrowing his eyes at Emberstar’s call. What did she want now? Probably to yell at him for being disrespectful. Well, it was her own fault. As far as he was concerned, she had just as much disrespected him by changing his name without even asking. But he supposed he couldn’t really ignore her. He didn’t have much of a choice. So he wordlessly got to his paws and padded after her into the den.
She smiled brightly as he padded toward her den. Despite the fact that he hadn't said a word to her as of yet. "Great!" she cheered, bounding ahead of him in her eagerness to get out of the storm. "Let's get you out of the rain."

The moment Emberstar set paw on dry ground, she shook herself off like a dog. It was, in her mind, the fastest way to get the water off her, and that was all she cared about. Even after that, she sensation of her wet fur was unpleasant, but it was better than before, at least. She tried to ignore it as she turned to the apprentice she had invited in. "So, big day today." She began awkwardly. Her smile was uncertain. For how eagerly she had called out to him, she really didn't know how to approach this. "You've got a new mentor, that's gotta be exciting."

She paused before adding. "I also heard you had some stuff to say about the name thing."
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Emberstar immediately shook her pelt out upon entering her dry den, but Tybalt made no move to dry himself. He was used to being wet, or cold, or uncomfortable. He almost didn't notice it anymore. She started talking about his mentor, and he shrugged his broad shoulders. "I don't need any help," he stated flatly. He didn't much care for the idea, but he supposed he didn't have much of a choice. It'd be something to do, if nothing else.

And then she mentioned his name, and a low growl rumbled in his throat. "There's no reason I can't be a ThunderClan cat and keep my name," he started. "It's the only thing I have left from my parents, and you don't have a right to take it from me." His wet pelt prickled with anger as he spoke. "You didn't even ask. It's important to me. They didn't have anything else to leave me and now you're saying I can't keep it?"
Emberstar blinked as her awkward small talk was so bluntly rebuffed. For a moment, she was completely distracted from the whole point of this talk. "Well, that's nonsense." She told him simply. "Everyone can improve from a little training! Even me! Besides, I've seen you, and you are no exception. There's a lot of places your technique could still improve." The statement was matter of fact, punctuated with a nod. It wasn't meant as an insult. Even though, aside from the tone of her voice, it sounded like one in every way.

It was such a weird idea to her that someone would brush off training like that. There was always a use for training, and besides it could be fun! Even if, as the apprentice seemed to imply, Hollow Tree wasn't as skilled as he was, he could still learn by working with her.

So caught in her own thoughts, she winced as a low growl rose in his throat. Reminding her of why she was here.

Emberstar let him speak his piece, every word of it. Only then did she begin. "Right." She said slowly. "I was going to say that I think I got a bit... overexcited? Cicadastar's announcement at the gathering sounded really cool, and I kinda rushed to bring the idea here. I didn't stop to talk to anyone about it. I didn't talk to you about it. So, I'm sorry Tybalt." She apologized, dipping her head toward him.
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Tybalt chose not to respond to her implication that he needed more training. He didn’t. But he was more surprised when she apologized. He hadn’t expected that. He’d expected her to try and convince him the way that Howling Wind had. He’d come into her den fully under the assumption that he would have to fight her on the matter.

But she’d actually apologized to him. The young tom blinked, and then was silent for a moment as he thought about what to say next.

“Look,” he started, “I don’t really mind the new name as a formality. It might grow on me eventually. But I’d like it if cats still just called me Tybalt.”