pafp crows in the garden are laughing | rocks

Sleeping in was not common for him, he awoke at the crack of dawn and spilled into the camp like one of the many shadows peeking from the surrounded trees; looming and ever-present but today he knew he was not needed immediately and he let the coils of exhaustion tighten just a little more tightly than usual. The result was waking up disoriented, unsure of what time it was or where he was until tired eyes blinked away the soft edges of sleep and sharpened his senses once more. Smokethroat rose to stand slowly, back arching and a yawn escaping him before he attempted to make his way over nests to the mouth of the warrior's den, only to stumble. He was not a graceful cat, but a cautious one, surefooted because he took the time to examine his surroundings but even he was not poised at all times and his paw caught the edge of a nest and sent him nose first into one closer at the center before tumbling head over paw over it and scattering several in his wake.
"Fox dung!"
He'd made a mess of things, though he had noticed several loud clattering sounds in his flailing about. A quick examination revealed he had crashed into Willowroot's nest and the shiny and smooth rocks she kept tucked within the moss and bracken were tossed about the den in disarray. Swearing inwardly he moved to try and collect them back, one by one dropping them into a neat pile on the other lead warrior's sleeping spot until he was certain he'd regathered them all; why she kept them there he had no idea, though he himself had a single one buried in his own nest Ashpaw had gifted him some time ago. Was there a meaning to the rocks he wasn't aware of? He only knew others liked decorating with them, but surely it wasn't just that. He'd seen them passed around like sharing prey, gifts of sorts-perhaps something akin to that?
Shaking his head the tom exited the den, he'd need to get fresh bedding to fix the mess he made but first he'd pique his curiousity. It did not take long to find the smoke feline perched off to the side of camp and grooming, his tail raised in a silent greeting as he padded over; his own pelt covered in scattered bits of bracken and debris.
"I kicked your nest, apologies. I plan to go out and fix the ones I trampled like a clumsy kitten..." The dark tom sat down, taking a moment shake himself free of whatever small twigs and soft moss he could before whisking his tail around his paws, "...can I ask something maybe stupid?"
It often times felt like he was always out of the loop with this clan despite his efforts, "...what's with the rocks?"

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( ) the morning rises bright and cool, sky dotted with greying clouds as the earth begins the summons of winter. leaves on the trees quake softly in a brisk breeze as the smoke feline rasps their tongue across their fur, gently smoothing out knots and tangles. sighing gently as they curl their tail tighter around themself, a soft noise escapes their throat as they notice their fellow padding over. amusement appears on their features at the sight of him - strewn with bracken and moss scraps, a disgruntled look on his face. "stars, smokey, what forest did you crawl out of?" they tease, offering the other a fond look. he grunts an explanation and the femme nods, watching as debris scatters everywhere. "certainly," they reply to his question, head tipping to the side. "there are very few stupid questions."

he asks, and she takes a moment to ponder, thinking over each carefully chosen stone within her collection. "that's a good question actually," she'll reply, a huff of laughter from her chest. "i started that collection when i first came to the river when i was young. i suppose, living on the water before that, i didn't have many possessions of my own. so, when i saw the river rocks, i guess it just stuck with me." whiskers twitch in reminiscence, fern hued eyes finding the sunshine ones of her companion. "plus they're pretty. why do you ask?"

( ᴛᴀɢs. )  ❝  It's a sudden sound that startles life into Hound's lungs. Much like Smokethroat, the chocolate tom'd never found sleep an easy beast to conquer. He twitched awake at the barest brush of fur, if only to open bleary eyes and ensure there's no blood dripping down to his maw. Sleeplessness was as familiar as sunshine, as the water he'd spent so many moons exploring. It'd never occurred to him that he could keep such sections of it. As many trinkets as Hound had, so too were they freely given away. A stone that shared a friend's eyes, a feather shone like he saw in their heart. Silly an' sentimental thing. He supposes that's no stranger than the rocks. Were he to put any thought to it, Houndsnarl might even find himself far more entwined with Willowroot than he'd ever first thing.

'Course, he puts no such thought to these things now. The sudden sound's got him jolting in his nest, sucking in a breath so sharp his throat begins to ache. Accusatory eyes sweep the warrior's den, an' then– then they soften, just as suddenly. With an audible exhale of all his stress, Hound sinks back to his nest some. It's just Smoke, rattling about in another's nest before heading off. It'd be best to just fall back to sleep, or get up and find some work. Instead, some moments later, he stands and follows. The tom looks almost comically ruffled, the thick mane of fur 'round his throat sticking out and up at odd angles. "He's askin' since he just sent half'f 'em at my head," Hound rasps, voice still sleep-thick. A good-natured uptick to his mouth is turned towards the other tom with a faint attempt at jostling into his shoulder."They're certainly pretty, though. That much's true."

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  • ──── houndsnarl. trans male, he/him pronouns.
    ──── approximately 30 moons old, or 2.5 years.
    ──── bisexual with firm male preference; single.

    ──── a chocolate tabby with ( stylized ) low white and intense lime eyes. lean and lanky,  with whiplike musculature and a long, quick stride. hound's notable features include his impressive height, the long scar across the left side of his face from nose to jaw, his very deep, dense fur, and the confident manner with which he conducts himself.
  • "speech"

"..had a bit of a tumble." The dark tom said dismissively, ears flat and not wanting to go into detail over his foolish bumbling about that morning.
"I had thought perhaps they meant...something." But sentimentally had never crossed him as an actual reason, though he supposed it made sense. It was the same reason he kept the stone Ashpaw had given him, a tiny reminder of an apprentice doing her best. "I know you've given a few out to cats-I just wondered if there was some larger meaning I wasn't grasping." Another part of him wanted to ask more deliberately what sort of rock you might give to someone you regarded with more than just mere sentimentality like the longing for the river.
He felt himself drowning again, mentally, in ice blue waters before Houndsnarl's voice rang out to join them and snapped him back into focus.
Smokethroat glanced back at the accusation, orange eyes briefly widening before they narrowed once more in amusement to the sudden shove against his side as the dark tabby joined them. "I put them back-I tripped on your nest on my way know. Old bones are a little clumsy, as my apprentices would delight in reminding me." He was not actually that old really, but he supposed from such a young view point he was an ancient and crumbling ruin that could collapse at any moment.
"Hope I didn't hit you with a heavy one, Houndsnarl. I warrant you've had enough abuse for a lifetime already."


That clatter- he knew it well, mineral-on-mineral. Since early kit hood Fernpaw had possessed a fascination with collecting, wanting to preserve and have everything beautiful that made its unfortunate way onto his path. Through his short life he had accrued quite he collection, and now slept atop and among floods of trinkets like a dragon taking solace in its hoard. The sound of dropped rocks, of talk of pretty things- eager as a covetous magpie, though not quite as deft, Fernpaw made his fumbled way over.

Pondwater peepers stared intently as a tiny head popped out from behind Smokethroat's form, oversized paws carrying his soon-to-follow form. "Are you sure you want all of them?" Fernpaw asked, craning his neck to look right up at Willowroot. Houndsnarl was right- they were pretty, so pretty. Fernpaw felt something sickly-verdant writhe in his chest, childishly bitter he had not found them first. But if there was any that they were looking to get rid of... well, he was an eager recipient!
( penned by pin )