diamant — & nine lives ceremony

− ♱ ABOUT : the stone dissipates before his eyes. honeybee’s unfamiliar presence at his side fades into obscurity and he can only hope that the cinnamon tabby had suffered the same fate as he had, darkness enveloping his vision the moment his nose met crystal. there is nothingness, for a moment — he’s aware of the emptiness in that fleeting second, of the flooding sense of calm that replaces a brief sensation of icy - laden fear. it’s warmth, blushing pink radiating from within his chest, a feeling of lightness bringing his limbs near numb to overturn his anxiety by force. the tom awakes in a world painted in shades of watercolor ; smooth indigos and vibrant splashes of beaming light, stardust lining oddly - hued stalks of grass underfoot. a breeze carries light on willow - scented air, tangles of lavender and chamomile easing him into the dreaming world. fog surrounds him, gleaming softly in the low light, easing over his peanut muscled form as if relaxing the bunched muscles there and coaxing him upright. after orienting himself for a moment, he does just that — pushing himself onto ivory - tipped paws and casting tired eyes out over the hazy horizon. there was no sign of life that he could see, only the gentle swaying of a flora casting rivulets of golden - white light from above.

he feels lighter here, the tom realizes. the bone - deep exhaustion that had burrowed deep into his marrow in the waking world held no effect on him despite the mottled blue - black lying dark beneath icewater luminaries. the pain of war and loss seemed nearly intangible as he finally pushes himself to a stand, too - long limbs not once giving an ache of complaint , “ where . . am i? “ cicada breathes, brow furrowing to pinch the space between as he looks towards the sky once more. he cant tell ; the stars that most often tick the night sky are not present here. they seem to surround him, wisping trails of ivory following his paws with each careful step he takes forward into the too - soft grass underfoot. there are no songbirds overhead, only the gentle rustling of wind passing over his orbital ears, “ is there anyone out there? “ his voice sounds even more foreign in this land, echoing around him despite the abundance of plant life studding the dreamy land. he wonders briefly if he’d died ; the existence of starclan had been confirmed before his very eyes, so they must have gone somewhere. perhaps the rock had killed him. perhaps honeybee had wanted him to turn only to attack him, finishing him before he could think. the tabby had seemed awfully calm their entire encounter — but then again, so had he.

a sudden bubble of a nearby brook catches his attention and he looks to his left — in the distance, he makes out a lineup. figures, forming quietly in the distance, stardust clustering together to build figures of those past.

there were nine.

  • CICADA ; he / him, roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − tall black smoke tortie chimera with icecap eyes and curly fur, homosexual
    − speaks with a german accent, former marshlander, penned by antlers

  • none.

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"Where.. am I?"

A voice calls out, strangely accented, quietly confused. They're all confused, at first. Ash can sympathize with the tall pale-eyed tom; he'd been scared and baffled, too, when he'd awakened in this place, after the battle. After that she-cat had killed him.

He parts from the gathered cats, yellow eyes glowing. "Welcome, Cicada. You're with StarClan." He smiles, twitching his jet-black tail tip. "Well--you're not dead. But yes, this is where we all come someday."

He pads closer to the tall tom. The size difference between the two is laughable, but the starlit young tom meets Cicada's eyes evenly, with a pride he'd never had in life. "You're here to get your nine lives so you can lead RiverClan. Are you ready?"

He dips his head before gazing into Cicada's icechip eyes. "With this life, I give you bravery," he says, and rears back on his hind legs so he can brush his nose to the curly-furred cat. "Use it to guide your Clan, even when your fears are great and the path seems stark. They rely on you now."

Energy courses from Ash to Cicada, pulsing and wild. Blood roars in their ears, the roar of battle, of pain, of adrenaline. It's overwhelming, hot, intense. It's the rush of cortisol coming from fear and doing what you must.

But soon, it ends. Ash lowers his front paws to the ground and he smiles at Cicada. "StarClan will be with you, Cicada. Fear is normal, but it's how you deal with it that makes you brave."

With that, Ash turns to disappear into the starlit crowd that has gathered around Cicada.