sensitive topics did you get enough love? [ death + injury ]

Jun 16, 2022

cw: mentions of death & injuries ,,, also set after her punishment ends because i cannot be bothered to write it during </3

Fine. Was her curt response when an acquaintance, Wolf, had asked her to go hunting with her. She'd been released from her punishment for about a day now and has actively avoided everyone, she hasn't looked Cicada in the eye, she hasn't sought out Ash, the twisting in her stomach was too much, the haze that clouded her mind was red, with anger, with shame, with everything. Wolf had come up with such kind eyes and a happy smile that Pumpkin didn't feel like stomping her heart in to the dirt, she was too tired to fight, mentally and physically. She hasn't slept well at all. Shes plagued with nightmares, of Mother, of everyone and their stares and the judgmental feelings that prickled on her skin.

She was not too fond of river hunting, and so she had insisted they hunted on the stretch of land near the twoleg place. Wolf had agreed and had skipped ahead of her to scout for any scents but the feeling of unease as she followed only grew. Anxiety replaced her anger but she catches the scent of a small bird and immediately crouches. Perhaps a warm meal would quell her doubts, forwards now, shes approaching and...

Dogs. They're loud, they're angry, and she whips her head to see they're coming straight for Wolf. Oh fuck! Claws unsheathe and shes running towards Wolf as Wolf runs towards her, her heart thumps in to her chest and practically leaps out her throat as she crashes straight in to the other female. "Idiot!" she spits out but theres no malice in her tone, she was supposed to run the other way to distract them! Wolf stutters out an apology and Pumpkin barely has time to react as shes yanked from the girl. Time moves in slow motion as shes lifted in to the air, watching Wolf's terrified expression morph in to anger as she jumps at the pair of dogs with her claws out. "Wolf, you stupid idiot!" she screeches, mortified as she watches the other dog catch her out of mid air.

She struggles to break free from razor sharp teeth but they hold on tight and she feels the pain begin to throb around her neck. Fresh scars become torn once more and blood rushes out, an angry screech as she sharply turns, lashing out with her claws. They meet eye tissue and theres a yelp as shes dropped but she barely registers it because as soon as shes on her paws shes bounding towards the dog holding Wolf. Why isn't she fighting back? She needs to fight back!

"Wolf!" she barks out as she flies through the air once more, but this time its on her own volition, she serves as a perfect distraction as the other dog drops Wolf in favor of grabbing her hind leg and slamming her in to the ground full force. She sees black, and her head spins and she coughs, air lost from her lungs. She barely has any time to register anything as the world comes back in to view, but she does see a jaw full of razors coming towards her and it descends on her bad eye and fuck everything is black again. Shes panicking, panicking so hard, she remembers her fight with Daisy Flight and lashes out blindly. Claws meet with skin and she feels warm liquid run down her paw. She digs deeper with a scream, she couldn't tell if its anger but her own jaws snap out wildly and tear skin from bone, anything she could do to get them away from her.

Theres a whistle in the distance and the dogs stop, their heads snapping up. She can do nothing but do her best to guard Wolf right now, but shes scared, so scared.

The dogs leave as the twoleg calls out, leaving Pumpkin slightly propped up on Wolf. In the back of her mind she knows shes dead, Wolf, but she begs anyways. "Please, please get up." she croaks, moving her paw to under her chin. She struggles to tip her chin up but as soon as she removes her paw, Wolfs head limply falls back to the ground. "Wolf, you idiot, wake up, they're gone now," she tries to shake her and only then becomes so aware of the body cooling off, the stiffening. "I'm sorry, i-"

She starts to cry, cry so hard, it wasn't meant to be like this, Christ, why couldn't it have been her? This is all her fault, she wasn't strong enough, she let Wolf die because of her decision to hunt on land- fuck, she barely knows this girl, but her wails are battered and broken and full of grief. She should have died, she should have died, it should have been her, and everyone would be so much happier because Pumpkin would be gone. She scream wails once more, in pity, in terror, in grief, a long drawn out haunting sound.

Shes so tired, so, so tired, she failed to protect Wolf and shame burns through her body. She has failed, but has not died, so she must deal with the consequences of not being strong enough. She rests her head on Wolfs shoulder as she sobs with a pounding head, tears mixed with blood, ignoring the blood that stains the bottom of her white fur, the blood that pools around Wolfs body. It should have been her. It should have been her. Stupid, stupid, shes weak and stupid now.

// tldr for wounds: she is now fully blind in her left eye, as her scars have been reopened on both her face and neck. she has puncture marks along her throat (not too deep) and has a concussion from being thrown against the ground. there are also puncture marks on her right hind leg & her shoulders bruised
she got some good punches in on the dogs hehe
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( ) it seems that wherever willowroot wanders, the scent of blood follows. thrice now she's stumbled into a scene of crimson and snarls, and today is no exception. as the newly named lead warrior crouches by the river, she feels unease creep up her spine. nothing that she can see is amiss, only a strange absence of fish in the river and some far off twoleg business. she's not inclined to check it out, fairly certain that whatever the twolegs are doing, they'll stay in their space. still, the worry grows until it forces her chest to contract, and she sits up sharply. tall ears flick to the side, humoring herself as she scans for potential problems. it's perhaps only because of this that she hears the dogs. far off towards the twolegplace, howls and growls echo, and the smoke femme is on her paws in an instant.

if there are dogs, there is bound to be trouble, and she's sworn to protect her clan. verdant eyes scan the horizon one last time before she sets off, following well traveled trails and small secret routes that take her nearer to the dreaded end. when she is close, she can hear the yelping barks of the beasts fading off, as if they're running. some high pitched twoleg calls for them, and willowroot almost relaxes. the dogs are gone, running back to their masters, but now the coppery scent of blood floods her senses. a wail goes up, one that sends chills down her spine and haunts her memory. someone has suffered great loss. someone is sobbing and crying. riverclan has not seen the last of loss.

rushing forward, the pitch hued feline bursts into the clearing to see the last of the wagging tails disappearing beyond. behind them, dirty and ragged, blood streaked along her fur is pumpkin, crouching over a still form. oh no. "pumpkin oh my stars," she gasps, stepping forth. "are you okay? where does it hurt? i'll fetch beesong and it'll be alright." it has to be. the warrior feels their stomach drop at the sight as they move closer, and a whimper escapes their lips. they feel the compulsion to dash after the dogs, feel their claws slide from their paws, lip curling in fury. another clanmate dead- what's the point of their power if nothing can be done to save anyone?

wolf, the energetic apprentice who had graced their camp with lighthearted jokes and stories now lies broken and bloody on the earth. ears pinned back, willowroot bends down. "pumpkin, love, we need to get her home." teeth worry at their lip as the apprentice clutches the body. "we need to see beesong. they'll know what to do." rustling in the brambles tells her of the approach of another and she turns to see a frightened npc standing there. "fetch cicadastar and beesong, and any warriors you can. we need help here. please." the other nods, eyes widening and dashes off. all willowroot can do now is wait, and so they try to busy themself, scanning for cobwebs to stop the bleeding.
// hope it was ok to reply!! lmk if i should delete <3

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The sobbing leaves Willows entrance silent and she barely even comprehends her voice, its muddled and she sounds as if she's been plunged underwater. She jerks her head up and theres a sharp pain as if her throats been opened all over again and so she screams, in fear, in pain, slowly letting her head rest on Wolfs shoulder.

"Don't fetch, don't. Not Beesong. No one." her voice is broken croak, her throat hurting from the screaming, her head pounding. Shes beyond dazed and can't see straight and going on from that, can only see out of one eye. "Don't let them know how I failed," she begs, pleads, only now becoming aware of how fast her heart was beating, how she could barely breathe. "I will bury her."

Its the least she can do. It was her choice. The wounds she bore would be a constant reminder of how she failed Wolf, how she was so fucking useless and didn't fight harder to get out of the grip. She begins to cry again. "Wolf, Wolf, pl-Ease," her voice cracks. "Please, please, please," she begs and begs but her pleas fall upon deaf ears. She feels like shes about to pass out and she begins to thrash despite the pain. "It should have been me," she shakes and shakes Wolf, the sobs coming in louder once more. "Not you."


riverclan warrior. 32 moons. tags

chase the sky into the ocean

Clearsight had been out hunting.

He was fond of solo hunts. Gave him the chance to think long and hard, which he'd needed to do a lot of lately. Cicadastar's no-loner policy, the way following it had chafed at Clear. He wanted to protect the Clan, to protect his leader, and he would. He had. But breaking up a family like that...

Now that Buck was here, it was somehow more complicated, and Clear found himself often escaping the confines of camp to hunt alone and think. Once a riverborn loner, he excelled at fishing. He could spent hours just sitting on the bank, focused, head full of thoughts but eyes clear as the water. Live off the river long enough, you learn patience and more patience.

But it was a different family that ripped Clearsight from his thoughts today. Cicadastar's own. "Pumpkinpaw," the NPC gasped out as they tore through the underbrush. "She's hurt. And Wolf-- I'm going to camp, we-we need Beesong--"

The NPC cut off, gasping for breath-- they'd been running. Clearsight was on his feet already. "Where," he demanded, clear blue eyes blazing, and his clanmate had barely time enough to answer before he was running, painted blue pelt streaking through the reeds.

He arrived on the scene next to Willowroot, heart dropping into his stomach at the sight that lay before them. Pumpkin was hurt, but Wolf-- Wolf was worse off. The little cinnamon calico sat crouched beside her friend, bleeding, shivering, crying.

"It should have been me," the girl was sobbing. Clearsight's breath caught, his heart breaking for her. Oh, God, this poor kid. She'd had to watch, hadn't she?

If it had been you, thinks Clearsight, I can think of a few cats who'd have been crying and begging just like this. You are just as beloved by this Clan. Just as worthy of protection. But he doesn't know whether to say it, whether his words would help or hurt. Coming from him, Clearsight thinks, they might not get through to her at all.

Maybe he'll speak to Cicadastar later, relay his daughter's words.

"I'll follow the dog-scent," he says instead, mainly to Willowroot. It isn't a question exactly, because he doubts she'll disagree, but he waits for her approval. "We need to know if they've left the territory."

It comes across... too cold for his liking. Even if intimacy isn't his place here, Pumpkin deserves to know how loved she is.

"We can't lose Pumpkin too. Or any more of our children. I'll warn you if the dogs are still nearby, so you can get her to safety."

& something wild calls you home

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When a frantic clanmate burst into the camp, yowling something about dogs and Pumpkin and Wolf not responding, Beesong was quick to gather up a bundle of herbs and instruct the NPC to lead him to the scene. They don't seem thrilled by the demand, but Beesong doesn't have time to flounder about the territory in search of Pumpkin and Wolf. Time is precious.

Blood-scent and the stench of dogs thickens the air as they follow the NPC, clogging their nose until it was all they could smell. But they're quickly growing numb to this coppery tang, and a selfish notion of at least I know what to do this time settles over them.

The bloodied clearing opens up in front of them. Beesong comes up to Willowroot's side, observing the damage with a practiced coldness. Freaking out wouldn't do anyone any good, would it? Pumpkin's already doing enough of that for all of them. No, they must remain calm, detach from their emotions so that they could work efficiently. Pumpkin rasps to not fetch Beesong, but the cinnamon tabby ignores her plea for them not to help. "Failure is apart of life. You're not to blame for that," they respond to her briskly as they put the herbs on the ground and shuffle through them until they find the thyme. The herb is nudged to Pumpkin. "Eat this." Then, they glance towards Willowroot. "Start licking her fur backwards to help calm her." It's clear that Pumpkinpaw's in shock; her heaving flanks, her wild stare, her frantic movements. "Pumpkin, you need to breathe. Take deep breaths."

Wolf has already passed on, but Pumpkin could be saved.

The medicine cat begins to unwrap the swathe of cobwebs around his tail; a method he's found to be more efficient than wrapping them around a paw and hindering his movement. Beesong tries to place them on the worst of Pumpkin's wounds and, if successful, apply pressure to staunch the bleeding. They could clean the wounds back at camp. And, judging by the damage sustained to her eye, he would need to administer celandine at camp, too... Pumpkin mutters something about burying Wolf. Beesong shakes his head. "No, you need to rest; unless you want infected wounds." Digging in the dirt is begging for infection to set in. If infection worms it's way into her wounds, it's a gamble for her life. He couldn't- didn't know how to- help her if that happens.

He would do everything he could to ensure that she survives.

Pumpkin pleads with the corpse of Wolf, saying how it should have been her, and Beesong's paws falter in their work. They know that feeling too intimately, the feeling that they should've been the one to suffer instead of someone else. But, oh, they're getting too emotional. Their paws are beginning to quiver, their eyes stinging. No. It hurts, but hurting wouldn't help Pumpkin. They suck in a breath and steady themselves once more, eyes narrowing in concentration.

"Would Wolf have wanted that?" Maybe it's cruel to use the recently deceased to prove a point, but Beesong didn't want Pumpkin to drown in this self-pity. She's just a child. It wasn't her fault, it would never be her fault. Death is apart of life, and unfortunately, Pumpkin must learn this lesson at a young age. "Wolf sacrificed her life to save yours. Don't let it be in vain."

Clearwater offers to follow the dog-scent. Beesong nods their approval. "Be careful."

Clearwaters voice feels so far away and the edge of her vision is pricking with black, a constant static. No, no, please, she begs to the star cats that she does not lose sight in her one good eye. She feels saliva build in her mouth, a telltale sign of vomit, but nothing comes up. Shes stuck, shes crushed and as Wolfs body begins to cool beneath her paws she feels numb.

Beesong arrives. Great. Another cat to witness her pathetic attempt. She wasn't cut out to be a warrior and... "Mama." she croaks out, but her mother has long since abandoned her. Long since disregarded her as her child, a living being, left her to fend for herself before the clans split. Fresh tears roll down her cheeks, caked with blood. She feels sick, lightheaded. Her head rolls back as Beesong works with herbs. She does not respond when he tells her to rest. She would bury Wolf. And if not, then she'd walk around the stars with her, endlessly begging for her forgiveness for being so fucking naïve.

"I'm going to die." its a sudden realization, a sputter, a weak cry for help. Beesongs face has disappeared. "I'm gonna die. Alone." a weak chuckle as Bee uses Wolf against her. Another laugh. "I deserve it.." her head lolls to the side and she does her best to grip on to Wolfs body. Her strength is leaving her and it quite honestly feels as if someone was yanking her consciousness out of her head. She did not fight it.

Instead of fear, all she feels is disappointment, grief, acceptance. Its what she deserves. Mother always told her. "Ash, please. Please get Ash," she begs weakly, theres a small spark in her chest. The kit has grown on her, believe it or not, especially after Ash had broken down that one night and Pumpkin had vowed to be her silent protector. She shifts as best as she can to make Beesongs work easier.

If there was one person, one cat in the entire world she wanted to say goodbye to, it was Ash. She could not look Cicada in the eye.

Or maybe she could. After all, she did not want to leave on sour words. Not after the outburst at the patrol. "I want my dad."


"I'm scared," there it is, the chilling feeling that settles deep in to her stomach. Fear. Similar to when she laid bleeding out on the battlefield. "I don't. I don't want to go, please." but she can no longer move her legs, shes so tired, tired, tired....

This time there was no Daisy Flight to keep her company. She wants to live. She wants to see them. Ash, Cicada, her sight is failing. Please, please.

Eyes flutter shut just for a second. She needs sleep. Shes so tired. She fights to stay awake. She would make it her mission to stay alive until she can say goodbye.
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( ) ears pinned to their head, the lead warrior can feel their heart in their throat. the situation is nothing they haven't seen before, but the sobs and cries of the injured young cat hit their chest in a different way. following beesong's instructions immediately, they set to caring for the girl, tongue combing the flaming fur backwards to ground her in reality. still even as they do so, the cries from pumpkin's vocals strike. "you're not going to go. you're going to be okay, love." they smooth the fur over her forehead, hoping the brief movement will be enough to keep the kid awake. "none of this is your fault. we're going to get you home and you're going to live." please get ash. and willowroot can feel their heart break.

they'll do all they can to keep this child awake, breathing. cicada can't loose more. the clan can't loose more. the long tufted tail curls over to gently touch beesong's flank as they feel their own emotions begin to well in their eyes. they blink the tears away, face set now in a determined line. "don't fall asleep. try to keep your eyes open and breathe," they swipe their tongue over the closing eyelids, coaxing them back open and then go back to combing the fur. "keep talking, pumpkin. cicadastar is on his way. you're going to be just fine. why don't you talk about what you love about ash and cicadastar? think about them. just concentrate on staying awake." biting their lip as they overhear clearwater's words, willowroot shoots the mottled man a worried but accepting look. he can take care of himself.

Beesong's expression remains steeled, forced into calm neutrality by his own racing mind. Be strong, the repetitive mantra plays in his head. Willowroot has followed his directions, but the young calico still babbles about how she's going to die alone, how she doesn't want to go. The medicine cat grits his teeth and presses harder against the bloodied cobwebs. Stop bleeding. Stop bleeding! "You're not alone," he says, but he cannot promise her that she's not going to die. He's trying so hard, he could only hope that he's able to save her. But hope has no guarantees. "You're not alone. We're here." Sticky paws unravel more cobwebs from the bundle and presses them over the wounds. He's vaguely aware of a feather-light touch to his flank, but his eyes cannot leave Pumpkin's.

She's drifting away.

"No, stay awake," Beesong practically pleads with her as orange eyes begin to roll into heavy eyelids. If they could keep her awake, maybe.. Just maybe... "Cicadastar and Ash would want you to stay awake."

− ♱ ABOUT : there is a panic felt only rarely. so drastically different from that familiar, bubbling fear, the skipping of a heart ; it fills paws with lead. eyes blurry, head a rush of blinding white, a sharp gasp of oxygen pulled into lungs already heaving. it's as if one's body is no longer their own, asphyxiation tugging your throat closed. the pocket of heartbeat is all that is to be felt. it has happened once, that he can remember. the memory was spotty but present — phantom stills of frothing mouths and gnashing teeth, the wild look in his mothers eye. there is a different type of panic, for the situations to mourn early — when your heart drops to your stomach, and you know there is nothing to be done. cicadastar is nearly annoyed when the npc skids into camp, frazzled and wild and stopping just short of crashing into him before the metallic scent of iron assaults his senses. heady and thick, coating his barbed tongue with bitter splashes of phantom blood. blood. someone was injured. someone was injured badly, as the npc kept his head low — a stream of babbling flooding from their maw before he can comprehend their weight. wolfpaw is dead. ice water douses too - hot veins, a familiar pang beginning just beneath the hollow of his throat. there was an accident. dogs. wolfpaw.

your daughter.

the world seems to slip out from under him. there is nothing grounding him to the world below aside from claws that unsheathe to hook so violently into the ground underfoot that the frazzled npc takes a half step back, visibly shaking and it’s with that grounded force he uses to force himself forward, “ schiesse, show me — take me there NOW! “ though green luminaries fill with tears he wasn’t sure was from the trauma or the sudden, furious shout, the npc turns and pelts back through the reeds, followed closely by the mottled tom. he did not ask whether his daughter was alive or dead — he assumes the worst, assumes she lie dead with wolfpaw. wolf, the easygoing, bright apprentice who had been kind enough to bring pumpkin out with her to hunt. the calico had been having issues lately ; she was stressed, snappy, tired. cicadastar worried for her — he worried so often it felt only in his nature to. he worried camp probation had been too much, he’d been so pleased to hear she’d gone out with a friend so soon after her moon of camp was over. the man chokes on a sob already clawing it’s way up his throat, jaw tightening and teeth gritting. what if he’d had her stay her last month alone, seething in camp? what if she was gone? what if his daughter was gone, his beloved —

get there, first.

at a certain point, the scent of iron grows stronger than his need for direction, maw opening to attract the scent deeper and following it to a clearing just outside the treeline.

massacre. red streaks dew - studded grass, smearing spatters in shades of weak, congealed pink. what remained of wolfpaw lie crumpled beneath a mottle of ginger - white, and what little sanity seemed to snap neatly in half. the sound he makes is visceral — a brutal noise, guttural and riding the edge of a scream that doesn’t quite escape his throat. the man stumbles forward, eyes never leaving the crumpled heap that was his oldest child. his voice is too far away in his ears, likely too loud to others — he’s reaching vocal fry as he shoves closer, “ is she breathing? please, is she BREATHING? ” he can’t tell. there’s so much blood and his head swims, visions of blood running between his paws, filling his mouth, sticking tack - thick to the sides of his throat, “ is she going to live? is she going to survive? bee? “ there was too much, he couldn’t tell what was hers and what belonged to wolf, who’s corpse pumpkin clings to rips a full sob from his chest and — he’s crying. he can feel it, wet and hot running down the length of his cheeks and clinging to the sharp edge of his jaw. he’s close enough to touch her now, and he attempts to do so — before pausing midway, unsure where to touch that wouldnt set a new pain ablaze from her fresh wounds. slowly, agonizingly, the man wraps himself around her back, forcing himself to look at her mangled features in attempt to find something aside from the slush of crimson. small bubbles form around her nose and his heart jolts, a new wave of panic crashing over him — she’s fading. he’s going to have to watch.

he can do nothing but try and find an unwounded part of her face to hold, marring his snowy paws crimson in attempt to move her as best he can with bee pressing the cobwebs so firm. it’s too - slick, sickeningly hot ; but he holds her delicately, best he can, “ no — no, no, liebling, look at me. “ it’s frantic, quick, but soft. shattered and gentle, as not to frighten the girl any more than she already was. her eyes were closed, however — blinded by a fresh matting of blood and shredded viscera. there is an emptiness and a sickness coiling rough in his stomach, twisting his guts until he crouched, pulling himself closer to his daughter and wrapping his tail tight around her best he could without getting in the medic’s way any more than he already had, “ stay awake, my darling. ich leibe dich, but you have to stay awake. pumpkin — “ desperate. desperate. he’s not making the situation any better, but he would be here for the young calico. should it be her last moments, he would stay with her until starclan comes to retrieve her ; he would scream his way into the heavens and take her back, should the stars see him so blessed. with another form - wracking sob, cicadastar tucks his face into the curve of her neck, effectively sullying his white - mottled coat a deep red once more.

  • CICADASTAR ; he / him. roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − handsome, lanky black smoke tortie chimera with curly fur and icy blue eyes
    − gay. speaks with a thick german accent, former marsh cat, penned by antlers

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