distant past & intro


Oct 10, 2022

It feels forever ago since she joined, younger than she is now, when she didn't know any better, know anything about the clans. Back when her stress was just taking care of her mother, giving her the best care she could along with her siblings. When she had died, the three parted ways, Koi found her way to this new upcoming clan called Riverclan and never saw her siblings again. She finds herself still hoping, but life could be a lot worse, she has new friends and a new family to take care of.

She flicks an ear as she brings her catch back alongside the warriors that had taken her with them, its a tiny little thing but she prides herself on it nonetheless. She drops her catch to some nearby kits, giving them a shaky smile as they begin to fight amongst themselves on who gets to take the first bite. She retreats back in to the edge of camp, settling on to her haunches with a heavy sigh as she idly paws at the water. No matter what she does, it just hasn't felt fulfilling lately. Monotonous, boring. She wants someone to talk to.
buckgait is often left to ponder. lightningstone is no longer by her side, no longer commanded to by the will of cicada. she has not quite realized how much she depended on him to chase away the ever-biting loneliness. gone back to being alone for most of the days, it is fair to say that she is growing tired and restless of it all. often, she thinks if fawn would have liked this place. the forsaken woman would like to think so, her daughter was far more easy-going than her mother.

with the silent arrival of koipaw, buckgait follows. she worries for whenever the younger molly seems to be in low spirits, and there isn't anything to stop buck from giving her attention. she sits beside the sparsely colored girl, staring into the water and continuing the silence. is there truly much buck can say to her? yet it seems to be obvious that this loneliness that follows koi would not be solved just by silent company. "i saw the catch you got." soft and slow, not to startle the girl and to settle into and invite a conversation. "good job, koi."

Many of their younger members had come from backgrounds not quite so kind to them as they should be. Kits shouldn't have to worry over survival and getting by, shouldn't have to grieve so young, but it was the sad truth of the matter that they often ended up alone whether it was fair or not. Koipaw was one of many that had joined their ranks alone, no parent in sight and assumedly gone to leave such a small cat unattended in the wild. Smokethroat didn't like to hover or push his presence to the youth due to his usually awkward and intimidating stature but he he kept careful eyes on them at a distance. The spotted apprentice seemed to be well-adjusted but quiet; seemingly bothered by something specifically today and he lifted his head from his perch near the warrior's den to watch he approach the nursery in a kind gesture. Thankfully Buckgait spoke out before he could properly formulate a reply, making it easier for himself to join in and he rose to stand to join the two at the riverside with a distracted sigh and heavy sit, "Agreed, good job...you took to fishing very well. I can't tell you how long it took me to figure it out..." Too long, if you asked him, he'd gotten frustrated and lost many a fish in his youth learning to survive alongside the river and despite being skilled at it now he still had his moments; everyone did.

Darkpaw, despite being under Reedrunner's guidance for nearly two moons, still struggles with fishing. Fishing requires a lot of waiting and a lot of concentration. And it isn't that Darkpaw is impatient; he thinks, it's that concentrating is hard when he's alone with his thoughts. He tries not to be alone with his thoughts, because when he's alone with them, they get scary. Crimson and thunderclaps that aren't actually thunder and cobwebs covering his clanmates' bodies. It muddies his spirit, bogs it down and causes an ache to blossom in his chest.

No, he prefers to never think about that. But in the silence of fishing, it tries to creep up on him. He thinks, because of this, he never ever focuses on fishing instead of pushing away those impure thoughts. He never notices the fish before it's too late, and his paw ends up meeting empty water.

But it's okay if he isn't good at fishing. His mom and dad tell him that everyone has their own strengths. Even if that means he's different than most of his clanmates. (Even if that's isolating, to know that he isn't good at what a RiverClan cat is supposed to be good at. Even if it makes that ache in his chest just a little bit more painful.) But it's okay. He has other strengths, like spreading kindness. He doesn't mind, not being able to fish like his clanmates. He doesn't mind!

Darkpaw noticed the fish Koipaw'd carried back, and he tells himself that the twist in his gut is happiness for his newest friend. Trotting over after the two warriors, he smiles at her and sets down his pebble to say, "Yes! You're so good at fishing, Koi. Almost as good as my dad." The compliment seems back-handed, but Darkpaw holds no ill will. His praise is genuine.

It also feels like forever until theres a soft voice that pops up besides her, gentle and loving. Buck had been sitting besides her, chose to break the silence and Koi scrunches up her lips. Theres a little bit of laughter that falls from her lips, bashful, paws tucking beneath her body quite quickly. Buck is the type of woman that reminds her of her own mother and the praise, oh, how she finds herself longing for Buck to say it just one more time;' she does not beg or cry, she keeps her mouth shut. She closes her eyes, collects her thoughts, but Smokethroat is the next to respond and make his way over.

The bitter loneliness is being chased away, Koi could not be more than grateful for it.

"Thank you." its hushed, quiet, but genuine all the same. "My mom... she taught me." no elaboration is needed as she speaks, cuts it short because of how the topic made her feel. She had yet a lot to learn, more to conquer, especially taming her anxieties. Darkpaw comes over, its obvious how she perks up, offering him a smile that she feels didn't fit quite right on her face. Talking with the adults was scary, but heres her friend, her shining knight in armor. "One- one day, maybe... i'll... uhm... nevermind," face flushes, it felt weird joking about maybe she'd be better because to Koi its not true in the slightest. "We should, should all go fishing. One day, yeah."
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Amber optics would roll at the comments of her clanmates. Koipaw was a cat for Starclan's sake! Of course, she could fish. Garpaw had never earned any praise as high as that for her catches. Out of frustration, her tail would lash beside her, listening to the conversation of her clanmates. Would they ever praise her in such a manner? Why did the new girl have to get all the praise? Moments of thought would pass as she carefully considered her options. With her mind made up, Garpaw would force herself to her paws and walk towards the circle of her clanmates. Brushing past the warriors, she would keep her gaze focused on her "target" and ignore the others. As she came to a halt in front of the girl, she would part her jaws to speak. "If you're so good at fishing, how about a little competition then?" Looking down into Koipaw's eyes, Garpaw would wait for a response with little empathy for the girl. If her tone and less-than-friendly look wouldn't scare her away, surely the thought of competing against an older apprentice would.