don't care for the critics - rta, exhausted

The exhaustion, greater than any that she had ever known, had only grown since it had first set in. That had been the day she was given her new name by the stars. It was the weight of leadership, she supposed, the burden of responsibility. If that was the case than she would carry it proudly, and she had tried to. Was trying to. Despite her efforts fatigue withered her frame and stole the bounce from her step. Her eyes didn't shine like they used to, they were more focused, more intense. And sometimes, when she thought no one was looking, her face would drop into a look of pure weariness. It was apparent that her duties were beginning to wear at her, however she denied it.

Even then though, what of it? Emberstar was, for the most part, still herself. Enthusiasm still radiated from her every word, and affection burned in her every glance. She was still willing to spare a moment, and far more than that if asked, to talk with whoever asked about whatever they wanted. Even if that further strained her schedule. If anything, she was simply a touch more serious than before. That was a more than welcome change, wasn't it?

As she whisked through camp, offering quick nods and smiles to everyone she passed, the leader ran through her mind all the things she still needed to do today. For one, she needed to check on Cinderfrost. Since their little talk, Emberstar had allowed the medicine cat a little more leniency. Out of the understand they had reached, of course, but also out of necessity. She had a lot of duties to attend to, and dragging Cinderfrost along for all of them was always impractical and sometimes even actively detrimental. Not to downplay her own faith in her medicine cat. After the passion the other molly had shown for kits and her assistance helping out Flame, she had more of that then she had ever had. There was, however, enough unease left over to make her wish that she could keep more of an eye out.

Patrols! That was another thing she had been meaning to get to. But no, not today. A glance at the sky told her it was getting late, and setting up patrols at this hour would be self-defeating. Tommorow, maybe? Speaking of how late it was getting, she should go out to hunt. She hadn't caught anything in so long, and that was a bad example for a leader to be setting. Oh, she had also wanted to check in with the mentors to make sure everything was going smoothly, but not officially. No, just a friendly little check in. No need to put any pressure on anyone. She would be subtle. She was good at being subtle.

Around and around her thoughts swirled, her gaze faraway as she considered it all.
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The single cold voice would pierce the air between the flame point molly and the blue point tom. Leafshade was standing before her, his familiar scowl of annoyance and disapproval on his face, but it would be the robin at the leader's paws that would give away that he had come in semi-peace. "When did you eat last?"

His tone was sharp, coming out more as a snap than the concern that was hidden far beneath. The two would look so drastically different. Her bright golden coloring would seem to outshine his cooler blue and fawn tones. Even their gazes were different, sparkling grey being glared into by steel blue. It was comical really, how loyal Leafshade had become to Emberstar in such a short amount of time.

Yet here he was, bringing her prey and looking ready to scold her for overworking just as he had Wildflower. Leaf would inwardly wince at the memory and wondered if Emberstar would also call him out on his rudeness before stomping away as the grey molly had. But he held his ground regardless, what use would Emberstar be if she pushed herself so hard? What was the clan going to do if she got sick from overworking?

Small, dainty cream-colored paws bring Meadowflame to an interesting sight. Emberstar, looking exhausted, and young Leafshade with prey in his jaws, an offering, she supposes. She finds it silly how everyone treats the flame point like she can't take care of herself. Maybe she really can't, she reasons, looking at the young cats with critical green eyes. Psh. How hard could it be to lead a Clan? Everyone acts like it's such a burden, they should let someone capable do it.

She smiles and pads closer to the two. "Maybe take a break," she suggests. "Howling Wind can do some stuff, surely." It's said innocently, but the cream she-cat has to stifle the temptation she has to smirk.


Roe had been exploring camp more, wary paws trotting around the premise of the clearing, a curious nose sniffing at the fresh kill pile…
Her gaze lifted as Leaf’s voice caught her attention from nearby though, and locking on Emberstar. She looked funny… standing there all day-dreamy.
Making no hesitation to hop on over, she waved a paw in front of the mollys face- or tried to, at least. In reality, her forepaw only reached the bottom of the leaders chin.
"Cinderfrost says water is very important too!" She pitched in with her most eager attempt to be helpful. She looks curiously towards Meadowflame and Leafshade, while their advice was surely more helpful, Roe was still very proud of herself. Shuffling her paws restlessly against the ground she awaited Emberstar’s response.


Emberstar was boundlessly kind. She had opened ThunderClan's luminous gates to greet him with a grin, and allowed him to meet the destiny that StarClan- and yes, he was convinced it was StarClan- had laid out for him. For that, he was endlessly thankful toward her- and as others crowded around her bowed form, grey eyes a-roaming, Trufflepelt felt a twinge of pity and sadness that he had not noticed this all sooner. If she was tired, he could help- it was the least he could do, surely.

Wandering up, gilded eyes darkened slightly with worry, he took rank beside Roekit and nodded solemnly in accordance to her words, an echo of Cinderfrost's advice. "Mm... I can fetch you some, should you need it." A gentle offer, he could not help the great worry that spread in his gut. Was she suffering, and hiding it from them all? There was nothing worse than shouldering suffering... no-one should have to live with it. He wished he had some way to take her pain away, to send her to some place or some state where she would no longer be in agony...

Ah, he was jumping to conclusions. She simply looked tired.
A voice called her name and Emberstar snapped to attention. Meeting the figure before her with a warm grin before she had even realized who it was. "Leafshade!" she greeted affectionately, his disapproval ineffectual on her. "Whatcha need?"

A blink met the prey he dropped at her paws, and a laugh for his concern. "Awww, you shouldn't have!" she told him, though she took his offering nonetheless. It would be rude not to, and besides she was hungry.

Unfortunately, his comment had invited the rest of the clan to chime in. Within a moment her clanmates had swarmed her, each expressing their own concerns. The smile she gave them all was genuine, it made her heart swell with pride and affection to see them all so worried about her. So ready to lend a helping paw. She really needed to get back to work though. "No need to worry Howling Wind for my sake!" she told Meadowflame with a dismissive wave of her tail. The idea of handing off her own responsibilities to someone else didn't sit well with her.

Roekit rushed to tell her water was important, so Cinderfrost said. Worry bubbled up within her. Just how much time had the kit been spending with the medicine cat? She made a note to take care of that later. For now, she simply grinned down at her. "Well, she's right about that!"

"If anything, we can go hunting together." She offered Trufflepet in counter. "I can catch my own prey perfectly well y'know!" she told him with a good natured laugh.

"Really everyone, I'm fine!" Emberstar reassured them with a laugh. She made an effort to look it, push through the haze of exhaustion with sheer enthusiasm. "See? Now, if that's all, I really gotta..." she made a move to step past them all, and continue on her way. As much as she wanted to stay and talk, there was just so much to do.
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