Jul 8, 2022
stress is not something buck is unfamiliar with, often finding herself with shoulders tight and mind racing. the only solution she had found throughout the moons were the heated rocks that somehow melt away the tension stored between her muscles. she feels tight and stiff, but the moment her buckskin pelt makes contact with the warm surface of the smooth rocks, it all just seems to melt away. usually, this is the case, but now she is accompanied by @LIGHTNINGSTONE and is trying desperately to block him from her sights. ever since that...emotional night of her's....it hasn't been easy communicating with him.

the finely muscled woman keeps shifting, trying desperately to achieve calmness. she used to be able to do it, able to sleep with the sounds of water lapping at the large stones and the sun stroking through the wispy fur on her hide. in a way, buckgait is, of course, relaxed, it's simply lightning who keeps putting her on edge. she thinks of kicking him in the water and then retrieving him from some random bank later on. it would solve a fair amount of problems.

she turns over again, now fully facing away from the tom and letting the warm sun roam her back. except now she has visitors, and it seems that the rest buck was initially hoping for has officially come to an end. there's a long, dramatic sigh at the entrance of another, and buckgait finally closes her eyes.
( ) willowroot is slightly uncomfortable with buck's new shadow. sure, lightningstone is a loyal tom who wants the best for his clan, but he's also a bit abrasive, slightly rude, and over all maybe a tiny bit scary. not that willowroot is scared of him. certainly not. nope. still, she always feels a tiny prickle of discomfort at the sight of the lanky tomcat trailing her best friend. over the past moon, she's noticed buckgait not necessarily warming up to the clan, but at least becoming more comfortable living in it. it gladdens the lead warrior to know her friend is at least trying. this is perhaps why she seeks the earthen femme now, scanning the horizon along the bank of the river with sunwarmed bottleglass eyes. spotting the deer and her shadow, the smoke gives chase, bounding through tall grasses and moss towards the slate hued rocks on which her friend lays.

they pad up, offering a small nod of greeting to lightningstone, who sits not far off, quietly observing, before sidling up beside buck. "bucky my dear, are you slacking off?" they ponder, slumping down beside the faux sleeping feline. "or is this a river day?" a river day- what the family had called their days off, back when they were free from worry. something in willowroot hopes it is one, because as they sit here now, their shoulders are beginning to relax, pushed back by the glowing stone beneath.


Smokethroat sat at the river’s edge, stared down at his paws before him, the small and faint markings of scars barely visible in the dark den. He had many of them, all over him, some more prominent while others you couldn't see unless pointed out. His one white-dipped paw looked strangely out of place on him; star-touched and pale.

A snarl bore a long song across his maw. Each day was a new obstacle, a new battle, a new pain. The dark tom was tired.
He'd always been told that fate was like the river, it ran its course down a destined path but as he stared out at it he felt his stomach twist into knots. Rivers could be blocked up, river flows could be diverted. Was fate so fickle it would sway at the slightest stone in its way?
The ebony tom frowned intently, his dark fur absorbing the heat of the sun bearing down from overhead and he paced slowly alongside the water as he considered many things. His mind was a mess as of late, a constantly churning rush of emotions and thoughts; like the river it pulsed inside him and like fate he never knew which direction it would take.

The warrior's lips curled as he realized how alone he was in this mental war, that neither lights overhead nor bodies down below would be of any help.
He locked his teeth together, set them in a scowl and stepped forward into the water up to his chest, let it rush by him, let it spill around him as his body stalled it from its set course. He was not large enough nor strong enough to fully divert it, to push it elsewhere. He was a pebble in a stream. Along the way he noticed shapes moving, cats stretching out across the smooth stones of the sunning rocks and he moved to start treading over, still partially in the water, only to pause when he spotted the trio present there doing what he could simply say was…laying around. He debated just walking away, but once again pressed on, Willowroot was there at least-if she wasn't he might have not approached at all.

“...what are you lot even doing..?”

by the sweet call of a lark, buck is quick to open her eyes again and is even quicker to find caraway in her sights. delighted at their intrusion, buck tries to subtly make room on the rock that she had occupied. with a horrible attempt at hurt on her face, buck places a deft paw on the expanse of her lighter chest, a faux expression of offense. "me? slack off my dear? how dare you..." there's a heavy tease in her voice as her head falls back down to the warm stones, who welcome her just as eagerly as before. "of course it's a river day." it;s a plain answer from her previous performance, but she's too busy enjoying the warmth of caraway. how long had it been since this ragtag family had spared a day to be under the sun?

she makes idle conversation with her kin, but most of it is spent in pure bliss. perhaps all it took was just caraway to make it far more tolerable. it was simply plain and awkward with only lighting around. it is pure, of course, until she hears the undelighted voice of smokethroat. he's strange and almost irritating at this moment. was it unclear what they were doing or had he suddenly lost his sight? "what do you think? sit down on a rock and close your eyes." she will not have this ruined by some cat who does not know the meaning of relaxing. she had spent too long being pestered by clan cats and dealing with lightningstone to be questioned. she needs a break from it all. there's a long, heavy sigh as her head lolls to make contact with caraway's. smokethroat will either join them in their river day or trot back to camp and find something else to occupy him.

He isn't entirely sure what a river day is, but it's something he hears his sibling ask their brown-furred friend.

The lot of them seem to be sunbathing, and, oh, how Tide misses his days on the deck of the showboat, sun-rays washing over him as he basked in its warmth, as the floating twoleg nest rocked back and forth in the water, as the seagulls made their odd noises as they flew by.

He misses it.

It's a brief sadness that he pushes back the best he can, because, RiverClan was his home now. His siblings are here with him. Instead of on the boat, where he was all alone. This was home, now.

Perhaps he'll join them on their... river day.

"Sunbathing?" he asks Willowroot and Buckgait, before bowing his head to Smokethroat in acknowledgement - he was a lead warrior, after all, Tide thinks he must have to show him some sort of respect. He hops on a rock of his own, looking at the trio. "Mind if I join?"
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Lightningstone lounges nearby, sprawled leisurely on his stomach with his hind legs kicked out to the side. Half-lidded hazel eyes watch the river lazily as Buckgait tosses and turns nearby. For what it's worth, he's relaxed, even if she can't seem to get comfortable. The water lapping at the shore, the soft buzzing of insects, the birdsong in the trees, it's enough to nearly lull him to sleep. He rests his chin upon crossed charcoal paws, emitting a soft sigh in contentment.

Someone else is coming. Dark ears prick and he lifts his head once more to see Willowroot and Tide, and Smokethroat and Clearsight nearby. He grants them a blink in greeting paired with a small nod before once more his chin is upon his paws. He listens to their conversation in silence, actually enjoying the background noise as he dozes. He can't help the small amused smile that crosses his muzzle at Buckgait's sarcasm. While she's nothing but annoyed with him (and he claims to be even more annoyed at her, because she can be irritating!), he's actually grown used to her constant companionship. Yes, it's his duty to watch her, and he can't wait to finally be free of her, but he can at least learn to find humor in her mannerisms when he can.