pafp GENTLE SUN && lost kit /// joining


seashells by the seashore
Aug 3, 2022

"Mama, why are we here…? I want to go back." a quiet voice breaks the early morning air as tiny legs struggle to keep up with two bigger cats. They both seem very solemn, misty-eyed and one is letting tears trickle down their cheeks. Shell had never seen her parents cry, not even when Songbird and Spiral disappeared one night. "I’m tired, my legs hurt." her voice is barely above a whisper as her parents stopped, whispering to each other in hushed voices before her mother turns to her. Shes the one crying and it sparks worry in her heart, crouching back slightly with flattened ears. "Why are you crying, mama?" she croaks our, feeling her own tears bubble in her eyes.

Her mom licks her head, giving her a tight squeeze and her father does the same thing. “Shell, sweetheart, your mama and papa have to go very far, okay?” her moms voice wobbles and her father presses against her shoulder, shedding silent tears of his own. “But there are cats here, okay? Mama and Papa love you very much,” she chokes up and licks her head again. Shell is petrified, standing like a statue and staring at them. “But we gotta go for a bit, okay? We love you, so, so much.” Father finishes for her mother, who begins to cry on his shoulder. “Just stay here, okay? Someone’s gonna find you soon, we love you.” they get up and Shell wants to follow, but they both shake their head. Father lets out a choked sob, flicks his tail and mother follows him in to the underbrush.

"Come back!" her tiny voice cries out and after the last syllable left her mouth it falls silent once more. Shell sits down, in shock. They have to go for a bit? Okay… She sits, and waits, and waits, and waits despite the gnawing hunger in her stomach. So hungry, but she had to wait for them.

// pls wait for @HARPY post first !!!

The cry of a sparrow is cut short as his teeth sink into it's neck, and Harpy has little time to pride himself on the catch before a shrill wail cuts through the air... A wail that sounds eerily similar to that of a child's.

With a grunt, he breaks into a sprint (with the sparrow still in his grasp, of course, as he isn't stupid enough to leave a meal behind), ears angled towards the direction the sound had come from. He nearly misses the pathetic scrap laying in the grass, but her white fur sticks out among the greenery. Kittens left alone... He has mixed opinions on this touchy subject. On one paw, he wouldn't fault parents who leave their kits in hopes that they'll be safer somewhere else... Maybe they're a bit stupid for leaving them alone if there isn't an emergency, but their heart's in the right place. On the other paw, some parents are just bastards who couldn't care less whether their kits live or die. As Harpy slows, observing her quietly, he wants to believe this is a case of the former.

She's skin and bones. Harpy frowns at her, silent for maybe a bit too long. Then, the sparrow falls from his mouth. "Eat it," he offers, his voice softening a tad yet still somehow sounding more akin to an order. Harpy takes a seat in front of her, curling a feathery tail around his paws and tilting his head. "What happened to your parents, leanbhan?"

Theres a couple of paw steps and her head raises up tiredly, theres a tall man standing there with some type of bird in his mouth. He stares, she stares before he speaks. Eat, he commands as he drops the bird and instead of obeying shes just staring at it. It would be the first actual meal she had in moons, but why would this cat give her it? Surely he was starving, too? "Eat it," she echoes his command back to him, gentle eyes despite the fiery hunger that gnawed at her bones. She always let Songbird and Spiral get most of the scraps, but when they disappeared, she had no one to share it with. It made her feel guilty.

He asks about her parents and she shies away, suddenly nervous and aware of her surroundings. "D… Dunno." she squeaks out, not understanding why they had left her here, but they promised there were good cats. "Love you." she mimics them softly, fiddling nervously with the little ribbon tied around her neck. The crushing fear became all too much and she lets out a choked sob, rising to her paws and trying to bury herself in Harpy’s side. She finally cries, slightly louder now, her head pounding. This was all too much for her, she was so scared, the world was scary, she wanted to go home.
He doesn't expect her to parrot his words back to him. Harpy laughs a little, shaking his head. "I've enough food, leanbhan." If he didn't get his fill on woodland creatures, his twolegs would provide him with plenty of food... Something that others frown upon, as if secured meals are something to scoff at. Imagine being so haughty as to laugh at others for having food. Harpy thinks them stupid for not finding a twoleg of their own to feed them. It only makes sense to try and guarantee one's survival as best they can for the colder months when prey is hard to come by.

This kit did not have such security, evident in her peeking ribs and shrunken waistline. She squeaks out a timid dunno in response to his question, and Harpy frowns. He suspects the worst... The cream cameo nudges the sparrow closer to her, silently urging her to eat. "Well, you'll be safe with us, leanbhan."

What she does next, he would never predict. Love you. Harpy stiffens, caught completely off-guard. A shocked laugh leaves him. What does he even say to this? He's only just found this kit... He doesn't even know her name, and she loves him.

He allows her to bury herself in his side, partly due to him being frozen in place. He's acutely aware of her tears dampening his fur, her cries reaching his flattened ears. Harpy's never been good at comforting others. In a hesitant, stiff motion, he drapes his tail over her back in a poor attempt to comfort. "You'll be safe with us," he repeats weakly. Anyone else would've been better than him to handle this situation, but here he is...

Harpy glances down at the shivering child with another hollow laugh, his expression nearing helplessness. He's too far out of his comfort zone right now.
Haze is following the smell of the sparrow, he tells himself. The cries of a kit, the problems of another tom - not his concern. Not in the least. Hasn't he had enough problems to deal with? A usurper more fluff than sense leading his Clan, his father dead, a sibling split from the Clan for no reason at all?

The silver tabby huffs, bent whiskers trembling around a scowling face. He doesn't know why his paws are moving towards Harpy and the mews, but they do. He can't ignore it. The scent of the fresh-kill leads him straight to the cream-colored tom and his new accomplice. A little white scrap, more ribs than fur, taking tentative, shaky bites of the sparrow.

"Didn't know you were expecting," he attempts to jest to Harpy, but his swampwater eyes narrow in concern. What's such a tiny kit doing alone out here, and in such poor condition? Her bones are stark as tree limbs scraping a winter sky. His heart lurches for her, wondering as Harpy has if she's been abandoned or if her parents are dead.

"What are you called, little one?" He looks uncertainly at Harpy, at the little kit who's cuddled herself against him. "Where... are her...?" He's assuming the answer is I don't know, but he asks regardless. The usually hard-bitten tom has a softness and incredulity in his gaze that Haze hasn't seen before. It's endearing.