GIVE IT A REST ♪ Return To Camp

Jul 7, 2022
[ Takes place directly after this thread ! ]

He rarely found himself to be in any sort of hurry. His outlook on life seeks to keep things slow and steady. Appreciate the little things this world had to offer. His treks along the river were always languid, a watery song lifting to the sky and seaglass eyes dragging across the expanse of the river, appreciative. Though with the tone Cicadastar had taken back there, he knew to turn tail and get out of there as quick as possible. He recovers quickly from the sudden mention of his name, back straightening and ears swiveling towards the accented chords of his leader. "Oh− yeah, no problem!" he chirps.

He'd exchanged a glance with Frost and Pumpkin, a fiery tail beckons Ash closer. He still had no idea how she'd gotten here, but he didn't have the energy to think about it right now. As long as he made sure she made it back sound...

He puts some distance between himself and the bristling Windclan leader before spinning around and making a show of walking backward. His gaze carefully rakes over the young mollies who followed. "One, a-two, and a-three!" he counts, three scolded she-cats! He flashes them a weary grin, hoping to provide at least some ounce of comfort. Surely Cicadastar wouldn't be too harsh on them. "Everything's gonna be okay! I thiiiink?" he adds, dragging out the last of his words. He wants to be reassuring, but like, not assume stuff either. He didn't want them to be mad at him if he's wrong!

He furrows his brow, trying to imagine what type of punishment their leader could be cooking up for them. "You probably won't get to eat that hare they got for us, buuut..."

[ he's. a doofus ; @pumpkin @tinyleafs @FROSTDROP. ]

Pumpkin was absolutely pissed, bristling with rage with a fire alight in her eyes. Shes practically vibrating at this point and if looks would kill, everybody would be dead already. Silently she stalks after Cascade, seething with betrayal and anger and all composure she has left when he speaks. "Okay? OKAY? Does it look like everything is okay to you, fish-brain?" she spits venom, raking her claws against the ground as she begins to pace erratically. Yup, Pumpkins finally losing it. She begins to mutter to herself, too quiet for others to hear it but enough so that others would know to stay the hell out of her way.

"Nothings okay! Cicada let that pathetic thing walk away with virtually no punishment! I wouldn’t want to eat that rabbit even if I was allowed to, stupid, sorry excuse for an apology!" she rants, scoring the ground once more. Something burns in her stomach and she has to keep the anger down to a manageable level or she’d lash out, so she begins to furiously dig at the ground. "AND YOU!" she finally spins, pointing a claw at Ash as she trembles. "Why were you even out there? All you do is get in trouble!" she hisses, eyes narrowing in to splits. Cats may plead for her to calm down, but shes beyond mad and a red haze is blocking out any rational thoughts she may have had. Her body forgets its not in a war and so fight or flight is activated, and her body chose to go verbally straight for the throat.


Frost had followed in silence, her curled ears slightly flat on her skull, she had only done what she thought was right, did she go too far? Probably, but in her own opinion, Sootstar deserved it. She dared come to their land and acted as if she was better than them all, insulting Cicadastar with a slap of a hare to the face and a half, poor of an excuse of a sorry all because her underlings did not even know that he was a leader? What? That made no sense to her. However, the cold hot anger that came from Cicadastar was enough for Frost to know she had done enough.

A soft sigh slipped from her maw as she curled her tail around her paws while she kept her gaze on the ground, Pumpkin was angry for the right reasons but she did feel it was best that she bit her tongue on her attack on Ash, not wanting to hear anything directed towards her since, she had also made the situation worse. Cascade was trying to act like everything was okay and she shook her head gently.

"She came to our land and acted as if we were below her, I don't care if she's a leader or not- shes not mine and I don't need to give her any ounce of my respect" she stated flatly before gently attempting to curl her tail around Ash to try to comfort the young kit, hoping to make her feel less scared, despite her own terrified self. "I have no care for that hare they gave, for all I care it can be crowfood, that hare is just an insult to us" she said, having to agree on something with Pumpkin, but she dare not allow the she-cats anger get directed towards her, Frost was trying to stay a somewhat level-headed instead of bursting out in rage like Pumpkin had, already knowing they were in trouble as it is.

it's a long way forward, so trust in me

Ash is thoroughly chastened. She walks behind Mahi with her head low, her face hot, and her tail tucked in between her legs. She'd just been trying to defend Cicadastar, but he was so mad. If there was ever a time to be quiet, she thinks it's probably now.

Mahi is trying to be cheerful-- and Pumpkin isn't having any of it, tail lashing, snarling fury. Ash understands. She's mad at WindClan, too. They hurt Cicadastar.

She isn't prepared for what Pumpkin does next.

"AND YOU!" the older girl shrieks, whirls around and flashes a claw, and Ash can't help the way she flinches back-- unlike her older clanmates, she's never been on the other end of violence, never had claws raised at her face. Her little body tenses up, crouching small, shocked. Pumpkin's words hit hard, and Ash's tummy twists and shudders. Hot tears prick her eyes.

But the little fire that burns in her isn't easily extinguished; she might be called Ash, but she's far from cold and quiet. The tiny orange kitten grits her teeth and glares up at Pumpkin, a few tears trickling out even as she tries to choke them back.

"I do not just get in trouble," she spits, wanting to be angry, but instead the words sound desperate. "I'm, I'm a good Riverclanner. I'm a good Riv-verclanner!"

Her voice cracks on the last word, and a few more tears escape-- Ash bites back the sob in her throat, because she can't cry, she's not a baby. She barely registers Frost's tail resting soft on her trembling shoulders.

She just wanted to stand up for Cicadastar. Now he's mad at her, and so is Pumpkin, and Ash thinks she might be a bad kit.

i'll give them shelter like you've done for me

  • - three moons old
    - will bite you
    - will put nettles in your nest
    - latches onto anyone who shows her affection
    - she's trying her best, i swear

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His lips are pressed tight, tinnitus ringing in his ears when the group comes into camp. Cascadesong, Frost, Pumpkin, and Ash. But where is Cicadastar...? Beesong rises onto his tippy-toes, craning his neck to watch the entrance. Cicadastar does not follow. "Where is-?" Voices begin to ring out among the small patrol, smaller than when they'd left. Beesong had been beyond worried after he'd discovered that it was another clan cat that'd attacked Cicadastar, fearing the worst would happen... He shudders to think about another war so soon after the last one.

His brows furrow, a pounding behind his eyes beginning once Pumpkin speaks up. "This isn't-" Beesong is talked over. The pounding grows stronger, sharper, an ache spreading across his skull. It's always one thing after another. He hasn't seen proper rest in over a moon. Fighting, bloodshed, forced away from his home and into the role of medicine cat of RiverClan, Cicadastar being attacked, and now they're fighting amongst themselves. He's so tired. His head reels, and he stumbles as he catches himself.

Teeth grinding, his eyes dart from Pumpkin to Frost, his claws unsheathing. She claims that the hare Sootstar gave them is just an insult. Beesong could only assume that the hare had been a peace offering... and Frost is spitting on the idea of said offering. The dull ache grows into a piercing pain. "Don't-"

Pumpkin turns her ire onto Ash, a child, berating her. All you do is get into trouble. Oh, they've heard those words before. It brings to mind an image of a cinnamon tabby, eerily similar to their own reflection. Their eyes snap shut, shaking their head. "Stop-" Ash chokes out a spit between sobs. The pain is now a throbbing pressure waiting to explode. They couldn't take this anymore. They've bottled it all up for too long.

They've reached their breaking point.

"SHUT UP!" Beesong's voice cracks underneath the strain of raising it, claws digging into the earth. Tears of his own threaten to pour, gathering in the corners of his eyes. "Everyone, shut up! What do you think fighting is going to get us?! Nothing! All this fighting has accomplished nothing but putting innocent cats six feet in the dirt!" His eyes sting, and one paw frantically wipes at them. Stop crying!

"When are you going to open your eyes and see that?! That- that- that hurting others-" Their voice wavers before fizzling out, the wave of anger that'd crashed over them quickly subsiding, leaving behind only the tears that now stain their cheeks and the shaking of striped limbs. They duck their head in an attempt to hide the tears falling. Stop crying! This time it isn't their own voice, but their father's, that sneer ingrained into their brain like a scar.
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The sound of shouting draws the brown and white tabby in, hazel eyes brightening as he spots a familiar ball of ginger fluff. Ash. And there’s a few more RiverClanners with her, faces he recognizes as more friends, and his excitement to see them all grows. "Hey, guys!" His greeting falls flat, though, as he realizes that they’re all angry or sad or some combination of the two—or they’re Mahi-Mahi, who seems to be trying to be reasonable with the others. None of them look injured, but he hasn’t caught all of their conversation, only the last few words that Beesong says.

"What’s happening," he asks, forgetting to add the uptick of his voice at the end to imply that it’s a question. Wide eyed, he gazed over the gathered cats before turning to Beesong, who looks like he’s crying, but Clay isn’t sure. He takes a cautious step closer, hoping not to startle them with the movement. "Hey, are you hurt? What happened?" He’s trying to be comforting, but he doesn’t want to push his luck—he doesn’t know Beesong, not like he knows his sister. He doesn’t truly know many of his clanmates, and he thinks he might be overstepping. And right now would be a painfully embarrassing time to be put in his place.

it's a long way forward, so trust in me

Now Beesong is here. Beesong is friendly and funny and kind, and Beesong doesn't think Ash is a bad kit. If Beesong is here she'll be safe.

Ash doesn't know a whole lot about the lives her clanmates led before her time. She doesn't know what the battle did to them; she doesn't know about Pumpkin's mother or Beesong's father. She doesn't know why Pumpkin lashed out, and now, as something in Beesong shatters and spills out, she doesn't know why he lashes out, either.

All she knows is that he does.

"SHUT UP! Everyone, shut up!"

Terror grips her lungs and doesn't let go. Everyone is so mad. And they keep yelling, screaming, fear and anger and tears. Bad kit, Ash thinks, a blistering anger directed inward now, the river's thunder in her ears, blocking out the sound around her, you're a bad kit. If she hadn't left camp in the first place then Cicada wouldn't have yelled at her and Pumpkin wouldn't have yelled at her and Bee wouldn't have yelled at her (and he's crying-- he wouldn't be crying, either, she's such a bad kit) and everything would be okay.

She just wants to run, but she knows she can't or Cicadastar will be so much angrier. ("All you do is get in trouble!") So Ash stays where she is, crouching lower to the ground and curling up as small as she possibly can, face buried in her flank, every muscle braced. She recognizes Clay's voice arriving, but the terror in her chest doesn't settle, only grows-- after all, she thought Beesong was safe.

i'll give them shelter like you've done for me

  • cicadas rlly not gonna be ready for this thread
  • - three moons old
    - will bite you
    - will put nettles in your nest
    - latches onto anyone who shows her affection
    - she's trying her best, i swear

Frost is next to speak and Pumpkins tail lashes as she vigorously nods in agreement to her statement. Pumpkin raises her head to make another snarky comment about the rabbit before Ash yells and Pumpkin’s head snaps to her, a snarl on her face before she realized the thing was crying. Her body freezes over as if hell was ice and a major pit settles in her stomach. What the hell did she just do? She had shouted, shouted like her mother, shes just like her, oh god, oh no.

Then Beesong yells and shes immediately bristling up again, her own tears pricking the corner of her eyes at the realization from earlier. "We’re not the ones who bashed Cicada in!" she growls out before she stops, takes a couple deep breaths, zen, calm down before you hurt somebody further. She had been in that war, helped bury those cats, she had lost part of her vision, she has a nasty scar on her neck. Shes grizzled, ugly, none of her innocent youth remained. But Ash’s did, and Ash did not deserve it, and Beesong just wanted the yelling to stop. She blinks rapidly as her own tears slowly start to drip, though she does not acknowledge it.

You’re no different than I, Pumpkin. Her mothers voice made her almost wretch up her dinner from before. "I’m sorry." the apology is flat-toned, sounds forced, bubbled out of her lips too fast. Pumpkins shaking once more and its not obvious whether its from being overwhelmed or anger.

How cruel, isn’t it? A bunch of people reduced to yelling at each other over high risen tensions.
( )
the slender smoke had followed slowly behind the little group, leaving the situation with a worried glance back at buck and cicadastar. as they approach the camp they are still learning to call home, the spitting fight had broken out, and now they stand behind cascade and feel pressure in their chest. the yelling causes their ears to flatten, brows furrowing even more as beesong shouts and then sobs. things are breaking down around them and they're not certain what to do. it is true they are new to this group and most of these cats, but they have comforted before. stepping into action, the lithe femme curls their tail around ash, bending down to murmur softly; "hey kiddo, you're still learning. you're not bad for that. the clan has rules for a reason but don't blame yourself for this spat, okay? let cicadastar talk to you when he's ready. we all do foolish things sometimes."

they're not certain these are the right words, having only known the kid from their brief interaction at the border, but they hope it helps. raising their head, they nod to clay. "there was a conversation at the border with some windclan cats. it got a bit heated. cicadastar is on his way back, i believe." then, green eyes scanning the rest, caraway blinks at the medicine cat. "let's take a breath, okay everyone? cicadastar is an adult who is doing his job. he'll handle it well and then come back to camp."

Fox only stares, wide-eyed, as the young cats Cascade led back to camp began to erupt into what she can only describe as kit-sized fits. Even Beesong is yelling at them to stop, calm down, tears on his own furry cheeks.

She looks at Ash, the littlest kit, with some sympathy. She could not have imagined leaving camp to interfere with political matters at that age, but she's little. Three moons, she reminds herself. She nods at Caraway's assertion that she's still learning. "You're not bad. Just remember to try to listen next time."

As for Pumpkin and Frost, though... Fox does not know Frost very well, and Pumpkin is not the same young cat she'd seen around camp before they'd migrated to the riverlands. What was once loud and playful has become bitter and entitled. The calico sniffs to herself. They remind her of Azalea, as young as her but thinking themselves grown up enough to interfere with serious matters.

She says nothing to them and does not glare their way. They are not kits. They should know better than to cause trouble for Cicadastar, in her opinion. She pads to Beesong and peers up at him. "Everything will be okay. The WindClan cats won't... won't do anything." Stars, she hopes so. They've all had enough of war, surely.


− ♱ ABOUT : he’d taken a walk. for a while, he'd nested in the thick reed, rounding his way around the flora to settle upwind of he windclan patrol as they departed from his borders. in any other situation, the woman would have been irredeemably insulted ; their only saving grace being that she by extension of her warriors owed them an apology. while it seemed an overreaction to being taunted by a flock of children, the embarrassment that burned beneath his pelt had outweighed any bewilderment he may have felt. ever since his return from the stone, after being attacked by that damned brown tabby, his paws had felt weighed by stone, a nervous trudge through life ; corroded now by the crashing waves of anger still bursting thick through his veins. at his core, he knew his cats meant well ; the youth had only meant to protect him, a noble attribute to a warrior . . but he was their leader, their sworn protector, not the other way around. snowy paws come to a stop on the shore, mottled toes leaving indents in waterlogged soil ; his reflection shines back at him a beacon of exhaustion, the bruised undersides of icewater eyes as dappled black as the dying horizon. the man takes a breath, closes his eyes tight . . and dunks his skull underneath in one fluid moment.

river waters ran cool overheated bones, a scorching rash of rage quelling at his cheeks. he comes up with a gasp of air, features drenched and dripping heavily back into the body below. cicadas scream in the distance, echoing clear over still waters, the heady heat of greenleaf bringing mosquito and river skippers to buzz around swaying flora he nestled in. it wakes him up ; the dreary half - dread half - fury that had been buzzing like locust within the bleeding chambers of his heart giving way to crisp lucidity. cicadastar liked to think himself reasonable ; he considered many of the cats that resided within their growing clan to be family, but disrespect was disrespect. he held sootstar in high regard, despite her haughty attitude. her arrogance was deserved, as was his. he commanded respect in his title and the blue smoke was no different . . his own daughter figure, too − she should have known better. pumpkin had been the first to fire off, and to a leader! he thought he'd been a well enough role model for the calico, but she had not shown an inch of it today, and the momentary rage he'd felt had now quelled to a quiet disappointment. he'd tried for her, really . . maybe he wasn't parent material.

the sun had only just begun to bleed into dusk when he makes the decision to venture back, finally standing from the perch he'd taken by the water and shaking the condensation that had gathered on the curls of his coat, sending mosquito flying over from the reeds. with enough time to mull it over, he felt the familiar burn of shame rip at his ears. he'd blown up on them ; while they deserved to be punished, they had not deserved to be shouted at. they were young, and yelling would do nothing. they would face punishment, but they would get through it stronger. the man begins to limp back to camp, gritting his teeth with each aching step that he takes. he wasn't well enough to be venturing the lands alone, but he refused bedrest. he needed to move, paws itching and muscles screaming to pace. it wore on him near the end of the day, however ; joints tight and stiff. as he nears their drained island, the mans catches the tail end of a shout echoing clear over the water. frigid luminaries blink, pawsteps faltering before picking up with haste, too - long limbs bringing him through the reed - lined entrance and into camp where . .

" what happened? " its incredulous, the way his accented vocals call over the cacophony of sound and activity. they were bristling, spitting -- beesong was crying. the bicolor limped towards them, attempting to press against their side for comfort, curled tail coming to sweep up his other side, " beesong, are you alright? " his tone drops a bit, quiet in its concern. while he was still struggling with his own issues with the cinnamon tabby's origins, he would not sit and watch them cry. after a moment, the man would whip his head up, taking in the rest of the scene before him. willow was tucked around ash, comforting the kit who was cowering on the ground. a pang shot heavily through his heart, the curge to scoop her close too itching at his paws but she was in trouble, " great starclan. this behavior is unacceptable. " he breaths, his brow furrowing and head dipping. the sudden rush of a headache stirs in his temples, but he takes a breath.

"children . . " frost, pumpkin . . he pauses, his voice dropping careful and achingly soft, " ash, look at me, liebling." hoping the kit looks up, he sighs, " you were all very brave . . but the violence shown towards a peace - seeking clan is against the very thing that we stand for. the stars speak against violence, stirring fights like that will only bring more. a warrior has many weapons, sometimes their best weapon is restraint. " he allows the ghost of a smile to cross his maw, looking towards pumpkin ( who was visibly put out and upset, her mottled fur puffed with agitation ), " we cannot call for an execution over each little indescretion. your heart was in the right place, my daughter. but i . .. " he swallows hard, voice growing hoarse for a moment. he clears his throat again, " I've done horrible things. with your logic, i'd be long dead. " he chuckles, attempting to lighten the situation, muscles relaxing minutely against beesong. starclan knew there were cats out there who called for that very thing ; he forces the sudden panic singing his paws away from his mind, focusing on breathing through slightly parted maw.

" as your leader, i have to keep you safe. as punishment, you are all on a month long camp probation. you are to only leave camp with your mentors and are to return immediately. your remaining time will be spent assisting with clearing out the dens, and aiding corvidtongue should he need anything. " the elderly tom was a rickety thing, as proud as he was. he doubted he would need much, but he surely wouldn't refuse a lookover for ticks. his eyes find ash specifically, a soft frown pulling at his maw. he wasn't mad. disappointment brims in icy eyes, but he keeps his voice calm, " ash, I'm pushing your apprenticeship by a moon. you will take the extra time to practice swimming lessons with the queens in the waters outside the nursery. should you be found out of camp again, another moon will be added and you will be assigned someone to supervise you. " perhaps harsh, but she had shown windclan that he let kits near their dangerous waters, and he had to ensure she understood how dangerous that was. he glances briefly towards willow in thanks for comforting the child, finally letting his shoulders fall, " you are all very promising young warriors. please, don't let me down like this again. you are all so much better than how you've shown yourself to be today. "

  • CICADA ; he / him, roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − tall black smoke tortie chimera with icecap eyes and curly fur, homosexual
    − speaks with a german accent, former marshlander, penned by antlers

  • none.

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My daughter, he says. My daughter. He calls her his daughter and all hell breaks loose, shes sobbing full fledged now and shes taking steps back. She looks weak, pathetic but she can’t put up any walls anymore, not with Cicada, and so she aches and aches and her heart screams at her for being so fucking dumb. "He- He, he could have killed you!" her lungs burn with every breath as she tries to argue back but she sounds meek and scared. Weasel had hurt him, badly, and she knew with Soots pride (especially back in the marsh group) she probably wouldn’t have let it slid with just an apology and a pathetic piece of prey. She refuses to meet Cicada’s eyes the whole time he speaks. She swallows hard.

She opens her mouth to argue once more but nothing came out and shes suddenly very aware of the eyes that pry in to her. Her heads buzzing and everything feels slow motion. She’s being punished. Punished for defending her dad and her fur bristles once more despite the sobbing that was occurring. The anger is still there, muddled with an aching grief, but its there and she feels it boiling. "Fine." was all she gets to mumble out before she turns tail and disappears. She does not turn back to look at Frost or Ash. She could not meet her mistakes in the eyes. Confined to the camp, what a fucking mess. Stupid, stupid, stupid, it echoes in her mind like a symphony of wails. You are just like me, my daughter. She wants to hurl.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

// out !!

The return of the group of cats that had gone on their little.. trip? venture? was met with a very happy elder in response. He unsteadily lifted himself to his paws, walking over to the group of youngsters only to flinch at the tones used with each other. The discord in this clan, the very way they spoke to each other. Corvid sighed. Was this how it was always going to be? Just pain, misery, and doubt amongst a group of cats who needed each other to survive. There's a look of sorrow as he watches Cicada attempt to soothe the children, and then Pumpkin walks away.

She reminds me of Daisy. My beautiful Daisy... My precious daughter, oh.. I miss her.

Suddenly, he's reminded of how old he was. How he had lived longer than his own children. He shuts his eyes, momentarily taking a breath before he walks over to Caraway, dipping his head sadly in greeting to her.

"How long will we have to live like this? Constantly on edge, constantly fighting. My daughter, she.. She died for a cause you cats fought for, and died for it. And for what? For us to bicker like lost children?"

He asks nobody in particular, a distant look in his bulging eyes.
Too many voices flit into his curled ears at once.

Hey, are you hurt?
I'm sorry.
Take a breath.
Everything will be okay.
Beesong, are you alright?

Beesong's teeth grit, his eyes snapping shut. Eyes are on him, burning through his cinnamon fur with the intensity of a wildfire. Useless, that voice whispers to him. The anger has quickly subsided like the tide. All that's left is regret. He is too acutely aware of her sniffling. The fear that had twisted her expression. He'd scared her, an innocent kitten. He didn't mean to, he swears that he didn't. He isn't- he isn't like that.

Oh, but he is, isn't he? Beesong has been running from that part of himself, embedded deep inside, since kithood. He couldn't keep denying it after today.

They don't answer anyone, their head shaking frantically. "I- I've got to go collect herbs." It's a lie, and they know it. But they couldn't show any more of their underbelly to their new clanmates.

Without another word, Beesong spins quickly on their paws and rushes from the camp.