private i didn't change my number. [ willowroot ]


Jul 27, 2022
rest was tedious. she didn't want to be resting. she needed to be training. her uncle got the upper paw on her once... and it almost cost her. she wasn't ready to admit just how grateful she was for her clanmates. she wanted to brood around. to snap. to be angry. she had every right to be upset, in her opinion. her tail tapped gently against the ground, as she faced away from the den's entrance, and just about everyone in there. poppy had nothing to say. she just wanted to be out of here.

i should just sneak out. there's no fucking reason for me to stay here.

she thinks bitterly, closing her eyes as her ears swiveled back. she couldnt sleep. not with her mind racing like this. but she could pretend. she hadn't even noticed when willowroot had dipped inside of the den. she was just too busy being moody.

@willowroot here ya go love <3
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( ) she's not been this worried in a long time. it's frustrating, because in reality, there is very little about this situation that should prompt her to care. poppysplash is grumpy, a bit of a bully and generally not pleasant. yes, she's a clanmate, which automatically means there's loyalty there, but the smoke knows that the other is safe. poppy won't die. there's no reason that willowroot should be hovering outside of the medicine den right now, belly churning with unprocessed emotions. they swallow, muttering under their breath. "i don't need to be here. she's fine. stars, it's not like she even cares about me." tufted ears flick back for a moment, an annoyed hiss escaping her maw before she takes a breath. "but i care about her... stars i fucking care about her. that's not good. damn it."

with a resigned breath, the dark femme pushes into the den, eyes immediately drawn to the dappled shape curled tightly in the corner nest. the woman's breaths rise and fall evenly, and her eyes, (oh her eyes, sunlight and gold and glittering), are shut tight. discomfort and an infuriating sense of relief are stuck in willowroot's throat as they settle awkwardly beside the sleeping form. "hey," they begin, before cringing, their tail bristling. "you're asleep. i should've guessed that actually. it makes sense cause you're injured. i hope you're okay." if there's one thing that's true about willowroot, it's that they ramble when they're nervous. words tumble from their lips like rapids upon the rocky banks of the river. "i guess because you're asleep i can say what i want. stars, you're infuriating," verdant eyes trace over the grey and white feline, heart fluttering in their throat, mouth suddenly dry. "why are you on my mind all day? it's not fair." she sounds like a kid, she realizes. if her parents were here, they'd berate her for moons. "poppysplash. why are you in my brain? why do i care about you so much? you don't even like me? sometimes i want to just yell at you or something, because you must have done something to me. why do i feel like this? what is the point of wanting to be close to you when you won't let me?"

jaws snap shut, and the feline finds they're standing, tail lashing behind them. they take a breath, collect themself before their voice breaks. they're making a fool of themself, but the pretty molly is sleeping. no one is here to laugh at them. they're alone with their infuriating feelings and the sleeping form of the one who caused them. "i hope you're okay. please be okay. i care about you." the silvery tail wraps tightly around their paws as they sit again, head bent in thought.

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the molly has half a mind to snap towards willowroot as soon as she comes in. she hates to admit it, but as much as she wanted to see them... something told her that she did not look nearly as put together as she usually did. trying to distract from everything wrong, poppysplash focused on her appearance first. her skills were always secondary to how she looked. fighting was next. swimming followed. but hunting? she didn't want to talk about that. that's what got her into this mess in the first place.

still, she wanted willowroot to go away, but she pauses when willowroot speaks of her being asleep. she wasn't... but she could pretend. to listen to their sweet voice without interruptions, or her brain forcing acid words from a tainted tongue... this she could do. she let her chest slowly rise and fall, keeping her eyes closed to be careful not to give away any movements that would betray her act. and she simply listens. to every single word. i bet she has that little wrinkle on their muzzle. right there above their nose. she doesn't know she does it. but i know... stars i sound like a fucking rabid fox.

it takes everything in poppy not to flinch. everything that willowroot said makes her... feel things. things shes been trying to avoid. this. this entire situation was something she was trying to avoid. she tried to push them away. poppy did her best to be mean and snap and simply tell the gorgous felidae that they were annoying. how much a bother they were being. that they talked too much, and stars did they talk too much. but fuck, poppy wanted to listen. she fucking was willing to listen and now...

caring for me is a mistake, willowroot. i am only ever a disappointment. i... how can you say such fucking mousebrained things!? don't you know how ridiculous you sound!? why me!?

shifting in the nest, poppysplash couldn't stay "sleep" any longer. she stretched, pulling a fake yawn before turning to willowroot with a few good blinks.

"what are you doing in here? don't you have somewhere more important to be?"

it came out a lot harsher than she meant it. she was quick to clear her throat turning her face away, with a small frown.

"i just mean that... you probably have anywhere else to be that isn't... here. i wouldn't want to keep... you.."

the sudden pain in her face makes her pause. she stands up from the nest with a quiet whimper, sticking her head out to look into a puddle. her eyes are quick to widen before she just pulled back, making her way back to her temporary nest, curling up and putting her tail over her face. they're gonna think i'm hideous...

"you dont have to be here, you know? i'm fine..."

she's just gonna leave me like the rest of them, anyways. its better this way. i'm sorry willowroot but you deserve a better friend.
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( ) there's a certain kind of fear one feels when they think they might have been caught doing something. it's a dip in the stomach, a lump in the throat, heat flushing under the skin. this is what willowfrost feels the moment she sees poppysplash shift in her nest. jaws open revealing pearly whites as the other yawns, blinking sleep out of her eyes, and the smoke lead warrior tenses, eyes wide, struck dumb for a moment by the presence of the feline. her face, while scarred, is more beautiful than ever- even as tiredness decorates her features, the honey eyes that have haunted willow's dreams shine dimly and the rasping voice is the same as always. "you're awake." they murmur, stating the obvious. their brain is suddenly foggy, stomach flipping in an emotion they cannot describe. they swallow, take in the words, staring.

oh stars, they're staring. their eyes trace the features of the other, head tipped absentmindedly as it does when they're concentrating, muzzle indeed wrinkled in a slightly endearing way. poppy's words are painful to hear at first, but the woman has been blunt since they met- wil hasn't expected anything else. so there's a small spark of surprise when she seems to backtrack, thinking more carefully about her words. the stuttering pauses in the usually very outspoken molly cause concern to flood willowroot's mind, and for a moment they wonder if they've made the other uncomfortable. "i wanted to see you-" at the sudden movement, they move back, not before the soft fur of the other brushes against them as she leans over to check her reflection. electricity courses through their spine.

poppy's reaction to her own face sends another flutter of worry into willowroot's chest. the molly curls back up, voice now muffled by her tail, and the onyx feline feels their ears flatten, brow furrowing. "oh, don't hide," they murmur, almost more to themself, longing to see the other's face again. you're beautiful. clearing their throat, they continue, louder. "i was just worried. you're not keeping me, poppy. i'm allowed to visit a... friend." friend. yes, that's what they are. friends. their teeth worry at their lip as they stare at the other, dumbstruck, feeling all the words they had just rambled a moment ago now freeze up inside of them. "how... uhm, how are you feeling then?" their voice is a bit strange in an attempt to communicate normally. for the life of them they cannot remember what a natural sounding voice might be. all they can think about is the brief touch, and then the twisting of the pretty femme's face at her own reflection.

it's hard enough to think without willowroot's honest words, but they made it harder. why the hell would they want to see poppysplash? it makes no sense. it wasn't like, just as willow had said, poppy made herself easy to care about. and yet here they were, time and time again, caring about a cat who did everything in her power to push others away. stupid... she thinks bitterly.

visibly, though, she is dumbfounded when willowroot insists that she doesnt hide her face. why? why would willowroot want to see her like this? slowly, her tail moves but she does her best to hide it anyways, by moving her face. poppy's ears flattened against her head as she moved her gaze to her paws, which began to prick and pull at the moss lined nest in anxiousness.

"i guess... but who said we were friends?"

she's nearly mute with the words because they were harsh. and she wanted to be nice. stars, why did she want to be nice?

"i feel like my uncle nearly killed me, is how i feel. how else am i supposed to feel? happy that you're here? that you're in my space? bugging me?"

poppysplash sighed heavily.

"i guess i am. no one else wanted to visit me, but why would they? it's not like i give them a reason to care. i don't want them to care. i don't want you to care. but against my advice... you do. and i suppose it could be worse... you could hate me."

poppysplash admitted as her sunset colored gaze moved back up to wiloowroot's. and believe me, i don't think i want you to hate me.
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( ) as the molly reveals herself once more, albeit with countless little anxious movements, willow can feel the feeling in her chest begin to crackle. her heart pounds at the next words, face falling slightly at the harshness of the tone. there's the old poppy- stubborn and angry, fire blazing in golden eyes before, just as suddenly, the light vanishes. "oh, i-" she's interrupted again by the next statement, and the harshness continues, cold this time. happy that you're here? it's rhetorical, but the question races in the smoke's mind regardless. i want you to be. i want you to light up when you see me. idiot, you've got to let me in. but she doesn't repeat her thoughts aloud, conscious of the delicacy of this conversation.

"i'm sorry. i'll go, i didn't mean to bother you-" and they're cut off again, this time by four words that send hope blooming. she's glad. sure, the woman is only glad because no one else has visited, but she's glad all the same. a small smile dawns on the narrow muzzle of the lead warrior, and they peer down just a little, to look earnestly into the other's eyes. it feels a little too personal all of a sudden, but poppysplash is fascinating and willowroot is locked on her gaze. "i could never hate you." they murmur, tongue wetting rubbery lips, suddenly very nervous. wrenching green from gold, they stand, pacing in a circle. "uhm. yeah. no. i-" swallowing, they wonder if they can backtrack or if they've made a fool of themself already.

"look, poppy. poppysplash. i do care about you and you can't convince me to not. as far as i'm concerned you're an asset to riverclan. and i would like to be your... friend, if you will let me." anxious eyes flicker back to the other, depths of emotions swirling there that have not yet been explored. she feels like she's drowning, like she's reliving her past, but this time there's no fear. just acceptance, welcoming the wave of inky water that will inevitably wash over her.

as use as she's gotten to hiding her emotions, the only ones ever surfacing being anger and indifference, she can't hide it this time. the stupid fellidae in front of her makes her heart flutter. a thumping against her ribcage makes her feel embarrassed, and even more embarrassing to think that maybe willowroot could hear it. ears slowly moved upwards with a look of shock on her face. she's heard that word many times before. hate. but she's never heard it in this context. she's... baffled. confused. gobsmacked. she needs more confirmation. she can't take willowroot's word for it... not yet.

"are you... sure? swear by it?"

tch. she sounded like a kit, right now. so caught up in being sure, that she wanted a promise. locking tails to be sure this was something that couldn't be broken. or maybe i'm just looking for an excuse to hold onto them. she pushed her thoughts away, her own sunflowered gaze searching into the kelp colored ones in front of her. i could get lost in these. stars damn you, willowroot. what the hell have you done to me?

poppysplash finds herself listening again, her lids lowering with contentment while willowroot rambles. there they go. in circles again. but who cared? this is a voice that could sing her to sleep. this is a voice that could make her, even in a fit of rage and hatred, back down from a fight that is unlikely to be won. it's a voice i want to listen to forever. i hear it in my dreams... do you know that, willowroot? you even nag me in my dreams. and i wouldn't have it any other way.

this was new to poppysplash. she didn't have friends. she didn't want friends. too much of a responsibility. too much time wasted for her trying to be nice and considerate of others' feelings, when she barely wanted to deal with her own. but, poppysplash wasn't going to deny her. of course not. because whether willowroot knew it or not, poppy was enthralled by her. the way she held herself. their almost steel composure. the way she could simply be happy. she wanted that, too. and the only way she found it... was with them.

"i don't know how to do this. but, for you, i can try."

taking in a deep breath, poppysplash pulls these next words from so far down, its almost impossible to find them. but this was necessary. she knew it. and she wasn't going to be a bitch about this. not this time.

"and i'm sorry for being so fucking abrasive. i don't mean to be. towards you at least. it's just easier. but you don't deserve that. especially since you've been so kind to me. but don't expect me to be nice to anyone else, okay!? and if you tell anyone i'm trying to be nice to you, i will skin you like a river trout, got it?!"
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( ) "i swear," the dark feline nods, solemn, not breaking eye contact, a flaming intensity alighting the verdant optics. in a moment of pure compulsion, they tap their tail against the other's, twining it for but a second before reality kicks in and they slide it away. heat flushing their skin, willowroot shifts, blinks, tips their head. for you i can try. for them. the woman is going to go against her nature, for them. everything is so overwhelming and all the feline can do is stare and cling to every word that spills from the other. she doesn't even realize she's purring until the sound fills the den, and embarrassment lights her gaze again, but she's too preoccupied to care. poppy's sharing, speaking about their life, actually opening up for once. their heart soars.

do you know how valued you are? they wonder, as they watch her lips move, her eyes widen with emphasis. do you know that i would do anything you asked me to? you have a hold on me. you've flung out your claws and caught me in your trap. stars, just don't let go.

"i got it." they finally say, blinking softly. "no talking about how much of a softie you are. crystal clear." with a grin, the smoke sighs, all of the very sudden emotion taking its toll. her throat still rumbles slightly, and she's unconsciously moved closer to the nest in the emphasis of her words. the two are not exactly nose to nose, but quite clearly much closer than they had in the beginning. after about a minute of silence, punctuated only by the rustles of the mossy floor as willow shifts to get comfortable, their voice suddenly rings out again. "oh my stars i woke you up." tufted ears flatten awkwardly. "i'm so sorry. i didn't mean to, i only wanted to..." their voice trails off. i wanted to see you. "uhm, anyway, i can go if you want, i was just checking in. you should sleep probably, right? i don't know ha, um..."

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poppysplash notices, and she almost has half a mind to grab willowroot's tail back, but she doesn't. was she really that damn touch starved? how does one starve for something they've never had in the first place? never a hug. never a gentle lick. how do they make me miss something I've never experienced? poppysplash's eyes widened, embarrassment clear across her features.

"a s-softie!? tch! never! the river would completely dry up before that ever happens to me!"

snorting, it takes poppysplash a moment to notice just how close they are. one twitch of a whisker, and they'd be brushing noses... way too intimate. swallowing thickly, poppy consciously moves back slightly, just to give herself room to breath. it's hard enough to breath with wiloowroots scent taking up the den, even overpowering the scent of beesong's herbal collection.

"do you ever stop apologizing?"

she asks.

"you did wake me. if you want to make it up to me, we can go on a walk. i fucking hate it in here. too stuffy."

too close to the gaze of my uncle. i don't want him to see me. please take me out of here for a bit, willowroot. i promise to keep you safe.
( ) she feels herself smirking slightly, a small half smile that's accompanied by a teasing raised eyebrow. "oh of course, you could never be soft. don't worry i'll keep your secret." poppy repositions herself, pulls away just a bit and willow wonders why she feels a sharp tinge of disappointment a the fact. it's odd, but not something she has time to explore now - not when the golden eyed femme is right here.

do you ever stop apologizing? the smoke blinks caught off guard at the question, and a tiny laugh is forced out. "i guess not? sorr-" but their companion is moving swiftly on, and she simply watches her talk. "a walk sounds nice, though if beesong comes after me for helping you sneak out, you'll never hear the end of it." awkwardly trying to help the other to her paws, wil ends up not being very much help at all and simply hovering. her stomach churns with something akin to anxiety, but it almost feels nice, exciting.

"anywhere in particular, or just out of here?" they ask as the two slip out of the den, making their way towards the river. smoke brushes mottle, green glancing toward gold, and there's an undercurrent of electricity that neither have explored.

// sorry for the eh post im sleeby

the molly rubbed her muzzle, trying to get the blush off. she can't help that she feels embarrassed. she doesn't remember the last time she had so much attention to her. so much undivided attention on her, and it makes her nervous. she's bound to screw this up, anyways. clearing her throat, she swallows thickly, lowering her gaze.

"you don't have anything to be sorry about. you do know that, right? stop apologizing so much. you haven't done anything wrong."

poppysplash tries to reassure, walking near willowroot but not moving her gaze from her paws. she only laughs quietly, not wanting willowroot to hear it because they would mean she was becoming soft.

"scared of beesong? oh, don't worry. i'll protect you."

she lifts her head, casting a toothy smile before poppysplash furrowed thwr brows. where did she wanna go? anywhere. anywhere that wasn't here. and as long as its with you, idiot, i'm not picky.

"let's just see where the river takes us."