She hadn't been back to see him in what felt like ages, the cream colored tom with whom she had developed a fast friendship with. Not at the gathering, which she had not attended because she could not bare to look at the faces of those who she had left behind in the marshes when she had left without saying a word, and not at the borders, though she had started coming at night again in hopes that Blaise may be there waiting for her. There would be no such luck though, and with every night that he is not present she feels her heart drop. It's her own fault of course, for not showing up in so long, keeping her distance when everything in her ached to be with him. They barely knew each other and yet she felt like he was her closest friend.

That's why she was here, in broad daylight, a plump squirrel between her paws. Green-leaf was always good for such things. The prey had spent all spring and summer getting nice and fat, and Little Wolf had made this catch quite easily. So laden with its own food was the creature that it was slow to get away. For a moment, as she moves between the oaks, drawing near the pines she is gripped by a small twinge of doubt. What if someone recognizes her as being a part of the marsh group previously, though she resided in thunder now. Or what if Blaise wasn't on a patrol today? So many things that could happen. So many ways she could end up leaving with fresh scars. She shudders to think of it but she does not back down. The midnight black she cat presses on with her catch set firmly between her teeth until the trees start to turn a deeper shade of green, the scent of pine washing over her as she draws near the border. She doesn't dare cross but sits right at it and places her catch between her feet, staring out into the forest and hoping that he would be there. The squirrel was her alibi, if anyone but him came she would simply state that it was a squirrel she caught that ran across the border and she was returning it to its rightful owners, that's all.

The line between the oak forest and the pine forest is one Blazestar finds himself avoiding, though it's not out of fear. Truthfully, Ember is the only leader he's not at least faintly terrified of, and he doubts she or her cats would harm him or any of SkyClan's warriors. He's not sure why he's spent so much time away from the line of demarcation, except for the slight hurt he still feels at those who left SkyClan to be in ThunderClan.

Ember had been born a wild cat, had proved herself in the battle. Can Blazestar really fault those who went with her? He holds no ill will towards the young she-cat, none whatsoever, but there's a tang of bitterness in his throat when he thinks about the differences between those who had followed her and those who remained in his own Clan. Loyalty to Rain and discomfort at leaving were the only things binding them to him. Ember's cats had gone with her out of admiration, a desire to be led by a cat they considered worthy.

Would he ever be that to anyone?

It's sunny out, warm but with a soft breeze that stirs ripples into his pale fur. He tastes the air and finds it redolent with squirrel. His ears prick up. It's not a living squirrel he smells, and there's a familiar scent tangled with it -- a scent almost as enticing.

"Little Wolf," he says, dark blue eyes wide with surprise. She's here, flesh and fur rather than dream. A small dark shape cradling a squirrel between careful paws. "You're really here?" A dumb question from a dumbfounded mind. He doubts the small black she-cat would have come all the way here from the marsh, so...

She must live in ThunderClan now, he thinks, and a pulse of relief shoots through him. ThunderClan is a safer place for her, he thinks. A Clan he has no quarrel with, who has no quarrel with him, who is led by someone kind and bright. The temptation to touch noses to her's is strong, but he refrains -- it's been too long, and there's the distance created by time between them now.

Time, and duties, of course. Blazestar looks at her with longing. She doesn't know he's the leader of SkyClan now. Doesn't know he's been gifted nine lives, has aged years in half a moon. "Did you... are you here for something?" He can't presume she's here to see him. It would be rude, and embarrassing if he were wrong.


When the leaves part and a figure steps out her heart all but stops. For a moment its anticipation and nerves that cause this stutter, afraid it would be some cat who is in a way, hostile, but no. She sees his familiar pelt, and drinks in his familiar scent, though he does smell more wild than the last time she had seen him. It really has been way too long. Still, she can't help the big smile that appears on her face, tugging at the corners of her mouth as she immediately leaps to her paws to press her nose to his cheek in an enthusiastic greeting, never mind that they hadn't seen each other in a while. She was happy he was here.

"I came here to see you!" she purrs in amusement as she pulls away, green eyes taking him in. There was something different about him, but she couldn't quite place her paw on what. He held himself differently and there was an air of confidence that hadn't been there before, but there was also a look of sadness in his eyes, it made her want to press herself against him, to groom his cream-colored fur and whisper to him that it would be alright, but she purses her lips together and refrains.

Did he still like her? Did he still want to be friends? It had been a long time.

"I'm sorry it took so long for me to come, so much has been happening lately Blaise. My family moved to Thunder Clan and Sal killed Ember in front of us all and now she's supposed to be our medicine cat and oh everyone has new names now it's all so confusing!" she is ranting, spilling all the things that she had vowed she would not say to him but she cannot help herself. His presence had a way of making her want to say every little thing that came to her mind. She lifts her green eyes up from the forest floor to look at him again "But I missed you" she admits, quietly. "And I thought that maybe you would want to share this squirrel with me" she motions with her tail to the piece of prey that she had brought with her. Originally intended to only be a cover story if she had been caught by another cat, but now a perfect excuse to spend more time with him.
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Little Wolf leaps to her paws at his arrival, and to his complete surprise -- and delight -- she stands on her tip toes and presses her cheek to his, her purr loud and warm. "I came to see you," she says, and he can't help but purr in response, a thundrous rumbling that he can feel in the depths of his paws.

"You did? Lucky me." He smiles, some of his worries forgotten -- that simply, that easily, she's driven the moon of exhaustion from his shoulders and pelt like a furious gust of wind.

She explains that she and her family moved to ThunderClan, confirming his suspicions. He exhales softly, unable to contain the relief he feels at this admission. "ThunderClan is a good place. Ember is kind," he says with a small smile.

But the rest of her new is troubling to him. He doesn't know who 'Sal' is, and he can't help but feel surprised that ThunderClan, too, has a medicine cat. A murderous one. "Are you safe there? Maybe you should move to SkyClan..." His smile sags, becoming a concerned frown. "New names... did you get one, too?"

He hopes not. He's always liked Little Wolf. In a way, she had Clan names before StarClan gave them to Blazestar and Dawnglare.

He clears his throat, looking sheepish. "I guess I should mention. I'm Blazestar now. I guess you weren't at the last Gathering... but I'm the leader of SkyClan." He shuffles his paws, embarrassed. He's far from gloating -- after all, he's a kittypet leading the kittypet Clan, isn't he? His Clanmates certainly aren't impressed, nine lives or not.

"But I missed you." Oh, four simple words, enough to cause his skin to burn with fire and his mind to go blank. "I thought that maybe you would want to share this squirrel with me."

Blazestar, purring, leans down to bump his face against her's in a show of spontaneous affection. He can't stop himself. "Of course! No one will bother us." He can't imagine anyone would come looking for him. He points to a spot beneath a shady pine, then beckons her forward. "Come... tell me about your life in ThunderClan. You said your family wanted to move there?" He has never asked her about her family before, but now he wants to know.

He can't help it -- he wants to know everything about Little Wolf.