I WILL BOW OUT OF GRACE || dawn, hail

Flickerfire is not an early riser, but she despises the way the humidity clings to her coat in almost palpable beads of dank, swampy water during the heat of the day. The marshland and its canopy of thick pine blocks out most of the sun, but with it the breeze. She prefers to stalk by night or force herself up when the birds begin to sing.

She figures if she moseys out of camp early enough, she won't be slotted for any damn patrols or hunting expeditions. She doesn't feel like much of a team player today, and she's now been given the extra task of making sure her new tagalongs don't embarrass the Clan.

The tortoiseshell nudges the golden tom and the smoke-pelted femme. Her paw is sharp, right to the ribs. Anything but a gentle wake up. "Up and at 'em," she says in a voice that's entirely too loud for the time of day. She prances away from them before they begin to grumble at her. "No laziness under my watch! We've got stuff to do, places to see. C'mon, snail-tails!"

She heads for the camp exit, a lightness in her step. The dawn breeze ruffles her thin speckled fur, is like a fresh breath in her still-sleepy face. The sky is beginning to warm, slow but pink and rosy, from a red-heart sun bleeding through the treeline.

Flickerfire turns her head back at Dawnpaw and Hailpaw, presumably trailing behind her at this point. "Gonna get straight to the point. Both of you've already seen ShadowClan. Truth be told, ain't much to see." She snickers. "You can only look at so much crowfood and cedars before you go crazy. So, instead, I want you overgrown kits to show me your battle moves."

With a flourish, she turns to face both of them. She lowers herself into a defensive crouch, her grin fiery as her eyes. "Attack me!"

@Dawnpaw @hailpaw.


Dawnpaw had finally started to sleep in the apprentices den. Though while he missed being outside, it was surely better than wind and cold. There was other bodies around him and he didn't feel so alone at night. The cinnamon tabby moved slightly as a paw jabbed into his side and he gave a grumble of annoyance. What time was it? Surely too early to be awake and doing anything? Blue eyes blinked open and a lion-like tail flicked back and forth in annoyance; it was Flickerfire. This so called 'mentor' of his and as well as Hailpaws'. Two apprentices to one mentor- what an ironic thing.

The tom got up to his paws and stretched a bit, his lame leg wrapped up from his fight with the rats. Firedawn and himself barely got away from them and he was glad neither was severely hurt. Dawnpaw trudged after Flickerfire, unsure of where Hailpaw fell into this, and looked at her as they left camp. Listening to her state she was going to teach them how to hunt and fight, but she did have a point. One could only look at pine trees so much before promptly loosing their mind.

The tortie she-cat then crouched to the ground and demanded to be attacked. Dawnpaw though look to Hailpaw with an uncertain look, he only knew how to really fight like a kit. Never really been trained in a skillset before but he gave a small shrug before lunging for his mentor. Paws outstretched, but he fellt short as his lame leg got caught in a bramble bush that had been behind them. The cinnamon mink tabby hit the ground hard and bit his tongue shortly after from the force of his chin against marshy ground. Great.
[ Penned by Wolf_]
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Much like Dawnpaw, Hailpaw had slowly began to adjust to residing in the apprentices’ den. While she would prefer to sleep alone, and further away from the others, she couldn’t claim it was entirely that dreadful. Having finally started to sleep well at night, she would be awoken with a sharp jab to the side, causing her to jump awake in a hissing reaction of defense. Upon seeing that it was her mentor that had awoken her, she would calm slightly, giving a carefully calculated glare towards her mentor. Only really having time to give her fur a few quick licks, the apprentice would shoot a similar look towards Dawnpaw, wondering how he felt about being woken in such a manner.

While she had previously lived as a loner, she wasn’t sure she could truly admit to knowing much of the clan’s territory. Unfortunately for her, it seemed as though she’d be left to figuring things out for herself. Perhaps one night while everyone was asleep she could learn to map down the territory for her own sake? Having actual time to commit it to memory would be beneficial later on. Flickerfire’s words took her by surprise, however, upon hearing that she wanted them to fight her. The more she thought about it, the less she really cared as she began to recall the rude awakening from only a short time prior. Not recognizing that Dreampaw had fallen, the molly would recall a “move” her father had taught to her a short time before his passing. Leaping off her hind legs, Hailpaw would attempt to slide underneath Flickerfire’s belly (who was hopefully distracted by Dreampaw’s fall) and kick up with her hind legs, careful to keep her paws sheathed. The last thing she wanted was to get in trouble for harming a clanmate. Regardless of how upset she was with being woken up.
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She's satisfied that both Dawnpaw and Hailpaw make up their minds to follow at her heels. It's almost fun, thinking that she's the boss of someone - is that how Briarstar feels every day when she wakes up? Pitchsun? Bonejaw? She supposes she can't fault them for their attitudes. Though the only cats she has any control over are young, sleepy, and irate, from the looks of it.

Her call for the two apprentices to attack her is met at first with hesitation. Dawnpaw shares a look with his co-apprentice before he shrugs and lunges for Flickerfire. His paws are stretched before him, his form good and tight - but the leg that he'd injured in the battle gets caught on some underbush, and his chin smacks against the earth before he can reach her.

She relaxes, a scowl on her face. "Okay, well... you had a good start, at least." She clucks her tongue, sizing the golden apprentice up. She wonders what she's supposed to do now. He's capable of fighting and hunting, but Flickerfire herself has four perfectly mobile limbs. She'll have to try to put herself in his paws, and she's never been good at anything like that.

While she's sitting and staring at her older apprentice, the younger has taken her chance. Hailpaw's quick dark paws bring her to Flickerfire's side, and she shimmies beneath before the dark tortoiseshell can react. She manages to kick Flickerfire's stomach despite her desperate attempt at moving out of the way; the result is her sprawling to the side, dusted with swamp mud and debris.

She scrambles to her paws, stunned. "Wow! Sneaky attack. Not a fair fighter, are ya." She glares at Hailpaw. A few seconds pass. Then she breaks into a grin. "Nice one! See, y'can't be fighting fair. It's something that'll get you killed. Sneak attacks and stealth are what we're known for here in ShadowClan."

She turns back to Dawnpaw, making a hmm sound. "Not gonna lie. Might be harder for you. But we can adapt, I'll betcha. Did y'see how Hailpaw did that? You won't be able to do exactly that, with that leg, but... your front paws work just the same, don't they?" She tilts her head, then shakes her short dark coat out. Bits of mud fly every which way.

"Hailpaw, face me. Let's try that again, but no back leg power this time. And I'll be prepared for it. I wanna see what we can figure out." She lashes her tail, excitement causing her eyes to glow like lit coals. She didn't expect getting the frog guts beat out of her would be fun, but she's enjoying herself - though she wouldn't admit it aloud.


A small smirk would creep onto her face as she heard the complement, surprised that Flicker was pleased with it. Nodding she would glance to Dawnpaw, suddenly feeling somewhat guilty that she hadn’t noticed his fall. “You alright?” Waiting to hear his confirmation, she would refocus on Flickerfire, listening to what she had to say. Looking in Dawnpaw’s direction to see if he’d caught on to what she had done and what their mentor was saying, she would think for a moment before tilting her head to the side as she spoke. “We could demonstrate it again, and then I guess I could stand over him and he can try on me? He’s already laying down.” She’d shrug, not allowing herself to give in to being as kind as she was just a moment earlier. After a moment of mental preparation, the apprentice would ready herself, allowing her to slide underneath her mentor. Putting her paws up against her belly, she would take a moment to play with her paws as she tried to help come to some conclusion of how they could adapt her move for Dawnpaw. In her mind, their front legs wouldn’t be strong enough to pull it off. Unless they could use the back legs to hold the opponents hips in place and throw them off with their front? Shaking her head, she would glance to her mentor, unsure of what they were going to do.
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