private IN YOUR IMAGE || squall, sootstar


starclan || 8.14.22
Jun 7, 2022
This has gone far enough. Haze has reached his boiling point, the point of no return. His father's throne has been desecrated by a limp-pawed kittypet, when Squall or himself or even a younger brother would have been more fit to lead. Hell, even the kits in the nursery would have been more fit to lead than Blazestar!

The silver tabby eyes their leader silently as he names his deputy, and of course, he slights Rain's own children again. He clenches his jaw, the anger causing his whiskers to tremble. He doesn't look at Daisy Flight or Blazestar or that fool who led him to the moonstone.

He stalks away from the camp.

He plans only to find a secure branch away from prying eyes, to ponder, to sleep away his rage, but white paws keep him moving. There are shadows lengthening now as the sun descends, and his mind is racing with thoughts that are almost random. Thoughts about his father, about the family he's always held so dear.

You wouldn't have given him nine lives, Father. You wouldn't have given him a blessing. It's a lie. It has to be. He stops in his track, seething. Rain would want Squall or himself to take his place, surely? Would want his family to continue his legacy?

He shakes his head, bitterness hot in his murky eyes. He should seek his father out. The last place he'd seen him, the battlefield, where that murderous RiverClan cat had slain him and left him to die.

Haze stalks toward the clearing, the towering oaks around him like a canopy shielding him from the judgmental glare of the stars. He's walked a ways, but he is full of adrenaline lit by his discontent. A fluffy tail lashes and he tilts his face to the sky, bent whiskers trembling.

"Why would you ever pick someone so useless when your own sons are right here?" His legs feel weak, but he remains standing. Wetness pierces his vision. "It's not even about leading, but -- why would you come to him and not us? Don't you miss us?"

The barely-present stars do not answer. They are silent.

Furious eyes sweep toward an exit, an exit away from SkyClan's camp. Father, your murderer lives and eats and sleeps while you lay cold under my paws. He shifts his claws, feels the earth, and his spine prickles. Briar's damned killers are thriving, and SkyClan... is nothing without you. It will never be.

He begins to move, brain frazzled. He doesn't know what he's seeking. He only knows he's angry, and he's tired, and he wants a semblance of justice that he feels he and his brother have been denied.

That's all he wants.


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He leaves.

He leaves the meeting before the cheers can become too loud, before he and his siblings are officially cast aside from their legacy. It was them, who came to the forest first. It was he and Haze, who wanted to see what the pine forest had to offer, the two still young enough to be considered kits. It was Red and Indigo who practically only knew of life within the pine forest and the group their collectively adoptive father founded.

It was them that their group was founded upon. It was Rain, and River, and Squall, and Haze. It was Red, and Indigo, and Viridian. It was Uncle Tugger. That was supposed to be SkyClan's legacy. SkyClan's future leaders, future deputies.

Never Blazestar. Never Daisy Flight.

And, yet the group cast them aside like they meant nothing. Yet, his family seemed to be the only ones who hung onto Rain so dearly. Hardly even that - Viridian left for ThunderClan, Tugger was hung up on Fritter's sudden departure - rightfully so, but this mattered too. They were forgotten, left to grieve and forced to move on, as someone who Squall couldn't recall seeing in the battle that killed his father took his place on the High Branch, as he slept in his father's den.

Silver paws trudge on, past the pine forest, and towards the once bloodstained clearing, towards the former scene of his father's demise, of Squall's own demise.

It's ashamedly the first time he's been back since the gathering, the pain and anger weighing too heavy on him to motivate him to take the walk out to visit his father. The pain and anger still weighs heavy, of course, but Squall isn't sure if the heaviness is more or less, that his paws are able to lead him here.

He doesn't expect to see Haze, but he does. He shouts words to the sky, words Squall's own mind had been begging to shout, but seasons of shadowing his father, of learning how to be diplomatic for a title he'll never receive, kept him from shouting.

"He's a thief," he speaks, letting his presence be known, "Those lives should never have been his. StarClan should've turned him away the moment he took claim of our home. And yet, they didn't. They could've intervened at anytime, and they chose too late." StarClan was at just as much fault in this as Blazestar was, as Daisy Flight was destined to be.

"Rain can talk to him, but can't bother to talk to us. It's as if he's forgotten who his children are," he adds, charcoal-hued tail flicking in annoyance. Cast aside by his father, just as he was cast aside by SkyClan. Of course. What more could go wrong? What more could Squall lose?

His brother's paws start moving forward, and Squall follows behind. He doesn't know where Haze is going, but Squall knows that, wherever his brother goes, he will follow.

He's all he truly has left, after all.
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A disgustingly familiar scent on the wind.
Strangers at the border.
Kittypet scent on the wind.
Kittypets at the border.

Once a kittypet always a kittypet, once a SkyClanner always a kittypet, that is how the brain of Sootstar worked.

She isn't afraid of them, the moment she sets her sights on the two she's strutting over, fur bristling in a warning.
"WindClan land doesn't welcome visitors, especially SkyClan ones." Her lip curls as she bares her teeth in a growl. She notes at this moment that one of them had fury dancing in his eyes... her claws unsheathe, bracing herself to attack or be attacked any moment.

Why was a SkyClannner at her border all pissed off? Were they still upset about the past? Upset that Sootstar had hailed from the swamp group? Upset that she had killed Marigold? She isn't sure, and the blue she-cat does not like the unknown.

"You both need to leave. Or else."

Haze is grateful for Squall's company. His brothers. They're all he has left. He lets his twin's rage seep into his own, so the anger bleeds out into one watercolor of emotion. The two of them deserved better, Haze knows that. They deserved better from life.

"StarClan," he mutters, mutiny sparking in yellow eyes. "Once you die, you lose your brains as well as your body."

His paws keep moving, and he hears Squall behind him. He doesn't know where they're going. Blind anger pushes him forward and before he knows it, the scents of other cats are tangled on the wind. The earth has changed under their paws.

"WindClan land doesn't welcome visitors, especially SkyClan ones."

Haze snaps his head around, gaze burning into the dark until a small, blue-gray shape emerges from the shadows. Green eyes glitter with venom, a voice dripping with ridicule telling them to leave now or else.

"Murderer," he says, his lip curling and revealing yellow fangs. "Every last one of you is responsible for this. If my father hadn't been driven to war..." His voice trembles with raw emotion.

If, if, if. If Rain had never brought that stupid kittypet into his fold. If Rain had never heeded his call for war. If Rain had never died.

But it was Briar's fault, more than anyone's, wasn't it? Cicada's, for killing him? And this cat. This cat is not different, to him. A Clan leader rising from the bloody ashes of Briar's slaughtering snakes.

Haze gives no warning. His mind is only a blank, boiling mass of turmoil. The silver tabby leaps for Sootstar with his claws extended.



Murderer, he calls her. A title Sootstar believed she had a right to deny, the only cat she's killed is poor Marigold- but that was not murder. It was war.

Sootstar moved to open her maw, yet no words but a battle yowl would escape it. Before she knows it silver claws are flying her way, they really had dared to attack her. Stupid... stupid kittypets. They truly did lack brains.

Unable to dodge the initial attack, his extended claws managed to slice down her forehead, creating a cut that ended at her brow. With raging adrenaline, she hardly feels the pain. Blood trickles down, dripping into a singular eye, as she blinks it off she makes her own move. A brutal one. Blinded with rage and insult she lifts a paw to reveal claws that shone as the sun's rays bounced off their surface. With zero hesitation and with all the force she could muster she slams her claws against his neck. The hit was heavy enough to knock the air out of the tom's lungs, causing him to gasp and collapse on impact. Sootstar is unmerciful, she does not let go of her grip as her daggers curl and root themselves into the tom's flesh. All of the weight of her body was placed into the paw that pressed down against his windpipe, if her claws had not dug deep enough then she was surely suffocating him.

She's trembling with anger... and perhaps fear. She knew where this was going, and Sootstar herself wasn't sure she liked it.
It was true she didn't take pride in killing cats, but this SkyClanner? He had to die, he must die. No kittypet would walk onto her lands, attack her, and leave.

All while this is happening, his sibling companion is likely not just standing idle. He's making his own move, isn't he?
Regardless of what happened next, it was too late for the tom of silver who rested under her bloodied paw.

He's satisfied when his claws meet their mark, a clean hit on the blue smoke's forehead. Flesh tears and blood streams down her face and into her eyes.

But he doesn't have time to act further or relish his successful attack. She's quick, quicker than he can anticipate, and her claws gleam as they reach for his throat. Puncturing. He inhales sharply, aggressively, and collapses from the force of the blow.

But she doesn't let go. She grips the flesh of his throat with her claws, sinking them deep, cutting off his air and filling his world with blood. He can't move. She's small, and under normal circumstances, he could have shoved her off of him with ease -- but the force on his windpipe, the searing agony, the eruption of blood from his neck --

The last thing he sees is Squall, still there, his brother. Haze's eyes meet Squall's, and there is an apology there amidst the pain he's enduring in his final moments.

He cannot say goodbye, or scream help me, or do anything but wait for his world to fade to black. The only solace is that his father might come to greet him on starry paws.

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He hardly has time.

Hardly has time to realize how far they've strayed from home. Hardly has time to try to get Haze to turn back. Hardly has time before tragedy strikes.

The silver tom stands beside his brother, green eyes wide as he's faced with the blue smoke - Sootstar, leader of WindClan. Had they really made it that far? Lessons of diplomacy etched in his mind urge him to bow his head, to apologize and tell the molly they got lost, that they'd be heading home now.

But there isn't any time.

Haze accuses her of being a murderer - maybe it's true, Squall doesn't know. But, he does know it wasn't her that killed his father. No, they were in the wrong clan for this sort of conversation. For any of this.

His silver counterpart attacks, Sootstar attacks back, and it all happens so fast. Squall makes an attempt to lunge forward at the she-cat, to keep her away from his brother, but it is of no use. Part of him isn't even sure it happened, his attempt at an attack - the only proof of such is the fact he's now on the opposite side of his brother.

His brother, who is now on the ground, claws dug into his throat.

His brother, who looks at him with sorry eyes as he struggles.

His brother, who was supposed to be all he had left, now dead before him.

"N-No.. I.. No!" Squall's eyes are wide as he looks between Haze and Sootstar, tears stinging at the corners. What his brother had accused the WindClan leader of rang true in unfortunate timing, and Haze becomes yet another lost piece of Squall. He's already lost so much. Why now? Why him? Why --

"Murderer!" Squall shouts, repeating his brother's accusation from merely moments before. He leaps towards her once more, claws splayed out in hopes to wound her, to harm her just as she did to his brother.

He'd destroy every single one of her lives, if he could.
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