A cloudy-furred kit stands frozen, sky-hued eyes scanning the camp.

His brother was supposed to be back by now. He told him he was going hunting - he said he was going to be back. But, he wasn’t here, and Cosmos was expecting the worst. Did the fire that took their home come back to take Finch away too? Was it going to find him next?

His frightened gaze goes from unfamiliar face to unfamiliar face. Though he and his brother had been here for a moon now- welcomed in by the nice tom that leads the group- it felt like everyday Cosmos recognized less and less of the faces that occupied the pine forest. Snowy paws nervously shift beneath him, red ears twitching. None of these faces matched Finch’s.

His brother was supposed to look after him, a promise to their shared father. And… And if something had happened to Finch… Who was supposed to look after him?

No. Cosmos couldn’t think like that. Finch was brave! He escaped the fire once- he even saved Cosmos from falling rubble! His brother would have to come back soon!

His eyes catch a familiar face among the crowd of unknown faces. He forgets their name, but… maybe they know where his brother is? Nerves on the rise, the tom pads towards them, small paws hesitantly pawing at the cat’s tail to catch their attention.

“Do… Do you know where… Where Finch is…?”

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╰☆☆ Haze is headed to the forest when a tentative paw catches the thick fluff of his tail. He pauses and glances over his shoulder, murky yellow gaze landing on the little kit who's tried to get his attention. Haze tilts his head at the anxious little guy's question: "Do... do you know where Finch is?"

He thinks for a moment. Finch. These young ones are fairly new, right? He remembers Finch, even just barely, because he is the one who provides for his brother. The scrap of pale fur seems stranded without Finch beside him, and Haze's eyes soften.

He remembers, just barely, being all alone in the world, concrete beneath him, his brother mewling beside him. At one time, though the memory has faded and worn, Squall was all he had. These kits are part of Rain's group now, and Haze suddenly feels quite brotherly towards young Cosmos.

"Finch? I'm pretty sure he went hunting with some other cats," Haze says, deciding his venture outside of camp can wait. Instead, he settles his fluffy bulk down, facing Cosmos with his frazzled whiskers and lazy smile. "He's a good hunter for his age, huh? Betcha he's gonna get you something real tasty." Subconsciously, he licks his lips. Maybe he'll sneak a bite, too.

The kit's eyes light up as he fits a name to the silver and white face before him, whiskers bent every which way giving Cosmos the biggest hint of them all.

Haze! This was Haze! One of the leader's kids! He had a brother, too - Sq… Squid? Squeak? Something like that, anyway. Haze was nice, so Cosmos was happy with himself for choosing him to ask. The older tom confirms to him that Finch is out hunting. That, he already knew. But, it was okay! Because, at least Haze knew too, which meant Finch couldn't have wandered too far! But still, the concern of him taking far too long lingered. He didn't think hunting took this long, but then again, he usually slept through half of Finch's hunting trips. Maybe he was catching lots of birds and mice! Enough for everyone!

"How… How long does hunting take?" the small kit asks, a tilt of his head following his words. As the leader's son, he must have lived here for a long time, so he probably knew that sort of stuff, Cosmos figured.

"Oh! Finch is… Finch is the best mouse catcher!" he squeaks out, recalling all the times Finch gave him a mouse to eat. It had to be true, that Finch was the best at catching mice, with so many memories of eating them! "Pa taught him everything before… before we had to find a new home." He tries to think back to his father, but only a blurred image of a cat comes to mind, flames rising behind him. He shakes the image out of his thoughts, trying his best to focus on Haze instead.

"Maybe… Maybe he can get you a mouse too?"
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╰☆☆ Haze purrs. Poor thing. Guess I can't blame him for being scared when Finch is away. Maybe once he gets more comfortable with the rest of us... He tilts his head at the ginger-eared kit as he tentatively asks how long it takes to finish a hunt.

The silver tabby laughs. "Depends on how good you are," he says. "Sometimes takes me forever." Maybe not something he should admit to, but he's more than fine with it. He's fed, and that's all that matters.

Cosmos brightens and begins to talk about his brother being the best mouse-catcher. He mentions his father, having to find a new home. Haze's smile wavers for a moment. He doesn't know what happened, exactly, to the two young toms, but he's sure it's not good. Many of the cats in his father's group tend to come from sordid and sad places.

He perks up again when Cosmos suggests Finch might get him a mouse as well. Haze laughs and moves to put a forepaw gently on the kit's head, between his ears. "Is he that good, you think?" His nose twitches. "If he comes back with two mice, you wanna be sure to be extra hungry when he comes back. Maybe we can play a game?" He doesn't really want to get up, though. He'll have to come up with a game that does not involve him moving.