IT'S A HABIT, I CAN'T HELP IT - honeytwist, dandelionpaw

Jul 11, 2022
Kestreltalon had let herself be guided into the medicine den, too disoriented to protest. Her vision swam in front of her from the pain. She collapsed to the floor with a groan the moment they stopped assisting her. She kept blinking, over and over, half expecting her vision to return to her every time she did. It had all happened so quickly, she almost couldn't believe it had happened.

The best she could, she tried to stay still as the medicine cats set about their work. Only letting out the occasional hiss of pain or frustration. She did not know them well enough to entrust them with her safety, but she did not have another option. Even if she wanted to fight them off, she couldn't have. Even the slightest movement worried her that she might further injure herself. They had, at least, been the few to actually move to her aid under Sootstar's gaze. That was the consolation for her unease.

Slowly, her senses returned to her. The pain ebbed under her caretakers' ministrations. Her vision, however, did not, her right side remained dark.

"Fuck." Kestreltalon muttered to herself abruptly, with a snarl that built up from her chest. "I should have turned and ran the day I heard about this clan. Mouse-brain." She chastised herself.

// @honeytwist @Dandelionpaw

He was thinking only of the furious eyes of his clanmates, directed at him for daring to raise his voice at their leader rather than at her for her barbaric display of indifference. Once in the den and safely tucked away from the rest of the clan he gave a deep and sudden gasp as if he'd been holding his breath the entire time and perhaps he had been, perhaps the wind had been knocked from his lungs at the intensity of the vitrol in the air; maybe he just forgot how to breath at all. The sepia point scurried forward away to the corner where he knew there was cobwebs and distracted himself gathering them up for Honeytwist, too afraid to look at Kestreltalon's face just yet. There was blood on the ground, on his paws where he had stepped in forming pools, on his shoulder where he had leaned into the she-cat to help guide her alongside his mentor. Everything was so-so red, it hurt his eyes and when he finally brought the cobwebs over, built up the nerve to look at the warrior's face, he managed to withhold the startled sound that rose up thankfully. Smothered it with a clench of his jaw, the wheat stem he usually twirled in his mouth in distraction had long since been snapped in half and discarded at the center of the camp during the chaos.
She wasn't going to be able to see again with that eye was she? His mismatched gaze slowly drifted to Honeytwist knowingly, uncertain, afraid. The wounded molly's words were haunting. If only running was so easy. Did the other clan leaders act this way? They had to have. It didn't make sense for WindClan to be so cursed on its own that intolerance was met with claws. Were they rogues? Were they vicious city cats? What was the point to the clans at all at this rate?
He'd never felt a more powerful urge to bite another cat in his life than when he had briefly starred down Sootstar and her cold delivery that she would meet any opposition in the same manner each time. An eye for an eye.

They'd all be blind.

Focus. Stop getting distracted. He puffed up his cheeks, nostrils flaring as he turned to keep bringing things they would need-briefly mistaking tansy for marigold and having to hastily swap them back out. Tansy was coughs, marigold infection, tansy coughs, marigold infection, right? Was he right?
Dropping the golden curled petals near the cinnamon healer's paws he could not help but speak out even knowing Kestreltalon was right there, " she going to keep doing this?" Would they be mending eyes all of Sootstar's reign.

Dandelion looks at her as she works. Shes trying not to cry but as soon as her gaze meets his they release the floodgates. Its silent, she does not make noise, only continues to work on Kestrel. She builds up a snarl, a thing that Honey does not blame her for, does not comment on when she speaks, only looks at her with sadness in her eyes.

Lets hope not,” her own voice is quiet. She does not know what to do anymore, what to say, how to comfort. “… I don’t think its even possible to end her tyranny. Have you seen her posse?” a long sigh as she grabs at the golden flowers, chewing them in to a pulp and trying to smear it across Kestrels eyes.

I’m so sorry, Kestrel.” its guilt that prods her to speak again. Shes not sure what to do with a head thats spinning so fast, theres blood on her paws. Theres so much blood on her paws, literally and metaphorically. Ears pin back to her skull.

I think we should all leave,” she admits quietly once more. She fears for her childrens safety. Fears for everyones safety. Fears for Kestrels good remaining eye, fears for sweet Dandelion.

What was she to do? What was she supposed to do? Why is Starclan letting this villainy go on?
Kestreltalon scoffed at Dandelionpaw's question, her tail lashing behind her. "Of course she is." She insisted angrily, not caring to comfort anyone. Entirely consumed by satisfying the anger that boiled within her. She nodded her assent to Honeytwist. "So long as she's got that 'posse' she's going to do whatever she damn well pleases, and she's enough of a snakeheart to tear every cat in the clan apart if it appeased her pathetic ego."

She spoke with fire, with passion, but it was all hollow. There was no way she would confront Sootstar again, not now. The lesson, as cruel as it had been, was well taught. Kestreltalon had learned better than to disrespect her leader to her face.

That was what made her angriest of all.

The apology too, she scoffed in the face of. "Sorry for what? At least the two of you did something said something. The rest of the clan sat around with their tails between their legs, just watching." What remained of her gaze wandered to Dandelionpaw. "He shouldn't have had to be the first to do it though." She stated bluntly. Kestreltalon was not one for subtlety, and even less so now, when her emotions ran so hot. "He's still a kid, that shouldn't be on him. If you're going to apologize to anyone, do it to him."

A moment of of brief, bitter humor passed across her features. "A whole clan full of so-called warriors, and a kid's the only one with the stomach to stand up to her. What a joke."

Kestreltalon nodded her assent to Honeytwist's quiet admission, but she stayed silent for once in her life. Because she wouldn't, not yet. At first she had stayed because she didn't want to leave her home, and she still didn't, to an extent. Now though, more than anything she wanted her revenge. Anger and hate burned bright in her chest, and she wanted to wait for the opportunity to satisfy them. She didn't know when or how, but she wanted to try. For now Sootstar seemed satisfied with the punishment she had doled out, wishing to leave her as an example. That worked for her, it might give her the chance she needed to find her vengeance. If danger reared its ugly head again she would run, but for now, she would bide her time.

She did not share this with the two medicine cats.

His ears flatten, he tries not to take the molly's words personal. She was hurt, she's hurting, and in more ways than one she is angry and stars above it was something he could not judge her for. She had every right to be spewing venom from a snake right now, he just hoped she did not poison herself with it.

Dandelionpaw listens as Kestreltalon continues speaking, while her words made him realize he did the right thing he wish he had done more. He wish he had not been so scared that he cowered and turned away when the leader's clawed paw rose into the air. He wished he had run out to stop it, regardless of what good it would have done. He wants to do more, so much more than he's capable of and it is a fact that tears him up inside. A part of him wants to defend Honeytwist as well, that she had spoken up, that she had also been afraid and unsure, but he does not because the sepia point has come to realize with quiet horror that it is fear driving some of the clan and not loyalty. He thinks about how Hyacinthbreath's response to it all was to snarl at HIM for daring to speak up and challenge her leader, he thinks about how while everything was tense not a single cat spoke up outside Honeytwist herself until it was all said and done.
"...I'm sorry we couldn't save your eye..." The young tom mewls once, plaintively and uncertain.

Honeytwist brings up leaving, this is not the first time she has quietly uttered the remark but it is the first she has spoken with such sincerity and he goes quiet in face of it. To leave would be giving up on those unable to go, on the few who mattered, the ones who could yet be saved and the ones who could with luck be changed. Maybe he was just an ignorant kit, but he had aspirations that it too only a firm paw to push a cat back on the right path; while his hope for Sootstar herself was a dwindling occurence, he had his optimism about others. There was something to be salvaged here, but he remain silent rather than say as much, hastily busying his paws with putting back the herbs he had accidentally knocked aside in his panic to fetch the proper ones for the wounded she-cats eye.