Jun 7, 2022

Since she left, ShadowClan has felt nothing short of suffocating. Plover doesn’t fit in, and it seems that every ShadowClanner has noticed that. Moon treating them like some weird sort of stranger in their own clan has expanded into the whole of the clan avoiding them, giving them glances that are far too sharp to be simply curious. And maybe they’re imagining it all, still caught up in the distrust of the war that only just ended, but they can’t stand it. They don’t have a destination in mind when they set out on their own, only that they want to go away.

Their exploration takes them deeper into the forest, where the ground changes from muddy swamp to grass and tree roots. Here, flowers spring up more often than they do in the marsh, and the blue smoke grins eagerly. Plover stops for a moment in their adventure to pick a few white flowers, carrying them by the stems to continue their journey.

They don’t mean to stumble directly across the camp of—which clan is this? WindClan took the plains, and RiverClan is in the river territory, so this is either SkyClan or ThunderClan. They don’t even consider that the leaders of both those clans are former members of Rain’s group—they just hope that the leader of this group won’t ask questions. What’s the best way to make their presence known, other than to just sit here and wait? They aren’t sure, so they settle into a careful crouch, letting the flowers drop to the ground at their paws.
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The smell of the marsh hit her nose hard the moment Ember stepped out of camp and she blinked. That was a strange thing to find just outside her home. Many of the cats in her clan had worn such a scent when they arrived in the forest, but time had faded it. On no one she knew was it still so strong. The thought put her a little on edge.

She tried to bear no ill will toward the newly named Shadowclan, but the memory of their attack still hung heavy in her mind.

A glance about her found the source, crouched in a little bed of flowers just a few steps from the gorse tunnel entrance was a cat perhaps half her age. All her worry melted away. Such a small child was no threat to her clan, and certainly no threat to her. The only worry she felt was for the child, why were they so far from the marsh alone? "Heya!" she called out, her tone bewildered but still bright. "My name's Ember, and I'm the leader of Thunderclan. What's yours?"

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Berry hardly felt anything particularly complex when the scent of his old home weaved his way- he simply felt what was the truth on the surface level. The marsh- ShadowClan- that had been his home, but it was not anymore. Life in the shade and trudging through bog, made infinitely harder with his missing paw, had grown dull to him, and he had wanted to move to a place much better suited to his sensibilities- a place plentiful with the prey he preferred, and dappled with watercolour flickers of pelt-warming sunlight.

Toward the sound of voices he was naturally drawn, and he befell the forms of Sparky and then... another, whom he did not recognise for a few long moments. The gears of his mind whirred to settle upon the alias- this was Serene, a feline he had once joined in picking flowers. He imagined they would be much happier here in the forest, if they were here to migrate; the flowers here were much more diverse, and smelled far sweeter.

For now he remained silent, olive eyes studying the demeanour of the familiar face. Patience would earn him the answer as to why they were here.
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The blue smoke doesn’t wait for long before a cat spots them, and they wince at the sudden noise. There’s a fiery-colored cat standing there, greeting them brightly, and trailing behind her is another older feline. This one is dappled red and black, and the child takes a moment to recognize them. Strawberry, their mind supplies upon noticing the telltale crooked jaw, the oddly squinted eye. His name is some kind of berry, at least. They think that maybe he’ll extend his own greeting to them, but he remains silent.

"Hello," they murmur in response, straightening up to stand at their full height, although they still have to tip their head back to look the cream-furred she-cat in the eyes. The scars across her face are intimidating, and for a moment Plover wonders if she’s going to force them to leave. She sounds kind enough, but so did the cats back in ShadowClan. The first cat—Ember—confirms that they have found ThunderClan, and wow, they didn’t expect to meet the leader this quickly.

Plover tries to stay calm despite their ongoing concern that Ember is going to tell them to go away. Icy eyes stray to settle upon Strawberry—or Blueberry, or something like that—and they plaster a smile onto their face, an acknowledgement. Then they’re searching the leader’s gray eyes once again, hoping to find no anger there, hidden beneath the veneer of kind words. "My name is Plover. I came here from ShadowClan. I want to join your clan." They shuffle on their paws, shifting their weight back and forth, before lifting a paw to nudge forward one of the flowers they’d picked. "I like the flowers here."

Ah- he should have expected it. Though many preferred the shade of the bog- admittedly for reasons Berry could not understand- this feline was pale in colour, and he had known them to enjoy softer pastimes than trudging through mire. Internally he cursed himself for not having worked it out- they had come to migrate to greener pastures, where the vegetation was more colourful and the ground less volatile. Eyes of chlorite flickered to their offering, a gift of a bloom- Berry knew it was not his for the taking, so white-toes paws stayed rooted to the ground. Sparky was a friendly face, in attitude and expression. It was unlikely she would refuse it.

"The flowers here are better." A constative statement, it came paired with the slightest dip of his head. Serene had made a good choice, he was certain of it; they would not come to regret this moment, for who could ever come to regret living here?

Ember perked up at the small blue smoke's words, beaming down at them. "Well, we'd be more than glad to have ya Plover!" she told them eagerly, eyes shining with warmth. The tide of joiners had begun to ebb as of late, and she had begun to think that it might stop entirely. She was glad that wasn't the case. It was always a joy to see a new face.

Berry chimed in, and she glanced back toward him. "I'll take the your word for it, never seen the flowers in the marsh." She told him with a laugh. "Those are nice flowers though." Ember agreed with Plover, turning toward him once more with a nod.
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