private just the way you are // Duskfire


Love And Trust
Jul 15, 2022

Everything Stays

A wheezy breath escaped a rather skinny body, ribs pushing harshly beneath duller fur. Inkylotus had been sick for about a week now and had been doing a little bit better than when he first came into the medicine den. Tansy was helping as well as rest and it turned out he just had a little bit of a cold. Something he must've caught in the tunnels when it rained that one day. The black pelted feline curled up on himself a bit more as a shiver shook through his body, the chills had been a new development. Something about it has to run its course before anything got better, well that was what he was told anyway. Who was he to question Dandelionpaw or Honeytwist? They knew more than just his standard of 'not bleeding to death' type of medicine from his travel days. Even then it was very little.

Inkylotus put a paw over his nose and let out of soft, much less violent, sneeze and shook out his coat for a moment. Being away from the clan and off duties for this long was driving him absolutely insane. He wanted to be out doing something, talking to others and the like- but he could still give others his cold. Though it wasn't all too bad as some cats came to visit him sometimes, like Honeytwist, Hyacinthbreath and Dandelionpaw. Albiet two of them where the cats suppose to check up on him, but didn't mean he didn't like the conversation and socializing.

One that seemed to visit more often than not was Duskfire, and he apperciated it a lot. The tom was a joy to talk to, he was so sweet and caring, and he loved how easy conversation came for them. It was like they could talk about anything without it being weird or uncomfortable, and he hadn't had something like that since Ferret. Even then conversation with him was still hard when he didn't remember the past five minutes. Inkylotus shook his head of the thought, no it wasn't all bad. Of course not, Ferret was just as sweet and loving as Duskfire- just Duskfire was more- present?

Inkylotus flattened his ears against his head, how could he think such things about Ferret? The tom had saved Inkylotus so many times and he had the gull to put him down like that? The blind tom gave a small shake of his own head, pawing at his muzzle to dislodge the thoughts and hoped they'd never return. They both mattered to him greatly. He adored them both just the same as the other, and nothing would change that.

With how much time he had spent sitting there in the nest, he had a lot of time to think. To think about his place in Windclan, come to terms with that this was his home now and was thankful to those that made it such. Think about- Duskfire a lot too. How the tom always brought him food, kept him company, was so understanding even if he followed Sootstar blindly. He wasn't anything like Sootstar and it brought hope that Windclan wouldn't be so bad in the future. The thought of the deputy made a smile crawl across his maw and he felt a giddy little shiver run along his spine.

Of course, all things had to be interrupted as Inkylotus gave a rough cough and it made his fur bristle from the force. He sniffled a bit and wiped at his nose, which was no longer bleeding or running, and he laid his head down on his front paws. A soft, wheezy breath came from the blind cat and his sightless face stared in the direction of the den entrance. Hopefully today wouldn't go by painfully slow.



It shouldn't have been affecting him this much. He wasn't even the one who was sick. And yet, Inkys presence in the medicine cats den hung over him on a daily basis, nagging away in the back of his head no matter where he was or what he was doing. He wished he could sum it up to him just being worried about his friend, but he knew it ran deeper than that, colder than that.

Looking at Inkylotus put him back in that room.

It was something he was ashamed to admit, because never had he wanted the ghost-black tabby to be associated with anything other than the good things; pointless walks in the afternoon sun, quiet conversations and hushed laughter in a shared nest at night, having someone to share the interesting or stupid parts of his day with. Thats what Inky had always been to him, and he felt horrible equating him to anything else- anything less.

But it was true. And it wasn't anyones fault, neither Inkys or his own. It was just the way Duskfire had become after living that way for so long. Windclan had given him the tools he needed to go forward, but that didn't mean he wasn't building on a rotting foundation haunted by ghosts he'd never truly let go of. And now, those ghost came back to haunt him whenever he looked at the other cat.

Curled up in that nest, so thin and so small, each breath rattling in their chest, Inkylotus looked so much like the cats back at that house, so much like what Dusk had looked and sounded like when he'd first escaped. It hit him in the same way seeing Ferret used to hit him, only this time it came with a horrible twist; he cared.

Back in the room, nothing was predictable. Food came seldom and at odd intervals and water was just as bad. The oldest of the cats were all but mad from their confinement, voiceless, feral things that would attack or go into hysterical fits over nothing at all. Those who still had their wits about them never made friends with each other. Sickness came too often for bonds to last and death was always around the corner. Besides, it was hard to be friends with someone when you were going to be clawing their face off an hour later over what meagre scraps were thrown to you, which was why Dusk had never developed that social side of him properly. More importantly though, this inability to make friends meant that it was easy to watch cats fall ill and die- it was just how things were.

It was not how things were in Windclan.

In Windclan, Dusk gave a shit, and now that he had to see someone he cared about laying there coughing and immobile and not okay, he wasn't handling it so well. Rather than avoid Inky like he would have any other cat who reminded him of his past, Dusk had been obsessing about them non-stop ever since they'd almost collapsed in camp a week prior. He'd never been so afraid for another cat before, had never wanted to trade places with one so badly so he could suffer for them, and for the first time since joining Windclan, he'd prayed to those stars that Soot was so fond of. Dandelionpaw and Honeytwist insisted it was just a cold, that it would pass and everything would be fine, but Dusk didn't have it in him to just blindly believe, not when someone so important was on the line.

And so he visited to healers den often - sometimes too often, to the point where Honeytwist would shoo him out for being in the way. Still, he always returned, be it with fresh-caught prey or something soft like moss of feathers he'd found while out on a patrol, which he would always insist on using to make Inkys nest softer for them. While he held his anxieties at bay well enough when in the presence of the other tom so as not to worry them, the rest of the clan could no doubt tell he was worried. Even Hyacinth had been giving him looks lately, and while she masked them with annoyance for his pining, he'd caught her once or twice just looking at him, as if maybe she felt just a touch bad about it. It was always hard to tell with her though, and Dusk was far from an expert at reading others.

Today was no different than any of the other days since Inky had been confined, and it was roughly noon when Dusk came padding in with a plump, still-warm mouse clasped in his jaws. He'd heard the other coughing from outside and felt his heart sink just a little, quickly making his way over to place the meal beside their nest so he could lean over and press their nose to their forehead.

"Your still warm." he sighed, some of his frustration bleeding into his words. Why wasn't he better yet? He just wanted him to feel better...

"I brought you some lunch. Feeling up to eating something?" he asked, sounding hopeful. Food always made everything better back in the room.

windclan warrior - male - 17 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - tall, strong bengal tomcat

Everything Stays

A sightless face raised from black paws as their nose twitched at the familiar sound of pawsteps, and later then scent of mouse and of course him. It was almost like it was on a clock, he'd come to the den with food or moss or feathers. Inkylotus felt almost spoiled by the deputy with these kind gestures as just his presence alone was enough to make him smile, feel more at ease with being in the medicine den. A nose was pressed to his forehead, and he gave a little, wheezy purr and gave a small nod, "Honeytwist said it wasn't as bad as before, maybe a few days before it fully goes away?" He responded with a raspy tone to his voice from coughing so much. The cough would probably last the longest, those things never seemed to be fully healed in any capacity.

A smile crept across his lips and he gave a pointed look to Duskfire, "You also brought my breakfast, a snack, moss," He teased the other playfully with a paw raised to push his shoulder slightly. Inkylotus seemed to be acting more like himself today, he just mainly felt stuffed up and cold. Though he was confident it would pass and they would've worried for nothing. "You've been really sweet to me," Inkylotus mused to Duskfire and headbutted his shoulder gently, forcing himself to sit up more. Then, of course, he pulled away and gave a little cough from air tickling his throat.

"How was patrols? I'm sorry I didn't go on any," Inkylotus commented to the other with a swish of his tail. There had to be a reason for his kindness right? Was it pity? Or did the other actually care about his sickness? Well obviously he had to care to som degree being deputy and all, but yet deep down he hoped that Duskfire actually cared. He cared about a lot of cats, but lately not as much as Duskfire. Always wanting to find the deputy in the crowd, take him on walks, show him parts of the territory he loved to be in- countless things. It was wild and it made his head spin slightly to which he laid back down with a paw tucked under his chest, "You also didn't tell me how Rosepaws' training went,"



A few days? Dusk frowned at the words, unable to help but feel skeptical even though he knew he should have been happy. Still, it was hard to just believe the that Honeytwist and Dandelionpaw could just know these things despite wanting them to be right. "Yeah. And then we'll go down to the spot by the river you like, down by the falls." he replied, forcing a smile into place even though he knew the other couldn't see it. Somehow, the other always seemed to know when he was frowning, blind or not.

"Well, who else am I supposed to give that stuff to- Pebblenose?" he asked, not bothering to hide his disdain or skepticism and ultimately ignoring the blush that crept into place at being called out. Truth be told, even this far into being with Windclan Dusk had no idea if he was doing any or the 'normal cat' stuff right. The only cat he really had the courage to try it with was Inky, and he knew that the black tomcat was too kind to tell him if he was screwing up majorly. For all he knew, the other might not want the prey or gifts he brought at all, which was something that Dusk often found himself considering. Was he just taking advantage of the others kindness?

No. He often shut down that train of thought before it had a chance to go too far. Inky may be kind, but he wasn't helpless or dumb- if he didn't like something then he wouldn't force himself to deal with it just to make Dusk happy, right? He hoped not. It didn't seem like it, not when they were always smiling back and leaning over to touch him.

"Besides, you deserve to be looked after when your sick. Your nice to like, every cat in in the clan- and even the ones that aren't." he added, glancing away out of embarrassment. Was it too much, all of this attention? He didn't know. How was he supposed to react when someone he cared about was sick and alone in the healers den? Was he supposed to just ignore the fact that he was worried, or that he wanted to do whatever he could to make them a little bit less miserable? He knew he could have, that with the amount of work on his plate right now he could have easily filled in the empty spaces with the work that needed to be done around camp, but he couldn't bring himself to strip that time away from the other tom. It was worth working a little later into the evening if it meant they didn't have to sit in this cramped, horrible space by themselves.

Oh yeah, did he mention that he hated the medicine cat den? Any small areas, really. He hadn't even stepped foot in the tunnels, and he slept out in the open with the other warriors at night. Even when he returned from training sessions with wounds to be treated, he always insisted Dandelionpaw and Honeytwist treat him outside. And yet, for Inky he continuously forced himself into that narrow tunnel, slipping through the darkness until he reached the barely-larger den beyond. He hated leaving them there each day, in the cramped darkness of that space. The entire place did nothing to help his situation, the enclosed area far too reminiscent of that room for his taste.

He winced a little as the other coughed, cursing himself for being an idiot on not bringing water as well. Should he head to the river really quickly? He'd definitely seen some moss over on the-

His anxious thoughts were cut off when Inky asked after the patrols, and then Rosepaw, and despite the itching in his paws to leave and find the other something to drink, he took a seat just outside their nest and nudged the mouse toward them. "It's been quiet so far. The hills have been running with those rabbits Honeytwist dreamed of, so foods hardly an issue. I thought some of the other groups might be tempted to hunt our lands for them, but so far it looks like they're keeping to their territories." he said, trying to consider his day and the events that had taken place. "I still can't catch them, though." he added after a frown, almost pouting. "Even the apprentices can do it, but somehow they still outrun me."

Catching a rabbit was something Dusk had been trying to do since the day he joined Windclan, after being told that any Windclan cat worth a mouse could do it. He could snatch birds out of the air and chase a squirrel right up a tree, but for some reason he couldn't manage to sink his claws into a rabbit before it disappeared underground.

"Rosepaws doing well, though! At this rate they'll be snatching rabbits off the more before me. Though, I worry sometimes that they're having a hard time making friends. They only really hang around with Leechpaw and Coldpaw, and I can't say either of them are necessarily friendly. I'm almost disappointed that Dandelionpaw became Honeytwists apprentice- it would have been nice for Rosepaw to have another friendly face out there, ya know?" he sighed, tail flicking behind him.

The last thing he wanted was for Rose to end up like him, standing on the outside looking in and wishing he had a place there to call his own. The kid was too nice for that, too good, and while Dandelionpaw often partook in regular training just like the other apprentices, it wasn't the same.

"And don't apologize." he added, voice filled with warmth as he leaned down to brush his cheek against theirs. "I know you'd be out there if you could- me and Dandelionpaw practically had to drag you in here." he said with a chuckle. Dusk loved how stubborn they could be, even if it worked against them both sometimes. Still, it wasn't like Dusk couldn't have his moments. They didn't get the hcance to shine through often, but he supposed that was true for a lot of himself. Dusk was still in the process of figuring out who he was. There were so many experiences and reactions he'd never gotten the chance to have before, and so he didn't really know what kind of cat he was underneath the quiet, anxious workaholic he'd become.

windclan warrior - male - 17 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - tall, strong bengal tomcat

Everything Stays

A little chuckle came from the sightless cat, "Thats good, with how many mouths we have to feed a plump rabbit is always good," He remarked with a shrug of his lithe shoulders and leaned back a bit in his nest. Inkylotus gestured for Duskfire to join beside him in his nest and smiled, "I've only caught a rabbit once, and thats cause it got cornered in the tunnels," He assured the other. Rabbits where the hardest creatures to catch, even for the fastest Windclan cat. Inkylotus had only caught on rabbit and that was after chasing it down several tunnels. Normally he hunted in pairs with Lavenderstorm or Duskfire, sometimes Dandelionpaw, to where he could chase it and the other catch it or vice versa. Duskfire taught him that trick, and it came in handy quite often.

The dark cat snorted, "You, Dandelionpaw, Hyacinthbreath- surprised Sootstar didn't try to intimidate me too," He said with a shake of his head and a smile across his face. Inkylotus was stubborn and hated to be taken care of, it made him feel useless and weak. Though suppose after falling twice it was warrented he was looked after. At least it showed that some cats did care about his well being.

Though as Inkylotus laid there, he could sense an unease in the other. Duskfire never seemed- calm- when in the medicine den. He wasn't sure why though, had it something to do with sick cats? Or blood maybe? Sometimes blood could be an uncomfortable sight, after the marking, the chicken raid and many injured. He moved his tail along the ground till it found the deputys' and wound around the others gently, "You know you don't have to come visit me, I know you feel uneasy in here," he said softly and lifted his chin up in the direction of Duskfire.



He didn't feel the same jealousy when Inky mentioned their own catch, just a deep satisfaction and bubbling pride that threatened to make him purr. He didn't think he liked anything more than seeing Inky light up over something, weather it was a new discovery with the tunnels or a successful hunt with one of the other Windclanners. He had never understood why nobody had ever tried to work with the other tom on things. Sure, Inky was blind, but that didn't mean they were incapable of doing things. He'd just had to be taught in a different way was all, and Dusk was very pleased to have been able to recognize that, utltimately allowing him to come up with ways for the other to contribute like all the others. The tunnels too, as much as Dusk hated them, seemed to offer the other some sort of happiness, and so he couldn't help but be a bit greatful for them as well.

When a spot beside the other was offered, Dusk only hesitated a moment before slipping into the next alongside side them. There was comfort in the familiar, and the walls felt a little less tight as he breathed in the scent of his friend and enjoyed the light press of their smaller body against his own.

"Honestly, I don't know if your crazy brave or just plain crazy hanging out in those tunnels all the time. It's way too closed in." he replied, ignoring the chills he got at the thought of being trapped miles underground without any light or sound. Dusk couldn't even think about the tunnels while he was inside the medicine cats den, otherwise the walls would feel like they were shrinking around him.

"And it's not our fault your stubborn as a badger. I was about two seconds away from carrying you here myself. Do you know how messed up it would have been if you'd passed out somewhere and we couldn't find you?" There was still a part of him that was frustrated that Inky had tried to continue on like everything was fine even though he probably would have done the same thing had their positions been reversed, but he knew that was only because he would have gone into a full-blown panic if the other hadn't returned from their patrol because something had happened to them.

"You know you don't have to come visit me, I know you feel uneasy in here,"

Dusk couldn't help but frown at the others words. Was it really that obvious? He tried to ignore it as best he could, and usually his unrelenting need to see and hear Inky with his own eyes and ears was enough to outwigh his fears, because he had make sure they were still okay, but apparently he wasn't able to erase every trace of his unease.

"I don't mind." he replied after a moment, leaning down to nuzzle the underside of their jaw. "It's not so bad when your next to me like this. And besides, I don't think I could wait this long to see you again."

windclan warrior - male - 17 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - tall, strong bengal tomcat

Everything Stays

Inkylotus gave a meek smile, "You get use to it and I can understand why it'd be harder for a seeing cat. I'm always in the dark, so the tunnels are no different than sitting here with you," He chalked it up to being, just being use to that of the darkness and using other senses to find their way around. Though with Duskfires' size, he'd be surprised if the deputy tried to go into the tunnels- he'd might get stuck in some parts with his shoulders alone. The thought amused him slightly, but he didn't let it show as it seemed more to Inky that Dusk wasn't the biggest fan of enclosed spaces.

With the unease with the tunnels and being in the medicine den, it only made sense it was things with walls. He wondered why that was. Had he gotten stuck as a kitten in a tight space? Was it something like an irrational fear without expierecing it? He wasn't sure, and part of him didn't want to ask as it might be over stepping his bounds. Inkylotus wasn't entirely sure on their stance in Duskfires' life, so to question something like a fear might upset the other.

A warm smile crossed a black muzzle as he was nuzzled by the deputy and assured it wasn't too bad, "I'm glad I can make it better," he spoe softly and shifted to lean into the larger tomcat then lifted a paw playfully batting at his ear, "Then again I'm impressed you even agreed to my assumption, you're just as bad as I am when somethings wrong," There was a smile across his face and a sightless face peered up at the bengal with his head propped up on Duskfires' shoulder.

There was a soft rumble of a purr from the sickly cat and he pulled his head away after a moment of silence lapsed between them, "I understand the discomfort, I get the same way when I am in or around water," he admitted as an offering he wasn't alone. Everyone had fears and Inkylotus was terrified, petrified even, of water. Being blind was part of the reason but also as a kitten his siblings use to hold him down in the childs pool, see how long he could hold his breath for. So now, water even touching his paws freaked him out and caused a panic attack.



He supposed it was true that Inky wouldn't find much difference between the open and the enclosed. Maybe sound travelled a little differently, but it wasn't as if the dark furred tom had to deal with the visuals. In all honesty it wasn't even the darkness that bothered Duskfire, just the cramped air around him that made him panic. He couldn't stand the idea of being trapped again, of not being able to physically leave, and whenever he forced himself into these tight spaces it made him want to puke.

But why should Inky be trapped there alone?

He almost opened his mouth to ask if they were ever worried they'd get stuck down there, but he stopped himself, not wanting to project his own insecurities onto the other. The fact of the matter was that Inky like being down there, and he was good at it. Dusk didn't want to take that from him, even accidentally.

Instead he simply chuckled at their next words, not bothering to move away when they smacked lightly at his ear. Inky wouldn't hurt him. "Yeah, well I don't want anyone getting the impression they should be sending me into places like this more often than they have to." he replied, and really that was the only reason he wasn't trying to hide it more. It had been bad enough the day he and the patrol had found camp, having to go inside the tall walls of gorse and healthier to help retrieve Hunts Pheasants. It had taken him weeks to get used to being in the sandy hollow, and he was grateful that Sootstar didn't make them all sleep in dens like the elders or queens.

A low, rumbling purr came from the tomcat as Inky laid their head on his shoulder, and it was little gestures like that which made him able to endure it. The black feline had become a necessary presence in Dusks life at this point, and it was difficult for him to go these elongated periods of time without being able to see them or speak to them. At this point, as selfish as it sounded, he was here just as much for himself as he was Inkylotus.

"To peas in a pod, huh?" he joked, reaching over to pull the mouse closer to Inky. "Okay, I told you about my day, so now it's time to eat. I can.. groom your fur for you while you it- if you want." he offered, and while it wasn't the first time he'd done so he still felt nervous doing it, embarrassed. Learned isolation told him that this kind of closeness was wrong, but in his brain he knew that was wrong. He saw how normal cats acted and it was fine for him to ask, and yet it still managed to make him feel out of place, like a bull in a china shop that was about to break everything and get screamed at.

windclan warrior - male - 18 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - tall, strong bengal tomcat

Everything Stays

Damn, to think he almost got away with it. Inkylotus gave a dramatic sigh at the other and lifted his head from the deputies' shoulder, "Fine, fine, you win," He mused back and gave a warm smile, "I'd like that, you can reach my back more than I can," Inkylotus never seemed to be an active groomer. Often letting his longer haired coat get knotted or messy, but he always found grooming a little pointless. He couldn't see it anyway, so why did it matter?

Of course lately hes been trying to be better at taking care of himself as it ran Duskfire wild. The young warrior moved to pull the mouse closer to himself and took a few bites from it, "You know, theres so much gossip you hear outside the medicine den," He commented after a moment, "They way cats are after one another in such secretive ways- its rather insane," He gave a small shrug, but then again he also had heightened hearing and large ears- so was it really far fetched if he didn't eavesdrop a little bit?

There was another lapse in silence for a moment as Inkylotus took a few more bites out of the mouse with a thoughtful hum, "I heard Moonshadow had her kittens, how are they? Have you seen them?" The tom hadn't been able to leave the den for quite some time, but he had heard the cries of the she-cat and the words of others' trying to help. He loved kittens, and hoped he'd get to visit her soon. Inkylotus spent a lot of time around kittens and queens, and for some time now he had hoped to have kittens of his own. A little family, a way he could raise kinder cats in this otherwise cruel world.

"I hope they're healthy, they sure sound like it from here," He gave a little snort of amusement and pawed at the mouse for a moment idly, wanting to say more. Wanting to ask so much, but yet it felt like it woul be too much. Too invasive. Yet Inkylotus found himself yearning for Duskfire, wanting to know him as much as he could about it. It was so strange and with no reasoning either, or one that he could clearly see. Inkylotus gave a soft sigh and seemed disinterested in that of the mouse.



With permission granted, Dusk happily busied himself with the task at hand. He dind't want Inky to feel uncomfortable from laying in this nest all day, and it was probably important that they stay clean if they were going to get better. For some reason, the other toms comfort was extremely important to the copper Deputy,

It was small moments like this that Duskfire was most grateful for. Back in the room, cats never nested together or groomed each other like this. Everyone was on their own, and any alliances that were forged were always short lived. This alliance he'd forged with Inky -or whatever it was- he wanted it to last.

Ears would twitch as the other began to speak of gossip, and while he didn't react outwardly, inside he was wondering. It was only a short time ago that Sootstar had called him into her den to warn him of rumors that had been circulating about him. There were cats int he clan that didn't think he was worthy of his position, that would plot to overthrow him and take it for themselves. It was something he had to be ready for, though he had to admit he hated the idea of Inky sitting here all day potentially listening to rumors about Dusks inability to function as a proper Deputy.

"Don't bother with any of that. Cats will say anything to make themselves look better." he said, pausing his actions to reply. A part of him was curious about what sort of things the other had heard, but he was also afraid to confirm if any of it was about him specifically. So instead he brushed the entire thing off, hoping Inky would as well.

To his relief the topic turned to Moonshadow and her kits, a topic that Dusk was far more comfortable with. "I saw them for a minute dropping some prey off to her the other day. There's three of them. I can't remember their names, but they were really small and cute." the tom replied with a grin before continuing to rasp his tongue along the others shoulders and back.

Dusk didn't dislike children, he just... didn't know what to do with them. He could barely manage to fit in with adults that he had things in common with, so it was exceptionally difficult for him to mesh with kids that he knew very little about. Most of his childhood experienced were unrelatable to their own, and it often left the bengal wondering what to say or how to act. It made him nervous, and that anxiety became frustration quickly, which meant more often than not Dusk simply avoided them. The youngest cat he ever spent time with was his own apprentice, but that was a fair bit different than a tiny little kit that was totally dependant on you.

It only took a moment for Dusk to sense something was off when Inky suddenly went quiet, pawing at his mouse with no intention of eating it. Had Dusk said something wrong? Maybe he should have brought him something other than mouse...

"Hey.." he called softly, gently butting his head against their shoulder. "Whats wrong? Why'd you get all quiet on me?"

windclan warrior - male - 18 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - tall, strong bengal tomcat

Everything Stays

A sightless face lifted up from where it had been lowered for the food as Duskfire headbutted him. He was particularly worried about the rumors with Duskfire, those where easily dismissed as the tom wasn't what others thought of him. Their opinions didn't matter, nothing about them really mattered. The black cat flicked his tail a bit, pulling it from Duskfires' tail, and gave a small shift in his spot, "You don't really talk about yourself- and I want to get to know you. All of you, even the bad things," he murmured softly, almost scared to even utter such a thing, "I am always worried I'll push it too far though, be too invasive," He moved his muzzle down towards his own paws and flattened his ears a bit.

"You're the only one who visits me, you've taught me to hunt with a partner, you've been so much effort and belief in me-," Inkylotus swallowed a lump in his throat as he felt the urge to cry come through but he couldn't shed tears, "I want to return the favor, to get to show you things too," Inkylotus shook his head, he wasn't making any sense yet he couldn't fully express his words. Inkylotus was normally very put together with words of advice or calmness always at the ready, but with Duskfire it was different. The other made talking harder, harder to focus on what he was doing and drew him in.

Inkylotus gave a small growl at his own lack of words and pawed at the ground for a moment, then pressed his head into the deputies' shoulder, "I care about you a lot, but I feel like I know nothing about yourself. Like your family, where you come from, what life was like before," Duskfire had changed since founded on the moors that one day, and he wondered if things had gotten better for him.



This... was about him?. Guilt rushed to the forefront of his mind, flooding his veins and sinking straight into his heart. He still wasn't doing it? Claws nervously flexed into the bedding beneath them. He thought he'd been doing it right, had been socializing better- was it all just in his head? It had to be, if Inky was that upset over it. And the more the other spoke the worse Dusk felt, because this hadn't been his intention at all. And this entire time, while Dusk had been sitting there just blindly enjoying himself in Inkys presence, the other had been unhappy, left wanting. He.. He was selfish. Still only thinking of himself.

Why couldn't he just get this right?

"What if.. What if they're all bad things?" he asked, voice hesitant as he glanced down at the tom huddled against him. Everything about Inky made his heart want to explode with happiness, except for moments like this, when it wanted to explode from frustration and regret.

With a sigh he shifted, abandoning his quest to groom the other in favour of curling around them, tongue rasping over their ears and forehead to try and sooth them as his tail reached out to try and entangle itself in their once again.

"I'm sorry. I thought I was doing better at this but clearly I'm not." he replied, trying to weigh the pros and cons of telling Inky everything. Its what the other wanted, and Dusk was thrilled that the other even cared to want that much from him to begin with, but how much would be too much? What would serve as the breaking point in this... whatever it was?

"Okay. I'll tell you about me- the parts that I can, at least. Just.. please be happy? I hate it when your upset. And I don't want you to feel like there's some boundary you can't cross with us. I really like you too, Inky. I hate it when your sad or sick or frustrated, so just.. don't be afraid to say something if you want to say it." he muttered, nuzzling the top of their head almost absentminded as he spoke. The last thing he wanted was for Inky to be harbouring all these negative feelings, especially when it was over something Dusk could remedy.

"Now, let's see- the beginning, huh?" he began after a moment, the words punctuated by a sigh that seemed to say 'oh shit, im really doing this'.

"So, I was originally born in a twoleg nest. I don't really remember my mom since I was taken from her pretty young, and I never met my dad- at least, not to my knowledge. I mean, he was definitely somewhere in that room with us, I just don't know which one he was." he clarified, probably making this way more confusing than it needed to be. "Okay, hold on- let me start over. So like, the twoleg we belonged to, she kept a lot of us. All of us males were in one spot, and all the females were in another. It was like... I was like shoving the entire clan in here with us- more roomier, but you get the idea. Nobody could leave to hunt or stretch their legs, and we sort of just had to hope the twoleg would bring us food and water." he explained, tail twitching anxiously as he chose his words carefully, not wanting to reveal too much, not wanting to have to say any of it out loud.

"So things were bad there- really bad. Everyone would fight over food and nests, the older cats were basically feral and mad, and there was never enough to go around." he paused here, before an almost bitter laugh escaped his chest. "Did ferret ever tell you that I was just as skinny as him the first time we met? I couldn't even look at him because all I could see was myself and all the other cats wasting away back in that room."

There was a tremble to his voice, but he didn't seem to notice it as he continued, something cathartic sweeping through him.

"I think I was supposed to die there to be honest, but one day some strange twolegs came up to the house and just... opened the window. The other cats.. " he shook his head here, because he could remember how scared they'd been, how much it had terrified them to feel the wind rushing in to ruffle their coats and all the unmuffled noises of the world beyond. "They wouldn't leave. They were too scared. So I left by myself."

He hadn't been close to any of them, and he had never felt bad for leaving them behind before then, but for some reason admitting this to Inky left him feeling like a traitor. "It was different there though," he rushed to add, almost tripping over his words in the process of trying to fix the mistake he thought he'd made. "I-it wasn't like it is here- they weren't my clan!"

His claws flexed nervously and he curled around the other a little tighter, as if it might thwart any attempt they'd make to leave him. "Every scar I wear, save for the one Sootstar gave me, came from cats in that room. They were crazy- and if I'd stayed there with them it would have made me crazy too. So I had to leave them. You understand, right, Inky?" he asked, the words just a touch frantic in their desperation to ensure that the other didn't have the wrong idea.

windclan warrior - male - 18 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - tall, strong bengal tomcat

Everything Stays

Shifting a bit as Duskfire curled around him, Inkylotus looked at the other with that sightless face. Listening to him speak about what life was like before he came to the clan and he raised his brow a bit; skinny like Ferret? From what the black tomcat has felt of their travel companion and his ribs that stuck out at odd ends, but Duskfire? Inkylotus twitched an ear as his forehead and ears were licked, and he didn't say anything. Allowing Duskfire to tell him as much as he wanted to about what was before Windclan. A story of cats crowded together in a room, of not knowing when they'd be fed or drink again, and the feralness of the older cats. Yet still too scared to leave the room when given a chance at leaving.

Though something did strike him, Sootstar scarred him? Why? Inkylotus wasn't sure if he wanted to know the answer either. "I do understand, darling, I do," He assured the other at the rushed justification of his life, why did he feel the need to justify it? Inkylotus would've done in the same in his stance- that didn't sound like a place any cat should live in. The sightless cat moved to press his head into the deputys' cheek, "You don't need to justify it, I would've left too if I lived in a place like that,"

Hesitance came from him for a moment, seeming to debate something before speaking softly, "I left my home too. Many moons ago, I had to have been about six months old," He wanted the other to know he wasn't alone, that he wasn't the only cat to ever leave behind cats they had grown with, "My siblings were very abusive to me cause of being born blind, apperantly it was a genetic thing but my parents and siblings didn't get the eyelessness," He gave a sad smile and moved a paw over to place it over Duskfires' "So I left when I got the chance, I don't know what became of the siblings,"

Surely it wasn't as traumatic as Duskfires' past, but he wanted to share part of himself with the other like he had done with him. The young cat smiled warmly after a moment of quiet, "I don't judge you based on your history, cause you've become a better cat since then," He said to Duskfire and lifted his head to press his nose to the deputys', "Those other cats I'm sure were saved and live better lives now," Always the optimist.



Dusk wasn't assured the other wasn't thinking the worst of them right then- not until they pressed their head to his cheek and told him they would have done the same thing in their position. He was farther put at ease when they went on to tell him of their own pat, of how he'd been forced into leaving his family behind after the abuse got too bad.

The idea that Inky had been forced from his own, made to wander the moors with nothing but Ferret for protection... Had he been alone all the time, since he was just a kid? And driven away by his own family, too... He was sure that must hurt, even if Dusk couldn't really picture it. He'd never had parents after all, so how could pretend to understand that bond?

"Cats like that... They'rethe blind ones if they can't see how perfect you are, how much you have to offer." he rumbled. "I'd never let anyone treat you like that here. If anyone ever touches you or says those kinds of things you let me know, okay? I won't stand for that kind of crap in Windclan." he huffed, for once fully willing to flaunt his power as the clans Second in Command to make someone life a living hell if they made he mistake of bullying the ghostly black tomcat beside him.

windclan warrior - male - 18 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - tall, strong bengal tomcat

Everything Stays

Heat rose to his cheeks and he raised a brow at the spotted tom, "Well now I wouldn't say perfect, I too have my own flaws," He pointed out to the other with a playful nudge to his shoulder with a blackened paw. Though he didn't go into detail about what sort of abuse they had inflicted upon him, from the drowning to the physical attacks- their laughter at his mishaps still haunted him to this day. It made a shiver run along his spine and he shook himself slightly, "Also, don't think that I can't whoop your butt anytime soon- I had a hell of a teacher," He gave a playful smirk at the other before nestling down into his side.

"I think you're perfect as you are, despite where you came from and where you're going. You're closer to me than Ferret has ever been," Inkylotus murmured softly with a yawn escaping his maw, "Dare I say I care about your butt?" A light laugh left the ghostly tabby and he gave the others' tail a soft squeeze, as it had been entangled in his own.

Inkylotus then lifted his head, muzzle mere inches from Duskfires', "Do you have anything else planned today? I was thinking we could go for a walk or something- I need to get out of this stuffy den before I fall asleep,"