la vie en rose ( open && intro )

A small sigh left the femmes mouth as she watched the everyday hustle and bustle of the group, feeling quite out of place (as always). So many cats, so many opportunities to talk and yet she wanted to slip away, couldn't find the words to speak other than her mother tongue. "Trop occupé..!" she whines slightly, to herself, feeling anxiety bubble in her throat as a cat starts to walk towards her. She panics, trying to find a way out and squeezed her eyes shut... Until the pawsteps faded away, they had walked right past her. She lets out of sigh of relief, feeling her shoulders relax from the tension.
She had never been great with words, never a people person, so why in the world was she here? She'd been here for a few days now, why would she even agree to join in the first place? Too many cats, too many voices that she had to remember and it felt like she'd never get used to it. It was terrible!

Eyes alight with joy, she scanned the strange assortment of cats about her with a smile. Her sentiment couldn't be further from that Fritter's, every face she saw lit a new spark of joy in her chest, fanning the flames of a fire of passion she could barely contain. Her paws shuffled beneath her in her excitement. So many cats for her to meet! How long she'd wished for someone to talk to and now she had more someones than she could ever need!

Well, that wasn't true.

She'd always be glad for more.

Finally, her gaze landed upon the other femme's lonely figure. Without a thought, Ember padded over, seeking to give the stranger some company. "Heya, new friend!" she greeted brightly, giggling as though enjoying a joke only she was in on. Her tail touched the other cat's side affectionately. "What's your name? I'm Ember, nice ta meetcha~!"
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╰☆☆ Another day amongst fools, Scarlet thinks idly to herself. A bladed tongue rasps against plush red and white fur, then a forepaw. Her bath is meticulous, and her thoughts are as sharp as the teeth grazing the fleshy pads of her feet.

Rain is entirely too accepting. Soon we'll be eaten out of the forest. All these useless cats who can't fend for themselves. Wicked, barbed thoughts from an otherwise beautiful feline, body carved from clouds with the sun spilling over in stripes.

Crystalline eyes light upon a lone figure. Standing by themselves. Friendless. Scarlet's maw curves becomingly into a smile. To almost anyone, the smile would exude warmth and friendship. An open paw.

It's as dead as the heart that beats behind her chest.

She rises to dainty paws and slithers close to the brown-colored femme. Her tail drags behind her, betraying what otherwise is a facade made entirely of generosity. She's just about to open her mouth to say something quite helpful when another idiot interrupts her rudely.

What is this, a two idiots for one deal? A shadow crosses her face and disturbs the kindness of her expression, but only for a moment. Ember, like a kitten who has only once left its mother's flank, clings to Fritter. A chattering burr lodged in the other's pelt.

They deserve one another.

She clears her throat, the smile having returned. "Why, look at that! Two new cats who've made such fast friends already. I'm so glad you're both settling in." Lies like acid drip down the back of her throat. "I'm Scarlet, by the way. Pleasure to meet you both. Could you remind me of your names? New faces all the time, you know. A she-cat forgets."

She flicks an ear. No one would know a monster resided beneath that soft fur, those blue eyes. Scarlet is a friend today.
Rains home was always expanding, for that he was grateful. It seemed to him that he was surrounded by cats who shared a similar mindset as he did. Safety in numbers. He felt comfortable here, among the pines and surrounded by faces that would soon become familiar. Every new cat was welcomed with open paws, he simply knew no other way to be.

Fritter was one of those newer faces, one that he was still trying to figure out. She didn’t seem as at ease as some of the others, yet she suck around all the same. It made no sense to him, if the presence of other cats made you nervous, put you edge, then what was the purpose of staying? He wouldn’t force her to the streets because of this though, no, she would be free to leave if that was what she wanted and thus far she had not, so he supposed the anxious looks and the quit mumbling sun words he did not understand would slowly subside.

He rolls his shoulders as he stands from the spot he had been basking in, reluctant to leave the patch of sun but wanting to join in on whatever conversation was happening right now. As he approaches he lets out a small chirp, a friendly and polite greeting. A smile dances on his jaws and he dips his head to Fritter. “Glad to see you’re settling in” he says, his deep voice warm and polite. He casts his eyes to Ember and Scarlet as well, dipping his head in greeting to them too, before returning his attention to the newest meme we of their group.
Her silent brooding wasn't long-lived and as soon as Ember approaches shes looking for an escape route, but theres no cats she knew, and no cats would come over to save her. She represses a grimace, a sign of fear, keeps her face calm and serene as she listens to what Ember has to say. "Q-Quoi?" her voice wavers for a second- a new friend? That was impossible, she had never seen this girl before now, so how were they friends? She slightly shudders, biting the inside of her cheek nervously. "Uh... Fritter. I am Fritter." her voice is unnaturally quiet now, even more so as she watches Scarlet approach. She just didn't get a break, did she?
Something about this new girl seemed off, but quite frankly, everyone here seemed off. Fritter was used to solitude, used to her alone time- she hadn't seen another cat for many moons before she joined this motely little group. "Je m'appelle Fritter." she repeats her name and her mother tongue comes out in a stronger tongue than her english, but her eyes betrayed her, widened in slight panic. English was still quite hard for her, growing up with two French speaking parents. "Nice to meet you... Scarlet... Ember..." she tests their names out and they fall clunkily from her mouth, her cheeks heating up in embarrassment. This was exactly why she didn't talk! People made her nervous and she makes a fool out of herself when nervous!
Rain approaches next, a face she is somewhat familiar with, the one that seemed to be running the place. Her cheeks heat up again, she knows she looks stupid and meek and... A deep breath and she adverts her eyes in shame. "Merci." she speaks flatly, before she returns to her english. "Thank you. I'm trying." Trying my best.

Born into Rain's eldest adopted litter, the group had been around for almost as long as Squall could remember. The tom had seen many a face come and go, memorized many a name. But, these days it seemed as though more were arriving upon the pine-based group's doorstep than ever. All were inevitably taken in by his father and by the group, as Rain was one to welcome anyone who asked for shelter, for food. The silver tom couldn't remember having to memorize this many names at once - save for when his father would bring in a litter and introduce them to Squall as his new siblings, of course. It seemed like everywhere he looked, there was yet another new set of eyes staring back at him.

It was expected of him, as Rain's son, to be just as welcoming, he supposed. With such an expectation, he did his best to introduce himself to each new face as soon as he spotted one. However, it seemed as though others had beat him to it, this time around - pale green gaze spotting his father, along with Ember and Scarlet, already speaking to the newcomer.

Squall's eyes widen at the sight - how could he be so foolish, being so late to welcoming a new face? Silver paws pad over to stand beside his father, taking in the conversation. Fritter. The newcomer's name was Fritter. Sort of odd, he thinks, but he's heard odder names in the past. The she-cat seems nervous, almost as if she's shrinking back in her pelt. He isn't quite sure what her story is, but makes note to ask his father later. He's bound to know that sort of thing, right?

Rain tells her that he's glad she's settling in, but Squall isn't quite sure she has. Fritter tells him she's trying, though. It seems these days everyone is trying their best, as if something big is on the horizon.

"Everyone's trying, around here," Squall assures her, finally speaking up from his spot beside Rain, "But, I'm sure you'll fit right in. I'm Squall - it's nice to meet you."

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Ember blinked quizzically at their new friend's response. Quoi? What was that? Was it a name? A very odd name if so. She was about to say as much when she got an actual name. "Fritter! I like that, it's fun to say."

The moment a new cat cleared their throat, Fritter seemed to be forgotten to her. Grey eyes landed on the source of the sound, eager to greet another stranger, and one who sounded so affectionate at that. "It's hard not to make friend's fast when there are so many friendly faces about!" She stated with a laugh, bounding over to greet her newest new friend properly. After all she was right, with so many cats to meet it would be hard to keep them all straight! She had to make sure she made a impression. Skidding to a stop right in front of the older molly, she offered her a brilliant grin to match her sly smile. "What's your name? I'm Ember, nice ta meetcha Scarlet~!"

As even more voices joined the chorus, Ember whisked around to greet them. Sending her tail flying into the fact of the tabby she'd just been addressing. "Oh, oops." She apologized with a glance back. Though she couldn't help but giggle a bit.

She turned back in time to see Rain's nod to her, and return it enthusiastically and exaggeratedly. Only the best for their dear leader after all.

That was still such a funny idea to her.

Then her first new friend nervously said she was trying and Ember seemed to remember all at once why she had come over here. "And you're doing a wonderful job Fritter, so keep it up!" She affirmed vacuously. Sure, she had just met the other she-cat but a little encouragement never hurt anyone. Even if she wasn't doing a wonderful job, a little confidence would surely help! She nodded enthusiastically at Squall's added words. "Yeah, you're gonna love it here!"

╰☆☆ Like Ember, Scarlet is at first taken aback by the bizarre word that slips from Fritter's nervous, stuttering mouth. "Q-quoi?" It's guttural, strange-sounding. Grating, even. The red and white femme struggles to maintain her smile. Her mind, unable to be stifled, whispers, Ah, she can't even speak properly. No wonder she's friendless. Dumber than I thought.

But she seems to recuperate, offering her name. Fritter. She seems to regard Scarlet warily, as though she's expecting the red-striped she-cat to attack her on sight. Fool. She starts speaking nonsense again, and Scarlet's expression is visibly strained. "You know," she says, her brow furrowing ever so slightly as Rain and Squall join the three mollies, "I've never once in my life heard someone speak as strangely as you! It's... so interesting."

There's something pointed there, only for Fritter herself. She wants Fritter to feel self-conscious about her speech. It only serves her right for being so weird.

She looks at Ember, remembering her existence and flicking an ear towards her. "Likewise, dear," she lies through her teeth. "I'm sure you will all just adore living here in Rain's group. He's quite the leader." She gives the silver tabby a warm look, then shares it with one of his millions of children, Squall. One of the less annoying ones, but that isn't saying much.