private lifetime achievement award

Hunting was going about as well as he expected it would. Iciclepaw followed instruction well, she learned quickly and she did as told without complaint but there was just…there was just this passive aggressiveness to everything she did. Smokethroat swore he saw her turn to roll her eyes at him on more than one occasion and he responses were curt and polite with an edge as if annoyed with speaking to him. He didn’t know how to respond to it, he didn’t know how you went about correcting this kind of behavior or if he should just ignore it.
The dark warrior was not here to make friends with this apprentice, he was here to teach her valuable life lessons, did he really need her to respect him? No. He didn’t and honestly he couldn’t care less if she did, but it was certainly aggravating in its own way.
Smokethroat’s fire and brimstone gaze glanced back in the direction of the river with a neutral expression, vaguely wondering how the other mentors were managing. He was sure Mudpelt was doing very well, training his own son who was charming if not a little off. Willowroot enjoyed the company of younger cats, she was probably enjoying herself training her little duo who thought she was just the coolest cat alive (so he had heard them gossiping about at least and was inclined to mostly agree.) Cicadastar himself was mentoring Foxpaw, who was a sensible apprentice at least from what he had seen.

Then there was him and Iciclepaw. “If you keep scowling your face is going to get stuck that way and then you’ll look like me.” Which, as far as threats went, was right up there with ‘I’m going to tell your mother you’re being a little shit.’ He’d been tempted several times to trip her for her general demeanor but she WAS performing well with her hunting and listening to him so he really could not find fault or reason to be petty. Despite wanting to.
Dropping to a crouch and gesturing to her to do so as well, he raised his tail in a point at a bird that was standing in front of a small bush and pecking lightly at the ground. “Try that one.”
The wind wasn’t exactly right but if they moved to position better they’d make too much of a disturbance. Sometimes knowing when to risk it was the best move.

Had he known what was in that bush he would have not encouraged the apprentice to make the leap of faith.


Iciclepaw and Smokethroat seem to have gotten off on... well, if not the wrong paw, then an awkward, limping one, for sure. There's a strange rift between them that the young girl can feel just as well as he can.

Truthfully, Iciclepaw doesn't care if Smokethroat likes her or not. She is only meant to train under him. As long as he doesn't step on her paws...

"If you keep scowling, your face is going to get stuck that way and then you'll look like me."

She twitches an ear and turns to give Smokethroat a withering look - well, as withering as a three moon old kit can give. "That's not true," she says in a deadpan manner. "Unless... is that why you always look like that?"

Her mentor isn't unkind, but he seems unimpressed with Iciclepaw in some way, and she isn't sure why. She does everything he asks her to do, doesn't she? It must be the way she does things, but she doesn't think that makes much sense. Why does he care how she does something as long as she does it?

The tortoiseshell shrugs and rolls her eyes. She doesn't feel herself doing it, doesn't even realize - it's that ingrained. "Fine." Another order, one she acknowledges monotonously before dropping into a passionless crouch. She's sure Steep-paw or Fernpaw would be frothing at the mouth to be pouncing on bushes, but she's never cared much. She learns to hunt because she must, not because it's some fun, interesting thing to do.

She watches him drop into a crouch, one she is meant to mimic. Ice-blue eyes find the creature strutting, preening its feathers, and she huffs slightly. "Why bother? RiverClan cats don't eat birds." But she does as he requests, falling into a neat, tight crouch that only needs some adjusting. Her tail is still wiggling, dusting the ground with movement, and as she moves to lunge for the bird, it scrapes the ground and makes a soft whooshing sound.

It notices, and it takes flight. Her claws meet only the foliage behind the bird, featherless. Her frustration is only momentary - who eats birds, anyway?

But the momentum has sent her crashing through the snapping twigs and leaves, and to her surprise, a strange mesh that tangles her claws the moment they meet the wire. "Oof! Hey!" She attempts to pull her paw out, but in moments, she's hopelessly tangled in what feels like a spiderweb made of powerful silk. She can't walk at all, can't move except to roll and force the strange web to wriggle with her.

She bursts from the bush with a struggle, her skin hot beneath her fur. "Smokethroat!" She feels something she's never felt before, the discomfort that comes from being stuck, good and mired, and she lets out a pathetic mewwl and meets her mentor's fiery eyes through the mesh.


The inkspill of a tom did not answer her question about her face getting stuck, he had tried a joke and it went about as well as his jokes usually did. His tone and sense of humor made him come across too serious, perhaps Clayfur had a point. Instead he would let his scowling silence be enough answer, if she believed it true then so be it; maybe she would roll her eyes less.

"Food is food." He remarked with a short but sharp reply, the backtalk was a waste of both of their times and the bird was going to fly off the more she protested. Thankfully Iciclepaw did not wait for him to finish speaking before turning to mimic his crouch; her form was good enough for a new hunter but her jump was immediately sloppy and it cost her valuable seconds in her spring-just long enough for the bird to take to the sky with a flurry of dark feathers and bits of debris scattered from the wind burst beneath those wings. The momentum of her leap had sent the mottled little she-cat tumbling into the bush, which was at least a softer landing than the ground but her sudden cry of his name had his fur rising on end. Smokethroat leapt forward from their hiding place into the small clearing, orange eyes wide at whatever it was had entangled his apprentice and immediatetly he raised his head to look around in a brief surge of panic. Was this a two-leg trap? Were they nearby? When the wood gave no answer but a chilling silence his hackles slowly lowered and he stepped closer to lean down and examine the meshing of odd vines that Iciclepaw now wore.
This kit was going to give him some kind of heart condition. He was going to have to ask Beesong if there was a plant he could eat that calmed nerves whenever he had to deal with children at this rate; he wasn't going to make it.
"Calm down...calm down. I think this is just...stuff they lost." It didn't seem connect to anything and bending over to take a mouthful of it he found he could tug some of it loose with enough of a shake, not that Iciclepaw would enjoy the process but it felt like this was a manageable task.
Their first time out training alone and they'd be spending it freeing her from some two-leg junk. Of course. Just his luck really. "I can probably chew some of this off-if the hole is big enough you can probably crawl out of it." It was a good thing he hadn't detected any two-legs, this would otherwise be a poor spot to be in but he didn't want to go dragging her elsewhere where the tangling would get worse or she'd get stuck on something. At least here if there was danger he could snatch her up and carry her off quickly; maybe. His ears went up suddenly at the sound of rumbling thunder in the distance, it was hard to tell sometimes what was natural and what was two-leg nonsense but perhaps there was just a normal storm rolling into the sky above.
"Your jump was uneven." Smokethroat said finally before sitting down to try and tear one of the threads of the netting with perhaps a little too rough of a tug than he intended.

Iciclepaw shifts her paws, antsy and feeling startlingly claustrophobic. Every movement she makes seems to tangle her worse, but to stand still is enough for her heart to seem to quicken its pace until it threatens to explode from her chest. She hates the sensation of the mesh restricting her limbs and laying thick against her fur.

"Stupid, nasty Twolegs, just leaving traps around," she hisses, crouching and gazing up at Smokethroat. Her icy eyes meet his fiery ones. "I hate them."

He tells her to calm down, and it doesn't take too much for her to focus, regulate her breathing. He bends toward her and takes some of the strange material into his jaws, testing it with his teeth. He tells her he might be able to chew some of it off, and the tension leaves her body - at least, some of it, like trapped glacier water melting under the sun.

"Can you hurry up, then?" Now that she knows she isn't stuck for eternity, some of the insolence has crept back into her voice, but it isn't unkind or demanding. A request in her typical calm monotone.

He seems to pause before finally settling beside her to begin working at the fibers of the trap holding her inside. "Your jump was uneven." Iciclepaw's first instinct is to bristle, even just slightly. "What do you mean, uneven? I would've gotten that bird if the Twolegs hadn't left their stuff in the bush." She scowls, not stopping to consider that this isn't true in the slightest. "I was just doing what you told me to do. So if it was wrong..." Iciclepaw shrugs, letting the gesture finish her sentence.


"Pipe down, I'm working on it..."
Well, he could tell she wasn't hurt by the tumble with how immediately snappy she got with him. Orange eyes narrowed briefly but he would give this one a pass for the time being, it wasn't everyday you got caught up in two-leg mess so he'd permit the insolence this once. Taking a strand of the netting between his teeth he placed a paw on Iciclepaw's back for balance's sake as he tugged on it and slowly ground the threads between his teeth until they began to fray and unravel; it was a tedious task and the netting had a distinctly copper taste that wasn't unlike blood that he did not enjoy having in his mouth, but the other alternative was to start shaking her to try and dislodge it and StarClan he didn't want to listen to that mewling protest.

That she got so instantly defensive of his remark made him sigh so deeply it was a wonder neither of them passed out by how much air he just took out of the surrounding area. If she shrugged at him again he was going to leave her here.
She had calmed down, thankfully, if her complaints were anything to go by but fear had shifted instead into annoyance and he almost wished she'd go back to her panicking because it was less bothersome to have to listen to than this.
"You falling into that bush had nothing to do with the two-legs, your jump was sloppy. You-" There was a crack, sharp and booming like thunder in the distance; but from the tremor beneath his paws it was far closer than what would often snap in the skyline. Smokethroat's entire body tensed reflexively, every muscle coiled tight in preparation to spring but after a moment the fading echo of the thunderous sound reverberating through the air stopped. That had been close, though. Too close for comfort. The dark warrior closed his eyes tightly for a moment, quickly assessing the situation. It wasn't nearby enough to plan an escape just yet but...he'd need to figure this mess out quickly. Iciclepaw would not be able to run while draped in these tangling threads, it would catch her paws and get her hung on every branch and bush they passed by. If it came down to it he could carry here, but they still might get snagged and he'd be slowed down with holding another cat as he ran; he wasn't exactly renknown for his speed in general.
Keeping his tone calm and more annoyed than fretful, he spoke as if he'd heard nothing.
"Right, let's see if I can at least get your head out of this nonsense..." His task of chewing intensified, with hope he might be able to pluck her out from this if a big enough hole was made.

  • Like
Reactions: Marquette