LIVE MY LIFE (squad)

// @BEESONG @Reed squad assemble

A hearty laugh could be heard as Mud and Beesong approached the edge of camp, the sound coming from the former. Head tossed back, he only began to calm down as he trilled in response to whatever joke his friend had said, "Can you imagine? Ice would have my pelt!" Another chuckle left him as they approached the stepping stones, preparing to head off for a fishing trip before the chocolate tom noticed Reed nearby. He knew the cat at least a bit by now, enough to be more than friendly, so he called over, "Hey Reed! You free? We need a third!" He cast the cat a grin, stumpy tail waggling as he knew Beesong wouldn't mind that he invited a fellow fisher. All paws on deck, right?
( ⚘ ) Nose between a clump of foliage, Reed didn't see the pair as they approached. Instead, they slit their eyes against the sun and appraised the feathery fronds. Weaving had become their newest obsession- even if they weren't very good at it. The flaxen puffs might be useful for padding and bulking up corners. Now, how to get at them...

The call of their name came as a great shock, the cat's kite-shaped head wrenched from their task. Swinging around to see the speaker, Reed's expression was splashed with nervousness. However, Mud's jovial silhouette quickly brushed relief along their ruffled spine. At least they knew his name, and that he was kind. Beside him stood Beesong too, a cat the oak-flecked feline had grown used to seeing around.

At the request for 'a third' one enormous ear bent back in confusion. Did they want them to hunt with them? Uh oh. Swimming, fishing- all things Reed fell flat at. "Huh, uh. Sure." Their response was quiet, though bubbled with a mute enthusiasm. They were still very grateful to be asked. And then, because they thought it best to warn them, the feline tacked on "I-I'm not very good though... if that's okay."
Contrary to what some might think about the drypaw, Beesong enjoys the art of fishing. Hypervigilance and perfectionism aids him well in the endeavor, since catching fish involves a lot of watching and waiting for the perfect moment to strike. It is even better in the company of a pal, someone who had been a friendly face the moment he'd found Rain's group. So when Mud approached him with the offer of a fishing trip, Beesong had happily accepted; today was one of those rare days where he did not have a sharp pain behind his eye, a seldom-found semblance of the closest he could ever get to normality. He plans on utilizing it to his advantage.

Padding on the right side of their friend with their good ear swiveled towards him, his laughter brings out a chuckle of Beesong's own. They wish that every day could be like this. But the world does not possess such a perfect imbalance. They must cherish these moments as best they can.

Mud's sudden call startles him, but the cinnamon tabby is not opposed to the invitation; the more help they have, the more fish they could bring back. Beesong cranes his neck, following Mud's gaze onto Reed; a cat that he does not know well, but they seem sweet from the minimal interactions the two have had before. The chocolate smoke's murmurs are too quiet for Beesong to hear from this distance, but with enough context clues and lip-reading, he manages to make out some of it; not very good, though. "Well, you can't get better at something if you don't practice!" The scarred tom regards Reed with a smile, jerking his head in a gesture for the chocolate smoke to join him and Mud. "C'mon."

Mud beamed, stumpy tail flicking as his pal responded. "Beesong's right! How will you ever get better if you don't throw yourself right in?" Already, he was trotting along after the medicine cat, expecting Reed to be behind them. It was never too late to learn to fish - heck, half of RiverClan still couldn't quite do it! The trio crossed the stepping stones, and immediately headed to the river. With the sun shining bright overhead, it was the perfect day to get out by the water! "Hey Reed, do you swim at all? You know, with living in the area and all?" He asked, looking to the brown-furred feline.

//realizing they are brown cat crew I'm loving it
( ⚘ )Quickly hopping from their spot, Reed followed the pair. Beesong was right, only one way to improve. Ducking their head in a sheepish nod of agreement, the feline paced alongside Mud. Stream burbling below them and their brunette group skimmed along the shallow stepping stones. The weather was nice, and that meant they might be able to swim. Though fishing would be a whole other problem. Early on they had learnt to hunt land-locked prey, and even after meeting other cats fish proved to be as slippery as expected.

Mud's query followed along with their line of thought, the parallel allowing them to answer without much hesitation. "I caann... When it's clear and slow moving. Don't like it after the rain." Beginning in a drawn-out drawl, Reed ticked their white-dipped tail back and forth. "Until I met Mahi I didn't e-even touch the river. He taught me what I know so far- he's uh, a good swimmer." Hot embarrassment pawed at them, heating the backs of their ears. It seemed silly now, but the cedar cat hadn't been able to drink from the languid rapids, let alone submerge themself in them.

As the fern-cloaked river bank came into view, Reed paused beside a great mossy boulder to evaluate the rippling surface. Uncomfortable with the growing silence, they piped, "W-what about you Beesong? Don't think I've seen you in the water yet."
Beesong listens to the chatter with a smile, nose scrunched up in concentration as he leaps across the stepping stones. It's getting easier each day to cross them, especially on days like these where the river is calm and steady. Mud inquires if Reed knows how to swim, which the nervous feline replies to with hesitance. Don't like it after the rain. The medicine cat purrs in an amused agreement. "A bit wild after storms, yeah?" Although, the conversation begins to dull into a monotonous drag. Beesong's eyes go half-lidded with disinterest, a nuisance it is to have topics bore him after only a few minutes, but he still nods along to Reed's words. Learning to swim from Mahi, Mahi is a good swimmer... Beesong takes in the information before quickly dumping it away.

Their eyes snap back open when Reed asks them if they swim. Beesong snorts, rolling their shoulders. "No, I don't swim much," they admit, ducking their head with a flick of an ear. They know that some RiverClan cats look down on drypaws like them... For reasons unknown. There is more to being a RiverClanner than swimming. "I do enjoy dipping my paws into the water when it's hot, though." They could not stand the heat. Even now, as the sun beats down upon their back, they're eager to cool off with a quick dip in the shallow end of the river.
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"Whew, you're telling me! Nothing like cooling off on days when the sun itself is trying to singe your whiskers, huh?" Mud adds on, head tipping from side to side with each step as trots along. A more devious side of him almost wishes he could push the two into the slow-moving river beside them, just so he could get them to swim with him! Of course, he never would - but stars it's tempting! His thoughts take him elsewhere as they travel along the bank, and his eyes wander over the distant Twolegplace. "Have either of you ever there?" He suddenly mews curiously, noticeably more sheepish than before. Perhaps it wouldn't be hard to decipher that the tom has a horrible fear of the place - of anything twoleg-related.
( ⚘ )Reed's lithe ears were stalk-straight as Beesong mentioned their lack of swimming. The feline felt a wave of recognition, or comfort, knowing that there were others like them that avoided the river. Duckweed eyes took in the medicine cat in a whole new light.

When the topic turns to the twoleg place, they pause. The vague, smog-edged memories from their kithood sprung up. Indecision soaked their tone as they responded to Mud, "I think so? Mm-my parents used to travel all over. Maybe when I was a kit...? Don't remember much." Despite the potential experience, Reed shared the warrior's unease. That fear of the place was laid bare in the ripple that raced up their narrow spine.

The singsong splash of the passing river drew their attention once more and the driftwood feline made a sudden realisation. If Beesong couldn't swim, then if they didn't then Mud would be fishing alone. Making an effort to be helpful and friendly, Reed slipped off the boulder towards the shore. Uneven steps brought them to the water's edge, paw pads hot with nerves. They gave Mud a trepidatious glance, clear communication of 'you first'.