private LOST CAUSE ☄. *. ⋆ LEAVING


Aug 6, 2022
[ Takes place directly after this thread ]

All it took was a few crucial moments. Too little action, too much hesitation. Hollow breaths grew shallower and shallower at his side. The rise and fall of tortoiseshell fur drawled slow, barely-there breath coming out in rasps.

A deal, an exchange for her protection, for her aid, murmured soft to leader and medicine cat alike, a silent apology offered to his own siblings. But he would do anything, anything for her. Do it for her.

What's the point, after all?

His gaze lifts to the sky. The sun shines tauntingly bright at such a moment. Alight with life, outmatching the sullen few who live in its rays. Dull, bleak. His eyes are devoid of such light. Sadness passes through him in a quiet shudder, wracking through his form. His eyelids sag, the tension leaves his body, because... What's the point?

The Windclanners, strange as they were, offered them space in this time of need. Gazes held low, distant.

He glances behind him. He can barely make out their faces, the two he has left. Once, there were more, weren't there? He swears he can nearly see them, the group they once were, whittled down to nearly nothing, picked off one by one by horrors of this life and the next. It's all so cruel, he can't help but smile, wry.

Golden plume curls delicately around her form. Limbs remained tucked close to him, and to her. He doesn't wish to acknowledge these others, not for any longer, no. With no more to offer, what did they matter? He presses his head to her body, can feel the warmth draining slowly, can smell the faint scent of lavender. He manages to purr, despite it all, forced and broken. It's happened again. It will keep happening. He's old enough to understand. Golden smiles, tight-lipped. "Sweet dreams, Pidge." he doesn't care who hears.

He turns, slow to the Windclanners. Their forms are blurred. Dandelion is little more than mud and sand. Their bargainers stormy wisps of bottled fury. He doesn't care. He's sure that they don't, either.

Why stick around? What does it matter.

His smile, a tight expression on his features, widens into a too-warm grin. Crinkled eyes, heavy lids. Exhausted. He regards the crowd with a last tilt of his chin. "See-ya," It's a casual thing, a strange drawl of an inflection.

He digs his teeth into Pigeon's fur, gently as he can manage, yet still gnashing with his frustrations. "Sorry," he mutters. It muffles between closed jaws.

He needed to carry her.

[ @STORMPAW @Magpiespark. reply if you'd like to ]
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He'd been willing to do so much, if it only meant she'd been able to live. Always the smallest, the frailest, the one needing the most protection and attention. Their mother had disappeared long ago, leaving her to the attention of three ill-equipped siblings, the mercy of a world that does not care what dreams you carry.

The life burning in pale yellow eyes dies away like flames extinguished by heavy rain. Pigeon dies without ceremony, pale mottled flanks still and her breath stops. There's the stench of blood and horse in the air still, but Storm hardly notices. He only notices that the world has paused around him and his brother, his living sister, his dead one.

The WindClan cats had shown them kindness, even if it came with conditions, but it was all for naught. His vow broken upon the wind as soon as it's been uttered, Storm gives Golden and Magpie a look that communicates nothing but exhaustion and fear.

Fear of the unknown, of the death that lingers in every shadow. WindClan would not protect his remaining siblings, clearly, so why insist they stay? Nothing meant anything. Colors have drained from the moors, from the pelts and eyes of his littermates.

"I'll help you." He announces his intentions with a promise. He goes to Golden and helps him by sinking his teeth into her cold, stiff scruff.

He gives Magpie a look, one full of judgment. Would she follow her blood? Would she stay among the cats who'd thought to save her? She'd always been the independent one, the one who wandered off as their mother had done but had inevitably returned.

He wants her with them, but perhaps... if she's safe after all among others... he cannot fault her.

Anger buzzes in his brain, anger at the stars and the cats and the horses who crushed Pigeon. Anger at himself and his siblings for being unable to help her survive.

But anger is better than grief, he knows. He uses it to keep his paws moving with the weight of his sister between him and Golden.

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Maggie feels hollow. Her mind is oddly quiet, and she stares blankly and steadfastly ahead. She can't bring herself to help her brothers, can't bring herself to look at the corpse that is her sister. It isn't fair - it isn't right. Goldy and Storm should have protected her better - she should have protected her better. She doesn't even care that her brothers are glaring at her, are acting as though she would leave them - she doesn't blame them. Bitter bile clogs her throat and she swallows heavily, eyes damp. She doesn't bother with goodbyes, these cats meant nothing to her in the long run, and she just trails along aimlessly. She feels as if her spark has been snuffed out.