pafp mary, did you know? / first child

He'd not had time to announce to his Clan that he's had nine lives gifted to him by the stars. He's not had time to share his new name. Life, he finds, has a way of interrupting his plans. The patchwork kitten he'd found shivering in the brambles has proven to be no exception. With some coaxing -- well, a lot of coaxing -- the gentle giant and company had managed to get the girl to approach them. With even more convincing, Blazestar and Bug had gotten her to follow them back to camp.

Every few steps, the flame point throws a concerned look over his shoulder. She's so small, he can't determine her age -- but it's clear she's a kittypet. A lost baby kittypet with no words to tell them what had happened.

There's only one queen in the Clan, a warrior who's never had children before and is in the process of preparing for her own litter. Blazestar hates the task at hand -- what does he know of a mother's bond with her child, of a child's need for comfort and parenting? Nothing. Nothing at all. He'd never had feline parents. Never had children of his own.

He sighs at the opening to the nursery, giving the little kit behind him a weary look. He doesn't know how to propose his idea, but he blunders forward once he sees Daisy Flight's quilted blue and gold pelt. "Daisy? I... have something to ask you."

Blazestar sits, glances at the mouth of the den. "I've returned from the moonstone -- well, we'll discuss that later. I found a kit. A lost one." His tone softens, lowers. "She's alone. I don't know if she still needs milk, but she needs a mother."

He leaves the question in the air between them, not sure how Daisy will react to such a request. Almost a demand, if only in Blazestar's gentle, non-judgmental way.


@Daisy Flight @GAIA

The fern fronds that shielded camp were so unlike the monoliths of the twoleg place. Even the tallest, most established plant was a far cry from the unyielding cliff faces of her old home. They were delicate- light spilt between their frilled edges and the wind knocked them into new postures daily. Malleable. Daisy Flight supposed that was what life out here was like, you had to take every day in stride. She drew a rasping tongue across her snow-gloved paw and deftly hooked it behind her torn ear. As more concrete paved memories welled up her tricolour snout wrinkled. The lessons learned back then were cropping up more frequently recently as if her mind was trying to remind her. Why- like a batty old hag- she was so stuck in the past the queen had no idea.

Perhaps it was to aid in her coming motherhood. She had spent several mornings thinking on it now. Like many on the streets, she had been an orphan. Though she had barely known the term, as it was norm to chase off young as soon as they could draw claws. Truthfully, the calico was unequipped for the task. And so instead of dwelling on what she lacked, Daisy Flight tried to think on things she would have wanted as a kit. Warmth, a full belly, a safe place to explore, to sleep. A mother to care for her. The nursery behind her was plush with feathers and mosses fetched on her walks, walks that spanned a territory she swore to learn like the pads of her paws. She had the first few ticked... and she liked to think she could manage the last.

An approaching figure cut her parental plotting short, Blaise's cream-coated form apparently making a beeline towards her. She straightened, opening her white-brush maw to question their leader on his disappearance but the look on his saffron face made her falter. Tiredness, responsibilty pulled at him heavier than before. He had something to ask of her, he had come from the moonstone? Her gooseberry gaze narrowed, suspicious.

Half a second before the tom's words confirmed it, Daisy Flight caught sight of the patterned pelt of the kit behind him. Ears immediately pricked, she stood, peeking around his broad flank to get a better look. So small, sides painted like the wings of a butterfly. They must be cold-

"-but she needs a mother." The queen's head snapped up, surprise bringing her almost nose to nose with Blaise. A mother- and he thought her suitable? The urge to laugh aloud, or to hit the presumptuous tom, rose exponentially. "You really thought, because I'm the only cat in the nursery, that I would be best?" Her voice was sharp, chiding. Despite being of shorter stature, she managed to summon her most impressive disapproving glare.

After a lengthy, furious moment Daisy Flight crumpled with a heavy huff. Who was she, to refuse a child in need of help?"You've managed to catch me in a particularly motherly mood. Very well. Don't fret a second more- I will take care of her." It made sense, and the molly had to be ready for this moment eventually. The timeline had just been bumped up, significantly. She had to admit the kit was rather cute too. Protective, maternal instincts began to make themselves known and she couldn't help but feel relieved. There was something in her that could do this.

Even with the confidence she adeptly espoused, her first steps towards her new responsibility were slow. Introductions dried in her throat and she could only muster an uncertain blink of hello. Another false start, another pause. Once more at a snail's pace, Daisy Flight swept a freshly groomed tail around the child's ruffled form. "Hello little one. My names Daisy Flight." Her voice was gentle, unsure. It was time to turn the hypothetical into the practical.

There is a sick sense of jealousy that worms its way into Tugger's heart as he stumbles across the scene. A kitten of red and black at Daisy's side, a child of her own to raise weeks before the ones in her belly are due. That jealous worm steels at the sight and tears through him, and that feeling of want, of loss, is as cold as ice. Dark eyes train on the child, so small and so delicate compared to the three large cats before her.

He wonders if his own children have been born. He imagines they would get along well with this child.

He turns his attention wholly to Daisy Flight, his meow lacking in any bite - though to say it had any emotion would be an overstatement - but he is sincere when he says "let me know if you need anything" before turning and heading out of camp. He needed to clear his head... again.
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The walk back to these cats' camp had been uncomfortable, conversation horribly one-sided. She had padded next to the chatty molly, only able to focus her eyes on the ground before her in between nervous glances up at the other's emerald eyes. Ahead of them, the big tom kept stealing glances back. He seemed worried. Am I worrying them? She wondered with a moment of panic. Was she a liability? She now knew the cats weren't going to eat her, nor would they pick their teeth with her bones. If they'd planned on it they would've gotten it over and done with as soon as she'd crawled out of that bramble bush.

Now when they entered the clearing, things changed. Gaia paused momentarily, gawking at the sheer amount of cats in one place. Immediately, she felt so small, and she'd make herself even smaller by tucking her chin to her chest and sweeping her tail up tightly across her flank. Swallowing harshly, she turned to see her escorts traveling towards a den. She shuffled after them, not wanting to be left behind but she couldn't stop her eyes from flicking to and fro, as if at any moment a monster would hop out and gobble her up.

They arrived at their destination. The big tom was murmuring something to someone she couldn't see right away, someone hidden in the shadows of the den. She kept her eyes on the ground, paws shuffling nervously. Finally, there was movement. The tortoiseshell looked up sharply to see green eyes appearing from within the shadows, turned on her. She half-expected a hungry fox to stalk out, but instead a pretty blue and cream she-cat stepped out and moved slowly towards her. She smelled of milk, and her belly was swollen. Perhaps that was why Gaia let her guard down - she reminded her of a mama. For the first time since she'd ran off, she parted her jaws, whiskers trembling as she whispered, "I'm Gaia." Daisy Flight. As soon as her fluffy tail swept around the shaking form of the kit, she let herself relax slightly. This queen had just gained a burr.
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When he had first been told he was getting kicked out of the nursery to move to the apprentices den, Basil had been idignant. He did not want to leave his mothers side, not yet at least. But when he had heard Daisy would be moving in he was pissed! He didn’t want some other kittens sleeping in the nest he and his siblings had shared, though it was possible for them to share a nest now it wasn’t really as socially acceptable as it had been when they were still considered children. Now the clan expected them to sleep by themselves and do this horrible ‘training’ thing. All Basil wanted to do was curl back up in the nursery and pretend like he was still just as little as he had been the day he had been born, with eyes and ears sealed shut to the world.

He watches from what would become the apprentices den as Blazestar walks into camp, a tiny bundle in his mouth that he brings directly to his former home. Curious, he immediately scrambles onto his paws, following the cream colored tom into the den, wishing to see what it is he had. Immediately, upon entering the den he scrunches up his nose. Whatever it was, it reeked! So used to Sky Clans smell Basil was that the foreign scent almost made him want to gag. “Why does she smell like that?” He asks after seeing it is a kitten, bringing his paw to his nose to cover it. His eyes flicker over to Daisy Flight, as if she might have an answer and wondering if the kit was hers and maybe she just got lost? But that didn’t account for the way she reeked of something strange, something unfamiliar.
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Daisy's reaction is not the one he expected. She gives him a look as sharp as an enemy's claws, face drawn taut. "You really thought, because I'm the only cat in the nursery, that I would be best?"

He shrugs helplessly. "I--yes? I'm sorry if that's..." He trails off. Was that offensive? He doesn't really know. He had thought Daisy would be more receptive to mothering a kit, but perhaps he's mistaken. In that case, what to do with the little butterfly-patterned baby? His mind races. "Does... that mean you won't..."

But she relents, huffing to herself and claiming Blazestar has managed to catch her in a good mood. The tension -- well, a minuscule amount of it, anyway -- drains away from him. He casts a look at the tortoiseshell kitten and smiles at her. "Did you hear that? Daisy will take good care of you."

He backs away, a purr rumbling in his throat as he watches the shy she-kit take a liking to Daisy almost immediately. She'd been so terrified of Bug and him that he had been concerned she wouldn't adapt and he'd have to figure something else out.

A rustle. Blazestar turns and gives Basil, the rock-eating kit, a surprised look. He wrinkles up his face and asks why Gaia smells like that. His jaw sets, though not in anger. He hopes the poor kit isn't upset by that comment, though he doubts Basil meant it in a mean-spirited way.

"She's from the Twolegplace, Basil," he states. "Where Twolegs live. She will smell like us once she settles in and lives with us for a while." He doesn't know how else to assure the speckled young tom, but he hopes that's sufficient. He doesn't want Gaia to burst into tears or anything.