MERCURY && buck


seven weeks & three days
Jul 27, 2022

She has been on his mind since he was welcomed in to the ranks of Riverclan. She has caught his interest, tenfold, the way she moved and stalked with such power. He has decided that he needed to know her, learn about her, be her friend and so he sets out with a determined spark. Otter has never had a friend, never been around other cats- its a new experience and its weird, but… Welcomed.

He has to bring a gift. A gift for her that says “thank you for saving me”, his sincerity in a piece of prey. He has never really hunted for himself before nonetheless other people and the river is terrifying. White front paws are dipped slightly in to the water on the bank and his pace of breathing quickens, his chest tightening before he lets it all go. Slow, Otter, slow. Mismatched eyes trained around the little things darting around his paws, minnows, he believes they are called. They’re tiny, nasty, little creatures but he grimaces for its all he can catch. He has never eaten fish before, minnows and he hopes to whoever is out there that they are good. He dives forth, slipping slightly against the under-bed rocks and snapping his jaws in to the water. He’s reeling back as things swim in his mouth, inwardly gagging and practically barfing the minnows out of his mouth (though all he did was open his mouth and they fell out). That was absolutely disgusting, turning his head to the side and coughing.

Eyes scan the horizon, searching for a familiar pelt. Her fur was spotted so uniquely that he knew it’d be hard to miss. He’d go to her, but shes elusive and he’s not sure where he’d even find her; if he slipped in to the river again, any farther than he had with the minnows, he may not be so lucky to have a savior this time.

His eyes dart around, making sure no other cats were around. "Buck?" he calls out gently, ears perked as he looks around. His catch was pathetic, but perhaps she’d appreciate the sentiment. Maybe. Maybe not. He hopes.
it is rather seldom that any cat comes to look for her, it is unheard of for any feline to bring her fish. buck is elusive by nature, constantly stalking the perimeter of the water territory, constantly moving. everything that happens within the river's grasp, buck knows about. the earthen-pelted molly has secured ways of silence, of stalking, and of learning.

otter has been on her radar from the moment he had shown up and attempted to then drown himself. any land cat that goes near the rapids is basically a death sentence. his only chance of survival were the few river cats, and even then she knew raccoon would not have the strength. caraway probably would slip. a muscular frame makes way through the swaying reeds, paws slightly inverted to insure a silent approach. her kit-self was rather adventurous, trying to learn everything to give her an advantage. anything that made her stronger, quieter, and more graceful than her enemies.

she is grateful for the hard training she has put herself through, even with the sacrifices that had been made.

the sounds of water moving, the natural flow disrupted by paws splashing, and a body thrashing. it's easy enough to guess that whatever is flailing in the water is not a threat to her, the curiosity the molly holds allows her to peek through and catch sight of whatever this thing is trying to do.

buck is then greeted by the new pelt of otter, who is calling out for her. perfect timing on her part as she approaches the new tom silently. he has no chance here, not with how he currently is. she hopes with his head movements that he'd be able to catch her in his sights, while the small river dwellers catch her own interest. minnows are small and not anything impressive. they're good for a light snack, or for kits learning to fish. buck is far more fond of trout and chub, a carp on a good day is sure to lighten any mood the molly is in. "otter." her short reply is used as a greeting, while her blue lavender gaze travels from the skittering minnows to otter.

Otter’s anxiety picks up as silence falls after his call, beginning to pace slightly with a flicking tail. Thoughts flood through his head and his heart picks up speed, enough for him to drown out the noise of the river. Buck approaches while hes in a small frenzy and her singular spoken word has him jumping out of his skin. He springs up with wide eyes, landing with fluffed out fur before he quickly smoothes it down with his tongue.

"Buck! Perfect!" he meows excitedly, bouncing on the edges of his paws. He feels like a kit, but he’s excited, and he has even caught something for once. "I did this! I got it for you!" he purrs out slightly before embarrassment floods through his body. "Sorry, er… It’s not much." he’d say sheepishly, ears slightly flattening as he thumps the ground. "I just wanted to see you- I mean, thank you, for saving me." he stumbles over his words and his face burns once more. He feels the urge to bury his face in the paw arise once more.

The silence that follows is unbearable and so he has to break it again. "How have you been?"
he's excited to see her, which is strange to the molly. no one is ever excited to see buck, the way no one is excited to see a crow flying overhead. he's practically prancing like a fawn at the mere sight of her, which brings a flush to her skin and a hotness in her paws. she'd have to be dead to not feel something over this attention. otter is a strange cat, but he isn't bad.

he presents her a small prize, and it draws a small grin upon buck's features. kits have caught her fish before as a thanks for her teaching them to swim and navigate the waters safely. it was always appreciated, and her head dips to the tom. he's stammering out some apologies, but she waves them away with little thought. "no- i, i really do appreciate this otter. that's kind of you." although she isn't quite sure if she wants to eat it. something about cats who don't know how to fish..offering her a small fish that could be easily swallowed...unsettles the molly a bit. "i think you should have it though. i mean, it's your first fish." buck is not one for subtlety, but she hopes that otter's nervousness will overlook it.

he asks of her current state and the earthen woman fumbles a bit. she doesn't assume he is actually interested in her plights and worries, and that it is more of a friendly inquiry with only one acceptable answer. "fine, i always am. how are you...from the river? i don't expect you to have recovered from it." at least, not quickly. any land cat faced with a canine's fangs or drowning in rapids would not have an easy time getting over it. but perhaps otter likes to forget things quickly. "if you want, of course, i can offer some lessons. just to avoid me nearly ripping your pelt off."

She says she appreciated the offer but he notes slight hesitation in her voice, but he does not pick up the implications that she was inwardly thinking of and he beams, nervously, shuffling his paws once more as his own face flushed. A compliment, gosh, its been forever and his heart just slightly flutters, skips a beat in his chest. He remains silent for a second before nodding. "O-Okay!" he stutters like an idiot, but hes not quite hungry as the feeling practically evaporated as soon as she had showed up. "Mmm, next time I see you, i'll be a fishing master, yeah?" its an awkward joke that comes out a little too high pitched.

Shes okay, which is good. Fine, as she says. He squints slightly. "Uh... I'm... Doing better!" he lies with a sheepish face. He has refused to touch water since then, but he doesn't want to say it- he had come off as a little too pathetic to her, practically drowning in the river like a rat. He cringes at the thought. "Oh..?" she offers lessons and his heart skips a beat once more. He jumps at the offer to spend more time with her, a nervous smile once more as he ducks to hide it. He likes the mysterious girl, Buck was a good friend. Perhaps it was just him whom shared the sentiment, but he does not care. He has never had friends before, friends of the same species at least. "Sure! Yes- Yes, please." he thumps his tail against the ground idly, though it turns in to wagging much like his former housefolks dog. "Maybe i'll save someone if I learn how to swim. Pass the favor down, ya know?" but hes inwardly dreading at the thought of drowning once more. It scares him, the water is suffocating, dark and silent.

He takes a deep breath anyways.