middle of the night (open)

Loner born and unkempt, he came to the clan a derelict relic of stone jungles and burning skyfires; an outsider and not a particularly shy one. For him life started in burst of fire and he expected it to end similarly, so he kept his head up and claws sharp for the foreseeable future. He'd been named Ember by a starving mother, to be the only spark of life for miles around and she hoped in time he'd catch and spread on his own path without her. If you asked him what she looked like he'd reply with 'airy and empty' because there wasn't much left of the molly to brand to his tiny memory when he was capable of cognitive thought. Her voice was a soothing purr on the wind though, he liked to imagine she loved him because why else would she die curled tight around him to block the chilling cold of ever creeping winter. Life pressing forward from losing a parent so young was as difficult as one would imagine, Ember found fortune in kind rogues and passing two-legs and the ailing form of a forest cat who took it upon herself to mentor him. The woods spoke to him then, drew him from noisy city lines and screeching tires into the tranquil hush of another world where the crunch of leaves and drip of rain were a constant heartbeat of its depths.

Finding RiverClan after his mentor had died had been a blessing in disguise, he took to the waters like he was born in them; an ironic twist of fate with a name of flickering fire to enjoy the cool swill of the river around him like an embrace. Some days he often lay in the cobbled shore, let the rushing current pulsating past him where he remained still-another stone diverting its course. At first the prospect of being around other cats set his fur rising into stiff peaks along his spine, prickling his form into something sharp and dangerous, but now he had settled to a point of silent tolerance. Ember had never been a talkative cat, not even to his mentor and certainly not here. He spoke with the strain of one unaccustomed to conversation, but never hestiated to make himself heard if he needed to be. That the tension of the clan in recent time was only a diversion for him to hold his tongue more often than before. If the inkspill of a tom had an opinion on matters he did not say nor show otherwise.
riverclan --- warrior--- tags
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Beesong had been brought here by a much more cruel twist of fate than Ember, but it is one that he does not argue with. It is easier to obey quietly than to face the punishment of disobedience.

Watching Ember mill about in the water, content in remaining on the relatively dry shore, Beesong hums absentmindedly with intermittent yawns interrupting them. They're not fond of the water, but they do not hate it, either. It is a relationship of tolerance, nothing more, nothing less. Yet, Beesong marvels at their clanmates' prowess in the river, admiring how they dive beneath the surface and emerge heartbeats later brandishing a fish.

His head tilts from one side to another in an attempt to loosen the stiffness in his neck that'd settled in overnight. A grumble from his stomach reminds him that he hasn't eaten at all today, but he ignores it. He doesn't have much of an appetite, no matter what his complaintive gut says. "Having fun?" His own voice grates on his nerves, too high of a pitch that rings in his remaining ear. His teeth grit together, worsening the stiffness of his neck, before a yawn splits his maw open once more. Stars, he's tired of this excessive yawning that plagues him.


The pun does bring a smile to his face, though.

"What's your favorite part about the water?" Beesong rests their head on their paws, bleary eyes blinking at Ember. A bit of positivity would do them some good.

His ears had pricked upward at the question, not immediately responding because he wasn’t sure who it was directed to. Ember paused his movement through the water to actually glance back at the shore, lifted a sopping wet paw up curiously before finally realizing it was HE who was being spoken to. “...suppose so.” Fun? It was hard to define for him. He guessed it was just something he enjoyed doing and he did enjoy the water-perhaps a touch more than what might be normal for cats. Ember shrugged, but offered a tilt of his head in greeting to the sudden company.
It was the second question, less nonchalant and a little more meaningful, that drew his focus and he watched the healer settle down; obviously tired. What WAS his favorite part about the water? Ember had latched onto the river since coming here from the smoke filled air and debris riddled streets of the city. He could not exactly tell why but...he did have a feeling he knew.
He paused thoughtfully, genuinely considering a response that was neither dismissive nor a shrug as he was wont inclined to do often.
“My mother’s name was River.” The tom started, paw held aloft over the water and he watched idly as the drips from the tips of his claws made constant rippling circles from where he sat.
“I didn’t know what that word meant for the longest time. I lived far away, the only water was stagnant puddles and rivelets moving into stone holes…” Drains and dredges. "When I first laid eyes on it, I was....reckless. How could water hurt me?" His one white paw waved and he gestured at the scars marring the side of his face, "It humbled me. Threw me into jagged rocks for my hubris and taught me a lesson to respect it." It was a tough lesson but a needed one. He didn't take risks with the river again, learned to swim proper and learned to determine when it was not inclined to let them swim at all.

“The water is a lot like us. It can be cool and gentle or a forceful wave. You have to take the time to understand it....” He turned to stand, swinging his tail behind him through the water and the liquid rushed upward in a loose arch over his head before splashing back down over him in a light cascade. “It’s scary, I think…at first…because it's almost like a predator.” The river gave them prey, but could also make them prey with one sudden sweeping movement to the untrained cat. “But it’s a predator you can conquer.” Perhaps, in a way the river was two parts of him. His thrill and love of battle, his desire to take down a stronger opponent and the less often seen more docile side to him, the part that wanted to simply be. To be quiet, still, to let the world move around him and enjoy his peace.

riverclan --- warrior--- tags
Fox comes to sit beside Beesong where it's dry, watching with faint interest as the black cat flicks water into the air and stirs ripples across the water. Ember, one of those cats who had lived alone before merging with RiverClan, was normally the quiet type. The small calico listens with intrigue as he describes his experiences with the water.

"It's beautiful," she admits, quiet, unsure if anyone can even hear her. "But... isn't it hard to swim?" She thinks of Caraway diving head first into the waves, little Boar clinging to a rock in fear of slipping beneath the water.

But she does want to be a RiverClan cat, and RiverClan cats swim, don't they? This is the life she chose. She supposes she should at least try to be happy with it.

With a small sigh, she sits and lets her black forepaw dangle in the water. It's cold, but not unpleasant, she finds.


✵ ღ ☾ IT TOOK ME BY SURPRISE - The river. Not one of Azzie’s favorite places to be, but she found herself being drawn towards the low melody of voices anyhow, the gentle rushing of the rivers current offering a pleasant background noise.
She keeps her distance, sitting beside Fox despite their bitter history- it was the only spot that was dry where the blue tabby could be included in the conversation.
Fox let’s her paw drop into the water, sending a flicker of a water drop to Azalea’s shoulder.
She flinches before she can think twice, subtly shuffling backwards from the waters edge. Perhaps if the two had been alone, she would have snapped at the calico to watch it, but instead she kept herself composed.
❝ If you’re into cold and dark, yeah I suppose it is ❞ she comments lowly, her narrow gaze flickering on Fox’s direction, a passive aggressive notion that she had heard her whispered comment.
She turns her gaze to Ember then, listening intently to his musings, her own opinions manifesting as a frown on her maw. ❝ You’d be a fool to try and conquer water, ❞ she disagrees, subconsciously shifting her slightly twisted hind paw. She was biased, of course, but even if those rapids hasn’t almost taken her young life, she isn’t sure if her opinion would have changed.
❝ Speech. ❞


“Ah, well…I’m cold and dark-perhaps there’s a kinship.” Twin ebony triangles flicked upward then flattened at the two young cats conversing on the shore. His fire and brimstone gaze moved over to Fox and her hesitant inquiry, a wrinkle of his eyes at her attempts to touch the water as if amused, to Azalea and the more firm and resistant remark.
That was the tone of a cat who fought the river and lost. She hid it well, composed and head high despite her unease-he’d give her that much. It was something he was all too familiar with but feeding into the fear and encouraging that weakness in others wasn’t something he could just ignore as much as he didn’t expect to be having a conversation right now or even wanted to.
“It is. It’s very hard. I won’t lie to you. Swimming takes time, patience and perhaps even some pain…” From the scars on his face to the twisted leg the little silver molly made effort to keep from being obvious, there was always the chance of strife when trying something you were unskilled in. “Everything is hard at one point. We’re not born knowledgeable, we’re born mewling and weak and unsure.” Ember made a point to walk along the water where it began to dip down, deeper until only his shoulders and up were visible as he made careful steps to avoid losing his footing. One slip might not kill him, the current wasn’t so strong right now, but for an unskilled cat it would rip them away in an instant. “It’s up to those who have faced those struggles already to ensure we succeed.”
The dark tom’s gaze fixated briefly on Azalea, burning eyes locked on the more chilled and almost crystalline hues before he rolled his shoulders and sprang back up onto the shore a few tail lengths away to avoid splashing either of the cats there; the water began to roll off him in great pools.
“Anything can be conquered. An opponent, the river…” He paused, whiskers twitching as droplets began to bend them down and drip onto the pebbled shore at his paws, “...fear.”