my heart's seen things i wish it didn't || grief?

Aug 1, 2022

// takes place after the return of the box patrol

tl;dr a scouting patrol ended with cicadastar's death at the hands of the twolegs, the patrol returned without him, and this takes place a few hours later while the clan waits to see if cada will come back.


riverclan warrior. 32 moons. tags

He remembers the feel of wispy black fur beneath his tongue, rough affectionate licks to soothe a tom who has held far too much for far too long. He feels more stupid now than he did then, recalling the anxiety, stressing over whether he'd been too forward.

Today Cicadastar died in front of him.

Too forward. Stars. If Cicada would just come home ... Clearsight can't imagine wasting another second worrying like that. To hell with it all-- he'll be forward as he likes-- he'll be honest, even, about feelings that have festered in chest, and say three words over and over again.

Honey, he'll come back, Clayfur had promised, and Clearsight had gasped and cried into the earthen tom's fur, grief and shock warring with stark relief. He'd been so sure, for those few minutes, that Clayfur was gone too. To have him suddenly there-- and then hit with the fact that Cicadastar was still gone.

And would he come back? Clearsight has no measure for the scope of StarClan's power-- how much damage can they even mend?

He catches sight of a clanmate having supper, tearing into a fresh-killed vole-- his stomach rolls, thinking just one thought, his mind stuck on just one image. It's a gruesome one that he wishes he couldn't dream up, but he can and he does and it won't leave him alone. The twolegs had hunted Cicadastar. Had, in Smokethroat's own words, skewered him like prey.

And cats know the kinds of things done to prey.

Clearsight sits at the edge of camp and stares into the forest. He still hasn't cleaned up-- Cicadastar's blood is still sprayed across his pelt, still painting his muzzle red.

He's long since stopped crying. He thinks he might have run out of tears.

He thinks of Cicadastar purring, Cicadastar laughing, Cicadastar pressing close at night by the river.

He watches the forest. He waits.

  • Sad
buckgait is not close with cicada, not in the way everyone else is. she's threatened him his first night upon the lands. she has denied his rule over and over again, denied his very being and wished for the demise of riverclan itself. she does not particularly care for the tom, or how he has gloated over his newfound power over her. his assignment of @LIGHTNINGSTONE to watch her, make sure that she is never alone. banned from being alone with a child, that one felt more personal than the rest. as if she would truly do anything to harm the young. she supposes, technically, she already had. maybe it's justified.

clearsight is clearly distraught over cicada's disappearance. staring at this point, and she hears no sort of ragged breath or teary sniffles. just stillness, as if he was trying to blend into the night sky. her lithe frame settles near clear's. they aren't close, barely share a breath together, or greet each other. buckgait is often with lightning, occasionally otter and her family. there seems to be little time for anyone else. yet she remains, still and calm. cicada is nothing for buck to grieve over, so she can offer him a less-than-weepy view. but buck does not lie, nor is she particularly good at it. she hopes the tom can take comfort in that. "he'll be fine. that cat doesn't go down easy." it's something quiet, as if she's unsure if she's even wanted here. "you can' this. there's cats who need you, clearsight. if you shut down...shut them out...or whatever...they're gonna suffer. " she doesn't know what to call it, but she gestures to his general frame.

death is hard. leaving someone bleeding and not knowing what'll happen to them is hard and scary. she thinks she can speak from a place of experience, but the situations are different. buck knew her kit won't be coming back, but clear still has some sort of hope on it all. she doesn't know of his relationship with the leading tom, but it's something more than acquaintances, so maybe her words will mean something.
Like Buckgait, the silvery blue tom isn't close with Cicadastar. In fact, at one point he may have considered killing him himself. That tom took Rain's life, the cat who was the closest thing to a father Lightningstone had ever known. But he has grown to know what things he can do and what things he cannot. He cannot be so outwardly against the leader of RiverClan, the clan he is supposed to defend. The clan his sister wanted to join and make a life in. The one she has since left him in to be by himself, utterly alone aside from the few friends he has from his old colony. He doesn't like Cicadastar. But he'll obey him. With this viewpoint, he isn't able to offer much except for his presence. He sits on the other side of Buckgait, silent hazel hues roaming over the reeds and willow trees beyond, seeking out the same pelt everyone else is.
( ᴛᴀɢs. )  ❝  On the short list of those Hound'd pulled with him to these river banks, back when the world was a far simpler place, Cicada'd held a special place. He'd taken him here in a moment of mourning, when thoughts had weighed heavy on the chimera's shoulders an' dragged down his heart. He taught him of the water, and how to fish. And now he was gone. Part of him, some bitter and lonely soul with teeth far longer than they'd any right to be, blames RiverClan for it. Those that he'd trusted hadn't watched him as they should. Hadn't cared for him the way it'd be right to. If he'd been there, it wouldn't've gone like that. If he'd been there, Cicadastar would be here.

It's an unfair thought, to all those involved in it. To himself, to the patrol, even to Cicada himself. But there was no shaking out the true extent of the grief. Maybe that'd be the truth of it, and he'd come back clear as day. Or maybe he'll sit there an' rot. Maybe he'd come back wrong, the way that Hound truly fears. Another back in his body, but never again would he be the cat that Hound knew. So he supposes, much like Clearsight, there's no small measure of grief to dealin' with this. But the way they handle it's much different. The chocolate tabby's thrown himself to work without another thought to it. His paws're numb with constant motion through the hours that they've waited. He's restless. Fearful an' fitful, though it shows only in irritation.

Hound's not the most comforting of creatures on a good day. Now? He's fucking prickly. It radiates of his pelt as he comes back to camp, yet another fish hanging in his jaws. He sees them clustered there and wants to leave, wants to turn tail and head back to the river so he doesn't have to confront the reminder'f what they're searching for. Instead, he drops the fish before Clearsight's paws, and sits off to the side himself. "Eat. You'll need your strength for when he's back." If he's back.

  • 50335651_ibz4tSApItgOjRI.png
  • ──── houndsnarl. trans male, he/him pronouns.
    ──── approximately 30 moons old, or 2.5 years.
    ──── bisexual with firm male preference; single.

    ──── a chocolate tabby with ( stylized ) low white and intense lime eyes. lean and lanky,  with whiplike musculature and a long, quick stride. hound's notable features include his impressive height, the long scar across the left side of his face from nose to jaw, his very deep, dense fur, and the confident manner with which he conducts himself.
  • "speech"
Foxpaw drifts to the small crowd like a calico phantom, bristly red tail dragging the earth. Haunted amber eyes find Clearsight's figure, Buckgait's, Houndsnarl's, Lightningstone's. She sits a few mouse-lengths away from the rest of them, unwilling or unable to admit she wanted comfort as well.

But Cicadastar has nine lives. He'll be back. He'll be back and he'll take her fishing and she can learn all the secrets about fighting and being a warrior from him. She tells herself these things, but they feel hollow.

She'd seen her mother's body. She'd watched pawfuls of dirt pile atop it until she couldn't see that plush pale fur anymore. Dewdrop hadn't had nine lives, though, she thinks, desperate for some strand of logic to pull her from the depths of her memories.

"He's coming back," she says. It's toneless, no doubt not comforting to Clearsight or to anyone else. It certainly means nothing when she speaks it aloud.

  • Crying