pafp NEVER GOING BACK // return

Jun 8, 2022

A morning mist settled over the wetlands and frost blanketed the grass as older sister and little brother make their way to the river. Brook could smell it, hear it, and though she was nervous as all hell to be back... she was excited to be back home. Excited to see Lightning again... and plenty of time to get to properly know their little brother now that he was in a safe environment. I hope he'll be proud of me, that I succeeded in saving him from the same fate we had been so many moons ago...

"Storm," The woman calls to the young tom, craning her head behind her as if to look at him, "We're near the river. Do you hear it? See it? Beyond it is where RiverClan stays, where you'll be staying with me- and your older brother." She's most likely done her best to explain this to him before, but she informs him again.

The scent of RiverClan cat is thick, Brook was unaware of the borders they had implemented since her departure from the clan. She doesn't think when she reaches a paw cautiously forward, looking for steppingstones across the river. Her paw would touch against cool stone, carefully she clambers onto it and once more looks for another rock to leap to. Hopefully she could still swim if she fell... she could do most things seeing cats could with relative ease thanks to practice, but certain obstacles came with difficulty.

She can tell there is a stone in front of her by the way the water sounds and the droplets splashing onto her paw thanks to colliding against a surface. Again she reaches forward, she finds the stone and once more leaps across. Her ears are listening for Stormpaw, if she heard a sudden splash she'd know he had fallen... If he fell in a heartbeat she'd dive in after him.

"Are you getting across fine, Storm?" Brook says, now on the other side of the river, standing at the shore.

//@Jay when you have time ;)


He picks his way across the wetlands with his newfound sister. When she had told him he could hardly believe it. His mother had never mentioned her to him before she had just appeared one day. Was that how it was with all older siblings? They just came out of nowhere? One day they were non-existent and then POOF! Now you have an older sister Storm. At first he had been excited, he had never had a sibling before. But his mother did not like it when he spoke to Brook, did not like when he cast a glance her way for longer than a few seconds. Their moments together had to be stolen. He had thought that she wanted to play with him perhaps, but no. She wanted to take him somewhere special, to meet his brother! How cool was that? Storm would surely have a good story to tell to his friends when he went home.

He frowns when Brook leads him to a river. She didn't expect him to swim, did she? His nose wrinkles as a strong smell washes over him, he wrinkles his nose in disgust. Then, much to his surprise, she steps into the river! He is prepared to let out a horrified shriek, he was going to loose his new sister! He was going to be left alone in a strange territory because he was certain she was about to be swept away, never to be seen again. He couldn't swim! He couldn't save her if something happened.

He lets go of a relieved breath, the tension dropping from his shoulders when he sees that she is standing on a rock, barely noticeable with the swell of the tide around it. He watches with apprehension as she jumps from rock to rock, shuffling his paws anxiously. She didn't really expect him to do it too, did she? When she reaches the other shore she calls out to him. She totally did want him to go over there. "Uh yea I'm fine" he calls out, embarrassed. He was afraid, in truth. Afraid of the water swirling and rushing past him. He knows one wrong slip or one wrong paw step and he would go under. Not something he's super keen on. "Can't we uh, like, stay on this side of the river though? This side looks much better" he says, trying to hide the tremor in his voice but failing.

When he sees she is not relenting he gulps and digs his claws into the wet earth below him. She really expected him to jump. Maybe following her had not been such a good idea after all. Distantly, he thinks of his nest back home, and how badly he would like to be curled up in it. "Okay-okay I'm coming" he says, stalling for a couple more seconds.

He gathers his hindquarters and jumps, letting out a cry as he feels his feet slip out from under him. He scrambles for purchase on the smooth rock and just barely manages to drag himself onto it, trembling, scared. His back end had taken a dip in the river. He had tasted death! He stands on the rock, preparing to jump to the next one, working up the courage and trembling, just as scared to go to the next stepping stone as he had been to go onto the first, more even."How does anyone make these stupid jumps?" he grumbles to himself.

// sorry this was so long! it's open now!
  • Love
Reactions: AVA
He still recalls the day his sister left as if it were yesterday. Waking to that familiar coneflower resting delicately in his nest and seeing Brook's cold and empty. He had known immediately what it meant. Brook went home. He didn't know why, he didn't know how, but he had to have faith that she had a very good reason for going back to that horrible place. And he had to have faith she'd come back.

He realizes that what he sees in the distance proves him right. He squints at first, pausing during his patrol with @BUCKGAIT. and the others as he tries to make out the shapes in the morning fog. He can see two cats, but it's impossible to tell who they are through the heavy mist. Without a word, the silvery blue tom breaks away from the group and makes his way closer, stepping through reeds and mud with powerful strides as he tries to decide if the figures are friend or foe.

Lightningstone comes to a halt before the older of the two, expression slack with sudden recognition. "Brook," He speaks plainly in his typical neutral tone, but the look in his eyes betrays his joy upon seeing his only littermate back in the wetlands. Stunned, he takes a single step forward, then another, before he swiftly pads the rest of the way to touch his nose affectionately to hers. His sister has come home!

It's then that he remembers the second cat he'd seen with her. Taking a step back, he lays eyes on the marbled tom, couldn't be much older than most of the apprentices in the clan. "Who's this?" He inquires bluntly, although there's a part of him that tenses at the similarities between him and Brook, the sapphire stripes that coil around is body.
when her ward pauses, so does she. still, as she stares blankly ahead, lost in her endless thoughts as she waits for him to keep moving. he doesn't, and that finally draws buck's attention to whatever he stares at. oh. something is hidden in the hanging fog, and he trudges forward. breaking away and not even paying any attention to if she follows. obviously, she does, but with far more caution.

when the mist breaks and reveals the objects of lightningstone's attention, buckgait is still at a loss. the molly looks similar enough to her ward that it's fairly easy to see that they are related. she doesn't know why the other had not been apparent, if she's been in riverclan before buck had, or if the buckskin had never paid any attention to her. there are far too many possibilities and she's sure that she'll learn it all later.

there's someone younger beside the newly-revealed brook, someone far younger, and still so gray. just darker than the other two. she's far too lost to even try to start a conversation or do much of anything aside from hang behind and stare. it feels far too rude to interrupt them.

"With practice, persistence, and strength." Brook informs Storm, listening to him make his way slowly across the river. She could hear the fear in his voice despite how much he fought it, Brook doesn't make a verbal praise but she is happy he's pushing through this obstacle, rather than sulking and giving up.

It was a relief in more than just one way for Brook too... he was getting to be too big to be carried, and that extra weight as she navigated the stepping stones? She likely would've ended up taking a plunge with her younger brother in her maw.

Her nose stings against a cool breeze, "Once we get you training, you'll strengthen your muscles. Tasks such as getting across steppingstones will become easy. Stars, by the time RiverClan is done with you? Swimming across might be easier than dealing with the stones." She muses with a snort that escapes her nose, blowing out mist into the autumn air.

She jumps and spins around. Usually she was more alert to new scents and sounds, but not this time, the safety of her brother consuming all her senses. Brook does not need eyes to know how this is, her brother was here. At his side was someone else, there were too many paw-steps sounding off for him to be alone, she can't tell who it is yet as they say nothing.

"Lightning," She greets, there is relief in her voice, but similarly to her brother her excitement doesn't show. She remains composed and steady. "This is Storm, our brother." She flicks her tail to feel for him, wondering if he's managed to cross yet. "Storm... you here yet? This is your older brother I've told you about. Lightning."

"I took him from her, Lightning. I had to get him, to make sure he didn't meet the fate we almost had." She whispers, loudly enough for anyone present to hear. But this time, she aims to get closer to Lightning to whisper in his ear, "He's... confused. Doesn't understand what almost happened to him. He keeps asking me when I'm going to take him back." Then promptly, she pulls away.

Brook wonders more for a few seconds who was with Lightning... was it Cicadastar? She shudders at the thought, but she supposed... she'd need to talk with him today if she wanted entry back into RiverClan. "Storm and I- we want into RiverClan. I want back... Who is here with us?" She meows, asking for the identity of her brother's companion to be revealed.


The thought of having to do this more than once is terrifying enough, but then Brook mentions swimming and he shudders. Did they really expect him to swim in this wherever they were going? Also he didn’t understand. They were going to teach him things? Storm already had the basic idea of how to hunt and to fight? What more was there to learn? His heart sinks as he thinks of all the things he was going to have to do and he hopes that, at the very least, Brook will let him rest after this journey. Maybe she was making him a better hunter and fighter before she brought him home so he could take care of himself better? Or maybe she was preparing him to have to find his way home by himself. He bites his lower lip but does not say anything.

Storm sees the strangers coming to the shore long before his sister does. His heart flutters in his chest, scared for himself, scared for Brook. He has only met a handful of strangers in his life, they had looked hungry, had looked at him in a way that he hadn’t liked. That was right before Brook had came. She had told them that they wanted to take him away, though he did not understand to where. He wants to call out but the words stick in his throat, a panic overtaking him that he can’t quite describe. He quickly jumps to the next stone and then the next until he is one jump away from the shore. He’s close enough and worked up enough nerve that he can call out, warn her of the cats who had emerged from the bushes but there is no need. One of the cats opens his mouth first.

“Brook” the stranger says and Storm watches as the gray tom presses his nose to his sisters. He narrows his eyes in confusion but he does not say anything. So his sister knew this tom then? She must have because her next move is not a defensive one. He steels himself and jumps to the shore, back legs splashing slightly in the river water as he looks first at Lightningstone then Buck, not saying anything as Brook greets the other gray cat. Then she turns to him and she says something. Oops was he supposed to be paying attention? He catches one word though, brother. Oh! This must be the older brother that Brook had been telling him about. “I’ve never had a brother before this is so cool! It’s nice to meet you!” He says, shuffling his feet excitedly, his self perceived “brush with death” forgotten.

He strains to hear what Brook whispers to his newfound brother but he is unsuccessful. A frown crossed his face for a brief second. Why were they keeping secrets from him? Mom had always told him that secrets were not nice… but then again, according to Brook, his mother has been keeping a secret from him for a long time now.

When Brook steps away from Lightning, he moves closer to her, both protectively and because he was scared of these strangers. Scared and anxious and confused. What was a River Clan? He hopes that Brook does not expect him to live in the water. He could not do that. His eyes land on Buck as he awaits the answer to his sisters prompt, still wary of her and only slightly wary of Lightning.
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Haha
Reactions: AVA

Smokethroat hears the voices before he sees the cats, arriving in a silence, cloaked in the shadows of trees and his own dark pelt as he steps along to the river and stares with curiousity that is only just visible on his maw. His tail raises for @FROSTPAW. and @iciclepaw behind him to stop, until he hears the conversation and realizes what is going on. New joiners, relatives to one of their clanmate. Easy enough to follow.
He wasn't going to lie and say he had any idea what was going on-the fact Lightningstone even had a sister was a surprise, but then again he wasn't the sort to nose about and dip his head in other cat's businesses. He had sensibility and tact, both of which he realized were hard to find nowadays. Thankfully, not so much in either of his apprentices who were young but had their heads on proper, despite their general mishievous streaks. He imagined the two of them as younger siblings of sorts, giving him a rare look at what having those might be like and being grateful he hadn't had to bother. He had a few half-siblings, all dead, a sister in ShadowClan that he wasn't close with and honestly he didn't care. Smokethroat viewed family through a guarded lens, he considered the clan close enough and focused on them rather than things as paltry as bloodlines; if those were half as important as most cats treated them then he would view Frostpaw differently-but that wasn't the case. She was his kin, closest he had here as far as the definition, no less so for not having the same blood.
With a sigh he makes his way over, head high and nose wrinkling at the sudden faint whiff of the scent of unfamiliar cats.
"...well met." He greets, tone curt and short because this sudden diversion has distracted him from taking the two she-cats trailing behind him out for a proper hunt but it's a necessary task to tend to. The dark tom's fire and brimstone gaze settle past the two on the opposite side of the river as if seeking something else before he glances off to the side, "Cicadastar was somewhere around here earlier-not that I know where he's gone now..." Except he did, because he kept a watchful eye on the other tom more than he cared to admit outloud. The dappled leader should be along shortly and it occurred to him he did not even introduct himself. He always forgot to bother with that.
"I'm Smokethroat, these are Frostpaw and Iciclepaw." He regards Storm with some skepticism, "If you do join you'll be an apprentice alongside them. I'll make sure they don't toss you around too badly during training..."
An absolute lie. He was going to set them loose like caged animals, the best sort of training. He'd start an apprentice pit fighting ring if he was left to his own devices too much longer. Maybe they'd stop making him babysit the youth of RiverClan then.

Lightningstone is vaguely aware of Buckgait's approach. She now stands nearby, but his attention remains on his sister's words. He listens closely, disbelief written across his face before alarmed hazel eyes find their way to the one called Storm. His brother, apparently. So, he was why she left in the early dawn, before the sun had even risen that dusky morning. Brook had taken him away from the meadow. He should be happy! He has a little brother he'd never even known about, and Brook had rescued him from a terrible fate - the same fate he and her nearly met as children. But instead, he can only fix the she-cat with a cool glare, not that she can see it. "You mouse-brain," He hisses softly, no true venom to his words but the frustration is surely there. "You went back?" His words aren't loud, only those truly trying to listen would hear him.

He stares at her for a moment long before heaving a sigh, looking to Storm once more. He seems excited to have a brother - if Lightningstone weren't so upset with his littermate, perhaps he'd reciprocate a bit better than the hmph he instead returned. The warrior looks to Smokethroat, a bit of relief evident in his voice as he mews, "You think Cicadastar will let them in then?" Their clan doesn't take too kindly to outsiders, but Brook is a former RiverClanner. Maybe she can hold some sway?

Stepping back from Lighting, Brook accidentally finds herself bumping into Storm as he must've moved forward with her. She doesn't do much but sympathetically grunt, as before she knows it she's being scolded by her brother. Mouse-brain, he calls her, she notably doesn't take offense as her gaze remains neutral. Siblings bantered like that all the time anyhow, coming from her brother Brook was used to is as she was certain he was vice versa. "You would've done the same in my paws." Maybe he'd deny it, but Brook was convinced he would've.

Another voice, went by Smokethroat, seemed a lot of these cats went by similar names now... Folded ears give a slight bounce as she listens to his words, she can't help but wonder meanwhile if her brother had taken up a similar compound name... Seemed to be a new trend? Or perhaps a clan custom she had missed out on.

Brook aims to try and touch her tail to Storm comfortingly, taking note that Lightning does not verbally acknowledge his brother. Perhaps she should've expected such, and at the end of the day she couldn't blame the stone-hued tom. In his place she probably wouldn't know what to think either. As they discuss whether or not Cicadastar was likely to let them in. She knows better then to open her maw, so she waits.


He exchanges a brief look with the steel gray tom and offers a careful nod, "I don't see why he wouldn't. Brook was here prior to the clan properly establishing itself." And they were Lightningstone's kin and willing to join? Lightningstone was a well regarded tom, he did his duties well and followed orders, provided for his clan and even took on the arduous task of keeping tabs on Buckgait. The dark tom glanced to the brown molly briefly as if trying to gauge her reaction to all this, but she was never really an easy cat to read; though he supposed he could say as much for him as well.
Storm was a little easier to accept the idea of joining, they had never turned young cats away who needed sanctuary and he didn't look all the much older than his own apprentices.
"Tell you what, we can discuss this properly back at camp. I'm sure the travel here was tiresome and we've prey to spare-I'll leap in the river on this one if he's not too keen on it." Cicadastar wasn't fond of loners but this specific instance was different, the tom was mildly paranoid-not fully unreasonable.