NEW HORIZONS && joining


seven weeks & three days
Jul 27, 2022

Paws skidded across the ground as he ran, head flipping back every so often to stare at a blur of brown and black behind him. Fear lit up his face as he pushed on faster, a yelp leaving his mouth as he trips over his own paws and falls flat on his face- Oh, great! Theres a bark and hes already scrambling up to his paws and running again, crying out loud as he felt hot breath on his hind legs.

What was happening, one may ask. How the hell did he even get in to this situation? It all started when he was walking across the twoleg fences, trying to find any easy scraps (as he much preferred to not fight with the other loners for their food) he could take to his temporary home for the night. He falls off, right in to the yard of a house with an overly friendly dog and as hes trying to find his footing the dog books it after him as he leaps over the fence, wiggling out from under a loose board. Its all games to the dog but of course Otter didn't know this. He wasn't well versed in fighting and quite frankly he was convinced that today was gonna be the day he died.

Otter gains speed despite the ache in his long limbs, whipping his head around in the excitement of the chase (not really excitement, hes fearing for his life). The dog is lagging behind and he lets out a small victory chirp... Until theres no solid ground underneath his paws and he finds himself plunging in to a body of water of all things. His day just kept getting worse and worse and dear god how ironic was it that a cat with a water animal name could not swim. He's flailing helplessly in the river to try to keep himself afloat and out of the corner of the eye he spots the dog trotting away. "Help!" his word is half sputtered as water hits his face, shaking his head to try to clear it. What a day, what a day, what a day!

the waters are perilous to outsiders, panicked and lacking training. the moment a rapid pulls their head under, they might as well be dead. it is the horrid truth, and so many have come without knowledge of how to survive it. her gallant gate carries her quickly to the waters, lungs heaving as her paws kick up pebbles and sand. searching for the poor soul, searching for leverage, anything. she spots the tom quickly, the waters pulling him under in an attempt to claim.

the river territory was beautiful, protective, and giving. it was also ruthless, unforgiving, and cruel. a dark buckskin pelt makes its way to an overhanging branch, muscles pulled taut to the skin and eyes locked on to the struggling feline. her heart is heavy against the ribs, thumping like an injured bird as she tries to steady herself. if she does not grab him now, she isn't sure he'll make it out.

buck's head swings down, claws digging into the bark, as her teeth try to find purchase into the tom's scruff. she doesn't worry about not being strong enough to pull him out, but if he's inhaled too much of the rapids. she's sure she has him and begins to pull. there's a strain, but he doesn't seem too big. the stream-lined molly should have him free from the river any second, forcing her weight backward to swing him out.

Theres a tug at the boys scruff and he barely registers it in his desperate attempt to live, slapping the water with his paws with the grace of a week old kit. Hes lifted out of the water as if he weighed nothing and hes on the bank just like that, gasping for air. He swore he had saw his life flash before his eyes, uneventful and full of evading dangers that now he realize was silly. He coughs and coughs, retching, heaving and everything hurt. He doesn't remember inhaling any water, he hopes at least that'd be quite sad if he had already forgotten, so nothing comes out. His savior is there and he turns.

Shes pretty. A brown she-cat with white spotting and quite honestly with the way her muscles were accented by the gleam of her fur, he was sure she could have killed him instead. He lets out a sheepish little 'eep' before he continues to cough again, kneading the ground nervously with unsheathed claws. "Uhm, uh, hello." his voice is weak, hoarse as he tries to strike up a conversation. "Thank you... I was, I was sure I was a goner. There was this dog and... Just, please forget you ever saw me." he buries his face in his paws, this was so embarrassing! Otter could do NOTHING by himself, he was weak and pathetic and he pins his ears back.

Theres a moment of silence before he speaks again. Its muffled from his face still hiding in his paws. "Whats your name?"
her breaths are quick and deep, controlled as she heaves the younger onto land. safety for him. heavy orchid eyes roam over his diminutive frame, his fur soaked and form heavy with new breath. but overall, alive. alive and okay. there's a glance back to the rushing waters, still continuing in its vengeance.

he's watching her, or at least, looking at her. buck is not one to grow self-conscious, but no cat enjoys to be gawked at. and then he burrows into his paws. buck is sure that this cat is definitely not of wild origin, no rogue or loner acts so...timid. or, none that live past their first leaf-bare. she does not know if her presence should linger, or if he's trying to drive her off in some weird way.

buck, of course, does not budge. though she is sure that if there was an onlooker, she would be appearing as a threat. towering over such a timid lamb. not a good look for her.

"s'okay. long as the dog is gone, you're safe." she feels...something for him. the woman is not sure if it is pity or sympathy, but it's definitely something that forces her tongue to calm and body to loosen. he, quite literally, is no threat to her. "buck. you a long way from home?" she thinks about perhaps offering him to riverclan, even if she despises those cats, maybe they could comfort him better than buck could. the earthen molly is really only gentle with her kin, and those who are too little to join in a hunt.


Frost was a little too late to the rescue party as she bursted through the opening a concerned look on her face before relaxing to see that Buck had already saved the stranfer from the river currents, her gaze landing on Otter who looked like a drowned rats and she had to choke down any form of laughter that came from her maw. "Looks like I'm late to the party" the she-cat jested softly as she trotted over, examining Otter from where she stood for any visable signs of injuries that he might have gotten from his little fall.

"You look to be okay, thank the stars Buck was around when she was" she stated warmly before looking up at the older she-cat and smiling at her warmly before fixating her attention back onto Otter, her curled ears swerving forward to hear what the boy had to explain, since he did seem to of found himself (well, moreso fallen) in the Riverclan's border. She kept a warm smile on her lips her tail slightly twitching while she awaited for the others explanation to Buck's latest question, dare yet introducing herself to the other.

She speaks, that he’s safe for now and he lets out a shaky breath, nodding gently. Her presence was calming and he’s not sure what compels him to stay. Usually he’d be staggering to his paws and walking off, though in any other situation he knew it’d be just him and him only. Perhaps it is the humbling humility of having to be saved, that Otter himself was nothing but pathetic. Perhaps he did not need to run anymore, not escape his problems but face them.

He’s lost in thought but Buck asks a question. "I like your name," he mews, finally lifting his head from his paws. He knows he even LOOKS pathetic, like a drowned rat, but the girl in front of him isn’t looking down on him in anger. That was new, he’s used to being treated harsh and… "It’s strong. I like it." he nods earnestly. "Long way from home…? Yeah… You can say that." truth be told Otter didn’t really have a home, not after his people died all that time ago.

Another girl shows up and he’s immediately cleaning his chest fur in embarrassment as she speaks. "Theres no- no party… ah… Not at all." if cats could blush he’d be absolutely red in panic. "Yes." he agrees with her secondary sentence, meek and now feeling small. "I’m Otter. Otter, yes, thats my name." he stammers and he realizes hes just making everything WORSE! He promptly shuts his mouth.

The panicked splashing and a distant call of help is what drew them at first, had someone fallen in the river again? So they had trotted after the noise until they spotted the blue pelt of Frost flash by in a rush to the river. Oh okay so it was that kind of falling into the river! Raccoon quickly picked up their pace and bolted for the river after Frost, skidding to a halt when they spotted Buck on the other end of the chase. Along with a tom they didn't recongize off the bat. Was this the cat who'd fallen in? Probably as he was the one soaked aside from Buck.

The tom then went on to say he was indeed far from his home, and that his name was in fact Otter. How ironic since he almost drowned in the river, but then again their name was Raccoon and they were a rather strong swimmer. The black legged cat brightened a bit and bounded up beside Frost, brushing against the she-cat while they stated rather happily, "I'm Raccoon! This is Frost and Buck! We're Riverclan cats," A smile crossed a blackened muzzle and they lifted a paw in a sort of wave.