Jul 7, 2022
Bright sky, shining sun, it's the ideal environment for relaxation. A lazy day by the river where he can warm his pelt, the spray from the babbling water perfectly countering the blazing heat. Long fur curls into unruly waves from the water. It's nothing new, a signature look of sorts for the ruddy tom. All is well, even if the air teemed with something strange.

With a breath of air, he rolls onto his side, his head lolls towards his companion. Pale-green eyes lie half-lidded. "S'it just me, or is the river like... different?" he vaguely remarks. He find that he can't quite place it. A shift in the air, a change in the breeze. It still carried the scent of the river, so why did it feel so... strange. Maybe he'd seen a few strange shadows in his past time, but he hadn't seen a reason to investigate then. A couple of overgrown rabbits maybe? He's never actually seen one. The tom purses his lips, considering.

"Hey!" he'd perk up suddenly, calling out to a passerby. A smile pulls at his lips, his tail waves in a friendly greeting "You know why this place s'been all weird lately?" Now that he thinks about it, he's never seen them before. For a moment, his smile drops into a blank stare, considering the implications of this not-a-rabbit-or-a-ghost stranger.

[ @Reed , no need to wait <3 ]
( ⚘ )Reed sat sedately atop a sun-scorched slab, its edges crusted with dried river algae. Idle paws tangled tall waterbed plants, their roots puffing debris in the clear sidestream as the feline twisted each frond. They loved days like these, lounging beneath the shifting greenleaf light with their friend at their side. Dragonflies darted above their heads, jewelled bodies humming along the lapping water's edge.

A puff and muffled shuffle caught their attention, ears aglow with the sunny backdrop twitching to listen to Mahi. "S'it just me, or is the river like... different?" They sensed it too, a wafting curiosity on the wind. Muddled, and smothered in the earthy smell of damp mud. "Mm, maybe." Shaking out the dried silt and heat from their pelt, Reed's brown nose flared slightly. "Y'know, it kinda smells like-"

Mahi's call to a stranger froze their quiet speculation. In an inelegant splash, the lithe cat had slid off the rock into the shallow water behind it. Chilled foliage clung to soaked paws, the current pulling the green strands languidly down stream. Slow, nervous steps drew Reed out of hiding, wonky ears and wide eyes peering out from the not-so-subtle cover. They wanted to beckon their friend back, for fear of an altercation, but could only muster a concerned trill.
*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ There are more cats native to the riverlands than Fox would have thought. She'd been perplexed at Cicada and the others' desire to call this place home, but she'd followed nonetheless, fueled moreso by a desire to flee the place her mother had tried to escape from than anything else.

She catches sight of a grinning reddish tom, and he calls to her. "You know why this place s'been all weird lately?"

Fox takes a step back, unnerved. He seems friendlier than the other loners she'd met had been, but she feels she can't take chances.

Her eyes dart to new movement, where a darker-pelted companion trails water and reeds and gives her a wary glare. He only gives a concerning meow to his friend, saying nothing in greeting.

Fox's fur wants to bristle--but it had only gotten her laughed at last time, so she struggles to make it stay flat. "Weird? I..." How does one answer such a question? "Well, um. We. RiverClan? We live here now. Lotsa cats." Round amber eyes dart from the red to the dark tom, concern clear on her face. If they decide to attack her, she's on her own. She really needs to stop leaving camp by herself.

Lucky—or unlucky, perhaps, because she’s more likely to need to defend him if these two attack—Clay is only a few tail-lengths behind Fox, and quickly closes the distance on long, awkward legs once she takes a step backward. He doesn’t take notice of the two strangers until she says something in return to the reddish one; he turns to face them, a goofy smile already on his maw. Fox is explaining who they are, so he assumes one of the two strangers must have asked a question about RiverClan.

"We kinda moved in without telling anybody. Sorry about that," he says, feeling somewhat sheepish. Because RiverClan had just sort of overtaken the land that these strangers lived in, with no warning at all. The last time someone encroached on someone else’s territory, a war started that ended with the deaths of plenty of good cats. He doesn’t think these two will hurt anyone, they don’t look like the aggressive type, but he’s still a bit uneasy over it.


Frost would be the next approach and unluckily for the two, Frost would have watched if a fight had broken out between the four, but Mahi and Reed seemed more confused than anything. Foxy was the first to explain to the two about what had happened and then Clay came in and she figured his own guilty conscious got the best of him and she hummed softly before examining the two of them. "The unfortunate reality and the leader, Cicada is giving any loners only a few days to up and leave or join so you have a choice...sorta" the former loner said a bit awkwardly as it really much of a choice in her own opinion but she could not really say much on that front now could she?

Her eyes flashed towards the other two before letting out a soft sigh from her lips and curling her tails around her paws. The choice to leave a place they were born and raise in or, flee to find a new home, which was not much of an true options. She wished Riverclan would...leave but here she was, apart of them now, part of their little disorganized group led by a leader who seemed to keep themselves trapped in whatever hole they kept themselves in. In truth, would Cicada be even a good leader at all?
( ⚘ )The expectant stares of three strangers pushed Reed forward, dark stomach still dripping with cold river water. After an apprehensive glance at their friend, the hickory feline went to speak. "R-riverclan?" They live here now? Could they just, do that? They supposed there was nothing to stop them. "Uh, I guess we are joining then... Mahi?"

Questions were alight on their tongue but wariness held them back. What had happened to the forest cats to push them into the river territory? Reed couldn't help but feel uneasy. If spats over lines in the soil could result in a colony moving so easily, then it could happen again. They only hoped the cool breezes of the river would soothe whatever hotheadedness had caused this. With their words spoken they stepped back again, soft concern reflected in their expression.
He's patient as she stutters through a reply, and suddenly, it makes sense to him! "You're so right!" he exclaims, eyes bright like sea glass. He glances to Reed with an oooh, expression. Riverclan, lotsa cats, it totally makes sense, aside from where they all came from and what's a Riverclan??

He blinks at the brown tabby who suddenly speaks up, his voice apologetic as he speaks. So that's why they just appeared out of nowhere, huh! "Nah, you're good," he insists, offering a nonchalant flick of his ear. He doesn't see a reason to apologize for something like that. At least, not until a blue she-cat steps forward. Maybe then, he can see a little bit of a problem. A tiny bit. He replies with a bewildered blink, jaws parting as that's just kinda dropped on him. "Oh! Uh— oh!"

He looks to Reed once again, who's looking just about as apprehensive as he was confused. He probably stares at them for too long before he snaps out of his stupor, the careful words finally registering in his mind. "I— I guess we are? Yeah? Yeah!" he chirps, eyes flickering between Reed and the 'Riverclan cats' all the while. "We— We're so river clam— Riverclan, actually!" Whatever that means.
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