pafp NOTHING TO FEAR (bringing apprentice home)

// please wait for @BASILPAW to post!

Howling Wind strides through the oak forest, the young Basilpaw at her side. She still can't believe how close the young tom had been to meeting StarClan. She can still see the monster, roaring down the thunderpath straight for him. How he managed to get so far from home, she doesn't know. What matters is he's going to be back with his clan (and probably worried parents!) soon.

"You see those pine trees ahead?" She mews kindly, glancing down at the apprentice. "That's your territory. Make sure you memorize this border, okay? When the pine trees stop, you turn around. We certainly don't want anymore thunderpath accidents, now do we?" Her voice is light and gentle, but with that maternal firmness that is well-practiced on mothers' tongues. She would have never forgiven herself if Basilpaw had fallen victim to the monster today. She needs to make sure he never faces those shining lights ever again, even if he is from a different clan. He's still just a kid.

They halt at the border, and she urges him across with a gesture of her muzzle. "Now go on home. I'm sure your clanmates are worried sick." She would wait for a patrol, but she's unsure if there's one around. Perhaps she'll get lucky to meet one.
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It was a long walk back to Sky Clan. Howling Wind, as she had said her names was, had been really kind to him. She had taken the time to show him how to get back to his own territory, after all, and of course, she had saved him from a terrible death at the paws of that monster. He wonders if all thunder clan cats were this nice. He knows Wind Clan is not. The other two clans remain an uncertainty in his head, never having met any cats from there.

He sniffles as he walks, occasionally tripping over a root or bumping into a rock because he is still not looking where he is going. No, he is following the brown she cat in front of him blindly, sticking as close to her as possible. He knows she is a stranger, but he trusts her completely.

That is, until they reach the pines. She stops and bewildered, he looks up at her. “Wait, you’re leaving me here?” He asks, he would cry but he is too afraid. He doesn’t know the way home from here. He stares out into the forest, immobile, unable to make his paws move to propel him forward and bring him further into Sky Clan territory. “I can’t- I don’t-“ he says, panic rendering him unable to form the words his brain is thinking. I can’t go alone, I don’t know the way is what he wants to tell her but he doesn’t want to cause her any trouble.

He gives a nervous gulp and prepares himself to wander off into the woods by himself.
A soulmate who wasn't meant to be

"Basilpaw?" A soft and airy coo of a meow would come from not far ahead, and Deersong would step forward into view. She looked back to signal the rest of her patrol with her tail before walking forward. "What's going on, star child?" The affectionate nickname the molly held for cats younger than she fell from her tongue with hints of worry as she reached out with a paw to beckon him over to her.

Her aqua gaze would flicker to a brown she-cat she recognized as Thunderclans' deputy and she would tilt her head curiously, "Howling Wind, you seemed to have found our apprentice and brought the little one home safely. May I ask what happened?"

Basilpaw hesitates, clearly reluctant to make the journey back home alone. Does he know his way? With her brow furrowed worriedly, she lets out a soft sigh and mews, "Okay, come sit with me. I'll wait with you until a patrol comes by, okay?" Luckily, she doesn't have to wait long. A voice calls from the pine forest, and out steps a molly that Howling Wind recognizes from a past border patrol. She stands and dips her head to the other clan's patrol, trilling, "Indeed I have. It seems Basilpaw got separated from one of your patrols earlier today and somehow trekked across the entire oak forest unseen. I-" She glances at the young tom, hoping bringing up the memory doesn't make him cry again. "-found him in the middle of the thunderpath. Got him out of there right before a monster came. I'm just glad I spotted him when I did."

"The middle of the Thunderpath!?"

Twitchpaw was not a comforting presence in the face of danger, a trait of which he apparently was not eager to rid himself. Painted with unblinking shock, one would not be remiss to think that the scruffy tom had seen Howling Wind drag in Basilpaw's body, rather than just seeing the older molly sat civilly beside him. "You're- you didn't- get hurt?" Voice frayed with the beginning blossoms of panic, he glanced up at Deersong quickly before taking a tremulous step toward the pair.

Fur puffed up in worry, Twitchpaw could not help an obvious glance over Howling Wind's shoulder, features still stained with alarm. Monsters were reality's myth to him, having only heard about them and never witnessed them- he knew not their habits, nor their thoughts. For all he knew the thing could have followed them- if it had seen Basilpaw, it might have become hungry for his blood and bones, and- then what? What if, with great creaking timber, the trees began to collapse around them as the monster barrelled toward them, intent on getting the meal that had been swiped from right under its nose? They would die! They would, there'd be no escape!

Worked up, Twitchpaw scrabbled back to find a hiding spot behind Deersong.
penned by pin ✧
Blazestar pads after Deersong and Twitchpaw, his face a mask of astonishment. The mottled-furred apprentice is the last cat he expected to wander into another Clan's territory, much less sit atop a Thunderpath and wait for a monster to flatten him.

The flame point sighs and shakes his head at Basilpaw. "Surely Harpyfall has taught you better than that, now," he says, but his tone is anything but harsh.

He directs his gaze to Howling Wind, relaxing. Little Wolf's mother is as kind a she-cat as she is, it seems. He dips his head to the ThunderClan deputy. "Thank you for returning him to us in one piece, Howling Wind. Hopefully we will pay better attention to our borders... and learn to stay off of Thunderpaths." He flicks his tail good-naturedly against Basilpaw's flank. "You should thank Howling Wind, now."


Basilpaw nearly melts in relief when he spots a familiar face. Deersong. Though she is not his mother, he wants to run to her, to throw himself at her feet and sob till they just carried him home and laid him in his nest, so he could curl up and sleep the nightmares that were sure to come later away. He barely hears Howling Wind's voice over the drone of his own thoughts, his own sheer relief at being back in Sky Clan among cats he actually knows. When he spots Twitchpaw, he relaxes a tiny bit, though it's obvious he is still rather distraught from his run-in with the terrifying creature with the big black paws and the glowing eyes. "No, Im not hurt. Howling Wind saved my life! Isn't she awesome?" he says to the other tom.

Then Blazestar appears and at first, he is excited, excited to see him, excited to go home, and excited to maybe even put this whole thing behind him. But then he visibly deflates again when the tom mentions his mentor, Harpyfall. The daylight warrior already was disappointed with him, he could tell whenever he messed up and he would sigh and shake his head, and call him mate. Basilpaw wasn't even sure what the word meant outside of two cats who liked each other very much but he was certain that that wasn't the context Harpyfall was using it in.

The tom is pouting now, upset that Blazestar has chastised him, upset that he is probably going to get a scolding later for wandering off, for almost dying. His tail flicks irritably but he still looks up at the brown tabby she-cat and gives her a gentle, half smile, all he can manage as he thinks about his impending doom. "Thank you Howling Wind" he says quietly to her before headbutting her chest gently in a gesture of gratitude then he pads over to Blazestar, tail dragging in the dirt and head down, looking much like a puppy who knows it has done wrong.
A gentle chuckle leaves her as she blinks back towards Blazestar and she gives a nod. "It's no fur off my flank. I'm sure any of your warriors would have done the same for a ThunderClan apprentice." She hopes so, at least. She doesn't want trouble, and certainly doesn't want enemies. She chooses to assume the best in their tree-dwelling neighbors. Blazestar has always seemed kind (no matter how soft and pathetic he may seem as a forest cat). His warrior beside him seems just as friendly as he is. She's sure the flame point is keeping his clan in good standing with a strong moral compass - she expects such from the group that Emberstar left.

Basilpaw gives her a small smile and utters a bashful thanks before butting his head against her chest. She can't help but purr at the gesture, eyes alighting with warmth as she smiles back down at the apprentice. "You are very welcome. Now why don't you go on home and curl up in your nest. I'm sure a day of defeating monsters is quite draining!" With another look towards Blazestar and the other SkyClanners present, she offers them a good-natured nod and turns to leave.