OH, MY DEAR - aftermath

Jul 11, 2022
The waters of the sun warmed pool danced lazily around her paw as she swirled it around idly. Kestreltalon traced the ripples in the water with her one good eye, attempting to acclimate herself to her lack of depth perception. Her expression was drawn together in extreme focus.

As she sat, she let out a long, drawn out breath. Despite the intensity with which she attended her current task, she was here to relax. Or, at the very least, try to.

After everything that had happened she just needed a break. Up until now she had been committed to catching all her food herself, or at least nearly all. Not out of any sense of obligation to clan, but simple, stubborn pride. She wanted to depend on them as little as possible. Since her punishment, though, she had been mooching more and more off her clanmates while she recovered. In her mind they were the ones that had done this to her, so it was the least they could do to take care of the hunting for her while she recovered.

Her paw hit the water harder than she meant to, splashing a few drops into her face. She blinked.

Relaxing. That was why she was here. The warmth was nice at least, though she had no desire to get too wet, the water felt nice on her paw. She tried to ignore how strange everything looked for a moment and just focus on that feeling. On the warmth. A little of the tension loosened from her shoulders.

When one’s paws seem to constantly take them away, from camp at the very least, it isn’t surprising when you often find others who need an escape.
Echolight had only been briefly present, but had quickly left, unable to watch. Cowardly? Absolutely.
To take another’s eye sight by choice, and to alter their life forever over spoken insults- insults that had proven to be true… the disgust Echolight held in her heart for the ashen leader was unmatched, but Echolight didn’t dare show it, not when her family resided with Sootstar and her groupies.
When Echolight stumbles across Kresteltalon, it is as the molly slams a paw against the water. The calico’s arrival lacks a jovial greeting, and instead she takes a quiet seat beside the wounded warrior. " It get’s easier, as silly as it sounds " she finally hums, her tone lacking pity. She would’ve liked to empathize with the molly, to say it was unjust and monstrous, but the feeling of a watchful eye on her was too much to shake. She reaches her own scarred paw out, placing it in the sun-warmed water. "Other senses become heightened, new doors open. " She continues, but the sliver of self-awareness tugs at her to leave the situation alone, that perhaps the molly didn’t want to talk about it. Echolight had been a child when she lost her eye, so maybe it was different. "Do you like to swim?"



This... did not sit right. Mallowlark was usually indifferent completely to gore, unaffected by what he viewed as just the way things were. But... was it deserving for words, however poisonous, to rear claws against the flesh of allies? The white tom, unlike his sister, had not been present at all during the altercation- but word of such shattering happenings tended to move quickly, in rumbles beneath the earth and in tango with birdsong. That is to say, it had not taken him long to piece together the puzzle, and meld it as one story. He never usually watched his tongue, but... he'd observed in those he admired kindness given not solely through words. So, the large tom approached jovially, hoping foolishly that his happiness would be contagious, a rabbit in his maw.

Echolight spoke tenderly, her voice holding the tenderness of understanding. Mallowlark knew Kestreltalon would be fine, because his sister was one of the strongest and best cats he had ever known, yet bore the same injury. She would succeed- but, the kindness slumbering in his heart knew not how to escape, and all he could offer was a smile through the pelt of his prey, setting it to the ground as he stopped beside Echo. "You can have this rabbit, if you want." Sometimes a good meal made him feel better- especially the homely taste of lagomorph, the food he'd been weaned on since childhood. Slate eyes rove the moor, wistfulness in his steely gaze despite the fullness of his smile. This had been his home all his life. What was it becoming?
Honey feels terrible. Feels terrible for not stepping in when she had said dont go further, for not fighting Sootstar off of Kestrel. Each day she finds herself becoming more and more terrified of the clan she birthed her only children in, her first children, each time she looked at them she saw the repeat of Sootstars claws scoring across an eye. Shes utterly failed as a mother.

She finds herself at the sun warmed pool, the one she had discovered that had felt so, so far away now, eons ago. Before her sat Kestrel, Echolight and Mallowlark and her eyes misted over with the shame of her clanmates having to bare the mark of a witch. Her tail lashes as she approaches, sitting besides them silently, watching as Kestrel splashed her face.

Things will get better. I promise.” its empty, something she could not keep. However long Sootstar lives in however long Windclan will be plunged in to darkness. “One day, one day.
A clanmate took a silent seat beside her, and she tensed, instinctively. She glanced over to find Echolight, lounging alongside her by the water's edge. Fine, she didn't own the damn pool, she supposed. A little more personal space would be better, but, all in all, this was alright. Once more, she tried to relax.

Then the other molly began talking, spewing her string of platitudes. Kestreltalon's ear flicked. She didn't want to hear this right now. Didn't want to be coddled. Still, she didn't interrupt. She at least listened. Because it was Echolight. If there was anyone who knew, anyone from which this could be more than just nonsense, it was her. So she gave her the respect of her attention, at least, even if she couldn't help a snort of disbelief.

The question after turned her snort into a full blown laugh, sharp as her teeth. "I like to swim as much as a bird does." She remarked mirthlessly. "Just as good at it too."

Her tolerance of Echolight was, apparently, taken as an invitation for the entire clan to chime in. Her eyes narrowed as far too many voices addressed her. Tried to help her, in one way or another. Her ears flattened back against her skull. This was terrible.

"Hare-brained idiots." Kestreltalon hissed, pushing herself to her paws. She shot them all a one-eyed glare. "I don't need you to reassure me and I sure as shit don't need you to hunt for me. If you wanted to help, than maybe you should have done something before the snake-heart took out my eye!" She turned, swiftly, and stalked away from the pool.

She couldn't relax like this.

Then her mind caught up with her tongue. She had just insulted, in order; a half-blind molly, a tom offering her food, and the medicine cat who had treated her.

Who was the hare-brained idiot, again?

Slowly, reluctantly, she turned back around. "Sorry." She muttered in their vague direction. She couldn't bring herself to look at them. This felt awful, it made her feel like she was backing down, it made her feel like she was childish. Still, she continued. ""Sorry, thank you, whatever." Probably all three. "I'm the hare-brain. We're all hare-brains, actually, for staying in this dung-heap of a clan."

Honey is not surprised the other lashes out, sits there with tired eyes as she does, waits for the tantrum to be over. Shes right, Kestrel calms down and turns back ground, apologizes. "C'est bon." she replies simply, excusing the previous behavior, taking in a sharp breath as Kestrel continues. She calls them all hare-brains and...

Then she laughs, for what feels like the first time in forever. Its a cackle, unladylike but she can't help it. "You're right," her voice is amused. "I do not understand it." she shakes her head, eyes softening in disappointment. Kestrel truly was right, she does not know why she stays. Perhaps its the fact she does not want her children to grow up without an experience like hers in the pine group, or perhaps the fact she had been hand-picked by the stars. "Sorry, for not stepping in." she apologizes, more quiet than the last. "You didn't deserve that. At all."

He was having a hard time making eye-contact with Kestreltalon, a task proven more difficult rather than easy now that she was missing one; but that was the source of his anguish. He saw it and wondered if he should have spoken up sooner, but he'd been so afraid of getting between the argument and he had never expected it to go as far as it did. To simply blind a cat...
He did not hear most of the previous conversation but he did hear an angry voice rise up and he located the source without much struggle.
Dandelionpaw wandered over, ears flat at Honeytwist's laugh that at first delights him but is quickly tarnished by the bitterness and dread that follows suit. Despite his unease and failings, he greets the gathered cats with a cheerful smile that does not meet his mismatched gaze; he vaguely wonders if his eyes look as hollow as he feels but raises his tail in a hello despite that.
"Howdy! We enjoy'n the breeze?" It was nice out right now, a crisp wind and the scent of fresh grass filling his nostrils. He wants to comment that it seems like new-leaf is clinging tight and not liable to let go-but he worries he may speak the cold into existence.
Coming to a stop to sit next to his mentor, Dandelionpaw finally forced his gaze up to meet the half-blind warrior's face without his expression wavering from its delighted grin; he was trying but everytime he saw it he just saw the blood coating everything. He imagined it might one day rise up to drown the entirety of WindClan in a red haze. "That's look'n better! Ah'm glad."


Rarely did she grow angry. Ivoryflight typically was good about allowing things to roll off her back without a second thought, however, Kestrel’s words stuck a nerve that she couldn’t exactly explain. “Hey! Everyone here is trying to fix a wrong. The least you could do is accept their kindness regardless if you want to accept it or not. Openly going against a leader is a difficult thing that would not have helped the situation. Potentially, it could have made things worse.” Eyes narrowed, she’d glance at Kestreltalon as her tail lashed behind her to one side.

As she began to apologize, her fur would lay flat as her eyes softened. At least she was apologizing now. “Things are difficult for all of us right now. In way, perhaps we are all hare brains. We’re learning how to navigate difficult waters, which is something some of us may have never done in this way before.Attempting to lay her tail across Kestrel’s back in a manner of comfort, Ivoryflight would offer her a small smile as she sat beside her, now joining the group.