pafp running with the wolves | combat training

It was a word he was so attuned to that every utterance of it sang through his veins and stabbed into him like a targetted attack. When he heard it his mind flooded with guilt, even if it wasn't directed at him; so deeply ingrained in his being that he responded to just the mention of it reflexively. And perhaps he was, perhaps to some degree he was just that. Useless.
Sunfreckle was not a skilled hunter, not a fighter with any sense of refinement, easily distracted and prone to bouts of laziness. At a glance he was a soft kittypet taking advantage of a clan's kindness to get by and he even being aware of it did not change this fact. Nothing could change this perception of himself he felt was so blatant, except him.
Losing Dovekit was an open wound, he felt as if he was living in a lucid haze; dreaming in his waking days as if the world ceased with the stopping of that tiny heartbeat. He couldn't save her, but it was not a battle he could have won. He held no resentment to Cinderfrost who he knew felt just as guilty as he did for not realizing the extent of the kit's illness. They wouldn't fight what they couldn't see, sickness was not a combatant one could crush beneath claws and tear out with teeth. It was something he could not defeat, it made them all useless.
But where he could not save his daughter her illness, he could save his other kits and his clan elsewhere. Sunfreckle could not defeat the lurking death deep inside a cat that drew them into the earth, but he could hone himself otherwise. His anxiety, his apprehensions, they were obstacles stopping him from shaking the word from his pelt; he could be better. He knew he was capable of it, but for a sword to be tempered and readied for battle it must first be heated and beaten into shape; honed to perfection and it was this that scared him. It would be a lie to say he did not wish to be made uncomfortable, to be in pain, he thought having kits was the closest he'd come to suffering but he knew now there was no pain more horrific than having your heart split asunder.
Sunfreckle had decided then he would not permit this pain again if he was capable of preventing it.

Howling Wind had once mentioned to him an offer to 'show him some tips' some time before, but he had dismissed her with a friendly assurance he was fine. It took this long to realize that perhaps it was the deputy's attempt at kindly encouraging him to work on himself. To stop laying around camp too afraid to take the first step that would leave him a capable warrior. Emberstar would never give a cat as unrefined as him an apprentice, he would continue to be looked on as something soft and useless to be protected if he did not step up. So he sought the older cat out, spotting her at the edge of the camp and approaching with a determined, hobbling step and a wary smile.
"...Howling Wind, I'm sorry to bother you..." Last chance to back out, but he swallowed hard and pushed on, "..are you busy? I was wondering if perhaps I could..take you up on some combat training...?" Sunfreckle was a big cat, but he was big in the way a cloud was; formless and unimposing. There was no doubt in his mind the dutiful tabby would easily thrash him and it did make him uneasy thinking about it, but...if he wanted to improve then he would need to learn to take his lumps.


Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Blobl
Howling Wind doesn't necessarily hold poor opinions of Sunfreckle, but...well, she can be a difficult cat to impress. From what she's seen, he's lazy, soft, and unambitious - all traits of an underwhelming warrior indeed. She had come to accept that he'd never grow to be a real wild cat, always a kittypet at heart just as she'd expected. So when he arrives at her shoulder, asking to take her up on her offer, she can't help but blink in surprise at him. It isn't often she's proven wrong, after all. A smile creeps across her muzzle, whiskers twitching as she mews, "Sloepaw's doing his day's chores, so I'm free. To the Sandy Hollow, then? Perhaps others might like to join."

// IC OPINIONS I'M SORRY she's a hardass sometimes
Golden eyes reflected the stray strands of light that pierced the forest canopies. The rosette female hadn't meant to overhear the conversation. She'd plan to quietly stalk away, to give the pair space without listening ears, when Howling Wind spoke.

"Perhaps others might like to join."

Albeit trained differently than the clan cats, Leopardprowl was a respectable fighter. After all, she'd be dead if incompetent with her claws and fangs. And this was her chance to participate more in this "clan life" she'd found herself in. A perfect opportunity, really, to assist in the clan's daily routines.

"May I join?" she quietly questioned. The tabby has been there when she'd stumbled upon the deserted camp, lured by the scent of her younger brother. It was unknown whether the she-cat held resentment due to her breaching the territory markers or if the misunderstanding had been cleared.​

Flycatcher had been nearby when he heard Sunfreckle ask Howling Wind for some combat training. The blue tabby had to admit he was surprised when he heard Sunfreckle ask that; he had never been much of a proactive warrior in all the time Flycatcher had known him. He knew there were others in the clan who looked down on him for his skills, but Flycatcher still liked him and appreciated that the older tom helped out in other ways where his other skills let him down.

"If you'll have me, can I join?" Flycather asked, turning to face the now trio of cats. He wasn't much of a fighter himself, so any opportunity he might have to refine those skills he was glad to take.

That was easy enough. He had been nervous the entire time prior to asking but Howling Wind had simply agreed without much of a fuss or complaint and he smiled brightly in response to it, tail raised high, "Of course-I don't mind company!" He had spoken as much to the deputy but his words carried to Leopardprowl and Flycatcher as they also arrived and spoke up interest; it would certainly feel less awkward and lonely with more company present and hopefully he wouldn't make an entire fool of himself in the process.
"To the Sandy Hollow then!" The red tabby was almost excited now at the prospect of training, perhaps he was thinking a little too naively over his own shortcomings but surely with this amount of help from both the deputy and the lead warrior then he'd shape up into something at least decent at combat. Maybe. Sunfreckle could only hope as much that whatever failings he had that instinct would carry the rest.
With a cheerful jaunt he turned to lead the way there, thankfully not tripping or bumbling on his path out of the camp enough to be embarrassing.

As the duo grew into a small group, Emberstar drifted over, idly curious. Her expression brightened when she realized that this was an impromptu training session. "Oh! I'll come along too, just to watch though." She stated decisively. Bounding up alongside all of them and shooting each member of the training session a wide smile. It was always fun to see her warriors in action.

Practically, this could also serve as a way to get a measure of some of the newer faces. It would be good to know what warriors she could depend on, especially with Windclan out and about.

Howling Wind was also an outstanding choice for teacher. She was an excellent fighter, and Emberstar had the scars to prove that. They would doubtless learn well from her, no matter how skilled they were. Anyone could serve to improve from a teacher like her.
Leopardprowl, Flycatcher, and even Emberstar arrive to join in on the session, and Howling Wind can't help but purr with joy. It's so great to see clanmates so involved. "Right then, let's go," She trills, sweeping her gaze across the gathered cats before sending a nod towards Sunfreckle.

When the group does arrive at the Sandy Hollow, the clouds cover the sun and cast a long, cool shadow over the expanse of sand. The stout tabby turns to face the orange tom, looking him up and down. They'd all go easy on him, currently being a queen and all. Things can get more difficult when he returns to his warrior duties in a moon or so. "Okay, show us what you've got. Flycatcher is your opponent." She chooses him because he knows the younger tom well enough to know his skills in battle at this point. She aims to see how far they have to go in Sunfreckle's own training.

Knowing Emberstar was going to be watching made him a little more self-concious than when it was just Howling Wind, while he liked the deputy and knew she only wanted what was best for the clan she was brutally honest in a way he had understood as just her showing how she cared. He felt the fiery pelt of the leader would be a little harder to pin down on how she felt, probably to spare his feelings, and the thought of her doing so made him more uncomfortable than simply being told he was bad; which he was sure was going to be mentioned if even as a means to encourage.
Once at the hollow he paced around with a light teeter on his side of the sandy arena, waiting for further instruction only to find he would not be swatting paws with the larger she-cat herself but rather one somewhat smaller than he was.
His green gaze widened slightly as he looked from Howling Wind to Flycatcher and he flattened his ears at the deputy's comment because he didn't like what he heard. "...but Flycatcher is my clanmate." Opponent? Was he supposed to be pretending he was some violent rogue or something then? Sunfreckle didn't like the idea of attacking a cat he was rather fond of, but he figured the brown tabby knew best so he ought to not question it too much.
"O-okay I guess..." The red tabby didn't expect he'd do much even if he did accidentally swat the lead warrior a few times, if he even got that far, so he wriggled in place anxiously for a moment before simply going for it; he was a big cat and he knew he didn't have the speed or agility to be too creative so his first rush at the tom was purely a forceful attempt to barrel him over.


Along with himself, Leopardprowl, Sunfreckle it seemed they were to be joined by none other than the leader herself! Flycatcher had to admit the idea of performing in front of Emberstar was a bit daunting but he was excited to practice regardless.

When they arrive at the Sandy Hollow, Howling Wind announces that Sunfreckle would be fighting against Flycatcher. The blue tabby is happy to step up but he can see that Sunfreckle is a little wary of the idea. "Don't worry, Sunfreckle, this isn't a real fight, this is just for training," Flycatcher assures him. "Try to think of me as something less pleasant than your friend and clanmate." Whilst waiting for Sunfreckle, Flycatcher takes up a defensive stance, ready to counter or react to whatever the red tom could throw at him. Despite his size, Flycatcher notes that he can move quite quickly when pushed, and not expecting such a sudden lunge forward, Flycatcher just about steps out of the way in time before he can barrel into him. "Nice try, Sunfreckle, you almost caught me by surprise!" Flycatcher commends. Despite the friendliness between the two, the lead warrior is aware they are supposed to be training, and making it feel like a real fight. So, when Sunfreckle draws near, he aimed to land a sheathed swipe against his head. Nothing too hard but enough to force him back if it landed.