private Seeing Red {Howling}


The Boy who had no choice
Jun 30, 2022

He couldn't breath. His heart was pounding in his chest, pumping rage into his veins as Cinderfrost- NO, Salamander's- words echoed through his head. How dare she. He had only been trying to help! Yes, he was an idiot that was bad at it, but how could she not see that him keeping an eye on her was for the best?

He could feel his claws slip out of their sheathes, dig into the earth, and kick up dirt as he sprinted farther and farther away from camp. Was he wrong? How could HE be the villain here? He wasn't the one who had stolen life and then sulked around as if expecting cats to pity him. Dewdrops face flashed in his mind then and the blue seal point had to skid to a stop to be sick.

He had planned to apologize, he had been dragging his paws but he had wanted too. He was waiting for his father to not be in camp, but then she never came back, she never came back. Leafshade felt his stomach heave once more, but there was nothing left but bile and so he stood there, panting and heaving as his lanky form shivered.

No. Salamander was the wrong one. She was the murder. And if she didn't want help then he would never offer or give it again. His claws dug once more into the ground to the point of it being painful and it was with horror that he realized that he was crying.

He couldn't be crying. His father would be disgusted by them, his mother would pity him. Tears were weak. Tears were useless. Tears were for kittens and cats who were pathetic and wrong and.....and...

Leafshade would grit his teeth as he tried to stop the tears from rolling down his muzzle. But he couldn't, he hadn't cried since kittenhood, and yet here he was. A warrior of Thunderclan, and he was crying because that cursed, fox-dung, mouse-brained, sorry excuse for a molly had dug into the one spot that actually hurt.

Dewdrop and his father. She had no right. She had no right. She was nothing to him. From this day forward, if Salamander ever asked him for anything again, he would ignore her existence even if it killed him. It did not occur to the tom that their spat had been public, that others had heard their words, especially the last ones she spat at him as he walked away. So he didn't hear the pawsteps behind him, too focused on trying to reel his emotions back in, trying to get back under control. He hated being out of control.


She had watched the boy stalk out of camp, anger rolling off him in waves. She'd heard the words Cinderfrost called after him, and immediately her claws twitched within their sheathes in annoyance. Why was she bringing up Dewdrop? Whatever reason it was, it upset Leafshade quite a bit, and in an instant the tabby was on her paws and following after him. What in StarClan had that medicine cat done now?

When she finally arrived, she slowed her pace, hesitating before approaching the young warrior slowly. "Leafshade," She murmurs, coming to stand beside him. Easing herself onto her haunches, she peers at him sidelong, concern in her eyes. "What was that about?" Her tone is kind, yet firm, leaving no room for him to argue. She wanted to know what happened.

The voice was so unexpected that Leafshade would actually jump to his paws, fur bristling as he whirled around to see who had found him in such a pathetic state.

He would relax slightly as the familiar green eyes and dark brown tabby fur registered in his brain but he would still look away quickly, wiping at his tears with a trembling paw as he spoke, "Noth-" He was about to deflect, to say nothing had happened and to just walk away.

And yet, the tone in her voice reminded him painfully of his own mother and he had to swallow hard to push away the lump that rose in his throat. He would take a few deep breaths, forcing his claws to slide back into their sheathes and his fur to lie flat.

Once he had a bit more control over his emotions, Leafshade would plop down into an ungrateful sit, tail still lashing in irritation as he spoke, "I was only trying to help." He strained the last word, blue eyes flashing with renewed anger as he spoke, "Yea. I know I suck at it. But She threw what I said to Dewdrop into my face as if that was anything close to what she did to Emberstar!"

He would glare at the dirt between his paws as if he was trying to bore a hole into it before more tears threatened his eyes and he continued, but his voice was different this time. It wavered and sounded so much younger than what he usually portrayed, "I was going to apologize...I swear...but then she left and..she didn't come back. Did.....Did I kill her, Howling Wind?"

Leafshade would look up at her then, his jaw clenching and unclenching and the emotion behind his gaze flickering like a light threatening to burn out, "Is it my fault Dewdrop died?..."

Howling Wind finds her gaze darkening, anger swimming in them. Cinderfrost said what? Her expression remains neutral, if not a bit taut. The she-cat had crossed from murderous to just plain cruel. How could she make a young cat believe he was the cause of a cat's death? Withholding a growl, she speaks firmly, eyes fixated on Leafshade's gaze. "Dewdrop made her choice to leave before the Great Battle to protect her kits. Nothing you or anyone else said impacted that decision. She was always going to make that choice, Leafshade; anyone could see how scared she was." Leaf had always been, well...a bit of a brat, to be quite honest. She had given him more than a few cuffs over the ears for his snappish behavior over the moons. But to say he, a cat hardly holder than some of the apprentices, drove a cat to her death when he was far from the cause? The tabby shifts a white paw close to the young warrior's, an offer of comfort as she maintained eye contact. "Listen to me. You did not kill Dewdrop. Cinderfrost is only trying to deflect blame onto any cat she can to avoid the fact that she is the one who did something horrible." She wants to scoff - perhaps putting that thought into young Leafshade's head somehow makes her feel better about her own actions. Pathetic.

Leafshade would flinch lightly when Howling moved her paw closer to him, but he would not really pull away. His ears would flicker at the deputy's words but his eyes would remain downcast as he struggled to believe her.

His breathing was no longer panicked, but the tom would still sniffle in a manner he would later describe as pathetic and nodded weakly. The tom would appear to let her words absorbed into his brain for a moment before he sighed heavily and his shoulders sagged in weak defeat.

"I really was just trying to help her." His tail would lash behind him once more and he would finally meet her gaze, "I get that me following her around would be annoying but I figured some cat should!" A snort would leave his nose, something familiar and it seemed to bring a bit of his old spark back, "Maybe that was mouse-brained of me to think that she would want help at all."

Howling Wind shakes her head, understanding where he's coming from. She, too, believes other cats should be keeping an eye on th emedicine cat. The task shouldn't solely be up to their leader, who already has enough on her plate. She can see her unraveling, being worn down by the exhaustion. If only she would let her help. "Emberstar is keeping an eye on her for now," She tries to offer as comfort, frown still present. "She will do a good job. We must have faith in our leader." She keeps the doubt from her voice. She does have faith in Emberstar, but the medicine cat needs more guarding.