self-defense || ash

Guilt gnawed at her stomach. Yesterday, her eyes had been blinded by bias. She was so enamored with her nephews that she brushed off their antics. After all, it was all in good fun.

Except... They had pounced on Ash. Unlike Leaping Toad and Frog's Ribbit, Ash was meek and skittish. The poor child hadn't a clue what to do. His mother, from what she recalled, pampered the boy as he was her only child. A touching sentiment but one that had no place when the drums of war were steadily beginning to beat.

"Ash," Salamander approached the tom. Though her expression was veiled, worry caused her heart to ache, "Do you know how to defend yourself?"
Last edited:
He isn't expecting Salamander's approach, and at first he cowers, though he's never known the blue femme to be cruel. She wears a neutral expression, and her question worries him. "Do you know how to defend yourself?"

Ash's heart sinks a bit. Salamander is Leaping Toad and Frog's Ribbit's kin. She had seen the younger kits pounce him and pin him to the ground, just like Hound and Gecko had. The shame burns him beneath his black and white coat.

"I guess... I guess not." He's uncertain for a moment. He thinks about Willow returning to camp with a prize for her son Wren, about Briar having to meet with kittypets in the dark of the forest. Something seems to be brewing on the horizon, but he isn't sure what that is exactly.

He hesitates before saying, "What... what am I supposed to be defending myself from?" His mother has spoken to him about badgers, foxes, hawks... but somehow he doesn't think that's what Salamander is referring to.
Salamander wasn't surprised by his hesitant answer. In a way, the question had been unnecessary. Quite honestly, if Ash had stated that he could defend himself... Well, she would be surprised. Pleasantly surprised by definitely surprised. Especially considering even a quick analysis of the situation resulted in easy access to information regarding the young tom's skill level. Instead, she simply nodded.

"What... what am I supposed to be defending myself from?" Mentally, the she-cat winced. Twilight would severe her head as a contribution to the fresh-kill pile if she heard Salamander. Unfortunately, there was no time to argue about whether teaching someone so young to fight was a responsible choice or not. On the bright side, his mother could possibly rest more at ease if Ash was capable of defending himself. Salamander sought to treat him how to defend himself rather than how to start fights. There were plenty of examples for the latter.

"You're a smart kid, Ash. I don't want to see you getting hurt. Whether that be from a snake's venomous bite or..." she paused. "Another cat." Every day the tension between the two groups grew harder and harder to ignore. It felt like all roads lead to one final destination.

Salamander crouched down to the black and white tom's eye level. The molly made up both of their minds without realizing it, speaking as if Ash agreed to participate in her impromptu lesson, "I'll only be teaching you defensive maneuvers. If you ever encounter danger and have the chance to run then you run. Don't be a hero." Though her voice was stern, her eyes lost their residual glare. "Do you understand?"
He straightens up under the serious she-cat's teal gaze, head tilted slightly to the side. "I don't want to see you getting hurt." He nods, thinking she must be talking about predators... but then she adds that he could also need defending from other cats.

"Salamander." He hesitates, but he feels he should ask the question. He is eight moons, after all. Old enough to catch prey and defend his territory in battle if needed. "Is this about the cats that moved into the pine forest?"

He almost recoils when Salamander crouches in front of him, eye-to-eye, but he holds his ground. Defensive maneuvers. Okay, he thinks. Defense.

"Don't be a hero." Despite himself, he snorts with a bit of laughter. "I don't think anyone has to worry about that," he says, recovering and refocusing, eyes sharp once more. "I understand."

He thinks about Sandra teaching him how to stalk the water vole. He's learned a lot from the gentle-natured she-cat, and he realizes Salamander is presenting him an opportunity to do the same from her. Despite his overwhelming anxiety, he is grateful, he realizes. "What should we do first?" "
Her teal eyes drifted away when confronted with reality. "Yes." A soft, nearly whispered response was all the acknowledgment Salamander would give the young tom's question.

To be honest, it wasn't 100% about them. The pine group, that is. Salamander saw no harm in their existence. Instead, she was more concerned over the growing anger from their own colony. Proud cats didn't like to accept that they might be wrong.

"Unsheathe your claws." she ordered. "Try to jump onto my back." A dangerous suggestion, perhaps, but the molly wasn't concerned for her own well-being. ​