Jun 7, 2022

Plover doesn’t like thinking about the future. Where they’ll go, what they’ll become; it’s all too stressful for them right now. They know what will be expected of them eventually—the ferocity in battle that comes with age, the expectation to use that ferocity to harm others, to defend their clan. They don’t like it. So they push down the anxiety and simply forget about it. Because Plover is a cat who lives in the present, not the future.

At present, Plover is occupied with one of their favorite hobbies aside from flower-picking. ThunderClan’s territory is home to many interesting pebbles and rocks scattered across the forest floor, and they’ve taken pleasure in gathering as many pretty ones as they can. They’ve spent the afternoon—after begging one of the older cats to take them out on a walk around, because they’re too nervous to go outside of camp on their own—their hoard of stones has grown larger.

Icy blue eyes look over their arrangement of pebbles once they’ve finished, and their tail flicks happily. "Perfect," they purr, stepping back to finally look over their collection as a whole. A small group of multicolored rocks lies before the child, meticulously organized into the straightest line possible. They glance to the nearest clanmate, tipping their head to the side. "What do you think?"
Slow lay dozing nearby as Plover hunched over rows of multi-toned colours. Squinting under the dapple sunlight, he simply watched without comment. It was only when the storm-quilted feline turned to speak to him that he finally rose from the warm earth.

What did he think? Slow wasn't really sure. As dedicated as they seemed to be to the task, he couldn't really see the worth in it. But it brought them joy- and that was to be admired. It took him a moment to gather his words, as talking to children was not his forte. "It's very neat," he offered mildly, before lowering his pitch nose towards the mosaic. "That one- with the cream ripple in it- it's very pretty. Where did you find it?" Interest deepened with his tone, amber eyes dashing down the organised row of artifacts. Though it might not be of much use to him, the knowledge needed to find them interested him now.
"Even prettier than your collection in the marshes." a gravelly voice chimed in. The blue molly had been keeping a watchful eye on Plover since their arrival. She wanted to ask why they were there. It wasn't as if she was upset to see Plover. However, the implications of their arrival... What in the world happened in the marshes?

Thankfully, they seemed to thrive in ThunderClan. The shunned medicine cat was tentative to approach. Finally, after much consideration, she shuffled a tad closer. Close enough to be within easy hearing and speaking distance but far enough away to still be separated from the two.

She'd been terrified to interact with Plover - afraid of what they may say. If they, too, viewed her as an unhinged threat that needed to be eradicated. Maybe her fragile physical state would give a sense of security? She could barely move without her head spinning due. Granted, the others didn't know that part but she certainly looked less of a threat and more... Sickly.​

He knew not well this smoky face, small in stature- but the display they had crafted with gentle paws was quite impressive! In a perfectly straight line, arranged so the colours formed a lovely little gradient... a smile curved his tusk-toothed maw at the sight, and his head tilted slightly to the side. A dreamy look set upon his expression, gilded eyes set with the slightest rheum drifted from one to the next. It was truly enchanting in this place, wasn't it? All sorts of characters roamed about, creating beautiful little displays like this... to think , he was lead here for a purpose other than pure pleasantry (though he was yet to discover what)!

"How long have you been gathering those?" Voice a sing-song skip, genuine interest pulsed through his words, a warm glow. Could he accomplish something like this, before his days were up? Perhaps his destiny was these artistic endeavours!

Fly could not claim to know Plover well, only hearing a few tales regarding the blue smoke from some of his clanmates who liked to gossip a little too much.

Seeing a small gathering of cats, Fly padded over to see what they were looking at. In front of Plover sits several multicoloured rocks, arranged in as neat a line as possible. Fly casts a discerning eye over the wares of the other. He's never really been one for gathering flowers, pebbles, or other such trinkets but he has to admit some of the stones look nice. "They look nice," Fly hummed in response, as his gaze flickers over to Plover. "Maybe one day you can give me some pointers on stones I could collect?"
This is like, boring... Plover never does anything fun like play-fights or hunting competitions, naw, they just sit and organize stuff all day. That's like, the exact opposite of fun! Once she was being watched by some rando queen and she was like, 'let's play the clean-up game' and it was actually one of the WORST days of her life. Plover was totally destroying their well-being and didn't even know it!

"Um, you guys are paying way too much attention to what it is, and not what it could be," Wolf says, and contrary to popular belief, you don't actually have to understand somethin' to say it. It sounds like something dumb a nerd would say. She's blending in like a pro! "Imagine this, she says, and she reaches out towards one of the rocks, pushing it away as far as she can after giving it a few good whacks (just 'cuz she felt like it.) She nods then, satisfied. "AYYYYY SIM-I-TREE!" She's such an artist.

The cat they’ve asked seems only slightly interested in their organizational skills, but takes the time to compliment them. It’s more than Plover hoped for, and they flick their silky tail against the ground. "Thank you," they chirp, eyes crinkling with glee. They’re glad that the older tom seems to share their interest for the rocks, and doesn’t poke fun at them for their little hobby. "I like that one, too. I found it between two bigger rocks, it felt like I was supposed to find it." They shrug. They like that rock a lot.

The gruff voice of Sal—Cinderfrost—draws their attention, and Plover pointedly avoids meeting her gaze. They just can’t do it, not after she left and then showed up again as an attempted murderer, and now she’s mentioning the marsh group as though it’s no big deal. They flinch, shaking their head. "My collection… there was better." They aren’t upset, glad that she’s safe and alive and within reach—or at least within earshot right now—but they don’t quite know how to approach conversation with the she-cat.

Luckily, Truffle serves as an all too welcome distraction from the tension. The grizzled old tom is friendly enough to set Plover at ease, and they offer him a shy smile. They are still uncertain about how they will fit into the group that is ThunderClan, but so far their clanmates seem peaceful and happy. Much different from ShadowClan, but they don’t want to think about that. "I have been gathering them since I moved here. Before, in my old clan, I had even more than this." They wish they could have dragged at least some of their collection here with them, but they are only one cat, and they had fled rather quickly.

Another clanmate trots over to join the small group that’s gathered around their little line of rocks. Plover feels a bit of unease creep up their spine. They’re not good with crowds, and the press of cats, mostly unfamiliar faces, around them is enough to set the child slightly off-kilter. But they all seem so nice, and Plover can’t ruin that. The tabby who’s most recently joined them offers another compliment, and they take it in stride. They aren’t expecting him to request tips on building his own collection, but they’re visibly pleased by the idea. "Yes, of course," the blue smoke replies, giving a nod of their head. "You can ask me any time. I have a lot of pointers."

Wolf’s approach doesn’t go unnoticed by the blue smoke, and they tense up a bit as she strides closer, talking about what things could be. Time seems to slow as she swats at one of the stones, and Plover’s eyes fly wide. "Stop it," they protest, striking out a paw to attempt to draw the displaced rock back into line, but it only slips a bit further away. They feel the sting of tears at the backs of their eyes, and they turn a narrow icy gaze to Wolf. "I don’t like you." It’s stated without malice, in a flat, soft whisper.