private something entirely new ˚。 °. crow


see you soon . ↳7.7.2022
Jun 7, 2022
[ this thread takes place ~five moons ago; Dewdrop is visibly pregnant; @crowstalk ]

The cold bites.

It's harsh, unforgiving. Seeping into her fur and worming its way beneath her skin like an unwelcome pest. It feels like such a silly thing, succumbing to something as ordinary as the weather. Part of everyday life, something to either bathe yourself in or hide yourself from, at least, when you had somewhere to go. And she could have, she reminds herself. She could have stayed, waited until the season passed to take her to leave. Her decision was rushed, foolish. She was depriving her kits of a home. But at least they wouldn't be raised around him.

She pushes through the forest, weaving past winding trees when the snow allows her to. Light tremors wrack through her body. Her paws ache, caked in heavy, burning frost. There's a sting in her belly, the flurries of snow pushing past doing nothing to ease the ache of hunger. She's barely seen so much of a soul since she'd left the last sunrise. A measly squirrel, foolish enough to venture outside its nest. Foolish, she says, but still with the sense to detect her sluggish approach from tail-lengths away.

And she whines, a high, pathetic note rolling off of her tongue. One upon a time, she'd rather die than allow herself to make such a sound, and yet she couldn't bring herself to care now. She leans her body against the frostbitten trunk of an oak, ignoring the way it stung. Just some time, some time...

Then there's a rustle in the undergrowth, the shifting of snow. Her body goes stiff. She holds her breath. If it's him...

No, she wouldn't— she couldn't simply roll over for the first rogue she comes across. If today would be her first battle, the first time she's had to unsheathe her claws, so be it.

"Who's there?" she calls out, and she's shocked by the weakness of her own voice. She swallows, dry, before steeling herself. Blue optics harden into narrow daggers, flickering across the clearing for any sign of a body. She continues, voice firmer than before. "I can smell you." She could not. Her nose felt as if it would fall clean off her face in that moment.
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The frost pierced into his skin like daggers being thrown from a violent hand. Each step the tom took was like walking across a pit of burning coal, but he knew he could not stop, could not rest until he caught something. Anything. He knew he would not be able to stand another night without food in his stomach, the growing hunger clawing and tearing away into his body. He felt weak, and yet he trudged on.

He had no idea how long he had been away from home, the cold seasons weather was often unforgiving to the sun and the moon, obscuring them both to the sky so it was almost impossible to tell when the sun was rising or setting. All he had was his instinct, and the longer he strayed, the more he crept along, the more it felt as though time was slowing down. He had no thoughts left in his mind, the only thing left was the undying desire to trace even the faintest sound of a beating heart beneath the brush.

At last, his ears flicked towards the sky, and then towards a tree. There, beneath the roots, a small creature - a squirrel - began to creep out of its warm burrow, rummaging into the ground but a paws length away from the safety of its sanctuary. Crowstalk dropped to the snow covered ground as quickly as the crunching cold allowed him to, making sure to keep his slim tail still, his ears pushed back ever so slightly, and his stomach only just grazing the freezing white below him.

But just as he began to move forward, the clumsy crackling and crunching of another creature rang throughout the still evening air. Crowstalk's body stiffened as the measly animal that had so forcefully held his attention darted back into the hole it had originally emerged from. His heart beating loud and quick, the piercing freeze became somewhat non existent as he allowed himself to slip closer towards the sound, keeping close to the brush surrounding him. His fierce ebony coat did him no favors in regards to surprise amongst the blinding ivory snow beneath him.

The closer he came, the clearer he was able to hear. A muffled mew, unsteady, unsure and slightly afraid. He moved the branches aside slowly and gently, making sure it was only parted enough so that he could see beyond him. Another cat, a queen, leaning against the tree in the small clearing before him. Perhaps his head was unclear from how long he had gone without food which clouded his judgement, but he was not afraid or threatened by this queens presence. In fact, possibly the opposite - he wanted to help her.

"It's alright!" He called back gently as he slipped slowly out of the brush, allowing his long, thin body to reveal into full view. His fur was slick yet wirey, perhaps from lack of proper nutrition in the ruthless winter season. A nasty scar rested heavily on his chest, draping itself over his shoulder, like a corroded snake, it almost made him appear more threatening than he truly was. "I dont want to fight." He paused, taking in the sight before him. His piercing yellow eyes widened slightly, not realizing until he was up close how heavy this mysterious cat was - not because of a moons worth of bounty - but because she was laden with kits.
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And he slips from the shadows, a lean, wiry thing. Dark fur clings to him like a second skin, darker than the gloomy sky that hung overhead. She regards him carefully, eyes screwed up against the chill. He utters gentle words, claims of it's alright. Stupid, strange considering the sorry state he was clearly in.

She chooses to stay, despite her better judgment. Too tired to run in this moment. At least there was an inch of security, knowing that he wasn't in a much better state. Of course, he wasn't carrying kittens with him, now was he? Blue luminaries rake across his form once more, before she's sighing with begrudging acceptance. "Good..." she huffs. "You have the... the sense not to waste energy on something so pointless..."

The queen purses her lips. Rest is what she'd been looking for, but even that had been so graciously taken for her, disturbed by the unnerving gaze of a random tom's staring. She was growing tired of toms. She pointedly avoids his gaze. A plumed tail of tortoiseshell fur wraps itself around her leg, instinctive, weary. "W—well, go on then," she huffs. A hind leg raps at the ground, betraying her anxiety. Traitorous.
"Well, only a fool would choose to fight in conditions like this." He would say as he approached, making sure to keep a reasonable distance between himself and the disgruntled queen. He allowed himself to sink down, suspecting that a more level stance would make him seem less threatening if at all in the first place. He had half a mind not to make any enemies out of himself in such a frail state. He hesitated, afraid that if he said the wrong thing he would lose an ear. This feline was weak and worn down, however her venomous demeanor more than made up for what she lacked physically.

Uhm..." The tom paused, suddenly looking wary, perhaps even nervous. He was acutely aware of how ridiculous his next statement would sound, however he felt as though it may be worth asking. "...Have you eaten? There isnt much to be had around here, but there is still a chance I'd be able to catch something for you before dusk comes." He refused to allow his own optics to meet hers, partially in fear that she would be able to see through him.
It catches her off guard.

For a moment, she bristles. Cold temper flares at the thought of being seen as weak, as someone who needed to be provided for. So very helpless in her exterior that the first thing this stranger asks is if she needs help.

And as quickly as it appears, it's gone. She was weak, she was helpless. Fully grown in her own right and a pitiful hunter. The chill washes over her, sobering. Her fur lies flat against her back, any hostility exchanged for solemn acceptance. She avoids his gaze, and her tone is quiet. "I have not."

And there's a beat of silence, two souls too anxious to gaze at each other. Quiet besides the distant howling of wind and rustling undergrowth. And she wants to say, don't trouble yourself. He needed it more than she did, didn't he? Icy hues pointedly rake across his scarred form, ragged. Skin and bones.

But her kits needed it more than the both of them. She worries her lip, squashes her pride. "If... If you're offering, then... I'd be a fool to refuse." She chuffs a dry laugh, though her head still hangs low. In a hurried rush of breath, Dewdrop admits: "I can't hunt."
At her response, Crow's body visibly began to relax, his shoulders slumping slightly and his posture angling itself closer to the icy ground below. He cautiously and slowly approached the withdrawn queen before him, his footsteps light enough as to hardly disturb the slush beneath his slim paws.

Please, come with me. It's too cold to stay here. I know a spot where you will be sheltered from the weather while I find food. There's bedding and water nearby." He gingerly positioned himself nearer to her heavy frame, as if asking for permission to help her rise from her haunches. His slitted eyes shifted slightly to the side before resting themselves back to his acquaintance. "Pardon my boldness. I know it's not easy accepting help, but you are weak." He paused, glancing at her swollen abdomen. "Your health is not only in your best interest anymore."

Cautiously and carefully, Crow gently nudged the queen upwards, making sure to stay close enough to provide stability if she needed it. He would then slowly walk with her, trudging through the snow and the thick, tangled brush amidst it. It seemed like moons, the unforgiving chill slowly making its way into their weary bones. However, the night black tom was sure footed, making sure to warn his newfound companion of any obstacles ahead before arriving to clear them, and of course, helping her whenever she needed it, despite her clear reluctance.

Eventually, when it seemed as though they could no longer go on, they came to another clearing, this one being much more spacious than the last where they had initially met. Near to the center, hidden away underneath thick bushes and thorns, was a gaping entrance nestled beneath the roots of a large tree, to which its branches seemed to touch the frosty sky above.

In here." He would say swiftly before leaning down to push the underbrush aside for the queen to squeeze in comfortably before slipping inside after her. Underneath the ground it was much warmer, and granted more space than she had expected. Off to the far corner was a sloppily built nest, made of twigs, leaves, and some sparse feathers and thick tufts of fur. Crow followed at a reasonable distance, ushering Dew into the nest, insistent that she needed to rest.

There's a stream nearby. I'll be sure to show you tomorrow, but for now there is some dampened moss to drink from." He pointed to a dip in the ground, supposedly one he dug himself. It was lined with more leaves so a couple balls of wet moss could sit without collecting dirt. "I'll be back soon with whatever I can find." With a dip of his head, he quickly made his way out into the relentless night once more.
Claws grip at the icy ground. She feels like a fool, being steadied with another's help as if she were a kit. Strange, humiliating. You're weak, he says, and she snorts. "I hadn't noticed, kind stranger," she dryly remarks. He's overzealous, either malicious, or a fool. She can't quite tell. "I haven't lost the ability to walk, just yet," she hisses, and still, she doesn't leave. Foolish.

She doesn't leave, but she doesnt return with him either. No, she sits. There's a shaky exhale, pushing away her fears, before she cranes her neck. She turns her nose upward, as if presented with rotting carrion for a meal. Her tail hugs her close.

"I have no plans on going anywhere with you," she says. Her voice is cool, matter-of-fact. Even if she froze, even if she starved, her life would not be placed in the paws of some measly tom. If she or her kits suffered, it would be her fault and no one elses.

[ sorry she would never go along with any of this KSDFJKSD ]