sometimes quiet is violent || beesong

Aug 1, 2022

// cw ash
// cw ash remembering the attack in a way that might be triggering for anyone who has experienced interpersonal trauma (such as DV or SA)


A S H P A W.

Hands wrapping tight around her, holding her in place. Helpless to take the agony. Bruises on a small body and blood on white sand.

A warrior's vicious whisper in her ear, swearing her to secrecy or promising pain.

It happened so fast, yet somehow it still isn't over. Somewhere in her mind Ashpaw still hasn't gotten away-- still being ripped out of that little silver den and squeezed until she breaks-- she jolts at a particularly vicious memory, the twoleg's yowling, the flash of a hunting knife--

A voice scrapes out of her throat, still hoarse from screaming. A little voice that doesn't sound a whole lot like Ashpaw's.

"Bee... Beesong," she whispers into the dark. Blinks tears from glass-green eyes and curls in tighter, makes herself smaller.

"I'm scared. I..."

The little girl doesn't know what to say next. What does she want? Someone to curl around her like her mama used to, like Cicadastar had at the border-- someone to sing or tell her stories, or promise she'll be safe? She can't ask for that.

"Help," she whimpers out instead, hoping they'll understand.

—— " i found gold in the wreckage "

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[ CW for memories of childhood physical & mental abuse in the second paragraph ]

Beesong does not sleep.

It is not a rare occurrence. Most nights sleep eludes him. Most nights, should he succumb to the heaviness weighing on his eyelids, he would awaken from thunderous explosions and blinding light that sears his flesh and bones. Sweat would coat the pads of trembling paws, before he would force them to be still, an old habit he would carry to his grave. And most nights, he wouldn't remain in the camp. He would take off in the cover of the darkness, to practice the battle moves that has been ingrained in him since childhood. Beesong is a healer now, but he is too scared to let go of his training as a soldier.

Tonight would have been no different, had it not been for the quivering voice which creaks out into the still den. The medicine cat's eyes would widen, he ever so subtle betrayal of the fear that rattles in the hitch of their breath. Beesong. Their name never foretells anything good. And when they turn their head, slowly, the child's glassy gaze which threatens to pour tears burns them. But they do not flinch. They quell the shaking of their own paws and they pinch their expression into an unreadable one. "I'm here," they reply, forcing their vision to remain on Ashpaw's. The terror which twists her own expression reminds them of their own grievous childhood. The whimpering that's too quiet yet too loud. She whispers, help, and they understand. Whisked away to a memory so sharp they're certain that the claws are digging into them in the present. And there it is again, that dreadful trembling. The shouting fills their ears- no, ear- and their tongue presses against the roof of their mouth to imprison the whimper that threatens to tear it's way out of their own throat. The whimper that would earn them more ire.

It lasts only a heartbeat or two, but it seems like a lifetime.

Beesong blinks with a quiet gasp. The darkness of the den settles over him, a strange comfort it is. It has always comforted him, knowing that he is hidden within the shadows, out of sight. For a moment, Beesong does not remember where he is or what he is doing. Then, the sniffling of Ashpaw jolts him, and the aroma of herbs fills his lungs. Right... Right. He has a duty to fulfill. Quietly, he slips to his herb storage and plucks out a sprig of thyme. His paws still threaten to shake with each step back to Ashpaw's nest, but he tenses each muscle until they are forced to stop.

The thyme flutters to the apprentice's paws. "This'll help," they murmur with a forced smile, pretending that they do not feel the pounding of their heart or hear the racing of their pulse. Then, they drop down next to her, cinnamon brushing against orange. Just like they'd wanted as a child, scared and alone, silently begging for someone to help. No one had come, but they could be there for Ashpaw.

A S H P A W.

"I'm here" and herbs come to rest at her paws and then soft cinnamon fur, warm and comforting and real, against her own. Ashpaw laps up the leaves and scoots closer, curling into Beesong's flank, burying her face in their fur. The sweet scarred tabby has always been kind, and now he feels like safety-- bigger than her, all grown up and promising protection.

She melts into him.

The twoleg can't get her here, can't grab her and shake her and rip through her pelt. Spiderfall won't touch her either. Beesong's got her and they'll keep her safe. Hot tears soak into cinnamon curls as she shakes against them. After a few long minutes, her tears begin to slow-- safe, safe, safe, she's safe.

The darkness wraps them both up like a blanket. Ashpaw breathes against him, soft and silent, as the last shuddering sobs work their way out of her lungs.

It takes a few minutes more before she finally finds the courage to speak.

"I can't stop... thinking about it," the little girl whispers. "It's like... the thoughts are coming to get me... even if I try not to think them. I still remember. And I-I'm stuck again." In a much smaller voice she adds, "I think something's wrong with me."

She scrunches her eyes shut and turns her face back into Beesong's pelt. Breathes in the familiar scent. "Safe now," she whispers, a little mantra to herself, because the grown-ups keep telling her and she's desperate to feel it, "safe safe safe safe safe safe safe safe..."

—— " i found gold in the wreckage "