camp STOP SINGING DOOMBOPS [realization]

Dec 12, 2023
➼➼ He’s done it. All these months doing his best to fit in, to keep his head down and do whatever was asked of him… it’s all come around to this. His work has paid off. He gets to call himself a ShadowClanner. Realistically it’s all thanks to Forestshade and her teaching and training—but still he can’t help but count his lucky stars that he’s finally in a better place than that carrion-littered wasteland. The tom is moving about camp, tossing out spoiled prey, when he catches sight of it. A reflection in a puddle, all too familiar in appearance.

He looks into the water directly, and with the clear blue sky spread behind him he sees only his father’s face. A frame once dangerously thin from hunger has begun to fill out, his shoulders visibly broader and stronger from a steady diet. For once, he looks like his father. For the first time in a long time, he looks like himself.

The wave of emotion that crashes into him nearly knocks him off his feet; his parents would have loved to see this. They would be glad to see him living in ShadowClan—they had always been opposed to the loner life, and had died as fierce warriors of the marshland. They linger up in the stars, invisible now in the daylight but watching all the same. If he closes his eyes, he can feel them watching.

A tear rolls down his face and he swipes a pale paw over it swiftly, trying to disguise the motion as merely a natural movement. But he can feel eyes on him already. The ShadowClanners—his clanmates have surely noticed his moment of weakness. He should… he should get up and move, pretend he’s doing something other than shedding tears over his own reflection in the water. But in his eyes, it’s already too late, so the tom continues to gaze into the pool of water. "My father would be proud," he says, and whether it’s to inform his classmates or reassure himself, he isn’t certain.

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    BLACKSTRIKE ❯❯ he/him, shadowclan warrior
    thin black and white tom with mismatched blue and yellow eyes. calm and nonchalant, difficult to anger.
    peaceful and healing powerplay permitted
    penned by foxlore
જ➶ The permaqueen has been shuffling through the bedding of the nursery all morning. She could have sworn that she felt a thorn in there but she can not seem to find the evidence of it at all. It's bothersome but she can not willed herself to bother anyone else over a matter that may not even exist. So for now she has given up the whole ordeal and instead she is focusing more on what she wishes to do for the day. Maybe a walk through the territory? Most times she prefers to go with someone given her terrible sight and aching wounds. But her maw stays shut, thick fangs pressed heavily against her bottom lip. Shifting back and forth she finally notices a movement close to her and marbled pelt shifts to look upon the form of Blackstrike. His name used to be Stryker and he seems at least to her to have fit in so well to Shadowclan life. But now he seems...upset? She is not sure but with the way that he stares at his own reflections makes her concerned. He swipes a paw against his face and she slowly gets to her paws to gently ease her way towards him.

Picking up his hushed words she allows her singular eye to look upon the pool before she smiles gently. "I agree. I think he would be very proud of you, Blackstrike. You've done so well." The molly settles beside him as a shoulder to lean on if he so chose it and she allows a soft purr to leave her chest. "Congratulations, you deserve it."
Sharpshadow isn't really observant. ...Well, she doesn't try to be, but sometimes she ends up being it on accident, because when she doesn't know what to do with herself... sometimes she'll look around and try to determine ho the next traitor would be. And that's not... nice, necessarily. And maybe that's what made the traitor's, them feeling like someone's eyes are always on their back. But could you blame her? You could blame her for a lot of things, but she doesn't think that's one of them.

There are so many newcomers, too. And there's so much wrong everywhere, all the time. No sign of Snowypaw still - would you really claw her ears off, for looking around and wondering?

She thinks Stryker is suspect, but he's allowed to call himself Blackstrike now, anyways, and he supposes they're all supposed to call him that now, too. Would it be this easy, if it were me? he can't help but wonder. But it wasn't him, and it never would've been him. ...Obviously.

And... for whatever reason, he's suddenly emotional. Maybe he was crying over how ugly he looked. Not that Sharpshadow found him uglier than anyone else in this clan, but maybe he thought differently. Maybe he's come to terms with the fact that he'd be eating frogs and carrion for the rest of his life, now that he had his name. It's something or other. It isn't his business, but he ponders it anyways, watching the tom with wide eyes and a thin frown.

In contrast to Sharpshadow's awkward staring, Harrierteeth ambles over, and in contrast to Sharpshadow's silence, she speaks comfort. And... because Sharpshadow is stupid, he blurts, " How do you know? "

She should probably just take Blackstrike's vacant spot in the loner lands, at this point. He scrambles to say... literally anything else. " B-but, I mean... I hope so. If you think it's right, it's probably true. " Awesome. Great. ...Ugh. Forestshade or someone would probably come talk her ear off, so she makes herself grit, " You... you're not a bad warrior. " Of course, Blackstrike's only happy because he hardly knows a thing of the other clans.

Smogmaw scorns the undue influx of rogues and loners joining the community. He perceives it as a direct contradiction to ShadowClan's guarded and insular ways; a contradiction made more insulting by the existence of DuskClan, and other reprehsensible hives of rogues living nearby. How frighteningly simple it'd be to invite a murderer or hooligan into their midst. Contrive a strong-enough sob story or forge a platonic bond with any existing member and you're in the clear. Welcome in, you're part of ShadowClan now. Enjoy our open borders and compassionate, trusting society.

Everyone should know it's far better to scare off a mouse than welcome a badger.

But, even in opposition, two truths can coexist. The relevant truth here was that Stryker has emerged as a good warrior. A great warrior, possibly. The tom satisfies all the requirements and then some. He is poised, supposedly competent in battle, and above all, able to heed orders without impertinent remarks or opposition. Efficient. By all accounts, he is a hard worker, and has well-earned his place among this clusterfuck they all call home.

Blackstrike. His name's Blackstrike, now. Suspicion towards outsiders still rankles in the deputy's gut each time his eyes set on the bicolored tom, but that's his persistent skepticism talking, not erratic phobia. Good cats can come from the strangest places, he would do well to remember, and a stray observation serves to reinforce this: Blackstrike is grateful for the opportunity to be here, to have a purpose, a true home in a long while.

The mouse-brain's so fortunate for the fact, he's crying about it. As much as Smogmaw would have liked to plod on over and give the newly-made warrior a good cuff on the ear for the dramatics, he stays his paw. It's high time someone felt fortunate to be here.

When he does approach, it is not to congratulate a new warrior, but to make his case in a more candid tone: "You've been given a clan cat's name," he drawls to the other tom, masking a sneer that Sharpshadow's indecision just about spawns. "Black-strike," he goes on, emphasising the suffix, "I hope to see you make due use of it."