RiverClan’s luck has been, quite frankly, terrible since its founding. From the WindClan warrior who attacked their leader, to the more recent twoleg problem, practically everyone is on edge.

Clay has been occupying his time with fishing and swimming—or attempting to do both, at least. He’s not, like, horrible at either activity anymore, but he still isn’t good. He’s just returned from his latest fishing attempt, where he’s only managed to catch a minnow. Not the greatest catch, but some kit will probably think it’s a feast. He snags a mouse from the prey pile after depositing the minnow, a light frown settling upon his muzzle.

The brown and white tabby all but collapses in a shaded spot to chew at his meal, for once in his life hoping no one will want to share food. His stomach has been growling and complaining since he woke up this morning, and he knows he’s going to enjoy every part of this mouse.

While he’s debating on what to do with the tail of his meal, a butterfly floats past his face, landing on the dirt beside a white-capped paw. Its wings are mostly brown, with black splotches and scarlet insides. It flaps its wings twice, then takes flight again, landing on his nose with one last flutter. Hazel eyes go crossed as he stares at the insect, taking in beautiful red-splashed wings with a look of wonder.

Clayfur isn’t sure he believes in the whole StarClan thing, the cats in the sky, but this feels like it means something. It feels like a sign. Things are bad right now, his clanmates are hurt and concerned and angry. He’s conflicted. On the one paw, Clay is anxious and stressed, but he is also proud of himself because he’s finally doing it. He’s finally starting to swim, to prove he’s a real RiverClanner. It’s a lot at once, to be honest. But the butterfly’s appearance—its decision to land on his nose—feels like a gentle push from the world, a whisper to keep going.

He puffs out a small laugh, mouth falling open in a goofy, pleased grin. "Look," he whispers loudly to the cat nearest by him, trying not to disturb the butterfly. It slowly opens its wings, then closes them. "I think she likes me!" He’s trying to keep his voice down, but his tail lashes in excitement as he shows off his new friend to whichever poor soul has decided to stray within speaking distance.
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Minnow in tiny maw, Fernpaw was perfectly content to eat alone. Not because he didn't have friends- that wasn't it- he'd just never liked to eat in a group. He just hated the noise it made when people talked with their mouths full, even when it was family, so he didn't pay much attention to his Uncle Clay when he sat down with his meal and began tucking right into it, daring not waste a single picosecond. Being small as he was, his strides made markedly little progress when he was being careful- and that he was as he heard a puff of laughter leave his uncle, and his too-large head swivelled on a too-small body to settle his attention upon what it was that had beckoned Clayfur's whisper-shout.

A butterfly!! Right on his nose? It was so pretty- Fernpaw didn't even know they could land! He'd only ever seen them in the air, stark-white or orange and black against cloudless blue sky. This is one of the orange ones- ember-flickered, but with mahogany on one side! Mouth a little 'oh' with surprise, Fernpaw's gaze flickered to and fro between his uncle and the insect. "She's so pretty," the scrappy tom swooned, voice as tender as he could make it. He didn't want to scare her!!
( penned by pin )


riverclan warrior. 32 moons. tags

Clearsight stares, flaxen-gold eyes wide, breath caught in his throat.

Fur gentle brown and soft as clay, green eyes that he thinks about far too often, breathless excitement in the familiar tune of Clayfur's voice-- and a butterfly, brown and red, delicately perched on a pretty brown nose.

Oh, thinks Clearsight.

Stars above.

He draws closer-- Clayfur so focused on his newfound insect friend that Clear can take the chance to look, really look without stressing what the younger tom will think of it. That beautiful grin splitting wide, something of a rarer sight these days-- even Clayfur's optimism liable to falter under the starstricken assault that RiverClan's faced-- like cold water in a greenleaf drought. Something lifts from Clearsight's shoulders, tension sliding out of him.

She's so pretty, says little Fernpaw, bobble-headed kitten watching with wide eyes.

"So pretty," Clearsight murmurs his agreement, eyes tracing deep brown tabby marks and bright green luminaries. Beautiful.

"It's good to see you smiling," he says. His voice is... raw. StarClan, it's so good.


Out of all of Clayfur’s nieces and nephews, there’s not a single one of them he calls his favorite. If he were to choose a favorite, it would be a tie, probably—between Lilybloom and Fernpaw and Iciclepaw and Steeppaw and Darkpaw. Okay, does to count as a favorite if they’re all his favorite? He loves his sister’s children, would put himself in grave danger day after day to keep them safe, would do anything to guarantee their happiness.

He lets his eyes go crossed again when his fish-eyed nephew looks at the butterfly, sticking his tongue out at the same time. But Fernpaw only compliments her beauty, Clearsight echoing the sentiment, and the clay-furred tabby tips his head back a bit further, hoping she doesn’t get scared of the movement. "Maybe if you sit still, she’ll land on your head instead," he says, eyes crinkling at the corners as he speaks. "You wanna try, Ferny?"

Clearsight makes his way over and Clay’s greeting is a charmed flicker of his tail—he carefully overlooks the emotion in the older tabby’s voice. He’s probably just got allergies or something that are killing his throat. "I’m always smiling, aren’t I?" It’s asked with a flutter of his eyes to imitate the butterfly’s wings, a touch of quashed self-consciousness embedded in his tone. He’s not looking to impress anyone, but there’s a prickle in his pelt at the idea of embarrassing himself in front of Clearsight.

Unaware of the... tension between the two cats next to him, what with being still purely and perfectly naive to the nature of socialising, Fernpaw's fishlike gaze was fastened steadfast upon the butterfly, and the cross-eyes flickered of his uncle's face. It was still there, wings motionless, and if its antenna had not been twitching Fernpaw might have worried that it was hurt or worse. Clearsigh was offered only a cursory glance, the boy's tiny form statuesque upon his uncle's instruction.

"I'll try, yeah," he whispered excitedly, worried that any excess volume would freak the poor butterfly out and sent it spinning into the sky's limits. The only muscle that moved was the end of his tail, a flicker of a movement indicative of his anticipation. Was it possible? Or was it just something about Uncle Clayfur that attracted butterflies? He didn't smell like flowers, or look like one... or maybe, through the weird eyes of a butterfly, he did.
( penned by pin )