private The best laid plans




This was just step one in Seedkit's plan to become the most likable cat in Riverclan. Seedkit had come up with the very sane and normal idea while watching his fellow kits play with each other. Speaking to them was out of the question; every time he opened his mouth, his mind went blank and he would feel embarrassed. The young tom always felt as if an invisible wall was preventing him from joining them. He'd imagine a towering wall, brambles and reeds woven so tight he couldn't even peek through them. Thorns lined every side, posing a silent threat to anyone who tried to move around them. And the wall surrounded him. Always present, always looming. Something had to be wrong with him. No other kit could possibly be struggling with something like this, right? He had to be the only tom in the world who had fallen victim to these intangible, insurmountable barriers.

He already had the slug. He had several actually, of varying sizes, but for this he thought the largest would do. The slug, which he had affectionately named "Slugstar," was perfect in every way imaginable. It was a beast, nearly the length of his arm and slimier than any he'd ever seen. But for this plan, the plan he had cultivated for many moons (two days), he would need a feather. Bigger the better, but it had to be brown.

This is where the trouble began. With a scheme like this, he was certain to get caught. Of course he would! After all, he was only a novice. Worse than a rookie, a newbie. He needed advice, an idea guy with some experience. He had spent moons (again, just two days) studying his clanmates. Vetting them secretly for the perfect partner to pull off this heist. Few stood out to him as the ideal prank partner. He needed someone to take the fall for him. Clayfur, a warrior known for his sense of humor, had been on Seedkit's radar for some time. It was perfect, the most untraceable network. Clayfur was known for his fun-loving behavior, Seedkit could easily let him take the fall. Seedkit tucked Slugstar into a ball of moss before leaving the nursery, where Slugstar would stay for the time being.

Seedkit moved tentatively as he approached Clayfur. One might think he was being forced to talk to the older tom, dragging his paws and hiding his head. The tom towered over Seedkit, with a hypnotically repeating stripe pattern that made his head spin. Looking up at Clayfur felt like an impossible task, his head suddenly became unbearably heavy. "Do you...have a feather?" he whispered, partly to keep his plan secret, partly because it was all he could muster.


Similarly to Seedkit, Clayfur felt the need to be liked. He knew that he was accepted as a RiverClanner, but he surely wasn’t valued. He couldn’t swim like many of the others, had no talents to speak of. And outside of his family, he couldn’t seem to find a friend among the other warriors. He was beginning to think that his only friends would ever be kits. At this rate, he was going to be seventy moons old and still best friends with exclusively those who still called the nursery their home.

Truthfully, the brown and white tabby adored kits. Children were his favorite age group to be around—they never seemed to mind the aspects of himself that his peers often regarded as silly or dumb. So when Seedkit trudged his way over to Clayfur, the tom crouched down as much as he could, smiling expectantly while the small tabby spoke.

"Do I have a feather?" He echoed the question with a flick of an ear, glancing around to ensure no one else was close enough to hear the conversation. The kit seemed to want this kept secretive, and Clay was willing to play along. "I actually do, in my nest!" Abruptly he turned to trot off toward his nest, gesturing with his tail for Seedkit to follow, and spent a few moment rummaging around—pulling out a few items that were most definitely not feathers before grinning, depositing a shiny brown and black feather at the kit’s paws. "Does this work? Also, uh… anything specific you need it for?"