It's a warm night, but there's a fresh menthol quality to the air that speaks of approaching leaf-fall. Wind batters his thin fur, but he's learned to relish the feeling of the air against his skin, the crush of heather beneath springy white paws. He crests a hill, two fat dark bundles crammed in his jaws so that when he tilts his head to survey the slope, his vision is partially obscured. The taste is odd but not foul on his tongue, though he can't say it's enticing at all.

But the frogs are not for him, though he'll try a bite if she desires. They're for his leader, the gorgeous blue smoke he's fallen in love with and continues to pine after.

He finds where she lies, at the foot of the slope where they're safe from the worst of the winds, but where there's a magnificent view of the night sky. Stars are like white fire above them, and the moon is round and stark, brilliant.

He gently places the frogs at her paws and takes a few steps away before settling before her. Starlight lights the blues and grays of her pelt, captivating - he has to force himself not to stare. Although he sees Sootstar every day, the light he sees her in tonight has caught in his throat tangibly.

"Had to go to the Sunwarmed Pool for those," he says, teasing. "Can't say they're as bad as I was picturing, carrying them back, but not what I'd pick if someone else were to bring my prey to me."

He forces himself to relax, the tension of helping Sootstar and Duskfire oversee WindClan with Hyacinthbreath slowly draining away. They aren't here for that, and it's an odd feeling - but a nice one. "What was it that called you out here to the moors, if you were content to eat frogs and swim in slime before?" He tilts his head at her and smirks.

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Weaselclaw hadn't kept her waiting very long, merely minutes had passed when she spotted the tom-cat approaching her. Emerald eyes scan his figure, her lips curl into a smile when she makes out a couple of frogs dangling from his mouth. He really had gone out and got some... the tabby passed the first test.

"The sun-warmed pool?" Sootstar echoes back, rising onto her forepaws into a hunched sitting position, she had not known frogs roamed nearby... She'd have to go hunting and pay attention to the ground around there more often. "Well I'm glad I've positively altered your opinion. But before you make your final say, at least take a bite." She meows, convinced that she could perhaps get the tabby to add another thing to his diet. Frogs were a... refined taste, not everyone was going to love them as much as the blue molly herself. Especially now that they weren't in the swamplands.

She turns her head away, allowing the tom to settle down in peace and stares at the stars. Butterflies dance in her stomach and she can feel her throat tighten. Usually, she was knocked out back at camp by this hour, yet she's never felt more awake, not in a long time. She's forgotten what it was like to truly appreciate someone's company, most cats she grew to despise having around.

A mrrow slips from her throat as she turns her head at his question, what drew her here? There's silence as she contemplates how honest she desires to be with this tom. Once more she lowers herself onto the earth, after drawing in a heavy breath she speaks, "Well... nothing for me was in the marsh anymore. Both my parents died a long time ago, any living kin I had save for Pebblenose I'm terribly distant with... and I made some poor decisions that would've haunted me forever if I had stayed." Her nose twitches against the cool dark air, she's staring at the sky, not at Weaselclaw. Though she wouldn't verbally confess it, she found herself fearful to meet his gaze as she prepares to tell him about one of her many, many, sins in this life.

"I was a mistress. Flint, was the toms name, he had a mate already." Sandra, her inner-voice grumbles. "I never, loved him or anything. It was for fun, selfish fun. It didn't stay fun though, took a very serious turn when I got pregnant with his kits and his mate- Sandra, found out." There's a notable grimance in her voice, it's clear she reflects on her past choice in this instance as regrettable.

"Anyways, long story short. Flint died in the great battle, and thank the stars for it! Outside of being disloyal he was a real... piece of shit." To be frank. Sootstar had always seen the vile in him, perhaps it took a vile cat to spot another one so easily. "Sandra also was pregnant, I was half-a-moon further than her- I think. So she's had them now. But Sandra was... for some dumb reason or another content on making sure her children knew who their father was. I- I did not feel the same for my children, they are not to know about him, they're not to know. They have no father." For the first time she at last meets Weaselclaw's eyes, there's a warning in her look. And you best be sure not to change that.

"So, it was a big factor as to why I left. Besides that, I'm a conqueror and leader at heart. I was not a she-cat born to follow, I'm meant to be out here in the wind with loyal soldiers at my side. In the swamps? I would've been doing nothing but following forever. I've accomplished far more out here in the last two moons then I ever would have there." She takes a frog and begins to chew on it, they weren't difficult creatures to grind up and swallow. "So... I guess take this story as a warning if you mean to be serious about this. I'm a vain and selfish cat, Weaselclaw. I try to be good, but often I'm not." Emerald eyes meet his deep blue gaze, she faces her fears and seeks for his reaction inside of them. Self-admittance to her two most sinful flaws and the secret story that none but her sister in WindClan was aware of.

How could two cats grow to become mates if they couldn't accept or at least be aware of the darkest parts of their partner? She lightly chuckles at herself, he probably hadn't been expecting such a complex answer to such a simple question.

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Sootstar offers him a bite, and although he makes a face at her, he does tentatively take a nibble from the creature's stomach. It's surprisingly not too bad - a little softer than he'd anticipated, though the outer texture of the flesh is strange on his tongue.

He chews slowly, contemplatively, and swallows only after Sootstar has begun her answer to his question. That she had nothing left for her in the marsh. No surviving kin she cared to be close to.

"Some poor decisions that would've haunted me forever if I had stayed."

His blue eyes sharpen with interest. She doesn't keep him waiting long. A mistress. The father of her kits, ambitious little Owlpaw and fierce little Shrikepaw, a cavorting marsh tom named Flint who'd had another mate. Owlpaw and Shrikepaw's kin, though lost to them forever, reside there in ShadowClan territory now.

He's about to comment about something, but is interrupted by Sootstar's green gaze flashing with warning. They have no father. He shrugs. "As far as I know, they have no father," he agrees. He hadn't known this slime-pelted tom Sootstar had chosen for her mate before, but in his opinion, there is no reason for them to. Why complicate things? Owlpaw and Shrikepaw are at home in WindClan. This is all the family they need here. He agrees with her on that.

"Don't you think I've learned that about you by now?" He smiles, not perturbed in the slightest. "Whatever you've done in the past doesn't concern me. We are WindClan now. You say you aren't often a good cat... but what is good?" He shrugs, his unintentionally philosophical question rolling from his tabby pelt like waterdrops. "You're ruthless, yes, but you have to be. The Clan would run like... well. Like chickens, if you weren't."

He reaches forward with a white paw. A bold move for him, but it's been a bold night, hasn't it?

"I vowed to serve you as lead warrior, and I will. No matter what. But I would vow more." A cat who's been sitting so long on feelings that burn and bite like fire ants under the fur - he's finally done with the secrecy. She's come clean, and so can he - and it's liberating. "I would vow everything to you, everything I have left after giving it all to your Clan. Vain, selfish, good. It doesn't matter. It's to you, the she-cat who eats frogs."

He waits with bated breath then.

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It's a miracle from StarClan- he didn't get up, tuck tail, and flee!

He smiles even, don't you think I've learned that by now? Whatever you've done in the past doesn't concern me. We're WindClan now. Sootstar's shock shows on her face, she wasn't expecting such a well-taken response. Truly she had thought the tom would awkwardly pull himself out of this situation- to which... Sootstar would've told herself good riddance. She only wanted a tom who she knew could handle her faults as- heavy as they may be.

Yet he stays and reaches a white paw forward.
I vowed to serve you as lead warrior, and I will. No matter what. But I would vow more. The statement causes a brow to raise ever so slightly in intrigue, I would vow everything to you, she grows warm under her blue fur, cheeks flushed with pink- she's relieved she wears fur so none could see it. Her heart races in her chest and she straightens her posture, mind racing a million thoughts a second. How did Weaselclaw, a tom who she had thrown insults with on her first encounter, a tom who hailed from nothing, a tom of average appearance, win Sootstar's heart over?

She doesn't know, and she doesn't care. All she thought mattered when searching for love had been thrown out the window, this is what she wanted. As she does with everything, she makes a vow to herself in her head, she would have this. He would be hers, and she would be his. Maybe they wouldn't declare themselves mates on this very day, but it was a damn good start to something Sootstar wanted to be beautiful.

Vain, selfish, good. It doesn't matter. It's to you, the she-cat who eats frogs.
A blue paw is set atop of his, and Sootstar smiles a real, genuine, smile.

"And to you, tom who stunk of horse, never break this promise to me and I vow you'll have my love until the sun's flames burn out." A purr.

She was not a she-cat who broke vows.

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To his absolute shock, Sootstar puts a paw atop the one he's offered. He'd dared so much, and it's paid off -- all of it has. Leaving the barn where his mother still resides within hay, eating from the hands of Twolegs; trekking across the moors and meeting hostile cats; losing the comfortable meat on his bones from lazy barn mice and racing through heather-clouded hills for rabbits...

All of it has been worth it, and he sees that so clearly now.

Love, she says as he returns his coy vow.

Weaselclaw's throat is choked for a moment, but it would not do to become overly emotional.

Instead, he lowers his head and gives a dry, affectionate lick to the blue paw that covers his white.

"Well then. That settles it." He withdraws and smirks, hoping she can't hear the odd pounding of his heart. "I wish we'd never gone into that StarClan forsaken coop... an after-dinner run sounds so nice right now." He changes the subject awkwardly, knowing he can't say anything else that will make her feel warm enough towards him -- and he's okay with that.

It's amazing, but he's okay with everything about his relationship with Sootstar. He expects nothing from her except what she's given him already -- that inspiration of devotion, the look in her eyes that tells him he's worthy of her love.

It's all he needs.

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