He hasn't had a decent night's rest since the Gathering. The recurring dream of the riverside and the cicada haunts him once the moon rises. Honeybee's frustration is mounting, threatening to boil over at any second... And the sleep deprivation does not help him in controlling it.

It'd started with a walk to clear his head. The moon rises in the sky, splotches of it's soft glow illuminating the forest's floor. Honeybee tells himself that he wouldn't go farther than the pine forest's reach. He tells himself that, but he could not stop his paws from crossing the threshold from the coniferous forest of SkyClan to the deciduous forest of ThunderClan. It is as if a force is pulling him away from his home, just as it had in his dreams. Yet this time, he does not find himself at the riverside.

He doesn't worry about stirring up trouble by wandering on ThunderClan's land. Ember wouldn't mind, he's certain of it.

He passes the four towering oaks of the burial ground with an agitated swiftness, his heartbeat quickening simply at the sight of the clearing. He despises this location; it only symbolizes pain and death in his eyes. Soon, the four oaks are put behind him — but not soon enough, he thinks.

The forest opens into rolling hills. This time, they do hesitate. Soot is much less welcoming than Ember... and they know for a fact that the prickly she-cat would take offense to them simply existing in the same space as her clan. But they do not stop. If the WindClan cats get offended by them being here, so what? It's not like they're hunting, taking food from WindClan's mouths. Their fur still prickles uncomfortably, however, their gaze raking over the swaying grass.

They half expect Soot to leap from the grass with teeth bared, but the night is quiet. The WindClan cats are probably fast asleep in their nests... Honeybee envies them.

They feel the rumbling of a thunderpath long before they see it, but eventually, they catch glimpses of light from the monsters. The acrid stench stings their nose and burns their throat, their eyes watering. The roaring of the passing monsters is near deafening, drowning out their thundering heartbeat in their flattened ears. Honeybee crouches beneath a bush at the edge of the thunderpath, squinting against the harsh, glowing eyes of the monsters. It's not the first thunderpath they've had to cross — why they feel as if they need to cross it is still unknown to them. They've encountered many thunderpaths in the Twolegplace before they'd lost their first home and their housefolk. The monsters never stray from the path.

The cinnamon tom holds his breath, waiting until there is a lull in passing monsters. Once he could not see any approaching monsters, Honeybee springs from the bush and darts across the thunderpath. The rough surface of the path stings his pads, but he pushes forward. He only breathes again once he's on the other side.

Why have I strayed so far? The question keeps repeating itself in his mind. He'd never make it back to camp before the clan begins to stir at this point; the moon already sits at it's highest point, watching him from the top of the sky. Still, he does not turn back. There's something that tells him to keep going.

He doesn't stop until the yawning entrance of a cavern is before him. Honeybee stares into the darkness with brows knitted together. The shadows seem to beckon him, inviting him into the cavern. The cinnamon tom frowns. "Why am I here?" He questions his own intentions as if there's anyone here to answer. Almost on instinct, Honeybee glances up at the stars, glittering coldly overhead. Then again, maybe he wasn't completely alone after all.

Common sense tells him not to enter the cavern.

He does not listen.

Honeybee dives into the shadows, accepting their invitation. His whiskers brush against the walls of the tunnel, guiding him where his eyes could not. He travels in pitch black for what feels like an eternity. The tom begins to worry that he's gotten himself completely lost in these tunnels, until light floods the path from ahead. The light is far too bright to be from the moon... But excitement flutters in his stomach anyways. He's close to something.

The light grows brighter and brighter until it becomes nearly blinding. It's then that the tunnel opens into a clearing, and Honeybee's breath is stolen from them. In the center of the clearing, a cluster of crystals reach towards an opening in the roof. The glow of the moon reflects in the crystals, drenching the entire clearing in dazzling light. "Woah," Honeybee breathes, awestruck.

Touch it, something in their mind whispers. They begin to take a step towards the crystals, only to pause midstep. Another scent floods the clearing. Have they been followed? They whip around, wide eyes landing on the last cat they'd want to see here.


"...What are you doing here?" He asks, hypocritically, as if the same question couldn't be asked of him. "A little late for a stroll, isn't it?"


− ♱ ABOUT : the the sun had long since fallen, shades of blushing pink deepening to a smooth indigo and snuffing light from the heavens above. diamond pinpricks of alabaster dance around the full moon, milky rays providing what little illumination lies before him. nightmares were a plague, now. he felt infected, blood running black with sin and rotting him from the inside, the days - old ache in his skull a cacophony of noise pulsing in his temples. he couldn't sleep. too anxious, fidgety with nerves and the all - encompassing need to keep watching. and he awakes with a start, all ragged breathing and wide eyes, paws scrambling to take him from his resting place even before he'd reached full consciousness. restful sleep evaded him once more, heart jack - hammering against his ribcage hard enough to hurt. it takes him a moment to realize where he was , wild gaze thrown about the walls of the giant willow as his pawpads meet the cold, wooden damp soil. he was fine. he was safe. yet still, his legs carried him towards the entrance of camp, slipping his slim physique through and trotting his way toward his only solace, looking for all the life of him like a frightened child -- had he been any less in control of himself, his tail would have tucked between his legs, like a scolded dog.

he is somewhat thankful for the time, the lateness bringing peers to their own beds for the night and preventing them a show of the mighty riverclan leader's ill behavior. the mind is too strong a thing to dare underestimate, the way it clings to certain events is unrivaled and, in cicada's case, unnecessary. he wonders what cruel deity wished amnesia upon him, yet decided to let the worst of his memories remain. the times that he struggled, hopeless, starves along with his clan. he hates to think of a time his mind had blocked out, should he remember this so vividly. the last thing he truly remembers is the hopelessness. men mock death until it is at their doorstep ; and as proud a man as he was, he cowered within that raven - gaze, away from poison - laden hands that had reached out to touch him. it seemed to real a thing, death. cicada hops the stepping stones with practiced ease now, snow - tipped paws springing from slate to slate until they land safely in the grass on the other side, lower limbs drenched in the spray of river water. the moon hits the surface in such a way that brings the fish to forefront, shadows flitting about just beneath the rippling waves, but he does not stay to hunt. they were in no shortage of freshkill as there had been on the marshes, and . . something told him to keep moving.

whether away from or towards something, he pushes on, his plume - like tail coming to swing gently at the upturn of his heels. something awaited him in the night, pulling him by the chest. he crosses into windclan with a slight lowering of his head, orbital ears coming to flick downward. soot was a vengeful woman, and despite their time together in the marshes, she was too much of a force for him to encounter. not plagued with terror as he was now, eyes ringed blue - black with exhaustion more than marrow deep. she was small but loud, and he had no explanation for the way he slunk over her open moors, eyes set on the expanding horizon. the smell of rabbit and large barn animals drag heavily on the breeze, ruffling his wavy fur and bringing his nose to a slight crinkle. he wondered how she was adjusting to it ; further than the smell. leadership. her star - given role and subsequent obsession with the spectre cats had been a surprise, but he trusted she was doing well enough. he would not be stopping by to ask, despite it all. he had no need for interaction outside the river, their natural defense system providing enough protection and kill to keep them maintained without ever leaving the drained island. it made his leaving now all the more odd, he thinks. it felt wrong to turn back now, despite how the horizon has given way to rock and a wide, open chasm.

the man pauses, then. standing tall before the cave, frigid luminaries peering into its gaping maw. he wonders briefly how mad soot would be for his trespassing as one snowy paw passes the threshold, bringing long limbs to a slow gait once more. its dark, but something peers from the shadows -- a pinprick of light, casting a pink - blue glow along the inner rock. cicada blinks, squinting to focus on the single dot of illumination that guides his path. he wishes bone were here ; she'd always been better at navigating the dark than he was, and the thought that she belonged in shadowclan is bitter in his skull. she had always clung to the shadows, knew it like the back of her ironically alabaster paw. he releases a sigh, late - night frost drawing a cloud from his rubber black lips and footsteps beginning to fall more naturally, navigating the cavern as if he had been there before. the jagged walls sing of familiarity despite having no recollection of the place ; his chest ached with it, something adjacent to homesickness burning in the pit of his stomach. he hoped she would join him, unable to quell the kindling of hope that pulls at his ribs, the perking of ears with each passing joiner. ultimately, he couldn't blame her for remaining with the colony. briar needed her, he knew.

he only worries that he needed her as well.

the light has encompassed him finally, alighting his curling pelt in shades of vibrant quartz, pale shades of rose and ice bringing his monochromatic coat to a colorful shine. he feels almost too bright, as if the contours of his body brimmed with the heavenly beams from within, buzzing at his skin and leaving his head nearly dizzy. its beautiful. amazing. unlike anything he'd ever seen, and . . there was someone else here.

the scent hits him like a freight train, the rancid odor of skyclan ripping across his senses and bringing the holy electricity within him to a gentle hum, his mind still pulsing with the urge to get closer, get closer, touch the stone, touch − its a scarred tabby, their cinnamon pelt a blinding flame against the light shades of the stone that surrounds them. they would have been beautiful, should he have not been a rotten pet. his ears curled and their tail ended in a short, fluffy stump . . he recognized him, from the fourtrees. the pine group. his lip twitched but anger does not find him, as if the walls around them would not allow it. the male merely gazes at them with cold eyes, expression absent aside from the hard set of his maw. a little late for a stroll, isn't it? " what are you doing here? " his accented vocals are void of the hiss that usually accompanies it despite the childish way he throws their words back, " i highly doubt soot would allow your kind. starclan knows riverclan would never allow it. " he huffs, whipping his head back around pointedly to look at the stones that seem to twinkle at his words, shimmering deep within.

he has a sudden, irrational thought that they were laughing at him.

" i shouldn't have to explain myself to a pet, but i was investigating the lights. " cicada huffs, lowering his head a bit to peer at one of the more jagged surfaces a bit more closely, " I've never seen a rock glow . . what do you know about this? " his gaze snaps upward and locks on the other feline, pale and cold and leaving little room for escape from interrogation.

  • CICADA ; he / him, roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − tall black smoke tortie chimera with icecap eyes and curly fur, homosexual
    − speaks with a german accent, former marshlander, penned by antlers

  • none.

  • Love
Reactions: nico
Honeybee glances back towards the crystals when Cicada returns his question. All he could give is a weak shrug of his shoulders. "I couldn't sleep." It isn't a lie, yet it isn't the entire truth. The icy stare of the large tom does not allow for Honeybee to be unguarded. Cicada snaps that Soot nor RiverClan would allow his kind, and the cinnamon tom's lips purse. As if I'd want to make my nest in a clan full of assholes like you. His mind snaps, a flicker of annoyance pinching his expression fueled by the lack of sleep. "Soot's asleep. Probably. Either way, I'm not hurting anyone, am I?" Honeybee wonders, then, what the difference is between Cicada and himself. They're both cats at the end of the day, no matter their past. They both bleed the same crimson ichor and breathe the same air. Why does the world have to be so divided? The annoyance is quick to subside, replaced by exhaustion both physical and mental. He's tired of the hostility. Isn't Cicada?

Cicada claims that he shouldn't have to explain himself to a pet. Honeybee's lips pull into a smile that's all too mournful. "I'm not a pet." Not anymore. Their eyes mist over, but they quickly blink the haze from their vision. Cicada was here to investigate the lights. That icy stare retreats from Honeybee's form for only a heartbeat before it snaps onto them once more, somehow seeming colder than before. They're being interrogated, but Honeybee doesn't know why Cicada thinks they know any more about the glowing rock than him. "Dunno. I didn't even know this existed before tonight." And there's that voice again, telling them to touch it. Honeybee shakes their head. "But I think.. I think it wants us to touch it." It's odd to speak of a cluster of rocks as if it could want anything, but Honeybee is nearly convinced that it's true.

− ♱ ABOUT : the stone feels cool this close ; gentle breeze gusting greenleaf - warmed cheeks like the lapping waves of his shore as if beckoning him closer. he’s near enough to touch now, drooping whiskers grazing the smooth surface where he crouched, fixated on bee. i couldn’t sleep. he could relate ; the mottled blue - black beneath his eyes painting a similar tale. his gaze lingers suspiciously for a moment before he finally turns, pivoting his head to peer up alongside the massive stone. the moon casts its brilliant rays overhead, it’s dapple - shadowed surface clear amongst the cloudless sky. im not hurting anyone, am i? an ear twitches and his body seems to slump fractionally despite the bristling hairs along his nape and the distinct, prickling sensation of being watched from the shadows beyond. the feeling had haunted him from riverclan territory, however adamant his mind was on there being fellow skyclanners lingering just outside the vibrant moonglow. ivory casts in diamond shades along the jagged walls overhead and the tom finally releases a sigh, settling onto his stomach alongside the stone, “ i suppose not. “ comes his voice, a mite quieter than before. hesitant. he was no better off being on soots land than they were, in all truth.

the fight seemed not to reach him, here. cicada is shaken, torn, but the anger that so often finds him in the presence of a pine grouper dissipates as icy luminaries cast upwards towards the looming stone. honeybee snaps something about not being a pet and the male flicks his tail, although the tone that accompanies the cinnamon tabby’s words sends a nagging curiosity at the edge of his mind. he says nothing about it now, for the breeze picks up, ruffling the bicolored curls along his form as if imploring him, rushing him, “ i haven’t either. i’ve never seen anything like it. “ the man muses, brow furrowing slightly. it seemed important, somehow, “i wonder if soot knows about this.. “ he doesn’t know if she would be upset at their trespassing, but for this, he wasn’t sure if he cared. they were meant to be here, beckoned in by the cool, glowing surface. i think it wants us to touch it. cicada blinks and . . yes. it does, as ridiculous as it sounds. the rock wanted them here — wanted them both. the bee song that played in his ear night after night buzzed lightly through his skull and his mind clicks, struggling. it had to mean something. they had to mean something here, to him. to the stone that now pulls them forward.

cicada finally scoots, stepping just slightly to make room for the cinnamon tabby, “ come. sit with me. “ he murmurs, keeping his icy gaze locked on the shining rock in front of his, a breath away from his rubber - black nose, “ we were not brought here together chance. we should do it together. “ perhaps he just didn’t want to do it alone — whatever the reason, he would wait a moment for the other felidae to sit aside him. his eyes close slowly, head tipping with a breath in, before he leans in to make contact with the cool, smooth rock.

and he falls asleep.

  • CICADA ; he / him, roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − tall black smoke tortie chimera with icecap eyes and curly fur, homosexual
    − speaks with a german accent, former marshlander, penned by antlers

  • none.