private there'll be peace when you are done | battle private


*insert dad joke here*
Jun 9, 2022
/ @CROW @EVEREST @vesper

Fresh wounds stung upon the tom's shoulder, splitting open old scars to make them bleed again. This was a mess. Briar's inability to share had led to this bloodshed. Aspen didn't understand why they couldn't just get along? He'd done his best to avoid his ex-mate on the battlefield, sticking to the outskirts and fending off who he could to bide the time. He wanted no part in this fight but he was loyal to Rain, so loyal he'd let Willow march off into the marshes with his only son in tow because he refused to turn tail. He couldn't back off from that loyalty now, even if fighting made his stomach turn inside out. He hoped this was over soon, that the marsh cats would back off or retreat. Blood stained the forest floor, its sickening tang tainting the hot morning air.

A movement in the corner of his eye caught his attention. Aspen swirled his head around to see a mottled black feline heading in his direction, the stink of the marsh swallowing the figure approaching him. He gritted his teeth, claws digging into the ground saturated and softened by the morning dew. He felt the fur on the back of his neck stand up, and shifted his weight to favor the sting in his shoulder. His eyes flashed. I don't want to fight you, they said. But he knew he had to, so he poised himself, plumed tail flicking behind him, ready for battle.
( ) Their heart thrums in their ears. Molten eyes are unfocused, seeing everything and yet nothing at once. Crow tries not to target anyone that Everest cares for. It’s difficult in the throes of war, though. Everyone blurs together, a mess of blood and flesh peeled back from fur.

Crow sprints across the bloodied battlefield, searching for a glimpse of blue tabby fur but never finding it. They don’t want to fight, they just want to find Everest and-

And then what?

Maybe they could run. Wait out the war somewhere safe. Or maybe they wouldn’t stop running. Maybe they would never come back to this forsaken forest.

A tuxedo tom stands in his way. Crow’s stride falters for a heartbeat before resuming. A reluctant gaze returned; I don’t want to fight you, either. But there’s nowhere to run to. If he ran away, another opponent would stand in his way.

There’s no escape from this hell.

Claws unsheathe, and Crow leaps, hoping to barrel over the other feline. If successful, their teeth would snap half-heartedly at Aspen’s face while their claws try to dig into his shoulders.
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Out of the depths of shadow came Everest, clawing his way off of a tom that had leaped onto him; back legs kicked out, sending the other cat tumbling to the ground with a hiss of pain. His body quaked from the shock of being attacked so suddenly, but the look on his face didn't do much to hide his own distaste for this type of situation. He didn't enjoy fighting- he preferred to hunt and go home to his group, but life had other plans for him today.

When did this begin? Why was this necessary?

His eyes narrowed as he growled at his opponent, giving a good snap of his paw to the other tom's nose before it ran off, back to the group of cats it had come from. Once safe, his eyes searched around instinctively; the smell of blood was tense in the air, disgusting- and he felt that this environment made him think only of Crow.

His Crow, sweet and loving to him- he wondered where they were, if they were safe. A shaky breath left the tom, bobbed tail twitching in a sense of worry, before his gaze swept over the battlefield once more in an attempt to find his mate's dark fur and beautiful eyes. Soon enough, he thought he saw a flicker of Crow's fur amongst a throng of cats, trying to leap onto another cat. He looked scared, and Everest couldn't help but want to step in.

There was always a struggle of loyalty with Everest- leaving behind Tugger and Spring wasn't something he planned on doing. He loved his siblings far too much to just allow them to die in battle, but they could hold their own. Crow could, too, but he was the only one he could properly spot right at that moment. As he pushed through a throng of cats, he was blocked by a tom almost as big as himself, a paw smacking him across the face so hard he felt his brain rattle. Gritting his teeth, he fought back- trying his best to keep Crow in his sight.

Please don't die- Please, I don't know what I'll do without you. Please..!

A mantra, repeated over and over in his head as his claws ripped at flesh. He didn't care. He didn't care at all, he just wanted his Crow to be safe. The sight Aspen near Crow, preparing for a fight- made panic alight his spine. He couldn't let Aspen get hurt, but he couldn't let Crow get hurt either. Who would he choose? Loyalty between his group, or loyalty to his mate? He didn't like having to choose..
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He can see the hesitation in the other's eyes and his ears flatten against his skull. A mutual reluctance to fight one another. He hopes they'll both go easy on each other, part ways when they've realized they've done enough damage. Maybe by then this battle will be over - Briar or Rain calling away their forces as quickly as this all started.

He can't hope for long, because in a flash the dark feline is lunging for him, claws outstretched and aimed to hurt. He feels better about knowing he wasn't the first to land a blow. Aspen tries to step out of the way, but being a rather large cat, swiftness was never his strongsuit. He's bowled over, teeth and claws digging into his flesh. He hisses in pain but refuses to cry out, instead takes a moment to gather his bearings after having the wind knocked out of him. The wounds on his shoulders are shredded at by this fresh set of claws. Aspen does his best to roll over. He knows exposing his soft underbelly is never a good idea - his time on the streets taught him that quickly - but, he knows his hind legs are more powerful than this cat's due to his time in the trees. With a bit of luck, he might be able to push this cat off of him.

He tries it, rolling so that his underbelly is exposed. He aims to curl his hind legs close to his belly to protect it and kicks outward, hoping to hit the other cat square in the chest with enough force to get them off of him. If successful, he would lunge forward, aiming to clasp his teeth tightly around the cat's forearm. It was a dirty move but if he managed to get a good enough hold, a sprain or a break would be the quickest way to end this fight for them both. Heck, he might even save both their lives. Little did he know, he had an audience.
( ) The two fall in a flash of claws and teeth. Crow recoils at the copper taste of blood, relinquishing their grip on the other cat to spit and sputter. A foolish move. Aspen rolls underneath them, his hind legs curling beneath Crow's chest. The blow startles them. They choke on a strangled gasp as they're forced off of the tom, their back connecting with the earth with a heavy thump. They're fighting to regain the breath that had been kicked out of them, their eyes wide.

They should've been quicker. But their mind is fogged over by worry, their beloved Everest forefront.

Teeth clamp around his forearm, rendering him helpless. Pain shoots up his leg, and Crow yelps, aiming to batter Aspen's face with his free paw in an attempt to get the other tom to let go. The warmth of blood trickling down his ensnared limb brings another wave of nausea over him. "Dirty move," Crow breathes out, barely audible over his own thunderous heartbeat.

The sound of a pounding heartbeat seemed to rattle the large tom's ears as he listened to the yowling and screeching in the background. If it weren't for Briar being so stubborn, if it weren't for the groups being unable to get along, Crow could be with him. They could be together and not have to worry about loyalty.

Loyalty. A fickle thing.

His mate his bitten, and the grip won't let go. Everest bats away a cat all too close to him, instincts driving his limbs to rush until his pupils had narrowed into dangerous slits and an overwhelming anger took over him. He rushed, quickly making himself visible but not giving the others time to process that it was him attacking before he attempted to launch himself at Aspen, trying to shove him off of his mate using his body weight to propel himself. If successful, there wouldn't be much hesitance in his next action, attempting to get Aspen on his back to try and bite down on his throat.

There were no words for the betrayal he had committed against Aspen. Everything was for the cat he loved, his precious Crow. There was no remorse in an action fueled by love.

//feel free to have him powerplay! aspen could go for his throat instead pretty successfully.​
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A strong paw bats across his face, claws digging into his skin. He lets go and hisses in pain just as another heavy force barrels into his side, knocking him off of Crow. Green eyes flash as he looks for his attacker, finding his own groupmate on top of him. "Everest?" he asked, yelping as teeth sank into his throat. "Wh-...what are y-you doing? It's me!" he coughed, claws digging into the other tom in a desperate attempt to get him off of him. He didn't want to hurt his own groupmate, but clearly, in the confusion of battle there had been a mistake. Everest must've thought he was a marsh cat. Blood gushed from the fresh wounds on his throat, turning the white fur there bloody.

Despite his attempts to shove his groupmate off of him, Everest won't stop. Aspen can't have two cats ganging up on him, especially not with one being an ally! In his desperate attempt to get the other tom to see reason when Everest lunged at him again, Aspen sank his teeth into the first place he could latch on to. He didn't stop to consider he should be more careful about where his blows landed until he felt too much blood explode in his mouth. Shocked by the sudden tang of his groupmate's blood, Aspen quickly let go, coughing and spitting up what he had drawn from a friend. He watched in horror as Everest stumbled backward, a heavy pool of blood forming under him.

"E-Everest?" he asks, guilt swelling up inside of him to the point where his knees buckled beneath him and he fell to the ground next to his fallen ally. What had he done?
  • It was always going to end in bloodshed. But if Vesper is honest with himself, he's not sure if it will be worth the cost. Every flash of familiar color sends a jolt up his spine, twisting around and permitting himself a sigh of relief whenever he sees a stranger's face. The group comes first—his loved ones come first. This much he knows. And now he may lose those loved ones in battle. What good is more space and prey then?

    In the chaos of clashing bodies and mingling scents, Vesper only sees another cat coming to his groupmate's defense, then killed by the Pine cat who was attacking. A spark of rage lights up his chest, and he surges forward, a sleek black shadow untangling from the dark of the undergrowth, to tackle Aspen, aiming to sink his teeth into the scruff of the Pine cat's neck.
  • sorry this is late and short and clunky i've not been well 😵‍💫
  • Vesper is a lithe adult male with sleek black fur and golden eyes. His charismatic countenance attracts many to his side, sweetened by easygoing warmth and a radiant smile. Quick-witted and elegant, his hunting and fighting prowess inspires equal admiration as his adroitness of speech, and single-minded ambition impels him to pursue newer and greater heights. Despite an openness of emotional expression and a commitment to ensuring that everyone feels included in the spaces he inhabits, he maintains a careful hold on his privacy—few truly know him beneath the surface of a sociable and playful exterior.

//Sorry for the late reply, guys! TW for blood, and of course a cat dying.

Seeing red wasn't an understatement. The anger that pulsated through his body rippled his core, but blinded him to who he was actually attacking. It was a quick mark, a good one at that- teeth tore skin and as Everest stumbled back, he struggled to stay standing. His legs shook, eyes fluttering before they rolled into the back of his head.

And then he fell, blood quickly caking his fur and the ground underneath him. His eyes fluttered open, the light fading from them- but at least Crow was safe, it seemed. Another cat that smelled faintly similar to Crow had come to the rescue, but the guilt ate at him. It tore at his skin and gnawed at his bones. His eyes danced over to Aspen, forgiving.

It's okay.
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It all happens too fast.

There's a flash of blue in their peripheral vision. Crow reels back, wide eyes catching on Everest. Their breath hitches. No, don't come and save me, you frog-brain! Everest should run, hide himself away where he couldn't get hurt. He shouldn't risk his life for Crow.

Their attacker is barreled to the ground. Everest holds Aspen down, teeth sinking into his own groupmate. He's betrayed his group for them. Crow scrambles to their paws. "Everest!" They have to stop this before their precious Everest is hurt.

They aren't quick enough.

Aspen lunges, his teeth bared. A frantic attempt to stop his groupmate causes fangs to meet throat. Crow lets out a strangled cry, stumbling forwards. They aren't quick enough. Everest crumples, blood spurting from his ruptured jugular. "EVEREST!" Tears are already burning their eyes as they rush forwards, wincing at the stinging of their wounded leg and blood pooling beneath their paws. They don't care if the enemy is still alive, sitting right next to their mate that he'd just slaughtered. They don't care if Aspen wants him dead. They just need to get to Everest.

Crow's own legs buckle beneath him, and he collapses, draped halfway across the fallen blue tom. He sobs, clutching at his mate as if trying to hold onto the life that's fading from his eyes. "No, no, no- Everest, stay with me! Stay with me, please!" His paws scramble to apply pressure onto the gash in Everest's neck. But they're shaking too bad, and the blood- It won't stop. There's too much of it. His body trembles with a sob. "Stop, please, stop-"

Everest stills beneath him. A mournful wail pierces the air. Crow buries his face into Everest's shoulder, leaving a dampness behind as the tears fall freely.

Something in them breaks.

A surge of anger floods over them. With heaving breaths, Crow stumbles to their paws. Their limbs still shake, but there's a dangerous glint in their eyes as their head snaps around to glare at Aspen. "You... What have you done?!" They all but screech at the tom, their claws unsheathing to sink into the bloodstained dirt.

Vesper lunges towards Aspen, but Crow barely registers that he's there. All they could see is a red haze, blocking out everyone except for this monster. They let out a yowl as they dart towards Aspen. Whether or not Vesper's attack lands, Crow would aim to dig their teeth deep into Aspen's throat.