these words i write are for someone like me - return

Emberstar's eyes wandered the empty camp as she led her clan back into their home. Her tail, subtly, flicked behind her anxiously. The patrols that had returned to help clear it, Thunderclan and Riverclan alike, had done their work well. It was hard to tell that tragedy had touched the place. At least, to the eyes that had not seen it before. For her, however, it was etched into every inch. Her eyes traced the broken branches above, that the flames had snapped and dropped into their camp. The scuff marks around the edges of the dens, where cats had worked to clear the wreckage away. Subtle as it was, it all made her heart ache.

The faintest twinge of smoke that still hung on the air, in contrast, was unmistakable.

In spite of that, she turned to face her clanmates. Put all her effort into a smile. Tried oh so very hard not to think of when she had looked down on them all from highrock and told them in no uncertain terms to run. The scarred molly did her best to ground herself in the present moment, and only that moment. "Welcome home Thunderclan." Emberstar told them, with as much warmth as she could muster.
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"The den's are going to smell horrid for a while I imagine..." RiverClan had been kind to them but he would not lie and say he wasn't happier being back in the forest. His coat did not handle being wet easily and Rabbitnose was particularly unerved being near the river after an incident where he'd nearly drowned some time ago. Overall it was a very stressful situation, but home was home no matter the scent. Leaning into the dappled tom's side, he gave @Rabbitnose a gentle nudge with his head. "What do you think? Maybe we can put pine needles and flowers in the nests to mask the smoke scent?"
They could go out and gather some stuff up, he had seen how RiverClan decorated their own nests and dens and was rather fond of how it looked. Wildflowers and pinecones would make nice ornaments here perhaps? It would also give them a chance to see the rest of the territory and how badly burnt it was, hopefully the prey would come back once enough time had passed but in the meantime he'd have to put his best paw forward in helping.
"We can put daisies in our nest. I like daisies."

When he sees the familiar sight of home, Flycatcher takes in a small breath. A faint twinge of smoke lingers in that it tickles his nose, a reminder of the recent blaze that had threatened to overwhelm their clan. Although the camp looks a little worse for wear currently Flycatcher knows how easily things might have been different had the fire raged for longer.

"We have a lot to do, to get camp looking like it used to," Flycatcher mews, casting a glance over their home. "Still, it feels good to be back."
Welcome home, Thunderclan. She blinks, an ear flicking as she drops the fish held in her jaws. She had carried it all the way from Riverclan, something she caught because how else would Thunderclan celebrate other than good food and good... friends... She flattens her ears. Koko doesn't have many friends here, other than Nightingale and Flame and so she turns to look for them in the crowd, blue eyes wide with worry. Hopefully they had not gotten lost.

She turns back to face the damage and almost immediately it was like she was back there again in the sweltering heat, sheltered beneath her last bastion of safety, Flame. Theres a shaky breath as she shakes her head, trying to rid herself of the memories. Her chest tightens and a miniature squeak leaves her mouth as she slightly crouches to the ground, avoiding looking at the den they had been trapped in. What a horrific, charred sight to come back to live in.

Koko knows she'll be sleeping with Nightingale the next couple of moonrises. The memories are terrifying.


He was weary. Tired. He had not slept well in days. The short stay in the Riverclan camp was exhausting, for a different reason than others. He appreciated Riverclans hospitality, of course. They were kind and supportive and he was grateful. If they ever needed help, he would help them.

He just. Could not handle all that water.

His ears twitched as he heard Sunfreckle speak. Yeah, the place sure was going to smell, huh. The flowers and pine needles were a great idea, actually.

"It certainly would help, I imagine..." He said, then smiled tiredly. "We can put as many daisies as you'd like in our nest!"

Daisies were a pretty flower. He liked dandelions himself, thought it was interesting how they turned white and puffy and just. Blew away like that. Why did they do that.

((Replying to @Sunfreckle ))
All about her, clanmates filter back into camp. They talk about how they might make this place into a home again, and she smiles a little at the suggestions of flowers. Those would be nice. The talking too, is to make this place a home again. No one spoke of what had happened, they focused on what to do now. Their words filled the air with life and warmth.

It was good, it was what they should be doing. It was what her mother had taught her to do, when her thoughts weighed her down.

For some reason though, Emberstar cannot muster it in this moment. She listened and she smiled along, but her mind was adrift in the past. Remembering fire and smoke. There was so much more she could have done, surely. She was the leader. It was her job to keep her clanmates safe. Her ear flicked at Flycatcher's assertion that it was good to be back. She did not tell him that she did not feel the same.
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Welcome home Thunderclan..

It would take awhile for it to feel like home again. The camp could be a lot worse off, but it was impossible to erase the emotional scars that had been left from the fire. She had truly thought that her and Koko were going to not make it out of the elder's den. After pushing the younger cat towards their rescuers, she couldn't recall what had happened after that. She had been told that she had passed out when the Riverclanners came to their aid. Standing here, gazing at their camp made her legs tremble. She felt weak again, almost like she was suffocating. The thick smoke was gone, but she still couldn't breathe.

The orange Molly glanced at her clanmates, then took a few steps back, and headed back into the forest. She would go hunt or something...being back was too much for her right now.

She was more of a burr than a kitten now, clinging to Cinderfrost’s side more than ever before. Nightmares of flames licking at her paws and snout deterring Roekit from a good nights sleep, her only comfort being her adoptive mother- something that had never been established officially, but the love the cinnamon child held for the ashen medicine cat being nothing less than familial, daughterly.
There was still a slight rattle in her chest with each breath, her body not having fully recovered from her bouts of no-breath, a name she had come up with herself.
Gingerly, she shuffled from beside Cinderfrost, doe shaped eyes widened with curiosity of what had become of their home.
Flycatcher does what he does best, and tries to find the pep in his step as he comments, but Roekit can only look at him with a slight frown, her disagreement much more apparent than their leaders. She couldn’t find any relief in being back.


"Welcome home, ThunderClan."

Words once uttered upon their initial arrival in a lush oak forest - back when Kindleheart was merely Kindle, a loner - now said yet again upon their arrival to their flame-struck home. What once was a cheerful set of words rings far less cheerful, now.

It hurts to see it like this. Some of the trees he'd known all his life, gone - nothing but charred remnants in their place. What a shame.

Olive eyes look around at the destruction, ears flattened against his head. "It's going to take more than pine needles and flowers," he says absentmindedly as he overhears Sunfreckle and Rabbitnose's conversation. Kindleheart wondered if, just like some of ThunderClan's members, the forest too had earned a scar in the fire - a permanent reminder of what had happened, for both the forest and ThunderClan. Never to be forgotten.
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He limps alongside his new clanmates into a charred home, remnants of flowers from his time in RiverClan still weaved into ginger fur. Green eyes are horror-filled as he returns back to ThunderClan's camp. As he sees just where it was that he tried to escape the flames. As he remembers.

"Welcome to ThunderClan," Emberstar says. But, was Finchcatcher ever really welcome?

His arrival was soured, venom spewed at him by the medicine cat, urges to stay away from him. And then... And then fire brews soon after. Was it... Was it his fault? Did fire follow him wherever he went?

No. That was ridiculous. Fire couldn't follow him. What kind of kit-tale had been placed into his head for him to think that?

But still, the guilt eats at him yet again as he looks down at his injured forepaw, at the burn scars that leave only tufts of fur on the back of his front leg, as he feels the pain in his shoulder.

Finchcatcher tries to shake away the thought, looking up at Emberstar, at the scars that now mar her too.

"Where should we start?" he asks.

Busy. He needed to keep busy. The whole clan needed the distraction.
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