camp thistles and thorns // kitsitting

Tybalt stood in front of the nursery, looking out at the group of kits he had been tasked with looking after. "All right, pipsqueaks!" he began. "Listen up! Your parents need a break and I guess I'm supposed to be watching you. Just keep out of trouble and we'll get along fine." He fixed them all with a determined glare, but the corner of his mouth tugged up into a small grin. He liked kits. He didn't actually want to scare them.

He sat down, uncertain about exactly what to do next. What did kits like, again? His own kithood hadn't left much time for games, and somehow he didn't think their mothers would appreciate the claws-unsheathed battle practice he had grown up with.


Rabbitnose and Sunfreckle had left the care of her siblings and herself in the paws of Tybalt. As far as Dewkit was concerned, she didn’t understand why they had to leave, but Tybalt was fun! She never truly was able to meet him previously, as her sister had drug her away, screaming about “stranger danger.” “Are you going to play a game with us? Or teach us something cool?” Padding over to stand beside the tom, Dewkit would tilt her head to the side as she gazed at him quizzically.


It seemed a shame to leave Stagstrike to deal with the duty of watching the kits alone. Sunnyday knew that they could be sly little sods when they wanted to be, and all too quickly a solitary adult could find themselves overwhelmed. Fortunately the warrior had been out gathering fresh bedding materials earlier that day and he had some moss to spare. Grabbing a clump from his own nest, he then brought it over to where Stagstrike had the youths gathered and he set the ball of moss down. "Perhaps some mossball will keep you kits busy? Or you can practice your hunting skills on it."


Jaypaw never really had much of a chance to interact with other kits as a kitten himself. He might have had siblings but he can't remember, either because twolegs took them away young or they just never were. Nor does he remember his mom ever talking about them. Basically, kits are an oddity to Jaypaw and like any teen, have the capacity to annoy him. Still, staying in the queens' dens has put him around a lot of kits recently and he's there when Tybalt makes his announcement. It's clear that the grown ups want some time away so he shrugs to himself and follows Tybalt, Dewkit and the others out into the light of day.

As Sunnyday arrives with a ball of moss, Jaypaw's eyes light up. "Mossball?" He reaches out to bat at it to test the consistency and it's like the ball back home but more, uh, springy! Catching himself quickly, the orange and white tom flicks his eyes away in embarrassment (this is for the kits, not him) and aims to roll the ball over to Dewkit. "Where did all these kits come from anyways?" Jaypaw asks Sunny and Tybalt absentmindedly. What he really means is, are any of them from outside of the clan like him, but he's a little afraid to be that specific.
Wolfpaw wasn't gonna say nothin'. Like, she realllly wasn't, but she can feel the pace of her cheerful gait slowin', and her eyes dragging towards the nursery. ....Look, some opportunities, you just had to take em. "Yoooourrrrr mother?" Nice.

The mossball comes a-rolling between her and Dewkit, and without a second thought, she bats it away and sends it flying out of her reach. She loves mossball! Still got it, was a pro at this when she was an itty baby. She feels like she should add to the conversation, make it less obvious that her comment was the only reason she's here. "They put you in charge of kit-sitting, Tyb? But you're like, lame," she says. Her tone isn't malicious, idle chatter. Like, she's just stating the facts.
Tybalt chewed at the inside of his cheek as Dewkit spoke. He wasn't sure what he had to teach them--the thing he was best at was fighting. He wasn't great at games either. He hadn't had littermates to play with when he was young. He had been about to ask her what her favorite game was, when Sunday swooped in with the suggestion of mossball.

And then Jaypaw was there, and the young warrior shrugged his shoulders. "Here, there, everywhere," he mumbled with a shrug. It seemed like there were always new cats in ThunderClan. He stifled an amused snort as Wolfpaw spoke, and then shrugged again when she commented about his being in charge of kit-sitting. "I guess I'm not the worst cat they could've picked."
But not much better.

"Well, when a male cat and a female cat get together... wait, that's not what you're meaning is it?" Sunnyday chewed the inside of his cheek as he forced himself from giving the 'talk'. By this point he honestly didn't know where half the kits appeared from, they might as well have manifested from the mud. But regardless of origin they were ThunderClanners now and they would be loved and cared for.

"And Wolfpaw, be nice. No one here is 'lame', as you'd put it." He didn't want Stagstrike to feel downtrodden by the remark. Besides, there were far worse kitsitters in the clan. ​