Jun 7, 2022

The sun was rising at a rapid rate, Rain watches it through his den through half-open eyes as it slowly fills the space with morning light. Sunrise and sunset were, normally, Rains favorite times of day, and usually, he would be out of his nest by now, sitting in the clearing of his camp and greeting his fellow group members as they woke for the day. He would go to the fresh-kill pile and he would stand over it, make a comment about their good or bad luck in hunting lately and take something for himself to eat. But today, Rain wanted to stay in bed, to hide. Later, he would have to do something about the news Ember had brought him the day before, the news of the marsh group's hostility. They had attacked a child and he couldn't let the perpetrator get away with such a cruel and unnecessary act. He lets out a heavy sigh, Why couldn't the cats in the marsh just leave them in peace?

So lost he is in his contemplation he is that he almost doesn't notice when a shadow falls on him, a presence at the entrance to his dens. He looks up to see them, squinting at their form silhouetted by the sun "Who's there?" he asks, still unsure "Whoever you are, come in so I can see you I'm gonna go blind if I keep staring into the sun like this!" he tries his best to stick to a teasing and friendly tone, to mask the worry that was making his heart hammer in his chest


╰☆☆ Like his father, Haze has been deeply troubled since Ember had brought news of their failed hunting patrol back to camp the previous day. While Rain had the responsibilities of a leader, however, Haze was feeling a different kind of darkness.

The cat who'd been attacked had been little Cosmos' brother. He'd sat with the kit as they'd waited for the patrol to return. He'd looked into the young tom's eyes and said things would be fine.

Finch would live, of course. Thank the moon. But the fact that a ten moon old cat could have been assaulted over a mouse by those vile swamp rats... a cat who was taking care of his only surviving family member.

Haze feels sick to his stomach when he thinks about it. What do those monsters know about family, he thinks, the outrage creeping from the rage simmering in his white-furred belly to his chest. They don't care that we have little ones with us. They don't care that most of us have nowhere to go back to.

He is not used to feeling like this. Haze is a decidedly uncomplicated cat, living in his father's example but to an extreme. But today... today he is troubled, and he seeks Rain's company.

"Still in bed, huh? You're lazier than me." He smiles, blocks the sun with his large fluffy body. The smile wilts, though, with the immense pressure of his sadness and guilt. "Um... I don't want to bother you if you're busy, but... about yesterday..."

He assesses his father's face, determines he should continue: "Wanna talk about it?" He's no leader; he's sure he can't offer Rain any advice. But he's a good listener. That's one of his best traits.