too stupid for words | rta




He'll never admit it. Not on his life. Not in a million years will he ever say it aloud, to any cat, to any soul... but he misses her. Her warm scent still curls around him late at night. He dreams about her too often for it to be coincidence. Longing and want have curled into the pit of his belly, a sort of urge that wasn't particularly spiked with need but hurt. He loved her. He loved her so deeply. And now she was gone without a trace.

He retracted into himself. What little time he wasn't spending alone in the canopy, far from his clan-mates' pitying eyes and questioning head-tilts, he was patrolling the unstated border of the river, searching for any sign of her. Every evening he came back with nothing and the every night that same lance of white-hot rage would pierce him again, right in the heart. Gone without a trace, as if they were nothing.

He woke up suddenly tonight, mere hours after drifting off into uneasy sleep. Another dream of her. A dream of her with a veritable bundle of squirming kittens at her belly, all squeaking and suckling at their mother as peacefully as they can be. He wished he could urge his paws forwards and by the stars, he tried, but he didn't move an inch while she only drifted further and further away. His eyes itched.

Tugger huffs in his nest and tightens himself into a ball - his long, fluffy tail curling around to touch his nose. It seems there is no rest for the wicked tonight, and so his eyes stay painfully open as the minutes tick into hours and the sky slowly begins to lighten beyond his bed.
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Blazestar had noticed Tugger's dark storm of a mood, just as the rest of the Clan had. He'd lost Rain, his close friend, and then his mate had disappeared entirely. Blazestar's heart had been sore at Fritter's disappearance -- especially since she'd left no indication of where she was going or why. She'd pledged herself to him, to SkyClan, at the gathering, and had been carrying Tugger's kits. Her absence worries at him like an insect that won't quit biting.

But he cannot imagine the pain the flat-faced ginger warrior is feeling. Blazestar has feelings for Little Wolf, though he doubts she still thinks of him. It's been moons, and he does not even know where she's gone since the Clans had split. All he knows is that she has not chosen to join him here, and perhaps that's all he needs to know. Had she been his mate, mother of his children, and left inexplicably without a goodbye...

Blazestar leaves Rain's former den, pushing himself into the dawn with exhaustion still burdening his body. The enormity of his life now, blessed by StarClan and tasked with leading SkyClan, have still not settled well with him, despite the choice he'd made to claim Rain's empty position. He often wonders if StarClan themselves had pushed his muscles to leap onto the stone, had opened his maw like a lifeless doll and spoken for him.

Dark blue eyes find him, wound tightly in his nest, dark brown eyes gazing bleakly at the sun as it rises. Another sleepless night, worrying about Fritter and his kits, Blazestar assumes. He approaches the den and tilts his head at Tugger. "Care to join me? I was thinking about hunting. Before it gets too hot." He tries to keep the sympathy from his voice and fails. He doesn't pity Tugger, but he can only imagine what the ginger tom is going through. He doesn't want to imagine it.


He blinks up at him, a baleful stare coming to rest upon his leader's face. For a moment, he thinks to lash out, to hiss and snarl and force the cat away from him. He can think of a hundred different insults to throw at the pointed tom that stands in front of him, a hundred different ways to say 'leave me the hell alone!', but when he opens his mouth to reply, they don't come.

Instead he gives another little huff and unwinds from the serpent-ball position he had wedged himself into and stretches. The sheer weight of all that he has held onto mentally seems to trickle down from the back of his brain onto his shoulders, his back, his joints. He feels so heavy and it annoys him that he is unable to determine whether the weight is from a lack of sleep or just emotional and physical exhaustion.

Tugger doesn't wait for his sluggish brain to give him an answer. The baleful gaze returns to Blazestar, though the menace is less pronounced and the expression a tad softer. "Where did you want to go?
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Blazestar has to admit he's surprised that Tugger does not snap at him -- or worse, pretend he hasn't spoken at all. The ginger warrior gives him a look through bleary dark eyes and simply asks, "Where did you want to go?"

The flame point thinks for a moment. He doesn't particularly want to get too close to Twolegplace himself -- the place is still a painful reminder of all he's given up to be here, the resented and clueless leader of a Clan that wasn't his. He twitches one golden ear and says, "How about the Rockpile? It's early enough so it won't be too hot. Prey will start waking up. A hunt will do us both good."

He doesn't wait for Tugger to respond. A chance for him to deny Blazestar, or retort, or snarl. He simply turns on his heel and begans to pad towards camp's exit. Does he want to embarrass himself on a hunt in front of Tugger? Not necessarily. But it's better than watching him suffer in his nest, dreaming of a mate who won't return.

Always at camp before the sun rises, Harpy overhears the invitation to hunt. In an instant, he's on his paws and padding beside the leader. "I'll come," is what he offers, nodding to the two of them. (With Blazestar on the patrol, they'd need all the help they could get; the flame point is not known for his hunting prowess.) His gaze lingers on Tugger for a heartbeat longer, before he pulls away and focuses on the trail in front of them. Fritter's... disappearance has shaken the Persian tom, anyone could see. And, in some capacity, Harpy sympathizes with him. But isolating himself and sitting on his ass, moping about, will do no one any good; especially not himself.

This patrol is a go maith opportunity for Tugger.