waiting for the exhale [open / joining]

Jul 20, 2022



Dusk didn't know what lifes plans for him were at this point. Hell, a part of him suspected there were no plans at all, and that this empty limbo he found himself in would be all he ever had to look forward to. He had escaped one nightmare just to run headfirst into another, and he wasn't sure how much longer he could keep his fucking sanity at this point. Was it really that hard to catch a break in life? That was a stupid question- he already knew the answer was 'yes'.

As shitty as things had been for him though, he couldn't exactly say things were on a decline. Sure, he was completely alone with no idea what he was supposed to do with himself now, but at least he had his freedom- and that freedom had done him good. When he'd first managed to escape, Dusk had been little more than a walking skeleton. Caged, starved, and left to die, he'd come a long way in the last few months of wandering twoleg place as a stray. Able to hunt and act as he pleased, Dusk had filled out to a proper weight and even gained a considerable amount of muscle to go along with it. His fur had grown sleek and healthy, and as far as a physical bill of health went, Dusk had come along leaps and bounds.

Could he say he was happy, though? Not really. He kept himself busy and the days weren't as bleak as they had been back in that place, but life was still just passing him by while he was scrambling to figure out how to make things work. A little over a year and a half, he was still young by most cats standards, no longer a child but only just having stepped into the world of adulthood a short time ago. Most cats his age would at least have some idea of how the world worked, but Dusk had never had the privellege of a normal life.

Which is what had brought the tom out to the moors.

He wasn't sure if there was anything out there waiting for him. He could be turned away, jumped- there was even the possability that the rumors were wrong and nothing was out there at all- but at this point the risk had to be worth it. Dusk had spent his entire life waiting to die, and now life was right in front of him and it was still slipping through his claws. He couldn't stay in twoleg place after everything he'd been through, but maybe out here he could get a fresh start.

windclan warrior - male - 17 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - bengal
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Traveling was a bittersweet mistress; on one paw it was freeing and left the wonders of the world in the palm of ones hand. Yet at the same time, it was so hard to live on ones own. Having to hunt alone, try to gather something together just to make it through the day- plus the never ending threats of other cats, dogs and people. To say that joining a feral group was one of the more logical decisions that have been made. Inky at least liekd the idea and found it simpler than that of living on ones own, even though he had Ferret at his side for most of it. Still, Ferret could only do so much for them before it was too much of a good thing.

Windclan seemed like a good placement to be, newly formed and in the moors that they had already been living in months prior. It was either that or leave the moors for something more- closed in and harder to navigate. Others seemed to have the same thought process as others joined the group from all walks of life, rogues, loners and previous group cats alike. Even a few housecats here and there as well, it was quite the feat if one asked him.

Today was a rather simpler day, they had settled into camp rather well and now where out on the moors in search of heather for nests or possibly a mouse? The options where endless and it seemed like the heather searching worked well enough that he had a few stalks in his jaws, but through the sweet scent of heather he could smell that of another cat. It wasn't one he recongized, he knew some of them in the clan, so perhaps this was an outsider? Curious, Inky set down the heather he had been collecting under a rock so they wouldn't blow away, and followed the scent.

"Hello?" He called softly and tilted his head to the side a bit, sightless gaze and nose searching for a presence.


It was only a matter of time before rogues and strays started to sniff around in what was now her kingdom.

As an unfamiliar scent is carried to her nostrils she recoils, a snarl part from her lips, and her tail immediately begins to thrash. All types of signs of annoyance could be seen in her body language as she began to stride forward. Yet before she's in sight of the loner she's straightened her posture and craned her head high and tall, with every action she took the past few days she did her best to display her dominance.

Some may say it was unneeded, but many of these cats weren't from the marsh group... Why would they accept her leadership so willingly? If she showed any weakness, any sign that she'd give her stance up, someone could make a move for her throne.

She wouldn't have it, WindClan and this land were hers. So every waking minute, she was strutting around, puffing up her chest as if she was a tomcat with too much testosterone to display. Eventually, she'd dial it down a notch... a little... but that was only when she was certain she had her position under control.

Safe to say Soot was not as slow to the point as Inky.

"You are in the presence of Soot, leader of WindClan, and Inky, solider of WindClan!" She is quick to inform the stranger with a loud bellow, taking a stance beside her clan-mate. "Name and business. This land is no longer unclaimed and we don't appreciate visitors." Not now and likely not ever! Her inner-voice huffs.





A voice would startle him from his thoughts, drawing green eyes up to land on the figure of another cat. For a moment Dusk was caught off guard, wondering why they were staring off to the side of him like that. Instinctively he turned to look behind him just in case something was there, but when he found nothing and returned his attention back to the stranger, he realized what the problem was.

They were blind.

The tom would relax a bit, ready to speak out and answer when suddenly another voice joined the fist, and from a patch of tall grass another cat appeared.

Where the first had spoken softly, this shecat was raditating authority as she strode up to join her clanmate, fixing him with a hard stare and even harder words.

"My name's Dusk." he replied after a moment of hesitation, seeming to find his voice, and with it, his confidence. He'd already made the decision to come here, so there was no point in holding back now. "I've heard rumors that there were cats on the moors- cat's living free from the twolegs and rogues." he explained.

He wasn't sure what kind of cats these were. He knew nothing about them aside from the fact that they lived by their strengths and wits, away from the kittypets and upwalkers that infested twoleg place. But that was enough for him, because at least it was something. He just had to convince them to consider him as an option.

"I want to join, if I can. I'm strong, and I can learn what you need me to." he added, hoping it would help.

windclan warrior - male - 17 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - bengal

So, suppose other cats wouldn't be as welcoming to outsiders as he was. Inky himself had been a cat that was outsider of Windclan and it had taken a lot of convincing for Soot to allow himself and Ferret to join. The black tomcat could hear the other hesitant in their words and as Soot demanded question from the newcomer, Inky inwardly sighed. Obviously they where friendly to outsiders, but the guy didn't seem like a threat of any kind. Well at least not so far.

A sightless face moved to nudge Soot a bit, an attempt to calm the fiesty she-cat as this cat didn't sound super confident in their words, "It is nice to meet you, Dusk, what you have heard would be correct- there are five clans in the forest and we're one of them," He assured the other of these rumors he had heard. Though Inky wouldn't say they where free of twolegs and rogues, many of Windclan or the other clans where rogues or loners. Some even kittypets, and twolegs do live around here like in the farm or in the twolegplace not too far from Windclans' territory.

Though when Dusk offered to join them and that he was a capable tomcat, Inky would leave that to Soot. While he would agree to allow Dusk to join, they could always use more numbers as there wasn't many of them, but he wasn't the leader. Though part of his suspected that Soot wouldn't be easily swayed and he turned his eyeless face towards the she-cat beside him for a moment before turning back to Dusk. Hopefully this would go over smoothly.

//ic opinions

Soot had made it clear her intentions. This land was theirs, and she was willing to defend it from trespassers or those who could hurt them. Those who could take advantage of their plentiful land and fresh-kill. As she followed close behind Soot, her ears twitched as she listened to the stranger introduce himself.

Dusk. Tch.

Stupid names.. Who names their kit after a time of day? Why not something more, creative? She shrugged her shoulders, standing beside Soot; posture straight and neat; almost tense, in a way. She didn't trust strangers, she never had.

"I am Hyacinth, a soldier of WindClan. Ma'am, if I may say-" Hyacinth begins, turning her head to whisper into the woman's ear. "Don't you think he could be lying? What if he's a spy?"


Dusk was his name.

She doesn't notably react to Inky's nudge to her shoulder aside from a huff of dismissal. Inky was too soft... a stranger on their lands should be met with more caution from them. This was a possible danger at their doorstep, Soot for the safety of her clan was not going to play nice.

The tuft in her ear rises as Hycanith whispers to her, an ear flicks in acknowledgment. Soot agreed.

"If you speak truly of the determination you have for being a cat WindClan can rely on, then you may join." In comes the punch, "But, Hycanith is right. We'd be fools to trust you so easily... so you'll be on watch until you can prove yourself. Until then you are to follow my commands strictly and you are to listen to my soldier's own instructions. You are not their equal yet, outsider."

"Hycanith and Inky, I can trust the both of you especially to keep an eye on new-blood here, yes?"




Five clans? It was news to him, but then again, what wasn't. No matter how far he seemed to come from what he was, the other cats were always leaps and bounds ahead of him. It was a frustrating, disheartening feeling to know that he still had miles to go before he managed to catch up with them, a journey that seemed impossible when his feet and lungs were already aching in his attempts to not be entirely left behind. Any other cat would have accepted their fait by now, but Dusk didn't have it in him to call it quits.

He wanted to feel alive just once before death finally caught up with him.

Finally though, Sootstar seemed to make her answer.

Her words come in the form of a double-edged sword. a willingness to let him join but at a cost. He would be lower than the others, a suspicious presence in their midst until he'd proven he was worth more to them then that. It wasn't unreasonable though, all things considered. He was a stranger in their midts and at the end of the day he was really just lucky to be allowed to stay at all.

"I understand, Sootstar." he replied with a nod.

He could bare to be put under a microscope and picked apart, as long as it meant he got a chance to shake the shell of the cat he'd once been. These Windclanners- with the exception of the one she'd called 'Inkylotus', seemed to hold themselves with an unflinching steadiness and air of strength. They acted and spoke like they had a purpose in this world, and Dusk was eager to learn just what that purpose was, and if it could become his own as well.

windclan warrior - male - 17 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - bengal
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Soot was always a bossier cat, so he wasn't surprised when she ignored his nudge in favor of agreeing with Hya.Though he was surprised to hear that of Soot asking himself, as well as Hya, for their guidance of this newcomer named Dusk. Inky, of course, gave a small nod in agreement as he would be honored to see if this tom was fit for the role of solider of Windclan. The sightless cat gave a gentle smile and swished his tail a bit, "Why of course, Soot," Solidifying her words withs his own spoken instead of just the nod.

Though why him? He knew Soot thought of him as too soft and too lient, but could she blame him? He was in their position no too long ago, an outsider to Windclan, as was Hya as far as he understood. Inky though would be more than happy to show a cat around, spend time with him and the like.

// ic opinions

Hyacinth knew Inky couldn't see her face, but there was a small smirk that quirked the corner of her lips, which quickly disappeared by the time Soot had finished talking. She and Inky would be in charge of this newcomer? No, this was ridiculous. Inky was too soft for such a task, he wouldn't dare keep his distance. He'd get close to this stranger, she guessed. Her eyes wavered on Dusk for a moment, before grunting in agreement.

"Of course, Soot. He won't get out of my sight if I can help it."