sensitive topics waiting for the sirens || riverclan k̶i̶t̶ apprentice on the border

Aug 1, 2022
// cw for canon-typical injuries and mentions of violence. ashpaw was injured by a twoleg in this thread and escaped into the river, which eventually washed her up in thunderclan! (you don't have to read that thread to understand this one)


A S H P A W.

Ashpaw trembles as she crawls from the river.

She's too cold and too tired and everything hurts. Blood leaks from the gash in her side, dripping slowly down her sopping orange pelt. Her eyes have glazed over, fresh terror replaced by nothing at all, like the river ripped her feelings out and washed up numbness in their place.

She drags herself onto the bank, little paws straining. The water laps at her but lets her go, more forgiving than most spots.

It might take her an hour to pull herself all the way onto the muddy shore. Ashpaw doesn't know. She isn't really registering time anymore.

It's pebbly here and thick with reeds. A really bad fishing spot, she thinks numbly. In truth it isn't a fishing spot at all-- she's managed to wash up on the wrong side of the river, and the ThunderClan cats call this land theirs. When she's finally calmed down enough to register the scent, she'll realize.

For now she lies limp in the mud, cloaked by reeds; safer from predators, but difficult to spot-- impossible from a distance. Soaked and muddy as she is, without her kitten-fluff puffed up in excitement, Ashpaw is so much smaller-- little broken thing on the riverbank, half-buried in grime and oozing blood.

Eventually her shivering stops, the warm greenleaf breeze gradually drying her pelt.

The dull-eyed child lies there. She wonders if she's still going to die. She knows she's never hurt this badly, never felt this much pain. She wonders if the twoleg with the thunder-stick will follow her, will find her somehow, drag her back and hurt her more. She's too exhausted to be scared anymore. She's too exhausted to be anything but numb. She doesn't know how long she fought the river for-- how many times she tried for the shore only to be swept back under. All she knows is it took every last scrap of her strength.

She'll lie there while the sun makes its gradual descent, still and silent and looking half-dead, until ThunderClan's next border patrol finds her at twilight.

—— " i found gold in the wreckage "

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The loss of his daughter, a kit- it made seein’ a child sprawled out against the ground sick to your stomach- even if it weren’t his blood. Even if it didn’t carry no Thunderclan scent, that didn’t mean that damn kid didn’t deserve her every breath. Rockyridge made his way toward the sodden furred apprentice best he could with his limp- brancing off from the patrol but calling out to them all the same.

He hated the river- kept his distance even thicker than the average Thunderclanner because he couldn’t swim- he’d sink like a rock and there weren’t no sense in it.

" cats ain’t got no business being in water " he grouches aloud as he stills his callused paws over the weak child’s orange coat checking for a pulse. She’s bleeding- wounded, why and how? ain’t no time for that- he needed to get her to some help before her pulse went weak.

" hold on lil’ darlin’… lemme get you some help "

" Hey! this… this Riverclanner kit- she’s hurt bad! " his harsh wound-altered voice raises toward his fellow Thunderclanners. He hooks a black-footed paw behind the little ginger tabby’s neck to prop her up a bit.

" dammit’ she’s bleedin’… she’s bleedin’! " he just notices the crimson leaking out her side- inflicted by god knows what. The sun was sinking- they needed to get her to camp.

And this is why kittens shouldn't be forced into apprenticeship until they were, at the very least, stable on their own four paws. The poor little one looked more akin to a drowned rat than anything.

"Don't just stand there, then. Warm her up." the medicine cat snapped at the tom. If he started panicking then it would just cause more disarray. And she'd have even more work to deal with if he found himself in the river, too. "Lick her fur in the opposite direction."

"Someone, gather moss or cobwebs. I need to grab some marigold." Or something like that. At the very least, it sounded official-like. ​
"Oh StarClan..." Howling Wind is hot on her patrol's paws, green eyes wide with alarm. Rockyridge points out that the child belongs to RiverClan, and she supposes he's probably right. Had she fallen in further upstream? Stopping beside the limp apprentice, the tabby looks up towards the opposite shore, searching for any sign of a RiverClan patrol. Seeing nobody, she looks back towards the child, then to Rockyridge. "I've got this," She mews softly, fixing him with a sympathetic look before she got to work grooming the kitten. He hadn't deserved to be snapped at by the clan's criminal - as if she had room to scold anybody. "Rockyridge, try to get her talking," She directs him in between licks.

A S H P A W.

Dazed and half-conscious as she is, Ashpaw chokes out a gasp at the contact-- it's back, the twoleg found her, oh god she's really going to die now-- before ThunderClan scent hits her and she realizes these are paws, not massive twoleg limbs. More than that, they're gentle, soft and careful as Rockyridge checks her over.

RiverClanner kit, the tom calls her, and Ashpaw coughs and tries to lift her head. "N-not a kit," she garbles out. "'M a 'prentice."

Other cats arrive. More words that she can barely understand-- the chatter of unfamiliar voices. She wants to go home.

And then someone's grooming her, firm and purposeful; a pained mewl slips out, and Ashpaw feels very much like a kitten. She's bruised everywhere, every muscle in her body tender, aching in places she didn't know she could ache. The twoleg had squeezed her, manhandled her, held her so tight she couldn't breathe-- and however necessary, the aggravation of those bruises sets her heart racing. No more, please no more.

"...please n-no," she begs in a small voice. "It, it hurts..."

Her eyes are glassy, staring right through the ThunderClanners.

—— " i found gold in the wreckage "

Thankfully, marigolds were not the most challenging flower to find - they stuck out like the stars in the night sky. Not to mention she managed to find a cat to run back to camp in order to retrieve poppy seeds.

Nose crinked in disgust as teeth thoroughly chewed the petals into a fine paste. Flavorless yet somehow still disgusting to chew. Clearly, cats were carnivores for a very good reason.

Eyes softened upon seeing the drenched kit apprentice. Her paws quickly picked up the pace, rendering her within hearing distance when the RiverClanner begged for Howling Wind to stop. Sadly, it was about to get worse.

"This is going to sting, little one. But it'll hurt even worse if it gets infected." she softly spoke to the water-logged molly, quietly crouched down beside her. A small twig was offered, "I'm going to need you to be strong, okay? Bite this branch if the pain gets too bad." While it wouldn't take away the pain, it'd help to have something to bite down rather than the chance that her teeth instinctively bit on the bottom of her lip.

Using the soaked moss that some cat had collected, whether that be Rocky Ridge or someone else, she gingerly dabbed at the strange wound carved into the RiverClan she-cat's flank. Once it was clean (and if the apprentice didn't flinch away), she'd apply to poultice. Her paws worked precisely and delicately but, unfortunately, that was the only precaution able to be taken in order to prevent the most amount of inflicted pain.

"You're so brave." she attempted to soothe the small "apprentice". However, commanding authority returned to her voice as she addressed her fellow clan mates, "We need to hail a RiverClan patrol." She was terrified to move the tabby, afraid that doing so would only cause more pain. Beesong knew more about this sort of stuff - this healing job they'd be tasked with. But she wouldn't admit that. At least, not aloud in front of cats who already questioned her judgement. So she hid her fear behind a practiced, veiled mask of ice.​

The kit gasps and startles- but suddenly she’s tryin’ her paw at speakin’ good- that’s good. " my mistake lil’ darlin’ " he breathes out with relief- as she speaks. That’s a good sign innit? Rocky knew medical care as well as he did the roots of a tree. Not a lick of it.

Gettin’ his head bitten off by a molly was something he had long since gotten use too. Moons of cruel quips and constant bickering was his relationship with Amber Gale, with Cinderfrost’s order he freezes up- for several moments too long " I ain’t …. I don’t wanna hurt her more I-" he lets his words taper with the approach of Howling Wing- thank god, his paws started to shake- and he hands her over gently as the post-traumatic stress set in. His paws just weren’t meant for bein’ tender.

get her talking, the dark brown deputy instructs. " yer- … yer gonna be just fine- I bet you’re one tough lady… bein’ you an apprentice already huh? " he tries and his rusty voice wavers.

Howlingwind and Cinderfrost get to work- every wail from the little orange cat earned a wince from Rocky’s marred face. Rocky Ridge did the best he could- bringin’ the grey medicine cat soaked moss and such, but his paws felt numb.

" ain’t no rock in the water did that there- " he eyes the wound and it looks sickening on someone as young as her. we need to hail a Riverclan patrol. " I’ll be s’fast as I can- you hold on there lil’ warrior… " Rockyridge takes a few steps backward but turns on his heel and makes for Riverclan.

// would it be okay if I made a thread in Riverclan? or is that already planned/plotted out <3
The child mewls for her to stop and so she does. The former queen pulls back to fix her with sympathetic eyes, a heavy frown pulling at her lips. "What's your name?" She murmurs, tilting her head. "I'm Howling Wind, we can take you back home, okay?" She's sure the little thing misses her clan and family terribly. Glancing up, she calls after Rockyridge, "We'll be right behind you! Let them know we're coming with their apprentice!" With a soft grunt, she pushes herself to her paws and blinks down at the young she-cat. "Can I help you walk?"