watch the water boil | waking up

Lilybloom's thoughts are dark and cold. In her dream state, she is surrounded by the dark with nothing to see. All she is aware of is the sound of rushing water and then suddenly its all around her, swirling around her, engulfing her, choking her. She thrashes wildly desperate to escape but to no avail. She hears voices around her but they're too distorted to make out nor can she make out where they're coming from. Mom? Dad? Lilybloom desperately wants to call out to them, to beg for help, or just simple comfort but no words come. The only thing that seems to respond to her is the water. And stars does it burn...why does it burn?

The dream ends rather abruptly, and Lilybloom jolts awake, a startled gasp parting her jaws. Despite the terrifying ordeal that had haunted her thoughts she is surprisingly calm for the moment if a little confused. This certainly didn't look like the warriors den nor did it smell like it. Where was she? The tortoiseshell yawned lazily and turned slowly in her makeshift nest, finding it to be a surprisingly difficult task having unknowingly not moved for some days. "H-hello?" She calls out, voice weak and strained from not being used. "I-i-is anyone there?"

ooc - tagging @BEESONG if you want! but anyone can post first <3
Iciclepaw's paw pads prick with relief when she hears her sister's voice. It's a rasp, weak and strained, but it's a sign of life, and the smaller, younger tortoiseshell pokes her head into the medicine cat's den as soon as she hears it.

Her pale blue eyes are clouded with emotion, but when she speaks, her voice is calm. "You're not alone, don't worry." She pads into the den so she can give her sister a quick nuzzle before hastily stepping back. "How are you feeling? Do you need anything?"

She wants to know why it had happened, how. She wants to grill her sister, maybe even admonish her. They all knew how to swim, right? Mudpelt and Icesparkle made sure! How could Lilybloom have almost lost her life to the river their Clan thrives around?

But she doesn't. She won't. Not yet. Maybe not ever. These past few weeks have shown Iciclepaw how fragile, how fleeting, a cat's life can be. How any of her family is fair game to the crazed and angry claws fate wields.

It's better to be kind and reasonable when she can. "Beesong just stepped out," she mews. "I can grab them, if you'd like."

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A S H P A W.

Ashpaw's right on Icicle's heels, ginger kitten-fluff groomed sleek by Willowroot just this morning. She scampers toward the medicine den, peeking in at Iciclepaw's big sister.

She doesn't know what happened exactly, but she knows Lilybloom got hurt yesterday.

Ashpaw knows what it's like—the terror that comes with waking up and the certainty that you aren't safe, actually, and no matter how much the grown-ups say you're safe you still feel like you're back there.

She follows Iciclepaw inside. "Hi Lilybloom," she says, and sits nearby, tucking all four paws underneath herself. She misses living in the medicine den. Even if it was only for a little bit, she misses Beesong and Pumpkinpaw and the soft quiet safety.

Iciclepaw attempts a nuzzle and murmurs soft reassurance. Ash isn't used to the other girl being so gentle, but after...

Well, everyone's been changing lately. It feels like bad things have happened to everyone. Ashpaw wonders if it's ever gonna stop.

"Yeah," Ashpaw affirms. "You're not alone." Icicle asks if Lily needs anything, and Ash nods along. "We can help! I can show you AntClan. Playing with them always make me feel better."

She leans closer and whispers (still plenty loud enough for anyone else to hear, no doubt), "I know after bad things happen sometimes you're still really scared. Don't worry, we'll protect you."

She nods toward Iciclepaw, green eyes burning certain, hoping the other girl will agree. They didn't used to get along but maybe now they will. They can be the Lilybloom protection squad!

—— " i found gold in the wreckage "

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The first face she sees is that of her sister Iciclepaw. Her brows crease in confusion for a moment not quite sure what she is doing here - wherever here was - before her expression softens. Her sister comes forward and assures her she is not alone and gave her a small nuzzle on her head before stepping back. Ashpaw isn't far behind, coming in and sitting nearby, affirming her sister's words the whole time. They seem content on cheering her up and Lilybloom is glad for the sentiment at least, even if she doesn't fully understand what was going on.

"I don't really remember much," Lilybloom conceded after a moment. Each word is incredibly difficult to say with her strained voice, but she tries her best to hold the conversation. She really doesn't remember much of what happened, on ly brief, violent flashes that are as sudden as they are emotionally painful. "W-what happened? Was it bad?" She manages to ask. Lilybloom wants to know but a small part of her is scared of the answer she is likely to receive.

✵ ღ ☾ IT TOOK ME BY SURPRISE - For a while, she had been pacing. Back and forth, to and fro, tail lashing and teeth gritted.
Inevitably, she had eventually be shooed away, and pacing turned into gnawing away at her cheek.
She can still taste the blood when she takes a seat outside of the medicine den. Her only friend- thrown into the river by some fucked up twist of fate.
The voice is delicate, hoarse from neglect, but it’s hers.
It doesn’t take a heartbeat before Lakepaw is shouldering her way through the entrance, sapphire optics falling onto Lilybloom with a soft breath of relief.
The tortoiseshell is surrounded by children, which may have been the only thing keeping the blue tabby in place. ❝ Lilybloom… you’re awake. ❞ She’d comment, making her presence known in the dim lighting of the den. Carefully, she’d now pick her way through her friends cavalier of kittens, until she was settling down at her side.
What happened?
Something cold grips at Lakepaw’s throat then, icy.
I froze, Lil. I fucking stood there and froze.
Yet, those aren’t the words that she speaks. ❝ You ended up in the river, Houndsnarl was able to get there in time ❞ she explains, voice uncharacteristically gentle. ❝ How are you feeling? Do you need water? ❞
❝ Speech. ❞

Iciclepaw has a follower. She turns and blinks at Ashpaw, who offers kindness, helpfulness, to her injured sister. Despite her misgivings about the orange she-cat, she has to dip her head gratefully to her. "I don't know if we can protect her, but..." She frowns. It seems an impossible promise.

Lilybloom seems borderline delirious, though. Iciclepaw frowns at her sibling, shakes her head. "You... you don't know what happened?" The water, the rapids... Houndsnarl going in to save her... the young tortoiseshell doesn't speak for a moment, concern creasing her face. Is her sister damaged more than she looks?

Lakepaw, the blue tabby with the lame leg, comes in shortly after. Lilybloom's friend. The white-marked tortoiseshell acknowledges Lakepaw's presence and explanation with an ear flick. "I thought you knew how to swim," she murmurs. She meets her sister's green eyes for a moment before moving her gaze away. "Right. I'll get some water. I'll be back." She pads briskly past both Lakepaw and Ashpaw, her head held high and her expression tight, controlled.


There is a third arrival into the medicine den - Lakepaw. Lilybloom has to admit she is surprised to see the silver she-cat standing there but she is otherwise glad for her presence, giving her a grateful nod when she wove her way through the younger apprentices to sit beside her. Her ear twitches as she listens to Lakepaw explain what happened, her words and Lilybloom's only flashes of memory putting together quite the picture for what had happened. She nods slowly, more to herself than to any of the others, she understands.

I thought you knew how to swim.

She knows her sister likely didn't mean to cause offense by saying that, but something about her words rifle Lilybloom and she tenses. "What do you mean thought?" Lilybloom questions, her voice surprisingly clear in that moment. But Iciclepaw is already leaving to get some much-needed water for her, leaving Lilybloom's question unanswered. "I can swim," Lilybloom said in a low tone, looking at her paws.