what i've given up / little wolf

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ Blaise is a fool.

He knows that now.

He'd been into the forest only a pawful of times, and each time has been brief and sweet. She had intrigued him -- that small, marsh-scented black she-cat with the luminous green eyes -- and he had tempted fate again and again.

He thinks he knows why he's done so, and he still considers himself a fool for the actions he's taking, and they are his burden alone. Valentine, despite being his closest friend, would never understand or approve, and the other house cats would look at him as though he were wearing bones for decoration already.

No, he made the decision himself to depart from his housefolk's nest and blunder into the forest without guidance. He'd arrived with ripped pale fur, a limp, but he'd been greeted amidst the pine needles by a gathering of warm-natured cats. The silver-haired tom called Rain had only been concerned he'd been attacked by the marsh cats.

As Blaise had been accompanied back to camp, by Ember, Haku, Tugger, and the others, he'd realized belatedly that he'd gone in the wrong direction. The scents of the forest were so overwhelming still, with prey, cat, markings, and foliage all assaulting his senses at once. He had learned, too late, that the cats who had saved him were not the ones Little Wolf called her family.

To his chagrin--to his horror--they were enemies.

Blaise tests his paw, finds it ready to bear his massive weight, and flees back towards the marsh where he'd first met her. He has to know. He has to know what's going on--who are the cats who've taken him under their wing, and who is Little Wolf really? Is there an enemy here he isn't aware of? Talk of stolen prey, a child mauled. Blaise does not know what to believe.

He wishes he'd never left the safety of his nest.


She cannot stop thinking of that moonlit night, when she had first encountered the flame point kittypet who now occupied her thoughts, her every waking moment consumed by him and how badly she wanted to see him again. Did he think of her as often as she thought of him? She wondered. Every night since then she had gone to where they had first met, not daring to cross the boundary but staring out into a moonlit forest with light green eyes, searching for any hint that he was there, that he had come back and had wanted to see her as badly as she wanted to see him.

So far, nothing. But Little Wolf had always been a dreamer. It was almost a fault, how badly she wished for something she was certain could never be. How could she ever ask a kittypet to give up his soft life for her? To give up knowing when your next meal was going to be and to give up the security, the warmth of shelter and family, as strange as that family was to her. Would she ever be able to do the same? No, she was certain of it. Her family was more important to her than her own life. Still, she can’t help but cast a longing glance in the direction of the twoleg place whenever her patrol drew near, wondering what life would be like if she ran away to be with Blaise the kittypet.

Tonight was no different than all the others. She would sit and wait for him, wistfully staring into the pines but knowing it was not likely he would come. She is about to give up, to turn around and head home with a weary sigh before she heard a crashing in the underbrush. And then there he was. She freezes at the sight. His beautiful cream colored fur and captivating blue eyes. She smiles so brightly at the sight of him, her heart racing a million miles per minute. “Hey stranger” she calls out as she rushes to greet him “I thought I’d never see you again” she confesses, though now every night spent here waiting has suddenly become worth it.

She steps forward to press her nose to his in a friendly greeting, her eyes alight with glee. When she does though, a familiar scent invades her nostrils and she steps back, shocked. He reeked of the cats of the pine group. She gives him a confused look, eyebrows raised in surprise. “Where have you been?” She asks, not wanting to jump to conclusions, her heart twisting in her chest.
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*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ Despite his wishes, he hadn't expected the undergrowth to actually part, reveal a small and lithe green-eyed shadow. Though the nature of this visit is a little different, Blaise's heart skips a bit when their eyes meet. She's happy to see him, and it makes his chest warm all the way to the pads of his paws... but as she draws near and brushes her nose against his, something changes.

A cloud darkens her expression, but only briefly, as she asks him, "Where have you been?"

Unlike Blaise, he realizes, Little Wolf can discern territory scents right now. She can smell the sap on him, the pine needles, the cloying but comforting smells of Rain's part of the forest.

"I'm glad I happened to come out tonight," he murmurs. He flicks his tail to acknowledge her question, a disgruntled darkness coloring his features. "I..." He trails off. His explanation is foolish, and he knows it, but it's all he has.

He clears his throat, shame burning beneath the piles of cream fur. "Well, I tried to look for you, one night. And I wanted to join your group. Learn to be a wild cat." He laughs, embarrassed. "I know, they might not have accepted me, but I thought... I'd try. Figured maybe you could teach me what I didn't know, if you were up for it."

There's a pregnant pause as he sighs. "I got lost, though. There are so many scents out here, and I haven't learned my way around as well as I should have. I got hurt," he lifts the previously injured paw, "And wound up being greeted by some cats..."

He's sure she gets the point. "Rain," he says. His voice is tired. "I've heard a lot of things, Little Wolf. A lot of really strange things. Nothing really makes sense. Who is Briar? Why are Rain's cats saying Briar and the swamp cats are chasing them out of the forest and attacking their kits?"

Blaise is not accusing her. He may not know Little Wolf as well as he'd like to, but he could not imagine the good-natured black she-cat attacking a child. But he hasn't met her family, her colony, and... he supposes he should let her tell it.

She listens patiently to his explanation and ramblings, sitting back to curl her tail neatly over her paws, though her eyes cloud with worry when he mentions that he had tried to join her group, that he had gotten lost on the way. Perhaps, she thinks, this was for the better. If a kittypet had shown up on the marshes during a time such as this she could only imagine the reception he would have received, wether she had been there to protect him or not would have been irrelevant.

When he describes being injured, holds up the injured paw she lets out a small gasp, unable to contain the concern building up in her chest. “Are- are you alright?” She asks, despaired that she had been the reason for his injury. “Oh Blaise” she laments “you were very brave to have come to the forest looking for me” she was certain if the roles had been reversed she would’ve done the same, it was possible she might’ve even gotten lost and injured like he had. Who knew?

When he mentions Rain her eyes dart away. She did not want to speak of such things right now. Their quarrels with the Pine Group was not something she was comfortable with, she didn’t want to get involved in the petty arguments and the fights over prey. She would much prefer to just work a little harder to make up for the food they were missing and stay out of it altogether. “Briar is the leader of the cats who live in the marsh. She kinda organizes us and tells us what to do, similar to how Rain does” she admonishes. “And they’re probably saying that because it’s true” a shrug of her shoulders and a quick glance at the ground would tell him that she was nervous. She didn’t want him to see her as a blood thirsty monster, attacking children and stealing prey. That wasn’t her, it was everyone else. “It was an accident” she says quietly “Willow, the cat who attacked the younger one, she didn’t know. She was just hungry we all are” she says the rushes to add “not that I believe what she did was right” she tears at the ground beneath her with her claws, saddened that their happy reunion was marred by this depressing talk. “Lotta cats, they feel like Rains group shouldn’t be here. They think that we’ll starve because of them when the leaf bare time comes about. But I’m not like that Blaise” she meets his sky blue eyes with her own forest green ones, pleading, her tone almost begging him to believe her. “I don’t believe those things and I’m certain we could get through it if we just worked a little harder, but other cats they don’t care and they don’t want to listen to reason. They just want things to go back to the way they were before” she wants so badly for the fighting to end but in her mind she pictures Soot and all the other cats who were calling for Rain and his cats to vacate the area and she knows that it won’t, not until the pine cats left or worse. She shudders to think of it.
*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ He can't help but blush again beneath thick fur as she examines the paw. The concern on her face is enough to make him have to look away. "Brave," he murmurs with a sheepish smile. "Foolish, is more like it. I wish I had waited for you to go, but... fate is peculiar."

He can see the change in her face when he brings up Rain; it confirms some of his fears before she begins to speak. Little Wolf does belong to Briar's colony. She explains the cat who had attacked Finch had been hungry, just like everyone else. Some of the tension in his muscles evaporates like a puddle in hot sun. What right does he have to judge these wild cats who fend for themselves, fight for every morsel of meat?

He has no right. Even if it seems barbaric to him to fight a young cat over a mouse tail, he cannot comment on Willow's actions anymore than he can condemn them. He has not known that hunger, that drive, that desperation. Not yet.

"But I'm not like that Blaise." He shakes his head gently. A soft night breeze ruffles the thick fur around his neck. "I never thought you were, Little Wolf. I promise." He blinks at her, willing her to understand his sincerity. He's no mind reader, no empath, but he thinks he can understand a cat, more or less... Little Wolf is not a savage. Maybe none of these cats are. Rain's group has proved that much to him, he thinks.

"I can understand that," he says with a sigh. "Seems I chose the wrong time to leave my housefolk, hmm?" He tries for a lighthearted tone, despite how serious he is. He attempts to touch his nose to her's again, hoping to eliminate some of the gloom he's caused by his line of questions. "I'm not judging you for where you live or who you live with. I promise. As long as you promise to give me the same grace."

He looks at her with wide blue eyes, wondering how she'll feel about this. He was just a kittypet before with no loyalties, after all. But she herself has admitted Briar's group does not take kindly to his kind, whereas Rain's has welcomed him and shared their prey, their shelter, their friendship. He cannot leave them to join Briar's group--not when it could mean his death or injury, or Little Wolf's distress.