when this world drives you to your knees || cicada

Aug 1, 2022


riverclan warrior. 32 moons. tags

He woke up gasping, hackles raised, every hair of his blue tabby pelt stood on end.

He was on his feet before he'd even properly awoken-- disoriented, terrified-- that thunder had tolled, short bursts of furious sound in the sky, what did they mean?-- and he scrambled from his nest, out into the starlight, still blinking sleep from his eyes. Every muscle tense and ready to fight. He'd fought in a goddamned war to protect these cats, he would fight for them again.


nothing was there.

Clearsight stood, shaking, heaving in gasps of air. Alone in the center of camp. Alone. No threat looming, no predators. Nothing. Had-- had no one else woken? Had he dreamed the thunder-sounds...?

Just as likely as not, he mused; they'd been happening so often, and a fear had settled into the bones of every cat old enough to be afraid. Nightmares weren't unlikely.

His hackles didn't lower. His muscles stayed taut. His heart boomed in his ears, breath rattling in and out of his chest.

He wasn't... going to get back to sleep anytime soon, was he. Not with this kind of fear running through him.

Cursing under his breath, Clearsight ran through his options. Sitting here alone wouldn't ease his anxiety either... a walk might clear his mind, though. And... the river had always calmed him. A rest on the shore, eyes on the water, blue and deep and steady. That... was probably the best idea, he figured.

He took a few deep breaths, then intentionally relaxed his shoulders, let his fur rest flat against his back once more. Relax, he told himself. Fear won't help when there's nothing to do with it. They're safe; they're alright. He dipped his head to lick his chest a few times, the soothing motion slowing his heart just a little, and then set off walking. There was a part of the shore he liked-- not too far from their island camp. Close enough that he'd hear and smell if things went wrong (if the thunder-sounds brought danger-- brought something to fight), but far enough to feel alone with his thoughts.

He drew close to the edge of the moonlit water, sat and curled his tail around his paws. Groomed his chest, then his face, breathing in the river's scent, watching the water as it flowed.

Calmed down, moment by moment.

He'd been sitting for a few minutes when he caught wind of a familiar fear-scent-- heard pawsteps in the reeds behind him. "Cicadastar," Clearsight murmured in greeting, turning to meet his leader's eyes. His heart ached, twin pangs of stress and sympathy-- it was painfully apparent why the other tom was awake.

"You alright?" he asked softly. The truth might be obvious, but Cicada still deserved to choose his answer. If he lied, Clearsight wouldn't press.


// @CICADASTAR and now they KISS bond 100% platonically <3

− ♱ ABOUT : the man woke − if one could call it that. after what seems like only moments of fitful, restless sleep, the heavens erupt with another series of bursting sound. the man lurches, shoving himself up on trembling forelimbs, narrow chest heaving with the effort to fill aching lungs. thunder, he’d called it. it sounds too - close now, still sending flurries of bird rioting about the treeline. a quick glance towards the sky tells him too that he'd not been resting long, and that enough gets him to rise, familiar frustration shoving what semblance of exhaustion he may have had from his bones. another sleepless night. another damned sleepless night. as he’s stretching his forelimbs, orbital ears twitching in wariness of more thunder, he thinks briefly of visiting pumpkinpaw — her time in beesongs den would be long, strenuous. that is, is she survived. while it would calm his own rioting nerves, she needed rest . . and she wasn’t the only one. he would not run the risk of waking the poor cinnamon tabby that doted on her, as tired as they seemed nowadays. he thinks to bring him something in thanks ; a gift. something from his garden, as small and feeble as it is at the moment. though he wasn't sure how much the herb - oriented felidae would appreciate another plant in their den.

he could venture out there, however.

the beckoning call of late greenleaf pulls him into the maw of darkness, parting the bushel of reed that marks the entrance of camp without a sound. it had been a while since he'd taken a walk alone, nothing but the sound of chirping insect and bustling river animal to keep him company. he feels less alone in the night ; less burdened, the squeeze of worry fractionally lessening its vice - like grip on his heart, but it would not last. fragrant water flora drifts over him in waves, working to quell the burn of trauma life had inflicted upon him as of late. the further he walks, the more his breathing seems to even out, chin tilted skyward to gaze absently through the willow canopies above. it was a nice night, despite whatever stirred furthest towards twolegplace. his maw twitches, the gentle, sorrowful curve of his maw drooping a tad more. the soft breeze fell upon time - numbed cheeks, the burning need to feel any sort of consistent joy ripping at his chest. to live without fear, without the urge to look over his shoulder at every turn. his aching paranoia, his apprehension . . it crowded his mind, pushed every breath of light from his thoughts.

he wanted to live again.

his paws bring him to the river − of course, they do. another scent rides the wind, whisking warm through sleek curls. familiar, but not overly so. clearsight. he'd dubbed him as such for his perceptiveness, the watchfulness . . as he turns his moonlit eyes towards him, the man nearly quakes. perhaps it was the lateness, the way night had lain him open, exposed delicate nerve endings to the bustling chasm of star - studded void. or perhaps it was his own isolation, the longing for comfort he tries to mimic by curling too tight in his moss - lined nests. whatever it was, the tall felidae feels bare beneath his gaze. a soft you alright? tightens his throat and he glances away momentarily, unwilling to meet the other tom's gaze, lest he not look away at all. a rapid blink towards the sky conquers the abrupt tears that brim over pallid luminaries, squeezing paper - thin lids until it was safe to look back down. clearsight still watches him, gently. without anger, without fear or worry or apprehension," guten abend. " he murmurs, formality wavering at the edges of his accented tone.

pitiful, really, the way he breaks. moving forward to stand aside the crouched clearsight, gazing over the ivory - basked river, cool moonlight glittering in waves back against his icy luminaries. was he okay? " i can't tell anymore, really. " the man offers, weakly. slowly, he lowers himself to the ground aside the blue felidae, adjusting long limbs and pressing alabaster pawtips into the rippling waterline. the water is getting colder with the weather, and it only reminds him of time now lost. the man at his side smells like frothing waterfall and wind, crisp and cool and the mottled leader leans towards him just slightly. a comfort, " sleep keeps evading me. the thunder − " he looks back up. he does that often, nowadays, "doesn't help. " cicadastar forces his gaze back down, focusing on clearsight's face. he was . . attractive. illuminated in a ghostly moonlit reflection, fur rippling with the waves of the water before them. call him weak, perhaps he was − but it disarms him. his shoulders slouch, the urge to lean into him kept at bay only by his own embarrassment.

it occurs to him, finally, that the tom did not seem entirely calm himself. the scent of fear still clings to the ends of his pelt, and his brow furrows lightly, eyes softening, " are you alright? " he inquires, inclining his muzzle just bit. it seemed too tender a night to speak aloud, and if he gets close enough to hear, there is no one else around to witness it, " i won't pretend i'm disappointed to see you . . but what brings you out for a walk this late, liebling? " the pet name falls from his maw before he can think to question it, coming to him too natural in moments of comfort. he offers a small smile, however ; demure, quiet. he appreciated him for being present, as unplanned as it was.

  • CICADASTAR ; he / him. roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − handsome, lanky black smoke tortie chimera with curly fur and icy blue eyes
    − gay. speaks with a thick german accent, former marsh cat, penned by antlers

  • none.



riverclan warrior. 32 moons. tags

"I can't tell anymore, really."

Golden eyes furrow, concern only growing. Cicadastar comes to rest beside him, and Clearsight doesn't miss how the other tom shakes. Hardly realizing he's doing it, the blue tabby begins to purr, a low and comforting rumble; he shifts a little closer, lets their flanks brush. An unspoken invitation for the careworn man to lean in, and an assurance of comfort to follow—solace outstretched, freely given, if he will take it.

Cicadastar does not say much, words fighting their way out of him through bitten-off sentences. Just how alone has he been in his head?—waves of paranoia strong as the river's, a body out of the dark come to kill him, the kind of fight that should've been buried at Fourtrees followed him home from StarClan's blessings. And now that terror strengthened by his daughter's near-death and a new threat on the territory, a kind they can't even fight.

Clearsight does not know the half of it, but he knows how to listen.

He responds soft as pawsteps on thin ice, careful so as not to break. "You've been carrying so much," he murmurs. "Kept the Clan on your shoulders alone. Kept us safe." Sunlight-gold eyes track Cicadastar's response, watching for whether the words land. "You're a good leader, you know."

At the question redirected, he offers a smile that's almost mournful. Is he alright? "Maybe I'm not, but I will be," he says. A moment's hesitation, and he amends, "We will be." And as for why he's awake—"If I'm honest, I don't know. The thunder, or the nightmare of it. Either way, I couldn't get back to sleep."

Liebling. The endearment sends a flush of heat through his cheeks, his chest. Cicadastar's darling. That's—that's. Ah. A pleasant. Thing to be.

He's struck by an impulse, then. He turns so naturally to physical comfort, but would the mottled tom even accept it from him? Look before you leap, so the saying goes and so he always does, looks with clear eyes, actions carefully chosen. He thinks before he moves—but this time he's afraid he'll think himself out of it.

So he doesn't.

The silver-blue tom ducks his chin, touches his nose to Cicadastar's head—it'll be alright—and if Cicada does not pull away, follows it with a soft lick. His heartbeat quickens in his chest, and he wants to laugh at himself for how anxious he is. None of his Clanmates' lives on the line—just his own dignity, if he finds he's overstepped.

It's sweet and gentle and forward. StarClan, it's forward.

"There are a lot of cats who care about you," he says, and prays that his voice doesn't shake. "Your shoulders must be tired." Words roundabout for all that his actions are not. You've carried us alone, but you don't have to anymore.