Jun 7, 2022

When the group had come back from the battle bedraggled and down trodden Basil had peeked out from the nursery, fur sticking out at ends like usual and only one eye able to completely focus on the cats as they filtered quietly in. He says nothing but slowly creeps out until everyone is gathered and then, before anyone can stop him he darts out, weaving through legs and under bellies, searching for his siblings “Marigold? Jasmine?” He calls out, searching for their familiar pelts.

He is not quite old enough to understand, to think that maybe there was a possibility they could have left and never come back. “Excuse me” he asks the nearest cat “have you seen my siblings? My older ones, not the ones who are little like me” he speaks very matter of factly, eyes shining as he waits for the answer he is expecting, that they were just behind the group, maybe picking a snack up for Basil and the rest of his littermates. Maybe they had grown tired, for he had heard that battles were really hard and maybe they were just taking a nap? He was not certain but he was sure that wherever they were, they would come back to him. They had to, right?
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With a lowered head and a tail that would be dragging if it were long enough, Mud returned to camp somewhere in the middle of the pack. THere were notably less cats arriving than had left, and already the confused murmurs of those who had stayed behind began to fill the air. Somewhere, someone received news that a loved one had been lost. Their sobs broke through the quiet morning. Mud continued on to lick his wounds, ears flat against his head before a small voice stopped him.

"Excuse me."

Mud paused to look down at little Basil, ears pricked with surprise. His heart sunk. Basil...his siblings were Marigold and Jasmine. They had been among the fallen. The tom's face contorted with something akin to pain and reluctance. Why him? Oh stars, why, why him? A harsh swallow would preface his strained words as he gently sat down in front of the kit. "Basil.....I'm so sorry. Your siblings aren't coming back." He really wasn't good at stuff like this. The kit's other kin should be doing this, not him! "They are with the stars now, and I promise they're watching over you as we speak. They were honorable cats." He didn't know them that well, but to fall in battle for your colony had to mean you were honorable in at least some way.

// He is not good at delivering bad news to children :(
  • yarrow_thin_banner.png
    ── ( ᴛᴀɢs. )  It was a waste, this desperation with which they clung to their lives. The battleground had given birth to the stars, as light comes from the dark, yes, but she cannot help but think that this darkness had stained them all instead. It crept within their hearts and made a home within the dead. What is there to be done of this? There was no discernible way to carve the rot from within them. It was not her wound to heal– it was theirs, all of theirs, and she cannot know what is not offered. All that remains is the agony of lost knowledge and the losses of all those that had mattered. It was a wound for children to bear, and old souls to try and comfort. Basil did not deserve this. His siblings did not.

    Yarrow once might have offered firm words, nothing more than a voice to urge him to move on, to face the future rather than linger on the past. Such advice would ring hollow when she herself does not know how to accomplish it. It is for the best that Mud speaks first. It is clear that he knows more than the molly, at least. "Your siblings," she murmurs, as kindly as she can muster, "what were their names?"

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  • ──── yarrow, eventually yarrowtongue.  cis female,  she - her pronouns.
    ──── approximately five years old,  though age unknown. ages the first.
    ──── sexuality unknown, presumed to be wholly disinterested in others.
    ──── lilac silver ticked tabby with curly fur  and deep,  muted olive eyes.
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”oh” he says softly to Muds words, his nose scrunching up in a pained grimace as he thinks of the possibility of his parents abandoning him. What did he mean that they weren’t coming back? “But uh I don’t want them to be in the stars they seem so far away… and Marigold promised to play with me later” he informs the brown tom very matter of factly, not really understanding. Maybe he had been mistaken? Perhaps Jasmine and Marigold were just behind the group of returning cats and they would come into the camp any moment now. Marigold would ruffle the fur on his head and tell him great battle stories and Jasmine could tell him her stories too. He looks expectantly at the entrance to the camp, waiting for them to return.

His attention is broken by another cat speaking to him. His mother has always told him not to be rude so reluctantly he responded to her. “My siblings are Jasmine and Marigold. They’re not much older than me but mom said I wasn’t old enough yet to fight” he again speaks very matter of factly.
*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ Another child who has lost too much. Haze's heart sinks into his paws as Mud and Yarrow speak to the kit, who does not seem to understand the enormity of the situation. Basil proclaims he does not what his siblings to be in the stars, that they are too far away.

Haze feels like he can relate. It's nice to know Rain is in the afterlife, that he's not just gone, but the stars... well. Like Basil said. They are too far away. The living cannot hold the stars, cannot lick their fur or cuddle them close for comfort.

The tabby rises and approaches the small group, and he tries for a smile. "Say, tell me more about them." He gives Mud and Yarrow a brief glance before he lies his bulk down beside the kit. He flicks his tail. "What did they like to do? What were they like?"

He keeps his tone light, airy, as though they are talking about friends who have gone on a trip rather than children who'd been slaughtered. It's all he can do to keep the grief out of his tone.

Mud had no words, looking visibly taken aback by the kit's response. He wasn't getting it. How could anyone expect him to, though? The tom's heart twisted as he realized he had no idea what to say next to help this child. With wide, almost panicked eyes, he looked up towards Yarrow and Haze, feeling helpless. The weight of the whole war seemed to crash down on him in this moment. Basil would never see his siblings again. They were dead, and that was just too much for a kit to understand. This world was cruel.