to be your own master
Aug 27, 2022
[ putting this up here for visiblity: thorn is a manipulative and abusive dude, and this thread shows some of those tendencies. if you know that this is a difficult topic for you, please be careful reading! ]

❝  He's lounged outside of the apprentice den, long tail flicking and tapping against the ground, when Foxpaw returns to camp. There's something unreadable in his eyes, though his ruffled fur and heaving chest beneath still-damp fur speak of a recent training session of his own. Whitethroat was an unforgiving mentor, but he found that he appreciated it in an odd way. As much as he may detest the tom, he knows that these lessons will be important when the time comes. Thornpaw tries not to think too far ahead in his life. The world was a chaotic place. Chaos reacted to chaos; to plan a future was to build a house on quicksand. But there are some things he cannot help but hold close to the front of his mind. An integral part of his future, in whatever respect it may come to be. Like Foxpaw.

He doesn't like that she is becoming part of this place. It feels as if he can never be part of it with her. His mentor is harsh, his family is gone. All those that had battled for this place for him had bled out for it as well. Would she leave him, once she realized how many others here cared for her? The leader himself had taken an interest in her, after all. He would train her, as if she needed it. Needed him. I am all that you need. Each time he says it, sure as can be in all of his silent language, it is a plea to his own ears. With a harsh huff of breath, he shoves those thoughts aside and pulls himself to tired paws, approaching her with a vibrant grin. "Fox! Hey, come on, I want to talk to you." Not even waiting for an answer, the taller apprentice nudges her towards the stepping stones that lead them across the river and into their clan's territory, farther away from prying ears.

  • 1_by_puffasto_df6njr5.png
  • THORNPAW. snarky apprentice of riverclan, at least for now.
    ──── uses he - him - his and will not acknowledge others.
    ──── eight moons old.  formerly a marsh group member.
    ──── sexuality unknown,  seems uninterested in everyone.

    a tall, lanky brown tabby with ragged ears and intense amber eyes. though he carries himself with predatory certainty, his shoulders are often hunched and his body low as if to make himself smaller.
  • "speech"
There's a push and pull guiding Foxpaw right now - sometimes physically, but certainly emotionally. Seeing her siblings at the Gathering has shoved her into a low, staticky state of regret and grief that she's been slow to pull herself out of. Lakepaw and Wolfpaw are siblings separated by Clan borders and Clan loyalties, and yet that hadn't stopped them from showing each other affection.

Perhaps it's because Lakepaw does not feel guilt. Foxpaw isn't sure she's even capable of such a thing, whereas the calico is drenched in it like so much river water.

She'd been thrilled to have been selected as Cicadastar's apprentice. There'd been that little light inside her, a spark of desire to fit in, acclimate alongside her mentor and leader and become a RiverClan warrior worth being proud of one day. Adapting to this new home, leaving her old behind.

But Thornpaw hadn't been impressed, and Thornpaw is her only friend in RiverClan. He reminds her of home, the place she'd been desperate to escape, but there's still the shadowy scent of it on his tabby pelt and it's enough to make her tremble. She misses it as much as she fears it - it takes her back to days before war, before a monster had stolen her mother from her.

She tumbles back into camp on tired paws, but is immediately alert as Thornpaw calls to her. "Fox! Hey, come on, I want to talk to you." She aims a small smile his way, dips her head in acknowledgment and pads close to him as though he is her mentor, rather than Cicadastar.

Her eyes glow with honey-fire warmth as she nears him, as he uses his body to guide her towards the stepping stones. She's just come this way, and her body screams for her to just find her nest and curl up for the day, but she wants to spend time with him.

"Sure! How did training go for you today? Did you and Whitethroat do anything neat?" She's careful on the river stones, having to hop due to short legs and paws not acclimated to wet surfaces yet. "Cicadastar is really interesting. Kinda hard to understand, though. I gotta pay attention."

She feels like she's rambling, and she stops, tempted to put a paw to her mouth. "Is - is everything okay, Thornpaw?" She gives him a look that is both hopeful and nervous. Had she done something wrong?