private WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO KNOW / moonstone

( ) Oh, how far has he fallen to find himself dozing in this place? The heat of the sun is heavenly, that warmth thrumming through his veins with a fervor unmatched by any twoleg creation. No matter what they provided for him, it could never seep into his bones the same way the sun did. With this, it instills in him a certain weakness. The desire to sleep. The ability to dream.

And how odd they've been while he's slept in this wretched place. Scenes unlike any other lived in his dreams. Soft dawn always painted the sky in pink and blue and gold. The trees lining his vision were always distinctly pine; long logs with pointed needles on the branches. The light of the sun seems to overpower its usual, sickly green. It brings a smile to his face.

Tonight, the light seems particularly vivid. The dawn sky reminds him of his own complexion, deep pinks and reds piercing through a line of sky blue. Valentine can't help but stare. His eyes sparkle with wonder at the artificial dawn. His own complexion remade in the eyes of higher beings; he'd like to believe that, at least. This heart wells with something strange, a certain reverie. He can't understand why, why his mind would busy him with thoughts of a place so insignificant. A place to unwind, maybe, to leave behind the monotony that comes with seasons of staid living. Still, it is far from a home, but his mind tells him otherwise.

The heavens sing their praises; the forest greets him with bright birdsong and blinding light. His paws guide him deftly, and whispers seem to rise from the earth he treads, humming low in his ears. His throat rumbles in a languid purr, a pleasant buzz in his chest as he carries on. He's light as a cloud, high as the sun. He doesn't hear his own purring; no, not until the forest quiets, and that's all that is left.

His purr catches in his throat. Eyes that had slipped shut in bliss now shot open. The stars seem to greet him when he does.

Bright─ blinding, magnificent. His heart skips a beat. Crystallized light coalesces and winds toward the sky. It's something he never could have imagined, and yet, everything he's ever dreamed of. There's adrenaline in his veins. There are stars in his eyes. He isn't sure he's ever felt this, such adoration. A thick-plumed tail flutters behind him, nothing less than giddy. He wants to touch, to feel─ to explore. The whispers encourage him, had fell silent at the door only to crescendo into welcome noise, a song that caresses his ears; demanding, heavenly. He's never agreed with something more. Breath caught in his throat, he reaches out─


He wakes with a gasp. Paws clutch at peeled bark. His eyes are wide, his mind is shaking. Jaws part in a silent wail of dismay. So close, it had been so close. His hiss breaks through the quiet dusk. He's never been quite so irritated, he thinks. He seeks to calm the thrashing of his heart, and he fails. Claws curl into the branch he sits atop, twitching, neurotic. He craves to feel it again, the pull of the stars, their warm embrace─

But if he quiets, if he draws still. In between the wind beating of his heart, if he focuses, the whispering─

His descent into camp lacks any sense of decorum, and in this state, he can't quite bring himself to care. Blue eyes seem to blaze in the dim light, swelling with a strange ferocity. His tail lashes, pointed ears twitch at the slightest sound.

"Blaise," he hisses low. His eyes narrow into slits in the presence of the flame point. There was no time to linger, no time for questioning. The importance of the matter would far exceed whatever mindless task he may be in the middle of. "We're leaving."

[ . . . ]​

The pine forest has long since passed behind them now. He doesn't busy himself with thoughts of here and there. The claims to land any others have made do not concern him. All in this moment are merely the two of them, and the voices that curl dulcet around his ears. They offer praises the closer he draws, and in reply, he whispers his thanks.

He softens under the watchful eye of the moon as she rises past the horizon. But still, there's a hurriedness in his steps and sharpness of his gaze. The twitching of his tail gives away his lack of patience. His breath comes out strange. Oh, he can't find it quickly enough─

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Blaise awakens to a quiet hiss in the dead of night. "We're leaving." He lifts his head and stares at Valentine, outlined in moonlight, with sleepy confusion. "We are?" He yawns, jaws stretching powerfully before he puts his head back onto his paws. "Can't it wait?"

But there's something in the urgent stance Valentine has taken, the impatient gleam in his eyes, that causes him to lift his chin again. A deep sigh of resignation shudders throughout his immense cream-colored body. "Alright. I'm up."

Once the fatigue has worn away, he revels in the strange excitement of following Valentine under the stark, glowing moon, the gleaming far away stars, the whispering dark forest. Adrenaline erases any trace of exhaustion, and his stride is powerful behind the ruddy tom.

They pass through the oak forest, the place Ember has claimed as ThunderClan. He wonders briefly how she's doing, how her Clan is, who all has gone to join her, but the thought passes. He will see her again on the full moon, and they will find out.

They come to the clearing between the mighty four trees, a place Valentine does not recognize but one that holds reverence for Blaise. He treads carefully on ground that had been unturned to hold the bodies of their dead. Rain is there. He feels sick, thinking that he is walking on their bones, but then he chastises himself: No. Rain is there. Towards the skies, a single glimmering star among millions.

He does not truly become nervous until they stumble through the moorlands. The smoky blue queen who had claimed WindClan had been fierce, proud, almost giddy at the chance to isolate herself and her Clanmates. He does not think she'd be pleased with two kittypets traipsing around her territory. Valentine, though, is undisturbed, walking with a purpose, and Blaise follows him placidly.

They make it to a strange place, where stones crest towards the sky as though they are reaching for the stars. Blaise is weary, at this point, his paws aching and his muscles screaming. The journey has left him even more exhausted than he'd been when Valentine had woken him, and his belly rumbles with hunger. "Do you know this place?" he speaks in a whisper, as though others might hear him. But it doesn't seem there's anyone here.

And there's a cavern, a dip that wells beneath the earth. The idea of going inside frightens him, but there's undeniably something enticing about the dark entrance.

He looks at Valentine uncomfortably. "Are we... are we meant to go in there?" Val is the one who'd had the idea to walk all this way. Blaise assumes he will know what to do from here. He's trusted him this far, after all.