Jun 8, 2022
( ✧ ) Frustration burns raw in his stomach.

Frustration at the stranger who had waltzed into the lives of so very many, with the stunning debut of murdering the supposed leader. A coward, Quail's hiss rings clearly in his mind. The mindset of a killer who only chose to wallow in her own self-pity once she couldn't go any further. He hadn't been listening hard enough to find out what happened to her, and in that moment, he couldn't care. The feelings toward the killer couldn't compare to those toward the victim.

Ember, who'd nearly caught him off guard during their spar under Rain. Ember who'd come out of the battle with her sight. Ember, who'd led him and others to 'ThunderClan'. Ember, bestowed with life after life, approved of by their very own ancestors, cats who may have fallen to her very own claws, now bestowing her with a gift unimaginable.

And she'd fallen to little more than the insanity of a petty rogue. One of the gifts only just granted to her, ripped away by the claws of a stranger. She shines bright, despite it all. Sickeningly positive, sickeningly niave. All that strength wasted on someone so dull. She continues to pretend everything is fine and dismisses the outcry. Because of course, she can watch her. Of course, she can save her. Emberstar can handle just anything, can't she?

The Clan swarms around her in a frenzy of distress and dismay. Rightfully, they argue against the murderer's innocence. Details of her encounter with the ghost cats fly around in a blur, a dull length of time Star only spent waiting.

And when he sees his chance, he takes it.

He surges towards the voice of Ember, walking with a certain purpose he hasn't held in what felt like moons. He doesn't concern himself with who or what may be in the way. Only with his destination, and to his surprise, he doesn't stutter. "Ember," he hisses her name like its a sin, ears pulled back against his skull as he scrambles for her attention. His fur bristles along his spine, surely enough of a clue for others to not bother them. "You cannot, be serious. Did you even get her name before she murdered you in cold blood? And now you're letting her stay? Did she rip your sense from you along with your life?" You're supposed to be better than this, the words go unsaid.

[ @emberstar ]

A familiar face pulled apart from the crowd, spitting her name like a curse. It tooks her a moment, in all the confusion, to recognize who it belonged to. "Star." She greeted, forcing a smile. "Heya!" Despite his caustic tone, she forced herself to face his words without flinching. Politely waiting for him to finish talking to give her reply.

"I did get her name, it's Cinderfrost." Ember told him helpfully. "I think I mentioned that? Maybe I didn't." A lot had happened, and her head was still spinning. Either way, she hadn't really had a moment to give the clan a proper introduction to their new medicine cat. She wondered if she should try and fix that. It took her a moment to pull her focus back the conversation at hand. "Starclan said she should stay and I trust them." She repeated simply with a determined nod. "I'll keep an eye on her, she won't hurt any of you."

It was the same thing she had repeated to everyone else who asked. She didn't like the feeling that was building within her. One she couldn't name.

"It's good to talk to you again though!" she blurted out suddenly with a grin. "I feel like we haven't talked at all since settling into the camp, maybe even before then! How are you settling into the clan, how are you feeling?" the questions were eager, overly so. The joy of their sparring in the pine forest was still sharp in her mind, she wished they could just be like that again.
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( ✧ ) I did get her name, it's Cinderfrost. The explanation immediately draws a sigh from his tired throat. Only speaking with Ember has the ability to age him so in such a short amount of time. He shudders a breath, forces his fur to lie flat with... variable success. "Not the point," he grits. The rest of her babbling is just as- if not more irritating. He raises a brow at the declaration. Does she honestly think she's enough to keep an eye on this supposed 'Cinderfrost,' 24/7?

Of course, before he can voice that out loud, she's all too keen to switch topics, plastering on that smile of hers in favor of what's essentially small talk. His eyes are quickly falling half-lidded, his anger threatening to fall into stark boredom. "Yeah, we haven't, too busy fighting in wars— look," a flat tone suddenly drops into a hiss. His head aches. "This is not about me, we—" A flare of the nostrils, a falter in his step.

"I know this is you, we're talking about, but surely even you have to be wary of someone who just killed you in cold blood? Maybe?" he says, and at this point, he sounds like he's begging, sarcasm lilting into the form of a genuine question. "You're a warrior, Ember, full-fledged, star-blessed— does she get to walk over you because the stars deemed it so? She won't change, and even if she does, no one will ever have a reason to believe she won't kill again. What then? Do you keep watching her till you're old and grey?" his tail lashes with the intensity of his words, a streak of white harsh against the grime of this earth.

[ Terribly late reply, won't happen again <3 ]

A gentle smile and a tilt of the head meet the hiss that snaps into his tone. A polite indication that she was listening to him, even though she didn't want to. He was saying the same thing everyone else had, even with different words. "Of course I'm wary of Cinderfrost." She reassured as warmly as she could muster, forcing the tinge of exhaustion that tried to work its way into her tone out. Better than any of them, she knew how dangerous their new medicine cat was. It was her that had felt it firsthand. Yet, she knew what the stars had told her. Not a single member of a clan seemed to understand that, why she had to do this. He was no different.

It was exhausting.

"What then? Do you keep watching her till you're old and grey?"

That question struck a different nerve. Her eyes darted away from him. She... hadn't actually considered that. There hadn't really been time to, everything was happening so quickly. "I'll do whatever it takes to keep everyone safe." Emberstar answered noncommittally. That she couldn't dismiss it outright sat uneasily with her, so she tried to get to the heart of it. It sounded like he was concerned that she'd waste her life away guarding Cinderfrost, right? "If it's me you're worried about don't be. I was already a great fighter, you know that, and now I'm practically immortal. Watching after her won't even make me break a sweat!" she told him dismissively, pulling a touch of humor in her tone as she spoke. "Besides, you don't know she won't change. I'm already friends with plenty of people who tried to kill me, what's one that succeeded? The stars chose her for a reason, and that might be because they know she will change."

The thought reminded her of one of her darker ones, and her mouth moved before her mind caught up. "Maybe they even gave me these extra lives because they knew..." that Cinderfrost would kill her. She trailed off before she finished the thought. It had crossed her mind, but she wasn't sure if she wanted to believe it. It would mean that everything would be alright, and that their medicine cat would change. Yet it would also mean her friends in the stars knew the danger they had beset upon her, and did anyway. So the thought hung silently over mind, something she neither believed nor didn't. "...nevermind." She laughed, shaking her head.
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