you're a madman ;; pollen



She'd seen the look from the femme after Sootstar had punished Kestreltalon. The shame, the disappointment- Hyacinth found herself confused by the very look as Pollenfur walked away. It wasn't like Moonshadow's, who's eyes showed no reaction to any of her words or actions. The only time she truly showed a reaction was when Hyacinth asked for one, almost like a soldier wouldn't speak without permission from their superior. Pollenfur wasn't like that, however. She always had an issue with what Sootstar had to say or do, and she expressed it pretty outwardly. Her worry for Honeytwist confuses Hyacinth.

"Wait, Pollenfur-" As Hyacinth followed after the much taller molly, she found herself struggling to keep up with the fast-paced walk that was obviously meant to leave her behind. She scrunches her face up, frustrated by her avoidance. "Why do you look at me like that?" She asks bluntly, confused- innocently so, for once. All she knew was a life like this one, she didn't know how to act outside of her militaristic ways. She'd always been like this.
The tortoiseshell's ears flicked, surprised to hear Hyacinthbreath calling to her. She's through the gorse tunnel, intending on disappearing into the heather beyond their camp. She doesn't know where she's going to go - perhaps she'll make good on her word to Honeytwist and Dandelionpaw and attempt to find some supplies for their new patient. She doesn't know. She just knows she doesn't want to be near Sootstar or any of her warriors any longer.

She pauses and waits for the small silver lynx to catch up to her. "Why do you look at me like that?" Pollenfur's heavily-lidded amber eyes flash. Hyacinthbreath looks genuinely perplexed, as though she truly doesn't understand how barbaric that display in camp had been.

Pollenfur wonders - perhaps she doesn't.

"Let me ask you something," she says, flicking her tail against the other's pale flank. It's a gesture to walk with her. She thinks better when she's moving - and she speaks better, too, though the rambling seems to be worse that way. Pollenfur's anger has mostly dissipated, burned away to cinders of bad feeling that she can no longer name.

"What is it that makes us feline? Sentient, intelligent creatures?" Pollenfur's voice is calm. "Why are we different than the ants, the rabbits, the foxes?" She holds no key answers - she wants to hear Hyacinthbreath's genuine, honest truth.

It's insight she's after, not a lecture.


As Pollenfur slows down to match her pace, Hyacinth catches up long enough to keep at her side, the tail against her making her attention remain on Pollenfur instead of avoiding eye contact like she usually did in situations like these. She didn't feel like a kit being scolded, but she was indeed learning in her own way. She listens as the molly speaks, curiosity sinking in to the confusion that flickered in her eyes.

"What is it that makes us feline? Sentient, intelligent creatures?"

Hyacinth's eyebrow quirked at the question, already confused by it. Them being sentient was just a fact, wasn't it? Being more intelligent was just a gift they were given by StarClan, she'd say.

"Why are we different than the ants, the rabbits, the foxes?"

That question, on the other hand, causes Hyacinthbreath to think a bit more. Her face scrunches up as she ponders just how different they actually were from each other. The only thing, she could suppose, that made them different.. "We speak in different languages, I suppose. Nothing makes us much different than the fact that we're different in terms of appearance... We can't just communicate with a fox, I think." She responds with a blink, wondering where Pollenfur was taking this.
"Nothing makes us much different than the fact that we're different in terms of appearance..." Hyacinthbreath's words cause Pollenfur to look at her appraisingly. "Yes, I agree... I suppose most sentient creatures have their own moral code as well as their own languages, right?"

She sighs. Watching Sootstar's claws flash in the sunlight, the blood weal from Kestreltalon's unseeing eye - it's going to stick with her, and it's going to stick with the youth of the Clan. Kestreltalon will bear those scars after Sootstar's death, provided the molly outlives their leader.

She prays that's the case, though she can't say that much to Hyacinthbreath. The lead warrior is utterly devoted to Sootstar, and Pollenfur can't see why. Weaselclaw was clearly getting something out of the relationship, being Sootstar's ... mate? Pollenfur isn't sure. But the striped silver warrior isn't Sootstar's mate, is only a follower who's risen through the ranks.

"When I first learned what was important to me, I was quite young." Casual tone. "My father died in a tunnel collapse, and my mother left us on our own to grieve. I haven't seen her since." She remembers that ache in her chest, that loneliness that had consumed her being for moons until she'd decided to leave. "My sisters were all I had left, but I wanted to find my mother. I left, hoping I would... but I found myself instead. I slept under strange stars, ate strange prey, learned to thank gods whose names I couldn't tell you now." She smiles wistfully. "And yet... despite it all, I came home. Brightshine had been abandoned by her mate, you see. Mallowlark and Echolight were fatherless. And I knew she would need the help."

She shrugs. "I suppose this is my long-winded way of asking you... what is she to you, this mad woman? Why choose to soil your claws for her? Soil your soul?" She fixes Hyacinthbreath with a stare. "Because I fear that's what you are doing right now."


Pollenfur's words strike a chord in Hyacinthbreath's cold heart, sends her reeling in thought as she speaks. This seems to be a pattern tonight, it seemed. She must have struggled, living out there alone with only herself to talk to. Hyacinth knew how that felt, but she also wanted so eagerly for Pollenfur to make sense in this moment. And then she does, such a miracle in doing so- Hya keeps her eyes on Pollen as she talks about her family, about her parents. She doesn't say anything, doesn't try to relate to the molly- this was her time to talk, and Hyacinth would let her.

It wasn't against the rules to ask questions like these.

In this moment, she wasn't Hyacinthbreath the Lead Warrior. She was Hyacinth, a cat of the past. She sees herself in Pollenfur, and that terrified her.

"I suppose this is my long-winded way of asking you... what is she to you, this mad woman? Why choose to soil your claws for her? Soil your soul?"

Pollenfur's question is heard, but not reacted to too much outwardly. Hyacinth seems to idle momentarily, as if processing the words- she'd never been asked that before, never been doubted on her moralities. She hesitates for a moment, hearing the follow-up soon after. "Because I fear that's what you are doing right now." Hyacinth's eyes shoot back up to look at Pollenfur, measuring the seriousness of this talk, of this conversation. Was it really worth it, baring herself to Pollenfur right now? A cat she barely knew that well?

Hyacinth takes a deep breath, gathering herself before she begins. "She's all I have left." She answers simply at first, eyes squinting as she tries to find a good way to explain herself, her position. Someone was giving her a chance to talk about herself, and here she was gawking like a shocked goose. The silver lynx takes a shaky breath in once more, struggling not to breathe like a child pushed into a corner. But she walks, and continues to walk- finding the multi-tasking rather calming after a while.

"I'm not from these lands, ja?" Hyacinth begins with a shaky voice, her normally stoic expression cracking- revealing the walls built beneath, the insecurities, the fear. "My homeland is far from here. We lived in a colony, back then. Not so much like the Marsh and Pine colonies, or the ones we live in today. We.. Lived under the Deity's rule, back then, my parents and I." She meows, already beginning to tell herself to shut up, just shut up!, as if that would help her feel better. She knew it wouldn't. The world flashes to black, and she's a young tom again, desperately trying to seek out the Deity and her mother's approval. Always desperate, always needy for recognition. She shakes herself from the flashbacks, struggling to focus with what to say once more. She's reminded, then, that Pollenfur might not know of the Deity. "The Deity was.. Was like StarClan is for us now, in a way. But he lived in our world. Walked where our paws walked. And we worshipped him, because he took care of us. Or.. Or I thought he did."

A shiver wracks down the molly's spine and she feels stupid for even talking about this. "My parents and colonymates died when I was still young. The Deity convinced them to eat.. Deathberries. Told them it would bring them 'home', back to where they came from. A test of loyalty, he said." She meows bitterly, lip quivering as she fights back the single, angry- mournful tear that slips down her cheek. She didn't cry, Hyacinth had tried to stop crying- STOP CRYING! She halts then, angrily wiping away the tear that dared slip down her cheek. "But this has nothing to do with the topic, does it?" She bitterly muttered to herself, violet-aquamarines stare up at Pollenfur, expecting her pity. Expecting her 'how does this have anything to do with your loyalty to sootstar?'. She was expecting it, but at this point she wouldn't blame her. Pollen hadn't come for the full sobstory, the full 'oh, poor hyacinth' moment. She came for her motivations behind standing with Sootstar, and the answer is stated as plainly as that.

"How can I stain my soul, when I already have? I have nobody else to follow, no other purpose in life. My purpose died when my family did. Sootstar is all I have left of people I can believe in. She.. She's j-just.. Going through.. A lot right now. That-That would explain why she's acting so brash lately." She shakily musters out, biting at her inner cheek. A reminder. "Even if I were to disagree with her, I would be just as bad as the traitors. Just- Just as bad as those who pose a threat to the Clan. Without unity, there is only chaos."
Pollenfur takes her wandering eyes from the horizon to Hyacinthbreath. The other woman has a shakiness to her breath - what she is about to tell Pollenfur is not happy. The tortoiseshell furrows her brow and prepares herself. "She's all I have left."

Hyacinthbreath, as she recounts, takes on an accent, a touch of something strange from her past. Pollenfur is instantly reminded of the night she'd shared with Honeytwist, her soft and almost curling tones like wisps of smoke as she spoke about the streets of Paris.

Buy Hyacinthbreath is not telling Pollenfur about a place she wishes to return to. A colony ruled by a cat who called himself the Deity, godly. Unkindly, the calico sets her jaw in a line and compares the monster in question to Sootstar. Inciting violence to instill loyalty. Calling oneself a blessing from the stars. To her, there is no difference, even if Sootstar has not killed any of her subjects... yet.

She's admittedly shocked at the silvery, fragile drops of water that slick down the lead warrior's cheeks. Pollenfur could not imagine Hyacinthbreath crying before this moment, but now that she's heard her story, well...

The calico offers the other molly a touch to the shoulder with her nose. She would attempt to meet Hyacinthbreath's eyes, amber on blue, searching for something. "It has everything to do with the topic," she murmurs. Her voice is laced with sorrow. "You've walked a hard road. Your paws are bleeding. This is what you know, hmm?"

She withdraws, sits. She beckons Hyacinthbreath to sit beside her, though she will understand if the other cannot or will not. "Sootstar is not the Soot you knew in the marshes, if I had to guess," Pollenfur says. Her voice is dark. "That she-cat has come into power cats only dream of. More than your Deity, even, since she can die and be ressurrected." Pollenfur's gaze darkens. "Your soul is not stained. Not yet. But the further this goes, Hyacinthbreath... the more of your Clanmates and other cats who are maimed or killed..."

She flicks her gaze to the stars, emerging from a violet sky. "Do you think they aren't watching Sootstar? I wonder... do they agree with what she's doing, what she's done? Or are they preparing to strike her down where she stands?" She knows nothing of StarClan, nothing but what she's seen with her own eyes in Sootstar's bullet-riddled body returning on a foggy dawn. "I would like to know. I wonder what they tell Honeytwist in her dreams."


It's almost childish, the way Hyacinth reaches out to Pollenfur as she withdraws from her side, only to realize that she had moved to seat herself instead. Hyacinth feels her face burn with embarrassment at her own clinginess in this situation, scolding herself for the show of weakness. A habit that had yet to die, yet to curdle in its wake- reminding her of everything she used to be. Everything she tried to bury under the cold, stoic exterior she put up. She's comforted by Pollenfur's presence, a thought she never imagined would actually ring true. Hyacinth moves to follow Pollenfur, seating herself down beside the molly. It's silent for a few heartbeats as she sniffles angrily at herself, glaring at the ground.

"Sootstar is not the Soot you knew in the marshes, if I had to guess,"

Hyacinthbreath flinches at the words spoken, but she shakes her head- refusing to believe Pollenfur. Sootstar couldn't be much different, she had more responsibilities, after all. She swallows nervously, struggling to come to terms with the overflow of words she wasn't used to. "Your soul is not stained. Not yet. But the further this goes, Hyacinthbreath... the more of your Clanmates and other cats who are maimed or killed..." Hyacinth shakes her head, refusing to believe this. "We can't just assume StarClan didn't want this, though, right? Why have they done nothing but reward us, if Sootstar is doing so much wrong?" She asks, genuine in her intentions to get more answers. However, the mention of Honeytwist is met with an unamused narrow of Hyacinth's eyes, though she still remained willing to talk.

"Maybe they're powerless to do anything themselves. I've never heard of ghosts fighting the living." Hyacinth questions as she stares up at the sky, pondering just what these cats were doing. How did they even live up there, did they eat prey? Or did they not need to, since they're dead? Was their hunger sated forevermore, up there? "When I joined WindClan, I was hoping to find a place where I could be someone that'll be remembered. I wanted to leave my past behind, but it's reflecting in the way Sootstar acts now." She admitted, head hanging low. Tired, exhausted. "I can't do anything. If I speak out against her, I know she'll take my rank from me. Without that rank, she won't trust me anymore. And I can't have that."

Pollenfur can feel Hyacinthbreath crumbling, though it's resisted with every fiber of the silver tabby's being. She fights it, she offers excuses for their leader, she postulates - "We can just assume StarClan didn't want this though, right?"

The tortoiseshell sighs. The stars are beginning to brighten now, brilliant points of pale fire above them. "I don't know," she admits. "I don't know anything about StarClan, except what Sootstar and Honeytwist have told us. But to think they were both chosen by the same spirits..." She flicks her ear. Cruel, it seems, to inflict WindClan upon Honeytwist for her kindness and her ability to heal, only to appoint Sootstar as its leader and bless her with nine lives.

Hyacinthbreath says, Maybe they're powerless to do anything themselves. I've never heard of ghosts fighting the living." Pollenfur gazes at the other she-cat, thoughts shrouded with the mystery of it all. "Perhaps you're right. Perhaps they're not as all-powerful as some of us like to think." She wonders if they are regretting their choices, now, watching Sootstar wield her claws against a Clanmate screaming she cannot see.

She listens for a moment. Hyacinthbreath says she joined WindClan hoping to find a home where she could find the pieces of herself she'd lost long ago. Where she could leave her horrific history behind her. "But it's reflecting in the way Sootstar acts now."

Ah... Pollenfur narrows her eyes, looks at Hyacinthbreath who hangs her head. "I'll never understand that," she murmurs. It's nonjudgmental, clear. Power. "The most powerful I've ever been is at my siblings' side, looking at innocent kits who share my blood. Looking at the stars with a girl who understood me. Being able to go wherever my spirit led me, wherever my paws could walk." She shrugs, then reaches out to bump her face against Hyacinthbreath's.

She pulls back and says, voice patient, "You have more power here, though, than most. Sootstar trusts you. Maybe you can prevent more of this senseless violence from happening... use your past for good, instead of becoming someone you won't recognize." She smiles, sad. "Did you truly agree with what happened to Kestreltalon? I have to know."


Hyacinthbreath was the shell of a scarred, defenseless child who built herself up through blood and struggle. She'd always believed that she was better off as Hyacinthbreath the soldier, the cold-hearted brute that didn't depend on anyone. When she lost her family, she lost her whole life too. She had nothing to return to, no family to stay with. With her arranged mate dead as well, there was no way for her to pass down her bloodline, either. Something sacred to her, in reality.

Amethyst hues widen as Pollenfur leans in to bump her face against her own, and Hyacinth is reminded vaguely that this type of thing was okay. It was okay to be affectionate to friends, to show simple signs of care through touch. Where she was from, that wasn't something held highly in reality- to touch someone else when they were unmated was taboo, but this wasn't the same anymore. She was safe here, in the quiet solace of Pollenfur's presence. She leans into the touch thankfully, bumping her head back against Pollenfur's own, however awkwardly so- hesitating halfway. A purr rumbles deep in her chest, involuntary despite her own embarrassment.

"It is not wrong to feel power in freedom, in your family. I didn't.. Get to feel that, back then. And now, I suppose." She chuckles softly, saddened and yet not bothered by the words. She finds no jealousy in her for Pollenfur, for she had been stuck to stay with her family here, to suffer with them. She wouldn't wish that upon anyone, let alone kits.

"You have more power here, though, than most. Sootstar trusts you. Maybe you can prevent more of this senseless violence from happening... use your past for good, instead of becoming someone you won't recognize."

Hyacinth nods along in agreement- she couldn't be more right, in this situation. Every single day, she feels herself losing it more and more. Her self-control, her anger flying out of control. She found comfort in Pollenfur's honesty, yet her gentle caution reminds her of her position. She had a job, and this was Pollenfur giving her a chance to be something different than a cold-blooded soldier who only lives to follow orders. She's no Duskfire, but the idea of abandoning everything she believed in; Sootstar particularly, scared her. "I'll.. I'll try my best. I'll do what I can, for you and everyone else." She promises with a sad smile, leaning to bump her forehead against Pollenfur's own.

Though, the question about Kestreltalon makes Hyacinthbreath freeze, slowly pulling away from the taller molly. She scrunches her eyebrows together once more, in thought. Her punishment was harsh, indeed.. "It was a lesson that needed to be learned, but not so harshly. I think Sootstar took it too far, but if I would have stood up then, I'd only be making a horrible example of myself. A time like that isn't a good time to try and reason with her. I've known her long enough to know that she would probably do the same to me if I intervened." She meows, dejected- a coward she was back then, and a coward she still was. A cat like Sootstar wasn't to be messed with. "Who knows, she might even kill me for it. She's got plenty of lives to spare unlike myself." A bitter laugh, the she-cat didn't find it funny though- brutality like what happened to Kestreltalon shouldn't be the norm in this Clan, but that's the WindClan that Sootstar made, and she wasn't going to fight to change it. Not yet, not when she still had plenty of lives to protect herself.