May as well upload this now, before I forget or something |D
No this doesn't count as my assignment or anything, but I RP'ed with ~AlchemistKitsune
for Bennie's arrival in FireClan
Not the biggest fan of how I did the background, need to work on those
A cream tom padded over sparse grass, alongside a huge gorge. He's never seen anything like it! In the distance, the tom could even make out a waterfall and... Cats? He'd heard of cats living in rough terrain like this, but the tom had always thought they were just tales told to kits! However, the scent of cats did linger in the air, and after all the things he's seen, cats living in the wild didn't come to much of a shock to him. The cream tom took another step forward, squinting his eyes to make the figures out more clearly. After taking another step lighting shot through his body as the tom stepped into air, and plunged down to the hard stone below.
Paws that were delicate in looks yet sturdy and rough enough to walk through the harsh, rocky ground padded softly, step by step as they carried their owner towards the pool of water that supported the Clan. A precious wad of green moss in mouth, Desertrose took her familiar route towards the Fire Pool. Despite not getting out of the nursery much, runs to get water when it was running low were common to queens, especially during hot days when the kits were clamoring for water more often than was usual. The waterfall still at a distance, a close ruckus made the insecure queen leap what felt ten fox lengths off the ground. It had sounded like...
I don't recall anyone needing to go up the gorge at this hour... Could I really be so out of the loop? Or... maybe...
Desertrose's eyes shot wide with horror as she realized that the sound could have been a rogue, maybe one of those DawnClan rogues... coming back to finish what they had started. Pawing the ground nervously, Desertrose looked around wildly, hoping to spot anyone else in the vicinity. Why had she decided to come alone? And how was she supposed to warn the Clan that they might be in danger again? That those horrible kit killers might be back!
And then it hit her... those horrible kit killers. The loathing she had felt the day she had seen her charges being torn to shreds sparked a flame of bravery in the shy queen, maternal instinct kicking in. She would not let anyone else harm her precious kits. Perhaps she was not their mother by birth, but these were her kits, and StarClan be damned if she did not protect them. Hackles raised, she headed in the direction she had heard the loud, thudding sound and groan, the smell of intruder in the air as she prepared to fight off the rogue that dared step a foot in FireClan territory.
Bennie laid in silent pain for a moment, no, a few moments really. His fall had knocked the air out of the tom, it felt like he had a whole hay bale on his chest, however, once the lack of air had subsided Bennie was left with a different problem. His left back limb, paw to bee exact, stung like all hell. But the heavy-built tom was fairly accustomed to pain, and through his clouded thoughts, Bennie decided that laying here was useless, and would probably just result in his own death.
Heaving himself to his paws, the large tom tested out his limbs. All were fine, apart from his back leg that sent shooting pain whenever he put even the slightest bit of pressure on it. Other than that, Bennie found it a little hard to breath, but that was to be expected with the fall that he just took. The tom didn't find time to think any longer when a scent hit his nose. It was the scent of cat, but what worried Bennie was that the cat coming to meet his sure smelled hostile, and Bennie was definitely not up for a fight.
Following the scent of the intruder, Desertrose took what little cover she could find in some dried, desert brambles, her bright yellow green eyes on her target. Hackles raised, Desertrose wanted nothing more than to tear at this cat. Flexing her claws in and out, she studied the cat, a strongly built tom, and noticed that he was sniffing the air gingerly.
A quick check of her surroundings suddenly made it clear to the delicate queen that she was rusty. She had been walking in the same direction as the wind for some time now it seemed. When had the wind changed? No matter, the tom knew she was there, meaning hiding was unnecessary... but he was so big... Desertrose gulped, her bravado sinking slowly as she thought with dawning fear that she was no doubt about to die.
StarClan why am I so mouse brained? Such an apprentice mistake to make... I should have gone back for help...
Bennie scanned his surroundings. Though he could smell a cat close by, there was no cat to be seen. That made the large toms stomach churn a little. Despite the obvious pain he was in, even if Bennie hadn't took that fall he probably wouldn't be in great fighting shape, having gone for so long hunting for himself in harsh weather instead of being in his cozy mouse-infested barn.
After a moment, though, Bennie noticed something else in his stalkers scent. Fear? No, that wasn't right. Bennie looked like a mess! His fur ungroomed, his underfed body looked much too gangly, and his back paw, twisted and all bent out of shape. But then gain, maybe to a cat that was smaller than him...
"Hello?" The tom called out, his voice sounding rough and uneven.
Shaking like a leaf, Desertrose's ears flattened against her head, her eyes wide as she realized she had no idea what to do. The smartest thing was to go out and confront the enemy, make him fear her and hopefully scare him away... but that was impossible. Desertrose had no words to scare him, and her lithe, clean, scarless build was as menacing as a newborn kit's squeal. Her own fear made her unable to realize just how hurt the tom was, and his limp leg went unnoticed by her.
Finally, after a few awkward minutes, Desertrose found the resolution she needed. She was a FireClan cat, after all... was she not? Taking a step out of the brambles, Desertrose stepped out expertly from between the dried branches, her short fur allowing her to not get stuck. Clearing her throat, she let the intruder know she was there, and immediately took on a position that she hoped suggested 'Leave or else', but her eyes betrayed her with a clear 'Please don't hurt me' look in them.
Bennie sighed with relief as a sandy-brown she-cat stepped out from her hiding. The tom was beginning to think he'd gone mad, or hit his head in the fall he took. The she-cat seemed to be trying to.. Ward him away? Questionable, though, because though the slight-built cat took on a hostile position, the smell of her own fear lingered in the air and her eyes seemed to be begging Bennie to go without a fight.
"I erm... Don't mean to alarm you but.." The tom started awkwardly, holding out his hurt paw. "I wasn't paying attention and... Well I fell off that cliff there." He finished, angling his head towards the gorge wall.
Feeling even more threatened by the fact that the strange tom had begun talking to her, Desertrose did her best to control the sudden surge of shaking that threatened to take her over. As the tom kept talking, however, the queen couldn't help but notice that there was a certain amount of friendliness in his voice, unforced and almost unintended, as though if it was a natural trait of his. Following his gaze, she turned her head up towards the gorge, and her skepticism regrew. Wasn't that in the direction DawnClan was at? But yet... he didn't really smell DawnClan, did he?
Taking a tentative step forward, Desertrose hesitated and took two back, her hostile pose slowly turning into a curious one. Who was this cat who seemed to be as clumsy as she was? What did he want here? Did he know whose territory he was invading? And more importantly... did she really have the heart to convince herself to attempt to chase a hurt cat out of their territory?
As the dusky-brown she-cat took on a less hostile position, Bennie almost let out a sigh of relief. However anxiety twisted his stomach in a knot as the cat just stood there, debating? Yes, she appeared to be debating over whether to help the bulk tom, aswell as trying to figure out who he was. Bennie hadn't faced much hostility with other cats in his life, but he'd heard stories of cats who fought to live and set up boundaries for themselves. Could this be one of those cats? But she must know that Bennie couldn't hurt her, not in this condition anyway. So what was the hesitation for?
"I uh.. Well I would be on my way but I figured that traveling won't exactly be an option at the moment." Bennie let out a mrrow, anxiety hidden in his voice.
A curious look in her eyes, Desertrose tilted her head lightly as she looked at the stranger, not meeting his eyes but instead looking at his hurt limb. It really had taken a bit of damage. Probably nothing a medicine cat wouldn't be able to heal, but for a loner like this... it might mean death. A sigh escaped Desertrose as she realized that the answer was no, there was no way she would be able to allow this cat to leave in this condition. Wanting to get a better assessment of him and his paw, however, she took another step forward, and inquisitive look on her face as she turned her eyes towards his for a second before looking back at his leg, trying to let him know she wanted to see it.
Bennie was getting a bit curious as to why this she-cat hadn't spoken to him yet, it was a little unnerving actually. However she was his only chance at getting help at the moment, so he would have to take a chance and hopefully win her over. Seeing that she was trying to peer at the toms back paw, Bennie twisted his leg to an angle that would allow her to properly see his injury, letting out a slightly pained hiss from the moving of his paw.
The hissing noise the stranger made immediately put Desertrose in a tense pose once more, her ears flat against her head as she realized that this tom might still attack her, injured or not, if she got too close. On better look of his injury, however, she could tell it would heal poorly if left untreated. Her ears perking up slightly, she turned her gaze up once more at the stranger, a questioning look in her face. How had he gotten here? What was he doing here?
She couldn't ask any of these questions verbally, of course, but she hoped he would at least explain himself without her need to do so. If not, she could always make herself easy to understand by her Clanmates. A simple look of unease would let them know that this stranger was dangerous... or potentially dangerous... and they would definitely be more eager to shred him to pieces first, ask questions later. A shudder passed through her at the thought. Hopefully it didn't come down to that...
Wrong move, Bennie realised once he saw the strange she-cat's reaction to his pained hiss. He tensed up, and only untensed once he saw that her reaction turned from hostile to curious. He needed her help.
"I wasn't paying attention really.." He stated to explain, hoping it would distract at least himself from the awkward silence, and maybe get this she-cat to assist him in finding help. "I had heard of cats living in the wild, so I went to check it out. Guess I should watch where I tread." He laughed, flicking his tail up to the edge of the gorge where the tom had fallen.
Desertrose couldn't help but grimace at his words. He had no idea how correct he was. Searching for the wild cats was definitely among the list of places he should watch where he was going. Still, his laugh eased her, and turning her face towards the spot he pointed at, she gave a genuine smile. He was no threat to the Clan... why, he was no more fierce than a three moon old kit trying to hunt down a moss ball.
Turning her face in the direction of the camp, she twitched her ear unconsciously in thought, concern plaguing her features. They weren't too far from the camp, but she was worried... His injury was pretty severe. He could walk, but he would limp quite heavily. Would they be able to make it to camp before sun high?
Deciding that staying and fretting about it would do them no good, Desertrose nodded to herself in conviction, then turned back to the stranger, her head tilted to the side curiously. How would she be able to let him know that she wanted to take him back to these wild cats... explain to them somehow that this stranger was hurt and no threat, and allow them to see their medicine cat, a cat with knowledge of herbs and healing? Even if she had the ability to talk, she had the sinking feeling that this was not something the tom would take with ease. Keeping her head low in an attempt to show that she was no threat, she slowly walked to his side, closing slightly on him as she attempted to signal that he could use her as a crutch so that they could hopefully get there faster. She only hoped to StarClan that he would understand what she meant.
Bennie's expression turned to confusion, first the she-cat had smiled, then she'd looked concerned. On top of that, she still hadn't uttered a word. However she seemed trustworthy enough, as resistant to help as Bennie was to be helped, and when she padded over beside him, Bennie let himself use her as a sort of rest.
The sandy colored she-cat seemed to want to help Bennie, and Bennie definitely needed the help, it still concerned him that he could smell more cats on her though. Was she taking him to more cats? Maybe the wild cats he had always heard about? Would they be as friendly as her? Sitting around in pain certainly wasn't helping either of them though, so Bennie decided to heave himself up completely and attempt to follow her.
"So.. What's your name?" Bennie started, trying to get rid of the awkward silence.
Beginning as steady a pace as they could back to camp, Desertrose was happy for the silence that had finally found its way between the two of them as they walked side by side. It wasn't that she did not enjoy the talking... oh no. One of her favorite activities, after all, was listening to the wildly exaggerated stories the kits told her when they got back to the nursery about their adventures that day. However, there was no real way for her to respond to a cat that had no idea of her condition, and while so far she had been able to avoid any direct questions, certainly one would-
Mouse dung! Desertrose thought as the stranger asked her a direct question, and one she could not avoid. Freezing on the spot, she almost had to catch herself from falling into him as she forgot how close they were. Turning her face to his, she gave him a sad smile before she mouthed the words, My name is Desertrose. As always, no sound escaped her lips, and she pawed the ground nervously, hoping the stranger would not take this as an insult or mockery and attempt to attack her on the spot.
"Is your throat sore?" Bennie wondered, seeing as the she-cat was intent on only mouthing words. it would make sense, really, as she hadn't spoken yet. Still, Bennie wasn't good at reading lips. "I can try to guess your name, if you'd like." He offered, picking the pace up a little bit.
Desertrose shook her head, turning her gaze back to the front. Her throat was in no way sore, but at least he was getting the idea that it wasn't that she didn't wish to respond to his questions. The mute queen sighed. They still had a ways to go to the camp, but hopefully the stranger would understand the urgency to get to shelter. As the day passed, the territory would get hotter and hotter, until the ground beneath their feet would feel like searing fire, and the heat of the gorge would make their mouths water and their minds grow blurry until insanity kicked in for a few minutes before their inevitable death.
Bennie was slightly relieved when the quiet she-cat didn't accept his offer to guess her name, as the tom wasn't all that good at playing charades.
"So you think some cat could help me?" Bennie wondered, knowing that the she-cat wouldn't really need to talk in order to answer him. Seeing that she seemed to be in a hurry, Bennie picked up the pace as much as he could before the leg he kept held up shook too much and caused discomfort, pain. Why was she in such a hurry?
Keeping as brisk a pace as she could while still making sure she could offer her support to the stranger, Dessertrose nodded. She had no doubt Emberstripe would take but a look at this tom's injury and find a way to cure him. After all, sprains were rare, but not unheard of in FireClan. Then again... most cats were better at climbing the gorge than this tom. At this thought, a purr of amusement escaped her.
Even though Bennie was fairly sure about the answer, he still felt a bit relieved when the she-cat conformed his ability to be healed. The bulky tom didn't bother asking if they were almost there, as far as he could see there was a discouraging nothing but hot ground and cliff walls at all sides. He noticed the she-cat smiling though, he seemed to be on her good side. That was a plus, at least.
"Desertrose what?" Kindlestar asked the mottled apprentice with a look of surprise, her eyes wide.
"She brought back a stranger. He doesn't carry the smell of any other Clan on him, so he must be a loner," Cliffpaw responded in as official a voice as he could muster, although his paws were quaking in both fear and excitement at the fact that he had been given an order as important as talking to the leader. "He's at Emberstripe's den now..."
Kindlestar's eyes narrowed dangerously at this piece of information. The last time a loner had gone to the medicine cat den, neither medicine cat had survived the ordeal. This putting her on high alert, she quickly got up and made a beeline for Emberstripe's den, Cliffpaw easily keeping up with the more petite leader. Almost ignoring Emberstripe as she marched in, she padded to where the loner was, her pupils slits. She was caught off guard, however, by Desertrose's rather comfortable composure next to the large tom as she lay down next to him, still looking tense, yet nowhere nearly as tense as she usually was, and a small smile on her features.
Her arrival not having gone unnoticed, Desertrose looked up and quickly grimaced, noticing the angry look on Kindlestar's face. Not daring to sit up, wanting to maintain herself on lower ground than Kindlestar, she turned her face to the ground in embarrassment. How could she have been so stupid as to have forgotten to go to Kindlestar first? Hearing Kindlestar clearing her throat, however, she turned her face upwards again, expecting to see the same angry eyes, yet meeting a somewhat more confused face that gave her some hope.
"Desertrose... It isn't like you to pick up strangers... Please tell me you have a good reason to not ha- to have brought this loner here. You know what happened last time!" Kindlestar mewed in a voice that was level yet with an icy tone to it.
Nodding, Desertrose gave the leader a determined look, yet quivered halfway through and lowered her face, turning a shyer one at the tom she had brought with her. Following her gaze, she turned her look at the tom that had been brought to the camp, and her eyes narrowed slightly again. What could this tom have possibly done to earn Desertrose's trust enough to be brought here? Even if she would have been unable to chase him out due to her lack of fighting skills, she could have easily alerted other warriors about it.
"Who are you? Why are you here?" Kindlestar asked, Cliffpaw's hackles quickly raising behind her as the attention was brought to the rogue.
Laying in a strange den with cats that kept murmuring in.. Concern? Bennie couldn't help remember limping into the actual camp. More cats than he had ever seen, cats of all ages had looked up in surprise, and almost all of their expressions turned hostile, or frightened at least. What damage do they think Bennie could do though? Especially with his busted-up leg?
The tom was jolted back in to reality at the arrival of a small tan-black she cat with a fiery expression. When she started questioning that she-cat who had helped him here Bennie noted how the cats around her seemed almost scared of her, and when she spoke the petite cat held an authority in her voice that no cat challenged. When she turned her gaze on him Bennie found that he had to tell himself not to flinch.
"Who are you? Why are you here?" She asked in a harsh tone. Bennie noticed the cat behind her bristling and figured that his answer better be thorough.
"My name is Bennie" He started, surprising himself with the amount on confidence in his voice. "And I lived in a barn for my life, hearing of cats that lived in the wild, so a few moons ago I figured that I was tired of just hearing about them, that I wanted to see them for myself. When I got here I guess I wasn't paying enough attention to my surroundings. I fell off the side of the cliff." He finished, combing through the explanation in his head to make sure that he didn't forget any important details.
Kindlestar felt relief as she realized that Desertrose no doubt realized this cat could in no way be a threat to the Clan. She had no desire to help him, being the loner he was, but she knew that Desertrose as much too motherly to allow an injured cat to go away without any care. Her relief slowly turned to annoyance, however, as she realized that this cat had taken such a long journey for nothing more than mere amusement. Now she had an injured cat in her paws wasting her Clan's resources even further... and only because he had been bored. Frowning, she turned to Desertrose, who could only shrug in response, making Kindlestar give an exasperated sigh as she turned back on the loner.
"You should have considered staying back in the barn. This place isn't meant for cats like you. We have rules here, and surviving means we take care of our own. Strangers aren't welcome here," she mewed, her eyes narrowed dangerously as she spoke. "You are lucky to have encountered Desertrose. Any other cat in this Clan would have not thought twice to escort you out, injury or not. You should thank her," she continued, an fuzzy eyebrow raising itself as she ignored Desertrose's look of horror at being further acknowledged as she tried to make herself look as small as possible.
Bennie felt a rush of embarrassment as he realized he had yet to thank the she cat-namedDessertrose for her help. "Thank you" He meowed apologetically to the silent she-cat. Turning back to the irritated cat in front of him, Bennie shook off his shyness.
"I didn't mean to cause trouble, however I didn't really leave the barn out of boredom, as much as curiosity. And if the curiosity wasn't strong I probably would have turned back by now." Bennie stated, keeping his voice as polite as possible.
Kindlestar's irritation melted way slightly at the stranger's honesty. She could see why even Desertrose found herself more at ease around him, despite his being an outsider. Unfortunately, this did not take away the fact that he was an outsider. A loner at that! It had been hard enough to get her Clanmates to accept Emberstripe, who had been sent by StarClan... this Bennie would be simply impossible to get them to trust.
"Unfortunately, your curiosity means that I have a cat invading my territory, taking up space for my sick and injured in the medicine cat's den, and possibly another mouth to feed if I don't run you out of here first," she responded, her icy tone gone, now replaced by a more concerned one.
"I say we run him out!" Cliffpaw mewed, his tail high in the air.
At these words, Desertrose's ears perked up. Standing up quickly and in high alert, she walked between Kindlestar and Bennie. Keeping her head low, she gave Kindlestar a begging look. She couldn't send him out like this! He was too clumsy... he would never survive without the help of the Clan. Surely Kindlestar understood this?
"That's enough out of you, Cliffpaw! Go tell Twopelt that we have an injured loner in the medicine cat den, and tell him to wait for me at my den. I need to discuss this with him. Gather Dawncloud, Viperfang, and Pounceflight as well... the senior warriors will want to hear about this," she mewed.
"B-but-" Cliffpaw squeaked in a protesting voice.
"That was an order," Kindlestar interrupted him, her voice growing sharp once more. As Cliffpaw left in a rush, Kindlestar turned her gaze once more towards the queen standing before her. Her gaze growing soft with a flicker of a smile, she mewed, "It is alright, Desertrose. I am not heartless, you know."
Bennie's chest had tightened, then relaxed, then done the same thing several more times. He understood slightly why these cats would be so reluctant to help the tom, but would they really throw him out? This cat, did they say his name was Cliffpaw? He didn't seem to like Bennie.
At least the one that seemed in charge, Kindlestar didn't seem to have the same opinion as him. And Dessertrose helped as well. Bennie was thankful for that.
The tom's tense posture had not escaped Kindlestar's notice, and after Desertrose had finally eased enough and had gotten out of the way, the petite leader walked forward, inspecting the intruder. She couldn't well call him a prisoner, as she had no intention of ill treating him, but it was clear from her gaze that she was thinking about what exactly to tell the hoard of possibly angry cats outside the medicine cat den who were no doubt already flexing their claws at the anticipation of running this tom out. The leg did look injured, however, and she could tell why the mute queen was so against his leaving. This would not heal on its own, and hunting was certainly out of the question for him. Unable to stop herself, a smirk crossed her face as she realized that the voice that kept telling her to let him stay was the reason she would be so eager to kick him out in the first place.
"You said your name was... Bennie?" Kindlestar finally spoke after she was satisfied with her inspection. "You will have to apologize Cliffpaw. He is a young apprentice still, and only recently lost many of his denmates to a band of rogues who attacked and killed many of our kits and apprentices."
At these words, Desertrose flinched with a pang of anguish. She remembered the attack too well still. It was this very attack that had driven her to find Bennie in the first place. She had hated those rogues... in fact, she still did. She could never forgive them for the innocent lives they had taken away from her, and just like any other mother, she still grieved her adopted kits... but Bennie seemed different, and as she raised her green eyes to look at the two chatting cats before her, she was knew Kindlestar could see this as well.
"My name is Kindlestar, and I am the leader of FireClan. I understand your condition is bad... because of this, I will let you stay here while you heal. Emberstripe will take care of you until you are safe to walk and hunt again, but after that, we will part ways. FireClan has been hurt by outsiders many a time, once the clan starts fearing you might be a threat, I cannot guarantee your safety anymore," she mewed calmly, as though if she were speaking of nothing more severe than the weather. "Emberstripe came to us just a mere moon ago as a loner, however, so you will be safe with him."
As she finished talking, she got up and headed towards the opening of the den, but stopped halfway through and glanced back at Bennie, an apologetic look on her face as she mewed, "I'm sorry I can't do more. If you have any questions, please feel free to call on me. Emberstripe and Desertrose both know where to find me."