<streakpie> So, how does one know when their day has officially become 'bad'?-- by Ratpaw's view, it was when you slipped into a puddle of mud whilst on patrol, and found yourself on the edge of SkyClan territory. By then, it was pretty bad.
Ratpaw's pelt, that was usually so sleek and glossy, was on end and streaked with mud. He might've not been the cleanliest cat in the world, but this was still an annoyance.
He was well-done with SkyClan, too, and was skirting along the border to get back to camp. He'd rather not bump into any SkyCaln patrols, they were a nosy bunch.
And just as he thought this, he spotted a brown cat on SkyClan's turf. He heaved a sigh. Great. Just great-- he knew, miraculously, his day bad gone from bad to worse.
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw was around in the area near the border, breaking off from the dawn patrol to explore. She was a new apprentice and only yesterday had Cloudchaser shown her around the territory. She saw a brown tom, his fur clumped with mud. She let out a purr of amusement and mewed, "Ever tried washing?" She barely heard herself and hoped it came out right in the way she wanted it to.
<streakpie> He heard someone call out to him. His tail twitched. It was a she-cat's voice. The scent of SkyClan hit him hard. Her voice was a little foggy, due to the distance, but he caught what she'd said.
"Ever tried washing?"
Why, that snarky, impertinent little--
He turned on his paws, his eyebrows raised, to face the she-cat who'd spoken. She was a lightish brown. Couldn't tell much else from this distance.
"Have you, sweetheart," He called back, his silky voice clipped with irritation, "Ever tried shutting your mouth?"
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw narrowed her eyes in a silent dare. She smirked and called back to him, "I can't hear you." With her speed she ran to the tom and jumped on him with all four paws, knocking him over. She leaped off and sat beside him, whiskers quivering. "Ever tried fighting?"
<streakpie> Ratpaw's breath was knocked out of him. For a few moments he was bleary, then he realised that she'd essentially knocked him to the ground. By the time he'd snapped out of the daze hitting his head against the floor had given him, she'd gotten off.
"That," He snapped, struggling back onto his paws. "Was rude, sweetheart. Rude."
His overlarge ears twitched. "Oh please. I could fight you with one paw tied behind my back, honey."
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw huffed. "Don't be calling me sweetheart," she mewed. She picked up one paw and examined her claws. "But yes, it was rude, wasn't it?" she said with a hint of pride. The brown apprentice narrowed her eyes. "If you can fight so well, why are you still sitting there?"
<streakpie> "I'll, heh, 'be calling you' whatever I please, sugar." Chuckled Ratpaw, flashing her a nasty, uneven grin, showing off his underbite.
Ratpaw's grin disappeared immediately. He leapt to his paws. "I'm not sitting anywhere. I'd keep that little mouth of yours closed, sweetie, don't want to get into trouble, now, do we?"
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw rolled her eyes. "If you're quite finished, I've got a Clan to get back to." She rose and started to pad away; looking back at the tom, she raised a paw and cuffed it over one of his ears. The brown apprentice quickly skipped away in SkyClan's direction. She halted a couple cat-lengths away and called back to him, "There's a new thing called washing! Try it sometime!" The SkyClan cat chuckled and climbed up a tree, watching the ground for him to pursue her.
<streakpie> Ratpaw gritted his teeth together. Oh, that's it. No one should speak to him like that-- most especially, most especially not a she-cat.
"Oh yeah? Oh yeah?" He hissed, tailing after her, in the direction she'd run off, though he'd lost sight of her. "Well, there's this new thing called-- called..."
The words caught in his throat. He swallowed his irritation and quickly shot a clipped smile into SkyClan territory. "Where you hiding, sweetie? Scared of the big bad rat? Running back to your precious SkyClan?"
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw scoffed loudly. "I'm up here, you dope!" she called down tauntingly. The tom stared at her at the foot of the tree. "Aw, what's the matter?" she said with sarcasm, "Can't the poor WindClan cat climb trees?" She made a 'tsk tsk tsk' noise and shook her head. "How pitiful."
<streakpie> Ratpaw quirked his arching eyebrows, staring up the tree. His ears gave a noticeable twitch.
"What's the matter, SkyClan?" He shot back up at her. "Too cowardly to come down here and fight like a tom?"
"Oh-- sorry, I forgot," He grinned, and shook his head, "She-cats. Typical. Always prancing around acting like they're all that."
He reared up on his back legs and placed his paws on the trunk of the tree. "I'll have you know, I could climb this if I wanted to. I'm too noble. I wouldn't dare lay a claw on a delicate little she-cat like yourself."
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw rolled her eyes again. "Just so you know," she called down, "we she-cats are all that. Buuut if you're too afraid to climb up here, I'll have to climb down there, now won't I?" The brown cat was at the foot of the tree in four graceful hops down the branches. Not hesitating she leaped at the brown tom, pummeling his soft belly with her hindpaws. She aimed a swipe at his muzzle and nipped one of his ears. "You fight like a tom," she puffed between struggling breaths. "Weak and predictable."
<streakpie> At being attacked, Ratpaw was shocked. He yelped in surprise. He felt a pinch on his ear and, for the second time today, force was applied to his belly and his breath was forcibly knocked out of him.
He spat and hissed and struggled away from her, his breathing short. "Ugh! Sweetheart, somebody needs to learn to respect her superiors!"
Cracking her one last unattractive, crooked smile-- Ratpaw lunged at Turtlepaw with a hiss, aiming to bowl her over. Usually, he wasn't so direct in his assaults. He preferred to skip around and run away. But this she-cat needed to learn some manners.
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw hissed at him while dodging his attacks. "I'm older than you!" she spat. "So you learn to respect me!" She unsheathed her claws and swiped them swiftly over the brown cat's face. She pulled back and her white paw was tipped pink. She stepped back. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I didn't mean..." her voice faltered and she stared at him, making sure he was alright.
<streakpie> Ratpaw screeched at the sudden flash of pain. There were thin scratches across his face. They stung, and blood had trickled down his nose, but they were very shallow.
But he wasn't happy. "What-- what the hell-- you filthy, disobedient she-cat... I'm gonna... I'm gonna--"
He arched his back, his hackles sticking straight up and his tail bristling, and hissed at her, his claws unsheathed. "Your apologies are meaningless-- garrgk, you've ruined my good looks! You'll pay for that, she-cat! Mark my words! MARK THEM!"
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw sat there, a smirk forming on her face. "Don't push your luck, darlin'," she spat out the last word like crowfood. She crouched down and in a heartbeat leaped in the tom's direction. He dodged and the brown apprentice managed to clamp her teeth around his tail. "How you fightin' now, eh?" she said, her voice muffled by his fur.
<streakpie> Ratpaw gritted his teeth together and surpressed a hiss of pain. He whipped around, his eyes blazing, and violently lashed his tail, in an attempt to throw her off. But as such, his strength was pathetic. But his tail was exceptionally skinny, so he managed to rip it from her mouth, losing a few tufts of fur in the proccess.
First his face, now his tail. Oh, she was so in for it.
He bounced out of reach, his teeth bared and his muscles coiled. SkyClan cats were strong-- much stronger than he was, anyway. He didn't want to get into a tangle with her. But he wasn't about to let her go scotfree, either.
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw smirked. "You fight terribly," she observed while tussling with him. "I'm surprised you're not in the nursery playing with the kits." She pushed all of her body strength up and knocked him down. She planted her forepaws on the tom's chest and raised a paw, claws unsheathed, prepared to strike at him again. "Either fight me or get your smelly body off of SkyClan territory." She bared her teeth in a snarl and moved her face closer to his until their whiskers brushed.
<streakpie> Ratpaw breathed a ragged breath into her face and hissed at her, "I'm not on any territory... if you'd just let poor ol' Ratpaw up," He broke for a few moments, panting, "... Then we'll see who's the bigger man..."
Ratpaw's chest was heaving. It had been a long, hard day, and he was dirty and very tired. This scuffle with Turtlepaw had taken it out of him and his body was just about ready to give up.
But he couldn't say that to a she-cat...
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw huffed. She narrowed her green eyes suspiciously. "Alright, you can go." She got off him and sneered, "Now get away, little kit. Mama's calling." She flicked her tail and rolled her eyes. What a dumb cat.
<streakpie> Ratpaw rolled back onto his feet, leaves clinging to his pelt. He rose to his paws, and started to pad away, when...
He wheeled around, his face distorted by a ferocious snarl. He let out a strangled hiss.
"You leave my Mama out'a this!" He hissed, launching himself at Turtlepaw, aiming to bowl her over.
<wafflepawed>Turtlepaw dodged with little effort. The tom had his head down and the brown apprentice planted a soft paw on it, making him fall onto his belly. "I'll do whatever I please," she retorted sharply. She unsheathed her claws and pushed down harder with her forepaw planted squarely on his head. "Now go, unless you'd like a little more pressure on this?" She gestured with her tail to the paw, narrowing her eyes deviously.
<streakpie> "Ah-ta-ta-ta! Hold on, now!" Squeaked Ratpaw, squirming. He didn't bother grinning this time. "Come on, I need that head-- it's got my brain in it! My brain! I'll go, you crazy she-cat, I'll go!"
He squirmed again, this time more desperately. He prayed that no one would see or hear about this. "You're lucky I'm so damn tired, else I'd..."
He trailed off, squirming more fervently, "I'll go, okay?! I'll go!"
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw eased the tension. "Uh-huh. You just scurry off now." She scoffed and lifted her paw. "But come back and just see what happens." She rose and padded away, climbing up a tree and resting on a low branch, watching him to make sure he left to his own territory.
<streakpie> Ratpaw hestitated for a few moments longer. He saw her climb up the tree banch, and his eyes narrowed with revulsion.
He started to walk backward to WindClan territory, his eyes fixated on Turtlepaw, and he spoke up to her, "You've made a very powerful enemy, she-cat. You'll rue the day you crossed Ratpaw! This isn't over, SkyClan! This isn't--"
Unfortunately, Ratpaw wasn't looking where he was going, and he was walking backward.
He tripped over a log. He spectacularly fell backward, and tumbled down a slope.
"OUCH-- geeze-- OW-- NO-- STARCLAN ALMIGHTY-- OW--"
Finally, he rolled right into WindClan territory, wincing.
"--over..." He finished pathetically.
<wafflepawed> Turtlepaw rolled her eyes at the tom and huffed. She flicked her tail along the ground and watched him topple over. The brown cat padded back towards camp and shook. Barely touched me, she thought proudly.
<streakpie>Ratpaw limped off back to camp, burning with humiliation. Bested by a she-cat, he thought. His embarrassment knew no bounds. But he prayed that would be the last time he'd ever see that brown she-cat, else he'd shrivel up and burn with shame.
But, if he ever did, thought Ratpaw savagely, instead of shriveling up in an embarrassed ball, he'd settle the score.
He smiled as he tiptoed back into camp. He hoped he never saw that little brown she-cat ever again-- for her sake.