DrowsyInsomnia - Jumppaw
BellaMidnight746 - Cloudpaw
Jumppaw slunk into the apprentices' den, his new favorite find in his mouth. He trotted over to his nest, littered with colorful feathers and smooth stones. But this, this find would be the gem of his nest of items, the most splendid of them all. It was a semi-rough piece of pine bark with a colorful streak down the middle, the ends scratched off due to Jumppaw's effort to remove it from the log he found it on. But he couldn't just keep it hidden under his nest, this was a special find. He had to share it with somebody! He trotted up to the first apprentice he saw, a fluffy white she-cat. He tapped her shoulder excitedly, kit-like joy in his eyes.
"Look! Look!" he mumbled through the wood piece in his mouth.
Cloudpaw turned around, "Oh Hi Jumppaw!" Then she noticed the wood in his mouth and cocked her fluffy white head her green eyes sparkled with curiosity. "What's that?" She asked, excited by his find.
The brown tom dropped the piece of wood at his paws, turning it on the side with the streak. "It's a piece of cool bark I found! See the cool streak in it?" he squeaked, a wide smile on his young face. An idea then popped into his head, "Hey, I think I could find you a piece, too! I just, erm, have to remember where I found it," he admitted, blushing under his fur.
Cloudpaw purred happily, "That would be amazing!" She bent down and inspected the wood, "I like the streak." She looked up and blinked, "Whenever I find cool things like this, I collect them too. I have a little hole out in the woods where I keep them." She shuffled her paws with embarrassment at the confession.
Jumppaw's ears perked up. "You collect stuff too?" he asked, excited to have a shared interest with another cat. "Well, as you can probably see, I just keep all my stuff in my nest." he admitted, lowering his ears in embarrassment. "Anyway! I'll, uh, try to find where I found it. I'll take the bark bit with me so I know it's the right tree!" he confidently meowed, turning on his paws and trotting to the exit to the camp, tapping his paw waiting for Cloudpaw.
Cloudpaw nodded as she followed Jumppaw to the exit, "yeah, I do like collecting things. And it's ok if you can't find the tree. I'll understand." Cloudpaw was happy to find that she and Jumppaw shadred an interest. She had been beginning to worry that no apprentice would be like her. She brightened up, happy.
"Aw, you're too nice. Besides, I'll find that tree! Even if it takes...til Coilsoil gets mad at me for being out so late." He ended awkwardly; his father didn't like him being out late unless he was on a patrol. "Well, let's go!" He skidded out of the exit, landing muzzle-first in the evening snow.
Cloudpaw laughed and raced after him. But she stopped quickly when he fell. "Are you alright?" She asked with concern. She nosed him gently to help him up.
Jumppaw's face felt warm at Cloudpaw's question, wiping his face after he got up. "Yeah, I just kinda lost my footing for a sec, heheh. Now we're finally gonna go find that cool pine bark!" He ended confidently, jolting towards the vague direction he remembered returning to camp from, leaving shallow pawprints in the snow as he ran.
"Oh good, I'm glad you're ok." Cloudpaw hurried after her new friend, beaming. She leaped nimbly over a branch that had fallen and poked up in a bunch of different directions. She couldn't wait to see the tree.
"Okay," he panted, "it should be somewhere around here, I'm pretty sure." He put the piece of bark down again, making sure to memorize where the streak would be. "Okay, we might have to split up to find the tree, but I think you'll know it when you see it, heheh." He trotted off to the left, trying to reserve the energy he didn't use dashing to the area.
Cloudpaw nodded, "Ok." She gave the peice of bark one last look before heading to the right, looking for the tree. As she wandered around she gazed at the tree, looking for the right one. Then she spotted something, "Hey Jumppaw?" She called over her shoulder, "I think might have found it."
The brown tom's ears perked toward's Cloudpaw's voice, trotting over to her side. His mouth was agape, it was the tree! Missing bark patch and everything. He gave a firm nod, smiling with his whole face. "It's beautiful, isn't it, Cloudpaw?" he asked, his breath short, the sunlight making the streak sparkle brightly.
Cloudpaw was staring at the tree in awe. At Jumppaw's voice, she jumped and turned to him, "Wha? Oh yes! It is amazing!" She smiled at him shyly, "You are really good at finding things. I'm pretty sure I would never have found it."
Jumppaw felt his face flush again at Cloudpaw's compliments. He tilted his head towards the tree, "Go ahead, take a piece." He meowed calmly, his tail slowly swishing against the snow as he placed his piece back on the ground. He went back to staring at the beautiful pine again, making his eyes widen happily.
Cloudpaw's tail flicked in excitement and she approached the tree slowly. She extended her claw and cut off a piece. She picked it up with great joy in her eyes. "Oh thank you, Jumppaw!" She exclaimed, her voice muffled.
"Oh, um, you don't have to thank me!" He meowed, a bit shocked, lowering his ears again, smiling awkwardly at the pretty she-cat. "We should probably get back to camp before a sundown patrol finds us and makes us get ticks off the elders." He joked, shrugging his shoulders and scooping up his bark piece in his mouth.
Cloudpaw purred, her eyes warm. "Yes, let's head back. I really don't feel like tick duty." She turned in the direction of the camp, "Would you like to lead the way back?"
"Of course." he meowed softly to her, walking just ahead of her, snow crunching beneath both of their paws. He turned his head to look at her again, the golden light of sundown illuminating her figure from behind. He quickly swiveled his head back towards the direction of camp, feeling embarrassed for taking a look at her, increasing his pace.
Cloudpaw noticed and fought back a purr. Jumppaw was very kind, she was happy that they were friends. She followed along quietly, she had enjoyed their journey out of camp very much. She smiled, and hurried forward until she was even with Jumppaw. "You wanna race me to camp?" She asked, her eyes twinkling.
His face still flushed, Jumppaw stumbled over his words. "Uh, erm, sure thing!" he blurted, "Race starting...now!" He bolted past Cloudpaw at 'now' with a cheeky grin on his face, swerving around branches and stones in his path. He looked over his shoulder to try and see where Cloudpaw was, but a root under his paws caused him to trip and plant into the snow, scratching his muzzle.
Cloudpaw had raced after him, her paws light and nimble. She ran right past him when he fell, not able to stop in time. She skidded to a halt and raced back to him. Her eyes were wide, "Are you ok?!" She couldn't help but laugh a little to herself at his clumsiness. She found it adorable and hilarious.
Jumppaw lifted himself out of the snow, shaking himself once he felt sturdy in his footing. His flaxen colored eyes met Cloudpaw's beautiful forest green eyes, making his widen. "Yeah, but I kind of got the wind knocked out of me when I tripped. Maybe you should continue the lead." He dug around in the snow to try and find the bark piece he'd dropped when he fell. Nerves gripped him until he found it, making him sigh, relieved.
Cloudpaw nodded, "Alright." She sniffed him over once, just to make sure he really was ok and then picked up her piece of bark which she had dropped. She then turned and began to head toward the camp, looking over her shoulder once in a while to make sure Jumppaw was ok.
As they neared the camp entrance, Jumppaw trotted ahead of Cloudpaw, nervously preparing himself. He placed his streaked bark on the ground gently, looking at Cloudpaw's eyes. "Cloudpaw, I, uh. I'm really glad we hung out today." He meowed shyly, smiling after making his little statement, scooping his bark piece up and walked into camp happily.
Cloudpaw felt her pelt getting warm. She hurried after Jumppaw. "Jumppaw!" She waited for him to turn around before she said, "I really enjoyed today too. Maybe we could do something similar again soon?"
"I'd love that!" He purred, rubbing his head against her shoulder before returning to his nest in the apprentice's den. He gently tucked the bark into the moss, a beloved memory now tied to it.
Cloudpaw smiled and then turned and raced out of camp to put away her newfound piece of bark. Today she had made a great new friend, and for that she was extremely grateful.