Ebonyblaze - Word count: 1240
Darkfin - Word count: 1136
Cold water closed over his head, seperating him from fresh air. His eyes wide he looked confused for a moment, but then panic set in and as soon as he could feel the sandy ground, he jumped and shot himself up again. Breaking the water with his head and taking a deep breath. Water drippted from his wet ears and.. everything was wet, from his paws to his nose. With wild paddling of his front and hindlegs he held his head over the water, but just to be safe he streched out his neck, until it felt as if it would just fall off with a loud 'PLOP'.
Then he searched for Ebonyblaze, she still was there, and he remembered what she did. But it was super hard to replicate, so he trampled around, splashing like a stranded fish in water, making a complete idiot out of himself. Sadly, like a very sexy she-cat who needs help would do it, he didn't scream, in fear someone else could hear them. And so he turned in circles, because he couldn't see Ebonyblaze, as water was everywhere; in his eyes too. A sound went over his lips, sounding roughly like 'help', but weirder and much less like he probably thought it would sounds.... which meant like nothing. Nothing at all.
Darkfin wasn't dumb, he really trusted in Ebonyblaze, and that she wouldn't let him drown, but he really wished he could hear her.. because he smelled and tasted just the salty ocean, as well as he didn't see anything, because thee was just water everywhere, even in his ears!
Quietly I had watched the apprentice, as he jumped forward into the water, only to sink to the ground like a stone. When he finally pushed himself up, he paddled wildly, trying to keep his head above the surface and... it was clear, the he panicked.
Taking a deep breath I tried to not start to panic too, because if I was being honest with myself ... I had no idea what to do.
I had no idea, how I could come closer to him, without drowning myself, because considering how he moved right now, he surely would push me down, below the surface - and if I was unlucky, he'd probably not let go of me then.
When he let out a sound, that kinda sounded like 'help', I gulped - okay, what would... what would my parents do?
His neck! Maybe this could work! Maybe I could grab him there and wouldn't get pushed down!
I was pretty sure, that nothing in this situation would change at all, if he could hear, because... panicking people didn't do things, that made sense. They would keep doing, what they did before, so there would be no use to waste time with talking to someone who was basically drowning.
Carefully I approached, until I found a opening. Quickly I grabbed him at his neck, knowing very well, that it wouldn't have the same effect as on a kitten, but at least his paws couldn't hit me that easily from there.
Quietly thanking the tides, that cats were lighter in water, I swam towards the beach with him, until I reached it. Gently I licked over his forehead and wrapped my tail around him, in an attempt to calm him down a bit and to reassure him, that I was here.
With a deep breath he tried to stop himself from panicing, but it didn't worked. Somehow he still was above the water, though the more he struggled, his paws froze and just for a short second, his head went underwater. He closed his eyes, until he saw a shadow under his eyelids and Ebonyblaze grabbed his neck. His mind went blank and he made himself long to get his head out of the water. Almost giving her a clout. Surprisingly, she was able to get him to the beach, but Darkfin was a smil cat, he was slightly bigger, but not a lot. Slowly he opened his eyes, looking up to her, but he couldn't really see her face, nor what expression she made.
When his paws touched the sand, he felt relieve come up in his bones, his limbs went numb and felt heavy, and with a soft sound of the sand under him, he laid down. Now his mind told him that he wanted to go home, as he was cold, wet and his honour was gone the time he stepped into the water the first time. He just felt emberassed when Ebonyblaze started licking his forehead, though it reminded him of his old times.
Her tongue felt hot, and for a second he gave in to her welcoming warmth in such a cold world, but then something in his mind snapped, he pinned his ears down and got himself up. Barely looking at Ebonyblaze with distress in his eyes, yet somehow he felt angry about what happened. His tail twichted, and for the first time he welcomed that Ebonyblaze was smaller then him, so he could loom over her.
It wasn't aggression though, just disappointment he felt about himself. The slim dark tabby tom opened his mouth, but closed it again. Shaking his short fur with little drops of saltwater splashing all over the place. It was just.... if he was right, she seemed so helpless when he was about to drown... for some reason it made him mad, though he didn't want to blame her, nor wanting to show her what he was thinking.
He blinked slowly, staring in her green eyes.
He wanted to go home, his exitement was gone and he had no nerve to try this again.
Not long after I started to lick over his forehead, he got up, barely even looking at me... that didn't hide the distress in his eyes though and worried I furrowed my brows, whilst clenching my teeth together. This was a disaster.
Insecure I flattened the ears to my head and gulped - what should I do now? What should I say now? Was I even supposed to say anything now? Actually, yes. I should appologize for the mess, that this swimming lesson had been. For a second he opened his mouth, but closed it again.
He shook out his fur and with slightly wobbly legs I finally stood up too. Everything went well for now, but what would happen, if we would try this again and it would fail even worse then it had failed now?
"Darkfin...", I started meekly, only to interrupt myself, when I noticed, that he stared into my eyes. He seemed so ... different now.
I wasn't even sure how to describe it, just... his whole behaviour seemed kinda odd, compared to how he had been before. The excitement to learn how to swim wasn't in his eyes anymore and I honestly wasn't sure, if we should even try it again.
At least not now.
Taking a deep breath I closed my eyes for a moment, before I opened them again and looked at him. "Darkfin, I'm sorry", I said, not even trying to hide that my voice was shaking. A disaster. All of this had been a disaster.
If I had known more about how to teach someone ... if I had known how to save someone from drowning, without ever being in actual danger yourself ... if ... if I just had known more, it maybe wouldn't have been a disaster.
We maybe would still swim around then, happily exploring the underwater world together. But... but it was a disaster. We weren't happy. We weren't exploring.
And it was my fault.
Again I took a deep breath and wiped away the tears, that had started to roll down my cheeks. "I'm... I'm truly sorry", I sobbed. "M-maybe we should go home."
His jaws where working, grinding his teeth. Looking at her, examine her face when she furrowed her eyes in worry, seemingly insecure what to do now, he looked away. His ears twitched. It was just.... he was so angry... he couldn't even explain it to himself, and it was frustrating, the dark tabby tom had been imagine something better then that, something more fun then....... drowining. He turned her his back, clueless if he should go, looking back at her. She spoke to him, he didn't want to hear it, and was thankfull for being deaf; for once. He pressed his lips together into a small, thin line, his eyes endlessly looking at her face, his pupils twitching. He was sectical, but he listened in his way: reading lips.
Sorry, she was sorry, of course she was. He felt like he could cry, a weird crooked smile appearing for a second. She seemed to tremble, sorry for what happened, but Darkfin shook his head, he believed her, but he didn' want to hear it. Not with her looking like that, like a apprentice who did something disturbingly bad, knowing what he did, but unable to change it. He asked himself, if she would ever let this incident go; but for him the answer was some sort of no clear 'no'. Darkfin admitted, it was actually disturbing to see the usually happy she-cat like that, but he couldn't forget his anger, he would have drowned, and he hoped she wouldn't take an apprentice soon. He would pity the apprentice. At least for the swimming lessions.
He furrowed his eyes, looking back to the direction the camp was... back at Ebonyblaze.
His face froze, disbelieving he looked at the smaller she-cat. She was crying, wipping her tears away, sobbing she was sorry, and that they should go home. He clenched his teeth and looked angry at the sand around him, turning his head "Tch". Then he looked back at her, swallowing his anger, making place for how sad he was that it didn't go like they wanted too. Seeing her cry....... he actually don't wanted that. Inching closer to her, to wipe away even more tears. His face softens, the tension was gone away, and he started to cry as well. Thick round tears rolling down his cheeks to his chin. He felt sorry, he had made her cry, a cat he couldn't believe would ever cry. Pressing the side of his face against her shoulder, he didn't know what to do other than that. He didn't want to say sorry, like he felt it would destroy this moment. Even the possibility that other cats could see them could stop him.
If they would find them, they at least would think both of them went nuts.
At first he turned his back at me, as if he wanted to leave and ... that probably would be for the best. At least ... according to other cats, probably. But Darkfin also was my friend, even though I wasn't sure, if we still were friends, now where he almost drowned, only because I wanted to teach him how to swim.
... without actually knowing, how to teach someone. Once again I just had made a quick decision, but this time it could have ended so much worse. That alone made me sick and no matter how hard I tried to push away the thoughts, that told me in how many ways it could have gone wrong... they just kept coming back. Over and over and over again I saw Darkfin die before my eyes, knowing fully well, that it - thankfully - wasn't reality.
It still gnawed at me and disappointed in myself I lowered my head. I had nothing else to say right now, because it didn't really matter, how often I would say, that I was sorry - it wouldn't change a single thing.
He still would have this near-death experience, I still would have failed miserably as a warrior. Not only had I failed to save my parents in the BasaltClan-attack back on the old island, but now I also almost would have been the reason for another person to die.
A person I considered a good friend already, if not even one of my best friends.
All this time I didn't think of what happened, I always tried to look forward and conjure smiles on the faces of others, so we all could forget our worries and losses for a while and move on.
All this time I had suppressed my own feelings, all this time I did my best to be there for the people I cared about ... and now, of all times, I broke down? Now, where Darkfin, a apprentice of GeyserClan, almost died because of my inability to teach and save others?
Startled I turned my head to the tom, when he pressed his cheek against my shoulder. He was crying too. The former expression on his face was gone and his face looked softer again, almost like the one of a kit.
Hesitating for a few seconds I raised one of my legs and carefully wrapped it around his shoulder, whilst hiding my face in his chest fur. Slowly I wrapped the other leg around him too and remained like this, my whole body still shaking. I wasn't even sure anymore, if it was the shock or the sobbing, that made me tremble like this, but... right now I didn't care.
It wasn't important. He was alive. It had been close, but he was alive. I still was awful at teaching though and deep inside of me I knew, that I wouldn't want an apprentice anytime soon.
Not, when my skills were this lacking. Not, when I had been so stupid to never talk to anyone, about how I felt. How all the things affected me. How lost I felt from time to time.
I grasped Darkfin only a tiny bit harder, as if I would never want to let him go ... as if I wanted to assure myself, that he still was here, that he still was alive.
That the damn thoughts were just lies and not the truth.