Welcome to The Eleventh Hour. We are a post-Firestar roleplay set in the new lake territories, and are AU after the end of the main series. Peace has reigned through the Clans for many moons, but now that peace has fractured and split among the mysteries surrounding their home. Cats are dying with only one thing in common: They are all found floating in, or laying wet and muddy around the lake. The Clans have begun to lash out at one another in fear and confusion, and only RiverClan seems to hold the key to preventing an all-out war. With an entirely member-driven (you decide the outcome!) plot, a mere two hundred minimum word count, and a friendly, active user base, we hope that you like what you see and will consider joining us.
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green-leaf: temperatures between 70° and 95°f. rain currently threatens the sky. prey is difficult to find, and skinny.
Want to learn more about our lovely staff members? Check out our bios here!
"I don't give a mouse's tail what anybody else might think of us or whatever difference in rank they might see. There is none to me. You are a dear, dear friend to me, Oakwhisker, and I'm honored you feel the way you do. To tell the truth, there is no one else, there never has been. As long as I was serving ShadowClan, I thought that would be okay. But I was wrong. I do love you, Oakwhisker, and I would be just as honored to walk with you, if that's what you want."
Site concept and skin (When I See You Again) created by Rowan for use on The Eleventh Hour only. We give thanks to Becky at Candyland Couture for the mini-profiles. CFS codes by ree. Images, characters and side plots are copyrighted to their respective owners. The Warriors series belongs to the lovely ladies known as Erin Hunter, and is published by HarperCollins. Thank you for visiting!
AUGUST 25, 2015 Hey, guys! Sorry for the lack of events; between preparing for the new year of uni and trying to get SkyClan in order, there hasn't been much time for brainstorming. The month of September will, however, be chuck-full of stuff for you guys to enjoy to make up for it. That said, the August Activity Check and OTM Nominations have been posted. Please post there as soon as possible if you plan on sticking around.
AUGUST 05, 2015 Hey, guys; don't forget to give this a look-see. We've been seeing quite an unrealistic amount of forbidden relationships (especially regarding the site's medicine cats), so this thread contains some important new information regarding that.
AUGUST 04, 2015 OTM badges are running a little late, because I (Rowan) have to reinstall Photoshop before I can make them. They should start appearing on your mini-profiles within a day or two.
JULY 30, 2015 We have added a board for retroactive threads, titled the Hall of Dreams! This board is for anything that happened in a character's past - including things pre-site or things that never got a chance to be threaded out. All of the usual site rules apply!
JULY 25, 2015 The monthly Activity Check and OTM Nominations have been posted! Please reply to the thread as soon as possible. Also, we're working diligently on SkyClan's site lore, so expect them to make an appearance before Summer's end!
JULY 05, 2015 Ohoho, so soon? Yes! Another FLASH EVENT is taking place over in ShadowClan! Go protect your territory from a desperate fox!
JULY 04, 2015 Happy 4th of July, everyone! In celebration, an adder is attacking the ThunderClan nursery! Hurry and take part in this very fun FLASH EVENT. If you don't have any TC cats, don't worry; we will have stuff for everyone at some point. Stay tuned!
JUNE 25, 2015 We ask that you all please take a look at this post within the activity check thread, as it contains some important information regarding the OTMs.
JUNE 25, 2015 The monthly activity check and otm nominations have been posted! Please reply to the thread by July 1st, or you will risk deletion.
JUNE 21, 2015 Green-leaf has officially started on EH, and with it comes another event! This event will last for about two weeks, so have at it! The deadline has also been chosen for our SkyClan high positions, and it will be on June 28, 2015. However, they will likely not be announced until a few days after that, as we have implemented a new staff voting system for these sorts of decisions.
JUNE 20, 2015 Alright, congrats to our newest moderator, Aspen! All of the applications were beyond fantastic. This has literally been the hardest decision we've ever had to make, and I truly wish we could just wrap you all up in a tiny modlet blanket and keep everyone, but there will be more opportunities in the future, I'm sure.
JUNE 19, 2015 Friendly reminder for everyone to please post in this thread once you've finished your character. Sometimes it's hard for us to be able to tell which apps are done and which are not, which then leads to us taking forever to review and accept them. We don't like to keep people waiting for too long before they're able to play their characters, so this just makes it easier for us. Thanks!
JUNE 16, 2015 Seeing as how we've been seeing a lot of this lately, the rules have been updated.
JUNE 09, 2015 We now have a weather box! It can be found right beneath our welcome message, so please look to it when starting up new threads. This will be updated daily or weekly to keep things fresh, depending on how long the weather pattern holds.
JUNE 05, 2015 Today marks one year since EH's grand opening, and we are celebrating with a brand new skin! Not only that, but be sure to keep your eye out for several goodies throughout this month, including (but not limited to) contests and events. Here's to the future!
JUNE 04, 2015 In light of Tinsel's departure for the time being, Batnose has become the new ShadowClan medicine cat. Now, the reason we didn't hold auditions is simple; because Orchidsong didn't hold the position for long, we felt it to be reasonable that we fall back on someone else who had auditioned at the same time, and therefore we reviewed the old auditions one more time. Congratulations!
MAY 30, 2015 Training Threads and Pregnant Leaders / Deputies will no longer show up as a merit, just to keep things a little bit cleaner, as we're sure a lot of people will purchase training threads. This will prevent merit repeats for items. If your Training Thread or Pregnant Leader / Deputy item is still showing up as a merit, please PM Rowan and she will fix it. In similar news, we've limited the number of a single item permitted to be in your inventory at a time to one. This will hopefully prevent people from hoarding, and allow others to have a chance at snagging the item they need. Only one more day remains in the activity check, so please post if you plan on sticking around!
MAY 29, 2015 Please welcome Brandad to the EH Crew!! He is our newest moderator, so please don't hesitate to ask him questions and offer your congratulations!
MAY 28, 2015 Sadly, Tinsel has decided to step down from her position of staff. We will miss her, however she will definitely be welcomed back to the team if she ever decides she wants to help out again! She is not leaving the site, and will remain a beloved member of our community.
MAY 25, 2015 The monthly activity check and otm nominations have been posted.
MAY 19, 2015 Congratulations to Tyl and her character, Darkstorm, on becoming the new WindClan deputy! Thank you to everyone else who auditioned, too. You made the decision incredibly difficult for all of us (and Bran). We look forward to seeing how WC develops from here.
MAY 18, 2015 Don't forget to drop by our mentor and apprentice pairings thread to let us know when you've got enough posts in a thread. We try to stay on top of it, but some threads still manage to slip past us.
MAY 16, 2015 This is a reminder for everyone to please log into all your accounts daily, even if you don't post. It really helps us out when we recycle things. Also, remember that there is still a prey shortage! I've noticed a lot of threads where the hunting parties have been quite successful, however they should not be. Some prey is fine, of course, but you should not be finding large quantities of prey, and it shouldn't be large and/or plump when it is found. Yes, this applies to RiverClan, too; the fish are at an all-time low, as well, more likely to be found dead.
MAY 13, 2015 Congratulations to Tinsel and her character, Orchidsong, for becoming the new medicine cat of ShadowClan! If you didn't get it, we're sorry; there were a lot of great auditions, and there will surely be more opportunities to audition for another spot in the future. For instance, did you know that WindClan currently needs a deputy? The deadline for that has been set for May 19th, so go audition while you can!
MAY 10, 2015 Syn has chosen to step down from her role as WindClan leader. She is fine, so don't worry; she just doesn't feel like she can be active enough to hold that position. However, she will be keeping Reedwhisker, one of the RiverClan medicine cats, and Acornstar is still alive (now known as Acornbelly); we are still determining his reasons for stepping down. This means that Harenose has been promoted, and that WindClan Deputy auditions are now open!!
MAY 06, 2015 Congratulations to Nocturne and her character, Rooktail, for becoming the new deputy of RiverClan! We will be naming the new ShadowClan Medicine Cat on May 13th, so get your auditions in by then if you're interested!
MAY 01, 2015 The activity check has ended, and any inactive accounts have now been purged from the site. If you have returned, or you were somehow deleted by mistake, we ask that you simply remake your accounts and PM Rowan, so that she can restore your things.
APRIL 30, 2015 The activity check and otm voting will end tomorrow, so please post if you're still active, and haven't yet. If you don't have an active absence thread, you will be deleted if you don't post! There are also meetings going on in ThunderClan, ShadowClan, and WindClan that you guys can feel free to post in if you're looking for something quick to do. c:
APRIL 30, 2015 It's recently been called to my (Rowan's) attention that I may have handled Mericet's leaving quite poorly, and I would like to make it right. This should have been made on the day that she left us (which would have officially been April 27th, 2015), but here it goes, and I hope it's not too late for it to mean anything. Mer has decided that EH is not in her best interests anymore, and has decided to leave. However, I would like to say that she put a lot of time and effort into EH, helping me to make it the fantastic success it has been all this time, and I will forever be grateful to her for that. She drove me to make updates when I was being a bit slow, and when activity was low, she logged in and encouraged others to do so as well. She's the reason we have an automated marketplace now, and that awards system? Thank her for that. She loved the site as much as I do, so please understand that her leaving was through no fault of her own. As for her characters, she has said that they are all dead (except for adopted ones, which may be put back up for adoption), but she has requested that no details about their deaths be given, and I'd like you all to respect that wish. Thank you.
APRIL 29, 2015 Our new RiverClan Deputy will be announced on May 6th, so get those auditions in while you can!
APRIL 25, 2015 As per the usual, our Activity Check and OTM Nominations have been posted for the month of April. Please post, and vote as soon as you are able! From now on, those who don't vote in the OTMs will not be allowed to win in the category that they did not vote in. Any empty spaces will be chosen by our staff.
APRIL 21, 2015 The raid has ended with Stonestar's reveal that it is not the Clans killing off the cats... something is wrong with the lake.
APRIL 18, 2015 We now have a StarClan sub-board available for you all to roleplay the dead kitties that you've kept around! We don't want to see a bunch of freshly made dead cats, however; this is mainly for characters who have died on site. One or two cats from one of your living characters' pasts is alright, just don't go overboard please. Thank you!
APRIL 12, 2015 Due to the amount of people starting up a forbidden romance, which we feel to be quite unrealistic to the way that the warriors world works, it is now required that you purchase this from the marketplace. You will need to do this even if you've already begun your relationship, otherwise it will not be permitted to continue. If you've already given birth to forbidden kits, please PM Rowan or Mericet and they will gift you the forbidden romance, but only if you've already gotten that far. Thank you, and we hope you understand.
APRIL 09, 2015 Congratulations to Tinsel for being selected for biography moderator and to Zebra for becoming our new advertisement moderator! Be sure to give these two warm hugs when you see them. Good job everyone who auditioned, it was hard to choose between all of you!
APRIL 03, 2015 Currently, the staff team is accepting moderator auditions! They're open to members new and old, and we wish all you hopefuls good luck! We would also like to congratulate Bran, with his character Harenose for achieving deputy in WindClan!
MARCH 24, 2015 Congratulations to Golden, and Maplecloud for becoming the newest ThunderClan Deputy! Thank you to everyone who tried out; it was a truly difficult decision to make.
MARCH 22, 2015 The March activity check and OTMs have been posted! Please reply by April first. Thank you!
MARCH 17, 2015 The deadline for the ThunderClan Deputy Auditions has been decided: March 24, 2015. If you are interested in the position, please have your audition in by then. Thank you, and happy St. Patrick's Day!
MARCH 12, 2015 New skin! As always, please let us know if you find anything out of place or awkward, or if any of the colours sear out your eyeballs. Remember to please log into all your accounts daily, even if you don't post; it really helps us out when we recycle things.
MARCH 09, 2015 Due to Fallow's current situation, she has decided to downsize. As a result, sadly, Whitestep will be resigning, and ThunderClan Deputy Auditions are now open! Be sure to get your auditions in asap. WindClan MCA will remain closed until Zebra feels like Owlberry is ready to take on a new apprentice. EDIT Fallow is alright, she just isn't able to be around much and felt that it was unfair for her to have high positions while she's on hiatus. She appreciates your concern and will be doing her best to keep us updated on how she is. <3
FEBRUARY 28, 2015 Friendly reminder for everyone to please log into all your accounts daily! It makes it easier on us when we recycle things. Thank you!
FEBRUARY 24, 2015 The February activity check and OTMs have been posted and end March third. Please post! <3
FEBRUARY 23, 2015 Due to our growing member base (and because of a recent incident on my part), you are now able to reserve names for up to one week at a time to make sure that your prefix does not get snatched up before you are able to finish your bio. Please visit the name claim to do so. On a brighter note, I am pleased by the rate at which the raid is moving! Keep it up!
FEBRUARY 19, 2015 Congratulations, Mothpaw, on becoming the newest member of ThunderClan's medicine team! A big thank you to all who applied for the position — you all definitely succeeded in making this difficult for me with your stunning applications!
FEBRUARY 19, 2015 It's about to get real over in ThunderClan, as the RAID has been started! The character excerpt contest has been closed, too, and the results of that will be posted momentarily. The ThunderClan MCA auditions are closed! Results will be posted by Moonaloo later today.
It definitely wasn’t the first time that Rooktail had lead a border patrol, nor would it be his last, but the sensation was remarkably different now that he was deputy. Though he logically understood that there was nothing to it- he was still the same cat as he was a moon ago, and a patrol was one of the simplest duties to do- the dark-haired tom still felt like he needed to do more to impress these cats. More what? He couldn’t put his finger on it. More of something that made him feel like he could live up to their expectations and be their new deputy.
Deputy. The idea was still fresh in his mind, new and surprising. He’d been caught completely off-guard when Mousestar had named him her successor upon her return from the Moonpool. He wasn’t the oldest, nor was he the wisest, nor was he the strongest. What did Mousestar hope to gain from having a cat like him as her second-in-command? A part of him still wondered if she’d change her mind and revoke his title, calling it a mistake, especially considering how tired she had been upon her return. There were senior warriors that deserved the position just as much, if not more. But suns had risen and set under his watch and he was still in charge, trying his best to learn the ropes and remember all that he could from deputies prior. He secretly wished that he too could go to the Moonpool for some sort of ceremony, if only to get some guidance from those that had come before him. He’d barely exchanged more than a couple words with Mousestar, considering how busy the two of them were. How was he supposed to help run a clan, faith in RiverClan regardless?
It was for this reason that he’d decided to lead one of the border patrols he’d organized, needing to let off a little energy and- if he was truly honest- to feel his like hard work paying off. They’d made their way halfway down the ShadowClan border, being careful to re-mark the boundaries as they went. Ever since the raid, their relations with their supposed ally had been eerily quiet. Rooktail really didn’t want to spend time thinking on it, even though he knew that it was now part of his duties to offer advice. It was frightening to imagine that his opinion would be worth so much, especially when he felt so poorly about the opinions he could give. For now, all Rooktail wanted to do was lead this group and finish the job without making any mistakes; and, most importantly, not let on that he was troubled. Luckily, that was a skill that he'd honed over the course of many moons. He hid his insecurities behind a pleased smile and a jaunty step, watching the others continue along the path.
Note: To keep this in the spirit of a patrol, no more than three other RiverClan cats, please. ShadowClan cats are welcome (and are encouraged) to join once the RiverClan cats have assembled!
Though there were older warriors that might have suited the role more comfortably, Pebblefur was not the sort to question her leader and, having seen how Rooktail had organised the patrols that morning, she was confident that Mousestar had not made a mistake. Some leaders may have made mistakes in the past (and that was not an easy thing for cat like Pebblefur to admit) naming a deputy, as Pebblefur saw it, should have been a matter of trust. Besides, she did not know enough about the matter to question or to cast doubts and rumours about. Critical as Pebblefur may have been, she respected her elders and the leaders of the clans in general, for it cannot have been an easy job. Admittedly, it would easier to find fault in the leadership of the other clans than in RiverClan's leadership if only because of Pebblefur's personal attachment to her home. Finding fault with apprentices, on the other paw, was far easier because Pebblefur believed that it helped them to grow stronger and more skilled. If they were never critiqued how would they ever become warriors in their own right? Any warrior that thought coddling apprentices was helpful would be the target of the persnickety she-cat's ire.
Pebblefur took long graceful strides as always, alert and on the look-out for any sign of trouble. She tasted the air, hoping to pick up the scent of rabbit or mouse or vole; no matter how scrawny the creatures might have been, anything was better than nothing. Still, most of her concentration was given to the task at hand. Any prey they might have caught on their return trip would just have been a bonus on top of knowing their clan would be safe for one more day. Distrustful by her very nature, Pebblefur was discomforted by ShadowClan's strange and sudden ambivalence towards RiverClan, though she supposed there might have been more to it than what she was aware of.
"Do you suppose they're hiding?" She mewed softly to the cat beside her, gesturing over the border with her tail. Maybe it was better that way. Pebblefur doubted very much that much good would come of running into another patrol, though perhaps that was just her pessimism.
Patrolling was one of the few situations where Sootear felt at ease around his Clanmates. The groups were sizable, everyone had their paws full, and he could enjoy the camaraderie without having to be that social. It was easy to escape a conversation out here, all he had to do was excuse himself with an "oh, I forgot to mark that bush" or "I think I smell a vole nearby". He was grateful that (so far) no one had forced him to speak more than a few pleasantries. The tom padded alongside the border, diligently taking care of any markers his Clanmates hadn't gotten to. He tried to keep his eyes low, tried not to look across the border, but it was hard to ignore curiosity. He stopped beside a tree that had so many clawmarks in it that it must've been scratched by a hundred RiverClan warriors before him and couldn't help but lift his gaze to the forest beyond.
Sootear felt shame burn hotly under his skin when he recalled the last time he'd been to the ShadowClan border. He'd walked there, blinded by hunger and frustration, to see if the prey was running on the other Clan's territory and caught a wisp of a ShadowClan warrior instead of a mouse. He could still hear the cat's laughter as clear as if he was still sitting on the other side of the pines. Let him come now, he thought, unsheathing his claws. He wouldn't laugh in front of the RiverClan deputy. Or maybe he would. The small gray warrior reached up and dug his claws into the deep grooves in the trunk in front of him, leaving a fresh scent with a single rake. He scratched at the bark a few more times for good measure and then dropped back onto all four paws.
Satisfied, he turned his head to check on the others. At a glance, everyone seemed preoccupied. Pebblefur was scenting the air, moving elegantly as she went. Rooktail was supervising the patrol with a pleased look on his face. Looking at him now, Sootear wondered how the black tom was adjusting to his role as deputy. There was a lot of pressure that came with the title, he knew, but the black cat had been all cool smiles and unshakable composure since Mousestar had picked him. I should be more like him, the small cat thought, whiskers twitching.
A soft meow made him prick his ears. He stole a look at the silver she-cat and realized just how close she was to him. Oh great StarClan, she's talking to me..."Hm? Oh, I'm—I'm not sure." A part of him knew it wasn't meant to be taken literally, but the words slipped out before he could stop them. "I hope they aren't." A quiet ShadowClan left everything in the paws of the unknown. If they were hiding, was it to recover? Or were they plotting their next move? He followed the gesture of her tail with his eyes and scanned the bushes across the border like he thought a patrol was going to pop out and challenge them. After a moment, he looked back and gave her a weak shrug. As long as both Clans stayed on their respective sides, nothing could go terribly wrong.
One scent marker at a time, they continued to make their way down the border, much to Rooktail’s pleasure. Everything was going smoothly for once; it seemed the world was on his side. Theirs was a quiet group, aside from the few comments here and there - he had heard the two of them whispering amongst each other, but hadn’t bothered to come over and ask - but it didn’t bother the deputy in the slightest. Quiet groups or rowdy groups, as long as they were able to get the job done, that was all that mattered. Besides, it was a rare treat to work with such a focused, calming group of RiverClanners.
”You’re both doing a fantastic job,” he enthused after marking a couple markers of his own, hoping that positive reinforcement would be the driving force to keep their team going. He was careful to look back from where he had come, watching the ShadowClan border with some degree of apprehension. The forest was dense here; if anyone were to approach the border, it would take them a lot longer to notice from their vantage point. He didn’t like the thought. They were few; and while he had more authority than the average warrior, he was a cat just like all the rest.
Still, he had more important things to focus on; namely, the team that was following him. He smiled at both Pebblefur and Sootear, appreciating the other warriors’ help. It gave him immense pride (and immense anxiety) to be leading such a strong group of cats. ”Say, why don’t we play a game?” he suggested, looking for some way to pass the time and ease the growing tension in the silence between. Plus, who didn’t like a game? ”It’s easy, really. I’m thinking of something; an object, really. All you have to do is guess it! Easy, right? I’ll give you a hint; it’s living, and it's small.” He smiled charismatically, moving to the next scent marker.
It seemed to Pebblefur that her clanmate, Sootear, was as sombre as she was being so close to the border. Pebblefur had never particularly trusted the other clans, more out of a personal distaste for cats she was unfamiliar with than out of hatred, and now, more than ever, she felt she had a right to be on edge. Still, would ShadowClan really have sought to antagonise any clan, let alone the deputy of another clan, at a time when prey was so difficult to find. That said, if the situation was better over the border, it was possible that other clans were faring better than RiverClan was. The gathering would tell, of course, but if they were in better shape then it might have left Pebblefur's own clan in a vulnerable position. Hence, recently, Pebblefur had been more critical than usual of her clanmates and their practices, quick to take offense at slackers and layabouts. Her present company seemed to be focused, at least, and that gave Pebblefur a little hope for the future.
She dipped her head briefly as Sootear responded to her question, tip of her tail flicking. If they did run into a ShadowClan patrol, at the very least they might be just as focused on their duties as she and her clanmates were. Maybe they would be too fixated on their task to bother anyone else and it would all work out for the best. Still, Pebblefur paused, looking long and hard across the border, at the stillness of of the trees. Aside from the marker scents to be expected, however, she could not pick up anything else. It never hurt to be cautious.
Then Rooktail spoke and Pebblefur turned to the black tom, continuing to walk as she regarded him. He was a little peculiar, she had to admit, but Mousestar would not have made a mistake in selecting her deputy. Pebblefur would not believe it. She had to admit she had her doubts when he suggested playing a game. Incredulous, Pebblefur stared for a moment, glancing away and then back to him. Was now really the time for this? She could just imagine how mouse-brained they would all look if another patrol came upon them whilst they played a game for kits. Pebblefur decided she would humour the other warrior, for the time being, though she looked to Sootear in disbelief, hoping the grey tom shared her confusion.
"Does it have scales or fur?"
It took everything Rooktail had not to chuckle at Pebblefur’s response, merely settling for a coy smile. She was dubious about playing a game, no doubt; but if Rooktail was any example, what was wrong with a little but of fun here and there? When they had worked as hard as they had, and no ShadowClan seemed to be in sight, they were free to have a little bit of fun - especially when that fun wasn’t mentally taxing. ”It has neither, but good try,” Rooktail responded easily, moving back in the direction of the group. Another scent marker appeared in front of him; the stump of a tree, harvested by twolegs long ago. What purpose they had to remove it, other than to build their massive nests, he would never know. It seemed they chopped down so many for no apparent reason. How many nests did they need, after all?
The rustling of a bush nearby stopped him in his tracks. Whatever charming façade he normally wore slipped away, leaving him on high alert. There were only two things he could imagine it being- ShadowClan, or prey. If it were ShadowClan, he could talk with them and avoid a fight; he knew he could do that much. If it were prey, it would mean food for their clan. Even if they didn’t specialize in bush creatures, they could at least try get it.
But, just like his riddle, it was neither; just a passing wind that had particularly grabbed his attention. He blinked, allowing his tense muscles to relax, all the while not daring to look back at his patrol group. They probably thought him insane - and in a lot of ways he was - but he was never jumpy. This was new, and he didn’t know what to think of it. Perhaps all this deputy business had been cutting into his rest time more than he’d thought. ”…Sootear, we missed a marker a few tail-lengths back. Be a dear and do it? And Pebblefur, the one in front of us?” he called, taking another look at the bush before continuing on himself. Only a pawful of markers left and they could head back.
hey you with the pretty face welcome to the human race
t was a glorious day. Despite the rumbling in his stomach for what he was sure was the collapsing of his internal organs, the day was still rather fantastic. Then again, every day was fantastic when there were she-cats involved. Today must have been his lucky day, because not only had he found one she-cat, but he had managed to stumble upon three. Of course, he felt a little sky having been hiding in the bushes as he watched the RiverClan patrol members associate with each other. But he knew if he exposed himself too early, he might ruin his fun. He didn't know what sort of fun he was going to have at the moment, he had always known the enemy clan to be rather serious when it came to patrols. But these she-cats were all seemingly amicable, and of course, gorgeous. Giving a few licks to his chest fur, the tabby tom plumped his whiskers and slid out from behind one of the bushes that marked the beginning of the border between the two clans.
He could tell the she-cats hadn't spotted him, something of which only boosted his self confidence. He had rolled in some of the marsh leftover from melting leaf-bare, and the mud had done a decent job of covering his scent. Realizing that none of the ladies were facing his way, the tom gave a grumble to clear his throat, and then took a pawstep toward the border. "Hello, ladies." He said, his voice as baritone and cliche as possible. "It must be my lucky day to stumble upon you three. Though I have to say you appear tense. Mind if I help you with that?" He knew how to sweet talk a she-cat. Who needed a mate when you were young, skilled, and could have any female you wanted? Ferretfoot ruffled his fur in a failed attempt to look bigger, hoping it would stun the she-cats. Of course he didn't want anything real, but he figured they seemed tense, and he might as well stir up some trouble and give them something to be tense about while he could.
Pebblefur seemed satisfied with his answer. That, or she wasn't keen on squeezing another stuttered out response from the tom. A quiet settled between them after he spoke and the only reply he found in her was the dip of her head and the rhythmic twitch of the tip of her tail. He looked between his Clanmate and the border slowly. When he looked away from her, she'd had her head bowed, but when he turned back again, she was staring hard across the border as if she thought that her gaze would be able to strip the bushes and brambles away and reveal the ShadowClan warriors lurking beyond them. He stared over the border, too, as if he was trying to see what she was trying to see. Nothing. There was nothing. They were fine, if only for a moment.
Sootear felt his skin grow warm with embarrassment over letting his mind run away with such a harmless question. It was mousebrained to be afraid of something that wasn't even a possibility of being a threat. Further up ahead of the pair, Rooktail was calling out encouragements to them again. The deputy said them inclusively but a tiny part of Sootear doubted the honesty of it. Part of him insisted the praise was directed (meant to been directed) toward Pebblefur alone. He pities me, the small tom concluded, but the thought was there and gone in an instant once Rooktail spoke again.
"Play... a game?" His voice was so quiet and confounded that he might as well have said it under his breath, or not at all. The black cat seemed eager to fill the silence, the silver she-cat beside him had an incredulous glint in her eyes at the proposal, and Sootear felt torn between duty to his deputy and his deep, deep repulsion to the suggestion. He stared at Rooktail, his face drawn, and kept thinking, I don't want to play a games, as his Clanmate explained how it worked. When the runthrough concluded, he glanced back at Pebblefur hopefully, as if he thought she was bold enough to smother Rooktail's suggestion before it went anywhere. She opened her mouth, but it wasn't the words he was waiting for that came out. Scales or fur, she asked. Rooktail answered her question on his way back toward the group and Sootear prayed the tom wouldn't force him to participate.
Even if he wanted to, he never got the chance. The bushes rustled and the deputy froze, body suddenly tense. The gray warrior felt his own fur prickle at the wary look on the deputy's face but when he gazed at the shrub where the sound had come from, he saw nothing. No patrol, no ambush. Nothing. Confused, the small warrior looked to Rooktail for answers, but the tom was looking anywhere but at his Clanmates. Did he see something? He felt a little unsettled by the ordeal but he pushed it aside when the deputy ordered him to double back and take care of a missed marker. With a courteous bow of his head, he wheeled around and retraced his steps, keeping a nose out for a faded scent.
There. He scurried toward the bush and marked it. His paws itched for him to hurry back to the group, but a low, rumbling voice stopped him mid-step, a forepaw suspended in the air. It wasn't the voice of Pebblefur or Rooktail, and it certainly wasn't a RiverClan warrior if they were mistaking all three of them for she-cats. Ladies? Sootear was small, sure, but not particularly feminine. And Rooktail—was the ShadowClan warrior's nose not working? Perplexed, he watched the newcomer vigilantly from where he stood, the fur along his spine bristling. Part of him wanted to tell the tabby to crawl back into whatever hole he came from, but that part of Sootear wasn't brave enough to make the words come. His eyes moved toward the RiverClan deputy for a heartbeat, an unspoken what will you have us do with him? scrawled across his thin face.
tagged: rooktail, pebblefur & ferretfoot notes: sorry for taking years ;w; my soot muse is fickle... also sorry that this post is 144p-tier quality
He’d been right, even if he’d been wrong a few moments prior. Rooktail had barely looked away for more than a heartbeat when the rustling continued, this time accompanied by an honest-to-StarClan cat. The shock was not nearly as bad as it had been before, but it was still enough to make him start, his fur bristling. The deputy exhaled slowly as he turned around to face their intruder, comforted that he was not alone. Sootear had returned to his side, even if Pebblefur was still busy up ahead. Two was still more formidable than one.
But instead of a threat or an attack - or even a few poised, barbed comments as he had expected - the cat seemed to be flirting with them. Rooktail was so surprised that he almost didn’t catch what he said, especially the cat’s confusion of their sex. The brown tabby’s tail floated suggestively as he puffed his chest, as puffed out as an exceptionally colourful bird. It took all Rooktail had not to chuckle at the sight of the self-assured brawny tom, prancing around like a walking cliche. This was the stuff of a particularly raunchy daydream - not a reality. Well, now he could say that he had been cat-called on a patrol. Far more entertaining than a few well-placed taunts.
“Why thank you, you handsome devil, you,” he crooned, raising his eyebrows in a pleased sort of surprise. “…But I don’t think you’re quite barking up the wrong tree. Don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think that you’re quite prepared for the likes of me.” Oh, the poor soul. If only he knew what sort of trouble he was getting himself into. Were the warrior’s eyes somehow not working? Couldn’t he see that he was a RiverClanner - and more than that, decidedly male? He knew that he had a slim figure, but he’d been saved the misconception until that moment. Still, why couldn’t he play along? He’d rather avoid as much conflict as he possibly could.
”You do know that you’re about to trespass on RiverClan territory, don’t you?”The threat was clear in his intentions, even if his words seemed polite. Despite the marshy stench that was wafting from the brown tabby’s pelt, there was a particular twang underneath it that he could recognize in his sleep. ShadowClan; or at the very least, a loner that had spent quite a significant time on that side of the border. It was hard to imagine that any clanner would ever keep his pelt so dirty.
hey you with the pretty face welcome to the human race
he tom felt as though he wanted to die. He couldn't fathom how he had mistaken two toms for females, and acted on it. If his life were a play, all the cats of StarClan would float down and wipe out his existence entirely. Of course, on the outside he appeared as cool as could be- no sense it letting your enemies know just how chaotic you feel- but he knew he couldn't keep the facade up for long. He opened his maw to reply to one of the toms, but nothing seldom for a squeak came out. Snapping his jaw shut at once, the tabby tom took a step back, glancing at the ground as the tom warned him of the border. He sincerely wanted to crawl into a fox den and live there. "I was totally aware of the border." He said, his voice as smooth as honey despite his raging internal anxiety. "I wasn't going to cross it. I just wanted to get a look at, er, the patrol. You know, in case you were planning on trespassing." The tom practically yowled in triumph as he came to- what he thought of as- a smooth recovery.
He knew all eyes were still on him, and the response of the RiverClan tom still rung in his ears, as morityfing as it was. He couldn't tell if the warrior was being snide and mocking him, or if he was actually hitting on Ferretfoot. While the tabby was pretty sure he didn't roll that way, that didn't mean it hadn't stroked his ego a bit. Narrowing his gaze at the darker tom, Ferretfoot slid his attention to the smaller one on the patrol, who had said nothing to him. "And as beautiful as I think you three are," He said slowly. "I don't think that one is particularly my type. S/he hasn't said a word yet, and that makes me sorry. I love a cat that can put up a banter." He made sure to slur his pronouns just in case he was continuing to make a mistake, but he was sure it didn't matter now. Surely they all thought he was a moron. He was only maintaining his guise for arguments sake. Puffing out his chest, the grey ShadowClan warrior waggled his hips and tail a bit, making a tsk-ing noise. "Also," He said in regards to the tom who had spoken first. "I do believe you are mistaken, for it is you who could not handle me. Obviously. Though I do enjoy throwing out a charity case every now and then."
Sootear felt a little braver with Rooktail at his side, but a little braver didn't make him courageous or bold or any of the qualities a good warrior needed to drive an enemy away. The ShadowClan warrior looked too confident for a cat who'd mistook the pair for she-cats, too confident for a cat who was alone and a couple pawsteps from a fight. Maybe he isn't alone, the small cat thought worriedly, taking his eyes off the tabby only long enough to glance at the foliage along the border. If he expected the supposedly hidden warriors to step into view, he was terribly mistaken. The tip of a fern stirred imperceptibly when a lazy breeze rolled past, but otherwise nothing gave away Ferretfoot's concealed Clanmates - if he had any.
Rooktail spoke up, but it wasn't to tell the ShadowClan warrior to leave. Sootear furrowed his brow in confusion at the words that flew from the deputy's mouth, his mind lingering on the words "handsome devil". It seemed odd to dole out compliments in the middle of a tense situation but he was in no place to argue with the black-furred tom's choices, especially not in front of another Clan's warrior. He didn't think the soft way Rooktail spoke would inspire any kind of intimidation but when the tabby opened his mouth to reply, only a squeak came out. The small warrior's ears flicked forward reflexively to catch the sound while it was still in the air. He could almost hear the ShadowClan cat's teeth gnash together when he shut his mouth again. Rooktail knows what he's doing, Sootear realized, feeling a mixture of pride and relief. Boldly, the RiverClan warrior stood a little straighter.
The tom across the border drew back a step at Rooktail's question. Sootear noticed his eyes shift toward the ground for an instant before looking back up, his voice even as he explained that he was, in fact, aware of the border between them. In spite of that, the very knowledgeable ShadowClan warrior didn't apologize or disappear into the pines - he stayed. Maybe he has rocks in his head instead of a brain, Sootear wondered, a ghost of a frown tugging at his mouth at the thought. No. That's a rude thing to say--think. Ferretfoot prattled on about checking out the RiverClan patrol and trespassing, and the recovery made the warrior's train of thought return to the rocks-for-brains subject. His only reply to Ferretfoot was a blink and a blank face.
He'd hoped that if he gave the ShadowClan warrior very little to react to that the tabby would leave, but instead he turned his eyes on him. His gaze bore a hole through Sootear's fur and the gray warrior felt his nervousness bubble to the surface. Calm down. You're going to embarrass yourself. And Rooktail. And RiverClan, if he bent beneath the weight of Ferretfoot's stare. The tabby spoke slowly, calling them beautiful in one breath and then saying how bad he felt about Sootear's silence in another. He couldn't decide if he should be relieved or annoyed, whether he should speak or hold his tongue out of spite. "I'm... I'm not here to talk. To ShadowClan cats." His words came out stiffly and he was glad for it, for once. Better for him to sound rehearsed than for his voice to quaver in front of an enemy. The ShadowClan warrior pushed his chest out and swung his hindquarters in a grand display of arrogance, taking his eyes off Sootear so he could address RiverClan's deputy.
While the two made retorts, the small warrior glanced up the path where Pebblefur had gone. She must've been out of earshot if she hadn't come back yet, but Sootear didn't want her to come back. He wanted to go to her instead. He wanted an excuse to wriggle his way out of the situation. You're on a patrol - you can't leave Rooktail to deal with this. So he stood there, rooted to the ground, watching the ShadowClan warrior warily.
It had been a hard lesson to learn, especially through Rooktail’s lanky, self-conscious apprentice moons, but sometimes the best moves in a fight were those that didn’t seem explicitly offensive. He’d always thought that the best leaders were the best fighters; those that could force the other clans into leaving them at peace through sheer will and an indomitable league of warriors. If he’d ever be considered for a higher position - and when would that ever happen, considering how useless he had been (or so he thought)? - he would need to bulk up in order to defend his clan tooth and claw. Besides, who wanted to look as frightfully thin as he did on a day to day basis?
He’d been wrong, of course. What a clan needed in a leader was a strong negotiator as much as a fighter. A carefully placed word or a carefully disguised threat could be far more effective than a brutish grunt or a paw to the face. And as he’d come into himself, delicately weaving the tale of the tom he was today - just as thin as he had been then, if a little less lanky - he learned that pacifying was equally as important as riling up. He’d become the master at the spoken word simply because he could never stand up to anyone in sheer strength alone.
It came in handy for situations such as these. Rooktail’s words were as slippery as water and as double-edged as a flint, deliberate in their attempts to diffuse the situation. Of course, he could have come right out and told the other warrior to step away from the border; he had every right to. If the situation had launched into a fight, they would be far better matched by sheer number alone, and Rooktail didn’t doubt that Sootear’s loyalty to fight if push became shove. But why fight at all when he could just push him back with a conversation?
The little squeak the dark tabby had responded with was proof enough that it was working. Rooktail fought hard to keep a smile from spreading across his face, knowing it would ruin the image entirely. “Well, you have managed to get a good look at us, if your comments before mean anything,” the dark-haired tom said, the sarcasm thinly veiled behind the raising of an eyebrow. ”And if we feel like trespassing, I’ll be sure you will be the first to know. For now, we quite like our side of the border just fine.” It was inherently dismissive in nature, and if that had been all this other tom had said, it would have been enough to encourage him to awkwardly finish the conversation and stumble away.
Instead, this cat seemed intent on proving his manhood. It took all Rooktail had not to sigh at the obvious display of masculinity. There were felines that liked to operate in this way, he reminded himself, even though it wasn’t something he found particularly attractive or helpful for him. The tabby had turned his attention to his patrolmate, noting his obvious - and completely warranted - silence. When Sootear did respond, keeping it brief but assertive, it was clearly equally as dismissive. ”I’m… I’m not here to talk. To ShadowClan cats.” And rightfully so, Rooktail thought. Wooden delivery, though. He would have to remember to talk to Sootear later about his execution.
But no matter. The attention was soon back on him, leaving him to take up the reins. He turned his attention back to Mr. Puffed-Chest-and-Testosterone, who seemed to be talking. ”I do believe that you are mistaken, for it is you who could not handle me. Obviously. Though I do enjoy throwing out a charity case every now and then.” Rooktail took a step forward, seemingly to better distribute his weight, but the movement was enough to put Sootear a little bit more behind himself. He was sure that the other cat would be more comfortable with less attention on him, even if it was just by a little bit. ”You’re vocal, I’ll give you that much,” Rooktail responded, all the while thinking Does he even know who I am? He didn’t bother to puff out his own chest to assert himself, knowing he’d never match in size. ”I can assure you, I’m no charity case. I happen to be the deputy, even.” His tone was calm, if but a little bemused. If this cat wouldn’t get the picture the delicate way, he would have to act a little more bluntly. ”Now, my clanmates and I would love to return to our lovely stroll, and I’m sure you have other things to do and places to see, no?”
hey you with the pretty face welcome to the human race
is pelt was burning- he was sure of it. Not only had he embarrassed himself with misgendering two of the three opposing members of the patrol, but he had also mistaken the deputy and insulted them. He was sure Adderstar was going to drag him to the lake and drown him there herself. He flinched at the thought, pushing it out of his mind. Still, as embarrassed as he was, he couldn't allow the RiverClan patrol to see it, so he kept his smile wide on his face, his brows knitted into a feign of interest. ”Now, my clanmates and I would love to return to our lovely stroll, and I’m sure you have other things to do and places to see, no?” He fought the urge to flatten his ears and hiss a remark. Why, he wondered, for it was not his usual character. But he supposed his mortifying experience most likely contributed to it, and he chalked it up to circumstance. "I do actually have to run," He replied, pausing for dramatics sake. "Though I would most certainly enjoy sticking around..." He trailed off, giving Rooktail a flirtatious glance. "I have to get back to my clan. It was lovely chatting with you, ladies." He took a few steps back, and gave a wave of his tail. He paused before bolting, just in case either had something to say to him. When nothing but silence ensued, he felt his time was over. He turned to flee into the forest, but remembered he ought to walk slowly and proudfully, not turn tail and run like prey. He didn't want the RiverClan scum to think that he was afraid of them, or that he had been caught. With his tail high up in the air as if he were the most important cat ever, the tabby tom strutted away from the patrol, swaying his rump slightly for added effect.
If Rooktail had been any other sort of cat, he would have laughed at the ShadowClanner straight to his face, unafraid of the consequences. Ladies?The nerve of the other cat was appalling (and, Rooktail had to admit, ruggedly sexy in an annoying way), and it did nothing for his opinion on ShadowClan as a whole. He could feel his patrolmates reacting behind him in quite the same manner- confused, exasperated, and slightly entertained. But he wasn’t just any cat. He was the deputy of RiverClan, dammit, and that meant that he had to have some respect for the other clans, even for proven imbeciles like this one. Mousestar would never hear the end of it if he sassed off another warrior in front of a patrol. He waited until the other warrior had disappeared before exhaling in disbelief, the expression in his eyes clear as day — can you believe that one?
”Alright, alright,” he chuckled, turning to face his patrolmates who were busy talking amongst themselves. ”Let’s get back to work, shall we?” The chattering ceased as they picked up their task once more, finishing up the last couple of scent markers. The job done, Rooktail proposed they make turn around and walk back to the camp. As they made their way back, walking amiably side by side, Rooktail felt like he’d grown closer to the other two cats through this bizarre experience. Well, it surely will be the last time I’ll be called a lady any time soon, he thought with a chuckle as he spotted the camp entrance. He waited for the other two cats to enter first before following, sparing one last look at the territory beyond as he did so.
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