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Warriors: Cats of the Sun

[FIN] Gurl, Ditch Him! (Smoke/Pigeonflight)

belloblossom

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Smoke had to endure quite a lot in her lifetime. Sure, she used to reason to herself, plenty of loners had rough lives. They were all fighting for control of their lives, to survive in the outer wilds. Still, she was pretty darn certain that she was among the unlucky few who had fallen in love with the arrogant prick of a tomcat called Split. Or maybe it was all her poor luck, and she was the only one who had found his sarcastic, spiteful attitude for Clan cats so charming. Clan cats didn't hold any interest for her - nor did colonies, like the flower colony by the twoleg ruins. She was a she-cat who valued family, sure, goodness knew that she cared for all of the kits Split had given her (both literally given her, by way of Quiet, and that she'd played a part in getting herself.)
Yet she didn't desire for a large family, particularly. She would've been more than content to just travel along with Split, watching their kits grow together and find their own lives, and maybe even having a second litter before they got too old. When she was expecting her first litter, she had all these dreams of grandeur. That Split would suddenly become present in her life and of their kittens. That he would stay with her through the evenings, grooming her fur and telling her how much he loved her - never mind that he'd never said those words in his life, but she'd been full of emotions and expectations.

Split, ever himself, did not live up to those expectations. She was never hungry, but the prey that her mate (could she go so far as to call him a mate?) provided was always left at her den's entrance. And then, he dropped the bomb on her that he was going into the mountains! Why his sudden interest in a clan territory, especially when so many clan cats had recently left he mountain behind, was a mystery to her. Was he hoping to claim the mountain territory for himself? Couldn't he have waited until after she'd kitted? Evidently not because prey no longer started showing up in front of her den and soon enough, it became evident that Split had, well, split.

So she did it alone. She survived, like any loner, but to survive a single queen with her mate (no, maybe mate wasn't a good word for it after all) gone with only the idea that he'd be "in the mountain territory" to go by... it had been more than difficult. Hunting for herself while nursing three kittens, trying to ensure that they all survived through the moons until maybe, their father would return... It took so much out of her. Eventually, when her little ones were six months old, and their older sister, Quiet, had grown enough to find a mate and stability of her own, Smoke asked her eldest to watch over her litter. She had to go find Split, to pierce her claws through his ear and drag him back to her and their family. He had to take responsibility for the misery he caused by leaving and he was going to fix things by being back. So help her, she WOULD have her happy family life!


Which lead her to where she was now, in the forest that lead up to the mountain. She had to admit, it was nice being away from motherhood, though she found herself worrying constantly about how Quiet was getting along with her little owns. Brawn, Strike and Sharp... they could be quite the pawful when they put their minds to it. She was growing weary as she trekked up the mountain. How long had it been since she'd travelled this far? At this point, turning around would be just as long of a journey home as getting to the mountain top - besides, she came here with a mission. She wasn't going to let her family, or herself down, by going home without even meeting Split.

"I just hope he's still out here." She mewed to herself and then with a puff of energy, she swung a front paw to a nearby tree, claws scratching into the bark with a hiss. "I'm going to give him a piece of my mind when I see him! I pity any other cats who meet him who have to deal with his bad attitude, his flighty nature and... and his rotten fatherly instincts! Who just leaves when they learn their mate is expecting?!" She dragged her claws against the bark. "That no-good, turnout scoundrel!" She snarled at the tree, before she felt her shoulders droop. Where had he gone? Why couldn't she have a happy family? Was... was it her? Had Smoke somehow brought all of this misfortune on herself? She sheathed her claws and leaned against the tree she'd been flaying. She just wished she could have someone to talk to, someone who would get it! What Smoke really needed at that moment, wasn't to see Split, but to have a friend to lean on. @kovak
 
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kovak

Grizzled Veteran
D

Pigeonflight often came to the Mountainclan border, awaiting for the familiar face of the tom who she cared about dearly. Sometimes she would spot him here, sometimes he would be gone for days. But she knew he would always come back. She once tried asking him to join the clan, and he refused, and she learned not to ask him again. She knew she needed the clan, as how Split needed to be a free tom. Ever since Bloodoath left Mountainclan with the rest of the cats who left, her priorities with Split were more clear to her. He was the only one for her, even if it was unconventional.

Sometimes Pidge would stroll further from the border, and get a taste of loner and rogue territory. She was fast enough to run back to her side if needed, but it was sometimes nice to try to understand where her mate was coming from. No cats to tell him what to do, no cats to hold him back, he was able to do what he wanted, when he wanted.

She was closer to trees when she heard a she-cat letting her frustrations out on a tree trunk. She didn't want to intrude, and she didn't know this cat. Were loners the type to attack others just because? Pigeonflight did not know, but something told her that the she-cat was too focused on being angry than wanting to fight her.

"Ummm... hi..." she piped, nervously shifting her weight side to side a few lengths from the smokey cat. Her tail was tucked between her legs and tried looking small. She didn't want to seem as a threat, especially since angry she-cats were not one to be messed with. "I don't know what that tree did to you, but it's not going to talk back to you... are you okay?" @belloblossom
 

belloblossom

Stew Aficionado
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Smoke looked up quickly when she heard a voice nearby - another cat had snuck up on her and she looked around in a spooked frenzy before she spotted the silver she-cat with green eyes. She was older than Smoke was, but her pelt was so clean and her eyes were so bright; she was very pretty. More than that, she didn't seem to be a threat to Smoke, for the other she-cat was clearly making the effort to seem smaller than her. Stumbling through her words, the stranger asked if Smoke was okay and all the stress that Smoke had felt came bubbling out of the she-cat in the form of many tears.

"Noooo!"
She cried, despair evident in her expression. "No, I'm not anywhere near alright." She rubbed a paw over her nose and sniffled. "I've journeyed so far to come up this stupid mountain all for a stupid tomcat who decided the best course of action was to up and leave just when it became evident I was expecting his litter!" She mewed. "So I've left my kits with their older sister and her mate - I know Quiet will take care of them, she's a good girl, but... That I should have to go hunt down this tom, who gave me every indication that he was going to stick by me and love me... Why, I was supposed to have a happy ending! He was supposed to help me raise these kits, but they've never even met their father!" She took in a shuddering gasp. "And... and now I don't even know where to find him! 'Up the mountain' gives a general direction, but what if he's not even here anymore?" She blubbered on, taking large, gulping breaths before she cast her eyes at the pretty she-cat across from her.

"I'm-I'm sorry, I'm not normally like this. Normally I'm very mature and- and respectful, but it's been a hard journey and a hard kitting and... I just don't know how to make my paws go forward anymore." She took a long, shuddering breath. "I'm Sm-Smoke, by the way. Who are you?" @kovak
 

kovak

Grizzled Veteran
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Pidge took a step back when hearing her cry out her no. She definitely was not okay. Part of her wanted to argue with the loner about disrespcting her home, but she also was warned by Split multiple times that clan cats and nonclan cats often did not get along, even though Mountainclan was accepting of all cats. All she could do was listen to the stranger vent and Pidge relaxed a bit. Oh, she was just looking for the cat who fathered her kits. Part of her felt what she was too -- Split did not know that he was a father until the kits were old enough to leave camp safely. Pdge opened her mouth wanting to commentate, but stopped when approached with the question of if her tom was no longer here. Like dead? She did not want to think of that.

Pidge slowly crept up closer to the she-cat and wanted to offer a paw for comfort, but still, she did not know. Split did warn her that loners were often aggressive, if not misunderstood, and she held herself back. "You said that you have a previous litter as well?" she asked. "Is it with the same tom as well?" She did not know who this Quiet was that was mentioned, but maybe that was their older sister?

When Smoke introduced herself, Pidge relaxed just a bit. "I'm umm.. Pigeon," she said, wanting to still hide her clan identity. Obviously, Smoke was too distressed to pick up the clan scent on Pigeonflight, and she would prefer to keep her allegiance hidden for now.

Smoke was quite younger than her, and Pidge looked down upon her, wanting to give advice. "It's never easy being a mother, but your first litter did fine, and I'm sure your current will be okay as well." Pidge carefully came over to give Smoke a reassuring pat of her paw on top of Smoke's. Smoke was much larger than Pidge's petite size. "How long has your mate been missing for? I'm pretty familiar with the mountains, but maybe he's somewhere closer to your den?"

@belloblossom
 

belloblossom

Stew Aficionado
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As the newcomer she-cat began to ask questions in regards to Smoke's first litter, momentarily taking her mind from her current worries, Smoke sniffled and nodded.

"Yes, well, sort of. My mate, at least, I think I can call him that - that's the tomcat I'm looking for, so it's a little uncertain." She sighed, shook her head and continued. "He found this kit, Quiet, he named her. He knew I loved kittens and perhaps he thought she'd be better off with me." She purred, pride in her eyes. "I certainly like to think she was better with me - though I would've loved to see him around more often. Kits need their fathers as much as their mothers." She mewed and added, testily. "I suppose I should've seen the warning signs with how he didn't stick around to raise her with me. I guess... I hoped that if they were his own kits, that he might feel differently. What a stupid cat I am, to have avoided all those warning signs."

Smoke looked over at Pigeon as she introduced herself, and remarked upon motherhood and a small smile appeared on Smoke's muzzle.
"Sounds like you're speaking from experience. If it's not too nosy to ask, do you have a loving mate? I wish that for every she-cat now that I know what it's like having the alternative." She sighed. "I don't think he hates me, but... I'm starting to think... Oh Pigeon, I think he doesn't feel anything for me at all." She looked at her paws. "Why would he leave for this mountain, why would he leave me when I was so soon to kitting, if he ever loved me?"

When Pigeon lay her paw over her own, Smoke looked up and offered the stranger a small purr.
"You must be a mother - you're so kind, so sweet. Pretty too - whoever your mate is, he's lucky to have you in his life, Pigeon." She purred. "My scoundrel of a tomcat... It's been the better part of three moons? Maybe it's more, or less... My mind became so occupied with my kits, once I had them." She offered a sheepish grin. "You know, I almost thought I should track down one of those Clan groups, just to have support in raising them all. I got through it without having to do that - and then I know for certain that my mate would hate me. He's got such a prickle in his pelt when it comes to Clans. Oh- have you heard of them? I don't know how much you as a mountain cat know, but there are so many Clans in my territory that it's hard not to stumble across one of their territories." She huffed a laugh, twitching her whiskers in amusement.

"I'm glad I managed on my own, but... I wouldn't have had to think such thoughts if my mate had just stuck around."
She shook her head. "I swear, on that clawed tree," She flicked her tail towards the battered trunk. "Once I find that silly mixpelt tom, I'm going to claw off both of his ears. Then at least some part of him will match." She rolled her eyes in exasperation, before a thought occurred to her. Split looked unusual and this she-cat could be a local. Or even if Pigeon was just traveling through this area, maybe there was a chance that she would've seen Split, as odd as he was.

"Pigeon, have you perchance seen my mate around here? He's got a very noticeable pelt - half black and half grey tabby. His eyes are different colors, his ears are different too. He'd be pretty obvious - he tries to be sneaky, but who can sneak with that sort of appearance, really." She waved her paw, trying to keep her thoughts on track. "Have you seen any cat like that? If you have, please Pigeon, you must tell me. I need to find him, for our kits." @kovak
 

kovak

Grizzled Veteran
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Pigeonflight blinked. So this tom was not her mate? Pigeonflight knew of cats who did flings, but it sounded like Smoke really loved the father of her kits. Just like how Pigeonflight felt for Split, who she knew felt the same, just on a different level than her.

She purred at the story of Quiet, and agreed that kits deserved to be raised by both their mother and father. "You're a brave cat, to take in a kit that you did not know and raise her as your own, Smoke..." she complimented, thinking of how she also took in Palestorm when the young cat ventured back to Mountainclan.

When Smoke asked about Pidge's personal life, she purred. "I do! It's a bit complicated though... He prefers to keep to himself like most nonclan cats do," she said, watching her words carefully, not wanting to let something slip. "My mate didn't know that he was a father until our kits were old enough to actually meet him though." Her mind circled back to Floodkit, basically a mirrored image of Split. It was a shame that he never got to live, but maybe it was Sunclan's way of punishing her. Her thoughts were broken when Smoke started speaking again about her doubts for the tom. "I think that he wouldn't have had kits with you if he doesn't care about you... You seem like a pretty decent cat to be someone's mother and mate, and I'm sorry that you're not having the best relation with him right now, but maybe he just needs time to process being a dad? It can also be scary for him, as how motherhood was scary for us... maybe he just needs time to recollect himself before fully committing to fatherhood."

When Smoke brought up the idea of raising her kits in Mountainclan, Pidge blinked. Sure, she knew of plenty of loners joining the clan lately, but were things that bad that Smoke really wanted to give up her freedom and that of her kits'? "I know plenty of the mountain cats!" she piped. "I heard that they're actually pretty friendly and welcoming loners with open paws." She looked behind her, and then shook her head. Maybe she was giving too much away, but Smoke did sound somewhat desperate for help?

At the mention of mixpelt, Pigeonflight thought nothing of it. There were plenty of cats with a mix of pelt combinations in Mountainclan, and there were probably even more nonclan cats like that. "If we spot him today, I'll gladly pin him down for you to get to him," she giggled. However, she humor quickly dropped to a serious expression as Smoke kept talking. Was she speaking of who she was thinking of? Pigeonflight bit her tongue and she wanted to cry. There was no way Smoke would be lying about Split if this was the tom she was referring to. He was way too distinct to make up and forget.

Her heart was starting to sink. Split had another family? Was that what he was doing when he said he needed to be free and do as he pleased instead of being held back by a clan? She wanted to yell at Smoke to leave and never come back. This was close to her meetup spot with him, and she didn't want to see either of them right now. "I haven't seen him, I'm sorry," she whispered before getting up to walk away from Smoke. She just wanted to run back to Streamheart and her grandkids where she would be safe. Safe from this nightmare that was happening.

But something told her to stop. Smoke's last words.. for their kits... She wondered how long her mate was seeing Smoke. Were they even mates anymore? This surely was not intentional, right? But she said that they also raised what's her name? Quiet together sort of? Meaning Split was involved with Smoke long before the current litter. For the sake of giving Smoke the chance of living her dream of raising kits with the tom together, she came back to the smokey she-cat.

"This tom, is he Split, by chance?"

@belloblossom
 

belloblossom

Stew Aficionado
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Having Pigeon here was ever-so-comforting, her words were so kind and Smoke felt that she'd had some good fortune shared with her - that while fate may have been so difficult lately, at least it was throwing her a piece of comfort by way of meeting the silver she-cat.

She listened to her companion and nodded her head understandably, but... nonclan cats. Did she mean loners? Maybe mountain loners had different words for things. An oddity, but a charming one, Smoke decided, flicking her ear.

"Call me naïve, maybe it's the mark of a first-time mother, but I would've liked for him to be there when they were born." She mewed. "It does sound like things are complicated with your mate. I hope they become less so."

When Pigeon went on to say that Smoke came across as a decent mother, she laughed.
"Goodness, I certainly hope so!" She replied. "I didn't think that it might be scary for him, to be a father. I should've considered that..." She'd never seen Split really act emotional, but surely that didn't mean that he didn't have emotions? He could just be very good at hiding them, right? Oh, what she'd do for him to express himself to her emotionally. She breathed out a sigh, her tears slowing, her heart beat returning to its usual cadence. Having Pigeon with her was a miraculous incident. She side-eyed the older she-cat when she mentioned knowing plenty of mountain cats.

"Are you apart of a loner colony?" She asked curiously. She only knew vaguely of the flower colony back by the twoleg gardens, but who knew what sort of groups could live up on this mountain. "Or... is there a Clan around here, too?" The idea of any group being overly welcoming to loners came across a little suspiciously to her, but she wasn't going to imply so - Pigeon seemed to like this group, so it wouldn't be very polite to insult them.

"I'm gonna hold you to that. Between the two of us, there's no way he could escape!" She giggled, only to stifle her amusement as Pigeon's expression quickly darkened. Did... did she recognize Split's description? Her focus came to a point as Smoke studied Pigeon's expression. "Pigeon...?" She began, only to have the grey she-cat abruptly stand and move to walk off hurriedly. "H-Hey! What...?" She began to mew, getting to her paws, but stunned. Did that mean this loner also knew Split? But why would she react in such a manner? Smoke's thoughts churned - had Split wronged this she-cat in some manner? Had he hurt her? Oh Smoke would never forgive him for hurting her new friend -

She said her relationship with her mate was complicated. That he preferred to keep to himself. surely she couldn't mean -

She lifted her head as Pigeon came back and asked if the tomcat, Smoke's mate, was Split? For a moment, Smoke could only stare at Pigeon, before she nodded.
"Yes, Split is the name of my... he's the father of my kits." She couldn't be vague, going forward. It would hurt, but she had to know. "Pigeon, is Split the father of your kits, too?" @kovak
 

kovak

Grizzled Veteran
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All other words exchanged left Pigeonflight as Smoke asked the question. Not if Split was the father of her kits, but the "too" was said.

All she could do was freeze and stare at Smoke. She hated this. She hated Smoke. She hated Split. She hated all of this. Pidge was usually a well composed cat, other than being pretty flighty, but right now, the senior just wanted to rip open Smoke's throat. She was a well trained warrior, but she also learned a thing or to play sparring with Split. She was originally going to offer Smoke to seek refuge with Mountainclan if the loner was trustworthy enough, and have her kits be raised by the clan, like Smoke previously suggested.

But now, Pidge did not want her kin near her. The code flooded her mind: "defend the clan, even at the cost of your life." Defend the clan. Defend the clan from Smoke and the unwanted kits. Streamheart, Palestorm, Finchchirp, Buzzardstrike, Eclipsesong, Thistledown, Sparrowfeather. She always told Streamheart not to be upset at her father for not being with her. And in the end, Streamheart was right about things. Split did not care. He always said that he would be loyal to her. But he wasn't. He ended up getting involved with her.

Her demons were invading her mind. Split hurt her. Split also hurt Smoke. What was happening? Right now, she wished Streamheart were here. Watch her mother destroy the cat that probably ruined everything. Pidge did not know if she was going insane. A part of her wanted to hate Split, and a part of her did not want to let him go. Not ever since Bloodoath left her and the clan. She was not going to let him go anytime soon. But Smoke. She absolutely hated her. If only she was not here, maybe her mate would actually settle down with her. Was Smoke the other female? Or was it Pigeonflight? She did not know.

She gave a quick swipe across the younger she-cat's cheek. "He is," she spat curtly. Pigeonflight was too heated and ready to fight if needed. But looking at Smoke. And how Smoke was so friendly. Another part of the code trickled in. "Blood does not need to be spilled when words can fix the problem." Pigeonflight was always a cat to follow the code, and so she knew what she should and should not do. Floodkit was also probably watching her from Sunclan.

"I'm sorry. Let's go find him Smoke." Pigeonflight held her promises, and she promised Smoke she would help find him, despite how much she was hating all this.

@belloblossom
 

belloblossom

Stew Aficionado
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Smoke recoiled when she was struck, her eyes wide. She raised a paw to her cheek and found that it came away bloody. Would it scar? If it did, how on earth would she explain it to her children? And then there was all this mess with Pigeon to sort through. The older she-cat seemed to regain her senses, but Smoke's senses were on high alert.

Pigeon had friends in the mountain cats - what if she was secretly a bigger threat than Smoke had stopped to consider? Smoke was just one loner! But... Pigeon was offering to help her find Split. Maybe... Maybe with Pigeon, she'd stand better luck at finding the tomcat that held their hearts. Her tears stung her open wound and she sniffled, before nodding.

"Y-Yes, let's go find him." She echoed, too worried to argue. "Lead the way, Pigeon." @kovak

(Fin!)
 
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