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Warriors: Cats of the Sun

[FIN] The Aftermath (Riversurge/Poppypaw)

belloblossom

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Riversurge had found that after he'd said his hurried farewells to the girls, that he did, in fact, need some time to relieve himself. He certainly wasn't about to go back to the group so soon, so he shuffled off to a dusty dirt patch in the forest. Moments later, he was stalking even further away from the group, his tail brushing across any bush or tree. He didn't want to get lost from the group, but... he needed to take the time to find himself first. Coming eventually to a tree with low hanging branches, a sort he couldn't recognize on sight, he unsheathed his claws and hauled himself up it. Sending a prayer up to SunClan that he wouldn't find any unhappy owls coming to seek revenge on the nearby cat group for the last few nights, he chose a branch that was sturdy enough to support his weight with a distance from the ground that, should he fall... well, it probably wouldn't kill him. Riversurge, for better or worse, had always been able to walk off injuries well enough. Now if only he could manifest his tough exterior into his interior too.

The blue-grey tomcat heaved a great sigh, his head slumping forward against his chest. He managed two licks of his white fur before he dug his claws into the bark beneath him gripping the branch hard as he began to tremble. Spluttering, ugly noises cracked out of the lithe tomcat as the anxiety he'd been repressing in the face of his loved one wracked itself out of him. He felt his fur become damp around his muzzle and cheeks and he began to hiccup as he tried to get himself back under control.

That had been t-too much. He'd been so scared through it all, but he wasn't going to leave Poppypaw while she was in danger. He couldn't help loving her - was that pathetic? They hadn't left the mountains for very long, but the first she-cat who treated him with more than a little kindness, suddenly he felt like he couldn't stand to not be around him. He shuddered, the branch swaying, and bits of bark fell to the ground as his claws gouged the bark. Was he interfering where he shouldn't? It didn't feel right to suddenly give Poppypaw the cold shoulder, though. He didn't want to upset her. He never wanted for her to be upset.

He'd seen the way she was with Palepaw, though. Rushing off to her friend's side, he'd told her that Palepaw was lucky to have her as a friend, but... what if... what fi it wasn't just friendship between the two she-cats?
Of course the ONE she-cat who isn't scary is wrapped up in someone else. He thought in a flash of resentment, but shame flooded through him and he croaked out a miserable, quiet sob. No, that's not entirely true. I'm in her heart too. But... I can't be mates with both of them! He didn't feel anything towards Palepaw and... and he was pretty sure Palepaw didn't fancy toms, after the way she'd snuggled up against Poppypaw in the bush.

"You're just getting in the way again, Riversurge." He said to himself. He let the words hang in the air for a moment before he went on, using his sentences as a way to take deeper, slower breaths. "Palepaw didn't want you there." He'd caught a glance of the grey cat looking at him. He'd felt so guilty, so isolated, so alienated. "You should've let them be alone together, Riversurge, you mouse-brain." He choked out a whimper. "If anyone looks at you, it's with pity, you-you good-for-nothing, second-rate warrior." He shuffled his paws and crouched down on the branch, doing everything he could to make himself as small as he felt. He found himself looking at the ground. He couldn't find it in himself to look up to SunClan again - surely they'd be disappointed in him too. "You would've been remembered fondly, had you stayed on the mountain and died with the others. Now, you're just a problem for everyone to endure." @PeterPan_da144
 
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PeterPan_da144

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With Palepaw settled for now, she'd decided to go after Riversurge. Something felt off about the way he suddenly skedaddled. Plus, with Palepaw's words hanging in the back of her head, she couldn't just let the tom go.

His trail led off past the clan, and she found where he relieved himself, but it smelled as if he'd continued onward. Worry suddenly clouded her mind and she pushed forward. Was he upset too?

Still following his scent, it started to give her an idea of the emotions he was feeling. Mostly it seemed something akin to sadness. Her heart panged.

Sure enough, she finally came close to him when she heard his last few sentences. How cats only looked on him with pity, and how he should've stayed behind. She didn't catch anything before that.

"Riversurge," she'd say quietly but strong. So he could hear her before she came much closer.

Once she was sure he'd heard her, she hauled herself up into the tree next to him and pressed firmly into his side. Gentle licks were give across his head and shoulders.

"You're not a problem, River," she murmured softly. Her tail rested across his. "You're a sweet and gentle soul. One I am very, very happy to have in my life." A low purr came from her. "I'm sorry I took off after Palepaw and made you come with me. You didn't have to do that. I just knew my sister needed comforting, and I didn't want to see her hurting anymore."
 

belloblossom

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Riversurge had been taking deep, shuddering breaths when he heard his name being spoken. His tail bushed out in panic as he turned his head around and he tensed when he spotted Poppypaw. Why was she here? Was Palepaw close behind? He scanned his surroundings, as if expecting the grey she-cat to manifest out of thin air. Yet, no one else approached and by the time he was looking back to Poppypaw, she'd hauled herself onto the branch. It swayed under their combined weight, but didn't buckle.

This branch is more resilient than I am. Riversurge thought glumly.

He sighed at Poppypaw's reassurances and his tail flicked upward, catching hers and curling it forward.
"I... I'm flattered that you think so, Poppypaw, but... I just worry how much I can do for the Clan. If... If you and Palepaw..." He wasn't sure how to voice his worries. "What if... what if you're in each other's hearts, but... but Palepaw doesn't want me there? Or... or what if - wait - sister?" He'd been talking over her, but he stopped to stare at Poppypaw, his mouth hanging slightly agape.

"You see Palepaw as your... sister." He said again and then with a bubbling eruption, he started to laugh. "O-Oh, Poppy, I'm not laughing at you, I've just been so worried!" He brought a paw up to his muzzle to wipe at his eyes. He was not about to start crying again - he wasn't, but oh, the relief he felt! "I thought... I surely thought you were in love with her! That THAT was the reason that you always ran after her and got so up close and cuddly." He breathed a sigh of relief, lowing his paw and shifting on the branch to face Poppypaw more carefully.

"Thank you for your apology, Poppypaw - this puts things into a clearer way for me and I appreciate that. I... SunClan, I wasn't going to say anything until we were in our new settled territory, but you're here and I'm emotional - though when am I NOT emotional and - ok! Ok!" He took a deep breath. Palepaw wasn't his love rival, she was Poppypaw's sister! Or close enough to be one. He could do this.

"Poppypaw, I am enormously happy when you're around, too. No one's really had any patience in getting to no me, except for you, and I KNOW I'm a mess emotionally. I'm shy with other cats even though I've grown up around our Clanmates. I spook easily and I jump to conclusions and I cry a lot. While it's true that being around you makes me feel better, it's also... you inspire me to try and BE better! I want to be a warrior that's worthy of your company and high spirits... and like you do with Palepaw, I want to be a cat who can comfort you in your moments of need, whether frequent or not."

He flexed his toes and tried not to fidget as he went on.
"But, um, well, Poppy you know I like you, you might even know that I love you, but I want to make it clear - I don't love you like you and Palepaw love each other, like siblings. I love you... romantically. You're someone I would like to spend my life with." Oh SunClan, could she hear his heart beating as loudly as he could? "There's a lot of changes happening right now - I don't want to overwhelm you with considering our future together as, erm, mates, but... I just wanted to tell you now, while we have a moment alone."

He wanted to look away, to gaze at the sky or to stare at the ground, but his fur prickled. He wanted to see how she reacted to this, if there was rejection coming, he wanted to make sure it was unmistakably so and not just his anxiety projecting for once.

"Poppypaw...What're you thinking?" He asked after a moment, hoping to get a better idea of her reaction to his confession. @PeterPan_da144
 

PeterPan_da144

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She let him rant for a bit, and purr-laughed when he realized what she had said.

"Yes," she said, amused. Though she was a bit concerned with all the laughing on his end.

"Well, I do love her..." she trailed softly, but Riversurge had continued on. Her tail flicked gently, a little confused still. Palepaw was her sister. Her family. Of course she would love her.

Him shifting to look at her more directly also had her a bit concerned. Was he dehydrated and delirious? She looked on at him worriedly.

As he continued on, Poppypaw grew quiet and still. Listening intently. Processing his words.

Romantically.

She was quiet perhaps a little too long before she finally spoke again. Her chin had dipped towards her chest and tucked in gently, but now she raised it so she could look him in the eyes.

"I'll be honest," she started softly, slowly. "I've never really stopped to think about anyone in that kind of light." A slow blink, tilt of her head, and her eyes slipped away from him as she thought. Toes flexing, claws digging at the branch a little bit. A little nod and her gaze would turn back up to him.

"But I do know that you mean so, so much to me, River. I enjoy and cherish every second I spend with you. It's been a lot of fun, and it's always so relaxing being around a cat who doesn't expect much from me. You don't push me to learn more, to get better at hunting or stalking or herb gathering. You just let me be... me," she laughed softly, shrugging her shoulders a bit.

"If that is what love is, then I think that's what I feel." Her whiskers twitched and her cheeks grew warm.

"I just... You know that I promised to help get Palepaw back to the mountains, right?" Now she grew a little worried. Would he be upset? "I promised I'd help her keep track of where we go, and do what I can to help her get back to where she feels she belongs. I don't want to return to the mountains, not forever. I don't think that's the place for me." Her paws kneaded the branch anxiously. "I've been enjoying this traveling and seeing new places, and I want to keep doing that. But I don't want her to think I've abandoned her for someone else, nor do I want you to think I've abandoned you to help her."

Her shoulders shook a little as her gaze had fallen back down to the branch. "Would you hate me if I helped her? Or if I wanted to keep travelling?"

@belloblossom
 

belloblossom

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Riversurge tried his best not to get worked up by the lack of response - and then by her response itself. While Poppypaw's words came slowly at fast, leaving him hanging on to each one. She'd never thought about someone in that light before? That wasn't surprising, given how young she was - sure, she'd grown to the height of a warrior and received the training for it, but she still had her apprentice name. SunClan, was he even in the morally correct position to have confessed to her before she got her full name? Was there some taboo he didn't pause to consider?

Before he let himself go any further down that concerning path, he re-focused on what Poppypaw was saying. That she cherished every moment spent with him, that he was fun and easy to be around, that he meant so very much to her.

"That certainly sounds like love to me... though I'd hardly call myself an expert in the field. You're, well, you're the first cat I've ever really felt this way about." He admitted softly, before she continued on. His brows knit together as the tone of the conversation began to take a turn. He had a small idea of what she was saying, he'd overheard her promises and ambitions before, but it wasn't a point of worry. Because this time, he could say with confidence how he felt.

"I think you may've mentioned your plans to me once or twice before." He offered a small purr, hoping to be reassuring. When she posed her last questions, his eyes flew wide. "Poppy, I could never hate you! Especially for something so compassionate and kind to your sister." His expression relaxed and he shifted so that his pelt brushed against the mottled tabby's. "I... I've never felt like apart of MountainClan, so much as an outsider looking in on the happiness of others lives. But when I"m with you, I feel like I'm apart of something wonderful. I enjoy travelling too, if I'm with you, and if that's back to the mountain to get Palepaw where she belongs, that's fine. If we end up traveling beyond the mountain, or back down to the river or... or even somewhere completely new, I'll be fine - so long as you're with me."

He smiled at his friend, his crush, his companion and then asked.
"If... If all this is alright with you, that we've established that we care a great deal about one another, and love one another in that meaningful way... and since the prospect of a future involving plenty of travel is fine by the both of us then... Poppypaw, may I call you my mate, going forward from this moment?" @PeterPan_da144
 

PeterPan_da144

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Relief was the first emotion to course through her. Poppypaw leaned against Riversurge as much as she dared, and a purr rumbled through her chest. Her tail curled against his and she rested her head against his shoulder.

"I'd like that very much," she said very simply. It amused her how talkative he'd suddenly become. How full of energy. For a moment there, she wasn't sure if she had much energy herself. But now she felt renewed. Palepaw's observations had been correct, and Riversurge wasn't upset by the promises Poppypaw had already made. Despite the earlier happenings in the day, it seemed as if everything had leveled out for now. Something she was quite grateful for.

@belloblossom
 

belloblossom

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Riversurge wasn't sure if there was ever a time he felt happier. He felt his entire pelt warm when Poppypaw curled her tail around his and lay her head on his shoulder. A quiet, rumbling purr coursed through him, the only worry that if he purred loud enough, the vibrations may shake her head from its resting spot.

"That makes me very happy to hear, Poppypaw." He purred to his companion - to, to his mate. He fell quiet at last, feeling rather talked out for the time being - so much had happened today, but somehow, everything seemed to fall into a comfortable spot for the time being. They could move from their cozy little perch later, but for the time being, he wouldn't want to change this moment for a second. @PeterPan_da144 (Thus, I declare this RP finished, if that's alright with you?)
 
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