Gullpaw hadn't meant to make a mess. Really, he hadn't; but Robinheart had left him up to his own devices for the day, and as he had begun exploring the Medicine Cat's Den, he had found the moss. Oh, it had been ages since he'd felt moss - he vaguely remembered the freshest stuff in autumn. Most of his den in the nursery had been made of feathers. But he missed the spongey feel. It made his paws feel tingly.
Before he knew it, there was an older cat who seemed quite livid; spotting Gullpaw with a ball of damp moss between his paws, and more scattered in his long fluffy fur, and around the clearing to their den...The wide-eyed routine that had once worked so well at getting him out of trouble with his auntie seemed to do nothing now.
Just clean this up before Frostfall uses' your fur to fetch water with! They had yowled, and Gullpaw had scuttled off deeper into the den with a yelp, keeping out of their way.
And that was where he was found a good hour later; more moss in his fur than on the ground now, at least, but still a very untidy sight when he nearly walked into another cat.
"Not 'mfur!" He cried immediately, hitting the ground in a puff of fur and moss. "I's cold out n' I need it!"
Maplepaw walked back into camp after training with Mallownose. He was carrying two mice. It had been his first day of real training and he was already showing his strengths to his living mentor. Before she had taken him on a tour of the territory and made him clean the elders and nursery nests. At least now he was doing something real though he wished he had been battle training instead. After dropping one mouse off at the freshkill pile he turned carrying the other to find a place to eat only to bump into a big fluffy ball of moss?
"Not 'mfur!" The ball of fur and moss cried out. "I's cold out n' I need it!"
Maplefur laughed, "Woo, someone sure gave you a fright Gullpaw." Gullpaw was a moon younger than him. Dropping the mouse onto the ground he began to grab bits of moss out of the young toms fur. "What happened to you? Did a moss bomb blow up?"
Perhaps it didn't bode well to be frightened of anything bigger than his own shadow, but to Gullpaw's delight he found that there wasn't anything really to be worried about. The cat who had wandered in was one of his own - Maplepaw, another apprentice - and not a scary-angry warrior, or even worse, the apparently wrath-filled, pelt-stealing Medicine Cat. He allowed himself a sigh of relief even as he felt his face flush beneath his fur at being caught with green stuff stuck in his fur with.
"I'm cleaning! It's important work, y'know!" He squeaked, pulling up as much height as he could muster and still failing. They may have both become apprentices recently, but Maplepaw would always win out on the value of being older thanks to his age. He only appeared wider thanks to his fur - and besides thickness was not exactly the best thing to be when you were living in the wild, or as a hardened warrior. Besides being a moss-magnet, thick downy fur like his gave the impression that he would have been better off lounging on some twoleg's pillow somewhere.
"I came in here to explore, but then....well...I figured I better help clean up 'fore Frostfall came back and used my fur for fetchin'- I mean for a nice surprise. For the Sick cats. Noble, innit?" He asked, changing tactics immediately as he realized mid-sentence that admitting to causing the mess in the first place was probably not really a cool thing to do. He shifted his paws in front of him ever so slightly, causing the looser bits of moss to pop off and outline his body on the ground as he did so.
The corner of Maplepaws mouth went up as Gullpaw said he had been cleaning. He chuckled softly "Are you sure about that? It looks like you've been playing in the moss that or Frostfall had been using your fur to mop up her den," he chuckled.
When the truth came out Maplepaw nodded and let his smile go away and nodded his head. He imagined the young tom had probably made a bigger mess than he had actually cleaned and Frostfall would most likely need to clean up after Gullpaws attempt to clean the mess he made. But instead of being cruel a plan began to formulate in his brain. If he was kind to Gullpaw and earned his friendship and loyalty he may be of some use to him in the future. "Well I'm sure you hadn't meant to make a mess for Frostfall and I'm sure she'll appreciate you trying to clean up your mess. That was very noble of you to do. You should be proud of yourself Gullpaw." He smiled warmly at the young tom.
(Sorry I took so long weekdays are really busy for me)
Gullpaw partially expected to be laughed at by the other tom. He was used to it, and took to it with surprisingly good humor. But to his amazement, Maplepaw actually praised him. Him! Gullpaw; when he'd already been scolded once. He felt like his heart swelled so big, it was amazing it hadn't blocked his throat, honestly.
"Y-Ya really think so?" He asked, then, as if ruminating on it himself, continued. "Yeah...I suppose she will, won't she!" Already, he could picture the Medicine Cat as less of a scary monster bent on taking his pelt for punishment to praising him. Maybe a little parade, first choice of the Fresh Kill Pile...he could deal with that.
Problem was, there was still a lot of moss left out on the ground. Reinvigorated, he tried to sweep up a little eddie of it with a wide sweep of his tail; mostly sending it up in the air with his flourish and scattering against his own back. "Yikes...well...um...I suppose if I want to surprise and really do her the favor I should finish, shouldn't I..."
He found himself reluctant to let Maplepaw leave though, especially as he looked around and saw how much he still had to do. "Er....you know...if you were to help me I bet she'd be really thankful to you, too! Wouldya mind?"
Maplepaw gave a genuine smile, "of course I do." Gullpaw seemed to be craving positive attention. He could easily provide that. He nodded her head, "Of course she will, Frostfall will understand that you made a mistake but she'll appreciate that you fixed your mistake." He rested his tail for a second on Gullpaws back.
Looking around the Medicine cats den Maplepaw realized there was still a bit of a mess. "Yea you should, maybe we could clean her nest out and put in new moss and bracken for her then fetch something for her to eat." By helping Gullpaw he would hopefully earn his friendship and more importantly eventually his loyalty.
"Of course I'll help you buy you should get all the credit for cleaning her den up. Who knows maybe she'll be so thankful she'll give you a piece of honeycomb come spring?' Maplepaw began to slowly gather the bits of moss into a pile and into the corner where it usually was kept. "What don't you start on Frostfalls nest and pick out all the bad bits of moss and bracken while I sweep up the floor ok?"
Gullpaw was young, but he still remembered what honeycomb had tasted like. His aunt had allowed him a nibble of the last piece they found in leaf-fall. Unconsciously, he licked his lips just thinking of the sweet confection; and he could almost feel his tummy rumbling in sympathy for it. Oh yeah, that would even be better than making the Medicine Cat feel happy with him, honestly!
Maplepaw was so cool - it seemed he knew exactly what Gullpaw needed to here, and for the first time in a long time Gullpaw felt like he actually felt a connection with someone in the clan. His dad had been massively pressuring, his cousins all infinitely braver than he was, and his aunt had to love him...she was his foster-mom. But Maplepaw was genuinely friendly, and suave. He was someone Gullpaw should have strived to be - and yet, here he was, giving HIM praise, telling him he had DONE a proper thing.
"I can totally do that!" He cried, and for once, actually seemed ready and eager to do something through motivation other than fear. Maplepaw believed in what he was doing; and honestly, Gullpaw wanted to prove him faith in him right. He shook his head, spraying moss around him, before diving back towards Frostfall's den.
"She will certainly be surprised, won't she?" And for the first time, he began to believe that it would be a good surprise, and not a bad one.
Maplepaw smiled hoping Sootface would be proud of him. It's not like he was doing this out of the goodness of his heart he was doing this to earn the loyalty and trust of the tom. As Gullpaw shouted that he could do that and took off to take care of Frostfalls nest he began sweeping up the loose moss and going through the moss that had gotten dirty and threw them in a pile to get rid of. Once that was done he put all the clean moss in a neat pile. "Yes Frostfall will be really surprised and happy. After we are done we should fetch some more mos for her as well to replace the stuff that we use." Maplepaw avoided saying the stuff that Gullpaw had gotten dirty. Grabbing a bundle of clean moss he carried it into Frostfalls den and dropped it next to Gullpaw. "Here you can replace the bad moss with this moss." He began working at the young toms side picking out bad moss and tossing it to the side. Once all the bad moss was out he nudged the clean moss closer. "Gullpaw why don't you work this stuff into her nest while I get rid of the dirty and stiff moss bits." He could hide the ruined moss in this bundle as he carried it out. Grabbing the bundle he headed out of the den and grabbed the moss that was no good out there before leaving the den for a minute to toss this moss in the dirt place.
Maybe it was true what some said: a task got easier when you worked alongside a friend. In any case, Gullpaw found his heart soaring, feeling a little better every moment that Maplepaw spent. Honestly, he had so many great ideas, it was hard not to be carried away with them.
For the first time, Gullpaw felt like someone was not only working with him; but for him. And liked him for just being...well..himself.
"Oh, I can totally do that!" He enthusiastically turned to the new project at hand; fixing Frostfall's nest. If there was one thing the tom knew how to do, it was how to make oneself comfortable when napping; it was one of his few good qualities. He may not have had the softest bed in Mistclan, but it would be a close thing. And it was something he knew a lot about. "See...if I put my paws here, and I kinda curl the moss downwards at the corners, it fluffs all the other parts of it up..."
Who knew if Maplepaw was actually listening or not, but to Gullpaw it made sense. And it was something he could be proud of.
Maplepaw entered the dirtplace and dumped the bedding on the ground and spread it out a bit before turning and heading back to Frostfalls den. As he padded into the back of the den he heard Gullpaw talking. He quickly padded up to him so he could hear what he was saying. "Oh, very interesting I bet that makes the bed so nice and soft." Was he really saying that? Like it really mattered how the moss was but he had to play nice and pretend he liked the tom. "I bet that Frostfall will really appreciate all the hard work you are doing for her." Padding over to the other side he tried to do what Gullpaw said with some of the moss. "Am I doing this right?" He wanted to so badly roll his eyes but he forced himself not to and kept the happy look on his face.
Carried Home is a Warriors roleplay forum. We feature four clans - all four of which have futures that heavily depend on what your characters do - as well as a 50 word count minimum on RP posts, and a functioning currency and shop.
While most of the action does center around our four clans, members are also permitted to make loners, rogues, and kittypets. You can also make both StarClan and Dark Forest characters.