Dogear had told Webpaw to clean the elder's den and check them for ticks. She felt like she was being treated differently. She hadn't even gone out to explore the territory yet. Her siblings had all been taking out by their mentors to learn the territory at the very least while she was sent to hunt down moss for the nursery and elders den than to clean out the elder's den. It wasn't fair. But maybe Dogear was afraid they would get out into the middle of the territory and she would have a seizure? Webpaw knew that fear for it was a constant fear for her. But she didn't want fears to rue her life.
Webpaw entered the elder's den and began to go through their bedding looking for tough and dirty bits. She started with Brambleflames nest and heard him grunt.
"Oh great they sent the broken kit to take care of us. Can't they send someone who at least knows what they're doing and isn't broken?"
The words stung and caused Webpaw to flinch. Did her clan mates really see her as broken? Was that why her own mentor wouldn't take her outside of camp? Tears shined in her eyes but she kept her head down as she worked. After finishing gathering all the bad moss and bracken from all the next she quickly turned her back and gathered it up. "I...I'll be back with s...some clean m...moss for you." Her voice trembled as she tried not to cry in front of the elders. She quickly gathered up the foul bedding and ran out of the elder's den only to run right into someone else dropping the old bedding everywhere. "I...I'm s...so s...sorry." She whimpered as she began to cry.
Gullpaw was not hiding from his mentor. No...that would be foolish, and stupid, and...truth be told kind of pathetic if he actually sat down and thought about it. No, he decided. If anyone would ask he was sent her as some sort of punishment. Maybe he'd done something spectacularly awesome, and yet so dangerous that he was being punished for it. Yeah. That's what he'd tell anyone who asked.
But...then again...this was him he was talking about...so the likelihood that anyone would believe that story was slim to none.
Still, as he sat just inside the entrance to the dirtplace, he made sure to keep his profile low as possible. As if a nearly white tom could blend into anything that wasn't a giant snowdrift. He was about as conspicuous as a fluffy cloud brought to earth. Which was why it was a little surprising when he was nearly bowled back by a silvery figure.
"Ouff!" He wasn't hurt; more so surprised, with a bit of the wind knocked out of him from the collision of cat into his chest. A sudden shower of moss struck him between the ears, leaving him with a slightly lopsided crown of soiled bedding; which he deftly shook off. "M'sorry...didn't mean ta get in your way!" He apologized, immediately taking blame for the collision although more than likely it was both of their faults for not paying attention.
It was then that he noticed the slight shake in the other cat's voice; a sort of quiver that was sadly familiar to him. It was a voice that was afraid they'd done something wrong, or choking back a sort of fear-sadness that made it hard for words to squeeze their way out of their throat. He answered in an almost similar tone. "Hey-hey! S'not a big deal! No use crying over soiled moss!" He said, as he hurried to scrape a bit of it up with his paws, as is that would fix everything. No harm, no foul.
Webpaw tried to stop crying but once she had started it was hard to stop. Was she really broken just because of her seizures? She had never pictured herself as broken but it looked like some of her clanmates might. "S'okay, wasn't your fault," she mumbled and sniffed. "Wassn't watching where I was going. How could she? She had been to upset about what the elder had said to think about what was in front of her.
She began to pick up the dirty bedding and putting it back into a bundle. She didn't dare look up at the tom for fear of seeing the same look the elder had given her. But his voice was so nice and soft as he told her it wasn't a big deal and not to cry over spilled moss. She shook her head sending tears splashing down on the ground. "Wassn't the moss and bumping into you that upset me but I am ssory about that." Once Webpaw had all the moss including the moss that had fallen into the Gullpaws fur she shoved it further into the dirt place area out of the way of any cats coming in and out. Turning she looked Gullpaw in the face for the first time. "Am I broken?" Webpaws eyes grew wide with shock, she couldn't believe she had just asked that. She quickly turned her back to him and began to slowly leave the dirt place.
(Feel free to go after her she needs some comfort.)
The longer he was an apprentice, and the more he got to see of the world of the Clans around him, the more Gullpaw began to wonder - was everyone really okay? There were so many things to be afraid off, to cower behind; and to learn to forge ahead against your better judgement. He would have loved to have found a way where he could simply rest in the sun all day, miles away from the strange personalities that made up some of his Clanmates.
But then he would remember others, like Maplepaw and Robinheart. His dad and his aunt and his cousins who he wanted to make proud. And he realized he was needed here too. And he seemed to be pretty okay at some things; like making others feel better. So when the other apprentice, tears in her eyes, suddenly popped up with one of the strangest questions and made as if to take off, Gullpaw took only a moment to let it all sink in before scrambling after them, nearly tripping on his own wide paws in an effort to cut her off.
"Whoa, wait now...this is more than moss, innit?" Yes, it was; she had already told him as much herself, but Gullpaw was admittedly a little slow when it came to getting social cues. "Look, uh...I'm not hurt...and I don't think you are neither. I mean, half the warriors got big chunks taken out of 'em. Some of 'em are blind, and walk funny...and my auntie used to tell me that ol' Mothstar of Mothclan was nuttier than a hole full of squirrels..." Maybe, at least, that was one reason it was good to be a part of Mistclan; Bearstar could be crabby, but at least she seemed to have most of her mental faculties in tact.
He walked around Webpaw now, trying to check her for any sort of marks. Other than those natural bits of her pelt, he didn't see anything amiss. "I mean, we both 'got two ears...and a tail...and two eyes and four feet and one nose...so if you're broken you're no more broken 'n me."
Of course...that wasn't saying much when you took into effect that he essentially jumped at odd looking shadows, loud noises, and one unfortunate morning an oddly shaped twig that he thought was a snake...but it was the thought that counted, right?
How could she just blurt that question out? And to someone who wasn't her family or someone she even really knew. She was so stupid. Webpaw heard him call out behind her and part of her wanted to stop and listen to what he had to say but her fear was inc control right now. She was about to pick up her speed when Gullpaw stepped around in front of her. As he went on to say that half the warriors had chunks of fur missing, were blind or walked funny. She understood he was trying to make her feel better but this was different. Then he went on to say they both had two ears, a tail, and two eyes as well as four feet. She stopped and looked up at him with a pain filled expression. "It's not the same, I'm... broken on the inside..." Webpaw lowered her head and flinched at her own words.
"I was cleaning out the elder's den and one of them said 'Oh great they sent the broken kit to take care of us. Can't they send someone who at least knows what they're doing and isn't broken?' I never thought my seizure disorder made me broken but... but, maybe I am... who else has seizures in all the clans? Just... me."
Gullpaw flicked his ears back in surprise: one moment, Webpaw seemed to be doing anything to avoid talking, and all of a sudden words were spilling out like a veritable waterfall. It made his head spin, trying to keep up, but finally he seemed to get the gist of it.
"The Elder's are always a crabby bunch about something." He reasoned. "If it's not invisible burrs in their nest, it's something about how we don't have no respect for the 'old days', or we looked at 'em wrong...or we smell like a dead mouse." To be fair...he had...but how was he supposed to know he shouldn't be keeping snacks in his nest? And it wasn't that bad... "I think half the pleasure they have left is findin' fault in others...I mean, I probably would, wouldn't you?"
Of course...he didn't really know what to make of Webpaw's predicament. He, at least, had control over most of his faculties at all time. He could be paralyzed by fear, but even that, sort of, was a choice. He'd heard whispers about the strangely afflicted apprentice - but he'd never talked to them, of course. He hadn't had the misfortune to see exactly what was wrong with her, but for the time being, he stuck by his words.
"I still don't see anything wrong with you..." He stuck to his earlier argument, and just to make sure this time, circled around her as if checking for some sort of visual imperfection. "Bearstar made you an apprentice anyways, didn't she? I don't think she does that unless she thinks your ready and can do the job. If you're broken, you don't do the job. Simple as that. "
Webpaw shook her head, "but have they ever called you or the other apprentices broken?" She sniffed and raised a paw to try and wipe her tears away. She listened to what else he said about their only pleasure is tearing others down. She shook her head, "No I would never tear someone down if anything I would try and lift them up. Give them encouragement and maybe tell stories of the old days while an apprentice did some cleaning and took care of them."
Talking was helping her a lot. She was starting to really be grateful that she had run into Gullpaw. Her eyes widened when he said he didn't see anything wrong with her. What he said next made her feel so much better. She purred softly and smiled, "You're right, Bearstar would have never made me an apprentice if she thought my seizures would affect my training." She doesn't know what made her do it but she stepped closer to Gullpaw and gave his ear a lick, "Thanks for cheering me up."
"Honestly....the elder's scare me. I try to keep away from them while they're awake as much as possible." Even when they were awake and being friendly by telling stories, they tended to tell stories about how they got scarred, beaten, burned. How everything they loved and ever cared for had died or gotten immediately dismembered. It didn't make for very good dinner conversation, and had put Gullpaw off his food on more than one occasion. "But I still wouldn't put it past them. I think that just means we'll have to stick around longer, farther, and live to be Elder's right. We need to be the better, nicer Elders. Maybe ones that are really into naps and good hygiene."
Of course, he was just doing his best to pick of a cat who was down; he didn't really expect any sort of happy reaction. Other than Maplepaw, who was his first real, real friend, others seemed to look at him like he was a little soft in the head. He looked for help from others, not the other way around. So when Webpaw darted forward and licked him; he felt the skin beneath his fur grow hot, and his own tongue grow drought-dry.
"Ah, uhg...um..." He stumbled to regain speech for a moment before he finally stumble out, at least one decibel louder than he needed to be. "DON'TMENTIONITI'MGULLPAW!"
Webpaw looked at the ground a little embarrassed about what she had just done and afraid how Gullpaw may act. "yes we definitely need to live a long life so we can teach future kits an apprentices the proper way they should treat youngsters when they become elders and how apprentices should also show respect to the elders. I'll definitely keep my fur clean and try to make it a little easier for apprentices." She smiled softly up at Gullpaw. He was so nice, he reminded her a little of Halfpaw.
At the thought of her brother, the sadness crept back into her eyes. She swallowed trying to push it back and took a deep breath and just focused on what Gullpaw was saying. She giggled softly when he introduced himself. They had never spoken before but she knew his name. "I know, but it is a pleasure to meet you Gullpaw. As you know I'm Webpaw."
Of course, Gullpaw had allowed his emotions and excitement get the better of him; and the moment it began to fade, he realized exactly what he'd done. Open mouth, insert foot. He half expected of course for Webpaw to never speak to him again after that - and honestly realized how tragic it was now that he'd gotten to talk to her for a bit.
"Oh, yeah..I...uh...totally know who you are Webpaw." He stumbled to correct himself. "I mean, you're like. Famous. I mean, not famous...we all know about you. And not because there's anything wrong with you or anything like that, right? I mean. Your mentor has worked with my mentor, and your nest is like four away from mine, and...and..."
Gullpaw faded off and finally seemed to look a little crosseyed himself.
"I'll just, uh...stop now. Unless you'd, er...like a little help with caring for the Elders. Not that you need it, though! I just...I thought....many paws make light work."
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.