Seeing Spiritstar tense with his tail twitching and ears half back as he made a beeline toward camp was...unordinary, to say the least. The normally calm and collected, playful tom barely every rushed anywhere with anything less than playful excitement or a competitive thrill. However, no one he passed seemed surprised, instead casting him sympathetic or reassuring glances. They knew what was on his mind, and they were not about to get between him and his family. If there was one thing their leader cared about above his clan, it was his kin.
By the time Spiritstar had reached the medicine den, he had slowed to a trot.
Taking a breath, the tom paused outside and relaxed himself, shaking the tension from his shoulders. He did not want to panic anyone, he just could not help it...Skywhisper had told him it was The Spore again, and that meant this was the second member of his family to be hit with it. And to lose a sense as well? It was far too unsettling.
Another breath. In, out, and the tom ducked into the medicine den carved into the base of one of the trees that made their camp. Ears angling forward again and tail stilled, the tom peered around in the gloom, before his gaze settled upon a muted grey and cream pelt, and softened considerably. Offering the young molly a warm blink, he picked his way toward her, before seating himself before her nest.
"How are you feeling, Morningpaw?" he asked warmly, a hint of concern touching his voice and eyes, though he did not let it take too strongly. Just enough to show he cared, without letting her know just how worrying this was to him. She did not need to know the extent of the disease...at least, not until he did. "Do you want to talk about what happened?"
Nestled in the medicine cat's den, warm and well rested. Morningpaw tried to keep her eyes shut even while awake. Easier to remain calm that way.
When The Spore had first struck, the sudden blindness put her in such a state of shock the young apprentice fainted. Her body refused to move, her head lolled to one side. Almost as if she had died right there in the lavender fields. Morningpaw wanted to, fear alone drove her to such madness.
Her loss of sight continued for the rest of the first day, letting up only during what she can only guess was near sun-high the following day. The first thing to return to her was light, being able to tell where it came from. Her head turning in the direction when she caught the slightest shift.
Fear slowly melted away but her refusal to leave the medicine cat's den remained. She had no interest in bumping into various things around camp and as her slight slowly returned. She elected to stay put, waiting for what ever it was to rid itself from her body.
Nearly the third day since, Morningpaw's sight had greatly improved. Now able to make out outlines of things in front of her, she could name various objects but guessing. Her eyes still struggling to make out the finer details.
It was her own idea to keep her eyes shut while they healed. To her it made sense. Wounds were kept covered, recovering eyes ought to be treated with the same care to avoid lasting damage.
However, that went out the den the moment her uncle's scent filled her nose. His voice greeting her warmly. Her eyes opened to peek at him, eyelids a bit stiff from, tear ducts over producing to the point discharge had solidified. Careful to wipe a paw over her face, Morningpaw attempted to clear the worst of it away before greeting Spiritstar with a sweet smile.
"A little, staying inside helps," She told him, pushing up from her nest to sit before him, tail curled over fore paws.
Grateful Spiristar had asked if she wanted to talk about, Morningpaw knew the right choice would be yes. The strange occurance needed to be understand, that she knew. Morningpaw simply didn't want to talk about, but forced herself to do so. Hopeful her words would help her Clan.
"Sure, what do you want to know? She put on a braver face then she had in previous days, or so she hoped, all for the sake of Spiritstar.
While Spiritstar noticed the way the young molly rubbed her formerly closed eyes, he did not comment on it. Her sweet smile was enough to relieve him, and he offered a gentle one of his own in return as she rose to sit before him. "I'm glad - From what Skywhisper has told me, you should be perfectly fine soon enough."
Offering a gentle purr, the tom ducked his head so his whiskers brushed her cheek in warning - a habit he had long since garnered with his sister to stop her from startling at touch - before he lightly rubbed his own affectionately against it. While Morningpaw and Sunpaw were not his own kits, but his sister's, many often noticed within the clan that he seemed to treat them just as affectionately as they suspected he would treat his own kits. The care he put into their well-being and attention he paid to their progress spoke for itself - family meant everything to the leader, and he was perfectly willing to admit it.
Thus, it did not take much effort for Spiritstar to know that expression. It was customary, for their family, really. One that would convince anyone else, but not each other. She was masking, putting on a brave face for him, but he could tell it still troubled her. So, the tom invited her to settle closer to him, if she wished, to share his warmth and comfort.
"Just tell me what you are comfortable with," he told her gently, brushing his chin over the top of her head. "I am here to listen, because you don't have to carry anything alone."
Hearing from Spiritstar what Skywhisper had said eased the tension in the body a bit more. She had been told something similar but a part of her wondered if Skywhisper told her that to stop her worrying. Trusting that her uncle wouldn't outright lie to her, Morningpaw allowed the relief to wash over her.
Recognizing the gentle gesture by her uncle, Morninpaw rubbed her cheek against his in return. Comforted by the sensation, a purr slipped out. Counting down the days until her full recovery, she felt only a little guilty about her excitement. She walked a narrow road between pity and admiration for her mother. The she-cat who lived such a happy life while also being blind. Yet she knew if she had lost the ability to see a sunrise she'd find the quickest way to a badger's den.
Her dark thoughts were chased away by Spiritstar sitting close to her. Relying on her uncle for strength, Morningpaw pressed in close to him. Taking in the scent of him that reminded her of all the things she loved about living in MoorClan. Fresh air and grass, a lingering scent that reminded her of her mother. He smelled like family and with her eyesight just short of healed, it seemed more important to bask in it.
"I remember talking with Foxhowl about hunting then smelling something like stale dirt or maybe really damp moss," She told him a shiver crawling up her spine as he relieved that fateful day. "Then everything went cloudy and I couldn't see," She paused long enough to press her head against his frame, wishing she could bury herself there for a moment.
"I thought I was going to be like my mom...and I got scared," Her voice threatened to break but she held on. Barely.
"Does that make me a bad daughter? Being afraid to be like her?" She whispered, shame warming her ears as they pinned back. She wanted to look up at him and search his eyes for any signs of anger, but it would be impossible.