It was nice to be out and about after being kept in camp for a while, though this time the apprentice spared two mistakes. For one, it was closer to evening than early morning, and was certainly still light enough to see with ease. For another, she had an escort with her this time, though it had not entirely been her idea. Honestly, she felt a little uncomfortable with it, but at least the warrior was friendly and not forcing her to talk or anything. If anything, they seemed a little lax and disinterested in their duty.
Their boredom was of little issue to her, though, even if she felt bad.
Eventually the young molly found herself with a particularly small pile of herbs - not much of a surprise in leafbare really - near the Creekclan border, when an older apprentice from her clan showed up to draw her escort's attention. A brisk apology from the warrior, followed by a stuttered dismissal and "its alright" from Featherpaw later, and she was left alone. Flickerfrost would not be pleased, but Featherpaw figured the warrior would keep his promise to be back before she intended on returning to camp. No matter how boring being an escort might be for a warrior in their prime with far better things to do, no one wanted to risk Flickerfrost's bad side.
Shaking her head softly, Featherpaw let herself finally relax. The herbs she had collected were neatly piled at her paws, undisturbed by the leave of her escort, and the apprentice was quick to delicately scoop them up and continue her way through the forest toward the river.
She did not realize how close she had gotten to the border until a stronger scent got past the herbs. Surprised, Featherpaw deposited them gently, before blinking toward the border. She had planned on checking up on the health of a few more plants before she left, making sure they were managing the frost okay or preparing to report to her mentor if not. She had not planned to run into a Creekclanner, and her whole body wound tense at the thought of their usual hostility toward Gorgeclanners. It was earned, sure, but most of Bonestar's supporters were gone now, and much of the clan felt remorse or disgust over what happened.
Featherpaw did not expect them to forget, but was it not time to try and forgive?
Fortunately, it was a more familiar feline that greeted her sight, though it did little to relax Featherpaw as she gave an uncertain dip of her head in greeting. "Spiderpaw?" the was a hint of question to her greeting, admittedly, though she was quick to carry on with an uncertain glance over her shoulder and back to him once more. "A-are you here to see Flickerfrost?"
since he had his accident and had been accepted as medicine cat's apprentice - he was not allowed to leave camp without his mentor or a warrior escort. since the disappearance of berrybloom he had thought that he could have more freedom, more safety, and yet the tom did not find that this evening. he was bristling, spitting insults under his breath at the poor young warrior who had been assigned to keep him company as he searched the forest for herbs and other such oddities. he had even tried to dodge the young warrior twice before giving up and belittling the tom.
'not my fault, i'm not crippled.' had been the warrior's insulting words, and at that he had been lucky enough a patrol was passing by. the head had spoken to him, harshly, and with much pleading and pushing his position in the clan, spiderpaw was free to roam the territory within reason. a warrior would be sent to fetch him before the sun sank below the horizon if he was not back at camp by then - and if that was the case - he would not be allowed out by himself again. feeling a slight victory in his own paws, he trotted as awkwardly as he could with three good legs, sniffing out anything he would need. it was the sound of his name that caused him to stiffen.
"featherpaw?" his eyes flicked up to spot the she-cat who had spoken his name. a heat rushed through his face, recalling the moment of fear he had displayed in front of her back at the starpool. had he been a regular warrior apprentice now, he might have chased her off - or toyed with her a bit. however, crippled, looking up at her with an odd expression, he was curious as to why she was asking him if he was there to see flickerfrost. "no, stoatstar had stated I can not seek help from gorgeclan in the rest of my training." he meowed honestly, looking her over with a curious glance.
"why are you so close to our border? if it was anyone else, or starclan forbid, me before this whole healing business, you would become scraps." his meowed, a hint of concern in his tone, but nothing more then he was willing to allow her to see. amber eyes flicking over her appearance, he cast a glance beyond her to the territory she lived in. "why? if flickerfrost expecting me to come trotting in asking for help?" a part of him bristled at the thought of another clan thinking him weak. while smart, he knew he had to learn, but he did not like having to rely on other clans to teach him.
Oh how relieved Featherpaw felt to only hear curiosity in the tone that said her name. Still, it made her no less wary to be this close to the border, and in all honesty, she knew little about the tom. A healer or not, she had seen a nervous, even scared side of him and an angry side of him the halfmoon, and she had no idea which side was the truth and which was just...the circumstances.
Featherpaw flinched slightly at his admission, though she found herself nodding in understanding. She could not really blame Stoatstar. Honestly, there wasn't even much trust within Gorgeclan. To expect it from the clan they all but destroyed was, frankly, a little ridiculous. She was wary enough trusting some of her clanmates, and it was her who was related to the monster that caused it all. She shuddered at the thought. Thinking of her mother right now would do her no good - it was not hard for her to imagine what her grandfather was like from Hailstrike's example, either.
Still, how one was supposed to respond to that was beyond the young molly. Even if she did try. "I...yeah..." she trailed off, faltering for a moment, before sighing softly and offering quietly. "I don't blame him..."
Casting her thoughts aside with a slight shake of her head, Featherpaw blinked back toward him. It was only the concern in his voice that stopped her from flinching back in alarm from what she could very well take as a threat, though her tail still curled closer on reflex as she shuffled her paws nervously. "Ch-checking frost damage..." she offered, gesturing toward one of the herbs growing nearer the Creek that she had been checking before - fortunately still useable for now - before ducking her head to avoid his gaze.
His next words caused her ears to slip back slightly, though at least there was not as much bite to them as she might have expected. "N-no, of...of course not. Why would she?" she offered back uncertainly, tail flicking behind her as she lifted her gaze to meet his uncertainly. After a moment, concern flashed through her eyes, and she spoke up hesitantly once more. Of course he could be here for the same reason as her, and he could just be asking in case Flickerfrost was the nosy type, but...she could not let the thought rest without an answer. "I-is Berrybloom...is she doing alright? O-or that patient?"
It was probably nothing. Maybe he was just insulted at the thought of needing Gorgeclan's help - after all he had just said that his leader refused it. Yet what if...could there be more to why he was out here alone right now when he was just a new apprnetice? To why Berrybloom did not make it to the Halfmoon?