Larkshade knew she ought to be careful. Heck, some might even question why Fangstar did not make her an elder as soon as she became leader - there was no question was to why Bonestar never did. However, no matter how much she knew she was different, it never had phased the molly. Clearly, she was like this for some kind of reason. Even if the reason was to protect...well, so be it. Let everyone else cry about thorns in their pads when the most physical struggle she had ever had from an injury was awkward mobility or dizziness from blood loss. She never understood everyone's reactions to certain things - those that are supposedly sharp, or hot, perhaps - however at least she had learned what to avoid.
That had to be enough, at least until it wasn't.
Larkshade was not about to give up on her duties and conform to a life of living uselessly when there was a clan that needed feeding, and half the idiots in it were so against going out in the cold and snow. Sure, they sucked it up for necessity, but their whining and complaining was ridiculous when there were better things to do. It was simply a struggle to grasp how they could have so many issues she would never even come close to understanding. No, she had a different vein of issues, those that everyone thought they could empathize with but would never truly be able to. Matters of the heart and mind could never be shared and understood, not fully, anyway.
Among the constants Larkshade enjoyed and those she would try to avoid, however, there was one she merely tolerated. Flickerfrost, and her insistence upon checking up on her each day when she returned to camp. Of course, Larkshade understood the necessity of it after all that happened under Bonestar's rule, and the many scars that perhaps could have healed with quicker treatment, though that did not make it any less annoying. Well, perhaps it was just more inconvenient than anything, though it was a situation among few where Larkshade would at least try to bite her tongue.
With prey deposited on the admittedly pitiful pile - Leafbare really did suck, even if she could not care less about the cold - the molly flicked her tail in disinterest toward a member of the patrol inviting her to eat with them, before she skirted the busy clearing to make toward the medicine cat's cave. Featherpaw was a pitiful little thing, really, though at least Flickerfrost was tolerable when she was not verbally clawing someone's ear off.
Larkshade ducked her head inside, eyes adjusting to the gloom.
Well, it was not like she expected the healer to greet her at the entrance - figures she'd be organizing her herbs or something. perfectionists. "Guess I'll just make myself at home then," she offered boredly, making her way to the nest that was practically hers now as she sunk down into the moss to wait. "No breaks or scratches that I'm aware of, but you're the expert."
Flickerfrost had just finished her organization for the day when a cat plodded into her den. She almost didn't need to check - she had seen Larkshade exit camp earlier on, and as per their agreement, had expected the warrior to show up sometime later. She supposed that was then, and she sighed heavily at Larkshade's expected greeting. "I don't know why you insist on making this harder than it needs to be by being so sassy every time you come in here. This is for your benefit, not mine. If you'd rather lose a limb because you're too stubborn to let me check up on it, so be it. At least then, you'd be in the correct den finally," she huffed, getting to her paws and shuffling over to where Larkshade laid.
She didn't actually mind the warrior. With her condition, it meant it wasn't likely for the warrior to scream in pain or complain Flickerfrost was hurting her, which was just fine by her. She didn't have good enough bedside mannerisms to deal with most of GorgeClan. Larkshade, in a way, was the perfect patient. Now, if only she stopped acting like it was Flickerfrost's fault she needed to be check on every time the warrior went out.
Choosing to skip any formalities, Flickerfrost went straight to checking over Larkshade, pushing fur to the side as she went to make sure the skin wasn't bleeding. She was careful to be thorough - Larkshade wouldn't feel if she hit something tender so she'd have to rely on her own instincts and her own skill. It was tiring, at times. Finally, she was done, and she moved backwards to give Larkshade room again. "You're fine. You have a few scratches that look like they bled very briefly but they're fine now. You won't need anything for them." She gave Larkshade one more once-over with her eyes, before finally being satisfied. "I won't tell you to be careful because I'm sure you know that, but this is what I mean. You didn't even know you were scratched, if it was anything worse and you didn't see me, you'd be in trouble now."
Larkshade snorted slightly at that, though she made no argument against the facts. She knew she was making it harder - she simply did not care. Flickerfrost was more tolerable than most other Gorgeclanners, sure, but being micromanaged was a drag. Even if she knew it was necessary. "If I was too stubborn, I wouldn't be here at all," she pointed out, though with less ice than she might direct toward most cats. Flickerfrost was somewhere on the small pile of cats she actually did not mind, but like hell was she about to show it anymore than the speckled healer was.
Instead, she merely flicked an ear absently as Flickerfrost set about her routine check.
Breathing fine, heart rate fine, limbs fine, no blood - whatever Flickerfrost decided she needed to check for, Larkshade did not offer a single noise of complaint, merely appreciating the silent efficiency with which the healer did her work. Much better that all those idiots that thought the silence needed filling with their idle and rather pointless chatter. Speak when needed, shut up when you damn well didn't, was her take.
Larkshade's whiskers merely twitched in acknowledgement at the all okay, though before she could more than sit up, much less leave, Flickerfrost seemed to find the need to lecture her. Again. "Not like you're the only one who insists on checking on me, pretty sure if it was anything that serious someone else would notice and drag me to you," the molly huffed, rolling her shoulders slightly as she sat a little taller in the nest. "Look, I come to you every time, and it being annoying isn't making me stop, so you may as well save your lectures."
Rising to her paws, the molly nodded toward the empty nest of the healer's apprentice. Probably off helping some elder or collecting some flower - whatever Flickerfrost had the skittish little thing do. "Maybe you should have the kid check me over when its nothing serious - might be good training for her, right?"
Flickerfrost scoffed - of course Larkshade would see her words as useless lecturing. As if she hadn't had anything better to do with her day aside from check on yet another ungrateful warrior, some castoff of Fangstar's league of idiots that Flickerfrost had to check over and assist every time the warrior was permitted past the camp walls. If it were up to her, she'd keep Larkshade inside at all times. Who cared that she was young and fit? In Leafbare especially, she was nothing but a liability, a cat that herbs were wasted on. It made her sneer. Indeed, Larkshade was one of her appreciated patients, but again, it went no further past 'does not cry about their injuries'. In every other instance, she was just like every other warrior that they had shoved in one spot and called a Clan - ungrateful, callous, egotistic. It was disgusting.
"If you think I'm doing this solely because I like to hear myself speak, you're sadly mistaken. I'm roped into this just as hard as you are - if I don't, I have to listen to Fangstar rant forever about the dangers and consequences of me not doing my job, like she knows about being a medicine cat or what I have to go through. If you want to run out there and get yourself killed to prove a point, be my guest. If not, just listen to the crappy words I have to read off to you every time and we can both move on with minimal irritation on either side."
Letting out a snort of amusement, Flickerfrost took a moment to ponder what to say. "Are you sure you'd want that? If you want annoyance, that's the easiest way to get it." Her voice dropped in volume, so that Larkshade would have to strain to hear and she rose the pitch of it. "A-are you su-sure you're okay? Did I miss anything? Is there anything else I n-need to check for you?" She laughed, voice returning to normal. "Multiply that by four times, because she will ask the same things four times, and add about a moon's worth of apologizes and take a second to decide if that's what you really want. Trust me, I'm giving you an easy out here." Despite the teasing, her words were layered with fondness for her apprentice.
There was no doubt in Larkshade's mind that Flickerfrost was far from her biggest fan, though then again, Flickerfrost did not seem to like anyone in the clan really. Larkshade hardly cared - in fact, she welcomed the distaste. It meant there was no need to worry about feeling guilty when she did not hold her tongue. The healer could handle herself, and Larkshade highly doubted she'd like her anymore if she were kind. She did not need to be liked, anyway. Did not want to be liked. It would mean she would be expected to like and trust in return, and she doubted she could do that in this clan. Or any, for that matter.
She only needed one cat, and that would never change.
Ignoring the rest of Flickerfrost's rant, Larkshade scoffed and rolled her eyes in turn, sending a partial glare out of the den entrance. "Fangstar should keep her nose to herself and focus on her own job," she said, not bothering to mask her own irritation at her leader. Sure, she would follow the molly as expected until she gave her a reason not to, but that did not mean she had to like her. "Is she blind to all those precious warriors of hers still supporting that foxhearted tyrant, or is she just too soft to do anything about them?"
The thought she might get herself in trouble speaking of her leader in such away before the clan's medicine cat, while it indeed did occur to her, was promptly ignored. She doubted anything would come of it. No matter her own words, she figured their leader was far from blind by now - which must mean she knew there were still those against her rule and new ways within the clan, and therefore she could hardly be anything but soft. Fangstar needed to step up her game and stop beating around the bush.
Despite her lingering annoyance, not to mention her constant distrust within this clan, Larkshade offered a slight chuckle and shook her head at the imitation of the young apprentice. Still, she would admit she found it odd, and she was not one to hold her tongue whenever this was the case. "You'd think you of all cats would seek a more confident apprentice, you don't strike me as having the most patience for hesitation," Larkshade acknowledged, tail flicking idly at her side. "She got an amazing memory for herbs or something?"
Delight rippled through Flickerfrost like a wave of warmth, and she pricked her ears to give Larkshade her full attention. Larkshade wasn't happy with Fangstar? Finally, a cat who she could talk to. "I'd say the same, but first she'd have to start acting like she has a job, rather than walking around flaunting her status and not doing much else. Honestly, I don't even think she cares. She's leader now, she can do whatever she wants. Why bother worrying about cats in her Clan ready to betray her? It's the rest of us who have to worry. She'd do nothing to help." She could only imagine what would happen if cats started turning on each other once more. There'd be blood, and in the middle, Fangstar telling everyone to calm down.
Yeah, that wouldn't happen.
"It seems to me she's too worried about making friends and keeping peace to care about appropriate punishments. A shame, really, this Clan could do with some tighter discipline." Flickerfrost could talk all day about her distrust and disliking of Fangstar, but she'd run out of breath before long. Larkshade was changing the topic anyways, to a much lighter subject.
"You'd be correct. It's highly frustrating trying to get Featherpaw to speak up or do something without hesitation, and more than a few times I've snapped at her. But still, she's learning. She'll be a great medicine cat one day, assuming I can break her out of her shell. I chose her because she shows promise. And with her personality, she's extremely easy to be molded. I intend to shape her to be a cat who her Clan can be proud of. One who doesn't blindly trust the words of others and instead follows their own instincts, one who will one day replace me and no cat will worry." She pondered on it for a moment, that future that seemed so far away, a star in the distance. Still, it was shining brightly, something attainable if the work was put into it. "She's a good cat, a good apprentice, but she does have a long way to go. She'll get there, provided that Fangstar doesn't run GorgeClan into the ground before it happens."