Things were going as well as anyone could expect given their current circumstances. Merging three clans was difficult as it already was, the clash of cultures and way of life were much different than each other. Add to the fact that two of the clans had a history full of blood and bone and you'd end up with a catastrophe just waiting to happen. One Seawatcher was hoping wouldn't happen, yet was nonetheless prepared to react to. It would be naive of her to ask her clanmates to forgive and forget all the atrocities committed against them and much less so when she hardly believed it herself. However, the massive silver molly was also aware that Gorgeclan were just as much victims in their leaders shenanigans as was Creekclan. And as much as Seawatcher wanted to remain in her own bigotry, she could not will herself to be so narrow minded. Seawatcher was too much of an empathetic woman to remain stuck in her ways when someone was in need of help. Alas is wasn't just Gorgeclan that showed up on their border, Moorclan was there as well. And while Seawatcher didnt like the idea of sharing their home with the other clans, she trusted Stoatstar's judgement and she herself couldn't turn away someone in need. It went against her morals to turn away the needy.
A frown marred the woman's muzzle, distorting her cold beauty into something ugly. So much had happened these last few moons, so many loved ones lost to the spore. And while Seawatcher was by no means the only cat to have witness someone perish to the Spore, she did lose all her family. Larkspurpaw and Amaryllispaw were now gone and her brother Oceancloud has disappeared. It left a massive hole in the she-cats heart, one she hasn't had the time or energy to properly identify and mourn over. She was much too busy trying to settle differences, plan with her co-leader's, and keeping the sick healthy to take the time to worry about herself. To put her needs in front of everyone else, even if for a short bit. The death of her friend, Stoatstar didn't help matters - never the less her own inability to travel to the starpool to receive her nine lives. Doing so would surely boost some kind of morale, right?
Shaking her head Seawatcher let out a tired sigh, feet leading her to the freshkill pile. New-leaf was nearing its end and soon green-leaf will be upon them. Leaf-bare was harsh, but in the least mushrooms weren't a problem. Seawatcher couldn't say the same for green-leaf.
'At least the prey pile is full' the molly thought dully to herself. Spotting a hare, the former Creekclan warrior snatched it up. Saffron colored eyes gazed about the clearing, finally landing on a familiar face. The leader in but name only steered her way towards the smaller she-cat, a polite smile forming around the hare in his jaws. She had a relaxed posture and though her eyes were clouded with grief, she made sure to accentuate her friendliness with her former rival. Perhaps if the clan saw the leaders getting along than perhaps relations would ease. That was her hope anyway.
At Littlebird's greeting Seawatcher bowed her head in mutual politeness. "Good day, Littlebird. All is fair?" The large thick-furred molly asked, hare now sitting at her paws. "Care to share with me? I couldnt possibly eat this all to myself," a gentle smile formed on her lips as she got comfortable, laying on the ground and nudging the prey item to the other she-cats paws before taking a bite of her own.
In truth, the merge was going better than Spiritsong had expected. Perhaps it was the joint fear of the sickness pulling them together, the severe blow it had dealt to all three, that saw the lack of fighting. However, the divides were still clear, and interactions still falling into wary or awkward. Spiritsong supposed that's where kits had it easy. Raised by one queen, they could see each other not as former rivals, but as friends and siblings. Sometimes he wished those warriors set in their ways could take a hint from the youth, but he knew it could never be that easy. There was too much pain between them yet to form such bonds. There was little more to do than be patient and set a good example.
It was this that saw Spiritsong so pleased with the invitation to spend some more time with his co-leaders. Truly he respected the two she-cats, much newer to their roles yet just as determined as him to see this through for the good of all of them. He had half expected the new leaders of the two former clans to be at each others throat, considering the history of their clans. Yet there they were talking idly as they shared a meal.
It truly was a good sight for the cats they lead to see. If their leaders could put aside their differences then so could they.
Having taken a moment to check in on the queens and their kits - though he knew that most kits in their clan would not see their true mothers again before apprenticeship, if at all - the tom padded out of the not-yet familiar nursery with a farewell to his sister and headed toward where he had seen the two silver mollies resting.
"Afternoon, ladies," he greeted smoothly, though his words were more welcoming rather than the flirtatiousness most had come to expect of him. Honestly since he had grown closer to Applecloud, and even more certainly since he had feared ultimately losing her, his flirtatious ways had dwindled to a far more uncommon sight. "Its good to see you're eating, there sure is a lot more prey to go around this season."
Of course, that fact was held for two reasons...but he would only allow himself to acknowledge one for the moment as he awaited a silent invitation, before settling himself down alongside the two mollies. Automatically his gaze followed toward the cats they lead, noting the way some took a moment to spare them a glance before returning to their own business. After a moment, he returned his gaze toward the pair, bright and calm as ever. "Vrieseakit and Valeriankit will need mentors soon, perhaps we should discuss."
if you ever fall down and you can't get back if you lose your strength to stand
[attr="class","bandittext"]Things had gotten easier since they'd come here, admittedly. Seawatcher and Spiritsong had made the transition with their clans much easier than Littlebird had thought possible, but she was still cautious. She did her best to provide kind smiles and gentle direction to CreekClanner's who provided her with glares of distrust and hatred. It was different, to say the least, but it was progress.
As Seawatcher stepped forward with a hare, offering to share it with her, the silver she-cat nodded, giving a smile in return. "It goes well. Things have been peaceful thusfar this morning. How have you been today?" She asked politely, doing her best to make idle small talk with the she-cat before her. When the hare was offered, despite the fact that Littlebird usually did not eat rabbits or hares - they were simply too gaming - she figured it would be a good sign for the cats of their clan, so she agreed and settled beside the larger she-cat to do so. While they ate and talked amongst themselves, she was made aware of the third leader's approach. Raising her gaze to look toward the tuxedo tom with his peculiar shape on his forehead, she dipped her head in greeting.
"Hello, Spiritsong." Her tone remained bright and chipper as she addressed him before nodding in agreement.
"I believe we also have two approaching their warriorship, Larkspurpaw and Amaryllispaw?" She asked, turning her attention toward Seawatcher. They were nearing the cusp, but she was't sure if they'd completed their trials - admittedly she didn't even know what CreekClan's trials consisted of.
The kits were nearing their age of apprenticeship quickly, and Littlebird had been anxiously waiting the approach of their ceremony. Adderkit and Strikekit would follow in a few moons, but there was so many things to consider. She'd been apprehensive of the idea of mixing their apprentices and mentors together due to the fact that none of them really knew how it would go, but when Alpha had been assigned to Pearfrost, she knew that they had to try. So far, it seemed to be going fine, but that didn't mean that she didn't have anxiety over the fact that she couldn't be there every minute of the day watching the young apprentices and their mentors.
"G-I do not have any mentors I can offer at this time. Both Talonflight and Pearfrost have taken on Epsilon and Alpha." She stumbled over the phrasing, clearly uncomfortable about using the clan's former name but struggling to provide a better description of who she was referring to. "Do either of you have anyone in mind?"
"As good as anyone can be in this situation," Seawatcher mumbled out around a mouthful of rabbit before swallowing and thinking up of a better response. "Can't say things have been particularly easy, but it could be a lot worse than it is. At least we don't have open fights." The silver molly said, neglecting to mention the reason why. If any cats were prone to fight it would be the previous Gorge and Creekclanners. Hatred ran deep especially since a lot of her former creekclanmates lost loved ones to Gorgeclan's glory days. However, Seawatcher kept that thought to herself and schooled her features into something more open, something softer than her cold exterior.
The sound of soft pawsteps could be heard before a masculine voice called out to the two she-cats. Seawatcher perked up and turned saffron-colored eyes towards the tuxedo tom-cat. "Ah, Spiritsong! How nice of you to join us," Seawatcher greeted warmly before continuing on, "that we do. A joyous occasion that I think we are in dire need of." Kits reaching the threshold of apprenticeship was a cause of celebration. A new generation was on the rise, this ultimately meant growth for the clans.
At the mention of her kits, Seawatcher couldn't help but smile softly, a proud motherly vibe coming off from her as she puffed her chest out - holding her head high. "Is it that time already? They certainly grow up fast," The molly chuckled softly. "Suppose we better start thinking about their warrior names..." she trailed off in thought.
Taking a bite of her prey Seawatcher thought a moment of all the warrior's available to mentor in her clan. To be truthful none jumped out to her. "Hornetcall has taken on Omega as well," Seawatcher trailed off, "and the rest of the warriors in Creekclan are a little on the young side. If we can help it I think they should be given more time to learn to be a warrior before being tasked with an apprentice." The gray striped molly didn't bother rephrasing her words. While the three clans maybe under one name now, it was just that - an idea. Creekclan was still a separate entity. Once this all blew over, the clans would go back to their own territories and reclaim their own former identities. There was no point in trying to mask that fact by saying they were now "Oneclan". "Beside's offering myself up I do have Huckleberryroot and Hemlockbite." Seawatcher added, rather hesitantly. While Huckleberryroot was a decent warrior, the Creekclan representative had to admit not only his faults, but he had just finished mentoring Knotspark and had a mate who just recently gave birth. Certainly not the most readily available warrior, but available if the need arose. "Would any of you be able to mentor if the need truly arose? Might help tensions as well..."
The warm greetings of the two silver mollies were certainly welcome as the tom allowed himself to relax alongside them. Not that he was ever entirely at ease in this new circumstance - to combine clans with such bad blood between them was always going to leave room for concern. However, the warriors and apprentices that went about their business from where he could see them did not need to know such a thing. For all eyes to see, he appeared perfectly relaxed, and that was what they needed to believe. The more relaxed and in control their leaders were, the sooner warriors would come to get used to this change. He was not expecting them to like it, but acceptance was easier earned when it was given.
The mention of two apprentices soon in need of naming as well pricked Spiritsong's ears, returning his thoughts fully to the conversation as he nodded thoughtfully. The names mentioned, though not as familiar as those among Moorclan's former ranks, still drew forth the image of two young cats to his mind that he had certainly noticed nearing such an age. Though their training status...well, he was not certain what that might be. Perhaps trialing would have to be different, now that the choice was in the paws of the three of them.
Pressing that thought slightly aside for a later moment, the tom chuckled lightly at Seawatcher's proud look. "Ah yes, they are your kits aren't they?" Spiritsong acknowledged, amusement glimmering in his eyes. "Well I suppose a mother knows best what her kits ought to be named."
Tail flicking idly behind him, Spiritsong offered the proud mother a leisurely smile, before flicking his ears to catch Littlebird's words. She still seemed uneasy, stumbling over what to call their vaguely sealed divisions. Unlike Seawatcher, that was. The tom offered Littlebird a warm blink, before humming in thought.
"Of course, I would willingly train any apprentice if it were needed," the tom offered easily, not a hint of doubt as he spoke. An apprentice should not be neglected their training for past mistakes of warriors who died long before their time. Not even the warriors who stood above them should. Not unless they sought to follow that direction, in which it would be their own faults to be judged for, not those of the past. If he could encourage an apprentice formerly belonging to one of the other clans to feel apart of them as one, by training it himself, he most certainly would not hesitate. However...that was not to say he was the only one who carried this wish.
"However," he went on, paws stretching out slightly as he settled partially onto his flank. "Now that Applecloud is in full health again, she is perfectly able to mentor a new apprentice. It may be easiest if we know the mentors to be would treat them no differently then any other apprentice they might train." Gaze drifting across the cats he could see still within the bounds of camp, he let his mind wonder over all those he had noticed so far, before finding it land on a smaller flame-pelted tom. "What of Covesplash, is he able to train an apprentice as well?" He added, question directed to Seawatcher as he gestured toward the tom. Not too young, though certainly still in his prime. Spiritsong did not know him well, but he seemed a reasonable candidate from his perspective.
if you ever fall down and you can't get back if you lose your strength to stand
[attr="class","bandittext"]Littlebird was uneasy by the statement that Seawatcher made, but merely nodded in agreement, knowing full well that should a fight break out, it would be something CreekClan was responsible for, not GorgeClan. Her clan had taken moons to heal from what Bonestar had done to them and they were all ashamed of what they'd been forced to do. They'd left CreekClan be for moons because of that hatred that ran so deeply, but she knew that she couldn't expect the past to disappear.
And to make matters worse, once they began talking about who could mentor the cats, Littlebird found herself awkwardly offering no mentors, stating the few she had could not be used at this time.
There wasn't much that Littlebird could contribute due to her clan's small size prior to merging. She'd brought a handful of cats and kits, all of whom were already in a position where they were doing what was asked of them when it came to mentoring the apprentices of other clans. The others remained in quarantined or died due to the disease that had had taken hold of her clan and ripped it apart. It was terrifying to think how small their numbers were now, but she tried not to dwell too much on those thoughts.
Or maybe she wouldn't have if Seawatcher hadn't so blatantly referred to CreekClan as such. While she masked the concern with a simple nod, it didn't set the silver molly at ease knowing the history that sat between their clans. But she didn't dwell long on the thought. "You must be very proud, Seawatcher." Littlebird beamed, a genuine reaction to the she-cat's pride. Littlebird had not been graced with a mate or kits of her own, but she'd found the same pride in other cats in her clan throughout her moons, including two of her apprentices and Featherpaw. She had enough of a family through them to not need anyone else. Or at least, she'd convinced herself that.
"I can also accept an apprentice should we need it." Littlebird added in with a small dip of her head. By the stars, she'd take two if it meant making sure that GorgeClan did not appear weak due to it's lack of numbers. She was hopeful that those who had healed from the sickness would return soon and the numbers would grow, but for the time being, she awaited news from Skywhisper anxiously about the cats in her clan who were forced to stay behind due to the illness taking them over.