The days, few as they were, dragged in their countdown to her meeting with Cobrastrike. She liked to think she hid her anxiety well but Talonflight was giving her those looks that meant he knew she was up to something. There wasn't much she had hid from her brother but this was definitely one of them. The day was just beginning to end and she was about to make her excuses for a night hunt when she got caught up in explaining a few things to Littlebird.
Fangstar couldn't be mad at her deputy. It was still less than half a moon since her appointment, it wasn't as if she could be expected to know everything right away. But she did find herself a bit shorter with her words than usual. Luckily the other she-cat either didn't notice or was willing to overlook it. As such, she found herself leaving much later than she had wanted, paws quick in responding to her fear of being too late and not meeting Cobrastrike.
Their meeting spot - where the creek crosses the border - was empty save for herself. She couldn't immediately detect the scent or sight of another cat. Fangstar refused to let her mind entertain the thought that perhaps he had changed his mind despite being the one to set the terms. There was also no possibility that he had set it up to break her - the Cobrastrike she knew had less time than her for such games, and he had seemed so certain in their last meeting.
The molly moved to a pile of flat rocks nearby and settled on them, turning her gaze to the stars. Not a perfectly cloudless night, but the moon and stars themselves gave enough light. She wondered who was up there, watching this. Watching them. Did they know how their story would end? She hoped it was a good ending.
Not only was this ridiculous and impulsive...it was a waste of Cobrastrike's time, too. He had given her time to think because he was the one who was not sure. Yet here he was waiting for her as though it had been him holding out the hope in the first place. What hope? Honestly, Cobrastrike knew this was foolish. That fact only settled deeper when he continued to sit there, staring out across an empty border into a territory that had long since made his pelt spike.
To think he had crossed that line voluntarily to meet with her.
It was his stubborness that had brought him here, that has even seen him waiting for her to come. He was not sure what to expect...but he had a strong sense she would come. A sense that had faded as time ticked on, leaving the niggling thoughts of common sense to edge their way into his mind. What was he even thinking...he should leave. She was not coming anyway.
Rising to his paws, the tom turned and padded off, determined to make it back to camp with at least one piece of prey in paw. Even if he had to catch a stupid fish to achieve it, at least he would not have completely wasted his time. However, as he fell into a crouch to stalk a settled bird nearby...he found his paws were not as quiet as usual, his mind not quite so sharp and focused. The bird took off.
Lashing his tail in frustration, Cobrastrike growled to himself and pinned a fallen feather to the earth with his claws. Truly she must be seeking to torment him for refusing to return. Some form of unusual punishment to try and drive him back. It would not work, not like that...yet he had been far from lying when he admitted to her getting herself stuck in his head.
Already, his paws were pulling him back toward the border he had left, the feather and the bird set aside as he padded absently back. It was just another waste of time. She had not been there and he doubted she would be now. Still he walked anyway, and soon enough, found himself to be wrong.
For a moment, Cobrastrike paused at just the glimpse of her staring up at the sky, settled in wait for him. The question of why they were bothering with all of this came up again, but he pushed it aside as he hardened his resolve. He had set this meeting, far be it for him to be the one not to go through with it. So, he closed the final distance and halted himself by the border, paws firmly planted this time on his own side of the line.
"So you came after all," he acknowledged, though what more to say beyond that was unknown. His tail swept behind him, and he eyed her almost warily, though with far less coldness than with which this had begun.
Notes | This is trash. They are trash. We are trash. I love it. Tagged | fangstar
Her tail flicked in surprise at his voice. Fangstar blinked and turned to face him with ears lowered not in anger but uncertainty. "I was held up," was her soft response. Cobrastrike was certainly far less cold than the first time they had met, though she wouldn't dare to call him warm yet. Her late arrival hadn't helped in that regard, but she refused to apologize for it. She was only lucky that he had decided to obviously return after tiring of waiting for her to arrive.
Hesitantly, she stood and padded closer to the border, once again sitting. "I am sorry for the delay. Gorgeclan needed me for longer than I had thought, so late in the day." Which was normally not an issue. Fangstar was firm about keeping herself available at any time to any cat in her Clan. Issues only came up when she had plans that were derailed by questions or other such things.
Perhaps a gesture now to be expected in the majority of their interactions now, she began to anxiously knead at her tail. "Where do we even begin?" Her gaze tried to search his own, once again for something she couldn't quite name. "Obviously we cannot change the past. The decisions we made, we have to live with. So where does that leave us to move forward? What do you want?" A bombardment of questions as she thought aloud what they would have to think of to make this work.
It was an excuse, yes, but not one they would debate. Cobrastrike hardly doubted her. The life of a leader was busy, after all, and he had no reason to think she was anything but loyal to it. Perhaps a little less than loyal to her own rules...but far be it from his place to make a judgement there. She may have set them on this track but he had easily found himself taking part in directing it. A couple of fools they were...yet he could not bring himself to step away, even as she settled closer to the border.
She was nervous. That much was obvious, and Cobrastrike's eye flickered briefly toward the habitual kneading of her tail before he swiftly disregarded it. He should probably be nervous too. For certain, he was doubting his very intentions in being here. However, there was little doubt to Cobrastrike being a tom who made a decision and stuck to it.
"Its to be expected," the tom responded easily, tail flicking behind them as he cast a brief glance over her shoulder toward the camp she had come from. "You are their leader, after all." He did not have to see so much of the land in the dark...it was almost as though he could hardly tell the difference. By now, at least, it was not the scent that turned him away. Their scent was her scent, after all. Once it had been his scent.
Her questions bombarded him, but then again, he was not surprised. Instead, Cobrastrike blinked, and waited for her to settle again. "I don't know exactly what I want from this," he admitted simply, though there was a hint of frustration to the tautness of his voice, the way his tail flicked behind him. "Though since we both came, I do not doubt there will be more meetings between us like this one. Know that I will continue to seek you out or wait for you unless you ask me not to."
Beyond the hint of caution to her, perhaps another warning of what she might be getting herself into, there was no wavering to Cobrastrike's voice. Instead, he looked directly at her, hesitation left behind in the moment he allowed himself to turn around and come back to this border once again. "You have a lot more to lose in this than I do - knowing that, how far are you willing to risk taking this?"
She resisted the urge to check over her own shoulder as he gazed at Gorgeclan's territory spread behind her. It was sometimes still a shock, a smack to her face, to look at him and not smell the familiar scents of what she considered home. Less of one now, with so many moons having passed, but she took it now as a reminder of what was almost ruined because of inaction. On everyone's parts, but Gorgeclan's most of all. The tiny little detail of being "their" leader without including himself... That felt more like claws straight to her heart. Fangstar took a steadying breath and forced herself to listen.
Cobrastrike's own question to her had her freezing in place for several long seconds. She had to fight to keep her first words from tumbling out - this wasn't something she could stumble into with the careless freedom of a young warrior. So, instead, she focused on what he said before tackling what was asked. Which required responses nearly as weighted as the question itself. "I don't want this to be our only meeting." Fangstar hesitated, too used to keeping these feelings to herself to admit them easily, but continued hesitantly. "And unless you want to end it, I - can't see myself asking you to stay away. Although," here she smiled slightly, "I would prefer notice before you wander so far over the border again."
Finally, she had to gather her thoughts, staring at his shoulder instead of meeting his gaze as she pieced together her response. It all flew apart when Fangstar glanced up and she spoke with a raw, quiet honesty, "I would be just as bad of a leader as Bonestar if I did not prepare my deputy to take my place. There are few things I could not bear to lose, and my position in the clan is not one of them. I will go as far as we decide."
Part of her wanted to stand and pace. A violent sort of pacing, complete with a lashing tail and all the temper of a warrior who didn't need to worry about the image they presented to anyone. The sort of pacing she only allowed herself with Talonflight, the only cat she thought she'd ever feel that safe around.
She kept herself grounded, however. Pacing would break the gravity of their... talk? Negotiation? It would become something less than it needed to be. In her mind, at least. "And you? How far are you willing to take this?" Cobrastrike may claim that he had less to lose than she did - and perhaps he was somewhat correct - but it wasn't as if she was the only one with a settled and secured life.