The inky black tom panted with obvious exhaustion. He had just return back to camp from a rather strenuous battle training with Pearfrost. His muscles burned in a good way and the feeling of getting a good work out left him in feeling in a good mood. He'll never admit it out loud, but Pearfrost was turning out to be a decent mentor. She never indulged him, much to Alpha's absolute horror, but she did push him and for that Alpha was greatful. Especially when she didn't coddle him when he made the occassional mistake. She also didn't take his mood swings or attitude, any and all words or snide remarks would roll just off her - which if he was truthful annoyed the tom. But he suppose he would'nt appreciate it either if she cried every time he said something mean. The last thing he wanted to do was feel like a crappy apprentice when someone couldn't handle him rough and calloud personality.
So all things considered he suppose Spiritsong made the right call in pairing him with the brown and white she-cat. Things could have been a lot worse.
Yawning Alpha made his way to the freshkill pile, eyes glancing over the options laid before him. The inky tom didn't have much of a preference, food was food after all, but he was looking for the juiciest piece of prey he could find. It was for his step-mother, Fawnspots. Truly nobody else crossed his mind, especially since she called forth this meeting in the first place. Nobody else in their little dysfunctional family would readily call a family meeting, not unless they were held down with jaws to their throats and even then it would be suspicious! Nevermind the fact Alpha would have to contend with his siblings for her affection. He hoped his father was too busy chasing the tails of some poor she-cat to bother with this little meeting, especially since Fawnspot's said it was important.
It was too bad, however, that Skywhisper wasn't here. He'd know how to put the old man in his place Alpha thought ruefully to himself as he finally spotted a plump vole. Picking it up along with a lizard for himself the tom walked off to a sunny patch and viciously ate away at his meal. His body hunched over his food possessively, ears constantly swirling as if he was just waiting for someone to steal away his meal. This habit had yet to be broken, one Alpha didn't see breaking any time soon. While a loner Alpha had to fight for his share of food or otherwise risk one of his siblings getting it and him going to bed hungry that night. And while Oneclan was sufficiently supplied with fresh-kill, Alpha could break such a basic instinct ingrained in him from birth. It was simply not possible even if Fawnspot's would admonish him about his manners. He could honestly care less.
The sound of pawsteps had Alpha looking up, seeing a familiar brown and black spotted pelt. "Epsilon." Alpha grunted out in greeting as he swallowed the last morsel of prey and protectively curled around the vole in his paws.
Golden spotted fur lurched forward, landing squarely on the target. Epsilon lifted himself up off the green patched frog and nodded at his achievement. He didn't mutter a prayer to Starclan, but he did grab the victory and bounce off towards the camp. Epsilon had been practicing his hunting tactics; recalling Talonflight's advice and adjusting his body and movements accordingly. Talonflight was a fairly old warrior, seasoned with experience, they would say. Talonflight was from the clan Gorgeclan, back when the clans were split out across the three. The days of the three were talked about as whispers in the camp. Epsilon was from Moorclan, technically, before the merge happened. The merge had not affected Epsilon much at all. But, he imagined for some, it must have changed a lot.
The spotted tom hopped happily towards the camp, his lanky legs were a little sore from the constant practice of crouches and his head felt a little heavy, but Epsilon was determined to try a few more maneuvers before calling it a day. The frog bounced in the male's jaws before being dropped atop a pile full of other deceased offerings for the clan. Epsilon was not sure how well he was performing as an apprentice; while he worried about doing a bad job, he still awaited such comments from his experienced mentor. The frog seemed like a great start in his mind, though. Epsilon scanned the pile then pulled out a small sparrow. The sparrow was a baby, but it seemed like the perfect meal to satisfy the apprentice.
Out of the corner of the Bengal's olive eyes, he noted a solid black tom. Instinctively, the apprentice bounced towards the familiar figure. Alpha was hunched over something, prey - he guessed, possessively protecting it as he seemed to tear away at the creature. Epsilon understood why Alpha acted the way he did with food. It was a habit which they had all been forced to share, inherited from life as a loner. Epsilon had quickly broken that habit however, realizing prey was more predominant in a clan and that the forests were by far more lush.
Alpha was the odd one out of the family in terms of appearance. The male's dark fur reflected mother. While he and his sister; Omega, inherited their father's big spots. Epsilon loved his big spots and felt that he was the perfect blend of both parents. The tom still pondered Midnight and wondered whether she had gone to StarClan. StarClan was where the ancestors went, or so that was what tradition said. Epsilon still hadn't made his mind up on whether he agreed with it all or not, though.
"Hi Alpha!" Epsilon chirped as he settled down beside his brother. The young apprentice dropped his sparrow between his paws and took a few gracious bites. He looked to his sibling who seemed curled around a vole. It was likely for Fawnspots, he guessed. Alpha while was not admired by mother, was loved by Fawnspots. The golden bengal himself though believed he was loved by all family members. He knew he was not mother's favorite, nor was he likely Fawnspot's, but he was OK with that. Being simply loved and cared for was all that he needed. "How has your training been going?" Epsilon asked, curious to see how the charcoal tom was getting on.
Hornetcall wasn't... bad, necessarily. He wasn't mean or condescending to her, and at least around him she was able to get away her brother. She sincerely couldn't imagine having Pearfrost or Talonflight as her mentor - both of them seemed to strict and intimidating for her to do more than freeze up during any session with them. So while her mentor was bigger than her, he was nice. She supposed that was the best she could get.
Well. At least he didn't demand she stay in camp. Omega had shyly told him where she liked to watch the birds so he had a place to start looking for her whenever she was needed and that information hadn't been dropped to her brothers or anyone else so she had a bit more faith in him than the beginning of her apprenticeship.
A few colorful birds called to each other from the safety of their own branches. Her face held a tiny smile from her position hidden among the leaves of a branch only a tree away. A quick glance up told her that her time was up, unfortunately. The smile vanished and she anxiously flicked her tail at the thought of being surrounded by her family. Fawnspots meant well and she wouldn't mind her adopted mother if it hadn't meant Wavestep came with her. Her father... She avoided him as much as possible, even more than Alpha, honestly. Hated the reminder of what he had done, that he was the reason she was here. Epsilon wasn't bad like Hornetcall wasn't bad, but she couldn't stand being around him either. One brother around usually meant the other was somewhere nearby, even if it was in passing.
And Alpha was the worst.
Omega shuddered and climbed carefully from her tree branch, avoiding alerting the birds she loved so much, and slipped her way back to camp. Her steps were near silent as she edged through a hole in the brambles that she was the only one to know of, as far as she was aware, and threw her gaze around the camp. The black pelt so similar to their mother caught her attention first, hunched over prey as it was, and then her gaze drifted to the brown figure next to him. There was no sign of either warrior, but maybe it would be okay to join them?
She angled her walk so that it kept Epsilon between herself and Alpha as she approached. She didn't dare take a piece of prey. Too often had it been stolen from her when Midnight wasn't looking. Maybe she could grab something before she disappeared for the night...
Omega sat at a farther distance from her brothers than they did to each other and kept herself in as small as a space as possible so that no movement could be taken as aggression for food.