Had enough time passed for her to not feel bad for getting used to living in old Creekclan territory? She still longed for the open spaces of her old home, but the trees no longer felt like she was being closed in on. Her swimming definitely wasn't great. At the very least she was able to move around easier without the fear of being swept away from a current. Perhaps what she missed the most was the Lavender Fields. The early ones would be budding right about now, releasing their scent into the air for her to wander through.
At least these Sunning Stones sort of made up for it. Robinflight stretched lazily on her chosen rock and settled half on her back, half on her side, eyes still closed.
But that was too much negativity. She still had her family, and there were so many potential new friends now that she felt a little more comfortable that no one would confront her about her past. Besides Wavestep of course, but he seemed to like being mean anyway. At least Hornetcall was nice. Family and duties had really kept them from talking more than a few minutes a day. She supposed she could have gone looking for him - probably would later - but the Stones just seemed like such a good idea after another frustrating morning of hunting. Only two mice. Made her feel like she wasn't pulling her own weight when others would come in with several squirrels, or some birds, or the sheer amount of fish the former Creekclan cats contributed.
Would it be worth it to sneak across to her old home? Run down some rabbits? It's not like she would be going into Gorgeclan territory, after all, and she'd be sure to stay near the old camp and top half of the Fields. Surely Spiritstar wouldn't be mad?
[attr="class","bandittext"]The cats of the other clans seemed to finally be settling into their new territory, something Hornetcall wasn't sure would last but he tried his best not to be a pessimist. There were just too many things that boded against the clans - too many moons of fighting before peace. It'd been a wonder that they'd made it this far, and truthfully, he wasn't sure how it'd happened. Maybe it was the fear of invoking the wrath of not one, or two, but all three leaders of the clans that kept everyone complacent. Whatever the case, he did his best not to poke holes into the idea. Afterall, Hornetcall wasn't here to question Seawatcher's authority or her ability to do the job. He was merely here to serve where he needed to, a pawn in the game.
Today, he'd been sent on a patrol to ensure the quarantine land border was intact. There had been no scents mingled (spare the normal one that ended CreekClan's border) and he did his best not to think too much of it. Not since he'd caught the young Vrieseapaw near it's border, presuming that she'd meant to sneak over had he not stumbled along her. Though the patrol ended, as they all do, and it gave the seasoned warrior time ot think about his life and what was currently happening in it. More importantly, it gave him time to ponder those kits and who their father might be.
Though admittedly, as much as the knowledge of their lineage plagued them, he'd already decided that irregardless of who their father was, he'd missed too many moons to come in now and try to be anything more than that weird uncle who showed up on occasion. He wasn't important to them, not like Huckleberryroot was, so he'd keep his distance. And that distance was resulting in less and less time in camp. Early rises and late, late nights where he'd return and literally fall into his nest with exhaustion, only to do it all over again the next day.
And while Hornetcall wasn't usually the type of cat that looked for ways to unwind and relax, his aching muscles begged for a swim and to sun on the rocks that peppered the creek where it narrowed to a stream. And while his massive body was drenched from the swim it had taken to get here, he heaved himself onto the rock and all but collapsed onto it, the sigh of relief that sounded from the older tom loud enough that it likely would have frightened away any more prey in the immediate area, but with his eyes closed, he assumed he'd been alone.
Breathing in deep, however, the ginger tom's eyes snapped open as a familiar scent ensnared him and he scrambled - gracelessly - to sit up. He looked very different today, his long pelt glued to his body from the swim - though it showed just how massive the tabby was without his pelt to add to the illusion. He was still thick framed with massive paws and quite tall for the average cat, but he was doing his best to try to smooth the fur on his chest with a few passes of his tongue while offer a less-than-formal greeting. "R-Robinflight!" He practically purred in greeting, the tabby trying to curb just how happy he'd been to see her (albeit a little surprised). "How's the ... sun?" He meowed awkwardly, feeling like he was an intruder on her time alone and hoping she wouldn't mind his company.
Even deep in her thoughts, the slight change of sound in the water drew her attention. Her eyes snapped open, pupils contracting in the sudden bright light of the day, to lock onto the figure currently heaving itself onto a nearby rock. The muscles that had tensed on first sight of the new cat relaxed once she recognized Hornetcall. And it seemed as if he suddenly realized he was no longer alone, as he jolted to his paws and tried to fix the smoothed, drowned cat look of his fur.
Robinflight purred in amusement and stretched again to help lazily roll onto her stomach and face him, paws tucked in. "The sun feels great. Hopefully the company will be, too." It was a blatant invitation she hoped he would take. After all, who was she to claim the whole of the Sunning Stones to herself? That would be rude, not to mention of everyone not her family, Hornetcall was the best to have around.
She blinked and finally, fully took in how he looked, and started giggling. "You look ridiculous." Her own pelt had long since dried in the time since she had taken her spot. That, combined with her much shorter pelt, made her appear only a little fluffier than normal. "All done for the day? It's been a while since we had the time to hang out."
Hornetcall found himself smiling at the invitation, but tried to hide it by continuing to lick the water from his pelt, a task that would certainly take far longer than a few quick tongue strokes due to how dense his pelt was. His ear twitched at the sweet sound of her laugh and his smile couldn't be contained as he glanced up at her again, his golden eyes meeting her yellow. He enjoyed her laugh. It was a sound that filled his stromach with butterflies, but he did his best not to think about that too much. He hadn't felt butterflies in such a long time, surely he was just feeling ill.
Still, at her comment, the large tom rose to his paws, stepping closer to her and shaking his pelt out, a massive grin on his face as he sprayed water every which way. Though it only hurt his appearance, taking him from the sleek river-cat that he'd looked like before to a wirey mess of damp clumps of fur that stood every which way and threatened to fluff up as they dried. His laugh was a deep rumble in his chest as he settled down near her, careful to keep enough distance between them to not get her wet and not impose on her personal space. Then he set himself to work on drying his long, much too fluffy pelt.
"Fortunately. It's been a long day, and there was a lot to do. But I'm happy to be able to be here with you, even if it was an accident." He chuckled before looking her over, though he was careful not to let his eyes linger for too long. "Are you feeling any more at peace here?" He asked softly, thinking back to the conversation they'd had when they'd first met. "And everyone is treating you well?" He added, though he sounded a little bit more concerned about this question.
Warmth rose in her chest as he accepted her invitation. Not even the few water droplets he shook from his coat that landed on her could dampen her spirits - or smother the next snicker at how much worse he looked now compared to a moment before. Robinflight hummed in agreement to the comment on it being a long day and let her eyes briefly wander over the muscles peeking through his damp coat before averting her gaze.
She blinked and turned back to Hornetcall at his question. Her head tilted as she searched for the right words to describe what she had been feeling before his arrival. "Not quite at peace," she finally decided on. "But it's... easier, more comfortable here now." A little bit of good humor tinted her voice with her next words. "I can still feel the divide between the clans with others, but most are nice. One cat in particular is pretty friendly." Her voice shifted to a more pointed tone as she tried to catch his gaze. "He's nice. Showed me to a really nice place to run." Flashing him a cheeky little grin, she turned his own questions back on him. "What about you? Getting more comfortable with all of us in your space? Having any trouble with the others?" Not that he would need her help if someone was bothering him. Robinflight knew she would do it anyway, as she would do for any of her friends.
Her teasing now finished, she stood and moved closer, hoping Hornetcall wouldn't mind her getting in his space. "Would you like some help drying off?" Robinflight offered with a little uncertainty. It was something she would offer to any of her clanmates, and especially her friends and family, but she wasn't quite sure how he'd take it. She didn't want to treat him any different just because he came from a different clan... She also didn't want to ruin their fledgling friendship.
[attr="class","bandittext"]The soft agreement that came from the she-cat brought a smile to his maw, though he was able to hide it while he made busywork of licking the water from his pelt. While he was apprehensive of taking the time to do it, he knew he needed to least his fur either mat or grow unmanageably fluffy, neither of which sounded like attractive options - especially in front of Robinflight. Listening as she described how she was feeling, the tom found himself relax more at the news. He liked knowing that she was comfortable. It wasn't much, but if he could offer her a place of comfort and safety while she was here, he hoped it wouldn't be too intrusive.
"I'm glad to hear you're adjusting. I know you hope to return to your moors soon, though." For some reason, the thought of her leaving brought a strange ache to his chest. He mentally made a note that he'd need to see Spiderfrost after this, between butterflies and chest aches, he wanted to make sure he wasn't coming down with something. Especially since he was certain that Berrychirp would want him to come stop by the kits later. Last thing he needed was to expose those little bundles of fluff to something dangerous.
However, his good mood soiled only slightly at the mention of a friendly cat who showed her a place to run. His ears flicked and he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, his tongue stopping mid-rasp before he pulled himself back. "Oh?" He asked, though he tried to hide the subtle tone of jealousy that slid out with such a simple word. After all, they were just friends, he certainly had no right to be even remotely jealous toward the little tabby's excursions. "You have another place to run then, that's very good." He said softly, before quickly turning his attention back to his damp pelt, determined to control the frizz that would come if he didn't.
"GorgeClan makes me uneasy, if I'm honest." He said slowly, careful on how to continue for he didn't know her take on the matter. "I guess it's just... not as easy to forget what they did." He said with a small sigh. He'd lost companions and parents in that war, and the past wasn't so easy to put behind him thanks to that.
However, when she offered to help him dry off and moved closer, his ears almost immediately burned hot at the offer, but he nodded slightly, uncertain if he'd be able to respond without hesitating or stammering - a feeling of nervousness he didn't feel often. He could trust Robinflight, he knew that. So why were the butterflies so persistent?
What was...? He seemed... confused when she started talking about him. It only clicked that Hornetcall didn't realize she was talking about him when he made the comment about there being somewhere else for her to run. She couldn't help another laugh from escaping. "I'm talking about you, silly!" Robinflight tried to make it clear she wasn't making fun of him, but honestly. Did he really think that more than one cat would do something like that from her? Well. More than one cat from Creekclan
She was curious at his admission of Gorgeclan. "I wouldn't understand, I grew up after Bonestar had already fallen. While I can see it from the older warriors from Moorclan, I didn't have to live through it like that." It was true, regardless of how much she kept to herself. He didn't need to know the circumstances around her arrival to Moorclan - or that she wasn't born to Moorclan to begin with. Though it did make her wonder what the other clans thought... Did they think she really was Cherrybloom's daughter?
Relief filled her at his silent acceptance to her help and knocked her out of her own thoughts. The warmth from earlier grew stronger as she closed that last little bit of distance and settled herself to start grooming the hard to reach places. Her ears burned - has to be from embarrassment from doing this so soon after making friends - but she kept herself focused on her task.
It definitely took longer to help Hornetcall with his coat than it did for her to take care of her own, but Robinflight shook herself loose and stepped back once finished. "Well, you don't look half-drowned anymore." Humor colored her voice as she put a slightly more respectable distance between the two of them. "Did you have anything else planned for the day?" After all their hard work, she doubted he would want to do more than laze around for a while longer, but maybe she could tag along if he wanted to do anything else.
[attr="class","bandittext"]The burn of embarrassment only grew warmer and the ginger tabby found himself quickly averting her gaze, a sheepish smile touching his features. How could he be so stupid as to think that she had the same adventure with another. Hornetcall had been hopeful to think that she'd dismiss it but her light and airy laugh only brought a nervous smile to the older tom's face.
Maybe it was his brain he needed the checkup for and not his abdomen. Clearing his throat, he nodded slightly. "I... knew that." He said with a smirk, trying to play off the stupidity. Though as they continued talking about GorgeClan, his brow furrowed slightly. He'd known Robinflight was definitely younger than he, though he hadn't realized just how much and part of him wondered if it was inappropriate for them to be this close. And the thought only persisted as she stepped closer and helped him reach the places that were much harder to get on his own. All the same, he was thankful for her help, considering that it would have likely taken him hours on his own.
As they settled out onto the warm rocks, his fluffy pelt taking shape once more. The dampness was still there and it made any cool breeze feel frigid, but it was better by leaps and bounds. The tabby purred back in amusement, though he had to hide the look of disappointment that accompanied her putting space between them. "Hmmmm." He pondered, slowly lowering himself from his haunches to his stomach, allowing the warmth of stones to seep into his aching muscles, before turning his gaze toward the little feline at his side. A day full of adventure with her sounded much more rewarding than a day of lounging, despite the way his joints protested when he rose to his paws once more. "Hmm. Well, how's your fishing technique?" He asked. There were a lot of kits in CreekClan right now, so Berrychirp would need extra food to keep her going. And fish just so happened to be her favorite. That, and unlike the prey of the forest, he found fish much easier to obtain. "Unless you have another adventure in mind?" He teased lightly.