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Fadedlight and Onyxstar - Hunting in ShadowClan Territory

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FadedLight

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Deputy
The moon hung high in the air, and the young ShadowClan deputy sat sleepless in the middle of camp. Her ears swiveled as she heard the soft sneeze of a warrior fast asleep in his den, and she let out a soft sigh. Why is it I simply can not fall asleep? She pondered, gazing upward, her eyes tracing over the many stars of Silverpelt. She briefly wondered if her mentor was looking down at her. I should at least try to sleep... Fadedlight's eyes then dropped to the warrior's den. All her clanmates lay asleep, and she would have to pick her way through at least ten of them to even get to her nest. Electing not to risk disturbing any of their slumbers, she remained sitting quietly in the center of camp.

OnyxStar

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Leader
OnyxStar silently crept out of his den, tail swishing back and forth rapidly. There was an odd feeling in his gut, one he could not quite place but it prevented him from continuing his rest. Moments ago, he had been sleeping. A heavy, peaceful sleep he had not enjoyed in some time. But something, a dream of sorts he supposed, had him waking up and now sleep would be unattainable. It would have been better if he remembered the dream, but nothing came to mind, nothing at all. 

Somewhat miffed at his inability to sleep he stretched out a few tail-lengths in front of his den and looked around. The camp was still and silent, illuminated brightly by the fainter glow of the moon. But there was someone sitting in the middle of camp, apparently as sleepless as he. His ears twitched towards her before his paws surely made their way to bring him next to the deputy.

"Couldn't sleep?" Onyx sat down next to FadedLight, head turned towards the camp entrance as he spoke in a soft whisper to her.

FadedLight

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Deputy
Fadedlight extended her claws and began idly scratching at the ground beneath her paws. She wanted to do something more productive but was unsure what. Hearing pawsteps approach, Fadedlight spun around, her whiskers twitching slightly at the sight of her leader and friend Onyxstar.

"No. I thought I heard you snoring over in your nest though, nightmare?" she guessed, the sound of an owl hooting in the distance causing her to jump slightly. She shook her head, slightly ashamed. Owls weren't uncommon, she was just jumpy tonight for a reason she could not explain.

OnyxStar

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Leader
The dark tom shrugged, "I'm not sure." And if he was honest, that annoyed him. Why couldn't he remember? Whatever it had been, he wanted to know. What could it have been that it now prevented him from sleep? He didn't like not knowing but even OnyxStar knew, that some things were simply out of his paws.
 

Standing up, he gave himself a good shake as though to banish whatever was bothering him. He had to do something, as tranquil as the camp was at the moment, he felt the need to focus on something else. To do something else and if he was reading his friend correctly, she did too. "Join me in a hunt?" He turned to her then, wanting to go out. Besides, they were ShadowClan, a little night hunting was always a part of their agenda. and the food would do the clan some good.

FadedLight

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Deputy
Fadedlight gazed up at the tom. "Of course." she replied, thankful he had offered. She had been itching to stretch her legs, but the lonesomeness of a solo hunt repelled her. "The elders will be thankful for some freshkill when they wake." A brief grin curled at Fadedlight's muzzle as she remembered a time when her emotions were less chaotic, and her days were spent listening to the elders' tales with Rainfeather and Dapplesplash. Before her mother left. Before her sister left. Before life became complicated. The momentary joy vanished as she thought of the incidents involving her immediate family. It was many, many moons ago, but the memories still haunted Fadedlight. Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, she rose and faced Onyxstar. "Lead the way." She offered, awaiting his movement.

OnyxStar

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Leader
OnyxStar sensed as he lost her for a moment. Something deep and dear coming to her after she mentioned the elders. He wasn't sure exactly what had passed through her mind at that moment, but whatever it had been had brought a temporary lightness to her. But he said nothing, allowed her to wrestle with her own thoughts and emotions until she had a handle of herself. Instead, he stood watching the sky. The moon cast soft silver beams down to the ground in a dark version of dappled light. Rather than light and colors, the light cast shadows and even darker shadows. It was the perfect night for a hunt. There would undoubtedly be various specimens of prey out and about, enjoying the cool of the evening to forage for their own food. And they would be waiting.

He bowed his head quickly as she finally came to, telling him to lead the way. He did so quickly and quietly, heading out the camp entrance and heading into the forest. He wondered where to hunt specifically, as the night sounds reached his ears. They could stay close to camp, head to the stream or go closer to the ThunderPath. "We shall head for the stream," he said to FadedLight as he made his decision. It was in the perfect spot not only to hunt but to monitor their surroundings, to check the area. A patrol of sorts while out hunting.

And though he liked the quiet, preferred it actually, FadedLight was his friend. So he matched his pace to the deputy and inquired, "Are you well, FadedLight?" His voice as ever was soft, nearly a whisper. It had never been in his nature to speak very loudly (though he could if he wished) but in the stillness of the night and wishing for a true response from her, he said his words in as gentle a tone as he could. OnyxStar would never outwardly express it but he worried for her, well he worried for his whole clan of course, but FadedLight held a dear spot to the tom. He had not been her mentor, but he had trained his own apprentice with her and her own mentor enough to feel a stronger camaraderie with the she-cat.

FadedLight

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Deputy
Fadedlight followed the tom through the trees, elegantly swerving around the trees and shrubbery she had spent so long training in. Nodding along with his decision, they made way to the stream.

Once there, Fadedlight was taken aback by Onyxstar's care for her. Had he noticed what she had been hiding? No, not possible. She assured herself. She had been thinking a lot recently about her family leaving, and it was definitely bringing her mood down, but she thought her polite smile and calm, kind demeanor would send other cats worries astray. She did not need her clanmates fawning over her. To anyone else, she would've fibbed, saying everything was fine, but Onxystar was different; she felt comfortable around him. With a sigh, she began her story. "I haven't been sleeping well. Every night I relive the moments when they left. It's starting to..." she paused, groping for the right words. "wear me down, if that makes any sense." Fadedlight explained, looking up at the tom, allowing her emotion to show in her eyes for the first time in moons.

OnyxStar

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Leader
FadedLight did not reply to his question right away. OnyxStar worried she would not want to tell him, though he could find no reason for keeping a secret from him. Still, he waited patiently, waiting for her to say something. Anything. To either answer his question or politely negate to answer. He would never push her to tell him something she did not want to share, but he would encourage her to express herself to someone if not him.

However, his concerns and thoughts on how to help her if she chose not to reply were made null. With a sigh that spoke her weariness, she finally revealed to him what had been bothering her. OnyxStar's whiskers drooped, ashamed that he had not thought or even imagined that her family's abandonment would hurt her in such a way.

Standing still, his maw opened but shut quickly afterwards, not a word escaping him. He considered his words as she allowed the expression in her eyes to speak of all she had been holding back. OnyxStar had not had a personal family in a very long time, his own history sad but bearable. He could not understand the feelings she was going though,
nor would he pretend to. But words escaped him at that moment: what did one say to someone who had been abandoned by family anyway?

The tom felt his ears twitch, the lack of an appropriate answer starting to annoy him. He was bad when dealing with emotions, he rarely ever dealt with his own. Hardly recognized them. But FadedLight did not feel well and he truly wanted to help. "I won't..." he said somewhat hesitant before deciding to go with what he had in mind. Raising his head, he offered a very small and very brief smile at FadedLight, "I won't pretend to understand what it must be like. We are two very different cats. However, this has been hurting you lately FadedLight and I dislike seeing you or any member of my clan in this state." But he would not tell her to get over it. "With time, this will pass. If you allow it to. It may be of little consolation but ShadowClan are your family and we will always be there for you. You are a strong warrior, FadedLight, I've been around long enough to see your potential and to recognize it. Do not let GreyShade or DappleSplash take a piece of you with them. They do not deserve you."

FadedLight

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Deputy
Her ears flicked as she listened to the tom. He's right. It was wasted minutes I spent growing near them. It's been wasted moons I've spent thinking of them. Why do I let them control my emotions? They left, they don't have to be a part of my life anymore. I don't need to even think of them anymore. It's just... sometimes it's hard. She shook her head. "Thank you for your words, Onnie." She meowed, looking up at him with admiration shining in her eyes. "We should probably hunt." Fadedlight suggested, humor in her mew. That was, in fact, what they came here for. Not that she disliked their chats, she actually quite enjoyed them, but her paws were itching to hunt.

OnyxStar

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Leader
Onnie... FadedLight was not the first to call him such a name but she was one of the few allowed to use it. OnyxStar had never been a big fan of being called by the name but it held a special place in his heart. Its use always brought him memories of his father, JaggedFang. The large smokey black tom would call him by it whenever they were together, before the attack. Before the death berries... As his friend, FadedLight was one of the few allowed to use it. Her use of the name demonstrated how he considered the she-cat. To him, she was family. For only family were allowed to know him so well and so deeply.

Gazing back at her in mild amusement, he agreed with her. "You are, as usual, correct." They should hunt, it was why they had come out here in the first place. Making sure she was okay, just one more time, the large cat finally turned his attention to his surroundings and began his search for prey.

As the two cats fell silent, the sounds of small living things surrounded them on all sides. OnyxStar could hear one particular scratching sound a few fox-lengths away to his right and a soft rustling not many steps away. He focused on the scratching and dropped into a low crouch. His full attention went to his quarry. Onyx could not yet smell what it was, but it had not stopped its scratching which meant it had not noticed him yet. Slowly, as quiet as the shadows he stalked what scurried in the dark. He recognized it, only a few moments before going for the kill. A mouse. A fat, plump mouse that died with a shrill shriek at his maw. The tom set it down, he was fonder of lizards, but a mouse would do the clan well.

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